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. National Snakebite Awareness Summit.
GS Paper 3:
1. What is the IPO Grey Market?
2. 5G technology.
3. ‘Sea snot’ outbreak in Turkey.
4. NCRB data on ‘Offences against State’.
5. Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and the Rohingya Crisis.
Facts for Prelims:
1. Sea cucumber.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.
National Snakebite Awareness Summit was recently organised in virtual mode by the Integrated Health and Wellbeing Council, New Delhi.
- The summit was held on the eve of the International Snakebite Awareness Day, observed on 19 September every year.
What’s the issue?
India is registering an alarming number of deaths due to snakebite. Most of the deaths are preventable with greater awareness and accessible healthcare.
- There is no mechanism of management in the peripheral system to treat snakebites – doctors and paramedical staff need to learn snakebite management but there are no modules.
What needs to be done?
- Establishment of a dialysis centre attached to the PHCs to offer immediate treatment to those with renal failure due to snakebite.
- Region-specific treatment protocols to treat snakebite victims and to administer the anti-venom injection, when required.
- Besides, we need to include tribal healers who have the knowledge of traditional medicine and medicinal plants.
- Snakebite should be a notifiable disease and industry can bring in easy solutions but we need help from policymakers in doing that.
- Need more localized surveys as preventing snakebite will bring equity – most affected people include children working with parents on fields, villagers and tribals.
Snakebite cases in India:
- In the 20-year period from 2000 to 2019, the country recorded 1.2 million snakebite deaths with an average of 58,000 deaths every year.
- As much as 97 per cent of these deaths happened in villages and more than half of the dead were men in their most productive years.
The World Health Organization has added snakebite and the resultant envenoming to its priority list of neglected tropical diseases. Know more about it here.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Indian economy.
There were few articles recently mentioning about Grey Market. Traders are interested in grey market stocks because it can be a way of taking advantage of movements in the company’s share price before it has actually listed.
- Also, any activity is usually taken as an indicator for the direction the stock price will take once it has listed. The pre-market price can be used to gauge the demand for the shares.
What is an IPO grey market?
Generally, when companies wish to raise funds to fuel their growth, they sell a part of their stock on the stock market. This process is called an initial public offering, or IPO.
- But, an IPO grey market is an unofficial market where IPO shares or applications are bought and sold before they become available for trading on the stock market.
- It is also termed a parallel market or an over-the-counter market.
Is it legal? How is it governed?
Since it’s unofficial, inevitably, there are no regulations that govern it. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), stock exchanges, and brokers have no part to play in it. These transactions are undertaken in cash on a one-on-one basis.
What is the Kostak rate?
It relates to an IPO application. So, the rate at which an investor buys an IPO application before the listing is termed the Kostak rate.
Why do investors trade in the Grey Market?
- It’s an excellent opportunity for investors to purchase a company’s shares even before they are listed, especially if they feel that the company’s stock will increase in value.
- If an investor has missed the deadline for the IPO application or wishes to buy more shares then they can approach the IPO grey market.
What is in it for the companies?
- For companies, the grey market is a great way to know how the demand for their shares is and how the company’s shares might perform once it is listed.
- Apart from that, an IPO grey market could be used to gauge how the company’s stock will perform once it is listed.
The IPO grey market is an unofficial market that performs outside SEBI’s purview. Thus, there are no guarantees. All transactions are undertaken on the basis of trust and carry counterparty risk.
Therefore, there’s little legal recourse available to parties if the stock tanks.
Some more terminologies:
- What is an IPO?
- What are listed companies?
- What are primary and secondary markets?
- About Sebi.
Discuss the Concerns associated with grey markets in India.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Vodafone Idea (Vi) claimed to have achieved a peak 5G data speed of 3.7Gbps on the mmWave spectrum band in a recent test conducted in Pune, Maharashtra. Peak download speeds of up to 1.5Gbps in the 3.5Ghz band 5G trial network in Gandhinagar and Pune.
What is 5G?
- 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment 4G LTE connection.
Features and benefits of the 5G technology:
- Operate in the millimeter wave spectrum (30-300 GHz) which have the advantage of sending large amounts of data at very high speeds.
- Operate in 3 bands, namely low, mid and high frequency spectrum.
- Reduced latency will support new applications that leverage the power of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence.
- Increased capacity on 5G networks can minimize the impact of load spikes, like those that take place during sporting events and news events.
Significance of the technology:
India’s National Digital Communications Policy 2018 highlights the importance of 5G when it states that the convergence of a cluster of revolutionary technologies including 5G, the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, along with a growing start-up community, promise to accelerate and deepen its digital engagement, opening up a new horizon of opportunities.
What are the potential health risks from 5G?
To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies.
- Tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies result in negligible temperature rise in the human body.
- As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye).
Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.
What are the international exposure guidelines?
Two international bodies produce exposure guidelines on electromagnetic fields. Many countries currently adhere to the guidelines recommended by:
- The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, through the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety.
These guidelines are not technology-specific. They cover radiofrequencies up to 300 GHz, including the frequencies under discussion for 5G.
International efforts- International Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project:
WHO established the International Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project in 1996. The project investigates the health impact of exposure to electric and magnetic fields in the frequency range 0-300 GHz and advises national authorities on EMF radiation protection.
Do you know what Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing is? (Read Briefly Here).
- What is 5G?
- Differences between 3G, 4G and 5G.
- What is a spectrum?
- About EMF Project.
Discuss the significance of 5G technology.
Sources: Business Standard.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Conservation and Pollution related issues.
The sea snot that dominated the landlocked Marmara Sea earlier this year is nowhere to be seen on the surface nowadays, but its fallout appears to be bigger than experts initially hoped.
Impact of sea snot:
- Overall, 60% of species have already disappeared.
- The layers have sunk and are beginning to decompose.
- The decomposition consumes oxygen in the water, which in turn promotes the formation of new marine mucilage.
- In October, the conditions will be particularly favorable for a new spread. Therefore, the sludge may be visible on the surface again in November.
- The slime could also spread to the Black Sea and the Aegean and may cause a regional ecological crisis.
What is sea snot?
- It is a slimy layer of grey or green sludge, which can cause considerable damage to the marine ecosystem.
- It is formed when algae are overloaded with nutrients.
- A ‘sea snot’ outbreak was first recorded in the country in 2007. Back then, it was also spotted in the Aegean Sea near Greece.
Overloading of nutrients happens because of warm weather caused by global warming, water pollution, uncontrolled dumping of household and industrial waste into the seas etc.
What are the impacts? Concerns?
- It has spread through the sea south of Istanbul and also blanketed harbours and shorelines.
- It is posing a severe threat to the marine ecosystem of the country- it has caused mass deaths among the fish population, and also killed other aquatic organisms such as corals and sponges.
- If unchecked, this can collapse to the bottom and cover the sea floor, causing major damage to the marine ecosystem.
- Over a period of time, it could end up poisoning all aquatic life, including fishes, crabs, oysters, mussels and sea stars.
- Besides aquatic life, the ‘sea snot’ outbreak has also affected the livelihoods of fishermen.
- It can also cause an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera in cities like Istanbul.
Steps taken by Turkey to contain its spread:
- Turkey has decided to declare the entire Sea of Marmara as a protected area.
- Steps are being taken to reduce pollution and improve treatment of waste water from coastal cities and ships.
- A disaster management plan is being prepared.
Did you know that Not all algal blooms are harmful, some can actually be beneficial. Read here
- What is a sea snot?
- What are algal blooms?
- About Black Sea.
- About Aegian Sea.
- Where is sea of Marmara?
Discuss the issues associated with the formation of sea snots.
Sources: down to earth.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.
As per the latest data released by NCRB:
- Manipur, Assam and Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of cases under ‘Offences against State’ in 2020.
- However, there was a decline in the overall number of cases registered — 5,613 cases (26.7 per cent) in 2020 as against 7,656 cases in 2019.
- Of the 5,613 cases, 4,524 cases (80.6 per cent) were registered under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, followed by 796 cases (14.2 per cent) under UAPA.
- Meanwhile, Manipur, Assam, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of sedition cases in 2020.
- Among the Union Territories, Delhi recorded 5 sedition cases.
What are offences against the state?
‘Offences against State’ includes cases booked under sedition, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Official Secrets Act, damage to public property, and imputation, assertions prejudicial to national integration.
Let’s learn more about sedition. What is sedition?
Section 124A of the IPC states, “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the government established by law in shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”
Need for a proper definition?
The sedition law has been in controversy for far too long. Often the governments are criticized for using the law — Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) — against vocal critics of their policies.
- Therefore, this Section is seen as a restriction of individuals’ freedom of expression and falls short of the provisions of reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech under Article 19 of the Constitution.
The law has been in debate ever since it was brought into force by the colonial British rulers in 1870s. Several top freedom movement leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were booked under the sedition law.
- Mahatma Gandhi described it as the “prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen.”
- Nehru had described it as “highly objectionable and obnoxious” which “should have no place in any body of laws that we might pass”. Nehru said, “The sooner we get rid of it the better.”
Relevant Supreme Court judgements:
- The Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962):
While dealing with offences under Section 124A of the IPC, a five-judge Supreme Court constitutional bench had, in the Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962), laid down some guiding principles.
- The court ruled that comments-however strongly worded-expressing disapprobation of the actions of the government without causing public disorder by acts of violence would not be penal.
- The Balwant Singh vs State of Punjab (1995) case:
In this case, the Supreme Court had clarified that merely shouting slogans, in this case Khalistan Zindabad, does not amount to sedition. Evidently, the sedition law is being both misunderstood and misused to muzzle dissent.
Observations made in 2020:
- It is time we define the limits of sedition.
- Provisions of 124A (sedition) and 153 (promoting enmity between classes) of the IPC require interpretation, particularly on the issue of the rights of press and free speech.
Do you know how Mr. K.M. Mushshi’s Amendment had removed ‘Sedition’ from the Constitution And how a SC judgement brought back Sedition Law in India? Read Here.
- Where is sedition defined?
- Section 124A of the IPC is related to?
- Section 153 of the IPC is related to?
- Relevant Supreme Court judgments.
- Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
Discuss the issues associated with the imposition of Sedition law in India.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
Indian security agencies have reported that the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and its functionaries might have taken refuge in the country.
What is ARSA?
- ARSA, formerly known as Harakah al-Yakin, or ‘Faith Movement’, is currently active among the Rohingya residents in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
- It claims to be fighting for the rights of the Rohingya population in Myanmar, which were denied by the government.
What’s the issue?
The United Nations has described Rohingya as “the most persecuted minority in the world” due to the systematic discrimination they face. A tide of displaced people are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries since 2017 as they fled Myanmar with horrifying claims of gang rape, torture and murder at the hands of Myanmar’s security forces.
Who are Rohingyas?
- They are an Ethnic group, mostly Muslims. They were not granted full citizenship by Myanmar.
- They are, basically, stateless, Indo-Aryan ethnic group who reside in Rakhine State, Myanmar.
- There were an estimated 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar before the 2016–17 crisis. An estimated 625,000 refugees from Rakhine, Myanmar, had crossed the border into Bangladesh since August 2017.
Described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as “one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world”.
Protection available to Rohingyas under the International Conventions:
- The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol:
They define the term ‘refugee’ and outlines the rights of refugees, as well as the legal obligations of States to protect them.
- The core principle is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom.
- However, the concern now is that Bangladesh is not a signatory to this convention.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR):
Even though the refugees are foreigners in the country of asylum, by virtue of Article 2 of the ICCPR, 1966, they could enjoy the same fundamental rights and freedoms as nationals- the right to equality before the law, equal protection of the law and non-discrimination.
Know about some of the important refugee crisis across the world. Read here,
- Who are Rohingyas?
- Location of Rakhine State.
- ICJ vs International Criminal Court.
- About the ICCPR.
- About the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Write a note on the Rohingya Crisis.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- Sea cucumber in India is treated as an endangered species listed under schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
- They are marine invertebrates that live on the seafloor found generally in tropical regions. They’re named for their unusual oblong shape that resembles a fat cucumber.
- They are an integral part of the coral ecosystem as one of the main by-products of the sea cucumbers digestion of sand is calcium carbonate and this is essential for the survival of the coral reefs.
- They act like garbage collectors of the ocean world, and they recycle nutrients, thus playing an important role in keeping coral reefs in good condition.
- Sea cucumbers are in high demand in China and Southeast Asia. It is primarily smuggled from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka in fishing vessels from Ramanathapuram and Tuticorin districts.