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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. WHO report on the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ program


GS Paper 3:

  1. Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs)
  2. What is happening to Arctic Sea ice?


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Yakshamitraru Germany
  2. Coral Restoration Program


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Neolithic-era celt
  2. Menhir and megalithic burial sites
  3. JATAN
  4. New Development Bank (NDB)
  5. Urban Co-Operative Banks



  1. Sudan


WHO report on the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ program

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government Policies & Interventions


Source: PIB

 Context: The WHO report highlights the significant impact of the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ program on public health and economic savings.

 The focus of the report: The ‘Har Ghar Jal’ report focuses on diarrheal diseases as they contribute significantly to the overall disease burden related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) issues.


Performance of the Har Ghar Jal program (as per the report):

On Piped Water connectionCurrently, over 12 crore rural households, or 62%, have piped water connections (from about 16% in 2019 when the scheme was launched)No programme has this kind of direct impact on improving the lives of individuals and families physically, mentally, and financially.


 Five States including Gujarat, Telangana, Goa, Haryana, and Punjab and 3 Union Territories — A& N, Daman Diu & Dadra Nagar Haveli and Puducherry have reported 100% coverage.


Even the laggard states are doing well. Himachal Pradesh (at about 99%), Bihar (at over 96%)

Seeing the success, the government has claimed that it will achieve 100% coverage in all states by 2024


On Health impacts of the Har Ghar Jal programEnsuring safely managed drinking water for all could avert nearly 400,000 deaths caused by diarrheal diseases and prevent approximately 14 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) related to these diseases.


*DALY is a measure that shows the impact of a disease or condition on a person’s health, combining years lost due to premature death and years lived with a disability.


This achievement alone would result in estimated cost savings of up to $101 billion.



Every dollar invested in sanitation interventions gives a $4.3 return in the form of reduced healthcare costs


On saving time and effort for womenIn 2018, households spent a staggering over 66 million hours each day collecting water, with the majority occurring in rural areasTremendous time and effort have been saved for women and girls through the provision of tap water
On Safe water supplyIn 2018, 36% of India’s total population, including 44% of the rural population, lacked access to improved drinking-water sources on their premises.Unsafe drinking water, along with inadequate sanitation and hygiene, contributed to a number of deaths (esp. among children) and DALYs



About the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ programme (also called Nal Se Jal Yojana):

AboutThe ‘Har Ghar Jal’ programme aims to provide safe and affordable tap water connections to every rural household in India.
ImplementationUnder Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) (Ministry of Jal Shakti). The scheme is based on a unique model where paani samitis (water committee) comprising villagers will decide what they will pay for the water they consume.
AimProvide fully functional, safe and affordable tap water connections to every rural household in India by 2024
*Fully functional tap water connection defined as a household receiving at least 55 litres of per capita per day of potable water throughout the year
SignificanceEnsuring access to clean drinking water; Improving public health and well-being; Aligned with SDG 6.1 (proportion of the population using safely managed drinking water services); Aligned with SDG 3.9 (mortality related to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene)
AchievementsIncrease in rural tap water connections from 16.64% in 2019 to 62.84% in 41 months
Burhanpur district (MP) was the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certified district in the country; Goa was the 1st State to achieve 100% coverage
About Jal Jeevan MissionJJM envisages a supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.


Insta Links:

 ‘Nal Se Jal’ Yojana



What is water stress? How and why does it differ regionally in India? (UPSC 2019)


Prelims Links

 Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2020)

  1. 36% of India’s districts are classified as “overexploited” or “critical” by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
  2. CGWA was formed under the Environment (Protection) Act.
  3. India has the largest area under groundwater irrigation in the world.


Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1 and 3 only


Ans: B

Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs)Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs)

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilisation of Resources

 Source: TH

 Context: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed additional disclosures from Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs).

FPI vs FDI (Foreign direct investment):

Distinguishing featuresDoes not give investors direct ownership of a company’s assets.Direct control/ownership in a business.
Definition of FPI and FDI as per Arvind Mayaram Committee (2014)FPI results in an investor controlling less than 10% of the shares of the company.FDI results in an investor controlling more than/equal to 10% of the shares of the company.

FPI regulation in India:

  • FPIs are registered with SEBI and can invest in Indian securities as per the regulations prescribed by SEBI.
  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) is the primary legislation governing FPI in India and has been amended several times to liberalise FPI regulations in India.


What are SEBI’s new proposals?

  • The proposed legislation categorises FPIs into low risk, moderate risk and high risk.
  • The low risk would cover government and government-related entities such as central banks or sovereign wealth funds.
  • Moderate risk refers to pension funds or public retail funds with widespread and dispersed investors.
  • All other FPIs are categorised as high-risk.


Proposals for high-risk FPIs:

  • Additional disclosure requirements for high-risk FPIs holding more than 50% of their equity asset under management (AUM) in a single corporate group.
  • The existing high-risk FPIs with an overall holding in the Indian equity market of over Rs 25,000 crore comply with the disclosure mandate within six months.
    • Failing this, they would have to bring down their holding within the threshold.



  • New FPIs that have just begun investments would be allowed to breach the threshold criteria for up to a period of six months.
  • ‘Moderate risk’ FPIs, whose India-oriented holdings are relatively small in comparison to their global portfolio, are not subjected to additional disclosure requirements.


Need of the proposed regulations:

  • Potential misuse of the FPI route for circumventing Press Note 3 stipulations (2020) that required an entity sharing a land border with India to involve in FPI only via the government route.
  • Concentrated group investments by FPIs to bypass regulatory requirements (such as that for minimum public shareholding).


Significance of the proposed regulations:

  • They would try to identify tangible ownership and curtail incidences of multiple routes.
  • This would enhance transparency and help avert regulatory requirements, and keep up with the minimum (25%) public shareholding norms.


Concerns: A detract from ease-of-doing investments.


Insta Links:

What FPIs’ market exit means


Mains Links:

Justify the need for FDI for the development of the Indian economy. Why is there a gap between MOUs signed and actual FDIs? Suggest remedial steps to be taken for increasing actual FDIs in India. (UPSC 2016)


Prelims Links: (UPSC 2017)

Which of the following is the most likely consequence of implementing the ‘Unified Payments Interface (UPI)’?

  1. Mobile wallets will not be necessary for online payments.
  2. Digital currency will totally replace physical currency in about two decades.
  3. FDI inflows will drastically increase.
  4. The direct transfer of subsidies to poor people will become very effective.


Ans: 1

/ 12 June 2023

What is happening to Arctic Sea ice?

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Conservation


Source: TH

 Context: According to a recent study published in the Nature Journal, the loss of Arctic Sea ice is expected to continue in the coming decades, even if carbon emissions are significantly reduced.


What is Arctic Sea ice?

Arctic sea ice refers to the frozen seawater that covers the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas during the colder months. It spreads over one-sixth of the earth’s landmass.



Data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that the annual mean of Arctic Sea ice levels has been the lowest since at least 1850, while late summer levels have hit the lowest point in at least 1,000 years. The IPCC predicts that the Arctic will likely experience a practically ice-free September at least once before 2050.


The new findings:

  • The world will see its first ‘sea-ice-free summer’before 2050 (corroborating IPCC findings), possibly in the 2030s.
  • The global emissions will drive temperatures to beyond 4.5°C making the Arctic ice-free by 2081-2100.
  • There is no scenario under which the Arctic Sea ice can be saved in summer.


Factors Causing Rapid Melting of Ice:

Arctic AmplificationIt refers to the phenomenon where the Arctic region experiences more rapid warming compared to the rest of the planet
Albedo Feedback LoopIce has high reflectivity (albedo) compared to land or water surfaces. Decreased ice cover reduces Earth’s surface reflectivity, leading to more absorption of solar radiation and surface warming
Darker Ocean SurfaceBright ice is being replaced by a darker open ocean surface in the Arctic. Less reflection of the sun’s radiation, resulting in additional heating and ice loss
Melting permafrostAs permafrost thaws, it releases stored greenhouse gases, such as methane, which contribute to additional warming.
Atmospheric circulation patternsChanges in atmospheric circulation patterns can transport warm air into the Arctic, further raising temperatures and melting ice.


Impact of Melting Arctic Ice:

Global Climate ChangeRising sea levels, salinity levels, and current and precipitation patterns
Danger to Coastal CommunitiesIncreased risk of coastal flooding, coastal erosion and storm surge for coastal communities
Food SecurityPolar vortexes, heat waves, and unpredictable weather patterns due to ice loss can damage global crop production; Shifting fish species distributions and impacting the Arctic food web
Biodiversity Threat– Melting Arctic ice threatens the biodiversity of the region, impacting species such as polar bears and altering the food web
Emerging Race CourseCompetition among countries like the US, China, and Russia for resource extraction and influence in the Arctic region
Tundra DegradationIncreasingly swampy tundra due to global warming is damaging permafrost
Threat to BiodiversityPolar bears and other Arctic species face challenges due to shrinking ice cover


What can India do?

India should aim to understand the dynamics of Arctic demography and governance, going beyond scientific exploration. With its growing stature in world affairs, India can become the voice of Arctic tribes and raise their issues in global forums. By actively engaging in Arctic affairs, India can leverage this opportunity to shape policies and contribute to discussions concerning the region’s future. Previously India unveiled India’s Arctic Policy document.



The focus should be on establishing a global ocean treaty that addresses the governance of the oceans worldwide, and prioritize safe and sustainable exploration of resources. This treaty should aim to ensure collaboration and cooperation among nations.


Insta links

India and the Arctic


Mains Links:

Why is India taking a keen interest in the resources of the Arctic region? (UPSC 2018)

  The frigid Arctic, which keeps losing ice due to global warming, is one of the batteries feeding the variations in Indian monsoons. Discuss. (250 Words)


Prelims Links:

The term ‘IndARC’, sometimes seen in the news, is the name of (USPC 2015)

(a) an indigenously developed radar system inducted into Indian Defence

(b) India’s satellite to provide services to the countries of the Indian Ocean Rim

(c) a scientific establishment set up by India in the Antarctic region

(d) India’s underwater observatory to scientifically study the Arctic region


Ans: D

Yakshamitraru Germany

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

 Source: TH

A team of amateur Yakshagana artists based in Germany, known as ‘Yakshamitraru Germany,’ is organizing charity shows to support economically disadvantaged artists and provide scholarships for underprivileged students in India.

The team members emphasize the preservation of Yakshagana’s authenticity and refuse to compromise its integrity by blending it with other art forms. They have received acclaim for their performances, with the shows contributing to the revitalization of Yakshagana.


Usage: Such an example can be cited in the Essay/ Arts and Culture question, highlighting the revitalization of arts and supporting the artist community using innovative means.


About Yakshagana

Yakshagana is a traditional dance-drama form originating from the Indian state of Karnataka. It combines elements of dance, music, dialogue, elaborate costumes, and intricate makeup. The performances typically depict stories from Hindu epics and mythology, showcasing a blend of folklore, history, and religious themes.

Coral Restoration Program

 Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is taking measures to restore and protect coral reefs that have been impacted by bleaching events and human activities. Efforts are being made to promote environmental projects, including the growth of artificial corals and the restoration of damaged corals by the diving community.


However, experts highlight that unless the underlying cause of coral reef degradation, such as overheating seas due to climate change, is addressed, restoration efforts may not be sustainable.


Other programmes in India: ReefWatch Marine Conservation (by NGO); Gulf of Kutch Coral Conservation and Restoration Project (by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Gujarat Forest Department)


Usage: Such examples can use in Environment questions.

Neolithic-era celt

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH


Context: A celt, belonging to the Neolithic period, was discovered in Poothinatham by Tamil Nadu’s Department of Archaeology.

  • This celt was used as either a plough or an axe and was made of Doloraid stone.


What is a celt?

A celt is a prehistoric tool made of stone or metal, typically used as a cutting or shaping implement. It can serve as an axe, chisel, or adze, and was commonly used during the Neolithic period for various purposes such as woodworking, farming, and construction.

A shoe-last celt was a polished stone tool used during the early European Neolithic for felling trees and woodworking.


About the Neolithic period (also known as the New Stone Age) (10000 BC to 2200 BC)

It was a prehistoric era characterized by the development of agriculture, the domestication of animals, and the creation of settled communities. It marked a significant shift in human society from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle to one based on farming and permanent settlements.

Menhir and megalithic burial sites


Source: TH

 Context: The TN Department of Archaeology has declared five ‘menhir’ (single stone) and megalithic burial sites at Kodumanal in Erode district as protected monuments.



  • Kodumanal, located on the northern banks of the Noyyal, made it to the archaeology map in 1961 when the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) started the first dig.
  • In the 2021 Budget, the State government announced that Kodumanal would be declared a protected archaeological site.


What are megaliths?

  • A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct (burial sites/ commemorative memorials) a prehistoric structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones.
  • The majority of the megaliths in India are dated by archaeologists to the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC), while some sites date back as far as 2000 BC.
  • Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent. However, the majority of megalithic sites are found in Peninsular India.


Types of megalithic structures: Stone circles, Dolmen (placing a large capstone on two or more support stones), Cist (coffin-like box), Monolith (menhir), etc.



Source: TH

 Context: A MoU has been signed between the MeitY and Union Culture Ministry to complete 3D digitisation of all museums (under central control) by the year-end for better conservation of artefacts.

How? The 3D digitisation would be done using the JATAN virtual museum builder software through 3D scanning.


3D scanning:

  • It means analysing a real-world object or environment to collect 3-dimensional data on its shape and possibly its appearance.
  • The collected data is then used to construct digital 3D models.


About JATAN:

  • JATAN is a digital collection management system for Indian museums designed and developed by Human Centres Design and Computing Group, Centre for Development of Smart Computing, Pune.
  • It can create 3D virtual galleries and provide public access through web, mobile or touchscreen kiosks.


Museums included:

  • Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad,
  • The Allahabad Museum in Prayagraj,
  • The Indian Museum and the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata,
  • The National Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.

New Development Bank (NDB)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


 Source: NDB

 Context: The New Development Bank (NDB) has launched its Indian Regional Office (IRO) in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City).

Objective: The establishment of the IRO aims to address infrastructure and sustainable development needs in India and Bangladesh, contributing to economic growth and sustainable development in South Asia.

Other offices of NDB: The NDB already has regional offices in Africa, the Americas, and Eurasia.

About the New Development Bank (NDB):

AboutNDB (est. 2014; HQ: Shanghai) is a multilateral development bank founded to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing countries. It received observer status in the United Nations General Assembly in 2018.
MemberBRICS nations, Bangladesh, UAE, Egypt
Major ProjectsCommitted funding to major infrastructure projects in India, including Mumbai Metro rail, Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System, and Renewable Energy projects; Approved 14 Indian projects with a total funding of nearly USD 4.2 billion; Signed a 1 billion USD loan pact with India in 2020 for rural employment and infrastructure. India is the second-largest recipient of NDB’s financial support after China.
AchievementsInnovated in areas such as lending in local currencies; Holds an AA+ credit rating; Successfully launched bonds, including ‘green bonds’.
IssuesLow disbursal of loans despite approving over USD 12 billion; Challenges due to political turmoil and economic crises in member countries; Difficulty in lending to Russian companies due to sanctions and strained China-India relations
About GIFT CityGujarat International Finance Tec-City is a central business district under construction in Gandhinagar district in Gujarat, India. It is India’s first operational greenfield smart city and international financial services centre.

Urban Co-Operative Banks


Source: ET

 Context: The government has taken steps to strengthen 1,514 urban co-operative banks (UCBs) by implementing four key measures, as notified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).


Measures notified by the RBI are:

New BranchesUCBs can open new branches up to 10% (maximum 5 branches) of the previous year’s branch count. UCBs have to get the policy approved by their board and comply with the Financially Sound and Well Managed (FSWM) Norms
One-Time SettlementUCBs can also do One-Time Settlements at par with commercial banks. UCBs can have board-approved policies for technical write-offs and settlements with borrowers
Priority Sector Lending (PSL)Extension of timeline by two years (until March 31, 2026) to achieve PSL targets. Deadline extension from March 31, 2023, to March 31, 2024, to achieve the PSL target of 60%
Designating Nodal Officer in RBIAppointment of a Nodal Officer in RBI for closer coordination and focused interaction




Source: IE

 The fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has severely impacted Sudan’s economy and led to shortages of essential resources. The clashes have resulted in numerous casualties, and the conflict has now spread to the troubled region of Darfur.


Sudan is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, Egypt to the north, Eritrea to the northeast, Ethiopia to the southeast, Libya to the northwest, South Sudan to the south, and the Red Sea. It was the largest country by area in Africa and the Arab League until the secession of South Sudan in 2011.


About the Darfur region:

It is a region in western Sudan that has been plagued by violent conflict and humanitarian crises. The area has experienced ethnic tensions between Arab and African communities, leading to widespread violence and human rights abuses.



 Source: TH

Canada is currently facing 426 active fires, with a significant number reported in Quebec province. It has been caused by a combination of factors, including lightning strikes, Low snowfall and dry spring in Atlantic Canada, climate change and human activities.


About Canada:

It is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, making it the world’s second-largest country by total area, with the world’s longest coastline.


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