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. Buddhist Circuit.
GS Paper 2:
1. Pradhan Mantri Jan-Aushadhi Yojana.
2. PM MITRA scheme.
3. Meeting of range countries of Central Asian Flyway (CAF).
4. Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
5. Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) programme.
GS Paper 3:
1. High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People.
Facts for Prelims:
2. Industrial Park Ratings System (IPRS) Report.
GS Paper 1
Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Centre has planned major infrastructure push for Buddhist Circuit. The Union Tourism Ministry has aggressively started tourism promotion with participation of the industry stakeholders, especially after the dramatic improvement of Covid situation in the country and achievement of vaccination targets.
What is Buddhist Circuit?
The Buddhist Circuit project was announced by the central government in 2016. Since then, Rs 343 crore has been sanctioned for the project under various schemes.
- The Buddhist circuit is a route that follows in the footsteps of the Buddha from Lumbini in Nepal where he was born, through Bihar in India where he attained enlightenment, to Sarnath and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh in India, where he gave his first teachings and died.
Development of the circuit:
- Under the Ministry of Tourism’s flagship Swadesh Darshan scheme, multiple projects have been undertaken in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
- In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the plan is to further develop the sites of Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Viashali, Sarnath, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Kaushambi, Sankisa and Kapilavastu.
- These sites currently receive approximately six per cent of nationwide foreign tourist arrivals, with Sarnath and Bodh Gaya leading the pack.
- Initially, it was envisaged only to seven major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, later it was expanded to 21 more states to make it India’s first trans- national tourist circuit.
- It has identified stupas and viharas in these 21 states, around which small intra-state Buddhist zones will be developed.
- The states now that will be covered include Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, West Bengal, Goa, Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir.
- The Buddhist circuit has four international and two domestic airports, while two more in the pipeline.
- There are also plans of developing helicopter services and improving international connectivity under the UDAN scheme.
It was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15 to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
- It is a 100% centrally funded scheme for project components undertaken for public funding.
- It also has provision for leveraging voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and the corporate sector.
Under this scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development.
- Buddhist Circuit,
- North-East India Circuit,
- Coastal Circuit,
- Himalayan Circuit,
- Krishna Circuit,
- Desert Circuit,
- Eco Circuit,
- Wildlife Circuit,
- Tribal Circuit,
- Rural Circuit,
- Spiritual Circuit,
- Ramayana Circuit and
- Heritage Circuit.
Do you know about the International Buddhist Conclave? Where will be the upcoming conclave be held? Reference: read this.
- Buddhism- Origin and Spread.
- Different sects under Buddhism.
- Various Mudras.
- Differences between Hinayana and Mahayana Sects.
- Who are Bodhisattvas?
- Different places associated with the life of Buddha.
- Various Buddhist Councils.
Discuss the relevance of Buddha and his thoughts today.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
PM Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana has achieved the target of opening 8,300 kendras for FY22 in just 6 months.
With a vision to provide quality medicines at an affordable rate to the common man especially the poor, the Government has set a target to increase the number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs) to 10,000 by March 2024. As on October 05, 2021, the number of stores has increased to 8355.
Performance of the scheme:
- All the districts of the country have been covered under the scheme.
- Effective IT-enabled logistics and supply-chain systems for ensuring real-time distribution of medicines at all outlets have also been introduced.
- Product basket of PMBJP presently comprises 1,451 drugs and 240 surgical instruments.
It is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
- It seeks to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.
- Initially launched in 2008, the scheme was rechristened in 2015.
- The Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI) is implementing the scheme.
Key features of the scheme:
- Ensure access to quality medicines.
- Extend coverage of quality generic medicines so as to reduce the out of pocket expenditure on medicines and thereby redefine the unit cost of treatment per person.
- Create awareness about generic medicines through education and publicity so that quality is not synonymous with only high price.
- A public programme involving Government, PSUs, Private Sector, NGO, Societies, Co-operative Bodies and other Institutions.
- Create demand for generic medicines by improving access to better healthcare through low treatment cost and easy availability wherever needed in all therapeutic categories.
Under the Scheme, medicines are procured from World Health Organization – Good Manufacturing Practices (WHO-GMP) certified suppliers for ensuring the quality of the products.
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP, also referred to as ‘cGMP’ or ‘current Good Manufacturing Practice’) is the aspect of quality assurance that ensures that medicinal products are consistently produced and controlled to the quality standards appropriate to their intended use and as required by the product specification.
- GMP also has legal components, covering responsibilities for distribution, contract manufacturing and testing, and responses to product defects and complaints.
Did you know that the first WHO draft text on GMP was adopted in 1968? In 1969, when the World Health Assembly recommended the first version of the WHO Certification Scheme on the quality of pharmaceutical products moving in the global market, it accepted the WHO GMP as an integral part of the Scheme. Reference: read this.
- When was the scheme launched?
- When was it renamed?
- The scheme was launched by which Ministry?
- About BPPI- establishment and functions.
- What is a generic medicine?
Discuss the need for and significance of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Priyojana (PMBJP).
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
The government has approved the setting up of seven PM MITRA textiles parks, following the “Union Budget for 2021-22″ commitments, with a total outlay of Rs. 4,445 crores in a period of 5 years.
About “PM-MITRA” Scheme:
The scheme aims to realize the vision of building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat by positioning India strongly on the Global textiles map.
It is inspired by the 5F vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister –Farm to Fibre to Factory to Fashion to Foreign.
- The scheme aims to create a world-class industrial infrastructure that would attract cutting-edge technology and boost FDI and local investment in the sector.
Selection of sites:
Sites for the scheme will be selected by a Challenge Method, based on objective criteria for Greenfield / Brownfield sites.
- PM MITRA park will be developed by a Special Purpose Vehicle which will be owned by the Central and State Government and in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode.
- Each MITRA Park will have an incubation centre, common processing house and a common effluent treatment plant and other textile related facilities such as design centres and testing centres.
- The Master Developer will not only develop the Industrial Park but also maintain it during the concession period.
Under the scheme, the centre will provide development capital support for the development of common infrastructure of Rs 500 crore for each greenfield MITRA park and upto Rs 200 crore for each brownfield park.
- Greenfield describes a completely new project that has to be executed from scratch, while a brownfield project is one that has been worked on by others.
Eligibility for Incentives:
- An additional Rs 300 crore will be provided as Competitiveness Incentive Support for the early establishment of textiles manufacturing units in each of these parks.
- Investors who set up “anchor plants” that employ at least 100 people will be eligible for incentives of upto Rs 10 crore every year for upto three years.
What are the advantages of the PM-MITRA Scheme?
- The scheme intended to generate approximately 1 lakh direct and 2 lakh indirect employment per park.
- The Scheme will offer an opportunity to create an integrated textiles value chain right from spinning, weaving, processing/dyeing and printing to garment manufacturing at one location that would ease business and will reduce logistics costs of the Industry.
Do you know what are technical textiles? Why are they significant? Reference: read this.
- Key features of the scheme.
Discuss the need for and significance of the scheme.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
A virtual two-day CAF range countries’ meeting was held recently.
What is migration? Why is it significant?
Migration is an adaptation mechanism to help birds overcome weather adversities and unavailability of food in colder regions.
- The importance of bird migrations on the health of the ecosystems is well-established.
- Saving migratory birds means saving the wetlands, terrestrial habitats and saving of an ecosystem, benefiting communities dependent on wetlands.
Challenges faced by migratory birds:
- Accelerated habitat loss globally during the last decade.
- Decreased area under water bodies, wetlands, natural grasslands and forests.
- Increased weather variability, and climate change have resulted in loss of biodiversity for the migratory birds.
Conserving migratory birds requires cooperation and coordination along the entire Central Asian Flyway (CAF) between countries and across national boundaries.
What is a flyway?
A flyway is a geographical region within which a single or a group of migratory species completes its annual cycle – breeding, moulting, staging and non-breeding.
About the Central Asian Flyway:
- Central Asian Flyway (CAF) covers a large area of Eurasia between the Arctic and Indian Oceans.
- Including India, there are 30 countries under the Central Asian Flyway.
- The CAF comprises several important migration routes of waterbirds, most of which extend from the northernmost breeding grounds in Siberia to the southernmost non-breeding wintering grounds in West Asia, India, the Maldives and the British Indian Ocean Territory.
Why do countries need to protect Flyways?
- Approximately one in five of the world’s 11,000 bird species migrate, some covering enormous distances. Conserving migratory birds requires cooperation and coordination along the entire flyway between countries and across national boundaries.
- Safeguarding flyways means protecting the birds from poachers, rejuvenating wetlands among others. Saving the wetlands, terrestrial habitats help in fulfilling the bigger purpose of saving an ecosystem.
Did you know that India has already launched a national action plan for the conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway? Reference: read this.
- About Central Asian Flyway.
- Migratory birds in India.
- About the Convention on the conservation of migratory species.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Seychelles’ Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) programme launched in partnership with India.
- This programme is the sixth TIWB programme which India has supported by providing Tax Expert.
Benefits of the programme:
Through this India in collaboration with the UNDP and the TIWB Secretariat aims to aid Seychelles in strengthening its tax administration by transferring technical know-how and skills to its tax auditors, and through sharing of best audit practices.
About TIWB Programme:
- It is a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
- The objective of the TIWB Initiative is to enable sharing of tax audit knowledge and skills with tax administrations in developing countries through a targeted, real time “learning by doing” approach.
- TIWB is focused on promoting hands-on assistance by sending Experts to build audit and audit-related skills pertaining to specific international tax matters and the development of general audit skills within developing tax administrations.
Did you know about the Better Life Index developed by OECD? Read here, https://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/.
- About TIWB Programme.
- Developed by?
Discuss the significance of the Programme.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
In the first such signal to New Delhi, visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has indicated that Washington might reconsider slapping sanctions on the Indian government when New Delhi takes delivery of five Russian-built S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems in a US$5.5 billion deal later this year.
There has been unease in Washington ever since 2016 when India announced the deal with Russia, which remains New Delhi’s biggest defence partner.
- Now, the S-400 deal could attract sanctions under US’ CAATSA law. The US has already sanctioned China and Turkey over similar purchases.
The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
- It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
What is CAATSA, and how did the S-400 deal fall foul of this Act?
- Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)‘s core objective is to counter Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.
- Enacted in 2017.
- Includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.
What sanctions will be imposed?
- prohibition on loans to the sanctioned person.
- prohibition of Export-Import bank assistance for exports to sanctioned persons.
- prohibition on procurement by United States Government to procure goods or services from the sanctioned person.
- denial of visas to persons closely associated with the sanctioned person.
Do you know about the foundational agreements? There are three agreements called foundational agreements. Reference: read this.
- CAATSA is associated with?
- Powers of US president under CAATSA.
- Types of sanctions that can be imposed.
- Significant defence deals between India and Russia.
- Overview of Iran Nuclear deal.
Discuss the features and significance of CAATSA.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
At a ceremony held between the French and Indian governments, India officially joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People.
- India is the first of the BRICS bloc of major emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to join the HAC.
- India’s announcement comes in the lead up to a high-level biodiversity meeting, hosted by China.
What is the ‘High Ambition Coalition’ (HAC)?
High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, was initiated at the “One Planet Summit” in Paris in January 2021.
- It is co-chaired by Costa Rica and France and by the United Kingdom as Ocean co-chair.
High Ambition Coalition (HAC) is a group of more than 70 countries encouraging the adoption of the global goal to protect 30×30.
- HAC champions a global deal for nature and people with the central goal of protecting at least 30 percent of world’s land and ocean by 2030.
- The 30×30 target is a global target which aims to halt the accelerating loss of species, and protect vital ecosystems that are the source of our economic security.
- HAC members currently include a mix of countries in the global north and south; European, Latin American, Africa and Asia countries are among the members.
In order to address both the biodiversity crisis and the climate crisis, there is growing scientific research that half of the planet must be kept in a natural state.
- Despite this, experts agree that a scientifically credible and necessary interim goal is to achieve a minimum of 30% protection by 2030.
- The scientific data help justify the 30×30 target for biodiversity conservation both at a global level and a regional level.
Currently, an estimated 15% of the world’s land and 7% of the ocean are protected.
- In order to achieve the goal of protecting at least 30% by 2030, we’ll need to double the current land protections and more than quadruple current ocean protections.
- This coalition aims to promote an international agreement to protect at least 30 % the of world’s land and ocean by 2030.
Facts for Prelims:
The Ministry of Ayush’s advisory on the use of Guduchi, also known as Giloy, confirms that Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) is safe to use but some similar looking plants like Tinospora crispa may be harmful.
- Guduchi is a popularly known herb and has been used in therapeutics since long in AYUSH systems.
- It is a large, glabrous, perennial, deciduous, climbing shrub of weak and fleshy stem found throughout India.
- It is a widely used plant in folk and Ayurvedic systems of medicine.
- The chemical constituents reported from this shrub belong to different classes, such as alkaloids, diterpenoid lactones, glycosides, steroids, sesquiterpenoid, phenolics, aliphatic compounds and polysaccharides.
- Potential medicinal properties reported by scientific research include anti-diabetic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antioxidant, anti-allergic, anti-stress, anti-leprotic, antimalarial, hepato-protective, immuno-modulatory and anti-neoplastic activities.
Industrial Park Ratings System (IPRS) Report:
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has released the Industrial Park Ratings System Report.
- The IPRS pilot exercise was launched in 2018 with an objective of enhancing industrial infrastructure competitiveness and supporting policy development for enabling industrialization across the country.
- The IPRS report is an extension of the India Industrial Land Bank which features more than 4,400 industrial parks in a GIS-enabled database.
- It seeks to help investors identify their preferred location for investment.
- These ratings are assigned on the basis of key existing parameters and infrastructure facilities etc.
Highlights of the report:
- 41 Industrial Parks have been assessed as “Leaders” in the Industrial Park Ratings System Report released by DPIIT.
- 90 Industrial Parks have been rated as under the Challenger category while 185 have been rated as under “Aspirers”.
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