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PIB Summaries 27 February 2024

  1. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
  2. Surge in Coal Based Power Generation


Focus: GS I- Important Personalities

Why in News?

The Prime Minister of Indian paid tributes to Veer Savarkar on his Punya Tithi on 26 February.

About Vinayak Damodar Savarkar 

  • Period: 28 May 1883 – 26 February 1966
  • Cause of Death: Fasting (Sallekhana Prayopavesa)
  • He was commonly known as Veer Savarkar (“brave” in his native Marathi language)
  • He was an Indian independence activist, politician, lawyer and writer.

Nationalism and social reforms:

  • Savarkar formed a youth organization known as Mitra Mela, this organization was put into place to bring in national and revolutionary ideas.
  • He was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi. In 1905, he burnt all the foreign goods in a bonfire on Dussehra.
  • He championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
  • He also worked on abolishment of untouchability in Ratnagiri. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar also compared his work to Lord Buddha.
  • In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
  • He was also involved in the Swadeshi movement and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party. His instigating patriotic speeches and activities incensed the British Government. As a result, the British Government withdrew his B.A. degree.
  • He founded the Free India Society. The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.
  • He believed and advocated the use of arms to free India from the British and created a network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons.

Related Organisations and Work:

  • Founded a secret society called Abhinav Bharat Society.
  • Went to the United Kingdom and was involved with organizations such as India House and the Free India Society.
  • Involved in the formation of Hindu Mahasabha.
  • He was the president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.
  • Savarkar wrote a book titled ‘The History of the War of Indian Independence’ in which he wrote about the guerilla warfare tricks used in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny.
  • He also wrote the book ‘Hindutva: who is hindu?’.

Abhinav Bharat Society (Young India Society)

  • It was a secret society founded by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and his brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar in 1904.
  • Initially founded at Nasik as Mitra Mela, the society was associated with several revolutionaries and political activists with branches in various parts of India and London.

Hindu Mahasabha

  • It was a political party formed in 1933.
  • It was founded by Veer Damodar Savarkar, Lala Lajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malviya.
  • The organisation was formed to protect the rights of the Hindu community, after the formation of the All India Muslim League in 1906 and the British India government’s creation of separate Muslim electorate under the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909.

Free India Society

  • It was a political organization of Indian students in England, committed to obtaining the independence of India from British rule.
  • Initially an intellectual group, it became a revolutionary outfit under its founding leader, Madam Bhikaji Cama.


Focus: GS-III Indian Economy, Industry and Infrastructure

Why in News?

The coal based power generation in India has made a commendable progress from April to January 2024 registering a growth of 6.60 % in power generation compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.  

  • Particularly striking was the significant 10.06% growth in coal-based power generation during this period.
  • The import of coal has witnessed a significant decrease of 36.69%, despite the surge in demand.
  • This exemplifies the nation’s steadfast commitment to achieving self-reliance in coal production and minimizing overall coal imports.
  • Currently, India is witnessing a substantial surge in power requirements, propelled by industrial expansion, technological advancements and economic development etc.

What is Coal?

  • Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock rich in carbon and hydrocarbons that takes millions of years to develop, making it a non-renewable energy source.
  • Coal is also known as black gold
  • It contains energy stored by plants that flourished hundreds of millions of years ago in swampy forests.
  • Coal is made up of carbon, volatile matter, moisture, and ash, as well as [in some situations] sulphur and phosphorus.
  • Metallurgy and power generation are the most common applications for this material.

What is the extent of India’s dependence on coal?

  • As of February 2022, the installed capacity for coal-based power generation across the country was 2.04 lakh megawatt (MW).
  • This accounts for about 51.5% of power from all sources.
  • This compares with about 25,000 MW of capacity based on natural gas as fuel, or a mere 6.3% of all installed capacity.
  • Renewable power accounted for 1.06 lakh MW or 27%.
  • Coal-based power stations are retired periodically which happens all the time.
  • But is not fast enough nor are new additions being halted. And with good reason – coal is still inexpensive compared with other sources of energy.
  • For FY20, for example, India added 6,765 MW power capacity based on coal as fuel. But only 2,335 MW was retired.
  • According to the IEA’s Coal Report 2021, India’s coal consumption will increase at an average annual rate of 3.9% to 1.18 billion tonnes in 2024.

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