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. Rudram Anti-Radiation Missile.
2. NRI quota not sacrosanct: Supreme Court.
3. What is risk weightage?
4. Places in News- Kyrgyzstan.
5. National butterfly.
6. 2+2 talks.
7. Maru Mani.
7. Animal and Plant Discoveries 2019.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Why in News?
The Supreme Court has sought a response from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to its request to eight States to “produce” children living in care homes before the local child welfare committees for their “immediate repatriation” with their families.
- The court is suo motu monitoring the welfare of children placed in care homes during the pandemic.
What’s the issue?
The NCPCR reportedly wrote to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Mizoram, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Meghalaya in this regard.
- These States together have 1.84 lakh children in care homes. This accounts for over 70% of the children in care homes.
- The NCPCR explained the need for a child to grow up in a familial environment.
What has the Court asked now?
- The Court asked the NCPCR to respond why such repatriation of the children to their families should not be done on an individual basis.
- The court also wondered whether the NCPCR could issue such general directions to the States without considering the education, health, safety of the children, the consent of their parents and their economical situation.
Set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
Definition: The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.
- The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Under the RTE Act, 2009, the NCPCR can:
- inquire into complaints about violation of the law.
- summon an individual and demand evidence.
- seek a magisterial enquiry.
- file a writ petition in the High Court or Supreme Court.
- approach the government concerned for prosecution of the offender.
- recommend interim relief to those affected.
This commission has a chairperson and six members of which at least two should be women.
- All of them are appointed by Central Government for three years.
- The maximum age to serve in commission is 65 years for Chairman and 60 years for members.
About Child Welfare Committees:
As per the Section 27(1) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act), Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) are to be constituted by State Government for every district, for exercising the powers and to discharge the duties conferred on such Committees in relation to children in need of care and protection under JJ Act, 2015.
Composition of the committees:
The Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, and four other members as the State Government may think fit to appoint, of whom atleast one shall be a woman and another, an expert on the matters concerning children.
Chairperson and the members shall be above the age of thirty-five years and shall have a minimum of seven years of experience of working with children in the field of education, health, or welfare activities, or should be a practicing professional with a degree in child psychology or psychiatry or social work or sociology or human development or in the field of law or a retired judicial officer.
- NCPCR- composition and functions.
- Powers of NCPCR under RTE Act.
- Highlights of RTE Act.
- Children covered under RTE.
- CWC- formation and composition.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Why in News?
Following India’s Prime Minister’s request to the Sri Lankan counterpart to address Tamil aspirations with the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the Tamil MPs of Sri Lanka have questioned the government’s commitment to the preceding Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987.
About the Accord:
Signed in 1987.
Popularly referred to as the Rajiv-Jayewardene Accord, after its architects Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayewardene.
- It sought to collectively address all the three contentious issues between India and Sri Lanka: strategic interests, people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka and Tamil minority rights in Sri Lanka.
- This accord saw the induction of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.
- According to the terms of the accord, Sri Lankan forces would withdraw from the north and the Tamil rebels would disarm.
- The accord was expected to resolve the Sri Lankan Civil War by enabling the thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Provincial Councils Act of 1987.
Prelims and Mains Link:
- Key provisions.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
China has reiterated its criticism of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Quad (India, Australia, Japan and the US) in Tokyo, saying it is opposed to the formation of “exclusive cliques” harming third party’s interests.
The foreign ministers from the Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group – the US, Japan, India and Australia recently met in Tokyo in what is their first in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Why is China worried?
- The meeting took place in the backdrop of China’s aggressive military behaviour in the Indo-Pacific, South China Sea and along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
- Besides, the strategic community in China has already branded the quad as an emerging “Asian NATO”.
What is Quad grouping?
The quadrilateral security dialogue includes Japan, India, United States and Australia.
- All four nations find a common ground of being the democratic nations and common interests of unhindered maritime trade and security.
- The idea was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. However, the idea couldn’t move ahead with Australia pulling out of it.
Significance of the grouping:
- Quad is an opportunity for like-minded countries to share notes and collaborate on projects of mutual interest.
- Members share a vision of an open and free Indo-Pacific. Each is involved in development and economic projects as well as in promoting maritime domain awareness and maritime security.
- Quad- composition.
- When was it first proposed?
- Countries and important islands in the Indian Ocean region.
- Geographical overview of Indo-Pacific region.
- Important seas and straits in the region.
A formal revival and re-invigoration of the Quad is called for to maintain peace and tranquillity and to ensure observance of the UN Law of the Seas. Examine.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said it will conduct on-tap targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) for an amount of Rs 1 lakh crore to ensure comfortable liquidity conditions in the system.
What else has the RBI said?
Liquidity availed by banks under the scheme has to be deployed in corporate bonds, commercial papers, loans and non-convertible debentures issued by entities in specific sectors over and above the outstanding level of their investments in such instruments as on September 30, 2020.
What is LTRO?
The LTRO is a tool under which the central bank provides one-year to three-year money to banks at the prevailing repo rate, accepting government securities with matching or higher tenure as the collateral.
How is it different from LAF and MSF?
While the RBI’s current windows of liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) and marginal standing facility (MSF) offer banks money for their immediate needs ranging from 1-28 days, the LTRO supplies them with liquidity for their 1- to 3-year needs. LTRO operations are intended to prevent short-term interest rates in the market from drifting a long way away from the policy rate, which is the repo rate.
Why is it important?
As banks get long-term funds at lower rates, their cost of funds falls.
- In turn, they reduce interest rates for borrowers.
- LTRO helped RBI ensure that banks reduce their marginal cost of funds-based lending rate, without reducing policy rates.
- LTRO also showed the market that RBI will not only rely on revising repo rates and conducting open market operations for its monetary policy, but also use new tools to achieve its intended objectives.
- What is LTRO?
- What is MSF?
- What is LAF.
- What are open market operations?
- Monetary vs Fiscal policies.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Food security related issues.
The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has won the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger around the world and improve conditions for peace in areas affected by conflict.
Contributions and achievements of UN WFP:
- It helps nearly 97 million people in about 88 countries each year.
- WFP is a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.
- WFP runs a logistics service that has dispatched medical cargoes to over 120 countries throughout the pandemic to help governments and health partners fighting COVID-19.
- It also has provided passenger services to ferry humanitarian and health workers where commercial flights were unavailable.
World Hunger Challenges:
- One in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat.
- According to an estimate, there will be 265 million starving people within a year.
What is UN WFP?
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
Born in 1961, the WFP strives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, with the ultimate goal in mind of eliminating the need for food aid itself.
It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee.
- WFP food aid is also directed to fight micronutrient deficiencies, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat disease, including HIV and AIDS.
What is “World Hunger Map”?
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba is working with WFP to develop digital “World Hunger Map”.
- The map will help to monitor global hunger and operations to end scourge by 2030 which is one of UN’s key Sustainable Development goals.
- It also aims to boost efficiency of interventions and shorten emergency response times.
- WFP was established by?
- World Hunger Map.
- Members of the United Nations Development Group.
- About Nobel Peace Prize.
Discuss the objectives of UN’s World Food Programme.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics: Conservation related issues.
Delhi Cabinet has given its nod for ‘Tree Transplantation Policy’. With this, Delhi has become the first State in India to pass this policy.
Highlights of the policy:
- Agencies concerned will have to transplant 80 per cent of the trees affected by their projects to a new location.
- More importantly, 10 saplings will be planted in addition to the whole tree being dug up with the root intact and scientifically transplanted at another location instead of being felled.
- A dedicated panel of government agencies with track record and experience of tree transplantation is being formed under the policy.
- Payments for transplantation will be made after one year to ensure this, and if less than 80 per cent of the transplanted trees survive, payment will be deducted.
- The government will also form local committees, which will include citizens, for checking, monitoring and certification of the tree transplantation exercise.
- A dedicated Tree Transplantation Cell will also be formed by the Delhi government and local committees, which will include government officials, citizens to monitor the transplanted trees and to certify that the task has been done with due diligence.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims
Rudram Anti-Radiation Missile:
Successfully test-fired recently from a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft.
- The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- It has a strike range of around 100 to 150 km. (Even up to 200 km depending upon the launch conditions)
- It is the first indigenous air-to-ground missile developed by the DRDO, after the supersonic BrahMos, which has been developed jointly with Russia.
- The missile has been designed for suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD).
- The missile can be launched from a varying range of altitudes for destroying enemy surveillance radars, tracking and communication systems.
NRI quota not sacrosanct: Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court has held that:
- Private colleges and institutions that offer professional and technical courses have a complete discretion to do away with their Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota of seats after giving reasonable prior notice.
- The NRI quota is not sacrosanct and candidates under the quota cannot assert their right to be admitted.
Background: The judgment came in an appeal against the change in seat matrix introduced in private medical and dental colleges in Rajasthan for postgraduate courses.
What is risk weightage?
Risk weight refers to the capital banks keep aside as provisioning to cover any loan defaults.
Why in News?
RBI has decided to rationalise risk weightage on housing loans.
- Now, Such loans shall attract a risk weight of 35% where the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is less than or equal to 80%, and a risk weight of 50% where LTV is more than 80% but less than or equal to 90%.
Places in News- Kyrgyzstan:
Why in News?
Street protests erupted in Kyrgyzstan earlier this week following recent parliamentary election. The opposition has alleged that the vote was rigged.
- Often referred to as ‘Central Asia’s only democracy.
- Capital- Bishkek.
- It is a landlocked Central Asian country.
- Shares a long border with China.
- China has built road and rail networks with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
- It is a member of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation and hosts a Russian air base.
A citizen poll to identify the national butterfly has concluded with three species garnering the highest number of votes. They are:
- Krishna Peacock (Papilio krishna).
- Indian Jezebel (Delias eucharis).
- Orange Oakleaf (Kallima inachus).
All these have unique features such as ability to camouflage as a dead leaf, exhibit iridescence to stave off predators, and aid farmers in getting rid of pests.
Background:The nationwide poll was organised by the National Butterfly Campaign Consortium, a collective of 50 butterfly experts and enthusiasts.
The organisers will submit the names of the top three to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The onus is on the Centre to choose one among them to join the ranks of the Bengal Tiger, Indian Peacock, Indian Lotus, banyan tree, and mango as yet another national symbol.
- It is a format of dialogue where the defense and foreign ministers meet with their counterparts from another country. 2+2 Ministerial is the highest-level institutional mechanism between the two countries.
- India holds such talks with Australia, Japan and the US at the ministerial level.
- It is a unique and innovative social media campaign.
- “Maru Mani” means Jewels of Desert.
- Launched by Lok Samvad Sansthan, a Jaipur-based media advocacy organisation, in collaboration with Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.
- The campaign seeks to raise financial support for the famed musicians of desert districts of Rajasthan who are suffering severe hardships due to prolonged Corona crisis and accompanying lockdown (Particularly the Langa-Manganiyar folk artistes of western Rajasthan).
Why in News?
Gujarat govt. bans garba during Navaratri.
- It is a famous folk dance of Gujarat. Garba refers to “Garba deep” which is an earthen pot with holes.
- It is a dance performed in a circular form by the village as well as urban women with rhythmic clapping.
- It is performed during the occasion of Navaratri, Sharad Purnima, Vasant Panchami, Holi, and other festival occasions.
Animal and Plant Discoveries 2019:
Both the ZSI and BSI have been releasing ‘Animal Discoveries’ and ‘Plant Discoveries’ since 2007.
- Animal Discoveries 2019 lists 368 faunal species as new to science and 116 species as being spotted for the first time in India.
- Plant Discoveries 2019 lists 180 new plant species and 73 species spotted for the first time in the country.
Important species in the latest editions:
- Rock-dwelling gecko, Cnemaspis anandani- endemic to the Western Ghats.
- Sphaerotheca magadha, a burrowing frog discovered in the farm fields of Jharkhand.
- Enoplotrupes tawangensis, a dung beetle from Tawang.
- A wild ginger variety, Amomum nagamiense, discovered from the forest behind Kohina Zoo in Nagaland.
- A wild fern, Pteris subiriana, found not just in Kerala but also Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.