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. ‘Renovated Jallianwala Bagh Complex’
GS Paper 2:
1. Can’t curtail right to move freely or reside anywhere on flimsy grounds
2. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination
3. Indian supports Palestine peace process
4. Korea may have restarted N-reactor: IAEA
GS Paper 3:
1. 102 Vande Bharat trains to be operational by 2024
2. Leaded petrol eradicated, says UNEP
3. Ire over toy train monetization plan
Facts for Prelims:
1. Avani, Sumit lead India’s gold hunt at Tokyo Paralympics
2. New initiative in J&K to restore lost glory of Pashmina shawls
3. China cuts time minors can spend on online games
GS Paper 1:
Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated the renovated Jallianwala Bagh complex in Amritsar on August 28, 2021.
The monument was first opened by then President Dr Rajendra Prasad on April 13, 1961, as a tribute to the victims of the massacre on April 13, 1919.
The central government set up the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust on May 1, 1951. The Prime Minister is the chairman, and permanent members include the president of Indian National Congress, Chief Minister of Punjab, Governor of Punjab, Union Minister in charge of Culture, and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
What’s new at Jallianwala Bagh?
- A 28-minute Sound and Light show re-enacting the events of April 13, 1919, will be shown every evening. A Salvation Ground has been built for visitors to sit in silence to honour the martyrs.
- Several new sculptures of martyrs have come up.
- Four new galleries have been created through adaptive re-use of underutilised buildings in the complex. The galleries depict the history of Punjab, history of the freedom movement, and the Gadhar movement.
- It also has a sculpture of Guru Nanak Dev, Sikh warrior Banda Singh Bahadur, and a statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Why is there a controversy regarding the latest revamp?
- The Jallianwala Bagh has undergone several repairs and touch-upsover the years. But the narrow passage leading to the Bagh, had remained untouched for almost 100 years. While many other things changed, the thin entrance made of Nanakshahi bricks through which Dyer’s soldiers marched into the Bagh, continued to evoke the horrors of that day. In July 2020, it was rebuilt into a gallery with murals, leaving no trace of the old passage.
- The famous ‘Shahidi Khu’ or Martyrs Well, into which people jumped to escape the hail of bullets, is now enclosed in a glass shield — the decision has been criticised since it is perceived to restrict the view.
About the incident:
April 13, 1919, marked a turning point in the Indian freedom struggle. It was Baisakhi that day, a harvest festival popular in Punjab and parts of north India. Local residents in Amritsar decided to hold a meeting that day to discuss and protest against the confinement of Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew, two leaders fighting for Independence, and implementation of the Rowlatt Act, which armed the British government with powers to detain any person without trial.
The crowd had a mix of men, women and children. They all gathered in a park called the Jallianwala Bagh, walled on all sides but for a few small gates, against the orders of the British. The protest was a peaceful one, and the gathering included pilgrims visiting the Golden Temple who were merely passing through the park, and some who had not come to protest.
While the meeting was on, Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, who had crept up to the scene wanting to teach the public assembled a lesson, ordered 90 soldiers he had brought with him to the venue to open fire on the crowd. Many tried in vain to scale the walls to escape. Many jumped into the well located inside the park.
- Considered the ‘The Butcher of Amritsar’ in the aftermath of the massacre, General Dyer was removed from command and exiled to Britain.
- Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, as a sign of condemnation, renounced their British Knighthood and Kaiser-i-Hind medal
- In 1922, the infamous Rowlett Act was repealed by the British.
- Who was the Viceroy when this incident took place?
- Outcomes of the incident?
- What is Rowlatt Act?
The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh is a shameful scar on British Indian history. Comment.
GS Paper 2:
Topic covered: Significant provisions of the Indian constitution
Context: Recent opinion tendered by the Supreme Court of India on an externment order passed by Maharashtra police
- What is an externment order? Externment orders prevent the movement of a person in certain areas.
- Grounds for issuing such an order: The top court said that the drastic action of externment should only be taken in exceptional cases to maintain law and order.
About Right to “move freely throughout the territory of India”
- The above right is guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (d) of the Indian constitution. This right is available only to citizens.
- This right is not unfettered or unrestricted but are subject to “interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe”
- The provisions for providing the power of externment to the concerned executive authorities can be found in many statutes such as The Maharashtra Police Act (MP 1951), Punjab Security of State Act 1953, and Assam Maintenance of Public Order Act 1947, Karnataka Police Act et al.
- The discretionary power provided to the executive authorities under Maharashtra Police Act (MP 1951) was invoked in this case to prevent the entry of a person. However, such use of the power was not in accordance to the ‘due process of law’. Such cases of misuse are rising in recent times across the country. Ex: In Praful Bhausaheb Yadav v. Shri K. K. Pathak, Bombay High Court ruled that the externment orders were passed without any basis and hence held that the order must be set aside since it is suffering from the “non-application of mind.”
- Instances where Supreme Court upheld the externment order- In Dhan Bahadur Ghorti versus State of Assam– the court upheld the externment order so as to ensure the protection of tribal identities; Restrictions on the free movement imposed on prostitutes to carry on their trade within a specified area and to reside in or move from particular areas have been held to be valid (The State of Uttar Pradesh versus Kaushaliya); Restrictions on residence imposed on habitual offenders have been upheld by the courts as being reasonable ( Arumugham versus the State of Madras)
- As per the existing jurisprudence on exterments, the judiciary is generally satisfied with laws of externment if they are in accordance with the principles of natural justice. However, considering that externments infringe upon an individual’s liberty, there is a pressing need to set the procedure right by mandating independent scrutiny by an impartial tribunal
Evolution of externment jurisprudence in India- Reference
- What is article 19?
- Grounds for restriction of article 19
- Differences between Fundamental rights, DPSP and Fundamental duties
- What are externment rules?
Misuse of externment rules and ways to address them
GS Paper 2:
Topic covered: Issues related to Health
Context: 100years has passed since the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine was introduced to combat tuberculosis (TB) on 18 July, 1921.
What is BCG Vaccine?
- Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is a vaccine primarily used against tuberculosis (TB).
- BCG was developed by modifying a strain of Mycobacterium bovis (that causes TB in cattle). It was first used in humans in 1921.
- Currently, BCG is the only licensed vaccine available for the prevention of TB.
- It is the world’s most widely used vaccine with about 120 million doses every year and has an excellent safety record.
- In India, BCG was first introduced in a limited scale in 1948 and became a part of the National TB Control Programme in 1962.
- In children, BCG provides strong protection against severe forms of TB. This protective effect is far more variable in adolescents and adults, ranging from 0–80%.
- BCG also protects against respiratory and bacterial infections of the newborns, and other mycobacterial diseases like leprosy and Buruli’s ulcer.
- It is also used as an immunotherapy agent in cancer of the urinary bladder and malignant melanoma.
Varying Efficacy of BCG
- BCG works well in some geographic locations and not so well in others. Generally, the farther a country is from the equator, the higher is the efficacy.
- It has a high efficacy in the UK, Norway, Sweden and Denmark; and little efficacy in countries on or near the equator like India, Kenya and Malawi, where the burden of TB is higher. These regions also have a higher prevalence of environmental mycobacteria.It is believed that these may interfere with the protective effect against TB.
What is tuberculosis (TB)?
- TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, belonging to the Mycobacteriaceae family.
- In humans, TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
- Unlike other historically dreaded diseases like smallpox, leprosy, plague and cholera that have been either eradicated or controlled to a large extent, TB continues to be a major public health problem in the world.
- According to the WHO’s Global TB Report, 10 million people developed TB in 2019 with 1.4 million deaths. India accounts for 27% of these cases.
- India is committed to eliminate TB as a public health problem by 2025. To achieve this goal, we would not only need better diagnostics and drugs but also more effective vaccines.
- We need to build on lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, and replicate the successes achieved especially in vaccine development and prepare to address the challenges faced in ensuring vaccine equity.
- What is BCG?
- Difference between diseases caused by bacteria and virus.
- What is TB?
- Highlights of Global TB report wrt India.
- Discuss how BCG vaccine fights against tuberculosis?
- Discuss the challenges faced by India in eradicating Tuberculosis.
GS Paper 2:
Topics covered: Important international institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Context: India extended its support to restart the peace process between Israel and Palestine in a recent UN Security Council meeting
- India reiterated its commitment to ‘the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine, within secure, recognised and mutually agreed borders, living side by side with Israel in peace and security’
- The issue of Afghanistan was also taken up at the meeting. A draft resolution is set to be taken up which seeks protection of civilians and security guarantees for humanitarian access from Taliban. The resolution will also be used to enforce a window of evacuation for foreign nationals who continue to remain stuck in Kabul.
- India’s presidency of the UN Security Council is set to end this month. The presidency of the Council is held by each of the members in turn for one month, following the English alphabetical order of the Member States names.
Israel- Palestine conflict– Historical Background:
- The conflict has been ongoing for more than 100 years between Jews and Arabs over a piece of land between Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
- It was between 1882 to 1948, when the Jews from around the world gathered in Palestine. This movement came to be known as
- Then in 1917, Ottoman Empirefell after World War 1 and the UK got control over Palestine.
- The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.
- The Balfour Declarationwas issued after Britain gained control with the aim of establishing a home for the Jews in Palestine. However during that period the Arabs were in majority in Palestine.
- Jews favored the idea while the Palestinians rejected it. Almost 6 million Jews lost their lives in the Holocaustwhich also ignited further demand of a separate Jewish state.
- Jews claimed Palestine to be their natural home while the Arabs too did not leave the land and claimed it.
- The international community supported the Jews.
- In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city.
- That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.
The creation of Israel and the ‘Catastrophe’:
- It was in the year 1948 that Britain lifted its control over the area and Jews declared the creation of Israel. Although Palestinians objected, Jews did not back out which led to an armed conflict.
- The neighboring Arabs also invaded and were thrashed by the Israeli troops. This made thousands of Palestinians flee their homes. This was called Al-Nakba, or the “Catastrophe”.
- Israel had gained maximum control over the territory after this came to an end.
- Jordanthen went on a war with Israel and seized control over a part of the land which was called the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza.
- Jerusalem was divided between Israel in the West and Jordan in the East.However, no formal peace agreement was signed, each side continued to blame each other for the tension and the region saw more wars.
- Israeli forces captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank, various areas of Syrian Golan Heights, Gaza and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula in the year 1967.
- Israel still occupies the West Bank, and although it pulled out of Gaza the UN still regards that piece of land as part of occupied territory.
- Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
- Tensions escalated in recent month over Israel’s actions concerning Al-Asqa mosque in East Jerusalem.
About UN Security Council
What is it?
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
Members: The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.
Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship. There is also a proposal to admit more permanent members.
India has been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council along with Brazil, Germany and Japan for long, emphasizing that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.
Why should India be given a permanent seat in the council?
- India was among the founding members of United Nations.
- It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
- It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.
- What is Israel-Palestine issue?
- Contested boundaries between the two
- West bank settlement issue
- Stand taken by UN, Israel, Palestine on this issue
- Challenges posed by this issue
- India’s stand
- Impact of Israel-Palestine issue on the region and its impact on India’s interests
GS Paper 2:
Topic covered: Important international institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Context: The UN atomic agency has observed that North Korea might have resumed its plutonium-producing reprocessing reactor
- This observation is based on the resumption of work on the 5-megawatt reactor in Yongbyon — North Korea’s main nuclear complex
- North Korean leader had offered to dismantle part of the Yongbyon complex at a second summit with then U.S. President Donald Trump in exchange of removal of sanctions; however, the talks have been at a standstill since then
- North Korea is under multiple sets of international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
- The possible operation of the reactor follows a recent indication that Pyongyang is also using a nearby radiochemical laboratory to separate plutonium from spent fuel previously removed from the reactor.
- This situation underscores the need for resumption of dialogue between the stakeholders involved to ensure that the security situation in the Korean peninsula does not become worse
Set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. It reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.
- Works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
- Seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.
Board of Governors:
22 member states (must represent a stipulated geographic diversity) — elected by the General Conference (11 members every year) – 2 year term
- At least 10 member-states — nominated by the outgoing Board.
- Board members each receive one vote.
- Recommendations to the General Conference on IAEA activities and budget.
- Responsible for publishing IAEA standards.
- Responsible for making most of the policy of the IAEA.
- Appoints the Director General subject to General Conference approval.
- Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).
- Human Health Program.
- Water Availability Enhancement Project.
- International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, 2000.
Do you know how India’s policies pertaining to North Korea has evolved? Reference
- Nuclear fission and fusion process
- Important geographical features in the Korean peninsula
- Conflict in Korean peninsula
- IAEA- objective, mandate and powers
- UNSC- objective, mandate and powers
- Challenges posed by the North Korea’s nuclearization process to the region and to the global security architecture. India’s policies regarding this and measures to address this challenge
GS Paper 3:
Topics covered: Environmental conservation
Context: The use of leaded petrol has been eradicated from the globe as per the observation made by UNEP
- Achieving of this milestone will prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths and save world economies over $2.4 trillion annually
- Algeria — the last country to use the fuel — exhausted its supplies last month
- India banned leaded petrol in March 2000
Harmful effects of leaded petrol
- Lead exposure can have serious consequences for the health of children. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioral disorders.
- Lead in bone is released into blood during pregnancy and becomes a source of exposure to the developing fetus.
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimated that in 2017, lead exposure accounted for 1.06 million deaths and 24.4 million years of healthy life lost (disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)) worldwide due to long-term effects on health.
- Lead also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
It aims to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya
The broad areas where UNEP focuses are: climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, chemicals and waste, resource efficiency, and environment under review
The UNEP is funded by voluntary contributions of its members
It hosts the secretariats of many critical multilateral environmental agreements and research bodies, bringing together nations and the environmental community to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. These include the following:
- The Convention on Biological Diversity
- The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
- The Minamata Convention on Mercury
- The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
- The Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol
- The Convention on Migratory Species
- The Carpathian Convention
- The Bamako Convention
- The Tehran Convention
Areas where oil is found in this world- Reference
- What is leaded petrol?
- Harmful effects of leaded petrol
- UNEP- aims, powers and mandate
Throw light on the UNEP’s significance and its role in environmental conservation efforts
GS Paper 3:
Topic covered: Indigenization of technology
Context: The Indian Railways plans to operate 102 Vande Bharat trains by March 2024.
About Vande Bharat Express:
- The Train18, later named Vande Bharat Express, was rolled out by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai under the Indian government’s Make in India initiative.
- The train was launched on 15 February 2019.
- It was showcased as India’s first semi high-speed train with an operational efficiency of 160 kmph.
- As of Aug 2021, the Indian Railways operates two Vande Bharat trains, onefrom Delhi to Varanasiand the other from Delhi to Katra.
- Vande Bharat trains are self-propelled “engineless” train sets.
- Its faster acceleration and deceleration results in reduced train travel time.
- Some of its passenger friendly features include; European-style seats, diffused LED lighting, GPS-based infotainment systems, modular bio-toilets, fully sealed gangways for dust-free environment, centrally controlled entry/exit doors with sliding footsteps, divyang friendly toilet and automatic sliding cabin doors.
Prelims and Mains Link:key factsrelated to Vande Bharat Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topic covered: Issues related to economic growth and planning
Context: Concerns expressed over Centre’s proposal to monetize the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR).
- There are four fully functional and operational railways networks in mountains and hilly terrains in India — the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) located in the foothills of the Himalayas in West Bengal; the Nilgiris Mountain Railways located in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu; the Kalka Shimla Railway located in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh; and the Matheran Railway located in Maharashtra.
Figure: Darjeeling Hill railway
- DHR was built in the British era between 1879 and 1881; the Darjeeling toy train was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
- The main reason for the protest is that private companies’ focus would be on profit, and local aspirations of the people would be ignored.
- Concerns have also been raised on how the government has taken this decision in an unilateral manner without consulting the stakeholders involved
- Way forward: Government should consult the stakeholders involved and create guidelines to meet their aspirations in a mutually beneficial manner.
What is a World Heritage Site?
- A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made areaor a structure that is of international importance, and a space which requires special protection.
- These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO.
- UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.
- The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly.
- Each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state wherein the site is located and UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.
- To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance.
- Darjeeling Hill railways
- What is World Heritage Site?
- UNESCO’s WHS in India
- About UNESCO
Discuss the policies required to safeguard India’s conservation efforts
Facts for Prelims:
Avani, Sumit lead India’s gold hunt at Tokyo Paralympics
- Debutant Sumit Antil smashed his own world record multiple times for the F64 class gold, while veteran Devendra Jhajharia’s F46 category silver cemented his status of being India’s greatest para-athlete as javelin throwers led the country’s track-and-field medal rush at the Paralympic
- Another javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar picked up bronze in Jhajharia’s event
- Avani Lekhara became the first woman to win gold for India in shooting in the 10m rifle competition
About Paralympic games
It is a major international sports competition for athletes with disabilities. Comparable to the Olympic Games, the Paralympics are split into Winter Games and Summer Games, which alternately occur every two years.
Since the late 20th century the Paralympics have been held in the same city that hosts the corresponding Olympic Games; the Paralympics follow shortly after the Olympics conclude. The International Paralympic Committee, which was founded in 1989 and is based in Germany, governs the Paralympic Games.
Paralympic athletes compete in six different disability groups—amputee, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries, intellectual disability, and “les autres” (athletes whose disability does not fit into one of the other categories, including dwarfism). Within each group, athletes are further divided into classes on the basis of the type and extent of their disabilities. Individual athletes may be reclassified at later competitions if their physical status changes.
The Paralympics developed after Sir Ludwig Guttmann organized a sports competition for British World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries in England in 1948.
New initiative in J&K to restore lost glory of Pashmina shawls
- A Centre For Excellence (CFE) has been setup in J&K to restore the lost hand-driven processes involved in the intricate shawl weaving industry
- Over the years, women employed in this sector has reduced due to poor wages, old techniques of weaving and the emergence of machines
- The CFE has decided to double the wages for women from ₹1 per knot, of 10 threads with 10-inch-long yarn, to ₹2.
- Spinning on a traditional Kashmiri charkha allows longer threads of Pashmina wool with fine hair-like size, unlike machines, and adds to the softness and warmth of the product.
- According to one estimate, women’s participation in shawl weaving has come down significantly from one lakh to just around 10,000 in the Kashmir Valley.
- In the backdrop of this trend, the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir, has announced a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for geographical indication (GI)-certified hand-made Pashmina shawls “to sustain the old techniques”.
- The fixing of wages for the first time will help in reviving hand-spinning and hand-weaving, which make Kashmiri shawls famous
- The move is likely to generate employment and improve the economic prospects of women weavers, who have for generations sustained the intricate and fancied Kashmiri shawls.
How is Pashmina shawl made? Reference
China cuts time minors can spend on online games
- Chinese regulators slashed the amount of time players under the age of 18 can spend on online games to an hour of game-play on Fridays, weekends and holidays, in response to growing concern over gaming addiction
- Online gaming companies will be barred from providing gaming services to them in any form outside those hours and need to ensure they have put real name verification systems in place
Gaming addiction and the threat it poses- Reference