24 Jan 2024 : Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs


1. Indian Stock Market Surpasses Hong Kong, Becomes Fourth-Largest Globally Despite Domestic Dips

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy- Issues relating to growth 

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of the factors influencing the stock market, the impact of global economic trends, and the role of foreign inflows.
  • The Indian stock market has achieved a significant milestone by surpassing Hong Kong to become the fourth-largest equity market globally.
  • Despite a 1.5% decline in domestic indices, the combined value of listed shares on Indian exchanges reached $4.33 trillion, exceeding Hong Kong’s $4.29 trillion.
  • The top three global stock markets are currently the United States, China, and Japan.

Hong Kong’s Decline and China’s Impact:

  • Hong Kong’s descent in the global equity ranking is attributed to an eroding China appeal, experiencing a nearly 36% decline from its peak level.
  • Analysts highlight the underperformance of China in the global economic growth scenario.
  • The Hang Seng index is near a 19-year low due to the crash of important Chinese stocks listed in Hong Kong.
  • This trend is anticipated to continue unless there is a significant economic rebound in China.

Indian Stock Market Resilience:

  • In contrast to China’s economic challenges, Indian stock markets demonstrated resilience, rallying by 20% in 2023.
  • This positive performance is attributed to higher foreign inflows and growth prospects.
  • Analysts point out that the outperformance of India is a notable trend in the current global economic landscape.

 Analyst Insights and Market Projections:

  • Analysts suggest that the decline in Chinese stocks listed in Hong Kong has contributed to the ongoing fall in the Hang Seng index.
  • However, if the Chinese economy stages a comeback, there is potential for a rebound in Chinese stocks due to their currently low valuations.
  • On the other hand, India’s achievement in becoming the fourth-largest equity market is seen as a testament to the nation’s economic fortitude and marks a numerical triumph.
  • This development is also viewed as India’s emergence as a key player in the international financial arena, signaling a promising trajectory for investors in the diverse and vibrant landscape of the Indian stock market.
About Honk Kong
  • Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a city and a special administrative region in China. With 7.4 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated territories in the world.
  • Hong Kong has the world’s largest number of skyscrapers, with 482 towers taller than 150 metres (490 ft) and the third-largest number of high-rise buildings in the world.
  • It is the world’s 35th-largest economy, with a nominal GDP of approximately US$373 billion. Hong Kong’s economy ranked at the top of the Heritage Foundation’s economic freedom index between 1995 and 2021


  • It is surrounded by the South China Sea on all sides except the north, which neighbours the Guangdong city of Shenzhen along the Sham Chun River.
  • Hong Kong is on China’s southern coast, 60 km (37 mi) east of Macau, on the east side of the mouth of the Pearl River estuary.
  • The territory consists of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, Lantau Island, and over 200 other islands.
  • Hong Kong has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa), characteristic of southern China, despite being located south of the Tropic of Cancer.
Practice Question: Discuss the implications of the Indian stock market surpassing Hong Kong and becoming the fourth-largest equity market globally. Analyze the factors contributing to India’s economic resilience and its emergence as a key player in the international financial arena.
(200 words/12.5 m)

2. Prime Minister Modi Launches Ambitious Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana: A Push for Rooftop Solar on One Crore Indian Houses

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies 

GS3 – Environment –  Conservations
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of environmental sustainability goals, emphasizing the transition to non-fossil energy sources.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shortly after participating in the Pran Pratishtha ceremony at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, declared the initiation of a new program aimed at installing rooftop solar systems on one crore houses.
  • This initiative, named the Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana, is intended to empower households with their solar rooftop systems, reducing electricity bills for the poor and middle classes while enhancing India’s self-reliance in the energy sector.

Background of Rooftop Solar Programs:

  • Although the target of one crore households is new, the installation of rooftop solar systems has been an ongoing government program for over a decade.
  • The announcement seeks to reinvigorate decentralized solar power in the country, as existing programs have fallen behind schedule.
  • In 2014, Prime Minister Modi set an ambitious target of installing 100 GW of solar power in the country by 2022, with 40 GW supposed to come from grid-connected rooftop systems.

Challenges and Missed Targets:

  • The country has faced challenges in achieving these targets, exacerbated by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • As of the end of the previous year, the total installed solar capacity in the country reached only 73.3 GW, with rooftop solar contributing around 11 GW.
  • The 40 GW target for rooftop systems is now rescheduled for accomplishment by 2026.

The Suryodaya Yojana and Targeting Households:

  • Details of the new program are yet to be released, but it differs by focusing on a specific number of households rather than installed capacity.
  • This approach aligns with initiatives in other countries, such as the United States in the late 1990s.
  • The program primarily targets individual households, offering vast untapped potential, as residential buildings currently account for only 20% of rooftop solar installations.

Potential for Rooftop Solar in India:

  • A report by the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW) highlights that nearly 25 crore households in India have the potential to deploy 637 GW of solar energy on rooftops.
  • A significant portion of this potential is feasible, with about 118 GW considered achievable.
  • Importantly, this potential is uniformly available across all states, offering a decentralized and widespread solution compared to concentrated solar parks.

Objectives and Challenges:

  • The overall objectives, whether targeting installed capacity or households, include ensuring energy security, transitioning to non-fossil energy sources, and increasing energy access.
  • India’s commitment to having 50% of its electricity generation from non-fossil fuel-based sources by 2030 aligns with these objectives.
  • However, achieving these goals requires incentivizing rooftop solar installation, beyond just financial mechanisms, and addressing challenges such as the financial health of electricity distribution companies.


  • Prime Minister Modi’s announcement of the Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana reflects a renewed push for rooftop solar programs in India, targeting households and emphasizing the untapped potential in the residential sector.
  • The success of this initiative will depend on addressing challenges and creating an enabling environment for increased penetration of rooftop solar.
India’s current solar capacity
Installed capacity

  • According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, solar power installed capacity in India has reached around 73.31 GW as of December 2023.
  • Meanwhile, rooftop solar installed capacity is around 11.08 GW as of December 2023.
  • Overall, solar power has a major share in the country’s current renewable energy capacity, which stands at around 180 GW.

High performing states

  • In terms of total solar capacity, Rajasthan is at the top with 18.7 GW. Gujarat is at the second position with 10.5 GW.
  • When it comes to rooftop solar capacity, Gujarat tops the list with 2.8 GW, followed by Maharashtra by 1.7 GW.
PYQ: Explain the purpose of the Green Grid Initiative launched at world leaders Summit of the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glassgow in November, 2021. When was this idea first floated in the International Solar Alliance (ISA)? (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2021)
Practice Question: Discuss the significance of Prime Minister Modi’s Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana, aimed at installing rooftop solar systems on one crore houses. (150 words/10 m)

3. Bharat Ratna Conferred Posthumously to Socialist Icon Karpoori Thakur: Recognizing a Legacy of Social Justice and Political Impact in Bihar”

Topic: Important topics for Prelims – Persons in news
  • President Droupadi Murmu announced that the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, would be posthumously conferred upon socialist icon Karpoori Thakur.
  • Thakur, a two-time Chief Minister of the state of Bihar, is remembered as a towering socialist figure often referred to as Jan nayak or people’s leader by politicians in the state.

Thakur’s Socialist Legacy:

  • Karpoori Thakur played a pivotal role in Bihar’s political landscape, and his socialist ideology left a lasting impact.
  • Many of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s schemes, such as the waiving of school fees for girls until post-graduation and providing 50% quota for women in panchayats, reflect Thakur’s socialist politics.

Phases in Thakur’s Life:

  • Thakur’s life is divided into three phases. Initially, he was a freedom fighter and staunch socialist working under the guidance of leaders like Jayaprakash Narain, Dr. Rammanohar Lohia, and Ramnandan Mishra (1942-67).
  • Later, he served as the state’s Chief Minister and tallest socialist leader (1970-79), and in his later years (1980-88), he endeavored to re-establish his identity.

Social Background and Political Career:

  • Coming from the Nai (barber) community, an Extremely Backward Class (EBC) among the OBCs, Thakur made his political debut in 1952 and remained a legislator until his last Assembly election in 1985.
  • Despite facing electoral losses, including in the 1984 LS polls, Thakur held significant positions such as deputy CM and education minister.

 Contributions and Policies:

  • Thakur’s tenure as CM and deputy CM saw the implementation of wide-ranging policies, including the promotion of Hindi in government offices, declaring Urdu as the second official language, waiving school fees, and strengthening the Panchayati Raj system.
  • His most significant contribution was in the sphere of reservation, where he introduced a model providing 26% reservation, benefitting OBC communities, EBCs, women, and economically backward classes among the upper castes.

4. Posthumous Bharat Ratna for Bihar ex-CM Karpoori Thakur.

Topic: Important topics for Prelims – Persons in news

Significant for UPSC as it recognizes Karpoori Thakur’s pivotal role in Indian politics, particularly in championing social justice.
  • On the eve of Karpoori Thakur’s birth centenary, President Droupadi Murmu announced posthumous Bharat Ratna for the former Bihar CM, lauded by PM Modi for his championing of social justice.

 More information on this news:

  • Former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur to be posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna on his birth centenary.
  • President Droupadi Murmu makes the announcement, India’s highest civilian award.
  • Thakur, a socialist leader and freedom fighter, served as Bihar CM twice and was a champion for the marginalized.
  • Notable for his role in the social justice plank in Indian politics, instrumental in the Mungeri Lal Commission report.
  • The recognition is lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Thakur’s enduring efforts for equality and justice.
More About Karpoori Thakur
  • Birth Centenary Recognition: Posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna on birth centenary by President Droupadi Murmu.
  • Political Career: Twice Chief Minister of Bihar (1970-1971, 1977-1979), associated with Bharatiya Kranti Dal and Janata Party.
  • Social Justice Advocate: Championed social justice in Indian politics, pivotal in implementing Mungeri Lal Commission report.
  • Freedom Fighter: Son of a farmer from the Nai community, participated in Quit India movement (1942).
  • Anti-Emergency Movement: Active in anti-Emergency movement alongside socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan.
  • Enduring Legacy: Recognized by PM Modi for his enduring efforts, regarded as the “Jannayak” or people’s leader.

5. ‘Is right to establish minority institution based on statute?’

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity – Judiciary

The topic addresses constitutional nuances of minority rights in education, crucial for understanding India’s diverse and legal landscape in UPSC exams.
  • Chief Justice Chandrachud questions if a minority community’s right to establish an educational institution should depend on state recognition, during a Constitution Bench hearing on Aligarh Muslim University’s minority status.

 Additional information on this news:

  • Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, heading a seven-judge Bench, questioned whether a minority community’s right to establish an educational institution or university should be dependent on state recognition.
  • The Constitution Bench was addressing a reference related to the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
  • The Chief Justice emphasized that minorities have a constitutional right under Article 30 to establish and administer educational institutions.
  • The Bench raised concerns about whether the right to establish such institutions should be contingent on state recognition through an enabling statute, stating that it could make a constitutional right subservient to a statute.
  • The Attorney General, representing the Union, argued for the need for an authority of law to establish a university, stating that it cannot be solely based on individual desire.
  • The court questioned whether the recognition of a university by the state or its establishment under a law would automatically deny it minority status, even if founded by members of a religious or linguistic minority.
  • Chief Justice Chandrachud expressed concerns about the argument that the right to establish a minority institution should be contingent on recognition by an enabling statute, considering it an overdrawn argument.
  • The court referred to a 1967 case (S. Azeez Basha versus Union of India) where a five-judge Bench held that AMU was a Central university and could not be considered a minority institution.
PYQ: Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCJ) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious minority institutions? Examine.
(150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2018)

6. How physicists are making sense of the mystery of pulsar glitches.

Topic: GS3 – Science and Technology – Space

Critical for UPSC: Unexplained glitches in pulsars challenge physics, probing neutron star dynamics enhances understanding of celestial phenomena.
  • Scientists, 44 years after a 1969 glitch in pulsar PSR 0833-45, remain puzzled by over 700 glitches observed in 3,000 pulsars.The slow post-glitch relaxation hints at the presence of superfluids inside neutron stars, challenging existing theories and sparking scientific inquiry.

 Discovery of Pulsar:

  • In 1967, astronomers at the University of Cambridge discovered the first pulsar, named PSR B1919+21, while studying radio waves emitted by distant stars.
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish noticed periodic signals from a small patch of the sky, later identified as a rotating neutron star or pulsar.

Connection to Neutron Stars:

  • Neutron stars are formed when the cores of heavy stars collapse, creating a ball of neutrons with strong outward pressure.
  • Pulsars are rotating neutron stars emitting radio signals in a cone-like pattern, similar to a lighthouse beam.

Pulsar Rotation and Energy:

  • Physicists observed the slowing rotation of pulsars over time.
  • Energy saved by reducing rotation rate is used to accelerate electric charges outside the star, producing radio signals.

Unexplained Glitch in 1969:

  • In 1969, two research groups reported a sudden increase in the rotation rate of pulsar PSR 0833-45, challenging existing theories.
  • Over 700 such glitches observed in about 3,000 pulsars remain unexplained.

Post-Glitch Relaxation and Superfluids:

  • Pulsar rotation graph shows a slow post-glitch relaxation, suggesting the presence of superfluids inside neutron stars.
  • Superfluids, being frictionless, allow for vortices to form and influence the rotation speed.

Mechanism of Glitches:

  • Neutron stars have a solid crust and a superfluid core, with vortices attaching to the crust’s nuclei.
  • Energy loss to radiation causes the crust to slow down, while pinned vortices maintain superfluid rotation speed.
  • Eventually, the force on vortices overcomes pinning, leading to a glitch as angular momentum is transferred between crust and superfluid.

Contested Details and Scientific Inquiry:

  • The mechanism and details of glitches, including their trigger and evolution in space, are subjects of ongoing scientific inquiry.
  • Studying glitches provides insights into the diverse physics occurring inside neutron stars, contributing to our understanding of these celestial objects.


7. Analysing the rising gap in incomes

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Issues relating to development and employment.

Critical for UPSC aspirants: Examines India’s income inequality using SBI data, crucial for socio-economic understanding and policy implications.
  • The article discusses a State Bank of India (SBI) report on income inequality in India, noting a decline in the Gini coefficient but highlighting income polarization, particularly among self-employed individuals, and potential disparities in taxpayer data representation.

 Summary of the State Bank of India (SBI) Report on Income Inequality in India:
Gini Coefficient Decline:

  • The SBI report claims a significant reduction in income inequality in India over the last decade.
  • Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, fell from 0.472 in 2014-15 to 0.402 in 2022-23, indicating a nearly 15% reduction.

Data Source Limitations:

  • The analysis is based on taxpayer data, and a large proportion of income-earners, around 80%, fall below the taxable threshold of ₹5 lakh per annum.
  • Using 2022-23 Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data, the study explores changes in income inequality among all income earners.

Polarization in Incomes:

  • While the Gini coefficient suggests an overall decline in inequality, there is a polarization in incomes.
  • Incomes of the top 10% have grown faster than the bottom 30%, particularly prominent among self-employed workers.

PLFS Data Analysis:

  • The PLFS records gross incomes of the self-employed, allowing for a more in-depth analysis.
  • Gini coefficient falls for regular wage and casual wage workers but rises for the self-employed, indicating a divergence in income trends.

Decile-Based Income Growth:

  • Income-earners are divided into deciles, and average weekly income growth is analyzed.
  • The top decile’s average income grows faster than the bottom 30%, indicating a disparity in income growth rates.

90/10 Ratio – Polarization Measure:

  • The 90/10 ratio, representing the ratio of incomes of the top 10% to the bottom 10%, has increased from 6.7 in 2017-18 to 6.9 in 2022-23.
  • The rise in polarization is particularly notable among self-employed individuals, with the 90/10 ratio increasing significantly.

Possible Explanations:

  • Preliminary analysis suggests the rise in womens labor force participation, primarily in low-paid, part-time self-employed work, as a contributing factor.
  • Polarization is observed among income-earners, especially among the self-employed, while taxpayer data may not reflect this due to the exclusion of the bottom 10%.


  • The reduction in the Gini coefficient conceals a process of income divergence, especially among the self-employed.
  • Further research is needed to fully understand these contradictory changes and their implications for future economic growth and income inequality in India.
PYQ: Despite Consistent experience of High growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive. (150 words/10m ) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2019)
Practice Question: Discuss the nuances of India’s income inequality based on the recent SBI report, considering the limitations of taxpayer data and the observed polarization in self-employed incomes. (250 words/15 m)


8. Gender equity in education: the need to focus on early childhood education.

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Education

Critical for UPSC: Examines gender gaps in Indian education, highlights STEM disparities, and advocates for early childhood education interventions.
  • The article addresses gender disparities in Indian education, focusing on the STEM field and widening gaps in educational attainment.
  • It advocates urgent attention to early childhood education to eliminate gender stereotypes and underscores the broader social benefits of girls’ education.

 Gender Gap in STEM Education:

  • Annual Status of Education Report highlights a gender gap in STEM course enrollment despite equal aspirations for doctor/engineer careers.
  • Girls and boys in rural India equally aspire for high-profile careers, but boys dominate STEM courses.

Learning Outcomes Parity:

  • National Achievement Survey (2017) indicates gender equity in learning outcomes for elementary and secondary classes.
  • Test scores in mathematics and language show minimal gender differences across all classes.

Worsening Educational Attainment Gap:

  • Despite improved education for girls over two decades, the mean years of schooling gender gap has increased.
  • Mean years of schooling for girls tripled from 1.7 (1990) to 4.7 (2018), but the gender gap widened from 2.4 to 3.5 years.

Gender Gap Widens with Progression:

  • Dropout rates for girls surge by Class 8, indicating greater barriers to education for girls at advanced levels.
  • Social norms and gender stereotypes contribute to the widening gender gap in education.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) as Key Intervention:

  • Roots of gender discrimination emerge in early childhood education.
  • Annual Status of Education Report “Early Years” reveals gender differences in enrollment, with societal biases favoring boys.

 Policy Recommendations:

  • Urgent focus on early childhood education (ECE) to address gender gaps at the root.
  • Lack of regulation, funding, and legislation for universal ECE access must be addressed.
  • Longitudinal studies highlight the high returns of investing in ECE, emphasizing its potential to eliminate gender stereotypes.

Call for Action:

  • Emphasizes the need to establish foundations for right education by ensuring universal enrollment in ECE.
  • Suggests leveraging existing government initiatives like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, and implementing the Draft National Education Policy for ECE.

Social Impact of Girls’ Education:

  • Highlights the multifaceted benefits of girls’ education, including reduced poverty, infant mortality, and crime, and improved economic development.
  • Calls for consistent efforts to enhance social capital for creating a positive future through girls’ education.

9. Indian Government’s Ambitious AI Mission Nears Cabinet Approval with Over Rs 10,000 Crore Outlay

Topic: GS2 Governance – Government policies – Interventions for development in various sectors

GS3 – Science and Technology- Development & their applications
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of government’s initiatives in the field of artificial intelligence
  • The Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, revealed that the Centre’s ambitious artificial intelligence (AI) Mission is nearing Cabinet approval with a potential outlay exceeding Rs 10,000 crore.
  • The mission aims to foster the development of ‘sovereign AI,’ enhance computational capacity within the country, and provide compute-as-a-service to Indian startups.

Objectives of the AI Mission:

  • The government envisions building computational capabilities through its AI Mission to tap into the impending AI boom, which is anticipated to be a significant economic driver.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the mission with a focus on establishing computing powers within the country to enhance services for startups and entrepreneurs while promoting AI applications in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, and education.

Computing Capacity Targets:

  • The government plans to build a computing capacity ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 GPUs (graphic processing units) under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
  • Additionally, 1,000-2,000 GPUs will be developed through the PSU Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

Incentive Structures for Private Companies:

  • Various incentive structures for private companies to set up computing centers in India are being explored, including capital expenditure subsidies, operational expense-based incentives, and a “usage” fee.
  • The goal is to facilitate the establishment of computing infrastructure, a crucial element for AI system development.

Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI):

  • The government aims to create a digital public infrastructure (DPI) from the GPU assembly, enabling startups to utilize computational capacity at a fraction of the cost without having to invest in GPUs.
  • This approach is expected to lower barriers for smaller businesses entering the AI space.

Data Governance and Datasets:

  • In addition to building computing capacities, the government is working on creating datasets and making them available to Indian startups.
  • The National Data Governance Framework Policy proposes the establishment of an India Datasets platform, housing non-personal and anonymized datasets from central government entities for access by startups and researchers.

Potential Directive to Big Tech Companies:

  • There are considerations for issuing a directive to major tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, urging them to share anonymized personal data in their possession with the India Datasets platform.
  • This move aligns with the government’s broader strategy to leverage data for AI development.


  • The AI Mission aims to propel India into a leading position in AI development, emphasizing infrastructure, incentives, and access to datasets as key components of its strategy.
What is Artificial Intelligence?

  • The ability of computers and systems to learn, apply information, and engage in intelligent behaviour is known as artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The term “Artificial Intelligence” was coined by John McCarthy, an American computer scientist and cognitive scientist. He was one of the founders of the discipline of AI.
  • It includes technologies like machine learning, Deep Learning, Big Data, Neural Networks, Computer vision, Large Language Models etc.
  • The capacity for reasoning and making decisions that maximise the likelihood of accomplishing a given objective is the ideal quality of artificial intelligence.
PYQ: With the present state of development, Artificial Intelligence can effectively do which of the following? (2020)
1. Bring down electricity consumption in industrial units
2. Create meaningful short stories and songs
3. Disease diagnosis
4. Text-to-Speech Conversion
5. Wireless transmission of electrical energy
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2, 3 and 5 only
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2, 4 and 5 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Ans: (b)
Practice Question: Discuss the key objectives, components, and potential implications of the Indian government’s AI Mission. (200 words/12.5 m)

10. India Achieves 15-Year High in Direct Tax-to-GDP Ratio as Net Collections Soar in FY 2022-23

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy- Issues relating to growth 

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of fiscal health of the country, tax collection trends, and the government’s revenue policies.
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) released time-series data revealing that the direct tax-to-GDP ratio reached a 15-year high of 6.11% in the fiscal year 2022-23.
  • This surge was accompanied by a notable increase in income tax return filers in India, reaching 7.4 crore in FY23, marking a 6.3% increase from FY22.

Tax Buoyancy and Cost of Tax Collection:

  • While the tax buoyancy, indicating the growth rate of taxes compared to the economy’s nominal growth rate, declined to 1.18 in 2022-23 from 2.52 in 2021-22, the cost of tax collection decreased to 0.51%, the lowest level since 2000-01.
  • However, in absolute terms, the expenditure on tax collection increased to Rs 8,452 crore, the highest level since 2000-01.

Net Direct Tax Collections and Gross Direct Tax Collections:

  • Net direct tax collections, reflecting collections after refunds, experienced a significant growth of 160.52%, reaching Rs 16.63 lakh crore in FY 2022-23 from Rs 6.39 lakh crore in FY 2013-14.
  • Gross direct tax collections stood at Rs 19.7 lakh crore in FY 2022-23, showing a rise of 173.3% from Rs 7.21 lakh crore in FY 2013-14.

Taxpayers and Direct Taxes Share:

  • The number of individuals filing income tax returns increased to 7.4 crore in FY 2022-23, with corresponding data for taxpayers not available.
  • Direct taxes accounted for a 54.62% share in the overall tax collections in FY 2022-23, a four-year high.

State-wise Contribution:

  • Maharashtra led among states and union territories, contributing 36.4% (Rs 6.05 lakh crore) of the overall direct tax collections in FY 2022-23.
  • Delhi, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu followed with 13.3%, 12.5%, and 6.4%, respectively, cumulatively accounting for 6% of the total direct tax collections.

Progressivity and Indirect Taxes:

  • A higher direct taxes-to-indirect taxes ratio is considered progressive, as indirect taxation disproportionately affects the economically vulnerable.
  • The increasing direct tax-to-GDP ratio signifies the growing share of taxes in the country’s overall output.


  • India witnessed a remarkable surge in direct tax collections, with the direct tax-to-GDP ratio reaching a 15-year high, showcasing both the increasing number of taxpayers and the government’s efforts to enhance tax revenues.
  • The state-wise distribution highlights the significant contributions from key regions, particularly Maharashtra, while the focus on progressivity and reduced cost of tax collection reflects positive trends in India’s fiscal landscape.
PYQ: Define potential GDP and explain its determinants. What are the factors that have been inhibiting India from realizing its potential GDP? (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2020)
Practice Question: Discuss the significance of India achieving a 15-year high in the direct tax-to-GDP ratio in the fiscal year 2022-23. (150 words/10 m)

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