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:
- Power to promulgate/re-promulgate ordinances
- India@100: Resolving the tribal health challenge
- G7: De-risking and Effective Climate Action
- Making Cities Climate-Ready
GS Paper 3:
- Decentralised renewable energy (DRE) technologies
Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)
- Appointment of Sultan Al Jaber as the president-delegate of COP28
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
- ‘Forum Shopping’
- National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA)
- RBI payout to Government
- World Food India 2023
- People’s Biodiversity Register
- World Biodiversity Day 2023
- Leatherback Turtles
Power to promulgate/re-promulgate ordinances
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Executive
Context: To overturn a unanimous decision of the SC’s Constitution Bench [which gave the Delhi govt control over services in the NCT], the central government has issued an Ordinance.
About the Ordinance:
- It gave the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi power over services.
- It established a National Capital Civil Service Authority.
- The authority will comprise the CM and two senior IAS officials.
- It would decide matters by majority votes – which may lead to a situation in which the view of the elected CM could be overruled.
|Meaning||It is a law enacted by the Executive (President in the case of Union and Governor in the case of State) to meet extraordinary/urgent circumstances.|
|Extraordinary/urgent circumstances||Article 123 of the Indian Constitution empowers the President [Article 213 – Governor] to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Parliament.|
|Article 123||If at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session, the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgate Ordinances.|
|Real authority that decides to bring the Ordinance||Under Article 74, the President acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers. Hence, it is in effect the government that decides to bring the Ordinance.|
|Effect||An Ordinance shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament. However, the government is required to bring an Ordinance before Parliament for ratification.|
|Life||If the government fails to get an Ordinance ratified by the Parliament, it will lapse at the expiration of 6 weeks from the reassembly of Parliament. Maximum life of an Ordinance = 6 months (recess) + 6 weeks
The Ordinance may lapse earlier – if the President withdraws it or if both Houses pass resolutions disapproving it (imply that the government has lost majority.)
|Criticism||As lawmaking is a legislative function, Ordinance power is provided to meet urgent situations.
However, the governments adopt the Ordinance route to bypass the legislature.
Repromulgation of an Ordinance, which extends life of an Ordinance, allows the executive to further seize legislative power.
|SC verdicts on the issue||RC Cooper Case 1970: If an Ordinance is issued solely to bypass the Parliament, the President’s decision to promulgate the Ordinance can be challenged.
D C Wadhwa v. State of Bihar 1986: If the Government ignores the legislature and repromulgate an Ordinance, it would be a colourable exercise of power.
Krishna Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar 2017: Reiterated that the Governor’s power to issue an Ordinance is in the nature of an emergency power. Repeated re-promulgations without bringing the Ordinance to the legislature would be unconstitutional.
The ordinance route is bad, repromulgation worse
Resorting to ordinances has always raised concern on violation of the spirit of separation of powers doctrine. While noting the rationales justifying the power to promulgate ordinances, analyze whether the decisions of the Supreme Court on the issue have further facilitated resorting to this power. Should the power to promulgate ordinances be repealed? (UPSC 2015)
India@100: Resolving the tribal health challenge
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
Context: As India celebrates its achievements, it must build a healthcare system that caters to tribal communities.
Since independence, India has made remarkable strides:
- As the world’s 5th-largest economy and a leader in the digital realm.
- Demonstrating the ethos of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One World, One Family.
- For example, through its Vaccine Maitri initiative, India provided over 60 million vaccine doses to nations across the world.
- Equitable, affordable and quality healthcare for 4 billion people.
- Finding a way to achieve this without disrupting the identities of tribals.
Healthcare issues faced by Tribal communities in India:
- They constitute 9% of the population and remain the most neglected and deprived group when it comes to access to healthcare.
- For example, the mortality rate in tribal areas is 44% higher than the national average, and infant mortality is 63% higher [Ministry of Tribal Affairs].
Reasons behind poor health indicators among tribals: They face multifaceted challenges – lack of infrastructure, medical professionals, connectivity, affordability, equipment, insurance, funding, etc.
Health schemes in tribal areas:
- The National Health Mission (NHM): It envisages the achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable and quality healthcare services that are accountable and responsive to people’s needs.
- Various initiatives supported under the NHM for better healthcare in tribal areas:
- Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) are established as part of the Ayushman Bharat programme.
- National Free Drugs Service Initiative and National Free Diagnostic Service Initiative have been rolled out.
- The ASHA programme provides for recruitment of ASHA at habitation level, in hilly, tribal and difficult areas.
- National Ambulances Services under NHM for free transportation of sick patients to the health facilities.
- All tribal majority districts whose composite health index is below the State average have been identified as High Priority Districts (HPDs)
- Urgent need to empower tribal communities and ensure they receive equitable, affordable and accessible healthcare.
- This can be ensured by suitable investments (in medical colleges and training centres across such remote areas), public policy and governance.
- Empowering tribal communities must be done strategically.
- With a more communitarian social setup, an underdeveloped economy dependent on forest resources and unique geographic conditions, their health outcomes necessitate a unique approach.
- Mera Baccha Abhiyan:
- It aims to fight malnutrition through public participation in Datia district, Madhya Pradesh.
- As a result, the district witnessed a drop in malnutrition rates (by 17.5%), rise in immunisation, breastfeeding and a drop in diarrhoea.
- Piramal Swasthya – One of the largest implementing agencies of primary healthcare programmes in India:
- It has over a decade’s experience of working with the tribal communities of Andhra Pradesh, implementing its unique community-based model.
- More recently, it has partnered with NITI Aayog to transform the health and nutrition systems in 25 Aspirational Districts spread across 7 States of India.
- As India moves towards India@100, the responsibility of providing healthcare (a fundamental human right) for all lies both with private and government institutions.
- Tribal communities can be empowered by inclusive leadership and investments in healthcare infrastructure, contributing to the UN SDGs.
G7: De-risking and Effective Climate Action
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: International Relations
Context: The 49th annual summit (Hiroshima, Japan) of the G7 leaders concluded recently.
Highlights of the summit:
- G7 countries said that they would build economic resilience for themselves, based on a strategy of diversifying and deepening partnerships and de-risking, not decoupling.
- G7 acknowledged the urgency for effective climate action but offered little in terms of scaled-up action.
What does de-risking and decoupling mean?
|To move business away from areas that are considered risky in terms of the returns they could generate.||It is used as an alternative to an economic boycott to reduce correlation between markets.
|To have resilient, effective supply chains to prevent coercion of any other country.|
Why was ‘de-risking’ used by G7 countries? To describe their stance towards China on economic matters.
De-risking in the context of China: It can be interpreted as a reduction of the reliance on China in the economic sphere – for the supply of materials or as a market for finished goods, so that potential risks to trade and disruption of supply chains are reduced.
|G7 on effective climate action|
|Need||The window of opportunity for effective action was narrowing faster than ever before.
The 1.5 degree Celsius threshold was likely to be temporarily breached over the next five years (WMO).
Surpassing 2016, 2023 is on track to become the warmest ever.
The probability of occurrence of heat waves in India and neighbouring countries has increased by 30 times due to global warming.
|Milestones listed for effective climate action||A global peak by 2025: The G7 claimed that their GHG emissions had already peaked, and asked all major economies (India, China, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia) to ensure that their individual emissions peak by 2025.
Net-zero by 2050: It is essential in order to meet the 1.5 degree Celsius target. The G7 asked all major economies to come up with detailed road maps to reach the target.
Eliminating “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025.
|Challenges in meeting the milestones||The 2025 peak year is not mandated under the Paris Agreement. India has indicated that its emissions will grow in the next decade as well. China, the world’s largest emitter, would peak only towards the end of this decade.
Only Germany (among the major emitters like the US, EU) has said it would attain net-zero status by 2045.
China would turn net-zero in 2060, while India has set 2070 as the target. Some other countries.
The G7 countries put no deadline to ending the use of fossil fuels.
Making Cities Climate-Ready
Syllabus: Environment/ Governance
Context: A recent report by the World Bank titled “Thriving: Making Cities Green, Resilient, and Inclusive in a Changing Climate” provides guidance to local and national policymakers on how to create greener, more resilient, and inclusive cities.
Status of Cities in terms of their greenness, resilience, and inclusiveness (as per the report):
|Greenness||Cities in high- and upper-middle-income countries contribute significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions.||Cities in North America are among the largest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases.|
|Resilience||Cities in low- and lower-middle-income countries face the highest exposure to climate change-related hazards.||Cities in Bangladesh and India are more vulnerable to floods, heat stress, and cyclones, resulting in severe economic consequences.|
|Inclusiveness||Lack of inclusiveness contributes to the vulnerability and lack of resilience in cities of low- and lower-middle-income countries.||Cities in low- and lower-middle-income countries often struggle with inadequate access to healthcare, education, and essential utilities such as water and electricity.|
|Air Pollution||Cities in low- and middle-income countries have higher levels of air pollution, particularly PM2.5, compared to cities in high-income countries.||Delhi, Kanpur, Patna etc. have experienced high levels of PM2.5, especially during the winter season|
|Vertical Development and Prosperity||Cities that develop vertically consume less land, accommodate more people, and show increased prosperity.||New York City, have higher population density and economic activity compared to cities with sprawled development.|
|Lack of Vegetation and Heat Impact||Cities with less vegetation, particularly in upper-middle-income countries, experience exacerbated impacts from extreme heat events and urban heat island effects.||Cities like Tokyo, with limited green spaces, face higher temperatures during heat waves due to the lack of vegetation and increased heat retention.|
Five sets of instruments to improve the greenness, resilience, and inclusiveness of cities (as recommended by the report):
|Information||Policies and measures to provide credible and timely information to individuals, businesses, and local governments about climate change risks, mitigation and adaptation measures||Establishing a climate change information centre to provide climate risks data specific to their city.|
|Incentives||It includes removing subsidies that encourage activities with negative environmental externalities, Implementing tax incentives or rebates for installing energy-efficient technologies||FAME I and II scheme, EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)|
|Insurance||Developing climate risk insurance schemes that provide coverage for businesses and households against losses from extreme weather events, encouraging investment in climate-resilient infrastructure and enabling quick recovery.|
|Integration||Policy interventions promoting compact cities and better integration between urban and rural areas; Developing efficient public transportation networks that connect urban and rural areas||E.g., Smart City mission, PURA Scheme (provide urban amenities and livelihood opportunities in rural areas)|
|Investments||Investments by national and local governments in green, resilient, and inclusive urban infrastructure. This includes nature-based solutions and measures to attract private-sector finance for sustainable development.||Allocating funds for the construction of green buildings, renewable energy projects, and urban parks.|
Addressing the challenges of climate change and creating sustainable cities requires a multi-faceted approach. It involves prioritizing green practices, building resilience to climate impacts, and promoting inclusiveness in urban development. Taking action at the city level is crucial in mitigating climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.
Greenness: Greenness refers to the environmental sustainability and ecological balance of a city.
Resilience: Resilience refers to the ability of a city to withstand and recover from shocks, stresses, and climate change impacts.
Inclusiveness: Inclusiveness refers to creating cities that are socially and economically equitable, where all individuals and communities have equal access to opportunities, resources, and services.
Climate resilience plans in Indian Cities
Discuss global warming and mention its effects on the global climate. Explain the control measures to bring down the level of greenhouse gasses which cause global warming, in the light of the Kyoto Protocol, 1997. (UPSC 2022)
Decentralised renewable energy (DRE) technologies
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life
Context: According to a new report, technologies that are powered by DRE could potentially impact 37 million livelihoods in India’s agriculture and textile sectors.
DRE: Energy that is generated close to where it will be used and typically uses renewable energy sources, including small hydro, combined heat and power (CHP), biomass, solar and wind power.
DRE technologies include: Solar-run textile manufacturing units, biomass-powered cold solar storages and micro solar pumps, etc.
Current status in India:
- India has 12 mature technologies powered by DRE.
- There are 5.5 lakh installations of these 12 technologies, with an estimated livelihood impact of 5.6 lakh people.
- DRE has a market potential of Rs 4 lakh crore in rural and peri-urban communities in India and can impact 37 million livelihoods.
- Solar-powered technologies have the maximum potential to be deployed (UP leads in terms of estimated future adoption).
- Solar pumps are the most mature technologies due to the government subsidies provided.
Positive impacts of using DRE technologies:
Barriers to DRE tech adoption:
- The commercial viability of such solutions, which are capital intensive in nature.
- One barrier faced by the users is the lack of direct contact with the manufacturers to address technology defects.
- Assessment of demand: It will help in mapping the needs of beneficiaries with appropriate fit to DRE livelihood applications.
- R&D and standardisation: To offer tailor-made solutions important for their widespread adoption.
- Pilot and up-scaling: It is vital to ascertain the success of any technology innovation on the ground.
- Access to finance:
- Introducing long-period, low-interest loans to users to enable ease of adoption of such solutions.
- State Rural Livelihoods Missions (SRLMs) can leverage their existing institutional setup to provide financial support for the women SHG members.
- Skill development and capacity building:
- This has the potential of creating new local job opportunities in operations, maintenance and installation/fabrication.
- Linkages will be established in existing government schemes like MUDRA to support micro-entrepreneurship in the value chain for DRE livelihood applications.
- Public information and awareness
Appointment of Sultan Al Jaber as the president-delegate of COP28
Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)
Dozens of US Congress and European Parliament members are urging for the removal of oil executive Sultan Al Jaber as the president-delegate of COP28, the United Nations climate summit. Al Jaber, who heads the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), is overseeing significant oil and gas expansion plans that conflict with net-zero goals.
Ethical Issues: Conflict of Interest; Lack of Credibility; Greenwashing Concerns (misleadingly presenting an environmentally harmful activity as environmentally friendly); Inadequate Representation; Lack of Accountability; and Erosion of public trust in the COP process and international efforts to combat climate change.
Usage: The example can be used in Ethics/Essay/ Environment questions.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: Recently, CJI Chandrachud has condemned ‘forum shopping’.
Forum shopping refers to the practice of litigants or lawyers deliberately selecting a particular judge or court where they believe the judgment will be more favourable to their case. This practice involves choosing a court that is likely to provide the most favourable outcome, rather than following the standard legal process.
Issues with Forum Shopping:
- It circumvents the normal course of justice and can lead to an imbalance in the workload of courts.
- The Supreme Court has condemned this practice. It has no sanction in law and must be discouraged.
- Ethical issues: Unfair advantage; Manipulation of the legal system
Recourse available with courts in case of ‘forum Shopping’:
- Courts may exercise discretionary powers and refuse jurisdiction over a matter if another court or forum is more suitable. This ensures that cases are allocated to the appropriate bench and promotes fairness and justice.
- Courts can impose fines on litigants
SC judgements on ‘Forum Shopping’:
- SC in 1998 (Chetak Construction Ltd. vs. Om Prakash): “A litigant cannot be permitted choice of the forum,” and that every attempt at forum shopping “must be crushed with a heavy hand.”
- SC (2017) (‘Union of India & Ors. vs. Cipla Ltd.’): SC laid down a “functional test” to be adopted for forum shopping.
- SC (2022) (Vijay Kumar Ghai vs. State of W.B.): Supreme Court termed forum shopping as a “disreputable practise by the courts” that “has no sanction and paramountcy in law”.
The practice of “bench hunting” refers to petitioners attempting to have their cases heard by a specific judge or court in order to obtain a favourable order.
National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA)
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is organizing a two-day National Workshop on the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) in New Delhi.
What is NeVA?
NeVA, the National e-Vidhan Application, is a workflow system deployed on the NIC Cloud, MeghRaj, designed to facilitate smooth proceedings of the Parliament or State Assembly House and efficient handling of legislative business in a paperless manner.
Aim: NeVA aims to eliminate the need for physical notices or data collection requests and brings all legislatures onto a single platform, creating a centralized data repository.
It is a device-neutral and member-centric application that provides members with comprehensive information, such as contact details, rules of procedure, a list of business, notices, bills, questions and answers, committee reports, and more, directly on their handheld devices or tablets. Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh have become paperless assemblies using the NeVA application.
It is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the Digital India Programme being implemented by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) with technical support from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY). It is a Central Sponsored Scheme. It aims to digitize and bring all the legislatures of the country together, in one platform thereby creating a massive data depository.
World Food India 2023
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: India’s Ministry of Food Processing Industries is organizing the second edition of ‘World Food India 2023’ in New Delhi from 3rd-5th November.
Aim: The event aims to showcase India’s food culture and attract global investments in the food processing sector. It will bring together manufacturers, producers, investors, policymakers, and organizations from across the global food ecosystem.
Focus areas: Leveraging millets as a superfood; positioning India as a global hub for food processing; unlocking growth potentials in strategic segments; establishing an efficient ecosystem, and promoting sustainable development.
The event is part of India’s vision to become a global leader in the food processing industry and highlights the country’s production, consumption, and export potential in various food sectors. India is taking steps to create an inclusive and sustainable ecosystem, attract foreign investment, and enhance the ease of doing business, in the food processing system.
The first edition of World Food India was held in 2017. India leads the world in the production of milk, bananas, mangoes, papayas, guavas, ginger, okra and buffalo meat, and ranks second in the production of rice, wheat, potatoes, garlic, cashew nuts.
The United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023) with the aim of increasing the production and consumption of millets worldwide.
Among the following, which one is the largest exporter of rice in the world in the last five years? ( UPSC 2019)
People’s Biodiversity Register
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: The National Campaign for Updation and Verification of People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) was launched in Goa, by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Aim: It is aimed to document and preserve India’s rich biological diversity.
The People’s Biodiversity Register serves as a comprehensive record of locally available Bio-resources including the landscape and demography of a particular area or village. It is prepared by Biodiversity Management Committees (under Biodiversity Act 2002) in consultation with local communities.
About Biodiversity Management Committees
BMCs are local bodies created under the Biological Diversity Act 2002, with the mandate to ensure the conservation, sustainable utilization and equitable sharing of benefits from biodiversity.
The act has made it mandatory for every local self-governing institution in rural and urban areas to constitute Biodiversity Management Committees within their area of jurisdiction. BMC must prepare a PBR in consultation with local people.
Kolkata was the first major metropolitan city in India to make a detailed People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR). Previously, the Forest Survey of India’s report had flagged the West Bengal Capital for the least greenery among all metro cities.
World Biodiversity Day 2023
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated on May 22 each year, is a reminder of the promise made during Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) (December 2022)
About the News:
|About International Day for Biological Diversity||The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1993 proclaimed 22nd May as IDB to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
· 2011-2020: United Nations (UN) Decade on Biodiversity
· 2021-2030: UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
|Theme for 2023||“From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity”|
|About Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)||It is a non-binding international agreement that calls for urgent and integrated action to address biodiversity considerations in all sectors of the global economy.|
|Main Targets||The framework consists of four goals and 23 targets for 2030. The four goals are: 1. Conserve and restore biodiversity. 2. Ensure sustainable use of biodiversity. 3. Share benefits fairly and equitably. 4. Enable transformative change.|
|30 by 30 Target||One of the important targets is to make 30% of the Earth’s land and oceans protected status by 2030.|
|Issues in meeting the targets||· Lack of Political will (similar targets set under the previous Aichi Biodiversity Targets in 2011 were not met by 2020);
· Funding Gap (Developed countries were supposed to provide $20 billion in international finance to developing nations by 2025 and $30 billion by 2030)- not yet functional
· Non-alignment of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) with the GBF (only Spain has submitted the realigned NBSAP; even India has not done so)
· Experts argue that the ‘targets of protection of 30% of land and water’, may infringe upon the rights of indigenous peoples.
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: The government has granted approvals for an international container port on the Great Nicobar Island, which poses a threat to the survival of leatherback turtles, the largest turtles on Earth.
Threats faced by turtles: Turtles face threats such as loss of nesting sites, fishing activities, boat collisions, egg collection, plastic waste ingestion, and habitat destruction.
The approvals granted for the project have been criticized for their violation of internationally accepted principles of biodiversity offsetting. There is no provision to compensate for the damage to turtle nesting.
About the turtle
The Giant Leatherback turtle (IUCN: Vulnerable) is the largest of the seven sea turtle species. It has a leather-like shell and is found in all oceans except the Arctic and the Antarctic. In the Indian Ocean, it nests only in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is the only living species in its genus and family. The Leatherback is unique among reptiles as it can generate heat to maintain high body temperatures. It is protected under India’s Wildlife Protection Act. Female Leatherbacks nest in significant numbers in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and then swim towards Australia’s western coast and the eastern coast of Africa.
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