Administrative Relations between Center and States

Administrative Relations between Center and States

This article deals with ‘Administrative Relations between Center and States – Indian Polity.’ This is part of our series on ‘Polity’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus. For more articles , you can click here

Division of Executive Powers

Executive powers are divided on the lines of Legislative powers

Executive powers between the Center and the States mirror the delineation of legislative powers:

Executive Power of the Center:

Executive Power of the Center extends to the following

  1. To all matters on which it can Legislate 
  2. To exercise rights, authority & jurisdiction conferred on it by Treaty or Agreement

Executive Power of the States

Executive Power of the States extends to the following

  1. To all matters on which States can legislate,
  2. On matters enumerated in the Concurrent list except when it is specifically mentioned for the centre

The Center can give directions to States in the following.

  1. Executive Power of the Union shall extend to giving such directions to the State as may appear to the Government of India necessary for the purpose of compliance with laws made by Parliament.
  2. To construct or maintain communication declared of national or military importance
  3. Measures to be taken for the protection of railways within the State
  4. To provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother language to minority groups
  5. Drawing up & executing specific schemes for SC & ST in the State

The Government of India bears costs incurred on functions #1, 2 and 3.

Mutual Delegation of Functions

It can be under two conditions.


  • President may, with the consent of the State government, entrust to that government any of the executive functions of the Center.
  • The Governor of a State may, with the consent of the Central government, entrust to that government any of the executive functions of the State.


  • The Center can entrust its Executive function to the State without the State’s consent by making provisions about it in the Act itself (the Constitution confers this power to Parliament)

All India Services

Administrative Relations between Center and States
  • Centre and States have their separate Public Services, but in addition, there are All India Services, which include IAS, IPS & IFS (IFS was created later in 1966)
  • According to Article 312, Parliament can create any new All India Services with the resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha for this.
  • These services are unique in representing a single cadre with common rights and a uniform pay scale. This distinctive feature ensures a standardized and cohesive administrative framework, contributing to the overall efficiency of governance.
  • States have immediate control, while the Center has ultimate control over them.
  • Although they violate the principle of federalism, they were supported on grounds like maintaining high standards in administration, helping to ensure uniformity in administration, and facilitating liaison, cooperation & coordination.

Integrated Judicial System

  • Although India has a federal structure consisting of a dual polity, when it comes to the administration of justice, our Constitution advocates for the establishment of an Integrated Judicial System.
  •  Such integration intends to foster a cohesive legal framework that upholds the principles of justice, equality, and fairness for all citizens.

Relations during Emergencies

Done in emergency provisions (Click here )

Extra Constitutional Measures

Several advisory bodies and conferences are held at the Central level.

  • Niti Ayog, National Integration Council, North Eastern Council, Central Council of Indian Medicine, Central Council of Homeopathy, etc., are some of the Advisory bodies which help both states & centres to streamline policies.
  • Conferences – Chief Ministers Conference(Presided by PM), Governors Conference (Presided by President), Chief Secretaries Conference( Presided by Cabinet Secretary), etc. to facilitate Centre-State consultation on a wide range of matters

Human Development Report

Last Update: June 2023 (Human Development Report)

Human Development Report

This article deals with ‘Human Development Report’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ and ‘Society’. For more articles , you can click here .


UNDP defines Human Development as the process of widening people’s choices and raising the level of well-being.

For instance, look at the following example.

Human Development Report

Human Development is the critical enabler for upward social mobility.

Human Development Report

  • It is prepared by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which provides a comprehensive analysis of human development across countries. 
  • In 1990, Mahbub-ul-Haq of Pakistan and Amartya Sen of India gave the concept of HDI. 
  • In various reports, it has been found that the Human Development of everyone is not taking place.
    • The human development of males is 20 points greater than females in South Asia.
    • Everywhere, the Human Development of elites and religious majorities is more than others.
    • Due to Climate Change, the Human Development of the present generation is more than what can be achieved by future generations. 

In Human Development Report, there are 5 Indexes.

  1. Human Development Index (HDI) 
  2. HDI – Inequality Adjusted 
  3. Gender Development Index(GDI) 
  4. Gender Inequality Index 
  5. Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

The latest report for 2021/22 was released in 2022

1. Human Development Index  (HDI)

  • It was developed by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 1990 by a team headed by Prof. Mahbub ul Haq. Prof Amartya Sen was also a prominent member of this. 

Dimensions of HDI

Dimension Indicator 
Health Life Expectancy at Birth 
Knowledge Mean Years of Schooling
Expected Years of Schooling
Standard of Living GNI per capita
  • Switzerland topped the ranking in the latest report (2021/2022). India was ranked 132.

Indian Ranking

  Indian Ranking HDI Score
1990   0.429
2015 130 0.624
2016 131 0.624
2017 130 0.643
2018 129 0.647
2019 131 0.645
2021/22 132 0.633

Based on a report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), approximately 90% of nations have witnessed a decline in their Human Development Index (HDI) value during either 2020 or 2021. It signifies that global human development has come to a halt for the first time in 32 years.

2. Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI)

  • Human Development Index is Geometric Mean. Hence HDI masks internal inequalities.
  • UNDP releases another Index which also accounts for inequalities.
  • HDI (Inequality adjusted) = HDI -(minus) HDI (lost due to Inequality), i.e. Human Development which is lost because of inequalities present in the country wrt gender is adjusted in this. 

IHDI (2022) Ranking

Rank Country HDI Score HDI-Inequality Adjusted Score
1 Iceland 0.959 0.915
2 Norway 0.961 0.908
—— —–    
108 India 0.633 0.475

When there is perfect equality, the HDI and the Inequality Adjusted HDI (IHDI) are equal. However, as the difference between the two increases, it indicates greater levels of inequality within the country.

Note: SDG Goal 10 calls for ‘reducing the Inequalities.’

3. Gender Development Index

  • The Gender Development Index (GDI) is a separate measurement released by the UNDP to complement the Human Development Index (HDI) to address females’ development specifically. 
  • While the HDI does not provide specific information on female development, the GDI calculates the ratio of Female HDI to Male HDI. 

GDI = Female HDI/ Male HDI.

  • If the Development Index for females exceeds that of males, the GDI can be greater than 1.

4. Gender Inequality Index

  • The Gender Inequality Index (GII) has been calculated since 2010.
  • Despite improvements in life expectancy and access to education for women, they still face specific forms of inequality, such as early pregnancies, lack of representation, and limited participation in economic activities. Therefore, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) introduced a specialized index to examine gender inequality.

Dimensions of Gender Inequality Index

Dimension Indicator 
Reproductive Health Maternal Mortality Rate
Adolescent Birth Rate
Empowerment Parliament Seats occupied by Women
Higher Education Attainment Levels
Economic Activity Female Labour Force Participation

The calculations used for the Gender Inequality Index (GII) are represented on a scale of 0 to 1, with 0 indicating no inequality (i.e., women fare equally to men) and 1 representing complete inequality (i.e., significant disparities between women and men).

GII (2022) Ranking

  • India is Ranked = 122 (Score: 0.490)
  • This score is better than that of the South Asian region (value: 0.508) and close to the world average of 0.465. This reflects the Government’s initiatives and investments towards more inclusive growth, social protection, and gender-responsive development policies. 

5. Multidimensional Poverty

  • In India, we calculate poverty using Tendulkar Method based on household consumption.
  • But UNDP takes a holistic view of poverty and measures it differently. 
  • The report has been released since 2010.
  • In Multidimensional Poverty, they look into the following components to measure poverty (HES)
    • Health with components like child mortality
    • Education with components like years of schooling
    • Standard of Living with components like electricity, water etc.
Multidimensional Poverty
  • According to the 2022 Report, 16.4 per cent of the Indian population (22.8 crores) is Multidimensionally Poor
  • Additionally, Multidimensional Poverty is continuously decreasing in India.
Multidimensional Poverty  in India - Trend

E-Technology in the Aid of Farmers

Last Updated: June 2023 (E-Technology in the Aid of Farmers)

E-Technology in the Aid of Farmers

This article deals with ‘E-Technology in the Aid of Farmers.’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’, which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

What is E-Technology in the Aid of Farmers?

E-Technology in the Aid of Farmers

Need for Digitization in the Agriculture Sector

  1. Increase Agricultural Productivity: Farmers lack access to high-quality agricultural inputs, farm machinery and other allied equipment, which leads to low agricultural productivity or low-quality crops. E-Technology can help farmers to remove this. 
  2. Strengthening Agricultural Ecosystem: Agriculture’s contribution to India’s GDP has decreased from 34% in 1983 to 17% in 2018 due to inherent inefficiencies in the agricultural ecosystem. Innovations such as satellites, sensors, data analytics, and improved means of connectivity can help farmers face myriad challenges, such as access to markets, information, inputs, expert advice, etc.  
  3. Informed decision-making: The application of information technology can support farmers in making intelligent decisions based on concrete data. It also enables individuals to get specialized solutions and granular information of direct use rather than a general policy overview that the centre or state government publishes. 
  4. Digitization of Land Records: It can empower farmers, especially tenant farmers, sharecroppers, oral lessees and landless labourers, by improving transparency in accessing institutional credit and enhancing overall ease of doing business in the Agri-sector. 
  5. Accessible Financial Services: Agritech can facilitate credit facilities for input procurement and equipment acquisition and offer crop insurance. Such services can help the agricultural sector to overcome several roadblocks, such as limited access to capital.

1. Information Dissemination

E-Technology can help farmers by providing them with marker prices, weather forecasts, farming techniques, crop diseases, and best farming practices. For example

  1. Mobile Applications: Mobile Applications such as e-Mausam Krishi Seva, PUSA Krishi App, Cropin, AgriApp, and Kisan Suvidha are developed to provide information related to market prices of various crops, weather forecasts, diseases etc., to farmers in personalized form using their location and crop preference information. 
  2. SMS ServicesmKRISHI and mKISAN are SMS-based platforms that provide weather updates, market prices, Crop management tips, market prices, and expert advice to the farmers via SMS. 
  3. Farmer Helplines: Toll-free helpline services such as Kisan Helpline (of Union Ministry of Agriculture) and Kisan Call Center (of Tamil Nadu government) connect farmers with agricultural experts who can provide information to farmers on various aspects such as farming best practices, new farming techniques etc.

2. Online Marketplaces

E-Tech platforms help farmers sell their produce at better prices, know realtime prices, and streamline logistics.  

  • Agri-Marketplaces: E-Technology platforms such as AgriBazaar, eNAM (National Agriculture Market), and BigHaat help in connecting farmers with buyers by providing a digital marketplace for trading. 
  • Price Comparison: Websites and Applications such as AgMarkNet provide farmers with realtime price information for different agricultural commodities across other markets. 
  • Logistics and Delivery: E-technology platforms such as Ninjacart, Jumbotail, and BigBasket offer last-mile delivery services to ensure that agricultural produce reaches the final customers promptly and efficiently.

3. Access to Financial Tools

E-technology helps farmers to access credit, insurance, subsidies and payment transfers efficiently. For example

  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT): Using DBT, subsidies and welfare payments can be transferred directly to the bank account of the farmers, thus reducing corruption and delays.
  • The Kisan Suvidha Portal is a comprehensive portal where farmers can access financial, insurance, agro-marketing etc., options available to Indian farmers.
Kisan Suvidha Portal
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has provided a platform to make convenient and secure transactions even in rural areas. Now, farmers can receive their payments directly into their bank accounts.

4. Farmer Education and Training

Online platforms provide information regarding modern agricultural practices, livestock management, organic farming, and agro-entrepreneurship. For example

  • Websites like e-Pashuhaat, e-Krishi Yantra (of the Madhya Pradesh government), and e-Extension (of the Tamil Nadu government) provide information on improved farming practices. 
  • Platforms like TAFE e-Dost provide online courses and learning materials to farmers regarding innovative farming techniques.  
  • Videos are shared through YouTube channels like Apni Kheti and Indian Farmer.  

5. Use of Sensors, Drones and Satellites

IoT devices like sensors, drones, and smart irrigation systems are used on farms to monitor temperature, crop health, soil moisture, and temperature in realtime. For example

  • Smart Agriculture Systems: IoT devices monitor soil moisture levels, temperature, and weather conditions in realtime. It helps farmers to optimize the use of fertilizers, pesticides and water, which transfers to higher profits. 
  • Crop Monitoring: IoT devices, with the help of data from sensors, drones, and satellites, provide realtime data on crop growth, health, and growth patterns. 
Crop Monitoring in E-Technology in the Aid of Farmers
  • Livestock Monitoring: IoT devices such as GPS trackers, wearable sensors and temperature monitors track livestock’s location, health and behaviour.  
Livestock  Tracking to improve productivity
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY): PMFBY aims to assess the damage to crops for insurance purposes through GPS-aided mobile images, satellite and drone imagery. It has improved accuracy and compensation.
Using Satellites in Satellites, Drones and Phones in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
  • AI Sowing App: Microsoft has developed this application in collab with International Crops Research Institute for Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT). AI Sowing App sends advisory to farmers about the optimal date of seeds-owing.
  • KISAN RAJA Mobile Motor Controller: The working is explained in the figure below.
KISAN Raja and E-Technology in the Aid of Farmers


  • Non-availability of Suitable Digital products: Digitization efforts often suffer from poor product design, inappropriate technology for a rural context and inadequate understanding of the needs of key agriculture stakeholders. For instance, most digital products operate in English or Hindi and do not offer services in other local languages. 
  • Digital Divide: Smartphone penetration is very low in rural India (25% in 2018), and internet access is limited—rural broadband penetration was a mere 29% in 2020.  
  • Limited funding for Private AgTechs: High-risk perception among investors, long gestation period, climate risk, lack of leverage etc., make it difficult for Technological Startups involved in Agriculture (AgTech).  
  • Limited availability of agri-data and access to it: Companies working in the AgTech sector find it difficult to access reliable agri-data owned by the government. Also, only a few states have digitized land records. 
  • Concerns related to sharing farmers’ data with private companies: Without proper safeguards, private entities could exploit farmers’ data to whatever extent they wish, which can lead to the commodification of agriculture and farmer data.  

Exchange Rate Regimes

Last Updated: May 2023 (Exchange Rate Regimes)

Exchange Rate Regimes

This article deals with ‘Exchange Rate Regimes.’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .

Types of Exchange Rate

1. Fixed exchange Rate

  • In the Fixed Exchange Rate, the central bank of a country decides the exchange rate of the local currency for foreign currency. 
  • E.g., Consider an imaginary situation where RBI fix an exchange rate of 1$ = 10 ₹. If excess dollars enter the market, the RBI will print more ₹ to absorb the extra dollars. If fewer dollars enter the market, the RBI will sell the dollars from its forex reserve to ensure ₹ doesn’t weaken.
  • It was operational in India up to March 1992.
Exchange Rate Regimes

Challenge: External Shocks & Fixed Exchange Rate

  • In some situations, if the demand for a foreign currency in India increases exponentially, then the RBI maintained equilibrium will disturb. Initially, RBI will try to stabilize the situation by selling $s from its forex reserve. But, since RBI will not have an infinite amount of dollars in its reserve, ultimately, it will be forced to devalue ₹. Hence, the biggest drawback of the Fixed Exchange Rate Regime is that it is highly prone to external factors. 

Side Note: Devaluation 

  • Central Bank uses the devaluation process in the Fixed Exchange Rate Economy to cope with the abovementioned situations.
  • Devaluation involves weakening the domestic currency vis-à-vis foreign currency. E.g., RBI reduces the exchange rate to 1$ = 11 ₹ (instead of earlier 1$ = 10 ₹) 
  • Implications of the above devaluation are as follows.  
    • The demand for foreign currency will decrease because (say) what work could be done earlier with ₹10 lakh abroad will now need 11 Lakh. So, some people will abandon their plans.
    • Tourism and Foreign Investment: A lower currency value can attract tourists and foreign investors, making visiting or investing in the country more affordable. 
    • Export Competitiveness: Devaluing a currency can make a country’s exports more affordable and competitive in international markets. A lower exchange rate makes the country’s goods and services relatively cheaper when priced in foreign currencies, boosting exports and stimulating economic growth.
How Devaluation Works

2. Floating Exchange Rate

  • In Floating Exchange Rate Regime, the Central Bank of the country doesn’t intervene at all & the market forces (i.e. demand and supply) determine the exchange rate. 
Floating Exchange Rate
  • USA and UK are the major economies following this system
  • But in this case, the exchange rate is very volatile. Along with that, this system is also prone to currency speculation.

3. Managed Floating Exchange Rate

  • It is the middle path between the two extremes (floating and fixed).
  • In this, Central Bank doesn’t decide the exchange rate. In ordinary times, Central Banks will let the market forces determine the exchange rate. But if there is too much volatility, Central Bank will intervene by buying or selling the foreign reserves to keep the volatility under control.
Managed Floating Exchange Rate
  • Canada, Japan, India (since 1992–93) etc., follow Managed Floating Exchange Rates.

Exchange Rate in India

1928 to 1948 ‘Rupee’ was linked with the British Pound Sterling.
1948 to 1975 After the formation of the IMF, India shifted to the fixed currency system and committed to maintaining the Rupee’s exchange rate in terms of gold or the US ($ Dollar).
1975 to 1992 RBI started determining the Rupee’s exchange rate with respect to the exchange rate movements of the basket of world currencies (£, $, ¥, DM, Fr.).
1992 India shifted to Managed Floating Exchange Rate.


We keep on reading in the newspaper that ₹ has weakened against $. Does that mean ₹ is a weak currency & has become fragile? Nope, because the US is not the only country we trade with & $ is not the only currency we use to do all our transactions.  

  1. If we want to measure the volatility of ₹ objectively, we have to compare volatility with multiple currencies.
  2. 1$= ₹50 or 1$ = ₹40 doesn’t decide demand of goods & services between India & USA . It also depends on relative inflation.

For this, we use NEER & REER


  • NEER = Nominal Effective Exchange Rate
  • It is the weighted average of bilateral nominal exchange rates of home currency in terms of foreign currencies.


  • REER = Real Effective Exchange Rate 
  • REER is the weighted average of nominal exchange rates adjusted for inflation. Hence, it captures inflation differentials between India & its major trading partners. 
  • REER = NEER X ( Indian Inflation (CPI) / US Inflation ) 

What do we get with the help of NEER & REER?

  • If REER > 100: Currency is overvalued 
  • REER < 100: Currency is undervalued

REER Trends

Indian ₹ is overvalued (since REER > 100), and according to Economic Survey, this is bad for Indian Exports)

REER Trends in India

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

  • It is a theoretical concept that compares the exchange rate of two currencies through their purchasing power in respective countries.
  • For example, if 1 packet of bread in India costs ₹ 20 whereas it costs $2 in the USA, then Dollar to Rupee exchange rate (PPP) will be $1 = ₹ 10. 
  • According to OECD, in PPP terms, $1=₹ 17.
  • This exchange rate can happen in real life if both countries have Floating Exchange Rate without any intervention of the respective Central banks; and if the bilateral trade is free of protectionism.
  • If we look into the GDP of various countries in terms of PPP, then India is the world’s third-largest economy. The ranking is 1) USA, 2) China, 3) India, 4) Japan and 5) Germany.

Great Fall of the Indian Rupee

Great Fall of the Indian Rupee

Why this happened?

  • Russia’s Ukraine Invasion: Due to the invasion, currencies worldwide have shown depreciation as the supply of crude oil was disrupted due to sanctions imposed on Russia.
  • The outflow of funds: Capital is moving out of India because of rising interest rates in the US, making it more attractive to invest there.
  • Current Account Deficit: Historically, India had a current account deficit, i.e. it spends more on imports than it earns from exports. A higher current account deficit puts pressure on the Indian Rupee, leading to its depreciation.
  • Inflation Differential: The rate of inflation in India is higher than in the US, which erodes the purchasing power and the value of the Rupee relative to USD.

But according to Economic Survey (2023), with monetary tightening (by US Fed Reserve), the US dollar has appreciated against several currencies, including the Rupee. However, the Rupee has been one of the better-performing currencies worldwide.

What India did to fight?

  • FPI investment limits have been relaxed to attract foreign investors to India.
  • Currency Swap Agreements have been signed with countries like Japan. 
  • Agreement with countries like Iran to buy Crude Oil directly in ₹. 

Internationalization of Rupee

The Tarapore Committee on Full Capital Account Convertibility defined international currency as ‘a currency that is widely used for international transactions. Internationalization of a currency (Rupee here) is a process to increase rupee acceptance (credibility) worldwide.

 Benefits of Internationalization of the Rupee

  1. Reduced Foreign Exchange Reserves requirement for the balance of payment. It can also reduce the imposed cost of forex on the economy by Interest Rate Differential (IRD). IRD is the change in interest rates between the currencies of two countries.  
  2. Reduced Vulnerability to External Shocks because of reduced dependence on foreign currencies. 
  3.  Mitigates Currency Risks for Indian Enterprises by eliminating foreign exchange fluctuation, reducing the cost of doing business and supporting the global growth of Indian businesses. 
  4. Enhance India’s global stature and respect, helping Indian Businesses through increased bargaining power.

Steps taken by Government in this regard

  1. Cross Border Borrowing in Indian Rupees: Introduction of Rupee Denominated Bonds or Masala Bonds
  2. Currency Swap Agreements: India has signed currency swap agreements with countries such as Japan, UAE etc.
  3. International Trade Settlement in Indian Rupees (EXPLAINED BELOW)

International Trade Settlement in Indian Rupees

Mechanism of International Trade Settlement in Indian Rupees

In July 2022, RBI issued a circular that allowed a new arrangement for conducting international trade transactions using Indian Rupees (INR) facilitated through special Rupee Vostro accounts held by authorized dealer banks in India.

A Vostro account is a type of account maintained by a domestic bank on behalf of a foreign bank in domestic currency (Rupee in the case of India), allowing domestic banks to provide international banking services to clients with global banking requirements.

In this settlement arrangement, when Indian importers engage in imports, they will make payments in Indian Rupees (INR). These payments will be credited to the Vostro account of the partner country’s correspondent bank. On the other hand, Indian exporters involved in the export of goods and services through this mechanism will receive their export proceeds in INR from the balances held in the designated Vostro account of the partner country’s correspondent bank.

The framework could largely reduce the net demand for foreign exchange, the US dollar in particular, for the settlement of current account related trade flows.

Labour Reforms in India

Labour Reforms in India

This article deals with ‘Labour Reforms in India – UPSC Notes.’ This article is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3. For more articles, you can click here.

The issue with Indian Labour Laws 

  • Labour is in the Concurrent List of Schedule 7. Hence, both Union and State can make laws on labour.
  • India has 44 labour laws at the Central level & more than 150 at State Level. Many provisions in these acts overlap, making it impossible to comply with all. It has led to bribery & inefficiency in Inspector Raj.
  • Companies prefer to remain small because if they expand, they come under a net of many regulations, increasing the cost of compliance. Hence, they can’t reap the benefit of economies of scale.
Labour Reforms in India
  • To bypass these laws, companies prefer to hire via contractors to remain outside the scope of labour laws. Hence, it has increased Contractual labour in India. 
  • Companies prefer mechanization over employing more persons due to the difficulty in complying with these acts.
  • Lack of Social Security: Despite various labour laws aimed at ensuring social security benefits for workers, a significant number of workers in India still lack access to essential benefits such as health insurance, retirement benefits, and unemployment protection. 

Hence, under existing laws, both factory owners & workers suffer because factory owners cant comply with Labour Laws & try to evade them, and labour remains in the informal sector.

Side Topic: Rise of Contract Labour in India

  • Companies that employ more than a certain number of employees come under many regulations. To avoid this, companies prefer to hire via contractors as these employees are considered employees of the contractor, and the firm stays small enough to be exempt from labour law.
  • The number of Contract Workers in India has increased at a fast pace. In 2010, 25% of the total workers in India were contract workers.
Rise of Contract Labour in India

Hiring via contractors is not an ideal solution for the firms due to the following reasons

  1. It costs more to hire via contractors (15% more expensive, according to the Indian Cellular Association).
  2. Contract workers don’t have loyalty to the firm.
  3. Contract workers don’t accumulate “firm-specific human capital” because contractors keep on changing their postings.

What kind of Labour laws are needed?

  • A balance between Labour and Employers’ Interests is the need of the hour.  
  • Market evangelists opine that employers should have the power to hire and fire, and there should be no regulation by law. The free market principles and demand and supply should decide the wages and other conditions. But, Government is not ready to completely hand over the control of terms and conditions of employment to the employers. 
  • Labour markets need to be regulated by law much more than goods markets because workers are not commodities; they are human beings and citizens, and individual workers are also the weaker party in any employer-employee relationship. 
  • Hence, the Government of India is equally concerned with protecting the interest of workers and that of the management. 
Labour Reforms in India

Side Topic: Race to Bottom

  • It refers to an economy’s tendency to provide minimum security/protection to its workers. 
  • Reason: Competition between Countries to attract MNCs to the setup manufacturing base in their country. In such a situation, MNC will set up a base in the economy with a minimum compliance cost. 

New Labour Codes

The Government created 4 labour codes instead of 44 Union Labour Laws i.e. 

  1. Code on Wages, 2019
  2. Industrial Relations Code, 2020
  3. Code on Social Security, 2020
  4. Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020 

The new codes are in line with shifting labour market trends and the welfare needs of unorganized sector workers, including the self-employed.

New Labour Codes

1. Code on Wages

  • The wage Code is based on recommendations of the 2nd National Commission on Labour.
  • It consolidates all laws relating to wages.  
  • The code will apply to all industries, trade, business, manufacturing or occupation, including government establishments. 
  • The Wage Code has introduced Statutory National Minimum Wage for different geographical areas. Hence, State Government can’t fix the minimum wage below the National Minimum Wage for that area.

2. Industrial Relation Code

  • The requirement of government permission before layoff has been increased to workers employing more than 300 (earlier 100).
  • To form a trade union, 10% of the workers must join it.
  • Removed the need to give one month’s notice before removal if the company employs more than 50 workers.
Industrial Relation Code

3. Code on Social Security

  • It will cover every worker, whether they belong to the organized or unorganized sectors.  
  • Further, the Central Government can notify that this code applies to any other establishment. 
  • Gratuity is to be payable to the employees upon termination if the employee is associated with the organization for at least 5 years. 
  • It proposes National Social Security Council (NSSC), chaired by the Prime Minister. 

Note: Earlier, almost 90% of the current workers were not covered under any social security.

4. Occupational Safety Code

  • It applies to factories with at least 10 workers (using power) and 20 workers (if not using power).
  • Annual health checks are to be made mandatory in factories.  
  • National Occupational Safety Advisory Board to recommend standards on related matters.
  • The code empowers the respective State Governments to exempt any new factory from this code to generate employment and economic activity in the sector. 

Will Labour Reforms prove to be magic wand to propel Employment Intensive Growth? 

Labour reforms will help to create jobs, as mentioned in the discussion above.

These Labour Reforms are desirable conditions but are not going to guarantee employment-intensive growth. A large number of other things are also required. 

Companies from China, where wage levels are increasing, will move to India not only because of Labour Reforms or Low Wages but along with that they need other things as well.

  • Skilled Labour: India will have to invest in Skilling the workforce. 
  • Infrastructure: For fast movement of raw materials & finished products. 
  • Taxation Policies: Governments’ Taxation policies must be attractive enough for foreign manufacturers to set up manufacturing units in India. 
  • Upgradation of Supply Chain Logistic Management.

Schemes of the Ministry of Labour

1. Shramev Jayate Karyakaram

This scheme has various components

1. Shram Suvidha Portal

  • To promote self-certification. 
  • Under the scheme, Labour Identification Number (LIN) is given to companies. 
  • The Portal also allows the companies to file online compliance for labour laws.

2. Transparent Labour Inspection Scheme 

  • Random selection of Units for inspection
  • Inspection Report has to be mandatorily uploaded to the Portal within 72 hours of the inspection.

3. Universal Account Number (UAN)

  • It is a single Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Number. 
  • A Provident Fund account is portable if an employee changes companies. Earlier, on changing jobs/companies, an employee would have to open a new EPF Account.

4. Apprentice Protsahan Yojana

  • Reimbursing 50% of the stipend paid to apprentices during their first two years of training.

2. Atma Nirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana

  • If a firm has up to 1000 workers, then Government will contribute 12% (of workers) and 12% (of employer) (i.e. 24%) in EPFO for new workers. 
  • If the firm has more than 1000 workers, then Government will pay 12% (of workers) only.

Side Topic: Contributions to EPF

Under the law, if a company is employing a worker at a wage below ₹15,000, under that condition, the employer and employee have to mandatorily make the following contribution to Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and Employee Pension Scheme (EPS). Due to these contributions, employers prefer to give informal jobs to the employees.

Atma Nirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana

3. Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan  (SYM)

  • It was announced in 2019. 
  • Under the scheme, 
    1. The beneficiary will get a pension of ₹3,000 per month. 
    2. Beneficiaries of the scheme include workers working in the unorganized sector having monthly salaries below ₹15,000.
    3. The pension will start once they attain the age of 60. 
    4. To get the benefits, the beneficiary will have to make a monthly contribution of ₹55 from the age of 18 or ₹100 from the age of 29.

4. e-Shram Portal

  • The Labour Ministry started this Portal in 2021 for Unorganized Sector Workers.
  • The Portal is the first-ever national database for unorganized workers in India, containing the name, Aadhar ID, occupation, address, educational qualification etc.
  • The workers who register get Universal Account Number (UAN).
  • Under the scheme, the workers must register on the e-Shram Portal. In return, Government gives a card, and workers become eligible for the Pradhan-Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana benefits.
    1. Rs. 1 lakh for partial disability
    2. Rs. 2 lakhs for accidental death

As of 31 December 2022, over 28.5 crore unorganized workers have been registered on the e-Shram portal.

5. PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi Scheme (PM SVANidhi)

  • PM SVANidhi Scheme was launched in 2020 to empower street vendors by offering loans of up to Rs. 10,000 with a one-year tenure and free onboarding on digital payment platforms.
  • Beneficiaries are also eligible for the second tranche of loan up to `20,000 with 18 months tenure after timely repayment of the first tranche.

6. National Carrier Service

It aims to bridge the gap between  

  • Workers who need jobs and Employers who want to hire them.
  • People who are seeking career guidance and training and those who can provide the counselling and training. 


  • PENCIL Portal is an electronic portal to combat the menace of child labour and trafficking in India. 

8. Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourers

  • Labour Ministry provides financial assistance for the rehabilitation of rescued bonded labour. 

Zero-Budget Natural Farming

Zero-Budget Natural Farming

This article deals with ‘Zero-Budget Natural Farming.’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 and GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) means 

  • Zero Budget, i.e. Zero Budget means Farming without spending money to purchase inputs (seeds, fertilizers etc.). It reduces the cost of agriculture.
  • Natural Farming, i.e. Farming without using chemicals. Natural inputs like biofertilizers, earthworms, cow dung etc., are used instead.

Renowned Indian agriculturist Subash Palekar developed this technique of Farming.

Zero-Budget Natural Farming

Why in the news?

  • It was first introduced in Karnataka. Later, Himachal and Andhra governments also started to promote it.
  • NITI Aayog is promoting ZBNF.
  • Budget 2019 was also announced to encourage ZBNF.

ZBNF consists of following

It is based on the basic premise that soil has all the necessary nutrients which could be made available through the intermediation of microorganisms. It consists of the following.

  1. Beejamurtha: Seeds treated with cow dung and urine.
  2. Jeevamurtha: Soil rejuvenated with cow dung and other local materials to increase microbes.
  3. Mulching: Use straws and other organic matter to retain soil moisture and build humus.
  4. Intercropping
  5. Rainwater harvesting

Benefits of Zero-Budget Natural Farming

  1. Environment friendly: Input costs are near zero as no fertilizers and pesticides are used.
  2. Higher Yields: Yields of various cash and food crops were higher when compared with chemical Farming. E.g., yields from ZBNF plots were found on average to be 11% higher for cotton than in non-ZBNF plots. 
  3. Increase farmer’s income as it is not input intensive.
  4. Cut toxins in food, and ZBNF products are suitable for health.
  5. Improve soils and prevent soil degradation.
  6. It leads to optimum use of water and reduces water consumption up to the tune of 85%.
  7. Climate Resilient: Model ZBNF farms were able to withstand drought and flooding, which are big concerns with regard to climate change.

Challenges of Zero-Budget Natural Farming

  • Low awareness among farmers about ZBNF
  • Experts have also cautioned against the large-scale adoption of ZBNF as it could lead to a large-scale decline in crop yield and hamper food security in the long run.
  • Due to different Agro-climatic conditions in different parts of India, ZBNF cant be practised in all parts of India.
  • There is a lack of scientific studies to prove the efficacy of ZBNF. 

Organic Farming in India

Organic Farming in India

Organic Farming in India

This article deals with ‘Organic Farming in India.’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 and GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


A system of farm design for agriculture production without synthetic external inputs such as chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides and synthetic hormones or genetically modified organisms

As of 2023, 45 lakh farmers are engaged in Organic Farming, and 60 l ha is under Organic Farming in India. Additionally, Sikkim was the first Indian state to become completely organic.

Need for Organic Farming in India

  1. More From Less: ‘Green Revolution’ is input-intensive and has reached a plateau with diminishing returns. Organic Farming is not input-intensive and fetches higher prices. Hence, it can help farmers increase the return rate on investments.
  2. Organic farming products are healthier and safer than non-organic farming products.     
  3. Organic Farming is more sustainable and helps maintain the soil’s good health
  4. With increasing disposable income and a sizeable middle class, there is a ready market for Organic Products, especially in metropolitan cities.
  5. Export Potential is high because of higher demand in Western countries.
  6. It has indirect benefits in the form of eco-tourism, protection of biodiversity etc.
  7. Climate Change Mitigation: Organic farming practices like organic manure usage, agroforestry, and soil conservation techniques help sequester carbon in the soil, contributing to climate change mitigation.

Challenges and Concerns 

  1. Productivity per field decreases: Sikkim used to be a surplus state wrt food production. Now it has to import from other states.
  2. Limited availability of Organic Inputs: Organic Farming requires specific inputs such as organic fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds. However, the availability and accessibility of these inputs are often limited.
  3. Organic Farming caters to a very small and particular class of market. There are logistic problems in delivering products to that market.
  4. Certification and Standards: Obtaining organic certification is a rigorous process and can be time-consuming and costly for small to medium Indian farmers.
  5. To start organic Farming, the existing field has to be left fallow for a minimum of 5-6 years to cleanse it of chemical fertilizers. It poses a burden on poor farmers. 
  6. The growing period of organic products is long, decreasing the avenues of multiple cropping. 
  7. The shelf life of organic products is low.
  8. Lack of awareness and education: Many farmers in India are unaware of organic farming practices and the benefits it offers.
  9. Climate Change Vulnerability: Climate change poses a significant threat to agriculture as increased weather variability, extreme weather events, and changing pest and disease patterns can impact organic crop production 

Case Study of Sri Lanka

  • The Sri Lankan Government was promoting Organic Farming with vigour due to the great demand for organic products (especially organic tea) in the Western markets. But this decreased the crop yield exponentially, leading to food shortage and inflation.
  • Hence, the Sri Lankan government has changed its stance and again started encouraging farmers to use fertilizers and pesticides so that their output returns to its previous normal.  

Case Study of Sri Lanka for Organic Farming

Government Programs to promote Organic Farming

  1. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): Form a group of 50 farmers in a cluster to start Organic Farming. Every beneficiary farmer is given ₹20,000 per ha for 3 years for practising Organic Farming.
  2. Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP): Under the scheme, Rs. 12,200 per hectare is given to the farmer per 3 years if they don’t use any chemicals on their land.
  3. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: The scheme promotes Organic Farming and is part of the National Action Plan to Combat Climate Change. 
  4. FSSAI Regulation on Organic Farming, 2018: It has standardized the definition of Organic Farming, set the mandatory labelling requirements & has given a Voluntary Logo (Jaivik Bharat Logo) of Organic Food. 
  5. Large Area Certification Program (LAC): The Government of India’s initiative to provide certification to areas which are traditionally involved in doing organic Farming (such as Tribal belts, Hills, Deserts, Islands etc.)
  6. Agriculture Ministry has launched the ‘Jaivik Kheti Portal’ to connect farmers doing Organic Farming with buyers.
  7. In the north-eastern states, the Government has started ‘Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region’ to strengthen organic agriculture in the North East.

Owing to these steps, Sikkim has become the first state in India (and the world) to become fully organic. Other states, such as Tripura and Uttarakhand, are on the verge of becoming organic. Furthermore, MP has the largest area under organic Farming among all the states.

Anti-Microbial Resistance

Anti-Microbial Resistance

This article deals with ‘Anti-Microbial Resistance – for UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

What is Anti-Microbial Resistance?

Anti-Microbial Resistance (aka Antibiotic Resistance) happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi) evolve when they are exposed to the antibiotic and develop resistance mechanisms to it or acquire that resistance from another bacterium. 

Anti-Microbial Resistance


2010 It became a topic of debate in India when the British journal Lancet named an enzyme as New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1 or NDM-1, which had antimicrobial resistance  
2016 Resistance to Colistin was detected in China. Colistin is the last resort of antibiotics.   
Sept 2016 United Nations held a high-level meeting to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance.  

Note: It was only the fourth time the general assembly held a high-level meeting for a health issue (previously, it was for HIV non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes and Ebola).
2017 A US woman died from an infection that was resistant to all 26 available antibiotics. 
2023 Muscat Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance held.  Muscat Manifesto was released, calling for
1. Accelerating the political commitments in the implementation of One Health Action
2. Recognize the impact of AMR on humans as well as Animals. 

Causes of Anti-Microbial Resistance

Causes of Anti-Microbial Resistance

Significant sources of resistance: 

  • Overuse of antibiotics by human beings  (over prescription)
  • Self-medication
  • Overuse of antibiotics in the veterinary sector
  • Environmental antibiotic contamination due to pharmaceutical companies and hospital discharge. 
  • Lack of new antibiotics being developed
  • Patients not finishing treatment 
  • Poor infection control in hospitals 

Ways to control Anti-Microbial Resistance


Prescriber should 

  • Follow guidelines
  • Perform Antimicrobial susceptibility tests
  • Maintain hygiene, disinfection and sterilization in the hospital


Farmers should

  • Follow guidelines.
  • Use only animal-specific antibiotics
  • Maintain hygiene


Public should 

  • Follow the prescription and don’t self-medicate himself
  • Public awareness and education should be carried out 


Politician should

  • Establish Antibiotic Resistance related laws
  • Make National Plans and Guidelines 
  • Invigorate the antibiotic development of pharmaceutical companies


Researcher should 

  • Develop a new generation of antibiotics 
  • Develop Molecular Techniques for identifying resistance genes.

Initiatives taken by Government 

1. Red Line Campaign

Red Line Campaign for Anti Microbial Resistance

2. National Surveillance System for Anti-Microbial Resistance 

  • The program keeps a close watch on such cases.

3. National Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance

  • The program was started April 2017  
  • It focused on
    1. Hand Hygiene and Sanitation programs
    2. One Health Strategy

4. National Health Policy, 2017

  • It had specific guidelines for the use of antibiotics and limiting the use of antibiotics.

5. Schedule H1 of Drugs and Cosmetic Rule, 1945

Schedule H1 was added to the Drugs and Cosmetic Rule 1945. Drugs in Schedule H1 are required to be sold in the country with the following conditions:-

  1. Their sale has to be registered in the register with the name of the prescriber and patient  
  2. Drugs shall be labelled with the symbol Rx & drug warning.   

International Steps

1. By WHO

  • WHO is providing technical assistance to countries to develop national action plans to combat Antimicrobial Resistance and strengthen their surveillance systems. 
  • One Health Approach: The One Health approach recognizes the interconnectedness between human, animal, and their shared environment. It emphasizes the importance of addressing health issues comprehensively by considering the interdependencies and interactions between humans, animals, and their shared environments. The ‘One Health’ approach calls for optimal antibiotic use in both humans and animals.

2. UNO

  • A high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance was held at the United Nations General Assembly.  

3. New Antibiotics 

  • For example, ODLs are a new class of antibiotics discovered by the University of Illinois and Nosopharm, a French company.

Indian Healthcare Sector

Indian Healthcare Sector

Indian Healthcare Sector

This article deals with ‘Indian Healthcare Sector  – for UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Healthcare Data

Healthcare Expenditure

Healthcare Expenditure in India

Global Burden of Disease Report (2018) by LANCET

Global Burden of Disease Report (2018) by LANCET

Other Relevant Data

Doctor-Population Ratio 1:834 (against the WHO norm of 1:1000)
Number of Hospital Beds per 1000 0.7 (against the WHO norm of 3.5)

Political & Constitutional Angle

  • Health is under the State List. But there is debate regarding whether it should be moved to the Concurrent List, given that even after 70 years of independence, the state of Health in India is still poor. The Centre can only make model laws to which states can voluntarily subscribe.
  • Article 47 of the Indian Constitution (Directive Principle of State Policy) speaks about raising its people’s nutrition levels and living standards and improving public health as among its primary duties.
  • Article 21, i.e. Right to Life is Fundamental Right under the Indian Constitution.

Health and SDG

Sustainable Development Goals also talks about Health and SDG-3 aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages.

Health and SDG

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Healthcare

Primary Healthcare

  • Primary Healthcare is the first level of contact between people & health system
  • It includes family planning, immunization, treatment of common diseases, health education etc. 
  • In India, it is provided through a network of 
    • Primary Health Centres in Rural Areas
    • Family Welfare Centres in Urban Areas

Secondary Healthcare

  • Secondary Healthcare denotes the second Tier of the health system.
  • It includes 
    • District Hospitals 
    • Community Health Centre (CHC) at Block Level

Tertiary Healthcare

  • Tertiary Healthcare denotes the third tier of the health system.
  • It provides specialized consultative care.          
  • Tertiary Healthcare is provided through Medical Colleges & Medical Research Institutes. 

Rural Healthcare System

Indian Healthcare Sector

State of Health Services in India

Health services in India need a booster shot, vouched by the following data. 

  • Prominence of Private Sector: According to Economic Survey, out of 4% of expenditure on Healthcare in India, Public Sector accounts for just 1.15% 
  • High Out-of-Pocket Expenditure (OoPE): The OoPE in India is as high as 62% compared to the world average of 18%. High OoPE pushes 39 million people every year under the poverty line. 
  • Indian Doctors are not willing to serve in Rural Areas due to various factors, such as a lack of adequate healthcare infrastructure and low opportunity for professional growth.
  • The dominance of the Medical Council of India has hindered the development of nurses and other health cadres.
  • Hesitancy/Ignorance of common people: Even after a person has TB symptoms, they delay visiting a doctor (for a minimum of 5.2 months, even in Delhi). As a result, their disease becomes worse, and they infect more people. 

With the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat program, the strengthening of SCs and PHCs is being done by converting them into Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) in a phased manner to deliver comprehensive Primary Healthcare services through these Centres. 

Health Schemes

1. National Health Mission

  • National Health Mission (NHM) is a flagship program of the Indian Government that aims to provide affordable, accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare to all citizens.   
  • It is Core Scheme (60:40 Division) 
National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) In areas having a population below 50,000
National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) In areas having a population above 50,000

2. Pradhan Mantri  Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

  • The scheme aims to provide affordable generic medicines to the masses to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. These are made available through Jan Aushadhi Stores. 

3. Rogi Kalyan Samiti

  • Rogi Kalyan Samiti is a registered society consisting of citizens of the area who act as trustees to manage hospital functions.
  • It acts as a check and increases the accountability of doctors.

4. Universal Immunization Program (UIP)

Under Indian Immunisation Program, Vaccine is given for 12 life-threatening diseases

National (11 Diseases) 1. Diphtheria
2. Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
3. Tetanus (DPT)
4. Polio
5. TB
6. Rotavirus Diarrhoea
7. Hepatitis B
8. Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Haemophilus Influenza Type-B
9. Measles
10. Rubella
11. Pneumococcal Pneumonia (latest entry in 2021, earlier it was given in select districts of Himachal and Bihar)
Sub-National (1 Disease) 12. Japanese Encephalitis

5. Menstruation Health

Government is running following schemes for Menstruation Health.

  • Menstrual Hygiene for Adolescent Girls Scheme: To address the need for menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls residing in rural areas. 
  • Project Stree Swabhiman (by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology)
  • Menstrual Hygiene Scheme  (by Health Ministry as part of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram. )
  • Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (by Ministry of Human Resource Development)

6. Drug Price Control Order

  • The Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) of India is a regulatory framework established by the government to control and regulate the prices of essential medicines in the country.
  • Schedule 1 of DPCO contains the List of Essential Medicines. Their price can’t be more than the ceiling price.  

Public Health Policy, 2017

The previous policy was formulated in 2002. There was a need for a new policy because 

  • 15 years have passed, and new challenges have come up in the health sector. 
  • At that time, Polio was a major problem. Now, WHO has declared India to be Polio Free.
  • That policy was keeping in view of Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Now, we are in the era of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).  
  • At that time, Communicable Diseases were a major problem. Now Non-Communicable Diseases have come into the scene.

Provisions of the National Health Policy, 2017

1. Finance 

  • Presently, the government spends 1.15 % of GDP on healthcare. The target is to increase that to 2.5% of GDP by 2025.  

2. Targets to be achieved

  • Increase the life expectancy from 67.5 to 70 by 2025.
  • Reduce premature mortality from Non-Communicable Diseases by 25 per cent by 2025.
  • Achieve the global 2020 HIV target (also termed 90:90:90)

3. Preventive and Curative Care

  • The policy will rely on Preventive as well as Curative Health Care (the 2002 Policy relied just on curative )

4. Focus on Primary Care 

  • Policy advocates allocating two-thirds (or more) of resources to primary care.  

5. Promote AYUSH 

  • AYUSH will be promoted 

6. Promote Make in India

  • Promote drugs and devices manufactured in the country.


  • The policy has abandoned the idea of making health a right proposed under the Draft Health Policy. NHP (2017) speaks of an “assurance-based approach”.
  • Raising Government Expenditure to 2.5% of GDP till 2025 is too far-fetched given problem India is facing is serious. Along with that, no year wise plan of yearly incrementation is given. There is lesser hope that even this will be attained given the past experience that the health policy of 2002 had promised health expenditure of 2% of its GDP on Health by 2010
  • Governance issues are ignored: The policy is silent on whether health should be moved to the Concurrent list.
  • Professional issues are ignored, e.g., MCI issues and private practice by Govt doctors.

Basics of Radioactivity

Basics of Radioactivity

This article deals with ‘Basics of Radioactivity .’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Constituents of Atom

Atom has the following three constituents

Particle Mass (Kg) Charge (Coulomb)
Proton 1.672 X 10^-27 + 1.6 X 10^ -19
Neutron 1.675 X 10^-27 Neutral
Electron 9.108 X 10^-31 1.6 X 10^-19

Mass of Proton almost = Mass of Neutron = 1830 X Mass of Electron.

Atomic Structure

  • In an atom, Central Nucleus is surrounded by electrons at various energy levels. 
  • The most successful model is Wave Mechanical Model, but that is a mathematical rather than a visual model.
  • For our purpose, Bohr Atomic Model is enough. 

Bohr Atomic Model

  • Atom consists of 
    • Central Nucleus: Containing all Protons & Neutrons with almost the whole mass concentrated here. 
    • Electrons: Revolves around the nucleus in a circular pattern (like planets around the sun) 
  • Electrons can revolve only in certain specified orbits, with the electron in the innermost orbit having the smallest energy and the electron in the outermost orbit having the largest energy. 
  • When an atom is provided energy either by strong heating or by bombardment with some fast-moving particle, Electrons in a natural state can jump to higher energy levels. But the atom doesn’t remain in that state for more than 10^-8 s & comes back to a normal lower energy level, emitting surplus energy in the form of Photons.
  • Emitted energy can be Visible, UV or X-Ray, depending on the energy difference. 
Basics of Radioactivity


  • The property under which a heavy nucleus of an element disintegrates itself into smaller nuclei along with alpha, beta & gamma rays without being forced by any external agent to do so is termed radioactivity. 
  • The phenomenon of radioactivity is natural and can’t be stopped. 
  • It is found that all atoms with more than 83 protons; and a neutron-to-proton ratio of more than 1 as they are unstable. To achieve stability, unstable nuclei disintegrate spontaneously with the Alpha, Beta & Gamma Rays emission. 
  • Henry Becquerel discovered the phenomenon of radioactivity.

Reason of Radioactivity

  • Inside the nucleus, positively charged Protons & Neutral are present. Hence, if only Electrostatic Force is there, all nuclei must have split apart due to repulsive forces. But this is not the case & the nucleus is stable.
  • But another force called Nuclear Force is working here. IT IS ATTRACTIVE FORCE EXISTING BETWEEN PROTON & PROTON and PROTON & NEUTRON. BUT THIS FORCE ACTS AT A VERY SMALL DISTANCE. Generally, Nuclear Forces overpower Electrostatic Forces inside the nucleus.
  • But in the case of larger nuclei, nuclear forces cannot overpower electrostatic forces, and they exhibit radioactivity.

Alpha, Beta & Gamma Radiations

 The most common types are

  Alpha  Beta Gamma
  Similar to Helium Nuclei (He (2,4)) and generally emitted by a large nucleus These are fast energy electrons   Gamma Radiations are electromagnetic radiations of high frequency
Generally emitted by unstable atoms to become stable by releasing energy
Penetration  It can penetrate  5 cm of air only. It can penetrate air and paper. It can penetrate most things except a thick sheet of lead or a very thick concrete wall.  
Mass Heaviest (4 amu) Lighter (9.1 X 10^-31 kg) Massless    
Speed Around 1/100 of the speed of light 33% to 99% of the speed of light Equal to the speed of light
Ionising power Maximum due to maximum charge (+2) and maximum mass Intermediate between beta & gamma Minimum due to zero charge
Effect on Photographic plate Produce smaller effect More effect Maximum effect
Effect of Electric and magnetic field Show deflection Show deflection Don’t show any deflection
Effect on the human body It causes a burning effect It can cause a shock on longer exposure It can cause cancer


  • Transmutation is the process of altering one element to another. 
  • Reason = Natural Radioactivity, Artificial Transmutation etc.
  • Artificial Transmutation is used to obtain elements with Atomic numbers greater than 92.

Half Age

It measures the time it takes for a given amount of the radioactive substance to become reduced to half due to decay and, therefore, the emission of radiation.

Half Age of Radioactivity

Carbon Dating

  • The technique of estimating the age of the remains of a once-living organism, such as a plant or animal
  • It involves measuring the radioactivity of its C-14 Content (the half-life of C-14 is 5570 years).
  • The ratio of C-14 / C-12 in nature is 1/106. 

Uranium Dating

  • Uranium Dating is used for dating older but non-living things like rocks. 
  • The age of rocks from the moon has been estimated to be 4.6 X 10^9 years, nearly the time of Earth’s origin.

Isotope, Isobars & Isoneutrons

  • Atomic Number (Z) = Number of Protons
  • Mass Number (A) = Number of Neutrons & Protons


  • Isotopes are nuclides with same Atomic Numbers but different Mass Numbers.
  • E.g., U (92,235) & U (92,238 ) + C-12 & C-14
  • Generally, isotopes don’t have different names except for isotopes of Hydrogen named Protium (H(1,1), Deuterium (H (1,2)) & Tritium (H(1,3)).


  • Isobars are nuclides having same Mass Number but different Atomic Numbers.
  • E.g., K (19,40) & Ca (20,40) + C (6,14) & N (7,14) 
  • They have different names. 


  • Isoneutrons are nuclides having the same number of neutrons.
  • Examples include 
    1. C (6,14) & O(8,16): Both have 8 neutrons
    2. H (1,3) & He (2,4): Both have 2 neutrons