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. Controversy over Bhagat Singh photograph at Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann’s office.
2. Prevention of sexual harassment or POSH Act.
GS Paper 2:
1. India’s draft medical devices policy.
GS Paper 3:
1. RSS resolution for labor-intensive economic model.
2. ‘Meri Policy Mere Haath’ campaign.
3. What is Extinction Rebellion?
Facts for Prelims:
1. First cyclone of 2022 named Asani.
2. Man Booker International Prize.
3. India’s first rapid rail for Delhi to Meerut corridor.
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
A photograph of Bhagat Singh in Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s office has run into a controversy.
- The new AAP Party CM has said that he dreams of creating an egalitarian Punjab that Bhagat Singh had dreamt of and sacrificed his life for.
- However, the basanti (yellow) turban Bhagat Singh is seen wearing in the photo is being objected to, primarily for the photo’s lack of authenticity.
What’s the issue now?
According to experts, there are only four original photographs of him. In one picture, he is sitting with open hair in jail, another shows him in a hat and two others show him in a white turban. All other pictures showing him in yellow or orange turbans or even with a weapon in his hand are products of imagination.
- Bhagat Singh was born in 1907 in Lyallpur district (now in Pakistan), and grew up in a Sikh family deeply involved in political activities.
- In 1923, Bhagat Singh joined the National College, Lahore which was founded and managed by Lala Lajpat Rai and Bhai Parmanand.
- In 1924 in Kanpur, he became a member of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), started by Sachindranath Sanyal a year earlier.
- In 1928, HRA was renamed from Hindustan Republican Association to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).
- In 1925-26 Bhagat Singh and his colleagues started a militant youth organization called the Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
- In 1927, he was first arrested on charges of association with the Kakori Case accused for an article written under the pseudonym Vidrohi (Rebel).
- In 1928, Lala Lajpat Rai had led a procession to protest against the arrival of the Simon Commission. The police resorted to a brutal lathi charge, in which Lala Lajpat Rai was severely injured and later succumbed to his injuries.
- To take revenge for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh and his associates plotted the assassination of James A. Scott, the Superintendent of Police.
- However, the revolutionaries mistakenly killed J.P. Saunders. The incident is famously known as Lahore Conspiracy case (1929).
- Bhagat Singh and B.K. Dutt threw a bomb on 8 April, 1929 in the Central Legislative Assembly, in protest against the passing of two repressive bills, the Public Safety Bill and the Trade Dispute Bill.
- The aim was not to kill but to make the deaf hear, and to remind the foreign government of its callous exploitation.
Both Bhagat Singh and B.K. Dutt surrendered thereafter and faced trial so they could further promote their cause. They were awarded life imprisonment for this incident.
- However, Bhagat Singh was re-arrested for the murder of J.P. Saunders and bomb manufacturing in the Lahore Conspiracy case.
- He was found guilty in this case and was hanged on 23rd March, 1931 in Lahore along with Sukhdev and Rajguru.
- Every year, March 23 is observed as Martyrs’ Day as a tribute to freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru.
Did you know that the basanti colour is often associated with protests and revolution in Punjab?
- Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
- Kakori Conspiracy case.
- Lahore Conspiracy case.
A revolutionary and a socialist, the contribution of Bhagat Singh to the Independence Movement of India is immense. Discuss.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: Issues related to women.
Kerala High Court has asked organisations associated with the film industry to take steps to constitute a joint committee to deal with cases of sexual harassment of women, in line with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013.
Did you know about the Vishaka guidelines?
The Vishaka guidelines (legally binding) were laid down by the Supreme Court in a judgment in 1997. This was in a case filed by women’s rights groups, one of which was Vishaka.
- The guidelines defined sexual harassment and imposed three key obligations on institutions — prohibition, prevention, redress.
- The Supreme Court directed that they should establish a Complaints Committee, which would look into matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.
- The 2013 Act broadened these guidelines.
About the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013:
The law against sexual harassment is commonly known as the prevention of sexual harassment or POSH Act, passed by Parliament in 2013.
Definition of sexual harassment:
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition And Redressal) Act, 2013 defines sexual harassment:
It includes “any one or more” of the following “unwelcome acts or behaviour”committed directly or by implication: Physical contact and advances, Sexually coloured remarks, Showing pornography, A demand or request for sexual favours, Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
Key provisions of the act:
- This Act lays down the procedures for a complaint and inquiry and the action to be taken.
- It mandates that every employer constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each office or branch with 10 or more employees.
- It lays down the procedures and defines various aspects of sexual harassment.
- A woman can be of any age, whether employed or not, who “alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment”, that means the rights of all the women working or visiting any workplace, in any capacity, are protected under the Act.
Need for stricter provisions:
- The 2013 Act has entrusted the powers of a civil court to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)without specifying if the members need to have a legal background. This was a major lacuna given that the ICC formed an important grievance redressal mechanism under the framework of the act.
- The 2013 act only imposed a fine of ₹50,000 on employers for non-compliance with respect to the constitution of the ICC. This proved to be insufficient in ensuring that the employers constituted the ICC in a time-bound manner.
- About POSH Act.
- Vishaka guidelines.
- Internal Complaints committee.
- Laws for protection of women sexual harassment.
Discuss the significance of 2013 law for the Protection of Women from sexual harassment.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Government Policies and issues arising out of their implementation.
Recently, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers released an Approach Paper for the Draft National Policy for the Medical Devices, 2022.
Highlights of the Draft:
- Building Competitiveness through fiscal and financial support for stimulating the development of the local manufacturing ecosystem with private sector investments.
- Incentivise core technology projects and exports through tax refunds and rebates.
- Adopt Public-private partnerships to reduce the cost of healthcare and drive efficiency.
- Create a single-window clearance system for licensing medical devices.
- Identify critical suppliers and promote local sourcing.
- Encourage cross-industry collaboration.
- Increase the share of medical technology companies in research and development to around 50%.
- A dedicated fund for encouraging joint research involving existing industry players, reputed academic institutions and startups.
- Incorporate a framework for a coherent pricing regulation to make available quality and effective medical devices to all citizens at affordable prices.
This Policy envisions that by 2047:
- India Will be having few National Institutes of Medical Devices Education and Research (NIMERs) on the lines of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPERs).
- It will be home & originator to 25 high-end futuristic technologies in MedTech (Medical Technology).
- It will have a MedTech Industry of USD100-300 Bn size with 10-12% of Global Market Share.
Need for and significance of the policy:
- Nearly 80% of the medical devices currently sold in the country are imported, particularly high-end devices. This new policy aims to reduce India’s import dependence to nearly 30% in the next 10 years.
- The policy aims to increase India’s per capita spending on medical devices. India has one of the lowest per capita spend on medical devices at $3 compared to the global average of per capita consumption $47.
Government initiatives so far:
- PLI Scheme for promoting domestic manufacturing of Medical Devices.
- Promotion of Medical Devices Parks.
- Medical devices has been recognised as a sunrise sector under the ‘Make in India’ campaign in 2014.
The central government notified, in 2020, thar all medical devices as ‘drugs’, effective from April 1, bringing a range of products from instruments to implants to even software intended for medical use in human beings or animals under the purview of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Employment Related issues.
The RSS has passed a resolution calling for a labour-intensive Bharatiya Economic Model in view of rising unemployment in the country.
What does the resolution say?
- Society must come forward and participate in building an Atmanirbhar Bharat where the economic model is based on Indian values.
- The model should be human-centric, labour intensive, eco-friendly and lay stress on decentralisation and equitable distribution of benefits.
- It should augment village economy, microscale, small scale and agro-based industries.
- Thrust areas as rural employability, unorganised sector employment and employment of women as solutions to unemployment.
- It also urged the youth to come out of the mentality of seeking only jobs. An environment conducive to encouraging entrepreneurship should be created by educating and counselling people, especially youth.
- India’s unemployment rate has been rising, and when the effects of demonetisation and the pandemic have hit the economy and dried up opportunities.
- The unemployment rate went up to 7.91% in December 2021 from 6.3% in 2018-19 and 4.7% in 2017-18.
- The manufacturing sector is said to have lost 9.8 million jobs between 2019-20 and December 2021.
What needs to be done?
- By pushing the government to support small and medium enterprises in the manufacturing sector.
- By working with the youth at the grassroots to “help them engage into entrepreneurial ventures through agri-allied activities and other self-employment opportunities”.
- There are ample opportunities for creation of jobs in rural India through industrialisation, food processing, agri-allied activities such as animal husbandry, bamboo farming, pisciculture etc.
- Unemployment rate in India.
- Types of Unemployment.
- Government schemes in this regard.
Comment on the significance of a labour-intensive Bharatiya Economic Model.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices.
‘Meri Policy Mere Haath’ campaign was launched recently in Hassan, Karnataka.
About the Campaign:
- The campaign is part of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
- It is aimed at motivating all farmers in the country to insure their crops.
- Under this program, every farmer who has taken insurance under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) will get the policy documents at their doorstep.
- The campaign empowers the farmers through crop insurance awareness and by bringing the insurance policy to their doorsteps.
- The campaign will also help in increasing the direct communication between the farmers and insurance companies.
The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) has successfully entered its seventh year of implementation with the upcoming Kharif 2022 season, completing six years of its implementation since its announcement on 18 February 2016.
Performance of PMFBY:
- Till date, the scheme has insured over 30 crore farmer applications (5.5 crore farmer applications on year-on-year basis).
- Over the period of 5 years, more than 8.3 crore farmer applications have benefited from the scheme.
- Moreover, Rs.95,000 crores claims have been paid as against Rs. 20,000 crore farmers share.
About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana:
- It is in line with the One Nation – One Scheme theme- It replaced National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).
- Launched in 2016.
- Coverage: All food & oilseed crops and annual commercial/horticultural crops for which past yield data is available.
- Premium: The prescribed premium is 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all rabi crops. In the case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium is 5%.
- To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crops as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
- To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
- To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
- To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.
The Scheme covers all Food & Oilseeds crops and Annual Commercial/Horticultural Crops for which past yield data is available and for which requisite number of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) are being conducted under General Crop Estimation Survey (GCES).
PMFBY to PMFBY 2.0 (overhauled PMFBY):
Completely Voluntary: It has been decided to make enrolment 100% voluntary for all farmers from 2020 Kharif.
Limit to Central Subsidy: The Cabinet has decided to cap the Centre’s premium subsidy under these schemes for premium rates up to 30% for unirrigated areas/crops and 25% for irrigated areas/crops.
More Flexibility to States: The government has given the flexibility to states/UTs to implement PMFBY and given them the option to select any number of additional risk covers/features like prevented sowing, localised calamity, mid-season adversity, and post-harvest losses.
Penalising the Pendency: In the revamped PMFBY, a provision has been incorporated wherein if states don’t release their share before March 31 for the Kharif season and September 30 for rabi, they would not be allowed to participate in the scheme in subsequent seasons.
Investing in ICE Activities: Insurance companies have to now spend 0.5% of the total premium collected on information, education and communication (IEC) activities.
Why is PMFBY criticised?
Since the beginning, farmers, especially from Maharashtra, have criticised the scheme for various reasons.
- One of the main arguments against it is that it helps insurance companies more than the farmers.
- Farm leaders claim insurance companies have made windfall gains at the behest of the public exchequer and farmers.
- Delayed payouts and denial of claims are other common complaints against insurance companies.
- The insurance companies were also blamed for not conducting enough crop cutting experiments (CCE), which measure the total loss experienced by the farmers.
Which states have withdrawn from the scheme?
Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Jharkhand have opted out of the scheme.
Several states have their own insurance schemes. Read about them briefly,
- Key features of PMFBY.
- PMFBY 2.0.
Discuss the significance of PMFBY 2.0.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.
World over activists of Extinction Rebellion are staging protests in various formats.
What is the Extinction Rebellion, also referred to as ‘XR’?
- Initially, launched in the United Kingdom on October 31, 2018, as a response to a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- Now, it is a global movement which seeks to “rebel”, and asks groups to “self-organise”, without the need for anyone’s permission, to come up with collective action plans as long as they adhere to the group’s core principles and values.
- It is a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
The group has “three core demands” of governments around the world.
- It wants governments to “Tell the Truth”, to “Act Now”, and to “Go Beyond Politics” in order to confront the climate and ecological emergency that the world is faced with.
What activities have XR done so far?
- The group had announced a “Declaration of Rebellion” at launch, involving a public act of civil disobedience in London, demanding that the government reduce carbon emission to zero by 2025.
- The eventual plan was to coordinate actions in other countries and to engage in an “International Rebellion” in March 2019.
- The XR global website, however, states that the movement is “strictly non-violent”, and that they are “reluctant law-breakers”.
- In April 2019, Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish climate activist, lent her support to the group by speaking to its members in London.
XR and India:
- The movement claims to have been inspired by 15 major civil disobedience movements around the world, including, apart from Women’s Suffrage and the Arab Spring, India’s struggle for Independence.
- It refers to Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt March in 1930.
- XR’s website says there are 19 groups in the country, including in the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Chennai.
Facts for Prelims:
First cyclone of 2022 named Asani:
- A low pressure area that formed over the southwest Indian Ocean is expected to intensify into a cyclone this week.
- The Cyclone has been named The name was suggested by India’s southern neighbour Sri Lanka.
- It is expected to travel along and off the coast of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands before it intensifies into a depression.
Man Booker International Prize:
Recently, Delhi-based writer Geetanjali Shree’s 2019 novel Ret Samadhi became the first Hindi work of fiction, among 13 books, to be longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.
The novel has been translated into English by painter, writer and translator, Daisy Rockwell under the title Tomb of Sand.
About the Prize:
- Man Booker International Prize is an international literary award hosted in the United Kingdom.
- The introduction of the International Prize to complement the Man Booker Prize was announced in June 2004.
- Sponsored by the Man Group, from 2005 until 2015 the award was given every two years to a living author of any nationality for a body of work published in English or generally available in English translation.
- Since 2016, the award has been given annually to a single book translated into English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland, with a £50,000 prize for the winning title, shared equally between author and translator.
India’s first rapid rail for Delhi to Meerut corridor:
- India’s first rapid rail for the Delhi to Meerut corridor was unveiled by the National Capital Regional Transport Corporation (NCRTC) recently.
- The Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) train will run on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor and cover a distance of 82 km in just 55 minutes.
- It will also be the first in the country to have a business or ‘premium’ coach on a regional corridor.
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