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. EU proposal to revive the nuclear deal
GS Paper 3:
1. Indian Economy
GS Paper 4:
1. The ethics of euthanasia
Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)
1. Two IPS Officers Who Won International Awards in Groundbreaking Policing
Facts for Prelims:
1. Chevalier de la Legion of d’Honneur
2. Nethanna Bima
3. Government to enumerate people who clean sewers
5. Regulating Digital Lending
6. Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
7. Rice Fortification
8. National Intellectual Property Awareness Mission (NIPAM)
10. Ongole Breed of Cattle
11. Extremely aged remnant of galaxies
12. Super Garuda Shield exercises
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India or affecting India, JCOP etc
- A European Union proposal to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal “can be acceptable if it provides assurances on Tehran’s key demands
- The EU said on August 8 that it had put forward a “final” text following four days of indirect talks between U.S. and Iranian officials in Vienna.
- Iranian diplomats said Iran was reviewing the proposal: Proposals by the EU can be acceptable if they provide Iran with assurance on the issues of safeguards, sanctions and guarantees, the diplomat said.
- No future harsh sanctions by the US: The Islamic Republic has sought to obtain guarantees that no future U.S. president would renege on the deal if it were revived, as then-President Donald Trump did in 2018 and restored harsh U.S. sanctions on Iran.
- Indirect talks between US and Iran: The 2015 Pact seemed near revival. But 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and the Biden administration in Vienna were thrown into disarray chiefly over Iran’s insistence that Washington removes its elite Revolutionary Guards Corps from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization’s list.
- Charging Iranian revolutionary Gaurd member: On August 10, the United States charged a Revolutionary Guards member with plotting to murder John Bolton, a national security adviser to Trump, though Washington said it did not believe the charges should affect the nuclear talks with Tehran.
Q. In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to its situation? (UPSC 2018)
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources
Source: Times of India
Direction: Go through it once
Context: It is an opinion piece arguing that India has strong economic fundamentals and better demographic composition to help it make a prosperous country in the next two decades.
- Strong Economic Fundamentals of India:
- Focus on Infrastructure: The policy initiatives on infrastructure development (e.g. Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Economic corridors)
- Transportation: There is increased mobility of labour, capital, and raw materials which could spur economic growth even in most interior parts of the country.
- Digitization of Indian Economy: E.g. In 2021, the number of real-time digital payment transactions in India was almost threefold that of China.
- The digital revolution will unlock the country’s entrepreneurial spirit (India 3rd on the startup ecosystem in the world)
- Improved quality of rural life: E.g. rural India’s access to clean fuel for cooking increased from 18% of the population in 2012 to 54% in 2020.
- Focus on Infrastructure: The policy initiatives on infrastructure development (e.g. Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Economic corridors)
- Strong Demographic Fundamental: Niti Ayog’s report pointed out that India can utilize demographic dividend for nearly the next 20 years
- India’s workforce can contribute to economic development through increased labour supply and higher productivity.
4 fold increase in its per capita income (to come under upper middle-class countries) is possible if:
- GDP: India’s GDP growth needs an average annual growth rate of 7% in the next 25 years
- Higher growth for laggard states: States like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh must grow at a much higher rate to catch up with more prosperous states like Gujarat and Haryana.
- Utilization of the Private sector: It can strong incentives for productivity gains through technological innovation and capital formation.
- Speed up the privatization of the loss-making public sector banks: A market-based banking sector will be in a solid position to allocate capital efficiently and productively across different sectors of the economy.
- It will lead to the creative destruction of underperforming companies, and will eventually pave the way for sustained economic growth.
Q.“ Economic growth is a precondition for inclusive growth”, Do you agree? Analyse.
GS Paper 4
Context: In a recent incident, a Bengaluru woman goes to Delhi HC to stop a friend’s euthanasia trip to Europe.
According to a petition filed before the court, the man has been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 2014 and is allegedly planning to travel to Switzerland for physician-assisted suicide as the option is not available in India.
The term “euthanasia” is derived from Greek, literally meaning “good death”. Taken in its common usage, however, euthanasia refers to the termination of a person’s life, to end their suffering, usually from an incurable or terminal condition. It is for this reason that euthanasia was also coined the name “mercy killing”.
Types of Euthanasia:
Acts of euthanasia are further categorized as “voluntary”, “involuntary” and “non-voluntary.”
- Voluntary euthanasia refers to euthanasia performed at the request of the patient.
- Involuntary euthanasia is the term used to describe the situation where euthanasia is performed when the patient does not request it, with the intent of relieving their suffering – which, in effect, amounts to murder.
- Non-voluntary euthanasia relates to a situation where euthanasia is performed when the patient is incapable of consenting.
Arguments for and against euthanasia
- Rights-based argument
- it is argued that as part of our human rights, there is a right to make our own decisions and a right to a dignified death.
- Advocates of euthanasia express the view that the fundamental moral values of society, compassion and mercy, require that no patient be allowed to suffer unbearably, and mercy killing should be permissible.
- The difference between active euthanasia and passive euthanasia
- Supporters of euthanasia claim that active euthanasia is not morally worse than passive euthanasia – the withdrawal or withholding of medical treatments that result in a patient’s death. In line with this view, it is argued that active euthanasia should be permitted just as passive euthanasia is allowed.
- The sanctity of life
- Religious proponents argue that “it is the sole prerogative of God to bestow life and to cause death.
- Euthanasia as murder
- Society views an action which has a primary intention of killing another person as inherently wrong, in spite of the patient’s consent
- Abuse of autonomy and human rights
- It has also been argued that patients’ requests for euthanasia are rarely autonomous, as most terminally ill patients may not be of a sound or rational mind.
- Kant and Mill believe that the principle of autonomy forbids the voluntary ending of the conditions necessary for autonomy, which would occur by ending one’s life.
- The role of palliative care
- It is often argued that pain and suffering experienced by patients can be relieved by administering appropriate palliative care, making euthanasia a futile measure
- The rights of vulnerable patients
- If euthanasia were to become an accepted practice, it may give rise to situations that undermine the rights of vulnerable patients.
- The doctor-patient relationship and the physician’s role
- Active voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide undermine the doctor-patient relationship, destroying the trust and confidence built in such a relationship.
Legal Status of Euthanasia
Euthanasia is illegal in most countries (e.g. UK, USA).
SC (Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab) it was held by the five judge bench of the Supreme Court that the “right to life” guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the “right to die”.
- In India, like almost in other countries, euthanasia has no legal aspect.
Distinguishing euthanasia from suicide: Suicide by its nature is an act of self-killing or self-destruction, an act of terminating one’s own act and without the aid or assistance of any other human agency.
- Mercy killing is nothing but homicide, whatever the circumstances in which it is affected. Unless it is specifically accepted it cannot be an offence.
- Indian Penal Code further punishes not only abetment of homicide, but also abetment of suicide.
Content For Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay)
Two IPS Officers Who Won International Awards in Groundbreaking Policing
Direction: These examples can be used in Ethics answer writing – try giving diversified examples which will help in fetching more marks.
SP Santosh Kumar Singh and SP Amit Kumar will receive the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)’s 2021 ‘40 Under 40’ Award for their exemplary policing work in Chhattisgarh and UP.
Initiatives taken by SP Santosh Kumar Singh (Chhattisgarh)
- He was instrumental in “neutralizing, arresting, and gaining the surrender of hundreds of Maoists”.
- He also worked towards the betterment of people through community policing programmes.
- He imparted training in self-defence to over one lakh children in the Mahasamund district.
- He also strengthened the Child-Friendly Policing programme. “it significantly reduced crimes against children in the district and changed children’s attitudes toward the police”.
Initiatives taken by SP Amit Kumar (Uttar Pradesh)
- He headed an investigation that led to the biggest finding of stolen vehicles. The probe nabbed 112 vehicles including luxury cars like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, valued at almost 15 million dollars, as per the IACP.
- He started a special mobile number for the citizens to call and report on crimes and anti-social activities, where the identity of the person would be kept confidential.
- Being an engineer and MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, his background has helped the UP police in cyber policing. He established the UP Police’s Cyber Crime division.
- He is also said to be an advocate for mental health. He has authored research papers on the importance of mental health and fitness
- He has also taken initiative to protect women by giving them counselling sessions.
Facts For Prelims
Chevalier de la Legion of d’Honneur
French Government’s highest civilian award “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” was presented to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. This honour is being conferred to him because he delivered a speech in French in 2021. Shashi Tharoor had also received a similar honour “the ‘Encomienda de la Real Order Espanola de Carlos III”, by the Spanish Government in 2010.
- Legion of Honour is a French order of merit.
- Napoleon Bonaparte set up the honour in 1802.
- This honour is conferred for excellent civil or military conduct.
Direction: just go through it once. Not so important
Nethanna Bima Scheme was launched recently by Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrashekhar Rao, on the occasion of National Handloom Day.
Under the scheme, the government will provide Rs 5 lakh insurance cover to the families of the weaver, in case of the unfortunate death of the eligible beneficiary.
Telangana state department of handlooms and textiles is the nodal agency for its implementation.
To Provide financial assistance, the government launched the following flagship programmes;
- Chenetha Mithra scheme– It is input subsidy linked wage compensation scheme
- Nethannaku Cheyutha– It is a Handlooms weavers Thrift fund saving and security scheme of Telangana government.
- Pavala Vaddi scheme– Under the scheme, government provide 20% subsidy on yarn and marketing support.
Government to enumerate people who clean sewers
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) is now preparing to undertake a nationwide survey to enumerate all people engaged in hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks, an activity that has led to at least 351 deaths since 2017.
- Ministry officials said that the enumeration exercise, soon to be conducted across 500 AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) cities, is part of the Union government’s National Action Plan for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE)
- which will streamline the process of rehabilitating sanitation workers and eventually merge with and replace the Self-Employment Scheme for the Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS), which was started in 2007.
- The idea is to also link these sanitation workers to the Swachhta Udyami Yojana, through which the workers will be able to own sanitation machines themselves and the government will ensure that at the municipality level, the work keeps coming in,” said a senior government official.
- Manual scavenging is a term used mostly for “manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of, or otherwise handling, human excreta in an insanitary latrine or an open drain or sewer or a septic tank or a pit”.
NAMASTE (National Action Plan for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem) Scheme:
- It is a joint venture between;
- The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- The main objective of the scheme is to ensure:
- Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India.
- No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter.
- All Sewer and Septic tank sanitation workers have access to alternative livelihoods.
- Capital subsidies of up to ₹5 lakh on sanitation machinery costing up to ₹15 lakh and interest subsidies on loans, where interest rates will be capped between 4-6% for the beneficiaries, with the government taking care of the rest of the interest.
- In addition, the scheme also provides for training the workers in the use of these machines, during which time a stipend of up to ₹3,000 per month will be provided.
- The scheme will also provide for sanitation workers to train for and go into any of the approved list of alternative occupations in sectors like agriculture, services, electronics assembling, handicrafts and so o
- N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Rear Admiral Guillermo Pablo Rios of Argentina as the Head of Mission and Chief Military Observer for the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), the office of the U.N. Secretary-General has announced.
- The latest announcement regarding the appointment of the Argentine naval figure to head the UNMOGIP however has come at a time when India and Argentina are warming up official level dialogue.
United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP):
- UNMOGIP emerged from N. Security Council Resolution 39 of January 1948 that set up the U.N. Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP).
- The Karachi Agreement of July 1949 firmed up the role of UN-level military observers and permitted supervision of the Cease Fire Line established in Jammu and Kashmir.
- India officially maintains that the UNMOGIP’s role was “overtaken” by the Simla Agreement of 1972 that established the Line of Control or the LoC which with “minor deviations” followed the earlier Cease Fire Line.
- Pakistan however did not accept the Indian argument and continued to seek cooperation from the UNMOGIP.
- As a result of these divergent policies, Pakistan continues to lodge complaints with the UNMOGIP against alleged Indian ceasefire violations.
- India has not officially gone to the UNMOGIP since 1972 with complaints against Pakistan.
- In view of the difference of opinion between the two contesting sides – India and Pakistan – the U.N. has maintained that the UNMOGIP could be dissolved only with a decision from the U.N. Security Council.
Regulating Digital Lending
Direction: Go through it once
Context: RBI has released guidelines to regulate digital lending based on the recommendation of the working group on ‘digital lending’ (2021)
Definition: Digital Lending involves lending through web platforms or mobile apps, utilizing technology for authentication and credit evaluation.
Benefits of digital lending:
- Ease of doing lending: Digital lenders disburse loans and collect repayments remotely through digital channels, such as bank accounts, e-commerce accounts, or mobile wallets integrated with a partner (or) third party integration.
- Transparency: These cashless channels improve operational efficiency and reduce fraud by providing a clear audit trail.
Need for regulation: There have been instances of breach of data, unfair business practices, frauds, widespread defaults, digital unawareness and high-handed loan recovery practices by digital lenders.
- No third party: All loan disbursals will be between the bank account of the borrower and RBI regulated digital lender. Any charge payable to the third party (such as lending service providers) will be paid by the lender (such as a bank) and not the borrower.
- Only need-based data collection
- Only permitted entities by RBI or under other laws are allowed to lend.
- In any digital loan, a standardized key fact statement (KFS)must be provided to the borrower.
- Regulated entities and the LSPs working with them must also have a nodal grievance redress officer
- The borrower must have the “right to forget” of collected data.
Fig: Process of digital lending
Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
Source: Economic Times
Direction: Government ‘core’ schemes are important
Context: As per the Ministry of Finance’s new direction, all income-tax payers will not be eligible to join APY from October 1.
Launched in 2015, it aimed at creating a universal social security system for all Indians ( esp. focused on the poor, under-privileged and workers in the unorganized sector). It has over 2 crore subscribers
- Eligibility: bank account holder in the age group of 18 to 40 years
- Benefits: Minimum monthly pension of Rs 1000 to 5000 per month after the age of 60 years. In case of death, the spouse will get a guaranteed pension for a lifetime.
- Nodal agency: Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) (Statutory authority to administer the National Pension System (NPS), under the Ministry of Finance)
- NPS is a government-sponsored pension scheme (launched in 2004) for government employees as well as any individual citizen of India (both resident and non-resident) in the age group of 18-65.
Source: The Print
Direction: Already covered it a few months back. Just read it once.
Context: The government has been supplying fortified rice for one year.
Background: Government last year announced Fortified Rice would be used in every scheme of the Government of India throughout the country by 2024 in a phased manner.
Definition: Rice fortification is the process of adding fortified rice kernels (FRK) containing micronutrients such as – Iron, Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid- in the ratio of 1:100 (i.e. 1 part micronutrients and 100 parts rice) at the time of milling.
- As per FSSAI norms: 1 kg fortified rice will contain iron (28 mg-42.5 mg), folic acid (75-125 microgram) and Vitamin B-12 (0.75-1.25 microgram).
Benefits: fortification of rice is a cost-effective and complementary strategy to increase vitamin and mineral content in diets. This will help in fighting high levels of malnutrition in the country.
Issues: Evidence of benefits of fortification are inconclusive; it could lead to ‘hypervitaminosis’ (high level of vitamins); dietary diversity is a much better alternative to fortification.
National Intellectual Property Awareness Mission (NIPAM)
Context: NIPAM has till now imparted IP awareness training to over 1 million students.
It is aimed at imparting IP awareness and basic training for students (class 8 to 12) to inculcate the spirit of creativity and innovations. It was launched in 2021 as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
Definition: Intellectual property rights (IPR) are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
Nodal Agency: Intellectual Property Office ( under Ministry of Commerce and Industry)
National IPR Policy (adopted in 2016): It gave an institutional mechanism for the implementation of IPR. CIPAM (cell for IPR promotion and management) is the implementation agency for National IPR Policy.
Source: Financial Express
Direction: It is important for prelims. Do keep a note of the features of prominent animals.
Context: World Elephant Day on August 12 to raise awareness about the plight of elephants and the need to protect them.
- History: World Elephant Day was co-founded by Patricia Sims, a Canadian film-maker, with the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand, an initiative of HM Queen Sirikit in 2012.
- Numbers: As per the 2017 count there are nearly 30000 elephants in India (an increase from the 2012 count)
- Nature: The animals are highly intelligent creatures, similar to apes and dolphins, and are capable of showing emotions such as empathy, grief, and compassion.
- Among Asian elephants, the Indian elephant is the most widespread, Sri Lankan is the largest and Sumatran is the smallest.
- Concerns: Escalation of poaching, Habitat loss, Human-elephant conflict (1,578 people died of elephant attacks in India between 2019-20 and 2021-22), Mistreatment in captivity.
- New Elephant Reserves: E.g. Mysuru and Dandeli elephant reserves in Karnataka.
- Allowing grass for elephants to grow: By cleaning areas from invasive species such as lantana and eupatorium
- Gaj Yatra: Awareness campaign to protect elephants.
- MIKE programme (The Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme, 2003): It is an international collaboration for elephant protection.
- Project Elephant ( centrally sponsored scheme, 1992): To protect elephants and their habitats.
- SC: Animal have rights of passage and it asked for closure of nearby resorts on the Nilgiris Elephant Corridors.
- India houses about 60% of all Asian elephants. The number of elephant reserves has risen in the last 8 years.
Ongole Breed of Cattle
Source: The Hindu
Direction: Just go through it once. Not so important
Context: High price of Petro/Diesel have led to farmers preferring native breed for draught.
Ongole breed of cattle had remained indispensable native breed for all farm operations for centuries in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh in view of their draught power.
- Health benefits: Ongole ‘A2 cow milk’ fetches a premium price of over ₹150 per litre as it enables consumers to build immunity against viral and other diseases. The continuing incidence of coronavirus has also led to a spurt in demand for A2 cow milk
- High International Demand: The Ongole breed of cattle is much in demand in Brazil and other countries with a significant pastoral economy as the animals have qualities of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and ability to survive under extreme climatic conditions.
Extremely aged remnant of galaxies
Source: Down To Earth
Direction: Understand the process of evolution of the earth.
Context: A team of Indian astronomers from Pune have discovered extremely aged remnant fossil ‘lobes’ of a radio galaxy that had become active about 260 million years ago.
Radio Galaxies: A radio galaxy is a galaxy with giant regions of radio emission extending well beyond its visible structure. These energetic radio lobes are powered by jets from their active galactic nucleus.
Phenomena: Each massive galaxy of stars contained a supermassive black hole in its core, which produces jets of charged particles in two opposite directions, once it is active. This relativistic plasma blows huge volumes into the surrounding space, called ‘lobes’, having emerged from the tip of the jet.
- Such radio fossils can still be detected with large radio telescopes like the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), from distances of billions of light years.
Significance: Studying such relics or fossil lobes reveal how much energy was pumped into these fossil lobes. The study of such radio galaxies and their giant fossil lobes help us find the evolutionary history of the universe.
Super Garuda Shield exercises
Source: The Hindu
Direction: Glance through it once. Don’t overthink such exercises.
Context: The United States, Indonesia, Australia, Japan and Singaporean militaries have begun annual joint combat exercises on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island.
Concerns: The expanded drills are seen by China as a threat. Chinese state media have accused the U.S. of building an Indo-Pacific alliance, similar to NATO, as a means to intentionally provoke conflict.
About Super Garuda Shield
- Began in 2009
- Aim: It is designed to strengthen interoperability, capability, trust and cooperation in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Garuda Shakti Exercise: Garuda Shakti is a bilateral exercise between the special forces of the armies of India and Indonesia.
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