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 takes G20 presidency, key takeaways from the summit in Bali
GS Paper 3:
1. Who should pay for climate damage?
Facts for Prelims:
1. Patan Patola
2. Old Pension Scheme vs NPS
3. The World Population Prospects 2022
4. National Press Day
5. Bribery on the floor of the House
6. District Judges
7. Digital Shakti 4.0
8. Global Skill Summit with Indian Missions
9. Price capping of NLEM drugs
10. LeadIT Summit
11. Climate Change Performance Index 2023 (CCPI)
12. Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership
13. Permanent Commission for women
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Direction: The article covers a brief about the G20 grouping, key takeaways from the Bali summit and the significance of the G20 presidency for India.
Context: The first post-pandemic meeting of the grouping – the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, recently took place in the shadow of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and a missile attack on Poland.
Key five takeaways from the Bali summit:
- The joint statement includes India’s message to Russia: “Today’s era must not be of war” this is a message, which is the result of India’s constructive, cooperative and consensus-building approach, which helped bridge the gap between Russia and the Western countries.
- India got the presidency of the G20: This is the first time the country will be holding (in New Delhi from September 9 and 10, 2023) an international summit of this scale.
- The Indian Prime Minister stated that India’s presidency will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented, as represented by India’s G20 chairmanship theme “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”
- Meeting of the world’s two most powerful economies – US and China: At a time when the ties between their countries have been strained, their meeting is seen as an incremental step towards rebuilding the fractured relationship.
- The divide between Russia and the West is evident: Especially after news of the “Russian-built” missile landing in Poland – a NATO member country.
- Meeting of Indian PM and Chinese President: This was their first public meeting since the India-China border standoff began in 2020.
Significance of G20 presidency for India:
- An opportunity to assume leadership of the Global South.
- Building a global consensus on reforming multilateral organisations such as the UN was the first step toward a new world order for the post-Covid era.
- The growing relevance of the G20 in a world facing challenges like climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
About the G20 or Group of Twenty:
- It is an intergovernmental forum made up of 19 countries as well as the European Union (EU) that aims to address significant global economic challenges such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation and sustainable development.
- The G20, which is made up of the majority of the world’s top economies (both developed and developing), was created in 1999 and has met at least once a year since 2008.
- Because the group has no permanent staff/secretariat, each year in December, a G20 country from a rotating region assumes the Presidency, which is in charge of organising the following summit.
Q. The long-sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalised nations has disappeared on account of its newfound role in the emerging global order.’ Elaborate (UPSC 2019)
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Environmental Conservation: Climate Finance
Direction: This article will help to understand why developed countries are bound to compensate poor countries for climate damage and whether India is eligible to get this compensation. Do understand the ‘Carbon border tax’ and why India opposed it.
Context: While rich countries such as the US, Japan and Canada pledged $20 billion to wean Indonesia off coal at the G-20 summit in Bali, much more has to be done to address climate change.
- At the ongoing COP27 to the UNFCCC in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, countries have agreed to discuss providing financial support to address loss and damage caused by climate change.
- Loss and damage refer to developing countries’ demand for an institutional framework to compensate countries affected by climate change for current environmental damage.
Why compensation (rich world financing poor) has been considered?
- Historical responsibilities of the developed world: Between 1751-2017, 47% of the CO2 emissions came from the US and the EU-28.
- Emissions affecting others disproportionately: For example, a farmer in rural Africa may say that his country has not contributed to emissions in the past, but his agricultural yields are dropping as a result of industrialisation in the US or Russia.
- Emissions have helped a few countries: For example, Canada would see a rise in GDP of 0.3% (about $9 billion a year) as warmer climates spur agriculture and labour productivity.
- Calamity is fast-approaching: According to the UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2022, the world must cut emissions by 45% by 2050 to avoid global catastrophe.
- However, there was little evidence of a concerted global effort to keep emissions low enough to keep global warming within the 1.5°C limits at the COP27 summit.
Emissions in India and efforts to reduce them:
- According to the Emissions Gap Report 2022, India is among the top 7 emitters (others being China, the EU-27, Indonesia, Brazil, the Russian Federation and the U.S.).
- However, in per capita terms, India’s emissions are far lesser (2.4 tCO2e) than others. For example,
- World average per capita GHG emissions were 6.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) in 2020.
- The U.S. is way above this at 14, 13 in the Russian Federation and 9.7 in China.
- For economic development, some GHG emissions are unavoidable. India was responsible for the wording of the agreement on coal in 2021, changing “phase-out” to “phase-down,” which reflects the country’s huge dependence on thermal power.
- In addition to pledging to net-zero emissions by 2070, India has committed to generating 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, lowering GDP emission intensity while increasing forest cover.
Q. What is climate change ‘Loss and Damage’? Should rich nations compensate the poor countries most vulnerable to climate change? State your opinion. (250 words)
Facts for Prelims
- At the G20 summit, the Indian Prime Minister gifted a traditional artwork ‘Patan Patola’ scarf to his Italian counterpart.
- He also gifted ‘Mata Ni Pachedi’ – a handmade Gujarat textile offered in temples, to UK PM; ‘Pithora’ – a tribal folk art from Chhota Udaipur, to the Australian leader.
About Patan Patola:
- The ancient art of double ikat or Patola weaving in pure silk dates back to the 11th century, and the Salvi family of North Gujarat is one of the last practitioners of the declining art form.
- This unique fabric derives from a sophisticated and difficult technique of dyeing or knot dyeing on the warp and weft separately before weaving, known as ‘bandhani.’
- A standard scarf costs between Rs 80,000 and Rs 100,000, depending on the design’s complexity.
Mata Ni Pachedi: It is handmade textile of Gujarat for offering in the temple shrines
Pithora Painting: From Chhota Udaipur (Gujarat), it depicts cave paintings that tribes used to make. It is a ritualistic painting done on the walls by the Rathwa, Bhils and Bhilala tribes.
Old Pension Scheme vs NPS
Context: Experts see some political parties’ announcements in the run-up to elections to switch to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) as bad politics and bad economics.
National Pension Scheme (NPS):
- The NPS is a voluntary and long-term retirement investment plan administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
- It was launched in January 2004 for government employees and it was decided to discontinue defined benefit pensions/OPS for all employees who joined after April 1, 2004.
The Old Pension Scheme:
- It was discontinued in 2004, however, it guaranteed life-long income after retirement.
- Typically, the insured amount is equal to 50% of the most recently drawn salary
- The expenditure incurred on the pension is borne by the government
The World Population Prospects 2022
Context: According to World Population Prospects 2022, the human population reached 8 billion on November 15.
Highlights of WPP 2022:
- The global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950 (<1% in 2020) and could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050.
- More than half of the projected increase in the global population will be from 8 countries – the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.
- The growth of population is a testament to humanity’s achievements (reductions in poverty, and gender inequality; advancements in health care, and education), but brings in both challenges and opportunities, particularly for India.
How is India placed?
- India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023, with prospects to reap the demographic dividend (median age – 28.7 years for India, 38.4 for China, 48.6 for Japan).
- India’s population stands at 1.412 billion in 2022 and is projected to have a population of 1.668 billion in 2050.
- India will continue to have one of the world’s youngest populations until 2030, and is currently in a demographic window of opportunity – a “youth bulge,” that will last until 2025.
- The 2022 Revision of World Population Prospects (WPP) is the 27th edition of official United Nations (UN) population estimates.
- It is prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat and presents population estimates from 1950 to the present.
National Press Day
Context: India celebrates 16th November as National Press Day every year and the day is observed in honour of the Press Council of India (PCI).
About the National Press Day:
- History: The PCI was founded on November 16, 1966, and since then, every year on November 16th, the National Press Day has been held to commemorate the foundation of the council.
- Significance of the day:
- The freedom of the press is an essential aspect to maintain the independence, and integrity of the press as it is often referred to as the voice of the voiceless, a connecting link between the rulers and those who are ruled.
- The day is meant to mark the presence of the free and responsible press in India.
About PCI: It is responsible for examining the quality of reportage from the Indian media, while also keeping a check on other journalistic activities and is traditionally chaired by a retired Supreme Court Judge.
Bribery on the floor of the House
Source: Hindustan Times
Direction: This is a classic case where parliamentary immunity is being misused by the parliamentarian. Know the content of article 105 and article 122
Context: Calling it a “constitutionally correct” principle, the Central government backed the Supreme Court a 1998 ruling that shields MPs and MLAs from prosecution ( under Article 105 ) if they accept bribes in lieu of their votes
Background of the case:
10 MPs belonging to the JMM and the Janata Dal took bribes on the floor of the house to cast their votes to defeat a no-confidence motion moved in the Lok Sabha against the minority government of Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in 1993
In 1998 by 3-2, the Supreme Court in the Narasimha Rao case held that MPs and MLAs were screened from prosecution in such cases under parliamentary immunity granted under Article 105(2) of the Constitution
Source: Live Mint
Context: CJI has said that the district judiciary is a cornerstone of the judicial system and district judges aren’t subordinates. They belong to the district judiciary.
Steps suggested to ensure modern and equal judiciary:
- Attitudinal changes as to how superior court judges look at the district judiciary
- Making the process of “listing” matters transparent and objective
- Employing technology to eliminate the element of human interface in the listing process
- Better infrastructure including women’s toilets at district courts
Digital Shakti 4.0
Direction: Major initiatives towards women and weaker sections becomes important for UPSC
Context: National Commission for Women together with CyberPeace Foundation and Meta (parent company of Facebook) launched Digital Shakti 4.0 to create safe cyberspace for women and girls, making women digitally skilled
- Digital Shakti has been accelerating the digital participation of women and girls by training them to use technology to their advantage and to keep themselves safe online.
- The initial phase was launched in 2018
Global Skill Summit with Indian Missions
Direction: We have given it here since it is the 1st such initiative for India. Also, Indian migrant workers have been in news due to the FIFA world cup in Qatar.
Context: Different ministries have organized 1st virtual global skill summit with an Indian mission in ten countries to facilitate overseas mobility of the skilled Indian workforce, in line with the government’s vision of making India the skill capital of the world.
Government initiatives for skilling of Indian workers:
- India International Skill Centre: It ensures International workforce mobility opportunities for Indians
- NSDC International: To ensure overseas employment through specific programmes
- Skill India International Project: To help in skilling, certification and overseas employment of Indian
- International Partnership:g. Trainer-Assessor Academies with Singapore; UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) etc.
- The NEP 2020 has set the goal of exposing at least 50% of learners of the school and higher education systems to vocational education
Price capping of NLEM drugs
Source: Indian Express
Context: Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, which is responsible for ensuring the pricing cap, has brought 34 new essential medicines (in NLEM) under its pricing regulation.
While the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare revises the National list of Essential medicines (NLEM), the cap on its pricing is decided by NPPA under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
Significance of the move:
- It will help ensure availability at cheaper rates
- The listed drugs are essentially required to be stored in bulk in all the hospitals to ensure their availability.
- The list is revised based on the consultation with stakeholders, the cost of the medicines, and their effectiveness.
How are the prices decided?
The ceiling price is determined by calculating the average price to retailers of all generics and branded generics with a market share of more than 1% and then adding a small retailer margin to it.
NPPA ( under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers) was set up in 1997 under the Drugs (Prices Control) order, 1995, to fix/revise prices of controlled bulk drugs and ensure their availability.
Direction: The Summit becomes important for UPSC as India is part of it and has been launched in COP27
Context: Leadership for Industry Transition (LeadIT) Summit 2022 hosted by India and Sweden at COP27, with a focus on low carbon transition of the hard-to-abate industrial sector.
It gathers countries and companies that are committed to action to achieve the Paris Agreement. It was launched by the governments of Sweden and India at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019 and is supported by the World Economic Forum. LeadIT members subscribe to the notion that energy-intensive industries can and must progress on low-carbon pathways, aiming to achieve net-zero carbon emissions
Climate Change Performance Index 2023 (CCPI)
Source: Economic Times
Direction: You may go through it once. Can quote data in the Mains answer.
Context: India has gained 2 places (to rank 8/63 countries) in the recently released CCPI by GermanWatch, New Climate Institute and Climate Action Network (all three are environment NGOs). The jump can be attributed to India’s low emissions and the increasing use of renewable energy.
CCPI evaluates 59 countries +EU, which together generate over 92% of global greenhouse gas emissions, on their implementation record of Paris commitments.
The criterion used: GHG emissions, use of renewable energy, energy use and climate policy.
Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP)
Direction: There are 100s of initiatives launched at COP27. Since India is not part of this initiative, the partnership may not be important for UPSC exams. Just go through it once. Do remember Bonn challenge related to it.
Context: 26 countries together with EU launched FCLP at COP27 to unite actions by government, business and community leaders to halt forest loss and land degradation by 2030
- India is not part of it
Permanent Commission for women
Direction: Know what is Permanent Commission, Short Service Commission and previous SC judgments regarding it.
Context: SC has directed IAF and central government to consider granting Permanent Commission (PC) to 32 retired women officers
PC means a career in the army till the age of retirement. In short service Commission, the period of service is limited to 10 years (+ 4 years extension).
Benefits of PC: Full-time pension benefits and other allowances.
In a landmark verdict on February 17, 2020, the Supreme court directed that women officers in the Army be granted a permanent commission, rejecting the Centre’s stand on their “physiological limitations” as being based on “sex stereotypes” and “gender discrimination against women”
Women were allowed in the armed forces in 1992 in non-medical roles. Currently, women are allowed in all branches of the Indian Air force (IAF), all non-seagoing branches of the Indian Navy and 10 branches of the Indian Army.
Source: Economic Times
Direction: This is a technical term used in many places. Here ‘whitelisting’ has been used in the context of cybersecurity.
Context: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) uses whitelisting of email addresses, IP addresses, and domain names in order to allow them to be used while denying others, so as to curb cyber fraud
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has formed a joint committee of financial regulators, including officials from RBI and SEBI to effectively curtail the growing menace of phishing and cyber frauds through a process involving whitelisting.
Whitelisting locks down computers so only approved applications can run. In essence, the user has access to only a limited set of functionality, and what they can access has been deemed safe by the administrator.