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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. Subhas Chandra Bose


GS Paper 3:

1. Urban Flooding


Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)

1. Queen Elizabeth

2. Cyborg cockroaches to help in urban search-rescue missions


Facts for Prelims:

1. Human Development Index

2. Nagaland tops in extortion, Assam in sedition cases

3. Job avenues for transgender persons

4. EWS Quota

5. Reservation is a responsibility, not a burden

6. Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan

7. Policy balance: Higher trade and fiscal deficits can create risks

8. India bans broken rice export

9. Red-eared slider turtle

10. NASA’s sonification project

11. India and the UK organise virtual cybersecurity exercise

12. Mapping


Subhas Chandra Bose

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Personalities related to the Indian Freedom struggle


Source: Indian Express 

Context: A statue of Subhas Chandra Bose was unveiled by PM Modi at India Gate, inaugurated along with the Kartavya Path that was earlier known as Rajpath.

 About Subhas Chandra Bose:

      • In 1919, Bose was selected to be in Indian Civil Services (ICS) however, resigned, as he believed he could not side with the British.
      • He was highly influenced by Vivekananda’s teachings and considered him his spiritual Guru. His political guru was C.R. Das.
      • During the mid-1930s, Bose travelled in Europe. He researched and wrote the first part of his book, The Indian Struggle.
      • Bose took over as the elected President of the Indian National Congress in 1938 (Haripur) and stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance).
        • He was re-elected in 1939 (Tripuri) but soon resigned from the presidency and formed the All-India Forward Bloc, a faction within the Congress that aimed at consolidating the political left.


Contribution to Indian National Movement:

      • Indian National Army: Also known as ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ in 1943 was revived and was initially formed in 1942 by Rash Behari Bose.
        • The assault by the INA was an important factor that eventually contributed to the British leaving India.
      • The idea of Economic Planning: He espoused concrete economic planning and showed the way himself.
      • Women Empowerment: A women’s regiment of Azad Hind Fauj was formed, which was under the command of Captain Lakshmi. It was called the Rani Jhansi regiment.
      • Strong Leadership: The Azad Hind Fauj became the symbol of unity and heroism to the people of India. Bose motivated the troops with his fiery speeches. His famous quote is, “Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!

To commemorate his contribution to India’s struggle for independence, every year on 23rd January, Subhas Chandra Bose’s birthday is celebrated across various parts of the country.


 Insta Links:

 Subhas Chandra Bose

 Prelims Link:

      • Formation of INA
      • Bose and Gandhi

 Mains Link:

Q. To what extent do you think the role played by the Indian National Army was the final nail in the coffin for the end of British rule in India? Highlight the contribution of Subhash Chandra Bose in this regard.

Urban Flooding

GS Paper  3

Syllabus: Disaster Management/Geography


Source: Indian Express

 Direction: Twice, UPSC has asked similar Qn on Urban flooding in Mains. Remember recent examples, causes and a few recommendations on urban flooding.

 Context: There was unprecedented flooding in India’s tech capital Bengaluru.

Urban Flooding is an inundation of land in a constructed setting, particularly in densely populated areas.

      • Previous such flooding incidents: Kochi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.



      • Higher rainfall: As per the IMD, monsoon has become frequent and unpredictable
      • Storm surges (for coastal cities): E.g. Cyclone Amphan in 2020 flooded the streets of Kolkata. Within eastern India, the storm killed 98 people and caused $13.8 billion (2020 USD).
      • Groundwater levels: In Chennai, the replenished groundwater table across the city after rains becomes a challenge for several buildings with basements.



      • Encroachment: A large number of wetlands that soaked up the rainwater has encroached. Bangalore had 262 lakes in the 1960s; now only 10 of them hold water.
      • Rapid and unplanned urbanization: In Bengaluru, stormwater drains were not directly connected to its water bodies. In some places, the runoff water was flowing into constructed deviation canals. CAG found that this increased the chances of flash floods.
      • Destruction of mangroves: Mumbai lost about 40% of its mangroves between 1995 and 2005.
      • Poor civic management of storm water drainage: CAG report (last year) pulled up Bengaluru municipality for this poor management.
      • Lack of data: CAG also found that the Bengaluru municipality did not maintain proper records of the stormwater management funds allotted to it under the JNNURM.
      • Lack of coordination: CAG report also noted the lack of coordination between the municipality and the Bangalore Development Authority on drainage-related matters.


Steps to mitigate urban flooding:

      • Sponge Cities Mission: The idea of a sponge city is to make cities more permeable so as to hold and use the water which falls upon them.
      • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT
      • Stormwater disposal system: The Brihanmumbai Storm Water Disposal System or BRIMSTOWAD, the project to overhaul Mumbai city’s old stormwater drainage system was started after the 2005 deluge.
      • Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD in Australia): regards urban stormwater runoff, and waste water as a resource rather than a nuisance or liability.
      • Bioswales or ‘Rain Garden’ (New York): are landscape features that collect polluted stormwater runoff, soak it into the ground, and filter out pollution.


Therefore, there is a need to include public open spaces within the urban fabric in the form of storm management infrastructure, which could help our cities transform into water-sensitive cities.


Insta Links

Urban Floods


Mains Link

Q. How unplanned development and disregard for natural water bodies cause frequent urban flooding in Indian cities. What can we learn from other countries in an attempt to address the Urban flooding in India? (15M)


Prelims link

Link it with the retreat of the Monsoon, the impact of La Nina and IOD on monsoon rains.

With reference to Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT), which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC 2020)

      1. OMT is measured up to a depth of 26°C isotherm which is 129 meters in the southwestern Indian Ocean during January-March.
      2. OMT collected during January-March can be used in assessing whether the amount of rainfall in monsoon will be less or more than a certain long-term mean.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 only

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT) is measured up to a depth of 26 degrees isotherm. It is measured with the help of satellites that orbit the earth. In the Indian ocean, OMT is analysed by measuring the ocean thermal energy during the period from January to March.

With reference to ‘Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)’ sometimes mentioned in the news while forecasting Indian monsoon, which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC 2017)

      1. IOD phenomenon is characterised by a difference in sea surface temperature between tropical Western Indian Ocean and tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean.
      2. An IOD phenomenon can influence an EI Nino’s impact on the monsoon.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Answer: B

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is defined by the difference in sea surface temperature between two areas (or poles, hence a dipole) – a western pole in the Arabian Sea (western Indian Ocean) and an eastern pole in the eastern Indian Ocean south of Indonesia.


Content for Mains Enrichment

Queen Elizabeth



Cyborg cockroaches to help in urban search-rescue missions

 Source: Indian Express

 Context: An international team of researchers led by Japan’s scientific institution, RIKEN’s Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR), has devised a system that can create cyborg cockroaches, that is part insect and part machine.

They claim that these insects, whose movements are controlled by tiny integrated circuits, will be able to conduct surveillance in procedures like urban search and rescue, environmental monitoring and inspection of areas dangerous to humans.

The researchers who published their findings in the scientific journal npJ Flexible Electronics claim that by equipping cockroaches with small wireless control modules, handlers will be able to control the insect’s legs remotely for long periods of time.

A cyborg is a being with both organic and biomechatronic body parts. A person could be considered a cyborg when they are outfitted with implants such as artificial heart valves, cochlear implants or insulin pumps.


Facts for Prelims

Human Development Index 2021

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express, down to earth

Directions: Important for Prelims and mains.


      • India ranks 132 out of 191 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) 2021, after registering a decline in its score over two consecutive years for the first time in three decades.

Key Highlights:

      • Global decline in 2020:
        • 70 per cent of countries witnessing a decline in life expectancy
        • 85 per cent of countries recording a decline in income
      • Reduction in HDI: 90 per cent of countries have registered a reduction in their HDI value in 2020 or 2021, reversing much of the progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals,”
      • HDI in 2021: India stood at 0.633(zero point six three three)during 2021, lower than the world average of 0.732(zero point seven three two).
      • Primary Reasons for decline
        • COVID-19
        • Ukraine war
        • Environmental challenges
      • Medium Human development category: India’s HDI score places it in the “medium” human development category


Gender Inequality Index:

      • The index measures inequality in achievement between women and men in three dimensions:
        • Reproductive health
        • Empowerment
        • Labour market.
      • India: It has shown a slight improvement in its Gender Inequality Index value as compared to the 2020 index 0.490(zero point four nine zero) to 0.493(zero point four nine three) in 2021.


Life expectancy at birth:

      • Two-thirds of countries record further reductions in life expectancy at birth.
        • Life expectancy at birth in India has gone down from 69.7(sixty-nine point seven) in 2019 to 67.2(sixty-seven point two)in 2021.

Report of worsening mental distress since COVID-19: The factor that can impede human development.

Issues highlighted in the report:

      • Too slow containment measures
      • Lack of coordinated global leadership
      • Emergency funding took too long to materialize
      • Large holes in social protection systems.

HDI is a composite index of four indicators:

      • Life expectancy at birth (Sustainable Development Goal 3)
      • Expected years of schooling (SDG 4)
      • Mean years of schooling (SDG 4)
      • Gross national income (GNI) per capita (2017 PPP$) (SDG 8).



Nagaland tops in extortion, Assam in sedition cases

Source: The Hindu

Direction: This is in continuation of previous articles on NCRB data


      • Nagaland has recorded the highest rate of crimes under ‘extortion and blackmailing’ while Assam topped in reporting sedition cases since 2014, according to a report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
      • Assam is followed by Haryana, Jharkhand and Karnataka.


Section 124A IPC:

      • It defines sedition as an offence committed when “any person by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India.
      • Punishment under Section 124A: Ranges from imprisonment up to three years to a life term, to which a fine may be added.
      • A person charged under this law is barred from a government job.


Job avenues for transgender persons

Source: The Hindu


      • The Supreme Court gave the government three months to devise a policy framework for employment to transgender persons, particularly in the civil aviation industry.
      • The order was a fallout of a petition filed by Shanavi Ponnusamy, a transgender person from Tamil Nadu, whose dream of flying as an airline cabin crew member.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act of 2019:

      • No person or establishment, whether government or private, should discriminate against a transgender person in matters of employment, including recruitment or promotion or in any other related areas.


      • 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.

 Government initiatives:

      • Kerala is the first State to unveil the Transgender policy which covers all categories of Transgenders and emphasizes attaining a just society for such marginalized groups.
      • SWEEKRUTI ODISHA (A Scheme for Promotion of Transgender Equality & Justice) in 2017. ( Errata: the scheme is not ‘Sweekar’ as given in the below image).


EWS Quota

Source: The Hindu


      • A Constitution Bench led by the Chief Justice of India finalized three cardinal issues for examining whether the 103rd Constitutional Amendment violates the Basic Structure of the Constitution.

(How to remember EWS is 103rd CA?
‘EWS’ has three letters.  104 C.A is for reservation of SCST (‘SCST’ has four letters). 105 C.A is for ‘SEBCs’ (five letters). NCBC is 102nd CA since  in ‘NCBC’ there are two ‘C’)

Three cardinal issues:

      • Economic criteria: Whether the amendment breaches the Basic Structure by permitting the state to make special provisions, including reservation, based on economic criteria.
      • Admissions: Whether it violates the Basic Structure by allowing the state to make special provisions in relation to admissions to private unaided institutions
      • Excluding SC/ST/OBC: Whether the Basic Structure is trampled upon by the constitutional amendment by excluding SEBC/OBC/SC/ST communities from the scope of the EWS quota.




      • The 10% EWS quota was introduced under the 103rd Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2019 by amending Articles 15 and 16.
      • It inserted Article 15 (6) and Article 16 (6).

 Basic Structure of Constitution:

      • The Kesavananda Bharati judgment(1973) introduced the Basic Structure doctrine which limited Parliament’s power to make drastic amendments that may affect the core values enshrined in the Constitution like secularism and federalism


Reservation is a responsibility, not a burden

 Source: The Hindu

Direction: These are important articles. Remember a few but not all.

 Context: The affirmation action for marginalised communities is the responsibility of the country rather than a burden, said the Union Minister of Education recently.

 Reservation was introduced to ensure that the historically underprivileged communities were given equal access to resources but irrespective of the economic progress they continue to remain socially disadvantaged.

 Constitutional Provisions:

      • Article 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution enabled the State and Central Governments to reserve seats in government services for the members of the SC and ST.
      • Article 16 (4 B) enables carry forward of the unfilled seats
      • Article 330 and 332: reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Parliament and in the State Legislative Assemblies respectively.
      • Article 243Dprovides reservation of seats for SCs and STs in every Panchayat.
      • Article 243Tprovides reservation of seats for SCs and STs in every Municipality.
      • Article 335of the constitution says that the claims of STs and STs shall be taken into consideration consistently with the maintenance of efficacy of the administration.
      • Indra Sawhney v. Union of India (1992): Introduced ‘Creamy Layer’ and reservation to not exceed 50%.



Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan

Source: The Hindu

 Context: Working towards the goal of eliminating tuberculosis (TB) by 2025, the Union Health Ministry is launching the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan.

While the initiative, called ‘Ni-kshay Mitra’, is already underway in some states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, President Droupadi Murmu will formally launch PM TbMBA.

Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan

      • Under the scheme, individuals, NGOs and corporates can “adopt” TB patients by committing support for 1-3 years.
      • It will include community support for patients – nutritional and additional diagnostic support for them, and vocational training for their families.
      • It is a step towards garnering community support towards a patient-centric health system. 


Policy balance: Higher trade and fiscal deficits can create risks

Source: Business-Standards

Direction: The articles indicate the trend. In the economy keep a watch on the trends of major economic indicators. No need to remember facts/data which you can’t recall in the exam.

 Context: Recent data shows India’s exports declined and have also reported a shift in demand for low-value products. Also, India’s imports are increasing.

 Reasons for low export:

      • The global economy is slowing rapidly
      • Higher energy prices are reducing the demand for other goods
      • Higher interest rates and tight monetary policy of US FED

Reasons for high import bill: 

      • higher crude oil prices
      • Growing Indian economy pushing up demand for foreign goods.


      • CAD may grow to 4% of GDP this year (compared to 1.2% (one point two) last year)
      • High risk: Higher fiscal deficit along with the CAD (“twin deficits”) are always a risk for macro stability. This makes the financing of CAD more difficult.


India bans broken rice export

Source: D2E 

Direction: Go through once. Link it with the previous article on Rice

 Context: India has banned the export of broken rice and imposed a 20 per cent duty on exports of various grades of rice, except basmati.


      • India is the world’s largest exporter of rice
      • Reason for ban: There has been over a 6 per cent reduction in paddy acreage in the ongoing Kharif season and an increase in rice prices.
      • India export 20-22mn tonnes of rice annually including 4mn tonnes of Basmati rice.
      • Previously, in May India banned the export of Wheat.



Red-eared slider turtle

Source: D2E

 Context: Recent study has highlighted that the Invasive south red-eared slider turtle poses threat to Indian biodiversity.

About the species:

      • The red-eared slider is native to the south-eastern USA and Mexico but has found its way across the globe including India through the trade of exotic animals.
      • In India, keeping indigenous turtles as pets is prohibited under the wildlife protection act. But the foreign breeds are not restricted and are kept as pets in many families across India, The species is already spread across many Indian states and poses a threat to all species of its kind, including soft-shell and hard-shell turtles.
      • The species is considered one of the world’s 100 worst invasive non-native species.


NASA’s sonification project

Source: The Hindu

 Direction: Can be seen once.

 Context: NASA is translating the images and data obtained using James Web Space Telescope into Sound.

 Sonification is the use of non-speech audio to convey information or perceptualize data. Nasa did so for Cosmic Cliffs in the Carina Nebula.

Benefits: NASA believes that visually-impaired people will benefit the most from this sonification project.

How were the sounds captured?

Similar to how written descriptions are unique translations of visual images, sonification also translates the visual images by encoding information, like colour, brightness, star locations, or water absorption signatures, as sounds.

About Carina Nebula

      • Nebula is a cloud of gas and dust in outer space, building material for stars and planets.
      • It is located in the Carina–Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The nebula is approximately 8,500 light-years from Earth.

Fig: Carina Nebula


India and the UK organise virtual cybersecurity exercise

Source: PIB

 Context: India’s National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and the UK Government in collaboration with BAE Systems successfully designed & conducted the Cyber Security Exercise for 26 Countries as part of the International Counter Ransomware Initiative- Resilience Working Group.

The exercise involved the National Cyber Crisis Management Teams of CRI partner nations dealing with ransomware attacks on multiple electricity distribution companies.

These companies are responsible for the distribution of electricity to domestic customers and are the last link to the public supply. The exercise explores the complexity of decision-making around response to ransomware on Critical National Infrastructure.



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