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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 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. CSR funding of NGOs
GS Paper 3:
1. Govt’s push for international trade in rupee: why and how
Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)
1. ‘Goodfellows’, a start-up offering companionship to senior citizens
2. Rising need for companionship
3. Revamped Curriculum on employability skills
Facts for Prelims:
1. UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities
2. Content moderation on Wikipedia
3. Section 66A of the IT Act
4. Internet shutdowns
5. Foundational Learning Study (FLS) survey
6. National Polity on Cooperatives
7. WEST initiative
8. Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme
9. Extension to Thermal Power plant
10. CoE – SURVEI standardizes Drone images for land Survey
11. China’s fully solar-powered, semi-satellite drone
12. Norms eased for use of Railway land
13. National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
14. NCD prevention and control
15. Ceasefire Agreement with NSCN (K)
16. Mapping
Syllabus: Development process and the development industry-NGOs, SHGs and various other groups and associations, donors, charities etc
Directions: This is an editorial piece and is important for Governance, can be used as an example of CSR funding’s impact on NGOs
Source: The Hindu
How do NGOs spend:
Issues with the CSR:
How can CSR funding of NGOs be made better?
Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR):
Insta Links:
Corporate Social Responsibility
Mains Link:
Q. How can the role of NGOs be strengthened in India for development works relating to the protection of the environment? Discuss throwing light on the major constraints. (UPSC 2015)
Syllabus: Indian Economy, Liberalization
Direction: In economy, be clear with the basics.
Context: It came in the explained section of Indian Express, and argues why the government is pushing for international trade in Rupee.
Current system: Most of the trade currently is in US dollar, wherein an importer needs to pay in US dollar to pay for the import of goods to India and an exporter gets pain in the dollar which he then converts into Indian Rupee for use in India.
Working on payment system in INR:
To settle trade transactions with any country, banks in India would open Vostro accounts of correspondent bank/s of the partner country for trading. Indian importers can pay for their imports in INR into these accounts. These earnings from imports can then be used to pay Indian exporters in INR.
A Vostro account is an account that a correspondent bank holds on behalf of another bank — for example, the HSBC Vostro account is held by SBI in India.

Benefits of trading in Rupee:
Government measures:
Insta Links
RBI allows global settlement in Rupees
Mains Links
Q. Even as India and Russia explore new relationships, they continue to remain each other’s, all-weather friends. Comment. (10M)
Prelims links
The problem of international liquidity is related to the non-availability of (UPSC 2015)
(a) goods and services
(b) gold and silver
(c) dollars and other hard currencies
(d) exportable surplus
Answer: C
Since most International transactions occur in Dollars or other hard currencies.
The balance of payments of a country is a systematic record of (UPSC 2013)
(a) All import and export transactions of a country during a given period of time, normally a year
(b) Goods exported from a country during a year
(c) Economic transaction between the government of one country to another
(d) Capital movements from one country to another
Answer: A
In international economics, the balance of payments of a country is the difference between all money flowing into the country in a particular period of time and the outflow of money to the rest of the world.
 Source: Indian Express
Shantanu Naidu, the founder of Goodfellows, a startup that aims to provide companionship to senior citizens, is a big believer in how much generations can learn from each other.
The tagline of Goodfellows is “Everything grandkids do” and that’s exactly how it works.

Source: Indian Express
Shoji Morimoto charges 10,000 yen ($71) per booking to accompany clients and simply exist as a companion.
Morimoto reflected on the bizarre nature of his job and appeared to question a society that values productivity and derides uselessness.
So many are willing to pay for the simple companionship that, in a less disconnected world, would be freely available, speaks of a profound malaise of loneliness.
Revamped Curriculum on employability skills
Source: LiveMint
 Context: The Indian cities, Nilambur and Thrissur in Kerala, have gained recognition from UNESCO after they became the nation’s first entrants in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities along with
Telangana’s second largest city, Warangal,
According to UNESCO’s website, the network is a global policy-oriented network offering “inspiration, know-how and best practice”.
There are six features that define a learning city:
Source: The Hindu
What is Wikipedia?
Related Indian laws?
Source: Indian Express
 Context: The Supreme Court expressed “serious concern” over states continuing to register FIRs for offences under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act despite the court holding it unconstitutional in 2015.
On March 24, 2015, in the case Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, the Supreme Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 in its entirety, and ruled that it was violative of Article 19(1)(a).
 What is Section 66A of the IT Act?
Section 66A defines the punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device like a mobile phone or a tablet. A conviction can fetch a maximum of three years in jail and a fine.
 Why it was stuck down?
The vagueness about what is “offensive”. The word has a very wide connotation and is open to distinctive, varied interpretations.
Source: Indian Express
Key Highlights:
Frequency of Internet Shutdowns:
To read about Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Rules: click here
Source: PIB
Direction: Go through the article. Keep note of the basics and the initiatives for FLN.
Context: FLS survey by the Ministry of Education and NCERT has revealed that 11% of Class 3rd students lack basic maths skills and about 37% lack basic skills in maths
Foundational learning forms the basis of all future learning and includes two main pillars – foundational literacy and foundational numeracy which a child is expected to acquire by Grade 3.
Related concepts:
Initiatives for FLN: NIPUN Bharat (ensure that every child in the country attains foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27)
About FLS survey
Source: Indian Express
Direction: Cooperatives are important for this year’s mains.
Context: Government will come up with a National cooperation Policy (NCP) and has constituted a national-level committee for drafting NCP with the aim to strengthen the cooperative movement.
Cooperatives are people-centred enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations.
Source: PIB
Direction: Know the names of a few schemes and their main aim related to women in science.
Context: Principal Scientific adviser office has launched the Women in Engineering, Science and Technology Initiative (WEST) to enable women’s contribution to science.
Other schemes: KIRAN ( to encourage women scientists); CURIE (to develop infrastructure in women universities); Vigyan Jyoti (for girls in high school to pursue STEM)

Fig: Components of PM-STIAC Mission
Source: Indian Express
Context: In an indication of the continuing distress in the MSME sector, one in every six loans disbursed under the ECLG Scheme launched as part of the Covid-19 relief package in May 2020 has turned bad.
About ECLG Scheme:

Source: Business Standards
Direction: You should know the primary gases responsible for pollution, their source and their removal technologies.
Context: MoEFCC has given a two-year extension to all categories of the thermal power plant on Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) norms (however, the deadlines remain the same for meeting the Particulate matter (PM) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) norms)
MoEFCC has in 2015 set environmental norms for PM, SO2, NOx, Mercury and water use for coal-based Thermal power plants to be met by 2017 but later extended to 2022.
These norms require retrofitting and use of Flue Gas Desulphurisation (for removal of SO2), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology (for removal of NOx)

Fig: Flue gas desulphurisation (FGD)
Source: PIB
Context: Setting World’s first standard on land survey using a drone, the Ministry of Defense’s Centre of Excellence – Satellite and Unmanned Remote Vehicle Initiative (CoE – SURVEI)  has published a draft concept paper prescribing the technical parameters which may serve as a reference standard to estimate the image quality of drone survey output. 
The draft standards prescribe 19 parameters to evaluate the quality of drone output and 8 extension metrics/ techniques to estimate image quality, apart from indicating sample benchmarking from literature.

Source: Indian Express
 Context: China’s first fully solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle has successfully completed its maiden test flight with all onboard systems functioning optimally.
Source: Indian Express
 Context: The government has made it simpler and cheaper for various entities to set up a range of infrastructure on Railway land on a long-term lease.
Railway land can now be used to set up solar plants, sewage and water treatment facilities at Re 1 per square meter per annum for 35 years and hospitals through PPP and schools with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for Re 1 per square meter per annum for up to 60 years.
National Monetization Pipeline:
PM GatiShakti:
Source: PIB
Direction: Go through once.
Context: Ministry of Health and Family Affairs has launched 6 new branches of NCDC for disease surveillance in order to prevent control of communicable diseases.
 NCDC was established in July 1963 for research in epidemiology and control of communicable diseases and to reorganize the activities of the Malaria Institute of India.
It also provides trained healthcare manpower, does research and analysis and investigates diseases outbreak.

Source: The Hindu
Directions: Important for Prelims and mains, can be used in mains as an step taken to eradicate NCDs
 Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs)
 Source: PIB, The Hindu
Peace Agreements with insurgent groups of the Northeast:

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