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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 1:
1. Behind Mumbai’s unusually foul air, changes in wind patterns
GS Paper 3:
1. ILO declaration urges countries to ensure labour protection
2. Action against pharma pollution
3. Why have countries failed to meet their biodiversity goals?
Facts for Prelims:
1. Textbooks in Indian languages
2. Maulana Azad Fellowship
3. GHAR- Go Home and RE-Unite
4. Job reservation for Women in Uttarakhand
5. Districts as Export Hub (DEH) initiative
6. Circular Trading
7. Anti-Bacterial Resistance
8. PathoDetect Kit
9. India’s Space Headway
10. Three Himalayan medicinal plants enter IUCN Red List
11. Cactus Plantation
12. Mapping
Note: There were few editorial articles which were not so important for GS but important for Optional papers
Pub Administration Optional
Syllabus: Geographical phenomenon and their environmental impacts
Source: IE 
Direction: The article mainly highlights how local winds like sea breezes could influence the pollution level of a place.
 Context: Over the last month, air quality in India’s financial hub, Mumbai, has been noticeably worse than in prior years, giving Mumbaikars a taste of what people in Delhi have become used to at this time of year.
 Background: Since December 5, the AQI in Mumbai has consistently been in the “very poor” range (AQI > 300), according to the SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) network.
 Why is this unusual?

Reasons for this unusual pattern:
Probable causes:
●        It is an initiative of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) launched in 2010 (for Delhi) for greater metropolitan cities to provide –
○        Location-specific information on air quality in near real-time and
○        It’s forecast 1-3 days in advance.
●        It is developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, and is operationalised by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
●        SAFAR framework considers almost all pollutant levels – PM10, 1, 2.5, CO, NOx, SO2, Volatile Organic Compounds, etc., to compile the Air Quality Index (AQI).
●        It promotes public awareness by educating the public, encouraging self-mitigation, and assisting policymakers in developing mitigation policies.

Insta Links:
Land and Sea Breezes
Mains Links:
Q. Explain local winds and how they impact the weather condition of a region? (250 words)
Prelims Links:
Consider the following statements:
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
Solution: 1)
Air pressure is defined as the pressure exerted by the weight of air on the earth’s surface. As we go up the layers of the atmosphere, the pressure falls rapidly.
In areas where the temperature is high the air gets heated and rises. This creates a low-pressure area. Low pressure is associated with cloudy skies and wet weather.
Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment
Source: TH
 Direction: The article covers Singapore Declaration, which highlights certain reforms to ensure labour protection, and measures to be taken by governments. Do look out for the previous articles on labour published recently- New labour codes give a free hand to employers: Unions and The lingering crisis of labour post-pandemic
Context: The 17th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) of the ILO set 10-point priorities of national action for the members to deal with the issue of dwindling wages, inflation and unemployment.
Background: The tripartite (governments, employers and workers) declaration – the “Singapore Declaration”, adopted by the delegates agreed to address labour market challenges and find solutions to crises like the pandemic, natural disasters and economic uncertainty.
Highlights of the Singapore Declaration:
Measures suggested in the declaration: Governments must –
Way ahead in the declaration:
Conclusion: Social dialogue is key to building trust and resilient labour market institutions are essential to sustained recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth.
International Labour Organization (ILO) is the only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919. It brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men
Insta Links:
New labour codes give a free hand to employers: Unions
Mains Links:
Q. What are the issues with current labour laws in the country? Examine the need for carrying out labour reforms to progress the performance of India’s manufacturing sector. (250 words)
Syllabus: Issues related to health
Source: DTE
 Direction: The article discusses pharma/drug pollution, its causes, effect and the way ahead to reduce it.
 Context: According to a paper published in the journal The Lancet, pharmaceutical pollution is an overlooked but urgent issue that needs coordinated action from across the pharmaceutical, healthcare and environmental sectors.
About drug or pharmaceutical pollution:
Key highlights of The Lancet study:

Way ahead:
Conclusion: Societal-wide action on reducing pharmaceutical pollution from human healthcare is the need of the hour.
Insta Links:
India: Pharmacy of World
Mains Links:
Q. How does the pharma industry pollute the environment and what are the effects of this pollution? Examine. (200 Words)
Syllabus: Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Source: Indian Express
 Context: Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are meeting in Montreal, Canada for a new global agreement on halting environmental loss.
Many of the 24 conservation targets under discussion at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) aim to avoid past mistakes and improve on the world’s last set of conservation goals — the Aichi Biodiversity Targets that expired in 2020.
What were the Aichi Targets?
The Aichi Targets, adopted during the 2010 CBD summit in Nagoya, included goals such as reducing deforestation by at least half during the coming decade and curbing pollution so that it no longer harmed ecosystems.
To what extent were the Aichi Targets met?
Aichi was deemed a failure by the United Nations and the CBD secretariat called on parties to come up with another guiding document to direct conservation efforts through 2030 and beyond.
Why did the Aichi Targets fail?
India’s progress:
India amended its National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) to cover all 20 Aichi targets into 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBTs). As per India’s 6th National Report, India is on track to achieve 9 out of its 12 NBTs.
Insta Link:
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Mains Link:
Q. How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 helpful in the conservation of flora and fauna? (UPSC – 2018)
Prelims Link:
Consider the following international agreements (UPSC – 2014)
Which of the above has/have a bearing on biodiversity?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Solution: D – 1, 2 and 3.
All of them have a bearing on the biodiversity
Source: The Hindu
Context: UGC forms a panel to work on textbooks in Indian languages for undergraduate and post-graduate courses in regional languages
UGC held meetings with international publishers to publish books in regional languages and help narrow the language divide in the higher education
 Initiatives to promote regional languages: NEP2020 (promoting mother tongue), AICTE books on engineering in regional languages, Madhya Pradesh: MBBS books in Hindi, Bar Council: Translating legal books in regional languages, The National Translation Mission (NTM) is being implemented through the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL).
A language is considered regional when it is mostly spoken by people who reside largely in one particular area of a state or country.
Article related to regional languages:
Article 343(1) (the official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagiri Script); Article 345 (the legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State); Article 347 (President has the power to recognize a language as an official language of a given state); Article 350A (instruction in mother-tongue at the primary stage); Article 350B( Special Officer for linguistic minorities); Article 351 (power to the union government for the development of the Hindi language)
Source: Indian Express
Context: The Ministry of Minority Affairs has stopped the Maulana Azad Fellowship — dedicated to pursuing higher education — to minority students, from 2022-23.
 About the Fellowship:
A 5-year fellowship provided by the Centre, in the form of financial assistance to six notified minority communities – Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsi and Sikhs to pursue M Phils and PhDs
Why discontinued?
Source: PIB
Context: National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), has developed and launched a portal namely GHAR – GO Home and Re-Unite (Portal for Restoration and Repatriation of Child).
The GHAR portal has been developed to digitally monitor and track the restoration and repatriation of children according to the protocol.
NCPCR is a statutory body (set up in 2007) under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India
Insta Links: Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act 2015, NCPCR
Source: Indian Express
Context: Uttarakhand has passed a bill giving 30% horizontal reservation for women in public services and posts, in addition to existing quotas applicable in the state.
What are ‘Horizontal Reservation’ and ‘Vertical Reservation’?
 Why did the bill end up in court?
State government’s argument to justify ‘Quota based on domicile’ at the Supreme Court: The state’s terrain and climate forced its youth to migrate elsewhere in search of livelihood, leaving the responsibility to run the household and raise children to women. So state made the initiative to include such women under the quota system. SC accepted this argument and lifted the stay by HC.
Source: PIB, PIB
 Context: ODOP (One District One Product) initiative is operationally merged with the ‘Districts as Export Hub (DEH)’ initiative of the DGFT, Department of Commerce, with DPIIT as a major stakeholder.
 ODOP focuses on identifying products in the districts that have manufacturing and export potential. It comes under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
 Under DEH, a list of products and services with export potential is regularly updated for all districts of the country. It comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Related news:
RoDTEP (Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products) Scheme has been now extended to chemical, Pharma, Iron and Steel. RoDTEP replaces the previous MEIS scheme which violated the provision of WTO. In RoDTEP (under the ministry of Commerce and Industry), exporters get the refund of the embedded duties/taxes that are not rebated under other schemes.

Source: Financial Express
Context: The issue of circular trading could be taken up by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in its upcoming meeting.
There are different forms of Circular trading:
Form 1: Circular trading refers to fraudulently availing input tax credit by traders by issuing invoices without availing any real goods or services.
Form 2: Circular trading is a fraudulent scheme where sales orders are entered by a broker who knows that offsetting buy orders for the exact same number of shares at the same time and, at the same price, have either been or will be entered. This artificially shows boosts up sales.
Form 3: Please see attached image
Source: Down To Earth
Context: Over 50% of life-threatening bacterial infections are becoming resistant to treatment: the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) report of WHO.
 Concerns as per the recent report:
Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS):
Insta Links:  Antimicrobial Resistance: here’s what can be done

 Context: It is India’s 1st indigenous TB detection kit produced by Pune-based Mylab
 Using a single test, it can detect tuberculosis and multi-drug resistance (against Isoniazid and Rifampicin). The test kit is low-cost and can be stored at room temperature.

Source: The Hindu
Context: ISRO successfully conducted the Hot test of Scramjet and the ‘Blowdown test’ of a new Trisonic Wind Tunnel at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram).

Source: The Hindu
 Context: Three medicinal plant species found in the Himalayas have made it to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
 Source – PIB
Context: The government is promoting Cactus plantation and its economic usage.
About Cactus –
Economic advantages of promoting Cactus Cultivation –
Other Facts –

Q. The government of India encourages the cultivation of ‘sea buckthorn’. What is the importance of this plant? [ UPSC 2012]
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Ans: (c)
Seabuckthorn is a medicinal plant which has health-promoting properties. It can play a crucial role in preventing soil erosion and help nitrogen fix options in cold and desert areas.

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