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. Ayushman Bharat PMJAY.
GS Paper 3:
1. UN Food Systems Summit.
2. Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
3. Chang’e-5 probe.
4. Sundarbans threatened by human activities.
5. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Issues related to health.
The world’s largest healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) has completed three years. It was launched on September 23rd, 2018.
Key Features of PM-JAY:
- The world’s largest health insurance/ assurance scheme fully financed by the government.
- It provides cover of 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization across public and private empaneled hospitals in India.
- Coverage: Over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) are eligible for these benefits.
- Provides cashless access to health care services for the beneficiary at the point of service.
- The National Health Authority (NHA) is the nodal agency responsible for the nationwide roll-out and implementation of the AB-PMJAY scheme.
- This scheme is a Centrally sponsored scheme with some Central sector components.
- No restrictions on family size, age or gender.
- All pre–existing conditions are covered from day one.
- Covers up to 3 days of pre-hospitalization and 15 days post-hospitalization expenses such as diagnostics and medicines.
- Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country.
- Services include approximately 1,393 procedures covering all the costs related to treatment, including but not limited to drugs, supplies, diagnostic services, physician’s fees, room charges, surgeon charges, OT and ICU charges etc.
- Public hospitals are reimbursed for the healthcare services at par with the private hospitals.
As per the latest economic survey:
- The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) contributed to improvement in many health outcomes in States that implemented the programme.
- States that joined the PM-JAY, compared to those that did not, experienced greater penetration of health insurance, reduction in infant and child mortality rates, realised improved access and utilisation of family planning services and greater awareness of HIV/AIDS.
- Across all the States, the proportion of households with health insurance increased by 54% for States that implemented PM-JAY while falling by 10% in States that did not.
Did you know that the National Health Authority has also been given the responsibility to implement the National Digital Health Mission? Reference:
- Components of Ayushman Bharat.
- PMJAY- Key features.
- About the National Health Agency.
- SEHAT scheme.
Discuss the significance and potential of PMJAY.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Food security related issues.
It is envisioned that the Summit will have objectives and outcomes including to:
- Raise awareness of food systems’ centrality to the entire sustainable development agenda, and the urgency of transforming food systems, particularly in the wake of a global pandemic.
- Align stakeholders around a common understanding and narrative of a food system framework as a foundation for concerted action, making food and food systems a more widespread issue for advocacy and action to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
- Recognize the need for inclusivity and innovation in food systems governance and action.
- Motivate and empower stakeholders who support food systems transformation through the development of improved tools, measurement, and analysis.
- Catalyze, accelerate, and enlarge bold action for the transformation of food systems by all communities, including countries, cities, companies, civil society, citizens, and food producers.
Five action areas to help inform the transitions needed to realise the vision of the 2030 agenda have emerged from the Summit process. These include:
- Nourish all people.
- Boost nature-based solutions.
- Advance equitable livelihoods, decent work and empowered communities.
- Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses.
- Support means of implementation.
Originally announced on 16 October 2019 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Food Systems Summit, including a Pre-Summit, was conceived following conversations with the joint leadership of the three Rome-based United Nations agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme – at the High-level Political Forum in July 2019.
About the Summit:
- The Food Systems Summit is convened as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
- The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.
- Guided by five Action Tracks, the Summit will bring together key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare and academia, as well as farmers.
Why food systems?
The term “food system” refers to the constellation of activities involved in producing, processing, transporting and consuming food.
- Food systems touch every aspect of human existence.
- The health of our food systems profoundly affects the health of our bodies, as well as the health of our environment, our economies and our cultures.
- When they function well, food systems have the power to bring us together as families, communities and nations.
- Too many of the world’s food systems are fragile, unexamined and vulnerable to collapse, as millions of people around the globe have experienced first-hand during the COVID-19 crisis.
- When our food systems fail, the resulting disorder threatens our education, health and economy, as well as human rights, peace and security. As in so many cases, those who are already poor or marginalized are the most vulnerable.
Do you know the difference between Hunger and Food insecurity? Read Here
- About the Summit.
- What are food systems?
- What are SDGs?
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Economics of animal rearing.
A review meeting on the performance of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission was held recently.
What is the Rashtriya Gokul Mission?
‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ was launched in 2014 to conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds, under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD).
Key objectives of the mission
- Development and conservation of indigenous breeds.
- Undertake breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds so as to improve the genetic makeup and increase the stock.
- Enhance milk production and productivity.
- Upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi.
- Distribute disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.
- It is being implemented through the “State Implementing Agency’ Livestock Development Boards, i.e., SIA’s (LDB’s).
- State Gauseva Ayogs are mandated to sponsor proposals to the SIA’s (LDB’s) and monitor implementation of the sponsored proposal.
- The “Participating Agencies” like CFSPTI, CCBFs, ICAR, Universities, Colleges, NGO’s, Cooperative Societies and Gaushalas with best germplasm.
What are Gokul Grams?
The Rashtriya Gokul Mission envisages the establishment of integrated cattle development centers, ‘Gokul Grams’ to develop indigenous breeds including up to 40% nondescript breeds.
Gokul Grams will be established in:
- The native breeding tracts and
- Near metropolitan cities for housing the urban cattle.
- Promote indigenous cattle rearing and conservation in a scientific manner.
- Propagate high genetic merit bulls of indigenous breeds.
- Optimize modern Farm Management practices and promote Common Resource Management.
- Utilize animal waste in an economical way i.e. Cow Dung, Cow Urine.
Key features of Gokul Grams
- They will be self-sustaining and will generate economic resources from sale of A2 milk organic manure, vermi-composting, urine distillates, and production of electricity fraom bio gas for in house consumption and sale of animal products.
- They will also function as state of the art in situ training centre for Farmers, Breeders and MAITRI’s.
- Gokul Grams act as Centres for development of Indigenous Breeds and a dependable source for supply of high genetic breeding stock to the farmers in the breeding tract.
- The Gokul Gram will maintain milch and unproductive animals in the ratio of 60:40 and will have the capacity to maintain about 1000 animals.
- Nutritional requirements of the animals will be provided in the Gokul Gram through in house fodder production.
Many States have schemes to protect stray Cattle. Have a brief overview of them here.
- What are Gokul Grams?
- Can they be established in Metropolitan cities?
- Milch and unproductive animals ratio to be maintained by Gokul Grams.
- About the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD).
- When was the Rashtriya Gokul Mission launched?
Write a note on Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.
As per the latest findings, continuous loss of biodiversity is observed across the shorelines of settlement zones in Indian Sundarbans.
Issues and challenges:
- Small patches of mangroves are being lost gradually and quietly due to their indiscriminate destruction for either coastal development or short-term gains.
- These patches are observed to be enriched habitats of several rare and threatened flora and fauna.
- The continued loss of shoreline mangrove ecosystems has created fragmented and fragile mangrove habitats for rare taxa and framed barriers to their movement and dispersal.
- This irreversible loss of biodiversity is often neglected, which could never be compensated with any ‘cut the established and plant the new’ theory.
What can be done?
The Sunderbans are affected due to the polluted discharges from shrimp ponds. So, instead of popularising shrimp farming, if more indigenous fishing activities were encouraged, coastal threatened biodiversity could be protected and at the same time livelihood options may be provided to the coastal dwellers.
About Indian Sundarbans:
- Covers 4,200 sq. km and includes the Sunderban Tiger Reserve of 2,585 sq. km — home to about 96 royal Bengal tigers (as per the last census in 2020).
- It is a world heritage site and a Ramsar site (a wetland site designated to be of international importance).
- It is also home to a large number of “rare and globally threatened species, such as the critically endangered northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), and the vulnerable fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus).”
- Two of the world’s four horseshoe crab species, and eight of India’s 12 species of kingfisher are also found here. Recent studies claim that the Indian Sundarban is home to 2,626 faunal species and 90% of the country’s mangrove varieties.
- Where are Sundarbans?
- What are mangroves?
- Flora and fauna in the regions.
- Recent cyclones in BoB region.
Discuss the impact of cyclone amphan on Mangroves in India.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Awareness in space.
Early-stage findings of Chang’e-5 probe, which use geological mapping to link ‘exotic’ fragments in the collected samples to features near the landing site, were recently presented by China.
Chinese spacecraft carrying rocks and soil from the moon had begun its journey back to Earth in December 2020, putting China on course to become the first country to successfully retrieve lunar samples since the 1970s.
Where was it landed?
The Chang’e-5 landing site is located on the western edge of the nearside of the Moon in the Northern Oceanus Procellarum. This is one of the youngest geological areas of the Moon with an age of roughly two billion years. The materials scraped from the surface comprise a loose soil that results from the fragmentation and powdering of lunar rocks over billions of years due to impacts of various sizes.
- Ninety percent of the materials collected by Chang’e-5 likely derive from the landing site and its immediate surroundings, which are of a type termed ‘mare basalts’.
- These volcanic rocks are visible to us as the darker gray areas that spilled over much of the nearside of the Moon as ancient eruptions of lava.
- Yet ten percent of the fragments have distinctly different, ‘exotic’ chemical compositions, and may preserve records of other parts of the lunar surface as well as hints of the types of space rocks that have impacted the Moon’s surface.
- Potential sources of beads of rapidly cooled glassy material: Researchers have traced these glassy droplets to now extinct volcanic vents known as ‘Rima Mairan’ and ‘Rima Sharp’ located roughly 230 and 160 kilometers southeast and northeast of the Chang’e-5 landing site. These fragments could give insights into past episodes of energetic, fountain-like volcanic activity on the Moon.
A successful landing in Inner Mongolia made China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples after the United States and the Soviet Union.
- The plan was to collect 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of samples, although it has not been disclosed how much was actually gathered.
When was it launched?
The Chang’e-5 was launched on Nov. 24 and a lander vehicle touched down on the moon on Dec. 1. The mission was expected to take around 23 days in total.
The objective of the mission was to bring back lunar rocks, the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from the moon in four decades.
About Chang’e-5 probe:
It is an unmanned spacecraft by China. The probe is named after the mythical Chinese moon goddess.
The rocket comprises four parts: an orbiter, a returner, an ascender and a lander.
The Chang’e-5 mission is expected to realize four “firsts” in China’s space history:
- The first time for a probe to take off from the surface of the Moon.
- The first time to automatically sample the lunar surface.
- The first time to conduct unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit.
- The first time to return to Earth with lunar soil samples in escape velocity.
Know about various missions to the moon here.
- About the Mission.
- Significance of the mission.
- Past such missions by other countries.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.
Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi has resigned as interlocutor for the Naga peace process to prevent it from derailing.
- Ravi is the Governor of Nagaland and has been crossing swords with the extremist Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or the NSCN (I-M) for almost two years.
The process has been ongoing since mid-1997 when the NSCN (I-M) declared a ceasefire with the armed forces. Other groups began opting for talks in 2001. However, it has been put in a cold storage” since the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015.
How old is the Naga political issue?
- Pre- independence:
- The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
- In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947.
- The NNC resolved to establish a “sovereign Naga state” and conducted a “referendum” in 1951, in which “99 per cent” supported an “independent” Nagaland.
- Post- independence:
On March 22, 1952, the Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA) were formed. The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
Agreement in this regard:
- The NSCN (IM) entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997 and the two have been holding talks since then, while a conglomerate of seven different Naga national political groups (NNPGs) also got into separate talks with the Centre since 2017.
- The Centre signed a “framework agreement” with NSCN (IM) in 2015, and an “agreed position” with the NNPGs in 2017. However, the NSCN (IM)’s demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution has been a delaying factor in signing a final deal on the protracted Naga political issue.
The key demand of Naga groups has been a Greater Nagalim. What parts of the state are covered in it? Reference: read this.
- Parts of States included under Greater Nagalim.
- About Naga Club and NNC.
- When was the Naga Referendum held?
- Overview of AFSPA.
- Overview of Article 371 and sub provisions thereunder.
Discuss the issues and challenges associated with the Naga Peace Accord.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
The Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights, United Nations, has expressed its concerns over the ongoing use of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act throughout India and has called the situation as ‘worrying.
What’s the issue?
Referring to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has remarked that the state has the highest number of cases registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA] across the Counrty.
- It also flagged concerns regarding the cases of Journalists who are under detention “for exercising their right to the freedom of expression”.
However, it does acknowledge the Government’s efforts to counter terrorism and promote development in the region (J&K), but also cautioned that such restrictive measures can result in human rights violations and foster further tensions and discontent.
About the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:
Passed in 1967, the law aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.
- It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.
Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.
- It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.
- Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.
As per amendments of 2019:
- The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
- The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
- It also included the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.
Delhi High Court defines the contours of UAPA:
In June 2021, delivering a judgment defining the contours of the otherwise “vague” Section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA), the Delhi High Court laid down some important principles upon the imposition of Section 15, 17 & 18 of the Act.
Sections 15, 17 and 18 of UAPA:
- S. 15 engrafts the offence of ‘terrorist act’.
- S. 17 lays-down the punishment for raising funds for committing a terrorist act.
- S. 18 engrafts the offence of ‘punishment for conspiracy etc. to commit a terrorist act or any act preparatory to commit a terrorist act’.
Key observations made by the court:
- “Terrorist Act” Should not be used lightly so as to trivialise them.
- Terrorist activity is that which travels beyond the capacity of law enforcement agencies to deal with under ordinary penal law (Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Hitendra Vishnu Thakur).
- Definition of unlawful activity.
- Powers of Centre under the act.
- Is judicial review applicable in such cases?
- Changes brought about by amendments in 2004 and 2019.
- Can foreign nationals be charged under the act?
Do you agree that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act could prove catastrophic for fundamental rights? Is sacrificing liberty for national security justified? Discuss and provide for your opinion.
Sources: the Hindu.