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 1:
GS Paper 2:
GS Paper 3:
Facts for Prelims:
1. Bagram airbase.
2. Last Ice Area.
3. Financial Stability Report.
GS Paper : 1
Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Death Anniversary- 4th July.
About Swami Vivekananda:
- He was a true luminary, credited with enlightening the western world about Hinduism.
- He was an ardent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India.
- He pushed for national integration in colonial India, and his famous speech remains as the one that he gave in Chicago in 1893 (Parliament of the World Religions).
- In 1984 the Government of India declared that 12 January, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, will be celebrated as National Youth Day.
Early life- contributions:
- Born in Kolkata on January 12, 1863 in Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda was known as Narendra Nath Datta in his pre-monastic life.
- He is known to have introduced the Hindu philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the West.
- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had called Vivekananda the “maker of modern India.”
- In 1893, he took the name ‘Vivekananda’ after Maharaja Ajit Singh of the Khetri State requested him to do so.
- He formed the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.”
- In 1899, he established the Belur Math, which became his permanent abode.
- He preached ‘neo-Vedanta’, an interpretation of Hinduism through a Western lens, and believed in combining spirituality with material progress.
Books written by him:
‘Raja Yoga’, ‘Jnana Yoga’, ‘Karma Yoga’ are some of the books he wrote.
Did you know that so far, six international modern Parliaments of Religions have been hosted? Read here
- About 1893 Parliament of World’s Religions.
- Main participants.
- Who represented Hinduism?
- Headquarters of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.
- International modern Parliaments held so far.
- Contributions of Swami Vivekananda to Hinduism.
- About Ramakrishna Mission.
How Swami Vivekananda became the ‘messenger of Indian wisdom’ to West. Discuss.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
With the six-month window for him to get elected to the Assembly closing and increasing uncertainties, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has resigned.
What are the issues?
The Election Commission (EC) was yet to take a call on holding bypolls for vacant Assembly seats, which would have given Mr. Rawat a way to carry on as Chief Minister.
- As per the Constitution, he had six months, till September 10, to become a member of the Uttarakhand Assembly in order to continue in the post.
Representation of the People Act, 1951, mandates that a byelection for any vacancy should be held within six months of that vacancy arising, provided the remainder of the term is not less than one year or the EC and the Centre do not certify that holding the bypoll in that time frame is difficult.
- The term of current assembly elected in 2017 will expire on 23 March 2022- General elections in the State are less than a year away.
Appointment of CM:
The Chief Minister is appointed by the governor.
- 164 of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at its hand to aid and advise the governor.
Who can be a Chief Minister?
After general election to the State Legislative Assembly, the party or coalition group which secures majority in this House, elects its leader and communicates his name to the Governor. The Governor then formally appoints him as the Chief Minister and asks him to form his Council of Ministers.
- When no party gets a clear majority in the State Legislative Assembly, the Governor normally asks the leader of the single largest party to form the government.
Theoretically, the Chief Minister holds office during the pleasure of the Governor. However, in actual practice the Chief Minister remains in office so long as he continues to be the leader of the majority in the State Legislative Assembly.
- The Governor can dismiss him in case he loses his majority support.
- The State Legislative Assembly can also remove him by passing a vote of no-confidence against him.
Powers and Functions of the Chief Minister:
- To Aid and Advice the Governor.
- The Chief Minister is at the Head of the Council of Ministers.
- He is the Leader of the House.
- He has to communicate to the Governor all the decisions of the council of ministers relating to the administration of the states.
- All the policies are announced by him on the floor of the house.
- He recommends dissolution of legislative assembly to the Governor.
- He advises the Governor regarding summoning, proroguing the sessions of State Legislative Assembly from time to time.
Did you know that Section 11 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, allows the Election Commission to reduce or remove disqualification “for reasons to be recorded”? Know more about this here.
- Who can be a Chief Minister?
- Role of Governor in appointing a Chief Minister.
- Council of Ministers.
Discuss the roles and functions of a Chief Minister.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The Ministry of Women and Child Welfare has invited suggestions and comments for its Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021.
Highlights of the Bill:
- The bill proposes stringent punishments for offenders, including hefty fines and seizing of their properties.
- The Bill also extends beyond the protection of women and children as victims to now include transgenders as well as any person who may be a victim of trafficking.
- The draft also does away with the provision that a victim necessarily needs to be transported from one place to another to be defined as a victim.
- Exploitation has been defined to include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation including pornography, any act of physical exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or forced removal of organs etc.
Applicability- The law will extend to:
- All citizens inside as well as outside India.
- Persons on any ship or aircraft registered in India wherever it may be or carrying Indian citizens wherever they may be.
- A foreign national or a stateless person who has his or her residence in India at the time of commission of offence under this Act.
- Every offence of trafficking in persons with cross-border implications.
- Defence personnel and government servants, doctors and paramedical staff or anyone in a position of authority.
What are the constitutional & legislative provisions related to Trafficking in India?
- Trafficking in Human Beings or Persons is prohibited under the Constitution of India under Article 23 (1).
- The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
- Criminal Law (amendment) Act 2013 has come into force wherein Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code has been substituted with Section 370 and 370A IPC which provide for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking.
Trafficking in Persons report 2021:
- According to the Trafficking in Persons report 2021, released by the US State Department, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in vulnerability to human trafficking and interrupted existing anti-traffic efforts.
- While India did not meet the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, the government was making significant efforts, although these were inadequate, especially when it came to bonded labour.
Do you know about the Blue Heart Campaign by the UN? Read Here
- Section 370 and 370A of the IPC are related to?
- Article 23(1) of the constitution.
- Blue Heart campaign of the UN is related to?
- Who are first responders?
- About World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
What are the constitutional & legislative provisions related to Trafficking in India? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Turkey quits Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women.
On November 24, 2011, Turkey became the first country to ratify the Istanbul convention and, on March 8, 2012, it incorporated the Istanbul Convention into domestic law.
Why its withdrawal is being criticised?
Turkey has received severe criticism from various quarters and has led to protests across the country.
- The country has withdrawn from the convention despite the alarmingly high rates of violence and femicide in the country.
- The country ranks 133 out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap report 2021.
- According to UN women data, 38 per cent of women in Turkey face violence from a partner in their lifetime.
- The Turkish government does not maintain any official records on femicides.
What are the reasons for Turkey’s withdrawal?
- It said the convention demeans traditional family structure, promotes divorces and encourages acceptance of LGBTQ in the society.
- Besides, it said, it has enough local laws to protect women’s rights.
- The move comes at a time when domestic violence against women and girls has intensified across the world amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
- People are also concerned that now even basic rights and protections of the Turkish women will come under threat.
What is the Istanbul Convention?
It is also called as the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The treaty is the world’s first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women.
- It is the most comprehensive legal framework that exists to tackle violence against women and girls, covering domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation (FGM), so-called honour-based violence, and forced marriage.
When a government ratifies the Convention, they are legally bound to follow it.
- The convention was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 7 April 2011.
- The Convention sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling violence against women.
- Do you know the first UN conference on Women was held in 1975 and from that year Women’s Days is being celebrated? Read here
- Do you know what Zionism is? (Zionism controversy during final conference of the United Nations Decade for Women in 1985 in Nairobi, Kenya.) Read Briefly
- Istanbul- location.
- Istanbul convention is related to?
- When was it signed?
- First country to sign the convention?
- Recently, which country decided to exit the convention?
- What is Council of Europe?
Write a note on Istanbul convention.
Sources: Indian Express.
Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
US adds Pakistan, along with 14 other countries, to the list of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act.
- The list identifies foreign governments with government-supported armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers and subjects them to certain restrictions.
- Other countries which have been added to the annual TIP list of the US State Department are Turkey, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
About the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, 2008:
- It identifies foreign governments having government-supported armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers.
- The Act requires publication in the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report a list of foreign governments that have recruited or used child soldiers during the previous year.
- Designation under this act could result in restrictions on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment.
Who is a child soldier?
- The term child soldier means any person under 18 years of age who takes a direct part in hostilities or who has been compulsorily recruited into governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces.
- It also means any person under 15 years of age who has been voluntarily recruited into governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces or any person under 18 years of age who has been recruited or used in hostilities by armed forces distinct from the armed forces of a state.
- It also includes any such person who is serving in any capacity, including in a support role, such as a cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard or sex slave.
How are countries identified?
The determination to include a government in the CSPA list is informed by a range of sources, including first-hand observation by the US government personnel and research and credible reporting from various UN entities, international organisations, local and international NGOs, and international and domestic media outlets.
Do you know that according to Rome statute, “conscripting and enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities” is a war crime? Read Here Briefly (directly search for child soldiers)
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Awareness in space.
“Unity 22” will be Virgin Galactic’s next rocket-powered test flight of its SpaceShip- VSS Unity.
About the mission:
As part of the mission, the crew will be flying to the edge of space on July 11 on board the ‘Unity’ rocket ship developed by Virgin Galactic.
This will be the 22nd mission for VSS Unity.
- This will be Virgin Galactic’s fourth crewed spaceflight.
- It will also be the first to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson, who will be testing out the private astronaut experience.
Objectives of the mission:
- Unity 22 will focus on testing the cabin and customer experience.
Currently, two additional test flights remain before the Virgin Galactic plans to commence commercial service in 2022.
Significance for India:
Sirisha Bandla, an astronaut born in India, will be a part of the crew.
- This is significant as she will be the third woman of Indian origin to go to space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
- Rakesh Sharma is another Indian who went into space prior to Bandla.
Uniqueness of VSS Unity Spaceship:
Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spacecraft are air-launched from beneath a carrier aircraft ‘White Knight Two’. The space vehicle can climb to an altitude of around 90 kilometres, enough to give passengers a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of Earth’s curvature from the edge of space.
- Have you heard of New Shephard, a rocket system meant to take tourists to space? Read about this mission, Read here
- What altitude is considered the Edge of Space? Where is Karman Line? Read this to understand better.
- About the mission.
- Similar missions.
Discuss the significance of the mission.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.
The project was launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) recently from the tribal village Nichla Mandwa in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
- 5000 saplings of special bamboo species – BambusaTulda and BambusaPolymorpha specially brought from Assam – have been planted in vacant arid Gram Panchayat land.
- KVIC has thus created a world record of planting the highest number of bamboo saplings on a single day at one location.
About the Project BOLD:
- BOLD stands for Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought.
- Launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
- The initiative has been launched as part of KVIC’s “Khadi Bamboo Festival” to celebrate 75 years of independence “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
- Objectives: To create bamboo-based green patches in arid and semi-arid land zones, To reduce desertification and provide livelihood and multi-disciplinary rural industry support.
Why Bamboo was chosen?
Bamboos grow very fast and in about three years’ time, they could be harvested.Bamboos are also known for conserving water and reducing evaporation of water from the land surface, which is an important feature in arid and drought-prone regions.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission:
- KVIC is a statutory body established under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.
- The KVIC is charged with the planning, promotion, organisation and implementation of programmes for the development of Khadi and other village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.
- It functions under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Can you name Bamboo products with GI tag? Read Here
- About Project BOLD.
- About KVIC.
- Other projects by KVIC.
Topics Covered: Pollution related issues.
Seeking potential overseas off-takers for the flyash produced by its thermal power plants, NTPC has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for sale of the residual product to the West Asian and other regions.
- It will supply the ash from power plants to ports and the total quantum earmarked for export is 14.5 million tonne (MT) per year.
As per the norms set by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change, thermal plants are supposed to utilise 100% of fly ash from the fourth year of operation.
What is Fly Ash?
Popularly known as Flue ash or pulverised fuel ash, it is a coal combustion product.
Composed of the particulates that are driven out of coal-fired boilers together with the flue gases.
- Depending upon the source and composition of the coal being burned, the components of fly ash vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminium oxide (Al2O3) and calcium oxide (CaO), the main mineral compounds in coal-bearing rock strata.
- Minor constituents include: arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, hexavalent chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with very small concentrations of dioxins and PAH compounds. It also has unburnt carbon.
Health and environmental hazards:
Toxic heavy metals present: All the heavy metals found in fly ash nickel, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, lead, etc—are toxic in nature. They are minute, poisonous particles accumulate in the respiratory tract, and cause gradual poisoning.
Radiation: For an equal amount of electricity generated, fly ash contains a hundred times more radiation than nuclear waste secured via dry cask or water storage.
Water pollution: The breaching of ash dykes and consequent ash spills occur frequently in India, polluting a large number of water bodies.
Effects on environment: The destruction of mangroves, drastic reduction in crop yields, and the pollution of groundwater in the Rann of Kutch from the ash sludge of adjoining Coal power plants has been well documented.
However, fly ash can be used in the following ways:
- Concrete production, as a substitute material for Portland cement, sand.
- Fly-ash pellets which can replace normal aggregate in concrete mixture.
- Embankments and other structural fills.
- Cement clinker production – (as a substitute material for clay).
- Stabilization of soft soils.
- Road subbase construction.
- As aggregate substitute material (e.g. for brick production).
- Agricultural uses: soil amendment, fertilizer, cattle feeders, soil stabilization in stock feed yards, and agricultural stakes.
- Loose application on rivers to melt ice.
- Loose application on roads and parking lots for ice control.
- What is fly ash?
- Potential applications.
What is fly ash? What are its effects on human health and environment?
Facts for Prelims:
- The last US and Nato forces have left Afghanistan’s Bagram airbase, the centre of the war against militants for some 20 years.
- The pull-out could signal that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is imminent.
- The airbase is located next to the ancient city of Bagram.
Last Ice Area:
- A part of the Arctic’s ice called “Last Ice Area”, located north of Greenland, has melted before expected.
- While climate projections forecast the total disappearance of summer ice in the Arctic by the year 2040, the only place that would be able to withstand a warming climate would be this area of ice called the “Last Ice Area”. Scientists had believed this area was strong enough to withstand global warming.
- WWF-Canada was the first to call this area ‘Last Ice Area’.
Financial Stability Report:
- Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released its Financial Stability Report (FSR).
- The FSR which is published biannually reflects the collective assessment of the Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) on risks to financial stability and the resilience of the financial system.
- The Report also discusses issues relating to development and regulation of the financial sector.
Articles to be covered tomorrow:
- NIPUN Bharat.
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