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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. Char Dham.

2. Women Judges.

3. Pacific ring of fire.


GS Paper 2:

1. Public Accounts Committee

2. Indo- Pacific.


GS Paper 3:

1. Co-Lending Model- Bank-NBFC co-lending.

2. UAPA.



Facts for Prelims:

1. Konyak Nagas.

2. Miss Universe-2021

Char Dham:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Indian culture – salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.



The Supreme Court has allowed carriageways of three highways to be widened to 10m as part of the Char Dham roads project after modifying its earlier order limiting the width to 5.5m.


What Has The Supreme Court Said?

  • A three-judge Supreme Court bench modified an earlier, September 2020 order by another three-judge bench directing that three highways being laid as part of a 899-km road network in Uttarakhand should stick to a width of 5.5 metres for the carriageway.
  • Following a review sought by the Defence Ministry, the Supreme Court has now decreed that the width of the roads can be of 10m as sought by the Centre, paving the way for their double-laning.
  • Acknowledging the strategic importance of the three highways — which act as feeder roads for connecting with the China border — the top court also noted the need for balancing such priorities with environmental concerns.
  • It also ordered the setting up of an oversight committee led by former Supreme Court judge AK Sikri to ensure that the works were executed in an environmentally conscious manner, incorporating the recommendations of a high-powered committee in this regard.


Developments so far wrt the Chardham Project:

  1. The foundation stone for the Char Dham road project was laid by PM Narendra Modi in December 2016.
  2. But the project was challenged on environmental grounds in courts with petitioners alleging irregularities vis-a-vis environmental clearances for the project and that it was being pursued in violation of existing norms.
  3. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) cleared the project in September 2018, but its order was challenged for being passed by a bench different from the one that had heard the matter. Supreme Court stayed the NGT order in October 2018.
  4. In September 2020, it passed an order on a writ petition stating that highways for the Char Dham project should not exceed 5.5m in width as prescribed in a 2018 circular of the Union Road Transport Ministry. But the Defence Ministry had in December that year sought a modification in the order to allow the width to be of 10m.
  5. The top court then asked its high-powered committee (HPC) to look into the contentions raised by the Centre on the width of the highways.


What did the HPC say?

  • The width should be allowed to be of 10m in view of the strategic importance of these highways.
  • It would not be “feasible” to revisit those stretches where work has been already initiated on 10m width to reduce the same to 5.5m.
  • It would not be possible to grow trees on the patches that had cleared to pave the way for road-building.


What Were The Arguments For Seeking 10m Width?

These are inhospitable terrains where Army needs to move heavy vehicles, machineries, weapons, missiles, tanks, troops and food supplies.


What Are The Environmental Concerns That Were Flagged?

  1. Large-scale construction works in hilly terrain is a recipe for disaster as it leads to a heightened risk of landslides given the felling of trees and loosening of rocks.
  2. The project was being executed bypassing mandatory environment clearances and environment impact assessment (EIA) procedures.
  3. Over 25,000 trees that have reportedly been felled to make way for the project as a grave worry for the ecologically sensitive zone.
  4. Since wider carriageways would require more excavation and blasting, the purpose of having an all-weather highway may be compromised since the topography would become that much more sensitive to slippage and landslides.


About Chardham project:

  • The project involves developing and widening 900-km of national highways connecting the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites of; Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri at an estimated cost of Rs.12,000 crores.
  • The highway will be called Char Dham Mahamarg(Char Dham Highway) and the highway construction project will be called Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana(Char Dham Highway Development Project).

Current Affairs



Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of the project.
  2. Important National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the region.
  3. Important rivers flowing through these places.
  4. Difference between National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Chardham Project.

Sources: the Hindu.

Women Judges:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Issues related to women.



Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has promised to take up with the Supreme Court Collegium the demand for more women judges.


Status of women in Indian judiciary:

  • In the 71 years of history of the SC, there have been only eight women judges — the first was Justice Fathima Beevi, who was elevated to the bench after a long gap of 39 years from the date of establishment of the SC.
  • There are only 80 women judges out of the sanctioned strength of 1,113 judges in the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
  • There are six High Courts — Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Tripura, Telangana, and Uttarakhand — where there are no sitting women judges.


Benefits of diversity and gender representation in Supreme court:

  1. The entry of women judges into spaces from which they had historically been excluded has been a positive step in the direction of judiciaries being perceived as being more transparent, inclusive, and representative.
  2. By their mere presence, women judges enhance the legitimacy of courts, sending a powerful signal that they are open and accessible to those who seek recourse to justice.
  3. They could contribute far more to justice than improving its appearance: they also contribute significantly to the quality of decision-making, and thus to the quality of justice itself.
  4. By elucidating how laws and rulings can be based on gender stereotypes, or how they might have a different impact on women and men, a gender perspective enhances the fairness of the adjudication.
  5. Women judges bring those lived experiences to their judicial actions, experiences that tend toward a more comprehensive and empathetic perspective.
  6. Improving the representation of women could go a long way towards a more balanced and empathetic approach in cases involving sexual violence.


Challenges to women’s entry into judiciary:

  • A major barrier to women’s recruitment as district judges are the eligibility criteria to take the entrance exams.
  • Lawyers need to have seven years of continuous legal practice and be in the age bracket of 35-45.
  • This is a disadvantage for women as many are married by this age.
  • Further, the long and inflexible work hours in law, combined with familial responsibilities, force many women to drop out of practice and they fail to meet the requirement of continuous practice.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that the Supreme Court currently has the highest number of women judges ever in its history?



Prelims Link:

  1. What is collegium?
  2. How are Judges of Supreme Court and high courts appointed?
  3. Appointment of retired judges.
  4. Related constitutional provisions.
  5. Powers and functions.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with collegium system for the appointment of judges.

Sources: the Hindu.

Pacific ring of fire:

GS Paper 1:

Topics covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location.



A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia.

  • The epicentre was in the Flores Sea, north of East Nusa Tenggara province.


Why Indonesia is vulnerable to earthquakes?

Indonesia sit along the Ring of Fire region, an area where most of the world’s volcanic eruptions occur. The Ring of Fire has seen a large amount of activity in recent days, but Indonesia has been hit hard due to its position on a large grid of tectonic plates.

Indonesia is at the meeting point of three major continental plates – the Pacific, the Eurasian and the Indo-Australian plates – and the much smaller Philippine plate. As a result, several volcanoes on the Indonesian islands are prone to erupting. Indonesia is home to roughly 400 volcanoes, out of which 127 are currently active, accounting for about a third of the world’s active volcanoes.


What is the Ring of Fire?

The Ring of Fire is a Pacific region home to over 450 volcanoes, including three of the world’s four most active volcanoes – Mount St. Helens in the USA, Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. It is also sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt.

  • Around 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in the Ring of Fire, and 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes.



  • It stretches along the Pacific Ocean coastlines, where the Pacific Plate grinds against other, smaller tectonic plates that form the Earth’s crust – such as the Philippine Sea plate and the Cocos and Nazca Plates that line the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
  • The 40,000 kilometre horse-shoe-shaped ring loops from New Zealand to Chile, passing through the coasts of Asia and the Americas on the way.



The people most at risk from activity in the Ring of Fire are in the US west coast, Chile, Japan and island nations including the Solomon Islands. These areas are most at risk because they lie on so-called subduction zones – which are boundaries that mark the collision between two of the planet’s tectonic plates.


How was the Ring of Fire formed?

The Ring of Fire is the result from subduction of oceanic tectonic plates beneath lighter continental plates. The area where these tectonic plates meet is called a subduction zone.


Why does the Ring of Fire trigger earthquakes?

  • The world’s deepest earthquakes happen in subduction zone areas as tectonic plates scrape against each other – and the Ring of Fire has the world’s biggest concentration of subduction zones.
  • As energy is released from the earth’s molten core, it forces tectonic plates to move and they crash up against each other, causing friction. The friction causes a build-up of energy and when this energy is finally released it causes an earthquake. If this happens at sea it can cause devastating tsunamis.
  • Tectonic plates usually only move on average a few centimetres each year, but when an earthquake strikes, they speed up massively and can move at several metres per second.



Prelims Link:

  1. Pacific Ring of Fire.
  2. Active Volcanoes in the world.
  3. Barren Island.
  4. Earthquake waves.

Mains Link:

What is Pacific Ring of Fire? Explain its relevance in the case of recent volcanic eruption in Indonesia?

Sources: the Hindu.

Public Accounts Committee:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.



The centennial celebrations of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee was recently held.


About PAC:

  1. The PAC is formed every year with a strength of not more than 22 members of which 15 are from Lok Sabha and 7 from Rajya Sabha.
  2. The term of office of the members is one year.
  3. The Chairman is appointed by the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Since 1967, the chairman of the committee is selected from the opposition.
  4. Its chief function is to examine the audit report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) after it is laid in the Parliament.


Limitations of the Public Accounts Committee:

  1. Broadly, it cannot intervene in the questions of policy.
  2. It can keep a tab on the expenses only after they are incurred. It has no power to limit expenses.
  3. It cannot intervene in matters of day-to-day administration.
  4. Any recommendation that the committee makes is only advisory. They can be ignored by the ministries.
  5. It is not vested with the power of disallowance of expenditures by the departments.
  6. Being only an executive body; it cannot issue an order. Only the Parliament can take a final decision on its findings.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that the Committee on Public Accounts was first set up in 1921 in the wake of the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms? Reference: 



Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between Parliamentary vs Cabinet committees.
  2. Standing vs select vs finance committees.
  3. Who appoints chairperson and members of these committees?
  4. Committees exclusive to only Lok Sabha.
  5. Committees where the Speaker is the chairperson.

Mains Link:

What are Parliamentary Standing committees? Why are they necessary? Discuss their roles and functions to bring out their significance.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.



U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that the United States will expand its military and economic relationships with partners in Asia to push back against China’s increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.


What is Indo- Pacific?

The idea of the Indo-Pacific as a single strategic space is an outgrowth of China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. It signifies the interconnectedness of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the importance of the oceans to security and commerce.


Importance of Indo-Pacific region:

  1. Maintaining regional stability.
  2. Strong ties with the US are seen as a vital tool for enhancing India’s strategic posture.
  3. For the long-term vision of national interest.
  4. China’s increasingly active presence in the Indian Ocean region as well as its efforts to expand geopolitical reach in Asia and beyond by the use of trade and military.
  5. For adhering to freedom of navigation, adherence to rules-based order and stable trade environment.
  6. For free sea and air lanes, connectivity and upholding international rules and norms.


Role and Implications for India in the Indo – pacific region:

  • The Indo-Pacific, as described in the National security strategy, represents the most populous and economically dynamic part of the world and stretches from the west coast of India to the western shores of the United States.
  • India has always been a country with great national ambitions and is one of the most important advocates of the concept of “Indo-Pacific Strategy”.
  • With opening of economy, India has been connecting with its Indian Ocean neighbours and major maritime powers of the world.

Current Affairs



Prelims Link:

  1. About Pacific Region.
  2. Overview of Indian Ocean Region.
  3. Important straits, bays and passes in these regions.

Mains Link:

Discuss the strategic significance of Indo- Pacific region for India.

Sources: the Hindu. 

Co-Lending Model- Bank-NBFC co-lending:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising out of it.



In September 2018, the RBI had permitted the banks to co-lend with all registered NBFCs (including HFCs) to increase lending to the priority sector based on a prior agreement.

  • Following this, several banks have entered into co-lending ‘master agreements’ with NBFCs, and more are in the pipeline.


What’s the concern now?

This has led to unusual tie-ups between banks and NBFCs. For instance, SBI signed a deal with Adani Capital, a small NBFC, for co-lending to farmers to help them buy tractors and farm implements.

Greater risk in co-lending: NBFCs are required to retain at least a 20 per cent share of individual loans on their books. This means 80 per cent of the risk will be with the banks — who will take the big hit in case of a default.

Corporates in banking: While the RBI hasn’t officially allowed the entry of big corporate houses into the banking space, NBFCs — mostly floated by corporate houses — were already accepting public deposits. They now have more opportunities on the lending side through direct co-lending arrangements.


What is the Co-Lending Model?

Co-Lending Model allows for a joint contribution of credit at the facility level by both the lenders, as also sharing of risks and rewards.

  • AIM: to improve the flow of credit to the unserved and underserved sector of the economy.


Significance of the model:

  • The lower cost of funds from banks and greater reach of the NBFCs will make available funds to the beneficiary at an affordable cost.
  • It will help banks to expand customer base and enables them to provide last mile banking services.

Sources: the Hindu

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.



As per the information given by the Union Home Ministry in Lok Sabha:

  • Nearly 57% of those arrested in the country under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act between 2018 and 2020 were below 30 years of age.
  • Uttar Pradesh not only accounted for the highest arrests of those below 30 (931) under the anti-terror law in the past three years but also 70% of the total arrests made in the state under UAPA over this period were in the sub-30 age group.


About the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:

Passed in 1967, the law aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.

The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.

  • It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.


Key points:

Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.

  • It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.


As per amendments of 2019:

  • The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
  • The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
  • It also included the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.


Delhi High Court defines the contours of UAPA:

In June 2021, delivering a judgment defining the contours of the otherwise “vague” Section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA), the Delhi High Court laid down some important principles upon the imposition of Section 15, 17 & 18 of the Act.


Sections 15, 17 and 18 of UAPA:

  1. S. 15 engrafts the offence of ‘terrorist act’.
  2. S. 17 lays-down the punishment for raising funds for committing a terrorist act.
  3. S. 18 engrafts the offence of ‘punishment for conspiracy etc. to commit a terrorist act or any act preparatory to commit a terrorist act’.


Key observations made by the court:

  1. “Terrorist Act” Should not be used lightly so as to trivialise them.
  2. Terrorist activity is that which travels beyond the capacity of law enforcement agencies to deal with under ordinary penal law (Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Hitendra Vishnu Thakur).


Insta Curious:

Did you know that under Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), “if the Central government is of opinion that any association is, or has become, an unlawful association, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare such association to be unlawful?



Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of unlawful activity.
  2. Powers of Centre under the act.
  3. Is judicial review applicable in such cases?
  4. Changes brought about by amendments in 2004 and 2019.
  5. Can foreign nationals be charged under the act?

Mains Link:

Do you agree that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act could prove catastrophic for fundamental rights? Is sacrificing liberty for national security justified? Discuss and provide for your opinion.

Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:


Konyak Nagas: .

The Konyak Union (KU), the apex body of the Konyak Naga tribe that resides in Nagaland’s Mon district, Monday, has announced fresh regulations to continue its “non-cooperation” with the armed forces on Konyak soil — a decision took following the killing of 14 civilians in Oting village in a security ambush recently.

Who are Konyak Nagas?

  • They are the largest of the Naga tribes.
  • In Nagaland, they inhabit the Mon District—also known as ‘The Land of The Anghs’.
  • The Anghs/Wangs are their traditional chiefs whom they hold in high esteem.
  • Facial tattoos were earned for taking an enemy’s head.
  • Other unique traditional practices that set the Konyaks apart are: gunsmithing, iron-smelting, brass-works, and gunpowder-making. They are also adept in making ‘janglaü’ (machetes) and wooden sculptures.
  • Festivals: Aoleng, a festival celebrated in the first week of April (1-6) to welcome the spring and also to invoke the Almighty’s (Kahwang) blessing upon the land before seed-sowing, is the biggest festival of the Konyaks. Another festival, ‘Lao Ong Mo’, is the traditional harvest festival celebrated in the months of August/September.

current affairs


Miss Universe-2021:

  • Chandigarh’s Harnaaz Sandhu won the 70th Miss Universe title at a ceremony held in Israel on December 13, 2021.
  • India has got this title of Miss Universe after 21 years. Earlier this title was given to India in the year 1994 by actress Sushmita Sen and in the year 2000 by actress Lara Dutta.

current affairs


Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. PCA Framework.
  2. SGTF Test Kits.
  3. UN Move on Climate Change.

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