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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. What is the Puri heritage corridor?

2. Raising marriage age of women.


GS Paper 2:

1. GST Council’s proposals not binding on Centre, States.

2. Pangong Tso.

3. China-Tibet issue.

4. New Development Bank (NDB).


GS Paper 3:

1. What Is An Urban Heat Island?


Facts for Prelims:

1. Vadnagar.

2. National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC).

3. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

4. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). .Aurangzeb’s tomb.



What is the Puri heritage corridor?

GS Paper 1:

Syllabus: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.



According to ASI, the Odisha state government was constructing the Puri Heritage Corridor project without proper licence in protected and controlled areas of the monument.

  • A PIL has been filed in court against the proposal, which has prompted worries about its influence on the structural safety of the Puri temple.

What is the Puri heritage corridor project?

  • Conceived in 2016, the Project aims to transform the holy town of Puri into an international place of heritage.
  • The project includes redevelopment of Puri lake and Musa river revival plan.


About Puri Jagannath Temple:

  • It is an important Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Sri Krishna in Puri in Odisha.
  • The temple is believed to have been constructed in the 12th century by King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
  • Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
  • The Puri temple is famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three principal deities are pulled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that the idol of Jagannatha is made of wood and is ceremoniously replaced in every twelve or nineteen years by using sacred trees?



Prelims Link:

  1. About Puri Jagannath temple.
  2. Nagara Architecture.
  3. Puri Rath Yatra.
  4. Puri heritage corridor.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the Puri heritage corridor project.


[Q.1) Which of the following is famously known as ‘Yamanika Tirtha’?
    1. Jagannath Temple.
    2. Vijaya Vittala Temple.
    3. Kailashnath Temple.
    4. None of the above. ]


Sources: Indian Express.

Raising marriage age of women:

GS Paper 1:

Syllabus: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues.


Raising marriage age of women:


The India Child Protection Forum [ICPF] has opposed the move to raise the marriage age of women.

  • ICPF is an umbrella body of child rights organisations launched by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
  • It recently appeared before the parliamentary panel studying the Bill on raising the age of marriage for women to 21 from 18 years.


Why ICPF is against raising the age?

  • Because, raising the age of marriage for women to 21 will result in criminalising young adults entering into wedlock, especially those who marry against the consent of their parents.
  • It will empower the patriarchal violence against women’s autonomy” when they exercise their choice to marry.


The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2021:

It proposes to raise the age of marriage for women to 21 from 18 years,


The Bill would amend:

  1. The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1972.
  2. The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936.
  3. The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937.
  4. The Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  5. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
  6. The Foreign Marriage Act, 1956.


What the law says?

Currently, the law prescribes that the minimum age of marriage is 21 and 18 years for men and women, respectively.

The minimum age of marriage is distinct from the age of majority, which is gender-neutral.

  1. An individual attains the age of majority at 18 as per the Indian Majority Act, 1875.
  2. For Hindus, Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 sets 18 years as the minimum age for the bride and 21 years as the minimum age for the groom. Child marriages are not illegal but can be declared void at the request of the minor in the marriage.
  3. In Islam, the marriage of a minor who has attained puberty is considered valid under personal law.
  4. The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 also prescribe 18 and 21 years as the minimum age of consent for marriage for women and men respectively.


Why the is being relooked at? What are the issues associated? What’s the way out?

  • Reference: read this.



Prelims Link:

  1. Jaya Jailtley committee was constituted for the purpose of?
  2. Legal provisions related to minimum age of marriage for men and women in India.
  3. Key provisions of Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  4. Overview of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
  5. Standing vs select vs finance committees.
  6. Who appoints chairperson and members of these committees?
  7. Committees exclusive to only Lok Sabha.
  8. Committees where Speaker is the chairperson.

Mains Link:

Do you think minimum age for marriage for men and women should be raised? Discuss.


[Q.2) Which of the following are correctly matched?
    1. Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
    2. Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs.
    3. Article 27: Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any religion.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

    1. 1 and 2 only.
    2. 2 and 3 only.
    3. 1 and 3 only.
    4. All of the above. ]


Sources: the Hindu.

GST Council’s proposals not binding on Centre, States:

GS Paper 2:

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



The Supreme Court has upheld Gujarat High Court ruling which said the Centre cannot levy Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on ocean freight from Indian importers.





What else has the Court said?

  • GST Council‘s recommendations have a “persuasive value” and were not binding on the Centre and the state governments.
  • The Parliament and the state legislatures have “equal, simultaneous and unique powers” to make laws on GST – Article 246A.


Implications of this judgment:

  • This would have far-reaching implications on various other matters where the states are not in agreement with the decision of the GST Council, especially in light of the compensation period coming to an end in June.
  • The ruling clearly defines the role of the GST Council – to advise and recommend on GST issues. To accept such advice and pass appropriate amendments in law is purely the domain of the central and state legislatures.


What is GST?

It is a Single tax on supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer.

  • It is a destination based tax unlike the present taxation scheme which is origin based.

In – Depth analysis on GST: Reference: read this.


Insta Curious:

Do you know about the GST compensation? Reference: read this.



Prelims Link:

  1. What is GST?
  2. What are SGST and IGST?
  3. Related Constitutional provisions.
  4. Goods outside the purview of GST.
  5. What is a Cess?
  6. What is a surcharge?
  7. What is the compensation cess fund?

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for GST Compensation Cess.


[Q.3) Which of the following have been subsumed under GST?
    1. Central Excise Duty
    2. Additional Excise Duty
    3. Service Tax
    4. Countervailing Duty

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

    1. 1 and 2 only
    2. 2 and 4 only
    3. 1 and 3 only
    4. All of the above. ]

Sources: the Hindu.

Pangong lake in Ladakh:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: India and neighbourhood relations.



India is closely monitoring the construction of a bridge by China on the Pangong Tso (lake) in eastern Ladakh.


What’s the issue?

On the north bank, there is a PLA garrison at Kurnak fort and on the south bank at Moldo, and the distance between the two is around 200 km.

  • The new bridge between the closest points on two banks, which is around 500 m, will bring down the movement time between the two sectors from around 12 hours to three or four hours.
  • This will significantly bring down the time for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to move troops and equipment between the two sectors.
  • The bridge is located around 25 km ahead of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).


About Pangong Tso:

  • Pangong Tso literally translates into a “conclave lake”. Pangong means conclave in Ladakhi and Tso means lake in Tibetan language.
  • Situated at over 14,000 feet, the Lake is about 135 km long.
  • It is formed from Tethys geosyncline.
  • The Karakoram Mountain range, which crosses Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and India, with heights of over 6,000 meters including K2, the world’s second highest peak, ends at the north bank of Pangong Tso.
  • Its southern bank too has high broken mountains sloping towards Spangur Lake in the south.
  • The lake’s water, while crystal clear, is brackish, making it undrinkable.


Why there is a dispute here?

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the line that separates Indian and Chinese troops since 1962 – generally runs along the land except for the width of Pangong Tso. Here, it runs through water.

Both sides have marked their areas announcing which side belongs to which country.

India controls about 45 km stretch of the Pangong Tso and China the rest.


What are fingers?

The lake has mountain spurs of the Chang Chenmo range jutting down, referred to as fingers.

There are eight of them in contention here. India and China have different understanding of where the LAC passes through.

  • India has maintained that the LAC passes through Finger 8, which has been the site of the final military post of China.
  • India has been patrolling the area – mostly on foot because of the nature of the terrain – up to Finger 8. But Indian forces have not had active control beyond Finger 4.
  • China, on the other hand, says the LAC passes through Finger 2. It has been patrolling up to Finger 4- mostly in light vehicles, and at times up to Finger 2.


Why does China want to encroach areas alongside Pangong Tso?

Pangong Tso is strategically crucial as it is very close to Chusul Valley, which was one of the battlefronts between India and China during the 1962 war.

  • China appears to keep India constricted in the region by taking strategic advantage of looking over the Chusul Valley, which it can do if it advances along Pangong Tso.
  • China also does not want India to boost its infrastructure anywhere near the LAC. China fears it threatens its occupation of Aksai Chin and Lhasa-Kashgar highway.
  • Any threat to this highway also puts Chinese rather imperialist plans in Pakistan-occupied territories in Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, and beyond in Pakistan.


Insta Curious:

Have you heard of the Ice Stupas of Ladhak? Read Here.



Prelims links:

  1. Geographical position of all areas which were point of contention between the two armies.
  2. Important geographical features in these areas. Ex: Rivers, mountain valleys etc.

Mains links:

Discuss the steps taken by China and India to de-escalate the border tension which occurred in 2020.


[Q.4) Consider the following statements:
    1. Pangong Tso is formed from Tethys geosyncline.
    2. The Karakoram Mountain range ends at the north bank of Pangong Tso.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

    1. 1 only
    2. 2 only
    3. Both
    4. None ]


Sources: the Hindu.

China – Tibet issue:

GS Paper 2:

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


China – Tibet issue:


U.S. Special Coordinator on Tibet Uzra Zeya met with the ‘Sikyong’ or leader of the self-styled Central Tibetan Administration Penpa Tsering and other officials and representatives of the Tibetan community on a public visit to Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh).

  • The visit is being seen as a strong message from the Indian government to China as well, which protests what it calls “meddling” in Tibet, as the visit was facilitated by New Delhi.


Where is Tibet?

Tibet is a region on the Tibetan Plateau in Asia, spanning about 2.4 million km2 – nearly a quarter of China’s territory.

  • It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups.


How it came to be ruled by China?

The People’s Republic of China asserts that Tibet has been a part of China since the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty.

  • In 1951 Tibetan leaders were forced to sign a treaty dictated by China.
  • The treaty, known as the “Seventeen Point Agreement”, professes to guarantee Tibetan autonomy and to respect the Buddhist religion but also allows the establishment of Chinese civil and military headquarters at Lhasa (Tibet’s capital).
  • However, the Tibetan people – including Dalai Lama – consider it invalid and as having been signed under duress.
  • This has often been described by the Tibetan people as a cultural genocide.


Tibetans abroad:

Over 1 lakh Tibetans are settled across India, while the remaining are settled in United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Mongolia, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and various other countries.


Insta Curious:

Did you know about the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE)?

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) has its headquarters in Dharamsala, in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

  • The 16th TPiE had 45 members representing provinces, different schools of Buddhism among others.
  • The Central Tibetan Administration exists and functions on the basis of the Constitution of the Tibetan government called ‘The Charter of the Tibetans in Exile’ (Redrafted in 1991).

What is Kashag and Sikyong? 

  • The Kashag (Cabinet) is Central Tibetan Administration’s highest executive office and comprise seven members.
  • The Sikyong is the political leader of the Central Tibetan Administration.



Prelims Link:

  1. Who is Sikyong?
  2. What is Kashag?
  3. The Charter of the Tibetans in Exile.
  4. About the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE).

Mains Link:

What is the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE)? How is it recognised? Discuss.


[Q.5) Which of the following are correct regarding the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE)?
    1. The Kashag is Central Tibetan Administration’s highest executive office and comprise seven members.
    2. The Sikyong is the political leader of the Central Tibetan Administration.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

    1. 1 Only
    2. 2 only
    3. Both
    4. None. ]


Sources: the Hindu.

New Development Bank (NDB):

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.



New Development Bank (NDB) is setting up a regional office in Gujarat, India for funding and monitoring infrastructure projects in that country and Bangladesh.


About NDB:

It is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

  • It was agreed to by BRICS leaders at the 5th BRICS summit held in Durban, South Africa in 2013.
  • It was launched in 2015, at the 6th BRICS Summit at Fortaleza, Brazil.
  • The bank is set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.
  • Headquartered in Shanghai, China.

In 2018, the NDB received observer status in the United Nations General Assembly, establishing a firm basis for active and fruitful cooperation with the UN.



Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital share, in the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power.


Roles and functions:

The Bank will mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, to supplement existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.


Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. NDB- members and voting powers.
  2. Where it can invest?
  3. Which are the NDB funded projects in India?
  4. Fortaleza declaration is related to?
  5. When was NDB established?
  6. NDB vs World Bank vs AIIB.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of NDB.


[Q.6) Consider the following statements regarding the New Development Bank:
    1. It was agreed to by BRICS leaders at the 5th BRICS summit held in Durban, South Africa in 2013.
    2. It was launched in 2015, at the 6th BRICS Summit at Fortaleza, Brazil.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

    1. 1 Only
    2. 2 only
    3. Both
    4. None. ]

Sources: Reuters.

/ 20 May CA, Today's Article

What Is An Urban Heat Island?

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Environment and Pollution related issues.



Several sections of the country are experiencing extreme temperatures. Cities, in particular, are significantly hotter than rural places. The reason for this is a phenomenon known as –urban heat island effect”.


What is an urban heat island?

It’s a localised and temporary phenomenon that occurs when particular parts of a city receive more heat than the rest of the city on the same day.

  • The differences are primarily due to heat being trapped within environments that resemble concrete jungles.
  • The temperature variation can range between 3 to 5 degrees Celsius.


What are the Causes of Urban Heat Island?

  1. Carbon-absorbing materials such as asphalt and concrete are required for the constructing buildings in cities. They trap a lot of heat, which raises the average surface temperature of cities.
  2. Many structures in urban areas have dark surfaces, which reduce albedo and increase heat absorption.
  3. Tall buildings, as well as the small streets that commonly accompany them, obstruct air circulation, diminish wind speed, and hence reduce any natural cooling effects. The effect is known as the Urban Canyon Effect.
  4. Use of fossil fuels adds up to the heat effect.
  5. Reduced tree cover and green areas.


How can Urban Heat Islands be Reduced?

  • Increase Area Under Green Cover.
  • To reflect heat and prevent absorption, roofs and terraces should be painted white or with light colours.
  • Kitchen gardening and terrace vegetation should be encouraged.



Prelims Link:

  1. Urban Heat Island.
  2. Green House Gasses.
  3. Green house effects.
  4. Climate Change and its impact.
  5. NASA’s Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment (Ecostress).

Mains Link:

Discuss about the Causes and Impact of Urban Heat island.

Sources: Indian Express.


 Facts for Prelims:



  • In his speech at Lumbini, Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted that his hometown, Vadnagar in Gujarat, was a significant centre for Buddhist study centuries ago.
  • Buddhist relics and around 20,000 artefacts, some dating back to the 2nd century, have been found here.
  • Other artefacts found during excavations: Relics of stupa and bowls having a terracotta sealing with inscriptions of namassarvagyaya and a face-shaped pendant with tritatva symbol.

National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC):

4th meeting of the National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC) was held recently in New Delhi.

  • NSAC was constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  • Role: To advise the government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
  • Chairman: Minister for Commerce & Industry.


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:

  • It is an island country in the Caribbean.
  • It is located in the southeast Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, which lie in the West Indies at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where the latter meets the Atlantic Ocean.


Shri Ram Nath Kovind, India’s President, recently paid a visit to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV):

According to a new estimate published in The Lancet, lower respiratory illness caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) caused more than 1,00,000 fatalities in children under the age of five in 2019.

  • RSV is the most common cause of acute lower respiratory infection in young children.
  • It infects the nose, throat, lungs, and breathing passages.
  • RSV spreads through contact with respiratory droplets (coughing, sneezing, or kissing) from an infected person.
  • An antiviral drug called palivizumab (pah-lih-VIH-zu-mahb) is available to prevent severe RSV illness.


Aurangzeb’s tomb:

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has barred visit to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s tomb for five days.

  • Aurangzeb (1618 – 1707), the sixth Mughal emperor, ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for half a century.
  • He assumed the title Alamgir, World Conqueror.
  • He was influenced by Nakshabandi sufi order.

Know more about Aurangzeb. Reference: read this.


Answers to Questions asked on 18th May:

Q.1) D.

Q.2) C.

Q.3) A.

Q.4) C.

Q.5) A.


Answers to Questions asked on 19th May:

Q.1) C.

Q.2) D.

Q.3) C.

Q.4) C.

Q.5) B.


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