8888677771 | UPSC Key—12 October, 2023: Operation Ajay, Mera Yuva Bharat and India-Palestine | UPSC Current Affairs News

India launches Op Ajay to bring home citizens from war zone


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Main Examination: General Studies II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-As the Israel-Hamas war escalated and countries scrambled to bring home their people trapped in the fighting or looking for a way out of the war zone, India Wednesday announced it was launching Operation Ajay to repatriate its citizens from Israel and Palestine starting Thursday. The Indian government will facilitate the return of Indian citizens through special chartered flights. Indian Navy ships will also be pressed into service should the need arise.

• What is Operation Ajay?

• How many Indians are in Israel?

• How many Indians are in Palestine?

• For Your Information-According to Embassy of India in Tel Aviv, There are approximately 85,000 Jews of Indian origin in Israel. The main waves of immigration into Israel from India took place in the fifties and sixties. The majority is from Maharashtra (Bene Israelis) and relatively smaller numbers from Kerala (Cochini Jews) and Kolkata (Baghdadi Jews). In recent years, some Indian Jews from Mizoram and Manipur (Bnei Menache) have been immigrating to Israel. While the older generation still maintains a deep bonding with India, the younger generation has become increasingly assimilated into Israeli society. There are about 18,000 Indian citizens in Israel, primarily caregivers employed by Israeli elders to take care of them, diamond traders, I.T. professionals and students.

• What is the biggest evacuation operation in India?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

Festive offer

📍Operation Ajay to repatriate Indians from Israel, Palestine: All you need to know

It’s her decision vs Can’t stop heartbeat: SC divided on ending 26-week pregnancy


Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Mains Examination: 

• General Studies II: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary-Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

• General Studies IV: Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-TWO DAYS after it allowed a married woman to medically terminate her 26-week pregnancy, a two-judge all-woman bench of the Supreme Court Wednesday disagreed on giving the go-ahead for the procedure and referred her plea to the Chief Justice of India to be considered by an appropriate bench of larger strength.

• First they allowed a married woman to medically terminate her 26-week pregnancy and now they denied-What is happening exactly?

• For Your Information-In the current case of a 27-year-old woman, who already has two children and is suffering from postpartum depression, a six-member medical board on October 6 advised against the termination, citing three reasons.
First, termination at an advanced stage of pregnancy can still lead to postpartum psychosis, a severe condition where the mother experiences hallucinations and delusions.
Second, the mother had undergone a cesarean section during her two previous pregnancies, increasing the risk of complications. And, most importantly, the baby is already viable and has a “reasonable chance of survival”.
However, on October 9, the bench allowed the abortion.
But on Wednesday, after one of the members of the medical board sought clarification from the court, the two-judge bench failed to reach an agreement regarding the woman’s request for abortion.
In the present case, four key medical issues have been raised in the clarification sought by the doctor. First, the doctor has highlighted that the baby is currently viable, which means it will show signs of life and has a strong possibility of survival. Hence, the doctor has sought a directive on whether foeticide, the stopping of the foetal heart, can be performed before termination. “We perform this procedure for a foetus which has abnormal development, but generally not done in a normal foetus,” the doctor wrote.
Second, the doctor has highlighted issues in a scenario if the foeticide is not performed. The doctor has said that a baby who is born preterm and with low birth weight will have a long stay in the intensive care unit, with a high possibility of “immediate and long term physical and mental disability”, “…which will seriously jeopardise the quality of life of the child”.
“In such a scenario, a directive needs to be given as to what is to be done with the baby. If the parents agree to keep the child this will take a major physical, mental, emotional, and financial toll on the couple,” the doctor has said. Third, the doctor has highlighted if the case has to go for adoption, the process needs to be spelt out clearly.
“It is also to be kept in mind that the consequences of delivery which have happened in the previous two babies can happen at this time also, with a delivery now at this time,” the doctor has said.
Specialists, meanwhile, highlighted that in general practice a saline injection is given to stop the heart of a foetus, usually in cases where one of the twins is not developing appropriately and can damage the other foetus as well.
Abortion up to 24 weeks is allowed on the opinion of two doctors to women who are survivors of sexual assault or incest, minors, women with physical or mental disabilities or change in marital status among others. Abortion beyond this period may also be allowed based on the advice of a medical board.

• What changed Supreme Court Judge’s mind?

• For Your Information-What changed Justice Kohli’s mind was an email from an AIIMS doctor, seeking clarification on the Supreme Court’s October 9 order permitting the woman to undergo MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) and asking her to appear before the AIIMS authorities for the procedure.
“Having regard to the information obtained in the email… I am not inclined to permit the petitioner to terminate the pregnancy,” Justice Kohli said.
Differing with this, Justice Nagarathna said the October 9 order was a “well considered” one and “having regard to the concrete determination made by the petitioner, I find that her decision must be respected. The court is here not to substitute its decision for the decision of the petitioner”.
The woman, a mother of two, had approached the court stating that she was suffering from lactational amenorrhea and depression and was, therefore, unwilling to continue with the pregnancy. The communication dated October 10, which was addressed by the doctor to Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati who represented the Centre in the matter, said the foetus appeared to be “viable” indicating a “strong possibility of survival”.
The doctor said that in light of the situation, “we will need a directive from the Supreme Court on whether a foeticide (stopping the foetal heart) can be done before termination”. The communication pointed out that doctors “perform this procedure (foeticide) for a foetus which has abnormal development, but generally not done in a normal foetus”.

• Whether a “viable” foetus should be terminated or provided with life support in cases of abortion at advanced stages?

• The constitutional right of women to make reproductive choices in India-Know Supreme court of India’s verdict

• Do You Know-All women in the country, regardless of marital status, can end pregnancy up to 24 weeks. In September 2022, the Supreme Court extended the right to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy to unmarried and single women.

• What is India’s law on abortion?

• Why does the legislation have this gap?

• The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and The new Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021-Compare and Contrast

• Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021-Know the key provisions

• Significance and importance of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021?

• Issues and Challenges associated with Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍UPSC ethics simplified: abortion rights vs ethics

📍Dilemma in court: Should ‘viable’ foetus be aborted or given life support?

📍I don’t appreciate this: Justice Nagarathna on intra-court appeals


Cabinet okays one-stop portal for youth, to be unveiled on October 31


Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-After the passage of the women’s reservation Bill last month, the government has launched an initiative to tap into a big constituency—the 40-crore youth population—ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet on Wednesday approved the establishment of an autonomous body called Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) for “youth-led development and to provide equitable access to the youth”.

• What is Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat)?

• What is the Rationale behind Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat)?

• For Your Information-According to the PIB, The primary objective of Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) is to make it a whole of Government platform for youth development. Under the new arrangement, with access to resources & connection to opportunities, youth would become community change agents and nation builders allowing them to act as the Yuva Setu between the Government and the citizens. It seeks to harness the immense youth energy for nation-building.
Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat), an autonomous body will benefit the youth in the age-group of 15-29 years, in line with the definition of ‘Youth’ in the National Youth Policy. In case of programme components specifically meant for the adolescents, the beneficiaries will be in the age-group of 10-19 years.
The establishment of Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) would lead to:
1. Leadership Development in the Youth:
o Improve the leadership skills through experiential learning by shifting from isolated physical interaction to programmatic skills.
o Investing more in youth to make them social innovators, leaders in the communities.
o Setting the focus of the Government on Youth Led development and to make the Youth “active drivers” of development and not merely “passive recipients”.
2. Better alignment between youth aspirations and community needs.
3. Enhanced efficiency through Convergence of existing programmes.
4. Act as a one stop shop for young people and Ministries.
5. Create a centralized youth data base.
6. Improved two-way communication to connect youth government initiatives and activities of other stakeholder that engage with youth.
7. Ensuring accessibility by creating a phygital ecosystem.
With a view to engage youth and their empowerment guided by the principles of ‘whole of government approach’, in a rapidly changing world, which has an environment of high velocity communications, social media, new digital opportunities and emergent technologies the Government has decided to establish overarching enabling mechanism in a form of a new Autonomous Body, namely Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat).

• How Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) is a significant step?

• What are the drawbacks of Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat)?

• What is an autonomous body?

• What is the difference between autonomous body and statutory body?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍Cabinet approves establishment of an autonomous body Mera Yuva Bharat


Gender Reality Check


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies III: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Ashwini Deshpande Writes: My first reaction to the announcement of the 2023 Economics Nobel Prize was the Hindustani phrase “der aaye, durust aaye” (better late than never). By duly recognising Harvard economist Claudia Goldin’s insightful work, the Nobel Committee will hopefully compel the rest of the Economics fraternity to admit that labour markets are not gender-neutral, working efficiently to choose the best person for the job.

• “labour markets are not gender-neutral”-Decode and explain

• “Women have disadvantageous outcomes in terms of occupation and wages, even when they are just as qualified as men”-Attest by giving some examples

• Who is Claudia Goldin?

• By choosing Claudia Goldin as the recipient of the highest award in Economics, the Nobel committee has provided the official stamp of legitimacy to what?

• What research has Claudia Goldin conducted?

• For Your Information-Over more than three decades of exploration with mainly US data, Goldin has focused on the big picture questions of how women’s labour force participation (LFP) and gender wage gaps have evolved historically. She is well-known for suggesting the U-shaped relationship between economic development and women’s LFP based on cross-sectional data from over 100 countries. Countries at low levels of economic development have relatively higher levels of female LFP as women are engaged in agriculture, often as unpaid workers on family farms. As incomes rise, due to industrialisation and introduction of new technologies, women withdraw from paid work and retreat into the home. Their hours of work do not change but their labour force participation does. This is the so-called “income effect”. As countries develop and women’s education rises further, women move back into paid work.
In her 2021 book, Career and Family: Women’s Century Long Journey towards Equity, Goldin examines the gender wage gap among college-educated US women over a century. She shows that since the 2000s, especially, the wage gap between college-educated men and women has stagnated. While in earlier decades, men earned more because they were better educated, that is no longer the case. Women today are more likely to have a college degree than men.

• What is wage gap?

• What explains the wage gap?

• How Claudia Goldin proved wage gap?

• Do You Know-Two other components of Goldin’s work deserve special mention. One is her 2000 paper with Cecilia Rouse, “Orchestrating Impartiality: The impact of blind auditions on female musicians”, which shows that auditions for symphony orchestras done behind a screen, where the jury cannot see the candidate, result in greater hiring and advancement of women. The other paper, with Lawrence Katz, is called “The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions”, which shows that the pill directly raised the age at first marriage and enabled women to have greater control over their careers and timing the birth of children. This paper shows the importance of choice and agency in shaping women’s outcomes.
How well do Goldin’s results from US data apply to developing countries, such as India? Even within the US, do her results hold equally robustly for all categories of women? How do gender inequalities in the world of employment get mirrored in allocation of domestic work? These are deep questions, worthy of discussion. The hallmark of any insightful research is that it spurs a body of exploration that adds nuance and context to the original set of ideas. Goldin’s analysis of gender gaps has certainly performed that role. The best way to celebrate her contribution would be to make all economic analysis and policy-making gender sensitive, incorporating nuance that recognises heterogeneity and intersectionality.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍Economics Nobel 2023: How Claudia Goldin shed light on the status of women in the workforce


Going nuclear


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance and General Science

Mains Examination: General Studies III: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-Anil Kakodkar Writes: India’s economy is growing rapidly. It is expected to surpass Germany and Japan and move up from number five to number three position before the end of this decade. Economic growth triggers demand for energy. One would thus expect significant growth in our primary energy consumption which is already the third-highest globally. Most of this is based on fossil energy.

• According to the author of the article, there must be a national strategy for a rapid scale-up of nuclear energy-

• What is Nuclear Energy?

• Why do we need nuclear energy?

• For Your Information-According to the author, Fossil fuel consumption is a major contributor to global warming, which has now become an existential crisis for humanity. Deep and immediate emission cuts, leading to net zero, have become unavoidable. There is now a global consensus to reach this goal before a 2045–2070 time frame. Transition to net zero involves massive transformation of energy systems, involving new technologies, restructuring of energy systems at supply-and-demand ends and large costs. For a large and developing country like India, the challenge of reaching net zero is much bigger. Our developmental aspirations require a manifold increase in per-capita energy use even as we transition to net-zero GHG emission. Our inability to meet this dual challenge would mean either compromising on development or failing to realise the net-zero target timeframe or both.
We all aspire to reach a Human Development Index (HDI) comparable to advanced countries of the world. For this, as per prevailing correlations, we need a minimum of 2,400 kilogram oil equivalent (kgoe) energy consumption per capita per year. This threshold could improve to around 1,400 kgoe, as a result of expected improvements in energy use efficiency. Even after considering this, the total clean energy requirement to support a developed India would work out to around 25,000 — 30,000 TWhr/yr. This is more than four times our present energy consumption. While we are rightfully making rapid strides in deployment of renewable energy including hydro, would this alone enable us to become an advanced country? The answer is no.
Hypothetically, even if the entire barren uncultivable land in India is used up for setting up solar plants (which, clearly, is not possible), it would still fall way short of the target. The potential of wind energy is even smaller. The only way out then is a rapid scale-up of nuclear energy. For this, we need to shed the unfounded phobia around nuclear energy. Today, nuclear energy has emerged as one of the cleanest and safest of energies capable of effectively countering climate change. Since we pursue a closed nuclear fuel cycle, waste issue is also reduced to a negligible level. Based on a study done by Vivekananda International Foundation, with due analytical back-up from IIT-Bombay, it appears that nuclear energy would need to be scaled up to a couple of thousand GWe for an optimum solution to reach net-zero in a developed India. This is a major implementation challenge and the country must brace up to meet it. Luckily, on the technology front, we are capable of self-reliance. What is missing is the determination and requisite policy/management framework. Without nuclear energy playing its due role, the country will not be able to reach the status of a developed nation. We need to be guided by our own sui generis strategy and not be driven by foreign vendors.

• Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor, Light Water Reactor and Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor-Compare and contrast

• What is European Pressurized Water Reactor?

• How European Pressurized Water Reactor is different from other water reactor?

• A nuclear reactor is a device used to initiate and control a fission nuclear chain reaction or nuclear fusion
reactions-True or False?

• How does a nuclear reactor work?

• What are the Components of a nuclear reactor?

• What is the current Status of Nuclear Energy and Nuclear power plants in India?

• Map Work-Mark Nuclear power plants in India?

• Issues and Challenges with Nuclear power Plants in India?-Brainstorm

• The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is under the direct charge of the Prime Minister through a Presidential Order-True or False?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍Scaling down in nuclear power and space: Why small is now the new big as India opens up two strategic sectors to private participation

The cost of cheap drugs


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-Bibek Debroy Writes: Lack of information about effects of unbranded generic medicines hampers patients’ freedom of choice

• “Those principles, based on common sense, go for a toss the moment it comes to pharmaceuticals”-What principles?

• “The spectre of big bad pharma haunts us”-Comment

• Broadly, medicines are of three types-What are they?

• What is the problem with Pharma Companies as highlighted by the author?

• For Your Information-In 2017, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and police conducted a raid or surgical strike there and found the obvious — tax evasion, spurious and substandard drugs, non-adherence to temperature and lack of other quality controls.
This is, of course, about distribution, but is the story remarkably different for manufacturing? Official figures are that there are 3,000 drug companies and 10,500 manufacturing units. Of these 8,500 are MSMEs. I have heard of GMP (good manufacturing practices) in pharma since 1988. As of now, out of the 8,500 MSME units, we know only 2,000 are GMP-compliant. If they have a turnover of more than Rs 250 crores, they now have to adopt GMP within six months. Below the threshold, they will be given twelve months. This promise of being GMP-compliant, which is supposed to be mandatory, has been floating around since 1988. Enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, or lack of enforcement, compounds the problem. There was a 2003 Committee (Mashelkar Committee) on drug regulatory issues. To quote, “the figures quoted in the media and by different sources about the extent of spurious drugs in the country have varied anywhere from 0.5 per cent to 35 per cent… Based on the samples tested by the state authorities, data were analysed for the period 1995-2003. According to these data, the extent of substandard drugs varied from 8.19 to 10.64 per cent and of spurious drugs varied between 0.24 per cent to 0.47 per cent.” There is a difference between spurious, meaning fake or counterfeit, and sub-standard. How much has changed since 2003? (The Mashelkar Committee also mentioned GMP.)
Spurious and substandard do not aid the cause of treatment. Since they can have adverse effects, they don’t even serve a placebo function. In general, the thrust of GMP seems to be that we need it for pharma exports to do well.

• “We need good manufacturing practices (GMP) not only for exports, but for the domestic market too”-Discuss

• First of all, what is good manufacturing practices?

• What are the basic principles of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)?

• How World Health Organisation defines Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)?

• Why there is a urgent need for the revised good manufacturing practices?

• What is generic medicine?

• What are the issues with generic medicines?

• What is difference between generic medicine and normal medicine?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍Adopt WHO-standard good manufacturing practices: Govt sets deadline for pharmas

📍Cheap generic vs costly branded: Issues in picking right drug in India


India and the Palestinians, over the years


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interest

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu that the “people of India stand in solidarity with Israel in this difficult hour”. Soon after the Hamas assault began on Saturday, Modi had expressed deep shock at “the news of [the] terrorist attacks”. The Palestinians have not figured in any Indian statement so far.

• Why was India’s diplomatic policy leaned towards Palestine in the initial years?

• For Your Information-India voted against UN Resolution 181 (II) in 1947, which partitioned Mandatory Palestine between Jews and Palestinian Arabs. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru preferred a federal state instead, with Arabs and Jews enjoying the widest possible autonomy, with a special status for Jerusalem.
Nehru inherited this perspective from Mahatma Gandhi who, while deeply sympathetic towards the Jewish people for the historical persecution they had faced, was opposed to the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. He felt it would be unjust towards the 600,000 Arabs who already lived there. Nehru also blamed British imperialism for the problem in Palestine.
After the State of Israel came into existence, a couple of factors coloured India’s perspective. Though India recognized Israel in 1950 it did not establish diplomatic relations until 1992. India was home to a sizable Muslim population. After Partition, Indian leaders were particularly sensitive to their opinion — and Muslims in India, by and large, were sympathetic towards the Arabs. Also, Indian leaders were wary of alienating the Arab countries; Pakistan was firmly in support of Palestine, and India had to match that stance.
India’s reluctance to establish diplomatic relations with Israel until 1992 should be seen in the context of Cold War dynamics. During the Cold War, the West, especially the Americans, were firmly behind Israel, and thus the Soviets had come out in support of the Arabs. India, which despite its non-aligned position found itself tilted towards the Soviets, simply thought it had very little choice but to continue with its pro-Palestine stance.
It was only after the end of the Cold War that the government of P V Narasimha Rao finally took the extremely bold decision to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, without caring about the fallout with the Arab countries. However, Prime Minister Rao also continued to show vocal support for the Palestinians — he in no way abandoned India’s principled policy of backing the Palestinian cause.
At the end of the day, diplomatic decisions are made based on national interest. This translates — or should translate — into maintaining good relations with Israel as well as keeping up support for Palestine and further developing relations with the Arab world.
India is closer today to Israel than ever before. Prime Ministers Modi and Netanyahu seem to be friends at a personal level. India and Israel have also developed a close economic relationship, especially in the defence sector, where India is one of Israel’s biggest clients.
What has changed in India’s relationship with the Palestinians is its overt rhetoric in support of Palestine. India has definitely toned that down in recent years, especially in fora such as the United Nations.
There is a feeling that India’s pro-Palestine stance over the years has not yielded dividends in terms of national interest. After all, what have the Arab nations done for us with regards to Kashmir? In fact, Palestine has often offered unqualified support to Pakistan on the issue [of Kashmir].
There might also be an ideological element to India’s recent support of Israel. Many in India applaud Israel’s firm riposte to the rocket and missile attacks from the Gaza strip, but mistakenly interpret it as anti-Islamic action. Israel is considered by many Indians as an example to follow in dealing with cross-border terrorist attacks. But it is important to keep in mind that our situations are not alike — Israel is dealing with an extremely weak adversary, unlike Pakistan which is a strong military power and has a nuclear arsenal.
That said, India’s formal position remains unchanged — India supports the two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side as good neighbours. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Ramallah in the West Bank in 2018, becoming the first Indian PM to do so.

• Did establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel alter India’s support for the Palestinians?

• Has India of late embraced Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. Why?

• Should India worry about a backlash to its pro-Israel stance in the current escalation?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic: 

📍Why Gaza is called the world’s biggest ‘open air prison’

📍Explained: How has India’s policy on Israel and Palestine evolved over time?

📍How India-Israel ties progressed: from Palestine-leaning to a strategic embrace of the Jewish nation

How new royalty rates for strategic minerals can help cut their imports


Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development

Mains Examination: General Studies III: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- The Centre has amended a key law so that it can specify competitive royalty rates for the mining of three strategically significant minerals — lithium, niobium, and rare earth elements (REEs). The decision comes after the government removed six minerals, including lithium and niobium, from the list of ‘specified’ atomic minerals, which could set the stage for private sector participation through auctioning of concessions for these minerals.

These changes to the rules build on an earlier move to ease the issuing of mining leases and composite licences for 24 critical and strategic minerals, which are vital in key supply chains that include electric vehicle batteries, energy storage devices, and high-end motors.

• First of all, what are these minerals?

• What has the government done, and how does it matter?

• So what are the lower royalty rates?

• And how is this going to help?

• For Your Information-Lithium is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal, which is a vital ingredient of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles, laptops, and mobile phones. In February, ‘inferred’ lithium resources of 5.9 million tonnes were established in Jammu and Kashmir, the largest deposit in India.
* Niobium is a light grey, crystalline metal with a layer of oxide on its surface, which makes it resistant to corrosion. It is used in alloys, including stainless steel, to improve their strength, particularly at low temperatures.
Alloys containing niobium are used in jet engines, beams and girders for buildings, and oil and gas pipelines. Given its superconducting properties, it is also used in magnets for particle accelerators and MRI scanners.
The main source of this element is the mineral columbite, which is found in countries such as Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Nigeria.
* REEs or rare earths are a group of 17 very similar lustrous silvery-white soft heavy metals. Rare earth compounds are used in electrical and electronic components, lasers, and magnetic materials.
The idea is to encourage domestic mining, so that imports of these minerals can be lowered, and related end-use industries such as electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage solutions can be set up. These critical minerals are seen as an important prerequisite for India to meet its commitment to energy transition, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070.
LITHIUM: India currently imports all the lithium it needs. The domestic exploration push goes beyond the J&K exploration, and includes exploratory work to extract lithium from the brine pools of Rajasthan and Gujarat, and the mica belts of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
India is a late mover in attempts to enter the lithium value chain. This is a time when EVs are seen as a sector ripe for disruption — the next couple of years are widely expected to be an inflection point for battery tech, with several potential improvements to Li-ion technology.
More than 165 crore lithium batteries are estimated to have been imported into India between FY17 and FY20 for an estimated $3.3 billion. China is a major source of lithium-ion energy storage products that are imported into India.
REEs: The rare earths constitute another hurdle in the EV supply chain. Much of the worldwide production is either sourced from or processed in China, and it can be difficult to secure supplies.
In an EV, the rare earth elements are used in the motors and not the batteries. A permanent magnet motor uses magnets embedded in or attached to the surface of the motor’s rotor — these magnets are used to generate a constant motor flux, instead of requiring the stator field to generate one by linking to the rotor. The magnets used in these motors are made with REEs such as neodymium, terbium, and dysprosium.
But rare earths are typically mined by digging vast open pits, which can contaminate the environment and disrupt ecosystems. When poorly regulated, mining can produce waste-water ponds filled with acids, heavy metals, and radioactive material that might seep into groundwater.

• Electric Vehicles Scope in India-Know in detail

• Electric Vehicles in daily use-will be successful in Long run?

• What do you understand by ‘Electric Vehicle’? How it is different?

• Why Government of India is Pushing for adaptation of Electric Vehicles?

• Electric Vehicles-What are the issues and Challenges especially in India’s Scenario?

• India’s Commitment to reduce Carbon Emission like recent advocacy of five elements for climate change- “Panchamrit” at the COP26 in Glasgow

• Transition to electric mobility- pros and cons

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• Various Government measures such as remodelled Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme for the consumer side to production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC)

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:  

📍The problem with battery electric vehicles

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