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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 National Geospatial Policy, 2022

2. NCW issues memo on prevention of sexual harassment


GS Paper 3:

1. With a large start-up ecosystem, India is a big market for cloud services

2. What lies ahead in 2023 – A new social media, Metaverse, and more AI?


GS Paper 4:

1. President’s note for IPS probationers


Content for Mains Enrichment

1. Punjab renames 56 govt schools with caste tag


Facts for Prelims

1. Tidal disruption event

2. Cooperative society

3. Vibrant Village Programme (VVP)

4. Basmati rice

5. GNB1 Encephalopathy

6. Mapping



The National Geospatial Policy, 2022

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government policies and Intervention


Source: Live Mint


Context: After liberalizing the use of geospatial data under the draft geospatial data policy in February 2021, the Ministry of Science and Technology has notified the National Geospatial Policy, 2022.



About the policy:

“The National Geospatial Policy, 2022 is a citizen-centric policy that seeks to strengthen the geospatial sector to support national development, economic prosperity and a thriving information economy

  • Aim: The 13-year guideline promote the country’s geospatial data industry and develops a national framework to use such data for improving citizen services, and more.
  • Themes: The policy has divided 14 Geospatial Data Themes to support the development of commercial geospatial applications in various sectors e.g., disaster management, mining, forestry etc.
  • Technology Infrastructure:
    • Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure (GKI):
      • The government will establish an Integrated Data and Information Framework by 2030 (to develop GKI)
      • The government will also establish National Digital Twin (for high-resolution topographical survey and mapping by 2035)
    • Institutional Infrastructure:
      • Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee(‘GDPDC’) will be constituted for formulating and implementing guidelines, strategies, and programs for the promotion of activities related to the Geospatial sector.
      • Will put in place a legal framework (by 2025) that supports the liberalization of the geospatial sector, and democratization of data for enhanced commercialization with value-added services.

Significance of the policy:

  • Increased Coverage: Government has opened its geospatial data and services offered by government agencies, academic and research institutions, private organizations, NGOs, and individuals.
  • No prior approval required: Government has removed the requirement for prior approval, security clearance, or other restrictions on the management of geospatial data
    • Self-Certification will be sufficient for adherence to the guidance
  • Freehand at Processing of geospatial data: Anyone can process the acquired geospatial data, build new applications and solutions using it and use it for profit (except for defence or security-related data)
  • Multi-dimensional Applications: E.g., economy, sustainable national development initiatives, Agriculture etc.
  • Focus on ‘local’ relevance: The Policy recognizes the importance of locally available and locally relevant Maps and Geospatial Data
  • Promoting Start-ups:The Policy enables and supports innovation, creation and incubation of ideas and start-up initiatives in the Geospatial sector
  • Support India’s ‘Blue Economy’: By 2035, the policy will include mapping of sub-surface infrastructure in major cities and towns across India, and the development of accurate bathymetric geospatial data (resources and economy of inland waters, and sea surface topography of shallow and deep seas)



Applications of Geospatial data (in the Agriculture and Allied sector):

  • Drive private participation and competitiveness in Agritech
  • Wider Adoption of Precision farming: Precision farming combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and Big Data.
  • Wider Adoption of Locational data: While the global positioning system (GPS) locates precise crop locations, the global information system (GIS) stores this data.
    • This data later helps in Crop scouting, Soil sampling, Weed location, accurate planting, and harvesting.
  • Better crop forecasting: The previous restriction on geospatial data had limited use of remote sensing data maps such as NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index).
    • 4 Rs approach to reduce nutrient losses from farming systems (the Right Product, at the rightrate, at the right time, and at the right place)
  • Better implementation of Government schemes such as PM Fasal Bima Yojana and ‘Per Drop more Crop’: Geospatial data will assist the BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) segment to understand the risk better and underwrite loans and insurance products.
  • Increased Landholding size: Along with the SWAMITVA scheme, the geospatial data will help in the pooling of lands by farmers. This will drive wider adoption of Commercial and Precision Farming in India
  • Allow development of ecosystem markets:
    • g., the GIS nitrogen trading tool is used to assess the effects of the implementation of conservation practices on reductions in nitrate leaching and GHG emissions that could be traded in air and water quality markets


Allied sectors

  • Fisheries: better geospatial data will drive more targeted and deeper fishing opportunities, thus helping in the economic upliftment of fishermen
    • It will help bridge the infrastructure gap as envisaged under PM Matsay Sampada Yojana
  • Dairy: Geospatial data can help in better grazing grounds for cattle and their management
  • Minor Forest Produce: Tribal collection of MFP and marketing of their products can be advanced using geolocation data in deep forests
    • g., MoEF & CC is using LiDAR technology to map out water requirements within the forest
    • Ridge-to-valley approach: It seeks to detain, divert, store and use available rainwater using geospatial data

Other Government initiatives in this direction:

SWAMITVA Scheme (Survey of Villages and Mapping); Drone sector (The Drones Rules 2021); India opened its space sector to private entities and 5G technology; PM Gati Shakti Masterplan (Infrastructure development is powered by geospatial technology); Digital Ocean platform (for the management of our oceans)

Insta Links

Geospatial data policy liberalized


Mains Link

Q. Democratizing geospatial data will enable the rise of new technologies & platforms that will drive efficiencies in agriculture and allied sectors. Discuss (15M)

Q. What is Geo-Spatial data? Comment upon the present Policy on Geospatial Data in the country while emphasizing the liberalization aspect (10M)


Prelims Link:

  1. What is geospatial data?
  2. Applications.
  3. Policy on geospatial data.
  4. Recent changes.

NCW issues memo on prevention of sexual harassment

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions and Bodies constituted for the Protection and Betterment of these Vulnerable Sections


Source: TH


Direction: The article covers the salient features of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.


Context: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has asked all states to ensure that coaching centres and educational institutes strictly enforce the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.


The Commission has also asked:

  • To conduct awareness programmes on the Act among all stakeholders in order to ensure that cases of sexual harassment at work are reported responsibly and effectively.
  • To ensure that these coaching centres are registered with the relevant authorities and a background check is conducted on those responsible for running the centres.


The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013:


  • The Vishakha Guidelines were issued by the Supreme Court (in Vishakha and others v. The State of Rajasthan 1997) with the primary goal of creating a framework for workplace sexual misconduct redress and grievance processes.
  • The Act of 2013 was motivated by these guidelines.


About the Act of 2013:

Objective: Its goal is to safeguard women’s rights at work and make the workplace a safer place for them. It also serves as a platform for both avoiding and addressing problems.


Provisions of the Act:

  • It is applicable to all sectors including organised and unorganised sectors.
  • It defines a workplace as an extended space by covering any place visited by an employee during the course of his or her employment which would include transportation, etc.
  • Internal Complaint Committee (ICC): Any corporation or organisation with more than 10 employees to establish an ICC to hear and address sexual harassment allegations.
  • Local Complaint Committee in each district where there are less than 10 workers.
  • Duties of employer: The employer must disclose the legal repercussions of engaging in sexual harassment-related activities, as well as the composition of the ICC.
  • Penalties: If an employer fails to comply with the regulations, a penalty of Rs. 50000 may be imposed, and the licence may be revoked.


Procedure to be followed:

  • An aggrieved female has 3 months (according to the SC, this can be extended) to make a written complaint with the ICC.
  • Before initiating an investigation, the committee can try to resolve the matter through mediation.
  • While directing the investigation (to be completed in 90 days), the Committee has the same authority as a civil court and works as per the Natural justice principles.


Loopholes and issues in the law:

  • Not a gender-neutral law.
  • Legislation is very vague in respect of the ICC constitution (includes only personnel from the company itself).
  • Necessary steps against malicious complaints would discourage women from coming forward.


Conclusion: A law as revolutionary as Sexual Harassment of Women in the Workplace will have huge social implications, if public awareness, sensitivity and robust implementation are ensured.


National Commission for Women (NCW):
  • It is a statutory body of the Government of India that was founded on January 31, 1992, by the National Commission for Women Act, 1990.
  • Its mandate is to:
    • Review the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women;
    • Recommend remedial legislative measures;
    • Facilitate redressal of grievances and
    • Advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.
  • Functions:
    • Investigate and examine all issues concerning the protection provided to women under the Constitution and other legislation.
    • Report on the effectiveness of those safeguards to the Central Government.
    • Make recommendations in such reports for the effective application of those protections.
    • Propose corrective legislative actions to address any flaws in laws.
    • Investigate complaints and take suo moto action in cases involving the denial of women’s rights.


Insta Links:

Prevention of sexual harassment or POSH Act


Mains Links:

Q. “Though women in post-Independent India have excelled in various fields, the social attitude towards women and the feminist movement has been patriarchal.” Apart from women’s education and women empowerment schemes, what interventions can help change this milieu?” (UPSC 2021)

With a large start-up ecosystem, India is a big market for cloud services

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life


Source: TH

 Direction: The article tries to explain cloud computing, its significance for India and the way ahead to promote the cloud computing ecosystem in India.


Context: AWS or Amazon Web Services, one of India’s largest providers of cloud-based services, has provided start-up credits that allow aspirant startups to use a suite of services from computing, storage and hosting for free.



  • India has the world’s third-largest startup Over the last 5 years, the number of registered startups in India has grown from 452 in 2016 to 84,012.
  • While startups in India span a variety of industries from financial tech, gaming and health tech, several are based in the cloud – the servers and data storage accessible via the internet.
  • Data-storage companies are offering a slew of incentives to draw and retain these cloud-based start-ups on their platforms.


What is cloud computing? It is the on-demand delivery of IT resources (computing power, storage, and databases) over the Internet with pay-as-you-go (pay for a service before you use it) pricing, from a cloud provider like AWS.


Who is using cloud computing? Organisations of every type, size, and industry are using the cloud for a wide variety of use cases. For example, video game makers are using the cloud to deliver online games to millions of players around the world.


Types of cloud computing: The three main types of cloud computing include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).



Benefits of cloud computing:

  • Agility: The cloud gives one easy access to a broad range of technologies so that one can innovate faster and build nearly anything that one can imagine.
  • Elasticity: With cloud computing, one doesn’t have to over-provision resources upfront to handle peak levels of business activity in the future.
  • Cost savings
  • Deploy globally in minutes


Cloud services and their importance in India:

Potential: The cloud computing market in India is predicted to develop at a rate of 28.1% between now and 2027.


 Promoting e-governance:

  • Cloud computing can further the motive of e-governance – service delivery, transparency, citizen awareness and grievance redressal, by providing a faster, easier and cost-effective platform that can be used by multiple government agencies.
  • “GI Cloud” – ‘Meghraj’, by the Government of India to harness the benefits of cloud computing.
    • The focus of this initiative is to accelerate the delivery of e-services in the country while optimising ICT spending of the Government.


Promoting startup ecosystem:

  • An increasing number of small and medium-sized businesses in India are rapidly shifting towards cloud computing which is emerging as the major driving factor for the marke
  • As cloud services can simulate experiments on the cloud, run tests, and learn from failed attempts, it has helped “compress” the lifecycle of a startup, allowing them to become more innovative.
    • For example, HealthifyMe, which developed an app called ‘Vaccinate Me,’ allowed feature phones to book close to 50 million vaccination appointments.
  • Cloud services are increasingly connecting to start-ups located in tier 2 and 3 cities providing training to even those with minimal education in cloud computing skills.


Conclusion: The way ahead lies in taking due care of security, interoperability, licensing, reducing the digital divide, etc, to promote the cloud computing ecosystem in India.


Insta Links: Cloud Computing


Mains Links:

Q. Discuss the advantage and security implications of cloud hosting of servers vis-a-vis in-house machine-based hosting for government businesses. (UPSC 2015)


Prelims Links

With reference to “Software as a Service (SaaS)”, consider the following statements: (UPSC 2022)

    1. SaaS buyers can customise the user interface and can change data fields.
    2. SaaS users can access their data through their mobile devices.
    3. Outlook, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail are forms of SaaS.


Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3


Answer: D

All three statements are correct. SaaS allows each user to access programs via the Internet. Outlook, Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail are forms of SaaS

What lies ahead in 2023 – A new social media, Metaverse, and more AI?

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life


Source: IE


Direction: The article highlights new technological breakthroughs that await in 2023 and the opportunities and challenges they pose. The article also covers a study that points out the adverse impact of social media.



  • Around the same time last year (December 2021), India was on the verge of a major technological shift – the transition to 5G.
  • Because the year 2022 has only reinforced our reliance on technology, we will try to figure out what big tech breakthrough awaits us in 2023.


Trends to look out for in 2023:


More intelligent, more pervasive AI

  • ChatGPT has shown the world that conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is an idea whose time has come.
  • ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an OpenAI chatbot that was released in November 2022.
  • It is based on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 family of large language models and is customised using both guided and adaptive learning techniques.


Fig: Application of ChatGPT for classifying reviews


Time for post-social:

  • As Facebook’s user base becomes older by the year, younger users are preferring new platforms like Discord, where conversations happen more in closed groups than in virtual town squares.
  • The evolution of such platforms is already challenging traditional methods of monetising social media engagement.



Internet becoming more regional:

  • As the Internet spreads to new users, especially in countries like India, it is also becoming more localised and multilingual.
  • The English language internet appears to have peaked around the world, prompting companies like Google to focus more on the potential to serve smaller, regional languages.
  • Provides an opportunity to test new technologies that can solve more localised problems and the one-size-fits-all features will be limited.




  • The Metaverse is defined as a spatial computing platform that offers digital experiences as an alternative to or replica of the real world.
  • It also offers key civilizational aspects such as social interactions, currency, trade, economy, and property ownership – all built on the foundation of blockchain technology.
  • Expect a more commercial version of the Metaverse to be accessible to regular users during the year. However, the big disruptor could be an affordable device (say, a smartphone) that logs users into the Metaverse easily.


Related news: Social media prevents ‘profound boredom’ and that is harmful

Source: IE


Context: According to a new study, using spare time with senseless scrolling through never-ending social media feeds may be preventing people from discovering new passions and meaningful activities.


Background: The research was carried out at a time when governments enforced several restrictions on people’s movement due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and they were forced to stay home.


Findings of the study:

●        Constant usage of social media does not allow consumers to enter a state of profound and severe boredom, which promotes creative and innovative thinking.

●        Instead, it confines them to a state of superficial fatigue.


Insta Links: Metaverse


Mains Links:

Q. COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented devastation worldwide. However, technological advancements are being availed readily to win over the crisis. Give an account of how technology was sought to aid the management of the pandemic. (UPSC 2020)

President’s note for IPS probationers

GS Paper 4


Source: The Hindu

Context: The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu addressed the probationers of the 74th Batch of the Indian Police Service at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad.



Policing is essential for maintaining law and order and the smooth functioning of society. The absence of a professional code of ethics creates a scenario where it is easy to be a moral opportunist and use unethical conduct as a means of career advancement.



President’s note:

  • The police are the most visible organ of the government.
  • The quality of their leadership would determine the effectiveness and morale of the force led by them. She advised them to keep in mind and demonstrate through action, the five fundamental attributes of Integrity, Impartiality, Courage, Competence and Sensitivity.
  • Police officers are going to play the role of change agents in India’s achieving greater prosperity while ensuring sustainable development, especially inclusion.
  • Nari Shakti has to play a major role in achieving the targets we have set for ourselves during the ‘Amrit Kaal’. A truly ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, pre-supposes ‘Atmanirbhar Nari’.



Why Police Ethics are different?

  • Life and liberty are fundamental moral values. While making any moral decisions, the police have to consider a complex array of conditions. For any action taken by a person, they have to see the motivation and intentions of the action and its consequences. They have to do their jobs in accordance with the laws that are in place at that time,
  • Police may be required to face danger or hostility in order to do their duty; police officers are likely to experience a range of emotions including fear, anger, suspicion, excitement, and boredom largely than people in other occupations. To act effectively as police, they must be able to respond to these emotions in the right way, which requires them to be emotionally intelligent.

Insta Links:

Indian Police and Ethics

Mains Link:

Q. Discuss some of the ethical issues surrounding a modern police job. (250 words) 


Content for Mains Enrichment

Punjab renames 56 govt schools with caste tag

Source: Indian Express

 Context: The Punjab government has ordered to rename of 56 state-run schools that had reference to any caste or community in their existing name.

An analysis of the list shows that the majority of 28 schools had ‘Bazigar’ attached to their names, mainly because they are located in colonies inhabited by the population from the Bazigar community. Bazigar is a notified Scheduled Caste community in Punjab.

The Punjab government’s move to remove reference to caste or community from school names assumes significance in a state where casteism remains deep-rooted, especially in rural areas where there still exists separate gurdwaras and cremation grounds for people from Scheduled Castes.


The schools have now been renamed either after the village they are located in, or after some local hero, martyr, or a known personality. For instance, the Government Primary School, Balmiki Mohalla in Block-3 of Samana (Patiala) has been renamed as GPS Bhim Rao Ambedkar Mission.



Facts for Prelims:

Tidal disruption event

Source: The Hindu

Context: Telescopes operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently observed a massive black hole devouring a star.


The astronomical phenomenon of the destruction of a star by a black hole is formally called a tidal disruption event (TDE)



About TDE:

  • A tidal force is a difference in the strength of gravity between two points. If the tidal force exerted on a body is greater than the intermolecular force that keeps it together, the body will get disrupted.
  • During a TDE, the tidal force of a black hole disrupts the star in the vicinity. While about half of the star’s debris continues on its original path, the other half is attracted by the black hole’s gravitational pull. The gradual growth of this material bound to the black hole produces a short-lived flare of emission, known as a tidal disruption event.
  • The event is formally called AT2021ehb and took place in a galaxy with a central black hole about 10 million times the mass of our sun.
  • TDEs are attractive to astronomers because of their observability and short duration, and the opportunity to study the impact of black holes’ gravity on materials around them.


Cooperative society

Source: PIB, PIB


Context: Union Home and Cooperation Minister Shri Amit Shah inaugurated Mega Dairy at Mandya, Karnataka


Key points highlighted:

  • The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and Ministry of Cooperation will establish primary dairy in every panchayat of the country in the next three years
  • Amul and Nandini together will work towards setting up a primary dairy in every village of Karnataka and in three years there will not be a single village in Karnataka without a primary dairy
  • To bring transparency in cooperatives computerization of 63,000 PACS is being done across the country at a cost of Rs 2,500 crore
    • Through PACS (Primary Agricultural Credit Society) the cooperative covers 70% of the farmers in the country


Cooperatives in Karnataka:

  • Nearly 23 lakh farmers, mostly women, are paid Rs 28 crore per day under the Nandini brand in Karnataka which is making their life more prosperous
  • The first cooperative society in the whole country was established in Karnataka in 1905 and the cooperative movement started from there (Cooperative in banking was 1st established in 1903 in Bengal)
  • Today there are 15,210 village-level cooperative dairies in Karnataka, in which about 26.22 lakh farmers deliver their milk daily through 16 district-level dairies and Rs 28 crore goes into the accounts of 26 lakh farmers every day

Cooperatives in India:

  • Out of 30 lakh cooperatives in the whole world, 9 lakh cooperatives are in India
  • 91% of the villages of the country’s population are connected to the cooperative i
  • Contributions: 19% of our agriculture finance is through cooperative societies, 35% through fertilizer distribution, 30% through fertilizer production, 40% through sugar production, 13% wheat and 20% paddy procurement is through cooperatives only
  • Cooperative is Production for Masses, Production by Masses
  • Successful models: Amul, Kribhco, IFFCO, and Lizzat Papad have set a successful example in front of the world
  • The White Revolution in Gujarat has changed the fortunes of farmers and through Amul, 60,000 crore rupees are deposited into the bank accounts of about 36 lakh women annually


Other Government Schemes:

  • A separate ‘Ministry of Co-operation’ with the vision of ‘Sahkar se Samriddhi’(Prosperity through Cooperation)
  • Ksheer Bhagya scheme: Karnataka Government is providing free milk to schools and Anganwadi 5 days a week through cooperatives (KMF).


Constitutional provisions:

  • The Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011 added a new Part IXBright after Part IXA (Municipals) regarding the cooperatives working in India.
  • Article 19(1)(c): The word “cooperatives” was added after “unions and associations” in Article 19(1)(c). This enables all the citizens to form cooperatives by giving it the status of the fundamental right of citizens
  • Article 43Bwas added in the Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV) regarding the “promotion of cooperative societies”


Vibrant Village Programme (VVP)

Source: The Hindu

Context: Union Home Minister asks border-guarding forces to strengthen Vibrant Village Programme and ensure welfare programmes are implemented


Key points highlighted by HM: Soldiers on the ground and fencing were necessary but borders can be truly secured when “we create villages with people who are concerned for the country”


About the VVP:

  • It was announced in the 2022-23 budget with an aim to enhance the infrastructure in border villages along India’s border with China.
  • Activities include Housing, Tourism promotion, Road Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, livelihood generation etc.
  • Promotes community knowledge in the border management


Other similar initiatives: Border Area Development Programme (BADP); Border Infrastructure and Management Scheme etc.




Basmati rice

Source: DTE


Context: The new authenticity rules aim to remove sub-standard varieties from the market


What are the issues about?

India produces nearly three-quarters of the world’s basmati, however, a huge number of newly cultivated varieties lack the unique popcorn-like fragrance that helps to make this rice so sought after.


So, UK and EU rice associations have introduced new rules that will come into effect at the beginning of 2023 that aim to take lesser varieties (sub-standards) of basmati off the market.


Which rice qualifies as Basmati Rice?

To qualify as basmati, grains must meet certain standards related to things like fragrance ( due to the BADH2 gene), grain length and width, as well as cooked texture. They must also have a mid-range level of amylose, a part of the starch in the rice.


Since 2017, the Indian Patent Office has given GI tag for Basmati rice, thereby protecting the exclusivity of the long-grain fragrant rice across the world.



GNB1 Encephalopathy

Source: Economic Times


Context: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, Tel Aviv University and Columbia University are studying a rare genetic brain disease called “GNB1 Encephalopathy” and trying to develop a drug to treat it effectively.


About GNB1 Encephalopathy:

GNB1 Encephalopathy is a kind of neurological disorder, which affects individuals in the foetus stage.
Scientists say delayed physical and mental development, intellectual disabilities, and frequent epileptic seizures, are among the early symptoms of the disease


A single nucleotide mutation in the GNB1 gene that makes one of the G-proteins, the “Gβ1 protein,” causes this disease.


Children born with GNB1 mutation experience mental and physical developmental delay, epilepsy (abnormal brain activity), and movement problems.




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