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 1:
GS Paper 2:
GS Paper 3:
Facts for Prelims:
1. Deep Time Project.
GS Paper : 1
Topics Covered: World History.
U.S. President Joe Biden has officially recognised the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915-16 as “an act of genocide”.
Up to 1.5 million Armenians are estimated to have been killed in the early stage of the First World War within the territories of the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey has acknowledged that atrocities were committed against Armenians, but denies it was a genocide (which comes with legal implications) and challenges the estimates that 1.5 million were killed.
- The Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued a strong statement to Mr. Biden’s announcement saying it doesn’t not have “a scholarly and legal basis, nor is it supported by any evidence”.
What were the reasons behind?
- Armenians were victims of the great power contests of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- When the Ottoman Empire was in decline in the 19th century, Armenians were seen by the rulers in Constantinople as a fifth column.
- The resentment started building up after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78 in which the Turks lost territories.
- In the Treaty of Berlin, big powers dictated terms to the Ottomans, including putting pressure on Sultan Abdülhamid II to initiate reforms “in the provinces inhabited by Armenians, and to guarantee their security against the Circassians and Kurds.
- The Sultan saw this as a sign of strengthening ties between the Armenians and other rival countries, especially Russia.
- Later, in October 1914, Turkey joined the First World War on the side of Germany. The Ottomans suffered a catastrophic defeat in the Battle of Sarikamish by the Russians in January 1915.
- The Turks blamed the defeat on Armenian “treachery”.
Following this, there were a series of attacks on Armenians.
- Key events during world war 1.
- Who are Armenians?
- Where is turkey?
Turkey has acknowledged that atrocities were committed against Armenians, but denies it was a genocide. Comment.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
The PM CARES Fund has approved allocation of funds for setting up 551 Pressure Swing Adsorption medical oxygen generation plants at public health facilities across the country.
- The Fund had earlier this year allocated ₹201.58 crores for the installation of 162 such plants.
What is Pressure swing adsorption (PSA)?
- It is a technology used to separate some gas species from a mixture of gases under pressure according to the species’ molecular characteristics and affinity for an adsorbent material.
- It operates at near-ambient temperatures and differs significantly from cryogenic distillation techniques of gas separation.
- Specific adsorbent materials (e.g., zeolites, activated carbon, molecular sieves, etc.) are used as a trap, preferentially adsorbing the target gas species at high pressure.
- The process then swings to low pressure to desorb the adsorbed material.
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund was set up to accept donations and provide relief during the Covid-19 pandemic, and other similar emergencies.
- PM-CARES was set up as a public charitable trust with the trust deed registered on March 27, 2020.
- It can avail donations from the foreign contribution and donations to fund can also avail 100% tax exemption.
- PM-CARES is different from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
Who administers the fund?
Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund and Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.
- What is a public account?
- Who administers PM CARES fund?
- Which organisations are exempted from the ambit of RTI act?
- What is Consolidated fund of India?
- What is a charitable trust?
- About NDRF.
Discuss why PM CARES fund should be brought within the ambit of RTI act?
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Cyber security related issues.
The Union Home Ministry has said it does not maintain a centralised list of volunteers enrolled under the cybercrime volunteer programme since the police is a “State subject” under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
In response to a Right to Information Act (RTI) application on the total number of volunteers who have applied under the Cybercrime Volunteers Programme of the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal, the Ministry said the information could be sought directly from the respective States and Union Territories.
About the cybercrime volunteer programme:
Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has envisaged the Cyber Crime Volunteers Program to bring together citizens with passion to serve the nation on a single platform and contribute in the fight against cybercrime in the country.
The volunteers are registered, and their services utilised, by the respective State/UTs as per their requirement.
- The programme targets to rope in around 500 persons to flag unlawful content on the Internet.
Roles and functions:
- The volunteers shall “maintain strict confidentiality of tasks assigned/carried out by them”.
- The State Nodal Officer of States/UTs also reserves the right to take legal action against the Volunteer, in case of violation of terms and conditions of the Program.
- The volunteers are barred from issuing any public statement about their association with this program and are also “strictly prohibited” from using the name of Ministry of Home Affairs or claim to have an association with the ministry on any social media or public platform.
- No information available on how the Ministry will ensure that the program is not misused by certain elements to extract misguided personal or political vendettas.
- No process in place for withdrawal of complaints once submitted.
- No clear definition of unlawful content which would relate to “anti-national” activities.
- This may violate the decision of the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal v Union of India (2013) which highlights the need to ensure that overbroad restrictions on online speech are not used as a tool by the State to criminalise free speech on the internet.
- About I4C.
- Who are Cyber Volunteers?
- Roles and responsibilities.
Who are Cyber Volunteers? Discuss the Concerns associated with their roles and functions.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: IP Related issues.
Russia is planning to fly special planes with a wide range of COVID-related assistance including oxygen generators and concentrators as well as drugs needed for the treatment of the coronavirus that is ravaging many parts of India.
- However, Russia may have to hold off sending the drug Remdesivir owing to U.S. patent violations.
What’s the issue?
Exports of Remdesivir have run into trouble with U.S. licensing laws invoked by Remdesivir developer, California-based Gilead Sciences Inc.
- Remdesivir, that was cleared for COVID-19 treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2020, is being made in Russia after the government in Moscow decided to defy the international patent held by Gilead, and issued an ordinance allowing Russian company Pharmasyntez to manufacture the drug under a “compulsory licence”.
What is compulsory Licensing?
- Compulsory License is a licence issued/authorised by the government that allows the company or an individual seeking other’s intellectual property to use it (making, using and selling a patented product or employing a patented process) without having to seek the consent of the owner/the right holder, by paying a predetermined fee for the license.
- Indian Patents Act 1970 and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights deal with compulsory licensing.
- The application for a compulsory license can be made any time after 3 years from the date of sealing of a patent.
- What is compulsory Licensing?
- Provisions in India in this regard.
- Licensing issuing authority.
Discuss the need for compulsory Licensing.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Deep Time Project:
- The Deep Time project in France’s Lombrives Cave came to an end. As part of the project, a group of 15 people stayed in and explored the cave for 40 days and 40 nights.
- They slept in tents, made their own electricity, and had no contact with the outside world.
- The Deep Time project looked at how a lack of external touch affects one’s perception of time.
- Its aim was to investigate how people adjust to dramatic changes in their living conditions and environments.
- Scientists at the Human Adaption Institute leading the $1.5 million “Deep Time” project say the experiment will help them better understand how people adapt to drastic changes in living conditions and environments.
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