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. International Solar Alliance General Assembly.
2. Consent of AG on Contempt Proceedings.
3. Criminalisation of politics.
GS Paper 3:
1. Geospatial Energy Map of India.
2. NASA’s Perseverance rover.
3. Fugitive Economic Offender.
Facts for Prelims:
1. Bachelor of Sowa Rigpa Medicine and Surgery (BSRMS).
2. Martand Sun Temple.
3. Allium negianum.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
The fourth general assembly of The International Solar Alliance (ISA), is being held virtually.
- It is presided over by Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India and the President of the ISA Assembly.
- The Fourth Assembly of the ISA will deliberate on the key initiatives around the operationalisation of the OSOWOG initiative, the $1 trillion Solar Investment Roadmap for 2030, and approval of a Blended Financial Risk Mitigation Facility.
- World leaders of ISA member countries will also discuss the strategic plan of the ISA for the next five years.
- The ISA will also discuss the partnership with Global Energy Alliance (GEA) to scale up technical and financial support to LDCs and SIDS.
About the ISA Assembly:
The Assembly is the apex decision-making body of International Solar Alliance (ISA), in which each member country is represented.
- This body makes decisions concerning the implementation of the ISA’s Framework Agreement and coordinated actions to be taken to achieve its objective.
- The Assembly meets annually at the Ministerial level at the seat of the ISA, assesses the aggregate effect of the programmes and other activities in terms of deployment of solar energy, performance, reliability, as well as cost and scale of finance.
- International Solar Alliance was launched in 2015.
- The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 122 countries initiated by India.
- ISA is a coalition of solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn to specifically address energy needs by harnessing solar energy.
- The Paris Declaration establishes ISA as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.
- ISA brings together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate global demand, thereby reducing prices through bulk purchase.
- It facilitates the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale, and promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity building.
- India and France jointly laid the foundation stone of ISA Headquarters.
- They inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy campus, Gurugram, Haryana.
- The ISA’s major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.
- The ISA envisions to enable the full ecosystem for availability and development of technology, economic resources, and development of storage technology, mass manufacturing and innovation.
- The reduced cost of technology would enable the undertaking of more ambitious solar energy programmes.
- Solar is key source of affordable and reliable energy. Successful project implementation could play significant role in achieving the universal energy access goal (SDG 7).
- ISA’s six programmes could be a game changer for the conservation of environment Solar Applications for Agricultural Use, Affordable Finance at Scale, Mini Grids, and Solar Rooftops and Solar E-mobility & Storage and Large-Scale Solar Parks.
Do you know about the First World Solar Technology Summit? Reference: read this.
- ISA secretariat.
- OSOWOG initiative- objectives.
- When was it launched?
- Implementing agency.
- What are non- fossil fuels? Examples.
Discuss the significance of OSOWOG initiative.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
The Attorney General for India KK Venugopal recently declined to grant consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the National President of Azad Samaj Party, Chandra Shekhar Azad for his comments levelling allegations against the judges of the Supreme Court.
The AG was considering a request to grant consent under Section 15(1)(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 to initiate contempt proceedings against Azad.
What is the law on contempt of courts?
The Contempt of Courts Act 1971 defines civil and criminal contempt, and lays down the powers and procedures by which courts can penalise contempt, as well as the penalties that can be given for the offence of contempt.
- Contempt of court is the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court.
Why is the consent of the Attorney General required to initiate contempt proceedings?
The objective behind requiring the consent of the Attorney General before taking cognizance of a complaint is to save the time of the court.
- This is necessary because judicial time is squandered if frivolous petitions are made and the court is the first forum for bringing them in.
- The AG’s consent is meant to be a safeguard against frivolous petitions, as it is deemed that the AG, as an officer of the court, will independently ascertain whether the complaint is indeed valid.
Under what circumstances is the AG’s consent not needed?
The AG’s consent is mandatory when a private citizen wants to initiate a case of contempt of court against a person.
However, when the court itself initiates a contempt of court case the AG’s consent is not required.
- This is because the court is exercising its inherent powers under the Constitution to punish for contempt and such Constitutional powers cannot be restricted because the AG declined to grant consent.
What happens if the AG denies consent?
If the AG denies consent, the matter all but ends.
The complainant can, however, separately bring the issue to the notice of the court and urge the court to take suo motu cognizance.
- Article 129 of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to initiate contempt cases on its own, independent of the motion brought before it by the AG or with the consent of the AG.
Civil contempt refers to the wilful disobedience of an order of any court. How is it different from Criminal Contempt? Reference: read this.
- Powers of SC vs HCs wrt Contempt cases.
- Constitutional provisions in this regard.
- Changes brought about by Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006.
- Civil vs Criminal contempt.
- Rights under Article 19.
- Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 is related to?
Discuss how contempt cases are handled by Supreme Court in India.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
Ahead of UP Elections, political parties are now having a rethink on aligning with those who have a criminal background but also enjoy influence in their areas.
The Supreme Court had warned the Parliament about the advent of criminals in politics and also imposed fines on major political parties for covering up from voters the criminal past of the candidates they fielded in the Bihar Assembly poll last year.
What had the Court said in its February 2020 judgement?
The Supreme Court had directed political parties to publish the criminal history, if any, of their election candidates on the homepage of their websites under the caption ‘Candidates with criminal antecedents’ within 48 hours of their selection.
Why is this a cause for concern?
- There are a total 4,442 cases pending against legislators across the country. Of this, the number of cases against sitting Members of Parliament and members of State legislatures was 2,556.
- The cases were pending in various special courts exclusively set up to try criminal cases registered against politicians.
- The cases against the legislators include that of corruption, money laundering, damage to public property, defamation and cheating.
- A large number of cases were for violation of Section 188 IPC for wilful disobedience and obstruction of orders promulgated by public servants.
- There are 413 cases in respect of offences, which are punishable with imprisonment for life, out of which in 174 cases sitting MPs/ MLAs are accused.
- A large number of cases were pending at the appearance stage and even non-bailable warrants (NBWs) issued by courts have not been executed.
- Highest number of cases are pending in Uttar Pradesh.
What does the RPA say on this?
Currently, under the Representation of Peoples (RP) Act, lawmakers cannot contest elections only after their conviction in a criminal case.
Section 8 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951 disqualifies a person convicted with a sentence of two years or more from contesting elections. But those under trial continued to be eligible to contest elections.
Main reasons for Criminalization:
- Vote bank.
- Lack of governance.
What is the way out?
- Political parties should themselves refuse tickets to the tainted.
- The RP Act should be amended to debar persons against whom cases of a heinous nature are pending from contesting elections.
- Fast-track courtsshould decide the cases of tainted legislators quickly.
- Bring greater transparency in campaign financing.
- The Election Commission of India (ECI) should have the power to audit the financial accounts of political parties.
(Relations to Elections)
Think! If you are a registered voter in Delhi, can you contest an election to Lok Sabha from Assam, Lakshadweep and Sikkim constituencies? check
- Section 8 of the RP Act.
- SC guidelines in this regard.
- ECI- composition and functions.
- CEC- appointment.
- Powers of Election Commission on matters related to election of candidates.
Discuss the concerns associated criminalisation of politics and what the Supreme Court done to address these concerns?
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
NITI Aayog Launches Geospatial Energy Map of India.
What is it?
Geospatial Energy Map, enables visualisation of energy installations such as conventional power plants, oil and gas wells, petroleum refineries, coal fields and coal blocks, district-wise data on renewable energy power plants and renewable energy resource potential, etc through 27 thematic layers.
- This comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) Energy Map of India has been developed by NITI Aayog in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- The GIS map provides a holistic picture of all energy resources of the country.
What will it do?
The map attempts to identify and locate all primary and secondary sources of energy and their transportation/transmission networks to provide a comprehensive view of energy production and distribution in a country.
- It is a unique effort aimed at integrating energy data scattered across multiple organizations and to present it in a consolidated, visually appealing graphical manner.
- It leverages latest advancements in web-GIS technology and open-source software to make it interactive and user friendly.
- The Geospatial Energy Map of India will be useful in planning and making investment decisions.
- It will also aid in disaster management using available energy assets.
Significance of GIS-mapping:
GIS-mapping of energy assets will be useful for ensuring real-time and integrated planning of energy sector of India, given its large geographical distribution and interdependence. It will be advantageous to all concerned stakeholders and will help in accelerating the policy-making process.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Awareness in space.
NASA’s Perseverance rover has clicked a panorama view of the “South Seitah” region of Mars’ Jezero Crater, offering clues to the area’s mysterious past.
- The images reveal the gray, darker gray, and Swiss-coffee-coloured rocky outcrops of the ridge nicknamed “Faillefeu” (after a medieval abbey in the French Alps).
NASA’s Perseverance rover is exploring the Jezero Crater on Mars and attempting to collect its first rock samples.
About Perseverance Rover:
It was launched in 2020 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V.
Why is this mission significant?
- It carried a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment: which for the first time manufactured molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere (ISRU means In Situ Resource Utilization: or the use of local resources to meet human needs or requirements of the spacecraft).
- It carried Ingenuity, the first ever helicopter to fly on Mars.
- It is the planned first step to bring back rock samples from Mars for analysis in sophisticated laboratories on Earth: with the goal of looking for biosignatures: or signatures of present or past life.
These are some of the key mission objectives:
- Look for signs of ancient microbial life.
- Collect Martian rock and dust samples for later return to Earth.
- Deliver an experimental helicopter.
- Study the climate and geology of Mars.
- Demonstrate technology for future Mars missions.
What is the reason for the near-term interest in Mars?
- Mars is located in the very near backyard (about 200 million km away).
- It is a planet that humans can aspire to visit or to stay for a longer duration.
- Mars had flowing water and an atmosphere in the distant past: and perhaps conditions to support life.
- It also has implications for commercial travel.
Know about Mars in brief – the history, atmosphere, gravity and explorations Click here
- Missions to Mars.
- Perseverance- objectives.
- Instruments onboard.
- About the UAE’s Hope and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
- Pathfinder mission.
- About the UAE’s Hope and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
- Pathfinder mission.
Discuss the significance of the mission.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Money laundering related issues.
Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi’s attempts to get the fraud allegations against him dismissed suffered a major setback after the bankruptcy court in New York dismissed his petition.
UK High Court had granted fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi permission to appeal against a magistrates’ court order, in favour of extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering before the Indian courts, on mental health and human rights grounds.
The U.K.’s Home Department, in April 2020, approved the extradition of diamond merchant Nirav Modi to India in connection with the ₹13,758 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.
- This came two months after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled that a prima facie case was made out against him.
A special court, in December 2019, declared diamond businessman Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender, on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate.
Definition- Fugitive Economic Offender:
A person can be named an offender under the law if there is an arrest warrant against him or her for involvement in economic offences involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has fled from India to escape legal action.
- The investigating agencies have to file an application in a Special Court under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts.
- The Special Court will issue a notice for the person to appear at a specified place and date at least six weeks from the issue of notice.
- Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears. If not the person would be declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender based on the evidence filed by the investigating agencies.
- The person who is declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender can challenge the proclamation in the High Court within 30 days of such declaration according to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
Do you know about FATF-style regional bodies? Read Here
- Who is a fugitive economic offender?
- Composition and powers of ED.
- Establishment and powers of CBI.
- What is PMLA?
- Overview of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
Discuss the significance and key provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Bachelor of Sowa Rigpa Medicine and Surgery (BSRMS):
- The University Grants Commission has issued notification recognizing Bachelor of Sowa Rigpa Medicine and Surgery (BSRMS) under the specified Degrees.
- Duration of the degree will be of minimum of five years and Ten plus Two (10+2) is fixed as entry qualification.
What is Sowa -Rigpa?
- It is a traditional system of medicine practised in the Himalayan belt of India.
- It originated in Tibet and popularly practiced in countries namely, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, and Russia.
- The majority of theory and practice of Sowa-Rigpa is similar to “Ayurveda”.
- Yuthog Yonten Gonpo from Tibet is believed to be the father of Sowa Rigpa.
The basic theory of Sowa-Rigpa may be adumbrated in terms of the following five points:
- The body in disease as the locus of treatment.
- Antidote, i.e., the treatment.
- The method of treatment through antidote.
- Medicine that cures the disease.
- Materia Medica, Pharmacy & Pharmacology.
Martand Sun Temple:
- The Martand Sun Temple Also known as Pandou Laidan is a Hindu temple dedicated to Surya.
- Built by the third ruler of the Karkota Dynasty, Lalitaditya Muktapida, in the 8th century CE.
- The temple is located five miles from Anantnag in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It was destroyed by the orders of Muslim ruler Sikandar Shah Miri.
- The temple is one of the earliest known sun temples much older than Konark and Modhera.
- It is an onion species from the Uttarakhand Himalayas, known to locals but newly described in science.
- It grows at 3,000 to 4,800 m above sea level and can be found along open grassy meadows, sandy soils along rivers, and streams forming in snow pasture lands along alpine meadows, where the melting snow helps carry its seeds to more favourable areas.
- With a narrow distribution, this newly described species is restricted to the region of western Himalayas and hasn’t yet been reported from anywhere else in the world.
- The scientific name Allium negianum honours the late Dr Kuldeep Singh Negi, an explorer and Allium collector.
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