IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


29th June, 2020

DNA 29th June


Why India is producing less and less oil?

Context: India’s crude oil production fell 7.1% in May 2020 compared to May 2019 on the back of low demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Falling production


-Domestic production of crude has been falling every year since FY 2012.

-This has led to a steady climb in the proportion of imports in domestic crude oil consumption from 81.8% in 2012 to 87.6% in 2020.

Why is production falling?

-Most of India’s crude oil production comes from ageing wells that have become less productive over time.

-A lack of new oil discoveries in India coupled with a long lead time to begin production from discovered wells has led to a steady decline in India’s crude oil production making dependency on imports.

-The output of these ageing wells is declining faster than new wells can come up according to experts.

-Domestic exploration companies are attempting to extend the life of currently operational wells.

Reason behind less private players

-There has been a lack of interest in exploration and production in India from major private players, particularly those based abroad.

-According to experts, this is because of long delays in the operationalization of production even after an oil block is allotted due to delays in approvals.

-Some of the key approvals which are required to begin production include environmental clearances and approval by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons after the allottee completes a seismic survey and creates a field development plan.

What policy changes can help?

Existing public and private sector players have asked for reduced levies of oil production including oil cess, royalties, and profit petroleum especially when crude oil prices are below $45/barrel.

Experts say the requirement to pay royalties to the government at low crude prices can make it unviable for these companies to invest in further exploration and production.

OALP can help in the following way:

-The government introduced the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) in 2019 to allow companies to carve out blocks that they are interested in and with lower royalties and no oil cess.

-However, existing players are calling for a relaxation of royalties and oil cess on block allotted under previous policies.

-The Chinese government offered a floor price to oil producers insulating them somewhat from any sharp falls in international crude prices.

-This kind of policy at least allows for a company to have a fixed worst-case scenario for the sale of crude oil attracts more investment in exploration and production.


-The OALP, a part of the government’s Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), gives exploration companies the option to select the exploration blocks on their own, without having to wait for the formal bid round from the Government.

-The company then submits an application to the government, which puts that block up for bid.

-OALP offers single license to explore conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources to propel investment in and provide operational flexibility to the investors.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-indias-crude-oil-production-has-been-falling-6479345/


New rules to regulate exotic animal trade

Context: The Environment Ministry’s wildlife division has introduced new rules to regulate the import and export of ‘exotic wildlife species’.

Exotic species covered under it:

-The advisory says ‘exotic live species’ will cover animals under Appendices I, II and III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.

-It will not include species from the Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

New rules

-Currently, it is the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce that oversees such trade.

-Under the new rules, owners and possessors of such animals and birds must also register their stock with the Chief Wildlife Warden of their States.

-Officials of the Wildlife Department will also prepare an inventory of such species and have the right to inspect the facilities of such traders to check if these plants and animals are being housed in inhumane conditions.

-Additionally, stockists will have six months to declare their stock.

Need of this move:

-The illegal trade is estimated to generate revenues of up to $23 billion a year, a/c to FATF.

-India continues to battle wildlife crime, with reports suggesting that many times such species are available for trade on online market places.


-CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

-It is as an international agreement aimed at ensuring “that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival”.

-It was drafted after a resolution was adopted at a meeting of the members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1963.

-It entered into force on July 1, 1975, and now has 183 parties.

-The Convention is legally binding on the Parties in the sense that they are committed to implementing it; however, it does not take the place of national laws.

-India is a signatory to and has also ratified CITES convention in 1976.

It has three appendices:

-Appendix I include species threatened with extinction. Trade-in specimens of these species are permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

-Appendix II provides a lower level of protection.

-Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling trade.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-unveils-new-rules-to-regulate-exotic-animal-trade/article31940125.ece


Review Petition


The Supreme Court has refused to review its 2018 judgment which decriminalised adultery.

What had the Court ruled then?

The original judgment was by a Constitution Bench led by then chief justice Dipak Misra who found that Section 497 (adultery) of the Indian Penal Code cannot “command” married couples to remain loyal to each other for the fear of penal punishment.

The court had reasoned that there was no data whatsoever to support claims that abolition of adultery as a crime would result in “chaos in sexual morality” or an increase of divorce.

Section 497 perpetuates subordinate status of women, denies dignity, sexual autonomy, and is based on gender stereotypes. Section 497 based on women as chattel, seeks to control sexuality of woman, hits the autonomy and dignity of woman.

It also violates rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21.

What is a review petition and when can it be filed?

Under Article 137, the Supreme Court has the power to review any of its judgments or orders.

Scope for review:

-When a review takes place, the law is that it is allowed not to take fresh stock of the case but to correct grave errors that have resulted in the miscarriage of justice.

-The court has the power to review its rulings to correct a “patent error” and not “minor mistakes of inconsequential import”.

-In a 1975 ruling, Justice Krishna Iyer said a review can be accepted “only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility”.

In a 2013 ruling, the Supreme Court has laid down three grounds for seeking a review of a verdict it has delivered:

-The discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within the knowledge of the petitioner or could not be produced by him.

-Mistake or error apparent on the face of the record.

-Any other sufficient reason. It means a reason that is analogous to the other two grounds.

In 2013 Union of India v. Sandur Manganese & Iron Ores Ltd) case, the court laid down nine principles on when a review is maintainable.

Who can file a review petition?

-As per the Civil Procedure Code and the Supreme Court Rules, any person aggrieved by a ruling can seek a review. However, the court exercises its discretion to allow a review petition only when it shows the grounds for seeking the review.

-Time- period within which a review petition should be filed?

As per 1996 rules framed by the Supreme Court:

-A review petition must be filed within 30 days of the date of judgment or order. While a judgment is the final decision in a case, an order is an interim ruling that is subject to its final verdict.

-In certain circumstances, the court can condone a delay in filing the review petition if the petitioner can establish strong reasons that justify the delay.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-refuses-to-review-decriminalisation-of-adultery/article31938636.ece



Consolidated notification on MSME classification and registration

-The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Ministry has issued consolidated notification for classification and registration of MSMEs to be effected from July 1.

-This notification would supersede all earlier notifications with regard to classification or registration of MSMEs.

As per the latest classification:

-Micro enterprises would be those with investments not exceeding Rs one crore and turnover of Rs 5 crore.

-Small enterprises would be those with investment up to Rs 10 crore and turnover of up to Rs 50 crore.

-Medium enterprises – as those with investments not exceeding Rs 50 crore and turnover of Rs 250 crore.

More about the notification:

-An MSME would hereafter been referred to as Udyam and the registration process as Udyam Registration.

-The Registration can be filed online based on self-declaration. Uploading of documents, papers or certificate as proof would not be necessary henceforth.

-The basic criteria for MSME classification would be on investment in plant, machinery and equipment and turnover.

-Export of goods or services or both would be excluded while calculating the turnover of any enterprise and investment calculation linked to the IT return of the previous year.

-Champions Control Room across the country have been made legally responsible for facilitating entrepreneurs in registration and thereafter.

Significance and implications of these measures:

-The measures would completely change the way MSMEs work, ensure they compete globally besides resulting in newer enterprises entering the fray.

-With the stimulus, these enterprises will be in a position to lead to a fast V-shaped recovery the moment the pandemic is brought under control.

Significance of MSMEs:

- 63.4 million units throughout the geographical expanse of the country,

-MSMEs contribute around 6.11% of the manufacturing GDP and 24.63% of the GDP from service activities as well as 33.4% of India’s manufacturing output.

- Provide employment to around 120 million persons

-Contribute around 45% of the overall exports from India.

-About 20% of the MSMEs are based out of rural areas, which indicate the deployment of significant rural workforce in the MSME sector.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1634558



-Also called as the “Great Pause”, it is a term coined by the researchers in the UK.

-It refers to the coronavirus-induced lockdown period and its impact on other species.

How curbs imposed during this period led to unusual animal behaviour?

-There were pumas sighted in Chile’s Santiago, jackals in the parks of Tel Aviv in Israel, dolphins in the waters of Italy and even a monkey fight on the streets of Thailand.

Significance of this period:

-As a result of the lockdown, nature appears to have changed, especially in urban environments, since not only are there now more animals, but also some “unexpected visitors.”

-On the other hand, there are some animals for whom the lockdown may have made things more challenging.

-For instance, for various urban-dwelling animals, such as rats, gulls and monkeys who depend on food provided or discarded by humans, the lockdown would have made life more difficult.

-The researchers believe studying this period will provide valuable insights into the relationship between human-wildlife interactions in the 21st century.

-It might also be useful in preserving global biodiversity, maintaining the integrity of ecosystems and predicting global zoonoses and environmental changes.



-It is an advanced anti-torpedo decoy system that is capable of being fired from all frontline ships.

-It was recently inducted by the Indian Navy.

-Designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

-It is capable of detecting, locating and neutralizing incoming torpedo.


Sankalp Parva

-Ministry of Culture is celebrating the “Sankalp Parva” from 28th June to 12 July 2020.

-This initiative has been launched following the call of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi to plant at least five trees either in Office campus or wherever it is possible in order to ensure clean and healthy environment of the country.

-Ministry of Culture has recommended planting five trees: Bargad, Awla, Pepal, Ashok and Bel. These 5 trees represent the herbal heritage of the country.


Fishing cats


The Odisha Government has started a two-year conservation project for Fishing Cats in Bhitarkanika National Park.

Some facts:

-The fishing cat is nocturnal.

-State animal of West Bengal.

-Habitats: In India, fishing cats are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, on the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys and in the Western Ghats.

Protection status:

Vulnerable— IUCN Red List.

CITES: Appendix II

Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.

Fishing Cat Project, launched in 2010 started raising awareness about the Cat in West Bengal.