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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 ina 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 Paper2:

  1. Parliament is ‘North Star’ of democracy, says Vice-President
  2. Poor literacy linked to worse mental health problems: Study


GS Paper 3:

  1. Generative AI: What are the potential applications and ethical concerns?
  2. Going green: On Budget 2023’s and India’s net-zero commitment


GS Paper4:

  1. Ethical Values from the life of Public Servants


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Right to be Defenceless


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)
  2. Paris Club
  3. Additional surveillance mechanism
  4. Sickle Cell Disease
  5. Space Debris
  6. With frigid innovation, scientists make a new form of ice
  7. Current insight on the mechanisms of Cobra venom cytotoxins can help anti-venom therapy
  8. World Wetlands Day: In Andhra Pradesh, efforts on to save a unique wetland near Visakhapatnam
  9. Mapping


Parliament is ‘North Star’ of democracy, says Vice-President

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Parliament – Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of this/Separation of Powers


Source: TH 

Direction: The controversy over whether the Basic Structure Doctrine or Parliament is the “north star” of democracy is highlighted in the article.


Context: Stepping up the legislature versus judiciary debate, the Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman during the Parliament’s sitting stated that Parliament is the “north star” of democracy.


Polaris/North Star stays in roughly the same place in the sky – directly above Earth’s north pole, and therefore it’s a reliable way to find the direction of the north.



  • This comes days after the CJI‘s statement, calling the basic structure doctrine a “north star” that gives direction to interpreters and implementers of the Constitution.
  • The VP has been consistent in criticising the judiciary for “overstepping its boundaries” and has also questioned the landmark 1973 Kesavananda Bharati case verdict on the basic structure doctrine.
  • According to the VP, the verdict had set a “bad precedent” and if any authority questions Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution, it would be difficult to say we are a democratic nation.


Role of the Parliament:

  • Parliament is the essence of democracy – participation by people in the decision-making process and government by consent.
  • It is a place for debate/discussion/deliberation to realise the aspirations and dreams of the people.



  • To Select the National Government
  • To Control, Guide and Inform the Government
  • Law-Making


Issues faced by the Indian Parliament:

  • While the Parliament’s productivity has gone up, it faces several challenges –
    • Frequent disruptions
    • Sharply dipping the number of bills being referred to parliamentary committees;
    • Shrinking space for the opposition;
    • Increasing recourse to ordinances; and
    • The bypassing of the Parliament on several important initiatives.
  • Judicial activism or the judiciary’s proactive engagement in defending citizens’ rights, is a practice born out of the Indian Parliament’s inefficiency and inaction.
  • As a result, there is debate over whether the Judiciary (SC, HCs) or Parliament should have the upper hand.


Parliament vs Judiciary
The tussle over/Reasons Implications Solution
●        Powers of Judicial Review (Article 12, 32)

●        Fundamental Rights vs DPSP

●        Decline of Parliament

●        Basic Structure

●        Collegium System

●        NJAC, etc

●        Environment of distrust

●        Struggle for power

●        Judicial overreach

●        People’s rights suffer due to a mismatch between expectations and realisation


●        All branches should respect the doctrine of separation of powers (Article 50)

●        Judicial Restraint

●        Improving overall governance

●        MoP for judicial appointments needs to be finalised soon



The Parliament is the essence of democracy, while the basic structure doctrine is the bedrock and spirit of democracy and we all are soldiers of democracy. Therefore, all have a defined role to play in a Parliamentary democracy like India.


Insta Links:

The doctrine of Separation of powers


Mains Links:

Resorting to ordinances has always raised concerns on violation of the spirit of the separation of powers doctrine. While noting the rationales justifying the power to promulgate ordinances, analyse whether the decisions of the Supreme Court on the issue have further facilitated resorting to this power. Should the power to promulgate ordinances be repealed? (UPSC 2015)


Prelims Links: (UPSC 2021)

We adopted parliamentary democracy based on the British model, but how does our model differ from that model?

  1. As regards legislation, the British Parliament is supreme or sovereign but in India, the power of the parliament to legislate is limited.
  2. In India, matters related to the constitutionality of the Amendment of an Act of Parliament are referred to the Constitution Bench by the Supreme Court.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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


Ans: 1

Poor literacy linked to worse mental health problems: Study

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Issues relating to Education/Health/Poverty/Hunger


Source: TH



  • According to a recent study in India, people with poor literacy face more mental health problems such as loneliness, depression and anxiety.
  • It is the first such study to look at the global picture of literacy and mental health.


Highlights of the study:

  • Despite rising literacy rates over the past 50 years, there are still an estimated 773 million adults globally who can’t read or write.
  • Literacy rates are lower in developing countries and those with a history of conflict, and women, who account for two-thirds of the world’s illiterate, are disproportionately affected.
  • People with more literacy tend to have better social outcomes in terms of finding employment, being paid well, and being able to afford better food and housing.
  • Lower literacy is related to poorer health, chronic diseases and shorter life expectancy.
  • Thus, little or no literacy holds a person back throughout their life and they often become trapped in poverty or more likely to commit a crime.


Significant association between mental health and literacy:

  • People with lower literacy had greater mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression.
  • Literacy may be impacted by a number of factors, such as poverty or living in a region with a history of conflict, which can affect mental health.



Insta Links:

Making mental health a public health priority


Mains Links:

Q. “Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples. (UPSC 2021)

Generative AI: What are the potential applications and ethical concerns?

GS Paper 3


Source: The Hindu, PIB


Direction: We had already covered Generative AI previously; the points given here are only the unique points that we didn’t cover previously.


What is Generative AI:

  • Generative Artificial Intelligence refers to the capability of artificial intelligence-enabled machines to use existing text, audio files, or images to create new content.
  • The software uses complex machine learning models to predict the next word based on previous word sequences, or the next image based on words describing previous images. “Large language model” – LLMs began at Google Brain in 2017, where they were initially used for the translation of words while preserving context.
  • Since then, large language and text-to-image models have proliferated at leading tech firms including Google (BERT and LaMDA), Facebook (OPT-175B, BlenderBot), and OpenAI, a nonprofit in which Microsoft is the dominant investor (GPT-3 for text, DALL-E2 for images, and Whisper for speech).


Benefits of Generative AI:

  • Automated content generation
  • Improved content quality
  • Increased content variety
  • Personalized content


Generative Adversarial Network:

A generative adversarial network (GAN) is a machine learning (ML) model in which two neural networks compete with each other to become more accurate in their predictions. GANs typically run unsupervised and use a cooperative zero-sum game framework to learn.


Ethical concerns associated with Generative AI:

  • Bias and Discrimination: AI models can perpetuate and amplify biases in their training data, leading to discriminatory outcomes and unjust decisions.
  • Responsibility and accountability
  • Privacy: Generative AI models have the potential to collect and generate vast amounts of personal data, which can raise privacy concerns.
  • Ownership and control
  • Fairness and transparency: AI models can make decisions that lack transparency and fairness.
  • Job displacement
  • Misuse: AI models can be used for malicious purposes, such as creating fake news or deep fakes, or spreading hate speech.
  • Top of Form


Indian Initiatives for Generative AI:


Insta Links:

Generative AI

A New Global Standard for AI Ethics

Going green: On Budget 2023’s and India’s net-zero commitment

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Indian Economy and Related Issue/Environment-Conservation


Source: TH 

Direction: The article covers initiatives taken by India to promote Green Growth & highlights proposals in the Union Budget in this regard.


Context: The Finance Minister’s latest Union Budget 2023-24 has laid emphasis on the government’s commitment to move towards net-zero carbon emission by 2070.



  • According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), India holds the key to hitting global climate change targets given its sizeable and growing energy needs.
  • With the country’s population set to overtake China’s sometime this year, India’s appetite for energy to propel the economy is set to surge exponentially.
  • The transition to green alternatives from the current reliance on fossil fuels is therefore an urgent imperative, as it creates an opportunity to launch new sectors and boost GDP.


The Union Budget 2023-24 announcements:



Green Growth:

  • It is one of the 7 priorities (Saptarishi of Amrit Kaal) the Budget. India is implementing many programmes for –
    • Green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, green equipment and policies for efficient use of energy across various economic sectors.
  • These green growth efforts help in reducing the carbon intensity of the economy and provide for large-scale green job opportunities.


Electric vehicle (EV):

  • The availability of locally produced lithium-ion batteries has become essential, especially to reduce the cost of EVs.
  • The Budget proposes –
    • To exempt customs duty on the import of capital goods and machinery required to manufacture lithium-ion cells.
    • The establishment of a viability gap funding mechanism to support the creation of battery energy storage systems with a capacity of 4,000 MWh.


Energy storage systems:

  • Battery storage systems help to ensure that the electricity produced at peak output by wind and solar projects is stored and then supplied to match the demand.
  • The Budget set aside a vital ₹8,300 crore towards a ₹20,700 crore project for building an inter-State transmission system for the evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW of renewable energy from Ladakh.
  • The transmission line will help address hurdles in setting up solar capacity in the region, given its remoteness from India’s main power grid.


India’s initiatives to promote green growth:



India’s initiatives at the international stage:

International Solar Alliance (ISA) A treaty-based inter-governmental organisation working to tap the benefits of solar power and promote clean energy applications.
Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CRDI) Launched by the PM of India during the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 in New York, it is a global partnership to promote the resilience of infrastructure to climate and disaster risks.
Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) 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 2019 and is supported by the WEF.


With a vision for a Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE), India is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, catalyzing a green industrial and economic transformation.


Related news: Mint

 Context: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs signed an MoU with Engineers India Limited (EIL) to develop Waste to Energy and bio-methanation projects in cities with a population of million plus as a part of furthering the Green Growth’ agenda.


Background: There are 59 million plus cities in India and for the management of organic/wet fraction of municipal solid waste bio methanation plants have been proposed in these million plus cities.



●        It is a process by which organic material is microbiologically converted under anaerobic conditions to biogas.

●        Three main physiological groups of microorganisms are involved: fermenting bacteria, organic acid oxidising bacteria, and methanogenic archaea.

Insta Links:

Centre clears ₹19,744-crore Green Hydrogen Mission


Mains Links:

Q. Explain the purpose of the Green Grid Initiative launched at the World Leaders Summit of COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021. When was the idea first floated in the International Solar Alliance (ISA)? (UPSC 2021)


Prelims Links: (UPSC 2018)

The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) a UN mechanism to assist countries transition towards greener and more inclusive economies, emerged at


    1. The Earth Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, Johannesburg
    2. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012, Rio de Janeiro
    3. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2015, Paris
    4. The World Sustainable Development Summit 2016, New Delhi


Ans: 2

Ethical Values from the life of Public Servants

GS Paper 4


Direction: These examples can be written in ethics/essay – how civil servants should act in any given situation.


SHO Anita Chauhan’s 10-min call that stopped Ghaziabad man’s Facebook Live suicide


Source: The Print


Context:  Ghaziabad’s – Vijay Nagar’s first woman SHO, had no prior experience counselling mentally ill people — she used common sense, kindness, and empathy.

It was under extreme pressure that she convinced a youth to not end his life and that all the problems can be solved.


Ethical Values from this incident:

  • Empathy & Compassion: concern and understanding for the man’s emotional state.
  • Responsibility: Took personal responsibility to prevent suicide and tried to intervene.
  • Commitment: The SHO demonstrated a commitment to preventing harm and saving lives, even in challenging circumstances.
  • Leadership: Understanding the situation she took prompt action.
  • This example highlights that whatever position you are in, your actions can have a huge impact.


Civil Service couple set an example with ‘quiet’ wedding, sponsor orphans’ education

 Source: Indian Express

 Context: Indian Postal Service officer Shivam Tyagi and Indian Revenue Service officer Arya R Nair, decided to have a quiet and simple marriage, and as a noble gesture, they sponsored the educational expenses of 20 inmates of an orphanage.


Ethical Values that can be learned:

  • Responsibility: The couple took responsibility for helping to improve the lives of others, setting an example for others to follow.
  • Empathy: The couple showed empathy for the plight of the orphans and acted to help improve their lives.
  • Community: The couple demonstrated a sense of community and a desire to make a positive impact, contributing to a better future for all.
  • Generosity: The couple showed generosity by using their wedding funds to sponsor the education of orphans.
  • Altruism: The couple demonstrated a selfless concern for others by choosing to give to those in need, rather than focusing solely on themselves.


Insta Links:


Mains Link: UPSC 2018

(a) State the three basic values, universal in nature, in the context of civil services and bring out their importance.


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

Right to be Defenceless

 Source: TH

  Context: Women are always raised to be prepared for threats but they have a right to not be prepared.


Jasmeen Patheja (43) is a women activist who designs creative methodologies and solutions to everyday issues.

Her works:

Blank Noise Project: against street harassment using

    • ‘Eve Teasing Food Chart’: (the terms used for women harassment) lollipop,  cham cham,  hari mirch
    • ‘The Museum Of Street Weapons of Defence’, a list of things women always carry, such as insect spray, nail files, chilli powder and umbrellas
  • Right to be Defenceless: Women have the right to live with trust and belonging in their bodies, in their city, and in their homes.
    • Meet To Sleep: As a part of this movement, the volunteers sleep in public spaces across the country claiming the right to be defenceless in the body
  • ‘I Never Ask For It’: It is a collection of garments, which survivors of violence often remember what they were wearing when they were attacked
    • It is aimed at busting myths about sexual harassment


She emphasizes four words:

  • Mehsoos (to feel)
  • Aahsaas (to realise)
  • Hamdard (empathic)
  • Insaniyat (humanity)


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)

 Source: Indian Express

 Context: A MoU was signed between the Ministry of Cooperation, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, NABARD and CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, for PACS to soon start providing services like the one offered by Common Service Centres (CSC).



  • PACS are the soul of cooperatives and will enable ‘Sahkar Se Samridhi’for rural development
  • Making PACS multipurpose as providers of about 20 services will increase employment opportunities in rural areas.
  • 50 per cent of the country’s population is associated with cooperatives in one way or the other


What are PACS?


It is a village-level institution that works directly with rural residents. It encourages agriculturists to save, accepts deposits from them, makes loans to deserving borrowers, and collects repayments.


  • There are around 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies.
  • The recent Budget (2023-24) has made a provision to make 2 lakh PACS in the next 5 years and create a multi-purpose PACS in every Panchayat.
  • PACS are the lowest unit in a three-tier structure (see image below)
  • PACS are outside the purview of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and therefore not regulated by RBI.

What are Common service centres (CSC)?

Common Service Centres are physical facilities for delivering Government of India e-Services to rural and remote locations where the availability of computers and Internet was negligible or mostly absent.


Prelims Links

With reference to ‘Urban Cooperative Banks’ in India, consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2021)

    1. They are supervised and regulated by local boards set up by the State Governments.
    2. They can issue equity shares and preference shares.
    3. They were brought under the purview of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 through an Amendment in 1966.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d)1, 2 and 3


Answer: B


  1. Consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2020)
  2. In terms of short-term credit delivery to the agriculture sector, District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) deliver more credit in comparison to Scheduled Commercial Banks are Regional Rural Banks
  3. One of the most important functions of DCCBs is to provide funds to the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B



Paris Club

 Source: Indian Express

Context: The Paris Club, an informal group of creditor nations, will provide financial assurances to the International Monetary Fund on Sri Lanka’s debt.


About the economic crisis in Sri Lanka:

 The current economic crisis in Sri Lanka is a result of a combination of factors, including high levels of government debt, a large trade deficit, weak foreign exchange reserves, and declining economic growth.


What is the Paris Club?

The Paris Club (est. 1956, HQ: Paris (France)) 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


  • Objective: To find sustainable debt-relief solutions for countries that are unable to repay their bilateral loans.
  • Members: 22 permanent members (all are a member of the OECD)
  • India and China are not members. India acts as an ad-hoc participant


Additional surveillance mechanism

Source: Indian Express

 Context: The National Stock Exchange (NSE) placed Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports, and Ambuja Cements under the additional surveillance mechanism (ASM).

  • This means trading in their shares will require a 100% margin, which is aimed at curbing speculation and short selling.


What is an additional surveillance mechanism (ASM)?

  • The ASM was introduced in 2018 with the intention to protect investors from market volatility and unusual changes in share price.
  • ASM in the stock market functions as a control measure for speculative trading to safeguard the interests of retail investors and keep them out of potentially dangerous trading situations.

There are two parts of additional margins:

  • Long-term ASM
  • Short-term ASM


Sickle Cell Disease

 Source: PIB, ET

 Context: Recently, the government announced in the budget the Centre’s plan to launch a mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047


  • The health ministry will now screen all tribals in the country below 40 years and give them identity cards based on their sickle cell anaemia status (Unmukt Project of the central government )
  • The colour-coded cards can be matched before marriage to understand the risk of sickle cell disease in the child born from the union
  • Prevalence: There are approximately 200 districts in the country where the disease is prevalent, mostly in Maharashtra. Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha.


About Sickle cell disease: 

Sickle cell disease is a genetic condition that affects haemoglobin — responsible for carrying oxygen in the body– in red blood cells.

  • It is inherited when a child receives two genes—one from each parent—that code for abnormal haemoglobin
  • It is prevalent among the tribal population in India
  • It can lead to problems such as Anaemia, debilitating acute and chronic pain, infection, acute chest syndrome, stroke, and renal failure are among the problems it can lead to.


Initiatives by Tribal Ministry:

  • Tribal Affairs Ministry established the National Council on Sickle Cell Disease and Tribal Health Cell
  • The Tribal Affairs Ministry,  through the development of the Sickle Cell Support Corner, has instituted a mechanism for creating a Central Repository of data


Space Debris

 Source: TOI 

Context: A total of 111 payloads and 105 space debris identified as ‘Indian objects’ orbiting the Earth to date have been tracked (as per the US Space Command (USSPACECOM))


What is space debris?

Space debris is defunct human-made objects in space—principally in Earth orbit—which no longer serve a useful function

  • The real amount of space debris is said to be between 500,000 and one million pieces as current sensor technology cannot detect smaller objects.
  • They orbit at high speed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO)


The threat of Kessler Syndrome?

The Kessler Syndrome is a theoretical scenario in which Earth’s orbit is overpopulated with objects and debris, preventing the use of satellites in certain sections of Earth’s orbit.


Measures taken 


  • Nasa’s Space Debris Sensor orbits the Earth on the International Space Station
  • REMOVEdebris satellite
  • Deorbit mission



  • Network for Space Objects Tracking and Analysis (NETRA) project
  • ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Operations Management (IS4OM) (2022): To continually monitor the objects posing collision threat


With frigid innovation, scientists make a new form of ice

Source: The Hindu


Context: Scientists have fashioned a previously unknown form of ice – one that might exist on our solar system’s icy moons – in research that sheds light on water’s behaviour under extreme conditions using a device that might be described as a super-duper cocktail shaker.


How was it made:

  • The researchers said they employed a process called ball milling to vigorously shake ordinary ice together with steel balls in a container cooled to minus-328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-200 degrees Celsius).
  • This yielded what they called “medium-density amorphous ice,” or MDA, which looked like a fine white powder.


 Its characteristics:

  • Ordinary ice is crystalline in nature, with water molecules – two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, or H2O – arranged in a regular pattern. Amorphous ice’s water molecules are in a disorganized form resembling a liquid.
  • Amorphous ice is by far the most common form of water in space. Scientists have identified 20 different forms of crystalline ice and three forms of amorphous ice – one low density (discovered in the 1930s), one high density (discovered in the 1980s), and the new one in between.
  • Almost all ice in the universe is amorphous and in a form called low-density amorphous ice. This forms when water condenses onto dust grains in space. Comets are amorphous ice as well.


The key significance of the discovery of a new form of ice with a density similar to liquid water is that it could serve as an ideal model for understanding the properties of water without the complexities introduced by its fluid motion.


Current insight on the mechanisms of Cobra venom cytotoxins can help anti-venom therapy

 Source: PIB 

Context: Scientists have traced the mechanisms of the toxic action of cobra venom, paving a path towards developing strategies for the application of antivenom or small molecule inhibitors, which can help mitigate the local toxic effects of cobra venom retained at the bite site.


About Cobras:

  • Cobras (genus Naja) are widely distributed over Asia and Africa, and cobra bites are responsible for large mortality and morbidity. Like other elapid venoms, cobra venoms are neurotoxic in nature. However, they also exhibit local cytotoxic effects at the envenomed site.
  • Cytotoxins (CTXs) are an essential class of the non-enzymatic three-finger toxin family and are present in cobra venoms. CTXs are also responsible for depolarizing neurons and heart muscle membranes.


Insta Links:

National Snakebite Awareness Summit


World Wetlands Day: In Andhra Pradesh, efforts on to save a unique wetland near Visakhapatnam

Source: The Hindu

 Direction: Read about Ramsar Sites

 Context: February 2 is marked as World Wetlands Day. ‘Revive and restore degraded wetlands’ is the theme for this World Wetlands Day.

  • In a belated but welcome move, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a special scheme called ‘Amrit Dharohar’ for protecting India’s wetlands in the Union Budget 2023.
  • A separate scheme for mangrove conservation, ‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes’, (MISHTI) was also announced as part of the green growth priority of the Budget.


About Wetlands:

  • A broad definition of wetlands includes both freshwater and marine and coastal ecosystems such as lakes and rivers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, estuaries, tidal flats, mangroves, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fishponds, rice paddies, reservoirs, and saltpans.


Benefits of Wetlands:

  • Wetlands absorb carbon dioxide and help slow global warming and reduce pollution, hence, they are referred to as the ‘Kidneys of the Earth’.
  • Wetlands also provide a buffer against the impacts of floods, droughts, hurricanes, and tsunamis, and build resilience to Climate Change.













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