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. Deadline for freezing administrative boundaries extended, no Census this year
2. OBC stir for 12% separate quota continues
GS Paper 3:
1. Agnipath scheme
2. Unemployment has decreased, says Labour Survey
GS Paper 4:
1. Instagram beefs up child protection measures
2. Liquor bottle buyback scheme, partial success in the Nilgiris.
Facts for Prelims:
1. “Bharat Gaurav” express train.
2. India, Israel, the US, and UAE are participating in I2U2
3. 7% of nation’s population was ‘temporary visitor’: Migration in India 2020-21 report
4. “22 degrees halo”
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Government policies and interventions, Important aspects of governance.
The census exercise, which was originally scheduled to take place in 2021, has been further pushed to 2023-24.
Why has census been postponed?
- Normally, before every Census, states are required to provide information on changes in the number of notified districts, villages, towns and other administrative units such as tehsils, talukas and police stations to the Registrar General of India (RGI).
- After this RGI freezes the administrative boundaries so that census tasks can begin.
- However, this time, RGI has extended the deadline for freezing administrative boundaries to December 31, 2022.
- Since the Census can only begin a few months after the administrative boundaries are frozen, the possibility of a Census in 2022 is ruled out.
Census in India:
- Definition: Population Census is the total process of collecting, compiling, analysing and disseminating demographic, economic and social data pertaining, at a specific time, of all persons in a country or a well-defined part of a country.
- First Non-synchronous Census: It was conducted in India in 1872 during the reign of Governor-General Lord Mayo.
- First Synchronous Census: The first synchronous census was taken under British rule on February 17, 1881, by C. Plowden (Census Commissioner of India).
- The decennial Census is conducted by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs.
- Until 1951, the Census Organization was set up on an ad-hoc basis for each Census.
- The population census is a Union subject under Article 246 of India Constitution. It is listed as serial number 69 of the seventh schedule of the constitution.
- Census is conducted under the provisions of the Census Act, 1948.
- Under this act, the information collected during the population Census is considered confidential and is not even accessible to the courts of law.
- The law specifies penalties for both public and census officials for non-compliance or violation of any provision of the Act.
Significance of Census:
- Source of Information: The Indian Census is the largest single source of a variety of statistical information on different characteristics of the people of India.
- Researchers and Demographers use census data to analyze growth and trends of population and make projections.
- Good Governance: The data collected through the census is used for administration, planning and policy making as well as management and evaluation of various programmes by the Government.
- Demarcation: Census data is also used for demarcation of constituencies and allocation of representation to Parliament, State legislative assemblies and the local bodies.
- Better Access for Businesses: The census data is also important for business houses and industries for strengthening and planning their business for penetration into areas, which had hitherto remained, uncovered.
- Giving Grants: Finance Commission provides grants to the states on the basis of population figures available from the Census data.
Fifteenth Census (2011):
In the 2011 Census, a significant fall in the case of EAG States (Empowered action group states: UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan & Orissa) was noticed for the first time.
Sixteenth Census (2021): (Postponed)
- It will be the first digital Census, also with a provision for self-enumeration.
- It is for the first time that information about households headed by a person from the Transgender Community and members living in the family will be collected.
- Earlier there was a column for males and female only.
The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country and it is “mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.”
While similar data is collected through Census, according to Section 15 of the Census Act, 1948, all individual level information collected in Census is confidential and “only aggregated data are released at various administrative levels.”
- The NPR was first compiled in 2010and updated in 2015 and it already has a database of 119 crore residents.
Who is a usual resident?
A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.
Criticisms surrounding NPR:
- According to Citizenship Rules framed in the year 2003, NPR is the first step towards compilation of National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) or NRC.
- Important data from Census 2011
- What is NPR?
- Who conducts census?
- How are national census different from the National Population registry? Also, discuss the importance of the census and some of the concerns related to it. (15M)
Q1. With reference to the census, consider the following statements:
- The first synchronous census was taken under British rule by Governor-General Lord Mayo.
- In the sixteenth census, first time information of households headed by a person from the Transgender Community and members living in the family will be collected.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Constitutional bodies, government policies and interventions.
- People from five OBC communities continued to block the Jaipur-Agra Highway at Aroda village in Rajasthan Bharatpur district, demanding a separate 12% quota in jobs and higher education institutions.
- The Kalelkar Commission, set up in 1953, was the first to identify backward classes other than the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) at the national level.
- The Mandal Commission Report, 1980 estimated the OBC population at 52% and classified 1,257 communities as backward.
- It recommended increasing the existing quotas, which were only for SC/ST, from 22.5% to 49.5% to include the OBCs.
- The central government reserved 27% of seats in union civil posts and services for OBCs [Article 16(4)].
- The quotas were subsequently enforced in central government educational institutions [Article 15 (4)].
- In 2008, the Supreme Court directed the central government to exclude the creamy layer (advanced sections) among the OBC
- The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 provided constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), which was previously a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- NCBC has the authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
Article 340 of the Indian Constitution
- The President may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India and the difficulties under which they labour and to make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by the Union or any State to remove such difficulties.
- A Commission so appointed shall investigate the matters referred to them and present to the President a report setting out the facts as found by them and making such recommendations as they think proper.
- The President shall cause a copy of the report so presented together with a memorandum explaining the action taken thereon to be laid before each House of Parliament.
Q2. Consider the following statements:
- The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 provided statutory status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
- The Constitution empowers Parliament to appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as it thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes.
Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandates
The government unveiled its new Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers across the three services.
What is the Agnipath scheme?
Under the new scheme, around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers (will be called ‘Agniveers’) will be recruited annually (for a short period, and most will leave the service in just four years. Of the total annual recruits, only 25 per cent will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission.
Format of the scheme:
Eligibility: Aspirants between the ages of 17.5 years and 21 years will be eligible to apply. The scheme is only applicable to personnel below officer ranks.
- Twice a year through rallies.
- The recruitment will be done on “all India, all class” recruitment to the services (from any caste, region, class or religious background). Currently, recruitment is based on ‘regiment system’ based on region and caste bases.
Training period: 6 months + deployment for three and a half years.
Salary and Benefits:
- Recruits will get starting salary of Rs 30,000, along with additional benefits which will go up to Rs 40,000 by the end of the four-year service.
- During this period, 30 per cent of their salary will be set aside under a Seva Nidhi programme, and the government will contribute an equal amount every month, and it will also accrue interest. At the end of the four-year period, each soldier will get Rs 11.71 lakh as a lump sum amount, which will be tax-free.
- For 25% of soldiers, who are re-selected, the initial four-year period will not be considered for retirement benefits.
- Make the armed forces much leaner and younger: For India’s over 13-lakh strong armed forces, the current average age profile is 32 years. It is envisaged it will come down by about 4-5 years by implementation of this scheme
- Reduce the defence pension bill: The government has either allocated or paid more than Rs. 3.3 lakh crore in defence pension since 2020.
- As per Army calculations, the savings for the government in this ‘Tour of Duty model’ of recruitment from just one sepoy would be around 11.5 cr (the army initially proposed a 3-year service model).
- Create “future-ready” soldiers: A youthful armed forces will allow them to be easily trained for new technologies.
- Increased employment opportunities and higher skilled workforce: Apart from job opportunities in the army, recruits because of the skills and experience acquired during the four-year service such soldiers will get employment in various fields.
- The central government will likely give preference to Agniveers in regular employment after their four years stint.
Concerns regarding the scheme:
- Present benefits and security of jobs will be lost: Recruits will not get permanent jobs or promised pension and health benefits even after retirement.
- Doubt about training: 6 months of short training may not be enough to trust them with the same kind of tasks that current troops can be trusted with.
- Erosion of loyalty: “All India, all class” recruitment to the services may lead to the erosion of the loyalty that a soldier has for his regiment.
Similar schemes in other countries:
- Voluntary tour of duty: In the USA tours are 6-9 or even 12 months’ deploymentdepending upon the needs of the military and branch of service.
- Mandatory tour of duty (called conscription): Countries that follow the practice of conscription include Israel, Norway, North Korea, and Sweden.
- What is ‘Tour of duty’
- Structure of Agneepath Scheme
- How will the newly launched Agneepath Scheme help make armed forces leaner and tech-savvy? Bring out the concerns regarding the scheme. (15M)
Q3. Consider the following statement regarding Agnipath Scheme:
- It is a short-service scheme for the Indian Army to recruit young soldiers.
- One of the primary motives behind the scheme is to cut down the burden of pension bills for defence personnel.
Which one of the following is correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Solution: (b) As Agnipath scheme is meant for all three branches of the armed forces
Sources: Indian Express
GS Paper 3:
Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment.
As per the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for 2020-21 released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the unemployment rate saw a decrease of 0.6% and fell to 4.2% in 2020-21, compared with 4.8% in 2019-20
What does the survey say:
- Unemployment rate: Data show the rate of joblessness fell to 4.2% in 2020-21, compared with 4.8% earlier
- Rural areas recorded an unemployment rate of 3% and urban areas recorded an unemployment rate of 6.7%.
- The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR)e., the percentage of persons in the labour force (that is, working or seeking work or available for work) in the population was 41.6% during 2020-21 (higher than 40.1% in 2019-20).
- All-India female labour force participation rate (LFPR) in usual status has increased from 2.3% in 2021 to 25.1% as compared to 22.8% a year ago
- Worker Population Ratio (the number of employed people per thousand people) was 39.8% (an increase from 38.2% of the previous year)
- Migration rate: The migration rate, according to the survey, is 28.9%. The migration rate among women was 48% and 47.8% in rural and urban areas, respectively.
- Migrants are defined as a household members whose last usual place of residence, at any time in the past, was different from the present place of enumeration.
- Employment-related migration: 4.4% of migration happened due to employment, which is a drastic reduction from the 10% in 2011
- Reverse migration: During the pandemic, reverse migration led to a higher rate of unemployment agglomeration in rural areas, which caused rural distress. However, the annual report on the unemployment rate shows a contradiction.
How does NSO collect sample?
The National Statistical Office (NSO) uses “rotational panel sampling design” in urban areas to assess the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR) and the unemployment rate, and visits selected households in urban areas four times. There was, however, no revisit for the rural samples.
What does report indicate?
Overall, the report suggests shifting the government’s policy directions as it has become more rural-centric. Creation of rural jobs other than in the agricultural sector and MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) could be priorities for the government at the Union and State levels.
Issues with the survey: Experts point out that a second visit to the households in rural areas could have provided a bigger and larger picture of unemployment, which did not happen in the survey.
Usual Status Approach: It records only those persons as being unemployed who had no gainful work for a major time during the 365 days preceding the date of the survey and are actively seeking work.
Weekly Status Approach: A person is considered to be employed if he or she pursues any one or more of the gainful activities for at least one hour on any day of the reference week.
The individual who may be employed on a usual status approach may however become intermittently unemployed during some seasons or parts of the year. Therefore, unlike the usual status approach, the weekly status approach can measure not only open chronic unemployment but also seasonal unemployment.
Current Daily Status Approach: Accordingly, a person having no gainful work even for 1 hour a day is described as unemployed for a full day. It is beneficial in sectors like farming and non-farming households where employment often fluctuates over a small period within a week.
Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS): PLFS was launched by National Statistical Office (NSO) in 2017 and is India’s first computer-based survey. It was constituted based on the recommendation of the Amitabh Kundu committee.
- What is NSO
- How often government conducts Labour survey?
- What are different measures of calculating unemployment in India?
- Despite a decrease in the unemployment rate, the government has been found lacking in providing gainful employment in India. Discuss the reasons behind it and suggest suitable remedies. (15M)
- “A category of unemployment arising from the mismatch between the jobs available in the market and the skills of the available workers in the market.” Which type of unemployment is being discussed here? (UPSC CSE 2021)
(a) Cyclical Unemployment
(b) Frictional Unemployment
(c) Structural Unemployment
(d) Disguised Unemployment
Structural Unemployment is a category of unemployment arising from the mismatch between the jobs available in the market and the skills of the available workers in the market.
- What is unemployment trap? (UPSC CSE 2021 Prelims)
(a) A situation when unemployment benefits discourage the unemployed to go to work.
(b) A situation where people working informally, without proper job contracts and thus sans any legal protection.
(c) It refers to the time lag between the jobs when an individual is searching for a new job or is switching between the jobs.
(d) It is loss of jobs due to changes in technology.
Unemployment trap is a situation when unemployment benefits discourage the unemployed to go to work. People find the opportunity cost of going to work too high when one can simply enjoy the benefits by doing nothing.
Source: The Hindu
GS Paper 4
Syllabus: Social Media Ethics
Context: Social media giant Meta announced that it was rolling out a slew of measures to boost the safety of young users on its Instagram platform.
Need: A large number of Social Media Users are youngsters and in the current era of post-truth, where truth is constantly subjected to manipulation and misinterpretation, a natural need arises for an impartial and accountable Social Media.
Instagram was rocked last year by revelations from whistleblower Frances Haugen that suggested executives were aware the platform could harm the mental health of young users, particularly teenage girls.
How it will work: Young users would now see nudges encouraging them to look at other subjects if they are spending too much time looking at content about a single topic.
Parents and guardians will be able to block apps, view what their child is looking at on another device, and see how long their child is spending with their headset on.
Other examples: TikTok also announced a similar initiative.
From Governance perspective: Check this link: The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021
GS Paper 4
Syllabus: Environmental Ethics
Context: A month since a scheme for buying back used liquor bottles was launched at TASMAC shops across the Nilgiris, it has scored some success. But some teething issues have also emerged.
Issues: There was an increasing rise in liquor bottle waste which was discarded in forest areas and posed threats to the wildlife.
How it works: The Tamil Nadu government directed Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) to implement the scheme aimed at eliminating the dumping of used liquor bottles in forest areas and negating the threats they posed to the wildlife. At the time of purchase, people returning used bottles were to be refunded ₹10 a bottle collected in deposit at TASMAC shops across the district.
Effect: There was a drastic reduction in open dumping across the district. However, the district administration and the TASMAC face another problem — what to do with the bottles that have piled up at TASMAC shops across the Nilgiris.
Facts For Prelims
“Bharat Gaurav” express train
Context: The first train to be operated between Coimbatore and Shirdi by a private operator, under the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme of the Indian Railways
- To showcase India’s cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to people of the country and world through these trains.
- Opportunity for entrepreneurs.
India, Israel, the US, UAE are participating in the I2U2 summit
Context: The US President will host a virtual summit with the Prime Minister of India, Israel Prime Minister and UAE President during his visit to West Asia from July 13 to 16. The new grouping will be called “I2U2” — “I” for India and Israel and “U” for the US and UAE.
- Previously called, the ‘International Forum for Economic Cooperation, the group is already being dubbed the ‘New Quad’ or the ‘Middle-Eastern Quad’ along the lines of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD).
Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD):
- The QSD often called the ‘Quad’ is a strategic dialogue between the United States, India, Japan and Australia.
- The dialogue was started in 2007 in response to increasing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and was accompanied by one of the largest joint military exercises of the modern era, the Malabar Exercise.
- Which of the following countries share a boundary with the Mediterranean Sea?
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
- 1, 2 and 4 only
- 1, 2 and 5 only
- 3, 4 and 5 only
- 1, 2, 3 and 5 only
0.7% of nation’s population was ‘temporary visitor’: Migration in India 2020-21 report
As per the Migration in India Report 2020-21 (released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), 0.7 per cent of the country’s population was a ‘temporary visitor’ in households during July 2020-June 2021.
Who are ‘temporary visitors’?
‘Temporary visitors’ are categorized as those who arrived after March 2020 and stayed in the household continuously for a period of 15 days or more but less than 6 months. 84% of these visitors moved places for reasons linked to the pandemic.
- Definition: As per International Organization for Migration (The UN Migration Agency) defines a migrant as any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a state away from his/her habitual place of residence.
- It can be either voluntary or forced movements as a consequence of the increased magnitude or frequency of disasters, economic challenges and extreme poverty or conflict situations.
- International Migrants Day is celebrated annually by the UN on 18th December to raise awareness about the challenges and difficulties of international migration.
- The theme for the International Migrants Day 2021 was ‘Harnessing the potential of Human Mobility’.
- 11 out of the 17 SDGs contain targets and indicators relevant to migration or mobility.
- Which of the following is/are push factors for migration?
- Lack of development of a particular place.
- Better living conditions.
- Job opportunities.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
- 1 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1, 2 and 3
“22 degrees halo”
Halos form when light from the sun or moon is refracted by ice crystals associated with thin, high-level clouds (like cirrostratus clouds). A 22-degree halo is a ring of light 22 degrees from the sun (or moon) and is the most common type of halo observed and is formed by hexagonal ice crystals with diameters less than 20.5 micrometres.
A 22-degree halo develops when light enters one side of a columnar ice crystal and exits through another side.
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