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. Registration of political parties.
2. ‘Lateral entry’ into bureaucracy: reason, process, and the controversy.
3. Istanbul Convention on violence against women.
GS Paper 3:
1. Fly Ash.
2. Green Hydrogen.
3. What is UV-C technology?
Facts for Prelims:
1. Core Sector Industries.
2. Credit Default Swap.
3. Places in News- Chile.
4. National Productivity Council.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
The Election Commission has received an application from Captain Amarinder Singh for registration of his new political outfit called Punjab Lok Congress Party under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
According to the Election Commission, any party seeking registration under the Election Commission has to submit an application to it within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation.
This is in keeping with the guidelines prescribed by the Commission in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Registration of Political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- A party seeking registration under the said Section with the Election Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within the said period following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Commission of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- As per the existing guidelines, the applicant is asked to publish the proposed name of the party in two national newspapers and two local dailies.
- It should also provide two days for submitting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within 30 days from the publication.
- The notice for publication is also displayed on the website of the Election Commission.
To be eligible for a ‘National Political Party of India:
- It secures at least six percent of the valid votes polled in any four or more states, at a general election to the House of the People or, to the State Legislative Assembly.
- In addition, it wins at least four seats in the House of the People from any State or States.
- It wins at least two percent seats in the House of the People (i.e., 11 seats in the existing House having 543 members), and these members are elected from at least three different States.
To be eligible for a ‘State Political Party:
- It secures at least six percent of the valid votes polled in the State at a general election, either to the House of the People or to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned
- In addition, it won at least two seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned.
- It wins at least three percent (3%) of the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State, or at least three seats in the Assembly, whichever is more.
- If a party is recognised as a State Party’, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it in the State in which it is so recognised, and if a party is recognised as a `National Party’ it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it throughout India.
- Recognised `State’ and `National’ parties need only one proposer for filing the nomination and are also entitled for two sets of electoral rolls free of cost at the time of revision of rolls and their candidates get one copy of electoral roll free of cost during General Elections.
- They also get broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.
- The travel expenses of star campaigners are not to be accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates of their party.
- Registration of Political Parties.
- Recognised vs Unrecognised political parties.
- State vs National parties.
- Benefits for recognised political parties.
- Who is a star campaigner?
- Article 324 of the Indian Constitution.
- Section 29A of RPA 1951.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Role of civil services in a democracy.
The recent recommendation of 31 candidates by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to be inducted into senior and mid-level positions in various union ministries is the second such attempt towards bringing specialists from private sector in the senior and middle level of bureaucracy. Earlier too, nine lateral entrants from private sector were inducted in 2019.
What’s the issue highlighted by experts?
Experts have warned about the procedure of recruitment.
They say, meritocracy demands that the recruitment procedure of selecting professionals should stand the test of merit through a fair and transparent procedure.
- The fair selection and appointment of civil servants is the foundation of modern merit-based bureaucracy.
Therefore, any deviation from the established procedure must also fulfil the conditions of fair procedure of recruitment.
Need of the hour:
- To be constitutionally correct and to increase the legitimacy of the move, the recruitment procedure of induction of lateral candidates should be initiated in the parliament.
- A comprehensive legislative process will not only help usher in clarity over various aspects of lateral entry recruitment but also legitimise the process and provide it with the endorsement of wider political forces.
What is ‘lateral entry’ into government?
- Recommended by NITI Aayog, in its three-year Action Agenda.
- The induction of personnel will take place at the middle and senior management levels in the central government.
- These ‘lateral entrants’ would be part of the central secretariat which in the normal course has only career bureaucrats from the All India Services/ Central Civil Services.
Need for and significance:
- Lateral entrants have specialised knowledge and expertise in the domain area.
- Meets the twin objectives of bringing in fresh talent as well as augment the availability of manpower.
- It provides stakeholders such as the private sector and non-profits an opportunity to participate in governance process.
- It will help in bringing change in organisation culture in Government sector culture.
Why is lateral entry sometimes criticised?
- There is no reservation in these appointments.
- They are seen as back doors for a political party to bring its own people openly.
Did you know that under Article 321, Parliament can hand over additional functions to the UPSC?
- Overview of Articles 309 to 312.
Discuss the pros and cons of lateral entry into civil services.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Every year, men in Turkey murder hundreds of women, and trending hashtags on social media and protests on the street have become sadly familiar.
This month, a particularly brazen killing has triggered a massive outcry over what women’s rights activists say is the government’s failure to prevent gender-based violence.
- Activists say that by withdrawing from Istanbul Convention, a 2011 landmark agreement of the Council of Europe outlining how to ensure the safety of women, Turkey has given up on a roadmap it was the first country to endorse.
On November 24, 2011, Turkey became the first country to ratify the Istanbul convention and, on March 8, 2012, it incorporated the Istanbul Convention into domestic law.
Why it’s withdrawal being criticised?
Turkey has received severe criticism from various quarters and has led to protests across the country.
- The country has withdrawn from the convention despite the alarmingly high rates of violence and femicide in the country.
- The country ranks 133 out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap report 2021.
- According to UN women data, 38 per cent of women in Turkey face violence from a partner in their lifetime.
- The Turkish government does not maintain any official records on femicides.
What are the reasons for Turkey’s withdrawal?
- It said the convention demeans traditional family structure, promotes divorces and encourages acceptance of LGBTQ in the society.
- Besides, it said, it has enough local laws to protect women’s rights.
- The move comes at a time when domestic violence against women and girls has intensified across the world amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
- People are also concerned that now even basic rights and protections of the Turkish women will come under threat.
What is the Istanbul Convention?
It is also called as the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The treaty is the world’s first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women.
- It is the most comprehensive legal framework that exists to tackle violence against women and girls, covering domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation (FGM), so-called honour-based violence, and forced marriage.
When a government ratifies the Convention, they are legally bound to follow it.
- The convention was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 7 April 2011.
- The Convention sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling violence against women.
Do you also know about the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly? Is India a party to this convention? Read this article.
- Istanbul- location.
- Istanbul convention is related to?
- When was it signed?
- First country to sign the convention?
- Recently, which country decided to exit the convention?
- What is Council of Europe?
Write a note on Istanbul convention.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Pollution related issues.
Activists and fishermen have complained about fly ash making its way into the Kosasthalaiyar from the North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS). This was due to a leak in the pipeline carrying ash to the ash pond.
What is Fly Ash?
Popularly known as Flue ash or pulverised fuel ash, it is a coal combustion product.
Composed of the particulates that are driven out of coal-fired boilers together with the flue gases.
- Depending upon the source and composition of the coal being burned, the components of fly ash vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminium oxide (Al2O3) and calcium oxide (CaO), the main mineral compounds in coal-bearing rock strata.
- Minor constituents include: arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, hexavalent chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with very small concentrations of dioxins and PAH compounds. It also has unburnt carbon.
Health and environmental hazards:
Toxic heavy metals present: All the heavy metals found in fly ash nickel, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, lead, etc—are toxic in nature. They are minute, poisonous particles accumulate in the respiratory tract, and cause gradual poisoning.
Radiation: For an equal amount of electricity generated, fly ash contains a hundred times more radiation than nuclear waste secured via dry cask or water storage.
Water pollution: The breaching of ash dykes and consequent ash spills occur frequently in India, polluting a large number of water bodies.
Effects on environment: The destruction of mangroves, drastic reduction in crop yields, and the pollution of groundwater in the Rann of Kutch from the ash sludge of adjoining Coal power plants has been well documented.
However, fly ash can be used in the following ways:
- Concrete production, as a substitute material for Portland cement, sand.
- Fly-ash pellets which can replace normal aggregate in concrete mixture.
- Embankments and other structural fills.
- Cement clinker production – (as a substitute material for clay).
- Stabilization of soft soils.
- Road subbase construction.
- As aggregate substitute material (e.g. for brick production).
- Agricultural uses: soil amendment, fertilizer, cattle feeders, soil stabilization in stock feed yards, and agricultural stakes.
- Loose application on rivers to melt ice.
- Loose application on roads and parking lots for ice control.
During coal combustion, large amounts of ash are created along with carbon dioxide and other gases. The fine particle ash that rises up with the flue gases is known as fly or flue ash while the heavier ash that does not rise is called bottom ash; collectively these are known as coal ash. Know more about this process, here.
- What is fly ash?
- Potential applications.
What is fly ash? What are its effects on human health and environment?
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Infrastructure- energy.
The Narendra Modi government’s National Hydrogen Mission is kick-starting with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) floating a global tender to set up green hydrogen generation units at two of its big refineries in North India. IOCL is India’s largest commercial undertaking, operating the largest number of refineries in the country.
What is green hydrogen?
Hydrogen when produced by electrolysis using renewable energy is known as Green Hydrogen which has no carbon footprint.
- The hydrogen that is in use today is produced using fossil fuels, which is the primary source.
- Organic materials such as fossil fuels and biomass are used for releasing hydrogen through chemical processes.
Significance of Green Hydrogen:
- Green hydrogen energy is vital for India to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) Targets and ensure regional and national energy security, access and availability.
- Green Hydrogen can act as an energy storage option, which would be essential to meet intermittencies (of renewable energy) in the future.
- In terms of mobility, for long distance mobilisations for either urban freight movement within cities and states or for passengers, Green Hydrogen can be used in railways, large ships, buses or trucks, etc.
Applications of green hydrogen:
- Green Chemicals like ammonia and methanol can directly be utilized in existing applications like fertilizers, mobility, power, chemicals, shipping etc.
- Green Hydrogen blending up to 10% may be adopted in CGD networks to gain widespread acceptance.
- It is a clean-burning molecule, which can decarbonize a range of sectors including iron and steel, chemicals, and transportation.
- Renewable energy that cannot be stored or used by the grid can be channelled to produce hydrogen.
What are the steps the Indian government has taken in the production of green hydrogen?
- During the budget speech in February 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the launch of the Hydrogen Energy Mission to produce hydrogen from renewable sources.
- In the same month, state-owned Indian Oil Corporation signed an agreement with Greenstat Norway for setting up a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen (CoE-H). It will promote R&D projects for the production of green and blue hydrogen between Norwegian and Indian R&D institutions/universities.
- Recently, India and the US have set up a task force under the aegis of the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) to mobilise finance and speed up green energy development.
Hydrogen fuel can be produced through several methods. Read about few here
- About Green Hydrogen.
- How is it produced?
- About the Hydrogen Energy Mission.
Discuss the benefits of Green Hydrogen.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
UV-C water purification is one of the most effective methods to disinfect water. In this technique, special “germicidal” UV-C lamps, emitting high-intensity ultraviolet light purifies the water without the use of harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment.
What is UV radiation?
UV radiation is the portion of the Electromagnetic spectrum between X-rays and visible light.
The most common form of UV radiation is sunlight, which produces three main types of UV rays:
- UVA rays have the longest wavelengths, followed by UVB, and UVC rays which have the shortest wavelengths.
- While UVA and UVB rays are transmitted through the atmosphere, all UVC and some UVB rays are absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer. So, most of the UV rays you come in contact with are UVA with a small amount of UVB.
How is it being used?
UV radiations are normally used to kill microorganisms.
- Particularly, UV-C, also known as Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying their nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions and stops their replication.
- UVGI is used in a variety of applications, such as food, air, and water disinfection.
Is it safe for humans?
Researchers noted that the device was specifically developed to disinfect non-living things. Therefore, UV-C radiation used in this device could be harmful to the skin and eyes of the living beings.
Did you know that Light is also a form of electromagnetic radiation? What are the other forms of electromagnetic radiation? Read here
- Overview of electromagnetic spectrum.
- About UV Rays.
Sources: Indian Express.
Facts for Prelims:
Core Sector Industries:
The eight core sector industries include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity
- The eight core industries comprise nearly 40% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
- The eight Core Industries in decreasing order of their weightage: Refinery Products> Electricity> Steel> Coal> Crude Oil> Natural Gas> Cement> Fertilizers.
Credit default swap:
- It is an example of a credit derivative transaction where credit protection is bought and sold.
- In a Credit Default Swap (CDS), one party agrees to pay another party periodic fixed payments in exchange for receiving ‘credit event protection’, in the form of a payment, in the event that a third party or its obligations are subject to one or more pre-agreed adverse credit events over a pre-agreed time period.
- Typical credit events include bankruptcy, failure to pay, obligation acceleration, restructuring, and repudiation/moratorium.
National Productivity Council (NPC):
- Established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India in 1958, it is an autonomous, multipartite, non-profit organization.
- NPC is a constituent of the Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an Intergovernmental Body, of which the Government of India is a founder member.
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