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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. Migration  away from metros, towards small towns


GS Paper 2:

  1. Model Prisons Act 2023
  2. Global Report on Internal Displacement 2023 (GRID-2023)


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Agra Smart City
  2. Women’s Empowerment: NITI Aayog’s Compendium on Best Practices in Social Sector 2023


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Santiniketan
  2. Palghat Gap
  3. Greenwashing TechSprint
  4. Prices of Drugs going off-patent
  5. CEIR system
  6. Semi-cryogenic Engine 
  7. Regulating captive breeding of exotic animals


Migration  away from metros, towards small towns

GS Paper 1

 Syllabus: Geography/Society: Population and Related Issues


Source: TH

 Context: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a shift of IT and IT-enabled services (IT/ITeS) companies from major cities to smaller towns and cities in India.

  • This trend of going back to smaller towns has now become a major trend, and companies are moving their operations to smaller cities and towns to retain talent and bring down attrition levels.


About Migration in India:

About MigrationThe International Organization for Migration defines a migrant as any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a state away from his/her habitual place of residence.
Factors Determining MigrationMigration can be either voluntary or forced movements as a consequence of the increased magnitude or frequency of disasters, economic challenges, extreme poverty, or conflict situations.
Push FactorsPush factors compel a person to leave their place of origin (out-migration) and migrate to another place. These factors can include economic reasons, social reasons, Pandemics and lack of development in a particular place.
Pull FactorsPull factors attract migrants (in-migration) to a destination area. These factors can include job opportunities, better living conditions, and the availability of basic or high-level facilities.
Migration – 2011 CensusNumber of internal migrants (both inter-state and within state) in India: over 45 crores (37% of the country’s population)
Migration – Economic Survey 2016-17Relatively less developed states (e.g., Bihar and Uttar Pradesh): High net out-migration; Relatively more developed states (e.g., Goa, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka): Reflect net immigration; Largest recipient region: Delhi (accounted for more than half of migration in 2015-16); Uttar Pradesh and Bihar combined: Account for half of the total out-migrants
Migration in India Report 2020-21Female migration is more than male migration. Reasons for female migration: Marriage; Reasons for male migration: Search for employment
Migration and its Impacts on CitiesAccording to a report by the World Economic Forum, smaller cities are rapidly growing but struggling to cope with infrastructure demands due to declining civic revenue resources.


Reasons for Migration to Smaller Cities in the IT/ITeS Sector:

Remote and hybrid work models Companies like Cognizant allowed employees to work from anywhere (during the pandemic), leading to a shift away from major cities.
Companies can establish satellite offices in smaller cities, supporting remote and hybrid work models.
Cost savingsMoving to smaller cities allows companies to reduce real estate costs and invest more in people and R&D.
Employees can save more in terms of rental costs and experience social benefits in smaller towns.
Rich talent pool Smaller cities have untapped talent with a potential talent drain to larger metros, providing opportunities.
Higher retention ratesEmployees prefer to stay in their hometowns, leading to higher retention rates in smaller cities.
Availability of office space and amenitiesSmaller cities like Coimbatore offer quality office spaces with amenities at lower costs compared to metros.
Rise of co-working spaces in smaller citiesCo-working spaces provide access to high-quality office space at a fraction of the cost in larger cities.
Counter-magnet dynamicsSurat and Pune have started acting as a counter-magnet region to Mumbai and attract migrants from the neighbouring districts of Maharashtra


Insta Links:

Human Migration


Mains Links:

What are the main socio-economic implications arising out of the development of IT industries in major cities of India? ( UPSC 2021)

Discuss the changes in the trends of labour migration within and outside India in the last four decades. ( UPSC 2015)

Model Prisons Act 2023

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Social Empowerment/ Governance: design and implementation of policies


Source: IE, TH

 Context: The Indian government has prepared a new Model Prisons Act to replace the current 130-year-old ‘Prisons Act, 1894’, with a focus on rehabilitation and reform of prisoners instead of retributive deterrence.


What is Criminal Justice System in India?

The Criminal Justice System (CJS) in India is a set of legal and institutional frameworks that govern the detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of criminal offences.


  • The CJS in India is mainly guided by three major legal documents:
    • The Indian Penal Code
    • The Code of Criminal Procedure
    • The Indian Evidence Act.
  • CJS has four subsystems:
    • Legislature (Parliament)
    • Enforcement (Police)
    • Adjudication (Courts)
    • Corrections (Prisons, Community Facilities)


Need for new Prison Act:

Outdated lawsThe Indian Prison Act was enacted in 1894 and amended several times, but it fails to address modern-day prison challenges.
Human rights violationsE.g., custodial deaths, torture, and overcrowding are widespread in Indian prisons.
Focus on rehabilitationThe current prison system focuses more on punishment than rehabilitation, which leads to high recidivism rates (committing offence again).


A new act should emphasize the need for rehabilitation programs and better integration of prisoners into society upon release.

Improved healthcareMany Indian prisons lack adequate healthcare facilities, leading to higher mortality rates.
Technology integrationThe current prison system is largely manual and paper-based, leading to delays and inefficiencies.
OvercrowdingAccording to the latest data available from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the occupancy rate of Indian prisons is over 117%, indicating severe overcrowding.
Staff trainingMany Indian prison staff lack adequate training, leading to incidents of human rights abuses, corruption, and mismanagement.


E.g., In 2020 it was reported that the Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai, Tamil Nadu had only one guard for every 100 prisoners.


Key features of Model Prisons Act 2023 are:

To incentivise good conductEnsure legal aid to prisoners, provision of parole, furlough and premature release
For women and transgender inmatesEnsure the physical and mental well-being of these vulnerable inmates and provide separate accommodations
Reformation Move away from the retributive deterrence approach and transform prisoners into law-abiding citizens
Security assessmentEnsure the safety of both prisoners and prison staff by segregation of prisoners
Grievance RedressalProvide a mechanism for prisoners to raise concerns and receive appropriate responses
Prison development boardEstablish a board to oversee and advise on prison development and management
Use of technologyBring transparency and efficiency to prison operations
Use of prohibited itemsDiscourage prisoners and prison staff from using prohibited items, such as mobile phones, in prisons
High-security jailsEnsure the proper management and security of high-risk prisoners by the establishment of high-security jails
Open and semi-open jailsProvide different types of facilities to accommodate different types of prisoners


Implementations: Prisons in India and ‘persons detained therein’ are a State subject and MPA 2023 will serve as a “guiding document” for States. Therefore it is not binding on the states.


Previous other recommendations: 

SC appointed Justice Amitava Roy (retd.) The committee recommended several measures to address the issue including:

  • Speedy trials
  • Increasing the number of lawyers for prisoners
  • Setting up special fast-track courts for petty offences
  • Promoting the concept of plea bargaining


Initiative for prison reforms in India:

The Modernisation of Prisons Project (2021-26) aims to enhance security and facilitate prisoner rehabilitation in India through the use of modern security equipment; E-Prisons Project, Model Prison Manual 2016, and National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).



The Model Prison Act 2023 is aimed at improving prison administration and conditions, protecting the rights of prisoners, and promoting their rehabilitation and reintegration into society. It is expected to bring much-needed reforms to the Indian prison system and align it with international standards.


Insta Links:

Prison Reforms in India


Mains Links:

Q.Instances of the President’s delay in commuting death sentences have come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse. ( UPSC 2014)

Global Report on Internal Displacement 2023 (GRID-2023)

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government Policies and Intervention


Source: DTE, Internal

Context: The Global Report on Internal Displacement 2023 (GRID-2023) stated that in 2022, over 32 million people were displaced by disasters, 98% of which were triggered by weather-related events such as floods and storms.


Key Highlights of the Report:

Total Number of IDPsOver 71million IDPs across 110 countries and territories at the end of 2022, a 20% increase in a year
Total IDPs in IndiaOver 6 lakh were from conflict and violence while 32 thousand were due to disasters
Weather-Related Displacements98% of disaster displacements in 2022 were triggered by weather-related events; floods and storms caused 6 out of 10 disaster displacements
Pakistan and IndiaPakistan had the highest number of disaster displacements in 2022, followed by China and Afghanistan, while India ranked fourth
La Niña’s InfluenceThe prolonged three-year La Niña phenomenon contributed to the rise in weather-related disasters, especially floods, leading to widespread disasters across the globe
Regional Displacement PatternsSub-Saharan Africa experienced the highest-ever displacement due to disasters in 2022. South Asia witnessed double the annual average of disaster displacements
Actions neededUnconditional cash assistance for supporting the immediate needs of IDPs; Developing IDPs’ livelihoods and skills; Importance of building resilience and preparedness at an individual, community, and national levels; addressing the impacts of climate change and investing in adaptation measures are crucial to mitigate future displacements

About Internal Displacement:

MeaningInternal displacement refers to the situation where people are forced to leave their homes but remain within their country’s borders.
Factors of DisplacementConflict, violence, development projects, disasters, and climate change
ComponentsInternal displacement is characterized by two components:

·        A person’s movement is involuntary

·        The person remains within their country’s borders

Difference from RefugeeUnlike refugees, internally displaced people have not crossed international borders and are not covered by any international convention.
Challenges Faced by IDPsIDPs face the threat of physical attack, sexual- or gender-based violence, and separation from their families, lack of adequate shelter, food, health services, and access to livelihoods.
IDPs in IndiaIndia has one of the highest numbers of IDPs in the world
Internal Displacement in India – Policy FrameworkIndia does not have a national policy or legal framework to deal with refugees or IDPs and has not ratified the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol and does not permit UNHCR access to most refugee groups.
Factors of Internal Displacement in IndiaInternal displacement in India arises from secessionist movements, identity-based autonomy movements, localized violence, and environmental and development-induced displacement.


About the Report:

 The Global Report on Internal Displacement 2023 (GRID-2023), published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), is the world’s leading source of data and analysis on Internal Displacement (ID).  The 2023 edition sheds light on the significant increase in the number of people displaced by disasters in 2022 and the complex relationships between disasters, conflict and violence, food security and ID.


IDMC (formed 1998; HQ: Geneva) is an International non-governmental organization established in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council in Geneva. It is focused on monitoring and providing information and analysis on the world’s internally displaced persons.



There is a need for India to formulate policies and strategies that are focused on migration, promote inclusive growth and development, and reduce distress-induced migration.


1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol assert the principle of non-refoulment (a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom)


Insta Links

 Forcibly displaced crossed 100 million in 2022


Mains Links

Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attract controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects. ( UPSC 2016)

Agra Smart City

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)


Source: TH

The Agra Smart City had adopted an AI-enabled system capable of detecting various issues such as stray cattle, clogged manholes, traffic rule violations, and even instances of sexual harassment. The Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) monitors the city 24×7 and provides live updates on various aspects, including waste collection, parking violations, adaptive street lighting, environment pollution and overflowing manholes.


Agra is one of the 22 cities that have successfully completed all projects under the Smart City Mission

Usage: The example can be used in governance/Science and Technology questions to show the use of technology for city administration.

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

Women’s Empowerment: NITI Aayog’s Compendium on Best Practices in Social Sector 2023


Source: Niti Aayog

Every day, in this section we are bringing best practices from each category. Today’s best practices will cover  ‘Women’s empowerment ’


Navchetna Bakery – Livelihood Generation (Dhantewada, Chhattisgarh)The Navchetna bakery is run exclusively by women who were trafficked and rescued, and members of the transgender and differently-abled community.Use of local and nutritious produce to make unique bakery items; Skill development of women; Empowering members of the transgender and differently-abled community
Aabha Sakhis (Madhya Pradesh Madhya Kshetra Vidyut Vitran Company)The Aabha Sakhis encourage people to take up legal electricity connections and pay their bills on time. They aim to change societal attitudes towards women while promoting legal compliance. The initiative provides stipends to women, increasing their financial independence.Financial independence of women; Increased decision-making capacity; Transfer of illegal connections to legal connections
Biz Sakhi: Community-Based Mentors for Women Entrepreneurship and Promotion and Empowerment (Karnataka)Biz Sakhi focuses on improving access to entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for women in rural and urban areas. It provides awareness, psychosocial support, skill enhancement, mentorship, and linkages for women entrepreneurs.8-13% increase in profitability of women entrepreneurs supported by Biz Sakhi
Bleed with Pride (Imphal, Manipur)It aims to empower women and young girls by promoting awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding menstruation. The initiative promotes the use of reusable pads. Breaking of taboo and discriminatory practices surrounding menstruation; Reduced financial burden on families since the pads are reusable


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: BS

 Context: The International Council on Monuments and Sites, a UNESCO advisory body, has recommended that Santiniketan be included in the list of World Heritage Sites.


About Santiniketan

Santiniketan is a renowned cultural and educational institution (comprising Viswa Bharati University) located in the Birbhum District of West Bengal, India.
Meaning of NameSantiniketan literally means “abode of peace” in Bengali.
OriginInitially, it started as an ashram (hermitage) founded by Rabindra Nath Tagore’s father, Debendranath Tagore, but eventually developed into a centre of art, culture, and learning.
TeachingIt is known for its unique educational philosophy, which emphasizes the integration of nature, creativity, and holistic learning. It follows the concept of an open-air classroom where students are encouraged to learn in close connection with nature.
Key FeaturesSantiniketan is also adorned with splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals, and paintings created by renowned artists such as Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose (one of the pioneers of modern Indian art) and Ramkinkar Baij (master sculptor and painter) among others.
SignificanceCultural and heritage place, associated with Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore
West Bengal’s RepresentationIf selected, Santiniketan would be the second cultural symbol from West Bengal to be included in the UNESCO list (1st being ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, 2021)
UNESCO World HeritageLandmarks or areas selected for their cultural, historical, scientific, or other significant value
Selection CriteriaSites must be already-classified landmarks, unique and significant culturally or physically
World Heritage CommitteeSelects and monitors World Heritage Sites, manages the World Heritage Fund, and provides financial assistance
MembershipIndia is a member of the World Heritage Committee (2021-2025)

Palghat Gap

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 Context: The Palghat Gap in the Western Ghats is a significant break in the mountain range, measuring about 40 km wide.


About the Gap:

Surrounding hillsIt is characterized by the steep Nilgiris and Anamalai hills on either side, both rising above 2,000 meters above sea level.
ImportanceGateway into the State of Kerala for roads and railways
River flowing through itBharathappuzha river
VegetationUnlike the tropical rainforests found in other parts of the Western Ghats, the vegetation in the Palghat Gap is classified as dry evergreen forest.
Shear ZoneGeologically, the Palghat Gap is a shear zone running from east to west.


Shear zones are weak regions in the Earth’s crust, which occasionally result in tremors felt in the Coimbatore region.

OriginThe origin of the Gap can be traced back to the separation of Australia and Africa from the Gondwana landmass, causing continental drift.
Biogeographic distinctionsSeveral species of flora and fauna are found only on one side of the Gap. Also, the Mitochondrial DNA of elephants on the Nilgiris side differ from those in Anamalai and Periyar sanctuaries
RainfallThe Western Ghats north of the Palghat Gap receive more annual rainfall, but the south experiences rainfall more evenly distributed throughout the year.
Biodiversity South of the GapAbundant species richness and diversity.


Reason: The warm weather, evenly distributed rainfall, proximity to the equator, and moist air

Other gapsThal Ghat Pass (Kasara Ghat) (connects Mumbai to Nashik); Bhor Ghat Pass (connects Mumbai to Pune via Khopoli); Amba Ghat Pass (connects: Ratnagiri district to Kolhapur); Naneghat Pass (connects Pune district with Junnar city); Amboli Ghat Pass (connects Sawantwadi of Maharashtra to Belgaum of Karnataka)

Greenwashing TechSprint

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: HBL

 Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opened the application window for firms and innovators to participate in the Global Financial Innovation Network’s (GFIN) Greenwashing TechSprint.


About the Initiative:


GFIN’s 1st ever Greenwashing TechSprint brings together 13 international regulators, (including RBI), along with firms and innovators to address the priority of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues and mitigate the risks of greenwashing in financial services.


ObjectivesThe objective of TechSprint is to develop a tool that can help regulators and the market effectively tackle the deceptive practice of greenwashing.
About GreenwashingMisleading marketing that falsely portrays positive environmental or social outcomes
About ESG FrameworkIt helps stakeholders, such as investors and customers, understand how an organization manages its environmental responsibilities, social impact, and corporate governance practices.
Status of India on ESGIndia is making progress in implementing ESG regulations through the introduction of the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) framework by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
About BRSR frameworkThe BRSR framework aims to connect a company’s financial performance with its ESG practices. It has been mandated for the top 1,000 listed entities in terms of market capitalization starting from the financial year 2022-23.
About GFIN (Global Financial

Innovation Network)

GFIN was launched in 2019 by international financial regulators and organizations with the aim of supporting financial innovation and identifying regulatory gaps in emerging technologies across different sectors. It acts as a surveillance tool to detect issues before they become problematic.

Prices of Drugs going off-patent

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: HBL

 Context: The government has introduced a formula to determine the pricing of medicines that are losing their patent exclusivity.


Patents in India:

A patent for drugs in India gives the patent holder exclusive rights to manufacture, use, sell, or import the patented drug in India for a specified period, typically 20 years from the date of filing the patent application.


Prices of Medicine in India:

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) (under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizer) has been established to fix/revise prices of medicines under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013.


The new formula:

  • For the off-patent price of a medicine (patented under the Patent Act, 1970): It will be capped at 50% of its original cost. After one-year ceiling price will be revised again based on market data.
  • For Generic version: When generic versions become available, the price will be determined based on the average price of similar versions.
  • For Fixed Dose Combinations (FDC), where one component is going off patent, the ceiling price will be revised to 50% of the current ceiling price.
  • For innovative drugs not available in India: An expert committee will decide the price cap.


Significance of the move: The move aims to streamline pricing and encourage competition in the market. Also, it will reduce the prices of the patented drugs which are a part of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)


Concerns: Civil society representatives have raised concerns about the potential for increased prices by generic manufacturers.

CEIR system

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: BT

 Context: The Indian government has launched the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) tracking system to combat mobile phone theft.


About the CEIR system:

 Central Equipment Identity Register is a tracking system to combat mobile phone theft and facilitate the blocking and tracking of lost or stolen mobile phones across the country. CEIR serves as a central depository or database of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, models, versions, and other details of mobile devices.
Implementing BodyCentre for Department of Telematics (CDoT)
Pan-India DeploymentReady for pan-India launch on May 17, 2023
Key FeaturesIn-built mechanism to detect cloned mobile phones; Access to International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number and associated mobile number; Prevent revenue loss to the government; Mandate disclosure of IMEI number prior to mobile device sale; Block unauthorized mobile phones on telecom networks
Success StoryKarnataka Police used the CEIR system to recover and return over 2,500 lost mobile phones
Existing SystemsApple has a tracking system through Apple ID for its devices, but Android phones face challenges in this regard
ImpactUse of stolen mobile phones will become futile
ChallengesDatabase maintenance authority; Cloning or reprogramming of stolen mobile phones; Potential blocking of authentic IMEI numbers when blocking cloned ones


About IMEI numbers:

International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique 15-digit code that precisely identifies the device. Mobile phone manufacturers assign IMEI numbers to each device based on ranges allotted to them by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association. Dual SIM phones will have two IMEI numbers.

Semi-cryogenic Engine

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TOI

 Context: An intermediate configuration of a 2000 kN semi-cryogenic engine was recently tested at a newly commissioned Semi-cryogenic Integrated Engine & Stage Test facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu by ISRO.

  • It was the first in a series of tests planned to validate the design of a propellant feed system, including low-pressure and high-pressure turbo-pumps, gas generator, and control components.


About semi-cryogenic engines:

  • Semi-cryogenic engines are a type of rocket engine that use a combination of liquid and gaseous propellants. They are called “semi-cryogenic” because they operate at temperatures higher than cryogenic engines but still colder than traditional liquid rocket engines.
  • A semi-cryogenic engine uses refined kerosene instead of liquid hydrogen. Liquid oxygen is used as an oxidizer.
  • The Semi Cryogenic Propulsion System Project envisages the design and development of a 2000 kN semi-cryogenic engine and ‘SC120 stage’ that will enable the development of a heavy-lift capability for future Indian space transportation systems.

Regulating captive breeding of exotic animals

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: Hindustan Times


Context: India begins regulating the captive breeding of exotic animals through a licensing system.

  • Those who breed exotic species protected under (CITES) and listed in Appendix 1 of Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act 2022 can now obtain Breeders of Species Licence under the Breeders of Species Licence Rules,2023.
  • Appendix 1 of Schedule IV is endangered exotic animals (Red Panda, various species of dogs, wolves, cats, apes, chimpanzees, gibbons) and plants, and import rules are stricter for them.


What is Captive Breeding?

Captive breeding refers to the practice of breeding and raising wild animals in controlled environments, such as zoos, wildlife centres, or specialized facilities, with the purpose of conserving and protecting endangered or threatened species.

  • The goal of captive breeding programs is to increase the population size of rare species and, if possible, reintroduce individuals back into their natural habitats.


Captive breeding of exotic species protected under CITES was not regulated in the Indian laws until the recent amendment to the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act 2022.


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