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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 Paper 1:

  1. Himalayan plunder: 3 million Indians live in areas that can be swept by glacial lake floods, says study


GS Paper2:

  1. What is Article 356


GS Paper 3:

  1. Rise of AMR could result in up to 10 million annual deaths by 2050: UN report
  2. Poor of a country emits less, lose more: New paper calls for progressive taxes for ‘polluting elites’


GS Paper 4:

  1. All governments are crony capitalists


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Deinfluencing
  2. Four-day workweek


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Nord Stream gas pipelines
  2. Finmin releases draft of Vivad se Vishwas 2 for consultation
  3. India Energy Week 2023 concludes
  4. CAR T-cell therapy for cancer treatment
  5. Dwarf planet Quaoar
  6. Dickinsonia


Himalayan plunder: 3 million Indians live in areas that can be swept by glacial lake floods, says study

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Disaster Management/Geography


Source: DTE

 Context: The article highlights GLOF, associated risks and risk mitigation.


What is a GLOF?

  • A GLOF is a sudden release of water from a lake fed by glacier melt
  • Threatens people’s lives, livelihoods and regional infrastructure.
  • In the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), GLOF events can be traced back to the failure of moraine-dammed glacial lakes
  • The pressure on the dam, water seeping through the structure, fragmentation of the source glacier, landslides, etc., can trigger a GLOF.
  • The frequency of GLOFs is expected to increase due to climate change.


Recent findings:

  • The majority of the globally exposed population is located in the region of high mountain Asia and more than 50% in India, Pakistan, Peru and China.
  • The population exposed to GLOFs increases with distance from a glacial lake.
  • Rapid deglaciation over the last 20 years has led to the growth of many large glacial lakes.
  • Increase in the population living in close proximity to glacial lakes between 2002 to 2022.


Situation in India:

  • According to the ICIMOD, Himalayan glacial lakes increased by about 9% in number, and 14% in the area.
  • The best-studied glacier is north India’s Chhota Shigri, which has lost three times its mass.
  • The rapid onset of GLOFs means there is insufficient time to effectively warn downstream populations.


Way ahead:


Conclusion: Improvements are urgently needed in designing early warning systems alongside evacuation drills and other forms of community outreach.

Insta Links:

Tackling glacial burst


Mains Links:

 Q. What is Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding? Examine the vulnerabilities of hydropower projects in the Himalayan eco-sensitive region and suggest measures to overcome the same.

What is Article 356

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Polity


Source: Indian Express, First Post


Context: Recently Prime Minister mentioned the misuse of Article 356 in the parliament.


About Article 356:

  • Section 93 of the Government of India Act, 1935
  • Also called a ‘State Emergency’ or ‘Constitutional Emergency’.
  • It deals with the ‘failure of constitutional machinery in the state’ and allows the president to assume any and all functions of the state.
  • It can be imposed for six months at a time for a maximum duration of three years.
  • After six months, Parliament’s approval is needed to reimpose President’s Rule.
  • In 1978, the 44th Amendment to the Constitution (1978) was made.
  • This stated that President’s Rule cannot be extended beyond one year unless:
    • In case of a national emergency
    • The Election Commission of India certifies that it is necessary due to difficulties in conducting Assembly polls.


After President’s Rule is imposed, the governor of the state continues administering the state on behalf of the president. The governor can also take aid from the chief secretary and any other officials.


Issues with the use of Article 356:

  • Overuse and abuse in a politically motivated manner, especially by the central government to dismiss state governments run by opposition parties.
  • Subversion of democracy: It suspends the democratic process in a state
  • Lack of accountability: The frequent use of Article 356 has been seen as an infringement on the federal principles of the Indian Constitution and a diminution of the powers of the states.
  • Negative impact on governance: It can lead to administrative and governance breakdowns in a state


Recommendations to avoid misuse:

  • The Sarkaria Commission in 1983 recommended it only be used in extreme cases.
  • The Supreme Court in the landmark 1994 Bommai vs Union of India case, dealing with Article 356 outlined strict guidelines on dealing with the dismissal of a state government.
  • For one, it made it mandatory for a no-confidence motion to be passed in the House.
  • It also made President’s Rule subject to judicial review.
  • The court held that Article 356 can be invoked in situations of the physical breakdown of the government or when there is a ‘hung assembly’, but that it cannot be used without giving the state government a chance to either prove its majority in the House or without instances of a violent breakdown of the constitutional machinery.

Rise of AMR could result in up to 10 million annual deaths by 2050: UN report

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Biotechnology-related issues.


Source: DTE, UNEP

 Context: UNEP released a new report – Bracing for Superbugs: Strengthening environmental action in the One Health response to antimicrobial resistance.


About AMR:

  • Antimicrobials are agents intended to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. They include antibiotics, fungicides, antiviral agents, and parasiticides.
  • AMR occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi become resistant to antimicrobial treatments to which they were previously susceptible.


Key findings of the report:

  • Up to 10 million deaths could occur annually by 2050 due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), on par with the 2020 rate of global deaths from cancer.
  • Pollution in key sectors of the economy contributes to the development, transmission, and spread of AMR.
  • AMR’s economic toll could result in a GDP drop of at least USD 3.4 trillion annually by 2030, pushing 24 million more people into extreme poverty
  • Microorganisms (particularly bacteria) can acquire resistance following contact with resistant microorganisms.
  • AMR challenges are linked to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.
  • Three key sectors of AMR development and spread in the environment: Pharmaceuticals and other chemical manufacturing, agriculture and food production, and Healthcare.


Suggestions in the report:

  • Create robust and coherent national-level governance, planning, regulatory and legal frameworks.
  • Increase global efforts to improve integrated water management and promote water, sanitation, and hygiene to limit the development and spread of AMR.
  • Increase integration of environmental considerations into AMR National Action Plans.
  • Establish international standards for what constitutes a good microbiological indicator of AMR
  • Environmental monitoring and surveillance
  • AMR requires a One Health response that recognizes that the health of people, animals, plants, and the environment are closely linked and interdependent.




Insta Links:

Tackling antimicrobial resistance


Mains Link:

What is anti-microbial resistance (AMR)? What are the factors that lead to AMR? Evaluate India’s preparedness in dealing with it. Do you think one health approach is a better way forward to deal with it?

Poor of a country emits less, lose more: New paper calls for progressive taxes for ‘polluting elites’

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment, Conservation


Source: DTE 

Context: According to the Climate Inequality Report 2023, low and middle-income countries are disproportionately impacted by climate change even though they emit less GHGs than their richer counterparts.


Findings of the report:

  • 48% of emissions are from the top 10% of emitters, having 76% capacity to finance and their relative loss is a mere 3% from climate change.
  • The global bottom (50%) has only a 2% capacity to invest, with an emission of 12% and a massive relative loss of 75%.
  • Climate change contributes to economic destitution in subtropical and tropical countries. For instance, it reduces agricultural productivity in poorer nations while increasing it in some temperate nations.
  • Climate change also has adverse effects on mental health. For example, a 1 degree Celsius increase in monthly average temperatures increases suicide rates by 2.1% in Mexico.


Suggestions in the report:

  • The wealthiest individuals (0.001% of the world’s adult population) with over $100 million should pay a ‘progressive tax’ ranging from 1.5-3% of their fortune to help less fortunate people adapt to global warming and crisis.
  • Combating global poverty need not overshoot global carbon budgets to meet the Paris Agreement
  • Redistribution measures to combine poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation efforts.
  • Emerging economies like China carry increased responsibility to produce transparent strategies for reaching Net Zero emissions.



  • The need for a just transition to a low-carbon economy reflects unequal responsibility for causing the climate crisis and uneven capacity to help address it.
  • Not only countries but also individuals have different responsibilities (common but differentiated responsibilities) toward combating climate change and ensuring climate justice.



Insta Links:

Working towards climate justice in a non-ideal world


Mains Links:

Q. ‘Climate Change’ is a global problem. How will India be affected by climate change? How Himalayan and coastal states of India are affected by climate change? (UPSC 2017)

All governments are crony capitalists

GS Paper 4


Source: BS

 Context: The recent Hindenburg report on the Adani group and instances of business-political nexus have highlighted the term ‘crony capitalists’


What is Crony capitalism? 

A political-economic system in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials, rather than on merit and competition


Examples of Crony capitalism:

  • India: Adani Group (CAG report highlighted “undue benefits” that the Gujarat government gave to Adani Ports by waiving waterfront and other charges); The 2G spectrum scam; Coalgate Scandal etc.
  • Russia: Privatization of state-owned assets in the 1990s resulted in a small group of oligarchs acquiring significant wealth and political power
  • USA: The 2008 financial crisis: Several large banks received government bailouts
  • China: State-owned enterprises (SOEs) receive preferential treatment


Reason for high crony capitalism in India:

  • Weak governance and lack of transparency in the political and bureaucratic systems
  • Corruption
  • Lack of competition in the business sector dominated by a few large conglomerates
  • Influence of money and power where financial resources shape government policies
  • Weak legal and regulatory frameworks with slow and inefficient courts
  • Weak enforcement of laws and regulations.
  • Complex rules and regulations


Ethical issues with Crony Capitalism:

  • Corruption: It undermines the integrity of public institutions and erodes trust in the democratic process.
  • Inequality: It creates a two-tiered system and exacerbates income and wealth inequality, contributing to social injustice.
  • Reduced Competition: It stifles innovation, reduces economic growth, and limits opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Lack of Social Responsibility: Crony capitalists often prioritize their own self-interest over the well-being of society.
  • Not good for democracy: Crony capitalists influence the political results and undermine the democratic process and erode the separation of powers.



Uday Kotak Committee recommendations against Crony Capitalism:

  • Transparency in related-party transactions through complete disclosure
  • Independent directors: Companies should have a minimum of 50% independent directors
  • Enhanced role of audit committees
  • Strengthening the corporate governance framework


Other measures needed:

Related news:

Ethics and Business

Source: The Statesman, BS

What is Business ethics?

It refers to a collection of values and concepts that guide how businesses should conduct themselves and engage with stakeholders.

The world today is facing numerous negative issues such as widespread corruption, greed, violence, poverty, and environmental destruction.


The root cause of these issues:

  • Erosion of moral values and ethics, resulting in an unprecedented trust deficit.
  • Globalization and technological developments have sped up this process

Businesses have enormous potential to contribute to society but are also capable of causing harm through exploitation, corruption, and unethical practices.

Some examples of unethical practices of corporates are:

  • Accounting and Financial Information: Creative accounting, tax evasion, insider trading, securities fraud, forex scams, bribery, kickbacks, facilitation payments,
  • Human Resource Development (HRD): discrimination ~ age, gender, race, religion; at-will employment, surveillance, sexual harassment and whistle-blowing.
  • Sales and Marketing: Price fixing, anti-competitive practices, anti-trust laws, greenwashing, etc.
  • Production: Addictive, defective, inherently dangerous products
  • Intellectual Property: Patent infringement, bio-prospecting, bio-piracy, hijacking of traditional intellectual properties like Ayurvedic medicines
  • International Trade: Unfair trade, dumping, outsourcing to the cheapest destinations, globalization, economic and cultural imperialism, child labour, etc.
  • General Corporate Philosophy: Stockholder vs. stakeholder concept, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility, industrial espionage, political contributions, and corporate manslaughter.


  • Develop a code of ethics
  • Provide ethical decision-making training
  • Cultivate an ethical environment
  • Hold employees accountable for their actions

Case Study: Tata group prioritize ethics and integrity over profit and has earned the respect and trust of its stakeholders, increased its profitability, and contributes to a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.

Mains Links:

Q. Corporate governance in India is in need of structural reforms which will promote transparency, fix accountability and reward efficiency. Analyse. (15M)


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)


Source: IE

Usage: The word can be used to show how social media can be used for positively influencing consumers to reduce their carbon footprint and incentivising them to use only good products.


Four-day Workweek

 Source: BBC

Context: In the US and Ireland, a six-month trial among 33 volunteer companies in 2022 showed a positive impact on company performance, productivity and employee well-being.


  • Increased Productivity: Employees who work a four-day week are more focused and productive in their work.
  • Improved Employee Well-being: Less stress and fatigue
  • Financial Savings: On employees on transport and childcare costs.
  • Improved work-life Satisfaction: Increased job satisfaction and work-life balance
  • Increased Flexibility: Companies can accommodate changing work patterns, such as remote work and hybrid work.

Counterview: However, the four-day workweek is not a viable option for all employees, as some industries and work cultures are not suited for this change.

Usage: Such examples can be used in Ethics/Essay/Society questions on work culture/ work-life balance.


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Nord Stream gas pipelines

 Source: IE

 Context: According to a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) carried out the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines on orders from the United States.

Impact of the bombing: It led to Energy supply disruption in the EU; heightened geopolitical tension between Russia and the USA & EU; and created environmental issues due to the gas leak


Nord Stream (literally ‘North Stream’):

  • It is a network of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe which run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
  • It comprises two separate projects –
    • Nord Stream 1 ran from Vyborg, in northwestern Russia near Finland, and entered service in 2011.
    • Nord Stream 2 runs from Ust-Luga in northwestern Russia near Estonia. The pipeline (completed in 2021) was built in order to double annual capacity but has not yet entered service.


Finmin releases draft of Vivad se Vishwas 2 for consultation

 Source: livemint

 Context: The finance ministry has circulated the draft scheme for a one-time settlement of contractual disputes—called Vivad se Vishwas 2—for stakeholder consultation.


About Vivad se Vishwas – 2 :

  • It was introduced in order to settle contractual disputes involving the government and government undertakings, where an arbitral award is under legal challenge.
    • It will be applicable to organizations in which the central government has a shareholding of 50% and can opt out of the Scheme (Voluntarily) at its discretion with the approval of the Board of Directors.
      • Public sector banks
      • Public sector financial institutions
      • Central public sector enterprises
      • Union territories, National Capital Territory of Delhi.
    • The scheme will only cover disputes where the claim for proceedings was on or before 30 September 2022
    • It proposes a graded settlement term depending on the pendency level of the dispute.
    • It is proposed to cover only domestic arbitration and not international arbitration.
    • It will be implemented through Government e-Marketplace (GeM).


India Energy Week 2023 concludes

Source: PIB, PSU watch

 Context: As the IEW concludes, we have summarized all the initiatives launched in the event

Initiatives launched at the event:

  • Global International Biofuel Alliance (GIBA): This was launched by India to create a favourable ecosystem for promoting biofuels with key stakeholders including the US, Brazil, EU, IEA etc. as a clean mobility alternative under India’s G20 Presidency.
  • ‘Unbottled’ initiative of Indian Oil: Sustainable garments made of recycled PET bottles. IndianOil has adopted uniforms for retail customer attendants and LPG delivery personnel made from recycled polyester (rPET) & cotton.
  • Net-Zero target: Budget 2023-24 has provided Rs 35,000 crore to the petroleum and natural gas ministry for achieving the net-zero target.
  • Launch of 20% ethanol blend petrol, E20


Four major verticals for the strategy for the energy sector in India (announced by PM)

  • Increasing domestic exploration and production: India is the fourth largest country for its refining capacity
  • Diversifying the supply
  • Expanding  fuels like biofuel, ethanol, compressed biogas and solar: Asia’s first 2G Ethanol Bio-Refinery of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) at Panipat Haryana launched last year
  • De-carbonisation via electric vehicles and hydrogen.


Targets emphasized:

  • Increase the consumption of natural gas in India’s energy mix from 6% to 15% by 2030 (Under ‘One Nation One Grid’)
  • National Green hydrogen mission ( to produce 5 MMTPA green hydrogen by 2030)
  • Increase the share of green hydrogen to 25 per cent by replacing grey hydrogen
  • India is targeting to have 50% non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030.
  • Total Renewable energy capacity currently is 170 gigawatts. India is number four in wind power capacity.


CAR T-cell therapy for cancer treatment

Source: TH

The three major forms of treatment for any cancer:

  • Surgery (removing cancer)
  • Radiotherapy (delivering ionising radiation to the tumour)
  • Systemic therapy (administering medicines that act on the tumour)
    • Chemotherapy (a medicine used to kill cancer cells): However, it has various side effects.
    • Immunotherapy (the drugs bind to specific targets on cancer and kill it): However, it is effective only against tumours that express these targets.
    • CAR T-Cell Therapy


Dwarf planet Quaoar

Source: TH

 Context: A ring has been detected around Quaoar by the European Space Agency’s Cheops telescope, similar to Saturn’s ring.


  • Discovered in 2002, it is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a region of icy planetesimals beyond Neptune.
  • Its diameter of about 700 miles is a third that of Earth’s moon and half that of the dwarf planet Pluto. It has a small moon called Weywot.


Why is a ring around Quaoar unusual? 

Quaoar is located outside the Roche limit – where particles should readily come together (due to gravitational field) around a celestial body to form a moon.

Ring system in our solar system:
  • The greatest ring system in our solar system is found on Saturn.
  • The non-planetary bodies Chariklo and Haumea, as well as the other giant gas planets Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
  • They all fall within the Roche limit.



Source: TOI

Context: The fossil of Dickinsonia discovered two years ago has now turned out to be an impression of a decayed beehive


  • In 2021 researchers claimed to have discovered three fossils of the earliest known living animal — the 550-million-year-old ‘Dickinsonia’ — on the roof of the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, about 40 km from Bhopal.


About Dickinsonia:

  • It is considered to be Earth’s oldest animal
  • It is an extinct genus of basal animal (animals which have radial symmetry in their body)
  • The animal is considered a link between early simple organisms and then the explosion of life in the Cambrian Period
  • Previously, fossils of Dickinsonia have been found in Australia, Russia, Ukraine, China

About Bhimbetka Rock Shelters caves 

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with evidence of human habitation dating back to about 1 lakh years. It spans the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, as well as the historic period. It exhibits the earliest traces of human life in India and evidence of the Stone Age starting at the site in Acheulian times.


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