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. India in top 10 list of agri produce exporters.
GS Paper : 1
Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
- Earlier, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) cited nine shortcomings at the site after an initial visit in 2019. Norway was the only country which opposed the move citing ICOMOS’s conclusion.
About Ramappa temple:
- Built by Racherla Senapati Rudrayya, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapatideva, in the 13th century.
- The foundation is built with the “sandbox technique”, the flooring is granite and the pillars are basalt.
- The lower part of the temple is red sandstone while the white gopuram is built with light bricks that reportedly float on water.
What is sandbox technique?
The technique involves filling the pit — dug up for laying foundation — with a mixture of sand lime, jaggery (for binding) and karakkaya (black myrobalan fruit), before the buildings were constructed on these ‘sandboxes’.
- The sandbox in the foundation acts as a cushion in case of earthquakes.
World Heritage Committee:
The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected for terms up to six years.
- The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, allocates financial assistance from the World Heritage Fund and has the final say on whether a site is inscribed on the World Heritage List.
- It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed sites and decides on the inscription or removal of sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
How is a world heritage site protected?
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.
- A country must first list its significant cultural and natural sites into a document known as the Tentative List.
- Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File, which is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union.
- A country may not nominate sites that have not been first included on its Tentative List.
- These bodies then make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee.
Do you know the sites that have been delisted from the World Heritage List so far? Read Here
- About the World Heritage Site.
- Selection criteria.
- About WHC.
- About UNESCO.
- About ICOMOS.
- About Ramappa temple.
Discuss the need for recognition of World Heritage sites.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
His birth anniversary was celebrated on 23 July.
About Chandra Shekhar Azad:
- Born on July 23, 1906, at Bhavra, Alirajpur District in present-day Madhya Pradesh.
- He took part in non-cooperation movement when he was 15.
- After the suspension of the non-cooperation movement in 1922 by Gandhi, Azad joined Hindustan Republican Association (HRA).
- HRA was later reorganised as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA) in 1928.
- Azad was involved in the 1925 Kakori Conspiracy.
- He died at Azad Park in Allahabad on 27th February 1931.
- Other cases Azad was involved in include the 1926 attempt to blow up the viceroy’s train, and the shooting of J P Saunders in 1928. Saunders was assassinated to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.
Why he is called “Azad”?
He was arrested because of his participation in the non-cooperation movement. When produced by the magistrate, he proudly announced his name as ‘Azad’, his father’s name as ‘Swatantrata’ and his place of dwelling as ‘Jail’. It was from then on that the name ‘Azad’ stuck to him.
- About Chandra Shekhar Azad.
- His contributions to the Indian Freedom Movement.
- Associations he was associated with.
- About Kakori Conspiracy Case.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
The Delhi High Court has said that the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) cannot insist on the physical or virtual presence of both the spouses for processing Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card applications for one of them.
What’s the issue?
The High Court’s order came while asking the FRRO to accept the OCI card application of an Iranian woman, who has been living separately in Bengaluru after her relationship with her husband, an Indian citizen, turned sour.
Who are OCI cardholders?
- The Government of India launched the ‘Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme’ by making amendments to the Citizenship Act, 1955 in 2005.
- On 09 January 2015, the Government of India discontinued the PIO card and merged it with OCI card.
The Government of India allows the following categories of foreign nationals to apply for OCI Card.
Anyone who is applying for OCI card should hold a valid Passport of another country.
- Individuals who do not have citizenship of any other country are not eligible to gain an OCI status.
- Individuals whose parents or grandparents hold citizenship of Pakistan and Bangladesh are not eligible to apply.
Benefits for OCI cardholders:
- Lifelong Visa to visit India multiple times. (special permission needed for research work in India).
- No need to register with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay.
- Except for acquisition of agricultural and plantation properties, OCI card holders have similar facilities that are extended to NRIs in economic, financial and educational fields.
- Same treatment as of NRIs in respect to Inter-country adoption of Indian children.
- Also treated at par with NRIs regarding – entry fees for national monuments, practice of professions like doctors, dentists, nurses, advocates, architects, Chartered Accountants & Pharmacists.
- At par with NRIs to participate in All India Pre-medical tests and such.
- Treated at par with Indian citizens in matters of traffic in airfares in Indian domestic sectors.
- Same entry fee as for Indians for entry into India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
- OCI booklet can be used as identification to avail services. An affidavit can be attached with local address as residential proof.
There are certain restrictions placed on OCI card holders:
- Do not have the right to vote.
- Do not have right to any public service/government jobs
- Cannot hold offices of – Prime Minister, President, Vice -President, Judge of Supreme Court and High Court, member of Parliament or Member of state legislative assembly or council.
- Cannot own agricultural property.
Who is an Expatriate? And what is Expat Tax? Read Here
- Definition of Citizen.
- POI vs OCI vs NRI.
- Who can grant and revoke citizenship?
- Dual citizenship in India.
- Applicability of right to vote and contest in elections for OCI card holders.
- Can OCI holders buy agricultural land?
- Who cannot be issued OCI cards?
Who are overseas citizens of India? What are the benefits available for OCI card holders? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Ministry of Women and Child Development launches web-based portal pmcaresforchildren.in to facilitate submission of applications, identification of children eligible to receive support under the ‘PM CARES for Children’ scheme.
About the Scheme:
The scheme has been launched for support & empowerment of Covid affected children.
Eligibility: All children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid 19 will be supported under the scheme.
Features of the scheme:
- Fixed Deposit in the name of the child: A corpus of Rs. 10 lakh will be allocated to each of these children from the PM CARES fund. This corpus will be used to give a monthly stipend from 18 years of their age, for the next five years and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use.
- School Education: For children under 10 years: Admission will be given in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
- School Education: for children between 11-18 years: The child will be given admission in any Central Government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc.
- Support for Higher Education: The child will be assisted in obtaining education loan for Professional courses / Higher Education in India as per the existing Education Loan norms.
- Health Insurance: All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakhs.
Need for these measures:
- As India battles a raging second wave, cases of children losing their parents to Covid-19 are also mounting.
- Also the apprehension of child trafficking in the garb of adoption has increased.
- Child Marriages have also increased in the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
How PMNRF is different from PM CARES? Reference:
- What is a public account?
- Who administers PM CARES fund?
- Which organisations are exempted from the ambit of RTI act?
- What is Consolidated fund of India?
- What is a charitable trust?
- PM CARES For Children- Empowerment of COVID Affected Children- eligibility and benefits.
Discuss why PM CARES fund should be brought within the ambit of RTI act?
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
China and Pakistan have announced to closely cooperate and work together in Afghanistan amid the changing situation in the country.
Both China and Pakistan are most directly affected by the situation in Afghanistan” as its neighbors and it is “necessary for both sides to strengthen cooperation to cope with the change.
They have outlined a five-point joint plan on working in Afghanistan. This includes:
- Avoid the expansion of war and prevent Afghanistan from falling into a full-scale civil war.
- Promote the intra-Afghan negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban and establish “a broad and inclusive political structure”.
- Resolutely combat terrorist forces.
- Promote cooperation among Afghanistan’s neighbours” and “explore the construction of a platform for cooperation among them”.
- Closely work on international fora on the Afghan issue.
Many countries criticise the hasty U.S. withdrawal of troops for having neither fulfilled the purpose of fighting terrorism nor brought peace to Afghanistan but created a new security black hole.
What happened in Afghanistan so far?
A month after 9/11 attacks, the US launched airstrikes against Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom).
After the attacks, the NATO coalition troops declared war on Afghanistan.
- The US dislodged the Taliban regime and established a transitional government in Afghanistan.
- Now, in July 2020, the US troops departed from the biggest airbase in Afghanistan after the 20-year-long war, effectively ending their military operations in the country.
What next for India?
- India’s Afghan policy is at a major crossroads; to safeguard its civilian assets there as well as to stay relevant in the unfolding ‘great game’ in and around Afghanistan, India must fundamentally reset its Afghanistan policy.
- India must, in its own national interest, begin ‘open talks’ with the Taliban before it is too late. The time for hesitant, half-embarrassed backchannel parleys is over.
- If India is not proactive in Afghanistan at least now, late as it is, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and China will emerge as the shapers of Afghanistan’s political and geopolitical destiny, which for sure will be detrimental to Indian interests.
Do you know what Operation Highroad is? Read here
- About India Afghan projects.
- About INSTC.
- India to Afghanistan- available ways.
Discuss the impact of US withdrawal on India- Afghan relations.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
China’s assertive new diplomatic approach in the Xi Jinping era has come to be dubbed “wolf warrior diplomacy”, marked by a muscular posture in pursuing China’s interests.
What is Wolf Warrior Diplomacy or approach?
- “Wolf-warrior diplomacy,” named after famous Chinese movies, describes offensives by Chinese diplomat to defend China’s national interests, often in confrontational ways.
- It reinforces a presumed transition of Chinese diplomacy from conservative, passive, and low-key to assertive, proactive, and high-profile.
In last one year the Chinese foreign ministry has taken an increasingly strident tone against the United States, India, Australia, and other countries.
- In April last year, Chinese coastguard ship allegedly sank a Vietnamese fishing trawler near the Paracel Islands. When Vietnam protested, the Chinese foreign ministry responded by saying Vietnam’s claims to the area are “illegal.”
- Then, China announced the naming of 80 islands, reefs, seamounts, shoals, and ridges in the South China Sea, triggering angry protests from other claimants.
- China also tried to enter India at various places.
Why is China resorting to wolf-warrior diplomacy?
Soaring Nationalism: Since 2010, when China’s GDP overtook Japan’s as the world’s second largest, the Chinese have become more confident and China’s foreign policy has become more assertive.
China as a great power: The latest diplomatic offensive is also part of the official effort to project China as a great power leading the global fight against the COVID-19. China’s image suffered during the crisis due to its bungled handling of the outbreak at the early stage.
With the assertive and ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and Maritime Silk Road, China has consolidated its influence over the Indian neighbours as almost all the neighbour sans Bhutan have shown the keen interests in joining.
How successful has this approach been on the whole?
- The wolf-warrior diplomacy is already hurting China’s foreign policy, since it has generated pushback, such as Australia’s calls for an independent probe into the coronavirus’ origins.
- China’s soft power is weak globally; a belligerent approach will further damage China’s global image.
- Wolf warrior tactics, combined with great military assertiveness on the China-India border, has ended up pushing India much closer to the U.S., and alienating a billion plus-person economy.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 4
Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.
A 100-day campaign to provide tap water access to government schools and anganwadis under Jal Jeevan Mission was launched on October 2, 2020.
- However, over a third of government schools and anganwadis still do not have tap water access.
- Also, there is widespread disparity among States, with a few laggards pulling down the national average, despite the fact that nine States and Union Territories have already achieved 100% coverage.
The campaign aimed to achieve 100% coverage, and provide potable piped water supply for drinking and cooking purposes as well as tap water for hand washing and in toilets in every school, anganwadi and ashramshala or residential tribal school.
About the Jal Jeevan Mission:
JJM envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
It is under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
It also encompasses:
- Prioritizing provision of FHTCs in quality affected areas, villages in drought prone and desert areas, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) villages, etc.
- Providing functional tap connection to Schools, Anganwadi centres, Gram Panchayat buildings, Health centres, wellness centres and community buildings.
- Technological interventions for removal of contaminants where water quality is an issue.
- The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.
- JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
- The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.
- Mission goal.
- Fund allocation.
Discuss the significance of the mission.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
India in top 10 list of agri produce exporters:
As per a report by World Trade Organization (WTO) on the trends in world agricultural trade in the past 25 years:
- India entered the top 10 list of the countries exporting agricultural produce in the year 2019.
- India and Mexico with 3.1% and 3.4% share in global Agri exports, respectively, replaced New Zealand (9th) and Malaysia (7th) as the largest exporters across the globe.
- India is also the third-largest cotton exporter (7.6%), and the fourth-largest importer (10%) in 2019.
- However, India lagged behind as a value-added contributor to world agri exports.
- The US, which topped the list in 1995 (22.2%), was overtaken by the European Union in 2019 (16.1%).
- China climbed from the sixth spot in 1995 (4%) to fourth in 2019 (5.4%).
- The top 10 exporters accounted for more than 96% of exports in both 1995 and 2019.
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