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Interview Preparation UPSC Preparation Guide

Interview Preparation : Preparing for UPSC Civil Services Personality Test

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Interview Preparation : Preparing for UPSC Civil Services Personality Test

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Mains Marathon

Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 26



Good Morning Aspirants,

Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 40 Minutes

Kindly review each others answers, so that everyone improves. 


1.What are Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) drugs? Discuss the factors behind the prevalence of unsafe FDC drugs in the Indian markets.

फिक्स्ड डोज़ संयोजन (एफडीसी) दवाएँ क्या हैं? भारतीय बाजारों में असुरक्षित एफडीसी दवाओं के प्रसार के कारकों पर चर्चा करें।

The Hindu-1The Hindu-2


2.In the light of the constitutional and legal provisions, how far the Supreme Court’s ruling making national anthem compulsory in cinema halls is justified? Would that be helpful in instilling the patriotism in the general population?

संवैधानिक और कानूनी प्रावधानों के प्रकाश में, सुप्रीम कोर्ट का कितनी दूर तक यह फैसला करना की सिनेमा हॉल में राष्ट्रगान अनिवार्य है, जायज़ है? क्या यह आम जनता में देशभक्ति पैदा करने में सहायक हो सक्ता हैं?

The Indian Express


3.Give the problems of the digital payment systems with special reference to rural India. Would digitization of payment system be an effective way to deal with the problem of black money?

ग्रामीण भारत के विशेष संदर्भ में डिजिटल भुगतान प्रणाली के समस्याओं को लिखें। क्या भुगतान प्रणाली के डिजिटलीकरण होने द्वारा काले धन की समस्या से निपटा जा सकता है?

ET | Business Today


 

Categories
Mains Marathon

Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 20



Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 40 Minutes

Kindly review each others answers, so that everyone improves.  


1.Education policy in India is focused on inputs rather than learning outcomes, which is what matters. Why has India’s school education policy been so ineffective? Critically examine. (GS 1)

भारत में शिक्षा नीति सीखने पर नहीं, परिणामों पर केंद्रित है।  भारत की शिक्षा नीति क्यों अप्रभावी है? गंभीर रूप से जांच करें।

Live Mint


2.In the context of the recent visit of Indonesian president Joko Widodo to India, discuss how far it would mark a new step in India’s “Act East” policy. (GS 2)

इंडोनेशिया के राष्ट्रपति जोको विडोड़ो का भारत में हाल ही की यात्रा के संदर्भ में चर्चा करें की, कितनी दूर यह भारत की ‘एक्ट ईस्ट’ नीति में एक नया कदम साबित होगा।

The Hindu | Live Mint


3.“Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery”. Critically examine this statement.  (GS 4)

“अतिरिक्त स्वतंत्रता, चाहे वह राज्य या व्यक्तियों में निहित है, अतिरिक्त गुलामी में पारित होने लगती है”। गंभीर रूप से जांच करें।


Start writing! लिखना शुरू करें। 🙂

Categories
Mains Marathon

Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – December 19



Read the following questions and answer them by clicking on the links in not more than 200 words

Time: 40 Minutes


1.“The Himalayas are highly prone to landslides.” Discuss the causes and suggest suitable measures of mitigation. (GS 1)
“हिमालय भूस्खलन के प्रति अत्याधिक प्रवण है |” कारणो कि विवेचना कीजिए तथा अल्पीकरण के उपाय सुझाए |

Link-1 | Link-2


2.To what extent is Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, bearing marginal note “Temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, temporary? Discuss the future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity. (GS 2)
भारतीय संविधान का अनुच्छेद 370, जिसके साथ हाशिया नोट “जम्मू- कश्मीर राज्य के सम्बन्ध में अस्थाई उपबंध ” लगा हुआ है , किस सीमा तक अस्थाई है ? भारतीय राज्य- व्यवस्था के सन्दर्भ में इस उपबंध की भावी सम्भावनाओ पर चर्चा कीजिए|

The Hindu | India Today | Link


3.In the integrity index of Transparency International, India stands very low. Discuss briefly the legal, political, economic, social and cultural factors that have caused the decline of public morality in India. (GS 3)
“ट्रांसपेरेंसी इंटरनेशनल ” के ईमानदारी सूचकांक में , भारत काफी नीचे के पायदान पर है | संक्षेप में उन विधिक, राजनीतिक , आर्थिक , सामाजिक तथा सांस्कृतिक कारकों पर चर्चा कीजिए, जिनके कारण भारत में सार्वजानिक नैतिकता का ह्रास हुआ है |

The Hindu


 

Categories
Science & technology

Cloud Seeding : Impact and Examples



Introduction
• Cloud Seeding is a process to induce rain in moisture-filled clouds by sprinkling the upper reaches of clouds with chemicals such as common salt or silver iodide, usually with the help of jets fixed to airplanes.
• Usually, rain occurs when moisture content in a cloud becomes too heavy and can no longer be held. Cloud seeding aims to accelerate this process by making more chemical nuclei available to facilitate the process.
• The chemicals induce nucleation – the water in the cloud condenses around the newly introduced particles, and then goes to form ice.The much heavier ice particles then melt on their way to the ground.
• For cold clouds, sodium iodide crystals are used and for warm clouds – such as those in India – common salt crystals are used.
• Rain generally follows 30 minutes after the seeding. But the process is only meant to increase the precipitation and rainfall isn’t guaranteed.


Examples of cloud seeding:
• In July this year, China allocated 199 million yuan ($29.76 million) to spend on its cloud seeding program to prevent drought.
• During 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chinese organizers fired a barrage of rockets in the air ensuring clear skies for the opening ceremony.
• In 2009, Chinese scientists fired Beijing skies with iodide sticks hoping to end a long spell of drought, the seeding, however, caused an early snowfall which disrupted air and road traffic.
• In the United States, cloud seeding is occasionally used by ski resorts to induce snowfall. Cloud seeding is being used to recharge the ground water in arid UAE.
• Last year, Malaysia and Indonesia used cloud seeding to stimulate rainfall after toxic smoke gripped the region. Effectiveness of cloud seeding:
• The success of cloud seeding depends on the weather conditions of the area. Some moisture in the atmosphere is needed to cause precipitation.
• Environmentalists have raised concerns regarding secondary air and water pollution as an outcome of chemicals used to cause precipitation.


Why Cloud seeding was not an option for tackling Delhi pollution?
1. Cloud seeding requires moisture laden clouds and there are none at the moment over Delhi.
2. The wide area of Delhi requires massive amounts of resources, which just to pull together, could take months.Seeded clouds may not give rain immediately and could possibly travel out of the desired region thus wasting the entire exercise.
3. Cloud seeding does not guarantee rain. It always remains to be a matter of chance.
4. The science of cloud seeding has not been established yet, hence requires further refinement.


Impact on environment and health:
• Silver iodide can cause temporary incapacitate or possible residual injury to humans and mammals with intense or continued but not chronic exposure.


 

Categories
Polity & Governance

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act : Need and Criticism


The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was enacted in 1958 to bring under control what the government of India considered ‘disturbed’ areas.


How could a region be declared as ‘disturbed’?


Section (3) of the AFSPA Act empowers the governor of the state or Union territory to issue an official notification on The Gazette of India, following which the center has the authority to send in armed forces for civilian aid. Once declared ‘disturbed’, the region has to maintain status quo for a minimum of three months, according to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976.


Special Power of the Armed Forces


Any commissioned officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or any other person of equivalent rank in the armed forces may, in a disturbed area-

(a) In necessity for the maintenance of Public order, after giving such due warning as he may consider necessary, fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death, against any person who is acting in contravention of any law.

(b) If he is of opinion that it is necessary so to do, destroy any arms dump, prepared or fortified position or shelter from which armed attacks are made or are likely to be made or are attempted to be made.

(c) Arrest, without warrant, any person who has committed a cognizable offense or against whom a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed or is about to commit a cognizable offense.

(d) Enter and search without warrant any premises to make any such arrest as aforesaid or to recover any person believed to be wrongfully restrained or confined.


Arrested Persons to be made over to the Police 


Any person arrested and taken into custody under this Act shall be made over to the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station with the least possible delay, together with a report of the circumstances occasioning the arrest.


Protection to Persons acting under Act


No, persecution, suit or another legal proceeding shall be instituted, except with the previous sanction of the Central Government, against any person in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act.


Need for AFSPA


The AFSPA is applied to an area only when the ordinary laws of the land are found to be inadequate to deal with the extraordinary situation perpetrated by insurgents spreading terror.

  • It is applied when the induction of the army becomes imperative to battle the terrorists and maintain the territorial integrity of the Country.
  • The annulment of the law and the resultant lack of security cover would adversely affect the governance and development capacities in the insurgency affected states
  • It would motivate the insurgent leadership, field cadres, and their over ground supporters to engage in reckless damage to public life and property.
  • It would dilute the capacity of an important Instrument of the state – the armed forces – to tackle the security challenges faced by the country. The absence of such a legal status would adversely affect the organizational flexibility of the security of the state.
  • Army circles are worried that soldiers and officers will be dragged to civilian courts and that frivolous cases will be filed against them.
  • The battle against terrorism cannot be equated with normal law and order problem and therefore AFSPA has been taken as a solution.

Criticisms of AFSPA


  • In the AFSPA controlled areas, human rights are being violated both by state and nonstate actors.
  • Counter- terrorism operations undertaken in goodfaith, at times, lead to collateral damage.
  • Several high committee recommendations for repealing AFSPA have been rejected. Justice Jeevan Committee and Administrative Reforms Committee recommended that the Act should be scrapped.
  • Section 4(a) of the AFSPA grants armed personnel to shoot and kill, is clearly violating article 21 of our Constitution.
  • Section 6 of the AFSPA provides then with absolute immunity for all atrocities committed under the AFSPA. The armed forces personnel conduct themselves as being above the Law.
  • No prosecution, suit or another legal proceeding shall be instituted except with the previous sanction of the Central government against any person.
  • There is alack of clarity as to what constitutes a “disturbed area” and the rather arbitrary  anner in which AFSPA is being imposed in the country.
  • Some of the critics of AFSPA are of the view that despite being in force for several decades this act has been unsuccessful to quell insurgency completely.
  • AFSPA act may contain different sections as applicable to the situation in each state. Hence there is no uniformity in the provisions.

Categories
Science & technology

Scramjet Engine : Significance


Significance of Scramjet Engine


Background


  • Oxygen is as essential for the process of combustion as it is for the sustenance of life. Therefore a rocket, during its launch, needs to combine a combustion fuel with liquid oxygen to create the thrust needed for the take-off and flight.
  • However, if the need for liquid oxygen is taken away (by producing air-breathing technology), the spacecraft can be much lighter, hence cheaper to launch.
  • While conventional rocket engines need to carry both fuel and oxidizer on board for combustion to produce thrust, air-breathing rocket systems, on the other hand, uses the atmospheric oxygen from their surroundings and burn it with the stored on- board fuel.

 Ramjet, Scramjet and Dual Mode Ramjet (DMRJ) are the three concepts of air breathing engines which are being developed by various space agencies.

 A ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor.

 Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and can operate up to speeds of Mach 6. However, the ramjet efficiency starts to drop when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds.

A dual mode ramjet (DMRJ) is a type of jet engine where a ramjet transforms into scramjet over Mach 4-8 range, which means it can efficiently operate both in subsonic and Supersonic combustor modes.


Scramjet engine


  1. A scramjet engine is an improvement over the ramjet engine as it efficiently operates at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion. Thus it is known as Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, or Scramjet.
  1. Scramjet engines obtain oxygen from the atmosphere by compressing the incoming air before combustion at hypersonic speed. It uses hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidizer.
  1. When the rocket reaches a height of 11 km, the scramjet engines would start breathing air directly from the atmosphere.
  1. Scramjets are highly inefficient at low speeds. Their efficiency increases at supersonic speeds.

Significance


1. The spacecraft can be smaller or carry more payloads, making it a commercially viable option.

  1. Scramjet technology effectively cuts down the cost of launching rockets by reducing its weight by more than half.
  1. The engine, when fully developed, will eventually be used in Reusable Launch Vehicles or RLV’s.
  1. India has become the fourth country to successfully test the scramjet engine after United States, Russia and the European Space Agency. ISRO carried out successful testing of scramjet engine from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. ISRO’s Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), which is an advanced sounding rocket, was the solid rocket booster used for this recent test of Scramjet engines at supersonic conditions. The space agency’s ATV rocket was able to fly at Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound) speeds.

Categories
Economy Programs & Policies

Challenges and Solution : Pulses production in India



Introduction


Pulses occupy a unique place in India’s nutritional food security as they are a major source of proteins. India is the largest producer, consumer and importer of pulses. However, there is a gap between potential and actual yield of pulses in India. The slow growth in pulses production is due to low growth in yield. Lack of awareness on crop management and technological constraints affect the pulse production.


Challenges


  • Pulses in India are mostly grown in rain-fed areas with unstable and uncertain rainfall This increases the risk of crop failure.
  • Poor access to storage and milling facilities cause further risk to farmers. Also, poor market linkages cause constraints in meeting market demand.
  • The crisis is majorly because of the decrease in farm area. Farmers opt for high-yielding crops with higher MSP, such as paddy and wheat.
  • The procurement prices for pulses are low. This becomes a disincentive for farmers to grow pulses.
  • Increase in pulse prices varies with the monsoon situation in India, as the prices rise and fall according to arrivals. Volatility in prices discourage farmers to take up pulses cultivation.
  • India imports huge quantities of pulses from global markets, which could be produced domestically as well. It comes with a huge import bill, a skewed trade balance and affects the fiscal health of the economy.
  • There are issues at each stage of the value chain for pulses, from seed supply, production, marketing, processing and final consumption of pulses.
  • Only about a sixth of the total cultivated land under pulses has irrigation facilities and the Kharif pulse crop is mostly rainfed.
  • The lack of a supporting mechanism for the procurement and marketing of pulses is a major hurdle in production of pulses.
  • Low yield of Indian pulses and their vulnerability to pests is a major hindrance in the production of pulses. Being rain-fed, pulses often experience drought at critical growth stages.
  • There are other issues as well, like lack of crop Insurance and credit facilities and poor backward and forward linkages

Way forward


  • There is a need to provide farmers with MSP that makes pulses production attractive like wheat and rice.
  • Developing short duration and pest-resistant crops. Seed multiplication also needs attention.
  • Area expansion: Additional area can be brought under pulses by adopting cropping systems like cereal-based cropping system, intercropping with short-duration pulses, etc.
  • There exists a risk of growing pulses. Production of pulses by large farmers who possess more than five acres of land would be prudent.
  • There can be active participation of the government through a designated central or State nodal agency, similar to the FCI or NAFED for procurement of pulses at the State level. Thus, assured procurement operations can be strengthened in focus districts.
  • The recent announcement by NITI Aayog to create a buffer stock for pulses is a welcome step. Apart from creating a buffer, if pulses are included in PDS, it would improve the food and nutrition security of India. Therefore, a need-based buffer stock with accountability for proper management is needed to incur no wastage.
  • Better system for easy availability of pulses in the open market throughout the year is needed. Efficient and rigorous enforcement of Essential commodities Act is required. Need-based distribution through PDS would be beneficial.
  • Pulse export should be opened up. Currently, imports are free but exports are prohibited.
  • To stabilize prices in the long run, we need to increase domestic production by eliminating the risks farmers experience while growing pulses.

Conclusion


The pulses sector needs a long-term policy that includes production, processing, consumption and trade. It needs adequate planning, research and investment. Growers need more remunerative prices and assured marketing outlets. Government can serve the interest of both cultivators and consumers. Its policy should be aimed at preventing prices from fluctuating widely. In the long run, the government needs to invest in irrigation, R&D and extension services to revamp the pulses sector.


 

Categories
Science & technology

Augmented Reality : Application, Limitations and Way ahead


What is Augmented Reality?


Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.


Applications of Augmented Reality:


1. Navigation: Enhanced GPS systems are using augmented reality to make it easier to get from point A to point B. Using the phone’s camera in combination with the GPS, the users see the selected route over the live view of what is in front of the car.
2. Sightseeing: Using a smartphone equipped with a camera, tourists can walk through historic sites and see facts and figures presented as an overlay on their live screen.
a. These applications use GPS and image recognition technology to look up data from an online
database.
b. In addition to information about a historic site, applications exist that look back in history and show how, the location looked 10, 50 or even 100 years ago.
3. Military: The Heads-Up Display (HUD) is the typical example of augmented reality when it comes to military applications of the technology.
a. A transparent display is positioned directly in the fighter pilots view. Data typically displayed to the pilot includes altitude, airspeed, and the horizon line in addition to other critical data.
b. The term “heads-up” comes from the fact that the pilot doesn’t have to look down at the aircraft’s instrumentation to get the data they need.
c. The Head-Mounted Display (HMD) is used by ground troops. Critical data such as enemy location can be presented to the soldier within their line of sight.
d. This (HMD) technology is also used for simulations for training purposes.
4. Medical: Medical students use the technology to practice surgery in a controlled environment. Also, Visualizations (with AR) aid in explaining complex medical conditions to patients. Augmented reality can reduce the risk of an operation by giving the surgeon improved sensory perception.
5. Gaming: It has changed the gaming experience in a revolutionary way. The mixing up of virtual life with real life using GPS has given a unique experience in gaming.
6. Safety and rescue operations: In the case of emergencies, the police or firefighters often arrive at chaotic scenes and need to make sense of the environment and navigate a place they have never been to. With the use of AR technology (virtual maps and X-ray vision) they can help better in such situations.


Limitations/Challenges:


1. Currently, AR works better in static, unchanging situations, and when it has to show information that is constantly changing, it becomes less accurate.
2. It has privacy concerns due to its facial and location recognition technologies.
3. With the already isolation of individuals due to various technologies (e.g. social media), AR can further lead to social detachment among people.


Recent concern related to augmented reality games:


1. Some of the games like Pokemon Go, and other advanced AR devices like Google Glass and Holo Lens are present in the market today.
2. All AR devices whether it is a game or device, distracts people from their surroundings, leading to potentially severe consequences.
3. Several countries have issued advisories regarding the game and some have even raised ‘national security’ concerns. A Pokemon Go player was robbed at knife point in New Hampshire, a player got stuck in a tree in a cemetery in New Jersey, a teenager was led to a dead body in a river in Wyoming, and in Baltimore, a man drove into a police car while chasing Pokemon.


Safety concerns Linked to children:


1. Real-world game-play has been linked to armed robberies as criminals have used the game to locate and lure intended targets and children are most vulnerable in that scenario.
2. Since these games encourage players to go to areas which may not belong to them. Trespassers whether the children or a mature person face a real threat of physical harm from property owners who may use force to protect their property.
3. The game requires users’ full attention immediately. Children playing games on the roads can meet an accident due to speedy cars or any other cause.
4. Since the game, developed by Niantic, uses Google Maps and has access to IP addresses of the users, it can be used to trace locations, in which case children are the most vulnerable and will be unable to respond to any criminal activities.
5. When a player downloads Pokémon Go, the app gets “full access” to the person’s phone. Children playing games on their parent’scellphones could give up personal data in the phones.
6. A number of doctors and psychologists feel that these games add to the stress levels of the player and children tend to get more stressed due to their immature emotional level.
7. These games can affect a growing child’s ability to distinguish between real and virtual objects.


Way ahead:


Accidents and mishaps can be avoided by being more alert and avoiding seedy locations. The guardian of children needs to be more aware as these technologies can lead to the isolation of children from family.
The only way to resolve this from the developer’s side would be to maintain a global, up-to-date information bank on what areas are off limits, and alter the gaming experience accordingly. The sheer scale of this task makes it very difficult to accomplish by today’s standards.


Categories
Programs & Policies

India’s Solar Policy : Objectives and Scope



All about India’s Solar Policy


Introduction


About 70% of India’s electricity generation capacity is from fossil fuels. India is largely dependent on fossil fuel imports to meet its energy demands.
By 2030, India’s dependence on energy imports is expected to exceed 53% of the country’s total energy consumption. Greater import dependence is a a threat to India’s energy security as it introduces global market volatility into the mix.


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It also adds to a huge import bill leading to a loss of valuable foreign capital. We need to shift our focus towards the renewable energy sources. After the recently concluded Paris talks, wherein countries agreed to limit their emissions so as to contain the global temperature rise to Co2, the need to develop renewable energy sector gains even more importance. There are various sources of renewable energy like wind, nuclear, solar, tidal, geothermal etc. But, in this article, we shall mainly talk about the solar energy and various policy initiatives of India in this sector.


Solar Energy


As per World Energy Outlook Report 2015, India has substantial solar potential around 750 gigawatts (GW) (based on the assumption that 3% of wasteland in each state can be used for solar power projects, plus an assessment of the potential for rooftop solar). This represents almost three times India’s total installed power capacity today.
Solar capacity region wise
The solar resource is strongest in the north and northwest of the country (Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir), but the potential is also considerably high in several other states, including
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh.


India’s renewable energy target


  • Target: 175GW from renewable energy sources by 2022 · Break up:100 GW from solar, 60 GW from the wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydroelectric projects.
    · 100GW = 60 GW of utility-scale projects (both solar PV and CSP) like solar parks + 40 GW of rooftop solar applications for commercial users and households, together with some small-scale schemes and off-grid capacity
    PV: Photo Voltaic CSP: Concentrated Solar Power

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Note: World’s total installed solar power capacity was 181 GW in 2014. If India achieves this target, it would make it a global leader in renewable energy.
National Solar Mission or Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)
· It was launched on 11th January 2010 Apex ministry: Ministry of New and
Renewable Energy (MNRE).
· India’s Solar capacity in 2010: 17.8MW

· Grid connected solar power in 2016: 8GW


Objectives of JNNSM


1. To establish India as a global leader in solar energy
2. To promote ecologically sustainable  growth while addressing India’s energy  security challenges
3. Short term: To create enabling environment for penetration of solar technology throughout the country Mission’s target was revised in 2015,
Initial Target: 20GW
Revised Target: 100GW
Target is to be achieved in 3 phases,
· 1st Phase: 2010-13
· 2nd Phase: 2013–17
· 3rd Phase: 2017–22
At each stage, progress will be reviewed and roadmap for future targets will be adopted.
Note: We are currently in 2nd phase of the mission


Domestic content controversy


· Guidelines for the solar mission mandated cells and modules for solar PV projects based on crystalline silicon to be manufactured in India.
· This accounts for over 60% of total system costs.
· For solar thermal, guidelines mandated 30% project to have domestic content.
· A vigorous controversy emerged between power project developers and solar PV equipment manufacturers.
· The former camp prefers to source modules by accessing highly competitive global market to attain flexible pricing, better quality, predictable delivery and use of latest technologies.
· The latter camp prefers a controlled/planned environment to force developers to purchase modules from a small, albeit growing, group of module manufacturers in India.
· Manufacturers want to avoid competition with global players and are lobbying the government to incentivize growth of local industry.
· US Trade Representative has filed a complaint at World Trade Organization challenging India’s domestic content requirements citing discrimination against US exports.
· WTO ruled in favor of USA.


Road towards solar superiority


· The State of Gujarat has commissioned Asia’s largest solar park at Charanka village.
· The French group AREVA Solar is  currently engaged in constructing a 250 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) installation in Rajashtan, which will become the largest CSP installation in Asia.
· The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, is supporting the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh set up the 750-MW ultra-mega solar power project in Rewa. This will be the largest single-site solar power project in the world
· World’s largest single rooftop solar power plant of 11.5 Mw capacity was inaugurated in Beas near Amritsar in Punjab
· Cost dropped but more research needed: The cost of solar per kilowatt hour dropped from a 2012 Planning Commission estimate of Rs. 10.4 – 12.5 to Rs. 4.3 in the latest round of “reverse auctions” (low bid wins) but still many coal based power plants are rivaling it at around Rs 3KW per hour. Thus more research is needed to bring the cost further down.


Advantages of switching to solar


· Environment-friendly: Solar energy is environment-friendly. When in use, it does not release CO2 and other gases which pollute the air. Hence it is very suitable for India, India being one of the most polluted countries of the world.
· Varied use: Solar energy can be used for a variety of purposes like as heating, drying, cooking or electricity, which is suitable for the rural areas in India. It can also be used in cars, planes, large power boats, satellites, calculators and much more such items, just apt for the urban population.
· Abundant & Secure: Solar power is inexhaustible. In an energy deficient country like India, where power generation is costly, solar energy is the best alternative means of power generation.
· Grid independent: You don’t need a power or gas grid to get solar energy. A solar energy system can be installed anywhere. Solar panels can be easily placed in houses. Hence, it is quite  inexpensive compared to other sources of energy
· Reduced dependence on fossil fuels Disadvantages
· Not available during night time
· Weather dependent: During daytime, the weather may be cloudy or rainy, with little or no sun radiation. Hence, this makes solar energy panels less reliable as a solution.
· Sunny area required: Only those areas that receive agood amount of sunlight are suitable for producing solar energy.
· High upfront cost: Solar panels also require inverts and storage batteries to convert direct electricity to alternating electricity so as to generate electricity. While installing a solar panel is quite cheap, installing other equipment becomes expensive.
· High surface area required: The land space required to install a solar plant with solar panel is quite large and that land space remains occupied for many years altogether and cannot be used for other purposes. India is already a highly populous and land starved country.
· Energy production is quite low compared to other forms of energy.
· Maintenance: Solar panels require considerable maintenance as they are fragile and can be easily damaged. So extra expenses are incurred as additional insurance costs.


Conclusion


There can be no better conclusion for this article than what Onno Ruhl, World Bank’s Country Director in India said “With around 300 days of sunshine every year, India has among the best conditions in the world to harness solar energy. The rapid expansion of solar power can improve the quality of life for millions of Indians, especially for its poorest citizens. It can also create thousands of jobs in the solar industry and underpin progress in all areas of development, helping the country fulfill its dream of becoming the ‘India of the future’.