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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 2:

1. As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly


GS Paper 3:

1. Let the Land Heal- reducing Chemical Fertilizers


Content for Mains Enrichment:

1. Grafting – a wonder for reviving ancient trees


Facts for Prelims:

1. UNESCO launches list documenting 50 iconic Indian heritage textiles

2. Punjab Assembly passes bill to dissolve state Vigilance Commission

3. U.S. imposes sanction against Indian petrochemical company

4. Mortality higher among COVID patients with certain complications

5. Card Tokenization

6. Pangasius Icaria

7. Black cocaine

8. AFSPA extended in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh


As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Mechanism, laws and institutions for protection and betterment of vulnerable sections of society etc


Directions: Important for mains, you can use it as a measure taken to protect elderly Population in India.

Source: The Hindu



  • The United Nations marks today as International Day for Older Persons (October 1), as part of the organization’s efforts to draw attention to healthy ageing.


UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), “World Population Prospects 2022:

  • People over 65 years: 16% of the world population by 2050 is expected to be made up of people over 65 years.
  • Most populous country: The report projects India’s population to be 7(one point seven)billion by 2050, having overtaken China to be the world’s most populous country.


Issues Involved:

  • The prevalence of non-communicable diseases: such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease etc is higher among the elderly.
  • Public health system: The change in demographic structure will increase the pressure on public health systems that are not geared to deliver universal health care.
  • The Hyderabad Ocular Morbidity in the Elderly Study (HOMES): Over 30% of the elderly in the study had distance vision loss and over 50% had near vision impairment (they needed reading glasses).
    • The study also explored the many links between vision impairment and an elderly person’s mental health and confidence.
  • People with impaired vision: They have greater fear, and risk, of falling (a major cause of disability and hospitalization among the elderly).


Why is eye care at the forefront?

  • Cutting edge of imaging technologies and tele-health: Creating portable devices and apps that remove access issues for those who cannot travel far.
  • Cross-subsidy models: Eye health in India has many cross-subsidy models to help alleviate the financial burden on individuals.


Way forward:

  • Eye care can catalyze a model of elderly care: A package of interventions, including assistive devices for sight, hearing, and mobility, or referrals to psychiatric support for depression or other mental health issues.
  • Primary care to be accessible: The future of elderly care needs to be long term, comprehensive, and integrated, and must be oriented towards primary care to be accessible.
  • Financial status: All kinds of socio-economic realities, working to ensure that no elderly person is denied care irrespective of their financial status.


Insta Links:

Issues related to Elderly People

old age care

World Population Prospects


Mains Links:

Q. Despite Consistent experience of high growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive. (UPSC 2021)


Prelims Links:

World population Prospects report

UN Economic and social council

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

Which of the following is/are the principal UN organs?

  1. UN Security Council
  2. The Economic and Social Council
  3.  The Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat
  4. World Health Organization (WHO)

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a. 1, 2 and 3 only

b. 2, 3 and 4 only

c. 1 and 2 only

d. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (a)


  • The United Nations (UN) has six main organs:
    • The General Assembly
    • The Security Council
    • The Economic and Social Council
    • The Trusteeship Council
    • The International Court of Justice

Let the Land Heal- reducing Chemical Fertilizers

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Agriculture


Source: Indian Express

Direction: This was an opinion article in The Indian Express, the author gave few suggestions on how to reduce chemical fertilizers. You can note down these points and present them as suggestions/ way forward in your answer.

Context: Pests and diseases have developed resistance to the existing pesticide applications, requiring stronger, more toxic responses every passing year.

Considering the genetic altering impact on the human body and biodiversity loss, reduction in pesticide usage should have become a national priority 

Ways we can reduce farm chemical input:

  • Business model of the farm chemical input industry must transform to become a service industry: 10 per cent of farm chemical input sales of each seller could be in the form of services (spray on farms). Each following year, the seller would mandatorily increase the services by an additional 10 per cent, till the business model had become one of the services contracted, and not of farm chemical inputs sold.
  • Shopkeepers should report each sale of farm chemicals to the government in real time.
  • Mandatory QR code on each farm chemical package: Bayer, the world’s largest seed and pesticide company has started to print a QR code on every pesticide package.
  • An independent regulator: Safety data generated by the industry is practically taken at face value when regulatory approval is given. But volunteerism is no substitute for regulation.


Insta Links:

reforming the fertilizer sector

Prelims Link:

  • Committees related to controlling chemical fertilizers.
  • Green Revolution

Mains Link:

Q. Account for the use of chemical pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers in Indian agriculture and its impact on human health. 10M


Content for Mains Enrichment

Grafting – a wonder for reviving ancient trees

Source: BBC

Direction: This can be used as an example/way forward of how to conserve plants.

Context: Kerala State Biodiversity Board declared Kannapuram in the Southern Indian state of Kerala, an “Indigenous Mango Heritage Area” in 2020.

The honour came after the villagers had got together to grow over 200 indigenous species of mangoes, sourced from surrounding towns and villages, preserving diverse varieties that were in danger of dying out.

India’s fruit trees are under threat, but a community of gardeners are using an old trick to save them – and even bring some back from the dead.

The technique that made it possible is the age-old art of grafting.

Grafting involves building a new plant by connecting the organic tissues of two plants, often of the same species. Plants from a different genus or different species can be grafted too, but in many cases, the outcome is weaker, short-lived and sometimes, they never come together at all.

Grafting can occur naturally as well. Meghalaya, a state in India’s north east is famed for its “living root bridges“. Several trees have closely intertwining roots that form aerial bridges strong enough for people to walk over, helping them navigate steep slopes. The roots fuse and repair themselves through a process of self-grafting called inosculation – where after close contact for years or decades, the branches or roots of different trees fuse, growing as a single structure over time. Tribal community members have been known to intertwine and repair the roots manually through grafting as well.

Grafting has helped in the propagation, conservation and mitigation of soil-borne diseases in many other fruit and vegetables in India. 


Fact for Prelims:

UNESCO launches list documenting 50 iconic Indian heritage textiles

Source: The Hindu

Context: UNESCO released a list of 50 exclusive and iconic heritage textile crafts of the country. Toda embroidery and Sungadi from Tamil Nadu, Himroo weaves from Hyderabad and Bandha tie and dye weaving from Sambalpur in Odisha were some of the textiles that made the cut.

According to UNESCO, one of the major challenges to the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the South Asia is lack of proper inventory and documentation. The publication, which aims to bridge this gap, brings together years of research on the 50 selected textiles.


Punjab Assembly passes bill to dissolve state Vigilance Commission

Source: The Print


  • The Punjab Assembly passed a bill to dissolve the state Vigilance Commission.


State Vigilance Commission:

  • The state anti-graft body was set up under the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Act, 2020
  • Introduced to curb corruption among the state’s public servants.
  • It has been empowered to inquire into allegations against all public servants, as defined under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.


Central Vigilance Commission (CVC):

  • The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government in 1964 on the recommendations of Santhanam committee.
  • Members:
    • Central Vigilance Commissioner – Chairperson.
    • Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners – Members.
  • Functions: The CVC receives complaints on corruption or misuse of office and recommends appropriate action.
  • Not an investigating agency: The CVC either gets the investigation done through the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) or through chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government offices.
  • Appointment: Appointed by the President of India after the recommendation of a three-member committee which consist:
    • Prime Minister
    • Minister of Home Affairs (MHA)
    • Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha
  • Term: holds the office for 4 years.
  • Removal grounds:
    • By the President on the ground of misbehavior but only after the Supreme Court has held an inquiry into his case.
    • Proven misbehavior or incapacity if the Supreme Court inquiry finds him guilty.
    • Can resign by writing to the President.


U.S. imposes sanction against Indian petrochemical company

Directions: Follow the article

Source: The Hindu


  • The U.S. treasury department announced sanctions against a Mumbai based petrochemical company amongst several entities accused of selling Iranian petroleum products.


Key Highlights:

  • It is the first Indian entity to face the U.S. designation under unilateral sanctions passed in 2018-19.


What does US sanctions mean?

  • There are trade barriers, tariffs and restrictions on financial transactions of various entities in Iran.
  • The following industries or segments of Iran were sanctioned by the US:
    • Banking industry
    • Shipping industry
    • Insurance industry
    • Energy/Petroleum Industry
    • Nuclear Industry
    • International trade
    • Missile/Arms industry
    • Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


Countries facing US sanctions:

  • Iran
  • Cuba
  • Venezuela
  • Syria
  • North Korea
  • Sudan


Mortality higher among COVID patients with certain complications

 Directions: Important for mains, you can use it as an example of impact of pandemic on vulnerable sections.

Source: The Hindu



  • Central Government’s National Clinical Registry for COVID-19 (NCRC) data, released recently by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR): It states that hospital mortality among COVID patients in the country was higher among those admitted with chronic kidney and liver disease, malignancy and tuberculosis.


Key Highlights:

  • 12.9(twelve point nine)% were asymptomatic at the time of admission: They were admitted due to conditions other than COVID-19 and later diagnosed with COVID-19 or developed COVID-19 during the course of hospitalization.
  • Oxygen support: More than half (54%) of the admitted patients required oxygen support during their hospital course and 7.8(seven point eight)% required mechanical ventilation.
  • Aim: The study aims to describe the demographic and clinical profile and ascertain the determinants of outcome among hospitalized COVID-19 adult patients in India.
  • Vaccination saves lives: A real-time study of patients with chronic diseases and severe COVID-19 infection”, the study also highlighted the importance of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in protecting against mortality.


Card Tokenization

Source : Economic Times

Context: The Reserve Bank of India signalled that it would not extend the October 1, deadline for implementation for tokenisation of card based payments.
Central bank rules require all merchants to delete customer debit and credit card details before October 1 and replace card payments with unique tokens.

This rule is applicable to all stakeholders except card issuers and card networks.

Under these rules, the central bank has permitted authorized card payment networks to offer card tokenization services to consumers requesting it.

Tokenization is a process by which card details are replaced by a unique code or token, allowing online purchases to go through without exposing sensitive card details.


Pangasius Icaria

Source: The Hindu

A new catfish species has been discovered in the river Cauvery near Mettur Dam. The edible species has been named Pangasius icaria ( P. icaria) after Indian Council of Agricultural Research that discovered the species.

The species belongs to the Pangasius genus.


Black cocaine

Source: Indian Express

Context: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested a Bolivian woman from Mumbai airport for allegedly carrying black cocaine.

Black cocaine”, a rare drug, is a mixture of regular cocaine and other chemicals of administrated quantity.

It neutralises the smell of cocaine so that it can pass through checkpoints easily.

Black cocaine is a mixture of regular cocaine base with various substances to camouflage typical appearance (e.g. charcoal), to interfere with colour-based drug tests (cobalt salts form deep red complexes in solution), to make the mixture undetectable by drug-sniffing dogs as activated carbon may sufficiently absorb trace odours.


AFSPA extended in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh

 Directions: Important for Prelims and mains, it can be asked directly in prelims

Source: The Hindu


  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland for another six months.


Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958:


  • Sweeping powers to the armed forces: It allows them to open fire, even causing death, against any person in contravention to the law or carrying arms and ammunitio
  • Power to arrest: It gives them powers to arrest individuals without warrants, on the basis of “reasonable suspicion”, and search premises without warrants.
  • Disturbed’’ under Section 3: It can be imposed by the Center or the Governor of a state, on the state or parts of it, after areas are declared “disturbed’.
  • Amendment in 1972: The powers to declare an area as “disturbed” were conferred concurrently upon the Central government along with the States.
  • Home ministry: Currently, the Union Home Ministry issues periodic “disturbed area” notification to extend AFSPA only for Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • State government: The notification for Manipur and Assam is issued by the State governments.
  • Revoked:
    • Tripura: revoked the Act in 2015
    • Meghalaya: revoked by the MHA from 1st April 2018.

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