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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.

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:


GS Paper 1:

1. Why did cyclones give October a miss?


GS Paper 2:

1. Haryana clears Bill on right to recall panchayat member.

2. National Food Security Act 2013.


GS Paper 3:

1. What are non-banking financial companies- microfinance institutions (NBFC-MFIs)?

2. EOS-01, India’s latest earth observation satellite.

3. Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.


Facts for Prelims:

1. A madrasa for transgenders in Bangladesh.

2. National Water Awards.


GS Paper  : 1


Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

Why did cyclones give October a miss?


October to December period is among the favourable months for the development of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. This year, however, October passed without witnessing a cyclonic storm.

Usually, when do cyclones form and hit Indian coasts?

About 80 cyclones are formed around the world annually, out of which five are formed in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, together known as the North Indian Ocean.

Cyclones in the North Indian Ocean are bi-modal in nature, that is, they occur during two seasons— April to June (pre-monsoon) and October to December (post-monsoon).

  • Of these, May and November remain the most conducive for the development of cyclones.

Why were there no cyclone developments this year?

  • Ocean disturbances enter the Bay of Bengal from the South China sea side and head towards the Indian coast. This year, however, there was no system which intensified to form a cyclone.
  • Another reason is the weak La Nina conditions along the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • There was also the influence of Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). MJO is kind of an eastward-moving cyclic weather event along the tropics that influences rainfall, winds, sea surface temperatures and cloud cover. They have a 30 to 60-day cycle.
  • Also, in November, the vertical wind shear created due to significant wind speed difference observed between higher and lower atmospheric level prevented the low-pressure systems and depression from strengthening into a cyclone.


Prelims Link:

  1. Factors responsible for the genesis of cyclones.
  2. Naming of cyclones in various regions of the world.
  3. Why more cyclones in Eastern coast of India?
  4. What is coriolis force?
  5. What is latent heat of condensation?
  6. What is Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO)?

Mains Link:

Discuss the factors responsible for the formation of tropical cyclones. All about tropical cyclones:

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Haryana clears Bill on right to recall panchayat member:


The Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 passed in the state Assembly.

  • The amendment is aimed at increasing their accountability to the voters.

The Bill:

  • Provides the right to recall members of Panchayati Raj institutions to those who elected them.
  • Gives women 50% reservation in these rural bodies.
  • Provides 8% reservation to the “more disadvantaged” among the Backward Classes.
  • Allows the recall of village sarpanches and members of the block-level panchayat samitis and district-level zila parishads if they fail to perform.

Procedure to be followed:

  1. To recall a sarpanch and members of the two bodies, 50% members of a ward or gram sabha have to give in writing that they want to initiate proceedings.
  2. This will be followed by a secret ballot, in which their recall will require two-third members voting against them.

The key mandatory provisions of the 73rd and 74th amendments, are:

  • Regular direct elections to all local bodies.
  • Setting up of state-level election commission and finance commissions.
  • Mandatory reservation of seats for Dalits and Adivasis in every local body, proportionate to their share in the population.
  • 33% reservation for women.
  • Setting up of District Planning Committees that consolidate plans of rural and urban bodies.


Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments.
  2. List of subjects covered in the 11th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  3. About the State Election Commission.
  4. Overview of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Mains Link:

Discuss the provisions of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

National Food Security Act 2013:


Government weeds out 4.39 crore bogus ration cards under NFSA since 2013.

National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013:

The objective is to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.

Key features:

Coverage and entitlement under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): The TDPS covers 50% of the urban population and 75% of the rural population, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg of food grains per person per month. However, the poorest of the poor households will continue to receive 35 kg of food grains per household per month under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).

Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision: For a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act, Food grains under TPDS will be made available at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains.

Identification of Households: The identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs under TDPS determined for each State.

Nutritional Support to women and children: Children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years and pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes. Malnourished children up to the age of 6 have been prescribed for higher nutritional norms.

Maternity Benefit: Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be receiving maternity benefit of Rs. 6,000.

Women Empowerment: For the purpose of issuing of ration cards, eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is to be the head of the household.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism: Grievance redressal mechanism available at the District and State levels.

Cost of transportation & handling of food grains and Fair Price Shop (FPS) Dealers’ margin: the expenditure incurred by the state on transportation of food grains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers’ margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose and assistance to states will be provided by the Central Government to meet the above expenditure.

Transparency and Accountability: In order to ensure transparency and accountability, provisions have been made for disclosure of records relating to PDS, social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees.

Food Security Allowance: In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, there is a provision for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries.

Penalty: If the public servant or authority fails to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer, penalty will be imposed by the State Food Commission according to the provision.


Prelims Link:

  1. About TPDS.
  2. Who gets food security allowance under the scheme?
  3. Provisions of penalty under the act.
  4. Maternity benefits related provisions.
  5. Overview of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
  6. Overview of Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme.
  7. The responsibility of 3. Identification of Households under the scheme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

What are non-banking financial companies- microfinance institutions (NBFC-MFIs)?


The share of NBFC-MFIs (microfinance institutions) in the overall microfinance sector has come down to a little more than 30% as several large MFIs had converted into Small Finance Banks.

What are NBFC- MFIs?

NBFC MFI is a non-deposit taking NBFC (other than a company licensed u/s 25 of the Indian Companies Act, 1956) that meets the following conditions:

  1. Minimum Net Owned Funds (NOF) of Rs.5 crore. (For those registered in the North Eastern Region of the country, Rs. 2 crore is required as minimum NOF).
  2. At least 85% of its Total Net Assets are in the nature of “Qualifying Assets.”

What are Qualifying Assets?

“Net assets” are total assets excluding cash, bank balances, and money market instruments.

“Qualifying assets” are those assets which have a substantial period of time to be ready for its intended use or sale.



Prelims Link:

  1. NBFCs- meaning.
  2. Types.
  3. NBFCs under RBI.
  4. NBFC-MFI- eligibility, functions.
  5. What is Net Owned Funds?
  6. What are Qualifying Assets?
  7. What are small finance banks.
  8. Differences between NBFCs, SFBs and Payment Banks.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of NBFC-MFIs (microfinance institutions).

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

EOS-01, India’s latest earth observation satellite:


EOS-01 launch. This will be ISRO’s first mission since the launch of RISAT-2BR1, on December 11 last year.

(Note:ISRO had also sent communication satellite GSAT-30 in space in January this year, but that was done using an Ariane rocket launched from French Guiana).

What is EOS-01?

It is an earth observation satellite.

EOS-01 is nothing but another Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) that will work together with RISAT-2B and RISAT-2BR1 launched last year.

  • Henceforth all the earth observation satellites would be called EOS-series.

What are earth-observation satellites used for?

Land and forest mapping and monitoring, mapping of resources like water or minerals or fishes, weather and climate observations, soil assessment, geospatial contour mapping are all done through earth-observation satellites.

Advantages of radar imaging over optical instruments:

Radar imaging is unaffected by weather, cloud or fog, or the lack of sunlight. It can produce high-quality images in all conditions and at all times.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is radar imaging?
  2. What are earth- observation satellites?
  3. Differences between GSLV and PSLV.
  4. Applications of EOS-01.
  5. Differences between low earth orbit and geostationary orbits.

Mains Link:

Why is Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)  one of the world’s most reliable space launch vehicles? How is it helping India commercially and technologically?

Sources: Indian Express.


Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms:


The Supreme Court has extended the mandate of one-member committee of retired Kerala High Court judge Justice K Balakrishnan Iyer constituted to determine the compensation paid to flat owners of Maradu municipality of Kochi district, whose houses were demolished for being in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms in the state.

What’s the issue? (Just try to know background of the issue):

On September 23, last year the top court had observed that illegal construction in coastal areas of Kerala is a “colossal loss” to the environment and expressed shock over a spate of unauthorised structures coming up at Kochi’s Maradu.

  • Coming down heavily on the Kerala government for not complying with its orders to demolish four apartment complexes built in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), the top court had asked the chief secretary to conduct a survey to gauge the extent of devastation caused to nature.
  • On May 8, 2019 the apex court had directed that such buildings be removed within a month’s times, which were constructed in a notified CRZ, which was part of the tidally-influenced water body in Kerala.

What are CRZ norms?

Under the section 3 of Environment Protection Act, 1986 of India, Coastal Regulation Zone notification was issued in February 1991 for the first time.

  • In 2018-19, fresh Rules were issued, which aimed to remove certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.


  • They restrict certain kinds of activities — like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, reclamation and bunding — within a certain distance from the coastline.

What are the restrictions?

  • The restrictions depend on criteria such as the population of the area, the ecological sensitivity, the distance from the shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.
  • The latest Rules have a no-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland.

For the so-called CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have been stipulated.

  1. In the densely populated rural areas (CRZ-IIIA) with a population density of 2,161 per sq km as per the 2011 Census, the no-development zone is 50 m from the high-tide level, as against the 200 m stipulated earlier.
  2. CRZ-IIIB category (rural areas with population density below 2,161 per sq km) areas continue to have a no-development zone extending up to 200 m from the high-tide line.


While the CRZ Rules are made by the Union environment ministry, implementation is to be ensured by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities.


Prelims Link:

  1. What are CRZ Norms?
  2. Definition of CRZ.
  3. Classification of Zones.
  4. Categories under CRZ-III (Rural) areas.

Mains Link:

What do the draft  CRZ rules imply from the perspective of environmental justice and distributive justice.Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims

A madrasa for transgenders in Bangladesh:

Bangladesh has opened its first Islamic school for transgender Muslims with clerics calling it a first step towards integrating the discriminated minority into society.

National Water Awards:

Second National Water Awards to be conferred in November.

About the Award:

  • The awards are given by the Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, GOI.
  • The awards are given in several categories such as ‘Best State’, ‘Best District’, ‘Best School’, ‘Best Newspaper’, ‘Best NGO’, ‘Best Industry’, etc. with sub-categories also.


Articles to be covered tomorrow

Meet targets to get air pollution funds.

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