Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 19th September 2023



Today’s Topics List:

  1. PM Vishwakarma Scheme

  2. Digital Data Law: Features and Restrictions

  3. Global Biofuels Alliance



PM Vishwakarma Scheme

    • On 17th of September, marked as Vishwakarma puja (Vishwakarma Jayanti) , Prime Minister Modi has launched the PM Vishwakarma scheme.

What is the Scheme?

  • It was first announced during the Independence Day speech of 2023.
  • Vishwakarma, in Hindu mythology, is seen as the architect of the gods and was the divine carpenter and master craftsman
    • He is considered the patron deity of workers, artisans and artists
  • It aims to give Government Support to workers engaged in traditional crafts and skills.
    • It is also being seen as a means for the government to reach out to the economically marginalised and socially backward communities, particularly – Other Backward classes.
  • The scheme has an out lay of Rs.13,000 crores, fully funded by Central Government.

Need for the Scheme:

  • A video played at the event of the launch talked about professionals engaged in traditional crafts and skills for centuries often taught by elders in the family, often face problems such as,
    • Lack of professional training for their work
    • Lack of modern tools
    • The issue of distance from the market relevant to them.
    • Availability of little capital for investment.
  • Families associated with 18 such different sectors will be helped in all possible ways. They include,
  • Carpenters
  • Boat makers
  • Armourers
  • Blacksmiths
  • Potters
  • Sculptors
  • Stone breakers
  • Cobblers
  • Masons (Rajmistri)
  • Coir weavers
  • Traditional doll & toy makers
  • Barbers
  • Garland makers
  • Washermen
  • Tailors
  • Fishing net makers.

Benefits of the scheme:

  • It helps in enhancing the skills of the workers and help them avail loans easily.
  • Under the scheme, Vishwakarma workers will be registered for free through Common Service centres using Bio-metric based PM Vishwakarma Portal.
    • They will be provided recognition through the PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card.
    • Skill upgradation involving basic and advanced training
    • A tool kit incentive of Rs.15,000
    • Collateral free credit support upto Rs. 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs. 2 lakh (Second tranche) at a concessional interest of 5%.
    • Incentives for digital transactions and
    • Marketing support.


Digital Data Law: Features and Restrictions


  • India notified its personal data protection framework as a law, signalling the beginning of a new era of privacy legislation in the country.
    • The Provisions of the personal data protection Act, 2023 will come into force in a few months.
    • Centre has allowed enough transition time to the industry.
    • There are few important features that we need to understand from the law

Some Important Features:

Processing the personal data:

  • There are broadly two circumstances under which entities can process an Individual’s personal data.
    • It can be done by both Government and Private bodies, when –
  • There is a clear consent for such processing
  • For certain legitimate uses
    • An entity processing the personal data (for which the consent has been given) has to give a notice to individuals available in all 22 languages mentioned in Schedule 8 of the Constitution.

Data collected before the law:

  • The entities collected data before the law, should give a notice about the personal data in its possession. It should include,
    • Data being processed and the purpose for such processing
    • Way of withdrawing consent
    • Means of grievance redressal
  • But the Government can exempt itself and its instrumentalities from adhering to any and all provisions of the law related to the processing.

Relations with the app:

  • Individual will receive a barge of notices, it will also provide,
    • Opportunities to withdraw consent from any app that an individual wish to.
    • It will have to delete all personal data.
    • But, the individual may no longer be able to use the app.

Other Provisions:

  • A Separate provision in the law requires entities to retain data for the law enforcement purposes.
    • It could lead to them not deleting data even when asked for it.
  • Users have right to access their personal information in possession of an entity and request its erasure.
  • One can also request correction of the incorrect information.
  • In case of death or incapacity, one can nominate a person, who may take decisions regarding personal data.

Restrictions on Rights:

  • There are three major roadblocks that impose restrictions, or limits the rights prescribed in the provisions of the law from applying to individuals. They are,

Government exemptions:

  • In the interest of National Security, friendly relations with other countries, public order – many of the provisions of the law will not be applicable.

Legitimate use:

  • Neither the government nor the private entities need to seek informed consent from citizens for certain legitimate uses.
    • Government for offering subsidies and certificates responding to medical emergency, for national security and natural disasters.
    • Private companies can assume consent when an individual has not expressly denied consent.

Voluntarily disclosed personal data:

  • Provisions of the act do not apply to personal data that may have been pade public buy an individual of their own volition.

What happens If there is a breach ?

  • One of the rights conferred under the law is Right to grievance redressal.
    • Law also requires both Government and private entities to intimate individuals and data protection board if they have faced a data breach.
    • The Data protection Board will initiate the investigation into it. If found the breach it could fine the entity up to Rs. 250 crore.
  • If a person is not satisfied with the decision of the DPB, they can file an appeal with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)




Global Biofuels Alliance


  • The Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA), formally launched during the G20 Summit in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stands as a transformative milestone in the global energy landscape.
    • Founding members: India, the U.S. and Brazil
    • Initiating members: India, the US, Brazil, Argentina, Bangladesh, Italy, Mauritius, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates
    • Observer Countries: Canada and Singapore

Significance of grouping

  • It helps to bring countries together to co­develop, accelerate technological advances in production processes, and advocate for the use of biofuels particularly in the transport sector.
  • It helps to facilitate global biofuels trade and technical support for national biofuel programmes.
  • It offers capacity-building exercises across the value chain, technical support for national programs and promoting policy lessons-sharing.
  • This alliance is significant for India as it targeted to become net zero (removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as human activity emits) by 2070.

What are biofuels? 

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA)defines biofuels as “liquid fuels derived from biomass and used as an alternative to fossil fuel based liquid transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and aviation 


Biofuels Vs Sustainable biofuels


Sustainable Biofuels

It is derived from crops grown specifically to produce biofuels such as sugarcane, corn, or soybean

It is derived from agricultural waste, used cooking oil and processed animal residues like fats.

It is colloquially referred to as 1G ethanol, or first-generation biofuel

It is referred as 2G, that is second­ generation.

While opinion is divided on this, some experts say 2G ethanol will allow the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions even while stretching the life of internal combustion engines, giving time for automakers to develop robust alternatives


Why focus on Biofuels?

  • Countries including India, with huge import dependency of crude oil struggled with severe disruptions to global crude oil supplies following the Ukraine war.
    • So, they were in the verge to find alternatives to the import dependence on petrol and diesel.
    • There have been renewed attempts to accelerate the decarbonising of this sector with transport accounting for about one­ quarter of global carbon emissions, 


  • Some modes of transport like aviation, shipping and long-haul trucking will findit harder to reduce carbon emissions than say, self-driven cars or motorbikes.
    • But experts say 2G ethanol could be a valuable substitute.

Important facts

  • The three founding members of the GBA produce 85% of global biofuels and consume about 81% of it.

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