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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


Current Affairs


Table of Contents:



GS Paper 1:

1. What is a Bomb Cyclone?


GS Paper 2:

1. Budget Session of Parliament.

2. Kerala’s SilverLine Project.

3. ‘Gehri dosti’ says Israel PM about ties with India.


GS Paper 3:

1. Bad bank.


Facts for Prelims:

1. Honduras gets its first woman President.

2. Centre appoints Anantha Nageswaran as CEA.

What is a Bomb Cyclone?

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.



The US East Coast is bracing itself for a “bomb cyclone” (Nor’easter) that is on course to to barrel in from the mid-Atlantic.


Current Affairs


What is a Bomb Cyclone?

Bombogenesis is the technical term. ‘Bomb cyclone’ is a shortened version of it, better for social media.”

  • It is a mid-latitude cyclone that intensifies rapidly.
  • It has low pressure at its center, weather fronts and an array of associated weather, from blizzards to severe thunderstorms to heavy precipitation.

When is it formed? Generally, a bomb cyclone happens when atmospheric pressure in the middle of the storm drops at least 24 millibars over 24 hours, quickly increasing in intensity. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.


Currrent Affairs


How is it different from hurricanes?

  • It essentially amounts to a rapidly developing storm system, distinct from a tropical hurricane because it occurs over midlatitudes where fronts of warm and cold air meet and collide, rather than relying on the balmy ocean waters of late summer as a catalyst.
  • Bomb cyclones have cold air and fronts: Cold air rapidly weakens hurricanes, while it is an essential ingredient for bomb cyclones.
  • Bomb cyclones form during winter: Hurricanes form from late spring to early fall, while bomb cyclones form from late fall to early spring.
  • Bomb cyclones form at higher latitudes: Hurricanes form in tropical waters, while bomb cyclones form over the northwestern Atlantic, northwestern Pacific and sometimes the Mediterranean Sea.


Current Affairs


Insta Curious:

Did you know that two famed meteorologists, Fred Sanders and John Gyakum, gave bomb Cyclone pattern its name in a 1980 study?


Did you know that all bomb cyclones are not hurricanes? But sometimes, they can take on characteristics that make them look an awful lot like hurricanes, with very strong winds, heavy precipitation and well-defined eye-like features in the middle.



Prelims Link:

  1. What is a cyclone?
  2. Differences between cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons.
  3. What is a Bomb Cyclone?

Mains Link:

What is a Bomb Cyclone? How is it formed?

Sources: the Hindu.

Budget Session of Parliament:

GS Paper 2:

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



The Budget Session of Parliament has begun and is scheduled to conclude on April 8.

  • First, President Ram Nath Kovind will address both Houses in the Central Hall.


What next?

  • The Economic Survey 2021-22 will be laid by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in Lok Sabha on January 31.
  • The Budget will be presented by her on February 1 at 11 am.
  • There will be no Zero Hour and Question Hour in both Houses of Parliament during the first two days of the Budget Session.
  • During the First Part of the Session after the presentation of the Budget (February 2-11), 40 hours of normal time will be available for various Businesses such as Question, Private Members’ Business, Discussion on Motion of Thanks, General Discussion on Union Budget, etc.


Sessions of parliament- Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 85 requires that there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of Parliament.
  • The Constitution does not specify when or for how many days Parliament should meet.


Budgeting process in India:

The procedure for presentation of the Budget in and its passing by Lok Sabha is as laid down in articles 112—117 of the Constitution of India, Rules 204—221 and 331-E of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha and Direction 19-B of Directions by the Speaker.


The Budget goes through six stages:

  1. Presentation of Budget.
  2. General discussion.
  3. Scrutiny by Departmental Committees.
  4. Voting on Demands for Grants.
  5. Passing of Appropriation Bill.
  6. Passing of Finance Bill.



The Budget is presented to Lok Sabha on such day as the President may direct.

Immediately after the presentation of the Budget, the following three statements under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 are also laid on the Table of Lok Sabha:

(i) The Medium-Term Fiscal Policy Statement;

(ii) The Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement; and

(iii) The Macro Economic Framework Statement.


For further details on budget and related terms, read this article.



Prelims Link:

  1. Who summons the Houses of Parliament?
  2. Powers of President vs Powers of Chairperson.
  3. What is adjournment sine die?
  4. What is dissolution of the house?
  5. Why Rajya Sabha cannot be dissolved?
  6. What is budget?

Mains Link:

What needs to be done to increase the productivity of both the houses of Parliament? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

Kerala’s SilverLine Project:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Government policies and issues arising out of their implementation.



Despite the protests taking place across Kerala against SilverLine, the CPI(M)-led government remains firm on implementing the project.


What’s the issue now?

Large sections of the people have been protesting against SilverLine over its “lack” of financial viability as well as environmental and social impact.

Among the questions being asked are:

  • how a debt-ridden state can afford the project;
  • what the ecological cost would be on a state tackling climate change;
  • would the train service be affordable given the cost of building it;
  • and what the plans are to rehabilitate those displaced.

The loudest concern though is the lack of consultation.

Current Affairs



What is the SilverLine project?

  • The proposed 529.45-km line will link Thiruvananthapuram in the south to Kasaragod in the north, covering 11 districts through 11 stations.
  • Being executed by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), or K-Rail, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways created to execute this project.


Features of the Project:

  • The project will have trains of electric multiple unit (EMU) type, each with preferably nine cars extendable to 12.
  • A nine-car rake can seat a maximum of 675 passengers in business and standard class settings.
  • The trains can run at a maximum speed of 220 km/hr on a standard gauge track, completing journeys in either direction in fewer than four hours.
  • At every 500 metres, there will be under-passages with service roads.


Need for the SilverLine project:

Time saving: On the existing network, it now takes 12 hours. Once the project is completed, one can travel from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in less than four hours at 200 km/hr.

Terrain limitations: Most trains run at an average speed of 45 km/hr due to a lot of curves and bends on the existing stretch.

De-trafficking: The project can take a significant load of traffic off the existing stretch and make travel faster for commuters, which in turn will reduce congestion on roads and help reduce accidents.

The project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help in expansion of Ro-Ro services, produce employment opportunities, integrate airports and IT corridors, and enable faster development of cities it passes through.


Issues with the Project:

Political rhetoric: All political parties have been spearheading separate protests.

Huge capital requirement: They argue that the project was an “astronomical scam in the making” and would sink the state further into debt.

Displacement of families: The project was financially unviable and would lead to the displacement of over 30,000 families.

Ecological damage: It would cause great environmental harm as its route cuts through precious wetlands, paddy fields and hills.

Flood hazard: The building of embankments on either side of the major portion of the line will block natural drainage and cause floods during heavy rains.



Prelims Link:

  1. About K- Silver Line project.
  2. Features.
  3. Districts covered.
  4. Implementing agency.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the project.

Sources: the Hindu.

‘Gehri dosti’ says Israel PM about ties with India:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.



Israel and India are celebrating 30 years of establishment of diplomatic relations.

  • Though India had recognised Israel on September 17, 1950, full-fledged diplomatic relations between the countries were established on January 29, 1992.


Observations made by Israeli PM on India Israel relations:

  • Both countries have a “gehri dosti” (deep friendship).
  • The opportunities of collaboration between the two countries are “endless”.


India’s stand Israel- Palestine conflict:

India, at the UN Security Council open debate on the Middle East, has reiterated its firm and unwavering commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Palestine issue and supported a negotiated two-state solution.

  • Resolution 2334 was adopted by this Council to reaffirm the international community’s firm commitment to preventing the erosion of the two-state solution.


Israel- Palestine conflict– Historical Background:

  • The conflict has been ongoing for more than 100 years between Jews and Arabs over a piece of land between Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • It was between 1882 to 1948, when the Jews from around the world gathered in Palestine. This movement came to be known as
  • Then in 1917, Ottoman Empirefell after World War 1 and the UK got control over Palestine.
  • The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.
  • The Balfour Declarationwas issued after Britain gained control with the aim of establishing a home for the Jews in Palestine. However during that period the Arabs were in majority in Palestine.
  • Jews favored the idea while the Palestinians rejected it. Almost 6 million Jews lost their lives in the Holocaustwhich also ignited further demand of a separate Jewish state.
  • Jews claimed Palestine to be their natural home while the Arabs too did not leave the land and claimed it.
  • The international community supported the Jews.
  • In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city.
  • That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.


Current Affairs


The creation of Israel and the ‘Catastrophe’:

  • It was in the year 1948 that Britain lifted its control over the area and Jews declared the creation of Israel. Although Palestinians objected, Jews did not back out which led to an armed conflict.
  • The neighboring Arabs also invaded and were thrashed by the Israeli troops. This made thousands of Palestinians flee their homes. This was called Al-Nakba, or the “Catastrophe”.
  • Israel had gained maximum control over the territory after this came to an end.
  • Jordanthen went on a war with Israel and seized control over a part of the land which was called the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza.
  • Jerusalem was divided between Israel in the West and Jordan in the East.However, no formal peace agreement was signed, each side continued to blame each other for the tension and the region saw more wars.
  • Israeli forces captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank, various areas of Syrian Golan Heights, Gaza and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula in the year 1967.

Present scenario:

  • Israel still occupies the West Bank, and although it pulled out of Gaza the UN still regards that piece of land as part of occupied territory.
  • Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
  • Tensions escalated in recent month over Israel’s actions concerning Al-Asqa mosque in East Jerusalem.



Prelims link:

  1. What is Israel-Palestine issue?
  2. Contested boundaries between the two
  3. West bank settlement issue
  4. Stand taken by UN, Israel, Palestine on this issue
  5. Challenges posed by this issue
  6. India’s stand.

Mains link:

Discuss about the impact of Israel-Palestine issue on the region and its impact on India’s interests.

Sources: the Hindu.

Bad bank:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.



A key proposal announced in this year’s (2021) Budget, a bad bank to deal with stressed assets in the loss-laden banking system, has received all regulatory approvals.


What is NARCL?

  • Setting up of NARCL, the proposed bad bank for taking over stressed assets of lenders, was announced in the Budget for 2021-22.
  • The plan is to create a bad bank to house bad loans of ₹500 crore and above, in a structure that will contain an asset reconstruction company (ARC) and an asset management company (AMC) to manage and recover dud assets.
  • The new entity is being created in collaboration with both public and private sector banks.
    • Majority-owned by state-owned banks, the NARCL will be assisted by the India Debt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL), in turn majority-owned by private banks, in resolution process in the form of a Principal-Agent basis.


How is NARCL different from existing ARCs? How can it operate differently?

  1. The proposed bad bank will have a public sector character since the idea is mooted by the government and majority ownership is likely to rest with state-owned banks.
  2. At present, ARCs typically seek a steep discount on loans. With the proposed bad bank being set up, the valuation issue is unlikely to come up since this is a government initiative.
  3. The government-backed ARC will have deep pockets to buy out big accounts and thus free up banks from carrying these accounts on their books.


What is an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC)?

It is a specialized financial institution that buys the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) from banks and financial institutions so that they can clean up their balance sheets. This helps banks to concentrate on normal banking activities.

  • The asset reconstruction companies or ARCs are registered under the RBI.


Legal Basis:

The Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002 provides the legal basis for the setting up of ARCs in India.


Capital Needs for ARCs:

  • As per amendment made in the SARFAESI Act in 2016, an ARC should have a minimum net owned fund of Rs. 2 crores. The RBI raised this amount to Rs. 100 crores in 2017.
  • The ARCs also have to maintain a capital adequacy ratio of 15% of its risk weighted assets.


Need for:

The total stress in the banking system would be in excess of Rs 15 lakh crore. The banks burdened with stressed assets and limited capital will find it difficult to manage the NPAs. There is also limited capital that the government can provide. This is where the bad bank model would step in and help both the government and banks.


Insta Curious:

The Supreme Court, in 2020, held that the cooperative banks involved in the activities related to banking are covered within the meaning of ‘banking company’ and Parliament has legislative competence to provide for procedure for recovery of loan under the Sarfaesi Act. Read here.



Prelims Link:

  1. What are ARCs?
  2. What is SARFAESI Act?
  3. Sudarshan Sen committee is related to?
  4. About NARCL.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of ARCs.

Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:


Honduras gets its first woman President:

Leftist Xiomara Castro was sworn in recently as the first woman President of Honduras.

  • Honduras is a Central American country.
  • Borders: It is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.


Current Affairs


Centre appoints Anantha Nageswaran as CEA:

The Government of India has appointed Anantha Nageswaran as the new Chief Economic Advisor.

He is a former member of Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council.

  • The CEA reports to the Finance Minister of India.
  • The post is equivalent to Secretary in India.
  • The CEA is the head of the Department of Economic Affairs that operates under Ministry of Finance.


Current Affairs


Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. 1962 India China war.

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