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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 1:

1. ‘Moplah rioters’ not freedom fighters: report.


GS Paper 2:

1. Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) ranking of states.

2. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

3. G20


GS Paper 3:

1. Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP).

2. National Biopharma Mission (NBM).

3. Low ozone over Brahmaputra River Valley.

4. Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

5. Moon may be rusting, shows ISRO’s Chandrayaan 1 images.


Facts for Prelims:

1. Rashtriya Poshan Maah.

2. First ever International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies.


GS Paper  : 1


Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

‘Moplah rioters’ not freedom fighters: report:

What’s the issue?

In the ‘Dictionary of Martyrs’, published by the Union Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Indian Council of Historical Research, Variankunnath Kunhamad Haji and Ali Musliyar, the chief architects of the Moplah Massacre, were deemed to be martyrs. The book was published in 2019.

  • However, a report by the ICHR-constituted committee has sought the removal of names of 387 ‘Moplah rioters’ (Including leaders Ali Musliyar and Variamkunnath Ahmad Haji) from the list of martyrs.


  • The report describes Haji as the “notorious Moplah Riot leader” and a “hardcore criminal,” who “killed innumerable innocent Hindu men, women, and children during the 1921 Moplah Riot, and deposited their bodies in a well, locally known as Thoovoor Kinar”.
  • It also noted that almost all the Moplah outrages were communal. They were against Hindu society and done out of sheer intolerance.

Thus, their names should be deleted.

What was Mapilla rebellion?

The Mapilla rebellion or Moplah Rebellion (Moplah Riots) of 1921 was the culmination of a series of riots by Moplahs (Muslims of Malabar) in the 19th and early 20th centuries against the British and the Hindu landlords in Malabar (Northern Kerala).

  • The year 2021 will mark the 100th year anniversary of the uprising.

Causes and outcomes of the revolt:

  • The resistance which started against the British colonial rule and the feudal system later ended in communal violence between Hindus and Muslims.
  • Gandhiji along with Shaukat Ali, the leader of the Khilafat movement in India, visited Calicut in August 1920 to spread the combined message of non-cooperation and Khilafat among the residents of Malabar.
  • In response to Gandhiji’s call, a Khilafat committee was formed in Malabar and the Mappilas, under their religious head Mahadum Tangal of Ponnani who pledged support to the non-cooperation movement.
  • Most of tenants’ grievances were related to the security of tenure, high rents, renewal fees and other unfair exactions of the landlords.
  • The British government responded with much aggression, bringing in Gurkha regiments to suppress it and imposing martial law.

Wagon Tragedy:

A noteworthy event of the British suppression was the wagon tragedy when approximately 60 Mappila prisoners on their way to prison, were suffocated to death in a closed railway goods wagon.



Prelims Link:

  1. Who was Haji?
  2. What was the 1921 Malabar rebellion all about?
  3. Who led the revolt?
  4. How he established his own independent state and ruled it?
  5. What is Khilafat Movement?
  6. Outcomes of Khilafat movement.
  7. Relationship between non-cooperation movement and Khilafat movement.

Mains Link:

Who was Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji? How he stood up to the British in Malabar region in 1921? Discuss why this rebellion has been controversial?

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) ranking of states:


4th edition of Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) ranking of states announced recently by the Department of Industrial Promotion and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

  • Ranking of States is based on the implementation of Business Reform Action Plan started in the year 2015.
  • One “major change” in the current rankings is the government’s decision to link the state’s performance “exclusively” to user feedback.

The five ten states under State Reform Action Plan 2019 are:

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Telangana
  4. Madhya Pradesh
  5. Jharkhand

What is BRAP?

The Business Reform Action Plan 2018-19 includes 180 reform points covering 12 business regulatory areas such as Access to Information, Single Window System, Labour, Environment, etc.

Why are the states ranked on BRAP Implementation?

The larger objective of attracting investments and increasing Ease of Doing Business in each State was sought to be achieved by introducing an element of healthy competition through a system of ranking states based on their performance in the implementation of Business Reform Action Plan.

Significance and the need for these rankings:

State rankings will help attract investments, foster healthy competition and increase Ease of Doing Business in each State.


Sources: pib.


Topics Covered:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

Why in News?

Meetings of the SCO defence ministers and foreign ministers were recently held in Russia.

About the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.

  • It’s creation was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
  • It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed during the St.Petersburg SCO Heads of State meeting in June 2002, and entered into force on 19 September 2003.

  • The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.

The SCO’s main goals are as follows:

Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states; promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

Bodies under SCO:

  1. Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation.
  2. SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) meets once a year to discuss the organisation’s multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, to resolve current important economic and other cooperation issues, and also to approve the organisation’s annual budget.
  3. Two permanent bodies — the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.
  4. The SCO Secretary-General and the Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO RATS are appointed by the Council of Heads of State for a term of three years.


  • SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
  • SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Mongolia.
  • SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.



Prelims Link:

  1. What is Shanghai Five?
  2. When was SCO charter signed and when it entered into force?
  3. SCO founding members.
  4. When did India join the group?
  5. Observers and dialogue partners of SCO.
  6. Permanent bodies under SCO.
  7. Official languages of SCO.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


Why in News?

A virtual meeting of G20 Education Ministers was held recently to discuss and share experiences of member countries in the three identified areas of Education – Continuity in Times of Crises, Early Childhood Education and Internationalization in Education.

  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is hosting G-20 Leaders’ Summit in 2020.

What is the G20?

The G20 is an annual meeting of leaders from the countries with the largest and fastest-growing economies. Its members account for 85% of the world’s GDP, and two-thirds of its population.

  • The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.

 Genesis of G20:

After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed on discussions on the international financial system, and G7 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.


The group has no permanent staff of its own, so every year in December, a G20 country from a rotating region takes on the presidency.

  • That country is then responsible for organising the next summit, as well as smaller meetings for the coming year.
  • They can also choose to invite non-member countries along as guests.
  • The first G20 meeting took place in Berlin in 1999, after a financial crisis in East Asia affected many countries around the world.

Full membership of the G20:

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

What is G20+?

The G20 developing nations, also called G21/G23/G20+ is a bloc of developing nations which was established on August 20, 2003. It is distinct from the G20 major economies.

  • The G20+ originated in September 2003 at the 5th ministerial conference of the WTO held at Cancun, Mexico.
  • Its origins can be traced to the Brasilia Declaration signed by the foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa on 6th June 2003.
  • The G20+ is responsible for 60% of the world population, 26% of the world’s agricultural exports and 70% of its farmers.



Prelims Link:

  1. G20 vs G20+ vs G7 vs G8.
  2. Objectives and sub- groups.
  3. Overview of Geographical locations of the member countries.
  4. Overview of the 2003 Brasilia Declaration.
  5. Who is is hosting G-20 Leaders’ Summit in 2020?

Mains Link:

Do you think the recent G20 summits have turned into talking shops rather than getting down to brass tacks? Critically analyse.

Sources: pib.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP):

Why in News?

SVEP has made an impressive progress and has extended business support services and capital infusion to 153 blocks of 23 states as of August 2020.

  • Around, 2,000 trained cadre of Community Resource Person-Enterprise Promotion (CRP-EP) are providing services to rural entrepreneurs and as on August 2020, around 100,000 enterprises are supported by them.

What is Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP)?

Implemented by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana –National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, as a sub-scheme since 2016.

Focus of the scheme: Providing self-employment opportunities with financial assistance and training in business management and soft skills while creating local community cadres for promotion of enterprises.

  • Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad is the technical support partner of SVEP.
  • SVEP promotes both individual and group enterprises, set-up and promote enterprises majorly on manufacturing, trading and service sectors.

Who are community resource persons – enterprise promotion?

The programme seeks to develop pool of community resource persons – enterprise promotion (CRP-EP) who are local and support entrepreneurs setting-up rural enterprises.

  • The CRP-EPs are certified and provides business support services to the entrepreneurs.


Prelims Link:

  1. About SVEP.
  2. It is a sub scheme under?
  3. Implementing Ministry?
  4. Focus of the Programme.
  5. Does it cover group enterprises?
  6. Who are CRP-EPs?
  7. Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana –National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)- targets.

Mains Link:

Discuss the key features and significance of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana –National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

National Biopharma Mission (NBM):

Why in News?

The National Immunogenicity & Biologics Evaluation Center (NIBEC) for assessing clinical immunogenicity of viral vaccines was inaugurated virtually recently.

  • It has been established jointly by Bharati Vidyapeeth University through its constituent unit Interactive Research School for Health Affairs (IRSHA) and BIRAC-DBT, Government of India through National Biopharma Mission.

What is Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)?

It is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.


About National Biopharma Mission (NBM):

It is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating biopharmaceutical development in the country.

It was launched in 2017 at a total cost of Rs 1500 crore and is 50% co-funded by World Bank loan.

It is being implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

  • Under this Mission, the Government has launched Innovate in India (i3) programme to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the biopharma sector.


Prelims Link:

  1. National Biopharma Mission- objectives and components.
  2. What is Innovate in India (i3) programme?
  3. About BIRAC.
  4. Difference between DNA and RNA vaccines.
  5. About National Immunogenicity & Biologics Evaluation Center (NIBEC).

Mains Link:

Discuss the features and significance of NBM.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

Low ozone over Brahmaputra River Valley:


Researchers have found that the concentration of near surface ozone in this region is low compared to the other urban locations in India.

What is Tropospheric or ground-level ozone?

It is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). It usually increases when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight, impacting human health.

Why low ozone in Brahmaputra Valley?

This site is well influenced by local sources such as adjacent major national highway. During the daylight hours, the site is in or nearly in a photo-stationary state, indicating a low impact of organic species on the ozone concentrations.

Why we should be concerned about ground-level ozone?

  • Ozone at ground level is a harmful air pollutant, because of its effects on people and the environment, and it is the main ingredient in “smog.”
  • Elevated ground-level ozone exposures affect agricultural crops and trees, especially slow growing crops and long-lived trees.
  • The main health concern of exposure to ambient ground-level ozone is its effect on the respiratory system, especially on lung function.


Ozone is produced naturally in the stratosphere when highly energetic solar radiation strikes molecules of oxygen, and cause the two oxygen atoms to split apart in a process called photolysis. If a freed atom collides with another O2, it joins up, forming ozone.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is Ozone?
  2. Tropospheric GS Stratospheric ozone.
  3. How ground level ozone is formed?
  4. Role of Ozone in the formation of smog.
  5. What are VOCs?

Mains Link:

Discuss the health concerns associated with the formation of ozone at the ground level.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Money laundering.

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA):

Why in News?

Govt. suspends FCRA clearance of four Christian groups for various reasons.

What is FCRA clearance? Why is it needed?

It is mandatory to have FCRA clearance from the Home Ministry for any organisation to receive foreign funds.

  • Foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India is regulated under FCRA act and is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Key provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010:

  1. Under the Act, organisations require to register themselves every five years.
  2. As per the amended FCRA rules, all NGOs registered or granted prior permission under FCRA are now required to upload details of foreign contributions received and utilized by them every three months on their website or the FCRA website.
  3. NGOs now need to file their annual returns online, with the hard copy version dispensed with.

Who cannot accept Foreign Contribution?

  1. Election candidate
  2. Member of any legislature (MP and MLAs)
  3. Political party or office bearer thereof
  4. Organization of a political nature
  5. Correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publishers of a registered Newspaper.
  6. Judge, government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body controlled on owned by the Government.
  7. Association or company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news, audio visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode
  8. Any other individuals or associations who have been specifically prohibited by the Central Government

What is the eligibility criteria for grant of registration?

The Association:

  • must be registered (under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or Indian Trusts Act 1882 or section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 etc.)
  • normally be in existence for at least 3 years.
  • has undertaken reasonable activity in its field for the benefit of the society.
  • Has spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- (Rs. ten lakh) over the last three years on its activities.


Prelims Link:

  1. When was FCRA enacted?
  2. Who administers the legislation?
  3. Definition of foreign funding as per the act.
  4. Who cannot accept foreign contributions as per the act.
  5. What is the eligibility criteria for grant of registration?

Mains Link:

Discuss why FCRA has been controversial in the recent past.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Moon may be rusting, shows ISRO’s Chandrayaan 1 images:


We know rusting exists on Earth and Mars, but now scientists have found that there is on the moon as well. The images sent by ISRO’s Chandrayaan 1 orbiter – India’s first mission to the moon, show that the moon may be rusting along the poles.

Why is this so surprising?

Rust, also known as iron oxide, is a reddish compound. It forms when the iron is exposed to water and oxygen. However, moon’s surface is not known for the presence of water and oxygen. Hence, this is surprising.

Possible reason behind this? What is the role of earth’s atmosphere in this phenomenon?

For iron to turn rusty red, it needs what’s called an oxidizer — a molecule such as oxygen that removes electrons from a material such as iron.

  • But, the moon doesn’t have an atmosphere of its own to provide sufficient amounts of oxygen, but it has trace amounts donated by Earth’s atmosphere. This terrestrial oxygen travels to the moon along an elongated extension of the planet’s magnetic field called a “magnetotail.”
  • At every full moon, the magnetotail blocks 99% of solar wind from blasting the moon, drawing a temporary curtain over the lunar surface, allowing periods of time for rust to form.

But, from where does the moon get water to form rust?

The moon is mostly devoid of water, save for frozen water found in lunar craters on the moon’s far side — far from where most of the hematite was found. But the researchers propose that fast-moving dust particles that bombard the moon might free water molecules locked into the moon’s surface layer, allowing the water to mix with the iron. These dust particles might even be carrying water molecules themselves, and their impact might create heat that could increase the oxidation rate.


  • Launched in 2008, Chandrayaan-1 is India’s first lunar probe.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 in August 2009.
  • Later, NASA scientists found Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which was considered lost, by using a new ground-based radar technique.

Key Findings of Chandrayaan-1:

  1. Confirmed presence of lunar water.
  2. Evidence of lunar caves formed by an ancient lunar lava flow.
  3. Past tectonic activity were found on the lunar surface.



Prelims Link:

  1. How Chandrayaan 2 was different from Chandrayaan 1?
  2. Lunar missions by various countries?
  3. Missions involving Soft landing on moon.
  4. Missions aimed at landing on Moon’s South Pole.
  5. About Chandrayaan 3.
  6. Minerals found in the surface of moon.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Chandrayaan 2 mission.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims

Rashtriya Poshan Maah:

The 3rd Rashtriya Poshan Maah is being celebrated during the month of September 2020.

  • Every year the Poshan Maah is celebrated under POSHAN Abhiyaan, which was launched in 2018.
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development, being the nodal Ministry for POSHAN Abhiyaan, is celebrating the Poshan Maah in convergence with partner Ministries and departments, at National, States/UTs, Districts, and grass root level.
  • The objective of the Poshan Maah is to encourage Jan Bhagidaari, in order to create a Jan Andolan, for addressing malnutrition amongst young children, and women and to ensure health and nutrition for everyone.

First ever International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies:

  • The General Assembly of United Nations on 19 December 2019 adopted a resolution to observe the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on 07th September every year starting from 2020.
  • The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) worked with UNEP and the Republic of Korea to advocate for the day in the lead up to the decision.
  • The Day aims to Raise public awareness at all levels—individual, community, corporate and government—that clean air is important for health, productivity, the economy and the environment.


Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Kesavananda Bharati
  2. Assam Rifles

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