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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. New draft digital data protection bill: How it compares with the older version and laws elsewhere


GS Paper 3:

1. COP27 ends; loss and damage fund, other agendas adopted


Facts for Prelims:

1. Gandhi Mandela Award

2. Marie Tharp

3. Tonga volcanic eruption reshaped Pacific seafloor

4. “16 Days of Activism” against gender-based violence

5. World Children’s Day


7. Right to choose the life partner of his/her choice

8. Mega Write-Offs – Data

9. Network Readiness Index 2022

10. PM Kisan Scheme

11. Exemption for ISRO

12. Global Methane Assessment

13. Regulation of hunting of Shark fins

14. Mapping



New draft digital data protection bill: How it compares with the older version and laws elsewhere

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government policies and issues arising out of it


Source: TH

 Direction:  Previously we have seen the key provisions of the new Bill. These are extra points and will help in understanding how the new Bill differs from its older version and data protection laws around the world.

 Context: The draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, was recently opened by the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) for public comments.


How the 2022 Bill differs from its older version:

  2022 Bill 2019 Bill Conclusion
Personal data Completely inapplicable to data processed manually Only excluded data processed manually specifically by small entities The new Bill provides a lower degree of protection
Data localisation Relaxes data localisation rules and permits data to flow to certain global destinations, based on their data security landscape Mandated enterprises to keep a copy of sensitive personal data within India and prohibited the transfer of critical personal data from the country The new Bill made the changes to address the concerns expressed by IT firms
Regulation of social media and non-personal data Drops provisions to regulate non-personal data (information that does not reveal the identity of an individual) and social media Included  
The right to post-mortem privacy Included No such provision It would allow the data principal (users) to nominate another individual in case of death or incapacity
Territorial application of the law Excludes data processing by Indian data fiduciaries that collect and process personal data outside India, of data principals who are not located in India Included Impact statutory protections available for clients of Indian start-ups operating overseas, thus impacting their competitiveness
Penalty The focus is more on financial penalties Criminal conviction


Data protection laws in other geographies:

  • EU model:
    • In the EU, the right to privacy is enshrined as a fundamental right, protecting an individual’s dignity and her right over the data she generates.
    • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a comprehensive data protection law, has been criticised for being stringent, but it serves as the model for most legislation produced globally.
  • US model: Privacy protection is largely defined as “liberty protection” focused on the protection of the individual’s personal space from the government.
  • China model: New Chinese laws on data privacy and security gives Chinese data principals new rights as it seeks to prevent the misuse of personal data.


Conclusion: Though the new data protection bill of India is significantly simpler this time excluding non-personal data, it will require several modifications before it is practical.


Insta Links:

New draft digital data protection bill tabled for comments


Mains Links:

Q. Critically analyse the provisions of the Data protection bill. Mention the changes suggested by various committees on the data protection bill.

COP27 ends; loss and damage fund, other agendas adopted

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment (Conservation-related issues)


Source: DTE

 Direction: The article highlights the agenda, and outcomes of COP27. We have previously done a few articles on this, but this article shows the final outcome of COP27.

 Context: All agendas, including the loss and damage fund and the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan, were adopted during the UNFCCC COP27 closing ceremony in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.


  • Delegates from 197 countries (all are of the Paris Climate Accord) gathered at the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27).
  • They came together to find a solution to prevent global temperatures from reaching 2 degrees Celsius above the long-term average temperature between 1951 and 1980.

What was on the agenda of COP27?

  • Mitigation:
    • The goal of mitigation is to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.
    • However, despite making big commitments such as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), progress since COP26 has been severely inadequate (Emissions Gap Report 2022).
  • Adaptation: According to the Global Climate Risk Index, developing and poor countries (Mozambique, South Sudan, India, etc.) were the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2019.
    • Over $350 million and $600 million were pledged to the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund, at COP26.
    • These efforts, however, must be backed up by political will.
  • Finance: At the 2009 COP15 meeting, developed countries agreed to pledge $100 billion per year by 2020 (extended until 2025 during COP21) to assist developing countries in dealing with climate change. However, this has not occurred.
  • Collaboration: There is the need to call upon governments, public society and the private sector to collaborate to change the way humans interact with the world.

 Outcomes of the COP27 on these agendas:

  • The Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan: It emphasised that a global transition to a low-carbon economy will require at least $4-6 trillion in annual spending.
  • Mitigation work programme: This would begin this year and last until 2030. Governments were requested –
    • To revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their national climate plans by the end of 2023.
    • To accelerate efforts to phase down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
    • To reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) in applicable sectors through increased renewable and low-emission energy.
  • Loss and damage (L&D): COP27 adopted the basic demand of a fund to acknowledge assistance needed for particularly vulnerable developing countries. However, there is no agreement yet on how finance should be provided and where it should come from.
  • Fossil fuels: India wanted to include a commitment to phase down all fossil fuels (and not just coal). But the resolution failed.
  • Other outcomes:
    • The New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate finance and the Global Goal on Adaptation, which is equivalent to the global goal on mitigation of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    • The CMA (countries who have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement) also adopted Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which allows countries to voluntarily cooperate with each other to achieve emission reduction targets set out in their NDCs.
    • World Bank Reforms: recapitalisation of the development banks to allow them to provide far more assistance to the developing world

 Challenges ahead:

  • No contributions have been pledged to the L&D fund.
  • Extra burden on the developing countries. They have been asked to revise their climate action plans (NDCs), with progressively stronger actions every year.
  • Developed countries have failed to meet their commitment. For example, mobilising a relatively small sum of USD 100 billion per year.

 Way ahead: To provide funding for mitigation and adaptation, the financial system and its structures and processes will need to be transformed, involving governments, central banks, commercial banks, institutional investors and other financial actors.


Insta Links:

Loss and damage funding officially included in the COP27 agenda


Mains Links:

Q. Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by the India conference? (UPSC 2021)


Prelims Links:

Consider the following statements regarding Green Climate Fund (GCF).

  1. It is a fund established within the framework of the UNFCCC.
  2. The Fund’s investments can be in the form of grants only.
  3. GCF has established a direct access modality so that national and sub-national organisations can receive funding directly, rather than only via international intermediaries.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 1, 2 only

c) 1, 3 only

d) All of the above


Solution: c)

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

It was set up by the countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, as part of the Convention’s financial mechanism.

GCF’s activities are aligned with the priorities of developing countries through the principle of country ownership, and the Fund has established a direct access modality so that national and sub-national organisations can receive funding directly, rather than only via international intermediaries.

The Fund’s investments can be in the form of grants, loans, equity or guarantees.


Facts for Prelims

Gandhi Mandela Award

 Source: IE

 Context: The Tibetan spiritual leader – Dalai Lama (14th), was recently conferred the Gandhi Mandela Award 2022.


  • The leader is the recipient of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The Dalai Lama has developed his philosophy of peace based on the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature.

About the Gandhi Mandela Award:

  • The Gandhi Mandela Foundation – a government of India registered Trust, NGO, has constituted an international prize – the Gandhi Mandela Award, on the 150th birth anniversary (2019) of the Father of the Nation, MK Gandhi.
  • The award is given to personalities who have carried forward the legacies of Gandhi and Mandela by making significant contributions in the fields of Peace, Social Welfare, Culture, Environment, Education, Healthcare, Sports and Innovation.


Marie Tharp

Source: Economic Times


Context:  Marie Tharp was a geologist and cartographer whose groundbreaking maps of the Atlantic Ocean floor (including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and rift valley). This was further evidence for continental drift theory. Her research paved the way for plate tectonics.

 Continental drift is the hypothesis that the Earth’s continents have moved over geologic time relative to each other, thus appearing to have “drifted” across the ocean bed. By Alfred Wegner

 Plate tectonics is the generally accepted scientific theory that considers the Earth’s lithosphere to comprise a number of large tectonic plates which have been slowly moving since about 3.4 billion years ago



Tonga volcanic eruption reshaped Pacific seafloor

Source: BBC

Direction: The Qn on Tonga Volcano has been asked in UPSC. Be aware of the basics of the volcano (including underwater ones).

 Context: Tonga Eruption Seabed Mapping Project (TESMaP) has said that the eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano on 15 January 2022 was the largest recorded since the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 (Indonesia).


  • Atmosphere: It sent ash and water vapour halfway to space, and generated tsunami waves across the globe.
  • On the seafloor: It is scoured and sculpted by violent debris flows out to a distance of over 80km.
  • Pyroclastic density currents: Hot lava when comes in contact with cold water of the ocean creates water vapour at very high temperatures. This creates a frictionless steam cushion on which lawa could flow at very high speed and to a very far distance.

Four ways water is displaced due to underwater volcano (thus causing tsunami):

  • By the density flows pushing the water out of the way
  • Through the explosive force of the eruption also pushes on the water
  • As a result of the dramatic collapse of the caldera floor (it dropped by 700m in the case of Tonga Volcano)
  • By pressure waves from the atmospheric blast acting on the sea surface.



“16 Days of Activism” against gender-based violence

Source: The Hindu

Context: The 16 Days of Activism run annually from November 25, which is International Day of Violence against Women, to December 10, which is International Human Rights Day.

The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

 The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action or BPfA is a landmark document for advancing the rights of women and gender equality worldwide agreed upon during the 4th World Conference on women in 1995.

India’s role to fight gender-based violence:

  • Indian women received universal suffrage during India’s independence in 1947.
  • India has also ratified key international conventions to end discrimination against women that include the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
  • Women have overcome “the glass ceiling” in the armed forces and can also serve as commanders since 2020.
  • The ‘Nari Shakti for New India’ campaign represents the aspirations of millions of women in India, who not only participate but lead development initiatives. 


World Children’s Day (20th November)

Source: PIB

Direction: Go through it once.

 Context: National Commission for Protection of Child Rights ( NCPCR)  launched the “Training Modules for the Child Welfare Committees (CWCs)Protocols for Restoration and Repatriation of Children” along with the GHAR – GO Home and Re-Unite (Portal for Restoration and Repatriation of Child) on the occasion of World Children’s Day ( 20th November).

  • Theme for the World Child Rights Day is “Inclusion of Children

Other initiatives for Children

  • MASI Portal of NCPCR
  • Baal Swaraj Portals of NCPCR
  • Amendments brought in the Juvenile Justice Act to make it more child friendly
  • PM CARES for Children Scheme around 4345 children were identified who had lost
  • both of their parents(s) during the COVID pandemic.

Children constitute 40 per cent of our population but they are 100 per cent in terms of making the future of our nation




Source: Live Mint

Context: National Education Society for Tribal Students (NESTS) and ( 1 Million For 1 Billion)  1M1B Foundation have signed MoU to train teachers and students of Eklavya Model Residential Schools

  • The programme will skill teachers and students with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) using the AR-VR skills curriculum launched by CBSE.

 Eklavya Model Residential Schools: EMRS is a scheme for making model residential schools for Indian tribals (ST- Scheduled Tribes) across India. It started in the year 1997-98 and comes under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

1M1B is a social innovation and future skills initiative aimed at redefining education in a conventional sense and aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Established in the USA in October 2014, 1M1B is a United Nations accredited to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

  • It aims to activate 1 million leaders who will impact 1 billion people to become instrumental in taking ownership of their futures and advocating for justice in an innovative way


Right to choose the life partner of his/her choice

 Source: IE

 Context: The Madhya Pradesh HC restrained the state government from prosecuting (under the MPFRA) adult citizens who solemnise marriage on their own will, in a decision that provided relief to interfaith couples seeking to marry.


  • In 2020, the state government announced its intention to curb religious conversions carried out solely for the purpose of marriage.
  • The new law prohibits unlawful conversion from one religion to another by use of any fraudulent means, allurement or promise of marriage
  • Cases under the Act are cognisable (which means an arrest can be made without a warrant) and non-bailable and violators face between 1-5 years of imprisonment.

Verdicts of different HCs:

  • MP: Section 10 of the MPFRA, which requires those planning to convert and the priest who will perform the conversion to notify the district magistrate 60 days in advance, appears to be unconstitutional
  • Gujarat: Such regulations interfere with the intricacies of marriage, including an individual’s right to choose, and thereby violate Article 21 of the Indian Constitution

Article 25 says “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health.


Mega Write-Offs – Data

Source: Indian Express

Context: As per the RBI, banks have been able to recover only 13% of  NPA in the last five years and over Rs 10 lakh crore was written off.

 Loan Write-Off: A loan write-off means that the loan account is not closed, which means that the lender can try to recover the loan amount with the help of a legal entity.

Loan Waiver-off: When a loan is waived-off, the bank will not attempt to take any legal action against the borrower to recover the loan. E.g. farm loan waiver.

 Once a loan is written off by a bank, it goes out from the asset book of the bank. The bank writes off a loan after the borrower has defaulted on the loan repayment and there is a very low chance of recovery. The lender then moves the defaulted loan, or NPA, out of the assets side and reports the amount as a loss.

Non-Performing Assets – NPA: A loan becomes an NPA when the principal or interest payment remains overdue for 90 days. Description: Banks are required to classify NPAs further into Substandard, Doubtful and Loss assets.


Network Readiness Index 2022

Source: Live Mint

Direction: There will be 100s of reports. Don’t need to know every one of them. For prelims just go through it once. For mains, know one major report in each theme of the syllabus wherever applicable.

 Context: India is now placed at 61st rank (out of 134 countries) as per the Network Readiness Index 2022 (NRI 2022). It improved its position by 6 ranks

  • Network readiness is a key indicator of how countries are doing in the digital world
  • The report has been prepared by the Portulans Institute, an independent non-profit, nonpartisan research and educational institute based in Washington DC

India leads in several indicators such as 1st rank in “AI talent concentration”, 2nd rank in “Mobile broadband internet traffic within the country” etc.

United States takes the 1st spot from the Netherlands (4th) as the most network-ready society

Note: It is different from Networked Readiness Index by WEF.


PM Kisan Scheme

Source: The Hindu

Direction: PM KISAN is the flagship scheme of the present government. Do know the structure and provisions of this scheme.

 Context: The number of beneficiaries the under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme has fallen by 67%  (from nearly 11.8 cr to about 3.8 crs) in the last three years.


  • Union Agriculture Minister said it states are in charge of maintaining the list of beneficiaries
  • Several layers of verification: The data of farmers uploaded by states go through portals of UIDAI, PFMS, Income Tax portal and NPCI



Exemption for ISRO

Source: Economic Times

 Direction: Not so important. Go through it once.

 Context: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has exempted the national space organisation (ISRO) from the “operation of all provisions of the explosives rules, 2008, for manufacturing, storage, use and transportation of Solid Propellant for Space Rockets falling under UN Class 1 (Explosives)

Need for exemption:

  • ISRO has all the expertise to handle explosive material. Hence, it was felt that they need not be subject to PESO inspections and approvals multiple times.
  • ISRO also had such an exemption prior to 2008. So, it was decided to restore the same

Impact: the latest exemption means that Isro will not need approvals and inspection from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisations (PESO) on solid propellant usage and manufacture.

PESO, earlier known as the Department of Explosives, regulates the safety of hazardous substances including explosives, compressed gases and petroleum in the country. It was established in the 1890s and has its HQ in Nagpur (MH).


Global Methane Assessment

Source: DTE

Direction: Global methane pledge is important

Context: Methane emissions to rise 5-13% by 2030 from 2020 levels under a business-as-usual scenario

  • Anthropogenic-caused Methane is responsible for nearly 45 per cent of current net warming
  • The amount of methane in the atmosphere is 260% of pre-industrial levels

 The Global Methane Assessment: 2030 Baseline Report was launched at COP27 and is produced by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and UNEP.

Methane (CH4) is a hydrocarbon that is a primary component of natural gas. Methane is also a greenhouse gas (GHG), having 80 times more warming potential than CO2 but a short life of 12 years. India is the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gas methane.

 The Global Methane Pledge was announced last year at CoP26. The goal is to slash global methane emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030. India is not part of the pledge.



Regulation of hunting for Shark fins

 Source: DTE

 Context: COP19 for CITES voted to limit or regulate trade in nearly 100 species of sharks and rays by putting it in CITES Appendix II.

  • Under Appendix II, a permit or certificate authorising international trade in specimens of species listed in it can be granted by relevant authorities.

About the CITES:

  • CITES (Secretariat – Geneva), also known as the Washington Convention, is an international legally binding agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not endanger the survival of the species.
  • With 184 Parties currently (India since 1976), CITES is one of the conservation treaties with the most members (which are legally obligatory on the Parties) that came into force in 1975
  • Plant and animal specimens are categorised into three Appendices under CITES based on their extinction risk
  • The Convention requires governments to restrict the trade of all listed specimens and the possession of live animal specimens through permits



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