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. GI certified Jalgaon banana.
2. BRICS Network University.
3. Drone Survey Mandatory for All National Highways Projects.
4. National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC).
5. AdiPrashikshan Portal.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has decided its agenda for the following year.
Because a consensus could not be built, the subject of vaccine production and distribution was not accepted as one of the agendas of the PAC for this year.
- As per the panel’s rules, no subject can be deliberated upon till there is a consensus among all members.
- The PAC is formed every year with a strength of not more than 22 members of which 15 are from Lok Sabha and 7 from Rajya Sabha.
- The term of office of the members is one year.
- The Chairman is appointed by the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Since 1967, the chairman of the committee is selected from the opposition.
- Its chief function is to examine the audit report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) after it is laid in the Parliament.
It is the oldest of all House panels. The Committee on Public Accounts was first set up in 1921 in the wake of the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms.
Limitations of the Public Accounts Committee:
- Broadly, it cannot intervene in the questions of policy.
- It can keep a tab on the expenses only after they are incurred. It has no power to limit expenses.
- It cannot intervene in matters of day-to-day administration.
- Any recommendation that the committee makes is only advisory. They can be ignored by the ministries.
- It is not vested with the power of disallowance of expenditures by the departments.
- Being only an executive body; it cannot issue an order. Only the Parliament can take a final decision on its findings.
Do you know why CAG has been re-appointed as the Chairman of the Panel of External Auditors of the United Nations (for the year 2021). Read Here
- Difference between Parliamentary vs Cabinet committees.
- Standing vs select vs finance committees.
- Who appoints chairperson and members of these committees?
- Committees exclusive to only Lok Sabha.
- Committees where Speaker is the chairperson.
What are Parliamentary Standing committees? Why are they necessary? Discuss their roles and functions to bring out their significance.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Issues related to health.
A virtual high-level event on ‘Global Drive to Scale up TB Prevention’ was recently organized by WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme.
- The purpose of this special high-level event was to discuss key actions needed at the global and country-level to scale up TB prevention strategies and drive progress towards achieving the 2022 UN High-Level Meeting target on TB preventive treatment.
What is TB?
- TB is an infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- It typically affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect other sites.
- The disease is spread when people who are sick with pulmonary TB expel bacteria into the air, for example by coughing.
India’s efforts in this regard:
- India is aggressively implementing its fully-funded National Strategic Plan to End TB.
- In the last few years, 50 million people have been treated.
- India seeks to achieve national scale-up of TB preventive treatment (TPT).
- It also seeks to achieve the UN High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) targets of 40 million persons started on TB treatment and 30 million on TPT globally in the remaining 18 months.
- Sub-national Certification of States and Districts instituted in 2020- The initiative marks districts/States-UTs on “Progress towards TB Free Status” under different categories measured with graded milestones of decline in TB incidence.
India’s Annual TB Report 2020:
- 20.04 lakh notified TB patients in 2019 in India, which is a 14% increase from 2018.
- Reduction in the number of missing cases to 2.9 lakh cases as against more than 10 lakhs in 2017.
- Private sector notifications increased by 35% with 6.78 lakh TB patients notified.
- Proportion of children diagnosed with TB increased to 8% in 2019 compared to 6% in 2018.
- Provision of HIV testing for all notified TB patients increased from 67% in 2018 to 81% in 2019.
- Expansion of treatment services has resulted in a 12% improvement in the treatment success rate of notified patients. For 2019, it is 81% compared to 69% in 2018.
- SDG on TB reduction.
- What is NTEP and the goal under it?
- About Central TB Division.
- Annual TB report is released by?
- What is TB? How is it caused?
“India’s TB report must be seen in light of the country’s slide in Hunger Index”, critically analyse the statement in the light of recently released Annual India Tuberculosis (TB) report.
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
8th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus was held recently
- It is being hosted by Brunei as it is the chair of the ASEAN grouping this year.
About ADMM- Plus:
Consistent with the ADMM guiding principles of open and outward looking, the 2nd ADMM in Singapore in 2007 adopted the Concept Paper to establish the ADMM-Plus.
The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region.
- Eight Dialogue Partners are Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the USA (collectively referred to as the “Plus Countries”).
- It aims to promote mutual trust and confidence between defence establishments through greater dialogue and transparency.
Agreed five areas of practical cooperation under this mechanism are:
- Maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations and military medicine.
In 2013, a new priority area of humanitarian mine action was agreed.
Do you know about SASEAN? Read here (briefly)
- What is ADMM?
- What is ADMM plus?
- Areas of Cooperation under ADMM- Plus.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Infrastructure.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $484 million loan to improve transport connectivity and facilitate industrial development in the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in the state of Tamil Nadu.
- CKIC is part of India’s East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), which stretches from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu.
What is an industrial corridor?
- An industrial corridor is basically a corridor consisting of multi-modal transport services that would pass through the states as main arteries.
- Industrial corridors offer effective integration between industry and infrastructure, leading to overall economic and social development.
Industrial corridors constitute world-class infrastructure, such as:
- High-speed transportation network – rail and road.
- Ports with state-of-the-art cargo handling equipment.
- Modern airports.
- Special economic regions/industrial areas.
- Logistic parks/transhipment hubs.
- Knowledge parks focused on catering to industrial needs.
- Complementary infrastructure such as townships/real estate.
Significance of Industrial corridors:
Enhanced connectivity of industrial hubs with hinterland and ports will particularly help increase the participation of Indian manufacturing in global production networks and global value chains, thereby creating jobs along the corridor.
Following eleven industrial corridor projects have been identified and approved for development by the Government of India:
- Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)
- Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC)
- Extension of CBIC to Kochi via Coimbatore
- Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC)
- Hyderabad Nagpur Industrial Corridor (HNIC)
- Hyderabad Warangal Industrial Corridor (HWIC)
- Hyderabad Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (HBIC)
- Bengaluru Mumbai Industrial Corridor (BMIC)
- East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) with Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) as Phase-1
- Odisha Economic Corridor (OEC)
- Delhi Nagpur Industrial Corridor (DNIC)
The development of these eleven industrial corridor projects will be implemented through the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT).
Do you know about National Investment & Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs)? Read here
- Greenfield vs Brownfield projects.
- What are Industrial Corridors?
Discuss the need for and significance of Industrial corridors.
Topics Covered: Infrastructure- waterways.
The Union Cabinet has given the nod to the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021, which will replace the Inland Vessels Act, 1917.
- The Bill will regulate safety, security and registration of inland vessels.
Key features of the Bill:
- It provides for a unified law for the entire country, instead of separate rules framed by the States.
- The certificate of registration granted under the proposed law will be deemed to be valid in all States and Union Territories, and there will be no need to seek separate permissions from the States.
- The Bill provides for a central data base for recording the details of vessel, vessel registration, crew on an electronic portal.
- It requires all mechanically propelled vessels to be mandatorily registered. All non-mechanically propelled vessels will also have to be enrolled at district, taluk or panchayat or village level.
Inland Water Transport (IWT) in India:
- India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc.
- IWT is a fuel-efficient and environment-friendly mode.
- As per the National Waterways Act 2016, 111 waterways have been declared as National Waterways (NWs).
- The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is implementing the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) at an estimated cost of ₹5369.18 crores for capacity augmentation of navigation on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of Ganga (part of NW-1) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank.
Do you know what International Waterways are? Read Here
- Important waterways.
- Their locations.
- About JMVP.
- About IWAI.
Discuss the significance of National Waterways.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
The Union Cabinet has approved the long pending Deep Ocean Mission.
About the Mission:
The mission proposes to explore the deep ocean similar to the space exploration started by ISRO about 35 years ago.
The focus of the mission will be on deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics related technologies.
- The mission is expected to cost ₹4,077 crore over the next five years.
- The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal Ministry implementing this multi-institutional mission.
Key Components of the mission:
- A manned submersible will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools. An Integrated Mining System will be developed for mining polymetallic nodules at those depths in the central Indian Ocean.
- Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services.
- Development of a component for searching deep sea flora and fauna, including microbes, and studying ways to sustainably utilise them.
- The next component is to explore and identify potential sources of hydrothermal minerals that are sources of precious metals formed from the earth’s crust along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
- It has a component for studying and preparing detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants.
- The final component is aimed at grooming experts in the field of ocean biology and engineering. This component aims to translate research into industrial applications and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.
- The mission will give a boost to efforts to explore India’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.
- The plan will enable India to develop capabilities to exploit resources in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB).
India has been allotted 75,000 square kilometres in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by UN International Sea Bed Authority for exploration of poly-metallic nodules.
- CIOB reserves contain deposits of metals like iron, manganese, nickel and cobalt.
- It is envisaged that 10% of recovery of that large reserve can meet the energy requirement of India for the next 100 years.
What are PMN?
Polymetallic nodules (also known as manganese nodules) are potato-shaped, largely porous nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor of world oceans in deep sea.
Composition: Besides manganese and iron, they contain nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium, of which nickel, cobalt and copper are considered to be of economic and strategic importance.
Do you know about Hydrothermal vents? Read Here
Can sea-floor hydrothermal vents pump out rare-earth elements dissolved in their hot fluids? Read Here
- What is deep sea mining?
- What are PMNs?
- Location of the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB).
- Functions of the UN International Sea Bed Authority.
Discuss the need for and significance of ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to be launched by India.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
GI certified Jalgaon banana:
- In 2016, Jalgaon Banana got GI certification which was registered with Nisargraja Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Jalgaon.
- Jalgaon district is in Maharashtra.
- India is the world’s leading producer of bananas with a share of around 25% in total output.
- Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh contribute more than 70% of the country’s banana production.
BRICS Network University:
- BRICS Network University is a union of higher education institutions of the five BRICS member countries, formed with the objective of enhancing educational cooperation in general, and especially in the realm of research and innovation.
- IIT Bombay is the lead institution of India for the BRICS Network University.
Drone Survey Mandatory for All National Highways Projects:
- National Highways Authority of India, under Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has made mandatory use of drones for monthly video recording of National Highway projects during all stages of development, construction, operation and maintenance.
- Contractors and Concessionaires shall carry out the drone video recording in presence of Team Leader of the Supervision Consultant and upload comparative project videos of the current and last month on NHAI’s portal ‘Data Lake’.
National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC):
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ministry of Culture have signed an MoU for Cooperation in Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat.
- NMHC would be developed as an international tourist destination, where the maritime heritage of India from ancient to modern times would be showcased.
- The unique feature of NMHC is the recreation of ancient Lothal city, which is one of the prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization dating to 2400 BC.
ADI PRASHIKSHAN portal is a Central Repository of all training programs conducted by Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), different divisions of Ministry, National Society for Education of Tribal Students (NESTS), Centre of Excellences funded by Ministry of Tribal Affairs and National Tribal Research Institute.
- VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events in Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016.
- It is jointly organised by Publicis Groupe – a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate and Les Echos – a leading French media group.
- The event brings together stakeholders in technology innovation and the startup ecosystem and includes exhibitions, awards, panel discussions and startup contests.
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