[Summary] Economic Survey 2019 Vol1Ch09: Electric Vehicles (EV) for Sustainable Mobility: UPSC Mains Answer-Writing

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  1. Prologue
  2. Mock Questions for Mains from ES19 Vol1Ch09
  3. Mock Q1: Electric Vehicle Adoption increase kro
  4. Mock Q2: Access to Energy
  5. Mock Q3: Energy Efficiency
  6. Mock Q4: Koyla is the floppest movie of SRK


  • After the General Elections 2019, Economic Survey 2018-19 (ES19: आर्थिक सर्वेक्षण) was released in 2019-July by Chief Economic Advisor (CEA: मुख्य आर्थिक सलाहकार) Subramanian K. with a ‘skyblue’ cover because it contained blueprint for $5 trillion dollar economy.
  • As usual, Vol1 dealt with the prediction & prescription of future; whereas Vol2 with the description of the past. At this stage you can ignore the Volume2 because Prelim-2019 is over, and another new survey will come before Prelim-2020- Containing a more latest data. But, volume1 is important for at least the next 3 UPSC mains examinations.
  • Vol1 Chapter 09 titled ‘Enabling Inclusive Growth through Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable Energy’ gives a long list of Government schemes for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and praises electric cars.
  • Relevance? UPSC IAS/IPS Civil Services Mains Exam General Studies Paper3 (GSM3): Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation; Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
  • I’ve covered this chapter in the following youtube lecture video.

Electric Vehicles

Mock Questions for Mains from ES19 Vol1Ch09

The chapter can help answering the following questions for mains General Studies Papers:

Mock Q: Electric Vehicle Adoption increase kro

Identify the prospects and constraints in adoption of electric vehicles in India and provide suggestions in this regard. भारत में इलेक्ट्रिक वाहनों को अपनाने में संभावनाओं और बाधाओं की पहचान करें और इस संबंध में सुझाव प्रदान करें।

Answer: introduction- define/origin/data

  • (Definition) Electric vehicle is an automobile that is propelled by the energy stored in rechargeable batteries. Such vehicles are further classified into 1) Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and 2) Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) which can run on both battery (using electric motor) and petrol/diesel (using internal combustion engine).
  • (Origin of the problem) In India, transport sector is the second largest contributor to CO2 emissions after the industrial sector. Electric vehicle is a proven solution to reduce the vehicular emission.
  • (Data) Currently, the market share of electric cars is less than 1% in India, compared to compared to 2% in China and nearly 40% in Norway.

Therefore the following steps have to be initiated to increase EV Adoption in India:

Body1: Prospects: Why encourage EV in India?

  • With increasing vehicle ownership in India, the demand for fossil fuels has also increased. India largely depends on imported petroleum products and for the last two years, Global crude oil prices have been rising due to production cuts by OPEC countries and Russia.
  • It is therefore imperative to shift to alternative fuels to support our mobility / transportation in a sustainable manner.
  • India can emerge as a hub for manufacturing for EVs. This can provide employment opportunities and earning of foreign exchange through exports. रोजगार व विदेशी मुद्रा कमाने का साधन बन सकता है

Body2: EVs in India: steps already taken to promote them

  • 100 % FDI through automatic route is permitted in the automobile sector.
  • 2013: National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP) for promoting electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • 2015: Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles (FAME) scheme to fast-track the goals of NEMMP.
  • 2019: FAME India Phase II has been launched from 1/4/2019 for a period of three years with funding of ₹ 10,000 crores.
    • It’ll setup 2700 charging stations in major cities in such manner that
      • at least one charging station is available in a grid of 3 km x 3 km in cities,
      • At least one charging station is available every 25km on highways.
    • It’ll also focus on electrification of public transportation.  (सार्वजनिक परिवहन का विद्युतीकरण)

Body3: EVs in India: challenges/future reforms

Norway has the highest share of electric cars in its private transport. Because they provide tax incentives to EV buyers, waiver of toll fees, free parking, etc. However, the latest economic survey observed that more than such tax incentives, need of the hour is to develop charging station infrastructure in India because:

  • EV batteries’ primary components is Lithium. China has secured a supply of this metals from Congo, Bolivia, Chile and Australia. China controls half the cobalt mines in Congo. India also has to expand to such upstream areas to secure Lithium supply.
  • EV batteries have limited driving range. So, charging stations must be available throughout the road networks.
  • Depending on the technology of charging stations, it can take from 30 minutes to 8 hours to recharge the battery. Therefore, universal charging standards (सार्वत्रिक चार्जिंग मानक) are required in India. 
  • Government should also inform users about the availability of charging stations in their vicinity with the help of physical science, GPS maps / Apps.
  • India’s climate is much better than Norway. High temperature degrades battery life cycle. We’ve to encourage R&D accordingly. Otherwise, frequent battery replacement costs will discourage potential buyers. बार-बार बैटरी बदलवाने का खर्चा ग्राहक को हतोत्साहित कर सकता है.

Conclusion: yes EVs are required

  • Electric vehicles represent the next generation in sustainable mobility.
  • India must emphasize on them to reduce its GHG emissions, and to provide new avenues for employment and export earnings.
  • Aforementioned initiatives /  reforms are important in this regard/need to be addressed on priority basis.

Mock Q: Access to Energy

India’s economic future and prosperity is dependent on her ability to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to all her citizens. Enumerate the steps taken by the Government of India in this regard. भारत का आर्थिक भविष्य और समृद्धि उसके सभी नागरिकों को सस्ती, विश्वसनीय और टिकाऊ ऊर्जा प्रदान करने की उसकी क्षमता पर निर्भर है। इस संबंध में भारत सरकार द्वारा उठाए गए कदमों की सूचि दीजिए.

Answer: introduction

  • (Introduction: Origin) Greater access to energy improves both economic growth and human development of a country.  If India wants to improve its Human Development Index (HDI) from ~0.64 to ~0.80, it must increase its per capita energy consumption by four times. भारत का मानव विकास सूचकांक बेहतर करने के लिए प्रति व्यक्ति ऊर्जा खपत को पहले से 4 गुना ज्यादा करना होगा.
  • (DATA) India’s per-capita energy consumption of only ~1/3rd of the global average. OR Though India accounts for ~18 percent of world’s population, it uses only around 6 per cent of the world’s primary energy.

Answer: Body

  • <insert list of schemes such as DD Gram Jyoti, Saubhagya, PM Ujjwala LPG, Jahawar Solar etc. which are given in my Unacademy Plus Course: Economy Pillar#5 Handout.

Answer: Conclusion- SDG ki pipudi

  • Access to clean, reliable and affordable energy increases the ease of living, improves education and human development.
  • Therefore, India required to provide it to all, under SDG Goal #7
  • Aforementioned schemes / initiatives / challenges are important in that regard / need to be addressed on a priority basis.

Mock Q: Energy Efficiency

What is Energy Efficiency? Enumerate the notable step taken by the Government of India in this regard. ऊर्जा दक्षता क्या है? इस संबंध में भारत सरकार द्वारा उठाए गए उल्लेखनीय कदम की सूचि करें।

Answer: introduction

  • (Introduction: Define) The term energy efficiency means using lesser amount of energy to produce a given amount of output.
  • For example, a light-emitting diode (LED) light bulb requires less energy than an incandescent light. Thus LED is more energy efficient than incandescent lights.

Answer: Body- notable steps in energy efficiency

  • 2001: Energy Conservation Act → Statutory Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE: ऊर्जा दक्षता ब्यूरो) was set up under the ministry of power.
  • 2006: Star labelling program for Electric appliances → consumer can make an informed choice. BEE is also working for labelling program for vehicles.
  • Commercial Buildings: Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC). Hotels have also been assigned mandatory targets for reducing their energy consumption.
  • Residential Buildings: BEE launched the Eco-Niwas Samhita (2018) for minimum energy conservation standards
  • BEE awareness campaign to keep AC temperature at 24-26 degrees. → saves 20% electricity bill + health and environment benefits.
  • Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has launched Unnati Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) programme.
  • Department of Heavy Industry notified Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) norms for passenger cars.
  • LPG has more Energy Efficiency than firewood/ kerosene for cooking. So Petroleum ministry’s PAHAL-DBT and Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana schemes to encourage the adoption of LPG cylinders.
  • + long list of schemes such as Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme for industries, etc. which is already given my Unacademy Plus Course: Economy Pillar#5 Handout.

Answer: Conclusion- Government steps ko appriciate kro

  • Under the Paris agreement, India has pledged to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030.
  • Energy efficiency is a crucial factor in this.
  • Aforementioned initiatives will help in a long way to achieve our promises under Paris agreement / INDC.

Mock Q: Koyla is the floppest movie of SRK

“For India, the renewable energy can complement but can’t replace the coal based energy.” Examine critically. “भारत के लिए, अक्षयऊर्जा कोयला आधारित ऊर्जा की पूरक हो सकती है लेकिन उसे  प्रतिस्थापित नहीं कर सकती है।” गंभीर रूप से जांच करें।

Here CEA Subramanian Krishnamurthy has simply repeated the Points that were already mentioned in the previous economic survey by CEA Subramanian Arvind. I have already given its model answer article two years ago and it remains unchanged, because CEA Subramanian K. has said nothing new.

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