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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 2:

  1. 2 years after the Finance panel suggested, the Centre ‘evaluating’ 26 proposals for new cities
  2. Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain


GS Paper 3:

  1. Green hydrogen is not a holy grail of the energy transition
  2. Heat Index (HI)


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Ubuntu


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Dawoodi Bohras
  2. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY)
  3. Japan to connect landlocked North East with Bangladesh
  4. Universal Acceptance Day
  5. Index Providers
  6. eVTOL air taxi
  7. Quantum-based telecom network link
  8. Piezoelectric effect in liquids
  9. National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO)
  10. Sarus crane



2 years after the Finance panel suggested, the Centre ‘evaluating’ 26 proposals for new cities

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Governance


Source: IE

 Context:  The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry is currently evaluating 26 proposals from 21 states for the creation of new cities in India.


Recommendations for new cities:

15th Finance Commission recommended Rs 8,000 crore for the incubation of eight new cities  (Rs 1000 cr to each) in the country through a challenge.



  • A state can have only one new city through this fund.
  • A maximum of nine new cities in nine states can be selected


The proposal received for new cities or expansion of existing ones are Gurgaon (Haryana), Jabalpur Extension (Madhya Pradesh), Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh), GIFT City Expansion (Gujarat), Nagaki Global City (Nagaland), New MOPA Ayush City (Goa), and Bantala Greenfield City (West Bengal)


Need for New cities:

Need for new citiesSupporting data
Rapid urbanizationAccording to the United Nations, 68% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. This trend is driven by factors such as population growth, migration, and increasing economic opportunities in cities.

The share of the urban population in India is over 35% (2021)

Congestion and pollution in existing citiesThis can have negative impacts on health, quality of life, and the environment.
Housing shortagesNearly 2 million people in India are homeless
Economic developmentFor example, the creation of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in China in 1980 has been credited with spurring economic growth and development in the region.
Disaster resilienceFor example, after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the government began planning a new city called “Smart City Kashiwa-no-ha” that is designed to be resilient to earthquakes and other disasters.


New cities developed in India since Independence: Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Navi Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Naya Raipur, Amravati (Andhra Pradesh), Dholera, Gift City, Kochi Smart City, GIFT City Gujarat, Auroville (Puducherry)


Government programmes for City development:

Programme NameDescription
Smart Cities Mission (2015)It aims to develop 100 smart cities across India by providing them with advanced and modern infrastructure.
AMRUT (2015)It aims to provide basic amenities like water supply, sewerage, and urban transport to improve the quality of life of citizens. It focuses on 500 cities and towns with a population of over 100,000.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (2015)It aims to provide affordable housing to the urban poor by 2022.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (2014)It focuses on constructing toilets, solid waste management, and creating awareness among citizens to maintain cleanliness.
Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) (2015)It aims to preserve and revitalize the heritage cities and their cultural heritage.
National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) (2013)It aims to reduce poverty and vulnerability of urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities.


Insta Links

 Smart Cities Mission (SCM)


Mains Links

In the backdrop of the smart cities mission, can it address the contemporary and future needs of India’s urbanization? Critically analyse. (250 Words)

Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health


Source: IE

Context: India will continue to have the world’s youngest population for more than three decades, but to fully capitalise on this advantage there is the need to overcome certain difficult health issues.


Some recent achievements in the health sector:

  • NFHS-5:
    • Total fertility rate (TFR): India achieved a TFR of 2.1 (replacement level) in 2020.
    • Maternal and infant mortality: Even in the BIMARU states, hospital deliveries have soared to 89%.
  • Increase in insurance coverage: 74% of Indians are either covered or eligible for health insurance coverage.
    • Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme (2018) provides insurance against hospitalisation for up to Rs 5 lakh per year per family.


Challenges affecting everyone in the population:



Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, diabetes:

  • Rising due to behavioural risk factors – an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity and use of tobacco and alcohol.
  • As a result, the proportion of deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has increased from around 38 – 62% in 2016.


The state of infrastructure:

  • Huge variations between states: Jharkhand, Karnataka and UP had the lowest number of primary healthcare institutions operating at full institutional capacity.
    • People have to bank on the private sector, which owns two-thirds of the country’s hospital beds.


Gaps in services available in the metros and districts: 95% of private hospital beds are provided by district hospitals and nursing homes, yet they are unable to offer multispecialty care including tertiary and quaternary care.


Low health insurance penetration:

  • Out-patient doctor consultation costs, diagnostics and drugs account for the biggest chunk (50%) of out-of-pocket (OOP) personal expenditures.
  • It is essential to provide insurance for the unorganised middle class to include identified out-patient costs.


Ethical and regulatory concerns around the use of AI and digital technology:

  • Surgery assisted by robots, the use of genetic codes, and clinical judgements based on AI are already widespread.
  • However, medical malpractice in substandard institutions and by unqualified medical practitioners is still not regulated.


Way ahead:

  • Building awareness about the benefits of leading a healthy life will save millions from illness and decelerate premature death.
  • More cost-effective treatment → bolster primary healthcare by establishing health and wellness centres.
  • Making the centrally-run hospitals and the district hospitals fully functional.
  • Bridging gaps in hospital services between large urban agglomerations and tier II and tier III cities.
  • Ethical and regulatory concerns prompted the ICMR to release guidelines foreseeing the problems of a lack of accountability for machine-made medical decisions.



India has shown how the impossible can be achieved. What is needed is out-of-the-box thinking and the resolve to steer the ship before a storm arrives.


Insta Links:

Problems pertaining to the Healthcare sector in India


Mains Links:

In order to enhance the prospects of social development, sound and adequate healthcare policies are needed particularly in the fields of geriatric and maternal healthcare. Discuss. (UPSC 2020)

Green hydrogen is not a holy grail of the energy transition

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Infrastructure/Environment


Source: DTE

 Context: According to a new report, contrary to its spotless reputation, green hydrogen is not the key to the energy transition.


Green hydrogen:

  • It involves splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity from renewable energy sources like sunlight/wind.
  • It accounted for only 0.04% of globally produced hydrogen in 2021.


Limitations of the green hydrogen – dubbed as the ‘fuel of the future’:

  • Energy inefficient → 30% of renewable energy is lost while producing hydrogen.
  • Indirectly contributes to global warming → when it reacts with hydroxyl radicals (responsible for breaking down and eliminating methane – a potent GHG) → could lead to delayed climate action.
  • Large-scale production requires vast amounts of land, water and renewable energy, which could lead to human rights violations and energy poverty.


How is the world progressing with green hydrogen?

  • The European Union (EU): Intends to increase green hydrogen production capacity as part of the bloc’s REPowerEU plan to 20 million tonnes.
  • India:


Why (in spite of obstacles) are countries making progress with green hydrogen?

  • Fossil or grey hydrogen accounts for 99% of the globally produced hydrogen.
  • A huge lobby linked to fossil fuels is pushing the hydrogen agenda to lock in detrimental infrastructure, as well as production and consumption models.


Conclusion: The corporate-driven green hydrogen race unfolding in Europe follows centuries-old colonial patterns

  • Resources are being appropriated to fuel Europe’s economy,
  • While negative impacts like ecological damage and land conflicts are conveniently outsourced to the periphery (African countries).


Insta Links:

Powering the Amrit Kaal through an integrated approach to ensure energy security


Prelims Links: (UPSC 2019)

In the context of proposals to the use of hydrogen-enriched CNG (H-CNG) as fuel buses in public transport, consider the following statements:

  1. The main advantage of the use of HCNG is the elimination of carbon monoxide emissions
  2. H-CNG as fuel reduces carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon emissions
  3. Hydrogen up to one-fifth by volume can be blended with CNG as fuel for buses
  4. H-CNG makes the fuel less expensive than CNG

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: 2

Heat Index (HI)

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Geography/Disaster management


Source: TOI

 Note: This is in continuation of yesterday’s article on Heat Waves


Context: India Meteorological Department (IMD) is planning to issue a heat hazard analysis for India, including Delhi.

  • IMD will soon issue a Heat Index (in addition to the day’s maximum and minimum temperatures)


What is Heat Index?

It will be a colour-based warning that will give an estimation of what temperature actually feels like.


It factors Day’s

  • Relative humidity
  • Wind speed
  • Maximum temperature
  • Cloud cover.


Usage of HI:

  • It will not only warn against Heat waves hazard but also list precautions people can take.
  • Calculation of HI will help states in formulating better Heat Action Plans (HAPs) for heatwave assessment, forecast, preparedness and mitigation.


What are heat waves?

Heat waves are prolonged periods of excessively hot weather that may be accompanied by high humidity, often leading to a range of negative impacts on human health and the environment.

  • The heat wave is considered if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C for Plains and at least 30°C for Hilly regions.


Difference between Hazard, Risk, Vulnerability and Disasters:

HazardsNatural or human-made events or conditions that can cause harm or damage to people, the environment, or property.Source of harmInherentEarthquakes, floods, fires, chemical spills, terrorism
RiskThe probability or likelihood that harm or damage will occur as a result of exposure to a hazard.Probability of harmCalculableThe likelihood of a flood, earthquake, or fire occurring in a particular area
VulnerabilityThe characteristics and circumstances of people, communities, or systems that make them more or less susceptible to harm or damage from a hazard.Susceptibility to harmModifiablePoverty, lack of access to resources or information, age, disability
DisastersEvents or situations that result in significant harm or damage to people, communities, or systems, often involve a combination of hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities.Consequence of harmUnpredictableHurricane Katrina, COVID-19 pandemic, 9/11 attacks


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)


 Source: DTE

About UbuntuDescription
Meaning of wordHumanity” in Nguni Bantu; It can also mean “I am because we are” or “humanity towards others”
FocusAltruism rather than rampant individualism
BeliefUniversal bond of sharing that connects all humanity
How can it help solve the Climate crisis?It will help us focus on and rebuild our relationship with the natural world and prioritise interconnectedness, value our indigenous knowledge and invoke a spirit of collective, global and regional inter-governmental action.
Values ShownCollective responsibility, ensures distributive justice, enables Interconnectedness, encourages Altruism, allows Sustainability


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Dawoodi Bohras

Source: IE

 Context: The Bombay HC will hear the dispute between the current leader of the Dawoodi Bohra sect and his challenger for the post.

 Who are the Dawoodi Bohras?

  • They are a religious denomination among Shia Muslims.
  • Traditionally a community of traders and entrepreneurs, it has over 5 lakh members in India and over 10 lakh members across the world.
  • The top religious leader of the community is known as the Dai-al-Mutlaq – appointed through “divine inspiration”.
    • A “nass” (conferment of succession) can be conferred upon any deserving member of the community and not necessarily a family member of the current Dai, although the latter is often the practice.


What is the dispute?

  • In 2014, the 52nd Dai-al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin passed away, and his son Mufaddal Saifuddin succeeded him.
  • This was challenged by the late Syedna’s half-brother in the Bombay HC.


The practice of ex-communication in the Dawoodi Bohra community:

  • The leader of the community has the right to excommunicate (not being allowed to access a mosque or a burial) its members (generally those who contested the headship of the leaders).
  • However, the Bombay Prevention of Excommunication Act 1949 invalidates the ex-communication of any member of any community.
  • A petition on the constitutional validity of the practice is pending before the 9-judge Bench of the SC.
    • The bench was constituted to review the 2018 Sabarimala judgement – considering larger issues of essential religious practice.


Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY)

 Source: PIB

 Context: The Ministry of Rural Development has launched a new initiative called “Captive Employment” under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) program.


Who are captive employers?

Any Employer or Industry that provides employment to candidates in their own organization or one of its subsidiaries and has suitable in-house training facilities.



  • It aims to train and place more than 31,000 rural youth in their own establishment or subsidiary companies.
  • The trained candidates are assured post-training placement of a minimum of six months with a minimum CTC of Rs 10,000/-. The program is expected



  • For greater industry participation in skilling rural poor youth
  • to bridge the gap between job seekers and job providers and contribute to sustainable development goals.



  • Launched: 2014
  • Ministry: Under Rural Development
  • Part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM)
  • Objective: Demand-led skill training aimed at rural poor youth between 15 and 35 years of age. Mandatory coverage of socially disadvantaged groups (SC/ST 50%; Minority 15%; Women 33%). The emphasis is on Career Progression rather than just training.


Japan to connect landlocked North East with Bangladesh


Source: ET

 Context: Landlocked Northeast India may soon get a trade gateway through Matarbari deep sea port in Bangladesh being constructed by Japan, under its Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy

About the News:

  • Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B) initiative: Through this initiative, Japan is helping Bangladesh develop infrastructure and Industrial Belt along Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar belt area and beyond.
  • India-Japan Act East Forum (AEF): Through this, Japan has been supporting the development of India’s North East through connectivity to Bangladesh and Southeast Asia.


About Japan’s Indo-Pacific strategy: Japan will promote the Bay of Bengal-Northeast India industrial value chain concept to foster the growth of the entire region. The strategy consists of three pillars:

  • Promotion and establishment of rule of law, freedom of navigation and free trade
  • Pursuit of economic prosperity
  • Commitment to peace and stability (capacity building on maritime law enforcement, HA/DR cooperation, etc.)



Other projects for India’s North East:

  • Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (for connectivity with Myanmar)
  • Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between India and Bangladesh
  • India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway.


Universal Acceptance Day

 Source: PIB

 Context: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) organised a two-day event on Universal Acceptance Day (March 28) to promote multilingual internet for digital inclusion in India

  • The event was organized by the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI)


What is Universal Acceptance day?

It is a day to encourage policies towards inclusive and multi-lateral internet.

  • Organized by: Collaborative effort of Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
  • Potential: Experts noted that the next 1 billion internet users are likely to come from non-English speaking countries, heightening the importance of a multilingual internet.


For India: With over 900 million internet users, India was the second largest online market in the world, behind China.

  • Use: The adoption of Universal Acceptance in India can add another 500 million broadband users to add value to the digital economy, promote startup ecosystems, and generate employment opportunities.


About ICANN: 

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (est. 1988; HQ: Los Angeles) is an American multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces and numerical spaces of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.


About NIXI

The National Internet Exchange of India (est. 2003; under MeitY) is a non-profit company (under the Companies Act, 1956) with the objective of facilitating improved internet services in the country.


Index Providers

 Source: HBL

 Context:  SEBI has released a consultation paper on the regulatory framework for index providers to bring more transparency and structure to the market.

What are Index Providers?Institutions that formulate and manage indices, determine the level of investment in the market through passive mutual fund schemes. Provides an overview of market trends, e.g., Nifty50 for NSE in India.
Features of the proposed regulation·        Index providers must be legal entities with a minimum net worth of ₹25 crores.

·        Must maintain independence and integrity of the index determination process.

·        Must exercise due diligence in onboarding data submitters.

Need for regulationNecessary to safeguard investor interests since index providers’ services determine the level of investment in the market through passive mutual fund schemes.
Index providers in IndiaGenerally carried out by subsidiaries of stock exchanges, as a joint venture between the exchange and an index provider. Examples include Nifty50 by NSE Indices and Sensex by a venture of S&P Dow Jones and BSE.
About SEBIThe Securities and Exchange Board of India is the statutory regulatory body for securities and commodity markets in India, established in 1988, headquartered in Mumbai, and owned by the Ministry of Finance within the Government of India.
About IOSCOThe International Organization of Securities Commissions is an association of organizations that regulate the world’s securities and futures markets, established in 1983, and headquartered in Madrid, Spain. SEBI is a member.


eVTOL air taxi

 Source: Th

 Context: India aims to be part of the global initiative to offer electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft by 2025

What is eVTOL?A type of VTOL aircraft that uses electric power for vertical take-off and landing

AdvantagesFlexibility, manual or automatic operation, lower noise levels, fully electric powered, sustainability, independence from runways
ApplicationsShort-haul air mobility services (air taxis), disaster management, military operations, commercial services
Countries adoptingSingapore, UAE, France, Germany, the UK and the US have already announced their plans to launch these air taxis by 2025.


Quantum-based telecom network link

 Source: ET, PIB

 Context: India’s first quantum computing-based telecom network link is now operational between Sanchar Bhawan and the National Informatics Centre office located in CGO Complex in the national capital.

About the newsDescription
Developed byCentre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), under the Department of Telecommunications
Quantum Hackathon 2023The government has opened a challenging round, for anybody who breaks this secure quantum system and system developed by C-DoT, we will be giving Rs 10 lakh per break
What is Quantum Communication?It refers to communication channels that leverage laws of quantum physics (use of ‘qubit’ instead of ‘0’ and ‘1’) to protect data and make it more secure than traditional transmission.
Working of Quantum CommunicationIt uses quantum properties such as entanglement and superposition to transmit information, which cannot be intercepted or copied without being detected by the sender and the receiver. This makes quantum communication very secure and ideal for transmitting sensitive information such as financial transactions and classified messages.
What is Quantum Key Distribution?QKD involves the transmission of encrypted data as classical bits while the decryption key is encoded and transmitted in a quantum state using qubits.

About C-DOTThe Centre for Development of Telematics (est. 1984; founder: Sam Pitroda; HQ: Delhi) is an Indian Government owned telecommunications technology development centre.


Piezoelectric effect in liquids

 Source: Th

 Context: Scientists have reported evidence of the piezoelectric effect in liquids for the first time, in pure ionic liquids at room temperature.

Piezoelectric EffectDescription
DefinitionAn electric current is generated when a body is subjected to pressure

ApplicationsAnalog wristwatches and clocks, cigarette lighters, electric guitars, TV remote controls, audio transducers, and other instruments where converting mechanical stress to a current is useful
Discovery of piezoelectricityDiscovered 143 years ago by Pierre and Jacques Curie (1880); observed only in solids until now
NamePiezo (pressure) + Electricity
New discoveryTwo ionic liquids at room temperature showed a piezoelectric effect (previously only Solids were thought to show this effect). The liquids also showed an inverse effect (they become distorted when an electric charge is applied)
New applications of this discoveryUsing this effect, the liquids can be used as lenses with dynamic focusing abilities


National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO)

 Source: IE

 Context: NDSO and various other agencies are helping law enforcement agencies in their investigations and solving crimes

National Database of Sexual Offenders (NDSO)

(est. 2018; Ministry: Home; Database maintained by NCRB)

It is a searchable registry of over 13 lakh sexual offenders in India. It contains the names, addresses, photographs, and fingerprint details of offenders involved in sexual offences. ·        It helps investigation officers track habitual sex offenders and prevent further crimes.

·        Law enforcement agencies have access to the Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) (est. 2009; Ministry: Home)Make the Police functioning citizen-friendly and more transparent by using ICT technology.Almost all the police stations (total of 16,597) in India are registering 100 per cent FIRs directly on Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems.
Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) (est. 2020; Ministry: Home)To handle cyber crimes in a coordinated and comprehensive manner; Register cyber-crime.It has currently more than 20 lakh cyber-crime complaints and over 40,000 FIRs registered. It has a helpline number ‘1930’ to report cyber financial frauds.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

(est. 1986; Ministry: Home)

Functions as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking the crime to the perpetrators.Publishes an annual report ‘Crime in India’


Sarus crane

 Source: IE

 Context: A man from UP was booked under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, for “illegally” keeping and nursing an injured Sarus crane (Grus Antigone) he found in his village.


Wildlife Protection Act 1972:

  • It provides for the protection (by prohibiting their hunting and by protecting their habitat) of wild animals, birds and plants to ensure the ecological and environmental security of the country.
  • The Act prohibits capturing or hunting any species of animals listed under Schedules I-IV (Sarus crane – Listed in Schedule IV), barring a few exceptions such as hunting a diseased or dangerous animal or bird.
  • Any person who contravenes any provision of the Act shall be punished with up to 3 years imprisonment or fine or both.


2022 Amendment to the WPA (not yet enforced):

  • It seeks to reduce the number of schedules from VI to IV. Schedule V for vermin or animals that destroy food crops will be done away with.
  • It seeks to implement the provisions of CITES – an international agreement between governments ensuring international trade of wild animals and plant species does not threaten their survival.
  • If the offence relates to animals under the first two Schedules, imprisonment can be between three to seven years, with or without a fine.


The Sarus crane:

  • It is a large non-migratory crane found in parts of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
  • Standing at 152-156 centimetres, it is the world’s tallest flying bird classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List and is a CITES Appendix II
  • In India, it is usually found in wetlands and is the state bird of UP.




DTE: African philosophy ‘Ubuntu’ can help us fight climate crisis (also covered in Today’s CME)



IE: The new warsaw pact (by C Raja Mohan)


Pub Ad/ Governance

IE: Governing for the last citizen (Governance)


Pub Ad/Internal security

IE: Supreme Court verdict on UAPA is fraught with risk of making it legal for agencies to act lawlessly while claiming to fight terrorism and preserve State’s security


Sociology/ Social Justice

IE: Healthcare in India has made great progress, but challenges remain (by ormer secretary in the Ministry of Health)


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