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:
1. Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.
2. Who are UN Special Rapporteurs?
3. Justice A.K. Mishra to head NHRC.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Issues related to health.
China has reported the world’s first human infection of the H10N3 bird flu strain.
About H10N3 bird flu:
H10N3 is a type of bird flu or avian flu. These illnesses are common in wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.
Spread and transmission:
Infected birds shed avian flu in their saliva, mucus, and poop, and humans can get infected when enough of the virus gets in the eyes, nose, or mouth, or is inhaled from infected droplets or dust.
Is it a cause for concern?
Health authorities have played down the outbreak, saying the case was a sporadic virus transmission from poultry to humans, and the risk of causing a pandemic was extremely low.
- H10N3 is a low pathogenic or relatively less severe strain of the virus in poultry and the risk of it spreading on a large scale is very low.
How to prevent the spread of H10N3 among people’?
- People should avoid contact with sick or dead poultry and avoid direct contact with live birds as much as possible.
- People must pay attention to food hygiene at the moment.
- People should wear masks and improve self-protection awareness, while constantly monitoring fever and respiratory symptoms.
Different strains of bird flu:
Several strains of bird flu have been found among animals in China but mass outbreaks in humans are rare.
- The last human epidemic of bird flu in China occurred in late 2016 to 2017, with the H7N9 virus.
- H5N8 is a subtype of the Influenza A virus (also known as the bird flu virus). While H5N8 only presents a low risk to humans, it is highly lethal to wild birds and poultry.
- In April, a highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu was found in wild birds in northeast China’s Shenyang city.
Influenza viruses are classified into subtypes based on two surface proteins, Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). For example, a virus that has an HA 7 protein and NA 9 protein is designated as subtype H7N9.
- Did you know India has been declared free of Avian Influenza (H5N1) in 2019? Read here:
- Do you know the highly virulent and contagious form of Bird flu is called Fowl plague? Read here
- Know about Influenza pandemic of 1918–19/ Spanish flu :READ HERE
- When a country is declared free from Avian Influenza, who declares it?
- H5N1 vs H5N6 vs H9N2 vs H5N8.
- About H10N3.
Write a note on Bird Flu. Discuss how it can be prevented.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Supreme Court is suo motu examining ways to protect children who have suffered personal loss and trauma due to the pandemic.
- In this regard, On May 28, the Court directed the Centre to state welfare measures for the children orphaned by the pandemic.
- The NCPCR and the States were also asked to compile data identifying children in need of immediate care.
Based on Bal Swaraj, an online tracking portal, NCPCR made the following submissions:
- Nearly 10,000 children in the country are in immediate need of care and protection.
- They include children aged between zero and 17 orphaned or abandoned during the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.
- These children ran a high risk of being pushed into trafficking and flesh trade.
Need for special attention:
The cataclysmic COVID-19 pandemic devastated the vulnerable sections of society. There are a number of children who have become orphans due to the demise of either the breadwinner of the family or of both their parents. These children need immediate and special attention from the authorities.
- Set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
- It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
- The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Under the RTE Act, 2009, the NCPCR can:
- inquire into complaints about violation of the law.
- summon an individual and demand evidence.
- seek a magisterial enquiry.
- file a writ petition in the High Court or Supreme Court.
- approach the government concerned for prosecution of the offender.
- recommend interim relief to those affected.
This commission has a chairperson and six members of which at least two should be women.
- All of them are appointed by Central Government for three years.
- The maximum age to serve in commission is 65 years for Chairman and 60 years for members.
- Related to Child Right & Protection: Do you know there is no Central law banning corporal punishment? Different States, however, have enacted laws or made policies to ban it. Read Here
- NCPCR- composition and functions.
- Powers of NCPCR under RTE Act.
- Highlights of RTE Act.
- Children covered under RTE.
- About Bal Swaraj.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
The High Court of Karnataka has said that there is a complete failure on the part of the State government to comply with its statutory obligation of establishing old-age homes as per the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
Is it mandatory for the state to set up such homes as per the law?
Section 19 of the law says, the State Government may establish and maintain such number of oldage homes at accessible places, as it may deem necessary, in a phased manner, beginning with at least one in each district .
- The State Government may also, prescribe a scheme for management of oldage homes.
What has the High Court said on this?
Though the Act states that the State governments “may” establish and maintain old-age homes, the Court said that depending upon various factors, while interpreting a statute, the word “may” can be interpreted as “shall” and vice versa.
Need for such homes:
Indigent senior citizens need protection considering the harsh reality of life, in which a large number of elderly persons are not being looked after by their families due to withering of the joint family system. Besides, ageing has become a major social challenge.
Overview of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007:
- This Act makes it legally obliging for adult children and heirs to provide for parents by way of a monthly allowance.
- This Act provides an inexpensive and speedy procedure to claim monthly maintenance for parents and senior citizens.
- According to this Act, parents could mean biological, adoptive or step-parents.
- Under this Act, there are also provisions to protect the life and property of such persons (elderly).
- Do you know, the UN 2020 theme observes 2020-2030 as Decade of Healthy ageing? Read Here
- Do you know , Surprisingly, older persons are not yet expressly identified as a protected group under international human rights law? Read More
- Who are Indigent senior citizens as per the act?
- Role of states as per the act.
- Other key features of the Act.
- Amendments proposed.
Ageing has become a major social challenge. Comment.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Lithuania has justified it’s decision to pull out of the China and Central & Eastern European (CEE) 17+1 mechanism, which is seen as a pro-China grouping of countries within the EU. It has also denied that the decision came because of U.S. pressure.
What was the main trigger for this decision?
- The ‘17 plus one’ format became a divisive forum; it was supposed to act as Europe’s one strong voice.
- Tensions between China and Lithuania have been building up over a number of issues: Lithuania’s new ties with Taiwan, its Parliament’s resolution on Uighurs, and then Chinese sanctions on Lithuanian and EU politicians.
- China has also decided to impose entry bans and sanctions against some European politicians and academics, and that has had an impact on EU-China relations.
What is the “17+1” initiative?
The 17+1 initiative is a China-led format founded in 2012 in Budapest with an aim to expand cooperation between Beijing and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) member countries, with investments and trade for the development of the CEE region.
- The framework also focuses on infrastructure projects such as bridges, motorways, railway lines and modernisation of ports in the member states.
What’s in it for China?
China’s narrative towards the 17+1 initiative is about improving its relations with the European countries that are less developed as compared to the Western European states.
- However, the platform is largely seen as an extension of China’s flagship Belt and Road initiative (BRI).
The initiative includes twelve EU member states and five Balkan states — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Related reading of China’s Policy:
- Do you know China’s One Country Two Systems Policy? Read Here
- Do you think One Country Two Systems policy to be a possible solution for the Israel-Palestine Conflict?
- What are Baltic nations?
- About the European Union.
- What is CEE 17+1 mechanism?
- About Belt and Road Initiative.
- Countries in Eurozone vs EU.
How China is marking its presence in and around Asia? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Indian economy.
Paytm’s stock has risen from ₹11,500 to ₹21,000 in four days in the grey market.
- This is in response to Paytm’s announcement that it will bring an initial public offer (IPO) worth USD 3 billion later this year.
What is an IPO grey market?
Generally, when companies wish to raise funds to fuel their growth, they sell a part of their stock on the stock market. This process is called an initial public offering, or IPO.
- But, an IPO grey market is an unofficial market where IPO shares or applications are bought and sold before they become available for trading on the stock market.
- It is also termed a parallel market or an over-the-counter market.
Is it legal? How is it governed?
Since it’s unofficial, inevitably, there are no regulations that govern it. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), stock exchanges, and brokers have no part to play in it. These transactions are undertaken in cash on a one-on-one basis.
What is the Kostak rate?
It relates to an IPO application. So, the rate at which an investor buys an IPO application before the listing is termed the Kostak rate.
Why do investors trade in the Grey Market?
- It’s an excellent opportunity for investors to purchase a company’s shares even before they are listed, especially if they feel that the company’s stock will increase in value.
- If an investor has missed the deadline for the IPO application or wishes to buy more shares then they can approach the IPO grey market.
What is in it for the companies?
- For companies, the grey market is a great way to know how the demand for their shares is and how the company’s shares might perform once it is listed.
- Apart from that, an IPO grey market could be used to gauge how the company’s stock will perform once it is listed.
The IPO grey market is an unofficial market that performs outside SEBI’s purview. Thus, there are no guarantees. All transactions are undertaken on the basis of trust and carry counterparty risk.
Therefore, there’s little legal recourse available to parties if the stock tanks.
Some more terminologies:
- What is an IPO?
- What are listed companies?
- What are primary and secondary markets?
- About Sebi.
Discuss the Concerns associated with grey markets in India.
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.
A petition was filed in the Supreme Court to invoke the National Security Act (NSA) against hoarding, profiteering, adulteration and black-marketing of COVID-19 essentials, including drugs and equipment.
Thousands of EWS and BPL citizens are dying on the streets, in vehicles, in hospital compounds and their homes due to hoarding of hospital beds, adulterated COVID medicines, black marketing of medical equipment like oxygen cylinders and huge profiteering in the sale of life-saving injections like Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, etc.” Therefore, these acts should be taken up seriously and the guilty should be punished.
About the National Security Act (NSA):
The NSA is a preventive detention law.
- Preventive Detention involves the detainment (containment) of a person in order to keep him/her from committing future crimes and/or from escaping future prosecution.
Article 22 (3) (b) of the Constitution allows for preventive detention and restriction on personal liberty for reasons of state security and public order.
Article 22(4)states that:
No law providing for preventive detention shall authorise the detention of a person for a longer period than three months unless:
- An Advisory Board reports sufficient cause for extended detention.
The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 has reduced the period of detention without obtaining the opinion of an advisory board from three to two months. However, this provision has not yet been brought into force, hence, the original period of three months still continues.
Period of Confinement:
- The maximum period for which one may be detained is 12 months. But the term can be extended if the government finds fresh evidence.
- A person can be held for 10 days without being told the charges against them. The person can appeal before a high court advisory board but will not be allowed a lawyer during the trial.
Concerns associated with the misuse of this law:
- Article 22 (1) of the Indian Constitution says an arrested person cannot be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice.
- According to Section 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC), any person arrested has to be informed of the grounds of arrest and has the right to bail.
However, under National Security Act, none of these rights are available to the person detained. The government holds the right to conceal information which it considers to be against public interest to disclose.
Do you know what Civil Law and Common Law are? Read here
- Who can invoke NSA?
- Appeals against preventive detention?
- Right to be informed the reason for arrest under this?
- Applicability of Constitutional rights in this regard.
- The writs under the constitution.
What is the National security act? Why is it termed as a draconian law? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine:
- The World Health Organization has approved the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. This is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the WHO’s green light.
- Last month Sinopharm became the first Chinese vaccine to be approved by the WHO.
- The listing paves the way for countries to quickly approve and import a vaccine for distribution, especially those states without an international-standard regulator of their own.
Who are UN Special Rapporteurs?
They are independent experts working on behalf of the United Nations. They work on a country or a thematic mandate specified by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
- They have mandates to report and advise on human rights (civil, cultural, economic, political, and social) from a thematic or country-specific perspective.
- Rapporteurs do not receive any financial compensation for their work from the United Nations.
Justice A.K. Mishra to head NHRC:
Former Supreme Court judge Arun Kumar Mishra will be new chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The appointment was made by the selection panel consisting of Prime Minister, Home Minister, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha Speaker and the Leader of Opposition.
NHRC, established in 1993, is an independent statutory body as per the provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993.
For details on NHRC, refer: Read here
- AmbiTAG is India’s first indigenous temperature data logger for cold chain management.
- It is an Internet-of-Things (IoT) device that records real-time ambient temperature during the transportation of perishable products, vaccines and even body organs and blood.
- Developed by IIT Ropar.
Articles to be covered tomorrow:
- DM Act is of 2005 vintage, was first enforced during pandemic.
- Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO).
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