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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. Union of 100 states: Why India must have many small states. It will make for a better economy and better politics


GS Paper 2:

  1. COVID-19 damaged cognitive development, lifetime earnings of an entire generation, finds Word Bank
  2. Cadaver organ transplants


GS Paper 3:

  1. R&D: An inside job


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. First Future Generations Commissioner in the world
  2. Saving the Maldives from sea level rise
  3. Saving Endangered Wildlife


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Lavani
  2. Mammatus clouds
  3. Vibrant Villages Programme
  4. Payment Aggregators
  5. Curb fake e-commerce reviews
  6. Electron’s Magnetic moment
  7. Marine Spatial Planning Framework
  8. Thwaites Glacier (‘Doomsday Glacier’)


Union of 100 states: Why India must have many small states. It will make for a better economy and better politics

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Post Independence: State reorganization


Source: TOI

 Context: Demand by various groups and organizations for newer states has always been in the news. Recently, TIPRA Motha Party demanded a separate state of Greater Tipraland.


Required·         Improves economic efficiency: Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand performed better than MP and Bihar in the 10th Five-Year Plan.

·         There are too many big states – by area, Rajasthan, UP, MP, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, and even Bengal are all too big to be administered with efficiency

·         There is enough evidence to suggest that smaller states mostly tend to do better. E.g: If UP were a separate country, it would be the fourth largest by population. But its per capita GDP is closer to Kenya’s.

·         Local needs and demands are taken into account

·         Linguistic and cultural homogeneity makes governance easier.

·         Facilitates decentralization and decision-making are devolved into smaller regions.

·         Good governance requires lesser government and quicker government, which is possible in smaller states.

Not required·         The creation of more states equates to more inter-state disputes and increases complexities. For example, Telangana asked for a re-assessment of the award of the Krishna Tribunal.

·         Smaller states do not necessarily mean better governance. For instance, larger states like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have progressed better economically than smaller states.

·         The creation of smaller states does not per se result in democratic decentralization. Rather, it can cause a concentration of power in the hands of a few.

·         It requires huge funds as seen in the establishment of Amravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

·         Smaller states respond better and faster is a myth. For instance, the Uttarakhand floods showed the inadequacy of a small state in responding.

·         It can result in the hegemony of dominant castes or religions.


Various committee recommendations:

  • Dhar Commission
  • JVP Committee
  • State Reorganization Commission (Fazal Ali Commission)
  • States Reorganization Act 1956


Mains Link: UPSC 2018

Q. Discuss whether the formation of new states in recent times is beneficial or not for the economy of India?

COVID-19 damaged cognitive development, lifetime earnings of an entire generation, finds Word Bank

GS Paper 2


Source: DTE

 Context: A new World Bank report titled “Collapse and Recovery: How COVID-19 Eroded Human Capital and What to Do about It “- provides the first comprehensive review of global data for young people who were under the age of 25 during the pandemic.

  • It analyzed global data on the pandemic’s impacts on young people at key developmental stages: early childhood (0-5 years), school age (6-14 years) and youth (15-24 years).
  • It shows that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted human capital accumulation at critical moments in the life cycle of children and young people in low- and middle-income countries.


Key Findings of the report:

  • Missed vaccinations and health care: Millions of children faced reductions in health care—including missed critical vaccines. They also faced more stress in their care environments—orphanhood, domestic violence, and suboptimal nutrition.
  • Learning loss: Preschool-age children in multiple countries lost more than 34 per cent of learning in early language and literacy and more than 29 per cent of learning in math.
  • School closures and ineffective remote learning: caused students to miss out on learning and to forget what they had learned: on average, for every 30 days of school closures, students lost about 32 days of learning.
  • youth unemployment:40 million people, who would have had a job in the absence of the pandemic, did not have one at the end of 2021, worsening youth unemployment trends.



  • Countries can and should act urgently to recover these losses and invest better in their people.
  • Gaps will widen over time if not addressed. 


Immediate policy actions suggested in the report:

  • Vaccinations and nutritional supplementation campaigns; increasing coverage of parenting programs; increasing access to pre-primary education, expanding coverage of cash transfers for vulnerable families.
  • Increasing instructional time; assessing learning and matching instruction to students’ learning level; and streamlining the curriculum to focus on foundational learning.
  • For youth, support for adapted training, job intermediation, entrepreneurship programs, and new workforce-oriented initiatives are crucial.
  • In the longer term, countries need to build agile, resilient, and adaptive human development systems that can better prepare for and respond to current and future shocks.
  • Collapse and Recovery recognize the need for countries to prioritize among the long list of potential crisis recovery policies and offers an approach for doing so that takes into account the extent of the collapse, complexity and cost of implementation, and political commitment.

Cadaver organ transplants

GS Paper 2


Syllabus: Government Policies

Source: IE, Th


Context: The Union Health Ministry has done away with the age cap of 65 years for receiving an organ from a dead donor (cadaver).


What do the new guidelines say:

  • The Elderly can now register to receive organs from deceased donors
    • Previously, NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation) guidelines barred them. This violated the Right to Life of elderly
    • Preference will still be given to younger recipients, those above the age of 65 will not be completely barred from the process
  • A patient irrespective of domicile State can register in any other State for a transplant (previously a domicile certificate was necessary)
  • The patient will be allotted a unique ID by NOTTO upon registering. This will help in charting a ‘One Nation One Policy,’ for organ donation and transplantation
  • Health Ministry has intimated states to stop charging registration fees to patients.
  • For awareness generation: The government is introducing a chapter in the school curriculum regarding organ donation awareness for students.


Status of Organ Donation in India:

  • India conducts the third-highest number of transplants in the world. Every year, an estimated 5-2 lakh people need a kidney transplant.
  • Organs from deceased donors accounted for nearly 18% of all transplants in 2022 in the country
  • Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka account for more than 85% of the total deceased donations.
  • A study shows over 40% of those in need of kidney transplants worldwide are over the age of 65.
  • As per the Health Ministry, the number of organ transplants has increased by over three times from 4,990 in 2013 to 15,561 in 2022.
  • India has an organ donation rate of about 52 per million population. In comparison, the organ donation rate in Spain is 49.6 per million population which is the highest in the world.


The current mechanism of Donating organs: The availability of an organ is reported by the hospital to the state organ and tissue transplant organisation that matches it with recipients locally. If a match isn’t found, it is referred to the regional office and then to NOTTO


 Measures that can be taken:

  • Employ more transplant coordinators (to explain and guide the families through the process of donation)
  • Introduce Opt-out system: In India consent of family members is mandatory. Spain has an opt-out system where a person is presumed to be a donor unless otherwise specified.
  • Generate more awareness about organ transplants so that people register as donors.
  • Have faith that the donated organs are helping others.
  • Use of technologyg. Drones to transport organs between cities and states


About NOTTO:

 National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) is a national-level organisation set up under the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


Insta Links:

National Registry of Voluntary Organ Donors


Mains Links :

Q. There exists a lot of hesitancy among people regarding organ donation. What methods can be used to persuade people to donate organs post-death to save precious lives? (15M)

R&D: An inside job

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Indian Economy, development and employment


Source: BS 

Context: The article highlights the need for in-house Research and Development


Status of R&D:

  • Global:
    • World invests a little over 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in R&D (around $2 trillion)
    • Top five countries in R&D: US, China, Japan, Germany and South Korea (they combined to account for three-quarters)
    • Top five industries: Pharmaceuticals, automobiles, technology hardware, software and electronics (they together account for almost 73% of all industrial R&D)
  • India:
    • India is the world’s fifth-largest economy. But in total R&D investment, India ranked 16th, below Israel.
    • Indian firms invest 3% of GDP in in-house R&D, compared to a world average of 1.5%.
    • The European Commission report stated that India has only 24 firms among the top 2,500 investors in R&D worldwide.


Reasons for low industrial R&D investment in India:

  • India’s limited presence in top sectors: India has no firms in five of the 10 top industrial sectors such as technology hardware, electronic equipment, etc.
  • Firms don’t invest enough: India’s top-ranked R&D investment firm is Tata Motors with an annual R&D spend of $3.5 billion But at the global level, it stands only at the 58th position.
  • Smaller sizes and lower technology levels of Indian firms: Indian software firms are service firms to the world’s product firms.
    • India’s top 10 software firms invest only 1% in R&D compared to 8% in China.


Measures taken:

  • Setting up Research Parks and Technology Business Incubators (TBIs)
  • Providing tax incentives and a negative list of imports (esp. in the defence sector) for promoting R&D activities
  • Technology partnership/ Transfer of technologyg. in the Space and defence sector
  • Setting up Innovation Clusters
  • National Research Foundation: To fund competitive, peer-reviewed grant proposals from universities, colleges, and institutions of higher learning.
  • IMPRINT initiative: To provide solutions in 10 selected technology domains.
  • Atal Tinkering Labs: It aims to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning etc.
  • IPR Laws: India is a signatory to TRIPS and has enacted its domestic IPR laws to foster IPR creation and curtail its violation.


Measures needed: 

  • Institutional Changes: India needs to drive change in industrial structure, use trade policy to force competition between Indian firms, and drastically reform India’s public research system.
  • A minimum percentage of the turnover of the company may be invested in R&D by medium and large enterprises registered in India.
  • Creating 30 dedicated R&D Exports Hub(by Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM))
  • Utilise talents of youth: Out of 100 top forms in R&D, over two-thirds of them have R&D centres in India. Hence, India should train and expose fresh engineers
  • Line ministries at the Centre could be mandated to allocate a certain percentage of their budget for research and innovation



India should target to reach at least 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current about 0.7% (Economic Survey 2020-21)


Insta Links:

R&D ecosystem in India


Prelims Links:

What is the aim of the programme ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’? (UPSC 2017)


(a) Achieving 100% literacy by promoting collaboration between voluntary organizations and the government’s education system and local communities.

(b) Connecting institutions of higher education with local communities to address development challenges through appropriate technologies.

(c) Strengthening India’s scientific research institutions in order to make India a scientific and technological power.

(d) Developing human capital by allocating special funds for health care and education of rural and urban poor, and organizing skill development programmes and vocational training for them.


Answer: B


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

First Future Generations Commissioner in the world

 Source: BBC

Sophie Howe, the first Future Generations Commissioner in the world, has been tasked with protecting the interests of future generations in Wales (UK), advising the government on long-term thinking and climate change.


Her role:

  • She will represent those who will be born in the coming decades and centuries.
  • Although there is no obligation to follow the commissioner’s recommendations, public bodies must respond and explain why they are not following them


The wellbeing of future generations act passed by the Welsh government in 2015, requires all public bodies to demonstrate how their decisions support sustainability, without compromising the needs of future generations.


The idea of having a future generations commissioner is spreading, and Gibraltar now has a similar commissioner, with bills being developed in the UK, Irish and Scottish parliaments. The UN also plans to appoint one.

Usage: The fact can be used to show the need to take innovative steps for including sustainability in our development and attain ‘Climate Justice’ for the future generation


Saving the Maldives from sea level rise

 Source: DTE

Low-lying island countries like Maldives are threatened by sea level rise. A new study has shown that raising the height of low-lying island countries, like the Maldives, to cope with sea-level rise is an efficient approach to prevent the loss of culture, identity, integration, and livelihoods brought on by relocation to other countries

  • The use of simple engineering techniques, such as elevating islands threatened by submergence and creating new islands where people can be moved, can help small island nations like the Maldives.
  • The report suggests that the entire population of the Maldives could live on just two elevated islands to withstand sea-level rise.

Usage: It can be used as an innovative solution for saving the low-lying Island nation from being submerged due to sea level rise.


Saving Endangered Wildlife

 Source: TH

 Australian Conservation biologist Matt Stephens invented the Hollowhog tool to create new homes for Australia’s endangered wildlife in the forested Sun Valley (Australia).

  • Australia’s fauna is losing habitat due to logging and bushfires, which affects hundreds of threatened animal species that live in the hollows of trees.
  • A hollow carved by the tungsten blade of a Hollowhog tool can create a hollow in less than an hour that can last for hundreds of years.

Usage: This is a unique tool for creating a habitat for fauna. It can be used in environement mains questions or essays.


Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: Indian Express 

Context: NCP leader has directed members of his party to not organize raunchy public shows in the name of Lavani, a folk song-and-dance performance that is popular in Maharashtra.

  • The sensual component in Lavani has long been frowned upon. 

What is the Lavani folk art form?

  • The word Lavani comes from ‘Lavanya’ or beauty.
  • Lavani is a traditional folk art form in which women dancers wearing nine-yard-long sarees in bright colours, make-up, and ghunghroos perform on dholak beats on a stage before a live audience.
  • As an indigenous art form, Lavani has a history going back several centuries, and it attained particular popularity in the Peshwa era in the 18th century.
  • There are several sub-genres of Lavani, of which the most popular is the Shringarik (erotic) kind, in which the lyrics are often teasing, with sensuous dance steps and delicate gestures employed to convey erotic meaning.



Mammatus clouds

Source: Hindustan Times

Context: Recently NASA released a Picture of the day which was Mammatus Clouds.


About Mammatus Clouds:

Mammatus is a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud, typically a cumulonimbus raincloud, although they may be attached to other classes of parent clouds.


How are these formed?

Mammatus clouds are usually formed in association with large cumulonimbus clouds. Typically, turbulence within the cumulonimbus cloud will cause Mammatus to form.

Vibrant Villages Programme

Source: PIB

 Context: The Union Cabinet has approved the Centrally Sponsored Scheme– “Vibrant Villages Programme” (VVP) for the Financial Years 2022-23 to 2025-26.


About the Scheme:

  • Comprehensive development of villages of blocks on the northern border thus improving the quality of life of people living in identified border villages.
  • The scheme will provide funds for the development of essential infrastructure and the creation of livelihood opportunities in 19 Districts and 46 Border blocks 4 states and 1 UT along the northern land border of the country which will help in achieving inclusive growth.
  • Vibrant Village Action Plans will be created by district administration with the help of Gram Panchayats. Development of growth centres on the Hub and Spoke Model through the promotion of social entrepreneurship, youth and women empowerment etc.



  • This will help in encouraging people to stay in their native locations in border areas and reversing the outmigration from these villages adding to improved security of the border.
  • Connectivity with the all-weather road, drinking water, 24×7 electricity with a focus on Solar and wind energy, mobile and internet connectivity.


Payment Aggregators

Source: IE

 Context: Amazon and Google are among 32 firms that have been given in-principle approval by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate as online payment aggregators


What are Payment Aggregators? 

They are the entities that facilitate e-commerce sites and merchants to accept various payment instruments such as cash/cheques, and online payments from customers for completion of their payment requirements.

  • PA receive payments from customers, and pool and transfer them to the merchants after a time period.
  • The central bank introduced a framework for PA in March 2020.


How it is different from Payment Gateways?

A payment gateway is an intermediary and provides a tool for the payment aggregator to complete the transactions. They don’t directly handle any funds (see image for more clarity)

RBI norms for a company applying for aggregator authorisation:

  • It must have a minimum net worth of Rs 15 crore in the first year of application (March 2021), and at least Rs 25 crore by the second year (March 2023)
  • It also must fulfil the “fit and proper” criteria, and be compliant with global payment security standards.
  • It shall be a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013
  • A formal publicly disclosed customer grievance redressal and dispute management framework be established with a Nodal officer


Curb fake e-commerce reviews

Source: Financialexpress

ContextMinistry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution scheme- Conformity Assessment Scheme on IS 19000:2022 was formulated with the objective of certifying the processes related to the collection, moderation and publication of online customer reviews as per IS 19000:2022 to check the publication of fake or misleading reviews.


Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) published (last year) the IS 19000:2022 applicable to businesses that publish consumer reviews online, so as to provide methods for verification of customer posting reviews


  • The standards are initially voluntary for e-commerce platforms to comply with


Electron’s Magnetic moment

 Source: TH

Context: Physicists have recently made the most precise test yet of the Standard Model of particle physics, which predicts the properties of all subatomic particles, by measuring the electron’s magnetic moment with 0.13 parts per trillion accuracies.

  • The measurement is 2.2 times more accurate than the previous best, recorded 14 years ago, and confirms the Standard Model’s predictions.


What is an electron’s magnetic moment?

In atomic physics, the electron magnetic moment, or more specifically the electron magnetic dipole moment, is the magnetic moment of an electron resulting from its intrinsic properties of spin and electric charge.


What is Standard Model of Physics?

The Standard Model has successfully predicted the existence and properties of dozens of particles and is one of the most successful theories in the history of physics.

  • It determines how the particles are affected by three of the four fundamental forces of nature: strong-nuclear force, weak nuclear force, and electromagnetic force (it can’t explain gravity)
  • However, it still cannot explain why the universe has more matter than antimatter, what dark matter is, or what dark energy is.



Significance of the new measurement: It precisely confirms the standard model of particle physics theories, thus giving it more credibility

Limitations: Several other properties of subatomic particles are yet to be tested


Marine Spatial Planning Framework

 Source: TH

Context: Puducherry has launched the country’s first Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework to balance growth alongside sustainable management of ocean resources

  • It is part of a pact under the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative
  • Puducherry and Lakshadweep were chosen as coastlines to pilot the MSP initiative in 2019


What is Marine Spatial Planning framework?

It provides guidelines/ ways to effectively plan human activities for sustainable marine utilization and achieve ecological, economic and social objectives.

  • The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO provides guidelines for ecosystem-based MSP for countries 

Significance: MSP would serve as a vital governance tool in ensuring the emergence of a blue economy characterised by sustainable and equitable ocean resource management, instead of an environmentally unsustainable “brown economy.


Thwaites Glacier (‘Doomsday Glacier’)

Source: DTE

Context: As per a recent finding, Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is in peril as warm ocean water has entered its weak points.

  • Thwaites Glacier might contribute to a rise in sea level of more than half a metre and further destabilise the nearby glaciers, which can add another three metres to the surge.


About Thwaites Glacier:

  • Thwaites Glacier is an unusually broad and vast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea
  • Currently, the Thwaites contribute four per cent to the average sea-level rise rate of 1.5 inches per decade
  • It is called ‘Doomsday Glacier’ as it is one of the most unstable (roughly the size of Florida (US)) and its collapse could drive catastrophic sea level rise


A remotely controlled Icefin (underwater robot) is contributing to the research.



 Sociology/ Indian Society:
Urbanisation and urban dynamics (by Amit Kapoor & Bibek Debroy )

 Pub Ad/PSIR

IE: How data can empower MPs to serve people better


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