State Election Commission

#GS2 #Polity #Governance

Context: Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner (SEC) invoked his plenary powers to transfer Principal Secretary (General Administration­Poll) for the inaction against some officers charged with dereliction of duty in the conduct of local body elections.

State Election Commissions (SECs)

  • The State Election Commission has the responsibility to conduct free and fair elections to the local bodies in the states.
  • According to Article 243K (1) of the Indian Constitution, the superintendence, direction and control of the elections to the Panchayats &Municipalities (Article 243ZA) shall be vested in a State Election Commission. State Election Commissioner is to be appointed by the Governor.
  • As per Article 243K (2), the tenure and appointment will be directed as per the law made by the state legislature. State Election Commissioner can only be removed in the same manner and on the same grounds as a Judge of a High Court.

Right to Censure

  • Election Commissioner possess the right to censure government officials who have been co-opted to carry out election duties.
  • Election Commission has also asserted the right to prevent the transfers of officials during an election campaign. When the Commission feels that such transfers are likely to impede the fairness of the elections, they can make use of this power.



Core Sectors

#GS3 #Economy


  • Output from India’s eight core sectors contracted 1.3% in December 2020, with electricity and coal the only two sectors recording growth.
  • Overall, core sectors have contracted by 10.1% in the April to December period, with fertilisers the only sector to record growth over the year, of a modest 3%.

The eight-core sectors:

  1. Electricity
  2. Steel
  3. Refinery products
  4. Crude oil
  5. Coal
  6. Cement
  7. Natural gas
  8. Fertilizers
  • The eight core industries in decreasing order of their weightage: 
  • Refinery Products > Electricity > Steel > Coal > Crude Oil > Natural Gas > Cement > Fertilizers.
  • The 8-core industries have a huge impact on economic and industrial activities in India. They have a significant impact on other industries too. 
  • These 8-core sector represents the capital base of the economy.
  • Combined together, these sectors accounts to above 40% of share in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Index of Industrial Production (IIP) 

  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) shows the rate of growth in various industries in the Indian economy over a fixed period.
  • It is compiled and published every month by the National Statistical Office, which is under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • Base Year for IIP calculation is 2011-2012.

Significance of IIP :

  • IIP is the measure on the physical volume of production.
  • It is used by government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India, etc, for policy-making purposes.
  • IIP remains extremely relevant for the calculation of the quarterly and advance Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates.



Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM­JAY)

#GS2 #Governance


  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM­JAY) contributed to improvement in many health outcomes in States that implemented the ambitious programme the Centre had launched more than two years ago to provide healthcare access to most vulnerable sections. 
  • States that joined the PMJAY, in comparison has achieved greater penetration of health insurance, reduction in infant and child mortality rates, realised improved access and utilisation of family planning services and greater awareness of HIV/AIDS.


  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana was initially launched as the National Health Protection Mission.
  • It happens to be the world’s largest government-funded health insurance scheme. 
  • PMJAY provides eligible families with insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh per annum.
  • This amount is supposed to include all secondary and most of the tertiary care expenditures.
  • No cap on family size has been mentioned. Similarly, there is no age limit either in the scheme. Hence, it ensures that nobody will be left behind.
  • The program will cover 3 days of pre-hospitalization and 15 days of post-hospitalization like medicines and diagnostics. It will also cover all pre-existing conditions.
  • The beneficiary will also have a defined transport allowance per hospital.
  • The beneficiaries can take cashless treatment from any empanelled hospital anywhere in the country, including both public and private hospitals.



Fiscal Deficit

#GS3 #Economy

Context: The government’s fiscal deficit soared to ₹11.58 lakh crore or 145.5% of the Budget Estimate (BE) at the end of December 2020, mainly on account of lower revenue realisation.

Fiscal Deficit

  • Fiscal Deficit is defined as the gap between the government’s expenditure requirements and its receipts. 
  • It is the shortfall in a government's income compared with its spending
  • A government with fiscal deficit is spending beyond its income.
  • In such case, the government is supposed to borrow inorder to close the gap. This amount equals to the fiscal deficit. 
  • Fiscal surplus happens if receipts increases and are more than expenditure.
  • Fiscal Deficit = Total expenditure – (Revenue receipts + Non-debt creating capital receipts).
  • High fiscal deficit is not essentially bad for the economy. It can be good if the borrowed amount is spent on productive assets or infrastructure development like highways, ports, airports etc that can fuel economic growth and increase employment oppurtunities.
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