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. Midday meal scheme.
2. SMILE Scheme.
3. China–Pakistan Economic Corridor.
4. UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
GS Paper 3:
1. Integrated theatre commands.
Facts for Prelims:
2. Islamic State Khorasan Province.
3. Diego Garcia.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Flagging “critical” levels of malnutrition and anaemia among children, the Union Government has urged the states to explore the possibility of introducing millets in the mid-day meal scheme, now known as PM Poshan.
Need for and significance:
Millets or nutri-cereals, which include Jowar, Bajra, and Ragi, are rich in minerals and B-complex vitamins, as well as proteins and antioxidants, making them an ideal choice for improving the nutritional outcome of children.
About the Mid-Day meal scheme:
The scheme guarantees one meal to all children in government and aided schools and madarsas supported under Samagra Shiksha.
- Students up to Class VIII are guaranteed one nutritional cooked meal at least 200 days in a year.
- The Scheme comes under the Ministry of HRD.
- It was launched in the year 1995 as the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP – NSPE), a centrally sponsored scheme. In 2004, the scheme was relaunched as the Mid Day Meal Scheme.
- The Scheme is also covered by the National Food Security Act, 2013.
Address hunger and malnutrition, increase enrolment and attendance in school, improve socialisation among castes, provide employment at grassroot level especially to women.
The MDM rules 2015, provide that:
- The place of serving meals to the children shall be school only.
- If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by 15th of the succeeding month.
- The School Management Committee mandated under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 shall also monitor implementation of the Mid-day meal Scheme.
In terms of calorie intake, as per the MDM guidelines, the children in primary schools must be provided with at least 450 calories with 12 grams of protein through MDM while the children in upper primary schools should get 700 calories with 20 grams of protein, as per MHRD.
The food intake per meal by the children of primary classes, as provided by MHRD is 100 grams of food grains, 20 grams of pulses, 50 grams of vegetables and 5 grams of oils and fats. For the children of upper-primary schools, the mandated breakup is 150 grams of food grains, 30 grams of pulses, 75 grams of vegetables and 7.5 grams of oils and fats.
- Origin of MDMS.
- When was it renamed?
- Difference between centrally sponsored and Central sector schemes? What kind of scheme of the MDMS?
- Financing under the scheme.
- Nutritional norms prescribed.
- Coverage under the scheme.
- Responsibility to pay food security allowance under the scheme.
Discuss the significance of Mid-Day Meal scheme.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Schemes for the vulnerable sections of the society.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated this scheme for Support for Marginalized Individuals.
About the scheme:
- “SMILE stands for Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”.
- Focus of the scheme is on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counseling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages etc.
- It includes sub scheme – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’.
- The scheme would be implemented with the support of State/UT Governments/Local Urban Bodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) , institutions and others.
Beggars In India:
- According to the Census 2011 total number of beggars in India is 4,13,670 (including 2,21,673 males and 1,91,997 females) and the number has increased from the last census.
- West Bengal tops the chart followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar at number two and three respectively. Lakshadweep merely has two vagrants according to the 2011 census.
- Among the union territories, New Delhi had the largest number of beggars 2,187 followed by 121 in Chandigarh.
- Among the northeastern states, Asam topped the chart with 22,116 beggars, while Mizoram ranked low with 53 beggars.
Read about The Persons in Destitution (Protection, Care and Rehabilitation) Model Bill, 2016 Read more
- Key Provisions of the Bombay Prevention of Beggary Act, 1959.
- About Article 19(1)(a).
- Directives Principles of State Policy related key facts.
- Rights under Article 21.
Discuss why begging should be decriminalised.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recently held a meeting with the women activists and applauded their courage and affirmed that the UN will continue to stand by the people of Afghanistan.
What is UNAMA?
- UNAMA was established on 28 March 2002 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401.
- It was basically established to assist the state and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development.
- Its original mandate was to support the implementation of the Bonn Agreement (December 2001).
- Reviewed annually, this mandate has been altered over time to reflect the needs of the country.
- UNAMA is an integrated mission. This means that the Special Political Mission, all UN agencies, funds and programmes, work in a multidimensional and integrated manner to better assist Afghanistan according to nationally defined priorities.
What is the Bonn Agreement?
- Bonn was a closed-door negotiation; participants were isolated, outside contact was limited during the negotiations, and there was no publicity until after the agreement was signed.
- The existing nominal head of state (Rabbani) was sidelined and did not participate, and the Taliban were completely excluded from the Bonn negotiations.
- The United Nations and several other international actors played major roles in pushing the negotiations forward, and the Bonn Agreement was blessed by the U.N. Security Council.
The Bonn Agreement set an ambitious three-year political and administrative roadmap which was, by and large, followed:
- The Emergency Loya Jirga (grand council) of June 2002 established the transitional administration, a new Constitution was ratified in early 2004, and presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2004 and 2005.
What are UN special political missions?
The term ‘Special Political Mission’ encompasses entities that are not managed or directed by the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) such as the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.
What is Sharia law? How are rulings made? Reference:
- About UNAMA.
- What are UN Special Missions.
- What is Bonn Agreement?
Comment on Afghan Crisis.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: India and neighbours.
The CPEC or the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is getting increasingly unmanageable with local Pakistanis unhappy with the Chinese soldiers and civilians working on the project. Therefore, Pakistan has been forced to deploy more soldiers in the area.
- For the security of Chinese engineers and others working in the Bhasha Dam, the Pakistan Army has deployed 340 Infantry Brigade of the 34 Special Security Division. Pakistan was forced to raise this and another division for the CPEC’s security.
Launched in 2015, the CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at enhancing Beijing’s influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.
- The 3,000 km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consists of highways, railways, and pipelines.
- CPEC eventually aims at linking the city of Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiang through a vast network of highways and railways.
- The proposed project will be financed by heavily-subsidised loans, that will be disbursed to the Government of Pakistan by Chinese banks.
But, why is India concerned?
It passes through PoK.
- CPEC rests on a Chinese plan to secure and shorten its supply lines through Gwadar with an enhanced presence in the Indian Ocean. Hence, it is widely believed that upon CPEC’s fruition, an extensive Chinese presence will undermine India’s influence in the Indian Ocean.
- It is also being contended that if CPEC were to successfully transform the Pakistan economy that could be a “red rag” for India which will remain at the receiving end of a wealthier and stronger Pakistan.
- Besides, India shares a great deal of trust deficit with China and Pakistan and has a history of conflict with both. As a result, even though suggestions to re-approach the project pragmatically have been made, no advocate has overruled the principle strands of contention that continue to mar India’s equations with China and Pakistan.
- What is CPEC?
- What is BRI initiative?
- What is string of pearls initiative?
- Where Gilgit- Baltistan?
- Important ports in Pakistan and Iran.
Discuss India’s concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. Suggest how India should tackle the challenges posed by this alliance?
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
In a fresh push towards the creation of theatre commands to fight the next wars in an integrated manner, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) under the Defence Ministry has asked the three services to conduct studies on the structures of the new formations and submit their reports by April next year.
- India currently has 19 military commands with 17 of them service-oriented. While both the Army and the Air Force have seven commands each, the Navy has three.
- India also has a Tri-Service Command — Andaman and Nicobar Command — besides the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which looks after the country’s nuclear stockpile.
What are integrated theatre commands?
- An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single commander, for geographical areas that are of strategic and security concern.
- The commander of such a force will be able to bear all resources at his disposal — from the Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Navy — with seamless efficacy.
- The integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services.
Why does India seek theatre commands?
- This will help in better planning and military response and also bring down cost.
- While the cost may go up in the immediate future since all theatres would have to be armed with sufficient systems, it will prove to be cost-effective in the long term as all acquisitions will be a unified one.
- It will provide a unified approach to fighting the future wars.
Proposals in this regard:
The need for a unified approach to war fighting was brought out in the deliberations after the 1999 Kargil battle.
- The Kargil Review Committee and the then Group of Ministers besides the Naresh Chandra Committee had called for structural changes in higher defence management.
- It was the Shekatkar committee, headed by Lt Gen. (retd) D.B. Shekatkar, which had recommended the creation of the post of CDS and theatre commands.
Do you know about the Nuclear Command Authority? Who heads the organisation and what are its functions? Reference:
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- It is a Geospatial Planning Portal for facilitating Gram Panchayat level planning of MGNREGA. It is a new portal under ‘Bhuvan’.
- Launched by the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
- The platform will serve as a repository of assets (Geotags) created under various national rural development programmes i.e. MGNREGA, Integrated Watershed Management Programme, Per Drop More Crop and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, etc.
Islamic State Khorasan Province:
- IS-K – Islamic State Khorasan Province – is the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group.
- It is the most extreme and violent of all the jihadist militant groups in Afghanistan.
- IS-K was set up in January 2015 at the height of IS’s power in Iraq and Syria, before its self-declared caliphate was defeated and dismantled by a US-led coalition.
- “Khorasan” refers to a historical region covering parts of modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group initially included Pakistan until a separate Pakistan section was declared in May 2019.
- It is an island of the British Indian Ocean Territory, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom.
- It is the largest of 60 small islands comprising the Chagos Archipelago.
- The Portuguese were the first Europeans to find it and it was then settled by the French in the 1790s and transferred to British rule after the Napoleonic Wars.
- In 1965, Britain separated the Chagos Islands from Mauritius and set up a joint military base with the United States on Diego Garcia.
- Britain insists the islands belong to London and has renewed a lease agreement with the United States to use Diego Garcia until 2036.
Articles to be covered tomorrow:
1. Why is MHA tasked to monitor foreign funds for NGOs, asks SC?
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