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:
1. Sree Narayana Guru.
2. Martyrs of various uprisings to be considered freedom fighters.
GS Paper 3:
1. Ubharte Sitaare Fund.
2. National Monetisation Pipeline.
3. What is a smog tower?
Facts for Prelims:
1. Panjshir Valley.
2. Jim Corbett National Park.
3. Chakmas and Hajongs.
GS Paper 1
Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Context: Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti.(167th birth anniversary of Sree Narayan Guru)
Who was he?
Sree Narayana Guru was a catalyst and leader who reformed the oppressive caste system that prevailed in society at the time.
- He was born in 1856 in Chempazhanthy, a village near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
- Belong to the Ezhava caste, Narayan Guru had experienced discrimination from the upper caste of society.
- His philosophy always advocated social equality, education for all, and spiritual enlightenment.
Significant Contribution for Society:
- He gave the famous slogan “One Caste, One Religion, One God for All” (Oru Jathi, Oru Matham, Oru Daivam, Manushyanu).
- In 1888, Narayana Guru consecrated the first temple of Lord Shiva, where an idol was ordinated by a non-brahmin in Aruvippuram village of Kerala.
- His step sparked off the anti-caste revolution against the upper-caste Brahmin communities.
- In one temple he consecrated at Kalavancode, he kept mirrors instead of idols. This symbolised his message that the divine was within each individual.
- in 1903, he established the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) as the founder and president.
- He had set up more than 40 temples across the state as an act of protest to permit lower caste people to enter temples.
Contribution to National Movement:
- He was in the forefront of the movement for universal temple entry and against the societal ills like the social discrimination of untouchables.
- He provided the impetus for Vaikom agitation which was aimed at temple entry in Travancore for the lower castes.
- He captured the essence of Indianness in his poems which highlighted the unity that lies beneath the world’s apparent diversity.
Philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru:
- Sree Narayana Guru became one of the greatest proponents and re-evaluators of Advaita Vedanta, the principle of non-duality put forward by Adi Shankara.
- In 1913, he founded the Advaita Ashram at Aluva. This was an important event in his spiritual quest.
- This Ashram was dedicated to a great principle – Om Sahodaryam Sarvatra (all men are equal in the eyes of God).
He wrote various books in different languages. Few of them are: Advaitha Deepika, Asrama, Thevarappathinkangal, Brahmavidya Panchakam etc.
Relevance of His Philosophy:
Sree Narayana Guru’s philosophy of Universal Oneness has special relevance in the contemporary global context where in the social fabric of many countries and communities are being eroded by hatred, violence, bigotry, sectarianism and other divisive tendencies.
- Sree Narayana Guru belonged to which state?
- Aravippuram movement is associated with?
- Who established Advaita Ashram in Kalady?
- Who started Vaikkom Satyagraha? What were the objectives?
- Important leaders who met Sree Narayana Guru.
- Who composed Atmopadesa Satakam?
Discuss the role of Sri Narayana Guru in social reforms in India.
GS Paper 1
Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
A three-member committee was appointed by the Indian Council of Historic Research (ICHR) to review the entries in the fifth volume of the ‘Dictionary of Martyrs: India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947)’.
- The committee has recommended that Martyrs of the communist movement of Kerala, including the ones killed at the Punnapra-Vayalar, Kayyur, Karivelloor, and Kavumbayi uprisings, will remain as freedom fighters in the annals of India’s struggle for Independence.
About the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising:
- It was a militant communist movement in 1946 in the Princely State of Travancore, British India against the Prime Minister, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer and the state.
- This was a proper struggle against the declaration of ‘Independent Travancore’ by the then Travancore.
The significances of this revolt were:
(a) It was a unique agitation where the working class rose against the government.
(b) It saw the people of all classes up in arms against a common tyrant hence it dissolved class and religion distinction and induced unity among people.
(c) It resulted in establishing democracy in the region and also gave a decisive turn to the politics of the state.
Implications of the revolt:
- Historians maintain this was a proper struggle against the declaration of ‘Independent Travancore’ by the then Travancore.
- T K Varghese Vaidyan, a leader of the struggle, had gone on record saying it was a rehearsal for a larger revolution with the ultimate objective of establishing a “Communist India”.
- In 1940, peasants there under the leadership of communists rose against the two local jenmis, Nambiar of Kalliat and the Nayanar of Karakkatt Edam.
- Kayyur is considered the cradle of agrarian revolution in Kerala.
The Karivellur uprising:
It took place on December 20, 1946. The uprising was to fight the landlords who wanted to smuggle paddy from the village at a time of acute starvation.
Do you know about Patharughat: The forgotten peasant uprising of Assam in 1894? Reference
- The above mentioned revolts are related to?
- Who took part in them?
- What were the main demands?
- About ICHR.
Discuss the significance and issues surrounding the Punnapara-Vayalar revolt.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Objective of the fund:
To Identify Indian enterprises with potential advantages by way of technology, products or processes along with export potential, but which are currently underperforming or unable to tap their latent potential to grow.
- The main purpose is to encourage MSMEs as they are vital to the economy in terms of creating jobs, fostering innovations and reviving the economy.
Type of fund:
Ubharte sitaare fund is a type of Alternative investment fund.
Key features of the scheme:
- The Fund has been set up by Exim Bank and SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India).
- The fund is a mix of structured support, both financial and advisory services.
- It will also have a Greenshoe Option of Rs 250 crore.
- The Fund covers potential companies, across various sectors such as pharma, auto components, engineering solutions, agriculture, and software etc.
Significance of this programme:
- It identifies Indian companies that have the potential to be future champions in the domestic arena while catering to global demands.
- Enabling MSME to expand their ventures will drive the overall economy, as they make up for about 45 per cent of the country’s total manufacturing output, 40 percent of exports, and almost 30 per cent of the national GDP.
- This will also give a boost to sector specific growth like ‘ONE DISTRICT ONE PRODUCT’ in Uttar Pradesh.
What is an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF)?
- Alternative Investment Fund comprises pooled investment funds which invest in venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, managed futures etc.
- In simpler terms, an AIF refers to an investment which differs from conventional investment avenues such as stocks, debt securities, etc.
AIF does not include funds covered under the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996, SEBI (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations, 1999 or any other regulations of the Board to regulate fund management activities.
Nonetheless, the alternative investment funds have to register with SEBI.
What is a greenshoe option?
It is an over-allotment option. In the context of an initial public offering (IPO), it is a provision in an underwriting agreement that grants the underwriter the right to sell investors more shares than initially planned by the issuer if the demand for a security issue proves higher than expected.
What Is a Reverse Greenshoe Option? How is it different from Greenshoe Option? Reference
- About the Fund.
- Its objectives.
- What is a greenshore option?
Discuss the need for and significance of the fund.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Infrastructure related issues.
The Centre launched the National Monetisation pipeline (NMP) in an effort to list out the government’s infrastructure assets to be sold over the next four-years.
- The four-year National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) will unlock value in brownfield projects by engaging the private sector, transferring to them the rights but not the ownership in projects.
- Components: Roads, railways and power sector assets will comprise over 66 per cent of the total estimated value of the assets to be monetised, with the balance coming from sectors including telecom, mining, aviation, ports, natural gas and petroleum product pipelines, warehouses and stadiums.
Objective of the programme:
- To unlock the value of investments in brownfield public sector assets by tapping institutional and long-term capital, which can thereafter be leveraged for public investments.
- To enable ‘Infrastructure Creation through Monetisation’ wherein the public and private sector collaborate, each excelling in their core areas of competence, so as to deliver socio-economic growth.
Currently, only assets of central government line ministries and CPSEs in infrastructure sectors have been included.
- Monetization through disinvestment and monetization of non-core assets have not been included in the NMP.
The framework for monetisation of core asset monetisation has three key imperatives:
Considering that infrastructure creation is inextricably linked to monetisation, the period for NMP is co-terminus with the balance period under National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) i.e for FY 2022-2025.
NMP is indicatively valued at Rs 6.0 lakh crore for 4 years.
Significance of the scheme:
Asset Monetisation needs to be viewed not just as a funding mechanism, but as an overall paradigm shift in infrastructure operations, augmentation and maintenance considering the private sector’s resource efficiencies and its ability to dynamically adapt to the evolving global and economic reality.
- Such new models will enable not just financial and strategic investors but also common people to participate in this asset class thereby opening new avenues for investment.
- Hence, the NMP document is a critical step towards making India’s Infrastructure truly world class.
Challenges to NMP:
- Lack of identifiable revenue streams in various assets.
- Level of capacity utilisation in gas and petroleum pipeline networks.
- Dispute resolution mechanism.
- Regulated tariffs in power sector assets.
- Low interest among investors in national highways below four lanes.
- The lack of independent sectoral regulators.
Have you heard of Compensatory Financing Facility (CFF)? What are its objectives? Reference
- About NMP.
- Key features.
Discuss the significance of the project.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.
The smog towers are being installed in Delhi on the lines of China, which has experimented with this technology in its capital Beijing and other cities.
- The Delhi government will study the impact of smog towers on pollution and could add more such structures across the national capital.
What is a smog tower?
- Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers. They are fitted with multiple layers of air filters and fans at the base to suck the air.
- After the polluted air enters the smog tower, it is purified by the multiple layers before being re-circulated into the atmosphere.
Delhi was the most polluted capital city in the world in 2020 for the third consecutive year, according to a report by a Swiss group (released in March this year) that ranked cities based on their air quality measured in terms of the levels of ultrafine particulate matter (PM 2.5) that can enter the organs and cause lasting damage.
Following high pollution levels in the national capital, the Supreme Court had in November 2019 asked the Centre and the Delhi government to come up with a road map on installing smog towers in the national capital region (NCR) to combat air pollution.
- Construction work, industrial and vehicular pollution — in and around the city.
- The situation is aggravated at the start of winter by smoke from stubble-burning in northwestern states, coupled with unfavourable meteorological conditions, such as calm winds, low temperatures, and fewer sunny days.
- Persuading farmers in Punjab and Haryana to use mechanical alternatives to stubble-burning.
- Closure of thermal power stations in Delhi.
- Making industries use piped natural gas.
- Control measures taken under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) when pollution levels spike.
Do you also know about Anti Smog guns which are Installed at various places in Delhi? How do they work? Reference
- About the National Clean Air Programme.
- Who releases the national air quality index?
- Composition and functions of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
- What is natural gas?
- Overview of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
Discuss the measures needed to reduce pollution levels in the National Capital.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- It is a valley in north-central Afghanistan, near the Hindu Kush mountain range.
- It is divided by the Panjshir River.
- The valley is home to Afghanistan’s largest concentration of ethnic Tajiks.
- The valley is also known for its emeralds, which were used in the past to finance the resistance movements against those in power.
- Panjshir means “Five lions”.
There is a legend that in 10th century 5 brothers built a dam for king Mahmood Ghazni in the valley to prevent floods from damaging people’s homes. Hence it was named valley of 5 lions (after those 5 brothers).
Jim Corbett National Park:
- It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The park encompasses the Patli Dun valley formed by the Ramganga river.
- The national park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger.
- It is named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment.
- It is the oldest national park in India. It was the first area to come under the Project Tiger initiative in 1973.
Chakmas and Hajongs:
- Chakmas and Hajongs were originally residents of Chittagong Hill Tracts in the erstwhile East Pakistan. They left their homeland when it was submerged by the Kaptai dam project in the 1960s.
- The Chakmas, who are Buddhists, and the Hajongs, who are Hindus, also allegedly faced religious persecution and entered India through the then Lushai Hills district of Assam (now Mizoram). The Centre moved the majority of them to the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), which is now Arunachal Pradesh.
- Their numbers have gone up from about 5,000 in 1964-69 to one lakh. At present, they don’t have citizenship and land rights but are provided basic amenities by the state government.