22 March 2024 : Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs

22-March -2024- Top News of the Day

1. Neuralink’s Breakthrough: Paralyzed Patient Plays Chess Using Mind-Controlled Implant

Topic: GS3 – Science & Technology – Effects of S&T in everyday life.

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of knowing facts about Neuralink’s achievement which represents a significant advancement in neurotechnology.



  • Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup, achieved a significant milestone by livestreaming its first patient implanted with a chip using his mind to play online chess.
  • This development marks a notable advancement in neurotechnology aimed at enabling individuals to control devices solely through their thoughts.
More about the news:

Patient Success Story: Noland Arbaugh:

  • Noland Arbaugh, a 29-year-old patient paralyzed below the shoulder due to a diving accident, showcased the potential of Neuralink’s implant by playing chess on his laptop and maneuvering the cursor using the device.
  • Arbaugh had received the implant in January and demonstrated the ability to control a computer mouse with his thoughts, highlighting the transformative impact of the technology on his life.

Patient Testimonial and Limitations:

  • Arbaugh expressed his satisfaction with the surgery, describing it as straightforward and emphasizing his lack of cognitive impairments post-procedure.
  • He shared his joy at regaining the ability to engage in activities like playing Civilization VI for extended periods, underscoring the life-changing nature of Neuralink’s technology.
  • However, he acknowledged that the technology is not flawless and encounters some challenges, indicating that further refinement is necessary.

Expert Perspective:

  • Kip Ludwig, a former program director for neural engineering at the US National Institutes of Health, offered insights into Neuralink’s achievement.
  • While acknowledging the significance of the patient’s ability to interface with a computer post-implantation, Ludwig cautioned against viewing it as a breakthrough.
  • He highlighted the ongoing learning process for both Neuralink and the patient to optimize control capabilities, stressing that the technology is still in its early stages.

Regulatory Concerns and Future Outlook:

  • Neuralink’s progress comes amid regulatory scrutiny, with reports of problems identified by US Food and Drug Administration inspectors regarding record-keeping and quality controls for animal experiments.
  • This underscores the importance of addressing regulatory concerns to ensure the safety and efficacy of Neuralink’s brain implants in humans.
  • Despite challenges, experts view Neuralink’s achievements as a positive step forward, signaling potential advancements in neurotechnology.


  • Neuralink’s demonstration of a patient controlling devices through thoughts represents a significant advancement in neurotechnology with promising implications for individuals with disabilities.
  • However, challenges such as regulatory scrutiny and technological refinement remain.
  • As Neuralink continues its development efforts, collaboration with regulatory authorities and ongoing innovation will be essential to realize the full potential of brain-chip interfaces in enhancing human capabilities.

About Neuralink

  • It is an American neurotechnology company.
  • It implants brain-computer interfaces.
  • It was founded in 2016 by Elon Musk
  • Neuralink’s brain implant seeks to assist individuals with traumatic injuries in controlling computers solely through their thoughts.
  • Its goal is to enhance human abilities significantly by addressing neurological conditions like Parkinson’s.
Potential Applications of Brain-Computer Interface


  • Medical Treatments:
    • Neurological Disorders: Monitoring and treating conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and neurodegenerative disorders by directly interfacing with the brain.
    • Stroke Rehabilitation: Assisting in motor function recovery and rehabilitation after a stroke.
  • Assistive Technology: Enabling individuals with paralysis or motor impairments to control devices, such as prosthetics, wheelchairs, or robotic limbs, using their thoughts.
    • Restoring communication for individuals with conditions like locked-in syndrome (paralyzed except for the muscles that control eye movement).
  • Mental Health Monitoring: Providing real-time data for monitoring and managing mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety.
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality Interaction: Enhancing virtual and augmented reality experiences by allowing users to interact with digital environments using their thoughts.


Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of Neuralink’s recent breakthrough in developing brain-chip technology, allowing individuals to control devices through their thoughts. Analyze the potential applications of this technology. (150 words/10 m)

2. Supreme Court Stays Operation of Amended IT Rules Empowering Fact Check Unit

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Important aspects of governance: Transparency and accountability

GS2 – Polity – Judiciary

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains as this analysis touches upon constitutional principles related to freedom of speech and expression, government regulation, and judicial review.


  • The Supreme Court issued a stay on the operation of the amended Information Technology (IT) Rules, specifically concerning the establishment of a “Fact Check Unit” (FCU) empowered to identify “fake news” on social media platforms.
  • This development follows a series of legal challenges and rulings regarding the constitutionality and implications of the amended rules.
More about the news:

Establishment of the Fact Check Unit:

  • The Union Electronics and IT Ministry notified the FCU as a statutory body under the Press Information Bureau, granting it the authority to flag false information related to the central government and its agencies on social media platforms.
  • The amendment to the IT Rules, 2021, allowing for the establishment of the FCU, was notified in April 2023, prompting legal challenges and scrutiny.

Legal Challenges and High Court Rulings:

  • The amended rules faced legal challenges before the Bombay High Court, where a two-judge division bench delivered a split verdict on January 31.
  • While one judge struck down the amended rules, citing concerns of censorship and coercion, another upheld them, emphasizing the importance of authentic information in a participative democracy.

Expansion of Definition of “Fake News”:

  • The key point of contention was the expansion of the definition of “fake news” to include false information related to government business.
  • The petitioners argued that such provisions could have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and expression, as intermediaries like social media platforms could be compelled to take down content flagged by the government’s FCU.

Regulatory Framework and Judicial Review:

  • The legal challenge raised questions about the regulatory framework governing online content and the balance between governmental oversight and individual rights.
  • The judiciary examined whether the amended rules violated fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, particularly freedom of speech and expression.

Supreme Court’s Intervention:

  • The Supreme Court intervened by staying the operation of the amended rules until the Bombay High Court reaches a final decision.
  • Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud emphasized the need to maintain the status quo, particularly in light of one judge’s explicit finding of unconstitutionality regarding the amended rules.


  • The Supreme Court’s decision to stay the amended IT Rules underscores the importance of judicial review in upholding constitutional principles and safeguarding fundamental rights.
  • As the legal battle continues, the outcome will have significant implications for freedom of speech, government regulation of online content, and the delicate balance between individual liberties and state control in the digital age.
What are the Concerns with notification of fact-check Unit by the Government of India?


1. ‘Chilling effect’ on freedom of speech and expression– There are concerns that PIB’s fact-check unit and its power to censor content could have a chilling effect on free speech and expression provided under Art 19(1)(a). There are concerns that people may be hesitant to express their opinions online for fear of being censored or facing legal consequences.

2. Potential for Misuse by the Govt– The fact-check unit’s power could be misused by the government to silence dissenting voices or criticism of government actions. This could have serious implications for democracy and human rights.

3. Conflict of interest– The role played by the fact-checking unit has a significant conflict of interest as it plays the role of judge, jury and executioner.

4. Lack of clarity on what constitutes “fake or false or misleading” information– There is lack of a clear definition of what types of information qualify as ‘fake or false or misleading’. This lack of clarity creates ambiguity and can lead to arbitrary censorship by the government.

5. Short-circuiting established legal procedures– The notification of a fact-checking unit with powers to issue directions to take down content, short-circuit the procedures, safeguards and conditions laid out in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India and Section 69A of the IT Act. The judgement extends the right to free speech into the online space.


Practice Question:  Examine the constitutional and regulatory implications of the Supreme Court’s stay on the amended Information Technology (IT) Rules, specifically concerning the establishment of a “Fact Check Unit” (FCU) to identify “fake news” on social media platforms. Also evaluate the role of judicial review in upholding constitutional principles and balancing individual liberties with state control in the digital age. (250 words/15 m)


3. Supreme Court Rebukes Tamil Nadu Governor for Defying Stay Order, Sets Deadline for Decision on Minister’s Oath

Topic: GS2 – Polity –

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains as this analysis highlights the constitutional roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, such as the Governor, Chief Minister, and the judiciary.


  • The Supreme Court, presided over by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, criticized Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi for refusing to administer the oath to reinduct DMK MLA K Ponmudi into the state Cabinet, despite a stay on his conviction by the apex court.
  • The court expressed serious concern over the Governor’s conduct, stating that defying the Supreme Court’s decision was unacceptable.
More about the news:

Directive to Governor and Deadline:

  • The three-judge bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, directed the Governor to take a decision by the following morning, failing which the court threatened to pronounce a judgment.
  • The court emphasized the urgency of the matter by stating that a decision must be made promptly to avoid further delay.

Background of Ponmudi’s Case:

  • The Madras High Court recently reversed Ponmudi’s acquittal in a case of disproportionate assets.
  • However, a two-judge Supreme Court bench stayed this decision, citing irreversible consequences.
  • Despite this stay, the Governor refused to administer the oath to Ponmudi, citing grounds of corruption.

Arguments Presented in Court:

  • Representing Tamil Nadu, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi criticized the Governor’s refusal, emphasizing the Governor’s role in obstructing democratic processes.
  • Singhvi argued that the Governor’s actions went against the principles of constitutional morality and the basic structure of parliamentary democracy.

Concerns Raised by the Supreme Court:

  • The Supreme Court raised concerns about the Governor’s conduct, questioning the legality of his actions and emphasizing the need to uphold the rule of law and constitutional principles.
  • The court emphasized that Ponmudi’s conviction had been stayed by the apex court, and thus, the Chief Minister’s request to induct him into the Cabinet was a valid exercise of parliamentary democracy.


  • The Chief Justice reiterated the importance of adhering to constitutional law and respecting the decisions of the Supreme Court.
  • Regardless of personal opinions about Ponmudi, the court stressed the need to act in accordance with constitutional principles and uphold the democratic process.
What are the Challenges associated with Governor’s Office?


  • The Appointment of Governors: The governor is appointed by the president on the advice of the central government. This raises questions about the political neutrality and impartiality of the governor.
  • There have been instances where governors have been appointed from the ruling party at the centre or have been removed or transferred for political reasons.
  • This undermines the dignity and stability of the office of the governor.
  • The Role and Powers of Governors: The governor has various roles and powers under the constitution, such as giving assent to bills passed by the state legislature, appointing the chief minister and other ministers, sending reports to the president on the state of affairs, and exercising special responsibilities in some states.
  • However, these roles and powers are often subject to the discretion of the governor, which can lead to conflicts with the elected state government.
  • There have been cases such as Tamil nadu’s where governors have delayed or withheld assent to bills, dismissed or dissolved state governments, recommended president’s rule, or interfered in the functioning of state universities.
  • These actions have been criticized as arbitrary, partisan, or unconstitutional by the state governments or the opposition parties.
  • The Accountability and Immunity of Governors: Although the governor is supposed to be the President’s analogue at the state government, the reality is that they have been, and continue to be, the agents of the Union government, sent to keep a check on popularly elected state governments.
  • The governor can be removed from office at the pleasure of the Union government.
  • The governor is secure in the knowledge that as long as they do as they are told by the Union government, they will continue to hold their positions. As heads of state, they are not even answerable to the courts for their actions while in office (Art 361).


PYQ: Consider the following statements: (2018)

1) No criminal proceedings shall be instituted against the Governor of a State in any court during his term of office.

2)The emoluments and allowances of the Governor of a State shall not be diminished during his term of office.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)

Practice Question:  Discuss the recent intervention of the Supreme Court in the case involving the refusal of the Tamil Nadu Governor to administer the oath to reinduct a MLA into the state Cabinet. Evaluate the constitutional principles, governance dynamics, and implications of the court’s directive on democratic institutions and the rule of law. (250 words/15 m)

4. Twin Stars Found to Ingest Planets, Challenging Notions of Planetary System Stability

Topic:  GS3 – Science & Technology

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of Understanding the stability and dynamics of planetary systems.


  • The planetary system encompassing Earth and its celestial companions has demonstrated remarkable stability over its estimated 4.5 billion-year existence.
  • However, recent studies have revealed that not all planetary systems share such stability.
  • A new study focusing on “twin” stars sheds light on this phenomenon.
More about the news:

Understanding Twin Stars:

  • The study, published in the journal Nature, delves into pairs of stars known as “twinsthat originate from the same interstellar cloud of gas and dust, termed co-natal stars.
  • These twin stars exhibit identical chemical compositions, similar mass, and age.
  • Although they move together within the Milky Way galaxy, they do not constitute binary systems gravitationally bound to each other.

Planetary Ingestion by Twin Stars:

  • A significant finding of the study suggests that a notable number of these twin stars exhibit signs of having ingested a planet.
  • Researchers examined 91 pairs of stars with matching sizes and chemical compositions, identifying tell-tale elements like iron, nickel, or titanium in one star, indicating remnants of a rocky planet.

Mechanisms of Planetary Consumption:

  • Possible explanations for planets plunging into their host stars include orbital disturbances caused by larger planets or close encounters with neighboring stars.
  • This phenomenon underscores the dynamic and potentially volatile nature of planetary systems.

Insights from the Researchers:

  • Astrophysicists emphasizes that the stability of planetary systems, such as our solar system, cannot be taken for granted.
  • While the observed evidence suggests whole planets being ingested, it remains plausible that planetary building blocks were consumed during the system’s formative stages.

Implications for Planetary Stability:

  • The study’s findings hint at the possibility of instability being more prevalent in planetary systems than previously thought.
  • Approximately 8% of the studied stellar pairs exhibited evidence of planetary ingestion, challenging the notion of inherent stability in all planetary configurations.


  • While most planetary systems, like our solar system, are expected to maintain stability primarily under the influence of their host star, the study suggests that different initial conditions and configurations may lead to chaotic dynamics.
  • Understanding the mechanisms behind planetary ingestion by twin stars sheds light on the broader dynamics of celestial systems and their evolution over time.


PYQ: What is the difference between asteroids and comets? (2011)

1. Asteroids are small rocky planetoids, while comets are formed of frozen gases

held together by rocky and metallic material.

2. Asteroids are found mostly between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, while comets are found mostly between Venus and mercury.

3. Comets show perceptible glowing tails, while asteroids do not.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b)

Practice Question:  Discuss the findings of the recent study on ‘twin’ stars and their potential ingestion of planets. Examine the implications of these findings for our understanding of planetary systems’ stability and dynamics. (150 words/10 m)

5. Tamil Nadu Governor ‘defying the Supreme Court’, says CJI

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity – Judiciary, GS2 – Indian Polity – Federal Structure

This topic highlights the balance of power between executive and judiciary, relevant for understanding constitutional governance, crucial for UPSC exams.

●     The news is about the Chief Justice of India criticizing the Tamil Nadu Governor for defying a Supreme Court order regarding the re-induction of a DMK leader as Minister.


Additional information on this news:

  • Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud criticized Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi for defying the Supreme Court’s order to re-induct DMK leader K. Ponmudy as Minister despite suspension of his conviction.
  • The court gave the Governor overnight to rectify the situation.
  • Ravi refused to administer oath to Ponmudy, citing “constitutional morality” and argued that the suspension order didn’t erase the conviction.
  • Chief Justice Chandrachud warned of passing an order if the Governor didn’t comply.
  • Attorney-General questioned the State’s defence of a person convicted of moral turpitude.
  • Chief Justice questioned the Governor’s argument and stated that the State had to approach the constitutional court if the Governor didn’t follow the Constitution.
  • Tamil Nadu argued that the Governor must follow the advice of the Chief Minister-led State Cabinet in Minister appointments.
 State government – Governor tussle:

Reasons for State Government-Governor Tussle:

● Political Affiliation: Governors appointed by the central government may belong to a different political party, leading to conflicts with the state government.

● Constitutional Ambiguity: Lack of clarity in the Constitution regarding the role and powers of governors often leads to disputes.

● Power Struggles: Governors sometimes overstep their constitutional bounds, attempting to assert authority over the state government.

●  Partisan Appointments: Perceived political bias in the appointment of governors may lead to friction with the state government.

●  Central Government Influence: Governors, being representatives of the central government, may prioritize its interests over those of the state government.

Implications of State Government-Governor Tussle:

●  Governance Disruption: Tussles can disrupt governance and impede the implementation of state policies and programs.

●  Constitutional Crisis: Persistent conflicts may lead to constitutional crises, undermining democratic norms and institutions.

●  Deterioration of Federalism: Strained relations weaken the federal structure by eroding trust between the center and states.

● Public Mistrust: Tussles erode public trust in democratic institutions, affecting citizen confidence in the political process.

Stifling Development: Disputes can hamper development initiatives and economic progress within the state.

Way Forward to Address the Tussle:

Clarity in Roles: Define clear roles and responsibilities of governors and state governments to avoid ambiguity.

●  Non-Partisan Appointments: Ensure governors are appointed based on merit and without political bias.

Respect for Federalism: Uphold the principles of federalism, allowing states autonomy within the constitutional framework.

●  Mediation Mechanisms: Establish mechanisms for resolving disputes through dialogue and mediation.

● Training and Awareness: Provide training to governors and state officials on their respective roles and constitutional obligations.

●  Judicial Oversight: Allow for judicial review of decisions to ensure adherence to constitutional principles.

●  Political Restraint: Political parties should exercise restraint and prioritize the interests of the state and nation over partisan considerations.

PYQ: Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2018)
Practice Question:  Discuss the constitutional implications of the conflict between the judiciary and executive in the case of Tamil Nadu Governor’s refusal to re-induct a Minister despite a Supreme Court order. (250 Words /15 marks)

6. Panel to study scope of altering power lines in bustard habitat

Topic: GS3 – Environment – Environmental pollution And degradation

This topic underscores the intersection of environmental conservation, renewable energy, and judicial intervention, relevant for UPSC exams.

●     The news pertains to the Supreme Court forming an expert committee to address the endangerment of the Great Indian Bustard due to collisions with power cables.


Additional information on this news:

  • The Supreme Court established an expert committee to address the endangerment of the Great Indian Bustard due to collisions with power cables.
  • The three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud acknowledged the need to reconsider the blanket directive to move power cables underground.
  • The committee includes experts from the Wildlife Institute of India and representatives from the Renewable Energy and Environment Ministries.
  • Special invitees from Central Electrical Authority and Central Transmission Utility are also part of the committee.
  • The committee’s objective is to assess the feasibility of underground and overhead electric lines in priority areas for the birds in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • It aims to balance sustainable development with bird conservation and may propose additional measures and priority areas.
  • The committee is expected to submit its report to the Supreme Court by July 31.
The Great Indian Bustard

●  The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) is one of the heaviest flying birds native to India.

● It is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss, hunting, and collision with power lines.

●  These birds are primarily found in grasslands and semi-arid regions of India and Pakistan.

●  They are known for their distinctive appearance, with a brownish body, long neck, and a crest on their head.

●The population has drastically declined over the years, with estimates suggesting only around 150 individuals remaining in the wild.

Challenges to preservation include:

●  Habitat destruction and fragmentation due to agriculture, grazing, and infrastructure development.

●  Illegal hunting and poaching for their meat and feathers.

●  Collisions with high-tension power lines, as they often fly low due to their heavy build.

●  Lack of awareness and conservation initiatives targeted specifically at protecting this species.

Conservation efforts involve habitat restoration, establishment of protected areas, community engagement, and initiatives to mitigate the threat of power line collisions.

●  Urgent action is needed to prevent the extinction of this iconic species and preserve India’s biodiversity.

Practice Question:  Discuss the role of judicial intervention in balancing environmental conservation and renewable energy promotion, citing the example of the Great Indian Bustard case, (150 Words /10 marks)

7. Ministry of Environment tightens rules on bioplastics

Topic: GS3 – Environment – Environmental pollution And degradation

The topic is crucial for UPSC as it addresses environmental policy, waste management, and sustainable development challenges in India.

●     The news pertains to India’s Environment Ministry tightening regulations on labeling disposable plastic ware as ‘biodegradable’, demanding no microplastics residue, posing challenges for industry compliance.


Additional information on this news:

  • The Environment Ministry has tightened regulations on labelling disposable plastic ware as ‘biodegradable’, requiring them to leave no microplastics behind.
  • Biodegradable plastic involves pre-treating plastic goods, while compostable plastics degrade but need industrial facilities for breakdown.
  • Amendments to India’s Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2024, define biodegradable plastics as those that degrade without leaving microplastics.
  • The rules lack specific tests for microplastics elimination, leaving uncertainty for industry compliance.
  • Symphony Environmental India CEO suggests standards should encompass both compostable and biodegradable plastics.
  • Microplastics, a major pollution source, impact rivers and oceans.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) demands a 90% degradation for biodegradable certification, leaving many firms without provisional certificates.
  • CPCB’s requirement for 90% degradation takes at least two years, posing challenges for companies seeking certification.
What are bioplastics

● Bioplastics are a type of plastic derived from renewable biomass sources, such as plants, rather than from fossil fuels like traditional plastics.

●  They can be made from various materials including corn starch, sugarcane, cellulose, and soy protein.

● Bioplastics can be either biodegradable or non-biodegradable, depending on their composition and intended use.

Biodegradable bioplastics break down naturally into simpler substances, reducing environmental impact and waste accumulation.

●Non-biodegradable bioplastics may still offer advantages over traditional plastics, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions during production.

● Some bioplastics require industrial composting facilities to break down efficiently, while others can degrade in home composting systems.

●  Bioplastics are used in various applications including packaging, disposable items, textiles, automotive parts, and medical devices.

●  While bioplastics offer potential environmental benefits, challenges remain, including cost competitiveness, scalability of production, and end-of-life disposal considerations.

● Continued research and development are crucial for improving the sustainability and viability of bioplastics in the global plastics industry.

PYQ: What are the impediments in disposing the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we remove safely the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment? (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2018)
Practice Question:  Evaluate the feasibility of bioplastics as a sustainable solution to plastic pollution. Discuss the challenges and opportunities in the adoption of bioplastics in mainstream industries. (250 Words /15 marks)

8. Nuclear energy: fixing the finance

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy –  Infrastructure – Energy
From a UPSC perspective, nuclear energy’s role in climate action, financing challenges, and global cooperation is vital for energy security.

●     The news is about the inaugural Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels, highlighting the role of nuclear power in addressing climate change and discussing financing challenges and cooperative models.

The Rise of Nuclear Energy: Key Points from the Brussels Summit

  • UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai (UAE) emphasized nuclear energy’s role in climate goals.
  • Declaration signed by 22 world leaders called for tripling nuclear energy capacity by 2050.
  • Nuclear Energy Summit co-chaired by Belgium’s Prime Minister and IAEA Director General.

Advantages of Nuclear Energy:

  • Nuclear power emits four times less carbon than solar farms and other renewables.
  • Offers uninterrupted energy supply, regardless of geographical constraints.
  • Nuclear power plants have low operating costs, smaller land imprint, and longer life cycles.

Financial Considerations:

  • Recent advancements in nuclear technology, including Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), reduce risks.
  • Despite technical progress, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and private investors have not significantly contributed to the industry.
  • Need to reassess nuclear financing policies to attract private capital or blended finance models.

Successful Cooperative Models:

  • France, South Korea, Russia, and the U.K. employ cooperative funding models.
  • Finland’s ‘Mankala’ model, where multiple private companies jointly own energy producers, has been successful.

Global Nuclear Landscape:

  • 440 nuclear reactors worldwide, accounting for a quarter of low-carbon energy.
  • 60 reactors under construction, 110 in planning, with significant growth in Asia, particularly China.
  • Challenges faced by companies like NuScale Power, Westinghouse, and Areva due to project overruns.

India’s Perspective:

  • India’s commercial NPPs offer reliable energy at competitive prices compared to solar and coal-fired plants.
  • Nuclear power contributes only 1.6% to India’s total renewable energy mix due to stigma and regulatory challenges.
  • India undergoing nuclear industry liberalisation, with plans for substantial capacity expansion and self-reliance.

Positive Future Outlook:

  • India invites $26 billion in private investments for nuclear expansion.
  • Plans for tripling nuclear capacity by 2031-2032, with advancements like the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR).
  • PFBR
  • ‘s ability to generate fuel and power simultaneously marks significant progress in India’s nuclear industry.


  • The Brussels Summit underscores the growing recognition of nuclear energy’s importance in combating climate change.
  • Addressing financial challenges and embracing cooperative models are crucial for scaling up nuclear energy globally.
  • India’s ambitious plans reflect a positive trajectory for the nuclear industry, with advancements promising a sustainable future.

PYQ: With growing energy needs should India keep on expanding its nuclear energy programme? Discuss the facts and fears associated with nuclear energy. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2018)
Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of nuclear energy in combating climate change and examine the challenges in its global financing. (250 Words /15 marks)

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