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:
GS Paper 4:
Facts for Prelims:
1. Marine Spatial Planning (MSP).
2. Udyog Manthan.
3. EX Desert FLAG VI.
4. Nag River.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
The government has amended insurance ombudsman rules.
As per the new rules:
- Insurance brokers are now covered under ombudsman rules.
- Policyholders are now allowed to file online complaints.
- The scope of complaints has been enlarged to ombudsmen from only disputes earlier to deficiencies in service on the part of insurers, agents, brokers and other intermediaries.
- The ombudsman may use video-conferencing for hearings.
About Insurance Ombudsman:
The Insurance Ombudsman scheme was created by the Government of India for individual policyholders to have their complaints settled out of the courts system in a cost-effective, efficient and impartial way.
Who can approach?
Any person who has a grievance against an insurer, may himself or through his legal heirs, nominee or assignee, make a complaint in writing to the Insurance ombudsman.
One can approach the Ombudsman with complaint only if:
One has first approached insurance company with the complaint and;
- They have rejected it
- Not resolved it to satisfaction or
- Not responded to it at all for 30 days
And the value of the claim including expenses claimed should not be above Rs 30 lakhs.
Appointment of Ombudsman:
The Ombudsman is a person in the insurance industry, civil or judicial services, and is appointed by the insurance council.
- The serving term of the Insurance Ombudsman is three years.
The settlement process:
The Ombudsman will act as mediator and
- Arrive at a fair recommendation based on the facts of the dispute
- If you accept this as a full and final settlement, the Ombudsman will inform the company which should comply with the terms in 15 days.
If a settlement by recommendation does not work, the Ombudsman will Pass an award within 3 months of receiving all the requirements from the complainant and which will be binding on the insurance company.
Once the Award is passed:
The Insurer shall comply with the award within 30 days of the receipt of award and intimate the compliance of the same to the Ombudsman.
- About the Insurance Ombudsman scheme.
Discuss the roles and functions of Insurance Ombudsman.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The Registrar-General of India (RGI) is preparing to conduct field trials of the first phase of the Census and the National Population Register (NPR) using a mobile application in all the States and Union Territories.
- The app will contain questionnaires on house listing and housing census and the NPR.
What is National Population Register (NPR)?
It is a Register of usual residents of the country.
- It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
- It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
Objective: To create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.
The NPR was first collected in 2010 and then updated in 2015.
Who is a usual resident?
A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.
- Constitutional provisions related to Citizenship.
- Components of NPR data.
- Who is an usual resident?
- Who prepares NPR?
- How can a person acquire Indian citizenship?
- Can an Indian citizen hold dual citizenship?
- About RGI.
Why are states opposed to the collection of data under NPR. Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
The report “Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy under Siege” was recently released by US think-tank Freedom House.
- Freedoms in India have reduced resulting in India being classified as ‘partly free’.
- India’s score was 67, a drop from 71/100 from last year downgrading it from the free category last year.
- Reasons for the downgrade: The government and its State-level allies continued to crack down on critics during the year.
- The private media are vigorous and diverse, and investigations and scrutiny of politicians do occur. However, attacks on press freedom have escalated dramatically under the Modi government, and reporting has become significantly less ambitious in recent years.
- Security, defamation, sedition and contempt of court laws have been used to quiet critical media voices.
- Revelations of close relationships between politicians, business executives and lobbyists on one hand and leading media personalities and owners of media outlets, on the other, have dented public confidence in the press.
Freedom in US and China:
- The U.S. dropped three points over one year, down to 83/100.
- The United States will need to work vigorously to strengthen its institutional safeguards, restore its civic norms and uphold the promise of its core principles.
- China, classified as ‘not free’, dropped a point from last year going down to 9/100.
- The malign influence of the regime in China, the world’s most populous dictatorship, was especially profound in 2020.
About the Report:
Since 1973, Freedom House has assessed the condition of political rights and civil liberties around the world. It is used on a regular basis by policymakers, journalists, academics, activists, and many others.
How are the countries ranked?
The report’s methodology is derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.
- Freedom in the World assesses the real-world rights and freedoms enjoyed by individuals, rather than governments or government performance per se.
What topics do the scores cover?
- Electoral Process.
- Political Pluralism and Participation.
- Functioning of Government.
- Freedom of Expression and Belief.
- Associational and Organizational Rights.
- Rule of Law.
- Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights.
- About the Report.
- Latest findings.
- How are countries ranked?
Freedoms in India have reduced resulting in India being classified as ‘partly free’. Comment.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices.
The Indian Sugar Mills’ Association (ISMA) has asked the government to raise the minimum selling price for sugar to ₹34.50 a kg.
Sugar Pricing Policy:
Price of sugar are market driven & depends on demand & supply of sugar. However, with a view to protect the interests of farmers, concept of Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of sugar was introduced in 2018 so that industry may get atleast the minimum cost of production of sugar, so as to enable them to clear cane price dues of farmers.
- In exercise of the powers conferred under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, Government has notified Sugar Price (Control) Order, 2018.
- Under the provisions of said order, Government will fix the Minimum Selling Price (MSP).
- MSP of sugar has been fixed taking into account the components of Fair & Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane and minimum conversion cost of the most efficient mills.
The Federal/Central Government announces Fair and Remunerative Prices which are determined on the recommendation of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and are announced by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which is chaired by Prime Minister.
- What is Minimum Selling Price?
- How is it set?
- Differences between Minimum Support Price and Minimum Selling Price.
- What is FRP?
Discuss the significance of Minimum Selling Price (MSP) for sugar.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is preparing to tax aluminium sheet exporters from 18 countries including India after determining that they had benefited from subsidies and dumping.
- The US International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent body, must approve the final decision by April 15 to impose anti-dumping or countervailing duties.
What is Dumping?
In international trade practise, dumping happens when a country or a firm exports an item at a price lower than the price of that product in its domestic market.
- Dumping impacts the price of that product in the importing country, hitting margins and profits of local manufacturing firms.
What is anti-dumping duty?
Anti-dumping duty is imposed to rectify the situation arising out of the dumping of goods and its trade distortive effect.
- According to global trade norms, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime, a country is allowed to impose tariffs on such dumped products to provide a level-playing field to domestic manufacturers.
How is it different from CVD?
- Anti-dumping duty is different from countervailing duty. The latter is imposed in order to counter the negative impact of import subsidies to protect domestic producers.
- Countervailing Duties (CVDs) are tariffs levied on imported goods to offset subsidies made to producers of these goods in the exporting country.
- CVDs are meant to level the playing field between domestic producers of a product and foreign producers of the same product who can afford to sell it at a lower price because of the subsidy they receive from their government.
- About DGTR.
- What is anti dumping duty?
- What is CVD?
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 4
Topics Covered: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct.
- The Sircilla collector and his two subordinates were sentenced to three months’ jail by the Telangana high court for wilful violation of the court’s order in a contempt case.
- The court also imposed a penalty of Rs 2,000 and directed the convicted officials to pay Rs 10,000 towards legal costs to each of the 11 farmers who moved the court against the errant officials.
What’s the issue?
Petitioners said land and houses were taken over by the state for constructing Ananthagiri reservoir as part of its Kaleswaram irrigation project.
- They were dispossessed from their fields without awarding compensation and rehabilitation as laid down under the land acquisition Act, 2013.
- Upon completion of the construction of the reservoir, water was released from it resulting in the submergence of their fields and houses.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP):
- India and Norway agree to conduct marine spatial planning in Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
- This is a part of the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in 2019.
- Lakshadweep and Puducherry have been identified as pilot sites for the project.
- Organised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
- Udyog Manthan is a series of focused webinars on promoting quality and productivity in Indian industry.
- It will cover various sectors including pharma, medical devices, closed circuit camera, electronics system design and manufacturing, new and renewable energy, robotics, aerospace and defence, toys, furniture, etc.
EX Desert FLAG VI:
- Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the United Arab Emirates Air Force.
- The Indian Air Force is participating for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag-VI along with the air forces of the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain.
- The Nag River is a river flowing through the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra, India.
- It is known for providing the etymology for the name Nagpur.
- Forming a part of the Kanhan-Pench river system, the Nag River originates in Lava hills near wadi.
The Nag River Pollution Abatement Project has been approved at a cost of Rs. 2,117.54 crores.
- It will be implemented by the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD).
Articles Covered Previously:
- ICC opens probe into war crimes in Palestinian areas: