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 3:
1. Why spectrum needs a change in approach
Content for Mains Enrichment
1. Equal pay for men and women cricketers
2. Governance Scheme by AP
Facts for Prelims:
1. Raskhan and Taj Bibi
2. Changes in the cyclones
3. One Nation, One Uniform for police
5. Counter Terror Committee
6. TReDS platform
7. Global Investment Trend Monitor Report – 2022
9. Emissions Gap Report 2022
10. Polluter Pays Principle
11. Cheetah awareness program
GS Paper 3
Source: Indian Express
Syllabus: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Directions: This Article has been taken from the Indian Express and the Hindu and discusses the existing flaws in our spectrum policy along with suggesting a way forward.
Context: On September 22, the government released the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022, seeking to replace the colonial era Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
Draft telecommunication bill, 2022:
- Updated and Consolidated Various laws: It is an attempt by the Department of telecommunication to update the extant regulatory framework and consolidate various legislations presently governing the telecommunication landscape in India.
- Repealed Old legislations: It looks to repeal three legislations i.e. the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.
- Introduced technological advancements: The new regulatory framework aims to bring the law at par with technological advancements and remove obsolete provisions from the colonial era laws.
Status of spectrum policy in India: India liberalized the telecom sector in 1981. It had initially adopted first-cum first licence policy during the initial days of mobile telephony. However, the 2G scam led to the replacement of the previous policy with the open auction of spectrum.
- Achievement: Despite the recognised failure, India has billion-plus mobile subscribers, and 800 million internet users and hosts the second-largest telecommunications network in the world.
Existing issues concerning the spectrum policy of India:
- Digital divide: Effective access to the spectrum has remained a significant barrier.
- Huge potential but with technical limitations: Spectrum having the characteristics of a public good is also an inexhaustible resource.
- But while spectrum per se is not depletable, there are technical limitations to its optimum utilization at a given point in time.
- High cost of spectrum acquisition: Since 2010, the government has consistently used auctions for spectrum allocation, this has increased government revenues but private companies have increased the rate of mobile telephony to recoup the cost.
- High reserve price: This has often led to low off-take of available spectrum and thus revenue loss for the government.
- According to one estimate, spectrum cost in India is amongst the most expensive in the world.
- Inequity: Commercialization of the spectrum has resulted in some areas being underserved or unserved affecting quality and quantity.
What could be the fresh approach?
- Active promotion of the idea of ‘niche operators’: The draft bill incorporates practical provisions on the spectrum such as use it, share it or lose it – an awaited policy that, however, needs innovative support to be successful.
- Correcting the cost of spectrum and promoting investment in underserved areas.
- Adopting innovative methods: g. Canada has initiated consultations on a non-competitive local licensing framework to facilitate broadband connectivity in rural areas.
- Promoting transparency: The government should build an ecosystem that inspires trust so that transparency in the assignment can be secured at a reasonable price for operators with strict service obligations.
- Enhancing healthy competition
The vision of “Digital India” can never be realised if affordable broadband connectivity remains only within the reach of a few.
- What are spectrum auctions?
- 4g Vs 5g
- LTE vs VoLTE
- Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
Q. Spectrum auction in India has turned into a buyer’s market. Discuss.
Content for Mains Enrichment
Governance Scheme by Andhra Pradesh (can be used as case study/way forward)
Agriculture sector: Rythu Bharosa Kendras:
They are a one-stop solution to all farmers’ needs and grievances. RBKs sell pre-tested quality seeds, certified fertilisers and animal feed. Farmers can purchase or hire farm equipment, and even sell their produce at the prevailing MSP in the RBKs.
- 10,778 RBKs Rythu Bharosa Kendras have been set up.
- There is an agriculture graduate and agriculture scientists available through each RBK.
- The entire village is e-cropped and geo-tagged: The list is displayed for social audit.
- ₹13,500 per annum to farmers to support farm costs.
- Nadu-Nedu programme: All the schools have been upgraded
- Every school will have 12 types of basic infrastructur
- Mid-day meals menu: It is nutritious and changed every day and week to ensure variety.
- Vidya Kanuka(kit for kids): Comprising a bag, bilingual textbooks (one page Telugu and one page English), notebooks, uniform, and an Oxford dictionary.
- Tie with Byju’s: Students starting from Class 4 are entitled to have Byju’s content.
- Mothers are given an incentive of about ₹15,000 per year as per the attendance of their child under Amma Vodi.
- Higher education: There is 100% fee reimbursement.
- Also, ₹20,000 for the kids to take care of lodging and boarding every year in two instalments.
Development in Health Sector:
- Digital interface: Village clinic has a digital interface through which doctors are available.
- Teaching hospitals: They are connected to village clinics, taking care of preventive care and curative care
- Aarogyasri scheme: All types of cancers are covered and practically 99% of procedures are under this scheme.
- Family doctor concept: Every Mandal will have two PHCs and each PHC has two doctors and one ambulance.
- One doctor will sit in the PHC for consultancy, and the other doctor hops into the ambulance and goes to the designated villages.
Equal pay for men and women cricketers
Source: Indian Express
Direction: This example can be mentioned in sports ethics, Women empowerment, Sports Governance etc.
Context: In a landmark move, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that it will be implementing a new pay equity policy for its contracted women cricketers, effectively paying men and women cricketers the same match fees.
Pay equity is also known as equal pay for work of equal value. That means if two different jobs contribute equal value to their employer’s operations then the employees in those positions should receive equal pay.
Is India the only country to bring pay parity in sports?
No, the first country to do so was New Zealand in July 2022. New Zealand Cricket, the governing body for professional cricket in the country, and the players’ association signed a five-year deal so that both international and domestic level-women players will receive the same match fees as men across all formats and competitions.
Similarly, the Committee of Administrators that runs the affairs of the Table Tennis Federation of India, said in May 2022 that it would offer equal prize money for men and women in all the national zonal tournaments – including national championships across age groups.
Why men are paid more in sports?
They play more games per season, and they get more advertisements and corporate sponsorship based on the size of their audiences.
However, it has been argued that a basic equal fee could motivate more women to join and view sports, and eventually command a similar following as the men’s matches.
Other measures: ILO’s Equal Remuneration Convention and Equal Pay International Coalition, Gender Gap Index (India 135/146 in 2022)
Facts for Prelims
Raskhan and Taj Bibi
Source: Indian Express
Context: Recently tourism department of Uttar Pradesh has redeveloped the tombs of Raskhan and Taj Bibi (both devotees of Lord Krishna) as a tourist complex with an open-air theatre.
Who was Raskhan?
Raskhan or Syed Ibrahim Khan was a 16th-century Sufi Muslim poet born either in Amroha or Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh.
- Raskhan was his pen name in Hindi.
- In his early years, he became a follower of Sri Krishna and learned the religion from Goswami Vitthalnath and spent his life in
- His poetry is in the form of Doha, Padawali and Savayya.
- Writings: Raskhan’s Khariboli writings are numerous, the five most important being the Sujana Raskhana, the Premavatika (most popular), the Danalila, the Astayama and a collection of Padas (rhymed couplets).
Taj Bibi: aka the ‘Mughal Mirabai’, was born in the 17th century as the daughter of a Muslim nobleman Padna Khan.
- Taj Bibi was married to Emperor Akbar and was appointed by the Mughals to protect the Gokul area.
- She wrote poetry during the Mughal time when the ruling class belonged to the Muslim religion.
Changes in the Cyclones
Context: Due to the effect of global warming, fewer tropical cyclone was observed in the Bay of Bengal but their frequency has increased in the Arabian sea.
- Proportionate increase: In comparison to the Bay of Bengal, the proportion of Arabian sea cyclones was initially 1:4, but the study found that it has become 2:4 from 2001-2020.
- The decline in the frequency of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal as the warming threshold for sea surface temperature (SST) for the Bay of Bengal has already been achieved, which ranges between 26 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees
- However, sea surface temperature is still gradually increasing over the Arabian sea.
- According to the IISER Bhopal study, Overall, 80 per cent of tropical cyclones occurred in the pre-and post-monsoon months.
What factors are responsible for it?
- Surface temperatures in the Arabian Sea have increased rapidly during the past century due to global warming.
- These warmer temperatures support active convection, heavy rainfall, and intense cyclones.
- The rising temperature is also enabling the Arabian Sea to supply ample energy for the intensification of cyclones.
- The Arabian Sea is also providing conducive wind shear for cyclones.
- For instance, a higher level of easterly wind drove the depression of Cyclone Ockhi from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea.
Concerns: This underlines the increasing risk of disasters hitting the west coast of India if the trend continues to hold over the years.
One Nation, One Uniform for police
Source: Indian Express
Direction: This is in continuation of yesterday’s FFP, “States should have a uniform policy on law and order”
Context: Recently in line with his broader attempt to introduce a uniform set of policies across the country PM has suggested ‘One Nation, One Uniform’ for police forces.
Who decides on uniforms for the police?
- Law and order are part of state subject: Both ‘public order’ and the ‘police’ are placed in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution: Thus each state has the liberty to decide on the uniform.
- Variation in Uniform: While police personnel in India are often associated with the colour khaki, their uniforms do differ in varying degrees in different regions.
Context: Prime Minister said that Central laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) had given an impetus to the system in a decisive fight against terrorism.
About the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:
Passed in 1967, the law aims at the effective prevention of unlawful activities, associations in India.
The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.
- It has the death penalty and life imprisonment as the highest punishments.
Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.
- It will apply to the offenders in the same manner, even if a crime is committed in a foreign land, outside India.
- Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in a maximum of 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.
As per amendments of 2019:
- The Act empowers the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to approve the 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.
Counter Terror Committee (CTC)
Context: The international community should rise above political differences and defeat the challenge of terrorism, said the External Affairs Minister at the Special Meeting of the Counter Terror Committee of the UN Security Council.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee of UNSC: It was established by Security Council resolution 1373 adopted unanimously in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US. It aims at enhancing the legal and institutional ability of countries to counter terrorist activities at home and around the world.
Points for the consideration of the Counter Terror Committee by the External Affairs Minister:
- Effective and sustained efforts to counter terror-financing
- Collaboration: Normative efforts of the UN need to be coordinated with collaborations with fora like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
- International cooperation and concerted actions against terrorists and their sponsors including the dismantlement of terrorist safe havens, etc
- Break Terrorism’s nexus: As transnational organised crime like arms and illicit drug trafficking is now established”.
- UN Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism: India will be making a voluntary contribution of half a million dollars to the UN Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism this year.
- UN Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism: It was established by the Secretary-General in 2009
Objectives of CTC:
- Financing: Taking steps to criminalize the financing of terrorism
- Freezing: any funds related to persons involved in acts of terrorism
- Deny all forms of financial support for terrorist groups
- Suppress the provision of safe haven, sustenance or support for terrorists
- Share information with other governments on any groups practising or planning terrorist acts.
Source: Business Standard
Context: The finance ministry has directed 92 operating central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) that have not onboarded the trade receivables discounting system (TReDS) despite the government’s
mandate to do so.
- The government mandated in 2017 that all CPSEs get registered on the TReDS.
What is the TReDS Platform?
TReDS is an institutional mechanism set up to facilitate the discounting of invoices for MSMEs from CPSE and corporate buyers through multiple financiers.
MSME receives orders but payment for the order is made only on delivery of the order. Meanwhile, they need capital to produce the order. Also, Delayed payments by the public (CPSEs) and private organizations result in a shortage of working capital for the MSMEs in their regular business operations. That’s where TReDs come in. Through this, MSMEs get instant short-term capital but at a discounted rate based on the invoices.
How does it work?
Invoice discounting is the working principle of TReDS. This involves three participants — MSME supplier, corporate/CPSE buyer, and financier. The process is as follows:
There are currently three TReDS based portals: RXIL (Receivables Exchange of India), M1Xchange, and Invoicemart.
Global Investment Trend Monitor Report – 2022
Source: Down to Earth
Context: According to a recently released Global Investment Trend Monitor Report – 2022 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the economic downturn brings down funding for climate mitigation and adaptation.
- The number of climate mitigation and adaptation investment projects declined 7-12 per cent as the world grapples with an economic slowdown. The gap between mitigation and adaptation financing was also huge this year.
- The funding was also lopsided: Over 700 renewable energy investment projects were located in Europe, accounting for more than half of all projects.
Context: Government has restricted the use of the Herbicide glyphosate to authorized pest control operators, attracting criticism from industry bodies.
Glyphosate: It is a non-selective herbicide (kills both ally types of plants). It is also used to regulate plant growth and ripen specific crops. It is banned in 28 countries, including Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Sri Lanka, as it may be carcinogenic (as per a WHO study) and remains as a residue in the environment for up to 6 months.
Usage of glyphosate in India: It is widely used in plantation agriculture. It is also used to control weeds in afforestation activities and in areas along irrigation channels, Railway tracks etc. It may also be combined with BT cotton, leading to high usage in Deccan belts.
Emissions Gap Report 2022
Source: Down to Earth
Context: According to the recently released Emissions Gap Report 2022, current pledges by countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would still leave the world warmer by 2.4-2.6 degrees celsius by the end of the century.
- The top seven emitters (China, EU27, India, Indonesia, Brazil, the Russian Federation and the USA) plus international transport accounted for 55 per cent of global GHG emissions in 2020.
- Collectively, G20 members are responsible for 75 per cent of global GHG
- Global average per capita GHG emissions: The US at 14 tCO2e, followed by Russia at 13 tCO2e, China at 9.7 tCO2e, Brazil and Indonesia at about 7.5 tCO2e, and the European Union at 7.2 tCO2e
- India remains far below the world average at 4 tCO2e.
- The updated pledges by countries (NDC) under the Paris Agreement only reduce the projected greenhouse emissions by 1 per cent by 2030.
Polluter Pays Principle
Source: Down to Earth
Context: The National Green Tribunal has slapped thousands of crores of fines on seven states on Supreme Court directions, totalling around Rs 28,180 crore and about Rs 2,000 crore in other cases over waste.
The ‘polluter pays’ principle is the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment.
How does NGT calculate the penalty amount?
- The NGT has equated the amount of penalty fixed on the states based on the “polluter pays principle” to environmental compensation and the cost of restoration.
- The compensation for untreated liquid waste (sewage) was determined to be Rs 2 crore per million litres per day (MLD) and Rs 300 per tonne for unprocessed legacy waste.
- The interesting thing is that it is the responsibility of the states to keep track of violations committed, as per the polluter pays principle while calculating the penalty.
What will happen to the fine amount?
· NGT has ordered the chief secretaries of all the states to deposit this penalty amount in two separate accounts. This money will be used for time-bound sewage and solid waste treatment.
· National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has also been asked to monitor the fund.
Cheetah awareness program
Context: Cheetah Awareness Programme being organized by the National Museum of Natural History
National museum of natural History (1972): It is an institution devoted to environmental education and depicts the country’s rich natural heritage and natural history(geology, botany and zoology). It works under the ministry of environment forest and climate change
Cheetah reintroduction program in India
- Under the action plan for the introduction of cheetahs in India, India will introduce over 50 cheetahs in the next 5 years.
- In the first phase * cheetahs are introduced in Kuno National Park(Madhya Pradesh)
- Other prospective sites include
- Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary(Madhya Pradesh)
- Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary(Madhya Pradesh)
- Shahgarh bulge in Jaisalmer, (Rajasthan)
- Mukundara Tiger Reserve as fenced enclosure(Rajasthan)
- Cheetah are the only large mammal to have gone extinct from India due to hunting or habitat loss
- African cheetahs not only have large genetic diversity(ideal for rehabilitation)
- They are also believed to be the original lineage for Asiatic cheetahs.
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