PIB Analysis : 26th June

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Motion of Thanks
  2. Thorium based powerplants
  3. Polavaram Multipurpose project
  4. Paris Pact Initiative
  5. Cyber coordination centre

1 . Presidents Address & Motion of thanks

Context : A motion of thanks to President for his address to the joint sitting of Parliament was passed by voice-vote in Rajya Sabha after Opposition Congress withdrew more than 200 amendments it had moved.

Presidents Address – Article 86 (1) and Article 87

  • Article 86(1) of the Constitution provides that the President may address either House of Parliament or both Houses assembled together, and for that purpose require the attendance of members. However, since the commencement of the Constitution, there has not been any occasion when the President has addressed either House or both Houses assembled together, under the provision of this article.
  • Article 87 provides for the special address by the President.
    • Clause (1) of that article provides that at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year, the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.
    • Such an Address is called ‘special address‘; and it is also an annual feature. No other business is transacted till the President has addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together.
    • This Address has to be to both Houses of Parliament assembled together. If at the time of commencement of the first session of the year, Lok Sabha is not in existence and has been dissolved, and Rajya Sabha has to meet, Rajya Sabha can have its session without the President’s Address.
    • In the case of the first session after each general election to Lok Sabha, the President addresses both Houses of Parliament assembled together after the members have made and subscribed the oath or affirmation and the Speaker has been elected. 

Motion of Thanks

  • The address is followed by a motion of thanks moved in each House by ruling party MPs, followed by discussions that last up to three or four days and conclude with the Prime Minister replying to the points raised during the discussion.
  • After the PM’s reply, MPs vote on the motion of thanks and some may move amendments to the address.
  • The amendments may emphasise or add issues addressed by the President or highlight those that did not find mention.
  • Changes proposed by MPs are not passed in Parliament. Since 1952, only amendments proposed by Rajya sabha MPs have been passed during the vote on the address,

2 . Thorium based Nuclear Reactors

About Thorium based Nuclear Reactors

  • Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has planned the use of large deposits of Thorium available in the country as a long-term option.
  • A three-stage nuclear power programme has been chalked out to use Thorium as a viable and sustainable option, right at the inception of India’s nuclear power programme.
  • The three stage nuclear power programme aims to multiply the domestically available fissile resource through the use of natural Uranium in Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors, followed by use of Plutonium obtained from the spent fuel of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors in Fast Breeder Reactors.
  • Large scale use of Thorium will subsequently follow making use of the Uranium-233 that will be bred in Reactors. 
  • The utilisation of Thorium, as a practically inexhaustible energy source, has been contemplated during the third stage of the Indian Nuclear Programme. 
  • As is the case with generation of electricity from Uranium, there will be no emission of green house gases from Thorium also and therefore, it will be a clean source of energy.


  • It is not possible to build a nuclear reactor using Thorium (Thorium-232) alone due to its physics characteristics. Thorium has to be converted to Uranium-233 in a reactor before it can be used as fuel.
  • Commercial utilisation of Thorium, on a significant scale can begin only when abundant supplies of either Uranium-233 or Plutonium resources are available.
  • Accordingly, the large scale introduction and utilization of Thorium in the programme has been contemplated after an adequate inventory of Plutonium becomes available from our Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs), comprising the second stage of Indian nuclear power programme. This will be after a few decades of large scale deployment of FBRs. In preparation for the utilisation of Thorium in Third Stage of India’s Nuclear Power Programme, efforts towards technology development and demonstration are made now so that a mature technology for Thorium utilisation is available in time.

India’s Three Stage Nuclear Programme

  • Indian Nuclear Power Generation envisages three stage programme :
    • Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor
    • Fast Breeder Reactor
    • Breeder Reactor
  • Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor uses :
    • Natural uranium diaoxide as fuel matrix, Heavy water as moderator and coolant
    • Natural U isotopic composition  is  0.7 % fissile U-235 and the rest is U-238. In the reactor
    •  India achieved complete self- reliance in this technology
  • Fast Breeder Reactor : India’s second stage of nuclear power generation envisages the use of Pu-239 obtained from the first stage reactor operation, as the fuel core in fast breeder reactors (FBR). The main features of FBTR are :
    • Pu-239 serves as the main fissile element in the FBR 
    • A blanket of U-238 surrounding the fuel core will undergo nuclear transmutation to produce fresh Pu-239 as more and more Pu-239 is consumed during the operation.
    • Besides a blanket of Th-232 around the FBR core also undergoes neutron capture reactions leading to the formation of U-233.
    • U-233 is the nuclear reactor fuel for the third stage of India’s Nuclear Power Programme.
    • It is technically feasible to produce sustained energy output of 420 GWe from FBR. 
    • Setting up Pu-239 fuelled fast Breeder Reactor of 500 MWe power generation is in advanced stage of completion. Concurrently, it is proposed to use thorium-based fuel, along with a small feed of plutonium-based fuel in Advanced Heavy Water Reactors (AHWRs). The AHWRs are expected to shorten the period of reaching the stage of large-scale thorium utilization
  • Breeder Reactor : The third phase of India’s Nuclear Power Generation programme is, breeder reactors using U-233 fuel. India’s vast thorium deposits permit design and operation of U-233 fuelled breeder reactors. 
    • U-233 is obtained from the nuclear transmutation of Th-232 used as a blanket in the second phase Pu-239 fuelled FBR. 
    • Besides, U-233 fuelled breeder reactors will have a Th-232 blanket around the U-233 reactor core which will generate more U-233 as the reactor goes operational thus resulting in the production of more and more U-233 fuel from the Th-232 blanket as more of the U-233 in the fuel core is consumed helping to sustain the long term power generation fuel requirement. 
    • These U-233/Th-232 based breeder reactors are under development and would serve as the mainstay of the final thorium utilization stage of the Indian nuclear programme. The currently known Indian thorium reserves amount to 358,000 GWe-yr of electrical energy and can easily meet the energy requirements during the next century and beyond.

3. Polavaram Multipurpose project

Context : Union Environment Ministry has today given two years of extension and allowed the construction works related to Polavaram Multipurpose Project.

About Polavaram Multipurpose Project

  • Polavaram Project is an under construction multi-purpose National project on the Godavari River in the West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh. Its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa States also.
  • The Project envisages construction of Earth-cum-Rock fill dam across river Godavari
  • Polavaram project is very important to the people of Andhra Pradesh as it will irrigate nearly 3 lakh ha of land, generate hydel power with installed capacity of 960 MW and provide drinking water facilities to 540 enroute villages covering 25 lakh populations, particularly in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari and Krishna Districts. 

4 . Paris Pact Initiative

Context : The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance is hosting a Meeting of Expert Working Group on Paris Pact Initiative on Illicit Financial Flows deriving from the trafficking of Opiates originating in Afghanistan. The Meeting is being organised with the support of United Nations Office on Drugs & Crimes (UNODC).

About Paris Pact Initiative

  • A partnership of more than 80 countries and international organizations, the Paris Pact Initiative is one of the most important frameworks in the fight against opiates originating in Afghanistan.
  • The Initiative dates back to a meeting titled the Ministerial Conference on Drug Routes from Central Asia to Europe that was held in Paris on 22 May 2003. The participants of the meeting adopted the so-called “Paris Statement”, later followed by the Moscow Declaration and the Vienna Declaration.
  • Under the ambit of UNODC, Paris Pact Initiative has addressed the issue of drug problem related to opiates originating in Afghanistan, both at policy and implementation level.
  • It has provided the platform for the Member Countries and International Organizations to coordinate and combat the trafficking and consumption of opiates on the principle of common and shared responsibility.
  • Illicit traffic in opiates, including heroin, is a growing problem, generating illicit financial flows, fuelling corruption, and organized crime and in some cases funding terrorist activities and insurgency.

Rainbow Strategy

  • Under the guidance of the UNODC over the years the of the Paris Pact Initiavite adopted seven action outlines that in 2007 were collectively termed “the Rainbow Strategy”. The strategy consists of:
    • The Blue Paper: Afghanistan’s Opium Poppy Free Road Map and Provincial Profiles
    • The Green Paper: Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan: Border Management Cooperation and Drug Control
    • The Yellow Paper: Securing Central Asia’s borders with Afghanistan
    • The Violet Paper: The Caspian Sea and Turkmen border initiatives
    • The Red Paper: Targeting precursors used in heroin manufacture: operation TARCET
    • The Orange Paper: Financial flows linked to Afghan opiates production and trafficking
    • The Indigo Paper: Preventing and Treating Opiates Addiction and HIV/AIDS epidemics in Afghanistan and neighboring countries

5 . Cyber Coordination Centre

Context : yber Coordination Centre (CyCord) portal was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on December 22, 2018 at DGPs/IGPs Conference as a one-stop platform for sharing all cyber related matters amongst Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), government organizations and other stakeholders.

Objective of Cyber Coordination Centre

  • Primary objective of the Cyber Coordination Centre is to provide a platform to the  Law  Enforcement  Agencies and other stakeholders to collaborate and coordinate their efforts to resolve cyber crime, and for other cyber related issues like sharing case studies/research findings, experience sharing, formulation of research problems, finding solutions to complex cyber issues, etc.
  • Cyber Coordination Centre is an effective platform to deal with cyber issues.

6 . Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)


  • Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.
  • The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.
  • The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.
  • The objective of the MPLAD scheme is to enable Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needs to be taken up in their Constituencies. A list of sectors which are permissible to get funds under Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme is provided in the ‘Guidelines on Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)’
  • In addition, certain special items of works and works of non durable nature are also permitted under the ‘Guidelines on MPLADS’, such as convergence with, MGNREGA, Khelo India and for welfare of differently abled persons, Purchase of Computers, Ambulances/Herse Vans, Books for Schools, Colleges and Public Libraries, New Borings in place of Hand Pumps, Railway Halt Station, Shelters for imparting training for skill development etc.
  • The ‘Guidelines on MPLADS’ provides for utilizing the funds in the areas affected by the Natural and Man-made calamities for rehabilitation work as may be recommended by Members of Parliament.

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