Daily Current Affairs 5 March 2024- Top News Of The Day

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Daily Current Affairs 5 March 2024- Top News Of The Day

1. Supreme Court Rejects Parliamentary Privilege, Redefining Lawmakers’ Accountability in a Historic Decision

Topic: GS2 – Polity – Parliament
Since this ruling clarifies Article 105(2) and Article 194(2) of the Constitution, it is pertinent to both Prelims and Mains in the context of comprehending the nuances of the document, including provisions pertaining to parliamentary privileges.

– A landmark decision by the Chief Justice DY Chandrachud-led seven-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has called into question the immunity customarily accorded to legislators accused of bribery pertaining to their parliamentary activities.
– The interpretation of Article 105(2) of the Constitution—which protects Members of Parliament from lawsuits based on their speech and votes in Parliament—and Article 194(2)—which affords state assembly members corresponding protections—was at the centre of the case.

More about the news:

Interpretation of Parliamentary Privileges:

  • The Court outlined the historical development of parliamentary privileges in India, stressing that they are not unassailable rights that were carried over from the House of Commons in the UK but rather that they have changed from statutory to constitutional privileges.
  • It emphasised two essential elements: the House’s collective privileges and individual rights, like the right to free speech, which are evaluated by applying a “necessity test” to determine their validity.
  • The decision emphasised the significance of maintaining integrity in public life and denounced legislative corruption as being counterproductive to democratic principles.

Corruption versus Conscience: Legal Analysis:

  • The Court considered whether accepting bribes amounts to graft, even in cases where lawmakers vote against the wishes of the bribe-giver in favour of their party or conscience.
  • The Court made it clear through its analysis of the Prevention of Corruption Act that accepting a bribe is illegal regardless of what happens after.
  • It highlighted the arbitrary nature of such distinctions under Article 14 of the Constitution and rejected the idea of establishing a privileged class of public servants.

Parallel Jurisdictions: Court and Parliament:

  • The Court considered whether courts could step in given Parliament’s power to punish its members for contempt, including suspension or incarceration.
  • It confirmed that Parliament and the courts can both have concurrent jurisdiction over the acts of legislators because the House’s punishment and the prosecution’s goals are different.
  • The decision underscored the need to preserve parliamentary sovereignty and use the legal system to hold elected officials accountable.


  • The Supreme Court modified the parameters of parliamentary privilege in a historic ruling, emphasising the judiciary’s responsibility to monitor the actions of legislators.
  • The ruling upholds democratic values and the rule of law by rejecting immunity for corruption and affirming the accountability principle. This marks a dramatic change in India’s legal system.

What are the constitutional provisions related to parliamentary privileges?
Articles 105 and 122 of the Indian Constitution define the privileges of Parliament, whereas Articles 194 and 212 concern the privileges of state governments.

Article 105: Speech in the Parliament shall be free. No member of Parliament may be held accountable for statements made or votes cast in the Parliament or any of its committees in any court proceedings.

Article 122: No court may question the legitimacy of any proceedings in Parliament on the grounds of purported procedural irregularities.

Article 194: The State Legislature shall be a free speech environment. Regarding anything he says or votes on in the State Legislature or any committee therein, no member of the Legislature shall be subject to legal action in any court.

Article 212: No court may question the legitimacy of any proceedings in the State Legislature on the grounds of purported procedural irregularities.

PYQ: Article 105 of the Constitution, which outlines the “Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and its Members,” permits the continuation of numerous uncodified and unenumerated privileges. Examine the causes of the “parliamentary privileges” not being codified in law. How might this issue be resolved? (12.5 m/200 words) (2014, UPSSC CSE (M) GS-2)
Practice Question: Talk about the effects of the recent Supreme Court decision on parliamentary privilege and the immunity of legislators from prosecution, especially as it relates to India’s democratic government and legal system. (10 m / 150 words)

2. Increases in the Number of Leopards in India: The Challenges and Needs for Conservation

Topic: GS3 – Environment – Conservation
Knowing the facts regarding the condition of leopard populations in India and the difficulties they face as a result of habitat loss, poaching, and conflict between humans and wildlife makes this topic pertinent for both Prelims and Mains.

– India’s leopard population has experienced an important an increase, as indicated by the 2022 Status of Leopards survey, which estimates 13,874 individuals—a remarkable 75% increase from the 2014 estimate.
– But a more realistic comparison uses data from 2018, when there were almost three times as many camera points, yielding a more accurate estimate of 5,240 leopards in 2018 as opposed to 1,647 in 2014.

More about the news:

Current Survey Findings:

  • Using cameras at 32,803 sites, the most recent survey revealed an 8% increase over the 2018 estimate, suggesting a moderate growth rate of 4.4% in the areas covered by both surveys.
  • Even though these numbers point to a stable number of leopards, problems still exist, especially with regard to habitat fragmentation and conflicts between people and wildlife.

Protected Areas vs. Non-Protected Areas:

  • Of all leopards, about one-third live in protected areas like national parks and sanctuaries, while the rest live in areas that are not protected.
  • Just 11% of the leopard’s range in India is covered by protected areas, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts outside of these boundaries.

Tiger Reserves and Leopard Population:

  • There has been an obvious rise in the number of leopards in and around tiger reserves, with a 21% increase recorded between 2018 and 2022.
  • On the other hand, there was a small decline in the total number of leopards outside of tiger reserves, which emphasises how different leopard populations in various habitats have different outcomes.

Limitations of All-India Surveys:

  • Only tiger states are included in the surveys, ignoring areas like Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and arid parts of Rajasthan that may be leopard habitats.
  • However, the steady trend highlights how conflict and poaching affect leopards living in areas that are not protected.

Historical Range and Current Threats:

  • Once, leopards inhabited large areas of the planet’s landmass, where they roamed freely.
  • However, because of human-caused factors like poaching, habitat loss, and conflict between humans and wildlife, they have seen a decline in both range and population in India.

Threats to Leopard Survival:

  • Threats to leopards are numerous and include livestock predation, which puts them in conflict with humans, and poaching for traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Their survival is further hampered by habitat fragmentation, which is made worse by mining and infrastructure development.

Conservation Imperatives:

  • The intricate interactions between habitat preservation, anti-poaching initiatives, and human-wildlife conflict must be taken into account for conservation measures to be effective.
  • Proactive conservation measures that protect their habitats and lessen human threats are essential to ensuring the long-term survival of leopards.


  • The leopard’s ability to adapt has allowed it to survive in a variety of environments, but poaching, habitat loss, and conflicts between people and wildlife all pose serious threats that must be addressed.
  • This iconic species’ survival depends on cooperative efforts to protect its habitats and promote harmony with human communities.

What are the Key Points Related to Leopards?
· Scientific Name: Panthera pardus

As the smallest member of the genus Panthera, which includes the tiger, lion (Panthera leo), jaguar, leopard, and snow leopard, the leopard is renowned for its adaptability to a wide range of environments.
It is a nocturnal animal that consumes smaller herbivorous species in its range, including wild boar, hog deer, and chital.
Leopards frequently experience melanism, a condition in which the animal’s entire skin, including its spots, turns black.
Many people mistakenly believe that melanistic leopards belong to a different species and refer to them as black panthers.

It can be found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in a few isolated locations in Western and Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.
The Indian subcontinent is home to a large population of leopards, including the Panthera pardus fusca.

poaching for the illicit trade in body parts and skins.
Loss and fragmentation of habitats
Conflict between humans and leopards

Conservation Status:
Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List
CITES: Appendix I
Schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972

PYQ: Consider the following: (2012)
1) Black-necked crane
2) Cheetah
3) Flying squirrel
4) Snow leopard

Which of the above are naturally found in India?
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (b)
Practice Question: Talk about the difficulties that India’s leopard populations are facing, as indicated by the results of a recent survey. Analyse how well the current conservation strategies and policies are working to reduce these threats and guarantee the long-term survival of leopards in India. (15 m/250 words)

3. Revealing the Secrets of Star Dunes: Innovative Research Indicates Internal Structure and Formation Timeline

Topic: GS1 – Geography
In the context of comprehending the formation processes and traits of various types of dunes, this topic is pertinent for both Prelims and Mains.

– Standing at impressive heights of up to 1,000 feet and resembling a pyramid, star dunes are remarkable geological formations found in desert environments.
– These dunes, which have arms that extend from a central peak, are an intriguing feature of the morphology of deserts that have always captivated researchers and scientists.

More about the news:

Study of a Star Dune in Eastern Morocco:

  • In a ground-breaking study, researchers provided the first thorough examination of a star dune, concentrating on Lala Lallia, a dune in the Sahara Desert in eastern Morocco.
  • By using cutting-edge methods like luminescence dating and ground-penetrating radar, scientists were able to explore the dune’s interior structure and ascertain when it was formed.

Insights from the Study:

  • After a thorough investigation, scientists discovered that Lala Lallia formed over a period of 900 years, gaining about 6,400 metric tonnes of sand every year from the constant movement of sand grains across the desert by winds.
  • These discoveries offer important new insights into the complex mechanisms controlling the creation of star dunes as well as their long-term evolution.

Significance of Star Dunes:

  • Star dunes are the tallest dune type on Earth, surpassing both crescent-shaped barchan dunes and linear dunes. Star dunes make up approximately 10% of all dunes in Earth’s deserts.
  • These particular features of desert landscapes are shaped by intricate patterns of sand accumulation and wind regimes.
  • Star dunes are significant in planetary geomorphology because they have been observed not only on Earth but also on other celestial bodies like Mars and Titan, the moon of Saturn.

Expert Inputs:

  • Experts emphasised how sand accumulation and intricate wind patterns contribute to the creation of star dunes.
  • In areas where prevailing winds can mobilise and reshape sand, these factors contribute to the formation of massive dunes, which in turn create the recognisable star-shaped morphology found in these geological marvels.


  • The study adds to our understanding of desert geomorphology by giving us a thorough understanding of star dunes and providing insightful information about their formation processes.

Practice Question: Talk about the importance of the new research on star dunes in desert environments and how it affects our knowledge of planetary science and desert geomorphology. Examine the study’s methodology and its applicability to the earth sciences. (15 m/250 words)

4. SC terminates lawmakers’ immunity for accepting bribes

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity – Judiciary
The news is important to UPSC because it discusses a major change in the way the law interprets parliamentary immunity and corruption.

– The seven-judge Supreme Court bench overturns a 25-year-old decision, highlighting the dangers of corruption to India’s parliamentary democracy and holding that lawmakers accepting bribes are not shielded by parliamentary immunity.

 Additional information on this news:

  • In the JMM bribery case, a seven-judge Supreme Court bench overturns a 25-year-old ruling, declaring that lawmakers accepting bribes will not be protected by parliamentary privilege.
  • The unanimous decision by Chief Justice Chandrachud highlights that legislators are still subject to general laws despite their privileges and immunities.
  • The court claims that the foundation of Indian parliamentary democracy is in danger due to the corruption of elected officials.
  • The new Bench rules that the 1998 JMM bribery case majority view—which grants immunity to legislators who vote or speak after accepting bribes—is incorrect.
  • Accepting the money makes the bribery crime complete, and regardless of what happens in the legislative house afterwards, criminal prosecution is necessary.
  • The court dismisses concerns of misuse by stating that parliamentary immunity is incompatible with the aspirational and deliberative goals of the Constitution and will not protect bribed legislators.
  • Chief Justice Chandrachud makes it clear that taking bribes is not permitted in conjunction with parliamentary immunities or the freedom of speech and expression.
  • The court creates a two-pronged standard for parliamentary privilege, focusing on acts that uphold the dignity of the House and its members as a whole as well as the freedom to protest, speak out, and be arrested without consequence.
  • Should a claim for immunity fail to satisfy these two requirements, legislators would not be exempt from the law.
  • According to the ruling, criminal courts and legislative bodies have concurrent jurisdiction over claims of bribery, and the authority of one does not supersede that of the other.
  • Practical implications of the ruling are highlighted by the reference case, in which JMM leader Sita Soren is accused of accepting a bribe to cast a ballot in the 2012 Rajya Sabha elections.

Significance of this Supreme Court judgement
– Enhanced Accountability: Since lawmakers are now criminally liable for accepting bribes, corruption may decline.
– Fairer Lawmaking: Free votes and equitable representation are compromised by bribery. This decision encourages a more morally driven legislative procedure. Rebuilding public trust in government institutions can be achieved by holding legislators accountable.
– Establishes precedent: This ruling may spur comparable changes to fight corruption in other sectors.
– Uncertainties Remain: More observation is needed to fully understand the long-term effects on pursuing past cases and straddling the line between free speech and bribery.
Practice Question: Analyse the Supreme Court’s recent decision to end lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution for accepting bribes critically, paying particular attention to how it might affect Indian democracy. (10 m / 150 words)

5. The GI’s recognition of the Narasapur weaving lace craft gives struggling artisans new hope.

Topic: GS1 – Indian Culture – Art Forms
For UPSC hopefuls, the Narasapur crochet lace craft that was awarded the Geographical Indications tag is a testament to cultural preservation, economic revival, and craft sustainability.

– Geographical Indications (GI) designation for the Narasapur crochet lace craft in Andhra Pradesh gives 15,000 artisans hope for a resurgence in the face of market obstacles and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional information on this news:

  • The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has awarded the Geographical Indications (GI) tag to the Narasapur crochet lace craft, which is crafted in the Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The GI tag attests to the craft’s geographical restriction to 19 mandals in the Godavari region’s West Godavari and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema districts.
  • In the Konaseema region, Razole and Amalapuram are renowned for their lace crafts, while Narsapur and Palacole are important trading hubs for lace goods in West Godavari.
  • Approximately 15,000 women who work directly in the lace industry produce three categories of lace products: clothing, accessories, and home furnishings.
  • Together, the All India Crochet Lace Exporters Association, the West Godavari District Alankriti Lace Manufacturing Mahila Mutual Aided Co-operative Societies’ Federation Limited, and the Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited applied for the GI tag.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic presented difficulties for the craft, which led to a stagnant market with few new orders.
  • With China’s machine-made lace products dominating the market, the GI tag is expected to revitalise the craft and increase foreign trade, giving hope to the artisans.

The Narasapur Crochet Lace Craft
– Origin: It is thought that the women of the farming community in the Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh invented the Narasapur crochet lace craft some 150 years ago.
– History: The craft has a long history that dates back to the British colonial era, when it became well-known as a vital cottage sector.
– Technique: Expert craftspeople use a fine hook and thread to create intricate lace designs that are frequently influenced by traditional motifs and the natural world.
– Materials: To ensure durability and a beautiful finish, premium cotton or silk threads are frequently utilised.
– Products: Narasapur crochet lace is used to make a wide range of goods, such as religious articles, home décor, and clothing embellishments.
– Economic Significance: The craft is essential to the local economy, supporting the town’s cultural heritage and giving many women artisans a means of subsistence.
– Acknowledgment: Narasapur crochet lace has been granted Geographical Indication (GI) status, emphasising its distinct character and safeguarding it against piracy.
– Difficulties: In spite of its rich history, the craft still has to contend with issues like market competition and the requirement to modernise in order to draw in newer artisans.

PYQ: Which of the following has/have been accorded ‘Geographical Indication’ status? (2015)
1. Banaras Brocades and Sarees
2. Rajasthani Daal-Bati-Churma
3. Tirupathi Laddu

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (c)

6. SC says let MPs and MLAs speak in the House without worrying about being harassed.

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity – Parliament
The constitutional significance of legislative freedom of speech and how it affects democratic principles and governance may be the UPSC’s main area of focus.

● In India, a Constitution Bench overturned a 1998 ruling in the JMM bribery case and emphasised the importance of free speech for lawmakers in a democracy.

Additional information on this news:

  • The significance of free speech for elected officials serving in the State and Parliament legislatures was underscored by an Indian Constitution Bench.
  • Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud led the Bench in declaring that if MPs and MLAs could not express themselves without fear of harassment, democratic institutions’ representative nature would be undermined.
  • In the JMM bribery case, the 1998 ruling was overturned by the judgement.
  • In a parliamentary system, the freedom of legislators to discuss and debate issues was considered essential to a deliberative democracy.
  • The court emphasised that the right to free speech in parliamentary settings is a “necessary privilege” that is vital to the legislature’s smooth operation.
  • In order to uphold the dignity and authority of the legislature, the ruling made clear that parliamentary privilege and immunity would apply if lawmakers were threatened with legal action for their official actions or speeches given in the House.
  • The court further acknowledged that the right to free speech extends to the act of voting, declaring that a member of parliament’s right to free speech in Parliament protects their ability to vote.
  • Overall, the ruling highlighted how the freedom of speech and expression of legislators during the democratic process is protected by the constitution.

Protection of legislators’ freedom of speech and expression
Need for Protection:
– Strong Democracy: Debating ideas, even those that are controversial, is made possible by free speech, which promotes constructive dialogue and better laws.
– Accountability: Lawmakers are free to hold the powerful to account and critique the government without worrying about being silenced.
– Public Discourse: Free speech enables lawmakers to express their opinions and facts, educating the public and encouraging political engagement.
– Constituent Representation: Lawmakers have the right to openly communicate the needs and issues of the people they represent.

– Misuse of Speech: It takes precise regulations and strict enforcement to strike a balance between protecting free speech and combating hate speech, violent incitement, and defamation.
– Chilling Effect: Open discussion and accountability are hampered when lawmakers are afraid of being sued or facing revenge.
– Government Overreach: It is possible to stifle dissent and criticism by using ambiguous legislation or selective enforcement.
– Social Media Examination: Managing concerns about anonymity, false information, and possible manipulation is necessary when having online conversations.

PYQ: The role of the individual parliamentarian as a national legislator is diminishing, which has a negative effect on the calibre of discussions and their resolution. Talk about it. (15 minutes, 250 words) (2019 UPSSC CSE (M) GS-2
Practice Question: Talk about how important it is to protect lawmakers’ rights to free speech and expression in India in order to maintain a strong democratic system. In what ways does this protection advance transparency, accountability, and democracy as a whole? (10 m / 150 words)

7. ‘3 degrees to year-long droughts in Himalayas’

Topic: GS3 – Environment – Environmental pollution and degradation
Comprehending climate risks, biodiversity loss, and the pressing need to harmonise policies with the Paris Agreement for sustainable development are crucial for UPSC.

– The University of East Anglia’s research emphasising serious climate risks is discussed in the article.
– Climate risks, which increase with a 3-degree Celsius global warming and include extended droughts and biodiversity loss, highlight the significance of sticking to the Paris Agreement limits.

 Additional information on this news:

  • Research Findings: 90% of the Himalayan region could experience drought lasting more than a year under a 3-degree Celsius global warming scenario, according to a study published in Climatic Change.
  • Impact of the Paris Agreement: Research from the University of East Anglia suggests that 80% of the increased human exposure to heat stress in India could be avoided if global warming is kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • National Scale Risks: Eight research papers covering Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Brazil, China, India, and Ethiopia make up this study. With every degree of warming, there is a significant increase in the risk of drought, flooding, declining crop yields, and biodiversity loss.
  • Impact on Pollination: In India, at 3–4 degrees Celsius, pollination is cut in half, while at 1.5 degrees Celsius, it is cut in quarters.
  • Agricultural Land Exposure: Over 50% of the examined countries’ agricultural land is expected to experience severe droughts lasting more than a year over a 30-year period if temperatures rise by three degrees.
  • Sea-Level Rise and Economic Damages: If global warming is kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius, sea-level rise-related economic damages should rise more slowly.
  • Inadequate Global Efforts: The researchers stress the necessity of increasing efforts to mitigate global warming because current policies could result in an increase of three degrees Celsius.
  • Natural Capital Risk: Taking into account the effects of an increasing human population, a new “natural capital risk register” created for the six countries identifies high natural capital risks at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Climate Policy Alignment: As noted by Prof. Rachel Warren, the study’s lead author, the study emphasises how critical it is to match climate policies with the Paris Agreement’s limits in order to reduce the risks associated with widespread and increasing climate change.
  • Global Impact: Although the study focuses on six countries, the researchers point out that other countries are expected to face comparable climate change-related problems.

PYQ: Talk about global warming and the impact it has on the climate. Describe the steps being taken to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming in the context of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.(UPSC GS-3 2022 CSE (M)) (15 minutes, 250 words)
Practice Question: In what ways do growing climate risks—namely, extended droughts and loss of biodiversity—highlight the need for countries to synchronise their policies with the Paris Agreement? Talk about it with examples. (10 m / 150 words)

8. The status of India’s nuclear programme

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies
GS3 –  Science and Technology – Indigenization of technology
Examines India’s nuclear achievements, difficulties, and energy environment with a focus on policy implications and technological advancements. This is crucial for UPSC.

– The article covers the challenges faced by India’s Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, the emergence of Small Modular Reactors, and the reactor’s role in the three-stage nuclear programme, including the milestone of core-loading.

Overview of the PFBR Core-Loading Event:

  • Achieved a historic milestone: in India’s nuclear power programme with the core-loading of the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), signifying the start of stage II.
  • Location: On March 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present at the Madras Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu.

Background on PFBR:

  • Production of Fuel: The PFBR is a fast breeder reactor that is intended to generate more plutonium-239 (Pu-239), or nuclear fuel, than it needs. For India’s three-stage nuclear power programme, this procedure is essential.
  • Three-Stage Programme: In order to achieve total nuclear energy self-sufficiency, India’s nuclear programme consists of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) in stage I, PFBR in stage II, and reactors combining Pu-239 with thorium-232 (Th-232) in stage III.

Reasons for PFBR Delays:

  • Historical Context: There were promises broken, delays, and cost overruns in the PFBR project. Sanctions following India’s nuclear test had an impact on the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at Kalpakkam, a precursor.
  • Funding Issues: The PFBR faced delays, with an initial cost of ₹3,492 crore and a 2010 deadline. The price had increased to ₹6,800 crore by 2019. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) requested additional funding as well as extended deadlines.
  • Findings of the Audit: According to a 2014 audit, BHAVINI had problems with procurement since it depended too much on the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Ltd., which caused delays in getting parts.
  • Technical Difficulties: Reactor coolant-related issues were among the technical challenges that further prolonged the PFBR’s operationalization delays.

Operational Mechanism of PFBR:

  • Fuel Combination: In stage II, energy, U-233, and more Pu-239 are produced by combining Pu-239 from PHWRs with U-238 in the PFBR.
  • Breeder Reactor Concept: Using liquid sodium as a coolant in two circuits, the PFBR is a breeder reactor that produces more fissile material than it consumes.
  • Heat Transfer: In order to produce electricity, the liquid sodium transfers heat from the reactor to generators. It was difficult to get the desired results, as a 2020 paper details.

Role of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs):

  • Possible Complication: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) were identified as an alternative after delays in PFBR caused concerns. SMRs offer improved safety features, require less land, and have a maximum capacity of 300 MW.
  • Benefits of SMRs: include the ability to employ low-enriched uranium and the potential for quicker, less expensive installation. It might be required to make changes to regulatory frameworks in order to enhance SMR contribution.

Value and Challenges of Stage II:

  • PFBR Capacity: The PFBR can handle 500 MWe of power. Plans call for the construction of four additional 600 MWe Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs), which will help India meet its nuclear power goals.
  • Changing Energy Scene: As renewable energy sources increase, so do PFBR delays. The economic sustainability of nuclear power is being challenged by the sharp decline in the cost of solar electricity.
  • Decarbonisation Pressure: Despite obstacles, India is under pressure to decarbonise, import fewer fossil fuels, and boost the renewable energy industry. As a result, there is a resurgence of interest in nuclear power.

Challenges Ahead:

  • Managing FBRs: Unlike other reactor designs, managing Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs) presents difficulties.
  • Regulatory Concerns: Proposals for an independent statutory atomic regulator have been sparked by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Body’s (AERB) perceived subservience to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
  • Waste Management: Radioactive isotopes produced by the thorium fuel cycle, which is essential to stage II, make handling and storage more difficult and call for the implementation of strong waste management strategies.


  • In conclusion, while the PFBR’s core-loading event represents a major advancement in India’s nuclear programme, there are still issues to be resolved, such as delays, financial viability, and changing energy markets.
  • The future of nuclear energy in India must incorporate SMRs and address regulatory and waste management issues.

PYQ: Provide a summary of India’s progress in nuclear science and technology. What are the benefits of India’s fast breeder reactor programme? (15 minutes, 250 words) (CSE (M) GS-3, UPSSC 2017)
Practice Question: To what extent does India’s nuclear programme benefit from its prototype fast breeder reactor, and what obstacles and substitutes—like small modular reactors—are apparent? Talk about it. (10 m / 150 words)

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