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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:
GS Paper 3:
Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Syllabus: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings Affecting India’s Interests
Context: In order to give the necessary fillip to enhance Quad cooperation in biotechnology, India should be an ideal choice for the establishment of a Quad-led biomanufacturing hub.
Case of India:
How does Quad complement these strengths?
Advantages of the proposed hub for India and Quad:
Way ahead for India:
India’s Biotech Sector
‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)’ is the transforming itself into a trade bloc from a military alliance, in present times – Discuss. (UPSC 2020)
Syllabus: Industrial Growth/ Governance
Context: The article emphasizes the need to improve India’s drug regulatory regime to ensure credibility in the pharmaceutical industry.
Status of India’s pharmaceutical industry:
Various issues associated with regulating the pharmaceutical industry in India:
National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)
In India, drugs and cosmetics are regulated by:
Steps that can be taken by the government:
Indian government can enhance the quality and regulation of the pharmaceutical industry through legislative amendments, centralized drug databases, and the merging of regulators. It will build confidence, ensure high-quality generics, and uphold India’s reputation as a reliable supplier, benefiting both domestic and global healthcare while protecting public health.
Spurious Drug Menace
India enjoys an important position in the global pharmaceuticals sector. Analyse the strength and weaknesses of India in this sector. Suggest steps to overcome the weaknesses. (250 Words)
Syllabus: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation
Context: According to a new study, only 13% of methane emissions are covered by global methane mitigation policies.
● However, it is 80 times more potent at warming than CO2.
● Agriculture, fossil fuels as well as solid waste and wastewater are the three major sources of methane.
● In India (3rd largest emitter of CH4) ~20% of its anthropogenic CH4 emissions come from agriculture (manure management), coal mines, municipal solid waste, etc.
● According to the IPCC, the world must cut methane emissions by at least 30 % by 2030.
Highlights of the study:
Fossil fuels firms failed to curb methane emission: What IEA’s annual report says
Maria Mies, a Marxist Feminist scholar, recently passed away. She was known for her extensive work on how patriarchy, capitalism, and colonialism exploit women and nature.
Usage: Her works and views can be directly quoted in the Essay/Indian Society/ Sociology paper.
Technophobia is the tendency of individuals or societies to exhibit resistance, fear, or negative attitudes toward emerging technologies.
Examples of Technophobia:
Reason for “technophobia”: It can be attributed to various factors such as complexity, lack of knowledge, fear of losing control, and emotional responses.
Usage: Such terms and related examples can be used in the Essay to highlight psychological fear related to ‘new technologies’.
Ganga Prahari refers to the volunteers (about 4000 in number) who are part of the task force called “Guardians of the Ganga.” They are individuals who have joined the National Mission for Clean Ganga and Namami Gange initiative to protect and preserve the Ganga River in India.
Training: The Wildlife Institute of India provides training in conserving biodiversity as well as livelihood training opportunities to the volunteers.
Responsibilities: Monitoring the river, preventing littering, and reporting instances of poaching.
The United Nations in December 2022 recognised the Namami Gange initiative as one of the top 10 World Restoration Flagships involved in reviving the natural world.
Usage: This example can be quoted in the Essay/Ethics and Environment paper. Also, Ganga Prahari shows the values of Environmental Stewardship, Respect for Life, Civic Duty, Courage and Resilience, Collaboration and Community Engagement, etc.
Context: The Andhra Pradesh High Court recently struck down a government order that aimed to regulate public meetings, processions, and assemblies on roads, highways, and streets.
What was the issue involved?
The Andhra Pradesh government contended that its action was necessary to regulate these activities in light of recent accidents caused by processions on roads. However, the Andhra High Court struck down the government order, stating that the tradition of public meetings and assemblies holds historical, cultural, and political significance in the country.
What did Andhra HC say:
These guidelines include regulating the intended number of participants, prescribing minimum distances, imposing restrictions on certain routes, and disallowing the carrying of weapons.
Context: Visakhapatnam City police is set to introduce e-Malkhana in all police stations by June this year.
What is e-Malkhana?
e-Malkhana is a scientific storage system implemented by the Visakhapatnam Police Commissionerate to preserve and organize items and evidence recovered from crime scenes.
The system uses standardized cardboard boxes labelled with unique numbers and QR codes for easy retrieval and access to case-related information.
Other such measures are: Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), e-Courts, e-Prisons, National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO), Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS), etc.
Context: The Ukraine-Russia war had a significant impact on sunflower oil consumption in India.
Status of Sunflower Oil:
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), popularly known as “Surajmukhi” (it follows the sun by day) is an annual flowering plant, native to North and Central America but is now cultivated worldwide for its versatile uses. It is known for its large, bright yellow flowers.
Sunflowers are relatively easy to grow and are adaptable to different climates and soil types. They require full sun exposure and well-drained soil. They are known for their ability to extract heavy metals from the soil, making them useful in phytoremediation efforts to clean up polluted areas.
Context: A recent peer-reviewed study suggests that even low levels of arsenic consumption, commonly found in contaminated groundwater in India, can impact cognitive function in children, adolescents, and young adults.
What does the study say:
Remedy: Modifying food preparation techniques, such as cooking rice in a specific way, can significantly reduce arsenic levels; promoting piped water access and installing arsenic removal plants; encourage extraction from aquifers (water channels below the ground) that are deeper than 100 m.
Arsenic is an odourless and tasteless metalloid found naturally in the earth’s crust and groundwater. It is highly toxic in its inorganic form and can cause arsenic poisoning. Arsenicosis, the accumulation of high levels of arsenic in the body, leads to adverse health effects and can result in multi-system organ failure and death. Efforts have been made under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to provide safely managed drinking water free of arsenic contamination. The Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide safe drinking water to all households in rural and urban India by 2024.
Context: The WHO’s new guidelines advise against the use of non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) as a “healthy” alternative to sugar.
Context: A recent study has proposed using calcium-41 as a new method for radiometric dating, similar to carbon-14 dating but with several advantages.
What is radiocarbon dating?
Radiocarbon dating, also known as carbon-14 dating, is a method used to determine the age of organic materials that originated from living organisms. It relies on the radioactive isotope carbon-14, which is a variant of the element carbon. Carbon-14 is unstable and undergoes radioactive decay over time.
Limitations of Carbon-14 dating:
Advantages of Calcium-41:
Context: Scientists have disputed the idea that as the planet warms, the bodies of cold-blooded marine species, including fish, will contract.
Conventional understanding: Warming temperatures lead to smaller body sizes in cold-blooded marine animals, suggesting that they may actually grow larger in response to warmer waters.
The recent study challenges the expectation due to several reasons:
Highlights of the study: Aquatic animals/ectotherms/cold-blooded animals such as fish would actually grow larger due to warm water pollution, i.e. water heated by warm pollutants.
Context: India and the U.S. are exploring the possibility of co-producing jet engines, long-range artillery, and infantry vehicles with the upcoming launch of INDUS-X.
What is INDUS-X?
It is a major upcoming initiative under the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), with the aim to promote partnerships and collaboration between the defence innovation ecosystems of both countries.
About iCET dialogue:
Context: NIA’s Operation Dhvast was a nationwide operation targeting terrorists, gangsters, and drug smugglers. It involved raids at 129 locations across multiple states, resulting in three arrests.
Aim: The operation aimed to dismantle the terror nexus involved in targeted killings, terror funding, extortion, and smuggling of drugs and weapons.
The National Investigation Agency (founded 31st Dec 2008; HQ: New Delhi; Under Home Ministry) is the primary anti-terror investigation task force of India. The agency is empowered to deal with the investigation of terror-related crimes across states without special permission from the states under a written proclamation from the Ministry of Home Affairs. It has the authority to take over cases from state police forces and other agencies. It seeks the sanction of the Central government for prosecuting accused individuals under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other scheduled offences.
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