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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:

1. No SC, ST, OBC quota for NRIs appearing for NEET

2. To contain food prices, Sri Lanka declares economic emergency

3. What did America achieve in Afghanistan in 20 years?


GS Paper 3:

1. Assam wetland at risk till dumping stops: activists

2. Irrawaddy Dolphin

3. Raptor Species


Facts for Prelims:

1. Ladakh adopts State animal and bird

2. 200 Army personnel for Zapad exercise

3. High honor for Naval Aviation


No SC, ST, OBC quota for NRIs appearing for NEET

GS Paper 2:

Topics covered: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Context: Recent clarification by the Ministry of Health that aspiring candidates for NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) can only opt for one quota category.

More on this news:

  • NRI students belonging to SC, ST and OBC communities can no longer enjoy the reservation benefits provided to them in the upcoming NEET examinations
  • Aspiring NRI students have also pointed out how they are denied seats under NRI quota in central, state and deemed institutions if they opt for ‘Indian’ as their nationality. Such method of classification discriminates against NRI even though they hold an Indian citizenship

Who is considered as a Non-resident?



About NEET examination

NEET is the qualifying test for MBBS and BDS programmes in Indian medical and dental colleges. It is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).


Insta-curious links

Know about India’s reservation policy- Click here


Prelims link

  1. Who is a NRI?
  2. What are the benefits afforded to NRIs, if any?
  3. Difference between NRI, PIO and OCI
  4. Reservation policy in India
  5. NEET examination

Mains link

Should community based reservation benefits be given to NRI students?

Source: The Hindu

To contain food prices, Sri Lanka declares economic emergency

GS Paper 2:

Topics covered: International relations


Context: President of Sri Lanka declared an economic emergency on account to contain inflation which saw a huge spike after a steep fall in valuation of its currency caused a spike in food prices

What precipitated this unprecedented move?

  • Since November 2019, the value of Sri Lankan rupee has eroded by about 20%
  • High global market price due to the pandemic has escalated the prices of essential items
  • Hoarding by traders has also contributed to Sri Lanka taking this emergency route to combat the crisis
  • Tourism which happens to be one of the main businesses of Sri Lanka has suffered due to the travel restrictions placed owing to the pandemic. Sri Lanka’s economy shrank by a record 3.6% last year.

The declaration of economic emergency will empower Sri Lankan government to:

  • Prevent the hoarding of essential items by traders
  • Ensure essential items are sold at government-determined prices
  • It will also help the government to realize import duties owed to the state by the traders

Inflation and the pandemic

Inflation is the rate of increase in prices over a given period of time.  Inflation has been rising consistently since the pandemic hit in multiple countries; primarily owing to supply and demand-side disruptions owing to the pandemic.

Some of the causes behind the recent rise in Inflation:

  • Rise in fuel prices. This is adding to the cost of production across multiple industries
  • Volatility in labour market has been hampering the normal conduct of business
  • There has been a rise in demand; particularly for essential commodities amongst the masses owing to the fear of lockdown. This has led to the behavior of hoarding amongst common people
  • The menace of hoarding is still prevalent
  • Increase in global prices is causing the products to be diverted to these markets owing to the possibility of greater product; this is creating shortage of products in the domestic market
  • Erratic rainfall pattern has further exacerbated the inflation issue in some countries

Way forward

  • Ensure adequate supply of essential items through appropriate measures (Ex: prevention of hoarding)
  • Monitor the pricing mechanisms of essential items to prevent any steep hike
  • Intervention in the market through sale of government-held stocks to bring down the rate of essential items
  • Bring petroleum under the GST bracket. This will reduce the multiplicity of taxes currently being imposed on the product
  • Improve vaccine coverage so as to ensure minimal disruptions in the market going forward


Insta-curious link

How could inflation surge after the pandemic? Click here


Prelims link

  1. What is inflation?
  2. Causes and effects of inflation
  3. Reason behind rise in inflation in recent times in India
  4. Effects of currency appreciation and depreciation

Mains link

Discuss the possible ways to reduce inflation in India in the present circumstances

Source: The Hindu

What did America achieve in Afghanistan in 20 years?

GS Paper 2:

Topic covered: International relations


Context: The recent withdrawal of USA troops from Afghanistan after nearly two decades of waging war on terror

An analysis of America’s achievements in Afghanistan in last 20 years

  • USA under President Biden is contesting that it has significantly thwarted the Al-Qaeda terrorist network operating out of Afghanistan and also killed its leader Osama Bin Laden; thereby exacting justice for the 9/11 terror attacks.
  • This was the primary goal of America to invade Afghanistan in 2001, and not nation-building, as per President Biden; thereby justifying the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
  • However, such a view is contested by many on grounds that previous US Presidents saw the removal of Taliban from power as the key aspect on winning the war on terror. This was the primary reason why USA continued to pour its resources in America even after dismantling Al-Qaeda network and killing Osama Bin Laden.
  • Importantly, the war on terror that USA vowed to fight in Afghanistan might not be successful since the terror networks of Al-Qaeda and Islamic state are quite active in Afghanistan and also in the surrounding regions.
  • The recent attack of IS militants on evacuation efforts conducted by USA forces is a stark reminder about this.
  • Growing factions within the Taliban (Haqqani faction) might lead to a civil war kind of situation which will further add to the instability in the region that could erode the modest gains that USA had achieved in last 20 years in its war on global terror by spending over $2 trillion and losing over 2,300 soldiers


Insta-curious link

Evolution of USA’s policies on Afghanistan- Click here


Prelims link

  1. Geography related information pertaining to Afghanistan (boundary countries, major river and mountain system etc)
  2. Major projects undertaken by India in Afghanistan

Mains link

Challenges posed by the return of Taliban to power on the war on terror

Source: The Hindu

Assam wetland at risk till dumping stops: activists

GS Paper 3:

Topic covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation;


Context: Degradation of Assam’s Deepor Beel due to anthropogenic forces

More on this:

  • Human activities which have caused this destruction– dumping of garbage, construction of roads and railways, construction of warehouses, tourism activities
  • This degradation has caused death of elephants in railway accidents, fewer elephants visiting the wetland due to deteriorating quality of water due garbage dumping, reduction in the number of fishes available for fishermen etc
  • About Deepor Beel:
  1. Deepor Beel is a Ramsar site and a part of it is also wildlife sanctuary (Rani Reserve forest) in Guwahati, Assam.
  2. Deepor Beel is a permanent freshwater lake, in an earlier channel of the Brahmaputra River, to the south of the main river.
  3. The site is an important destination for many migratory species of birds
  • What is Ramsar convention? It is an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, named after the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the Caspian Sea, where the treaty was signed on 2 February 1971.


Insta-curious link

Know about all the wetland sites in India: Click here


Prelims link

  1. What is a wetland?
  2. Ramsar sites in India
  3. Sites in India which is included in Montreux record
  4. About Deepor Beel
  5. Brahmaputra river
  6. Wetlands related rules and institutions in the country

Mains link

Explain the reasons behind the degradation of wetlands and measures required to overcome these challenges

Source: The Hindu

Irrawaddy Dolphin

GS Paper 3:

Topics covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation


Context: Irrawaddy dolphin found dead in Chilika Lake. This is the 8th dolphin death in Odisha in 8 months.


About Irrawaddy Dolphins

  • Irrawaddy dolphins fall under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and mentioned in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species. 
  • Found in coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three rivers: the Irrawaddy (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the Mekong (China).
  • The concentrated lagoon populations are found in Chilika Lake in Odisha, and Songkhla Lake in southern Thailand.


About Chilika Lake:

  • Chilika is Asia’s largest and world’s second largest lagoon.
  • It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent and is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
  • In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Major attraction at Chilika is Irrawaddy dolphins which are often spotted off Satpada Island.
  • The large Nalabana Island (Forest of Reeds) covering about 16 sq km in the lagoon area was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987.
  • Kalijai Temple – Located on an island in the Chilika Lake.



Prelims Link:

  • About the habitats and IUCN status of Irrawaddy dolphins.
  • Their global distribution.
  • About Chilika lake.

Source: Down to Earth

Raptor Species

GS Paper 3:


Context: 160 species of birds of prey endangered worldwide

  • Around 30 per cent of the 557 raptor species around the world are threatened by extinction to some degree, according to a new study.
  • The Philippine eagle, the hooded vulture and the Annobonscops-owl were among the 166 species facing some degree of threat, the study found.
  • The new analysis by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and BirdLife International, a global initiative to protect birds and wildlife by non-profits, was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Threats to the Birds of Prey

  • The threats to the birds of prey are a result of habitat loss, pollution, toxic substances, human–wildlife conflicts, collisions with aerial structures and electrocution by power lines and climate change.
  • Migratory birds of prey are at risk to these threats due to long annual journeys from their breeding grounds to wintering areas and back.
  • The population of Philippine eagles, the largest variety of eagles in the world, decreased rapidly in the last decades due to extensive deforestation. 
  • Some vulture populations have declined by over 95 per cent in Asian countries such as India because of the widespread use of diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug.


Raptors MOU

  • The CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MOU) aims to promote internationally coordinated actions to achieve the favourable conservation status of migratory birds of prey throughout their range in the African-Eurasian region, and to reverse their decline when and where appropriate.
  • The Raptors MOU is one of several instruments operating under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
  • The MoU seeks willingness of the signatory range states for working for conservation of the raptor species and their habitats.
  • India signed Raptor MOU in 2016.
  • Raptor MoU is also in conformity with the provisions of the existing Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972


Insta Links:

Prelims and Mains Link:

  1. About Raptor Species
  2. Threats to Raptor Species
  3. International efforts for the conservation of Raptor Species
  4. About Raptor MOU

Source: Down to Earth

Facts for Prelims:

Ladakh adopts State animal and bird

  • Ladakh adopted two endangered species, snow leopard and black-necked crane, as State animal and State bird
  • Black-necked cranes are only found in Ladakh’s Changthang region. The bird is classified as Near-Threatened, as per the IUCN classification; whereas Snow leopard has been classified as ‘vulnerable’
  • In India, Snow leopard’s geographical range encompasses a large part of the western Himalayas including the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, UT of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas.

Source: The Hindu


200 Army personnel for Zapad exercise

  • One of the contingents of the Indian armed forces is participating in Exercise Zapad
  • ZAPAD 2021 is one of the theatre level exercises of Russian armed forces and will focus primarily on operations against terrorists.
  • Multiple countries will be part of this exercise.
  • Pakistan and china are part of this exercise as observer states

Source: The Hindu

High honor for Naval Aviation

  • The President’s Colours/Standard/Guidon is one of the greatest honors bestowed upon in recognition of exceptional service rendered by military unit to the nation, both during war and peace.
  • Indian Navy was the first to be presented with the President’s Colours on 27 May 1951.
  • Naval aviation will now be provided with this award by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremonial parade to be held at INS Hansa, Goa

Source: The Hindu

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