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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. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act


Facts for Prelims:

1. Guru Nanak

2. National Florence Nightingale Awards 2021

3. Pulitzer Prize


5. 22nd Law Commission

6. Record high Currency in circulation

7. Purchase of Gold

8. Basmati Rice

9. World Heritage Glaciers (WHG) Sentinels of Climate Change

10. Digi Yatra’s data privacy

11. Protected system/Critical Information Infrastructure

12. Beaver blood moon

13. Mapping

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Issues related to children


Source: The Hindu 1, 2


  • The POCSO Act brings tribals in the Nilgiris into conflict with the law, as youth under the age of 18 in relationships within or outside marriage are subject to the Act’s stringent provisions.
  • In another case, the High Court of Karnataka recently stated that the Law Commission of India will have to rethink the age criteria in the POCSO Act for having consensual sex.


About the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act:

  • The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development led the introduction of the POCSO Act in 2012.
  • The Act was designed to protect children from sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography offences, as well as to provide for the establishment of Special Courts for the trial of such offences.
  • The Act was amended in 2019 for enhancing the punishments for specific offences in order to deter abusers and ensure a dignified childhood.


Salient features:

  • A gender-neutral law: The POCSO Act establishes a gender-neutral tone for the legal framework available to child sexual abuse victims by defining a child as “any person” under the age of 18.
  • Not reporting abuse is an offence: Any person (except children) in charge of an institution who fails to report the commission of a sexual offence relating to a subordinate is liable to be punished.
  • No time limit for reporting abuse: A victim can report an offence at any time, even a number of years after the abuse has been committed.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of the victim’s identity: The Act prohibits disclosure of the victim’s identity in any form of media, except when permitted by the special courts established under the act.
  • New obligations under the POCSO Rules 2020:
    • Any institution housing children or coming in regular contact is required to conduct a periodic police verification and background check of every employee.
    • Such an institution must impart regular training to sensitise its employees on child safety and protection.
    • The institution has to adopt a child protection policy based on the principle of zero tolerance for violence against children.


POCSO Act’s performance in comparison to global standards:

  • A 2019 Economist Intelligence Unit report ranked India’s legal system for safeguarding children from sexual abuse and exploitation as the best of the countries surveyed.
  • On this metric, India outranked the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia.



  • Despite the existence of such comprehensive child sexual abuse law, the scale of such abuse is staggering.
    • According to a recent survey, one in every two children is a victim of sexual abuse in India.
    • Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases, the perpetrators are known to the victim, causing the victim to be hesitant to approach authorities for redress.
    • Incidents of child abuse have also risen exponentially since the Covid-19 pandemic, with the emergence of new forms of cybercrime.
  • The general level of awareness or knowledge on the part of minor girls and boys of the POCSO Act remains severely inadequate in the country.
    • Child marriage is common among certain tribal groups in the country, resulting in the criminalisation of 17-18 years old youths due to a lack of knowledge of the POCSO Act.


Way ahead: Recently, the Karnataka HC has directed the State Education Department to set up a mechanism for educating students, at least from Class IX onwards about the act and its provisions.


Insta Links:

Expanding the scope of the POCSO Act


Mains Links:

Q. To put an end to child sexual abuse, the scope of the POCSO act must be enhanced not narrowed. Critically comment in the light of recent judicial rulings on POCSO.

Facts for Prelims

Guru Nanak

Source: The Hindu


Context: The 553rd birth anniversary of Sikh Guru Nanak Dev is celebrated on November 8, 2022.

 Guru Nanak Dev:

  • He was the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus.
  • He establishes a unique spiritual, social and political platform based on equality, fraternal love, goodness, and morality through the notion of ek Onkar (one God).
  • His remarks are recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib – Sikhism’s holy text.
  • His birth is commemorated as Guru Nanak Gurpurab all across the world.

National Florence Nightingale Awards 2021

Source: PIB

Context: President presented the award to the nursing profession.


Florence Nightingale was a British Nurse, Statistician and social reformer, born in Florence, Taly (1820).

  • Her effort during Crimean War (1854-56), by curing patients, calculating mortality data and showing how improvements made in sanitary methods would reduce the number of deaths, won her recognition.
  • She is also known as the land with the lamp and the founder of modern nursing.


National Florence Nightingale Awards was instituted in 1973 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to recognize meritorious service rendered by nursing professionals in India

To mark the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale, WHO announced the year 2020 as the year of the Nurse and Mid-Wife.

Pulitzer Prize

 Source: The Hindu


Context: A Jammu and Kashmir political party recently stated that the people of J&K are being punished for excelling in life following the repeal of Article 370, as evidenced by preventing a Kashmiri journalist (Sanna Mattoo) from accepting the Pulitzer Prize in person.



  • Reuters news agency’s four Indian photographers – Danish Siddiqui, Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo and Amit Dave have won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for their coverage of India’s Covid-19 crisis.
  • In 1937, Indian-American journalist Gobind Behari Lal, a member of the Ghadar Party in America, became the first Indian to receive the Pulitzer Prize for journalism.


About the Pulitzer Prize:

  • It is an annual award for achievements in newspapers, magazines, online journalism, literature, and musical composition.
  • It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer (a newspaper publisher) and is administered by Columbia University, US.


Article 370 of the Indian Constitution:

  • It exempted J&K from the application of the Indian Constitution (except Article 1 and Article 370 itself) and permitted the state to draft its own Constitution.
  • It restricted the Indian Parliament’s legislative powers in respect of J&K.
  • For extending a central law on subjects included in the Instrument of Accession (IoA), mere “consultation” with the state government was needed, however, in the case of other matters, “concurrence” of the state government was mandatory.


Source: The Hindu


Context: According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) annual report (2021-22), the FCRA was amended in 2020 to discourage expenditure by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on unproductive items.


About the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA):

  • The FCRA was enacted during the 1976 Emergency to restrict foreign donations to individuals and organisations so that they could operate in conformity with the values of a sovereign democratic republic.
  • In 2010, the FCRA was amended to consolidate the law on the use of foreign funds and was amended again in 2020, giving the government tighter control over the receipt and use of foreign funds by NGOs.
  • It is implemented by the MHA, which can prohibit the use of foreign funds for any activities detrimental to the national interest.

22nd Law Commission

Source: Indian Express

Context: After two and a half years, the 22nd Law Commission of India has been constituted with Justice (retd) Rituraj Awasthi as its head. Commission would have a tenure of three years.


Terms of reference of 22nd Law Commission:

  • Identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed
  • Examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy and suggest ways of improvement and reform
  • Suggest such legislation as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles
  • Revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities


The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body that is constituted by a notification of the Government of India, with definite terms of reference to carry out research in the field of law.

  • The Commission makes recommendations to the Government (in the form of Reports) as per its terms of reference.
  • The Law Commission was first constituted in 1955 and has so far submitted 277 reports.
  • According to the Law Ministry’s website, the “Law Commission of India provides excellent thought-provoking and vital review of the laws in India”.

Record high Currency in circulation

Source: Indian Express


Context: Despite the increase in digitization, cash with the public is at a record high of over 30 lakh cr, six years since demonetisation (over 71% higher than the level for November 2016).


Demonetisation is the process by which the demonetised notes cease to be accepted as legal currency for any kind of transaction.


Reason for a high amount of Cash in circulation:

  • Cash is considered a simple and more reliable mode of payment.
  • Cash is also less traceable compared to the digital transaction, thus the preferred mode to avoid taxes.
  • People in smaller towns and villages prefer Cash since they lack digital literacy and bank accounts.

The government has claimed that demonetization gave a “major push to the digital economy” in 2020. Undisclosed assets worth Rs 7,877 crore were seized,” and undisclosed income worth “Rs 87, 200” has been admitted.

Purchase of Gold

Source: Outlook India

Context: Central Banks the world over are buying Gold as the economic uncertainty grows.

As per the World Gold Council, Indian Central Bank (RBI) bought over 191 tonnes of gold worth Rs 85,010 crore in Q3 2022.

Reasons: The current global inflation (Energy and Food prices) and risk of recession have led to growing uncertainty in the world economic situation.

  • The demand for gold increases during inflationary times due to its inherent value and limited supply. As it cannot be diluted, gold is able to retain value much better than other forms of currency.
  • As gold carries no credit or counterparty risks, it serves as a source of trust in a country, and in all economic environments, making it one of the most crucial reserve assets worldwide, alongside government bonds.


However, higher gold imports carry the risk of a high current account deficit (CAD) and Gold is also the preferred mode of avoiding taxes for Hawala Operations.

The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. It works across all parts of the industry, from gold mining to investment, with the aim of stimulating and sustaining demand for gold.

Basmati Rice

Source: Business-Standard


Context:  Government will disallow the blending of more than 15% non-basmati rice with basmati rice for the product that is sold as blended ‘Basmati’ Rice.


Reasons behind the move: Government intends to ensure that the purity of Indian Basmati Rice doesn’t dilute due to excessive blending. Rice blended with more than 15% non-basmati rice will be called ‘blended Rice’ instead of ‘blended Basmati Rice’.


Basmati rice has its origin in the Indian subcontinent and has a unique fragrance (due to 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline). India is the largest producer (over 70% of global production). GI tag has been provided to Basmati grown in some of the states such as Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand etc.

2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline is an aroma compound and flavour that gives freshly baked bread, jasmine rice and basmati rice, the spice pandan, and bread flowers their customary smell.

World Heritage Glaciers (WHG) Sentinels of Climate Change

Source: IUCN, The Hindu

 Context: Recently, UNESCO and IUCN released this report, which outlines 50 world heritage sites and provides suggestions for their protection.


World Heritage glaciers cover almost 10% of the Earth’s glacierized area and play a crucial role in sustaining life on Earth. However, they are retreating at an accelerated rate because of climate change.

E.g. of world heritage glaciers: Dolomites of Italy and on Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as the world’s highest glaciers (near Mt. Everest) and the longest glacier (located in Alaska).


Key observations:

  • A third of the glaciers on the UNESCO World Heritage list is under threat, regardless of efforts to limit temperature increases.
  • Glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures – and are responsible for nearly 5% of observed global sea level rise.
  • It was still possible to save the other two-thirds if the rise in global temperatures did not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era.


  • Urgently need to cut greenhouse gas emissions and invest in nature-based solutions, which can help mitigate climate change and allow people to better adapt to its impacts


A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by UNESCO for its special cultural or physical significance. The list of World Heritage Sites is maintained by the international ‘World Heritage Programme’, administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Digi Yatra’s data privacy

Source: Business-Standards

Context: NITI Aayog seeks clarity from the Centre on Digi Yatra’s data privacy especially related to passenger data storage, compliance with the laws, the trustworthiness of the ecosystem governing Digi Yatra, and a flight boarding system that uses this technology


  • DigiYatra (facial recognition technology) has been operationalised at many Indian airports. The government‘s Digi-Yatra policy is to give a ―seamless, hassle-free, and paperless journey experience to every air traveller in India.
  • It is an industry-led initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • Digi Yatra is a completely voluntary scheme– Where the passengers sign up and consent to use Digi Yatra for the purpose of check-in and boarding, this agreement would have the legal character of a voluntary agreement for the temporary collection, temporary storage, and use of data.


Niti Aayog recommendations: Perform Algorithmic audits, and cyber security audits, prior to system deployment etc.

Kindly click this link for coverage of FRT technologies

Protected system/Critical Information Infrastructure

 Source: The Hindu


Context: The websites and applications related to the decennial Census exercise and the National Population Register (NPR) were recently notified as a “protected system” or “Critical Information Infrastructure” under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2008.


About Critical Information Infrastructure/protected system:

  • According to the IT Act, Critical Information Infrastructure means the computer resource, the destruction of which, shall have a debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety.
  • The IT Act states that the appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare any computer resource directly or indirectly affecting the facility of Critical Information Infrastructure, to be a protected system.

The notification means that any tampering or unauthorised access to the data associated with such a protected system will be punishable by 10 years of imprisonment.

Beaver blood moon

Source: Indian Express

Context: Earth, moon and sun will align to produce a total lunar eclipse for the last time until 2025.


A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth casts its shadow completely over a full moon, blocking the reflection of all direct sunlight from the lunar orb and dimming the colour of the moon to a reddish hue, hence the term “blood moon.”


This is only possible when the orbits of the Earth, moon and sun align so that the moon is directly behind Earth relative to the sun. Otherwise, the moon passes above or below Earth’s shadow because its orbit around Earth is usually tilted relative to Earth’s orbit around the sun.


Why red?

The reddish appearance of the lunar surface – the moon does not entirely disappear from view – is caused by rays of sunlight around the outer edge of the eclipse shadow, or umbra, being filtered and refracted as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere, bathing the moon indirectly in a dim copper glow.

The degree of redness depends on atmospheric conditions that vary with levels of air pollution, dust storms, wildfire smoke and even volcanic ash.


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