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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 2:

1. World Happiness Report.


GS Paper 3:


2. Scheme for Women Farmers.

3. Cheetah reintroduction project.

4. India and the Arctic.

5. FAME India Scheme.


Facts for Prelims:

1. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary.

2. Forest elephants.

3. World Sparrow Day.

World Happiness Report:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International institutions.



India may be one of the fastest growing economies of the world, but it is among the least happy countries.

  • Ahead of the UN International Day of Happiness, observed on March 20, the World Happiness Report 2022 ranked India 136th — tenth from the bottom of the list.

The World Happiness Report:

The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network powered by the Gallup World Poll data.

  • The report, which is in its tenth year, uses global survey data to report on how people evaluate their own lives, besides economic and social parameters.
  • The rankings are based on average data of a three-year period of 2019-2021.
  • World Happiness Report evaluates levels of happiness by taking into account factors such as GDP, social support, personal freedom, and levels of corruption in each nation.

Highlights of the report:

  1. Finland topped the list for the fifth time in a row, according to the 10th edition of the World Happiness Report.
  2. Finland was followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
  3. Among other western countries, while the United States managed to bag the 16th position, Britain was ranked 17th and France 20th.
  4. India continued to fare poorly in the world happiness index, with its position marginally improving to 136 as against last year’s 139.
  5. Among the South Asian nations, only Taliban-ruled Afghanistan fared worse than India.
  6. Afghanistan was named the most unhappy country in the world, ranking last on the index of 146 countries.
  7. Nepal (84), Bangladesh (94), Pakistan (121) and Sri Lanka (127) managed to get better ranks in the list.
  8. The Happiness report also stated that India was one among the countries that witnessed, over the past 10 years, a fall in life evaluations by more than a full point on the 0 to 10 scale.


  • Over the years, happiness has become a key metric to track for not just countries but corporates as well.
  • The goal behind the report is to identify key determinants of well-being.
  • This information is expected to help countries to craft policies aimed at achieving happier societies.


Interconnections between law, governance and happiness: Why do these connections matter?

  • Happiness has come to be accepted as a goal of public policy. And this discourse has given a fillip to a new narrative where the interconnections between law, governance and happiness are being searched.
  • Experiences from several nations confirm that the countries with higher GDP and higher per capita income are not necessarily the happiest countries and there exists a link between the state of happiness and rule of law.


The WHRs, over the years, confirmed that people tend to have:

  • Poor mental health.
  • A low score of subjective well-being.
  • Poor perception about the governance and law and order, despite high income levels.



Prelims Link:

  1. Rankings of India and neighbours.
  2. Rankings in the previous edition.
  3. WHR vs GNH- similarities and differences.
  4. Top and bottom performers this year.
  5. Consistent performers.

Mains Link:

What is World Happiness Report? How are the countries ranked in this report? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Employment Related issues.



The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has submitted its report on the functioning of the MGNREGA to the Lok Sabha.


Challenges/concerns highlighted:

  • There has always been a hike in the revised estimate over the budget estimate in the past.
  • Delay in the release of funds.
  • Wide disparity in the wage rate between one state to another.
  • Fake job cards, widespread corruption and late uploading of muster rolls.


Recommendations made:

  1. Increasing the number of guaranteed working days from 100 to at least 150.
  2. Increase the permissible work taking into account the local geographical terrain and local requirements.
  3. The government should relook at its calculation and suitably approach the ministry of finance for higher allocation of funds in order to speed up the pace of rural development schemes for dearth of budget.


Need for reforms:

As per the latest economic survey:

  • Demand for work under MGNREGA scheme has dropped from the peak of the first lockdown, but is still higher than pre-COVID levels.
  • The highest demand for work under the scheme was seen in States which are usually the destination of migrant workers, rather than source States.



The scheme was introduced in 2005 as a social measure that guarantees “the right to work”.

  • The key tenet of this social measure and labour law is that the local government will have to legally provide at least 100 days of wage employment in rural India to enhance their quality of life.


Currrent Affairs


Key objectives:

  1. Generation of paid rural employment of not less than 100 days for each worker who volunteers for unskilled labour.
  2. Proactively ensuring social inclusion by strengthening the livelihood base of rural poor.
  3. Creation of durable assets in rural areas such as wells, ponds, roads and canals.
  4. Reduce urban migration from rural areas.
  5. Create rural infrastructure by using untapped rural labour.


The following are the eligibility criteria for receiving the benefits under MGNREGA scheme:

  1. Must be Citizen of India to seek MGNREGA benefits.
  2. Job seeker has completed 18 years of age at the time of application.
  3. The applicant must be part of a local household (i.e. application must be made with local Gram Panchayat).
  4. Applicants must volunteer for unskilled labour.


Implementation of the scheme:

  1. Within 15 days of submitting the application or from the day work is demanded, wage employment will be provided to the applicant.
  2. Right to get unemployment allowance in case employment is not provided within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought.
  3. Social Audit of MGNREGA works is mandatory, which lends to accountability and transparency.
  4. The Gram Sabha is the principal forum for wage seekers to raise their voices and make demands.
  5. It is the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat which approves the shelf of works under MGNREGA and fix their priority.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that the Indian Constitution does not explicitly recognise the ‘right to work’ as a fundamental right? Then, how is it treated under the Constitution? Reference: read this.



Prelims Link:

  1. Under MGNREGA, what are the roles of Gram Sabha, Gram Panchayat, States, State Food Commission, Centre?
  2. What are job cards, who issues them?
  3. Who sets up the State Employment Guarantee Fund?
  4. What is Wage employment?
  5. Who conducts social audits?

Mains Link:

Discuss the key features and significance of MGNREGA.

Sources: the Hindu.

Scheme for Women Farmers:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Agriculture and related issues.



In order to familiarize women with the latest techniques in agriculture and allied sectors, trainings are being imparted to women farmers under schemes of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Rural Development.

  • The guidelines of the various beneficiary-oriented schemes of the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), provide that States and other Implementing Agencies to incur atleast 30% expenditure on women farmers.

Following schemes have specific components for the welfare of women farmres:

  1. National Food Security Mission,
  2. National Mission on Oilseed & Oil Palm,
  3. National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture,
  4. Sub-Mission for Seed and Planting Material,
  5. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization and
  6. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture.

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP):

The Department of Rural Development, launched a specific scheme namely ‘Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)’.

  • It is a subcomponent of DAY-NRLM (Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana — National Rural Livelihoods Mission).
  • This scheme is being implemented since 2011.
  • Objectives: To empower women by making systematic investments to enhance their participation and productivity, as also create sustainable livelihoods of rural women.
  • Implementation: The program is implemented in project mode through State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) as Project Implementing Agencies.

Need for promotion of women farmer:

Agriculture support system in India strengthens the exclusion of women from their entitlements as agriculture workers and cultivators.

  • Rural women form the most productive work force in the economy of majority of the developing nations including India. More than 80% of rural women are engaged in agriculture activities for their livelihoods.
  • About 20 per cent of farm livelihoods are female headed due to widowhood, desertion, or male emigration.
  • Most of the women-headed households are not able to access extension services, farmers support institutions and production assets like seed, water, credit, subsidy etc. As agricultural workers, women are paid lower wage than men.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that the International Day of Rural Women is celebrated on October 15 every year? What are its objectives and historical significance? Reference.



Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the scheme.
  2. Implementation.
  3. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the problems faced by women farmers in India. Also discuss how those problems could be solved.

Sources: the Hindu.

India and the Arctic:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.



The government has unveiled India’s Arctic Policy with an aim to combat climate change and protect the environment.

  • India holds one of the 13 positions as the Observer in the Arctic Council.



The Indian Arctic policy is built on six central pillars:

  1. Science and research.
  2. Environmental protection.
  3. Economic and human development.
  4. Transportation and connectivity.
  5. Governance and international cooperation.
  6. National capacity building.


Highlights of the Policy:

  1. The policy commits to expanding scientific research, “sustainable tourism” and mineral oil and gas exploration in the Arctic region.
  2. It spells out goals in India’s Arctic Mission such as to better understand the scientific and climate-related linkages between the Arctic and the Indian monsoons.
  3. It also seeks to harmonise polar research with the third pole (the Himalayas) and to advance the study and understanding of the Arctic within India.
  4. The policy calls for exploration opportunities for responsible exploration of natural resources and minerals from the Arctic and identifying opportunities for investment in Arctic infrastructure in areas such as “offshore exploration/mining, ports, railways and airports.


Arctic region:

  • The Arctic region comprises the Arctic Ocean and parts of countries such as Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Russia, USA (Alaska), Finland, Sweden and Iceland.
  • These countries together form the core of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum. The region is home to almost four million inhabitants, of which, about one-tenth are indigenous people.


India’s engagement in the Arctic:

  • India’s engagement with the Arctic began when it signed the Svalbard Treaty in February 1920 in Paris between Norway, the US, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Ireland, and the British overseas Dominions and Sweden concerning Spitsbergen. Ever since then, India has been closely monitoring all the developments in the Arctic region.
  • India initiated its Arctic research program in 2007 with a focus on climate change in the region. The objectives included studying teleconnections between Arctic climate and Indian monsoon, to characterize sea ice in the Arctic using satellite data, to estimate the effect on global warming.
  • India already has a research station in the Arctic, Himadri, for the research work.


Significance of arctic study for India:

  • Though none of India’s territory directly falls in the Arctic region, it is a crucial area as the Arctic influences atmospheric, oceanographic and biogeochemical cycles of the earth’s ecosystem.
  • Due to climate change, the region faces the loss of sea ice, ice caps, and warming of the ocean which in turn impacts the global climate.
  • The frigid Arctic, which keeps losing ice due to global warming, is one of the batteries feeding the variations in Indian monsoons.



Prelims Link:

  1. About Himadri.
  2. India’s research stations at Arctic and Antarctica.
  3. About Arctic Council.
  4. Overview of India’s draft ‘Arctic’ policy.

Mains Link:

The frigid Arctic, which keeps losing ice due to global warming, is one of the batteries feeding the variations in Indian monsoons. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

Cheetah reintroduction project:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Environment and conservation related issues.



The cheetah, which became extinct in India after Independence, is all set to return with the Union Government launching an action plan.

Under the ‘Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India’, 50 of these big cats will be introduced in the next five years.


What is reintroduction and why reintroduce Cheetah now?

  • ‘Reintroduction’ of a species means releasing it in an area where it is capable of surviving.
  • Reintroductions of large carnivores have increasingly been recognised as a strategy to conserve threatened species and restore ecosystem functions.
  • The cheetah is the only large carnivore that has been extirpated, mainly by over-hunting in India in historical times.
  • India now has the economic ability to consider restoring its lost natural heritage for ethical as well as ecological reasons.



  • The cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is one of the oldest of the big cat species, with ancestors that can be traced back more than five million years to the Miocene era.
  • The cheetah is also the world’s fastest land mammal.
  • African Cheetah is listed as vulnerable in IUCN red listed species.
  • The country’s last spotted feline died in Chhattisgarh in 1947. Later, the cheetah — which is the fastest land animal — was declared extinct in India in 1952.
  • The Asiatic cheetah is classified as a “critically endangered” species by the IUCN Red List, and is believed to survive only in Iran.


Cheetah reintroduction programme in India:

The Wildlife Institute of India at Dehradun had prepared a ₹260-crore cheetah re-introduction project seven years ago.

  • India has plans to reintroduce cheetahs at the Kuno National Park in Sheopur and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior-Chambal region.
  • This could be the world’s first inter-continental cheetah translocation project.


Reasons for extinction:

  • The reasons for extinction can all be traced to man’s interference. Problems like human-wildlife conflict, loss of habitat and loss of prey, and illegal trafficking, have decimated their numbers.
  • The advent of climate change and growing human populations have only made these problems worse.
  • With less available land for wildlife, species that require vast home range like the cheetah are placed in competition with other animals and humans, all fighting over less space.


What has the Supreme Court said?

The 2013 order of the Supreme Court quashed plans to introduce African cheetahs in India and more specifically at Kuno national park in Madhya Pradesh.

  • African cheetahs are not required to perform the role of the top predator in these habitats when the site (Kuno) that they have identified already has a resident population of leopards, transient tigers and is also the site for the translocation of Asiatic lions as ordered by the Supreme Court.
  • Last year (2021), the Supreme Court lifted its seven-year-long stay on a proposal to introduce African Cheetahs from Namibia into the Indian habitat.


Insta Curious:

Do you know about the NTCA?

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. It was constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation.

Sources: Indian Express.

FAME India scheme:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.



Under FAME-India Scheme, incentives are provided to buyers of electric vehicles in the form of an upfront reduction in the purchase price of electric vehicles.

  • As per the information received from Department of Revenue, at present the GST rate on electric vehicles is 5%.
  • The GST rates are prescribed based on the recommendations of the GST Council.
  • Electric vehicles are already at the lowest rate slab of 5%.

Following steps have been taken by the Government for adoption of electric vehicles in the country:

  • The Government on 12th May, 2021 approved a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing of Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) in the country in order to bring down prices of battery in the country.  Drop in battery price will result in cost reduction of electric vehicles.
  • GST on electric vehicles has been reduced from 12% to 5%; GST on chargers/ charging stations for electric vehicles has been reduced from 18% to 5%.
  • Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) announced that battery-operated vehicles will be given green license plates and be exempted from permit requirements.
  • MoRTH issued a notification advising states to waive road tax on EVs, which in turn will help reduce the initial cost of EVs.

About FAME India scheme:

FAME-India Scheme is implementing by Department of Heavy Industry in order to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same.

  • FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.
  • Main thrust of FAME is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies.
  • (FAME-India) Scheme proposes to give a push to electric vehicles (EVs) in public transport and seeks to encourage adoption of EVs by way of market creation and demand aggregation.


current Affairs


It is being implemented in two phases:

  1. Phase-I [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) & Electric Vehicles in India] from 1st April 2015.
  2. The Phase-II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) & Electric Vehicles.

FAME-India Scheme Phase-I:

  • Under Phase-I of FAME-India Scheme, the Government has supported about 500 charging stations to establish electric vehicle charging stations in the country.
  • Out of about 500 charging stations sanctioned under Phase-I of FAME-India Scheme about 230 charging stations have been installed.
  • Further, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under the Ministry of Power has deployed 65 public charging stations for EVs in the country.


FAME-India Scheme Phase-II:

  • FAME 2 scheme aims to boost electric mobility and increase the number of electric vehicles in commercial fleets.
  • The government will provide the incentives for electric buses, three-wheelers and four-wheelers to be used for commercial purposes.
  • The centre will invest in setting up charging stations, with the active participation of public sector units and private players.
  • Projects for charging infrastructure will include those needed to extend electrification for running vehicles such as pantograph charging and flash charging.
  • FAME 2 will also encourage interlinking of renewable energy sources with charging infrastructure.


Need of the hour:

  • India needs auto industry’s active participation to ease electric mobility transition. The auto and battery industries could collaborate to enhance customer awareness and promote domestic manufacturing.
  • Government needs to focus on a phased manufacturing plan to promote EVs, provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for phased manufacturing of EVs and batteries.

Sources: the Hindu

Facts for Prelims:


Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary:

  • Located in Tamil Nadu.
  • The sanctuary was notified as RF (Reserve Forest) in 1963 under the Madras Act 1882.
  • Finally in 1998, the sanctuary was notified under section 26(i) of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
  • There are about 28,000 land and water birds visiting this prestigious wetland sanctuary.
  • It is home to migratory birds such as pintail, garganey, grey wagtail, blue-winged teal, common sandpiper and the like.
  • It is the oldest water bird sanctuary in the country.
  • Vedanthangal in Tamil language means ‘hamlet of the hunter’.

Why in the News?

Keeping in mind “ecological security and habitat ecology” of the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department has decided to withdraw a controversial proposal that sought to reduce the core area of the sanctuary.


Current Affairs


Forest elephants:

Across the African continent the populations of both species of African elephants — forest and savanna — have been declining due to habitat loss, poaching and human-wildlife conflict.

  • Forest elephants are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “Critically Endangered” — a category for species that have declined over 80 per cent within three generations.
  • And it has listed savanna elephants as “Endangered” — indicating a decline of over 50 per cent within three generations.

Forest elephants:

  • It is native to humid forests in West Africa and the Congo Basin.
  • It is the smallest of the three living elephant species, reaching a shoulder height of 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in).


Current Affairs


World Sparrow Day:

Every year March 20 is observed as World Sparrow Day to raise awareness about the bird.

  • The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010 in different parts of the world.
  • The theme for this year is “Monitor the Sparrows & other common birds”.

World Sparrow Day is an initiative of the Nature Forever Society, which is a non-government organisation (NGO) run by Mohammed Dilawar, who’s an internationally acclaimed conservationist.

Sparrow is a very social bird and is gregarious at all seasons when feeding, often forming flocks with other types of bird.

  • House sparrows are becoming extinct everywhere, including in India. Experts say there’s a need to spread awareness on their conservation.

Current Affairs


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