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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 2:

1. One District One Product Scheme.

2. Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana.

3. Myanmar-vs-Burma.


GS Paper 3:

1. Lithium deposits in Mandya district of Karnataka.

2. National Rail Plan (NRP).

3. Ethanol as an alternate fuel.

4. Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preferences Regulations (TCCCPR).


Facts for Prelims:


2. Orobanche.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.

One District One Product Scheme:


To support the production of horticultural items under the “One District One Product (ODOP)” scheme and provide better nutrition to school children, the Uttar Pradesh government may introduce Sunahri Kand, also known as orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, in the hot-cooked food scheme of Anganwadis and the mid-day meal scheme in primary schools.


  • Under the initial phase of the ODOP programme, 106 Products have been identified from 103 districts across 27 States.
  • State Export Promotion Committee (SPEC) and District Export Promotion Committee (DEPC) have been constituted in all states and districts of India, except districts of the state of West Bengal.

About the Scheme:

First started by the Uttar Pradesh government.

  • ODOP is aimed at giving a major push to traditional industries synonymous with the respective districts of the state.
  • The objective of the ODOP is to optimise production, productivity and income, preservation and development of local crafts, promotion of art, improvement in product quality and skill development.


ODOP is basically a Japanese business development concept, which gained prominence in 1979. It is aimed at promoting a competitive and staple product from a specific area to push sales and improve the standard of living of the local population. Over time, it has been replicated in other Asian countries as well.

The main objectives of the One District One Product Scheme of Uttar Pradesh are as follows:

  1. Preservation and development of local crafts / skills and promotion of the art.
  2. Increase in the incomes and local employment (resulting in decline in migration for employment).
  3. Improvement in product quality and skill development.
  4. Transforming the products in an artistic way (through packaging, branding).
  5. To connect the production with tourism (Live demo and sales outlet – gifts and souvenir).
  6. To resolve the issues of economic difference and regional imbalance.
  7. To take the concept of ODOP to national and international level after successful implementation at State level.


Prelims Link:

  1. About the Scheme.
  2. First started by?
  3. What is Sunahri Kand?
  4. Important GI tag products from various states.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of the scheme.

Sources: PIB.


Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.

Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana:


Employee’s State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has decided that in cases where the employer has shown “Zero” contribution in respect of an employee for some months before exiting him from the system, the relief under ABVKY for such period of “Zero” contribution, shall also be allowed.

What’s the issue?

  • It was brought to the notice of ESIC that in some cases employers have struck off their employees from the rolls few months after actually terminating them from service.
  • During this period, ESI contribution was also not filed by the employers for these employees in the system.
  • As the relief under Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana is available only in case of unemployment of the Insured Persons, such employees though terminated from service became ineligible for relief under this scheme.

About the scheme:

  • It is a welfare measure being implemented by the Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) Corporation.
  • It offers cash compensation to insured persons when they are rendered unemployed.
  • The Scheme was introduced in 2018.


In 2020, eligibility criteria for availing the relief were relaxed, as under:

  1. The payment of relief has been enhanced to 50% of average of wages from earlier 25% of average wages payable upto maximum 90 days of unemployment.
  2. Instead of the relief becoming payable 90 days after unemployment, it shall become due for payment after 30 days.
  3. The Insured Person can submit the claim directly to ESIC Branch Office instead of the claim being forwarded by the last employer and the payment shall be made directly in the bank account of IP.
  4. The Insured Person should have been insurable employment for a minimum period of 2 years before his/her unemployment and should have contributed for not les than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment and minimum 78 days in one of the remaining 3 contribution periods in 02 years prior to unemployment.


Prelims Link:

  1. About the scheme.
  2. Objectives.
  3. Eligibility.
  4. Benefits.
  5. About ESIC.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of the scheme.

Sources: PIB.


Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.



  • The Myanmar military grabbed power in a recent coup – the third time in the nation’s history since its independence from British rule in 1948.
  • After the last such takeover in 1988, the armed forces went on to make a decision that would remain controversial for decades: changing the country’s name.

How Burma became Myanmar?

  • When British imperialists annexed what is today’s Myanmar during the 19th century, they called it Burma after the dominant Burman (Bamar) ethnic group, and administered it as a province of colonial India.
  • This arrangement continued until 1937, when Burma was separated from British India and made a separate colony.
  • Even after the country became independent in 1948, it retained the same name, becoming the ‘Union of Burma’.
  • In 1962, the military took over from a civilian government for the first time, and amended the official name in 1974 to the ‘Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma’.
  • Then in 1988, armed forces again took power in the country, after suppressing a popular uprising and reversed the official name to ‘Union of Burma’.
  • But a year later, the junta adopted a law that replaced Burma with Myanmar, making the country the ‘Union of Myanmar’.

Rationale behind the move and its implications:

While changing the country’s name, the military said that it was looking for a way to leave behind a name inherited from the colonial past, and adopt a new one which could unify all of its 135 officially recognised ethnic groups, and not just the Burman people.

  • However, critics decried the move, arguing that Myanmar and Burma mean the same thing in the Burmese language, only that the ‘Myanmar’ is a more formal way of saying ‘Burma’– a word used colloquially.


Prelims Link:

  1. India- Myanmar border.
  2. Trade.
  3. Joint operations and exercises.
  4. Kaladan Multimodal project.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Infrastructure- energy.

Lithium deposits in Mandya district of Karnataka:


Preliminary surveys on surface and limited subsurface by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) have shown presence of Lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes in the pegmatites of Marlagalla – Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka.

About Lithium:

It is a soft, silvery-white metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.

It is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil. It is an alkali metal and a rare metal.

Key Characteristics and Properties:

  • It has the highest specific heat capacity of any solid element.
  • Lithium’s single balance electron allows it to be a good conductor of electricity.
  • It is flammable and can even explode when exposed to air and water.


  1. Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries.
  2. The well-known uses of Lithium are in Lithium ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additive to rocket propellants, optical modulators for mobile phones and as convertor to tritium used as a raw material for thermonuclear reactions i.e. fusion.

Prescribed substance:

The thermonuclear application makes Lithium as “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 which permits AMD for exploration of Lithium in various geological domains of the country.

  • Under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, “Prescribed Substance” means any substance including any mineral which the Central Government may, by notification, prescribe, being a substance which in its opinion is or may be used for the production or use of atomic energy or research into matters connected therewith and includes uranium, plutonium, thorium, beryllium, deuterium or any of their respective derivatives or compounds or any other materials containing any of the aforesaid substances.


Prelims Link:

  1. About Lithium.
  2. Properties.
  3. Uses.
  4. Lithium reserves in India.
  5. Lithium reserves across the world.

Mains Link:

Discuss the advantages of lithium ion batteries.

Sources: PIB.


Topics Covered: Infrastructure- Railways.

National Rail Plan (NRP):


The Government has issued the Draft Final Report of the National Rail Plan.

  • The Plan aims at providing a long term perspective planning for augmenting the Railway Network.

Objectives of the plan:

  1. To create capacity ahead of demand by 2030, which in turn would cater to growth in demand right up to 2050.
  2. To increase the modal share of Railways from 27% currently to 45% in freight by 2030 as part of a national commitment to reduce Carbon emission and to continue to sustain it.
  3. To assess the actual demand in freight and passenger sectors, a yearlong survey was conducted over hundred representative locations by survey teams spread all over the country.
  4. Forecast growth of traffic in both freight and passenger year on year up to 2030 and on a decadal basis up to 2050.
  5. Formulate strategies based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives to increase modal share of the Railways in freight to 45% by 2030.
  6. Reduce transit time of freight substantially by increasing average speed of freight trains from present 22Kmph to 50Kmph.
  7. Reduce overall cost of Rail transportation by nearly 30% and pass on the benefits to the customers.

As part of the National Rail Plan, Vision 2024 has been launched for accelerated implementation of certain critical projects by 2024 such as:

  1. 100% electrification.
  2. Multitracking of congested routes.
  3. Upgradation of speed to 160 kmph on Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes.
  4. Upgradation of speed to 130kmph on all other Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GQ/GD) routes.
  5. Elimination of all Level Crossings on all GQ/GD route.

Sources: PIB.


Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Ethanol as an alternate fuel:


Government has been promoting use of ethanol as a blend stock with main automotive fuel like petrol in line with the National Policy on Biofuels (NBP) -2018 under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.

  • This policy envisages an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030.

Efforts by the Government in this regard:

  1. Government has allowed production of ethanol from sugarcane and food grain based raw-materials.
  2. The Government has fixed the ex-mill price of ethanol from sugarcane based raw-materials.
  3. Remunerative prices of ethanol produced from different feedstock has been fixed.
  4. The government has notified interest subvention schemes for setting up of molasses and grain based new distilleries or expansion of existing distilleries.


  • Ethanol can be produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc which are having high starch content.
  • In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.
  • Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends.
  • As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
  • Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is ethanol? How is it produced?
  2. Difference between ethanol and molasses?
  3. What is ethanol blending programme?
  4. Benefits of ethanol blending?

Mains Link:

Write a note on the 2013 EBP programme.

Sources: PIB.


Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preferences Regulations (TCCCPR):


The Delhi High Court has ordered the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to ensure “complete and strict” implementation of the regulation issued by it in 2018 for curbing unsolicited commercial communications (UCC).

  • The Court has also directed the telecom service providers (TSPs) to ensure strict compliance with the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preferences Regulations (TCCCPR) 2018 issued by TRAI.

What’s the issue?

The court’s direction came while disposing of a plea by One97 Communications Ltd, which runs Paytm, claiming that millions of its customers have been defrauded by the phishing activities over the mobile networks and the failure of the telecom companies to prevent the same has “caused financial and reputational loss”.

About the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR), 2018:

  1. The regulation says that the companies will have to register themselves for commercial SMS and calls. This will help the regulator to regulate the fraud companies.
  2. The telecom companies are required to verify purported telemarketers seeking registration (called registered telemarketers or RTMs) with them before granting access to their customer data and also take action immediately against all fraudulent RTMs.
  3. It suggests adoption of Distributed Ledger Technology (or blockchain) as the RegTech to ensure regulatory compliance while allowing innovation in the market.


Prelims Link:

  1. About TRAI.
  2. Overview of TCCCPR 2018.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims:


  • It is a national level hackathon being organised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • It aims to promote innovation in agriculture and allied sectors in the country.
  • It also provides an opportunity to the students along with faculties, innovators for showcasing their innovative approaches & technologies in agriculture and allied sectors.
  • KRI-TA-GYA explains, KRI for Krishi (Agriculture), TA for Taknik (Technology) and GYA for Gyan (Knowledge).


  • It is a hidden parasitic weed in mustard causing severe yield loss to the extent of up to 50%.
  • Also called broomrapes, they are aggressive root parasitic weeds which attack strategic food crops, such as legumes and vegetables, and threaten the livelihood of many nations.
  • There are no absolute control measures developed for it.

Why in News?

Workshop held on ‘techno-management options to control Orobanche in mustard’.

Articles covered previously:

Collection of DNA samples will lead to misuse:


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