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 facing a worst global hunger crisis
2. S. Supreme Court overturns abortion right
3. Safety at a price for Delhi’s queer community
4. Norms to protect the rights of kids working on OTT platforms
GS Paper 3:
1. Biodiversity loss to raise India’s bankruptcy risk by 29%
Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay):
1. Redefining gender roles in India
2. Zainika Jagasia, a 19-YO Model With Down Syndrome
Facts for Prelims:
1. Ambubachi Mela
2. ‘Sao Joao’ festival (Goa)
3. Missing easterly winds leave Northwest rain deficit, northeast deluged: IMD
4. Largest bacterium ever found
5. Global Estimates: Number of crisis-affected Children and Adolescents in Need of Education Support
6. Vehicles Will Get ‘Star Rating’ Based On Crash Test
7. MCA reworks rules for winding up businesses
8. Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES)
9. VL-SRSAM missile system
10. India’s GSAT-24 satellite launched
11. Global Liveability Index
Syllabus: Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger.
As per the UN, global hunger is on the rise, reversing decades of progress. Climate change, extreme weather events, conflicts and economic downturns are some of the factors driving growing food insecurity.
- As per the FAO report (Global Report on Food Crises): Around 193 million people in 53 countries or territories experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels
- Acute food insecurity is at a record high.
- Hunger Hotspots: Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen are “hunger hotspots” facing catastrophic conditions.
- A total of 750,000people are already facing starvation and death in Ethiopia, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, the Sahel region, Sudan and Syria remain “countries of very high concern” where conditions are critical, and deteriorating.
- Children: Some 13.6 million children globally under the age of five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
- Even if these children survive, they may suffer from stunting, which has life-long consequences.
- Rising inequality and economic instability could lead to social and political unrest in some of the worst-affected countries in the coming months.
- Global Hunger Index 2021: India slipped seven places to rank 101 among 116 countries. The level of hunger in India was ‘serious’ according to the report.
- India and Food Insecurity: India has the largest stock of grain in the world (120 million tonnes) but still accounts for a quarter of the world’s food-insecure population.
- Estimates show that, in 2020, over 237 crore people were grappling with food insecurity globally, an increase of about 32 crores from 2019.
Causes of worldwide hunger:
- Violence and conflict: They remain the primary drivers of acute hunger, and conflict levels and violence against civilians have increased in 2022.
- Displacement: Conflict has led to new waves of displacement, forcing people to abandon their homes, land and livelihoods, reducing the amount of food locally available in their communities.
- In the Sahel alone, close to 2.8 million people have been internally displaced.
- Other reasons: The war in Ukraine has combined with the climate crisis, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unequal recovery to create a perfect storm of needs in developing countries.
- Investing in Development: As per the UN, it requires just $300 million — just 0.1 per cent of the overseas development aid spent in a year. To put that figure into perspective, 62 new food billionaires have been created in the past two years.
- Stabilize the global market: We must stabilize global markets, reduce volatility and tackle the uncertainty of commodity prices. We must restore fertilizer availability, especially for smallholder farmers now.
- Food is a fundamental human right: We must alleviate immediate suffering through humanitarian assistance and by investing in social protection systems. Invest in a long-term vision of a food systems transformation, (committed last year at the United Nations Food Systems Summit)
- Country-specific responses: In Yemen, for example, the focus is on identifying key inefficiencies in the political economy of the food system. In Haiti, the emphasis is on diversification of the economy, improved livelihoods for women and youth, and strategic partnerships for agriculture and fisheries.
- FAO solution: The international community calls for a shift towards better prevention, anticipation, and targeting to address the root causes of food crises
Q. Despite various interventions to tackle hunger in the country, the issue continues to be a persistent sore in the nation’s food security, undermining its developmental goals. Comment. (250 words, 15 marks)
Q. Which of the following is/are the indicator/indicators used by IFPRI to compute the Global Hunger Index Report? (UPSC CSE 2016)
- Child stunting
- Child mortality
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) 1 and 3 only
Syllabus: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India.
- In a significant curtailment of women’s rights, the U.S Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision giving women in America the right to have an abortion before the foetus is viable outside the womb — before the 24-28week mark.
- Abortion rights, which have been available to women for over two generations — will now be determined by individual States.
- Also overturned on Friday was Planned Parent-hood v. Casey, a 1992 case that upheld Roe.
|Roe v. Wade Judgment:|
● In 1973, in the landmark Roe vs Wade judgment, the Supreme Court of the United States made the right to abortion a constitutional right, establishing a benchmark for abortion laws across the world.
● US Supreme Court struck down laws that made abortion illegal in several states and ruled that abortion would be allowed up to the point of foetal viability, that is, the time after which a foetus can survive outside the womb.
○ Foetal viability was around 28 weeks (7 months) at the time of the Roe judgment; experts now agree that advances in medicine have brought the threshold down to 23 or 24 weeks (6 months or a little less).
● Foetal viability is often seen as the point at which the rights of the woman can be separated from the rights of the unborn foetus.
● Abortion laws across the world rely on this metric but those opposing abortions argue that this is an arbitrary timeframe that legislation and the court in Roe adopted.
With reference to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Act, 2021, consider the following statements:
- Opinion of one Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation.
- It allows only married women to also terminate a pregnancy.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Syllabus: Vulnerable sections of society and schemes related to vulnerable sections, laws for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.
- The pride month celebrations and the many LGBTQ+ friendly parties happening in Delhi, but queer safe spaces are rare.
- Since Section 377 of the IPC was decriminalised in 2018, Delhi has transitioned into a city where gay bashes in nightclubs, pride meets at cafes and gay-themed film festivals and book readings are routinely held.
- However, discrimination against the community is still prevalent in every stratum of society and many queer persons said they felt unsafe attending events because they feared getting “outed”.
- LGBTQ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning.
- These terms are used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Difficulties Faced by LGBTIQ+ Community:
- Heterosexuality: They are experiencing intolerance, discrimination, harassment, and the threat of violence due to their sexual orientation than those that identify themselves as heterosexual.
- In-equality & Violence: They face inequality and violence in every place around the world. They face torture from people who mock them and make them realize that they are different from others.
- Deprived in Rights: In many countries, the rights enjoyed by opposite-sex couples are not enjoyed by same-sex couples. They are prohibited from those rights.
- Isolation from society: They gradually develop low self-esteem and low self-confidence and become isolated from friends and family.
- Conflict in Family itself: Lack of communication between LGBT children and their parents often leads to conflict in the family. Many LGBT youths are placed in foster care or end up in juvenile detention or on the streets.
- Racial Discrimination: Additionally, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face poverty and racism daily. They suffer from social and economic inequalities due to continuous discrimination in the workplace.
Q. ‘Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is still prevalent in every stratum of society’. Discuss the difficulties faced by the community along with various judgments to safeguard their rights. (10M)
Q. Which of the following judgements is/are associated with the LGBTQ+ community?
- Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India
- Justice K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India
- Naz Foundation vs Government of Delhi
- SR Bommai vs Union of India
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a. 1, 2 and 3 only
b. 2, 3 and 4 only
c. 1 and 2 only
d. 1, 2, 3 and 4
Syllabus: Laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.
- The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has published draft guidelines to regulate child protection within the entertainment industry.
- While the “Guidelines to Regulate Child Participation in the Entertainment Industry” were issued by the Commission in 2011, today’s draft increases the scope of the guidelines to cover social media and OTT platforms for the first time.
- Registration: It has mandated that child artists and children being used in entertainment need to be registered with the District Magistrate.
- Any producer of any audio-visual media production or any commercial event involving the participation of a child will now need to obtain the permission of the District Magistrate where the activity is to be performed.
- No exploitation: Parents, who are using children to make money, have to be held accountable.
- Provisions under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Child Labour Amendment Act, 2016, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, etc., have been included in the guidelines.
- Disclaimer: Producers will also have to run a disclaimer saying measures were taken to ensure there has been no abuse, neglect or exploitation of children during the entire process of the shooting.
- Child-specific considerations: The guidelines prohibit children from being cast in roles or situations that are inappropriate; consideration has to be given to the child’s age, maturity, emotional or psychological development and sensitivity.
- Presence of guardian: At least one parent or legal guardian or a known person has to be present during a shoot, and for infants, a registered nurse needs to be present along with the parent or legal guardian.
- Police verification: Every person involved in the production who may be in contact with children will have to submit a medical fitness certificate ensuring that they are not carrying an obvious contagious disease and police verification of the staff also needs to be carried out.
- Child’s education: The producer also needs to ensure the child’s education under the RTE Act, to ensure no discontinuity from school or lessons as well as adequate and nutritious food, and water to the children during the process of production and medical facilities.
- Breaks: A child shall only participate in one shift per day, with a break after every three hours.
- Income: At least 20 per cent of the income earned by the child from the production or event shall be directly deposited in a fixed deposit account in a nationalized bank in the name of the child which may be credited to the child on attaining majority.
- Family enterprise: Content created by the child or his family/guardian shall be treated as children working in a family enterprise as provided under Section 3(2)(a) of the Child Labour and Adolescent Labour Act, 1986.
Q. The new draft guidelines include stringent penal provisions for violating the guidelines. In the light of this statement critically analyze the new draft guidelines to regulate child protection working on OTT platforms. (15M)
Q. With reference to the National commission for protection of child rights(NCPCR), consider the following statements:
- NCPCR is a statutory body under the administrative control of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- The commission has a chairperson and six members, of which at least two should be women.
Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Syllabus: Environmental Conservation
As per a study by British Economist, loss of biodiversity will downgrade the credit ratings of several countries, including India, increasing their bankruptcy risk.
- Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (2020) warned that none of the 20 targets of Aichi (2010 to 2020) under the Convention of Biological Diversity, have been met by the global community.
- India amended its National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) to cover all 20 Aichi targets into 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBTs). As per India’s 6th National Report, India is on track to achieve 9 out of its 12 NBTs.
What does the study say:
- Economic loss out of ignoring biodiversity: The team claimed that investors and corporations ignoring biodiversity loss from calculations could lead to market stability being undermined. They found that at least 58 per cent of the 26 countries would face a detrimental impact.
- Sovereign credit ratings are an independent assessment that determines the creditworthiness of a country.
- Sectors most affected: “partial ecosystem collapse” of sectors such as fisheries, tropical timber production and wild pollination. (based on World Bank Prediction)
- Worst affected: China and Malaysia would be the worst affected with downgrades of more than six notches.
- On India: The downgrades to four notches for India and other countries means that they will be burdened with billions of dollars in interest. Twelve of the 26 countries analysed will be at the risk of bankruptcy.
How does biodiversity impacts economics?
- As nature loss reduces economic performance, it will become harder for countries to service their debt, straining government budgets and forcing them to raise taxes, cut spending, or increase inflation.
- Developing countries are already saddled with crippling debt burdens driven by COVID-19 and soaring prices, and the loss of nature will push these countries closer to the edge.
- India’s debt burden is expected to increase to 8 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product ( GDP) by the end of March 2022
Q. With reference to an initiative called “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)” which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC CSE 2016)
- It is an initiative hosted by UNEP, IMF and World Economic Forum.
- It is a global initiative that focuses on drawing attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity.
- It presents an approach that can help decision-makers recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of ecosystems and biodiversity.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
TEEB study was launched by Germany and the EU and not UNEP+IMF+WEF. The other two options are correct. For more information: TEEB
Q. With reference to an organization known as ‘BirdLife International’, which of the following statements is/are correct?
- It is a Global Partnership of Conservation Organizations.
- The concept of ‘biodiversity hotspots’ originated from this organization.
- It identifies the sites known/ referred to as ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas’.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
BirdLife International (BLI) is an NGO and Global partnership of conservation org. that strives to conserve birds, their habitats, and global biodiversity. ‘Biodiversity hotspot’ concept was developed by Norman Mayers and not by BLI.
Q. “Biodiversity-related risks are a material risk to economic activity and public finances. Protecting the natural habitat is not just important for nature’s sake but also crucial for safeguarding macroeconomic stability.”
Source: Down to Earth
Redefining gender roles in India
Gurugram-based Udit Saini and his wife decided to have a baby, they got thinking about how they would tackle their kid’s growing-up years. Among their friends, very few took work off to take care of their children and the difference between the children was so evident and drastic- social disconnect, low confidence, and digital addiction were a few major to notice.
Even the incidents of maids physically abusing kids have been highlighted in various scenarios.
So as to give a good future and overall growth to their kids, Udit Saini left his job to take care of the baby. Many other husbands are happily giving up their professional careers to take care of household work and kids.
This incident highlights redefining gender roles in India.
Challenges faced by Stay Home Dads:
- Societal pressure and stereotypes – among relatives and friends.
Social gatherings and outings with friends become awkward as people start a conversation about how work is going. So gradually one gets cut off from these.
- Education System:
Schools are reluctant in addressing the fact that the father is unemployed, they wouldn’t even consider if the mother earns however much.
As per the point system for the admission of kids, the father being a primary parent loses a lot of points.
- Other issues:
Getting property on rent can be a problem if the father isn’t earning, no matter if the mother has a job.
Parenting groups in residential societies are mom-dominated with Whatsapp group messages addressed only to “mothers”. Play dates are a chance for mothers to get together and this sidelines stay-at-home dads.
Why gender roles should be redefined:
- Kids will understand and feel that there is no dominance of a particular gender.
- Becoming a primary parent gives chance and the time for fathers to explore carpentry, cooking, dancing, and painting which are otherwise considered to be of women/mothers.
- This setup allows the young family to exercise their right of choice.
Zainika Jagasia, a 19-YO Model With Down Syndrome
Zainika Jagasia from Mumbai was born with down syndrome and has fought many battles to become a model and professional baker.
(Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, affecting approximately 1 in every 700 children)
The ever-supportive parents then spent 8 to 10 hours a day with their child in occupational, physical, and speech therapy when Zainika was just months old.
The bright girl is now a popular figure on social media with her baking skills. During the first lockdown, she got into professional baking with her sister, Gitika Jagasia, who runs a bakery called Homebred by Gitika.
This incident highlights how disabilities are not a barrier to personal as well as societal growth if treated properly. Rather than considering disabilities as a burden they should be given special care and support so that they also become a valuable member of society and have the feeling of self-dignity.
Facts For Prelims
The Ambubachi Mela is an annual Hindu mela held at Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam. This yearly Mela is celebrated during the monsoon season that happens to fall during the Assamese month Ahaar, around the middle of June when the sun transit to the zodiac of Mithuna, when the Brahmaputra river is in spate.
- The festival marks the annual menstruation of the presiding Goddess.
- The temple (on the Nilachal Hills) houses the yoni (female genital)symbolised by a rock.
- Kamakhya is one of 51 shakti peethasor holy sites for the followers of the Shakti cult
‘Sao Joao’ festival (Goa)
‘Sao Joao’ festival is the feast of St John the Baptist. Traditionally, people jump into the well but since the wells are fast disappearing, people prefer to celebrate it in swimming pools.
It is celebrated to commemorate the day in the name of St John De Baptista who was believed to have baptised Jesus Christ.
Sao Joao, like any other Goan festival, has that captivating spirit of merriment, colour and tradition. People dressed in colourful outfits from several villages meet and celebrate the day like a carnival.
Missing easterly winds leave Northwest rain deficit, northeast deluged: IMD
While all-India rainfall was 18 per cent short of normal, Assam and Meghalaya were submerged in record rainfall last week. Shows increasing rainfall variability.
Rainfall Variability: The degree to which rainfall amounts vary across an area or through time is an important characteristic of the climate of an area. This subject area in meteorology/climatology is called “rainfall variability.” There are two types (or components) of rainfall variability, areal and temporal. The study of the latter is important in understanding climate change.
Largest bacterium ever found
The bacteria was discovered in the mangroves of the Guadeloupe archipelago in the Caribbean
Named Thiomargarita Magnifica, they live by oxidizing sulfur and are 50 times bigger than any other known bacteria
“What is very unique about the T. Magnifica is that the entire filament, which is among the longest filaments in the mangrove, is just one cell,”
Central to the bacterium is its vacuole — an inert, fluid-filled membrane. Around the edge of this are membrane-bound structures, which the authors call “pepins” and describe as being similar to the organelles found mostly in eukaryotic cells. The “pepins” collectively host up to 700,000 copies of the genome.
Global Estimates: Number of crisis-affected Children and Adolescents in Need of Education Support
The United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), released a shocking new report that indicates the number of crisis-impacted school-aged children requiring educational support has grown from an estimated 75 million in 2016 to 222 million currently.
To respond to this pressing global education crisis, ECW and strategic partners launched the #222MillionDreams resource mobilization campaign. The campaign calls on donors, the private sector, philanthropic foundations and high-net-worth individuals to urgently mobilize more resources for the education of children.
Vehicles Will Get ‘Star Rating’ Based On Crash Test
Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP):
It will serve as a consumer-centric platform, allowing customers to opt for safer cars based on their Star Ratings while promoting healthy competition among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in India to manufacture safer vehicles.
It will not only ensure structural and passenger safety in cars but also increase the export-worthiness of Indian automobiles.
The testing protocol of Bharat NCAP shall be aligned with global crash-test protocols.
Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways (MoSRT&H) is the nodal ministry for regulation of the automotive sector in India.
MCA reworks rules for winding up businesses
The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has revised the rules on the voluntary winding up of companies to give additional opportunities to companies for making the case for an exit through electronic filing after the initial request.
The idea is to make the corporate exit process under the Companies Act provisions, outside the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), smoother.
Voluntary winding up offers an opportunity for companies with little economic activity to down their shutters outside the IBC process. This is vital for the industry as many entrepreneurs remain unable to commence business operations for various economic reasons after incorporating a company.
Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES)
The government is set to launch a new household consumer expenditure survey (CES) in July
The basket itself has been expanded in the new round. The largest category of ‘miscellaneous’ items has been segregated for detailed collection of data on the consumption of those items, along with the inclusion of items which have seen higher consumption trends in recent times. Also, detailed questions for seeking inputs on welfare subsidies such as food grains are learnt to have been included.
The CES is a quinquennial (recurring every five years) survey conducted by the government’s National Statistics Office (NSO) that is designed to collect information on the consumer spending patterns of households across the country, both urban and rural.
VL-SRSAM missile system
THE INDIGENOUSLY developed shipborne weapon system, Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM), was successfully flight tested by DRDO and the Indian Navy. It is designed to strike at the high-speed airborne targets at the range of 40km to 50km and at an altitude of around 15km.
VL-SRSAM is a canisterised system, which means it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments. In the canister, the inside environment is controlled, thus making its transport and storage easier and improving the shelf life of weapons.
India’s GSAT-24 satellite launched
NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) launched GSAT-24 in its first “demand-driven” communication satellite mission post space sector reforms, leasing the entire capacity on board to Direct-to-Home (DTH) service provider Tata Play.
- GSAT-24 is a 24-Ku band communication satellite weighing 4180 kg with pan-India coverage for meeting DTH application needs.
- The GSAT (Geosynchronous satellites) are India’s indigenously developed communications satellites, used for digital audio, data and video broadcasting.
- NSIL (incorporated in March 2019), is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE), under the Department of Space (DOS) and is the commercial arm of ISRO. It has the responsibility to build, launch, own & operate satellites and provide services to its committed customer.
Global Liveability Index
According to Global Liveability Index released by The Economist annually, the cities in India have fared poorly in the list of the world’s most liveable cities.
New Delhi has been ranked 112th, while Mumbai is ranked at 117th position.
Austrian capital Vienna has once again topped the list of most liveable cities in the world in the list of 140 cities.
The Pakistani city of Karachi and Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka are among the least liveable cities in the world.