Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Read the b2b
Mains level: Fundamental issues(need to be addressed) discussed in the newscard.
Pollution level in India
- The World Health Organisation’s urban air quality database had found four Indian cities to be among the world’s 10 most polluted
- The database also placed 10 Indian cities in the 20 worst list
Importance of electric vehicles (EVs)
- NITI Aayog has estimated that the nation can save up to Rs. 4 lakh crore by rapidly adopting EVs
- EVs have the potential to disrupt the mobility ecosystem, and could have a positive impact on the economy as well as the urban environment
- Transitioning from an internal combustion engine (ICE)-based regime to an EV-based one is expected to be a painful process
- NITI Aayog lays stress on the need for a robust action plan to move towards electric mobility by 2030
What should be done?
- India needs to address some fundamental issues immediately
- The first is about who will take the lead
- EVs, unlike ICE vehicles, involve several actors at the national, State and city levels, respectively
- Coordination between all three is crucial in driving the EV agenda
- The second is figuring out the best mode forward
- China has focussed on the use of electric buses as a catalyst for EV penetration
- The Netherlands has captured the EV market using a simple yet well-crafted strategy of creating charging infrastructure and encouraging investment in charging technology by providing incentives to EV buyer
- These two case studies show that sustained growth is possible only due to positive economic impacts of EVs. India is today the largest manufacturer and exporter of two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws
- Could these vehicles pave the way for an EV revolution?
- The third is the battery conundrum
- India does not produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries currently, and companies making battery packs are dependent almost exclusively on imports from China
- Accelerating EV use in India should be linked to the “Make in India” goal and domestic battery production
- Investment is required for research and development in battery-making and exploring alternative technologies
- The fourth is about charging infrastructure
- EV charging is more than just using electricity. It involves exchange of information requiring a communication protocol
- There is no unique or single-charging technology for EVs
- The three major EV users, China, Japan and the European Union, have their own charging technologies which are often conflicting and not interchangeable
- The government needs to select or develop appropriate charging technology that avoids multiplicity and reduces the cost of infrastructure, while making it convenient and safe for users
The way forward
- India, however, needs a road map, with timelines, processes, well-researched impact studies, bold initiatives and robust investments in technological research to turn its EV dream into reality