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InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically.

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Delhi’s decision to limit health services.

2. Krishna and Godavari water utilisation.

3. 2021 QS World University rankings.

4. Does using UV ray mechanism on food items kill the coronavirus?

5. Democrats unveil police reform bill.


GS Paper 4:

1. Coronavirus lockdown | Migrant workers should not be prosecuted, says Supreme Court.


Facts for Prelims:

1. Locations of North Korea and South Korea.

2. What is the Coral Triangle Day?

3. Turant Customs.

4. Ramon Magsaysay Award.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Delhi’s decision to limit health services

What to study?

For Prelims: SDMA- chairperson, powers and functions.

For Mains: Orders by Delhi government, implications and why was it necessary to overrule them?

Context: Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal has issued two orders that struck down key announcements made by the Delhi government in the past week. These include:

  1. To reserve beds in private and Delhi government hospitals for residents of Delhi.
  2. To limit the scope of Covid-19 testing.

What’s the issue?

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced to restrict COVID-19 treatment in Delhi’s private hospitals and those run by the government of NCT only to those with proof of residence in the city.

Besides, the Director General of Health Services Delhi (DGHS), had ruled out testing of asymptomatic contacts of confirmed patients.

Why Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi overruled this decision?

  1. Right to Health’ is an integral part of ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution. While health care is far from being universal in India, positively denying that to someone on the grounds of residency is insensitive and irresponsible.
  2. The NCT is functionally contiguous with Gurugram in Haryana and NOIDA in Uttar Pradesh. Thousands cross these borders for work and other needs including health care. People contribute to tax revenues in three different jurisdictions. And hence there cannot be restrictions.
  3. In his second order, the L-G, pointing out “deviation” from guidelines of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), directed the Delhi government to test asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of confirmed cases as well. It is because deviation in the ICMR guidelines can result in inadequate contact tracing of affected individuals and can result in further spread of COVID-19 in NCT of Delhi.

What has been the government’s argument and the rationale behind this move?

Situation in Delhi is already worsening. 5.5 lakh COVID-19 cases are expected by July-end for which 80,000 beds could be needed.

Powers of Lt. Governor to issue such orders:

He is empowered to issue such orders in his capacity as chairperson of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

These powers have been conferred under Section 18(3) read with Section 18(2)(d) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

What was the problem with Delhi Government’s order?

If this order was implemented, it would have largely had two effects:

  1. It would have denied healthcare to scores of patients from other states who come to Delhi for specialised treatment that is unavailable to them in their hometowns.
  2. It would have led to denial of medical care to even those living and working in Delhi as they don’t have identity proofs of residency in Delhi.


Prelims Link:

  1. SDMA- composition, functions and powers.
  2. Lt Governor of Delhi Vs Governors of states- difference in powers and their appointment.
  3. DDMA- chairperson and powers to overrule government orders.
  4. NCR consists of?
  5. Who appoints the Chief Minister of Delhi?

Mains Link:

Can treatment In hospitals of a particular state be reserved for only the residents of that state? Discuss the issues involved.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Krishna and Godavari water utilisation

What to study?

For Prelims: Origins of Krishna and Godavari rivers, tributaries and important projects.

For Mains: Disputes- origins, attempts to resolve and the way ahead.

 Context: The Union government is going to take stock of water utilisation from the Krishna and Godavari rivers following Telangana and Andhra Pradesh filing complaints against each other.

In this regard, the Union Ministry of Jal Sakthi has asked the Chairpersons of the Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards to procure the details of the irrigation projects in Maharashtra and Karnataka, too, and submit them to the Centre in a month.

Need for:

The main objective of the exercise appears to be to assess whether surplus water will be available for the new projects in the light of the disputes.

What’s the issue?

The two States- AP ans Telangana- share stretches of the Krishna and the Godavari and own their tributaries.

They have embarked on several new projects without getting clearance from the river boards, the Central Water Commission and the apex council comprising the Union Water Resources Minister and the Chief Ministers, as mandated by the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. 

But, Telangana government last year filed a complaint against AP government for taking up projects across Krishna river.

The Krishna:

It is an east-flowing river.

Originates at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and merges with the Bay of Bengal, flowing through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Tributaries: Tungabhadra, Mallaprabha, Koyna, Bhima, Ghataprabha, Yerla, Warna, Dindi, Musi and Dudhganga.

Godavari River:

Rises from Trimbakeshwar near Nasik in Maharashtra and flows for a length of about 1465 km before outfalling into the Bay of Bengal.

Basin: The Godavari basin extends over states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in addition to smaller parts in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Union territory of Puducherry.

Tributaries: Pravara, Purna, Manjra, Penganga, Wardha, Wainganga, Pranhita (combined flow of Wainganga, Penganga, Wardha), Indravati, Maner and the Sabri.


Prelims Link:

  1. Tributaries of Krishna.
  2. Tributaries of Godavari.
  3. East vs West flowing rivers of India.
  4. Interstate river water disputes- key provisions.
  5. Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards- formation, functions and orders.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

2021 QS World University rankings

What to study?

For Prelims: Ranking indicators, performance of global and Indian institutions.

For Mains: Significance of these rankings, how can India improve rankings?

Context: 17th edition of the QS World University rankings has been released.

What is QS World University rankings?

It is an annual publication of University rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)- A british company specialising in the analysis of higher education institutions around the world.

Previously, it was called Times Higher Education – QS world University rankings. The name changed since 2010.

It is the only international ranking to have received the approval of International Ranking Expert Group (IREG).

It rates the worlds top 1000 universities.

How are universities ranked?

To rank institutions, QS uses six indicators:

  1. Academic reputation.
  2. Employer reputation.
  3. Faculty/student ratio.
  4. Citations per faculty.
  5. International faculty ratio.
  6. International student ratio.

Top 20 institutions this year:


Performance of Indian Institutions:

  1. Top three from India featured in top 200 and their rankings: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay (172), followed closely by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore (185), and IIT Delhi (193). However, all three have dropped in their rankings compared to the last year.
  2. In total, 21 Indian higher education institutions have found their place among the world’s top 1,000 (It was 24 last year). Of these 21, 14 have fallen in rank over the past 12 months, while four have improved their position.
  3. Indian higher education institutions perform strongly in research quality, even though they fail to increase their academic standing, teaching capacity, and levels of internationalisation at the same rate as their global competitors.

Reasons for poor performance of Indian institutions:

Indian institutions got zero score on ratio of international faculty and students. India also scored poorly on faculty- student ratio.

This is because India counts only full-time faculty, whereas American universities include even PhD students who are teaching or research assistants.

What should India do now?

The government has already formed a committee on how we can improve the perception of the premier Indian institutes abroad.

The government should now launch a campaign similar to incredible India to change the perception.


Prelims Link:

  1. Name the 6 indicators used to rank institutions.
  2. In which parameter has India scored zero?
  3. Total Indian institutions in top 200 and 1000?
  4. Comparison with 2020 rankings.
  5. When was institutions of eminence scheme launched?
  6. Top 10 institutions worldwide.

Mains Link:

Write a note on institutions of Eminence scheme.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Does using UV ray mechanism on food items kill the coronavirus?

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Use of UV rays- significance and concerns associated.

 Context: Many sweet shop owners across India have started using the UV light mechanism to disinfect food items and killing the virus.

How is it being used?

UV radiations are normally used to kill microorganisms.

Particularly, UV-C, also known as Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying their nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions and stops their replication.

  • UVGI is used in a variety of applications, such as food, air, and water disinfection.
  • Few research studies have found that UVC radiation is also effective in killing coronaviruses on various surfaces, but efficiency is variable for different kinds of surfaces depending on their texture.

What is UV radiation?

UV radiation is the portion of the Electro Magnetic spectrum between X-rays and visible light.


The most common form of UV radiation is sunlight, which produces three main types of UV rays:

  1. UVA
  2. UVB
  3. UVC

Key features:

  • UVA rays have the longest wavelengths, followed by UVB, and UVC rays which have the shortest wavelengths.
  • While UVA and UVB rays are transmitted through the atmosphere, all UVC and some UVB rays are absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer. So, most of the UV rays you come in contact with are UVA with a small amount of UVB.

Sources: Indian Express.


Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Democrats unveil police reform bill

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key provisions and significance of the bill, need for this bill.

Context: Top US congressional Democrats have unveiled a bill- the Justice in Policing Act- to overhaul police practices as Americans gather daily to protest excessive use of force and systemic racism.

The legislation would make sweeping changes designed both to deter police use of force and hold officers more accountable for abuses. 

The legislation now needs support from Republicans.


This comes two weeks after the death of George Floyd, the black, unarmed man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The incident sparked nationwide furor over sustained brutality against black Americans.

The bill proposes to:

  1. Reform “qualified immunity” for officers, making it easier for people whose constitutional rights were violated to recover damages
  2. Change the federal standard of criminal police behavior from “willful” to acting “knowingly or with reckless disregard,” to address the difficulty of prosecuting officers
  3. Start a federal registry of police misconduct and require states to report use of force to the U.S. Justice Department
  4. Ban police use of chokeholds and carotid holds, and condition funding for state and local departments on barring the practices
  5. Stop the use of “no-knock” search warrants in drug cases in the U.S., while also making state and local money contingent on stopping use of the warrants
  6. Give the Justice Department subpoena power to carry out “pattern and practice” investigations into police department conduct
  7. Provide state attorneys general with grants to carry out pattern and practice probes and create a process for independent investigations into uses of force
  8. Require training on racial bias and implicit bias at the federal level, and condition state and local funding on offering training
  9. Curb transfers of military-grade weapons to state and local police
  10. Classify lynching as a federal hate crime


Racism in the USA:

Despite the civil war over slavery, and the civil rights movement for dignity and equality, systemic discrimination and violence against blacks persists. Racism continues unabated.

What is Racism?

Racism is a systematic ideology, a complex set of beliefs and practices that, on the presumed basis of biology, divides humanity into the ‘higher’ us and a lower ‘them’.

What can it lead to?

It not only sustains a permanent group hierarchy but deeply stigmatises those designated as inferior. This sense of hierarchy provides a motive for say, whites to treat blacks in ways that would be viewed as cruel or unjust if applied to members of their own group. For instance, contact with them is often regarded as contaminating, polluting.

It should therefore be avoided or kept to a minimum.

Racism naturalises a person’s belief, character and culture. For example, being uneducated is seen not as socio-economic deprivation but a sign of inherited low IQ; blacks are predatory and are also seen to have an innate streak of savagery, which unless kept down by brute force from time to time, might explode and destroy civilisation.

Need of the hour:

Only a peaceful movement to end institutionalised racism, with both blacks and white participants, quite like the recent protests after Floyd’s murder, can break the back of this evil.


Prelims Link:

  1. Presidential vs Parliamentary form of Govt.
  2. How the President of USA is elected?
  3. US president vs PM of India- Key differences.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 4

Coronavirus lockdown | Migrant workers should not be prosecuted, says Supreme Court

Context: The court passed the order on migrant workers after suo motu taking cognisance of the migrant workers’ exodus.

 Power of High Courts to take up such matters:

High Courts, as constitutional courts, were well within their jurisdiction to take cognisance of violation of fundamental rights of migrant workers and we have no doubt that those proceedings shall proceed.

 What has the Court said?

Migrant workers should not be prosecuted for trying to reach home amid the national lockdown.

States/Union Territories should withdraw all complaints under Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act and other related offences lodged against migrant labourers who are alleged to have violated lockdown measures by moving on roads.

Railways should provide the States with 171 more Shramik Special trains within the next 24 hours to transport migrant workers.

What’s the issue?

Society as a whole is moved by the miseries and difficulties being faced by migrant workers.

They had set out on foot from big cities for their native villages to escape starvation, unemployment and disease during the pandemic.

But, they are often stopped by the police at various check posts and prevented from entering into their states or villages. This has left them shelterless and made more vulnerable.

A migrant worker who walked home would have faced a year in prison or been fined or suffered both if found guilty of obstructing the law under Section 51 of the Act.

What next?

Migrant labourers are forced to proceed to their native place after cessation of their employment. They are already suffering. They have to dealt by the police and other authorities in a humane manner.

So, once they are brought back to their homes, the states need to attend the needs of the migrant labourers. These include source of employment, provision of food and ration for them.

Counselling centres should be set up to reach out to them and explain the various schemes framed for their rehabilitation and employment. The centres should freely provide information and even “extend helping hand” to those workers who want to return to their places of past employment.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims

Locations of North Korea and South Korea:

Context: North Korea has cut off all inter-Korean communication lines with the South, including a hotline between the two nations’ leaders.

The North said this was the first in a series of actions, describing South Korea as “the enemy”.

This move was triggered by South Korean activists who sent anti-Pyongyang messages in balloons across the border.

Key facts:

  • It is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.
  • The country is bordered to the north by China and by Russia along the Amnok and Tumen rivers, and to the south by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two.


What is the Coral Triangle Day?

  • Held every year on June 9.
  • It is a massive celebration of the Coral Triangle, the world’s epicentre of marine biodiversity, which encompasses the seas of 6 countries in the Asia-Pacific region: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste.
  • Objective: The event brings together individuals, organizations, and establishments on one special day of the year to shed light on ocean conservation and the numerous ways to protect and conserve the Coral Triangle.
  • Coral Triangle is considered as one of the 3 mega ecological complexes on Earth, together with Congo Basin and the Amazon Rainforest. The region contains 76% of all known coral species, 37% of all known coral reef fish species and 53% of the world’s coral reefs.
  • The first Coral Triangle Day was celebrated on June 9, 2012 in conjunction with World Oceans Day which is celebrated every year on June 8.

Turant Customs:

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, CBIC has launched its flagship programme Turant Customs, at Bengaluru and Chennai.
Under this, Importers will now get their goods cleared from Customs after a faceless assessment is done remotely by the Customs officers located outside the port of import.

Now, the goods imported at Chennai may be assessed by the Customs officers located at Bengaluru and vice versa, as assigned by the Customs’ automated system.

Ramon Magsaysay Award:

Context: Cancelled this year due to COVID 19 pandemic.

About the Award:

  • It is Asia’s highest honour and is often regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
  • It was established in 1957 by trustees of the New York City based Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Philippine government in the memory of Philippines’ third President Ramon Magsaysay.
  • It is awarded annually to individuals or organizations from Asia region for their altruistic and philanthropic service.
  • It carries Medallion bearing the likeness of the late President Ramon Magsaysay, cash prize and a certificate.


Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper