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(24 April 2023) Government Data Roundup: Reports & Draft Circulars/Papers by UNFPA, TRAI, NITI Aayog Among Those Released Recently


The 27th edition of the fortnightly government roundup covers reports, draft circulars/papers released by UNFPA, RBI, TRAI, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Animal Husbandry & Fishing among others.

In this 27th edition of fortnightly government data roundup, we look at the State of World Population Report 2023, State Energy Efficiency Index 2021-22, draft ‘Sagar Mala innovation and Startup policy’, Animal Birth Control Rules 2023, National Quantum Mission, Framework for acceptance of Green Bonds, Master directions on outsourcing of Information Technology services, and White paper on ‘Gearing up to solve food security challenges’ by NITI Aayog. 

The Reserve Bank of India issued the ‘Draft circular on Fair Lending practices- Penal charges in Loan accounts.’ This is to streamline the ‘divergent practices’ adopted by the Regulated entities (REs) & to address the issue of utilizing penal charges as a tool for revenue enhancement by the REs. This is a crucial step in protecting the interests of the borrowers.  In addition, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a consultation paper on ‘Issues related to Low Power Small Range FM Radio Broadcasting’. Both are open for comments till 15 May 2023. 

Among the monthly reports, CPI, IIP and WPI were released. The descriptions for these reports can be found here. Key statistics from these reports are as below.

  • The all-India year-on-year inflation rates (%) based on CPI for rural and urban combined for March 2023 (provisional) is 5.66 declining from 6.44 in February. This was 6.95 in March 2022.  
  • For the month of February 2023, the Quick Estimates of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with base 2011-12 stands at 138.7. The Indices of Industrial Production for the Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity sectors for the month of February 2023 stand at 129.0, 136.8 and 174.0 respectively.
  • The annual rate of inflation based on all-India Wholesale Price Index (WPI) number is 1.34% (Provisional) for the month of March 2023 (over March 2022) against 3.85% recorded in February 2023. 

State of World Population 2023

Report nameState of World Population 2023
Agency responsibleUNFPA
Frequency of releaseAnnual
Source linkState of World Population 2023

Brief about the report:

It is an annual flagship publication of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It aims to bring forth the emerging challenges and developments in the field of reproductive and sexual health and the rights emanating from them. The current report is titled, ‘8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities: the case for Rights and Choices.’

Key findings of the report:

  • The population of the world in 2023 is estimated at 8045 million, with 65% of them in the 15-64 years age. Indian population is estimated to be 1428.6 million in 2023, with 68% in the 15-64 age group.
  • Life expectancy among men now stands at 71 years while among women it stands at 76 years for the world. India’s total fertility rate is 2.0, while that of the world is 2.3. 
  • Unmet need for contraception has barely fallen in decades, moving from 12.2% in 2000 to 10.6% in 2023 among partnered women.
  • Projections till the year 2030 indicate an increase in the number of women with a need for family planning to 1.2 billion and, because of population growth, 262 million women would still have an unmet need for modern contraception, up from the absolute number of 257 million in 2023.
  • 44% of partnered women and girls in 68 reporting countries do not have the right to make informed decisions about their bodies when it comes to having sex, using contraception, and seeking health care.
  • Exposure to messages and rhetoric about the world’s population — whether via media, general conversation, or other modes of communication — appeared to be linked to greater concern about population size, fertility rate and immigration.

State Energy Efficiency Index 2021-22

Report nameState Energy Efficiency Index 2021-22
SectorPower and Electricity
Agency responsibleMinistry of Power
Frequency of releaseAnnual
Source linkState Energy Efficiency Index 2021-22

Brief about the report:

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE) has developed the State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI) for the years 2021–2022. It is used to track and monitor energy efficiency initiatives in the states and UTs. It offers perceptions on intervention priority areas with regard to state-level policy adoption, successful implementation, and monitoring. The latest report is the fourth edition. 

Fifty (50) qualitative, quantitative, and outcome-based indicators are included in the SEEI 2021–22 to track the latest developments. Indicators have been developed for seven demand sectors—buildings, industry, municipal services, transportation, agriculture, DISCOMs, and cross-sector initiatives. The buildings and industry sectors, which utilize the most energy, make up 25% and 21% of the total weight, respectively. The Index has a maximum score of 100.

Key findings:

  • In SEEI 2021-22, each state/UT is classified as ‘Front runner’ (>60), ‘Achiever’ (50- 60), ‘Contender’ (30-49.5), and ‘Aspirant’ (<30) based on its performance, like in SEEI 2020.
  • In comparison to two states (Karnataka and Rajasthan) in 2020, five states—Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, and Telangana—are among the “front-runners (>60 points)” in 2021–2022. During 2021–2022, Karnataka (82.5) performed the best, followed by Andhra Pradesh (77.5) and Telangana (74).
  • Twenty-eight (28) states/UTs saw an increase in their scores from SEEI 2020 to SEEI 2021–2022. Seven among these—Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, and Telangana—had improved by over 15 points. The biggest gains were made by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which increased by 45.5 & 27 points respectively.
  • In contrast, Tamil Nadu experienced a 22.5-point score reduction in SEEI 2021–22, which was mostly caused by a lack of recorded data.
  • Many states are yet to develop a framework for data capture on the implementation of energy-efficient initiatives undertaken.

Draft ‘Sagarmala Innovation and Start-up Policy’

Report nameDraft ‘Sagarmala Innovation and Start-up Policy’
SectorShipping & Ports
Agency responsibleMinistry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW)
Frequency of release
Source linkDraft ‘Sagarmala Innovation and Start-up Policy’

Brief about the draft:

‘Sagarmala Programme’ was launched by India to encourage port-led growth throughout the nation.  By enacting the “Sagarmala Innovation and Startup Policy,” the Ministry seeks to create an innovation and entrepreneurship environment for the marine industry. The primary objective is to create an ecosystem that will foster new approaches and ideas for addressing and resolving problems in Indian ports and the maritime sector by actively enhancing collaborations between academic institutions, the private sector and between different agencies of the government.

Key highlights:

  • For the purposes of this policy, MoPSW shall create and implement the Sagarmala Startup Portal (SSP). The portal will serve as a one-stop solution for all startup-related tasks, including information on startups, application procedures and other knowledge resources.
  • The Maritime Innovation Hub (MIH) vertical created at the Institute/ Organization nominated by MoPSW will be used to implement the policy for the development of startups in the marine sector. The Startup Monitoring and Evaluation Group (SEMG) will oversee MIH.
  • To help new business entrepreneurs in the maritime sector, MIH will create a comprehensive database with all relevant data. All facets of the maritime environment, including commercial growth, professional networking, and educational initiatives, will be covered in the database. 
  • MIH shall set up state-of-art modern incubators and accelerators and MIH shall be responsible for finding financial support for eligible startup businesses.
  • All MoPSW organizations, including the major ports, must work to establish “Launchpads” to provide chosen startups with the appropriate mentoring and field assistance.

Animal Birth Control Rules, 2023

Report nameAnimal Birth Control Rules, 2023
SectorAnimal Husbandry
Agency responsibleMinistry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying
Frequency of release
Source LinkAnimal Birth Control Rules, 2023

Brief about the rules:

Responding to the growing menace of street dogs and various supreme court judgements, the Central Government notified the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2023. These are the revisions to the 2001 rules which failed to curb the growing conflicts between humans and stray dogs. These rules are based on the judicial developments handling of stray dogs by striking the balance between animal and human co-existence, no relocation, no cruelty and the need for proper care of stray dogs.

Key revisions and highlights

  • The new rules classify dogs into two categories – Pet dogs and Street dogs/community-owned Indian dogs/ abandoned pedigree dogs, while the earlier rules classified into pet dogs and street dogs. 
  • In the earlier rules, the responsibility of sterilization and immunization was by the participation of animal welfare organizations, private individuals, and the local authority, whereas the new rules entrust this responsibility to the local authority, which may engage animal welfare organizations.
  • The new rules entrust the responsibility of feeding community animals to the resident welfare associations (RWAs) who shall identify dedicated and mutually agreed upon spots and times for feeding. Such spots shall be located far away from children’s play areas.
  • Only the entities recognized or registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) shall carry out the animal birth control program.
  • The Project In-charge of the local authority or the Veterinarian in charge of the Animal Welfare organization conducting animal birth control program shall submit an annual report to the Board through the State Animal Birth Control Monitoring Committee, not later than the 31st day of May every year regarding the total number of animals captured, sterilized, immunized during the previous year.

National Quantum Mission

Report nameNational Quantum Mission
SectorScience and Technology
Agency responsibleMinistry of Science and Technology
Frequency of release
Source LinkNational Quantum Mission

Highlights of the Mission

  • The National Quantum Mission (NQM), which would run from 2023–2024 to 2030–2031 and cost a total of Rs. 6003.65 crores was approved by the Union Government. 
  • India is the seventh country after the US, Austria, Finland, France, Canada, and China to have a dedicated National Quantum Mission.
  • The primary objective is to launch, support, and scale up scientific and industrial R&D as well as develop a dynamic and creative ecosystem in quantum technology.
  • In prestigious universities and national R&D institutions, four Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs) on the topics of quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensing & metrology, and quantum materials & devices will be established. 
  • These hubs will boost R&D in areas that are assigned to them and will concentrate on producing new knowledge through basic and applied research.
  • The new project aims to build intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50–1000 physical qubits over an 8-year period on a variety of platforms, including superconducting and photonics.

Framework for acceptance of Green Bonds

Report nameFramework for Acceptance of Green Bonds
Agency responsibleReserve Bank of India
Frequency of release
Source LinkFramework for acceptance of Green Bonds

Brief about the framework:

There is growing recognition of the role played by the financial sector in mobilizing the required resources to tackle the challenge of climate change. To encourage and foster an ecosystem for green finance and to address the issue of ‘greenwashing’, the framework for acceptance of green bonds is developed.

Key highlights:

  • Regulated entities (REs) must implement a thorough policy on green deposits that have been approved by the board and set out all relevant details for the issue and distribution of green deposits.
  • For the efficient distribution of green deposits, regulated entities must implement a Financing Framework (FF) that has been approved by the Board. This framework must cover the eligible green activities and projects that can be funded, the procedure for project evaluation and selection, third-party verification of the allocation of proceeds, and impact assessments. 
  • The regulated entities must develop internal checks and balances in addition to third-party assessments. Both are mutually exclusive.
  • Regulated entities can voluntarily conduct impact assessments till 2023-24, however, it is mandatory from 2024-25 onwards.
  • Regulated entities must include the necessary disclosures in their annual financial statements about the use of green deposit funds at the portfolio level.

Master Directions on outsourcing of Information Technology Services

Report nameMaster Directions on Outsourcing of Information Technology Services
Agency responsibleReserve Bank of India
Frequency of release
Source LinkMaster Directions on outsourcing of Information Technology Services

Brief about the directions:

With evolving technologies, there is a constant push for regulated entities to embrace newer technologies to support their business models and products. However, this push also exposes them to potential threats of cyber-attacks. To prevent this, the RBI has come up with directions for outsourcing of IT services. 

Key features:

  • One of the primary and main concerns these directions address is responsibility. Outsourcing neither absolves the Regulated Entities (REs) of their ability to fulfill the customers nor should impede the supervision by the RBI.
  • A comprehensive board-approved IT outsourcing policy must be in place by a RE before it can outsource any of its IT-related tasks. It must include, among other things, the selection criteria for such operations and service providers, the parameters for identifying material outsourcing based on broad criteria, the delegation of authority based on risk and materiality, disaster recovery plans, and business continuity plans.
  • The REs must establish a framework for risk management for outsourcing IT services. This framework must cover all processes and responsibilities for risk identification, measurement, mitigation, management, and reporting.
  • A management structure must be in place for REs to oversee and manage their outsourced IT activities. A clear exit strategy for outsourced IT activities and services must be included in the outsourcing of IT services policy to maintain business continuity both during and after leaving.
  • REs must have a strong grievance redressal mechanism that is not dependent on outsourcing. Outsourcing arrangements shall not affect the rights of a customer against the REs.

Gearing up to solve food security challenges- Building agritech ecosystem for global south.

Report nameGearing up to solve food security challenges
Agency responsibleNITI Aayog
Frequency of release
Source LinkGearing up to solve food security challenges

Brief about the report:

Agriculture remains the crucial sector of the Indian economy. Millions of farmers are dependent on farming for their sustenance. There is a need for sustained growth in the agriculture sector to ensure self-sufficiency in food.

Yet, the agriculture sector faces multiple challenges of production, market linkages, supply chain, climate change, weather risks, etc., which cause significant losses. Agri-tech start-ups have the potential to come up with innovative solutions to address these challenges. This report is an effort in that direction to discuss emerging agritech trends.

Key highlights:

  • Farmers can reduce weather-related hazards by following an advisory based on the current weather conditions. Weather forecasts will assist in managing weather-related risks when sophisticated AI and ML capabilities combine with satellite imagery.
  • This is a unique chance for agritech startups to address the problems with clean and chemical-free product production, supply chain challenges, and traceability.
  • There is an extended push from the government to promote agritech in India. Many incubators and critical accelerators are set up specifically to promote agritech. 
  • The agritech startups must be provided access to the public database on Indian farming, without violating privacy. This data must be both available and in a usable format. Karnataka has developed a system, ‘e-sahamathi’, which can be emulated nationwide.
  • Since most of the aspects of agriculture relate to the state governments, it is of utmost necessity that the states must be proactive in developing state-specific agritech policies. A state-level facilitation center must also be developed by the state to ensure effective and optimal utilization of resources.

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