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. CPI-IW base year revised to 2016.
2. Testimony of sexual assault victim enough for conviction.
3. Anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), Nag.
4. Tubarial salivary glands.
5. “Life in Miniature” project.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
The Maharashtra government has withdrawn “general consent” given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the state.
What consent is necessary?
The CBI is governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act that makes consent of a state government mandatory for conducting investigation in that state.
There are two kinds of consent:
Case-specific and general– Given that the CBI has jurisdiction only over central government departments and employees, it can investigate a case involving state government employees or a violent crime in a given state only after that state government gives its consent.
- “General consent” is normally given to help the CBI seamlessly conduct its investigation into cases of corruption against central government employees in the concerned state.
What does withdrawal mean?
It simply means that CBI officers will lose all powers of a police officer as soon as they enter the state unless the state government has allowed them.
- The decision means the CBI will now have to get consent from the state government for every case it registers in Maharashtra.
Under what provision can general consent been withdrawn?
In exercise of power conferred by Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the state governments can withdraw the general consent accorded.
Can withdrawal mean that the CBI can no longer probe any case?
No. The CBI would still have the power to investigate old cases registered when general consent existed. Also, cases registered anywhere else in the country, but involving people stationed in states which have withdrawn consent, would allow CBI’s jurisdiction to extend to these states.
- About CBI and its establishment.
- Provisions of DSPE Act.
- What is General Consent?
- What happens when general consent is withdrawn by states?
Can withdrawal mean that the CBI can no longer probe any case? Discuss.
Sources: Indian Express.
Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
20th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution was recently passed.
Highlights of the 20th Amendment:
- It envisages expansive powers and greater immunity for the Executive President.
- The Amendment rolls back Sri Lanka’s 19th Amendment, a 2015 legislation that sought to clip presidential powers, while strengthening Parliament. The new legislation in turn reduces the Prime Minister’s role to a ceremonial one.
Why was the 19th Amendment introduced? (Have a brief overview):
It mainly sought to weaken the power of the presidency which the 18th amendment had greatly expanded.
The 18th amendment allowed four basic changes:
- The President can seek re-election any number of times;
- The ten-member Constitutional Council has been replaced with a five-member Parliamentary Council;
- Independent commissions are brought under the authority of the President; and,
- It enables the President to attend Parliament once in three months and entitles him to all the privileges, immunities, and powers of a Member of Parliament other than the entitlement to vote.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Saudi Arabia is hosting the first-ever Ministerial Meeting of the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) virtually.
Established by G20 Leaders at the Toronto Summit in 2010.
- Responsible for updating and implementing the G20 Anti-corruption Action Plan.
- Reports to G20 Leaders.
- It cooperates closely with and supports the work of relevant international organizations, including the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Action Task Force.
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.
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.
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.
- G20 vs G20+ vs G7 vs G8.
- Objectives and sub- groups.
- Overview of Geographical locations of the member countries.
- Overview of the 2003 Brasilia Declaration.
- Who is is hosting G-20 Leaders’ Summit in 2020?
- When was the Anti-Corruption Working Group established?
Do you think the recent G20 summits have turned into talking shops rather than getting down to brass tacks? Critically analyse.
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it had decided to purchase Government securities for an aggregate amount of ₹20,000 crore under Open Market Operations (OMO).
What are govt securities?
A government security (G-Sec) is a tradeable instrument issued by the central government or state governments.
- It acknowledges the government’s debt obligations.
- Such securities can be both short term (treasury bills — with original maturities of less than one year) or long term (government bonds or dated securities — with original maturity of one year or more).
- The central government issues both: treasury bills and bonds or dated securities.
- State governments issue only bonds or dated securities, which are called the state development loans.
- Since they are issued by the government, they carry no risk of default, and hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments.
- FPIs are allowed to participate in the G-Secs market within the quantitative limits prescribed from time to time.
Why are G-secs volatile?
G- Sec prices fluctuate sharply in the secondary markets. Factors affecting their prices:
- Demand and supply of the securities.
- Changes in interest rates in the economy and other macro-economic factors, such as, liquidity and inflation.
- Developments in other markets like money, foreign exchange, credit and capital markets.
- Developments in international bond markets, specifically the US Treasuries.
- Policy actions by RBI like change in repo rates, cash-reserve ratio and open-market operations.
- What are G-Secs?
- Short and long term securities.
- Powers of the Centre and states to issue these instruments.
- Role of RBI.
- Factors which affect the prices of these securities.
What are G-Secs? Why are they significant? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Why in News?
Serum Institute of India (SII) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) have announced an agreement with pharmaceutical major Merck to develop SARS-CoV-2 neutralising monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).
What are monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)?
They are man-made proteins that act like human antibodies in the immune system.
These antibodies are co-invented by IAVI and Scripps Research as ‘innovative interventions’ to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
- What are antibodies?
- What are antigens?
- How immunity system works in our body?
- What are mAbs?
- What are Polyclonal antibodies?
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims
CPI-IW base year revised to 2016:
The Labour and Employment Ministry has revised the base year of the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) from 2001 to 2016.
- This was revised to reflect the changing consumption pattern, giving more weightage to spending on health, education, recreation and other miscellaneous expenses, while reducing the weight of food and beverages.
Uses of CPI-IW: It is used for measuring inflation in retail prices and is also used to regulate the dearness allowance (DA) of government staff and industrial workers, as well as to revise minimum wages in scheduled employments.
Testimony of sexual assault victim enough for conviction:
The Supreme Court has recently held that:
- The sole and trustworthy evidence of a woman, who is a victim of a sexual offence, is enough to find her assailant guilty.
- A woman, who is the victim of sexual assault, is not an accomplice to the crime but is a victim of another person’s lust and, therefore, her evidence need not be tested with the same amount of suspicion as that of an accomplice.
The court was confirming the punishment awarded to a man found guilty under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old child in Tamil Nadu.
Anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), Nag:
DRDO recently carried out the final user trial of the third generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), Nag, at the Pokhran firing range.
- Developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Nag ATGM can be launched from both- land as well as air-based platforms.
- With a range of 4-7 km, the missile is fitted with home-developed infrared seeker and avionics, the capabilities possessed by only a few nations in the world.
Tubarial salivary glands:
- They are a set of salivary glands deep in the upper part of the throat.
- They were discovered recently by Scientists in the Netherlands.
- The glands are about 1.5 inches (3.9 centimeters) in length on average and are located over a piece of cartilage called the torus tubarius.
- The glands probably lubricate and moisten the upper throat behind the nose and mouth.
- The discovery may be important for cancer treatment.
Until now, there were three known large salivary glands in humans: one under the tongue, one under the jaw and one at the back of the jaw, behind the cheek.
“Life in Miniature” project:
- It is a collaborative project between the National Museum, New Delhi, Ministry of Culture, and Google Arts & Culture.
- Several hundred miniature paintings from the National Museum, New Delhi can be viewed online on Google Arts & Culture by people around the world under this project.
- The project uses technologies like machine learning, augmented reality and digitization with high-definition robotic cameras, to showcase these special works of art in a magical new way.