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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. Inclusion of Dalit Christians, Dalit Muslims in SC list

2. India’s counter-terror diplomacy and challenges ahead


GS Paper 3:

1. Loss and damage funding officially included in the COP27 agenda


GS Paper 4:

1. Death in US gene therapy study – Ethical issues


Content for Mains Enrichment

1. Blue Therapy

2. Nushu: The secret language men don’t know


Facts for Prelims:

1. Bailey K. Ashford Medal

2. G20 Logo: Significance of Lotus

3. Fodder-centric FPOs

4. Nicobar project

5. Greenwashing

6. Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC)

7. International Drought Resilience Alliance

8. Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

9. Mapping

Inclusion of Dalit Christians, Dalit Muslims in SC list

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Polity


Source: The Hindu

 Context: Case for the inclusion of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims on the list of Scheduled Castes is being heard in the Supreme court.

In 2019 rejected the possibility of including Dalit Christians as members of SCs.

Central Government justification for the exclusion of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims from the Scheduled Castes list are:

  • “Foreign” origins of Islam and Christianity as opposed to Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism (although the government has not directly said so)
  • The identification of Scheduled Castes is centred around a specific social stigma [and the connected backwardness with such stigma] that is limited to the communities identified in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950
  • Scheduled Castes converts to Buddhism embraced Buddhism voluntarily at the call of Dr Ambedkar in 1956 on account of some innate socio-political imperatives. The original castes/community of such converts can clearly be determined.
    • However, this cannot be said in respect of Christians and Muslims who might have converted on account of other factors, since the process of conversions has taken place over the centuries


Article 14 forbids class legislation but does not forbid classification.

 Who is included in the Constitution Order of 1950?

  • The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order of 1950: recognised only Hindus as SCs.
  • Amendments 1956 and 1990:
    • Included Dalits who had converted to Sikhism(1956)
    • Included Dalits who had converted to Buddhism(1990).
    • Both amendments were aided by the reports of:
      • Kaka Kalelkar Commission in 1955
      • High Powered Panel (HPP) on Minorities, SC/ST in 1983.


Why are Dalit Christians excluded?

  • The practice of “untouchability: It was a feature of the Hindu religion and its branches, not Islam or Christianity.
  • The Registrar General of India: It had cautioned the government that SC status is meant for communities suffering from social disabilities arising out of the practice of untouchability.
  • A mandate in rules for inclusion: It was framed in 1999 and requires RGI approval.
    • Amendment to include Buddhist converts as SCs was passed in 1990.
  • Clause (2) of Article 341 for inclusion: Dalits who converted to Islam or Christianity belonged to different caste groups, as a result of which they cannot be categorised as a “single ethnic group(required for inclusion)”.


Case for inclusion:

  • Several Independent Commission reports: They have documented the existence of caste and caste inequalities among Indian Christians and Indian Muslims.
  • Casteism: Even in Sikhism and Buddhism, casteism is not present and yet they have been included as SCs.
  • Advocate representing Dalit Christian bodies: Empirical evidence did not exist for including Sikh or Buddhist converts either and yet they were included as SCs.


Registrar General of India:

  • Established in 1949 under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • To develop a systematic collection of statistics on the size of the population, its growth, etc.
  • Later, this office was also entrusted with the responsibility of implementing of Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 in the country.
  • It arranges, conducts and analyses the results of the demographic surveys of India including the Census of India and Linguistic Survey of India.


Insta Links:

Scheduled Caste

National Commission for Scheduled Castes


Mains Links:

Q. Whether the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in religious minority institutions. Examine. (UPSC 2018)


Prelims Links:

  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
  • Registrar General of India
  • Article 341
  • Minorities
  • Kaka Kalelkar Commission


With reference to National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), consider the following statements;

    1. It is a statutory body that works to safeguard the interests of the scheduled castes (SC) in India.
    2. The Commission has powers to set up special courts for the speedy trial of offences under the Civil Rights Act.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

      1. 1 only
      2. 2 only
      3. Both 1 and 2
      4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)


  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) is a constitutional body that works to safeguard the interests of the scheduled castes (SC) in India.
  • Article 338 of the constitution of India deals with this commission.
  • A key monitoring activity performed by the Commission pertains to the setting up of special courts for the speedy trial of offences under the Civil Rights Act and the Atrocities Act.

India’s counter-terror diplomacy and challenges ahead

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests


Source: The Hindu

Context: The decision to host the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (UNSC-CTC) is one of several events planned by the Government of India to strengthen its counter-terror diplomacy.


How India is strengthening its counter-terror diplomacy?

  • Last month (October), the Special Meeting of the UNSC-CTC was hosted by India in Mumbai and Delhi, focussing on new and emerging technologies .
  • Later this month (November), New Delhi will host the third edition of the No Money for Terror (NMFT) conference for tackling future modes of terror financing.
  • Next month (December), India will chair a special briefing on the Global Counter-Terrorism Architecture, looking at the challenges ahead.
  • However, it is critical to evaluate some of the current challenges, particularly when the world is dealing with the war in Europe, COVID-19 and the global recession.


Challenges ahead for India:

  • The foundation of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) is an unequal approach:
    • For example,
      • USA’s counter-terrorism efforts post-9/11 attack differs from its recent approach to negotiate with the Taliban and then withdrew from Afghanistan.
      • Pakistan was recently removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list.
    • This shows that counter-terrorism cooperation will become less cooperative in the future and counter-terrorism regimes such as UNSC Resolutions 1267, and 1373, will become ineffective.
  • Increasing global division over the Russia-Ukraine conflict:
    • It is not only shifting the focus from terrorism but is also blurring the definition of what constitutes terrorism.
      • For example, drone attacks by Yemeni Houthis on the UAE’s oil infrastructure were condemned as terrorist attacks while drone attacks on Russian ships in a port used for loading grain were not.
    • This division has rendered the UNSC unable to pass any meaningful resolutions as they are vetoed either by Russia, western members or China.
      • For example, India’s proposal for the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) has made very little progress due to a lack of consensus over the definition of terrorism.
    • Emerging technologies used for terrorism purposes:
      • Drones, biowarfare and Gain-of-Function (GoF) research to mutate viruses and vectors, artificial intelligence (AI) systems and robotic soldiers makes it even easier to perpetrate mass attacks while maintaining anonymity.
      • Terror financing uses bitcoins and cryptocurrency and terror communications use the dark web.


Way ahead:

  • Terrorist acts of the future will grow more and more lethal. Thus, developing a global consensus on –
    • What constitutes terrorism,
    • Regulating the use of emergent technologies by all responsible states is the need of the hour.
  • Reducing global inequality, food and energy shortages, and adverse impacts of climate change and pandemics needs to be on the top of the agenda of the international community.

Conclusion: As the host of these counter-terrorism meetings, India must set the global narrative of not only fighting the “last war” on terrorism but also preparing for the next.


Insta Links:

Terrorism Measures- Institutional and Legal Framework

Loss and damage funding officially included in the COP27 agenda

GS  Paper 3

Syllabus: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests


Source: DTE

 Context: At the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, countries have agreed to discuss providing financial support to address loss and damage caused by climate change.



  • Climate change driven by humans has already warmed the earth by 1.1 degrees Celsius, and millions of people are now feeling the effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather events.
  • This means that certain climate change losses and damages are unavoidable.
  • The decision to discuss loss and damage at COP27 follows recent climate disasters in Europe (worst drought in 500 years), Pakistan (worst ever flooding) and heat waves in many regions of the world.


About Loss and damage:

  • It is used in UN climate negotiations to express the effects of climate change that outweigh people’s ability to adapt.
  • It is disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities, making addressing the issue a matter of climate justice.
  • While the UNFCCC has not defined loss and damage precisely, it is caused by extreme weather events (cyclones, droughts, heatwaves) and slow-onset changes (sea level rise, desertification, ocean acidification).
  • Climate change damages can be classified as economic losses or non-economic losses (such as loss of life).


Evolution of the concept:

  • The appropriate response to loss and damage has been debated since the early 1990s when the UNFCCC was founded.
  • Establishing accountability and compensation for loss and destruction has long been an aim for the most vulnerable Least Developed Countries Group.
  • However, historically blamed for the climate catastrophe, rich countries have overlooked the concerns of vulnerable countries.
  • Following extensive pressure from developing countries, the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss and Damages was founded in 2013 with no funding mechanism.
  • However, during the 2021 COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, a 3-year task force was established to consider a funding arrangement for loss and damage.
  • So far, Canada, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland and the Belgian province of Wallonia have all expressed interest in loss and damage funding.


Significance of including loss and damage in the main agenda of COP27:

  • This will have the effect of mainstreaming the issue, requiring more frequent talks and progress.
  • This has reignited the fight for justice on behalf of communities that have lost their livelihood.



  • Inclusion on the formal agenda is just the beginning and the actual provision for climate disaster compensation is still a long way away.
  • Getting the rich and developed nations to contribute money has been a challenging battle.
  • Also, calculating loss due to climate change is difficult.


Way ahead:

  • The COP27 must agree to create a Loss and Damage Finance Facility to help people and nations recover from the effects of climate change.
  • India-backed Mission LiFE – a global mass effort to re-establish the delicate balance between man and nature – must be the primary strategy for combating climate change.


Insta Links:

We need a forest-led COP27

Death in US gene therapy study – Ethical issues

GS Paper 4

Syllabus: Application of Ethics


Source: Associated Press

Context: The lone volunteer in a unique study involving a gene-editing technique has died – this has raised concerns regarding the cause behind and ethical issues behind gene editing technology.


Terry Horgan, a 27-year-old died last month. He was under trial with a gene-editing tool called CRISPR to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the rare, genetic muscle-wasting disease which is caused by a mutation in the gene needed to produce a protein called dystrophin. Most people with Duchenne die from lung or heart issues caused by it.


About Gene Editing:

It is a type of genetic engineering in which DNA is inserted, deleted or replaced in the genome of an organism using artificially engineered nucleases, or “molecular scissors. 

Ethics of Gene Editing:



Insta Links:

Q. What are the ethical concerns involved in gene editing technology? Discuss. (10M)

Content for Mains Enrichment

Blue Therapy

Context: Ten years after researchers first found that “blue spaces” could be good for us, the concept is proving to be a powerful, practical tool for mental health.

 Importance of Nature for Humans:

The loss of human-nature interaction has been linked to a rising tide of mental health disorders. A growing body of evidence indicates that human health, both mental and physical, is intrinsically linked to nature.

Just looking at natural scenery has been found to cause rapid beneficial psychological and physiological changes in salivary cortisol, blood flow, blood pressure and brain activity. Meanwhile, contact with microbes in the environment can “train” our immune systems, reinforcing the good microbial communities on our skin and in our airways and guts.

Nushu: The secret language men don’t know

Direction: This example can be used in – the preservation of culture.

 Context: Nushu – a 400-year-old script invented to allow women to communicate with each other without men’s understanding – has taken on new significance today.


Initially scrawled on the ground with wok ashes using tree branches, the script was later written on folding fans or embroidered on handkerchiefs, and evolved into poetry.


Nushu – a secret language invented in China’s Hunan province, to help peasants in secluded villages deal with conditions in which their feet were bound and they were confined to their chamber rooms.

While Nushu is being preserved as a cultural artefact, it meant much more to its practitioners – and its role is still important today.

Facts for Prelims

Bailey K. Ashford Medal

Source: Live Mint


Context: For his outstanding research and contributions to tropical medicine, prominent Indian physician and scientist Dr Subhash Babu have received the prestigious Bailey K. Ashford Medal for 2022. In its 82-year history, the award has never been given to an Indian scientist or an Indian institution for work.


The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), the largest scientific organization in tropical medicine in the world, present the medal annually to one or more mid-career researchers for distinguished work in tropical medicine.


He is the Scientific Director of the ICER (International Centre for Excellence in Research)-India Programme. He is a pioneer in research on helminth infections and tuberculosis.

G20 Logo: Significance of Lotus

Source: Indian Express

Context: India is set to assume the presidency of G20. In this context, it unveiled the logo, theme and website of India’s G20.

  • Lotus: India’s national flower, Lotus having 7 petals, represent seven continents of the globe and also seven notes of music.
  • G20: It is the vibrant colours of India’s National Flag- Saffron, white and green.
  • Blue Earth: Represent India’s pro-planet approach to life, one in perfect harmony with nature.

 G20 (formed in 1999 (in view of the Asian Financial Crisis)) aims to secure global economic security. The presidency rotates every year. The work is coordinated by representatives of G20 countries, known as ‘Sherpas’- who work together with the finance ministers and central banks of respective countries.

Fodder-centric FPOs

Source: Indian Express


Context: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has decided to promote FPOs, primarily fodder-centric, and animal husbandry activities as a secondary activity (fodder plus model).

This will be under the scheme of formation and promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and implemented by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

  • NDDB will form 100 FPOs during 2022-23.

Previously, the Wholesale Price Index-based fodder inflation soared to a nine-year high of 25.5 per cent in August 2022.

NDDB is a statutory body, founded by Dr Verghese Kurien, formed with the objective to boost, finance and support producer-owned and controlled organisations in the dairy Industry. NDDB implements National Dairy Plan (NDP) as a central sector scheme.

Nicobar project

Source: The Hindu

 Context: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has granted an in-principle clearance for the diversion of 130.75 sq km of forest in Great Nicobar Island for the Nicobar project (includes a transhipment port, an airport, a power plant and a greenfield township).

  • The project implementation agency is the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation (ANIIDCO).


Concern Raised: 8.5 lakh trees will have to be cut in Great Nicobar for this project. The area is nearly 15% of the thickly forested Great Nicobar Island that is spread over 900 sq km.

  • Endemic species such as the Nicobar shrew, the Nicobar long-tailed macaque, the Great Nicobar crested serpent eagle, the Nicobar paradise flycatcher and the Nicobar megapode may be impacted.

 Great Nicobar: Great Nicobar is the southernmost island of the Nicobar Islands Archipelago. It has the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve. The Mongoloid Shompen Tribe, about 200 in number, live in the forests of the biosphere reserve, particularly along the rivers and streams.


Source: The Hindu

Context: The U.N.’s chief called for an end to a “toxic cover-up” by companies as a sweeping report said they cannot claim to be net zero if they invest in new fossil fuels, cause deforestation or offset emissions instead of reducing them.

E.g. Coca-Cola Company — one of the biggest plastic polluters in the world — is the official provider and supporter of the year’s biggest climate change conference. Activists and commentators have called Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the world’s biggest climate summit a ‘greenwashing exercise’.

 Other examples: Instead of reducing emissions itself, Switzerland is going to other countries — ones that have very low emissions (e.g. Ghana) — to help them reduce carbon emissions and earn carbon credit to fulfil their own obligation of carbon reduction.

  • At last year’s global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Bolivian President Luis Arce called the idea tantamount to “carbon capitalism.”

Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly.

Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC)

 Source: Business-Standard

Context: Spearheaded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in partnership with Indonesia, MAC was launched at the COP27 Summit in Egypt to scale up and accelerate the conservation and restoration of the mangrove forests.

  • India along with Australia, Japan, Spain and Sri Lanka have joined it as partners.

 Mangrove forests, also called mangrove swamps, mangrove thickets or mangals, are productive wetlands that occur in coastal intertidal zones. Mangrove forests grow mainly at tropical and subtropical latitudes because mangrove trees cannot withstand freezing temperatures.

Mangroves in India: Mangrove cover in India is about 0.15% of the total geographical areas. (West Bengal> Gujarat> Andaman and Nicobar Islands). Largest mangrove forest in India is Sundarbans (UNESCO world heritage site) followed by Bhitarkanika (Odisha).

International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA)

Source: DTE

 Context: Spain and Senegal led 30 countries and 20 organisations to launch the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) at COP27, with the aim to help each other to be better prepared for future droughts.


Drought-prone districts in India comprise nearly 1/6th of this country in terms of area. These areas receive an annual rainfall of around 60 cm or less.


Drought represents the most serious hazard to livestock and crops in nearly every part of the world. It ranks among the greatest threats to sustainable development, especially in developing countries, but increasingly so in developed nations too.


The 2022 droughts in Europe, United States, Australia, Chile, the Horn and southern Africa, showed that no country or region is immune to their impacts.

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

Source: DTE

Context: The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) recently announced a 5-year program – Executive Action Plan of Early Warnings for All – to carry forward the proposal of the India-backed Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

  • Under the program, a $3.1 billion investment has been proposed between 2023-27 to improve infrastructure and capacity in early warning systems in order to prevent the damage caused by the growing number of climate disasters.

About CRDI:

  • CRDI is an international forum backed by India and launched by the Prime Minister of India during the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York in 2019.
  • CDRI (secretariat in New Delhi) is an endeavour to bring countries together to share and learn from experiences in protecting essential infrastructure from disasters.

 About WMO:

  • It is a specialised agency of the United Nations (headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland) responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics.
  • It evolved from the International Meteorological Organisation (an NGO created in 1873), culminating in the 1947 World Meteorological Convention, which formally established the WMO.
  • The Convention took effect in 1950 and the WMO began operations the following year as an intergovernmental (made up of 193 countries) organisation within the UN system.


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