La Excellence IAS Academy

Level playing field on tax outgo in rupee terms should be created for hybrid variants: Experts

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Economy, Topic: Taxation, Issue: Hybrid vehicles and Taxation

Why in the News: the importance of hybrid vehicles in India’s efforts to become self-reliant in energy and reduce pollution.

Key Takeaways :

  • Top of Formoutdated tax criteria unfairly burden hybrid vehicles, deterring consumers despite their environmental advantages
  • Suggestions:
    • GST based on carbon to streamline taxation and promote the adoption of eco-friendly technologies.
    • immediate measures like cess adjustments to achieve tax parity for hybrids
  • Hybrids are complementary, not transitory, to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell cars.
  • They can expedite sustainable tech adoption without disrupting current infrastructure.

Prelims connect:

Benefits of Hybrid Vehicles:

·         Improvement in fuel efficiency

·         Reduced consumption of fossil fuel

·         Lower battery usage compared to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).

·         Lower emissions contributing to better air quality.

·         Regenerative braking: Captures energy during braking to recharge the battery, enhancing efficiency.

Source: Indian Express

Indian co’s eye critical minerals mining in Lanka, Aus as govt expands search.

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Geography, Topic: Resources – World and India, Issue: Critical Minerals

Context: The Ministry of Mines discuss opportunities for the mining of critical minerals by Indian companies in Sri Lanka and Australia.

Sri Lanka:

  • Significant reserves of vein graphite, a highly pure form of natural graphite.
  • Graphite is a critical mineral that is extensively used as the anode material in lithium-ion batteries.
  • Graphite in India is largely concentrated in Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Jharkhand

Australia :

  • Produces almost half of the world’s lithium and is the second-largest producer of cobalt.
  • Both lithium and cobalt are used in Electric Vehicles and consumer electronics.
Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL): A joint venture company established by the Government of India in 2019.

Objective: To identify, acquire, develop, process, and commercially utilise strategic minerals in overseas locations for supply to India.


Prelims Connect: Lithium Triangle:

Source: Indian Express

Bharat Tex to be an annual affair’

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Current Affairs, Topic: Schemes/Policies/Programmes, Issue: Bharat Tex

Context: The mega textile exhibition, Bharat Tex will be held every year in the country.

Bharat Tex:

  • Event organised aiming to showcase India’s capabilities across the entire textile value chain.
  • and position the country as a global powerhouse in textiles.
  • Organised by: Export Promotion Councils and Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
  • Inspired by PM’s 5F Vision ( farm to foreign via fibre, fabric and fashion)

Prelims Connect (Institutions)

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC)

●       It is the official body of apparel exporters in India.

●       Established in 1978

●       Plays a significant role in promoting and facilitating the export of Indian garments and apparel globally.

●       Membership: Garment exporters and manufacturers, Fabric and accessories suppliers,Design houses


Source: Mint

10 offshore mineral auctions by mid-2024

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Geography, Topic: Resources – World and India, Issue: Offshore mineral auctions

Context: The first tranche of off- shore minerals auctions is likely to start this year.

Offshore mineral auctions:

  • Offshore minerals are located deep in the earth’s crust and are more difficult to extract than onshore minerals.
  • India’s offshore mineral reserves include gold, diamond, copper, nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese, and rare earth elements.
Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002

Objective: To provide a framework for the development and regulation of mineral resources in India’s  maritime zones.

●       Applicability: The Act applies to all minerals in these maritime zones, excluding mineral oils and hydrocarbons.

●       Granting Operating Rights: Establishes a system for granting reconnaissance permits, exploration licences, and production leases for exploration and extraction of minerals.

●       Reservation of Areas: Allows the government to reserve specific areas for specific purposes, such as scientific research or defence.

●       Powers of the Central Government:

○       Make rules for carrying out the provisions of the Act.

○       Grant, modify, suspend, or cancel operating rights.

○       Collect fees and royalties from permit and licence holders.

  • The act was amended in 2023 to provide an auction route for awarding production leases for offshore minerals.



Source: The Hindu

Centre rejigs plan for sale of Bharat rice and wheat

Syllabus:GS-III, Subject:Current Affairs, Topic: Schemes/Policies/Programmes, Issue: Food inflation

Context: Dismal sales of the government’s Bharat rice. Only 7.2% of Bharat rice lifted from government warehouses was sold.


  • Targeting the regions where the consumption of rice and wheat is higher.
    • For rice – focus on southern and eastern states
    • For wheat – northern states

Bharat Rice

  • Objective: To control prices and provide relief to consumers and check inflationary trends in the food economy.
  • Bharat Rice will be made available in 5 kg and 10 kg packs through the NAFED,NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar.

Bharat Atta:

  • Pilot sale of Bharat Atta in February 2023 to offload about 300,000 tonnes of wheat from the warehouses of the Food Corporation of India (FCI)
  • The price was slashed from ₹50 per kg to ₹27.5 per kg amid poor offtake and sales.

Source: Mint

Plans for non-lapsable defence modernisation fund put on hold

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Economy, Topic: Fiscal policy and Budgeting, Issue: Non-lapsable Modernisation Fund for Defence

Context: Non-lapsable Defence Modernisation Fund off government agenda for now.

Non-lapsable Modernisation Fund for Defence:

  • The 15th Finance Commission had recommended the constitution of a dedicated non-lapsable Modernisation Fund for Defence and Internal Security (MFDIS).
  • The government in 2021 had said it has in-principle” accepted the creation of such a fund in the Public Account of India.
  • Reason for hold: Creating a non-lapsable pool has drawbacks as it affects parliamentary scrutiny and accountability.

Related Important Articles:

Articles 112-114 & 266 of the Constitution :

  • Provide that no money can be spent by the Government from Consolidated Fund of India without authorisation through an Annual Budget presented before the Parliament.
  • Such authorisation is limited to that particular financial year, and hence does not allow operationalization of a Public Fund which is non-lapsable in nature.

Source: The Hindu

Daily Editorials

What is grey zone warfare, mentioned by India’s Chief of Defence Staff recently?

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Internal Security, Topic: Current affairs, Issue: Terms in news

Context: during Raisina Dialogue, India’s Chief of Defense Staff General said that “grey zone warfare” is the latest in informal warfare.

Grey zone warfare:

  • A middle ground between direct conflict and peace in international relations,
  • Involves activities like cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, and proxy wars.
  • Has historical roots but became more prevalent during the Cold War era due to nuclear deterrence.
  • Less powerful actors to gain advantage over stronger adversaries often use grey zone tactics.
  • Examples include Chinese military presence in the South China Sea and Chinese military actions against Taiwan.
  • The US has also engaged in grey zone tactics, such as economic sanctions against China.
  • Grey zone warfare poses unique challenges, as responses must be tailored to covert or indirect actions, avoiding escalation.

How to bring about White Revolution 2.0

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Economy, Topic: Agriculture and allied sector, Issue: Animal Husbandry

Why in news:

  • Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) for 2022-23 shows milk emerging as India’s top food spend item, both in rural and urban areas.
  • The excess demand for milk has created the concern of inflation in milk price and availability of fodder.

      The availability of the milk can be increased by:

  • Genetic improvement and new breeding technologies.
  • Farmers cultivating high-yielding protein-rich green fodder grasses and reducing reliance on expensive compound cattle feed and oil-meal concentrates.

A women’s urban employment guarantee act

Syllabus: GS- I, Subject: Society and Social justice, Topic: Issues of women, Issue: Increasing women employment Rate

Context: Women’s Urban Employment Guarantee Act

  • Women empowerment is essential for reducing gender gap and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
  • MGNREGA has given financial autonomy to rural women.
  • Poor employment rate in urban women (22.9%) and high unemployment rate (9%) in urban women comparision to their rural counterpart (4%): Periodic Labour Force Survey.

Women’s Urban Employment Guarantee Act (WUEGA) addressing concerns:

  • At least 50% female representation in program management staff.
  • Offer essential facilities including childcare, and work must be available within a 5-km radius.
  • Free public transportation for women and incentives like automatic inclusion in welfare boards are suggested.
  • Apprenticeships for women college students and Information Facilitation Centers for those who completed Class 10.
  • Include a social audit unit with at least 50% female staff for independent monitoring.
  • Women led initiative can play a key role in social sectors such as Swachh Bharat etc.

The long road to reforming India’s political party system

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: Polity, Topic: Elections and RPA, Issue: Political Party system

Why in news:

  • Recent defection issues in states like Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar have raised concerns about the sanctity of political parties.

Key issues:

  • Maharashtra’s incident was termed as intra-party dissent and exempted from the Anti-Defection Law.
  • As under Tenth Schedule split exemption has been removed in 2003.
  • Only mergers with two-thirds majority are exempt from disqualification under the law.
  • So to avoid merger Intra-party dissent was used as an excuse.


  • Defections highlight the lack of intra-party democracy.
  • A thorough study of party structures and statutory regulations are needed to ensure greater democracy within parties.
  • Implement recommendations from the Law Commission (255th report) with respect to political part system.
+1 Advantage for Mains ( Law Commission 255th report)

Recommendations from the Law Commission (255th report)

·         Amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to mandate

o    political parties to opt a constitution,

o    elect an executive committee,

o    select candidates,

o     conduct regular elections within the party at every level.

·         Granting the Election Commission of India the powers to impose monetary penalties or withdraw the registration of a political party in case it failed to comply


Mountains of plastic are choking the Himalayan States

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Ecology and Environment, Topic: Waste Management, Issue: Plastic waste management

Plastic Pollution:

  • Plastic pollution has become an all-pervasive phenomenon.
  • Concerns with plastic pollution-
    • Entering food web,
    • affecting biodiversity.
  • Reasons
    • Rapid and unplanned urbanization ,
    • changing production and consumption patterns,
    • High tourist footfalls,
    • Poor plastic waste management
  • Legal mechanisms
    • Solid Waste Management Rules 2016,
    • Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016
    • Extended Producer Responsibility 2022
    • Special law by Himalayan states empower local bodies for waste management.


  • Devolve power to local bodies, Public education campaigns.
  • Ensure collaboration between local bodies and PIBOs ( producers, importers and brand owners)
  • Include traditional institutions within the definition of local bodies
  • Use Swachh Bharat Kosh Trust and corporate social responsibility fund
  • Collaboration between schemes like AMRUT and Smart Cities.
+1 Advantage for mains (Datw)

· The Himalayan Cleanup (2022) waste audit results showed that 92.7% of trash was plastic, with 72% of waste being non-recyclable plastic.


Source: The Hindu