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. Baihetan Dam.
2. 2-DG oral drug.
4. Agni-P missile.
5. Fukuoka Grand Prize.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
The Union government has extended the tenure of Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal by a year. He will continue as the government’s top law officer till June 30, 2022.
Attorney General- Facts:
The Attorney General for India is the central government’s chief legal advisor, and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.
He is a part of the Union Executive.
Appointment and eligibility:
He is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution and holds office during the pleasure of the President.
- He must be a person qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
- He should be an Indian Citizen.
- He must have either completed 5 years in High Court of any Indian state as a judge or 10 years in High Court as an advocate.
- He may be an eminent jurist too, in the eye of the President.
Powers and Functions:
- The Attorney General is necessary for giving advice to the Government of India in legal matters referred to him. He also performs other legal duties assigned to him by the President.
- The Attorney General has the right of audience in all Courts in India as well as the right to participate in the proceedings of the Parliament, though not to vote.
- The Attorney General appears on behalf of Government of India in all cases (including suits, appeals and other proceedings) in the Supreme Court in which Government of India is concerned.
- He also represents the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.
- The Attorney General can accept briefs but cannot appear against the Government.
- He cannot defend an accused in the criminal proceedings and accept the directorship of a company without the permission of the Government.
- The Attorney General is assisted by Solicitor Generals and Additional Solicitor Generals.
Do you think the Attorney General of India has any executive Authority?
- Article 143 of the Constitution.
- Who appoints AG and SGs?
- The right of AG to participate in the proceedings of the Parliament?
- Who can be appointed as AG?
- Article 76(1) of the Constitution.
- The Union Executive consists of?
Discuss the roles and functions of AG.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The government has announced some fresh relief measures for the economy, the first such package after the second COVID-19 wave.
Focus of the latest package:
Extending loan guarantees and concessional credit for pandemic-hit sectors and investments to ramp up healthcare capacities.
Financial implications: ₹6,28,993 crore, representing about 3% of GDP.
Details of the measures:
- Expansion of the existing Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by ₹1.5 lakh crore.
- A new ₹7,500 crore scheme for loans up to ₹1.25 lakh to small borrowers through micro-finance institutions.
- A fresh loan guarantee facility of ₹1.1 lakh crore for healthcare investments in non-metropolitan areas and sectors such as tourism.
- A separate ₹23,220 crore has been allocated for public health with a focus on paediatric care, which will also be utilised for increasing ICU beds, oxygen supply and augmenting medical care professionals for the short term by recruiting final year students and interns.
- Indirect support for exports worth ₹1.21 lakh crore over the next five years.
- Free one-month visas for five lakh tourists.
- A new seed varieties for farmers.
Benefits/implications of these measures:
- The measures to keep enterprises afloat in the aftermath of COVID 2.0.
- The extension of ECLGS’s scope and coverage are expected to provide significant support to the cash flow of the stressed sectors.
- Tourism had been one of the most impacted sectors and the package would usher in much-needed liquidity and help revive the employment-intensive sector.
- The pinpoint focus on augmenting manpower and infrastructural resources for pediatric care is a welcome step and a new beginning.
Are these measures sufficient?
Experts believe that these measures would not tackle low demand, low GDP, high inflation and unemployment.
What needs to be done?
Ours is not an export-driven economy but a consumption-driven economy. Nearly 55% of our GDP is made up of consumption. And for consumption to go up, we need to put money in the hands of the people.
- Therefore, the need of the hour is to generate new demand and for that to happen, we need to increase consumption.
- Various sectors of the economy needed “hand holding and not expansion of credit”.
Need for these measures:
Various studies have shown that India’s middle class had shrunk by 3.2 crore and about 7.5 crore people were pushed below the poverty line in 2020. This is largely the impact of Pandemic.
Do you know what Direct Monetisation of deficit is? Read Here
- Overview of the measures announced.
- About the ECLGS.
- About the MUDRA Yojana.
Discuss about the significance of the measures announced.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Issues related to health.
The day June 26 was chosen by the UN General Assembly, on December 7, 1987, as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Objective: To create awareness about issues related to drugs and seek international cooperation to combat its effects on health, society, and governance.
Theme and its significance:
This year, the theme is ‘Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives’.
- According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the motive is to combat misinformation by sharing real facts on drugs — from health risks and solutions for the world drug problem to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care.
World Drug Report 2021:
- Around 275 million people used drugs globally in the last year. Over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders.
- Rise in the use of cannabis during the pandemic has been reported by most countries.
- Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs has also been observed in the same period.
- The latest global estimates say, about 5.5 per cent of the population between 15 and 64 years have used drugs at least once in the past year.
- Over 11 million people globally are estimated to inject drugs – half of them have Hepatitis C.
- Opioids continue to account for the largest burden of disease-linked to drug abuse.
Indian Government has taken several policy and other initiatives to deal with drug trafficking problem:
- The ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or a ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign’ was flagged off on 15th August 2020 across 272 districts of the country found to be most vulnerable based on the data available from various sources.
- Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has begun implementation of a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.
- The government has constituted Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) in November, 2016.
- The government has constituted a fund called “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse” to meet the expenditure incurred in connection with combating illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs; rehabilitating addicts, and educating public against drug abuse, etc.
Do you know what Project Cohesion and Project Prism are? Read Here
- About UNODC.
- Overview of scheme of “Financial Assistance to States for Narcotics Control”.
- Composition of Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD).
- National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse.
- About Narcotics Control Bureau.
- International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and theme this year.
India is vulnerable to narcotic drug trafficking. Critically examine its causes. Also comment on the role of Government in combating drug problem.
GS Paper : 3
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.
Celebrated on 29th June every year.
- Observed in recognition of the notable contributions made by Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning.
The theme of Statistics Day, 2021 is Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)– 2 (End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture).
Contribution of PC Mahalanonobis to Statistics (1893 –1972):
- He is referred to as the chief architect of Indian statistical system as well as father of statistical science in India.
- He established the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 1931 in Kolkata. The institute founded the journal Sankhya, along the lines of Karl Pearson’s Biometrika. In 1959 it was made an autonomous body of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation.
- He also helped in the establishment of Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI).
- He introduced three key concepts to the theory and practice of sample surveys which are: Pilot surveys, Optimum survey design and Inter Penetrating Network of sub-samples technique (IPNS).
- In 1936 he introduced a statistical measure named the Mahalanobis distance. It is widely used in cluster analysis and classification techniques.
- The Mahalanobis model, was employed in the Second Five Year Plan, which worked towards the rapid industrialisation of India.
Do you know about the mechanical tool built by Mahalanobis known as the photographic profiloscope to accurately measure people’s facial features? Read here
- About Statistics Day.
- About PC Mahalanonobis.
- About ISI and CSO.
- What is Inter Penetrating Network of sub-samples technique (IPNS)?
- What is the Mahalanonobis distance?
Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
The report was recently released by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
- The report analyses the cyber ecosystem of each state and how it intersects with international security, economic competition and military affairs.
The countries are assessed in seven categories:
- Strategy and doctrine.
- Governance, command and control.
- Core cyber-intelligence capability.
- Cyber empowerment and dependence.
- Cyber security and resilience.
- Global leadership in cyberspace affairs.
- Offensive cyber capability.
The report has divided the countries into three tiers of cyber power:
- First Tier: States with world-leading strengths across all the categories in the methodology. The United States of America is the only country in this tier.
- Second Tier: States that have world-leading strengths in some of the categories. Australia, Canada, China, France, Israel, Russia and the United Kingdom are in this tier.
- Third Tier: States that have strengths or potential strengths in some of the categories but significant weaknesses in others. India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, North Korea and Vietnam are in this tier.
Highlights of the report:
- The US is the only top-tier cyber power because of its increased risk of ransomware attacks carried out by hackers.
- The US was the only country in the top tier in terms of cyber security because of its unparalleled digital-industrial base, its cryptographic expertise and the ability to execute “sophisticated, surgical” cyber strikes against adversaries.
- China, which falls under the second-tier countries, is at least a decade behind the US when it comes to cyber power.
India Specific Observations:
- Despite the geo-strategic instability of its region and a keen awareness of the cyber threat it faces, India has made only “modest progress” in developing its policy and doctrine for cyberspace security.
- The military confrontation with China in the disputed Ladakh border area in June 2020, followed by a sharp increase in Chinese activity against Indian networks, has heightened Indian concerns about cyber security, not least in systems supplied by China.
- India is currently aiming to compensate for its weaknesses by building new capability with the help of key international partners – including the US, the UK and France – and by looking to concerted international action to develop norms of restraint.
- India’s approach towards institutional reform of cyber governance has been “slow and incremental”, with key coordinating authorities for cyber security in the civil and military domains established only as late as 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Way ahead for India:
India’s “best chance” of moving up to the second tier of cyber powers is “by harnessing its great digital-industrial potential and adopting a whole-of-society approach to improving its cyber security.
Do you know what MITM attack mean? Read Here
Prelims and Mains Links:
Key findings, concerns and performance of India.
Sources: Indian Express.
Topics Covered: IP related issues.
The Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology was locked out of his Twitter account for an hour allegedly over a notice received for violation of the US’ Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 1998.
What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
It is a law passed in the US and is among the world’s first laws recognising Intellectual Property (IP) on the internet.
- The DMCA oversees the implementation of two 1996 treaties signed by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) member nations- the Copyright Treaty and the Performances and Phonograms Treaty.
- Both the treaties require member nations and signatories to provide in their respective jurisdictions, protection to IP that may have been created by citizens of different nations who are also co-signatories to the treaty.
- It also obligates that signatories to the treaty ensure ways to prevent circumvention of the technical measures used to protect copyrighted work.
- It also provides the necessary international legal protection to digital content.
Who can generate a DMCA notice and how are they sent to companies or websites?
- Any content creator of any form, who believes that their original content has been copied by user or a website without authorisation can file an application citing their intellectual property has been stolen or violated.
- In the case of social media intermediaries like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, content creators can directly approach the platform with a proof of them being original creators.
- Since these companies operate in nations which are signatories to the WIPO treaty, they are obligated to remove the said content if they receive a valid and legal DMCA takedown notice.
What is WIPO and how does it ensure protection of content on the internet?
- The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations.
- It was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.”
- As of date, 193 nations across the world, including India, are members of WIPO.
- It is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents and trademarks.
- It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition.
Do you know about Data Exclusivity & TRIPS Plus? Read Here
- What is TRIPS?
- Indian Patents Act, 2005.
- Patent regime in India.
- What is compulsory Licensing?
- About DMCA.
- About WIPO Treaties.
Write a note on compulsory Licensing.
Sources: Indian Express.
Facts for Prelims:
- It is the world’s second-biggest hydroelectric dam under construction in southwestern China.
- The dam is being constructed on Jinsha river, a tributary of the Yangtze.
- The 289-m-tall Baihetan Dam will have 16 generating units with a capacity of 1 million kilowatts each.
Three Gorges Dam, opened in 2003 on the Yangtze, is the world’s biggest hydroelectric dam.
2-DG oral drug:
- Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has announced the commercial launch of drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG).
- It is an anti-Covid drug developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- The drug is approved for emergency use as an adjunct therapy to the standard of care in the treatment of coronavirus patients in hospital settings.
How does it work?
- The 2DG drug comes in powder form in the sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water. It accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production.
Impact: Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique. The drug reportedly reduces a patient’s average recovery time by two and a half days and oxygen demand by up to 40 per cent.
- CoWIN is an extension of an electronic vaccine intelligence network, eVIN, which is used to collect real-time feedback of the vaccination programmes.
- It is a cloud-based IT solution for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
Why in News?
India will soon provide an open-source version of its CoWIN application to nearly 50 countries from Central Asia, Africa and Latin America that have indicated an interest in the technology.
Agni-P (Prime) missile:
- It is new-generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile.
- It was successfully test-fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- Agni-P is a new-generation advanced variant of Agni class of missiles. It is a canisterised missile with range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km.
- Canisterisation of missiles reduces the time required to launch the missile while improving its storage and mobility.
The longest of the Agni series, Agni-V, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of more than 5,000 km, has already been tested several times and validated for induction.
Fukuoka Grand Prize:
Noted journalist P. Sainath has been selected as one of the three recipients of the Fukuoka Prize for 2021.
Mr. Sainath will receive the ‘Grand Prize’ of the Fukuoka Prize while the Academic Prize and the Prize for Arts and Culture will go to Kishimoto Mio of Japan and filmmaker Prabda Yoon of Thailand, respectively.
- The Fukuoka Prize is given annually to distinguished people to foster and increase awareness of Asian cultures, and to create a broad framework of exchange and mutual learning among the Asian people.
- Eleven Indians have received the Fukuoka Prize so far.
- The prize was established in 1990.
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