Status of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees
(GS-II: Parliament-Structure, functioning and conduct of business, Indian Constitution-features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure etc)
The Supreme Court will hear petitions challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The hearing could have an impact on the unresolved status of Indian-origin Tamils who repatriated from Sri Lanka.
Background of the Issue:
For over four decades, nearly 30,000 Indian-origin Tamils have been classified as stateless persons, based on technicalities. The recent Citizenship act will need to be amended to include them under it.
After the Civil-War steps by India for Indian-Origin Tamils:
Welfare: Refugee welfare and rehabilitation
Refugee status: To both Indian-origin Tamils and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees
Illegal migrants’ as per the CAA 2003: Indian-origin Tamils who arrived after 1983 without authorized channels or proper documentation were declared illegal migrants.
Ulaganathan vs Government of India (2019):
Continuous period of statelessness of Indian-origin Tamils affects their fundamental right under Article 21.
The Union Government has the power to grant relaxation in conferring citizenship.
Abirami S. vs The Union of India(2022):
Principles of the CAA, 2019, would also apply to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.
The United States: Immigration and the Nationality Technical Corrections Act retroactively grant citizenship to all children born to an alien father and citizen mother.
Brazil: Through Constitutional Amendment of 2007 retroactively granted citizenship to children under jus sanguinis.
Jus sanguinis: It is a principle of nationality law by which citizenship is determined or acquired by the nationality or ethnicity of one or both parents.
Given their genealogical link to India, the Government of India needs to consider extending citizenship benefits to them in accordance with Indian bilateral obligations and international humanitarian principles and international conventions.
The wind sector in India needs an overhaul
(GS-III: Science & Technology)
Globally, India has the fourth-highest installed capacity to generate wind energy. However, the potential is higher and can be accelerated with changes to the bidding system and policies.
The country’s total installed capacity was 41.67 GW as on September 30, 2022.
The Indian government set a target for 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022.
The goal included achieving 60 GW of onshore and 5 GW of offshore capacity for wind energy.
What is Wind Energy?
Wind energy is the kinetic energy associated with the movement of atmospheric air.
Wind turbines transform the energy in the wind into mechanical power, further converting it to electric power to generate electricity.
India’s Potential for wind energy:
According to estimates by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) and the World Bank Group- The country has the potential for more than 602 GW of onshore wind energy at 120-metre hub height and 100 GW of fixed and floating offshore.
The state of Gujarat has the highest Wind Energy potential, followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh.
Two types of Wind energy: Onshore wind farms (located on land) and Offshore wind farms ( located in bodies of water)
Challenges in meeting targets:
Failing in to meet targets: With 37.5 GW of onshore wind power installed at the end of 2019, India may fall short of its 2022 targets due to pricing, payment risk mitigation, transmission capacity and land use challenges.
Issues with the Bidding process: Current bidding is based on tariffs derived from the site plant load factor (PLF).
PLF: Plant load factor (PLF) is the ratio of average power generated by the plant to the maximum power that could have been generated in a given time.
Policy issues: Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are the highest PLF states and to realise better tariffs, most projects are being planned in these states only (60 per cent in Gujarat and 30 per cent in TN).
The issue of land availability: In Gujarat, this issue may have been covered, but the greater issue of grid planning persists.
Infrastructure Issues: Apart from the concentration of projects that create severe pressure on land, the creation of infrastructure for power evacuation leads to a choking situation, as seen in Gujarat.
Investors’ unwillingness: In spite of the availability of land and infrastructure in other states, investors do not prefer Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra as the proposed projects cannot compete with projects in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu due to PLF and economic constraints.
What is the feed-in tariff?
The procurement model was changed from state procurement based on the feed-in tariff (FiT) to central procurement through an e-reverse auction in 2017.
A feed-in tariff is an energy policy focused on supporting the development and dissemination of renewable power generation.
A reverse auction is a type of auction in which the traditional roles of buyer and seller are reversed. Thus, there is one buyer and many potential sellers.
Steps have been taken to promote the installation of wind capacity in the country:
Technical support including wind resource assessment and identification of potential sites through the National Institute of Wind Energy, Chennai.
In order to facilitate the inter-state sale of wind power, the inter-state transmission charges and losses have been waived off for wind and solar projects to be commissioned by March 2022.
Issued Guidelines for Tariff-Based Competitive Bidding Process for Procurement of Power from Grid Connected Wind Power Projects.
National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy (2018): To provide a framework for the promotion of large grid-connected wind-solar PV hybrid systems.
National Offshore Wind Energy Policy (2015): To develop offshore wind energy in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) along the Indian coastline.
Under the circumstances, major original equipment manufacturers have resorted to exporting turbines and components as the domestic market is going down south.
While FiT is the answer, closed bidding will perhaps see viable tariffs.
Encouragement of captive and group captives with annual banking and interstate trading under Green Open Access will accelerate capacity addition.
The Supreme Court declared that any person conducting the invasive ‘two-finger’ or ‘three-finger’ vaginal test on rape or sexual assault survivors will be found guilty of misconduct.
Two-finger test: The test is conducted to check whether the victim has had recent sexual intercourse, the victim of rape or sexual assault.
The test has no scientific basis: It neither proves nor disproves allegations of rape.
Court also ordered the two-finger test to be removed from the syllabus of medical education.
Guidelines: The court ordered that the guidelines be circulated to private and government hospitals.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines for health providers forbid the application of the two-finger test.
2013 SC order: Two-finger test and its interpretation violate the right of rape survivors to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity.
World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines: A rape test kit, detailing tools are required to collect evidence of the sexual assault.
Section 53A in the Indian Evidence Act: The evidence of a victim’s character or her previous sexual experience with any person shall not be relevant to the issue of consent or the quality of consent in the prosecution of sexual offences.