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. Issue of National Language
GS Paper 2:
1. The NPT is beginning to look shaky
GS Paper 3:
1. INS Vikrant Commissioned
Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay)
1. A story about Accountability
2. Virat Kohli: Looking within
Facts for Prelims:
1. Nuakhai agricultural festival begins in Odisha
2. Journalists and activists continue to be targeted in J&K: Amnesty
3. Grievance Redressal Index 2022
4. AICTE ties up with Adobe to advance digital literacy in India
5. SPARK Program
6. Jigyasa 2.0
7. India becomes the world’s 5th largest economy
8. Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks
9. Decline in Paddy cultivation
10. Ghatiana Dwivarna
11. Maps (in News)
Syllabus: Arts and Culture
Source: The Hindu
Direction: these are the basic facts, you should be aware of them.
Context: The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a PIL seeking directions to notify Sanskrit as the national language.
- SC said that the issue was in the realm of policy, requiring constitutional amendments which entailed detailed discussion in the Parliament and not in the realm of judiciary.
- The petitioner’s lawyer invoked Sanskrit as a “mother language” from which other tongues took inspiration. He repeatedly invoked oriental scholar Sir William Jones and his study of the ancient language.
Is there any national language?
The Constitution of India has not given any language a national status.
What is the status of Hindi?
- Under Article 343 of the Constitution, the official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari
- English would continue to be used for a period of 15 years.
- Official Languages Act, 1963 was passed in anticipation of the expiry of the 15-year period during which the Constitution originally allowed the use of English for official purposes.
- Article 351 (Union government to promote the use of Hindi)
About William Jones
- William Jones was an SC judge as well as a linguist and proposed that there is an existence of a relationship between European and Indo-Aryan languages, which he coined Indo-European.
- Established the Asiatic Society of Bengal in the year 1784.
- Jones’ was the first to suggest that Sanskrit, Greek and Latin languages had a common root.
- He also suggested that Sanskrit ‘was introduced to India by conquerors from other kingdoms in some very remote age’ displacing ‘the pure Hindi’ of north India
Insta Links :
Q. Who of the following had first deciphered the edicts of Emperor Ashoka? (UPSC 2016)
(a) Georg Buhier
(b) James Prinsep
(c) Max Muller
(d) William Jones
In 1837, James Prinsep deciphered the edicts of Ashoka.
GS paper 2
Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global groupings involving India and affecting India’s interest, the impact of nuclear treaties etc
Direction: This is an editorial piece. Go through it once. Know the basics about NPT.
The Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concluded last week in New York.
What is the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)?
- The NPT is a multilateral treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons including three elements:
- Peaceful use of nuclear energy.
- The treaty was signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970.
- The Treaty does not affect the right of state parties to develop, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
- India is one of the only five countries that either did not sign the NPT or signed but withdrew.
NPT’s success and weakness:
- Consensus document: Since 1970, when the NPT entered into force, only four of the 10 review conferences have concluded with a consensus document.
- Differences among members: the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia were earlier always on the same page, but now Russia has adopted a different point of view.
- The difference in 2022 was that it pitched Russia against the West.
- No discussions: No meaningful discussions or negotiations on nuclear disarmament have ever taken place in the NPT framework.
- Withdrawal from ABM treaty: S withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002 on the grounds that it unduly constrained its missile defence activities.
- US withdrawal from INF: In 2019, the U.S. decided to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
- It had obliged both the US and Russia to get rid of all ground-launched missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km.
- Talks between the US and Russia: Arms control talks between the U.S. and Russia did take place and succeeded in bringing collective arsenals from about 65,000 in the early 1980s to less than 12,000
- Four countries have tested and developed nuclear arsenals: In the last 50 years, only four more countries have gone on to test and develop nuclear arsenals — India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan, despite apprehensions that by the 1980s, there would be close to 25 nuclear powers.
- Reagan-Gorbachev declaration: All that the five nuclear-weapon-states parties to the NPT reiterated at the conference., the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev declaration that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’.
- S.’s 30-year nuclear modernisation programme: Intended to provide ‘credible deterrence against regional aggression.
- Russia and China: They are developing hypersonic delivery systems that evade missile defences as well as larger missiles that do not need to travel over the Arctic.
- Also developing nuclear torpedoes and new cruise missiles.
- Developments in space and cyber domains: They are blurring the line between conventional and nuclear weapons, leading to nuclear entanglement and rendering command and control systems vulnerable.
Note: India has not sighed NPT or CTBT as it terms them as discriminatory.
Q. The newly tri-nation partnership AUKUS is aimed at countering China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. Is it going to supersede the existing partnerships in the region? Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario.(UPSC 2021)
- INF Treaty
- ABM treaty
Consider the following countries:(UPSC 2015)
Which among the above are Nuclear Weapons States as recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)?
- 1 and 2 only
- 1, 3, 4 and 5 only
- 2, 4 and 5 only
- 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
- The objective of the Non-Proliferation treaty is to inhibit the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further achieve the goal of nuclear disarmament.
- Nuclear-weapon states (NWS) consist of the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom
GS paper 3
Syllabus: Internal Security
Direction: Know the major technological features of the Vikrant and some comparison with another aircraft carrier of its class (for prelims). For mains, know about the indigenization of technology in India.
India’s 1st indigenous aircraft carrier commissioned.
About INS Vikrant:
- Name: Vikrant (which means courageous) is named after India’s first aircraft carrier, bought from the UK and commissioned in 1961.
- Weightage: At 43,000 tonnes, Vikrant is the largest naval ship to be designed and built in India.
- India joins the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Russia, Italy, and China, which have similar capabilities.
- Technologies used: STOBAR (short take-off but assisted recovery)
- 76% indigenous material was used.
- Made at: Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi
- First indigenous warship: INS Ajay (1960)
- First indigenous frigate:INS Nilgiri (1968)
What is the Significance of INS Vikrant?
- Help in the Indian Navy’s push to establish itself as a blue water force, one with the ability to project its power on distant seas.
- Help in India’s bid to be a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region
- China has already inducted two vessels.
- Bolster the maritime security of the nation: Now India has two operational aircraft carriers ( the other one is INS Vikramaditya)
Other Aircraft Carriers Across the World: USA(USS Gerald R Ford Class); China(Fujian); United Kingdom( Queen Elizabeth Class); Russia(Admiral Kuznetsov); Italy( Cavour) and France( Charles De Gaulle)
- Import dependence: Warship has three components
- FLOAT (90% indigenization achieved)
- MOVE (60%)
- FIGHT (only 30%)
- Cost and Time Overruns: e.g. INS Vikrant was to be inducted by 2017. INS Vikramaditya was inducted into service more than 10 years after it was purchased.
- Old technology: Currently, the Navy employs 15 conventional submarines, each of which requires breaking surfaces to charge its batteries (it doesn’t have an air-independent propulsion system, see yesterday’s CA to know more)
- Parliamentary committee on Defence and other experts have cited the need for a third Aircraft carrier for India.
- Development cum Production Partner Initiative (by DRDO, it ensures involvement of industries from the beginning of the development cycle and leads to a reduction in the time frame of the development-to-induction cycle)
- Defence India Startup Challenge
- SRIJAN Portal (monitor the status of progress of indigenisation)
- FDI limit increased from 49% to 74%
- Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX)
- Positive Indigenisation List( under new Defence Procurement Policy)
India should look to invest in a longer-term indigenization plan and making of a critical subsystem on its own. It should look to enhance Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) by the use of Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning, and include more private sector for design, production and maintenance.
Link it with India’s maritime capability in the multi-polar Indo-pacific as well as with India’s indigenization of technology.
Q. As India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, has now been commissioned. Discuss its significance for India. (10M)
Which one of the following is the best description of ‘INS Astradharini’, that was in the news recently? ( UPSC 2016)
(a) Amphibious warfare ship
(b) Nuclear-powered submarine
(c) Torpedo launch and recovery vessel
(d) Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
INS Astradharini is an indigenously designed and built torpedo launch and recovery vessel built by Shoft Shipyard for the Indian Navy. She was commissioned into Navy Service on 6 October 2015 at the Naval Base in Visakhapatnam.
- Consider the following in respect of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS): ( UPSC 2017)
1). Inaugural IONS was held in India in 2015 under the chairmanship of the Indian Navy.
2). IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium is a series of biennial meetings between the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region. It provides a forum to increase maritime security cooperation, discuss regional maritime issues, and promote friendly relationships among the member states. The inaugural IONS Seminar was held by the Indian Navy in 2008.
Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)
A story about Accountability
Context: Portugal’s Health Minister resigned, because of the death of an Indian tourist
Marta Temido, the Health Minister of Portugal, resigned after she was criticised for her handling of the situation involving the death of a pregnant Indian tourist and the overall healthcare services in the country.
Temido in a sentence said that she “no longer has the conditions” to exercise the position, which the prime minister accepted.
Previously, she had adopted the policy of weekends off for the workers, without realising the shortage of staff in the emergency services.
The 34-year-old Indian woman reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest during an ambulance transfer from Santa Maria hospital, which had no vacancies in the neonatology service, to another hospital in the capital.
With refreshing honesty, the cricketer around whom Indian cricket revolves has hinted at the importance of work-life balance and reassessed his own ‘brash’ behaviour.
Virat Kohli returned to cricket after a month-long break where he got the answer to life’s widely asked existential question, which generally leads to self-discovery: “Who am I as a human being?”
He himself acknowledged that he had been faking intensity on the field recently. He has also been brash and immature.
This show the values of acceptance (even one’s weakness), humbleness and the importance of work-life balance.
Facts for Prelims
Nuakhai agricultural festival begins in Odisha
Nuakhai is an annual harvest festival celebrated in Odisha.
In Nuakhai, Nua means new and Khai means food. The festival of Nuakhai is celebrated by the farmers after the harvesting of grain.
On this festival, Odia people, even those living in far-off lands return to their native places to be a part of the celebration.
Journalists, and activists continue to be targeted in J&K: Amnesty
Context: Amnesty International said it had recorded at least 60 instances of crackdowns on journalists and human rights defenders in Jammu and Kashmir since the revocation of the special status of the erstwhile State in August 2019.
- Use of UAPA: In a continuing pattern, they have been arrested under one law, granted bail by the court, and then re-arrested almost immediately under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
- It is a London-based Non-Governmental Organisation for human rights, founded in 1961.
- The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for its “Defence of human dignity against torture” and the United Nations Prize in the field of Human Rights in 1978.
UAPA amendment Act 2019;
- The Act empowers the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval for seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
- The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
- It also included the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.
Grievance Redressal Index 2022
- Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has topped among all Ministries/Departments for resolving Public Grievances in the ranking report published by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
- UIDAI has been a top performer in the resolution of cases received through the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS).
- It is a statutory authority established in 2009.
- Parent body: Works under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
- Mandate: The UIDAI is mandated to assign a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number (Aadhaar) to all the residents of India.
AICTE ties up with Adobe to advance digital literacy in India
Source: Economic times
Under this agreement, Adobe will provide curriculum and expertise with the creative and digital literacy skills needed to prepare students for the current digital-first world, and train teachers to integrate digital creativity into the curriculum.
The partnership aims to empower over 75,000 educators across 10,000 higher education institutions with essential digital creativity skills by 2024.
Context: The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), has started the Studentship Program for Ayurveda Research Ken (SPARK) for Ayurveda (BAMS) students studying in recognised Ayurveda colleges.
- Aim: To help students develop an acumen for research and to further support and incentivise their research ideas.
- The selected fellows will be offered financial support of Rs.50,000 under the fellowship.
- Initially, there will be a total of 100 seats per session and further details may be accessed at the program portal.
Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS):
- It is an autonomous body of the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India.
- It is an apex body in India for the formulation, coordination, development and promotion of research on scientific lines in the Ayurveda and Sowa-Rigpa systems of medicine.
The mission of CCRAS:
- To aim for AYUSHMAN Bharat
- To develop CCRAS into a dynamic, vibrant and model research organization
- To bring-up modern scientific knowledge, and technology to explore Ayurveda scientific treasure.
- To attain global leadership in research.
Context: Ministry of S&T recently organized Jigyasa 2.0 for the renewable fuel program
- Jigyasa, a student-scientist connect programme by CSIR in collaboration with Kendriya Vidyalaya and is aimed at connecting school students and scientists so as to extend students’ classroom learning with that of a very well-planned research laboratory-based learning.
- It would inculcate the culture of inquisitiveness on one hand and scientific temper on the other, amongst the school students and their teachers.
- The program will also enable the students and teachers to visit CSIR laboratories and participate in mini-science projects.
India becomes the world’s 5th largest economy
Source: Hindustan Times
Direction: Know the basic economic terms
Context: According to Bloomberg Report, India outpaced England during the preceding three months of 2021.
- The calculation is based on US dollars (current prices), and India extended its lead in the first quarter, according to GDP figures from the International Monetary Fund.
- Indian economy is forecast to grow more than 7% this year
- The size of the Indian economy in “nominal” cash terms in the quarter through March was approx.. $855 On the same basis, the UK was $816 billion.
Top Economies in the World 1. The United States 2. China 3. Japan 4. Germany 5. India 6. The United Kingdom 7. France 8. Italy.
- Nominal GDP ( means including inflation) Vs Real GDP (without counting for inflation)
- Current prices ( are those indicated at a given moment in time, and said to be in nominal value) Vs Constant prices are in real value, i.e. corrected for changes in prices in relation to a baseline or reference datum.
Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks
Source: The Print
Direction: Know basic terms meaning and a few facts like India is the 3rd largest pharmaceutical industry in the world.
Context: Centre has approved BDPs for Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh
What are bulk drugs or APIs?
A bulk drug ( or active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)) is the key ingredient of a drug or medicine, which lends it the desired therapeutic effect or produces the intended pharmacological activity.
- E.g. Paracetamol (acts against pain) – It is a bulk drug, as it is mixed with binding agents to produce a paracetamol tablet, capsule or syrup.
- Launched in 2020 by the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, with the aim to develop 3 mega BDPs and reduce India’s dependence on China for APIs.
- The grant-in-aid will be 90% of the project cost in the case of North-East and hilly States and 70% in the case of other States (up to a maximum of Rs 1000 crore per BDP).
Decline in Paddy cultivation
Source: The Hindu
Context: 5.62% decrease (take it as greater than 5% decline) in the area covered in 2022 compared to the previous year, as per the data of the Agriculture ministry.
As of now, paddy has been cultivated in nearly 384 lakh hectares of area
Reasons behind the decrease: Higher input cost particularly the increase in prices of fertilisers and scarcity of water.
There has also been a decrease in the cultivation of Pulses, Oilseeds while cultivation of Sugarcane and Cotton increased.
Direction: Not need to remember such news, very low effort-benefit ratio. See it once and let it go.
Context: A new species of crab, ‘Dwivarna’, (a new crab species) has been discovered in Uttara Kannada district and it is endemic to Yellapur.
Dwivarna, which is around 3 inches long and 2 inches wide, is not edible and thrives on moss and lichens.
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