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. Reforms brought by CJI Lalit in SC
2. Rules regarding online gaming
3. Fatalities among U.N. Peacekeeping Forces rising
GS Paper 3:
1. How China reduced poverty; lessons for India
Facts for Prelims:
1. Nobel Prize for Economy
2. 2,000-year-old Rosetta Stone
3. Odisha’s ‘village of widows’
4. Why has the Election Commission frozen the Shiv Sena’s symbol?
5. The decline in corporate investment in India
6. Mainstreaming biodiversity in Forestry Report
7. Smart Contracts
8. Weapon Systems Branch
GS paper 2
Syllabus: Judiciary- Structure, functioning, and conduct of business, the role of CJI, etc
Direction: This is a very specific article, we have given only that part that you can use in your answers.
Steps taken by him:
- Constitution benches: Five Constitution Benches were formed.
- Administrative changes: transparent and prompt listing of cases
- All the judges get an opportunity to voice their opinion: Major decisions are taken now in the Supreme Court after Full Court meetings.
- Live-streaming: Of Constitution Bench hearings.
However, there are a few concerns:
- Almost 60 to 70 cases are listed before every Bench: It has raised questions about whether judges are able to cope with the work pressure.
- Sudden listing of cases, leads to less time for lawyers to prepare their briefs for their cases.
It consists of at least five judges of the court who sit to decide any case involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation” of the Constitution of India or for the purpose of hearing any reference” made by the President of India under Article 143.
- This provision has been mandated by Article 145 (3) of the Constitution of India.
- The Chief Justice of India has the power to constitute a Constitution Bench and refer cases to it.
Q. Critically examine the Supreme Court’s judgment on ‘The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014’ with reference to the appointment of judges of the higher judiciary in India. (UPSC 2017)
- Appointment of CJI
- National Judicial Data Grid rolling
- Article 21
- First Judges case
- Second Judges case
- Third Judges case
GS Paper 2
Source: Indian Express
Directions: This is taken from the explained section of Indian Express.
Context: A task force set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has prepared a final report of its recommendations to regulate the online gaming industry in India.
What is online gaming?
- An online game is a video game that is either partially or primarily played through the Internet or any other computer network available.
What are the types of online gaming?
- e-sports (well-organized electronic sports which include professional players),
- Fantasy sports
- Casual games: these can be either skill-based (mental skill) or chance based (based on a random activity like a roll of a dice) online games.
How big is the online gaming market in India?
- Revenue generated: The revenue is estimated to reach $5 billion in 2025.
- Growth: CAGR of 38% between 2017-2020, as opposed to 8% in China and 10% in the US.
Law on online gaming in India
- State subject: Online gaming so far has been a state subject, but state governments are finding it extremely difficult to enforce certain rules like geo-blocking certain apps or websites within the territory of their state.
- Applicability issue: there is a concern that rules passed in one state are not applicable in another, which has caused inconsistency in regulation.
- Lack enough power: State governments also do not have enough blocking powers like the Centre to issue blocking orders for offshore betting sites.
Societal concerns that can emerge with the proliferation of online gaming—
- Increased suicidal incidents: people are losing large sums of money on online games, leading to suicides in various parts of the country.
- Uncertainty: For online gaming businesses, inconsistency has led to uncertainty.
- Other concerns: there is currently no regulatory framework to govern various aspects of online gaming companies such as having a grievance redressal mechanism, implementing player protection measures, protecting data and intellectual property rights, and prohibiting misleading advertisements.
What are the recommendations of the task force?
- Central-level law for online gaming should apply
- Casual games with no real money element in the form of stakes may be kept outside the scope of such rules.
- Creating a regulatory body for the online gaming industry
- A three-tier dispute resolution mechanism, similar to that prescribed under the Information Technology Rules, 2021 for online streaming services.
- Any online gaming platform – domestic or foreign– need to be a legal entity incorporated under Indian law.
- Regulating Body: MeitY may act as a nodal ministry to regulate online gaming, except for the e-sports category on which the Department of Sports can take the lead.
- Information and Broadcasting Ministry can regulate advertisements, code of ethics relating to content classifications, etc.
- Consumer Affairs Ministry can regulate the sector for unfair trade practices.
What did the task force say about offshore betting apps?
- On the aspect of prohibiting games of chance, gambling websites, or apps being played online, the proposed Digital India Act can include it in the list of prohibited user harms that will not be permitted.
Q. “Internet gaming has turned worse than drugs”. Do you agree? Critically examine the statement in light of the announcement made by the World Health Organization (WHO) to include “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition. (250 words)
Q. How does gaming addiction, impact children? Do you think China’s recent imposition of a three-hour limit on gaming, is a good way to tackle it? (150 words)
GS paper 2
Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India, Important international institutions and their structure and mandates, etc
Context: The number of fatalities among United Nations Peacekeeping Forces (UNPKF) in direct attacks is growing, said U.N. Undersecretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
- India: It is among the highest contributors of troops to the UNPKF, and has the highest fatality suffered by any country among “blue helmets.
Reasons for the Sudden increase in deaths:
- Deteriorating geo-security environment during peacekeeping operations.
- Increasing distrust in the global body such as the UN
India’s 10-point formula to address challenges UN peace missions face:
- Clear and realistic mandates: Peacekeeping missions should be given “clear and realistic mandates” that are matched with adequate resources.
- Mission mandates: Instead of the Security Council setting the mandate, countries involved in peacekeeping operations must set the agenda.
- Peacekeeping missions should be “deployed prudently(carefully): with full recognition of their limitations”.
- All-out effort: There should be “all-out efforts to bring the perpetrators of crimes against peacekeepers to justice.
- Establishing trust and smooth coordination: Between a peacekeeping mission’s leadership and the host state to achieve the goals of operations.
- Introducing advanced technology: In peacekeeping missions to overcome security challenges.
- Collective endeavors and performance: Of all mission components, the military, civilians, and its leadership should be considered while evaluating a mission.
- Need for addressing the insecurity of civilians caused by terrorist groups cannot be ignored: The host government has the primary responsibility to protect civilians from non-state groups across its territory.
- Regional approach and UNSC support: It is imperative for resolving armed conflicts and building collective security against transnational threats.
- Exit strategy: Peacekeeping missions should factor in an “exit strategy from their very inception.
UN Peacekeeping (founded in 1945):
It deploys troops and police from around the world, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to address a range of mandates set by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the General Assembly.
Q. The proposed withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan in 2014 is fraught with major security implications for the countries of the region. Examine in light of the fact that India is faced with a plethora of challenges and needs to safeguard its own strategic interests. (UPSC 2013)
- UN Peacekeeping
GS Paper 3:
Syllabus: Indian Economy
Directions: This is taken from the explained section of Indian Express. Go through it once, you can use it for value addition.
Source: Indian Express
Context: Last week, the World Bank released its latest report on global poverty. That stated that covid pandemic and war in Ukraine have caused an outright reversal of poverty reduction.
What is extreme poverty? How is it defined?
The World Bank (WB): Anyone living on less than $2.15 a day is considered to be living in extreme poverty. About 648 million people globally were in this situation in 2019.
What has the World Bank stated about India’s poverty levels?— According to the WB, India is the country with the highest number of poor people (over 5 crores in 2020).
What did China achieve?
The World Bank found that between 1978 and 2019, China lifted 765 million (76.5 crores) people from extreme poverty in the last 4 decades.
- In 2021, China declared that it has eradicated extreme poverty.
- Life expectancy at birth went from 66 years in 1978 to 77 years by 2019
- he infant mortality rate dropped from 52 in 1978 to 6.8 per thousand infants in 2019.
How did China do it?
Learning for India from China’s approach to eradicate poverty:
- Effective governance, involving decentralized implementation arrangements, with significant scope for local experimentation.
- Promoting a high degree of competition among local governments to achieve coherence.
- Investment in Education and Healthcare.
- Social protection policies for poor households and included specific programs in social assistance, social insurance, social welfare, and other targeted social policies
- Area-based approach, targeting poor regions and villages as a whole, to a set of interventions targeted at poor households.
- Creating economic opportunities as a means to escape poverty.
Q. ‘Despite the implementation of various programs for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing.’ Explain by giving reasons. (UPSC Mains 2018)
Facts for Prelims:
Nobel Prize for Economy
2,000-year-old Rosetta Stone
Source: Indian Express
Context: According to a Reuters report, the UK is being asked to return the Rosetta Stone.
What is the Rosetta stone?
- The Rosetta Stone is a large stone slab with inscriptions on it and is believed to be a piece of a bigger rock. It has inscriptions in three scripts, all of which convey a decree or public message.
- This is similar to how in Ancient India, King Ashoka ordered stambhas or edicts that had messages of Buddha’s teachings and news about victory in a war inscribed.
Significance of Rosseta stone:
- It holds the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs
- Archeological significance: stone’s age is at well over 2,000 years.
Concerns over continued distress in Odisha’s ‘village of widows’
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has expressed concern about widows whose husbands died following exposure to a pyrophyllite grinding unit in Madarangajodi village in Odisha.
- The labor court awarded compensation: To the complaints of a few women.
- But those who worked in the grinding unit continue to face slow deaths, Member, NCST.
- Inhalation: High concentrations may cause mechanical irritation and discomfort.
- Pneumoconiosis: In the absence of crystalline silica, pyrophyllite can cause low-category pneumoconiosis:
Uses of PYROPHYLLITE:
- As a filler in paper, plastic, paint, insecticide, and pharmaceutical industries.
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes is an Indian constitutional body that was established through Constitution Act, of 2003 (by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A).
Why has the Election Commission frozen the Shiv Sena’s symbol?
Source: Indian Express
Context: Recently The Election Commission barred the Shiv Sena factions led by former CM Uddhav Thackeray and current Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde from using the party name and its election symbol.
How are symbols allotted to political parties?
As per the guidelines, to get a symbol allotted:
- A party/candidate has to provide a list of three symbols from the EC’s free symbols list at the time of filing nomination papers.
- Among them, one symbol is allotted to the party/candidate on a first-come-first-serve basis.
How does the ECI decide who gets the symbol?
- Whenever parties split, there are chances of a dispute arising over claims to its election symbol.
- The ECI adjudicates the matter, using Para 15 of the Symbols Order, 1968. This decision is binding on them. This applies to disputes in recognized national and state parties.
- For splits in registered but unrecognized parties, the ECI usually advises the warring factions to resolve their differences internally or to approach the court.
The decline in corporate investment in India
Source: The Hindu
Context: Despite the government bringing down corporate tax (from 30% to 22% and to 15% for new manufacturing companies), India’s investment rate (though among the highest in the world) has declined to about 31% of GDP as an average of 2015-16 to 2019-2020 from its peak of 39% in FY2012.
- Corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments, amounting to about 15% of GDP.
- Private investment accounts for close to 75% of total capital formation in the economy
CAUSES OF THIS DECLINE-
- Slowing down of the global economy, post-2008 global financial crisis, and present fear of slowdown due to the Russia-Ukraine war and US Fed tightening.
- Sluggish growth of the Agriculture sector
- Low investment sentiments in the corporate sector
- Stagnant public investment: Its contribution to GDP is only around 2.2%.
- In the budget 2022-23, the outlay for capital expenditure stepped up sharply by 35.4% to Rs.7.50 lakh crore from Rs.5.54 lakh crore in the current year.
- National Infrastructure Pipeline.
- PM GATI SHAKTI scheme.
- National Monetization Pipeline
- Focus on investment in productivity-enhancing infrastructure.
Mainstreaming biodiversity in Forestry Report
Context: FAO released this report with the aim of embedding biodiversity considerations into policies, strategies, and practices to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the natural resource.
Key recommendation of the report:
- Recognizing contributions of indigenous people and enhancing the equitable sharing of benefits.
- Preventing natural forests into forest plantations.
- Control overharvesting of plants and wildlife
- Mainstreaming biodiversity
- Providing compensation for reduced production due to the adoption of natural ways of farming e.g. due to organic farming
- Use of CSR commitments for biodiversity conservation.
Source: The Hindu
Context: Smart contracts let you execute automated actions on blockchains and are the backbone of the crypto industry.
What are smart contracts?
The crypto ecosystem sits on top of distributed ledgers, which are broadly called blockchains. Apart from recording and verifying transactions, some crypto blockchains like Ethereum let users launch agreements or special actions that execute on their own.
- These are known as smart contracts and to create them effectively, programming languages are a must.
Who relies on Smart contracts?
Crypto exchanges, decentralized apps (dApps), the automated buying or selling of orders, and even NFT-based games often rely on smart contracts to run smoothly.
What if it fails
- A smart contract failure can cause platform outages, and exploitation of the codes could devalue the entire ecosystem.
Important languages of programming for cryptos
- C++, Java, Solidity, Rusk, Python Rholang, PHP, and Haskell.
Weapon Systems Branch
Source: Hindustan Times
Context: The Indian Air Force has established a new Weapon Systems Branch for its officers, which is aimed at the unification of all weapon system operators in specialist ground-based systems and airborne platforms under a single stream.
- It will have a new cadre manning four specialized streams — surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, remotely piloted aircraft, and weapon system operators in twin and multi-crew aircraft.
- This is the first time since Independence that a new operational branch has been created in the air force.
- The new branch will result in a saving of more than ₹3,400 crore due to reduced expenditure on flying training.
- It will unify all weapon systems operators of the IAF under a single entity for operational employment of all ground-based and specialist airborne weapons.
- The branch will induct specialized cadre officers for handling the latest weapon systems, they said.
Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE
Please subscribe to Our podcast channel HERE
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE
Follow our Twitter Account HERE
Follow our Instagram ID HERE