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. Who are Nihangs?
2. AMRUT 2.0.
GS Paper 2:
1. Daylight lynching and law to prevent it.
2. ‘One Health’ consortium.
3. UN Human Rights Council.
GS Paper 3:
1. PM GatiShakti — National Master Plan.
Facts for Prelims:
1. Wealth redistribution council.
2. Economics Nobel.
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Last year, a group of Nihangs had chopped off the hand of a policeman in Patiala with a sword after he asked them to show ‘movement passes’ during the Covid lockdown.
- This year, they have again killed a man near Singhu border in New Delhi, allegedly for desecrating a sacred text.
Who is a Nihang?
Nihang is an order of Sikh warriors. They are characterised by blue robes, antiquated arms such as swords and spears, and decorated turbans surmounted by steel quoits.
What does the word ‘Nihang’ mean?
Etymologically the word nihang in Persian means an alligator, sword and pen but the characteristics of Nihangs seem to stem more from the Sanskrit word nihshank which means without fear, unblemished, pure, carefree and indifferent to worldly gains and comfort.
Sources trace their origin to Guru Gobind Singh’s younger son, Fateh Singh (1699-1705), who once appeared in the Guru’s presence dressed in a blue chola and blue turban with a dumala (piece of cloth forming a plume).
- On seeing his son look so majestic, the Guru remarked that it shall be the dress of Nihangs, the reckless soldiers of the Khalsa.
How were Nihangs different from other Sikhs, and other Sikh warriors?
Nihangs observe the Khalsa code of conduct in its strictest sense. They do not profess any allegiance to an earthly master. Instead of saffron they hoist a blue Nishan Sahib (flag) atop their shrines.
What is their role in Sikh history?
- Nihangs had a major role in defending the Sikh panth after the fall of the first Sikh rule (1710-15) when Mughal governors were killing Sikhs, and during the onslaught of Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Durrani (1748-65).
- Nihangs also took control of the religious affairs of the Sikhs at Akal Bunga (now known as Akal Takht) in Amritsar. They did not consider themselves subordinate to any Sikh chief and thus maintained their independent existence.
- Their clout came to an end after the fall of Sikh Empire in 1849 when the British authorities of Punjab appointed a manager (sarbrah) for the administration of the Golden Temple in 1859.
Do you know who fought the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761? Reference: read this.
- What is Khalsa code of conduct?
- Who helped Ahmed Shah Durrani invade India?
- What is the difference between Shardai, Sukhnidhan and Shaheedi deg?
- Who was Guru Gobind Singh? His contributions to Sikh community?
Who are Nihangs? How are they different from other Sikhs, and other Sikh warriors? Discuss.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: Population and associated issues, poverty, and developmental issues.
The Union Cabinet has approved the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2.0 (AMRUT 2.0) till 2025-26.
- This is a step towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat intending to make the cities ‘water secure and self-sustainable’ through circular economy of water.
Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) was launched to facilitate ease of living to citizens in 500 cities by providing tap connections and sewer connections.
- So far, 1.1 crore household tap connections and 85 lakh sewer/septage connections have been provided.
- 100% coverage of water supply to all households in around 4,700 urban local bodies by providing about 68 crore tap connections.
- 100% coverage of sewerage and septage in 500 AMRUT cities by providing around 64 crore sewers/ septage connections.
- Adopt the principles of Circular Economy (Generating wealth from waste using 3Rs)
- Promote conservation and rejuvenation of surface and groundwater bodies.
- Data led governance in water management
- Technology Sub-Mission to leverage latest global technologies and skills.
- ‘Pey Jal Survekshan’: To promote competition among cities.
Do you know how women contribute to the success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan? Read Here.
- What are the targets and timelines for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 and Amrut 2.0?
- Which ministries will be involved in its implementation?
- What will be the contribution of the State government and their responsibilities?
- What parameters will be used to monitor the scheme?
What are the major causes of Man – wildlife conflicts? What are the ways to prevent human-animal conflicts? Explain.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The recent lynching of a man at Singhu, at the site of the farmers’ protest on the Delhi-Haryana border, the brutality of the hate crime captured and replayed on video, calls for the full force of the law to step in, to bring swift and sure punishment to the guilty.
The victim, Lakhbir Singh, an SC labourer who belonged to a village in Tarn Taran, was reportedly accused of an act of beadabi or desecration by his killers, allegedly a group of Nihangs, who tortured him and tied the mutilated body to a police barricade.
What needs to be done now?
Thugs and lumpens should not be allowed to find any cover. They have played judge, jury, executioner, and the state must urgently identify them and bring them to book.
What is meant by Lynching?
Any act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting (encouraging) such act/acts thereof, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other related grounds.
How are these cases handled?
- Section 302 provides that whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine. Offence of murder is a cognisable, non- bailable and non-compoundable offence.
- There should be a “separate offence” for lynching and the trial courts must ordinarily award maximum sentence upon conviction of the accused person to set a stern example in cases of mob violence.
- The state governments will have to designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
- The state governments need to identify districts, sub-divisions and villageswhere instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past.
- The nodal officers shall bring to the notice of the DGP about any inter-district co-ordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching and mob violence related issues.
- Every police officer shall ensure to disperse the mob that has a tendency to cause violence in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise.
- Central and the state governments shall broadcast on radio, television and other media platforms about the serious consequences of mob lynching and mob violence.
- Despite the measures taken by the State Police, if it comes to the notice of the local police that an incident of lynching or mob violence has taken place, the jurisdictional police station shall immediately lodge an FIR.
- The State Governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme in the light of the provisions of Section 357A of CrPC.
- If a police officer or an officer of the district administration fails to fulfill his duty, it will be considered an act of deliberate negligence.
Need of the hour:
- Every time there is a case of honor killing, hate crimes, witch hunting or mob lynching we raise demands for special legislation to deal with these crimes.
- But, the fact is that these crimes are nothing but murders and the existing provisions under IPC and CrPC are sufficient to deal with such crimes.
- Coupled with the guidelines laid down in Poonawala’s case, we are sufficiently equipped to deal with mob lynching. However, what we lack is due enforcement of the existing laws and accountability of the enforcement agencies.
Attempts by various states in this regard:
- Manipur government came up first with its Bill against lynching in 2018, incorporating some logical and relevant clauses.
- Rajasthan government passed a bill against lynching in August 2019.
- West Bengal too came up with a more stringent Bill against lynching.
Do you know there is something like the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech? Reference: read this.
- States which have passed laws against mob lynching.
- What is Poonawala’s case?
- What are the provisions available against mob lynching under IPC?
Mob Lynching has become a recurring phenomenon in India which is surging hate violence targeting religious and caste minorities. Explain the causative factors and suggest ways to address it.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Issues related to health.
The Department of Biotechnology has launched a ‘One Health’ consortium. This is the First ‘One Health’ project of the DBT.
About the project:
- It envisages carrying out surveillance of important bacterial, viral and parasitic infections of zoonotic as well as transboundary pathogens in the country.
- The project also looks into use of existing diagnostic tests and development of additional methodologies for surveillance and understanding the spread of emerging diseases.
The ‘One Health Consortium’ consists of 27 organisations led by DBT-National Institute of Animal Biotechnology, Hyderabad.
The Covid-19 pandemic showed the relevance of ‘One Health’ principles in the governance of infectious diseases, specially efforts to prevent and contain zoonotic diseases throughout the world.
- Therefore, there is a need for a holistic approach to understand the health of human, animals and wildlife to minimise the damage caused by future pandemics.
What is the OneHealth concept?
- One Health is the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, as defined by the One Health Initiative Task Force.
- One Health model facilitates interdisciplinary approach in disease control so as to control emerging and existing zoonotic threats.
What are zoonotic diseases?
The word ‘Zoonosis’ (Pleural: Zoonoses) was introduced by Rudolf Virchow in 1880 to include collectively the diseases shared in nature by man and animals.
- Later WHO in 1959 defined that Zoonoses are those diseases and infections which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man.
- Zoonoses may be bacterial, viral, or parasitic, or may involve unconventional agents.
As well as being a public health problem, many of the major zoonotic diseases prevent the efficient production of food of animal origin and create obstacles to international trade in animal products.
India’s ‘One Health’ vision derives its blueprint from the agreement between the tripartite-plus alliance comprising the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) — a global initiative supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank under the overarching goal of contributing to ‘One World, One Health’.
- In keeping with the long-term objectives, India established a National Standing Committee on Zoonoses as far back as the 1980s.
- This year, funds were sanctioned for setting up a ‘Centre for One Health’ at Nagpur.
- The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) has launched several schemes to mitigate the prevalence of animal diseases since 2015, with a funding pattern along the lines of 60:40 (Centre: State); 90:10 for the Northeastern States, and 100% funding for Union Territories.
- One Health component under the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well Being.
- Zoonotic vs vector-borne diseases.
- Common OneHealth issues.
One Health model is a globally accepted model for research on epidemiology, diagnosis and control of zoonotic diseases. Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
India gets re-elected to UN Human Rights Council for 6th term with overwhelming majority.
- Besides, the US has also joined more than three years after the Trump administration quit the UNHRC over what it called chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform.
Human Rights Council candidates are elected in geographical groups to ensure even representation.
UNHRC was reconstituted from its predecessor organisation, the UN Commission on Human Rights to help overcome the “credibility deficit” of the previous organisation.
- Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- The UNHRC has 47 members serving at any time with elections held to fill up seats every year, based on allocations to regions across the world to ensure geographical representation.
- Each elected member serves for a term of three years.
- Countries are disallowed from occupying a seat for more than two consecutive terms.
- The UNHRC passes non-binding resolutions on human rights issues through a periodic review of all 193 UN member states called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
- It oversees expert investigation of violations in specific countries (Special Procedures).
Challenges and Need for reforms:
- The human rights record of the member-states such as Saudi Arabia, China and Russia in the council has also not been in line with the aims and mission of the UNHRC, which has led to critics questioning its relevance.
- Despite the continued participation of several western countries in the UNHRC, they continue to harbour misgivings on the understanding of Human rights.
- Non-compliance has been a serious issue with respect to the UNHRC’s functioning.
- Non-participation of powerful nations such as the US.
Do you know about the United Nations Trusteeship Council? Reference: read this.
- About UNHRC.
- What is Universal Periodic Review?
- Headquarters of UNHRC.
- Countries which have recently left UNHRC.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Infrastructure.
“PM GatiShakti — National Master Plan” for infrastructure development has been launched.
- It aims to boost multimodal connectivity and drive down logistics costs.
About PM GatiShakti:
It is a digital platform that connects 16 ministries — including Roads and Highways, Railways, Shipping, Petroleum and Gas, Power, Telecom, Shipping, and Aviation.
It aims to ensure holistic planning and execution of infrastructure projects.
- The portal will offer 200 layers of geospatial data, including on existing infrastructure such as roads, highways, railways, and toll plazas, as well as geographic information about forests, rivers and district boundaries to aid in planning and obtaining clearances.
- The portal will also allow various government departments to track, in real time and at one centralised place, the progress of various projects, especially those with multi-sectoral and multi-regional impact.
The objective is to ensure that “each and every department now have visibility of each other’s activities providing critical data while planning and execution of projects in a comprehensive manner.
- Through this, different departments will be able to prioritise their projects through cross–sectoral interactions”.
- It will also boost last-mile connectivity and bringing down logistics costs with integrated planning and reducing implementation overlaps.
- Poor infrastructure planning included newly-built roads being dug up by the water department to lay pipes. This has badly affected the road Infrastructure and movement of the country.
- Also, logistics costs in India are about 13-14% of GDP as against about 7-8% of GDP in developed economies. High logistics costs impact cost structures within the economy, and also make it more expensive for exporters to ship merchandise to buyers.
- About the Project.
- Key features.
Discuss about the significance of the project.
Sources: Indian Express.
Facts for Prelims:
Wealth redistribution council:
Japan’s new prime minister Fumio Kishida has unveiled this flagship council.
Purpose: It will be responsible for strategizing how to tackle wealth disparities and redistribute wealth to households.
Composition: The panel will comprise a mix of ministers and representatives from the private sector. At least seven private-sector members are women.
The 2021 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded in one half to Canadian-born David Card and the other half jointly to Israeli-American Joshua D Angrist and Dutch-American Guido W Imbens.
They were conferred with the prize for their work on “use of natural experiments” on the impact of minimum wage, immigration and education on the labour markets.
- David Card has been awarded for his empirical contributions to labour economics.
- Joshua D Angrist and Guido W Imbens won the award “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships.”
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) – a PSU under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has announced the launch of “UFill” – a digital customer experience.
- The UFill proposition has been launched in 65 cities across India and will soon be launched across the country.
- The technology provides the customer with control of fuelling as well as touch less pre-payment solution with the dispensing unit getting automatically preset for the value of fuel paid for by him/her in advance and eliminates any manual intervention at the point of sale.
- Drass is known as “the Gateway to Ladakh” and is famous for its high-altitude trekking routes and tourist sites.
- It is also a strategically significant military point, one where the Indian Army personnel have to brave the soaring altitudes and freezing temperatures all year long to guard the LoC.
- It is one of the coldest places in the world where temperatures can drop to less than -40°C.
- Situated between the Zoji La pass and Kargil town, the average temperatures in Drass range to less than -20 degrees Celsius in winter and is often called the “coldest inhabited place” in India.
Why in News?
President Ram Nath Kovind celebrated the occasion of Dussehra with soldiers of the Indian Army in Kargil’s Drass area.
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