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Current Affairs 27 March 2024 for UPSC And State PSC Exam

Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP)

News- Kerala’s adoption of a different approach for implementing smart electricity meters could potentially hinder the central government’s ambitious smart meter project worth Rs 3 lakh crore.

Smart meters

  • Smart meters record electricity consumption and measure voltage levels.
  • Unlike traditional meters that only track power usage, smart meters send this data to utility providers every 15 minutes or hourly.
  • These meters are internet-connected, enabling them to:
  • Provide consumers with detailed usage information.
  • Allow utility providers to monitor consumption accurately for billing and other purposes.


  • An initiative by the Government of India to encourage smart meter usage nationwide.
  • Objective: To enhance billing and collection efficiency of Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) in India.
  • Goal: To replace 25 crore traditional meters with smart meters.
  • Implemented by: Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of NTPC Limited, PFC, REC, and POWERGRID under the Ministry of Power.
  • Roll-out model: Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT), with EESL covering all capital and operational costs, requiring no initial investment from states and utilities.
  • Cost recovery: EESL recoups expenses through the monetization of energy savings from improved billing accuracy, eliminated meter reading costs, and other efficiencies.
  • Installation guidelines: As per the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
  • Benefits for consumers: Enables savings on electricity bills through consumption tracking and informed decision-making.
  • Benefits for utilities: Enhances operational efficiency and aids in power demand management.
  • Connectivity: Smart meters are linked to a web-based monitoring system, aiding in reducing commercial losses, boosting revenues, and facilitating power sector reforms.

Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024

News- Recently, the Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024 were announced by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.


Under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, elephants are classified as a Schedule I species, which means capturing or trading them, whether wild or captive, is strictly prohibited under any conditions. Here are the key points:

  • Elephants, as Schedule I species, are protected from capture and trade.
  • Section 12 permits the relocation of Schedule I animals for specific reasons like education, scientific research, population management of wildlife without harm, and gathering specimens for recognized zoos or museums.
  • Captive elephants are considered a unique category due to their historical use in forest management, timber transportation, roles in royal estates, and religious activities in temple areas, allowing for their ownership under stringent regulations.
  • The transfer, acquisition, or possession of captive elephants requires the explicit written approval of the State’s Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW), as mandated by Section 40(2) of the WPA.
  • In 2021, an amendment was introduced by the Environment Ministry permitting the transfer of elephants for religious or other purposes, expanding the scope of their legal translocation.

The Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024 establishes the guidelines for transferring captive elephants either within a state or between two states. Key points include:

  • The Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) of States and Union Territories is empowered to approve or deny the transfer requests for captive elephants.
  • Transfers are allowed if it’s determined that the elephant’s current owner cannot maintain it or if the elephant would benefit from better care conditions elsewhere.
  • An elephant’s genetic profile must be recorded in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s (MoEFCC) electronic monitoring application before transfer approval.
  • Owners must apply for the transfer through the deputy conservator of forests (DCF) in charge of the area where the elephant is registered.
  • The DCF will inspect the current and proposed facilities for the elephant, consult a veterinary practitioner for a health certificate, and then submit the findings to the CWW.
  • The CWW has a seven-day window to decide on the transfer request after receiving the application and relevant details from the DCF.

Chalukyas of Kalyani

News- A Kannada inscription dating back 900 years from the Kalyana Chalukya era was discovered in Gangapuram, a temple town in Telangana.


  • The Chalukyas were rulers of the Deccan plateau in central India from the 6th to the 12th centuries.
  • They governed as three distinct yet closely related dynasties during their reign.
  • The Chalukyas of Badami (6th-8th centuries)
  • The Western Chalukyas or the Chalukyas of Kalyani
  • The Eastern Chalukyas or the Chalukyas of Vengi


Dynasty Origin and Capital: The Chalukyas of Kalyani were a Kannadiga dynasty named after their capital, Kalyani, in today’s Bidar district, Karnataka.

Establishment: Founded by Tailapa II during the Rashtrakuta Empire’s dominance; originally governed Tardavadi in Karnataka’s Bijapur district.

Reign Duration: Ruled the western Deccan and southern India for 300 years, reaching peak power under Vikramaditya VI (1076-1126 CE).

Golden Era: Vikramaditya VI’s reign marked the zenith, often referred to as the ‘Chalukya Vikrama era’.

Military and Diplomatic Achievements: Controlled northern feudatories, defeated the Chola dynasty in multiple battles, and secured territories amidst ongoing conflicts with the Cholas.

Decline: Post-Vikramaditya VI, sustained conflicts with the Cholas weakened the empire, leading to its downfall after 1126.

Administration: Power passed to the male heir or brother; the kingdom was managed by feudatories like the Hoysala and Kakatiya.

Military Structure: Maintained a significant army, including infantry, cavalry, and elephants.

Cultural and Religious Tolerance: Primarily Hindu, but also supported Buddhism and Jainism; contributed to Kannada and Telugu literature.

Economic Contributions: Introduced punch-marked gold coins (pagodas) with Kannada legends, featuring temple, lion, and lotus cryptograms.

Architectural Legacy: Bridged Badami Chalukya and Hoysala architectural styles; known for the ‘Gadag style’. Key temples include Mallikarjuna (Bellary), Siddeshvara (Haveri), and Kallesvara (Davangere).

Art and Architecture: Temples feature a blend of religious and secular themes, epitomizing the zenith of later Chalukya architectural excellence.

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