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:
2. National Monsoon Mission.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 to further amend Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
- Seeks to ensure that stakeholder parties can seek an unconditional stay on enforcement of arbitral awards in cases where the “arbitration agreement or contract is induced by fraud or corruption.”
- Also does away with the 8th Schedule of the Act that contained the necessary qualifications for accreditation of arbitrators.
- Added a proviso in Section 36 of the Arbitration Act and will come into effect retrospectively from October 23, 2015. As per this amendment, if the Court is satisfied that a prima facie case is made out that the arbitration agreement or contract which is the basis of the award was induced or effected by fraud or corruption, it will stay the award unconditionally pending disposal of the challenge made to the award under Section 34.
Until recently, an arbitration award was enforceable even if an appeal was filed against it in the court under Section 36 of the law. The court, however, could grant a stay on the award on conditions as it deemed fit.
- What is Arbitration?
- Recent Amendments.
- About the International Court of Arbitration.
- About the Arbitration Council of India.
- Appointment of arbitrators under the 1996 Act.
Discuss the significance of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Issues related to health.
A review of BMI of various countries was recently published in the medical journal The Lancet.
- The study carried out a global analysis of data over 34 years from 200 countries.
What is BMI (body mass idex)? How is it calculated?
BMI is measured as the weight in kg divided by the square of the height in metres.
- The normal BMI ranges between 20 and 25.
- The study has ranked India at the 196th spot with respect to BMI.
- India’s 19-year-old boys and girls have a BMI of 20.1.
- Comparatively, China ranks 88 with its boys having a BMI of 23 and 119 for its girls at 22.2.
- India ranks third and fifth from the bottom respectively among countries where 19-year-old girls and boys have a low body mass index.
Concerns for India:
- As BMI is a function of height, the corollary is that Indian teens are also among the shortest in the world.
- The findings also contradict authorities claim that Indian children are not as malnourished or stunted as they used to be a decade ago.
- The study notes that poor nutrition may be the reason behind this.
- What is BMI?
- India’s performance in the above mentioned study.
- Comparative analysis of India’s performance and its neighbours.
Discuss the Indian authorities claim that Indian children are not as malnourished or stunted as they used to be a decade ago.
Source: Times Of India
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Cybersecurity related issues.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has allowed Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp to start its payments service in the country in a ‘graded’ manner.
- NPCI has given its nod to WhatsApp to offer payments services via the Unified Payments Interface.
- WhatsApp users can link their UPI-enabled bank accounts and transfer money through the messaging app.
What is UPI?
Unified Payments Interface or UPI is an immediate real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI).
It was introduced in April 2016 as a pilot project and is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
As per the data- localisation norms set by RBI:
- While there is no bar on the processing of payment transactions outside India, the Payment System Operators (PSOs) will have to ensure the data is stored only in India after the processing.
- In case the processing is done abroad, the data should be deleted from the systems abroad and brought back to India not later than the one business day or 24 hours from payment processing, whichever is earlier. The same should be stored only in India.
- The data stored in India can be accessed for handling customer disputes, whenever required.
- The payment system data may be shared with an overseas regulator if required, but with the approval of RBI.
- Some banks, especially foreign, that had been permitted to store the banking data abroad may continue to do so. However, in respect of domestic payment transactions, the data shall be stored only in India.
The data stored domestically must include:
- End-to-end transaction details and information related to payment or settlement transaction collected or processed as part of a payment.
- Information such as customer name, mobile number, email, Aadhaar number, PAN number.
- Payment sensitive data such as customer and beneficiary account details; payment credentials such as OTP, PIN, Passwords.
Need for guidelines in this regard:
The payment systems in India have witnessed rapid advancements in innovation, eCommerce, and fintech, to name a few. It is only natural to ensure that the guidelines, prescriptions and regulations also advance in order to safeguard the interests of the customers, users, and the government.
- About NPCI.
- About UPI.
- What’s new in UPI 2.0?
- Overview of data- localisation norms set by RBI.
What is data localisation? Discuss the issues associated.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is investing up to ₹400 crore in setting up office and connectivity infrastructure across several cities, offering small technology firms a ‘plug-and-play’ facility.
About Software Technology Parks of India (STPI):
It is an autonomous society under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- Established in 1991.
- Objective of encouraging, promoting and boosting the export of software from India.
- The STPI’s Governing Council’s Chairperson is the Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology.
Other key objectives:
- To provide statutory and other promotional services to the exporters by implementing Software Technology Parks (STP)/ Electronics and Hardware Technology Parks (EHTP) Schemes, SEZ scheme and other such schemes which may be formulated and entrusted by the Government from time to time.
- To promote micro, small and medium entrepreneurs by creating conducive environment for entrepreneurship in the field of IT/ITES.
- To establish and manage infrastructure resources such as Datacom facilities, Project Management and Consultancy and IT support facilities.
Prelims and Mains Link:
STPI- Objectives and functions.
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.
Intense pulses of radio waves known as fast radio bursts (FRB) have been found in the Milky Way for the first time.
- So far, such waves have been frequently detected in other galaxies.
Significance of this discovery:
The FRB was not only the closest such signal ever recorded near the Earth. It was also 3,000 times brighter than any other magnetar radio signal detected till now.
How are FRBs generated?
The new study has confirmed that FRBs are generated by a rare type of neutron star known as a ‘magnetar’.
What are Magnetars?
A magnetar is a type of neutron star.
- Magnetars are the most powerful magnets in the cosmos. Their magnetic fields are 5,000 trillion times more powerful than that of the Earth.
The source of latest FRBs:
- They came from a magnetar known as SGR 1935+2154, located about 30,000 light-years from the earth.
- It lies in the centre of the Milky Way, in the constellation Vulpecula.
- What are radio waves?
- What is electromagnetic spectrum?
- What are Magnetars?
- What is a neutron star?
Sources: Down to Earth.
Topics Covered: Pollution related issues.
A study has found Tarballs found in the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau.
- The percentage of the tarballs increased on days of higher levels of pollution and could contribute to hastening of glacial melt and global warming.
What are Tarballs? How they are formed?
Tarballs are small light-absorbing, carbonaceous particles formed due to burning of biomass or fossil fuels that deposit on snow and ice.
- They hasten glacial melt.
- They are formed from brown carbon, emitted during the burning of fossil fuels.
Where did they come from?
Tarballs were emitted from biomass burning in the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
Tarballs from long-range transport can be an important factor in the climatic effect and would correspond to a substantial influence on glacial melting in the Himalaya region.
- What are Tarballs?
- Differences between black carbon and brown carbon.
Examine the impact of Increased percentage of Tarballs on Himalayas.
Sources: Down to Earth.
Facts for Prelims
- ‘Avadhanam’ is an exciting literary performance that involves solving tricky literary posers, improvising poems and tests a person’s capability of performing such multiple tasks simultaneously.
- It originated as a Sanskrit literary process and is revived by poets in Telugu and Kannada in modern times.
Why in News?
The Vice President Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has observed that ‘avadhanam’ as a literary feat has greatly contributed to the Telugu language’s glorious tradition.
National Monsoon Mission:
- Launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) in 2012.
- Aim to develop a state-of-the-art, dynamic monsoon prediction system for short, medium, and long-range forecasts.
- The successful development of a Global Ensemble Forecast System for short and medium-range prediction at 12 kilometers was made possible due to the National Monsoon Mission.