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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.

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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Guidelines for matrimonial cases.

2. The Miyas of Assam, and their char-chapori culture.


GS Paper 2:

1. Governor can rule on Rajiv convicts’ plea.

2. Panel to review TRP norms.

3. U.S. formally exits Paris pact on curbing climate change.


GS Paper 3:

1. Bio-decomposer technique.

2. What is smog and how dangerous can it be?


Facts for Prelims:

1. Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge.

2. Luhri hydropower project.

3. Important Butterfly Species.

4. Data Maturity Assessment Framework (DMAF).

5. Leishmania donovani.


GS Paper  : 1


Topics Covered: Women related issues.

Guidelines for matrimonial cases:


In a judgement, the Supreme Court has laid down guidelines for matrimonial cases.

  • The judgment was based on a matrimonial plea from Maharashtra on the question of payment of maintenance by a man to his wife and son under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

As per the Supreme Court guidelines (Have a brief overview):

  • Deserted wives and children are entitled to alimony/maintenance from their husbands from the date they apply for it in a court of law.
  • A violation would lead to punishment, such as civil detention and even attachment of the property of the latter.
  • The plea of the husband that he does not possess any source of income ipso facto does not absolve him of his moral duty to maintain his wife, if he is able-bodied and has educational qualifications.
  • Both the applicant wife and the respondent husband have to disclose their assets and liabilities in a maintenance case. Any earlier case filed or pending under any other law should also be revealed in court.
  • The expenses of the children, including their education, basic needs and other vocational activities, should be factored in by courts while calculating the alimony.
  • Other factors such as “spiralling inflation rates and high costs of living” should be considered, but the wife should receive an alimony which fit the standard of life she was used to in the matrimonial home.

Need for:

Women deserted by husbands were left in dire straits, often reduced to destitution, for lack of means to sustain themselves and their children.


These uniform and comprehensive guidelines should be followed by family courts, magistrates and lower courts while hearing applications filed by women seeking maintenance from their estranged husbands.


Prelims Link and Mains Link:

Overview of the Guidelines and their significance.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

The Miyas of Assam, and their char-chapori culture:


A proposed “Miya museum” reflecting the “culture and heritage of the people living in char-chaporis” has stirred up a controversy in Assam.

Why are some Assamese uncomfortable with that?

The museum has been proposed in the Kalakshetra, which is a cultural complex in Guwahati named after neo-Vaishnavite reformer Srimanta Sankardev, and which was set up as part of Clause 6 (“… to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”) of the Assam Accord, signed at the culmination of the Assam Agitation.

Who are the Miyas?

The ‘Miya’ community comprises descendants of Muslim migrants from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) to Assam. They came to be referred to as ‘Miyas’, often in a derogatory manner.

  • The community migrated in several waves — starting with the British annexation of Assam in 1826, and continuing into Partition and the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War — and have resulted in changes in demographic composition of the region.
  • Over the years, the Miyas have often been stereotyped and derided as “Bangladeshi”.

What are Char-chaporis?

A char is a floating island while chaporis are low-lying flood-prone riverbanks.

  • Prone to floods and erosion, these areas are marked by low development indices. 80% of the Char population lives below poverty line.
  • A UNDP Assam Human Development report from 2014 describes the char areas as suffering from “communication deficits, lack of adequate schooling facilities beyond primary, girl child marriage, poverty and illiteracy”.


Prelims Link:

  1. Who are Miyas?
  2. What are Char-chaporis?
  3. Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

Mains Link:

Who are Miyas? What are the challenges they are facing? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Governor can rule on Rajiv convicts plea:


Supreme Court has said the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) investigation into the “larger conspiracy” behind Rajiv Gandhi assassination in 1991 need not deter the Tamil Nadu Governor from deciding the plea for pardon of convicts like A.G. Perarivalan, who have been serving their sentence in jail for over two decades.

  • The court has also made it clear that it was reluctant to exercise its jurisdiction when the Governor was already seized of Perarivalan’s plea for pardon under Article 161 of the Constitution.


Perarivalan had applied to the Governor for pardon on December 30, 2015. Almost three years later, on September 2018, the Supreme Court asked the Governor to decide the pardon plea as he “deemed fit”.

Pardoning Powers of Governor:

Article 161 deals with the Pardoning Power of the Governor.

  • The Governor can grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishments or suspend, remit and commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the state extends.
  • The Governor cannot Pardon a Death Sentence. (The President has the power of Pardon a death Sentence).
  • The Governor cannot grant pardon, reprieve, respite, suspension, remission or commutation in respect to punishment or sentence by a court-martial. However, the President can do so.


Prelims Link:

  • A detailed overview of Pardoning powers of Governor vs President.
  • Constitutional provisions related.
  • Appeals against those decisions.
  • Can the Courts intervene in such matters?
  • Role of Cabinet in such matters.

Mains Link:

Present a detailed comparison of pardoning powers of president and Governor in India.

Sources: Indian Express.


Topics Covered:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Panel to review TRP norms:

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has constituted a four-member committee to review the guidelines on television rating agencies.

It will be headed by Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO of Prasar Bharati.


This comes after the Mumbai police investigations which revealed that a few news channels had tampered with the ratings.

Need for new guidelines:

A need has been felt to have a fresh look keeping in view of the recent recommendations of TRAI, technological advancements and for further strengthening of the procedures for a credible and transparent rating system.

What is Target Rating Point (TRP)?

Sometimes it is also known as the Television Rating Points.

  • It is the metric used by the marketing and advertising agencies to evaluate viewership.
  • TRPs represent how many people, from which socio-economic categories, watched which channels for how much time during a particular period.

How is it recorded?

In India, the TRP is recorded by the Broadcast Audience Research Council using Bar-O-Meters that are installed on televisions in selected households.

  • As on date, the BARC has installed these meters in 44,000 households across the country.

Why these ratings are important?

  • On the basis of audience measurement data, ratings are assigned to various programmes on television.
  • Television ratings in turn influence programmes produced for the viewers.
  • Better ratings would promote a programme while poor ratings will discourage a programme.
  • Incorrect ratings will lead to production of programmes which may not be really popular while good programmes may be left out.
  • Besides, TRPs are the main currency for advertisers to decide which channel to advertise on by calculating the cost-per-rating-point (CPRP).

What is BARC?

It is an industry body jointly owned by advertisers, ad agencies, and broadcasting companies, represented by the Indian Society of Advertisers, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Advertising Agencies Association of India.

  • Created in 2010.
  • I&B Ministry notified the Policy Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies in India on January 10, 2014 and registered BARC in July 2015 under these guidelines, to carry out television ratings in India.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is TRP?
  2. How is it decided?
  3. What is BARC?

Mains Link:

What do you understand by TRP? How can it be rigged? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


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

U.S. formally exits Paris pact on curbing climate change:


The United States has formally left the Paris Agreement.

  • Some 189 countries remain committed to the 2015 Paris accord.

What is the Paris Agreement?

It is a historic international accord that brings almost 200 countries together in setting a common target to reduce global greenhouse emissions in an effort to fight climate change.

The pact seeks to keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, and to try and limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

  • To this end, each country has pledged to implement targeted action plans that will limit their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Agreement asks rich and developed countries to provide financial and technological support to the developing world in its quest to fight and adapt to climate change.

How does a country leave the Agreement?

  • Article 28 of the Paris Agreement allows countries to leave the Paris Agreement and lays down the process for leaving.
  • A country can only give a notice for leaving at least three years after the Paris Agreement came into force.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is Paris Agreement?
  2. Which countries have not signed?
  3. Targets.
  4. Funding mechanism announced under the Paris Agreement.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the Paris Climate deal.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Bio-decomposer technique:


Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that the bio-decomposer technique of converting stubble into manure has shown success.

  • This claim was based on the initial results from a farm where the bio-decomposing solution, developed under the guidance of the PUSA Institute, was being tried out by the Delhi government.

What next?

  • The government would now present this alternative in the Supreme Court owing to its effectiveness and cost.
  • This solution can also be tried by farmers in Punjab and Haryana.

How were these bio-decomposers formed?

Pusa Decomposer is a mix of seven fungi that produce enzymes to digest cellulose, lignin and pectin in paddy straw.

  • The fungi thrive at 30-32 degree Celsius, which is the temperature prevailing when paddy is harvested and wheat is sown.

How these decomposers are used on fields?

  • A liquid formulation is formed using decomposer capsules and fermenting it over 8-10 days and then spraying the mixture on fields with crop stubble to ensure speedy bio-decomposition of the stubble.
  • The farmers can prepare 25 litre of liquid mixture with 4 capsules, jaggery and chickpea flour. The mixture is sufficient to cover 1 hectare of land.
  • It takes around 20 days for the degradation process to be completed.

Benefits of PUSA decomposers:

  1. Improves the fertility and productivity of the soil as the stubble works as manure and compost for the crops and lesser fertiliser consumption is required in the future.
  2. It is an efficient and effective, cheaper, doable and practical technique to stop stubble burning.
  3. It is an eco-friendly and environmentally useful technology.


Prelims Link:

  1. How were PUSA Decomposers developed?
  2. What are they used for?
  3. Pollutants released when stubble is burnt.

Mains Link:

How stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana affects the air quality of Delhi? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Pollution and conservation related issues.

What is smog and how dangerous can it be?


Smog in Delhi due to high levels of pollution.

  • This year, Delhi’s air pollution in October was higher in comparison to last year.

What is Smog?

Smog is a harmful mixture of fog, dust and air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, etc. which combine with sunlight to form a dense layer of ground-level ozone.

  • Ozone present high in the atmosphere is good, but when nearer to the ground, it can cause irritating health effects.

(Note: The term ‘smog’ was first coined by Dr Henry Antoine des Voeux in his paper, Fog and Smoke, in July 1905, after a blanket of smoke and fog was noticed over London in the early 1900s.)

How is Smog formed?

It consists of ozone, along with harmful substances like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and PM10s, which can find their way deep into our lungs.

Smog can be caused by:

  1. Large amounts of coal-burning in an area
  2. Slash-and-burning of crops (a major source in Delhi)
  3. Smog-forming pollutants generate from automobile exhausts, power plants, fireworks, even paint, hairspray, charcoal starter fluid, and plastic popcorn packaging.

Role of local weather phenomenon:

The formation of smog is also closely linked with temperature, sunshine, and calm winds. On a warmer day, smog can form more quickly than otherwise.


Sulfurous smog and photochemical smog are two distinct types of smog recognised so far.

Sulfurous smog, also known as London smog, develops due to high concentration of sulfur oxides in the air.

Photochemical smog is produced when sunlight reacts with oxides of nitrogen and at least one volatile organic compound (VOC) in the atmosphere.

Health impacts:

  1. Inhaling smog over a long span of time can inflame your breathing passage, much like cigarette smoking.
  2. Smog causes inflamed lungs, and inflamed lungs, in turn, secrete interleukin-6 which can cause blood clots in people, cardiac and respiratory disorders, leading to heart attacks or strokes.
  3. Smog can dry out the protective membranes of your nose and throat.
  4. It can jeopardize your body’s ability to resist infection, hence, increasing your susceptibility to illness.
  5. It can greatly decrease the UV radiation, leading to low production of important elements like Vitamin D.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims

Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge:

  • Launched by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
  • It is a challenge for cities to develop and implement initiatives to improve the quality of life of young children, caregivers and families.
  • It will be open for the 100 Smart Cities, cities with population of more than 5 lakh and State/Union Territory capitals.

Luhri hydropower project:

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved funding to the tune of ₹1,810.56 crore for the 210 megawatt (MW) Luhri hydropower project on the Satluj river in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The project is located in Shimla and Kullu districts.

Important Butterfly Species:

Note: The following species and their sightings is based on an article given in today’s the Hindu News Paper. It is not necessary to mug up the names of all these species. Just have a brief overview.


Butterfly season usually begins with the onset of the South-West monsoon; and the buzz tends to continue post-monsoon, well into February. This year, especially, many rare species have been sighted across the country.

Key points:

  • Striated Five-ring was sighted at Neyyar, Kerala in 2015-16 after 100 years.
  • The Nilgiri Plain Ace was rediscovered by butterfly enthusiasts after 130 years.
  • Marbled Map butterfly recorded for the first time in Visakhapatnam is protected under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act. This ‘rare’ species is confined to the hilly forests of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bhutan and Myanmar.
  • Malabar Banded Peacock is endemic to South India.
  • Tree nymph, a large white butterfly with black spots resembling white paper wafting through the air. It is also endemic to South India.
  • Recently, Branded Royal, rarely seen in India, made news when it fluttered through the Nilgiris after a gap of over 130 years.
  • The Blue Mormon, a black-coloured velvet-winged butterfly, a species endemic to the Western Ghats, showed up in Patna.
  • The Spotted Angle butterfly has been sighted in the reserve forests of Chhattisgarh.
  • The Liliac Silverline, a protected species whose only known breeding population is in Bengaluru, was sighted for the first time in the Aravalli range of Rajasthan.


Data Maturity Assessment Framework (DMAF):

Launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

  • It is a framework to evaluate the data ecosystems of cities.
  • This will support cities in the creation of a ‘culture of data’ under the DataSmart Cities initiative of the Smart Cities Mission.

The core objective of this framework is to enable cities to assess their own data maturity with respect to a standardized framework covering aspects of enabling policies, governance structures, data management, capacity building, and stakeholder engagement at the city level.

Leishmania donovani:

CSIR-CDRI scientist won an award for his work on defining the survival tactics of Leishmania donovani.

Key points:

  • Leishmania donovani is a protozoan parasite that infects macrophages and is a causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (Kala-Azar).
  • It infects the mononuclear phagocyte system including the spleen, liver and bone marrow.


Articles Covered Previously

Kerala, too, withdraws general consent to CBI:


Kerala has decided to withdraw the general consent accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to operate in Kerala.

  • States such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra had also similarly withdrawn consent to the CBI to operate freely in their respective jurisdictions.

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