GS 2 Mains 2023: Important Data and Key Findings of Reports to Quote in Mains Answers

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Recent Amendments to the Constitution

The following are the recent amendments to the Indian Constitution:

S.NO Amendments Objectives
105th CAA Modification of Articles 342A, 366 (26c) and 338B (9)

It restored state governments’ power to prepare the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) list. As per the Supreme Court, the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act implied that the state governments did not have the authority to identify the SEBC. It also stated that the National Commission for Backward Classes' powers and responsibilities (consulted on all policy issues and honor) did not apply to the independent State lists. It indicated that States do not require to consult the National Commission.

104th CAA Article 33 To extend the reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and states assemblies from Seventy years to Eighty years. Removed the reserved seats for the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies
103rd CAA Articles 15 and 16 A maximum of 10% Reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs) of citizens of classes other than the classes mentioned in clauses (4) and (5) of Article 15, i.e. Classes other than socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Inserted Clause [6] under Article 15 as well as Inserted Clause [6] under Article 16.
102nd CAA

Addition of articles 338B, 342A, and Added Clause 26C.

Modification of articles 338, 366

Constitutional status to National Commission for Backward Classes
101st CAA

Addition of articles 246A, 269A, 279A. Deletion of Article 268A

Amendment of articles 248, 249, 250, 268, 269, 270, 271, 286, 366, 368, Sixth Schedule, Seventh Schedule.

Introduced the Goods and Services Tax.
100th CAA Amendment of First Schedule to Constitution Exchange of certain enclave territories with Bangladesh and conferment of citizenship rights to residents of enclaves consequent to the signing of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) Treaty between India and Bangladesh.


Center-state Relations

Doctrine of Pleasure – Governor

  • The issue: In an unprecedented move, the Governor of Tamil Nadu dismissed a minister from the Council of Ministers (CoM) of the TN government independently of the CM and its CoM.
  • Constitutional Provision:
    • Under Article 164 of the Constitution, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor without any advice from anyone. But he appoints the individual Ministers only on the advice of the Chief Minister.
    • The Article implies that the Governor cannot appoint an individual Minister according to his discretion. So, logically, the Governor can dismiss a Minister only on the advice of the Chief Minister.
    • The reason is simple. The Chief Minister alone has the discretion to choose his Ministers. He decides who the Ministers of his Council will be. He also decides who will not remain as a Minister in his Council.
    • This is a political decision of the Chief Minister, who is ultimately answerable to the people. The Constitution has not transferred the discretion of the Chief Minister to the Governor.
  • Judicial Pronouncements:
    • In Shamsher Singh and Anr vs State Of Punjab (1974), a seven- judge Constitution Bench declared the Law on the Powers of a Governor in the Republic must be exercised only on the aid and advice of CoM headed by the CM.
    • In Nabam Rebia vs Deputy Speaker, a Constitution Bench of five judges reaffirmed the law laid down in Shamsher Singh and further held that the discretionary powers of the Governor are limited to the postulates of Article 163(1).
    • The Court also set aside the decisions in the Mahabir Prasad Sharma and Pratapsing Raojirao Rane cases, where it was held that the Governor can exercise power under Article 164 in an unfettered manner.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023

  • The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, also known as the Delhi Services Bill, was passed in the Lok Sabha on August 3, 2023.
  • The bill amends the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, which provides the framework for the functioning of the Legislative Assembly and the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
  • The key features of the bill include:
    • National Capital Civil Services Authority: The bill establishes the National Capital Civil Services Authority, which consists of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary of Delhi, Principal Home Secretary of Delhi, and other members appointed by the central government. Officers serving in connection with the subjects of police, public order, and land will not come under the Authority’s purview.
    • Powers of the Lieutenant Governor: The bill clarifies that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, except in matters relating to public order, police, and land.
    • Rules by the Central Government: The bill empowers the central government to make rules in matters relating to services, public order, and land, in consultation with the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
  • The bill has sparked intense debate and opposition, with critics arguing that it undermines the powers of the elected government of Delhi and gives more power to the Lieutenant Governor, who is appointed by the central government.
Judiciary and its performance
  • Vacancies: 
    • As on 21.03.2023, there is no vacancy of Judges in the Supreme Court. As far as the High Courts are concerned, against the sanctioned strength of 1114 Judges, 785 Judges are working and 329 posts of Judges are vacant.
    • The Allahabad High Court has a maximum of 82 vacancies against the sanctioned strength of 160.
    • Punjab and Haryana High Court with 39 (sanctioned strength of 85) and Madras High Court with 37.
    • The total sanctioned strength of judicial officers in district and subordinate courts is 21,320. Of these, 16,383 have been filled, leaving 4,937 vacancies.
  • Number of Judges per a million population:

    The USA 100
    Canada 75
    The UK 50
    India 19
  • The judgment made by the Supreme Court in the All India Judges Assoc. vs Union of India (2001) which directed the central government to increase the number of judges to 50 per a million population by 2006, has not been implemented yet.
  • Case Load: 
    • India now has almost 4 crore pending cases spanning the Supreme Court, various high courts, and the numerous district and subordinate courts, according to written replies submitted by the Ministry of Law and Justice in Parliament.
    • As of September 2020, the Supreme Court has 62,054 pending cases.
    • As of September 2020, the pending cases in high courts have risen 51.5 lakh.
    • District and subordinate courts, too, saw a 6.6% increase to 3.4 crore cases as of September 2022.
    • it was estimated in 2016 that judicial delays cost India around 1.5% of its GDP annually.
    • The pendency of cases in courts is not only due to shortage of judges in High Courts but also due to various other factors like:
      • increase in number of state and central legislations,
      • accumulation of first appeals,
      • continuation of ordinary civil jurisdiction in some of the High Courts,
      • appeals against orders of quasi-judicial forums going to High Courts,
      • number of revisions/appeals,
      • frequent adjournments,
      • indiscriminate use of writ jurisdiction,
      • ack of adequate arrangement to monitor, tracking and bunching of cases for hearing,
      • assigning work of administrative nature to the Judges, etc.
  • Retirement age of judges:
    • Disparity between the retirement ages of High Court and Supreme Court judges; High Court judges now retire at 62 and Supreme Court judges at 65.
    • Doing away with this disparity and increasing the age of retirement for both High Court and Supreme Court judges will reduce the burden of pending cases in higher judiciary.
  • Federalism in Judiciary – Whether the Supreme Court and High Courts are Equal in Status?
    • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar stated in the Constituent Assembly: “The Indian Federation though a dual polity has no dual judiciary at all. The High Courts and the Supreme Court form one single integrated judiciary having jurisdiction and providing remedies in all cases arising under the constitutional law, the civil law or the criminal law.”
    • The Indian Constitution envisaged the equality of power of High Court judges and Supreme Court judges, with a High Court judge not being a subordinate of a Supreme Court judge.
    • The Supreme Court has, on many occasions, reiterated the position that the Supreme Court is superior to the High Court only in the appellate sense.
    • Therefore, the theoretical position has always been that High Court judges and Supreme Court judges are equals.
    • In recent years, three specific trends have greatly eroded the standing of the High Court, leading to an imbalance in the federal structure of the judiciary:
      • First, the Supreme Court (or rather, a section of its judges, called “the Collegium”) has the power to appoint judges and chief justices to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. This Collegium also has the power to transfer judges and chief justices from one High Court to another.
      • Second, successive governments have passed laws that create parallel judicial systems of courts and tribunals which provide for direct appeals to the Supreme Court, bypassing the High Courts.
      • Third, the Supreme Court has been liberal in entertaining cases pertaining to trifling matters.
Important SC Judgments
  • A.K. Gopalan Case (1950)
    • This Supreme Court ruling is notable because it marked the first instance in which the court meaningfully considered and interpreted important fundamental rights protected by the constitution, including articles 19 and 21.
    • The SC ruled that as long as the imprisonment followed the legal process, there was no infringement of the Fundamental Rights entrenched in Articles 13, 19, 21, and 22 under the Preventive Detention Act's provisions. In this case, the SC interpreted Article 21 narrowly.
  • Shankari Prasad Case (1951) – Amendability of Fundamental Rights
    • The first time, the question whether fundamental rights can be amended under Article 368 came for consideration of the Supreme Court.
    • The constitutionality of the First Amendment was contested in this case, which concerned the amendability of fundamental rights. The SC argued that the Fundamental Rights provided in Part III of the Constitution are likewise subject to the amending authority granted to the Parliament under Article 368.
  • Berubari Union case (1960) – Parliament's power to make amendments under Article 3 and Article 368
    • This issue concerned the Parliament's authority to transfer Berubai territory to Pakistan. The Supreme Court carefully considered Article 3 and determined that the Parliament cannot enact laws in order to carry out the Nehru-Noon Agreement. As a result, the 9th Amendment Act was enacted to enforce the agreement.
  • I. C. Golaknath case (1967) – Validity of the First and Seventeenth Amendments and described the scope of Article 13
    • In this instance, the issues at hand were whether or not amendments became laws and whether or not Fundamental Rights might be changed. According to the SC, Article 13's restriction on parliament does not apply to fundamental rights, and a new Constituent Assembly would be needed to modify such rights. Additionally, it was noted that while Article 368 outlines the process for amending the Constitution, it does not grant Parliament the power to do so.
  • Kesvananda Bharti case (1973) – Defined the Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution
    • The Supreme Court reviewed the decision in Golaknath v. The state of Punjab and considered the validity of the 24th, 25th, 26th and 29th Amendments. The Court held that although no part of the constitution, including fundamental rights, was beyond the amending power of Parliament, the “basic structure of the Constitution could not be abrogated even by a constitutional amendment.
    • It is a landmark judgement of the Supreme Court of India, and is the basis in Indian law for the exercise of the Indian judicial of the power to judicially review, and strike down amendments to the Constitution of India passed by the Indian Parliament which conflict with the Constitution's basic structure.
  • Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narayan case (1975) – Disputes relating to elections involving the Prime Minister of India
    • In the case of Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narayan, the concept of basic structure was reaffirmed. The Supreme Court used the idea of basic structure to strike down Clause(4) of Article 329-A, which was adopted by the 39th Amendment in 1975, on the grounds that it exceeded the legislature's amending power because it damaged a fundamental characteristic of the constitution.
    • In this case, some key aspects of the Constitution that are considered unamendable were stated, such as sovereign democratic republic status, equality of status and opportunity, secularism and freedom of conscience and religion, and the rule of law.
  • Menaka Gandhi case (1978) – Significant towards the transformation of the judicial review on Article 21
    • The question in this case was whether the freedom to travel abroad is included in the Right to Personal Liberty under Article 21. The Supreme Court ruled that it is protected under the right to personal liberty.
    • The Supreme Court also concluded that the mere existence of an enabling law was insufficient to limit human liberty. A law of this type must also be “just, fair, and reasonable.”
    • The links between the three articles 14, 19, and 21 were interpreted in light of a new doctrine known as the post-decision theory.
  • Minerva mills case (1980) – Basic Structure which includes Parliament's power to amend and the power of Judicial Review
    • The Basic Structure concept is once again strengthened by this judgment. The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976's two amendments to the Constitution were declared void by the ruling because they went against the basic structure.
    • It is quite evident from the ruling that the Constitution, not the Parliament, is superior.
  • Waman Rao Case (1981) – Validity of 9th Schedule and demarcarting the date of 24th april 1973
    • Supreme Court in Waman Rao case once again reiterated and applied the doctrine of the basic features of the Constitution. In this case, the implications of the basic structure doctrine for Article31-B were re-examined.
    • The Court drew a line of demarcation on April 24th, 1973 (the date of Kesavananda Bharti’s decision) and held it should not be applied retrospectively to reopen the validity of any amendment to the Constitution, which took place prior to 24-04-1973. It meant all the amendments which added to the Ninth Schedule before that date were valid.
  • Shah Bano Begum case (1985) – Milestone case for Muslim women’s fight for rights
    • The SC affirmed a Muslim woman's claim to alimony and declared that everyone, regardless of religion, is subject to the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure. This sparked a political debate, and the ruling was overturned by the government of the day by passing the Muslim Women (Protection on Divorce Act), 1986, which stipulates that alimony must only be paid during the iddat period (in tune with the Muslim personal law).
  • Indra Sawhney and Union of India (1992) – the Reservation & 50 ceiling
    • The scope and application of Article 16(4), which mandates the reservation of jobs for members of underprivileged sections, were scrutinised by the SC. With a few restrictions (such as the exclusion of the creamy layer, no reservations in promotions, the total reserved quota shall not exceed 50%, etc.), it upheld the constitutional legitimacy of the 27% reservation for OBCs.
  • S. R. Bommai case (1994) – Misuse of Article 356 of the Constitution of India
    • The Indian Constitution's Article 356 provisions and associated topics were examined by the Court. The Centre-State Relations were greatly impacted by this case. The judgement made an effort to stop the gross violation of Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, which permitted the imposition of President's authority on state governments.
  • Vishaka and State of Rajasthan (1997) -sexual harassment at the workplace & the ‘Vishaka Guidelines’
    • This incident involves sexual harassment at work. In its decision, the SC gave employers and other responsible parties or organisations a series of guidelines on how to immediately ensure the avoidance of sexual harassment.
    • The term “Vishaka Guidelines” is used to describe them. These were to be taken into consideration as being in force up until the necessary legislation was passed.
  • I.R Coelho and State of Tamil Nadu 2007 – the 9th Schedule and power of review
    • This decision stated that even though a statute is incorporated in the Indian Constitution's 9th Schedule, it can still be scrutinised and challenged in court. The Indian Constitution's 9th Schedule contains a list of acts and legislation that cannot be challenged in court.
    • The Waman Rao judgement insured that actions and laws included in the IX schedule would not be modified or contested until April 24, 1973, but any attempt to amend or add further acts to that schedule would be subject to careful scrutiny and review by the legal system.
  • Aruna Shanbaug Case (2011) –  passive euthanasia
    • The Supreme Court declared that people have the right to die with dignity, allowing for guidelines on passive euthanasia. The terrible story of Aruna Shanbaug, who remained in a vegetative condition (blind, paralysed, and deaf) for 42 years, prompted the need to amend India's euthanasia laws.
  • National Legal Services Authority and Union of India (2014) –  the recognition of transgender persons
    • This case resulted in transgender people being recognised as a third gender. The Supreme Court also directed the government to treat them as minorities and to expand reservations in schooling, jobs, and education, etc.
  • Puttaswamy Case (2017) – the right to privacy
    • This Supreme Court ruling protects individuals' privacy rights from invasions. According to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, the right to privacy is a component of the right to life.
Performance of the Legislature
  • Latest Session Information:
    • The Monsoon Session of 2023 was held from July 20, 2023 to August 11, 2023.  Lok Sabha functioned for 43% of its scheduled time and Rajya Sabha functioned for 55%.   23 Bills were passed during this session.  This session also saw the discussion on the first no-confidence motion of the 17th Lok Sabha. 
    • 56% of Bills introduced in this session passed; three referred to Standing Committees.
    • This session saw high legislative activity despite Parliament working for just half of its scheduled time.  Most Bills were passed with little scrutiny.  56% of Bills introduced in this session were passed by both Houses.  On average, a Bill introduced in this session was passed within eight days of introduction.
    • For example, Bills expanding the discretionary powers of the LG in Delhi, allowing for mining of strategic minerals like lithium, and regulating personal data were passed by Parliament within seven days of introduction.  The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Bill, 2023 was passed within five days of introduction.

  • Number of Sittings on a decline:
    • During the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, Parliament sat for 37 days.  In the last 10 years, Parliament met for 67 days per year, on average.  This is short of the amount of time for MPs to be able to get into the depth of matters being discussed in the House.  Since Committees meet throughout the year, they help make up for this lack of time available on the floor of the House.
  • Increase in Number of Ordinances: 
    • In the first 30 years of our parliamentary democracy, there was one ordinance promulgated for every 10 Bills introduced in Parliament.
    • In the following 30 years, the ratio was two ordinances for every 10 Bills.
    • In the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19), the number jumped to 3.5 ordinances for every 10 Bills. In the current Lok Sabha, it is, so far, 3.3 ordinances to every 10 Bills.
    • Since March 24, when the lockdown was imposed, 11 ordinances have been signed by the President.
    • Five of the 11 ordinances are broadly related to the outcome of Covid-19, coupled with two in the health sector. All the other ordinances are unrelated to the pandemic, including the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, and the three ordinances related to agriculture.
    • Between 2004 and 2014, 61 ordinances were passed at an average of around six ordinances per year. After 2014, more than 80 ordinances have been passed in eight years, at around ten per year.
  • Bypassing the Parliamentary Committees: 
    • The first parliamentary session of the 17th Lok Sabha elections saw the passage of 16 bills till July 30. The bills were debated in the house but none were referred to parliamentary committees.
    • The percentage of bills referred to Parliamentary Committees has drastically reduced from 71 per cent in the 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14) to 27 per cent in the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19), and to only around 13 per cent since 2019.
  • Increase in suspension of MPs:
    • The number of MPs suspended from both Houses of Parliament in the eight years since 2014 has gone up almost three times compared to the previous eight years.
    • While at least 51 MPs were suspended from the two Houses between the monsoon session in 2006 and February 2014 (the Lok Sabha elections were held in April 2014), at least 139 MPs have been suspended for misconduct and unruly behaviour between the monsoon session in August 2015 and now.

Social Justice


  • The current infant mortality rate for India in 2023 is 26.619 deaths per 1000 live births, a 3.890% decline from 2022.
  • Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR): 
    • India’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has improved to 103 in 2017-19, from 113 in 2016-18. This is according to the special bulletin on MMR released by the Registrar General of India March 14, 2022.
    • The country has been witnessing a progressive reduction in MMR from 130 in 2014-2016, 122 in 2015-17, 113 in 2016-18, and to 103 in 2017-19.
    • With this persistent decline, India is on the verge of achieving National Health Policy (NHP) target of 100/lakh live births by 2020 and certainly on track to achieve the SDG target of 70/ lakh live births by 2030.
      • The number of states which have achieved the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target has now risen from 5 to 7 viz. Kerala (30), Maharashtra (38), Telangana (56), Tamil Nadu (58), Andhra Pradesh (58), Jharkhand (61), and Gujarat (70).
      • There are now nine (9) States that have achieved the target of MMR set by the NHP which include the above 7 and the States of Karnataka (83) and Haryana (96).
    • Five states [Uttarakhand (101), West Bengal (109), Punjab (114), Bihar (130), Odisha (136) and Rajasthan (141)] have MMR in between 100-150, while for 4 states namely, Chhattisgarh (160), Madhya Pradesh (163), Uttar Pradesh (167) and Assam (205) have MMR above 150.
  • NFHS-5 Report: 
    • population: India's population is stabilizing as per the Fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS) as the total fertility rate(TFR) has decreased across a majority of the states. Of the 17 states analyzed in the NFHS-5 data, except for Bihar(3.0), Manipur(2.2), and Meghalaya(2.9), all other states have a TFR of 2.1 or less, which implies that most states have attained replacement level fertility.
    • Contraceptive Usage: 
      • All the states surveyed have witnessed an increase in the use of modern contraceptives in family planning. The proportion of women with unmet needs for family planning who want to stop or delay childbearing but are not using any method of contraception has declined in all states, except Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh.
      • Female sterilization continues to dominate as the modern method of contraceptives in states like Andhra Pradesh (98%), Telangana (93%), Kerala (88%), Karnataka (84%), Bihar (78%), and Maharashtra (77%).
      • The highest prevalence of contraceptive usage in Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal (74%)
    • There is greater use of hygienic methods of protection during the menstrual period by women in a number of states
    • Women's empowerment related indicators:  More women are able to participate in household decision making in 9 states while 30% more women now have bank accounts in Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, and West Bengal.
    • Nutritional status: Data shows a decline in the nutritional status of children under 5 years in a number of states. In Kerala, which is considered to be an advanced and model state for others, the percentage of children under 5 years with stunting has increased to 23.4% as per NFHS 5 against 19.7% in NFHS 4.
      • India accounts for 28% (40.3 million) of the world’s stunted children (low height-for-age) under five years of age.
      • 43% (20.1 million) of the world’s wasted children (low weight-for-height) in 2019.
      • As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS, 2015-16), the proportion of underweight and stunted children was as high as 35.8% and 38.4% respectively.
      • In several districts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and even Gujarat, the proportion of underweight children was more than 40%.
      • Anemia: Among women, it remains a big concern. In all the states, anemia is much higher among women compared to men.
      • Child Marriages: 
        • There has been an increase in child marriages in Tripura (40.1% from 33.1% in 2015-16), Manipur (16.3% from 13.7% in 2015-16), and Assam (31.8% from 30.8% in 2015-16), while states like West Bengal (41.6%) and Bihar (40.8%) still have a high prevalence of child marriages.
      • Teenage Pregnancies: 
        • States like Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Nagaland have also shown an increase in teenage pregnancies. Along with the increase in child marriage, Tripura has also shown an increase in teenage pregnancy from 18.8% in 2015-16 to 21.9%.
      • Out of pocket expenditure: 
        • There has been an increase in average out of pocket expenditure (OOPE) per delivery in public health facilities in some states
        • Compared to NFHS-4, OOPE has increased in several states – Sikkim (109%), Mizoram (63%), Bihar (60%), Assam (42%), and Manipur (40%).
      • Spousal Violence: 
        • While spousal violence has generally declined in most of the states and UTs, it has witnessed an increase in five states, namely Sikkim, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka. Karnataka witnessed the largest increase in spousal violence, from 20.6% in NFHS 4 to 44.4% in NFHS 5.
        • Sexual violence has increased in five states (Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and West Bengal).
      • The disparity in Access to Internet:  
        • NFHS-5 depicts a stark disparity in access to the internet by men, in contrast to women in a number of states. In Karnataka and Bihar, for example, twice as many men have access to the internet as compared to women. Sikkim is the only state where access to the internet among men (78.2%) and women (%) is almo76.7st equal.
  • National Health Profile,2022:
    • The National Health Profile 2022 is a comprehensive publication that provides data on six broad indicators of health in India.
    • The data included in the National Health Profile 2022 covers demographic, socio-economic, health status, health finance, health infrastructure, and human resources for health.
    • The publication is produced by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, which is part of the Directorate General of Health Services under the Ministry of Health.
    • Maternal, Neonatal, Nutritional Diseases, and Other Communicable Diseases show a downward trend. The disease burden due to these dropped from 61 percent to 33 percent between 1990 and 2016.
    • As per the report, the disease burden due to non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancers, mental health disorders, and injuries increased from 30 percent to 55 percent between 1990 and 2016.
    • Life Expectancy Rises To 68.7 Years From 49.7 Years
    • According to the report, over half the children between 6 and 59 months (58.4 per cent) and women in the age group 15-49 are anemic
    • Only One Government Doctor For 10,926 people and overall only one doctor for 1596 people against the WHO’s recommended doctor-population ratio of 1:1000.
    • Only 37% of the population is covered under any health insurance in 2017-18. Of these 78% were covered under public insurance.
  • Health care Spending:
    • As per the OECD report, total health care expenditure comparison is as follows:
      Country/grouping % of GDP
      OECD average 8.8
      The USA 16.9
      Germany 11.2
      France 11.2
      Japan 10.9
      India 3.6
    • Among the BRICS countries: Brazil (9.2%), South Africa (8.1%), Russia(5.3%), China(5%)


  • Current Status of Education in India: Data from Census 2011:
  • Literacy rate in India as per Census 2011: 74%. Male: 82.1%; Female: 65.5%
    • Kerala tops the rankings, followed by Delhi, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.
    • Bihar is the lowest among states, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, etc., however, they are improving their position.
    • Bihar has a literacy rate of 63.8%, and that of women is 53.3%.
    • Literacy rates for both adults as well as youths have increased, still, the absolute number of illiterates in India is as much as India’s population was at the time of independence.
    • The gender gap in terms of literacy began to narrow first in 1991 and the pace has accelerated, however, still lags far behind the global female literacy rate of 7% (UNESCO 2015).
    • There are large state variations in the gender gap. However, during 2001 – 2011, the male literacy rate increased by 6 percentage points but female literacy increased by nearly 12 percentage points.
    • Achievement in female literacy in Bihar is noteworthy: from 33% in 2001 to 53% in 2011.
    • Be that as it may, India is still lagging behind the world literacy rate of 86.3%(UNESCO 2015). A major group of states lies in the average rank i.e. just above the national level of 64.8 percent. 
  • Literacy Rate of India in 2022:
    • According to the report published by the National Survey of India, the Literacy Rate of India in 2022 is 77.7 per cent. The literacy rate in 2011 was 73%. There is an increase of 4% compared to the last census data.
    • Kerala is the Most literate state in India. The literacy rate of Kerala is 96.2%. As per UNESCO, India will achieve Universal Literacy in the year 2060.
      Literacy in India 2022
  • Highlights of the  New Education Policy Draft:
    • Higher Education:
      • According to the All India Survey on Higher Education, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education in India has increased from 20.8% in 2011-12 to 25.8% in 2017-18. Lack of access is a major reason behind the low intake of higher education. The policy aims to increase GER to 50% by 2035.
      • Total investment in research and innovation in India has declined from 0.84% of GDP in 2008 to 0.69% in 2014. India also lags behind many nations in the number of researchers, patents, and publications.
    • Vocational Education:
      • Less than 5% of the workforce in the age-group of 19-24 receives vocational education in India, in contrast to 52% in the USA, 75% in Germany, and 96% in South Korea.
      • National Policy on Skills Development and Entrepreneurship (2015) aimed at offering vocational education in 25% of educational institutions. The Draft NEP expands this to include all educational institutions in a phased manner over a period of 10 years.
      • Vocational courses: All school students must receive vocational education in at least one vocation in grades 9 to 12.
      • Higher Education Institutions must offer vocational courses that are integrated into undergraduate education programs.
      • The draft Policy targets to offer vocational education to up to 50% of the total enrolment in higher education institutions by 2025, up from the present level of enrolment of below 10%.
      • National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education for charting out plans for the above objectives.
    • Adult Education:
      • As per Census 2011, India had a total of 26.5 crore adult non-literate (15 years and above).
      • Establishing an autonomous Central Institute of Adult Education as a constituent unit of NCERT. It will develop a National Curriculum Framework for adult education.
    • Education in Indian Languages:
      • The medium of instruction must be mother tongue until grade 5, and preferably until grade 8.
      • 3 language formula be continued and flexibility in the implementation of the formula should be provided.
    • Financing Education:
      • The Draft Policy reaffirmed the commitment of spending 6% of GDP as public investment in education.
      • The draft Policy seeks to double the public investment in education from the current 10% of total public expenditure to 20% in the next 10 years. 5% will be utilized for higher education, 2% in school education, and 1.4% for early childhood care and education.
  • Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022: Pratham Education Foundation
    • The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) released on 17th January 2023 revealed that 98.4% of students in the country between 6-14 years were by the end of 2022 enrolled in schools.
    • According to the report, there has been a significant rise in enrollment levels. From 97.2 per cent in 2018 to 98.4 per cent in 2022, the Indian education sector has seen a hike of 7.3 percentage points in enrollment in government schools between 2018 and 2022.
    • he report also revealed a hike amongst tuition goers in all states except Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura.
      ASER 2021
  • Impact of Covid-19 on education:
    • 5.5% of rural children are not currently enrolled for the 2020 school year, up from 4% in 2018.
    • The proportion of boys enrolled in government schools has risen from 62.8% in 2018 to 66.4% in 2020, while for girls, that number has gone up from 70% to 73% in the corresponding period.
    • Among enrolled children, 61.8% live in families that own at least one smartphone which was merely 36.5% in 2018.
    • About 11% of families bought a new phone after the lockdown, of which 80% were smartphones.
    • WhatsApp is by far the most popular mode of transmitting learning materials to students, with 75% of students receiving input via this app.
    • Availability of learning material: 
      • Overall more than 80% of children said they had textbooks for their current grade.
      • This proportion was higher among students enrolled in government schools (84.1%) than in private ones (72.2%).
      • In Bihar, less than 8% got such materials from their schools, along with 20% in West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
      • More than 80% of rural children in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, and Gujarat received such input.
    • Learning Activities:
      • Most children (70.2%) did some form of a learning activity through material shared by tutors or family members themselves, with or without regular input.
      • 11% had access to live online classes, and 21% had videos or recorded classes, with much higher levels in private schools.
      • About 60% studied from their textbooks and 20% watched classes broadcast on TV.


  • The country registered a significant decline of 9.89 percentage points in India's multidimensionally poor from 24.85% in 2015-16 to 14.96% in 2019-2021. The rural areas witnessed the fastest decline in poverty, from 32.59% to 19.28%.
  • A record 13.5 crore people moved out of multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21 as per NITI Aayog’s Report ‘National Multidimensional Poverty Index: A Progress Review 2023’.
  • The National MPI measures simultaneous deprivations across the three equally weighted dimensions of health, education, and standard of living that are represented by 12 SDG-aligned indicators. These include nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts. Marked improvement is witnessed across all the 12 indicators.
  • According to the Report, India has registered a significant decline of 9.89 percentage points in number of India’s multidimensionally poor from 24.85% in 2015-16 to 14.96% in 2019-2021.
  • The rural areas witnessed the fastest decline in poverty from 32.59% to 19.28%. During the same period, the urban areas saw a reduction in poverty from 8.65% to 5.27%.
  • Uttar Pradesh registered the largest decline in number of poor with 3.43 crore people escaping multidimensional poverty.
  • Providing multidimensional poverty estimates for the 36 States and Union Territories and 707 Administrative Districts, the Report states that the fastest reduction in the proportion of multidimensional poor was observed in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan.
  • In India, 21.9% of the population lives below the national poverty line in 2011.
  • 2/3rd of the Indian population lives on less than USD 2 per day. Over 30% even live on less than USD 1.25 per day.
  • 2022 Data:
    • According to World Poverty Clock, the number of people who are living in poverty is 83,068,597 (83 million) or roughly 6% of the population. There are 37,767,473 males and 45,301,124 females impacted by poverty in India. Females are more affected than males.

      Poverty in 2022

    • The age group from 0-19 are the most affected by extreme poverty. This can lead the youngsters to malnutrition and illiteracy. We can see a decreasing trend after the age of 40.
      Povert 2022 India: States
  • Global Multi Dimensional Poverty Index: 
    • India was ranked 62 among 107 countries.
    • Srilanka(25), Bangladesh(58), and China(30) are ranked ahead of India in 2020. 
    • 271 million people moved out of poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16 in India.
    • The poverty rate in the country has nearly halved, falling from 55% to 28% over the ten-year period (2005-06 to 2015-16). Still, a big part of the population in India is living Below the Poverty Line.


  • Global Hunger Index 2022 (GHI):
    • Barring the war-torn Afghanistan, India has performed worse than all the countries in the South Asian region in the Global Hunger Index 2022.
    • It has ranked 107 out of 121 countries.
    • India ranked 101 out of 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021.
    • Among the South Asian countries, India (107) is ranked below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99).
    • India has a score of 29.1 which places it under ‘serious’ category.
    • Afghanistan (109) is the only country in South Asia that performs worse than India on the index.
    • India’s Performance in the Four Indicators:
      • Undernourishment: Prevalence of undernourishment has also risen in the country from 14.6% in 2018-2020 to 16.3% in 2019-2021.
      • Child Wasting: India’s child wasting rate (low weight for height), at 19.3%, is worse than the levels recorded in 2014 (15.1%) and even 2000 (17.15%).
      • Child Stunting: Child stunting (low height for age) has declined from 38.7% to 35.5% between 2014 and 2022.
      • Child Mortality: Child mortality (mortality rate under the age of five) has dropped from 4.6% to 3.3% in the same comparative period.

        GHI 2021 India
        GHI India's ranks

  • FAO's The State of Food Security and Nutrition in India:
    • 189.2 million (14% 0f the population) people in India are undernourished.
    • 51.4% of the women of reproductive age are anemic.
    • 34.7% of children aged under 5 years in India are stunted.
    • 20% of the children aged under 5 years in India are wasted.

Vulnerable Sections of the Society:

  • Representation in the legislature: 
    • 84 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats are reserved for SCs. In Legislative Assemblies, there are 4,120 seats and 614 of these are reserved for SCs.
    • As far as STs are concerned, a total of 47 seats are reserved for them in Lok Sabha and 554 in various Legislative Assemblies.
    • As per the 2011 census, the population of SCs is over 20.13 crore and STs is over 10 crore
    • Women Representation: 
      • The just-concluded inductions to the Rajya Sabha brought the number of women MPs to 25 of 245, just over 10% of the house. This brings the tally of women in parliament to 103 (there are 78 women in the 17th Lok Sabha), which is a new record.
  • Representation in Judiciary:
    • In a country where 48% of the population is female, of 245 judges who have made it to India’s highest court, including the current judges, less than 3.3% have been women. No woman has served as the Chief Justice of India.
    • In the country, 25 high courts, no more than 78 of 685 judges, of 12%, were women as of 1 August 2020, according to the department of justice
    • There is greater gender representation at the lowest level of the judiciary. In 17 states, between 2007 and 2017, 36.45% of judges and magistrates were women. The data thus shows a near-uniform trend of the proportion of women judges decreasing as one moves up the tiers of the lower judiciary.
  • NCRB Data:

    • Increase in crimes against members of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs): There is an increase of over 7% and 26% in 2019 compared with the 2018 figures.
    • Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes against the SCs in 2019, followed by Rajasthan and Bihar.
    • Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of cases against STs, followed by Rajasthan, and Odisha.
    • In the number of cases of rape of women belonging to the SCs, Rajasthan topped the list followed by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
    • The highest number of incidents of rape of tribal women was registered in Madhya Pradesh.
    • Overall crimes against women: A total of 4,05,861 cases of crime against women were registered in 2019 compared to 3,78,236 cases in 2018, showing an increase of 7.3%.


  • NITI Aayog's Good Governance Index 2021:

    GGI Parameters

    • Key findings:
      • Good Governance Index, GGI 2021 Framework covered ten sectors and 58 indicators.
      • The sectors of GGI 2020-21 are 1) Agriculture and Allied Sectors, 2) Commerce & Industries, 3) Human Resource Development, 4) Public Health, 5.) Public Infrastructure & Utilities, 6) Economic Governance, 7) Social Welfare & Development, 8) Judicial & Public Security, 9) Environment, and 10) Citizen-Centric Governance.
      • The GGI 2020-21 categorises States and UTs into four categories, i.e., (i) Other States – Group A; (ii) Other States – Group B; (iii) North-East and Hill States; and (iv) Union Territories.
      • 20 States have improved their composite GGI scores in 2021.
      • Gujarat tops the composite ranking in the 58 indicator index followed by Maharashtra and Goa.
      • Uttar Pradesh registers 8.9 percent improvement in GGI indicators in the period 2019 to 2021.
      • Jammu and Kashmir registers 3.7 percent improvement in GGI indicators in the period 2019 to 2021.
      • Delhi tops the Union Territories category composite ranking.

        GGI 2021

  • World Governance Indicators (WGI) – released by the World Bank.:
    • World Bank's assessment of the percentile rank (0 to 100) of India against the six governance indicators can be seen in the following table:
Indicator Rank in 2014  Rank in 2020
 Voice & Accountability 60.10 57.64
Political Stability and Lack of Violence 13.81 21.43
 Government Effectiveness 45.19 59.62
 Regulatory Quality 34.62 48.56
Rule of Law 54.81 52.40
Control of Corruption 41.83 47.60

                               Rank 0: Lowest-ranked country and Rank 100: Highest-ranked Country

  • From the above data, we can see that India's rank has fallen in 2019 when it comes to Voice & Accountability and Rule of Law.
  • Though it has improved in the other indicators there is huge scope for improvement in all the indicators of Governance.
  • 2022 Report:
    • As per Ministry of Finance’s Economic Division, India’s WGI score is much below the BBB Median on all six indicators.
    • While BBB is an investment-grade rating issued by global rating agencies such as S&P and Fitch, a WGI score below BBB Median would suggest that India falls below the middle when the scores of countries are arranged in a descending order.
    • The issue of Kashmir affected India’s score, it noted that went from “partly free” since 2017 till 2019 to “not free” in 2020 scoring 8 (out of 40) in Political Rights, 20 (out of 60) in Civil Liberties.
    • Around 15 data sources ratings have the maximum impact on India’s overall WGI scores including the Economist Intelligence Unit, Varieties of Democracy Project, Freedom House and Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom among others.
  • Transparency – Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2021 of Transparency International:
    • India ranked 85 among 180 countries in the current index (86 in 2020 and 80 in 2019). Transparency International gave India a CPI score of 40.
    • Except Bhutan, all of India's neighbours are ranked below it. Pakistan dropped 16 spots in the index and was ranked at 140.
    • Unfair and opaque political financing, undue influence in decision-making, and lobbying by powerful corporate interest groups has resulted in stagnation or decline in the control of corruption, observed the report.

  • RTI:
    • An average of 4,800 RTI applications is filed every day in various government departments every day.  
    • Over 3.02 crore RTI applications were filed with central and state governments since the inception of the transparency law 15 years ago.
    • Primarily, men (90%) from urban areas make use of the RTI.
    • Only 14% of the total RTI applicants across the country are from rural areas
    • Over the last few years, an increase has been witnessed in the number of RTI applications filed. For example, the number of applications in 2015-16 went up by 3.8% compared to 2014-15.
    • The rate of disposal of appeals filed in connection with RTI applications has also gone up over the years. In 2011-12, 23,112 appeals out of 33,922 filed were disposed of. In 2015-16, 1,06,556 appeals out of a total 1,10,034 were disposed of.
    • While RTI activists continue to complain about this aspect, only 15, 578 cases of imposition of penalty by SICs have been reported. The CIC has reported that penalties worth Rs 2.26 crore were imposed on them

International Relations

  • Trade Relations:
    • With the USA (2022-23)
      • Total bilateral trade: USD 180.0 billion 
      • Exports: USD 117.7 billion
      • Imports: USD 63.1  billion
      • Trade Balance: USD +54.8 billion 
    • With China (2022-23)
      • Total bilateral trade: USD 115.41 billion 
      • Exports: USD 21.25  billion
      • Imports: USD 94.16  billion
      • Trade Balance: USD -72.91 billion
    • With the EU: (2022-23)
      • Total bilateral trade: USD 78.90 billion
      • Exports: USD 41.36  billion
      • Imports: USD 38.72  billion
      • Trade Balance: USD -2.64 billion
    • With ASEAN: (2022-23)
      • Total bilateral trade: USD 96.8 billion
      • Exports: USD 31.49 billion
      • Imports: USD 47.42  billion
      • Trade Balance: USD -15.93 billion.
    • With the RCEP countries (2022-23)
      • Total bilateral trade: USD 240.7 billion
      • Exports: USD 67.8 billion
      • Imports: USD 172.9 billion
      • Trade Balance: USD -105.1 billion
  • Diaspora:
    • Remittances: 
      • 2022-23:
        • India, which registered a growth of more than 24% to reach a record-high $111 billion in remittances in 2022, is expected to post a growth of just 0.2% in remittance inflows in 2023, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief.
      • Global remittances are projected to regained in 2021-22 after the sharp decline by about 20 percent in 2020 due to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.
      • According to the World Bank, India has surpassed Mexico as the top remittance receiving country in 2021, pushing China to third place. In 2021, India received remittances totaling more than $89 billion, an increase of 8% above the $82.73 billion received in 2020. Despite the fact that the world was significantly hit by Covid in 2020, remittances were somewhat higher than the $82.69 billion in the non-Covid year of 2019.
      • Remittances to India: (2020-21)
        • The share of India’s inward remittances from Gulf countries has likely declined from more than 50% in 2016-17 to about 30% in 2020-21, a survey by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed.
        • According to the survey, remittances from the US have surpassed that of UAE, with the former accounting for 23% of total remittances in 2020-21. Remittances from UAE now account for 17-18% of India’s total inward remittances.
        • An RBI report further says that amid the steady migration of skilled workers, advanced economies particularly the US, the UK and Singapore have emerged as important source countries of remittances, accounting for 36% of total remittances in 2020-21.
        • State-wise share:
          • The share of the traditional remittance recipient states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which had strong dominance in the Gulf countries, has almost halved in 2020-21, accounting for only 25% of total remittances compared to over 42% in 2016-17, while Maharashtra has emerged as the top recipient state surpassing Kerala. The report shows Maharashtra now accounts for almost 35% of the total remittances in 2020-21.

      • Remittance from India: (2020-21)
        Recipient country Amount (million USD)
        Bangladesh 4033 
        Nepal 1021 
        Srilanka 520 
        China 41 
        France 15
        Malaysia 11 
        Nigeria 10
        Myanmar 8
        Kenya 7
    • Numbers: Indian diaspora, at 17.5 million, is the largest in the world, says UN study
      • Indian Diaspora now comprises 6.4% of the total global migrant population
      • The United Arab Emirates was the top destination of Indian migrants followed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Oman.

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