UPSC Daily Current Affairs - 17th February 2023

UPSC Daily Current Affairs – Mains [17th February 2023]

GS 1

Small States

Syllabus: Post Independence: State reorganization

Source: TOI

In News

The demand for new states from various groups and organizations has been a topic of discussion in the news for a long time. One such recent demand came from the TIPRA Motha Party, which called for the creation of a new state called Greater Tipraland.

Smaller States – Required Vs Not Required


  • Creating smaller states can improve economic efficiency, as evidenced by the better performance of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand compared to larger states like MP and Bihar.
  • Smaller states tend to do better economically and in terms of governance, as demonstrated by the per capita GDP of Uttar Pradesh compared to other countries and the easier governance made possible by linguistic and cultural homogeneity.
  • The creation of smaller states facilitates decentralization, allows for local needs and demands to be taken into account, and enables quicker and more efficient decision-making.

Not required:

  • The creation of more states can result in inter-state disputes and complications.
  • Smaller states do not necessarily guarantee better governance or economic progress, as evidenced by larger states like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
  • The creation of smaller states does not automatically lead to democratic decentralization and can instead concentrate power in the hands of a few.
  • Creating smaller states requires significant funds, as seen in the establishment of Amravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The myth that smaller states respond better and faster was challenged by the Uttarakhand floods, which demonstrated the inadequacy of a small state in responding.
  • The creation of smaller states can result in the hegemony of dominant castes or religions.

Various Committees and Recommendations

  • Dhar Commission: A commission constituted by the Government of India in 1948 to examine the demand for a separate Telangana state within the Indian Union, and to recommend measures to ensure the development of the region. The commission’s report recommended the establishment of a separate Telangana state, but the recommendation was not implemented at the time.
  • JVP Committee: A committee constituted by the Government of India in 1963 to examine the demand for a separate state of Jharkhand, to be carved out of Bihar. The committee recommended the formation of a separate Jharkhand state, but the recommendation was not implemented immediately.
  • State Reorganization Commission (Fazal Ali Commission): A commission constituted by the Government of India in 1953 to recommend the reorganization of state boundaries in India on a linguistic basis. The commission’s report recommended the creation of states based on linguistic and cultural identities, leading to the formation of several new states in India.
  • States Reorganization Act 1956: A legislation passed by the Indian Parliament in 1956, based on the recommendations of the Fazal Ali Commission, which led to the creation of several new states and union territories in India based on linguistic and cultural identities. The act also defined the powers and responsibilities of the new states and union territories.

GS 2

Cadaver organ transplants

Syllabus: Government Policies


In News

The Union Health Ministry of India has removed the age limit of 65 years for organ transplants from a dead donor, which was earlier considered the maximum age for organ donation. This move is expected to improve the availability of organs for transplant and increase the chances of survival for patients with organ failure, regardless of their age.

New guidelines related to organ donation and transplantation:

  • Elderly individuals can now register to receive organs from deceased donors, as the age cap of 65 years has been removed.
  • Previously, the NOTTO guidelines barred the elderly from receiving organs, which was deemed a violation of their right to life.
  • While preference will still be given to younger recipients, those above the age of 65 will not be completely excluded from the process.
  • Patients can now register for a transplant in any state, regardless of their domicile, and will be allotted a unique ID by NOTTO to help in creating a ‘One Nation One Policy‘ for organ donation and transplantation.
  • The Health Ministry has requested that states stop charging registration fees to patients, and a chapter on organ donation awareness will be introduced in the school curriculum to increase awareness.

Status of organ donation in India:

  • The most commonly transplanted organs in India are kidneys, followed by liver and heart.
  • Despite the increase in the number of transplants, there is still a significant gap between the number of organs needed and the number available for transplantation. This leads to long waiting times and a high mortality rate for patients on the waiting list.
  • There are several challenges that hinder organ donation and transplantation in India, including a lack of awareness, inadequate infrastructure, and legal and ethical issues. For example, the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, which regulates organ donation and transplantation in India, has been criticized for being too complex and restrictive.
  • There have been efforts to address these challenges and promote organ donation in India. For instance, there are campaigns to increase public awareness and encourage more people to pledge their organs.
    • Additionally, there are initiatives to improve the infrastructure for organ donation and transplantation, such as the establishment of NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization) and SOTTO (State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization) in various states.

Measures to improve Organ transplantation in India

  1. Strengthening infrastructure: This includes the establishment of more organ retrieval centres, transport facilities and improving the storage and preservation of organs.
  2. Simplifying legal and regulatory procedures: The government can simplify the procedures for organ retrieval, allocation, and transportation to ensure that they are not delayed by bureaucratic red tape.
  3. Incentivizing organ donation: The government can provide tax incentives to families of organ donors or even offer monetary compensation.
  4. Increasing public-private partnerships: The government can partner with private organizations and hospitals to improve infrastructure, awareness, and increase the number of transplants.
  5. Ensuring equitable distribution: The government can ensure that organs are distributed fairly among states and regions so that there is no discrimination based on geographic location.

GS 3

Investing in an In-House Research & Development

Syllabus: Indian Economy, development and employment

Source: BS

Status of R&D (Research and Development) globally and in India


  • Around $2 trillion is invested in R&D globally each year, which amounts to a little over 2% of GDP.
  • The top five countries in R&D investment are the US, China, Japan, Germany, and South Korea, which combined account for 75% of global R&D spending.
  • The top five industries investing in R&D are Pharmaceuticals, Automobiles, Technology Hardware, Software, and Electronics, which together account for almost 73% of all industrial R&D.


  • India is the world’s fifth-largest economy, but it ranks 16th in total R&D investment, falling below Israel.
  • Indian firms invest around 3% of GDP in in-house R&D, which is higher than the global average of 1.5%.
  • Only 24 firms from India are among the top 2,500 investors in R&D worldwide, according to a report by the European Commission. For example, TCS, Wipro, and Infosys are among the Indian companies on the list.

Why is there low industrial R&D investment in India?

  • Limited presence in top industrial sectors: India has no firms in five of the 10 top industrial sectors, such as technology hardware and electronic equipment.
  • Inadequate investment by firms: Although Tata Motors is the top-ranked R&D investment firm in India with an annual R&D spend of $3.5 billion, it stands only at the 58th position globally.
  • Smaller sizes and lower technology levels of Indian firms: Indian software firms mainly serve as service firms to the world’s product firms.
  • Low R&D investment by software firms: India’s top 10 software firms invest only 1% in R&D, which is significantly lower than the 8% invested by China.

Measures taken to increase industrial R&D investment in India include:

  • Setting up Research Parks and Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Providing tax incentives and a negative list of imports (especially in the defence sector) to encourage R&D activities and reduce dependency on foreign technology.
  • Technology partnership and transfer of technology in sectors like space and defence.
  • Setting up Innovation Clusters to promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing among researchers, industries and institutions.
  • National Research Foundation to fund competitive, peer-reviewed grant proposals from universities, colleges, and higher learning institutions.
  • IMPRINT initiative to provide solutions in 10 selected technology domains.
  • Atal Tinkering Labs to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds and promote skills such as design thinking, computational thinking, adaptive learning, etc.
  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Laws, including India’s domestic IPR laws, to foster IPR creation and curtail its violation.

Measures to boost R&D in India

  1. Increase funding for R&D: The government can increase funding for R&D by allocating a higher percentage of the budget to research and innovation.
  2. Encourage private sector investment: The government can offer tax incentives and other benefits to encourage private sector investment in R&D.
  3. Foster collaboration between academia and industry: There should be greater collaboration between academic institutions and the industry to encourage innovation and research.
  4. Promote entrepreneurship: The government can provide support for entrepreneurs to start their own R&D ventures and provide incentives for innovation.
  5. Develop a skilled workforce: India needs to focus on developing a skilled workforce by providing training and education in science and technology.
  6. Facilitate technology transfer: The government can facilitate technology transfer by providing support for licensing and commercialization of intellectual property.
  7. Develop a robust IP regime: A robust intellectual property regime can encourage innovation by protecting the rights of innovators and creators.
  8. Encourage R&D exports: The government can encourage R&D exports by setting up dedicated R&D exports hubs and providing support for international collaborations.

For Daily Current Affairs Click Here

Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE
Follow our Instagram ID HERE

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *