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:
Facts for Prelims:
1. Operation Pangea XIV.
2. GI certified mangoes in News.
3. CESL and Ladakh sign an MoU to make the Union Territory carbon neutral.
4. Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan.
5. YUVA: Prime Minister’s Scheme For Mentoring Young Authors.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
The monsoon session of Parliament is expected to begin on schedule in July.
- The last session of Parliament was curtailed and ended sine die on March 25 and under the Constitutional norms, the next session has to be held within six months. This period ends on September 14.
Three sessions have been curtailed since the pandemic began in March last year. First of these was the Budget session of 2020. The winter session last year was also cut short. Last year, the monsoon session, which usually starts in July, began in September.
What the Constitution says?
- Article 85 requires that there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of Parliament.
- Please note, the Constitution does not specify when or for how many days Parliament should meet.
The power to convene a session of Parliament rests with the government. The decision is taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs. The decision of the Committee is formalised by the President, in whose name MPs are summoned to meet for a session.
Why is a Parliamentary Session important?
- Law-making is dependent on when Parliament meets.
- Also, a thorough scrutiny of the government’s functioning and deliberation on national issues can only take place when the two Houses are in session.
- Predictability in the functioning of Parliament is key to a well-functioning democracy.
- Do you know, Half the world’s population is under 30 and yet only 2.6% of MPs globally represent this age group? Read Here
- Read Briefly about Inter-Parliamentary Union. (CLICK HERE)
- Who can Summon the Parliament?
- Article 85.
- Sessions of the Parliament.
- For how many days in a year the Parliament has to meet?
- Who chairs the joint sitting of the Parliament?
Why is a Parliamentary Session important? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
The Rengma Nagas in Assam have written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding an autonomous district council amid a decision by the Central and the State governments to upgrade the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) into a territorial council.
What’s the issue? What are the demands?
With Assam government on verge of inking peace Accord with KarbiAnglong based militant outfits, NSCN-IM stated any agreement that victimize the Rengma Nagas would not be acceptable.
- The issue in focus is Karbi Anglong, erstwhile known as Rengma Hills. Rengma Hills are made the victims of aggressive influx of outsiders for vested interests.
- The Rengma Hills was partitioned in 1963 between Assam and Nagaland at the time of creation of Nagaland State.
What are Autonomous District Council?
As per the Sixth Schedule, the four states viz. Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram contain the Tribal Areas which are technically different from the Scheduled Areas.
Though these areas fall within the executive authority of the state, provision has been made for the creation of the District Councils and regional councils for the exercise of the certain legislative and judicial powers.
- Each district is an autonomous district and Governor can modify / divide the boundaries of the said Tribal areas by notification.
The Governor may, by public notification:
(a) Include any area.
(b) exclude any area.
(c) create a new autonomous district.
(d) increase the area of any autonomous district.
(e) diminish the area of any autonomous district.
(f) alter the name of any autonomous district.
(g) define the boundaries of any autonomous district.
Constitution of District Councils and Regional Councils:
(1) There shall be a District Council for each autonomous district consisting of not more than thirty members, of whom not more than four persons shall be nominated by the Governor and the rest shall be elected on the basis of adult suffrage.
(2) There shall be a separate Regional Council for each area constituted an autonomous region.
(3) Each District Council and each Regional Council shall be a body corporate by the name respectively of the District Council of (name of district) and the Regional Council of (name of region), shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and shall by the said name sue and be sued.
Related to Autonomous Areas:
Know a few Autonomous areas created by International agreements. Read Here
- What is an autonomous district council?
- Who constitutes them?
- Powers and roles?
- What are regional councils?
- Composition of these councils?
- How many states are covered under 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Important international organisations.
About the UN Secretary General:
The UN Charter describes the Secretary-General as “chief administrative officer” of the Organization, who shall act in that capacity and perform “such other functions as are entrusted” to them by the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and other United Nations organs.
- The Charter also empowers the Secretary-General to bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in their opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.
The Security Council recommends a candidate for the General Assembly’s 193 members to appoint. Although all UN members get a voice in the secretary-general’s selection, the five permanent members of the Security Council hold the most influence. Any one of them can eliminate a nominee with a veto.
Issues/challenges with the office of UN Secretary General:
- The UN Charter doesn’t clearly define the functions and powers of the Secretary General.
- Selection is not done entirely on merit and transparency.
- Critics of the appointment process say it lacks transparency and falls prey to cronyism due to the permanent Security Council members’ veto power and their secret negotiations over candidates.
- The secretary-general often struggles to balance the interests of other large funders and powerful member states as well.
Significance of the office:
- Peacekeeping: The secretary-general’s office oversees peacekeeping missions and appoints the undersecretary in charge of that department.
- Mediation: As part of the “good offices” responsibility of the position, the secretary-general practices independence and impartiality to prevent and limit conflict.
While the General Assembly or Security Council may initiate a peacekeeping mission, operational control rests with the Secretariat. Read this to understand more about the responsibilities of the secretary-general.
- About UNSC.
- Election of UN Secretary General.
- Functions and powers.
Discuss the issues associated with the office of UN Secretary General.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
Virtual BRICS Foreign Ministers was held recently.
- At the end of the meeting two statements were issued on the “Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations” and another on “BRICS Joint Statement on Strengthening and Reforming the Multilateral System”.
What has China said on BRICS and its intended objectives?
- BRICS countries pursue openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and reject “bloc politics and ideological confrontation”.
- The BRICS countries, as emerging markets and developing countries, are indeed different from a few developed countries in their attitude towards multilateralism and multilateral cooperation.
- The BRICS countries stress the need to observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and oppose exceptionalism and double standard.
What do these statements indicate/suggest?
- These statements clearly reveal that China is opposed to the formation of the Quad grouping amongst the US, India, Australia and Japan.
- It believes this group is targeting or harming the interests of third parties.
- BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- In 2001, the British Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
- The grouping was formalised during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers’ in 2006.
- South Africa was invited to join BRIC in December 2010, after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS.
- The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
Cooperation Mechanism: Cooperation among members is achieved through:
- Track I: Formal diplomatic engagement between the national governments.
- Track II: Engagement through government-affiliated institutions, e.g. state-owned enterprises and business councils.
- Track III: Civil society and People-to-People engagement.
India and BRICS:
- From the Indian perspective, BRICS has emerged the voice of developing countries, or the global south.
- With raising challenges on issues from WTO to climate change, New Delhi believes BRICS has to protect the rights of the developing countries.
- BRICS has put counter-terrorism on top of the agenda, this has been a success for India.
- Did you know that India has assumed the BRICS Presidency from January 2021?
- The acronym similar to the term BRIC: Do you know what MINTs is? Read Here
- Do you know What Next Eleven is? Read Here
- About BRICS.
- Organisations and groups associated with BRICS.
Discuss the significance and relevance of BRICS for India.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Operation Pangea XIV:
- A record number of fake online pharmacies have been shut down under Operation Pangea XIV targeting the sale of counterfeit and illicit medicines and medical products.
- The operation coordinated by INTERPOL involved police, customs and health regulatory authorities from 92 countries.
- It resulted in 113,020 web links including websites and online marketplaces being closed down or removed, the highest number since the first Operation Pangea in 2008.
GI certified mangoes in News:
Sixteen varieties of mangoes including three GI certified varieties exported to Bahrain from West Bengal & Bihar.
- These include GI certified Khirsapati & Lakshmanbhog (West Bengal), Zardalu (Bihar).
CESL and Ladakh sign an MoU to make the Union Territory carbon neutral:
Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Administration of Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh, to make it a clean and green UT.
- CESL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under Ministry of Power.
Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan:
NITI Aayog & Piramal Foundation have launched Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan in 112 Aspirational Districts.
- Campaign Will Provide Covid Home-Care Support to 20 Lakh Citizens.
- The Abhiyaan is being part of a special initiative, Aspirational Districts Collaborative, in which local leaders, civil societies and volunteers work with district administrations to address emerging problems across key focus areas of the Aspirational Districts Programme.
YUVA: Prime Minister’s Scheme For Mentoring Young Authors:
- It is a national Scheme For Mentoring Young Authors’ to encourage youngsters to harness their writing skills.
- This scheme will ensure creating a pool of authors of below 30 years who are ready to express themselves and project India on any international platform, as well as it will help in projecting Indian culture and literature globally.
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