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. Rajasthan’s marriage registration Bill.
GS Paper 2:
1. Kalapani Dispute.
2. Iran makes more 20% enriched uranium than watchdog reported.
GS Paper 3:
1. Indian Space Association.
2. Paddy straw as cattle feed: a proposal by Punjab Government.
3. Bio-decomposer to tackle stubble burning.
Facts for Prelims:
1. Hot Springs.
2. Tejaswini initiative.
3. River Lukha.
GS Paper 1
Topics Covered: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues.
The Rajasthan government has rolled back the Rajasthan Compulsory Registrations of Marriage Amendment Bill, 2021, after it got embroiled in controversy for making it mandatory to register all marriages, including those of minors.
Key Provisions of the Bill:
- The Bill sought to amend Sections 5 and 8 of the Act, dealing with the appointment of Marriage Registration Officers and the duty of parties to a marriage to submit the memorandum for registration.
- The amendment authorises the women above 18 years to provide information of their marriage on their own.
The amendment amends Section 8 of the Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2009, which deals with “Duty to submit Memorandum”.
- The original provision in the law required mandatory registration of marriage within 30 days if the bride and bridegroom were under 21 years of age. The age criterion for both men and women was the same. The registration was to be done by their parents.
- The amended version said the parents must register the marriage within 30 days of the wedding “if the bride is under 18 and the bridegroom is under 21”.
Why was this amendment made?
The state government argues that this would bring the age in line with central legislation which recognises the age of 18 as majority for a girl and 21 for a boy.
- Registration of child marriages would help in their faster annulment and help the government reach out to more victims, particularly widows.
Implications of the move:
- If passed, it would open the floodgates” for child marriage in the state and give “validation to what is a social evil”.
- Compulsory registration of child marriage would legitimise it.
- Activists have also said the marriage certificate might in fact, contrary to government claims, become a hurdle in getting an annulment later as courts could cite lack of a marriage certificate as a reason to not grant an annulment.
Rajasthan had banned child marriage by bringing the Child Marriage Prohibition Act in 2006.
- The law appears to have helped to bring down the instances of child marriage, as indicated in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data of 2015-16.
Did you know that child marriages are not illegal per se, although there is a legal framework to prevent them? Know more about this here.
- About Rights if Children under the Indian Constitution.
- Overview of the conventions and international laws mentioned above.
- Laws to prevent Child Marriages in India.
- About the Rajasthan Marriages Bill.
Suggest measures to counter child marriages in India.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Nepalese political parties have a general consensus over the fact that Kalapani in Uttarakhand is part of Nepal’s sovereign territory, said former Nepalese Foreign Minister. However, India rejected this claim.
Where is Kalapani located?
Located in the easternmost corner of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
- Shares a border on the north with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and Nepal in the east and south.
- It is wedged in between Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani.
- The area is the largest territorial dispute between Nepal and India consisting of at least 37,000 hectares of land in the High Himalayas.
Who controls the area?
The area is in India’s control but Nepal claims the region because of historical and cartographic reasons.
What is the cause of the dispute?
The Kalapani region derives its name from the river Kali. Nepal’s claims to the region is based on this river as it became the marker of the boundary of the kingdom of Nepal following the Treaty of Sugauli signed between the Gurkha rulers of Kathmandu and the East India Company after the Gurkha War/Anglo-Nepal War (1814-16). The treaty was ratified in 1816.
- According to the treaty, Nepal lost the regions of Kumaon-Garhwal in the west and Sikkim in the east.
- According to Article 5, the King of Nepal gave up his claims over the region west of the river Kali which originates in the High Himalayas and flows into the great plains of the Indian subcontinent.
- According to the treaty, the British rulers recognised Nepal’s right to the region that fell to the east of the river Kali.
- According to Nepal’s experts, the east of the Kali river should begin at the source of the river. The source according to them is in the mountains near Limpiyadhura, which is higher in altitude than the rest of the river’s flow.
- Nepal claims that a land mass, high in the mountains that falls to the east of the entire stretch starting from Limpiyadhura downwards, is theirs.
- India on the other hand says the border begins at Kalapani which India says is where the river begins.
- The dispute is mainly because of the varying interpretation of the origin of the river and its various tributaries that slice through the mountains.
- While Nepal’s claim of the territory east of Kali is based on the Limpiyadhura origin, India says the river actually takes the name Kali near Kalapani.
What is the current position?
- Nepal has published a revised official map incorporating the territory from the Limpiyadhura source of the Kali to Kalapani and Lipulekh pass in the northeast of the triangular region as its territory.
- Last year, the Cabinet led by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli registered a constitution amendment motion to grant constitutional status to the map.
- Indian observers say this move makes any future solution on the Kalapani issue nearly impossible as a constitutional guarantee will make Kathmandu’s position inflexible.
Where is Naku La? Why is it controversial? Reference: read this.
- Where is lipulekh?
- Source of Kali river.
- India and Nepal border.
- Where is Kalapani?
- Routes to MT KAILASH and Mansarovar.
- Rivers passing through China and India.
How kalapani issue can be resolved? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
In September, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to up to 20% fissile purity was estimated at 84.3 kilograms (185 pounds) up from 62.8 kilograms (138 pounds) three months earlier.
The 2015 deal promises Iran economic incentives in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, and is meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.
- The U.S. unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, but Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have tried to preserve the accord.
- Under the deal with world powers, the other signatories were to provide Iran with 20% enriched uranium needed for its research reactor.
- Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran was prohibited from enriching uranium above 3.67% with the exception of its research reactor activities.
What is the goal of uranium enrichment?
Uranium contains a rare radioactive isotope, called U-235, that can be used to power nuclear reactors at low enrichment levels and to fuel nuclear bombs at much higher levels.
- The goal of uranium enrichment is to raise the percentage levels of U-235, which is often done through the use of centrifuges — machines that spin a form of unrefined uranium at high speeds.
How much enriched uranium does Iran now possess according to IAEA?
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear-monitoring arm of the United Nations, Iran as of February had amassed 2,967.8 kilograms of uranium — roughly 14 times the limit under the nuclear accord and theoretically enough to power about three atomic bombs if refined to weapons grade. The stockpile includes 17.6 kilograms enriched to 20 percent — also forbidden under the accord until the year 2030.
What’s the concern now?
What makes the enrichment particularly threatening is that the tricky process of enrichment becomes far easier and requires fewer centrifuges as it moves into the higher purities. In other words, getting to 90 percent purity is much easier starting from 20 percent, and easier still starting from 60 percent.
Do you know about India’s nuclear triad? Reference: read this.
- What is JCPOA? Signatories.
- Iran and its neighbours.
- What is IAEA? Relation with the UN.
- Members of IAEA.
- Programs of IAEA.
- Board of Governors- composition, voting and functions.
- What is Uranium Enrichment?
Write a note on JCPOA.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Awareness in space.
Indian Space Association (ISpA) was recently formally launched by Prime Minister Modi.
- It will be the premier industry association of space and satellite companies.
Aims and objectives:
- ISpA aims to be a forum of the space industry in the Indian private sector and partner the Government of India and other key stakeholders across space industry segments in making the nation self-reliant in the area as well as to become a global service provider.
- ISpA aims to contribute to the Government of India’s vision of making India Atmanirbhar and a global leader in the space arena, which is fast emerging as the next growth frontier for mankind.
ISpA is represented by leading home grown and global corporations with advanced capabilities in space and satellite technologies.
- Its founding members include Bharti Airtel, Larson & Toubro, Nelco (Tata Group), OneWeb, Mapmyindia, Walchandnagar Industries and Alpha Design Technologies.
- Other core members include Godrej, Hughes India, Ananth Technology Limited, Azista-BST Aerospace Private Limited, BEL, Centum Electronics, Maxar India.
- The association will engage with stakeholders across the ecosystem for the formulation of an enabling policy framework that fulfils the Government’s vision.
- ISpA will also work towards building global linkages for the Indian space industry to bring in critical technology and investments into the country to create more high skill jobs.
- ISpA also plans to work in very close coordination with IN-SPACe to further the space vision of the Government.
With our large talent pool, growing prowess of home grown technology startups and private enterprises the country is at an inflexion point of what will be a giant leap in the space arena.
- India has the potential to become a technology leader and frugal service provider to the global space industry.
Globally, private enterprise are increasingly contributing to unlocking the possibilities of space.
For 75 years since independence, Indian space has been dominated by a single umbrella of Indian government and government institutions.
- Scientists of India have made huge achievements in these decades, but the need of the hour is that there should be no restrictions on Indian talent, whether it is in the public sector or in the private sector.
- Besides, according to ISRO, the current size of the global space economy stands at about USD 360 billion. However, India accounts for only about 2% of the space economy with a potential to capture 9% of the global market share by 2030.
How are space-based communications networks growing?
Several Indian and international companies have bet on satellite communications as the next frontier to provide internet connectivity at the retail level. This includes SpaceX’s StarLink, Sunil Bharti Mittal’s OneWeb, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, US satellite maker Hughes Communications, etc.
Benefits of satellite internet:
- Industry experts suggest that satellite internet will be essential for broadband inclusion in remote areas and sparsely populated locations where terrestrial networks have not reached.
- As of now, however, satellite communications remains limited to use by corporates and institutions that use it for emergency use, critical trans-continental communications and for connecting to remote areas with no connectivity.
Concerns and challenges:
There are also concerns over the crowding of the orbital space by these multiple launches. This might lead to increase in space debris.
Do you know why low earth orbit is used for space internet instead of geostationary? Reference: read this.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
The Delhi government has started spraying bio-decomposer solution in farmlands to decompose the stubble left after the harvest.
The Delhi government sees the bio-decomposer as a solution to stubble burning and has been urging other States to adopt this method. The government first sprayed it last year and claimed that the results were positive.
How were these bio-decomposers formed?
Pusa Decomposer is a mix of seven fungi that produce enzymes to digest cellulose, lignin and pectin in paddy straw.
- The fungi thrive at 30-32 degree Celsius, which is the temperature prevailing when paddy is harvested and wheat is sown.
How these decomposers are used on fields?
- A liquid formulation is formed using decomposer capsules and fermenting it over 8-10 days and then spraying the mixture on fields with crop stubble to ensure speedy bio-decomposition of the stubble.
- The farmers can prepare 25 litre of liquid mixture with 4 capsules, jaggery and chickpea flour. The mixture is sufficient to cover 1 hectare of land.
- It takes around 20 days for the degradation process to be completed.
Benefits of PUSA decomposers:
- Improves the fertility and productivity of the soil as the stubble works as manure and compost for the crops and lesser fertiliser consumption is required in the future.
- It is an efficient and effective, cheaper, doable and practical technique to stop stubble burning.
- It is an eco-friendly and environmentally useful technology.
- How were PUSA Decomposers developed?
- What are they used for?
- Pollutants released when stubble is burnt.
How stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana affects the air quality of Delhi? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.
Punjab Government has proposed to use the paddy crop residue as fodder for animals, especially cattle.
Potential benefits of this move:
Punjab produces over 20 million tonnes of paddy straw every year. Most of it is burnt in fields by farmers, leading to widespread air pollution that even spreads to neighbouring states.
- The total value of this straw is Rs 400 crore approx, calculated on an average rate of Rs 200/quintal. Almost all of it is burnt in fields.
- This accounts for economic loss apart from the loss of 77,000 tonnes of nitrogen and 5.6 million tonnes of Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) which could be used for ruminant production.
- The nutritional value of 20 million tonnes of paddy straw is: 10 lakh tonnes of crude protein (CP), 3 lakh tonnes of digestible crude protein (DCP), 80 lakh tonnes of total digestible nutrients (TDN) and phosphorus.
- Hence, this move is expected to help control stubble burning during Kharif season 2021 and protect the environment.
But, animals cannot be fed paddy straw directly from fields.
- This is because high silica and lignin content reduces its digestive properties. Higher selenium content in paddy straw also limits its use as fodder in animals as compared to wheat straw.
- Paddy also contains oxalates (2-2.5%) which leads to calcium deficiency.
Ways to address these challenges:
- If given in moderate quantities (up to 5 kg per animal per day), selenium poses no health hazard to the animal.
- To minimise the effects of oxalates, mineral mixture should always be fed along with the straw.
- Other methods include urea treatment of paddy straw and urea plus molasses treatment.
Did you know that stubble burning results in emission of harmful gases such carbon diaoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide along with particulate matter?
Sources: Indian Express.
Facts for Prelims:
The ‘Hot Springs’ point in Ladakh is one of the four points where the Indian and Chinese armies went face-to-face back during the standoff in May 2020.
- Hot Springs, traditionally known as Kyam, is a campsite and the location of an Indian border check-post – Patrol Point-15 – at the Chang Chenmo river valley in Ladakh near the contested border with China.
- The spot was so named due to the presence of a hot spring in the area.
- It lies to Southeast of Galwan Valley.
- It is close to Kongka La, a pass that marks the Line of Actual Control.
- The pass also marks the border between two of China’s most sensitive provinces — Xinjiang to the north and Tibet to the south.
- Kongka La lies west of China’s G219 highway which connects Xinjiang and Tibet.
It is a women-centric safety initiative of north-west district – Delhi.
- The initiative aimed to reach out to women belonging to all strata of society and female senior citizens, and also to safeguard the rights and dignity of women and children.
- The tasks and assignments are carried out by women beat staff.
- It resulted in significant growth in terms of its reach and scope of work.
- According to the Meghalaya state government, a detoxing pilot project has brought River Lukha back from the dead.
- The Lukha river is in the East Jaintia Hills district.
- The Lukha, draining the southern part of East Jaintia Hills, is fed by the Lunar river, its main tributary and numerous streams from the hills of the Narpuh Reserve Forest. The river flows into Bangladesh.
- The government said a detoxing pilot project has brought a river back from the dead.
- The Lukha — “reservoir of fish” in the local Pnar language — was considered toxic beyond redemption a decade ago.
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