Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Strategic Petroleum Reserves

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 28th July-2021


  • 100 Day Campaign by Jal Jeevan Mission
  • Strategic Petroleum Reserves
  • Exercise Cutlass Express 2021
  • Gig economy to boost employment of Indian Women in Formal Sector
  • Gharib Nawaz Employment Scheme


1.100 Day Campaign by Jal Jeevan Mission

#GS2 #Government policies and interventions # Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population #Issues related to Health

Context: Jal Jeevan Mission fails to meet goals ten months after 100-day campaign was launched.

Highlights of the campaign:

  • Objective: The main goal of 100-day campaign was to achieve 100% coverage, and provide potable piped water supply for drinking and cooking purposes as well as tap water for handwashing and in toilets in every school, Anganwadi and ashram Shala or residential tribal school.
  • It was launched on October 2, 2020 as an acknowledgement to the need of ‘potable piped water’ to children as they are more susceptible to water-borne diseases and need for repeated hand washing to prevent CoVID-19 pandemic.
  • The other aims of the scheme were to discuss and bring awareness among rural community, anganwadi workers, school teachers, school management committees, etc about the importance of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) and assured availability of safe water to children for their overall development.
  • Gram Sabhas were made to pass a resolution for providing safe water in all schools, anganwadi centres and other public institutions in the village in the next 100 days.
    • These facilities are operated and maintained by the Gram Panchayat and/ or its sub-committee i.e. Village Water & Sanitation Committee or Paani Samiti.
  • At the time, about 40% of schools and anganwadis already had tap water access.
  • About 66% of schools and 60% of Anganwadi centres across the nation have got FHTC [Functional Household Tap Connections] through JJM in 10 months.


  • Over a third of government schools and anganwadis still do not have tap water access.
  • There has been slow progress despite a Parliamentary Standing Committee pointing out the importance of repeated washing of hands as part of COVID-19 safety protocols for schools to reopen.
  • Disparity among States:
    • Nine states and Union Territories have already achieved 100% coverage.
    • During the 100 days period, States like Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have reported provision of tap water in all schools and AWCs, and Punjab has reported provision of piped water supply in all schools.
    • In Jharkhand and West Bengal, less than 15% of schools and less than 10% of anganwadis have tap water access.
    • Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, saw significant improvement, with the number of schools with tap water rising from just 13,400 before the campaign to more than 1 lakh now, leaving less than 20% of schools to be covered.

Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims at the universal coverage of provision of tap water connection to every rural home by 2024.
  • JM focuses on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.
    • Creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse, would be undertaken in convergence with other government programmes/schemes.
  • Under the mission, special focus is on women and children. Ensuring safe water to children is a priority, as they are the most vulnerable to water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, typhoid, etc.
    • Repeated infections due to consumption of unsafe water in their formative years may have adverse effects, resulting in stunting.
    • The situation is much more complex in areas where water sources are found to be contaminated with Arsenic, Fluoride, heavy metals, etc. and prolonged consumption of water having these contaminants may lead to degenerating diseases resulting in serious health problems.
  • The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.
  • JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
  • The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.


  1. Strategic Petroleum Reserves

#GS3 # Mineral and Energy resources # Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

Context: Recently, the Centre gave its nod for setting up of two underground facilities to store crude oil for commercial and strategic purpose, under the second phase of the Strategic petroleum reserves programme.

  • In 2020, India filled its strategic petroleum reserves in view of the slump in crude prices.

Key Details on New Facilities:

  • Under Phase II of the petroleum reserve programme, Government has given approval in July 2021 for establishing two additional commercial-cum-strategic facilities with total storage capacity of 6.5 MMT underground storages at Chandikhol (4 MMT) and Padur (2.5 MMT).
  • They will be built in Public Private Partnership mode.
  • An amount of INR 210 crore was allocated in the budget of FY 2020-21under Phase II for land acquisition and same has been disbursed to Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL).
  • The construction of the Strategic Crude Oil Storage facilities is being managed by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL), a Special Purpose Vehicle, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • As per the consumption pattern of 2019-20, 5 MMT SPR capacity is estimated to provide for about additional 12 days of India’s crude oil requirement.

Existing Facilities:

  • Under Phase I of the Programme, Government of India has established Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) facilities with total capacity of 5.33 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) at 3 locations, namely
    • (i) Vishakhapatnam,
    • (ii) Mangaluru and
    • (iii) Padur.
  • The petroleum reserves established under Phase I are strategic in nature and the crude oil stored in these reserves will be used during an oil shortage event, as and when declared so by the Government of India.
  • As per the consumption pattern of 2019-20, the total capacity is estimated to provide for about 9.5 days of crude oil requirement.
  • In addition, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the country have storage facilities for crude oil and petroleum products for 64.5 days, thus the current total national capacity for storage of crude oil and petroleum products currently is 74 days.

About the Strategic reserves:

  • Strategic petroleum reserves are huge stockpiles of crude oil to deal with any crude oil-related crisis like the risk of supply disruption from natural disasters, war or other calamities.
  • According to the agreement on an International Energy Programme (I.E.P.), each International Energy Agency (IEA) country has an obligation to hold emergency oil stocks equivalent to at least 90 days of net oil imports.
  • The crude oil storages are constructed in underground rock caverns and are located on the East and West coast of India.
  • Crude oil from these caverns can be supplied to the Indian Refineries either through pipelines or through a combination of pipelines and coastal movement.
  • Underground rock caverns are considered as the safest means of storing hydrocarbons. They are also the most economical method of storing petroleum products because the underground facility rules out the requirement of large swathes of land, ensures less evaporation and, since the caverns are built much below the sea level, it is easy to discharge crude into them from ships.
  • The concept of dedicated strategic reserves was first mooted in 1973 in the US, after the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil crisis.

Why India Need Strategic Petroleum Reserves?

  • India still needs to import 83% crude oil of its requirement which increases the import bill of India which further widens the Current Account Deficit (CAD) of the country.
  • The current capacity of this is not sufficient to tackle any unpredicted event that occurs in the international crude market.
    • 86% of the country is dependent on oil with nearly 5 million barrels of oil consumption in a day.
  • So, it can be said that the construction of strategic petroleum reserves by India is a great way to secure the country’s energy security. These reserves would act as a piggy bank for India in the event of a war-like situation in the Gulf countries or other oil importers of India.


3.Exercise Cutlass Express 2021

#GS3 # Security Challenges and their Management in Border Areas # Various Security Forces and Agencies and their Mandate

Context: Recently, Indian Naval Ship Talwar in Mombasa, Kenya Participated in Exercise Cutlass Express 2021.

About Exercise Cutlass Express:

  • The exercise is an annual maritime exercise conducted to promote national and regional maritime security in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.
  • The 2021 edition of the exercise involves participation of 12 Eastern African countries, US, UK, India and various international organisations like International Maritime Organisation (IMO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Interpol, European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), Critical Maritime Routes Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO).
  • The exercise focusses on East Africa’s coastal regions and is designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security and increase interoperability between the regional navies.
  • Key Focus: Information sharing and information flow between various partner countries with respect to maritime domain awareness.
  • Participation of India’s Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) would contribute in achieving the same.
  • India’s participation is in accordance with India’s stated policy towards maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean region and vision SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).

Significance of Western Indian Ocean:

  • A secure maritime environment in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is crucial for both India and African countries for securing national interests and achieving sustained national development.
  • “Security” here means not only guarding the coastline or territories, but also safeguarding the countries’ interests in their exclusive economic zones (EEZs), as well as protecting trade and shipping routes, and sea-lanes of communications (SLOCs).
  • The Western Indian Ocean connects North America, Europe and Asia, and as such is of global strategic importance.
  • Its rich natural resource profile has pushed global players, including India, to view the region with increasing interest in recent years.
  • There is a proactive reorientation and rebalance in India’s nautical outlook towards its West, especially with the African Indian Ocean Rim littorals.
  • India’s compulsions for energy security and its dependence on overseas resources has been the biggest factor drawing India closer to the region.
  • The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region comprises 10 countries: Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius, and the French overseas territory of Réunion.

Western Indian Ocean (WIO): A Fact Sheet

  • The total natural assets of WIO have been conservatively estimated at US$ 333.8 billion.
  • Fisheries is the largest asset estimated at US$ 135 billion, or 40 percent of the WIO’s total natural assets.
  • The annual Gross Marine Product of WIO (equivalent to a country’s GDP) is at least US$ 20.8 billion.
  • Most countries in the region have high population growth rates and coastal development is expected to grow accordingly.
  • Over 60 million people inhabit the coastal zone in the WIO region.
  • The region is characterised by high biodiversity both in terms of species and ecosystems.
  • The main drivers of growth in WIO littorals are the extractive, construction, and service sectors including the tourism industry.

Nature of inter-regional cooperation in WIO region:

  • Programme to Promote Regional Maritime Security (MASE) – The MASE Programme was adopted on 7 October 2010 in Mauritius, and is jointly run by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
  • The programme’s primary objective is to strengthen the maritime security capacity of Eastern and Southern Africa and the WIO (ESA-IO) region in order to implement the Regional Strategy and Action Plan against Piracy.
  • Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) – The Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden (or the Djibouti Code of Conduct) provides a framework for capacity building in the WIO region in order to counter the threat of piracy.
  • This is the first such code to be operational in the Western Indian Ocean waters. The code was signed on 29 January 2009 and its membership includes 20 of the 21 eligible countries.
  • Jeddah amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC+) –recognises the role of the ‘Blue Economy’ including shipping, fisheries, seafaring, and tourism in supporting sustainable economic growth, food security, employment and stability.
  • Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) 2050 –The strategy aims to foster more wealth creation from Africa’s oceans, seas, inland waterways by developing a thriving maritime economy and realising the full potential of sea-based activities in an environmentally sustainable manner.


  1. Gig economy to boost employment of Indian Women in Formal Sector

#GS1 # Population and Associated Issues #GS2 #Issues related to women #GS3 #Indian Economy- Growth, Development and Employment.

Context: The study on “The impact of COVID19 and Industrial revolution 4.0 on Future of work for women” by United Nations Development Programme in India (UNDP-India) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said the rise of the gig economy following the pandemic outbreak has potential to boost women’s employment in the formal jobs.

Highlights of the study:

  • The study that collected data from 150 firms, of which one-third were from the manufacturing sector and the remaining were service firms.
  • The rise of the gig economy following the coronavirus outbreak has the potential to boost women’s employment in formal jobs.
  • The adoption of new technologies could create better opportunities for women.
  • 73% firms agreed that 50% of jobs in India will require skilling and reskilling to expand opportunities for women in the formal sector.
  • As per the survey, sectors such as health and pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronics, and fast-moving consumer goods are likely to see more female employment.
  • At the same time, women’s employment in the finance and accounting divisions may moderately change because of the adoption of new technology.
  • Around 57% of the surveyed firms agree that the gig economy will itself expand and boost women’s job prospects because it is based on flexible, temporary or freelance jobs, often involving connecting with clients or customers through an online platform.
  • Of the total surveyed firms, only 6.73% and 21.74% firms in service and manufacturing sectors respectively were not able to adopt Work from Home.

What is a GIG Economy?

  • It is a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.
  • An estimated 56% of new employment in India is being generated by the gig economy companies across both the blue-collar and white-collar workforce.
  • The gig economy thrives largely unregulated; therefore, workers have little job security and few benefits.


  • The survey underscores that alternative work arrangements in the gig economy have the potential to absorb more women and increase their participation in the workforce.
  • However, it did not address the question that gig work is often not a primary assignment and there is no job security.
  • A boost in the use of technology and increased acceptance of virtual working for sales and distribution jobs could open up opportunities for women in fields where interactions are managed via apps and phone calls.
  • There is a need for the government to step in and implement radical changes in labour laws or implement tax rebates and concessions that can be passed on directly to drivers or delivery partners as health or insurance benefits.


  1. Gharib Nawaz Employment Scheme

#GS3 #Employment related issues #GS2 #Government Policies and Intervention

Context: Recently, the union minister for Minority Affairs replied in the Parliament that a total number of 371 training centres under Gharib Nawaz Employment Scheme were opened across the country.

About Gharib Nawaz Employment Scheme:

  • It was launched by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2017.
  • It is implemented by Maulana Azad Education Foundation, an autonomous body under the aegis of Ministry of Minority Affairs.
  • The main aim of this scheme is to provide short term job-oriented skill development courses to minorities’ youth in order to enable them for skill-based employment.
  • This scheme is implemented as per common norms of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSD&E) through the empanelled Program Implementation Agencies (PIAs).
  • The PIA is mandated to place minimum 70% trainees out of total trained trainees.
  • The monthly stipend for maximum of three months and post placement support for maximum of two months after getting employment are also being paid to the beneficiaries directly into their account.
  • The training programmes are monitored through empanelled IAs of MAEF and through a Program Monitoring Unit (PMU) set up in MAEF.
  • As per the scheme guidelines, employment opportunities (organized & unorganized Sectors) is being provided to all the beneficiaries.

Other Schemes related to Minorities: 

  • Ministry of Minority Affairs implements various programmes/schemes across the country for the welfare and development of the six (6) centrally notified minority communities namely, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs as under:-

(1) Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme – For educational empowerment of students, through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.

(2) Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme – Provide fellowships in the form of financial assistance.

(3) NayaSavera – Free Coaching and Allied Scheme – The Scheme aims to provide free coaching to students/candidates belonging to economically weaker sections of minority communities for preparation of entrance examinations of technical/ professional courses and competitive examinations.

(4) PadhoPardesh – Scheme of interest subsidy to students of economically weaker sections of minority communities on educational loans for overseas higher studies.

(5) Nai Udaan – Support for students clearing Prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), State Public Service Commission (SPSC) and Staff Selection Commission (SSC) etc.

(6) Nai Roshni – Leadership development of women belonging to minority communities.

(7) SeekhoAurKamao – Skill development scheme for youth of 14 – 35 years age group and aiming at improving the employability of existing workers, school dropouts etc.

(8) Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) – Implemented for the benefit of the people from all sections of the society in identified Areas for development of infrastructure projects with emphasis on education, skill , health sectors etc.

(9) Jiyo Parsi – Scheme for containing population decline of Parsis in India.

(10) USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) – Launched in May 2015 aims to preserve rich heritage of traditional skills of indigenous artisans/craftsmen. Under this scheme HunnarHaats are also held all over the country to provide nation-wide marketing platform to Minority artisans & entrepreneurs and to create employment opportunities.

(11) Nai Manzil – A scheme for formal school education & skilling of school dropouts launched in Aug. 2015.

(12) HamariDharohar– A scheme to preserve rich heritage of minority communities of India.

(13) Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) implements education and employment oriented related programmes as follows

(a) Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship for Meritorious Girls belonging to the economically weaker sections of Minorities under which scholarship is awarded to minority girl students

(b) Gharib Nawaz Employment Scheme started in 2017-18 for providing short term job oriented skill development training to youth. (c) Bridge Course for madarsa students & school dropouts.

(14) Equity to National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) for providing concessional loans to minorities for self-employment and income generating ventures.


In addition to the above, the Ministry also implements schemes for strengthening State Waqf Boards and coordinates arrangements for annual Haj pilgrimage.



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