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Aviation pollution and environmental issues

Aviation has several environmental impacts faced basically by the residents and that’s why many activists
around the world have started focusing on this matter. There are immediate demand and an urgent
need to address the environmental effects with the growth in demand for aircraft and airplanes.



DIAL handles 30,000 stranded passengers during lockdown


 Aviation is one of the most important parts of our national economy which provides people an option to move throughout the world. Recently, the outlook of the Government of India towards the Aviation industry has undergone many changes in almost every area; the emerging trends in the industry include new and totally different concepts of ownership, finance, operations, and free hassle free management. The new emerging trends in this industry in a global scenario are the increased globalization of economies, liberalization of aviation policies, developments in civil aviation, privatization of airlines, open skies bilateral agreements, etc.

 In the wake of the increasingly organized movement of goods and services globally, there is rising pressure in civil aviation as well, to grow as a super-fast mode of transportation and that’s how the Civil aviation has transformed itself from a mode of transformation to an essential part of our life from past few years, our overall growth is at the cost of our own environment, no doubt this is one of the fastest-growing industry in the global market and is experiencing growth all over the world but at the same time, commercial aviation consumes good amounts of nonrenewable fuels which leads to their depletion. According to one of the reports from Airports is too important to Privatize – a letter to the editor, 1992. Wall Street Journal, over the past 50 years, around 9 % demand for air travel has risen per annum globally and growth at a reduced rate of around 3-7% is predicted for the next coming 20 years.

 Growth of Aviation Industry and Environmental Hazards 

The increasing demand for air services in India is the reason for the deregulation of the airline industry, according to a report, by 2017 the growth in India’s air traffic was expected to increase in around 52.31 million domestic passengers and by 32.98 million in international passengers and by 2020 it was expected by The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation that the Indian commercial fleet will grow by 1000 aircraft from 380 aircraft and which will lead to automatically growth of fuel consumption to 3-3.5% and somehow will reach between 461 Mt. by 2036. According to a report by ICAO 2010, Environment Report 2010, Domestic and International operations will account for 38% and 62% of global fuel consumption respectively. Globally, the Aviation industry has a much positive economic and social impact on our society from making our lives convenient to travel the world to have a source of income from tourism; there have been several benefits.

 According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change established by United Nations Environment Programme and Meteorological Organisation, around 4.9% of humans caused climate change, which includes greenhouse gases and the emission of Carbon dioxide, which is contributed by the air transportation system. According to research done by Airbus, in the Middle East, the air traffic will double by the year 2034 and the number of passenger’s fleet of airlines will grow by 2365 new passenger aircraft. With the increase in demand for air travel, there is now a greater need to examine ways to reduce its potentially damaging effects on our planet. 

Causes of Environmental Issues in Indian Aviation 

Industry Aviation has several environmental impacts faced basically by the residents and that’s why many activists around the world have started focusing on this matter. There are immediate demand and an urgent need to address the environmental effects with the growth in demand for aircraft and airplanes and the emission of some pollutants. As a result of these factors and with the rising value being placed on environmental quality, there are increases in constraints on mobility, economic vitality as well as the nation’s security. The environmental issues of the aviation industry can be classified into the following categories. 

Airlines Environmental issues

 Airport Environmental issues

 Environmental Pollutions Health Hazards

 Airlines Environmental Issues or Climate Change impacts of aviation emission: Atmosphere can be categorized into five spheres i.e. Troposphere (0-7 miles from ground level), Stratosphere (7-31 miles from ground level), Mesosphere(31-50 miles above the ground level), Thermosphere( 50- 440 miles above the ground level), Exosphere( 440-6200 miles from the ground level) and lastly Ionosphere ( it overlaps both the thermosphere and exosphere, it is ionized by solar scattering and contains magnetic powers and enhances radio waves propagation to distant places to earth) the pollution by aircraft can be categorized into different atmosphere layers like Carbon dioxide (CO2), NOX, Ozone layer and the last one is ground-level pollution. Carbon Dioxide (CO2): 

Nowadays many aircraft generally travel at the height of 35000 feet and their engines emit exhaust which contains CO2 which is generally heavier than the air. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate, Change CO2 is the most important gas which emits from the aircraft due to the combustion of fossil fuel which largely contributes to more greenhouse effect and climatic change. The level of CO2 emission is expected to increase more and more in the upcoming decade, and the level of toxic elements generated by this emission is very high regardless of the altitudes, but the effect of this greenhouse gas is more effective at the level of the Stratosphere than lower altitudes.

 Sometimes at the altitude at which the commercial airlines fly, CO2 which is released by the aircraft does not condense because the temperature varies from -35 degree C to -50 degree C which is warmer than the freezing point of this gas which is 56 degrees C and therefore it will disperse slowly because of the pressure of the gas at that temperature is 101 PSIG which will descend the lower altitudes which causes slow descending nature of these gases. The elevation below which the air and the pollutants mix is known as Mixing height and the emission at this height mainly contributes to the groundlevel air pollution and climate change as well when emissions are above the level of mixing height.


 At the layer of Troposphere this gas emits at a large amount by jet airline ranging from subsonic, supersonic was known for more than 20 years ago by Hidalgo and Cruten which are effective information of ozone (O3) in the upper layer of troposphere, and could damage the ozone layer. Volatile organic compounds also play a significant role in hampering the functions of the ozone layer which is basically present in the aircraft’s emissions, at the altitude of 8-13 km, these gases are in dominant nature and hence increased the concentration of O3 enhances the effect of global warming. 

The emission of NOx results in reducing the ambient levels of methane in the atmosphere which affects globally and the lifetime is around 8-12 years. There is an emission of around 5-25 kg of NO2 per kg burning of fuel. Direct aircrafts emissions include some harmful pollutants such as Carbon Dioxide and Water that can affect the climate along with some other effects like the production of ozone in the troposphere layer alteration of methane lifetime, contrail and cirrus cloud formation, etc. No doubt that Nitrogen oxide has a cooling effect in the atmosphere by reducing the greenhouse and other gases like methane but still at the same time it doesn’t counterbalance the warming effect which is caused by the formation of Ozone and the overall effect is increasing the temperature of earth’s atmosphere. 


 Contrails generally formed at altitude where the temperature is very cold and hum, and in turn it may lead to the formation of cirrus clouds, sometimes the lifetime of contrails vary from seconds to hours. But the warming effects are highly dependent on altitude, location, and atmospheric conditions, there is no such particular report on the extent of the enhanced cirrus that arises from aircraft contrails and particle emission is also not well quantified but at the same time, there is some evidence which shows that cirrus clouds and air traffic are interrelated.


 Soot basically traps outgoing infrared radiation and has a small warming effect, and the overall effect is regional and not global, Aerosols are totally different from soot, it reflects the solar radiation and have some cooling effects and has same regional effect as same as soot.

 Airport Environmental Issues

 Airports have also been accused of degrading the environment because of various factors. Even the slightest variations in terms of going against the environmental norms could lead to suspension of operations, which we don’t expect and are striving towards a friendly approach. a serious role for pollution caused at airports is by ground access vehicles (GAV) and ground support equipment (GSE). of these vehicles include; the staff jeeps; cars; heavy-duty pushback trucks; ground power units; passenger terminal buses; catering trucks; cleaning trucks; mobile airconditioning units. Apart from the above, this also contributes to the pollution crisis at the airports especially during peak hours within the morning and evening, because the aircrafts lineup expecting take-off clearance while others have their engines idling and one clearly figure out the foggy, hazy and smoky environment at the airport’s tarmacs and thresholds of the runways.

 Even when present on the bottom, the emissions from different categories of aircraft and airport vehicle emissions include harmful NOx, CO2 compounds that have very serious consequences on the health of individuals residing nearby, and also to those lying directly below the flight path (during take-off and landing). These compounds are carcinogenic in nature. Another defying aspect of airport pollution is that the biodiversity that has plants/ tree plantations and avian (birds) and has become at the brim of destruction while an airport is freshly under construction. the development of the airport involves clearing of planted lands that are usually spoken over vast areas and hectares (as 5500 Acres) of fields of plantations like rubber or filling from marsh areas with an incredible amount of sand and concrete like just in case of Singapore’s Changi Airport or Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, this sort of destruction creates an enormous imbalance within the ecosystem and should cause disturbances within the ecological good chain. But even after the completion of the airport project, they still pose threat to biodiversities like bird strikes or bird hits and safely recycle techniques of airport waste and water. 


 Aviation Air Pollution: Change in average weather is termed as climatic change. There are many types of air pollution at different elevations caused by airports and airplanes, aircraft emits many toxic elements while flying overhead in large amount and these emissions are spread over an area of 12 miles long and 12 miles wide on takeoff. Emissions from aircraft below 1000 feet above the ground somehow cause bad air quality. The concern for aviation air quality is basically related to the areas connected with airports and around them. 

The chief local air quality relevant emissions attributed to aircraft operations at airports are Nitrogen oxides, water vapor, Sulphur Dioxide, Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, etc. According to a report, aviation account for around 2% of the total CO2 emission globally, and 50% more emissions from aviation are expected by this current year 2020 with the increase in fuel in around 50%. In 2009, India has totally revised the national ambient air quality standards. The notified ambient air quality standards in India are equivalent to the European level and exceed the standards prevalent in the US according to the Ministry of State for Environment and Forests. In India, it was decided under the report of revised National Ambient Air Quality that 12 pollutants in total will be measured to calculate the level of air pollution as compared to earlier which was 6 pollutants and the distinction between both industrial and residential areas have also been removed which means now the industries have to conform to the same standards as residential areas and will be compelled to take necessary measures to check air pollution. 


 It is a well-known fact that airports are known as to be the major source for water pollution, they used to dump all toxic chemicals, de-ice airplanes during winter storms into water. During de-icing, the airline mixes around 55% of glycol and around 45% of water at 185 degrees F heat and spray the planes down with it. Ethylene glycol is a more toxic substance and consumes high levels of oxygen during decomposition which is also one of the reasons for the depletion of freshwater and is harmful to aquatic animals.


It is another very important issue airport noise and noise due to overflying at low heights had led some local people to even protest leading to night curfews in some developing countries, but such unilateral decisions by municipalities are not good for the overall growth and it curfews continue then it will become very difficult to manage and even getting land slots at the airport. 


 In ancient times in India, men lived close to forests and loved their surroundings. Today, however, man has only plans for constant air travel, spoiling the fragile mother Earth. 

The Rabindranath Tagore saga 

Commercial aviation had begun in 1911 in India and construction of civil aerodromes was first started at Dum Dum in Calcutta following in Baramati in Allahabad and Gibbert Hill in Bombay in 1924, in total 44 airports were being operated by the Civil aviation department during Independence in 1947. The Indian aviation sector has transformed itself from an over-regulated and the managed sector to a more liberal and investmentfriendly one in the past few years, which at present is undergoing several developments according to the current scenario of our country. Even though it is estimated that the Indian aviation sector would be the world’s fastest-growing sector over the next few years both in the terms of passenger and cargo traffic as well as an area of equipment supply, maintenance, repair, and overhaul, etc, still there are no prescribed standards to noise pollution around the airports, it a fact that noise pollution is bound to have higher at airports as compared to other places. 

A petition was filed before the Delhi High Court on March 3, 2010, by the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre and an NGO named Bijwasan Gram Vikas Samithi to direct the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) with no deadlines fixed to implement some measures to check the growing level of noise pollution near Delhi airport and Delhi International Airport pvt.ltd was barred from using two runways that were being used at the IGI airport. The DGCA is looking for introducing continuous descent approach which is a method by which aircraft approach airports before landing to reduce fuel consumption and noise and it also involves maintaining a constant three-degree descent angle during landing until meeting the instrument landing system at the IGI airport as an immediate measure to reduce noise pollution. Recently in 2009, the Government of India has raised the National Ambient air quality standards that are equivalent to the European level as well. 


 Earlier only common law remedy was only available for excessive noise and other pollutions. With the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment which was made at Stockholm on 16th June 1972, Modern environment law started. In 1982, a charter was made for nature by United Nations and in the 1989 Hague declaration, a charter was made on Environment basically to protect the Ozone layer globally and to prevent global warming of the atmosphere. In India, there is no specific provision related to aviation pollution, but our Indian Constitution states that protection and improvement of the environment, forests, and wildlife of the country is State’s duty. 

An act was passed by the American congress in 1990, which states that by the year 2000 all aircrafts in commercial fleets weighing more than 75000 pounds must be at either stage three aircraft at stage 2. According to the bill of United States senate bill, the Quiet communities act of 1947; it would re establish the office of noise abetment and control in the environment protection authority and would also challenge the US federal aviation administration to listen carefully and also to look after the aviation noise. In India there is no specific provisions regarding aviation pollution however our Indian Constitution states that it is the duty of the state to protect the environment and to work for improvement as well along with wild life and forests. Both fundamental rights and dpsp talks about environment Our constitutional provisions are backed by a number of laws, it is considered as the father of other laws. 

Under art.253 of constitution the epa 1986 was enacted and came into force after bhopal gas tradegy. Similarly A large number of laws such as water act and air came into existence when there is disputes The scope of the environment protection act is broad in the sense with the environment which includes water, air, land, and the interrelationships among them and human beings and other living organisms. Environmental Pollution is defined in Environment Protection act, as the presence of pollutants in the environment, and environment pollutants can be defined as the solid, liquid, and gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be and which are injurious to the environment. 

According to sec 15 of the Environment Protection Act, whoever fails to comply with or contravenes any of the provisions of the Act or any rules made thereunder shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with a fine which extends to one lakh rupees or with both. Under sec 17 of this act, where an offense under this act has been committed by and head of the department shall be guilty of the offense and will be liable and punished accordingly.


 We can say that no doubt that in our changing scenario aviation is something very important and becoming an essential infrastructure and on the other hand, airports and aviation industries are causing pollution to a reasonable extent. There are three actions which have been recommended to achieve the National Vision for Aviation and the Environment, the first one is to basically promote coordination and communication among the stakeholders, the second deals with the development of more effective tools and metrics for the guidance of policy decisions and research planning investments, the last one is related with technological and policy options to achieve a balanced approach to a long term environmental improvements, all of them are interrelated and can only be achieved if all of them are implemented correctly. 

Apart from the recommendations, there are some suggestive ways by which we can help in reducing environmental pollution like using biofuels which are present partially currently, by addressing new and independent challenges, regular check on air traffic controllers, curbing air transportation. As Mahatma Gandhi said that “ Earth provides enough to satisfy our needs but not to satisfy our greed.” And hence it is our responsibility to protect our environment.

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Policy & Politics

Builder hardware products from India have considerable global demand, says Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash

Tarun Nangia



Builder hardware industry is linked to the construction equipment industry where the revenue was valued at US$ 6.5 billion in 2020 and construction market is expected to be the third largest globally by 2025: MSME Secretary B B Swain

India is the 17th largest supplier of builder hardware products and is on its way to fulfil the government ambition to become a global manufacturing hub of builder hardware products.

Builder Hardware is another performer making India as one of the top 20 suppliers with a 1.2 percent share in the world builder hardware export pie, said Som Parkash, Minister of State of Commerce & Industry

While addressing the Builder Hardware Expo, organised by EEPC India, virtually today, the Minister noted that builder hardware products from India have considerable demand across the continents.

Indian builder hardware product is one of the best performing segments in the Indian engineering goods sector which has been the key driver of merchandise exports from the country.

“Builder hardware industry is linked to the construction equipment industry where the revenue was valued at US$ 6.5 billion in 2020 and the construction market is expected to be the third largest globally by 2025,” said Mr B B Swain, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

India is the 17th largest supplier of builder hardware products and is on its way to fulfil the government ambition to become a global manufacturing hub of builder hardware products.

Swain stated that EEPC India with more than 60 per cent of its members representing MSME sector took several initiatives even during pandemic to provide global interaction opportunities to small players in the form of webinars and virtual Expos.

“The Government of India has been proactive to ensure that all the benefits of the MSME schemes reach the intended beneficiaries in time,” said Mr Swain.

EEPC India Chairman Mahesh Desai said that the four-day virtual Expo would provide opportunity to the Indian exhibitors to display an array of over 200 domestic builder hardware products to overseas buyers from nine focus regions and trade blocs.

“The buyers would comprise contractors, builders, building engineers, architects, landscape artists, interior designers, consultants and project management professionals,” he said.

Speaking at the Expo, EEPC India Vice Chairman Arun Kumar Garodia said India belongs to the league of leading builder hardware manufacturing and exporting nations.

“The Government of India has now set a National Mission of merchandise exports to reach US$ 400 billion within this fiscal, US$ 500 billion by FY-24 and US$ 1 trillion by FY-28 by making Indian products the only choice for global buyers,” he said.

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Policy & Politics


MoU will give UT a big developmental push: Piyush Goyal

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Jammu and Kashmir administration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Dubai for real estate development, industrial parks, IT towers, multipurpose towers, logistics, medical college, super specialty hospital and more.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal highlighted the significance of the day and said that with the signing of the MoU with Dubai Government, the world has started to recognize the pace with which Jammu and Kashmir is traversing on the development bandwagon. This MoU gives out a strong signal to the entire world that the way India is transforming into a global power, Jammu & Kashmir is having a significant role in that as well.

This MoU is a milestone after which the investment will pour in from entire globe and is a big developmental push. Different entities from Dubai have shown keen interest in investment. Development has to be aspired on all fronts and we are on track, he added.

Goyal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Shri Amit Shah for their focus and commitment towards the development of UT of Jammu & Kashmir. Recent industrial package of 28,400 Crore rupees is a testimony towards ensured development.

Terming it a momentous occasion for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha said that this development journey will help the Union Territory to scale new heights in Industrialization and sustainable growth.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal highlighted the significance of the day and said that with the signing of the MoU with Dubai Government, the world has started to recognize the pace with which Jammu and Kashmir is traversing on the development bandwagon.

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Policy & Politics

India is working towards bridging digital divide in Africa: V. Muraleedharan

‘India has adopted an approach that facilitates development of human capital in the continent with the larger objective of harnessing socio-economic growth,’ said V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India

Tarun Nangia



‘India is working towards bridging digital divide in Africa and has adopted an approach that facilitates development of human capital in the continent with the larger objective of harnessing socio-economic growth”, mentioned V Muraleedharan, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India while addressing the Inaugural Session at the 2nd edition of the India Africa Higher Education and Skill Development Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry in partnership with Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India today.

Muraleedharan elucidated that India is best positioned to partner Africa as we can offer affordable and high-quality education and skill development opportunities and make the young population employable and allow them to participate in growing economies of African countries. Elucidating on the strong Indo-African partnership in the domain of higher education and skill development, the Minister stated that capacity building and providing higher education opportunities with for the socio-economic development of our partner nations is a major element of our Foreign Policy.

India has long standing ties in education with Africa and over 2000 Indian faculty members have been involved in teaching and research activities of Ethiopian nations. Further, defence academies and colleges are being set up in nations like Nigeria and Tanzania. With a view to promote students from African nations to study in India, several initiatives have been undertaken like the Study in INDIA, ITEC programmes, Sir C V Raman Scholarship, collaboration of Department of Science & Technology with the World Bank to develop centres of excellence in African countries and the launch of e-VidyaBharti and e-ArogyaBharti Project, among others.

Dr Sarah Ruto, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Education Republic of Kenya, emphasised that Kenya is working towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals with a special focus on select education-based SDG Goals. She mentioned that Kenya has a competency-based curriculum to meet the rising demands for tertiary education and there is focus on alumni network funding as well as partnerships to promote skill development.

Buti Kgwaridi Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science & Innovation, Government of Republic of South Africa informed that a bilateral cooperation treaty is being negotiated in education for exchange of students as well as to share best practices. He added that forums like IBSA and BRICS have also provided opportunities to address the developmental needs of the nations.

Dame Diop, Minister of Employment, Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Inclusion, Government of Republic of Senegal informed that the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PES) which harmonises national policies particularly for human capital development and vocational training is a major step towards promoting employability. The Minister commended India for committing 130 million Rupees to Senegal to create science and technology institutes.

Dr Douglas Letsholathebe, Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Government of Republic of Botswana highlighted that the commonality of English language based higher education system offers scope for greater cooperation between the countries. The Minister stated that the Botswana Vision 2036 aims at transformation from a resource-based to an all-ingredient knowledge-based economy focussing on education, training, and human resource development systems. Expressing the commitment to the youth, Botswana has joined the Generation Unlimited initiative as a leader thereby, playing a crucial role in forging multisector partnerships across geographies to provide greater access to skilling and livelihood opportunities.

S Kuppuswamy, Co-Chair, CII Africa Committee & Advisor-Group Finance & Special Projects, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, said that the Indo-African collaboration has strengthened in the post pandemic era as the nations are collectively focusing on new age learning models and enhancing the role of technology in education. Emphasizing on the strong multilateral cooperation with Africa, it was highlighted that one of the most popular programs, the Study in India commonly called EDCIL offered by Ministry of Education offers around 900 scholarships to African students to study in India and Indian universities are also investing in promoting their services to the African community.

The two day Summit organised in partnership with Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India will focus on Online education, Study in India and Skills Development programmes. Over 6 ministers from Africa and India participated at the Summit and event saw online registration of 600 delegates from India and Africa.

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Policy & Politics


Tarun Nangia



Note: P: Provisional, F: Final, * Annual rate of WPI inflation calculated over the corresponding month of previous year

The month over month change in WPI index for the month of September, 2021 (as compared to August, 2021) was 0.07 %. The monthly change in WPI index for last six-month is summarized below:


All India Wholesale Price Indices and Rates of Inflation (Base Year: 2011-12=100) for September, 2021


Note: * = Provisional, Mf/o = Manufacture of

Note: * = Provisional, Mf/o = Manufacture of

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Policy & Politics

One nation one election: From inception to constitutional/logistical issues



‘The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity.”

In the yesteryears, when Late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was injecting the idea that India will awake to life and freedom, he certainly would not have had any idea that the same speech, to the same public and with the same zeal will be delivered by dissecting few of the words and adding spice wrapped in polarized feelings. Those occasions were five yearly festival of Indian democracy- elections where such speeches jumbled every now and then – could be heard and read.

But one could never fathom of a situation where complex electoral processes does not go simultaneously for the centre and state and in fact, takes place at intervals of every few months in the diversified though unified country like India. And the saga of speech would start once again, every second, for months. It took 20 years of independence and 17 years of first general election to break the chain. 1967 was the last time when India had near simultaneous elections.

The Constituent Assembly had scholars like Dr. BR Ambedkar who raised the issue of deciding the status of election commission i.e. whether it has to be a permanent body or a temporary one, giving logic for his take on the issue. At the same time, the far-sightedness of ones like Prof. Shibban Lal Saxena, threw light on the issue that mid-term dissolution of assemblies would push us to a situation of having elections before completion of five years and hence we cannot have such a commission which sits free for five years after conducting one and waiting for other election, and hence we have Article 324 in our constitution.

Kerala Assembly made debut for the mid-term dissolution and elections were held in the year 1960, unlike for rest of the country which was held in 1962. Nagaland and Pondicherry should also be kept under exceptions because assemblies here were formed only after 1962. Like every beginning has an end, similarly every end has a beginning. The end of simultaneous election had its beginning in 1970 when, on the wishes of Indira Gandhi, there was a premature dissolution of Lok Sabha on December 27, 1970 and mid-term elections were held in February 1971. The next political event was declaration of National Emergency, 1975. General Elections were held in the year 1977 and the newly formed Janta Parivar started to focus on dissolution of assemblies of few states after the 1977 victory. Such attempts, both at centre and state level, were rusting the greased process of simultaneous elections. The 1998 and 1999 dissolution of Lok Sabha acted as a catalyst for such rusting of simultaneous elections and now only three to four states go for elections with the Lok Sabha polls for last few years. Thus, the Election Commission now conducts state elections once or twice every year and so we get to hear the saga of speeches discussed earlier every few months.

The Hurdles in the path

The Representation of People Act, 1951 is relevant to throw light on the legal aspect of the possibility and shortcomings faced by the authorities for conducting simultaneous elections. Section 14 and Section 15 talk about notification for general elections to House of People and State Assembly respectively. These provisions are empowering in nature and hence the Election Commission, by virtue of these provisions, can notify elections keeping a gap of six months from the end of tenure of the house and this gap period has to be strictly adhered to. Usually, the election schedule is announced a few days before the notification is issued so that the individuals and institutions involved in the process gear up. Hence we can surmise that for the present state of affairs regarding elections of different states and for those assemblies ending their tenure in the span of less than six months, simultaneous elections are legally possible. But, this is not the only changes that shall be required.

Our constitution’s basic structure not only includes parliamentary democracy but also federalism. Also, the tenured elected legislatures are equally important to sustain parliamentary democracy. By bringing the scheme of simultaneous elections, tampering of constitutional accountability shall take place. This shall further deteriorate the structure of federalism that we uphold.

As we have a quasi federal state, our President and Governor neither reigns nor governs unlike United States where the President both reigns and governs and England where the King reigns but does not govern. Thus, by bringing simultaneous elections, we shall be indirectly bringing Governor and President at the pedestal to govern and reign, as when the Lok Sabha or the State Assemblies would be dissolved, the President and Governor shall be appointed as head of the executive. This was even suggested as one of the proposals in The Niti Aayog discussion paper, 2017.

The Paper and the Draft Report of the Law Commission in 2018 also suggested to shorten the tenure of few legislative assemblies and to extend the same of the others in order to synchronize the cycles. This would lead to chaos as why would an elected assembly would want a tenure of two years in place of the earlier promised five years. Similarly, it was also proposed to conduct only two sets of election in a time span of five years. This action in itself is anti-democratic as it goes against the right of citizens to elect their leaders at regular intervals.

This anti-democratic action can be curved into a democratic one by bringing the necessary constitutional amendments. In order to sync the tenures and terms, amendments shall be needed in the following Articles of The Constitution of India, 1950

Article 83(Duration of Houses of Parliament) and 172(Duration of State Legislatures) – These article provides for fixed tenure of five years of the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly. It shall need to be amended to match the requirements of flexible tenures in case of synchronizing elections.

Article 85(Sessions of Parliament, prorogation and dissolution) and 174(Sessions of the State Legislature, prorogation and dissolution) – These sections empowers the President and governor to dissolve the Lok Sabha and Legislative assembly respectively. it shall need to be amended to include synchronization as a reason to dissolve.

Article 356(Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in States) – This article provides for when president or governor can act as head. This shall need to be amended to include manual tampering of tenures so as to create a path to shorten the tenures and also provide for a way to president or governor to act in situations.

In addition to these constitutional issues, there are logistical issues too. The logistical issues which are of major economical value bring with itself the shortage of the number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). Presently, the complete set of single EVM including the voter-verifiable paper audit trial can be used for different elections taking place at different time and places for so long as is the recommended life of an EVM. One EVM can have the names of 16 candidates at maximum. Hence for those constituencies where candidates are even one more than 16, the second EVM has to be used. As a precautionary measure, few of the EVMs are kept as reserve and they are to be used in case the once installed earlier face issues. The number of polling stations in India is more than one million. Now the calculation has to start from providing every polling station with EVMs, that too double in number in case of simultaneous elections for centre and state. The procurement of such large number of EVMs does not limit the expenditure. Storage and security of the EVMs adds to the expenditure which undoubtedly counts to thousands of crores and this does not adds to decrease in the expenditure as is the view of proponents for simultaneous elections. As far as local body polls are concerned, the polling stations, the superintending authority and the judicial authority for taking cases of local elections are different from those of state or centre elections. Hence such issues only add to the logistical issues already faced by the election commission.


The idea of one nation one election is not alien to India. 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967 pave way for the history of simultaneous elections. The synchronization shall definitely bring stability and strengthen nationalism. In long run, it might also help to cut expenditure and speed up development but the immediate expenses seem to be more than the cost benefit analysis. Moreover, the authors are of the opinion that one election might make the country more centralized and lead to tangential behavior towards local issues and regional parties. It might also transform our democracy to a managed democracy like in Russia. It might give the pretence of free and fair elections but the reality shall be far from it.

Thus, it is imperative that electoral reforms are needed but one nation one election is not the correct scheme to embrace under the ambit of electoral reforms.

The Constituent Assembly had scholars like Dr. BR Ambedkar who raised the issue of deciding the status of election commission i.e. whether it has to be a permanent body or a temporary one, giving logic for his take on the issue. At the same time, the far-sightedness of ones like Prof. Shibban Lal Saxena, threw light on the issue that mid-term dissolution of assemblies would push us to a situation of having elections before completion of five years and hence we cannot have such a commission which sits free for five years after conducting one and waiting for other election, and hence we have Article 324 in our constitution.

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Policy & Politics


Anil Swarup



With the sole motto of ‘Desire for excellence in School Education’, the concept of transformation of high schools into Centre of Excellence (CoE) is based on the vision of Chief Minister of Odisha. The school transformation initiative aims to revolutionize the high school education paradigm of Odisha by upgrading the existing school infrastructure at par with the best of the private schools in the country. This has helped provide a highly conducive learning environment for the students from humble background and would also ensure the delivery of best quality education and training.

The major challenge of community participation and ownership was addressed through regular coordination meetings with PRI members, Block Administration, parents, alumni, School Management Committee (SMC), teachers and students. This also helped identify the needs and priorities of the school for imparting quality education. After several rounds of consultations, it was decided to bring about holistic changes in the existing infrastructure of the high school and re-establish it with Smart and Digital Class Rooms, e-Library-cum-Reading Room, Modern Science Laboratory, Hygienic Toilet, Safe & Pure Drinking Water and upgradation of Sports facilities.

After finalizing the above-mentioned priorities, the next challenge was to work out the finances to implement the said work. This is where the ‘Mo School’ initiative of the State Government played the role of a game changer. Under this programme, contributions were to be invited from alumni, donors and organizations for every school and the State Government would provide twice the matching grant against each donation received. For example, if a CSR contribution of Rs. 1 Lakh was received for a particular school, the State Government would provide Rs. 2 Lakhs for the said school and a total amount of Rs. 3 Lakhs would be made available for the development of the school.

In addition to the aforementioned, the local self-governing bodies such as Gram Panchayats and Blocks also earmarked their funds for transforming the local schools which would turn into an asset for capacity building of their children. The overall transformation work was closely monitored by the School Management Committee (SMC) in coordination with Block Technical Team in order to maintain a higher degree of transparency, accountability and timeline.

The main aim was to improve quality of education in high schools by using latest technology, upgrading infrastructure by means of smart class rooms and creation of interactive learning environment with audio-visual facilities. In order to inculcate the practice of reading and to develop soft skills among the students, a well-furnished Library-cum-Reading Room has been setup where students not only develop practice of reading books related to their syllabus but also various informative and motivational books.

To inculcate a sense of scientific temper among students, a modern integrated science laboratory has been setup. To facilitate easy understanding of various science concepts and theories, students will now get a first-hand learning experience by performing various experiments in the laboratory. The modern science laboratory will improve scientific reasoning abilities and practical skills of the students.

In addition to all the above, separate hygienic toilets for boys and girls were also ensured in the high schools. The idea is to ensure that students remain free from infection by developing good sanitation habits. The toilets are fitted with colored & designed tiles and with modern sanitary fittings to minimize wastage of water. Installation of napkin incinerators in girls’ toilet is also ensured to dispose the sanitary napkins in a hygienic way. It is also ensured that the teachers and students use the same toilet so that they take personal interest in maintaining cleanliness & hygiene. Special and dedicated toilet for students with special needs are also made an integral part of the new toilet pattern.

As a top priority, pure and safe drinking water facilities are being ensured in all schools under the ‘Nal Se Jal’ campaign of the State Government. Provision of water purifier is ensured in every high school for safe and pure drinking water. It has also been decided to upgrade the school playground with modern playing equipment in order to nurture young sporting talents.

An additional initiative called ‘Water Bell – The reminder’ has been launched by Ganjam Administration with a vision to inculcate the habit of drinking water at regular intervals among the students so that they stay hydrated and fit. As students spend most of the time in schools, water bell is a reminder for a strategic break for the students during the school hours to take a break and drink water in between the school sessions. Students are also encouraged to carry water bottle to schools

The efforts being made have the potential of transforming high school education in the entire state of Odisha, including Ganjam District . The idea of upgradation of Government high schools driven by 5T principles has not only resulted in the transformation of infrastructure but also developed self-confidence and motivation among students, teachers and parents coming from very humble background in rural areas. This ambitious initiative has become a reality only because of the concerted efforts of various stakeholders, especially the field level functionaries like BDOs, AEs, JEs, SMCs, Teachers, parents, students, etc. The success can be attributed to ‘Team Ganjam’ led by a young and dynamic Vijay Amruta Kulange. This team made it happen. All this could not have been achieved without political support from the top. The beauty of the model is that it is replicable, scalable and sustainable because all the stakeholders are on board.

Anil Swarup has served as the head of the Project Monitoring Group, which is currently under the Prime Minister’s Offic. He has also served as Secretary, Ministry of Coal and Secretary, Ministry of School Education.

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