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. Daylight Saving Time.
2. Atlantic Charter.
3. Delhi’s Master Plan 2041, its key areas and challenges.
GS Paper 2:
1. Privilege motion against Minister.
2. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
GS Paper 3:
1. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das sounds alarm on cryptocurrencies.
2. What is Cord blood banking?
Facts for Prelims:
1. Pakke tiger reserve.
2. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomenon.
Daylight saving time was in the news this week as standard time hit the United States this past weekend, forcing people to turn their clocks back and gain an hour of sleep.
What is Daylight Saving Time?
Also called summer time, it is the system for uniformly advancing clocks, so as to extend daylight hours during conventional waking time in the summer months.
- The practice was first suggested in a whimsical essay by Benjamin Franklinin 1784.
- In countries in the Northern Hemisphere, clocks are usually set ahead one hour in late March or in April and are set back one hour in late September or in October.
- Achieve energy efficiency: Increasing focus on energy efficiency due to climate change because of over consumption of energy makes DST relevant. DST is thus an environmentally sustainable concept.
- To ensure that the clocks show a later sunrise and later sunset — in effect ensure a longer evening daytime.
- Completion of routine work an hour earlier.
- DST is meant to save energy.
On Agriculture: One reason why farmers oppose DST is that grain is best harvested after dew evaporates, so when field hands arrive and leave earlier in summer, their labor is less valuable. Dairy farmers are concerned because their cows are sensitive to the timing of milking, so delivering milk earlier disrupts their systems.
A spike in workplace injuries: A study of mining injuries across the U.S., found that there was a spike in workplace injuries of nearly 6 percent on the Monday following the shift to daylight saving time.
On labour and work productivity: Workplace productivity the week after DST drastically decreases. People are tired and lethargic due to a reduction in sleep.
Did you know that India does not follow daylight saving time? It is because countries near the Equator do not experience high variations in daytime hours between seasons.
Should India have two time zones? Reference: read this.
- About DST.
- Countries following this.
- What is Indian standard time?
Discuss the significance of DST.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: World history.
U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Robert Spalding has announced the Digital Atlantic Charter initiative, a public-private effort focused on safeguarding democracies worldwide.
About the initiative:
- It is created in the spirit of the Atlantic Charter and following the recent AUKUS trilateral security partnership between Australia, U.K. and the U.S.
- The initiative supports countries in every region of the world as they work to protect and ensure the resilience of their critical infrastructure.
- The initiative provides policy advice, an investment vehicle and a technology development platform to help government agencies and commercial entities counter digital authoritarianism.
President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently inspected documents related to the Atlantic Charter, a declaration signed by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in August 1941.
- The two leaders plan to sign what they’re calling a new Atlantic Charter, pledging to “defend the principles, values, and institutions of democracy and open societies.”
About the Atlantic Charter:
The Atlantic Charter was a joint declaration issued during World War II (1939-45) by the United States and Great Britain that set out a vision for the postwar world.
- First announced on August 14, 1941, a group of 26 Allied nations eventually pledged their support by January 1942.
- Among its major points were a nation’s right to choose its own government, the easing of trade restrictions and a plea for postwar disarmament.
- The document is considered one of the first key steps toward the establishment of the United Nations in 1945.
What Was Included In The Atlantic Charter?
The Atlantic Charter included eight common principles. This includes:
- The United States and Britain agreed not to seek territorial gains from the war, and they opposed any territorial changes made against the wishes of the people concerned.
- To support the restoration of self-government to those nations who had lost it during the war.
- People should have the right to choose their own form of government.
Do you know about the Kellogg-Briand Pact? Read Here (Read briefly)
You can make use of this reference for questions related to Peace and International Relations
- Signatories of Atlantic Charter.
- World War 2- causes and outcomes.
Discuss the significance of Atlantic Charter.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has extended the ongoing public hearing regarding the draft Master Plan for Delhi 2041 till November 24.
- The Master Plan was put up for public scrutiny in June this year.
- It will take the land-owning agency two or three months after the public hearing concludes to finalise and notify the plan.
Firstly, what is a master plan?
A master plan of any city is like a vision document by the planners and the land-owning agency of the city, which gives a direction to the future development. It includes analysis, recommendations, and proposals keeping in mind the population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use.
What is the Master Plan 2041 for Delhi?
- It seeks to “foster a sustainable, liveable and vibrant Delhi by 2041”.
- In the housing sector, it talks about incentivising rented accommodation by inviting private players and government agencies to invest more, keeping in mind the large migrant population.
- ‘User pays’ principle: To address parking problems, it suggests a ‘user pays’ principle, which means users of all personal motor vehicles, except for non-motorised ones, have to pay for authorised parking facilities, spaces and streets.
- It aims to minimise vehicular pollution through key strategies, including a switch to greener fuels for public transport and adoption of mixed-use of transit-oriented development (also known as TOD).
- The draft lays a clear boundary of the buffer zone near the Yamuna river– 300-metre width shall be maintained wherever feasible along the entire edge of the river.
Changes proposed in the wake of pandemic:
- It aims to develop common community spaces to provide refuge spots, common kitchens and quarantine space in an emergency.
- To improve the nighttime economy, the plan focuses on cultural festivals, bus entertainment, metro, sports facilities, and retail stores included in Delhi Development Authority (DDA)’s Night Life Circuit plan.
- It also proposes to reduce vulnerability to airborne epidemics through decentralised workspaces, mandatory creation of open areas, better habitat design and green-rated developments to reduce dependence on mechanical ventilation systems.
Challenges in implementation:
- Confrontation from political wings.
- Lack of resources and funds.
- Corruption in different departments.
- Lack of political and bureaucratic will and multiplicity of agencies.
Do you recollect, tha Habitat III conference and the New Urban Agenda? Read Here
Prelims Link and Mains Link:
Components and significance of the master plan.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh has moved a privilege motion against Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy over the appointment of former MP Tarun Vijay as the Chairperson of the National Monuments Authority, a post for which, Mr. Ramesh said, Mr. Vijay was not qualified.
What’s the issue?
The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 says that the Chairperson of the NMA should have “proven experience and expertise in the field of archaeology, country and town planning, architecture, heritage, conservation architecture or law.”
- However, the Government had appointed a chairperson whose educational and professional background does not meet the requirements o fa law passed by Parliament in March 2010.
What are Parliamentary Privileges?
Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.
- Article 105 of the Constitution expressly mentions two privileges, that is, freedom of speech in Parliament and right of publication of its proceedings.
- Apart from the privileges as specified in the Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for freedom from arrest and detention of members under civil process during the continuance of the meeting of the House or of a committee thereof and forty days before its commencement and forty days after its conclusion.
Motion against breaches:
When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.
- A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege.
Role of the Speaker/Rajya Sabha (RS) Chairperson:
The Speaker/RS chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion.
The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament.
- If the Speaker/Chair gives consent under relevant rules, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.
- The Constitution also extends the parliamentary privileges to those persons who are entitled to speak and take part in the proceedings of a House of Parliament or any of its committees. These include the Attorney General of India.
- The parliamentary privileges do not extend to the President who is also an integral part of the Parliament. Article 361 of the Constitution provides for privileges for the President.
Are these Parliamentary Privileges defined under law ? Read Here.
- Which provisions of the Constitution protect the privileges of the legislature?
- What is the procedure to be followed in cases of alleged breach of the legislature’s privilege?
- Composition and functions of Privileges Committees in Parliament and State Legislatures.
- What is the punishment for an individual who is found guilty of breaching the legislature’s privilege?
- Can the Courts intervene in matters involving breach of privileges of state legislatures?
What do you understand by legislative privileges? Discuss the problem of legislative privileges as seen in India time to time.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
New Zealand is hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
- Continued outbreaks of the coronavirus and related travel restrictions have confined the meeting to the virtual realm for a second straight year.
- As usual, the 21 APEC members will be seeking areas where members can cooperate on easing barriers to trade and economic growth instead of trying to settle longstanding feuds.
It is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific.
Aim: to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.
- APEC works to help all residents of the Asia-Pacific participate in the growing economy. APEC projects provide digital skills training for rural communities and help indigenous women export their products abroad.
- Recognizing the impacts of climate change, APEC members also implement initiatives to increase energy efficiency and promote sustainable management of forest and marine resources.
- The forum adapts to allow members to deal with important new challenges to the region’s economic well-being. This includes ensuring disaster resilience, planning for pandemics, and addressing terrorism.
APEC’s 21 member economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; Viet Nam.
In all, APEC members account for nearly 3 billion people and about 60% of the world’s GDP. They span the Pacific rim, from Chile to Russia to Thailand to Australia.
- Geographical locations of APEC members.
- Regional groups to which India is not a member.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Shaktikanta Das has sounded alarm on cryptocurrencies, cautioning investors on the potential pitfalls of the digital currency.
Concerns raised: Cryptocurrencies are a very serious concern from a macro economic and financial stability point of view.
After the Supreme Court overturned the RBI’s order, which effectively lifted the ban on cryptocurrency trading in India, the craze in India has grown at a furious rate. Crypto craze remains elevated among Indian investors, especially the retail ones.
- The union government has not yet enacted a law on cryptocurrencies is in consultation with industry experts, comments from various officials and ministers.
- After several rounds of caution, the government might largely want to set severe limits on the trading of cryptocurrencies in India in the larger public interest.
Present status of Cryptocurrencies in India:
- An inter-ministerial panel on cryptocurrency has recommended that all private cryptocurrencies, except any virtual currencies issued by state, will be prohibited in India.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also raised concerns on the cryptocurrencies traded in the market and conveyed them to the Centre.
- Back in March 2020, the Supreme Court had allowed banks and financial institutions to reinstate services related to cryptocurrencies by setting aside the RBI’s 2018 circular that had prohibited them (Based on the ground of “proportionality”).
What are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
Examples: Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.
Why is the RBI against the use of cryptocurrencies?
- Sovereign guarantee: Cryptocurrencies pose risks to consumers. They do not have any sovereign guarantee and hence are not legal tender.
- Market volatility: Their speculative nature also makes them highly volatile. For instance, the value of Bitcoin fell from USD 20,000 in December 2017 to USD 3,800 in November 2018.
- Risk in security: A user loses access to their cryptocurrency if they lose their private key (unlike traditional digital banking accounts, this password cannot be reset).
- Malware threats: In some cases, these private keys are stored by technical service providers (cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets), which are prone to malware or hacking.
- Money laundering.
SC Garg Committee recommendations (2019):
- Ban anybody who mines, hold, transact or deal with cryptocurrencies in any form.
- It recommend a jail term of one to 10 years for exchange or trading in digital currency.
- It proposed a monetary penalty of up to three times the loss caused to the exchequer or gains made by the cryptocurrency user whichever is higher.
- However, the panel said that the government should keep an open mind on the potential issuance of cryptocurrencies by the Reserve Bank of India.
Have you heard about the IOTA Tangle? Reference:
- Various cryptocurrencies.
- Cryptocurrencies launched by various countries.
- What is Blockchain technology?
What are Cryptocurrencies? Why there is a need for regulation? Discuss.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Biotechnology related issues.
Cord Blood Banking Services Market was valued at $1,126 mn in 2016, & is estimated to reach at $2,772 mn by 2023, registering a CAGR of 13.8% from 2017 to 2023.
- The rise in awareness related to the benefits of using cord blood stem cells for the treatment of chronic diseases, such as cancer, has led to an increase in the government initiative leading to an increase in number of cord blood banks, which is expected to fuel the market growth of cord blood banking services.
What is Cord Blood?
Cord blood (short for umbilical cord blood) is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta post-delivery.
- It contains special cells called hematopoietic stem cells that can be used to treat some types of diseases.
What is Cord blood banking?
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the cord blood and extracting and cryogenically freezing its stem cells and other cells of the immune system for potential future medical use.
- Globally, cord blood banking is recommended as a source of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for haematological cancers and disorders where its use is recommended.
- For all other conditions, the use of cord blood as a source of stem cells is not yet established.
What Can It Be Used For?
The umbilical cord fluid is loaded with stem cells.
- They can treat cancer, blood diseases like anemia, and some immune system disorders, which disrupt your body’s ability to defend itself.
- The fluid is easy to collect and has 10 times more stem cells than those collected from bone marrow.
- Stem cells from cord blood rarely carry any infectious diseases and are half as likely to be rejected as adult stem cells.
Concerns associated with stem cell banking:
- Over the past decade, stem cell banking has been aggressively marketed even as its use is still in experimental stages. But these companies charge enormous fees from parents to preserve cells.
- The concern here is that it is merely by emotional marketing that companies convince parents to bank the cells for several years promising future therapeutic use.
- What are stem cells?
- Types of stem cells?
- Their benefits?
- What is stem cell therapy?
- Various projects in this regard.
What is cord blood? How to- be parents are falling prey to the emotional marketing tactics by stem cell banking companies? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Pakke tiger reserve:
- Pakke Tiger Reserve is also known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve.
- This Tiger Reserve has won India Biodiversity Award 2016 in the category of ‘Conservation of threatened species’ for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.
- It is bounded by Bhareli or Kameng River in the west and north, and by Pakke River in the east.
- Neighbours: Papum Reserve Forest in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam’s Nameri National Park, Doimara Reserve Forest and Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The main perennial streams in the area are the Nameri, Khari and Upper Dikorai. West of Kameng River is Sessa Orchid Sanctuary.
- It falls within the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act).
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the administrative Ministry of FSSAI.
- To pursue any food related business, the owner needs to get a certificate and license with the permission of FSSAI.
Articles to be covered tomorrow:
1. Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan.
2. India seeks $1 tn in ‘climate finance’ to meet its targets.
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