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. Mistaken identity’: Deity worshiped at Hindu temple that of Lord Buddha, restore original status, says Madras HC
2. Ministry of Culture releases the third Comic book on stories of 20 Tribal Freedom Fighters
GS Paper 2
1. Rajya Sabha passes Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2022
GS Paper 3
1. Subscribers say there is surplus money in EPS
2. Rare earth elements and push for inclusion in supply partnership
Facts for Prelims:
1. The coal mining protests in the Hasdeo Aranya region.
2. Inﬂation driving 8% of GST revenue rise.
3. Government says, India’s satellite-based navigation system, NavIC, is as good as GPS of the United States in terms of position accuracy and availability in its service region.
4. Tejaswin Shankar wins India’s first-ever high jump medal in Commonwealth Games.
Mistaken identity’: Deity worshiped at Hindu temple that of Lord Buddha, restore original status, says Madras HC
GS paper 1
Syllabus: Salient aspects of art form, Buddhism etc
Directions: Very important topic for both prelims and mains, UPSC may ask about Buddhist temples, different positions of buddha, Buddhist art etc
- The Thalaivetti Muniyappan temple near Salem, where a local deity is worshiped as per Hindu rituals, will be treated as a Buddhist temple hereafter, thanks to a recent Madras High Court order.
- The court order dated July 19 was based on a petition filed by S Sathia Chandran in 2011, which prayed the court to conduct an inspection of the Thalaivetti Muniyappan Temple at Kottai Road, Periyeri Village near Salem, to ascertain the “identity and antiquity” and take appropriate action to restore the status to a Buddha Trust.
- After having received such a report, it will not be appropriate to permit the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowment Department to continue to treat this sculpture as Thalaivetti Muniyappan,” the court said.
- Existing structure of Modern origin: An expert committee’s inspection report submitted before the court confirmed that the existing temple structure that follows Hindu rituals “is of modern origin”, “built of cement, bricks and concrete.
- Structure depicts Maha-Lakshanas: Based on available archaeological and historical evidence, the expert committee concluded that “the sculpture depicts several mahalakshanas (great traits) of the Buddha.
- Sculpture of Buddhist origin: The court said the “mistaken identity cannot be allowed to continue after coming to a conclusion that the sculpture is that of Buddha” and ordered that “the original status must be restored” as continuing to treat it as Thalaivetti Muniyappan “will not be appropriate and it will go against the very tenets of Buddhism”.
Key features of the sculpture:
- The inspection report said the sculpture was made of hard stone.
- The figure was in a seated position known as ardha-padmasana on a lotus pedestal.
- The hands are posed in ‘dhyana mudra’.
- The figure is Sagati.
- The head shows lakshanas of the Buddha such as curly hair, ushnisha and elongated earlobe.
- Urna is not visible on the forehead.
- The head was severed from the torso which were glued together with cement and lime mixture a few years ago.
- However, due to human error or some other reason, the head was not positioned properly to the torso and consequently, the head slightly twisted towards the left side of the body.
- Height of the image is 108 cm in a cross legged (ardha-padmasana) posture.
- The reverse side of the sculpture was flat without any artistic work,”
Q. Highlight the Central Asian and Greco-Bactrian elements in the Gandhara art.(UPSC 2019)
GS paper 1
Syllabus: Modern Indian history, tribal uprisings etc
Directions: Tribal uprisings are very important for both prelims and mains, try to remember places and leaders associated etc
- The Ministry of Culture has released the third Comic book on stories of 20 Tribal Freedom Fighters on 2nd August at Tiranga Utsav celebration in New Delhi.
- This collection of stories recalls the sacrifices of some of the bravest men and women who inspired their tribes and gave up their lives to fight British rule.
The tribal freedom fighters, who were unsung heroes of freedom struggle, and whose stories have been included are as follows:
- Tilka Majhi: He rebelled against the atrocities of the British East India Company.
- He mobilized the Pahadia tribe to which he belonged and raided the Company treasury. He was hanged.
- Thalakkal Chanthu of the Kurichiyar tribe: It was an invaluable part of Pazhassi Raja’s war against the East India Company. He was hanged.
- Budhu Bhagat of the Oraon tribe: He was shot down in one of his many encounters with the British, along with his brother, seven sons and 150 men from his tribe.
- Tirot Singh, a Khasi chief: He realized the duplicity of the British and waged war against them. He was captured, tortured and imprisoned. He died in prison.
- Raghoji Bhangre: He belonged to the Mahadeo Koli tribe. He revolted against the British and continued his struggle even though his mother was imprisoned. He was captured and hanged.
- Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu from the Santhal community: Revolted against the British and their stooges. They led the Santhal in the Hul rebellion.
- Both were betrayed, caught and hanged.
- Rendo Manjhi and Chakra Bisoi of the Khond tribe: They objected to the British interfering in their customs.
- Rendo was caught and hanged while Chakra Bisoi became a fugitive and died in hiding.
- The Indian Uprising in Meerut: Nilambar and Pitamber who belonged to the Bhogta clan of the Kharwar tribe were inspired to revolt and led their people to rise up against British oppression. They were both captured and hanged.
- Ramji Gond of the Gond tribe: Theyrose against the feudal system by which wealthy landlords oppressed the poor with the support of the British. He was caught and hanged.
- Telanga Kharia of the Kharia tribe: He refused to accept the tax system of the British and their governance.
- He insisted that they follow their traditional method of self-governance and organized raids on the treasury. He was betrayed and shot dead
- Tantiya Bhil, known as the Robin Hood of the Central Provinces: Robbed trains carrying British wealth and distributed it among his tribe, the Bhils. He was trapped and hanged.
- Major Paona Brajabashi of Manipur: He fought to defend the kingdom of Manipur.
- He was the hero of the Anglo-Manipur war. He fought like a lion but was overpowered and beheaded.
- Birsa Munda, of the Munda tribe, became a legend in his opposition to the British.
- He led the Mundas in a series of confrontations with them. He was caught and imprisoned and according to British records, died of cholera. He was 25 years old when he died.
- Matmur Jamoh of the Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh: He rebelled against the arrogance of the British. He and his companions surrendered to the British as their villages were being burnt. They were sent to the Cellular Jail and died there.
- Tana Bhagat of the Oraon tribe/ He was inspired by a divine vision to preach to his people and make them aware of the exploitation of their British overlords. He was caught and tortured severely. He was released, a broken man, and died subsequently.
- Malati Mem of the Tea-garden community: was inspired to join Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha movement. She fought against the British monopoly over opium and educated her people about the dangers of opium addiction. During an encounter with the police, she was shot dead.
- Laxman Naik of the Bhuyan tribe: was also inspired by Gandhi and campaigned extensively to get tribes to join the freedom movement. The British framed him for the killing of a friend and he was hanged to death.
- Helen Lepcha of the Lepcha tribe: was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Her influence over her people made the British restless. She was shot at, imprisoned and hounded but she never lost courage.
- In 1941 she helped Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose escape from house arrest and travel to Germany. She was awarded the Tamra Patra for her invaluable contribution to the freedom struggle.
- Pulimaya Devi Podar: heard Gandhi when she was in school and wanted to join the freedom struggle immediately.
- Despite stiff opposition from her family she joined the movement after her studies and encouraged women to join her.
- She was imprisoned for her participation in protests.
- After independence she continued to serve her people and was awarded the title of ‘Swatantra Sainani’.
Q. The 1857 Uprising was the culmination of the recurrent big and small local rebellions that had occurred in the preceding hundred years of British rule. Elucidate.(UPSC 2019)
GS paper 2
Syllabus: Parliament-Structure, functioning and conduct of Business, Family Courts Act etc
Direction: UPSC may ask about appointment of judge in family court and provisions of Family courts Act etc
- The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2022 by voice vote.
- The Bill makes a provision to grant statutory cover to family courts set up in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
- Sub-section 3 of section 1: The Bill seeks to insert a provision in sub-section 3 of section 1 to provide for the establishment of family courts in Himachal Pradesh with effect from February 15, 2019 and in Nagaland with effect from September 12, 2008.
- Section 3A: It also seeks to insert a new section 3A to retrospectively validate all actions under the act taken by the governments of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland and the family courts of these states.
- Retrospective effect: The establishment of Family Courts in both states will be retrospectively valid from these dates.
- All actions taken under the Act in both the states, including the appointment of judges and orders and judgments passed by the Family Courts, will also be deemed to be valid from these dates retrospectively.
Q. The Central Administrative Tribunal which was established for redressal of grievances and complaints by or against central government employees, nowadays is exercising its powers as an independent judicial authority.” Explain(UPSC 2019)
GS paper 3
Syllabus: Issues related to mobilization of resources, employment, EPS, Government budgeting etc
Direction: UPSC may ask about EPS Scheme etc
- Employees and pensioners in the Supreme Court on Thursday tore into the controversial amendments on “determination of pensionable salary” introduced into the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) of 1995.
- Surplus money in the scheme: There is surplus money in the scheme. Government and EPFO are earning as interest is more than what they are paying as monthly pension, lawyer submitted.
- Clause 11(3) of the EPS-1995: The dispute revolved around the controversial amendments made to Clause 11(3) of the EPS-1995.
- The Kerala High Court had struck down the amendments, following which the EPFO had appealed in the Supreme Court.
- Extension of period of calculation of average salary from 12 months to 60 months: The pensionable salary was originally an average of 12 months’ pay before the date of the employee’s exit from the EPS.
- The amendments had extended the period of calculation of average salary from 12 months to 60 months.
- Further contribution of 1.16%: The amendment created an additional obligation for employees whose salaries exceeded the ₹15,000 ceiling, they had to contribute a further 1.16% of their salary in addition to their Employees Provident Fund contribution.
- The 1.16% contribution is contrary to the provisions of the Employees Provident Fund Act itself.
Q. Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of the policy process. Discuss(UPSC 2019)
GS paper 2 and 3
Syllabus: Rare earth elements, critical mineral supply chain, global grouping etc
Directions: UPSC may ask about rare earth elements, global supply chain, geographical distribution etc
- As part of a global ‘China-plus-one’ strategy adopted post the Covid-19 pandemic that caused massive supply-chain disruptions, a group of western nations are cooperating to develop alternatives to China to ensure key industrial supplies.
- A new US-led partnership initiative of 11 nations aims to bolster critical mineral supply chains.
- India is not part of this arrangement called the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) but is working through diplomatic channels to fetch an entry.
Minerals Security Partnership (MSP):
- The US and 10 partners — Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission have come together to form the MSP.
- Catalyzing investment from governments and the private sector: The new grouping is aimed at catalyzing investment from governments and the private sector to develop strategic opportunities.
- Focus on the supply chains of minerals: The new grouping, industry insiders say, could focus on the supply chains of minerals such as Cobalt, Nickel, Lithium, and also the 17 ‘rare earth’ minerals.
Rare earth elements:
- The 17 rare earth elements (REE) include the 15 Lanthanides (atomic numbers 57 — which is Lanthanum — to 71 in the periodic table) plus Scandium (atomic number 21) and Yttrium (39). REEs are classified as light RE elements (LREE) and heavy RE elements (HREE).
- Some REEs are available in India — such as Lanthanum, Cerium, Neodymium, Praseodymium and Samarium, etc. Others such as Dysprosium, Terbium, and Europium, which are classified as HREEs, are not available in Indian deposits in extractable quantities.
- Hence, there is a dependence on countries such as China for HREEs, which is one of the leading producers of REEs, with an estimated 70 per cent share of the global production.
Why are these minerals important?
- Used in electric vehicles: Minerals like Cobalt, Nickel, and Lithium are required for batteries used in electric vehicles.
- Used in consumer products: REEs are an essential — although often tiny — component of more than 200 consumer products, including mobile phones, computer hard drives, electric and hybrid vehicles, semiconductors, flatscreen TVs and monitors, and high-end electronics.
- India’s shift to clean energy: India is seen as a late mover in attempts to enter the lithium value chain, coming at a time when EVs are predicted to be a sector ripe for disruption.
- According to the plan, 80 percent of the country’s two- and three-wheeler fleet, 40 percent of buses, and 30 to 70 per cent of cars will be EVs by 2030.
What is India’s major concern at this moment?
- Dependence on China: If India is not able to explore and produce these minerals, it will have to depend on a handful of countries, including China, to power its energy transition plans to electric vehicles.
- Lack of expertise: Industry watchers say that the reason India would not have found a place in the MSP grouping is because the country does not bring any expertise to the table.
- Reserves and technology: In the group, countries like Australia and Canada have reserves and also the technology to extract them, and countries like Japan have the technology to process REEs.
Q. The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain(UPSC 2021)
Facts for Prelims:
The coal mining protests in the Hasdeo Aranya region
Directions: UPSC may ask about geographic location of Hasdeo Aranya region and tribes etc
- The Hasdeo Aranya forests are called the lungs of Chhattisgarh.
- Over the past one year, protests against mining in this region have erupted several times and some still continue to sit-in demanding a complete stop to mining.
- Amidst this, on July 26, the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a private member resolution urging the Center to cancel allocation of all coal mining blocks in the ecologically sensitive area.
What is the importance of the Hasdeo-Aranya region?
- The Hasdeo Aranya (Aranya means forest) lies in the catchment area of the Hasdeo river and is spread across 1,878 sq km in North-Central Chhattisgarh.
- The Hasdeo river is a tributary of the Mahanadi river which originates in Chhattisgarh and flows through Odisha into the Bay of Bengal.
- The Hasdeo forests are also the catchment area for the Hasdeo Bango Dam built across the Hasdeo river which irrigates six lakh acres of land, crucial to a State with paddy as its main crop.
- Besides, the forests are ecologically sensitive due to the rich biodiversity they offer and due to the presence of a large migratory corridor for elephants.
Inﬂation driving 8% of GST revenue rise
Directions: UPSC may ask about GST, slabs of GST, inflation etc
- High inflation is driving about 8% of the current surge in Goods and Services Tax revenues, and inflation-adjusted GST collections so far this year are 26% higher than pre-COVID levels, SBI Research said in a report, suggesting this rise could be driven by higher consumption.
- SBI Research also raised its current account deficit target for this year to 3.7% of GDP, projecting the trade deficit to widen to 8.5% of GDP in 2022-23.
- The bank’s researchers attributed the entire expansion in India’s trade deficit in July over June, to the dip in exports caused by government measures to control inflation, such as windfall taxes on petroleum products.
- GST collections have clocked over ₹1.4 lakh crore for five successive months, with July recording the second highest revenues since the indirect tax regime’s introduction at almost ₹1.49 lakh crore, 28% higher than a year earlier.
- There is a 26% jump in inflation adjusted GST from the pre-pandemic level at ₹95,000 crore.
- With the record goods trade deficit of $31 billion in July, compared to the previous high of $26.2 billion in June, taking the deficit past $100 billion for the year already, the researchers estimated the full-year deficit at 8.5% of GDP.
- Interestingly, this is much lower than the peak deficit of 10.7% of GDP achieved in 2012-13. Thus, the current situation is much better than that in 2012-13.
Tejaswin Shankar wins India’s first-ever high jump medal in Commonwealth Games
Directions: UPSC may ask about games includes in Commonwealth Games etc
- Tejaswin clinched bronze after he cleared 2.22m in his first try.
- Tejaswin Shankar’s Bronze in High Jump is also India’s first in Track and Field at Commonwealth Games, 2022.
- It is a member-based organization that receives no funding from the government and exists to administer, control and coordinate the participation of sports events and the athletes, along with the officials of the commonwealth game
- The 2022 Commonwealth Games are officially known as XXII Commonwealth Games and are generally known as Birmingham 2022.
- In 1881, a new idea of having multiple games at one sports event was introduced by Astley Cooper. The Commonwealth Games is also known as the Friendly Games.
- The Commonwealth Games are quadrennial which means it is held for four years.
- The Indian team for the Commonwealth Games consists of 322 members which include 72 team officials, 26 extra officials, nine contingent staff, and three general managers.
Government says, India’s satellite-based navigation system, NavIC, is as good as GPS of the United States in terms of position accuracy and availability in its service region
Directions: UPSC may ask about GPS and NavIC
- Government says India’s satellite-based navigation system, NavIC, is as good as GPS of the United States in terms of position accuracy and availability in its service region.
- Navigation in Indian Constellation (NavIC) is an Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
- IRNSS consists of eight satellites, three satellites in geostationary orbit and five satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
- The main objective is to provide reliable position, navigation and timing services over India and its neighbourhood.
- NavIC can help in navigation on land, air, sea and also in disaster management.
- NavIC satellites are placed at a higher orbit than the GPS of the United States.
- NavIC satellites are placed in geostationary orbit (GEO) & geosynchronous orbit (GSO) with an altitude of about 36,000 km
- GPS satellites are placed in medium earth orbit (MEO) with an altitude of about 20,000 km.
- NavIC uses dual frequency bands, which improves accuracy of dual frequency receivers by enabling them to correct atmospheric errors through simultaneous use of two frequencies.
- It also helps in better reliability and availability because the signal from either frequency can serve the positioning requirement equally well.
- Potential Uses:
- Terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation
- Disaster management
- Vehicle tracking and fleet management (especially for mining and transportation sector)
- Integration with mobile phones
- Precise timing (as for ATMs and power grids)
- Mapping and geodetic data capture.
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