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:
1. Great G20 power, great responsibility
GS Paper 3:
1. Keeping Big Tech in check
Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)
1. Disability no challenge, Rubber Girl Anvi Vijay Zanzarukia sets an example
2. The saree-clad robot receives start-up loan documents from bank employees
3. ‘Wonder on Wheels’
4. How an IPS officer used soft policing to crack down on illegal hooch
Facts for Prelims:
1. 5 people die in judicial custody every day, shows data
2. NCERT guidelines for Mental Health problems
3. Hindu petitioners’ plea maintainable
4. Appointments of judges in High Courts
5. India raises Sri Lankan Tamil issue in U.N.
6. Supreme Court’s three-question test for validity of 10% EWS quota
7. G7’s price cap on Russian oil
8. Fall in India’s Foreign exchange Reserve
9. PM Matsay Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
10. 28GW of additional coal-based power generation capacity by 2032
Note: You can download the compilation of Content for Mains Enrichment (CME) from June till September 10th here. This is a short 20 pages compilation and can be highly used for those giving Mains this time.
GS paper 2
Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global groupings involving India and affecting India’s interests etc
- The 17th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit will take place in Bali.
- After Indonesia, India will assume the presidency of the G20 from December 2022 to November 2023.
Benefits of G20 Presidency:
- Global agenda: India will have the opportunity to assume centre stage in proposing and setting the global agenda and discourse.
- Global economic growth: The G20 holds a strategic role in securing global economic growth and prosperity as it represents more than 80% of the world’s GDP.
- Leadership potential: The country’s leadership potential and diplomatic foresight in organizing such a big event and in arriving at meaningful outcomes will be tested.
What should India do for a successful presidency?
- Following Indonesia: India can take cues from Indonesia’s presidency and observe how it is managing the group which is deeply divided on various issues.
- Indonesia has focused on three key pillars:
- Global health architecture
- Sustainable energy transition
- Digital transformation.
- This template could be useful for India in forging a comprehensive agenda.
- Bridging the divide: India might have to address issues that help in bridging the emerging divide in the world order.
- Global concern: India can find a common ground for setting its G20 agenda by addressing issues of global concern.
- Domestic and regional issues: It needs to promote its specific priorities related to domestic and regional issues such as economic recovery, trade and investment etc
- Greater cooperation with many G20 members: such as the European Union, the U.K., and Canada, thereby accelerating their coordination on realizing free trade agreements.
- Invite and engage countries from Africa and South America: To ensure better and more balanced representation at the G20.
- Technology transfer
- Assistance toward the green economy
- Greater access to trade for developing countries
- Addressing debt distress of countries by offering sustainable aid and loan programmes
- Tackling food and energy prices/security for vulnerable economies
- Work shop of meaningful actions: India has to be central in outlining key priority areas and in ensuring that the forum does not remain just a ‘talk shop’ but translates into a ‘walk shop’ in terms of meaningful actions and outcomes.
Q. The long sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized nations has disappeared on account of its newfound role in the emerging global order.’ Elaborate(UPSC 2019)
- G20 members
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Science and Technology/ Internal Security/Governance
Source: Indian Express
Context: US and India are looking to remove special protection available to social media platforms, called ‘safe harbour’.
What is ‘Safe Harbour’?
In the US, social media companies enjoy special protection under US’ the Communications Decency Act (CDA). It is similar to Section 79 of India’s Information Technology Act, 2000, (IT Act) which classifies social media platforms as intermediaries and broadly shields them from legal action based on content users post on their platform.
Both these regulations offer social media platforms something called ‘safe harbour’.
Rationale behind ‘safe harbour’?
Since platforms cannot control at the first instance what users post on their site, they should not be held legally liable for any objectionable content they host as long as they agree to take such content down when flagged by the government or various courts.
Although tech platforms can help keep us connected, create a vibrant marketplace of ideas, and open up new opportunities for bringing products and services to market, they can also divide us and wreak serious real-world harms
Need for regulations:
- A small number of dominant Internet platforms use their power to “exclude market entrants, to engage in rent-seeking, and to gather intimate personal information that they can use for their own advantage
- The platforms are currently shielded from being held liable and lack adequate incentive to reasonably address issues such as child sexual exploitation, cyberstalking, and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images of adults.
Key principles to keep the power of social media in check (by the US):
- Enhance Competition
- Maintain privacy
- Care for youth mental health
- Discourage misinformation and disinformation
- Ban illegal and abusive conduct, including sexual exploitation;
- Correct algorithmic discrimination
- Encourage transparency
- Bring ‘greater accountability’
- Set clear limits on their ability to collect, use, transfer, and maintain our personal data
- Limits on targeted advertising.
India: India had notified extensive changes to Information Technology Rules, 2021 (IT Rules):
- Creation of government-backed grievance appellate committees which would have the authority to review and revoke content moderation decisions taken by platforms.
- Social media platforms to appoint key personnel to handle law enforcement requests and user grievances
- Enabling identification of the first originator of the information on its platform under certain conditions
- India is looking for a complete overhaul of its technology policies and is expected to soon come out with a replacement of its IT Act, 2000, which will look at ensuring net neutrality, data privacy, and algorithmic accountability of social media platforms.
However, Social media companies have objected to some of the provisions in the IT Rules, as it will dilute the encryption security on its platform and could compromise the personal messages of millions of Indians.
Q. This is an important topic for those giving Mains this time. Do keep a note on it. Relate it with the Right to Free speech Vs State surveillance.
Q. Social media needs regulations but not to the extent that it is difficult for them to do business in India. Comment
Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics/Governance)
Disability no challenge, Rubber Girl Anvi Vijay Zanzarukia sets an example
Source: The New Indian Express
Anvi Vijay Zanzarukia, popularly known as ‘Rubber Girl’, who has made a name for herself in Yogasana through her hard work and resourcefulness despite her physical and mental disabilities, has been awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar.
Anvi means the girl who is born with many illnesses. Anvi has lived with three health challenges since birth — “congenital heart defect” for which she has undergone open-heart surgery, “TRISOMY 21” with 75% intellectual disability and Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition that affects the large intestine (colon) and causes problems with passing stool.
Anvi remains a role model for all disabled children. She has won gold medals in various state and national-level championships in yoga through her determination and hard work. And the important thing is that she has won all these awards by competing with normal children i.e. healthy children, as there is no separate category for mentally handicapped children in yoga.
Saree-clad robot receives startup’s loan documents from bank employees
Source: Hindustan Times
In an interesting turn of events, a Kerala-based start-up did something out-of-the-box while receiving their loan documents from bank employees. They brought a saree-clad robot to receive the documents.
A video of the event was also shared online and has stunned people.
CEO of ASIMOV Robotics Pvt Ltd, the startup that received the loan, replied to the post. He tweeted a video of the same robot singing a traditional song. “Here she sings the traditional boat song,”
‘Wonder on Wheels’
Source: The Hindu
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner launched ‘Wonder on Wheels’, an initiative to introduce art and cultural activities for Anganwadi children, in collaboration with NGO Freethinking Foundation.
- This is the continuation of the Montessori School on Wheels programme launched before.
The bus is furnished with detachable seating, shelves and storage to allow for free creative movement. Art, craft, musical instruments, library books and audio-visual systems, and permanent art and craft teachers will be present on the bus.
The bus will be travelling across Bengaluru and stop by Anganwadis where children will be engaged for one hour in activities related to theatre, music, art, and culture.
How an IPS officer used soft policing to crack down on illegal hooch
Source: Indian Express
When Tejaswi Satpute, a 2012-batch IPS officer was posted in Solapur (Rural) as Superintendent of Police in October 2020, the region had acquired a reputation as the primary supplier of hooch to at least nine districts in the state.
Satpute launched ‘Operation Parivartan’, a four-point action plan that combined soft policing methods such as counselling with a concerted crackdown on the haath bhattis or the hand-operated illicit liquor distilleries in the police district.
A year later, nearly 80 per cent of the haath-bhattis in Solapur (Rural) have shut down and over 650 families involved in the trade have been rehabilitated.
Satpute was awarded the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) Smart Policing Special Jury Award for Operation Parivartan.
Issues they faced:
- Tribal community: They belonged to the Banjara community, which had been notified as ‘criminal tribes’ by the British, which stigmatised them, making it difficult for their men and youngsters to get jobs.
- Lack of skills: The villagers were not skilled in any other occupation and thus were hesitant in giving up hooch production.
- Initiatives taken:
- Police started Parivartan Udyog, as part of which for nearly 45 days, women were trained to operate sewing machines.
Facts for Prelims
5 people die in judicial custody every day, shows data
Source: Business Standard
According to the latest NHRC data, at least 17,146 people were reported to have died in judicial/police custody – nearly five per day, on average – in cases registered in the decade up to March 2020.
The latest NCRB data relates to two categories: the first category includes persons, not on remand. They are not arrested but are yet to be produced before the court. The second category includes persons in remand, which means those in police/judicial remand.
NCERT guidelines for Mental Health problems
Direction: You may note down a few points.
Context: NCERT issues guidelines to identify mental health problems in school students
Reasons for stress and anxiety: Exam and peer pressure, Results-pressure, a decline in satisfaction with personal and school life, parental expectations.
- Schools should establish a Mental Health Advisory Panel (consisting of teachers, and parents)
- Enforce the annual school Mental Health programme
- Mechanism for early Identification of behavioural patterns in students (including substance use and self-harm)
- Training of teachers for identification of signs in students- issues with attachment, separation, school refusal etc.
- NEP2020 emphasized students’ mental well-being.
- Manodarpan: Psychosocial support to students, teachers and families
- SAHYOG: Guidance for the mental wellbeing of children
- National Mental Health Program (NMHP):To address the huge burden of mental disorders and shortage of qualified professionals.
- Mental HealthCare Act 2017: It guarantees every affected person access to mental healthcare
- Kiran Helpline: a 24/7 toll-free helpline
Gyanvapi row: Hindu petitioners’ plea maintainable
A Varanasi district court dismissed an application filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee challenging the maintainability of the suit filed by Hindu women seeking the right to worship Hindu deities within the Gyanvapi mosque premises.
The Gyanvapi Mosque is located in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was constructed by Aurangzeb in 1669 and is believed to have been made upon the demolition of an older Shiva temple.
Places of Worship Act, 1991:
- It seals the religious character of all places of worship as it stood on August 15, 1947.
- It mandates that any case seeking the conversion of such a place into that of another religion should be abated.
- Court ruled that neither the Places of Worship Act, 1991, nor the Wakf Act, 1995, nor the U.P. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983 bars the suit.
- Acquisition of a mosque by the state: The court held that irrespective of the immunity mosques have from state acquisition in Islamic countries.
- The status and immunity from the acquisition in the Constitution are the same and equal to that of places of worship of other religions.
- A mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam: Court said, Namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open.
- Accordingly, its acquisition is not prohibited by the provisions in the Constitution of India.”
Appointments of judges in High Courts
Directions: Important for Prelims and mains, can be asked directly in prelims
- The Supreme Court Collegium led by the Chief Justice of India has recommended eight names for appointment to the Bombay High Court.
- It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the SC.
- SC collegium: It is headed by the CJI and comprises four other senior-most judges of the court.
- HC collegium: It is led by its Chief Justice and two other senior-most judges of that court.
- Names recommended for appointment by an HC collegium reach the government only after approval by the CJI and the SC collegium.
India raises Sri Lankan Tamil issue in U.N.
Directions: Important for Prelims and mains, you can use it as an example of India’s role in the protection of minorities in neighbouring countries
- India voiced concern over the “lack of measurable progress” in Sri Lanka’s promised political solution to the long-pending Tamil national question.
- Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva: India said it has “always believed in the responsibility of States for promotion and protection of human rights and constructive international dialogue and cooperation” guided by the U.N. Charter.
- The Tamil minority in Sri Lanka was facing persecution under the rule of the nationalist Sinhalese government.
- The rift also fuelled Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam-led extremism in the nation which engulfed the nation into years of civil war.
Supreme Court’s three-question test for the validity of the 10% EWS quota
Direction: Continuation of EWS Quota(facts for Prelims-9th sep)
- The Supreme Court will examine whether The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, which introduced a 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in government jobs and admissions, violates the basic structure of the Constitution.
What is the 103rd Amendment?
- It inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) in the Constitution for 10 per cent reservation to EWS other than backward classes, SCs, and STs in higher educational institutions and initial recruitment in government jobs.
- The amendment empowered state governments to provide reservations on the basis of economic backwardness.
- The EWS reservation was granted based on the recommendations of a S R Sinho commission
- It recommended that all below-poverty-line (BPL) families within the general category be notified from time to time.
- All families whose annual family income from all sources is below the taxable limit should be identified as EBCs (economically backward classes)
Basis of Challenge:
- It violates the basic structure of the Constitution: Special protections guaranteed to socially disadvantaged groups are part of the basic structure
- The 103rd Amendment departs from this by promising special protections on the sole basis of economic status.
- Reservation at 50 per cent: It violates the Supreme Court’s ruling in Indra Sawhney & Ors v Union(1992) of India, which upheld the Mandal report and capped reservations at 50 per cent.
- Private, unaided educational institutions: The fundamental right to practise a trade/ profession is violated when the state compels them to implement its reservation policy and admit students on any criteria other than merit.
G7’s price cap on Russian oil
Source: Indian Express
Context: Russian crude is priced at a discount and the G7 and EU want to cap the price, to keep down Russian oil revenue.
How it will work?
G7 and EU countries will decide a ‘price’ for Russian Oil and petroleum buyers would make “attestations” to providers saying they bought Russian petroleum at or below the cap. If they don’t adhere to it, they will be denied services including insurance, finance, brokering and navigation to oil cargoes priced above the cap.
- The G7 wants to enlist other countries, including India and China
The benefit of a price cap: It will cut the price Russia receives for oil without reducing its petroleum exports to world consumers.
Issues: There is no consensus on what should be the cap among G7+EU countries. Russia may withhold exports to countries that enforce the cap, and fears about the threat could cause petroleum markets to rise.
Fall in India’s Foreign exchange Reserve
Context: India’s foreign exchange reserves declined to $553.1 billion in the week ended September 2, their lowest since October 2020 and down by $8 billion from the previous week.
Reasons behind the Decline:
- Low FII/FDI due to tightening monetary policy world over
- RBI intervention in currency markets to stabilize the rupee
Basics: Foreign Exchange Reserves are cash and other reserve assets such as gold held by a central bank or other monetary authority that are primarily available to balance payments of the country, influence the foreign exchange rate of its currency, and to maintain confidence in financial markets.
PM Matsay Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
Direction: It is one of the important schemes for fisheries. Do keep a few points handy on it.
Context: Recently, the 2nd anniversary of PMMSY has been celebrated (launched in 2020)
Aim: To bring about a blue revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India.
- Ministry: Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying
- Timeline: FY 2020 to 2025
- Approach: ‘Cluster or Area based approaches’ and many new interventions such as fishing vessel insurance, Aquaculture in saline/alkaline areas, Sagar Mitras, FFPOs, Nucleus Breeding Centres, etc.
- Enhance fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonnes by 2024-25.
- Increase fisheries export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024-25.
- Double incomes of fishers and fish farmers.
- Reduce post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10%.
- Generate additional 55 lakhs of direct and indirect gainful employment opportunities in the fisheries sector and allied activities.
Achievements: Fish production and exports have reached an all-time high (over 74% contribution by inland fisheries and 26% by marine)
Status of fisheries sector:
India is 2nd largest fish-producing country (over 7.5% of the global production in 2021)
28GW of additional coal-based power generation capacity by 2032
Source: The Hindu
Context: A report by the advisory body Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has said that India may need additional up to 28GW of coal-fired power generation capacity by 2032 apart from the 25GW thermal projects that are under construction
- BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) requirement in 2031-32 is varying from 51GW to 84GW, stated the document.
- India’s annual electricity demand could grow by an average of 7.2% over the five years to March 2027
- The share of coal in India’s total power generation, however, is likely to fall below 60% by 2027, with India targeting the addition of 500 GW in non-fossil-based installed capacity by 2030
The CEA has put up the ‘Draft National Electricity Plan (Vol-I Generation) ‘for feedback.
As per the Electricity Act, 2003, CEA has to prepare the National Electricity Plan once in five years.
India is the third largest greenhouse gas emitter but it’s per capita emission is very low.
Maps (in News)
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