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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. 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs


Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Govt amends Cable TV network rules.

2. What is hallmarking of gold, and for whom is it now mandatory?


GS Paper 3:

1. Neutrinos.

2. Three Chinese astronauts enter space station after successful docking operation.

3. What loss of safe harbour means for Twitter?


Facts for Prelims:

1. What is Juneteenth?

2. Kerala’s SilverLine project.

3. Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India.

GS Paper  :  2


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Govt amends Cable TV network rules:


The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has amended the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 regulating Cable TV networks, providing for a “statutory” mechanism for complaints raised by citizens regarding any content broadcast.

Overview of Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021:

  1. It provides for a three-level grievance redressal mechanism — self-regulation by broadcasters, self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the broadcasters, and oversight by an Inter-Departmental Committee at the level of the Union government.

Procedure for grievance redressal:

  1. A viewer can file a complaint directly to the broadcaster, who will have to respond within 15 days.
  2. If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, the complaint can be escalated to the self-regulating bodies set up by TV channels, which should deal with the case in 60 days.
  3. If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the self-regulating body, he may, within 15 days of such decision, prefer an appeal to the Central Government for its consideration under the Oversight Mechanism.
  4. Such appeals will be dealt with by the Inter-Departmental Committee set up under the Oversight Mechanism.

Composition of the committee:

The committee will be headed by the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and have members from various ministries.

Powers of the committee:

  1. Recommend the Centre to advise, issue a warning, censure, admonish or reprimand a broadcaster, or seek an apology.
  2. Ask the broadcaster to include a warning card or a disclaimer, or to delete or modify content, or take the channel or a programme off-air for a specified time period, where it is satisfied that such action is warranted.

Present Grievance redressal mechanism:

At present, there is an institutional mechanism by way of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to address the grievances of citizens relating to the violation of the Programme/Advertising Codes under the Rules, but it does not have statutory backing.

Significance of the new rules:

  1. It paves the way “for a strong institutional system for redressing grievances.
  2. It places accountability and responsibility on the broadcasters and their self-regulating bodies.

About the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995:

  1. The law prescribes imprisonment up to two years or fine up to ₹1,000 or both for the first offence, and imprisonment up to five years and with fine up to ₹5,000 if any media governed under the CTN Act violates the provisions and the “Programme Code”.
  2. The code, which contains an elaborate list of don’ts for cable TV channels, states that no programme should be aired that contains anything obscene, defamatory, false, and suggests innuendos and half-truths.


Insta Curious: 

  1. Did you know about the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF)? Read Here (briefly) 
  2. Does IBF also cover Digital streaming platforms? Read Here



  1. About the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
  2. Latest amendments.
  3. Composition of the Inter-Departmental Committee.
  4. Functions of the committee.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for and significance of the latest amendments.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

What is hallmarking of gold, and for whom is it now mandatory?


The government has announced the phased implementation of mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery with effect from June 16.


In the first phase, gold hallmarking will be available in only in 256 districts and jewellers having annual turnover above Rs 40 lakh will come under its purview.

What is hallmarking of gold?

Hallmarking is the “accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles.

  • So, it is like a “guarantee of purity or fineness” of precious metal articles.

The Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) operates gold and silver hallmarking scheme in India.

Metals covered under the purview of hallmarking:

  1. Gold jewellery and gold artefacts.
  2. Silver jewellery and silver artefacts.


  1. Export and re-import of jewellery as per Trade Policy of Government of India — Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions.
  2. Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery such as Kundan, Polki and Jadau.

What was the need of making hallmarking mandatory?

  1. India is the biggest consumer of gold. However, the level of hallmarked jewellery is very low in the country- only 30% of Indian gold jewellery is hallmarked. Main reason behind this is non-availability of sufficient assaying and hallmarking centres (A&HC).
  2. The mandatory hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments.
  3. It will also help to get the purity as marked on the ornaments.
  4. It will bring in transparency and assure the consumers of quality.


Insta Curious: 

Why is the gold which has come from Yanomami territory called Blood Gold? Read here, 



Prelims Link:

  1. About Hallmarking.
  2. Implementing agency.
  3. Applicability.
  4. Exceptions.
  5. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for hallmarking of gold in India.

Sources: Indian Express.

GS Paper  :  2


Topics covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.



Scientists have shown that the geometry of space-time can cause neutrinos to oscillate.

(Note: Technical details related are not that important; however, you need to know about Neutrinos and their features.)

What are neutrinos?

Detected for the first time in 1959, neutrinos are the second most abundant particles in the world, after photons, or the light particle.

Neutrinos are mysterious particles, produced copiously in nuclear reactions in the Sun, stars, and elsewhere.

They also “oscillate”– meaning that different types of neutrinos change into one another.

  • Probing of oscillations of neutrinos and their relations with mass are crucial in studying the origin of the universe.


Neutrinos are created by various radioactive decays; during a supernova, by cosmic rays striking atoms etc.

Features of neutrinos:

  1. Neutrinos interact very weakly with everything else – trillions of them pass through every human being every second without anyone noticing.
  2. A neutrino’s spin always points in the opposite direction of its motion.
  3. It is now generally believed that the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations require neutrinos to have tiny masses.


Insta Curious: 

Can you name some of the major neutrino observatories/experiments of the world? Read Here



Prelims Link:

  1. What are neutrinos?
  2. Features.
  3. Neutrinos vs Photons.
  4. What are fermions?

Sources: PIB.


Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Three Chinese astronauts enter space station after successful docking operation:


Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship has successfully docked with China’s space station core module Tianhe and entered the orbital capsule.

About China’s Space Station:

  • The new multi-module Tiangong station is set to be operational for at least 10 years.
  • Tianhe is one of three main components of what would be China’s first self-developed space station, rivalling the only other station in service – the ISS.
  • The space station will operate in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 340-450 km above Earth’s surface.

Significance of the space station:

  1. The low orbit space station would be the country’s eye from the sky, providing round the clock bird’s-eye view for its astronauts on the rest of the world.
  2. It shall aid China’s aim to become a major space power by 2030.


China’s space station will be equipped with a robotic-arm over which the US has raised concerns for its possible military applications.

  • The Concern is that this technology “could be used in a future system for grappling other satellites”.

Other space stations:

  • The only space station currently in orbit is the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is backed by the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada.
  • So far, China has sent two previous space stations into orbit- the Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 were trial stations.
  • India is planning to launch its own space station by 2030.


Insta Curious: 

What is Molniya orbit? Read Here (Briefly)



Prelims Link:

  1. About ISS.
  2. Countries involved.
  3. Objectives.
  4. Previous space stations.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the International Space Station.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

What loss of safe harbour means for Twitter?


According to some media reports, Twitter has lost its intermediary status in India over non-compliance of the new IT rules that came into effect on May 26.

What does intermediary status mean?

As per Section 2 (1) of the Information Technology Act, an intermediary is a person/entity that receives, stores and transmits information or provides service for transmission of information.

  • This includes telecom service providers, network service providers, internet service providers, search engines, online payment sites, online-auction sites, online-marketplaces and even cyber cafes.

Please note, intermediary status is not a registration granted by the government.

Benefits of this status:

Intermediaries like Twitter are protected under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act that states that they cannot be held liable for the third party content published on their platform as long as they comply with the legal order to take down content from courts or other authorities.

What is safe harbour protection?

Consider, a user’s tweets go viral and that results in death or violence. Now, under safe harbour protection Twitter cannot be held liable just because of it. However, they will have to take down the content if they get a legal order from the court or authorities. This is what termed as safe harbour protection.

How does this impact Twitter, then?

In the short run, since the protection accorded to Twitter under Section 79 of the IT Act is now gone, it opens up the platform to the possibility of any and all penal action that is likely to be taken against it as a publisher of content.

  • This means that if someone puts out any content on Twitter that leads to some form of violence, or violates any Indian law with respect to content, not only the person that has put out the tweet will be held responsible, even Twitter will be legally liable for the content as it no longer has the protection.

Who will decide intermediary status?

It is the courts, not the government, who will decide on whether Twitter or other social media intermediaries can lose this status under law.

Why do platforms want safe harbour?

Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which have millions of users, argue that they cannot possibly be aware of every post, just as the managing director of Amazon does not always know all the items being sold on the online marketplace.

  • As a result, they cannot be held liable. Removing safe harbour protections would mean that the platforms have to actively police and sensor whatever content is available on their services, which in turn could violate free speech and other fundamental rights.

What is the argument against safe harbour?

There’s an argument that by using ranking algorithms to determine what gets seen on their platforms, these firms are making editorial judgements.



Do you know what passive intermediaries are? Read Here



Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of the new rules.
  2. Who are intermediaries as per the definition?
  3. What is safe harbour protection?
  4. Grievance redressal mechanism as provided under the new rules.

Mains Link:

What are the concerns being raised against the new IT rules? Discuss ways to address these concerns.

Sources: Indian Express.


Facts for Prelims:

What is Juneteenth?

US Government has recognised Juneteenth, or June 19th, as a federal holiday.

What is Juneteenth?

  1. The day is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US and is observed on June 19.
  2. It is also known as Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day.
  3. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery. Since then, Juneteenth has become a largely symbolic date representing freedom for African Americans.

Kerala’s SilverLine project:

  • It is Kerala’s flagship semi high-speed railway project aimed at reducing travel time between the state’s northern and southern ends.
  • It links Kerala’s southern end and state capital Thiruvananthapuram with its northern end of Kasaragod.
  • The line is proposed to be 529.45 kms long, covering 11 districts.
  • The project is being executed by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL). KRDCL, or K-Rail, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways.

Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India:

  • It has been published by Space Application Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad.
  • The Atlas provides state wise area of degraded lands for the time frame 2018-19.
  • It was released on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, observed on 17 June.
  • The theme for 2021 is “Restoration. Land. Recovery. We build back better with healthy land”.



Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Move to corporatise the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

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