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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. NIRF Ranking 2020.

2. Universal Basic Income.


GS Paper 3:

1. Sahakar Mitra scheme.

2. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.

3. IFLOWS-Mumbai.


Facts for Prelims:

1. Lonar lake.

2. World Day against Child Labour.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

NIRF Ranking 2020 released

What is NIRF?

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) has been accepted by the MHRD and launched on 29th September 2015.  It is used for ranking institutions of higher education in different categories and domains of knowledge.

Parameters used for ranking institutions:

  1. Teaching, Learning and Resources.
  2. Research and Professional Practices.
  3. Graduation Outcomes.
  4. Outreach and Inclusivity.
  5. Peer Perception.

Why is NIRF used?

  1. It encourages institutes to compete against each other and simultaneously work towards their growth.
  2. These rankings also attract foreign students, providing a solid base for the ‘Study in India’ programme for the growth of higher education in India.
  3. It is also one of the criteria for private institutions assessment for the Institutions of Eminence (IoE) Scheme.

What changes have been made in this edition?

This is the fifth consecutive edition of these rankings.

This year ‘Dental’ category has been introduced for the first time bringing the total tally to 10 categories/subject domains.

Why Indian institutions do not fare well in International rankings like QS World university rankings?

In international rankings, Indian institutions struggle on the “internationalisation” parameter in global rankings. It is due to the high weightage given to the perception which is a subjective parameter.

Whereas, in NIRF, 90% of the parameters are completely objective and fact-based, while only 10% is based on the subjective parameter of perception by academic peers and employers.

Performance of various institutions:

(Please go through the following image)


Prelims Link:

  1. What is NIRF?
  2. Parameters used for ranking.
  3. Top institutions in various categories.
  4. Performance of various institutions this year vs last year.
  5. What is Institutions of eminence scheme?
  6. Institutions in Top 200 list of QS World University Rankings.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Institutions of Eminence scheme.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Universal Basic Income

Context: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has informed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the recommended implementation of a universal basic income was “under examination and active consideration” of the Centre.

Why its needed now?

  • In order to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the governments across the world have imposed measures like lockdown and social distancing.
  • However, these measures have caused collateral damage to almost every sector of the economy, so much so that the International Monetary Fund held the current economic crisis could be the worst ever since the Great depression 1929.
  • With almost 90% of India’s workforce in the informal sector without minimum wages or social security, micro-level circumstances in India are worse than anywhere else.

Therefore, regular payments through Universal Basic Income (UBI) can ensure the sustenance of the workers engaged in the informal sector, at least till the economy normalises.

What is Universal Basic Income?

It is a programme for providing all citizens of a country or other geographic area/state with a given sum of money, regardless of their income, resources or employment status.

The main idea behind UBI is to prevent or reduce poverty and increase equality among citizens. The essential principle behind Universal basic income is the idea that all citizens are entitled to a livable income, irrespective of the circumstances they’re born in.

UBI has the following important components:

  1. universality (all citizens included)
  2. unconditionality (no prior condition)
  3. Periodic (Payments at periodic regular intervals)
  4. Payments in cash (not food vouchers or service coupons)

Benefits of Universal Basic Income (UBI):

  1. Provide secured income to individuals.
  2. Reduce poverty and income inequality in society.
  3. Increase the purchasing power of every poor which will further increase aggregate demand.
  4. Easy to implement because no identification of the beneficiary is involved.
  5. Reduce the wastage of government money because its implementation is very simple.

Supporters of the idea:

The Economic Survey of India 2016-17 has advocated the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty.

Other Supporters of the UBI programme include Economics Nobel Laureates Peter Diamond and Christopher Pissarides, and tech leaders Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.

Challenges in Implementing Universal Basic Income in India:

High cost involved in implementing UBI is a major factor contributing towards lack of political will in working towards the universal basic income in India.

It would reduce the motivation for work and might encourage people to live off assured cash transfers and it is simply unaffordable.


Prelims Link:

  1. Components of UBI.
  2. Supporters

Mains Link:

Examine the arguments in favour and against introduction of universal basic income in India.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security.

Sahakar Mitra scheme launched

Key facts about the scheme:

  • It is an initiative by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
  • It would also provide an opportunity to professionals from academic institutions to develop leadership and entrepreneurial roles through cooperatives as Farmers Producers Organizations (FPO).
  • Under the programme, each intern will get financial support over a 4 months internship period.


  • Professional graduates in disciplines such as Agriculture and allied areas,IT etc. will be eligible for internship.
  • Professionals who are pursuing or have completed their MBA degrees in Agri-business, Cooperation, Finance, International Trade, Forestry, Rural Development, Project Managementetc. will also be eligible.

Significance and expected impacts of the scheme:

Assist cooperative institutions access new and innovative ideas of young professionals.

The interns gain experience of working in the field giving confidence to be self-reliant.

It is expected to be a win-win situation both for cooperatives as well as for the young professionals.

Additional information:

  • National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. It has many regional centres to provide the financial assistance to Cooperatives/Societies/Federations.
  • FPO is a Producer Organisation (PO) where the members are farmers. Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC)is providing support for the promotion of FPOs.


Prelims Link:

  1. Key objectives of the scheme.
  2. Eligibility.
  3. Implementation by?
  4. What is NCDC?
  5. What are cooperatives? Constitutional provisions.
  6. What is an FPO?
  7. What is SFAC?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Sahakar it Ralph scheme.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana

Context: Annual allotment of Rs. 4000 crore made to State Governments under ‘Per Drop More Crop’ component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY- PDMC) for the year 2020-21.


About ”Per Drop More Crop” component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY-PDMC):

The Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare is implementing the ”Per Drop More Crop” component of PMKSY-PDMC.

It is operational in the country from 2015-16.

It focuses on enhancing water efficiency at farm level through micro irrigation technologies such as ”drip and sprinkler” irrigation.


Micro Irrigation Fund corpus of Rs. 5000 crore has been created with NABARD.

The objective of the fund is to facilitate the states in mobilizing the resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation by taking up special and innovative projects and also for incentivising micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under PMKSY-PDMC to encourage farmers to install micro irrigation systems.


The Government provides financial assistance @ 55% for small and marginal farmers and @ 45% for other farmers for installation of Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation systems. In addition, some States provide additional incentives/top up subsidy for encouraging farmers to adopt Micro Irrigation.


Prelims Link:

  1. Components of PMKSY.
  2. About the Micro Irrigation fund.
  3. What is NABARD?
  4. Assistance provided by the centre under this scheme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the scheme.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Disaster and disaster management.


What is it?

It is an Integrated Flood Warning System and is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

  • Mumbai is only the second city in the country after Chennai to get this system.

How it works?

The warning system will be able to relay alerts of possible flood-prone areas anywhere between six to 72 hours in advance.

  • The system can provide all information regarding possible flood-prone areas, likely height the floodwater could attain, location-wise problem areas across all 24 wards and calculate the vulnerability and risk of elements exposed to flood.
  • The primary source for the system is the amount of rainfall, but with Mumbai being a coastal city, the system also factors in tidal waves and storm tides for its flood assessments.

Why was this system needed in Mumbai?

Mumbai, the financial capital of India, has been experiencing floods with increased periodicity.

  • The recent flood on 29 August 2017 had brought the city to a standstill.
  • Last year, post-monsoon and unseasonal rainfall as late as October, two tropical cyclones in the Arabian Sea had caught authorities off guard and left a trail of destruction.
  • The flood during 26th July 2005, when the city received a rainfall of 94 cm, a 100 year high in a span of 24 hours had paralyzed the city completely.

Significance of this system:

Urban flooding is common in the city from June to September, resulting in the crippling of traffic, railways and airlines. As a preparedness for floods before they occur, the system will help in warning the citizens so that they can be prepared in advance for flooding conditions.

Sources: pib.


Facts for Prelims

Lonar lake:

Team Of Scientists To Examine Why Maharashtra’s Lonar Lake Has Turned Pink.

Some experts have attributed it to the salinity and presence of algae in the water body.

Key facts:

  • Lonar crater lake was identified as a unique geographical site by a British officer named CJE Alexander in 1823.
  • It is an ancient circular lake created by a meteorite strike in Maharashtra.
  • Lonar crater became a geo-heritage site in 1979.
  • It is relatively young geologically, at just 50,000 years old.
  • Lonar Lake lies within the only known extraterrestrial impact crater found within the great Deccan Traps, a huge basaltic formation in India (Source:Wikipedia)


World Day against Child Labour:

Observed every year on June 12th.

  • Intended to foster the worldwide movement against child labour in any of its forms.
  • First launched in 2002 to raise awareness and prevent child labour by the International Labour Organisation.
  • Theme: COVID-19 – Protect children from child labour now, more than ever”.
  • UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7set by the international community calls for an end to child labour in all its forms by 2025.



Due to some technical difficulties, few articles were not covered today. They will be covered tomorrow. These include:

  1. Article 370 and LAC tensions.


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