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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 1:

1. Mahaparinirvan Diwas: Comparing Ambedkar’s views on Buddhism and Marxism


GS Paper 2:

1. What are exit polls, and what rules govern them in India?


GS Paper 3:

1. The lingering crisis of labour post-pandemic

2. Access and benefit-sharing(ABS) mechanisms


Facts for Prelims:

1. Lusophone world

2. Jagadish Chandra Bose

3. Dominique Lapierre

4. Right to Conversion

5. Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA)

6. National Single Window System (NSWS)

7. SHE STEM 2022

8. Paris Club

9. World Soil Day 2022

10. Invasive Group A Strep (iGAS)

11. New Indian Navy Crest

12. Mapping



Mahaparinirvan Diwas: Comparing Ambedkar’s views on Buddhism and Marxism

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Indian Culture/Political philosophies like communism


Source: IE

 Direction: The article helps to understand the similarities and differences between Marxism and Buddhism.

 Context: The death anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, the Father of the Indian Constitution, is celebrated on December 6 as the Mahaparinirvan Diwas.

Parinirvan: It translates as “nirvana” after death or liberation from the cycles of life and death.

Significance of December 6: Dr Ambedkar died on December 6, 1956, less than 2 months after converting to Buddhism and fulfilling his promise that “I will not die a Hindu

Marxism is a social, political, and economic philosophy named after Karl Marx. It examines the effect of capitalism on labour, productivity, and economic development and argues for a worker revolution to overturn capitalism in favour of communism.


Ambedkar on Buddhism and Marxism:

  • Buddhism is superior to other religions and the Buddha’s path was superior to the prevalent religion-rejecting theory, Marxism.
  • Ambedkar has compared Buddhism to Marxism, claiming that while both seek the same end of a just and happy society, Buddha’s methods are superior.
Buddhism Marxism
Basic philosophy:

●        Function of Religion: To reconstruct the world to make it happy and not to explain its origin or its end.

●        All human beings are equal.

●        Private ownership of property: Brings power to one class and sorrow to another.

●        For a happy and fair society: Sorrow is removed by removing its cause.



Communism: A socioeconomic order that involves the absence of private property, social classes, money and the state.

●        Buddha established Communism (on a very small scale) in Sangh without dictatorship.

Basic philosophy:

●        Function of philosophy: To reconstruct the world and not to explain the origin of the world.

●        Private ownership: Brings power to one class and sorrow to another through exploitation.

●        For a happy and fair society: Sorrow is removed by the abolition of private property.


Communism: Dictatorship of the Proletariat (working class) is the ultimate goal.

Means to achieve a happy and fair society:

●        Buddha was born a democrat and he died a democrat.

●        Moral appeal: His path for believers converts a man by changing his moral inclination to pursue the path voluntarily.

●        Bhikshus, for example, give up all worldly goods, indicating the abolition of private property.


Importance of Religion: The only thing which could sustain the state is Religion.

Means: Violence and Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

●        Snatching private properties of the rich class by force/violence and establishing the rule of the working class.






Religion is anathema (something intensely disliked)


Marxists’ criticism of the above comparison: Marx is so modern and Buddha so ancient.

Criticism of Marxism:

  • The Communists believe that the state will inevitably die. However, they do not address what would replace the state.
  • Communists admit that their conception of the state as a permanent dictatorship is a flaw in their political ideology.


  • Ambedkar is often misunderstood as being anti-religious, despite the fact that he was highly spiritual and aware of the necessity of religion in public life.
  • Marxists can reform Marxism if they keep their prejudices away and study the Buddha.


Insta Links:



Mains Links:

Examine Ambedkar’s critique of Marxism.


Prelims Links:

Consider the following statements:

  1. Kushinagar is the place where the Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana, and is, therefore, an international Buddhist pilgrimage centre.
  2. Kushinagar has the highest population of Buddhists in India.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

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


Solution: 2)


Kushinagar is the place where The Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana in 483 BC, and is, therefore, an international Buddhist pilgrimage centre. However, it has a negligible population of Buddhists.


Ten other districts of UP — Kheri, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Sultanpur, Basti, Mainpuri, Jaunpur, Pratapgarh, Hardoi, and Azamgarh — have larger Buddhist populations than Kushinagar.

What are exit polls, and what rules govern them in India?

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Salient Features of the Representation of People’s Act


Source: IE

 Direction: As exit polls are always in news in India, the article discusses all aspects of exit polls – meaning, regulatory backing, significance, and criticism.


Context: Exit polls for the Gujarat elections are now available, as the results of exit polls for a specific election are not permitted to be published until the last vote has been cast.


About exit polls:

  • Meaning: An exit poll asks voters (surveys can be conducted face to face or online) which political party they are supporting after they have cast their votes in an election.
  • History: In 1957, during the 2nd Lok Sabha elections, the Indian Institute of Public Opinion conducted such a poll.
  • Conducted by: A number of organisations, often in tie-ups with media organisations.
  • How does it differ from an opinion poll? Unlike exit polls, which are post-voting polls/surveys, opinion polls are held before the elections.


Rules governing exit polls:

  • In 1998, the Election Commission of India (ECI) issued guidelines under Article 324 of the Constitution, restricting media from publishing results of opinion and exit polls during a prohibited period.
  • In 1999, the SC stated that in the absence of a statutory sanction, the ECI cannot impose any guidelines prohibiting such polls.
  • The inclusion of Section 126(A) in the Representation of the People Act, 1951, in 2010 imposed restrictions only on exit polls.
    • Section 126(A): No person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicise its results through the print or electronic media, during such period as the ECI may notify in this regard.
    • Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be punished with imprisonment for a term up to 2 years/ a fine/ both.
  • Currently, exit polls can be telecast only after the conclusion of the last phase of the election


Common parameters for a good/accurate exit poll:

  • Large and diverse sample size.
  • A clearly constructed questionnaire with no bias.


Significance of exit polls: Gives an indication of –

  • Who might secure the maximum votes
  • The issues, personalities and loyalties that have influenced voters


Criticism of exit polls:

  • Political parties often allege that these polls are motivated or financed by a rival party.
  • The results can be influenced by the choice, wording, timing of the questions and by the nature of the sample drawn.


Insta Links: Exit polls


Mains Links:

Q. Differentiate between an opinion poll and an exit poll. Do you think these polls can impact free and fair elections by affecting voting patterns? Critically comment. (250 words)

The lingering crisis of labour post-pandemic

 GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to employment


Source: TH

 Direction: The article highlights crises in global and Indian employment scenarios, their impact and remedies.


Context: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently published two reports (The Global Wage Report 2022-2023 and Asia-Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2022) that provided insight into the global employment scenario, including wages, following the pandemic.

What does the report say?

  •  The Global Wage Report 2022-2023: The impact of twin crises – inflation and COVID-19 created a “striking decline” in real monthly wages and economic slowdown around the globe.
    • The war in Ukraine and the global energy crisis further aggravated the situation.
  • The Asia-Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2022: The Asia-Pacific region lost about 22 million jobs in 2022.


Scenario in India:

  • According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the nominal wages rose to ₹17,017 per month in 2021 from ₹4,398 in 2006.
  • But when inflation is taken into account, real wage growth falls to -0.2% in 2021, down from 9.3% in 2006. (in contrast, real wage growth in China was around 2% (2019-2022).


Impact of job loss and decrease in wages:

  • Millions of workers will be in a dire situation: The increasing cost of living has the greatest impact on lower-income earners.
  • Income inequality will rise.
  • Poverty will rise: 75 to 95 million people were pushed into extreme poverty during COVID-19.


Remedies suggested by the ILO:

  • Policy responses to the cost-of-living crisis: For example, in the bargaining process for future nominal wage adjustments, prudent price estimates should be included.
  • Strengthen labour market institutions and wage policies.
  • Governments should focus on the gender pay gap.
  • There is an urgent need to address the negative effects of –
    • Climate change;
    • Increasing inequalities;
    • Poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion;
    • The lack of vaccines, inadequate access to sanitation and essential healthcare for all;
    • Growing digital divide

Way ahead:

  • A multilateral approach is key to solving the labour crises
  • The creation of decent formal wage employment

 Conclusion: The above issues need to be addressed for a more equitable distribution of wages and income – a key contributor to equitable and sustainable wage growth.

How is the word “Wage” defined?

  • It is the total gross remuneration (including bonuses) earned by employees during a given period for time worked/not worked (such as paid leaves).
  • A nominal wage (not inflation-adjusted) is the amount paid by an employer in exchange for labour. A real wage, on the other hand, has been adjusted for inflation.
  • If the nominal wage grows at a slower rate than the rate of inflation, purchasing power will decline.

Insta Links:

India’s big problem of low-quality employment


Mains Links

Q. The covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the economy leading to an increase in unemployment rates across the country. Discuss the steps that are needed to overcome this issue as the economy recovers. (250 words)


Prelims Links:

Identify the institution based on the information given below:

  1. Established as an agency for the League of Nations following World War I.
  2. Established by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
  3. It became the first specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) in the year 1946.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

    1. ILO
    2. World Bank
    3. WHO
    4. IMF


Ans: 1)


About ILO:

  • Established as an agency for the League of Nations following World War I.
  • Established by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
  • It became the first specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) in the year 1946.
  • It got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.
  • It is the only tripartite U.N. agency. It brings together governments, employers and workers.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

Access and benefit-sharing(ABS) mechanisms

 GS Paper 3

Source: DTE


Context: Access and benefit sharing, one of the three objectives of the United Nations Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD), is set to be discussed at its upcoming 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15).


What is ABS?

  • Access and benefit sharing refers to the way in which genetic resources may be accessed, and how users and providers reach an agreement on the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits that might result from their use.
  • Article 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) sets out rules, which govern access and benefit sharing. Under these rules, the governments of countries have two key responsibilities:
  1. To put in place systems that facilitate access to genetic resources for environmentally sound purposes
  2. To ensure that the benefits resulting from their use are shared fairly and equitably between users and providers


Why are access and benefit sharing important?

  • Access to genetic resources can lead to benefits for both users and providers.
  • Access and benefit sharing ensures that the way in which genetic resources are accessed and used
    • maximizes the benefits for users, providers, and the ecology
    • help communities where they are found.
  • To deliver a range of benefits; from basic scientific research, such as taxonomy, to developing commercial products which contribute to human wellbeings, such as pharmaceuticals.



Key agreements

  • Prior informed consent (PIC): Permission given from the CNAs (Competent National Authority) of a provider country to a user prior to accessing genetic resources, in line with an appropriate legal and institutional framework.
  • Mutually agreed terms (MAT): An agreement reached between the providers of genetic resources and users on the conditions of access and use of the resources, and the benefits to be shared between both parties.


About CBD: The CBD is a multilateral treaty aimed at conserving biodiversity, its sustainable use and ensuring “fair and equitable sharing” of the benefits obtained through bioresources.


India’s participation:

  • India became a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1994. 
  • In 2002, India became one of the first countries to enact a law, the Biological Diversity Act, to implement the treaty within its borders. This Act is decentralized for implementation.


Recent Issues:

Only 25 countries have provided 4,344 internationally recognized certificates of compliance (IRCC) to access resources in accordance with CBD guidelines as of November 15, 2022.


Insta Link: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)


Mains Link:

Q. Critically evaluate the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 which is meant to fulfil the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. 15M


Prelims Link:

  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Access and Benefit Sharing
  • Nagoya Protocol
  • Biological Diversity Act,2022



Facts for Prelims

Lusophone world

Source: Indian Express

Context: India is strategically engaging with a new geopolitical grouping: the Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking countries). In line with it, India is hosting the International Lusophone Festival in Goa.

  • Portuguese ruled over Goa between 1510 till 1961.
  • The Lusophone world is spread over nine countries across four continents, and Portuguese is the most widely-spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere.


Jagadish Chandra Bose

Source: PIB

Context: Ministry of Culture organized an “International conference on the contributions of J C Bose” on his 164th birth anniversary (1858-1937).

 His contribution to Science:

  • J C Bose discovered wireless communication and was named the Father of Radio Science
  • He invented Crescograph to measure plant growth
  • He did pathbreaking work on the ‘Millimeter range wavelength Microwaves’
  • Bose Institute (1917) was established by him at Cambridge University for modern research

 His Contribution to India

  • He was the teacher of S N Bose, Meghnad Saha, and P C Mahalanobis
  • He was responsible for the expansion of experimental science in India
  • Freedom struggle: He opposed slavery and discrimination by Britishers using Satyagrah


Dominique Lapierre

Context: Acclaimed French author Dominique Lapierre dies at 91.

 Dominique Lapierre’s deep India connection

  • City of Joy was based on the slums near Howrah in West Bengal.
    • Lapierre set up the City of Joy Foundation and donated a large share of his royalties to it to support humanitarian projects in West Bengal.
  • Five Past Midnight in Bhopal: The Epic Story of the World’s Deadliest Industrial Disaster, traced the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy and the role of Union Carbide in it.
  • Freedom at Midnight is the story of India’s struggle for independence and the great humanitarian tragedy of the Partition.
  • Lapierre was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, in 2008.


Right to Conversion

Context: SC offers to find the solution to ‘deceitful conversions’

The Supreme Court said it would examine veiled intentions behind religious conversions through allurement by offering food, medicines, treatment, etc.

  • Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
  • The MHA has said that the right to freedom of religion does not include a fundamental right to “convert people to a particular religion”.

Insta Links: Karnataka’s draft anti-conversion Bill



Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA)

Context: Print, digital self-regulatory news association gets govt’s approval.

Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA) has been approved as a self-regulatory body for publishers of news and current affairs across the country.

  • It has been approved under rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021
  • The organization will look at grievances related to digital media news content on its platforms.
  • The organization will be headed by former HC Judge Mool Chand Garg.

With Rule 12 of the IT Rules, 2021, the Ministry has approved nine self-regulatory bodies since May 2021. They include DIGIPUB News India Foundation, Confederation of Online Media (India), and NBF- Professional News Broadcasting Standards Authority, among others.


National Single Window System (NSWS)

Context: NSWS to help realize the Prime Minister’s vision of transforming red tape into the red carpet.

  • The platform is built to serve as an advisory tool to identify approvals based on user input and is to be used for guidance purposes only.
  • It is a digital platform to guide you in identifying and applying for approvals according to your business requirements.
  • The system would lead to convergence of all Ministries/ Department and States/ UTs through the “whole of Government approach”.



Context: SHE STEM 2022 encourages students to ‘Unleash their imagination’ as part of the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week.

  • SHE STEM is an annual event to celebrate women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and sustainability.
  • It is organized by the Embassy of Sweden in India in partnership with the Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and the German Centre of Innovation and Research.


Paris Club

Source: Hindustan Times

Context: The Paris Club is a group of officials from major creditor countries whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries.

  • Founded in 1956 with headquarters in Paris (France)
  • India is not a member of the club and acts as an ad-hoc participants


World Soil Day 2022

Source: Economic Times, DTE

 Context: World Soil Day (WSD) is observed every year on December 5, to highlight the value of healthy soil and to promote the sustainable management of soil resources

 Background: UN designated December 5 2014, as the first official soil day

Solutions for soil degradation:

  • Regenerative agriculture: It is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity and improving the water cycle
  • Reversative agriculture (organic or natural farming) — a low-cost approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Organic farming does not use chemicals, but it does increase organic matter content, microorganism population and plant availability of both micro- and macro-nutrients.


New Indian Navy Crest

Context: President of India has approved the introduction of a new design for the President’s Standard and Color and Indian Navy Crest for the Indian Navy on Navy Day on 04 Dec 2022.

 The new design of the President’s Standard and Colour comprises three main constituents –

  • National Flag in the upper left canton adjacent to the staff,
  • State Emblem underscribed with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in Golden Colour on the upper right canton on the fly side, and
  • Navy Blue – Gold Octagon below the Golden State Emblem.

 The new design of the President’s Standard and Colour highlights India’s glorious maritime heritage and also symbolises a powerful, courageous, confident and proud Indian Navy.

The Indian Navy Crest has been amended to replace the foul anchor with a Clear Anchor


Invasive Group A Strep (iGAS)

Context: UK: Six children die of Strep A, a common bacterial infection.

  • Group A streptococcal (GAS) infection is caused by strains of the streptococcus pyogenes bacterium
  • The bacteria can live on hands or the throat for long enough to allow easy spread between people through sneezing, kissing and skin contact
  • Most infections cause mild illnesses such as “strep throat” or skin infections
  • It can also cause scarlet fever and in the majority of cases this clears up with antibiotics
  • On rare occasions, the bacteria can get deeper into the body – including infecting the lungs and bloodstream. It is known as invasive GAS (iGAS) and needs urgent treatment as this can be serious and life-threatening.
  • It usually manifests as high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in an area of the body and unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea.



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