Yojana Magazine Summary September 2023

Yojana Magazine Summary September 2023

Yojana magazine is monthly magazine published by government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In this page we will explore Yojana Magazine Summary for September 2023 edition. It provides a comprehensive analysis of recent government initiatives aimed at fostering inclusive growth and addressing social inequalities. Below are major insights from September 2023 edition:

1. Making A Bureaucrat: civil services reforms through a capacity building approach.


            In democratic governments, the civil service stands as a cornerstone of efficient governance. This vital institution, as exemplified in India, aids in policy formulation, execution, and upholding public welfare. The chapter emphasises the following facets of changes in civil services:

  • Role of the Civil Service: The civil service plays a crucial role in assisting the political executive in framing policies and implementing them. This involves delivering governance and welfare programs to the public and maintaining the administrative system.
  • Public Support and Accountability: The success of the civil service in carrying out its duties generates public support for the government’s policies. However, its failures also make it accountable to parliamentary oversight mechanisms.
  • Constitutional Provisions: Part XIV of India’s Constitution establishes the framework for efficient public services. This includes the creation of the Union Public Service Commission and State Commissions, along with safeguards to ensure professionalism in the civil service.
  • Mission Karmayogi: This is a program aimed at enhancing the capabilities of civil servants. It focuses on three-dimensional skills: behavior, functional knowledge, and domain expertise. The program also aims to make the civil service more adaptable and efficient.
  • Shift from ‘Rule’ to ‘Role’: This transition implies a move from a rule-based approach in bureaucracy to a more role-driven and adaptive approach in civil service. It necessitates creating and curating learning materials to support this transformation.
  • Transformation of Bureaucrat to Civil Servant: It reflects a shift from a traditional bureaucrat who follows rules to a civil servant who takes on roles and responsibilities, contributing to public welfare.
  • Public Welfare and Efficient Administration: Ultimately, the goal is to have government administration that efficiently serves the basic needs of the public without delays, harassment, or misconduct. This is seen as a hallmark of modern societies and democratic governance.


         In summary, the civil service in India plays a critical role in governance and public welfare. Initiatives like Mission Karmayogi aim to enhance the skills and adaptability of civil servants and transition from a rule-bound bureaucracy to a more role-driven and efficient civil service. This is essential for the effective functioning of a democratic government and the well-being of the public.

2. Accountability and Financial Administration.


The institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in India has a rich history, dating back to its establishment in 1860. Over the years, it has evolved to become a constitutional authority, gaining recognition in 1950. In this article, we delve into the significant role played by the CAG in ensuring financial accountability and promoting good governance in India.

Ensuring Independence and Discretion

One of the fundamental aspects that set the CAG apart is its independence, as enshrined in Article 148 of the Indian Constitution. This independence empowers the CAG with complete discretion in performing its functions. This includes the selection of audit issues, conducting audits, and effectively managing its office.

Crucial Role in Public Financial Management

The CAG’s role in Public Financial Management cannot be overstated. It advises the government on the maintenance of accounts for both Union and State Governments. The office of CAG ensures that public finances are efficiently managed and accounted for.

Auditing for Transparency and Accountability

The heart of the CAG’s role lies in auditing. It conducts audits of accounts of Union and State Governments, meticulously scrutinizing financial transactions. The audited accounts and Audit Reports are submitted to the highest authorities, including the President of India, State Governors, and Administrators of Union Territories. This process ensures transparency and accountability in financial systems.

A Nationwide Audit Mandate

The CAG doesn’t limit its scope to a specific tier of government; it has a nationwide audit mandate. This mandate encompasses all three tiers of the federal structure of governance: the Union Government and State/UT Governments. Its audit jurisdiction extends beyond government departments to attached and subordinate offices, autonomous bodies, statutory authorities, and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).

Parliamentary Oversight

The CAG’s Audit Reports play a crucial role in the functioning of the government. These reports are presented to Parliament and State legislatures. Legislative Committees select specific Audit Reports for in-depth examination. The CAG serves as a friend, philosopher, and guide to these committees, suggesting focus areas and highlighting issues of concern.

Diverse Types of Audits

The CAG’s audits come in three primary types.

  • Financial Attest Audit: Ensures the accuracy and correctness of financial statements of the audited entity.
  • Compliance Audit: Verifies adherence to applicable rules, regulations, and procedures.
  • Performance Audit: Assesses whether the operational systems of the entity operate with economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Significance of CAG Audits

CAG audits are significant in multiple ways. They prompt good governance by driving policy changes, design improvements, and mid-course corrections. Audit Reports not only contain budgetary observations but also provide macro fiscal analysis, offering insights into key financial indicators, fiscal sustainability, and more.

Tax Receipt Audits

The CAG’s audit process doesn’t stop at regular financial audits. It extends to auditing tax receipts, revealing instances of under-assessed taxes, unrecovered receivables, and potential losses requiring recovery. In 2021-22, recoveries of Rs 25,571 crore were accepted by both the Union and State Governments.

Audit of Government Companies

Apart from government accounts, the CAG conducts audits of government-owned companies. These audits often bring to light classification errors, misstatements, financial irregularities, and issues related to corporate governance.

Recent Reforms

In line with the evolving digital landscape, governments in India have embraced digitalization. The government have implemented the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), a comprehensive system for payment, receipt, accounting, and management information. This has enhanced transparency in financial administration.

Furthermore, an institutional framework for the digital audit of Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues has been established. Recent audits of government schemes, such as MGNREGA, PM Awaas Yojana, DDUGJY, SAUBHAGYA, AIBP, and NRHM, have brought systemic issues to light, including fund releases, unspent balances, and financial irregularities.


The CAG of India stands as a pillar of financial accountability and good governance. It upholds the trust placed by taxpayers and investors in Indian enterprises. The institution’s commitment to professionalism, competence, social awareness, and the provision of credible assurance on the collection and utilization of public resources makes it a torchbearer of good governance in India. In an era of evolving financial systems, the CAG’s role remains pivotal in ensuring transparency, accountability, and efficient financial management.

3. Parliamentary committees: Strengthening the scope and role.


Parliamentary Committees are indispensable components of a democratic legislature, serving as vital instruments to scrutinize the government’s work, assess proposed bills, and bring transparency to the legislative process. As we delve into the world of parliamentary committees, we explore their significance, types, and the areas that require attention and reform.

  • The Significance of Parliamentary Committees:

Promoting Informed Debates

Parliament functions in two distinct modes: on the floor of the House and within Committees. Committees play a pivotal role in promoting informed debates in Parliament. Reports generated by these Committees provide well-researched insights that enable parliamentarians to make informed decisions.

Building Consensus

Additionally, Committees serve as forums for consensus-building across party lines. By providing a platform for members to work collaboratively, they foster cooperation, reducing political polarization in the decision-making process.

Expert Consultation

Committees also facilitate expert consultation, allowing members to engage with specialists and stakeholders. This interaction enhances the quality of bills and policy decisions by incorporating a wider spectrum of opinions and expertise.

  • Types of Parliamentary Committees

Subject Committees

These Committees ensure oversight over various ministries and are crucial for reviewing proposed laws, selecting subjects for in-depth examinations, and scrutinizing ministry budgets. By design, ministers are not eligible to be members, preserving independence and objectivity.

Financial Committees

Financial Committees include the Estimates Committee, the Committee on Public Undertakings (CoPU), and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). They focus on scrutinizing the government’s budget and expenditure. The absence of ministers in these Committees prevents any undue influence.

Other Committees

Various other Committees, such as the Committee on Privileges and the Committee on Petitions, handle specialized tasks, including breaches of parliamentary privileges and public complaints.

  • Areas for Improvement

Referring Bills to Committees

Currently, Bills are not automatically referred to Committees, leaving the decision to the Speaker or Chairman, in consultation with the presenting Minister. A key reform is to refer all Bills to Committees, ensuring a consistent level of parliamentary scrutiny.

Attendance of MPs

An issue affecting the effectiveness of Committees is the low attendance of Members of Parliament (MPs). The need for greater participation in Committee meetings is evident, as the average attendance for subject Committees in the 17th Lok Sabha was a mere 47%.

Shortage of Technical Staff and Experts

Enhancing the technical support available to Parliamentary Committees is essential. Currently, support is limited to secretarial roles, hindering comprehensive inquiry. Models from other democracies, such as Canada’s provision of research staff, could be adopted to bolster committee capabilities.

Public Transparency

While Committee reports are made public, their internal proceedings often lack transparency. A vital reform would be the discussion of major Committee reports in Parliament, particularly in cases of disagreement with the Central Government.

Proposed Reforms

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2002) recommended several key reforms for Parliamentary Committees. Among them were the establishment of three new Committees: the Constitution Committee, the Committee on National Economy, and the Committee on Legislation. These new Committees could address current needs more effectively.


In conclusion, Parliamentary Committees are indispensable in promoting accountability and good governance. By enhancing their functioning and addressing pertinent issues, Parliament can realize a more robust legislative process that accommodates a broader spectrum of opinions and expertise. Reforms aimed at increasing transparency, improving attendance, and extending technical support are crucial steps toward a more effective and responsive democratic system.

4. The Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023

  • Data Protection Legislation Overview:
    • The Act governs the processing of digital personal data while respecting individuals’ rights and lawful data processing requirements.
    • It emphasizes the dual goals of safeguarding personal data and facilitating legitimate data processing activities.=
  • Protection of Digital Personal Data:
    • The Act primarily safeguards digital personal data, which can identify individuals.
    • It places obligations on Data Fiduciaries, encompassing individuals, companies, and government entities involved in data processing.
    • It outlines the rights and responsibilities of Data Principals, who are the subjects of the data.
    • The Act enforces financial penalties for violations of rights, duties, and obligations.
  • Seven Core Principles:
    • The Act is founded on seven key principles:
    • Consent, Legality, and Transparency: Personal data should be used with informed consent, legally, and transparently.
    • Purpose Limitation: Data should be utilized only for the specific purpose initially consented to by the Data Principal.
    • Data Minimization: Collect only the necessary personal data to serve the specified purpose.
    • Data Accuracy: Ensure data is correct and up-to-date.
    • Storage Limitation: Retain data only for the duration required for the specified purpose.
    • Reasonable Safeguards: Implement appropriate measures to protect data.
    • Accountability: Address data breaches and Act violations through adjudication, accompanied by penalties for non-compliance.
  • Gender-Neutral Language:
    • A noteworthy aspect of the Act is the use of gender-neutral language, recognizing women’s participation in parliamentary law-making.
  • Individual Rights:
    • The Act confers specific rights to individuals, including:
    • Right to Access Information: Individuals have the right to access details about their processed personal data.
    • Right to Correction and Erasure: Data Principals can request corrections or removal of their data.
    • Right to Grievance Redressal: Individuals have the right to seek resolution for data-related grievances.
    • Right to Nominate a Representative: In cases of death or incapacity, individuals can designate someone to exercise their data-related rights.
  • Child Data Protection:
    • The Act extends protection to children’s personal data, requiring Data Fiduciaries to obtain parental consent before processing data related to children.


         The Data Protection Act establishes a comprehensive framework, balancing individual rights and lawful data processing. It marks gender inclusivity and empowers individuals with data rights while safeguarding children’s data through parental consent, reflecting the evolving digital landscape.

5. Law Commission Of India

  • The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body appointed by the Government of India (GoI), the Ministry of Law and Justice (MoL&J), and the Department of Legal Affairs.
  • It conducts research and provides recommendations on legal matters based on specific terms of reference.
  • The Commission also handles subjects referred by the Department of Legal Affairs, Supreme Court (SC), and High Courts (HCs).
  • The 22nd Law Commission, formed in February 2020, has a 3-year term extended to August 31, 2024.
  • Composition includes a full-time Chairperson, four full-time Members, ex-officio Members, and up to five part-time Members.
  • Functioning involves addressing references from GoI, SC, and HCs and sometimes taking up matters suo moto.
  • The Commission evaluates data, opinions, and suggestions to prepare a final report.

Reports are laid before Parliament, forwarded to Ministries for potential action, and may be cited in legal and public discourse.

6. Direct Tax Reforms.


Direct tax reforms in India have been instrumental in ensuring revenue growth and maintaining a stable and predictable tax regime. These reforms address the challenges of redundancy in tax incentives, tax competition, and the need for an efficient tax collection system. This article delves into the key aspects of direct tax reforms and their outcomes.

Removing Exemptions and Deductions: Fostering Fairness and Investment

  • Addressing Redundant Incentives: A study conducted by the IMF, OECD, UN, and World Bank in 2015 highlighted the redundancy of tax incentives in attracting investments in developing countries. Such incentives often result in unhealthy tax competition.
  • Corporate Tax Reforms: The removal of exemptions and deductions for corporate taxpayers began in 2015-16, promoting fairness and revenue generation. This process continued even during the COVID pandemic, underscoring the commitment to a stable tax regime.
  • Personal Income Tax Simplification: In 2020, a simplified personal income tax regime with lower rates and without exemptions/deductions was introduced. The Finance Act of 2023 further lowered the tax rates in this regime, enhancing its attractiveness.

Widening and Deepening the Tax Base: Strengthening Revenue Sources

  • Introduction of TDS and TCS: The government initiated various measures to expand the tax base, including the introduction of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) and Tax Collection at Source (TCS) for transactions such as rent, e-commerce operations, and digital asset transactions.
  • Dealing with Undisclosed Foreign Income/Assets: The enactment of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income & Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, addressed the issue of undisclosed foreign income/assets stashed abroad.
  • Promoting Digital Transactions: Amendments were made to encourage digital transactions over cash transactions, promoting transparency and accountability.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Efficiency: Encouraging Compliance

  • Facilitating Compliance through Reporting: Initiatives were taken to ensure taxpayers voluntarily comply with tax laws. This approach relies on reporting and transparency to promote fairness.
  • E-Verification Scheme: The introduction of an e-Verification scheme allows taxpayers to update their returns conveniently, facilitating compliance.
  • Faceless Assessment and Appeal: The implementation of a faceless system for assessment and appeal enhances the efficiency of the income tax department, making the process more convenient for taxpayers.

Reducing Tax Litigation: Enhancing Tax Certainty

  • Advance Pricing Agreements (APA): APAs have been highly effective in reducing litigation in transfer pricing cases, offering certainty on various tax issues and minimizing disputes.
  • Remarkable Results: These reforms have led to a significant increase in direct tax collection, with a buoyancy of more than 1. This indicates that direct tax growth outpaces GDP growth, underscoring the efficiency of tax collection and the positive impact of reforms.


Direct tax reforms in India have demonstrated their effectiveness in enhancing revenue collection, ensuring fairness, and reducing tax disputes. The success of these reforms has laid the foundation for continuous tax policy improvements and further efforts to facilitate ease of doing business in the country.



  • The Competition Law, enforced by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), aims to safeguard the interests of both consumers and businesses by fostering a competitive market environment and preventing anti-competitive practices.
  • It ensures fair competition, a level playing field, and encourages innovation and efficiency.

CCI’s Mandate and Advocacy:

  • CCI, established in 2003 under the Competition Act of 2002, is entrusted with preventing anti-competitive practices, promoting and sustaining competition, and protecting consumers’ interests.
  • Advocacy initiatives and policy recommendations by CCI further promote pro-competitive policies.

CCI’s Role in Markets and Tools:

  • Deriving authority from the Competition Act, CCI focuses on correcting the abuse of dominance to ensure a healthy competitive ecosystem.

Tools employed by CCI include:

  • Advocacy: Publication of booklets in multiple languages for stakeholder guidance.
  • Anti-Competitive Agreements Detection: Monitoring and investigating agreements that violate the Competition Act, such as cartels, price-fixing, and bid-rigging.
  • Abuse of Dominance Assessments: Scrutinizing the conduct of dominant firms to prevent exploitation and exclusion of new entrants.
  • Fines and Penalties: Imposing penalties for abuse of dominance and cartels to deter anti-competitive behavior.
  • International Cooperation: Entering MOUs with foreign counterparts to facilitate effective collaboration.
  • Merger Control: Evaluating proposed transactions to prevent adverse effects on competition.
  • Remedies: Requiring corrective actions to address competition concerns.

International Cartels:

  • An International Cartel exists when cartel enterprises operate across different countries.
  • Examples include cartels engaging in price-fixing, bid-rigging, and market allocation schemes.

Competition and Consumer Protection:

  • While not explicitly addressing consumer rights, Competition Law prioritizes consumers by fostering a market free from anti-competitive forces.
  • It maintains consumer choice by sustaining competitive market conditions.

Competition and Business Relations:

  • Competition plays a crucial role in shaping how businesses operate, innovate, and interact.
  • It creates an environment where businesses are pushed to meet consumer needs effectively.
  • Well-implemented competition regulation serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurial markets and enhances the international competitiveness of domestic businesses.


  • Competition law serves as a bridge between businesses and consumers, benefiting both by fostering innovation and providing a diverse array of choices.
  • Businesses identify and address consumer needs, leading to the development of better products and services.
  • Consumers, in turn, gain access to a competitive market, promoting a dynamic and thriving economic landscape.



  • The enactment of the Consumer Protection Act in 2019 marked a pivotal moment in India’s consumer protection landscape, addressing the challenges posed by globalization, online platforms, and the burgeoning e-commerce markets.
  • This legislative move was a strategic replacement of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, reflecting the need for an updated framework.

Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) and Expanded Consumer Definition:

  • A significant stride was the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) under the 2019 Act, serving as a centralized entity overseeing consumer protection.
  • The Act wisely broadened the definition of ‘consumer’ to encompass individuals engaging in online or electronic transactions, aligning with the contemporary dynamics of consumer behaviour.

Advertisement Standards and Guidelines:

  • Recognizing the impact of advertisements on consumer choices, the Act introduced a comprehensive definition, covering various mediums, including electronic media, the internet, and websites.
  • In 2022, the CCPA issued the ‘Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements,’ emphasizing due diligence in endorsements to curb misleading advertisements. This initiative aims to shield consumers from exploitation and misinformation.

E-commerce Regulation and Consumer Protection Rules:

  • In tandem with the Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 were launched by the Department of Consumer Affairs. These rules provide a structured framework to safeguard consumers from unfair trade practices in the realm of e-commerce.
  • Emphasizing transparency and accountability, the rules delineate the responsibilities of e-commerce entities and specify the liabilities of both marketplace and inventory e-commerce entities.
  • To further fortify consumer rights, e-commerce platforms are urged to display information as per the E-Commerce Rules, ensuring that consumers have access to critical details such as return policies, refunds, and grievance redressal mechanisms.

Combatting Dark Patterns:

  • As the digital landscape evolves, so do deceptive practices. The emergence of “dark patterns,” involving design and choice architecture to deceive or coerce consumers, is addressed by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • E-commerce companies are urged to refrain from engaging in such practices that may fall under the category of dark patterns, ensuring that consumer choices are made in their best interests.


  • The holistic consumer protection framework in India, with the Consumer Protection Act at its core, signifies a proactive response to the complexities of the modern market.
  • By incorporating CCPA, stringent rules for e-commerce, and guidelines against deceptive advertisements and dark patterns, the framework aims to create a secure and transparent environment, safeguarding consumer interests in an era of rapid technological advancement.

9. Role of Constitutional Bodies in Strengthening Democracy.


The bedrock of Indian democracy lies in the presence and functioning of constitutional bodies, crucial entities that have played a pivotal role in shaping and expanding the democratic landscape. The robustness of Indian democracy owes much to the existence of these institutions, which have evolved and adapted to include a more extensive and diverse population.

Foundations of Democracy:

At the heart of democratic governance is the fundamental philosophy that people should actively participate in the decision-making process. This belief stems from the understanding that collective decisions, considering various perspectives, are more balanced and thoughtful than individual judgments. Constitutional bodies serve as the institutional framework that facilitates and nurtures this democratic ethos.

Role of Constitutional Bodies:

Indian Parliament:

  • The Indian Parliament stands as the most essential democratic body, responsible for enacting laws through a system of direct or indirect election. Its role is indispensable in establishing and fortifying democracy based on the principle of majority decision-making.

Protection of Fundamental Rights and Judiciary:

  • Part III of the Indian Constitution ensures the provision of Fundamental Rights, safeguarded by an independent judiciary. This constitutional body is vital in protecting individual rights, serving as a check on potential overreach by legislative majorities.

Courts as Guardians of the Constitution:

  • Courts, as constitutional bodies, assume the critical duty of safeguarding the Constitution itself. The evolution of doctrines such as the ‘Basic Structure’ principle, as seen in the Kesavananda Bharati case, exemplifies their role in limiting the powers of the Parliament, reinforcing the Constitution’s sanctity.

Other Constitutional Bodies:

  • Various constitutional bodies, including the Election Commission of India, Union Public Service Commission, and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, contribute significantly to establishing the ‘rule of law’ in the country. These bodies ensure fair elections, uphold bureaucratic integrity, and maintain financial accountability.

Rule of Law Governance System:

In a ‘rule of law’ governance system, constitutional bodies play a crucial role. The supremacy of the law is emphasized, with every individual and institution subordinated to it. This structure eliminates the scope for discretionary and arbitrary decision-making, promoting a fair and just society.

Endurance of Indian Democracy:

The endurance and resilience of Indian democracy can be attributed to the presence of these powerful constitutional bodies. Beyond establishing procedural requirements, they uphold democratic ideals, ensure the rule of law, and protect the rights of citizens. Their collective efforts contribute to the vibrancy and sustainability of the democratic fabric in India.



In the past decade, India has undergone a remarkable transformation in its administrative landscape, particularly in the realm of e-Governance. These reforms have not only simplified the citizen’s interaction with the government but have also fostered transparency, bringing the government and its citizens closer.

E-Governance Models:

The Central Government’s initiatives, such as Ayushman Bharat, PM’s Jan Arogya Yojana, PM’s Jan Dhan Yojana, One Nation-One Ration Card, and Passport Sewa Kendras, have been pivotal in this transformation.

These e-Governance models have successfully brought transparency and openness to various government processes. Embracing the policy of ‘Maximum Governance-Minimum Government,’ the Prime Minister envisions a digitally empowered citizen and institution, leading to a radical change in the scale, scope, and learning paradigms of India’s governance.

Effective Grievance Redressal:

The implementation of the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) stands out as a cornerstone of administrative reform. In 2022, a staggering 18,19,104 grievances were received, and an impressive 15,68,097 were redressed.

The average disposal time of grievances by Central Ministries and Departments significantly improved from 32 days in 2021 to 19 days in the first half of 2023. The 10-step CPGRAMS reforms, aimed at enhancing the quality of disposal and reducing timelines, received commendation from the Parliamentary Standing Committee, affirming the positive impact of these reforms.

Benchmarking Governance:

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) undertakes a biannual assessment of governance through the Good Governance Index (GGI). This comprehensive framework evaluates the governance of States and UTs, fostering healthy competition for improvement.

The National e-Services Delivery Assessment (NeSDA) complements this by assessing the state of e-services delivery across the nation.

Secretariat Reforms:

Deep-rooted Secretariat Reforms have been implemented, focusing on delayering, delegation of financial powers, adoption of e-office, and the Special Campaign 2.0 for cleanliness and minimized pendency.


India’s commitment to Next Generation Administrative Reforms from 2014-2023 is evident in the concerted efforts to enhance administrative systems. These reforms aim to serve the core functions of nation-building and create an inclusive state, ensuring a more efficient, transparent, and citizen-centric governance structure.



The empowerment of women is not just about individual progress but the advancement of an entire generation. Recognizing this, successive governments in India have implemented various initiatives aimed at fostering women’s well-being and ensuring their equal participation in society.

Government Initiatives:

  • Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (2015): Addresses the declining child sex ratio. Promotes the education and welfare of girls.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) (2017): Provides financial assistance to pregnant and lactating women.
  • Mahila e-Haat (2016): An online platform supporting women entrepreneurs and artisans.
  • Ujjwala Yojana (2016): Provides free LPG connections to women from below-poverty-line households.
  • Stand Up India (2016): Encourages entrepreneurship among women and Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe individuals. Offers bank loans between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore for setting up greenfield enterprises.

Legal Changes:

Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (Nirbhaya Act):

  • Significantly amends laws concerning sexual offences.
  • Establishes the Nirbhaya Fund supporting women’s safety and empowerment.

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017:

  • Extends maternity leave for women in the organized sector from 12 to 26 weeks.

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019:

  • Strengthens the protection of children from sexual offences.

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019:

  • Criminalizes the practice of instant triple talaq (divorce) among Muslim men.

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013:

  • Mandates the establishment of internal committees in workplaces to address complaints of sexual harassment.

Way Forward:

Ending Child Marriage:

  • Implement and enforce laws setting the minimum age for marriage.
  • Promote girls’ education and raise awareness about the harmful consequences of early marriage.

Political Empowerment:

  • Encourage political parties to nominate more women candidates.
  • Provide leadership training and address systemic barriers for equal representation.

Economic Empowerment:

  • Promote equal pay, establish maternity leave and childcare policies.
  • Provide access to finance and entrepreneurship training.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights:

  • Ensure access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.

Land Rights:

  • Enact and enforce legislation for equal access to land, property rights, and inheritance.

Gender Budgeting:

  • Establish comprehensive systems to track public allocations for gender equality initiatives.


In adopting these measures, India can continue on the path of empowering women holistically, fostering a society where gender equality is not just a goal but a lived reality.



The National Research Foundation (NRF) is set to revolutionize India’s research, innovation, and entrepreneurship sectors. The proposed NRF Bill aims to significantly enhance research and development (R&D) spending in the country while establishing an apex body to provide strategic direction in scientific research.


  • Strategic Direction: NRF will provide high-level strategic guidance for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship across various fields.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: It will promote interfaces between science and technology with the humanities and social sciences.

Administrative Structure:

  • Apex Body: NRF will function as an apex body overseeing scientific research in India.
  • Administrative Department: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will serve as the administrative department.
  • Governing Board: A Governing Board comprising eminent researchers and professionals from diverse disciplines will steer NRF.
  • Leadership: The Prime Minister will serve as the ex-officio President of the Board, with the Union Ministers of Science & Technology and Education as ex-officio Vice-Presidents.
  • Executive Council: NRF’s operations will be governed by an Executive Council, chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

Collaborative Approach:

  • Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration: NRF will facilitate collaborations among industry, academia, government departments, and research institutions.

Legislative Changes:

  • Repealing SERB: The NRF Act will repeal the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), originally established in 2008.
  • Expanded Mandate: NRF will subsume SERB, inheriting its activities and responsibilities but with an expanded mandate.


The National Research Foundation is poised to become a catalyst for transformative change in India’s research ecosystem. With an enhanced focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and increased R&D spending, NRF is set to propel India towards new frontiers of scientific and technological advancements.

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