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Supplementary Demands For Grants


In News

  • The federal government requested parliamentary approval for the second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants totaling? 2.7 trillion for the fiscal year 2022-23.

Demand for Grants

  • According to Article 113 of the Constitution, any proposal or estimate requesting a withdrawal of funds from the Consolidated Fund of India must be presented to the Lok Sabha in the form of a grant application.
  • Any withdrawal or distribution from the Consolidated Fund of India must be authorised by the Lok Sabha, the house of the people.
  • Each ministry prepares a grant request for expenditures to be incurred in the following fiscal year. These requests are presented collectively to the Lok Sabha as part of the Union Budget.
  • The grant request includes both charged and budgeted expenses. Charged expenditures, such as interest payments, are liabilities of the government of India and are not put to a vote in the Lok Sabha. The other category of expenditures is voted expenditures, which consist of revenue and capital expenditures to be incurred on a government programme during the following fiscal year.
  • Typically, each ministry has a grant request, but large ministries such as Finance and Defense have multiple grant requests.

Demand for Grants: How is it prepared?

  • Every grant request is prepared in two ways:
  • First, it distinguishes clearly between charged expenditures and voted expenditures.
  • It also distinguishes between capital expenditure and revenue expenditure.
  • In contrast to capital expenditures, which result in the creation of government assets, revenue expenditures are operational in nature.

How Demand for Grants are Presented?

  • Under Article 113, the Lok Sabha has the power to give or refuse its assent to a demand for grants
  • Article 113 stipulates that no grant request may be presented to the Lok Sabha without the prior approval of the President of India, or the amount specified in the grant request may be reduced.
    • Articles 117 and 274 of the Indian Constitution require a Presidential recommendation for the introduction of a Money Bill in the Lok Sabha. In addition to the annual financial statement known as the Union Budget, the Finance Bill includes a certificate issued by the President. Article 115 contains provisions pertaining to supplementary, additional, or excess grants.
    • Article 116 of the Constitution relates to Account Votes, Credit Votes, and Exceptional Grants.

Types of Grants 

  • Additional Grant: It is granted when a need arises during the current fiscal year for additional expenditures on a new service that was not anticipated in the budget.
  • Excess Grant: It is granted when the amount spent on a service during a fiscal year exceeds the budgeted amount for that service for that year.
  • The Lok Sabha votes on it following the fiscal year.
  • Prior to submitting requests for excess grants to the Lok Sabha for a vote, the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament must approve them.
  • Supplementary Grant: It is granted when it is determined that the amount authorised by the legislature for a particular service for the current fiscal year is insufficient.
  •  The Comptroller and Auditor General of India should inform the Parliament of such excesses.
  • The Public Accounts Committee investigates these excesses and makes suggestions to the legislature.
  • Vote of Credit: It is granted to meet an unforeseen, exceptional demand on India’s resources. The demand cannot be stated with the typical budgetary details. Consequently, it resembles a blank check issued to the Executive by the Lok Sabha.
  • Exceptional Grant: It is granted for a specific purpose and does not count towards any fiscal year’s current service.
  • Token Grant: It is granted when funds can be reappropriated to cover the proposed expenditures for a new service.
  •  If the Lok Sabha approves a request for the disbursement of a nominal sum (of Re 1), the funds are made available.
  •  Reappropriation entails the transfer of funds from one entity to another.
  • There are no additional expenses involved.
  • Source: TH

Academy Awards 2023

GS 2 Miscellaneous

In News

  • Recently, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ and RRR became the first ever Indian productions to win the Oscar .


  • The Academy Awards, more commonly referred to as the Oscars, are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in recognition of cinematic excellence.
  • RRR, directed by SS Rajamouli, is the first Indian feature film to win an Oscar. The Best Original Song Award was given to the film’s ‘Naatu Naatu’ soundtrack by MM Keeravani. The song was composed by MM Keeravani and written by Chandrabose.
  • The Elephant Whisperers, an Indian documentary directed by Kartiki Gonsalves, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
  • The film highlights the stunning beauty of Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai National Park and provides a glimpse into the lives of the Kattunayakan, an indigenous community that inhabits parts of South India.
  • It is also the first Indian production to win an Academy Award in the Documentary Short category.
  • Previous winners:
    • Bhanu Athaiya: Bhanu Athaiya is the first Indian to win an Academy Award. She received an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for the 1982 historical film Gandhi.
    • Satyajit Ray:In 1992 Satyajit Ray received the honorary Oscar  award in recognition of his exceptional skill in the field of filmmaking.
    • Resul Pookutty : His work on Slumdog Millionaire earned him the Best Sound Mixing Academy Award in 2009.
    • A R Rahman and Gulzar : In 2009, “Jai Ho,” composed by Rahman and Gulzar, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the film Slumdog Millionaire. He also won the Oscar for Best Original Score for Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire.
    • ‘Jai Ho,’ written by Gulzar and composed by AR Rahman, is the first Hindi song to win an Academy Award.
    • Source:TH

Operation Trishul

GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions

In News

  • Under the auspices of Operation Trishul, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has extradited 33 criminals hiding in foreign countries.


  • The CBI is India’s nodal agency that coordinates with the Interpol to bring back fugitives hiding abroad. • Operation Trishul also aims to dismantle support networks and generate criminal intelligence on shell companies, fraudulent transactions, money mules, and co-accused located globally.
  • The CBI was successful in returning 27 fugitives hiding abroad last year.

Who are Fugitive Offenders?

  • The “Fugitive Economic Offender” means any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a scheduled offence has been issued by any court in India, who:
  • leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution; or
  • refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
  • The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act of 2018 seeks to confiscate the assets of economic offenders who have fled the country to avoid prosecution or who refuse to return to face charges.

Source: TOI


‘Least Developed Country’ Status

GS 3 Indian Economy & Related Issues

In News

  • Bhutan is about to graduate from the United Nations’ (UN) list of Least Developed Countries for the seventh time (LDCs).

What are LDCs? 

  • Least developed countries (LDCs) are low-income nations confronting severe structural obstacles to sustainable development. They are extremely susceptible to economic and environmental shocks and have few human assets. The concept originated in the late 1960s and was formalised by United Nations resolution 2768 in November 1971.
  • The list of LDCs, which is reviewed every three years by the Committee for Development, currently includes 46 countries (CDP).
  • One is from the Caribbean, 33 are from Africa, nine are from Asia, and three are from the Pacific. LDCs have exclusive access to certain international support measures, particularly in the areas of trade and development assistance.

LDC Identification Criteria & Indicators

    •  The General Assembly (GA) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) have charged the CDP with reviewing the list of LDCs every three years and making recommendations on the inclusion and graduation of eligible countries based on the following criteria:
    •  Average Gross National Income (GNI) per capita below USD 1,230 over a period of three years.
    • 21`Human Assets: It is a measure of level of human capital.
    • Economic and Environmental Vulnerability (EVI): The EVI is a measure of structural vulnerability to economic and environmental shocks.
  • Each of the three criteria is evaluated based on key indicators that reflect long-term structural disadvantages.

Inclusion in LDCs

  • Every three years, the CDP makes recommendations for inclusion in and graduation from the category.
  • These recommendations are not based solely on the criteria scores; complementary country-specific information and government input are also considered.
  • The inclusion thresholds, as determined by the CDP, must be met for each of the three criteria (GNI per capita, HAI and EVI) in one triennial review.

Criteria to get off the LDC list?

  • A nation must have a GNI per capita of at least $1,242 for two consecutive triennial reviews and demonstrate that this level of income can be sustained over the long term.
  • A nation’s GNI per capita must be at least $1,242 for two consecutive triennial reviews. Using indicators such as education, health, and nutrition, a nation must demonstrate that it has increased its human capital by increasing literacy rates, decreasing malnutrition rates, and increasing access to healthcare and education.
  • To pass the economic vulnerability test, a nation must also demonstrate enhanced resilience to external economic shocks, such as natural disasters or fluctuations in commodity prices.

Countries who Graduated from the status of LDCs

  • Six nations have graduated from the category of least developed country: Botswana in December 1994, Cabo Verde in December 2007,
  • Maldives in January 2011,
  • Samoa in January 2014,
  • Equatorial Guinea in June 2017,
  • and Vanuatu in December 2020.
  • Botswana graduated in 1994 primarily due to its strong economic performance, driven by its diamond mining industry and investments in education and infrastructure.
  • Carbo Verde graduated in 2007 following investments in tourism, fisheries, and services, as well as positioning its strategic location to attract foreign investment.

Case of Bhutan

In 1971, Bhutan was included in the initial group of LDCs. Bhutan first fulfilled the requirements for graduation in 2015, and then again in 2018 and therefore scheduled to graduate in 2021.

  • The UN, however, viewed Bhutan’s request to align the effective graduation date with the conclusion of the nation’s 12th national development plan in 2023 as a valid request and therefore delayed the delisting.
  • Bhutan has mostly accomplished this by increasing exports of hydropower to India, also established Brand Bhutan in an effort to diversify exports with specialised exports of high-value, low-volume Bhutanese goods.
  • Their goods come from sectors of the economy including textiles, tourism, handicrafts, culture, and natural resources.

Transition from LDCs to Developing Countries

  • Country Actions: Prepares a national transition strategy and establishes a consultative mechanism to facilitate its preparation in cooperation with development partners
  •  May seek assistance from the United Nations system in the preparation of the transition strategy.
  • Voluntarily reports on the preparation of the transition strategy to the CDP on an annual basis.
  • Smooth transition strategy: The objective is to ensure that development efforts are not interrupted by graduation.
  •  Focuses on the expected repercussions of losing LDC status and the special support measures associated with that loss.
  •  Presents a comprehensive and coherent set of specific measures in accordance with the country’s priorities, taking into account its particular structural challenges, vulnerabilities, and strengths.
  • Countries scheduled for graduation
  • Angola (2024)
  • Bangladesh (2026)
  • Bhutan (2023)
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic (2026)
  • Nepal (2026)
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (2024)
  • Solomon Islands (2024)


Manipur Government withdraws from SoO Agreement

GS 3

In Context

  • The Manipur government recently rescinded the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement with two hill-based tribal insurgent groups, citing their influence on forest encroachment protests.


  • The government alleged that the protests were influenced by two hill-based insurgent groups.
  • As a result, the state government withdrew from tripartite talks/SoO agreements with three hill-based insurgent groups, namely the Kuki National Army (KNA), the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) whose leaders hail from outside the state.


  • On August 22, 2008, the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People’s Front (UPF), two Kuki militant umbrella groups, signed a tripartite SoO agreement with the governments of India and Manipur.
  • The KNO is signed by the KNA and ZRA.

Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement 

  • SoO was a ceasefire agreement between the Indian government, the government of Manipur, and two umbrella groups of Kuki militants. The Kuki militants had demanded a separate Kuki state within Manipur and had recently sought a Kuki territorial council.
  •  It was initially signed in 2008 and periodically extended.


Ethnic groups in Manipur

•         The Kukis are an ethnic group comprised of multiple tribes that originally inhabited the north-eastern Indian states of Manipur, Mizoram, and Assam, as well as portions of Burma (now Myanmar).

•         The people of Manipur are divided into three major ethnic groups: the Meiteis, who inhabit the valley, and 29 major tribes in the hills, which are subdivided into the Nagas and Kuki-Chins.

o    In Manipur, the various Kuki tribes, currently make up 30% of the total 28.5 lakh population of the State.

·         The remainder of the population consists primarily of two other ethnic groups: the Meiteis or non-tribal Vaishnavite Hindus who reside in the valley region of Manipur, and the Naga tribes who inhabit the hilly regions of the state as well.

o    The majority of the state’s population resides in the valley.


Background of Kuki Insurgency

  • The North Eastern region reorganisation act of 1971 designated Tripura, Meghalaya, and Manipur as states on January 21, 1972.
  • The resentment over the “forceful” inclusion into India and delay in granting statehood led to the rise of various insurgent movements.
  • In the Post-independence insurgent movements various groups demanded self-determination and separate statehood for Manipur.
  • Conflicts over ethnic identity are the source of Kuki extremism.
  • First was the demand for self-determination through the formation of Kukiland, which comprises Kuki-populated regions of Myanmar, Manipur, Assam, and Mizoram.
  • Manipur’s intercommunal conflicts between the Kukis and the Nagas are the second cause.
  • Wanting to dominate trade and cultural activities in those regions, two communities engaged in frequent violent confrontations.
  • While some militant Kuki outfits demanded Kukiland, including parts which are not in India, some demanded Kukiland within India.
  • In 1980, Manipur was declared a “troubled area” under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives the military sweeping powers and has led to abuses. As a result, the conflict escalated.
  • The Present scenario
  • The demand resulted in the formulation of an independent district—Kukiland Territorial Councilwithin the purview of the Indian constitution.

Steps taken by the Government

  • Armed forces Special Powers Act:
  •  In 1980, the Centre declared the entirety of Manipur to be a “troubled area” and enacted AFSPA to suppress the insurgency movement, which is still in effect.
  • Operation All Clear:
    • Assam Rifles and the army had conducted operation “All Clear” in the hill areas, most of the militants’ hideouts had been neutralised, with many of them having shifted to the valley.
  • Ceasefire Agreement:
    • The  National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)-IM entered a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India in 1997, even as peace talks between them have still been continuing.
    • The Kuki outfits under two umbrella groups, the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People’s Front (UPF), also signed the tripartite Suspension of Operation (SoO) pacts with the Governments of India and Manipur on August 22, 2008.



SIPRI Report on Global Arms Import

GS 3

In News

  • Despite a decline in overall imports between 2018 and 2022, India will remain the largest importer of arms.


  • India is the world’s largest arms importer for the period between 2018-22, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (SIPRI).
  • SIPRI is a leading international research institute focusing on conflict, peace, and arms control.
  • According to the findings, India’s arms imports decreased by 11% between 2013–17 and 2018–22, but it remains the largest importer of major arms in the world since 1993.

Russia was the largest supplier of arms to India, but its share of total Indian arms imports decreased from 64% to 45% between 2018 and 2022, while France became the second largest supplier.

Key Findings:

  • India’s Arms Imports and Exports:
  •  India is the largest arms export market for Russia, France, and Israel, and the second largest arms export market for South Korea.
  •  India was also the third largest arms export market for South Africa, which was ranked 21 on the list of arms exporters.
  •  For the same period, India remained the largest arms importer, followed by Saudi Arabia, with Russia accounting for 45% of India’s imports, followed by France (29%) and the United States (11%).
  • Reasons for Decrease in India’s Arms Imports:
  • India’s sluggish and convoluted arms procurement procedure;
  • India’s efforts to diversify its arms suppliers
  • Attempts to replace imports with major arms that are designed and produced domestically
  • Russia’s Arms Exports:
  • From 2018 to 2022, just under two-thirds of Russian arms exports went to three countries: India (31%), China (23%), and Egypt (9.2%).
  • Russia’s position as India’s primary arms supplier is threatened by strong competition from other supplier states, increased Indian arms production, and, since 2022, restrictions on Russia’s arms exports resulting from its invasion of Ukraine.
  • Pakistan’s Arms Imports:
  •  Arms imports by Pakistan increased by 14% between 2013–17 and 2018–22.
  •  It accounted for 3.7% of the global total with China supplying 77% of Pakistan’s arms imports in 2018–22.
  • Global Arms Transfers:
  • The global level of international arms transfers decreased by 5.1% between 2013–17 and 2018–22, while imports of major arms by European states increased by 47% against the backdrop of the Ukraine conflict.
  • The U.S. share of global arms exports increased from 33% to 40% while Russia’s fell from 22% to 16%.

Challenges of arms imports:

  • Slow and complex procurement process: Frequently, India’s arms procurement procedure is lengthy and intricate, delaying the acquisition of necessary weapons and equipment.
  • Dependence on foreign suppliers: India remains heavily dependent on foreign suppliers for its arms imports, which can make it vulnerable to supply disruptions, geopolitical tensions, and changing global dynamics.
  • Diversification of suppliers: India is making efforts to diversify its arms suppliers to reduce its dependence on any one country, but this process can be difficult and time-consuming.
  • Domestic arms production: India is also attempting to produce more of its own arms domestically, but this requires significant investments in infrastructure, technology, and skilled labor.
  • Replacement of imports: India is seeking to replace some of its imports with domestically designed and produced arms, but this process can be slow and challenging.

Government steps

The Indian government has taken several steps to promote domestic arms production and reduce the country’s reliance on arms imports. Some of these measures include:

  • Defence Manufacturing Policy: The government has formulated a Defence Manufacturing Policy that aims to create an ecosystem for domestic defence manufacturing, enhance self-reliance, and reduce dependence on imports.
  • Make in India: The Make in India initiative encourages domestic production of defence equipment, including fighter jets, submarines, and helicopters, by providing incentives for private sector investment in the defence industry.
  • Strategic Partnership Model: The Strategic Partnership (SP) Model is a policy framework that allows private sector companies to partner with foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to produce defence equipment in India.
  • Technology Transfer: The government is encouraging technology transfer from foreign OEMs to Indian companies, enabling the latter to manufacture and maintain sophisticated defence equipment domestically.
  • Defence Exports: The government is promoting exports of defence equipment to other countries, which not only helps Indian defence manufacturers to grow but also enhances India’s reputation as a global defence supplier.
  • Defence Innovation Fund: The Defence Innovation Fund (DIF) has been set up to provide financial support to start-ups and MSMEs working on innovative defence technologies.
  • Defence Corridors: The government has announced the establishment of two defence corridors, one in Uttar Pradesh and the other in Tamil Nadu, to promote defence manufacturing in these regions.

• SIPRI was founded in 1966 by the Swedish parliament as an independent research institute.

• Its primary objective is to conduct research on issues related to international peace and security, such as arms control, disarmament, and conflict resolution.

• SIPRI is funded by a combination of government grants, private donations, and project-based funding.

•The institute also produces additional reports, briefs, and databases on a variety of conflict, arms control, and peacebuilding-related topics.

• It maintains an extensive database of military expenditures, arms transfers, and other pertinent data, which is freely accessible on its website.

• Its website provides access to this database.

·         To promote peace and security, the institute collaborates with other research institutes, governments, and civil society organisations worldwide.

·         SIPRI is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, but its research and analysis inform policy decisions and public debates in many countries around the world.


Source: TH

Vulture Survey

GS 3

In News

  • A recent survey of vultures was conducted in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka.


  • • An population estimation was carried out by forest departments of respective states in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) and the adjoining landscape consisting of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) in Kerala, Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR) and Nagerhole Tiger Reserve (NTR) in Karnataka.
  • • Based on inputs from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Vulture Specialist Group, survey was done using vantage point count method .
  • Outcomes :
  • o A total of 246 vultures were observed, including 183 White-rumped vultures, 30 Long-billed vultures, 28 Red-headed vultures, 3 Egyptian vultures, 1 Himalayan Griffon, and 1 Cinereous vulture (1).
  • Types of Vultures:
  • Vultures are one of 22 species of large carrion-eating birds that reside primarily in the tropics and subtropics. They serve as nature’s garbage collectors.
  • Vultures play an important role in preventing the spread of wildlife diseases.
  • Nine species of vultures reside in India, including the Oriental white-backed, Long-billed, Slender-billed, Himalayan, Red-headed, Egyptian, Bearded, Cinereous, and Eurasian Griffon.
  • Conservation status :
  • Bearded, Long-billed, Slender-billed, and Oriental white-backed are protected by the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, Schedule-1. Rest are protected under ‘Schedule IV’.
  • According to IUCN Oriental White-backed Vulture,Long-billed Vulture ,Slender-billed Vulture and Red-headed Vulture are Critically endangered.
  • Egyptian Vulture is endangered and Eurasian Griffon is least concerned while remaining are near threatened.
  • Threats:
    • Use of Diclofenac: A veterinary nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) found in the carcass of cattle the vultures feed on. Within days of contact with diclofenac-contaminated tissues, vultures die of kidney failure.
    • The veterinary use of diclofenac was banned in 2008.
    • Pesticides: Additionally, the presence of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals was the leading cause of death.
    •  Lack of Nesting Trees \so Electrocution by power lines
    •  Food Scarcity and Food Contamination
    • Conservation Efforts :
  • National Board for Wildlife(NBWL) has approved an Action Plan for Vulture Conservation 2020-2025. Important features of the plan include,
      • Vulture Conservation Centre: Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will get a vulture conservation and breeding centre.
      • Vulture Safe zone: Establishment of at least one vulture-safe zone in each state for the conservation of the remnant populations in that state.
      • Rescue Centres: Establishment of four rescue centres, in Pinjore (Haryana), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Guwahati (Assam) and Hyderabad (Telangana). There are currently no dedicated rescue centres for treating vultures.
    • Establishment of Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres : In India, there are nine VCB Centres, three of which are administered directly by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
    •  Involvement of local villagers as ‘gidhaad mitra’ for rejuvenation and conservation efforts.
    •  Creation of “vulture restaurants” in the state of Maharashtra, where diclofenac-free carcasses are provided.
    • Source:TH

Oscar win for ‘The Elephant Whisperers’

GS 3 Conservation

In News

  • The Elephant Whisperers, a Tamil documentary, won the Oscar in the Best Documentary Short Film category at the 95th Academy Awards.


  • The documentary, directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and produced by Guneet Monga, is based on the life and work of Bomman and his wife Bellie, who foster orphaned elephant calves. Bomman and Bellie are both Kattunayakan tribe members.
  • The Kattunayakans, one of India’s 75 “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups” (PTGs), inhabit portions of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Values in Context & Why it matters

  • Empathy & Compassionate Values: The documentary depicts the lives of Bomman and Bellie, two Native Americans entrusted with the care of two orphaned baby elephants named Raghu and Ammu. It depicts the relationship between the couple and the elephants as they care for the calves.
  • Human- Nature Relationship: The film explores conservation, human-animal conflict, and coexistence with nature and humans against the backdrop of the national park and the Theppakadu Elephant camp.
  • It also emphasises the significance of incorporating indigenous communities into the conservation process.
  • Conservation: The documentary also sheds light on the incessant human-animal conflict, with Raghu losing his mother to electrocution and Bellie losing her partner to a tiger attack.

Caregiving: It is the hardest and most selfless job in the world. It requires a stupendous amount of patience and warmth to be able to tend to someone who cannot tend to themselves.

Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) 

  • Human-wildlife conflict is when encounters between humans and wildlife lead to negative results, such as loss of property, livelihoods, and even life. Defensive and retaliatory killing may eventually drive these species to extinction.

Cause of HWCs

  • Human populations and demand for space continue to grow, people and wildlife are increasingly interacting and competing for resources, which can lead to increased human-wildlife conflict.
  • Lack of Protected Areas
  • Zoonotic Diseases


  • Destruction of habitat and collapse of wildlife populations
  • Injuries and deaths of humans and wildlife
  • Damage to crops and human property
  • Economic and psychological costs to tribes
  • Impact on sustainable development

Way Forward

  • Administrative: Increase Surveillance using technology, use Signboards, Wildlife Corridors.
  • IEC Measures: Awareness Programmes & Training programs, compensation for damages.
  • Structural Measures: Improvement of habitat and boundary walls, Part of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

  • It is located in the Nilgiris District of the state of Tamil Nadu, at the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  • It shares a boundary with the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) on the west, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) on the north, the Nilgiris North Division on the south and east, and the Gudalur Forest Division on the south west, forming a large conservation landscape for flagship species such as the Asian elephant and the tiger.
  • The Reserve contains tall grasses that are commonly known as “Elephant Grass.”

Source: IE

Demand for Lightning to be Declared a Natural Disaster

GS 3 Disaster Management

In News 

  • Some Indian states recently requested that lightning be classified as a natural disaster.


  • At present, Cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloudburst, pest attack, frost, and cold waves are considered disasters.
  • These disasters are covered by the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), which is funded to the tune of 75% by the Centre.
  • Lightning prevalence is more at night and early hours in hilly states and more during the day in the plains.
  • Strikes can result in cardiac arrest and severe burns, but nine out of ten victims survive.
  • Hundreds more survive strikes but suffer from a variety of lasting symptoms, including memory loss, dizziness, weakness, numbness, and other life-altering ailments.
  • Lightning is dangerous, and about 2,000 people are killed worldwide by lightning each year with farmers being the most affected and deaths are more during the rainy season.
  • India is among only five countries in the world that has an early warning system for lightning in which the forecast is available from five days to up to three hours in advance of the predicted event.

What is lightning?

  • Lightning is an electrical discharge resulting from imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves, where the majority of lightning strikes occur.
  • During a storm, the collision of rain, ice, or snow particles within storm clouds exacerbates the imbalance between storm clouds and the ground and frequently negatively charges the lower levels of storm clouds.
  • Objects on the ground, such as steeples, trees, and the Earth itself, become positively charged, creating an imbalance that nature attempts to correct by passing electric current between the two charges.
  • Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes are a common occurrence, with approximately 100 strikes per second.
  • A typical cloud-to-ground lightning bolt begins when a step-like series of negative charges, known as a stepped leader, races downward from the base of a storm cloud along a channel at approximately 200,000 miles per hour (300,000 kph).

Impact of Lightning

  • Madhya Pradesh had the highest number of lightning-related deaths (162), followed by Maharashtra (121), Gujarat (72), Bihar (70), Rajasthan (49), and Chhattisgarh (40). (40).
  • Lightning strikes have caused 90,632 deaths in India between 1972 and 2019.
  • According to the report Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2021, 40.4% of natural disaster-related fatalities were caused by lightning.
  • Lightning has negative effects on the agricultural, aviation, energy, and communication industries.
  • Rural and forest areas are the most vulnerable due to the presence of water bodies and tall trees.
  • 96% of lightning-related fatalities happened in rural areas.
  • During the monsoon season, lightning kills 77% of farmers working in agricultural fields during the Kharif cropping season.

Challenges of Lightning in India

  • High mortality rate: More than 2,000 people are killed annually by lightning in India, making it one of the country’s deadliest weather-related hazards.
  • Lack of awareness: There is a lack of awareness among the general public about the dangers of lightning, which often leads to fatalities and injuries.
  • Poor lightning protection infrastructure: The majority of buildings and structures in India lack lightning protection systems, leaving them susceptible to lightning strikes.
  • Limited lightning data: There is limited data on lightning strikes in India, which makes it difficult to develop effective lightning protection policies and strategies.
  • Climate change: Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of thunderstorms, which could lead to more lightning strikes in the future.
  • Limited resources: India has limited resources to invest in lightning protection infrastructure and research, which makes it challenging to mitigate the risks associated with lightning.

Government steps for disaster management

  • Disaster Management Act, 2005: The act provides a legal framework for the management of disasters in the country and lays down the responsibilities of various agencies and authorities and outlines the procedures for disaster management.
  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA): It was established in 2005 to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to disaster management in the country.
  • State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs): Each state has a separate SDMA which works in coordination with the NDMA and other agencies to mitigate the impact of disasters.
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF): The NDRF is a specialised force designed to respond to disasters and conduct relief and rescue operations. It consists of battalions stationed throughout the nation.
  • Early Warning Systems: The government has established early warning systems for cyclones, earthquakes, floods, and landslides, among others. These systems use technology to provide timely warnings to people in the affected areas.
  • Capacity building: The government has initiated various capacity-building programs to improve the skills and knowledge of the stakeholders involved in disaster management.
  • National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP): It is a comprehensive plan developed by the government to address all aspects of disaster management, including prevention, mitigation, and response.
  • International cooperation: The government has signed various agreements with other countries and international organizations to share knowledge, resources, and best practices in disaster management.

What more can be done?

  • The government should classify lightning as a “natural disaster” to reduce the number of deaths caused by lightning.
  • Critical measures include mapping vulnerable populations with potential lightning hotspots, enhancing early warning systems, and installing lightning detection systems.
  • The government should compile a database on lightning strikes, lightning-related deaths by gender, and lightning-related deaths by occupation at the district, state, and federal levels in order to develop an action plan against lightning strikes.
  • Training and community awareness programmes are essential to reducing lightning-related fatalities.

Way ahead

  • Although the government has taken a number of steps to improve disaster management in India, lightning needs to be included. While there are still obstacles to overcome, targeted actions can aid in the development of a robust disaster management system in the country.

Source: TH