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.
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 2:
GS Paper 3:
Facts for Prelims:
1. Who takes a call on central security cover to private individuals in India?
2. Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace.
3. August rain second highest in a century.
4. Gurupriya Bridge.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
Why in News?
Kesavananda Bharati, the man who lent his name to an iconic case as the petitioner, died on Sunday.
- The landmark ruling in which the Supreme Court announced the basic structure doctrine was in the case of His Holiness Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru and Ors v State of Kerala.
Who was Kesavananda Bharati? Why is he remembered?
He was the head seer of the Edneer Mutt in Kasaragod district of Kerala since 1961.
He left his signature in one of the significant rulings of the Supreme Court when he challenged the Kerala land reforms legislation in 1970.
What was the case about?
The case was primarily about the extent of Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution.
- First, the court was reviewing a 1967 decision in Golaknath v State of Punjab which, reversing earlier verdicts, had ruled that Parliament cannot amend fundamental rights.
- Second, the court was deciding the constitutional validity of several other amendments. Notably, the right to property had been removed as a fundamental right, and Parliament had also given itself the power to amend any part of the Constitution and passed a law that it cannot be reviewed by the courts.
Politically, the case represented the fight for supremacy of Parliament led by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
What happened then?
A 13-judge Bench was set up by the Supreme Court, the biggest so far, and the case was heard over 68 working days spread over six months. The basic structure doctrine was evolved in the majority judgment.
What did the court decide?
- In its majority ruling, the court held that fundamental rights cannot be taken away by amending them.
- While the court said that Parliament had vast powers to amend the Constitution, it drew the line by observing that certain parts are so inherent and intrinsic to the Constitution that even Parliament cannot touch it.
- However, despite the ruling that Parliament cannot breach fundamental rights, the court upheld the amendment that removed the fundamental right to property. The court ruled that in spirit, the amendment would not violate the “basic structure” of the Constitution.
Essentially, Kesavananda Bharati, lost the case. But as many legal scholars point out, the government did not win the case either.
What constitutes the basic structure?
The Constitutional Bench ruled by a 7-6 verdict that Parliament should be restrained from altering the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution.
The court held that under Article 368, which provides Parliament amending powers, something must remain of the original Constitution that the new amendment would change.
- However, the court did not define the ‘basic structure’, and only listed a few principles — federalism, secularism, democracy — as being its part. Since then, the court has been adding new features to this concept.
‘Basic structure’ since Kesavananda:
The ‘basic structure’ doctrine has since been interpreted to include the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law, Independence of the judiciary, doctrine of separation of powers, federalism, secularism, sovereign democratic republic, the parliamentary system of government, the principle of free and fair elections, welfare state, etc.
- Constitutional amendments under Article 368 and other constitutional amendments.
- Types of amendments.
- Key changes introduced by CAA 25, 26, 39 and 41.
- Different benches of the Supreme Court.
- Definition and ambit of basic structure.
- FRs vs DPSPs.
Discuss the significance of Supreme Court’s verdict in Kesavanand Bharati case judgment.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
Why in News?
19th meeting of Supreme Court -mandated Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising (CCRGA) was held recently.
What is CCRGA? When was it set up?
As per the directions of Supreme Court in 2015, the Government of India had set up a three member body in 2016 to look into content regulation of government funded advertisements in all media platforms.
- As per directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, states are mandated to set up their respective three member committees on Content Regulation of Government Advertisements.
- Karnataka, Goa, Mizoram and Nagaland States have already constituted state-level Three Member Committees.
What are its powers?
- It is empowered to address complaints from the general public and can also take suo-moto cognizance of any violation of the Supreme Court guidelines and recommend corrective actions.
- The Committee may, if necessary, also decide to summon the concerned official of the Govt. agencies dealing with release of advertisements in the event of undue delay in responding to Committee’s notices.
Supreme Court Guidelines:
- The content of government advertisements should be relevant to the government’s constitutional and legal obligations as well as the citizen’s rights and entitlements.
- The advertisement materials should be designed to meet the objectives of the campaign and to ensure maximum reach in a cost effective way.
- It should be accurate and not presenting pre existing policies and products as new. The advertisement content should also not promote the political interests of the ruling party.
- When was CCRGA setup?
- What are its powers?
- States that have setup committees on Content Regulation of Government Advertisements.
- What are Supreme Court Guidelines on Government advertisements?
Discuss the roles and mandate of the Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising (CCRGA).
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Why in News?
The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu recently suggested that milk could be given either as part of breakfast or the mid-day meal in order to improve the nutritional levels of children.
About Mid-Day meal scheme:
The scheme guarantees one meal to all children in government and aided schools and madarsas supported under Samagra Shiksha.
Students up to Class VIII are guaranteed one nutritional cooked meal at least 200 days in a year.
- The Scheme comes under the Ministry of HRD.
- It was launched in the year 1995 as the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP – NSPE), a centrally sponsored scheme. In 2004, the scheme was relaunched as the Mid Day Meal Scheme.
The MDM rules 2015, provide that:
- The place of serving meals to the children shall be school only.
- If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by 15th of the succeeding month.
- The meal shall be prepared in accordance with the Mid Day Meal guidelines issued by the Central Government from time to time.
- Procuring AGMARK quality items for preparation of midday meals, tasting of meals by two or three adult members of the school management committee, including at least one teacher, before serving to children.
- The School Management Committee mandated under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 shall also monitor implementation of the Mid-day meal Scheme.
- The State Steering-cum Monitoring Committee (SSMC) shall oversee the implementation of the scheme including establishment of a mechanism for maintenance of nutritional standards and quality of meals.
- In terms of calorie intake, as per the MDM guidelines, the children in primary schools must be provided with at least 450 calories with 12 grams of protein through MDM while the children in upper primary schools should get 700 calories with 20 grams of protein, as per MHRD.
- The food intake per meal by the children of primary classes, as provided by MHRD is 100 grams of food grains, 20 grams of pulses, 50 grams of vegetables and 5 grams of oils and fats. For the children of upper-primary schools, the mandated breakup is 150 grams of food grains, 30 grams of pulses, 75 grams of vegetables and 7.5 grams of oils and fats.
The cost of the MDMS is shared between the central and state governments.
- The central government provides free food grains to the states.
- The cost of cooking, infrastructure development, transportation of food grains and payment of honorarium to cooks and helpers is shared by the centre with the state governments.
- Origin of MDMS.
- When was it renamed?
- Difference between centrally sponsored and Central sector schemes? What kind of scheme of the MDMS?
- Financing under the scheme.
- Nutritional norms prescribed.
- Coverage under the scheme.
- Responsibility to pay food security allowance under the scheme.
Discuss the significance of Mid-Day Meal scheme.
Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.
Why in News?
NITI Aayog is in the last stage for preparation of Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) parameter dashboard and a State Reform Action Plan (SRAP).
- In this regard, the Niti Aayog will leverage the monitoring mechanism of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index.
- NITI Aayog is the Nodal agency for the MPI.
Part of the “Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)” exercise:
Global MPI is part of Government of India’s decision to monitor the performance of the country in 29 select Global Indices.
- The objective of the “Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)” exercise is to fulfil the need to measure and monitor India’s performance on various important social and economic parameters.
- This will enable the utilisation of these Indices as tools for self-improvement, bring about reforms in policies, while improving last-mile implementation of government schemes.
What is MPI?
Global MPI is an international measure of multidimensional poverty.
It covers 107 developing countries.
- It was first developed in 2010 by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for UNDP’s Human Development Reports.
When is it released?
The Global MPI is released at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development of the United Nations in July, every year.
How are the countries ranked?
Global MPI is computed by scoring each surveyed household on 10 parameters based on –nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing and household assets.
Performance of India and its neighbours in MPI 2020:
- India is 62nd among 107 countries with an MPI score of 0.123 and 27.91% headcount ratio, based on the NFHS 4 (2015/16) data.
- Neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka (25th), Bhutan (68th), Nepal (65th), Bangladesh (58th), China (30th), Myanmar (69th) and Pakistan (73rd) are also ranked in this index.
- What is MPI?
- Who releases it?
- How are the countries ranked?
- Nodal agency for the MPI in India.
- What is the “Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)” exercise? Who is conducting it?
- Performance of India in MPI 2020.
Write a brief note on the MPI (Multidimensional Poverty Index).
GS Paper : 3
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.
India has become the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test hypersonic technology.
India recently tested the Hypersonic Test Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Significance and implications of this test flight:
This indigenous technology will pave the way towards development of missiles travelling at six times the speed of sound (Mach 6).
What is Hypersonic Test Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV)?
The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight.
How it works?
The HSTDV cruise vehicle is mounted on a solid rocket motor, which will take it to a required altitude, and once it attains certain mach numbers for speed, the cruise vehicle will be ejected out of the launch vehicle. Subsequently, the scramjet engine will be ignited automatically.
Where can it be used?
- It has utility for long-range cruise missiles of the future.
- It can be used for launching satellites at low cost too.
What are cruise missiles? How are they different from ballistic missiles?
A cruise missile either locates its target or has a preset target. It navigates using a guidance system — such as inertial or beyond visual range satellite GPS guidance — and comprises a payload and aircraft propulsion system.
- Cruise missiles can be launched from land, sea or air for land attacks and anti-shipping purposes, and can travel at subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds.
- Since they stay relatively close to the surface of the earth, they cannot be detected easily by anti-missile systems, and are designed to carry large payloads with high precision.
Ballistic missiles, meanwhile, are launched directly into the upper layers of the earth’s atmosphere.
- They travel outside the atmosphere, where the warhead detaches from the missile and falls towards a predetermined target.
- They are rocket-propelled self-guided weapons systems which can carry conventional or nuclear munitions. They can be launched from aircraft, ships and submarines, and land.
What are ICBMs?
Intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs are guided missiles which can deliver nuclear and other payloads.
ICBMs have a minimum range of 5,500 km, with maximum ranges varying from 7,000 to 16,000 km.
- Only a handful of countries, including Russia, United States, China, France, India and North Korea, have ICBM capabilities.
- Who developed HSTDV?
- Which countries have successfully tested hypersonic technology so far?
- What is a scramjet?
- What are ICBMs? How many countries possess ICBMs?
- What are cruise missiles?
- What are ballistic missiles?
What successful testing of the Hypersonic Test Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) mean for India? Discuss.
Topics Covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
Why in News?
Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to take a call on the issue of bringing Assam Rifles out of the dual control of the Home Ministry (MHA) and the Defence Ministry (MoD).
The direction came on a petition filed by Assam Rifles Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association seeking direction to the government for placing to bring Assam Rifles under one control, preferably under Indian Army (MoD).
About Assam Rifles:
- Assam Rifles which is also referred to as the Sentinels of North East is the oldest paramilitary force of India.
- Assam Rifles is one of the six central armed police forces (CAPFs) under the administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- The unit can trace its lineage back to a paramilitary police force that was formed under the British in 1835 called Cachar Levy.
- The noted anthropologist Verrier Elwin once described Assam Rifles as “friends of the hill people”.
Key mandate of Assam Rifles:
- Internal security under the control of the army through the conduct of counter insurgency and border security operations.
- Provision of aid to the civilians in times of emergency
- Provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas.
- In times of war they can also be used as a combat force to secure rear areas if needed.
- Since 2002, they are also guarding the 1,643 km long Indo-Myanmar border.
How is it unique?
It is the only paramilitary force with a dual control structure.
- While the administrative control of the force is with the MHA, its operational control is with the Indian Army, which is under the MoD.
- This means that salaries and infrastructure for the force is provided by the MHA, but the deployment, posting, transfer and deputation of the personnel is decided by the Army.
What’s the issue?
The dual control structure has created two sets of demands from both within the Assam rifles and by MoD and MHA for singular control over the force by one ministry.
- A large section within the force wants to be under the administrative control of the MoD, as that would mean better perks and retirement benefits which are far higher compared to CAPFs under MHA.
Why do both MHA and MoD want full control?
MHA has argued that all the border guarding forces are under the operational control of the ministry and so Assam Rifles coming under MHA will give border guarding a comprehensive and integrated approach.
- The Assam Rifles has worked well in coordination with the Army and frees up the armed forces from many of its responsibilities to focus on its core strengths.
- Besides, Assam Rifles was always a military force and not a police force and has been built like that. Therefore, giving the control of the force to MHA or merging it with any other CAPF will confuse the force and jeopardise national security.
- What are CAPFs?
- What is dual control related to Assam Rifles?
- Genesis of Assam Rifles.
- Key mandate of Assam Rifles.
What is the dual control issue related to Assam Rifles? How can it be resolved? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims
Who takes a call on central security cover to private individuals in India?
- A call on central security to private individuals is taken by the Home Ministry based on inputs from intelligence agencies.
- There are six kinds of central security covers: X, Y, Y plus, Z, Z plus and SPG.
- While the Special Protection Group protects only the Prime Minister, the other categories can be provided to anyone based on the Centre’s assessment.
Why in News?
Kangana Ranaut has been given Y-plus category security.
Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace:
The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development was instituted in the memory of the former prime minister by a trust in her name in 1986. It consists of a monetary award of Rs 25 lakh along with a citation
Eligibility: The award is given to individuals or organisations who work towards ensuring international peace and development, ensuring that scientific discoveries are used to further the scope of freedom and better humanity, and creating new international economic order.
Why in News?
Noted broadcaster Sir David Attenborough to be presented with Indira Gandhi peace prize 2019.
August rain second highest in a century:
August rainfall this year has been the highest since 1926 with 32.7 cm — or about 27% more than what is normal for the month — according to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). In August 1926, the rainfall recorded was 34.8 cm.
- Inaugurated in 2018, it is constructed across Gurupriya river in Odisha.
- It connecta 151 villages (Balimela reservoir) under the Chitrakonda block to the mainland in Malkangiri district. The region that was once identified as the cut-off area is now known as swabhiman anchal.
Why in News?
Odisha’s maoist hotbed ‘Swabhiman Anchal’ gets mobile connectivity.