Print Friendly, PDF & Email



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. Enacting of Dandi March on March 12.


GS Paper 2:

1. Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21.

2. Manual scavenging.

3. ‘Most favoured nation’ status.

4. What are the Geneva Conventions guidelines during wartime?

5. Re-launch of CEPA between India – Canada.


Facts for Prelims:

1. Chilika lake.

2. Museum of the Future.

3. Nutraceuticals products.

4. International Arbitration Centre in Hyderabad.

Enacting of Dandi March on March 12:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.



The Salt March, which took place from March to April 1930, was an act of civil disobedience led by Mahatma Gandhi to protest the British rule in the country.


Current Affairs


About Dandi March:

Mahatma Gandhi and 78 others from his Sabarmati Ashram had embarked on the Dandi Yatra on March 12, 1930 to break the law which had imposed tax on salt.

  • After walking for 21 days, they reached Dandi on April 5 and broke the law.
  • After making salt at Dandi, Gandhi headed to Dharasana Salt Works, 40 km south, but was arrested on May 5.


Facts related to Salt Satyagraha:

  • The Congress Party in the Lahore session of December 1929, passed the Purna Swaraj resolution. It was proclaimed on 26 January, 1930 and decided that civil disobedience was the way to achieve it.
  • Mahatma Gandhi chose the path of non-violence to break the salt tax against the British government.


Why salt?

  • Salt was a commodity used by all people of every community and the poor people were affected more by the salt tax.
  • Until the passing of the 1882 Salt Act, Indians were making salt from seawater free of cost.
  • But the Salt Act gave British monopoly over the production of salt and authority to impose a salt tax. Violation of the Salt Act was a criminal offence.
  • With the Salt Satyagraha, Mahatma Gandhi tried to unite Hindu and Muslims because the cause was common.


Outcomes of Salt March or Salt Satyagraha:

  • A lot of people came together including women, depressed class.
  • The movement showed the power of non-violence in fighting against colonialism for the freedom struggle.
  • In 1931, Mahatma Gandhi was released and met Lord Irwin who wanted to put an end to the civil disobedience movement.
  • As a result, Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed, the civil disobedience movement ended and Indians were allowed to make salt for domestic use.


Insta Curious:

On his return from South Africa, Gandhi’s first Ashram in India was established in the Kochrab area of Ahmedabad on 25 May 1915. The Ashram was then shifted on 17 June 1917 to a piece of open land on the banks of the river Sabarmati.



Prelims Link:

  1. About Salt March.
  2. Causes, effects and outcomes.
  3. About the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  4. Key leaders.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and outcomes of Dandi March.

Sources: PIB.

Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Education.



The Ministry of Education has released a detailed report on Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21 on school education of India.


Current Affairs


About it

The UDISE+ system of online data collection from the schools was developed by Department of School Education & Literacy in the year 2018-19.

  • It was aimed to overcome the issues related to erstwhile practice of manual data filling in paper format and subsequent feeding on computer at the block or district level in the UDISE data collection system since 2012-13.
  • In UDISE+ system, improvements have been made particularly in the areas related to data capture, data mapping and data verification.


Current Affairs


Highlights of the report:

Students and Teachers in schools:

  • In 2020-21 total students enrolled in school education from primary to higher secondary stood at 25.38 crore.
  • There is an increase of 28.32 lakh enrolments as compared to the 25.10 crore enrolment in 2019-20.

The GER:

  1. Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) which measure the general level of participation has improved in 2020-21 at all levels of school education compared to 2019-20.
  2. Level wise GER in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20 are:  92.2% from 89.7% in upper primary, 99.1 % from 97.8% in elementary, 79.8% from 77.9% in secondary and 53.8% from 51.4% in higher secondary respectively.
  3. 96.96 lakh teachers are engaged in school education during 2020-21.
  4. This is higher by about 8800 in comparison with number of teachers in school education in 2019-20.

The Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR):

  1. In 2020-21 the Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) stood at 26 for primary, 19 for upper primary, 18 for secondary and 26 for higher secondary, showing an improvement since 2018-19.
  2. The PTR for primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary was 28, 20, 21, and 30 respectively during 2018-19.
  3. In 2020-21 over 12.2 crore girls are enrolled in primary to higher secondary showing an increase of 11.8 lakh girls compared to the enrolment of girls in 2019-20.

School Infrastructure:

  1. Schools with functional electricity have made impressive progress during 2020-21 with net addition of 57,799 schools provided electricity.
  2. Now 84% of the total schools have functional electricity facility in comparison with 73.85% in 2018-19 showing remarkable improvement of 10.15% during the period.
  3. Percentage of the schools with functional drinking water has increased to 95.2 % in 2020-21 from 93.7 % in 2019-20.
  4. Percentage of the school with functional girl’s toilet facility has increased to 93.91 % in 2020-21 in comparison with 93.2 % in 2019-20 by adding the facility in additional 11,933 schools during the year.
  5. Number of schools having functional computers increased to 6 lakh in 2020-21 from 5.5 lakh in 2019-20 showing an increasing of 3 %. Now, 40% of the schools have functional computers.
  6. Number of schools having internet facility increased to 3.7 lakh in 2020-21 from 3.36 lakh in 2019-20 with an increase of 2.6%.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on enrolment:

During 2020-21, 39.7 lakh students of government aided, private school students shifted to Government schools.

Sources: PIB.

/ 14 MAR CA, Today's Article

Manual scavenging:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Protection of vulnerable sections of the society.



Recently, three labourers in Mumbai, allegedly hired for manual scavenging, died after inhaling toxic fumes in a septic tank.

  • Even though manual scavenging is banned in India, the practice is still prevalent in many parts of the country.



What is manual scavenging?

Manual scavenging is the practice of removing human excreta by hand from sewers or septic tanks.

  • India banned the practice under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (PEMSR).
  • The Act recognizes manual scavenging as a “dehumanizing practice,” and cites a need to “correct the historical injustice and indignity suffered by the manual scavengers.”


Why is manual scavenging still prevalent in India?

  • The lack of enforcement of the Act.
  • Exploitation of unskilled labourers.
  • The practice is driven by caste, class and income divides.


Constitutional guarantee:

Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees ‘Right to Life’ and that also with dignity. This right is available to both citizens and non-citizens. The ban Manual Scavenging should, therefore, should be implemented in letter and spirit.


Other steps taken:

In 1989, the Prevention of Atrocities Act became an integrated guard for sanitation workers; more than 90% people employed as manual scavengers belonged to the Scheduled Caste. This became an important landmark to free manual scavengers from designated traditional occupations.

Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge: It was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on World Toilet Day (19th November) in 2020.

‘Swachhta Abhiyan App’: It has been developed to identify and geotag the data of insanitary latrines and manual scavengers so that the insanitary latrines can be replaced with sanitary latrines and rehabilitate all the manual scavengers to provide dignity of life to them.

SC Judgement: In 2014, a Supreme Court order made it mandatory for the government to identify all those who died in sewage work since 1993 and provide Rs. 10 lakh each as compensation to their families.



Prelims Link:

  1. Manual Scavenging.
  2. Prevention of Atrocities Act.
  3. Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge.
  4. SC Judgement.
  5. Article 21 of the Constitution.
  6. Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

Mains Link:

Comment on the significance of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

Sources: the Hindu.

‘Most favoured nation’ status:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Effects of policies of developed nations.



The United States, the European Union, Britain, Canada and Japan are planning to move jointly to revoke Russia’s “most favoured nation” (MFN) status over its invasion of Ukraine.


Current Affairs


What is MFN Status?

Most Favoured Nation is a treatment accorded to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries vis-a-vis other trade partners.

  • Under WTO rules, a member country cannot discriminate between its trade partners. If a special status is granted to a trade partner, it must be extended to all members of the WTO.


Does MFN mean preferential treatment?

In literal explanation, MFN doesn’t mean preferential treatment. Instead it means non-discriminatory trade that ensures that the country receiving MFN status will not be in a disadvantageous situation compared to the granter’s other trade partners.

  • When a country receives MFN status, it is expected to lower trade barriers and decrease tariffs.
  • It is also expected to open up the market to trade in more commodities and free flow of goods.


Removal of MFN status:

There is no formal procedure for suspending MFN treatment and it is not clear whether members are obliged to inform the WTO if they do so.

  • India suspended Pakistan’s MFN status in 2019 after a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based Islamist group killed 40 police. Pakistan never applied MFN status to India.


What are the pros of MFN?

MFN status is extremely gainful to developing countries.

  • Provides access to a wider market for trade goods.
  • Reduced cost of export items owing to highly reduced tariffs and trade barriers.
  • Lead to more competitive trade.
  • Cuts down bureaucratic hurdles and various kinds of tariffs are set at par for all imports.
  • Increases demands for the goods and giving a boost to the economy and export sector.
  • Heals the negative impact caused to the economy due to trade protectionism.


What are the disadvantages of MFN?

  • The main disadvantage is that the country has to give the same treatment to all other trade partners who are members of the WTO.
  • This translates into a price war and vulnerability of the domestic industry as a result.
  • The country is not able to protect domestic industry from the cheaper imports and in this price war, some domestic players have to face heavy losses or growth restrictions.

Sources: the Hindu.

What are the Geneva Conventions guidelines during wartime?

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International institutions.



Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine starting February 24 has set off a steady escalation in hostilities on Ukrainian soil, and in many cases civilian infrastructure and non-combatants have been impacted.

  • There is growing concern surrounding the issue of human rights violations.


What next?

As the evidence of casualties in the civilian population continues to mount, the world will increasingly look to the Geneva Conventions for standards to which the invading Russian forces can be held.

  • Ultimately, if there is a compelling case for prosecuting combatants for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and the crime of aggression, it is not inconceivable that evidence would be collected for an investigation and trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).


What are they?

The Geneva Conventions is a body of Public International Law, also known as the Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflicts, whose purpose is to provide minimum protections, standards of humane treatment, and fundamental guarantees of respect to individuals who become victims of armed conflicts.




Importance of Geneva Conventions in today’s world of uncertainty:

The Geneva Convention reminds us to look at the individual even in spaces such as war between nations.

  1. The agreement set down the rules for the treatment of prisoners taken in a war situation, explicitly putting down that prisoners of war (POWs) would be prisoners of the Power which holds them, and not of the unit that had captured them; and that they must be treated with honour, and allowed to live in humane conditions.
  2. The protocol also established that prisoners of war need only truthfully give their names and ranks, and that they cannot be coerced to reveal other details about themselves or the operations they have been involved in.
  3. All these caveats are to establish the individual as the linchpin of humanity.

The Geneva Conventions that originally only addressed the treatment of combatants was later expanded to include non-combatants and civilians as well.



The Geneva Conventions have a system of “Protecting Powers” who ensure that the provisions of the conventions are being followed by the parties in a conflict. In theory, each side must designate states that are not party to the conflict as their “Protecting Powers”. In practice, the International Committee of the Red Cross usually plays this role.


Which countries are signatories?

The Geneva Conventions have been ratified by 196 states, including all UN member states.

  • The four conventions and first two protocols of the Geneva Conventions were ratified by the Soviet Union, not Russia, hence there is a risk of the Russian government of the day disavowing any responsibility under the Conventions in toto.


Insta Curious:

Curious about Ethics and war crimes? Read Here.



Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of War Crimes as defined by Geneva Conventions.
  2. About ICC.
  3. Members and jurisdiction.

Mains Link:

What are war crimes? How are they determined? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

Re-launch of CEPA between India – Canada:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Bilateral agreements.



India – Canada have agreed to re-launch the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations to unlock full potential of bilateral trade.

  • They are also considering an Interim Agreement or Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) that could bring early commercial gains to both the countries.

Need for:

  • The trade agreement would help in expanding bilateral trade in goods and services through unlocking the potential across sectors.


India-Canada Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA):

In September 2008, the India-Canada CEO Round Table recommended that India and Canada would benefit enormously from CEPA by elimination of tariffs on a substantial majority of the bilateral trade.

  • CEPA would cover trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade and other areas of economic cooperation.


Difference between CECA, CEPA and FTA:

CECA – Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

CEPA – Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The major “technical” difference between a CECA and CEPA is that CECA involve only “tariff reduction/elimination in a phased manner on listed/all items except the negative list and tariff rate quota (TRQ) items.

  • CEPA also covers the trade in services and investment and other areas of economic partnership”.
  • So CEPA is a wider term that CECA and has the widest coverage.
  • Usually, CECA is signed first with a country and after that, negotiations may start for a CEPA.
  • It is a kind of free trade pact which covers negotiation on the trade in services and investment, and other areas of economic partnership.
  • It may even consider negotiation on areas such as trade facilitation and customs cooperation, competition, and Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Partnership agreements or cooperation agreements are more comprehensive than Free Trade Agreements.
  • CEPA also looks into the regulatory aspect of trade and encompasses an agreement covering the regulatory issues.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that India was the UAE’s largest export destination and second-largest trade partner in 2019 and the eighth biggest investor with a cumulative foreign direct investment of nearly $11 billion so far?



Prelims Link:

  1. About CECA.
  2. About CEPA.
  3. India’s FTAs with other countries.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of India- Australia CECA.

 Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:


Chilika lake:

The Odisha government has proposed to ban movement of mechanised fishing boats in the Mangalajodi area of the Chilika lake, an important haunt of migratory birds, to provide the winged guests an undisturbed ecosystem for six months every year.

  • Mangalajodi is recognised as globally important for the conservation of birds. Migratory birds arrive there for roosting.

About Chilika:

  • Chilika is 64 kilometres long in the north-south direction and 13.5 km wide in the east-west direction.
  • The sea connected with the lake near Satapada through a shallow and narrow channel.
  • The connecting channel was obstructed by shoals, sand spits and sandbars, thus restricting the outflow of water and also checking the tidal flow into the lake.
  • Chilika is Asia’s largest and world’s second largest lagoon.
  • It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent and is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
  • In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Major attraction at Chilika is Irrawaddy dolphins which are often spotted off Satpada Island.
  • The large Nalabana Island (Forest of Reeds) covering about 16 sq km in the lagoon area was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987.
  • Kalijai Temple – Located on an island in the Chilika Lake.




Museum of the Future:

The Museum of the Future in Dubai was recently thrown open to the public.

  • The  Museum of the Future is an exhibition space for innovative and futuristic ideologies, services, and products.
  • The goal of this museum is to promote technological development and innovation, especially in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).


Current Affairs


Nutraceuticals products:

  • Nutraceuticals is a broad umbrella term that is used to describe any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods.
  • They can be considered non-specific biological therapies used to promote general well-being, control symptoms and prevent malignant processes.
  • The term “nutraceutical” combines two words – “nutrient” (a nourishing food component) and “pharmaceutical” (a medical drug).


Aimed at providing accessible, standardised and affordable generic medicines, the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras have added nutraceuticals products, including protein powder and bar, malt-based food supplements and immunity bar for its customers.



International Arbitration Centre in Hyderabad:

CJI lays foundation for International Arbitration Centre in Hyderabad:

  • Proposed by the International Arbitration and Mediation Centre Trust.
  • IAMC-Hyderabad is India’s first arbitration centre for alternate dispute resolution.


What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure in which a dispute is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute. In choosing arbitration, the parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.


What is Conciliation?

Conciliation is also an alternative dispute resolution instrument where parties seek to reach an amicable dispute settlement with the assistance of the conciliator, who acts as a neutral third party.  is a voluntary proceeding, where the parties involved are free to agree and attempt to resolve their dispute by conciliation.


Articles to be covered tomorrow:

White phosphorus bombs.

Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos