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 in 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. The Center vs State tussle over IAS postings
2. Supreme Court’s contradictory verdicts reinforce the need for a Bail Act
3. Data opportunity at the G20
GS Paper 3:
1. Reinvent the economic growth model
Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay)
1. Project Dastaan
2. Karnataka prisoners to manage fuel stations soon
3. India’s ‘Panch Pran’ target for the next 25 years
Facts for Prelims:
1. Center raises thresholds for prosecutions and arrests under Customs Act
2. UDAN scheme
4. Manthan Portal
5. Arth Ganga
6. Grain Storage
8. Compostable Plastic
10. PM 2.5 pollution
11. ‘Medicine from The Sky’ Project
GS paper 2
Syllabus: Role of Civil services in democracy, mode of posting of IAS and other central services in state etc
Context: It has been reported that fewer All India Services (AIS) officers working in the States were coming forward to opt for tenure with the Center.
Factors that account for the reluctance:
- Long hours of work
- Extra caution: Need for extreme clinical care in the preparation and submission of reports going up the hierarchy — sometimes up to the Prime Minister himself.
- Fewer comforts than what is available in a State environment
- The need to operate sometimes far away from one’s native State.
The AIS appointments:
- Selection procedure: Through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which holds an annual examination.
- Deputation by the centre: Appointment officers are allotted to various States, the number of officers depending on each State’s requirement.
- Thereafter, they spend most of their career in those States, intervened by short spells of deputation to the Center.
- Disciplinary authority with the centre: While they are functioning under a State government, disciplinary authority is vested in the former.
- The state cannot impose a major penalty on a delinquent AIS officer for any misconduct.
- Ratification by the centre: Suspension of an officer from the service by a State government will have to be ratified by the Center before the end of three months.
- This is meant to be a safeguard against any arbitrary action by a State government.
- The tussle between centre and state: For example West Bengal, where senior officers such as the Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Police were greatly embarrassed because the Chief Minister and GOI were out of step with each other.
Center’s dialogue with the States over amending the AIS rules assumes importance: Such amendment would empower the Center to commandeer the services of any officer serving in the States to work for the former, with or without the concurrence of the State concerned or the consent of the particular officer.
Q. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting a probe within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. (UPSC 2021)
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Indian Judiciary
Source: Indian Express
Direction: It is a legal article. No need to go in-depth, just know the issue.
- Recently, SC (in Satender Kumar Antil v. CBI) case: The SC has asserted mandatory compliance with Sections 41 and 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Thus, giving primacy to bail for undertrials (Bail and not Jail)
- Previously in a 2014 judgement, SC has asked not to arrest the accused automatically when the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years.
- On the contrary, SC (in Vijay Madanlal Chaudhary v. Union of India (PMLA case)) upheld the arbitrary conditions of bail under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, thus discarding the “presumption of innocence” principle.
Status of undertrials:
- As per the Prison Statistics of India 2020, nearly 76% of prisoners are undertrials.
- Reasons: detentions are often a result of unnecessary arrests by investigating agencies and further the unfair application of bail provisions by the court.
Arguments in favour of making immediate arrests and denial of bail to the undertrials:
- The arrest of the wrongdoer is seen as an effective redressal mechanism by the victim.
- If a police officer does not go for immediate detention, it may be considered a sign of complacency of the authorities.
- The Court should not give a contradictory verdictbecause the operations of investigating agencies do not go in isolation from that of courts and creates a reason for arbitrary misuse of the law.
- Need for Bail act: The confusion created by the two decisions of the apex court reinforces the need for a Bail Act.
Q. Comprehensive reforms are needed in the criminal justice system to ensure effective enforcement of the law, uphold accountability, have a well-trained workforce and speedy disposal of the cases. Comment. (250 words)
GS paper 2
Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India, G20 etc
Context: According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), data localisation laws have more than doubled from 2017 to 2021, indicating that countries (including G20 countries) seek and want increasing levels of regulatory control over data.
Examples of increasing regulation over data:
- Antitrust policy: The US recently issued an executive order on promoting competition in the American economy that pushed for the use of antitrust policy to meet the challenges posed by the rise of dominant platforms, and surveillance.
- European policymakers: They have introduced a bevy of digital rules that place individual users centre-stage, and enhance their data security.
- Through the proposed Data Act, the EU hopes to become an unparalleled data power by creating a single data market, setting robust standards and deploying the EU’s collective data for their own use.
Advantages of G20 to play a role in data governance:
- Converging positions on data governance: There is already seemingly converging positions on data governance amongst major G-7 power.
- Legitimacy of G20: Given G20 legitimacy on economic issues and having the top (digital) economies makes it an appropriate forum to discuss data.
- Non-binding rules: The G20 does not create binding rules but serves as a platform to catalyze and inject new thinking around critical current issues.
India’s position on Data governance:
- Governance of non-personal data, personal data: Since 2017, India has attempted to incubate governance of non-personal data, personal data, e-commerce regulation and artificial intelligence (AI) with a preference to harness “India’s data for India’s development.
- These policies, include the recently withdrawn Personal Data Protection Bill.
What should India do:
- Data collection and sharing: At G20 Indian government should present a holistic agenda that embeds data collection and sharing within a broader framework that prioritizes digital security, innovation, and citizen rights.
- For example, the Reserve Bank of India’s data localisation directive has been in place for four years now.
- Data Localisation: India’s digital economy stewardship must transcend data localisation by highlighting best practices on data protection, competition law, data stewardship, and responsible artificial intelligence both in India and other G20 countries.
- Redraft of Data protection bill: The ongoing effort to redraft the Personal Data Protection Bill and embed it within a ‘more comprehensive framework’ that addresses related concerns like cybersecurity must serve as an urgent domestic priority, and could lend weight to India’s G20 data approach.
Q. Data security has assumed significant importance in the digitized world due to rising cyber crimes. Justice B. N. Srikrishna Committee Report addresses issues related to data security. What, in your view, are the strengths and weaknesses of the Report relating to the protection of personal data in cyberspace? (UPSC 2018)
Q. The long sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized nations has disappeared on account of its newfound role in the emerging global order.’ Elaborate(UPSC 2019)
GS Paper 3
Source: Down to Earth
Direction: Don’t miss any articles by Sunita Narain (D2E) on the environment
Context: The author argues that future global actions must accept the reality of climate equity and use it to drive economic growth
Climate equity ensures the just and fair distribution of the benefits of climate protection efforts among all poor and rich countries, and rural and urban populations.
- Poor the victim: Climate change is an existential threat. And Poor (already surviving on the margins) are severely impacted by extreme weather events.
- Progress vs environment: Millions of people are still waiting to get the benefits of economic progress — which means access to affordable energy. And at a time when the world has literally run out of carbon space to accommodate their need for development.
- Low carbon space for the poor: The “old” industrialised countries and new entrant China have appropriated 73 per cent of the carbon space till 2019.
- Erosion or dilution of climate equity in the negotiations: E.g., 2015 Paris Agreement got rid of the very concept of historical emissions and the idea of “compensation” for the loss and damage.
- The Sum of the nationally determined contributions (NDC) is inadequate: Studies show that even if all NDC targets are fulfilled, it would take the world towards a minimum of a 3°C temperature rise or more.
Reinvent “growth” to become low-carbon, sustainable and yet affordable:
- Carbon fiancé markets — Article 6 of the Paris Agreement — should be put to work: g., the provision of clean energy through millions of mini-grids in the world of the poorest.
- Nature-based solutions must be firmly implemented: E.g., use the ecological wealth of poor countries and communities for mitigation as trees and natural ecosystems sequester CO2.
Q. How far do you think the nature-based solutions a viable option in dealing with climate change in India? Analyze with suitable illustrations. (250 Words)
Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/ Essay)
Direction: This initiative can be used as an example of how technology can be used.
India’s violent and devastating partition in 1947 displaced some 15 million people and left at least a million dead. So many families fled for their lives, never to return to the villages, towns and cities they had once called home.
But now, they can revisit those very places – the houses they left behind, the schools they dropped out of and even the people they thought they would never see again.
Project Dastaan allows them to do just that and take a walk down memory lane, albeit a painful one, with their custom 360-degree VR videos.
State Government Initiatives
Karnataka prisoners to manage fuel stations soon
The Karnataka state prisons department is planning to start fuel stations to be run and managed by prisoners. These stations will be started at selective places which are close to prisons and can be easily monitored by the department staff.
This initiative is in line with reform and rehabilitation initiatives – wherein prisoners will have a sense of responsibility and will live a life of dignity.
India’s ‘Panch Pran’ target for the next 25 years
The Five Resolves that PM asked people to take include;
- Move forward with bigger resolves and resolve of a developed India
- Erase all traces of servitude
- Be proud of India’s legacy
- Strength of unity
- Duties of citizens including PM and CMs.
According to PM, these five resolves will be significant for a developed country when country will mark 100 years of independence in 2047. These five resolves also include the PM’s dream of ‘Vishwaguru India’.
Facts For Prelims
Context: The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s flagship program Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN (UdeDeshkaAamNagrik) has completed 5 years of success (launched in 2016) since the launch of its first flight by the Prime Minister on 27th April 2017.
Aim: It seeks to improve regional air connectivity to tier-2 and tier-3 cities (mostly underserved or unserved regions) through the revival of unused and underused airports.
- Benefits for citizens: Under the scheme, nearly half of the seats in Udan flights are offered at subsidized fares, and the participating carriers are provided with a certain amount of viability gap funding (VGF).
- It is operational for 10 years period.
- Funding: The scheme will be jointly funded by the central government and state governments.
- UDAN 1.0 (5 airlines),
- UDAN 2.0 (helipads connected),
- UDAN 3.0 (inclusion of tourism, seaplane route),
- UDAN 4.0 (further expansion to 78 new routes),
- UDAN 4.1 (Sagarmala Seaplane service),
- KRISHI UDAN (transporting agri-products),
- International UDAN (smaller cities to international destination)
Source: Times of India
Direction: Not so important. Go through it once.
Context: SC commented that the practice of ‘Talaq-e-Hasan’ is not so improper
- PIL was filed to make the prescribed Islamic way of divorce, Talaq-e-Hasan unconstitutional as it is violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.
- Instant Triple Talaq (Talaq-e-biddat) was banned by the government in 2019
Modes of Talaq:
- Talaq-e-Ahsan: a single revocable divorce is made (unlike multiple pronouncements under triple talaq). Next, a woman has to go through iddator a waiting period of three months.
- Talaq-e-Hasan: A Muslim man can divorce his wife by uttering Talaq once every month (for 3 months).
- It enjoys legal validity in almost all Muslim countries.
Direction: ‘Manthan’ is not so important. Have some knowledge about STIAC
Context: It has been launched by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser for promoting collaboration between industry and the Scientific research and development ecosystem to meet India’s sustainability goals.
- Programmes: Knowledge Transfer, Interactive sessions, exhibitions on new innovations
- Platform is powered by NSEIT (a 100% subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange of India)
Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA): He is the chief advisor to the government on matters related to scientific policy and holds a secretary-level position.
- ‘Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser’, through the PM’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC)helps scientific cross-sectoral synergy across ministries, institutions and the industry.
- 1st PSA was P. J. Abdul Kalam (1999-2002)
Similar Name: Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), in coordination with the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), launched an online hackathon “Manthan 2021” (for a technical solution to challenges faced by intelligence agencies)
Fig: Components under PM’s STIAC
Direction: Although new initiatives are not so important, NGP is.
Context: Jal Shakti Ministry unveiled a new initiative under Arth Ganga (under Namami Gange Programme)
Arth Ganga aims to promote economic activities along the Ganga River bank
The new initiatives are:
- Jalaj initiative (Skill enhancement along with Ganga Conservation)
- Sahakar Bharati (sustainable economic development by public participation)
- ImAvatar (promotes livelihood opportunities)
- New course ‘River Champ’ on CLAP
- The continuous learning and activity portal (CLAP) is an online platform for raising awareness, actions and debates around river conservation in India.
About Namami Gange Programme
- It was launched in 2014 with twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of the National River Ganga. (Under Ministry of Jal Shakti and supported by World Bank)
- Implementation: National Ganga Council (headed by the PM) is a decision-making body. Implementation is done by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and its state counterpart organizations i.e., State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).
- Funding: centrally-funded, non-lapsable corpus.
- Main Pillars of NGP: Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure, River-Surface Cleaning, Afforestation, Industrial Effluent Monitoring, River-Front Development, Bio-Diversity, Public Awareness, Ganga Gram
About the Ganges:
- The Ganges is the longest river (2525 Km) and also the largest river in India followed by Godavari (1465 km).
- States covered: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
- Ganga is the third largest river in the world by discharge.
- The mouth of River Ganga forms the world’s largest delta, known as Sunderbans, and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.
Source: Financial Express
Direction: This is old News. PM Samapada Scheme is important.
Context: A new model for the development of Grain Silos (tall tower or pit on a farm used to store grain) under PPP mode at over 80 locations have been proposed
- Grain Silos have been declared as Sub-Mandi Yard (easing procurement and logistics costs for farmers)
PPP model selected: design, build, fund, own and transfer (DBFOT) (land is owned by FCI) and design, build, fund, own and operate (DBFOO) (land belongs to private entities)
Government steps for storage of grains:
- PEG Scheme: Under the Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee, new Godowns are constructed by FC through the private sector.
- Cold Chain, Value addition and Preservation Infrastructure (under PM Sampada Scheme)
- Gramin Bhandaran Yojana: For construction and renovation of godowns in rural areas using capital investment subsidy
Source: Down to Earth
Context: PAN (Pesticide Action Network) has reported that several states are using above the recommended amount of certain pesticides
Reported Pesticides are:
- Chlorpyrifos (to control soil-borne insect pests)- It is known to cause brain damage and is banned in many countries.
- Fipronil (to control ants, beetles, and fleas)
- Atrazine (to control grasses and weeds before they emerge)
- Paraquat (a herbicide to control grasses and weeds)
- On recommendations of the Anupam Verma Committee report the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare had notified Pesticides (Prohibition) Order, 2018under which the use of 18 pesticides was banned.
Pesticide Action Network is “an international coalition of around 600 NGOs, citizens’ groups, and individuals in about 60 countries.” which opposes pesticide use, and advocates what it proposes as more ecologically sound alternatives.
Direction: Do keep a short list of alternatives to SUP.
Context: S&T ministry will encourage startups (through a loan) to manufacture and commercialize “compostable” plastic to mitigate the usage of Single Use plastics (SUP)
Programme is supported by NIDHI-PRAYAS Scheme, Niti Aayog and UNIDO
- NIDHI (National Initiative for developing and harnessing innovations): for setting up incubators, seed funds, accelerators and ‘Proof of concept’.
- PRAYAS (Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring innovators and Startups): (Under the NIDHI scheme) for supporting innovators and entrepreneurs with PRAYAS grants, to develop prototypes.
SUP has been banned from July 2022 in India.
Compostable plastic: Instead of using plastic made from petrochemicals and fossil fuels, compostable plastics are derived from renewable materials like corn, potato, tapioca starches, cellulose, soy protein, and lactic acid.
Source: Business Standards
Context: India buys discounted Venezuelan petroleum coke to replace coal (due to high prices of coal)
Petroleum coke (or pet coke) is a final carbon-rich solid material that derives from oil refining
- Characteristics: A tonne of petcoke is more expensive than coal, but produces more energy when burnt. It is generally not used as fuel because of toxic emissions, but is widely used by the cement industry – its largest consumer, as sulphur dioxide emissions, are absorbed by limestone.
- Uses: As fuel in Industries- Cement, Lime, Alumina etc.
Previously Supreme Court had banned the use of Petcoke in NCR areas (Delhi)
1st shipment: India, which counts the United States and Saudi Arabia as major petcoke suppliers, received its first-ever cargo from Venezuela at the beginning of 2022
PM 2.5 pollution
Source: Down to Earth
Context: Delhi, Kolkata first, second globally in PM2.5 pollution as per the report titled Air Quality and Health in Cities (by US-based research organization Health Effects Institute’s (HEI) State of Global Air Initiative)
- Delhi has had an ‘annual exposure level’ of 110 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³) of PM2.5 (WHO recommendation: annual average concentrations of PM5should not exceed 5 µg/m 3
- Kolkata came second with 84 µg/m³ of PM2.5
- Shanghai led the list of cities most polluted due to NO2
- The trend of exposure:
- 5: The report found that exposure to PM2.5 pollution tended to be higher in cities located in low- and middle-income countries
- NO2: Exposure to NO2 was found to be higher across cities in high-income as well as low- and middle-income
- Reason: NO2 is produced mainly from the burning of fuels mostly in older vehicles, power plants, industrial facilities and residential cooking and heating.
- As city residents tend to live closer to busy roads with dense traffic, they are often exposed to higher NO2 pollution than residents of rural areas.
- Impact: In 2019, 7 million deaths linked to PM2.5 exposure occurred
Source: Air Quality and Health in Cities
‘Medicine from The Sky’ Project
In Arunachal Pradesh, the pilot project of using drones in healthcare, agriculture and disaster management including the “Medicine from the Sky project” is being undertaken in association with the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The first flight of drone service was carried from Seppa to Chayang Tajo in the East Kameng district. This project is inspired by the Prime Minister’s vision of transforming India into the world’s drone hub.
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