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Indian Express


1) With a little help from the Sun


  • The emergence of clean energy mini-grids led by the private sector, which supply electricity to underserved regions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Small Island Developing States, has resulted in a shift in rural electrification.
  • These grids emphasize operational methods that are sustainable and can adapt to local demands, drawing lessons from the first mini-grids that were funded by the government.

Global Impact and Cost-Effectiveness

  • According to World Bank projections, privately owned and controlled solar mini-grids represent the most economical way to provide electricity to more than 75% of the 675 million people who live without it globally, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Already providing immediate environmental benefits, diesel-based energy sources that were costly and polluting have been replaced by solar mini-grids.

Comprehensive Services Driving Rural Prosperity

  • These mini-grid companies serve as accelerators for rural development by providing a range of services, including irrigation, agro-processing, and mobile telephony, in addition to electricity.
  • They also play a part in rural economic growth by making it easier for people to access opportunities in the agriculture sector and healthcare.

Resilience Against Climate Shocks and Adaptation

  • In addition to alleviating energy poverty, decentralized solar mini-grids are becoming an important defense against climatic shocks.
  • Rural communities, which are more susceptible to climatic issues, benefit from their adaptive and resilient qualities.

Supplementing Centralized Grid Infrastructure

  • Mini-grids are a vital addition to centralized grid infrastructure in cases when it is not practical.
  • A case study from Cambodia demonstrates how hundreds of mini-grids powered by diesel were finally included into the national grid, providing benefits to more than a million users.

India’s Exemplary Model and Global Investment Disparity

  • In states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand, India has demonstrated success with private, unsubsidized solar mini-grids.
  • However, there’s still a big disparity in the world’s solar spending, with underdeveloped countries still having trouble funding decentralized alternatives.

Unlocking Solar Mini-Grid Potential through Financial Mechanisms

  • Financial guarantees and innovative methods are needed to encourage private sector investment in order to address the inequality in investments.
  • This imbalance is intended to be corrected by programs like the Global Solar Facility (GSF) of the International Solar Alliance, which will provide millions of African homes with access to renewable energy.

Solar’s Viability and Future Implications

  • The use of solar energy is now economically feasible and has the potential to lessen dependency on fossil fuels.
  • Solar PV energy is becoming a very competitive alternative in the energy mix, especially in underdeveloped countries where it is difficult to extend existing grids.

Way Forward:

  • India’s effective strategy, which combines decentralized and centralised renewable energy, is a prime example of how the public and private sectors can work together to foster innovation and the uptake of clean energy.
  • Through the affordability and dependability of private mini-grids paired with solar and battery storage, this strategy highlights the possibilities for clean energy solutions and provides a workable route to energy independence and lower emissions.

2) Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023


  • The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has invited comments on the proposed Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, aiming to overhaul regulations in response to the changing broadcasting landscape and technological advancements.


  • The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995 has been in effect for three decades, overseeing content on linear broadcasting, including cable networks.
  • However, the broadcasting landscape has changed significantly with the advent of new platforms like DTH, IPTV, and OTT.

Need for Regulation

  • With the digitization of the broadcasting sector, there is a growing need to update and streamline the regulatory framework. The aim is to ensure ease of doing business and enhance adherence to the Programme Code and Advertisement Code by broadcasters and Distribution Platform Operators.
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has proposed the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, to replace the existing Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and other Policy Guidelines governing the broadcasting sector.
  • The Draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill 2023 comprises six chapters, 48 sections, and three schedules.

Key highlight of the proposed Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill 2023

Consolidation and Modernization

  • The bill consolidates and updates regulatory provisions for various broadcasting services under a single legislative framework.
  • Recognizing technological advancements, the regulatory purview is extended to cover Over-the-Top (OTT) content and digital news, areas currently regulated through the Information Technology Act 2000.

Contemporary Definitions and Future-Ready Provisions

  • Introduces comprehensive definitions for contemporary broadcasting terms, ensuring clarity and relevance.
  • Incorporates provisions that anticipate and accommodate emerging broadcasting technologies to future-proof the legislation.

Strengthening the Self-Regulation Regime

  • Introduces ‘Content Evaluation Committees’ to contribute to the self-regulation process.
  • Expand the existing Inter-Departmental Committee into a more participative and broader ‘Broadcast Advisory Council’ to provide a collaborative and informed approach to regulation.

Differentiated Programme Code and Advertisement Code

  • Permits a differentiated approach to Programme and Advertisement Codes across various services.
  • Requires broadcasters to self-classify content and implement robust access control measures for restricted content.

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

  • Address the specific needs of persons with disabilities in the broadcasting sector.
  • Includes provisions that enable the issuance of comprehensive accessibility guidelines, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all.

Statutory Penalties and Fines

  • Introduces non-monetary penalties such as advisory, warning, and censure for operators and broadcasters.
  • Includes monetary penalties linked to the financial capacity of the entity. Imprisonment and/or fines are reserved for very serious offences.

Equitable Penalties

  • Ensure fairness and equity in the imposition of penalties.
  • Links monetary penalties and fines to the financial capacity of the entity, taking into account their investment and turnover.

Infrastructure Sharing, Platform Services, and Right of Way

  • Address operational aspects and ensure efficient dispute resolution.
  • Includes provisions for infrastructure sharing among broadcasting network operators.
  • Addresses the carriage of platform services.
  • Streamlines the Right of Way section to handle relocation and alterations more efficiently. Establishes a structured dispute resolution mechanism.


  • The proposed legislation has the potential to completely rewrite the rules governing digital content and television. A crucial component that requires careful thought throughout its design is striking a balance between the regulatory intent and the maintenance of the digital space’s dynamic creativity and vigorous participation.
  • The goal of the suggested frameworks and codes should be balance and clarity without inhibiting the dynamic and expressive character of the digital sphere.
  • The public and interested parties have the chance to influence legislation that is in line with the goals and advantages of India’s digital content market during this feedback-seeking period.

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