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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.

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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Who was Subramaniya Bharathiyar?


GS Paper 2:

1. Mekedatu project.

2. What are Supplementary Demands for Grants?

3. United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation.


GS Paper 3:

1. NIMHANS develops new Indian Brain Templates, brain atlas.

2. Enemy properties.


Facts for Prelims:

1. Zero hour.

2. Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier.

3. Phosphine


GS Paper  : 1


Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Who was Subramaniya Bharathiyar?

  • Subramaniya Bharathi was born on 11th December 1882, in Ettayapuram village of Tirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu.
  • He was a poet, freedom fighter and social reformer from Tamil Nadu.
  • He was known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar.
  • His songs on nationalism and freedom of India helped to rally the masses to support the Indian Independence Movement in Tamil Nadu.
  • Literary works: “Kannan Pattu” “Nilavum Vanminum Katrum” “Panchali Sabatam” “Kuyil Pattu”.
  • He published the sensational “Sudesa Geethangal” in 1908.
  • Sometime in mid-1908, Bharati began to serialise Gnanaratham in his political weekly, India.
  • In 1949, he became the first poet whose works were nationalised by the state government.


Bharthi as a social reformer:

He was against caste system. He declared that there were only two castes-men and women and nothing more than that. Above all, he himself had removed his sacred thread.

He condemned certain Shastras that denigrated women. He believed in the equality of humankind and criticised many preachers for mixing their personal prejudices while teaching the Gita and the Vedas.


Prelims Link:

  1. Where was Bharathiyar Born?
  2. Important literary works.
  3. His contributions to social reforms.

Mains Link:

Who was Subramaniya Bharathiyar? Discuss his views on caste system.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Mekedatu project:


The Karnataka government is likely to take a delegation to bring pressure on the Centre to approve the construction of the Mekedatu balancing reservoir that has been proposed to store water for drinking purposes.

Present status of the project:

  • The ₹9,000 crore project was approved by Karnataka State government in 2017.
  • It has received approval from the Union Water Resources Ministry for the detailed project report and is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF).
  • However, Tamil Nadu has approached the Supreme Court against the project.

About Mekedatu dispute:

Mekedatu is a location along Cauvery in Kanakapura Taluk of Ramanagara District of Karnataka.

Karnataka wants a reservoir across Cauvery at Mekedatu, to meet Bengaluru’s water problem.

What Tamil Nadu says?

Tamil Nadu objected saying Karnataka had not sought prior permission for the project.

Its argument was that the project would affect the flow of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu also argues that the reservoir violates the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Cauvery Tribunal.

  • The Supreme Court had noted that the existing storage in the Cauvery basin of Karnataka should be taken into account for ensuring water releases to Tamil Nadu during the period of June to January.


Facts for Prelims- Cauvery River:

River rises on Brahmagiri Hill of the Western Ghats in south-western Karnataka state.

The river basin covers three states and a Union Territory as follows: Tamil Nadu, 43,868 square kilometres, Karnataka, 34,273 square kilometres l, Kerala, 2,866 square kilometres and Puducherry.

Key tributaries: Hemavati, Lakshmantirtha, Kabani (Kabbani), Amaravati, Noyil, and Bhavani rivers.

Falls along the way: Upon entering Tamil Nadu, the Kaveri continues through a series of twisted wild gorges until it reaches Hogenakal Falls. Dams: There the Mettur Dam was constructed for irrigation and hydel power in Tamil Nadu.


Prelims Link:

  1. Tributaries of Cauvery.
  2. Basin states.
  3. Important falls and dams across the river.
  4. Where is Mekedatu?
  5. What is the project related to?
  6. Beneficiaries of the project.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Mekedatu project.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

What are Supplementary Demands for Grants?

The supplementary demand for grants is needed for government expenditure over and above the amount for which Parliamentary approval was already obtained during the Budget session.

Constitutional provisions:

Supplementary, additional or excess grants and Votes on account, votes of credit and exceptional grants are mentioned in the Constitution of India 1949.

Article 115: Supplementary, additional or excess grants.

Article 116: Votes on account, votes of credit and exceptional grants.

Why in News?

The Centre has sought Parliament approval for a gross additional expenditure of ₹2.35 lakh crore, including ₹20,000 crore for recapitalisation of public sector banks, for 2020-21. These are Supplementary Demands for Grants.

Procedure to be followed:

When grants, authorised by the Parliament, fall short of the required expenditure, an estimate is presented before the Parliament for Supplementary or Additional grants.

  • These grants are presented and passed by the Parliament before the end of the financial year.
  • When actual expenditure incurred exceeds the approved grants of the Parliament, the Ministry of Finance presents a Demand for Excess Grant.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India bring such excesses to the notice of the Parliament.
  • The Public Accounts Committee examines these excesses and gives recommendations to the Parliament.
  • The Demand for Excess Grants is made after the actual expenditure is incurred and is presented to the Parliament after the end of the financial year in which the expenses were made.

Other grants:

Additional Grant: It is granted when a need has arisen during the current financial year for supplementary or additional expenditure upon some new service not contemplated in the Budget for that year.

Excess Grant: It is granted when money has been spent on any service during a financial year in excess of the amount granted for that year. The demands for excess grants are made after the expenditure has actually been incurred and after the financial year to which it relates, has expired.

Exceptional Grants: It is granted for an exceptional purpose which forms no part of the current service of any financial year.

Token Grant: It is granted when funds to meet proposed expenditure on a new service can be made available by re-appropriation, a demand for the grant of a token sum may be submitted to the vote of the House and, if the House assents to the demand, funds may be so made available.


Prelims Link:

What are?

  • Additional grants.
  • Excess grants.
  • Exceptional Grants
  • Token grant.

Procedure to be followed.

Constitutional provisions related.

About CAG and PAC.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation:

Why in News?

The convention came into force on 12th September 2020.

What you need to know?

  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on 20th December 2018 and it was opened for signature on 7th August 2019 in Singapore.
  • It is also known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation and also the first UN treaty to be named after Singapore.

Key Features of the Convention:

  • Applicability: The Convention will apply to international commercial settlement agreements resulting from mediation.
  • Non- applicability: It will not apply to international settlement agreements that are concluded in the course of judicial or arbitral proceedings and which are enforceable as a court judgment or arbitral award. It will also not apply to settlement agreements concluded for personal, family or household purposes by one of the parties (a consumer), as well as settlement agreements relating to family, inheritance or employment law.
  • The courts of a contracting party will be expected to handle applications either to enforce an international settlement agreement which falls within the scope of the Convention or to allow a party to invoke the settlement agreement in order to prove that the matter has already been resolved, in accordance with its rules of procedure, and under the conditions laid down in the Convention.


The Convention has 53 signatories, including India, China and the U.S.

  • India approved the signing of the Convention in July 2019.

Benefits for India:

  • Signing of the Convention will boost the confidence of the investors and shall provide a positive signal to foreign investors about India’s commitment to adhere to international practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
  • Businesses in India and around the world will now have greater certainty in resolving cross-border disputes through mediation, as the Convention provides a more effective means for mediated outcomes to be enforced.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

NIMHANS develops new Indian Brain Templates, brain atlas:

What is it?

The neuroscientists from NIMHANS studied over 500 brain scans of Indian patients to develop five sets of Indian brain templates and a brain atlas for five age groups covering late childhood to late adulthood (six to 60 years).

Why this is significant?

Currently, we are using Montreal Neurological Index (MNI) template. It is based on Caucasian brains and was made by averaging 152 healthy brain scans from just a small slice of the city’s population in North America. But Caucasian brains are different from Asian brains.

  • But, India will now have a scale that will measure an Indian brain.

Benefits of Indian Brain Templates and atlas:

  • They will provide more precise reference maps for areas of interest in individual patients with neurological disorders like strokes, brain tumours, and dementia.
  • They will also help pool information more usefully in group studies of the human brain and psychological functions, aiding our understanding of psychiatric illnesses like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, substance dependence, schizophrenia, and mood disorders.
  • These new population- and age-specific Indian brain templates will allow more reliable tracking of brain development and ageing, similar to how paediatricians monitor a child’s height or weight, for example, using a growth chart.



Prelims Link:

  1. About NIMHANS.
  2. What are brain templates?
  3. Who recently developed and released a brain atlas for India?
  4. What is Montreal Neurological Index (MNI) template? How was it formed?

Mains Link:

What is Montreal Neurological Index (MNI) template? Where is it used?

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Enemy properties:

Why in News?

Members of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister have asked the government to consider selling enemy properties valued at over₹1 lakh crore to take care of the current expenditure which will drive growth.

What are enemy properties?

Properties that were left behind by the people who took citizenship of Pakistan and China.

  • There are more than 9000 such properties left behind by Pakistani nationals and 126 by Chinese nationals.
  • Of the total properties left behind by those who took Pakistani citizenship, 4,991 are located in Uttar Pradesh, the highest in the country. West Bengal has 2,735 such estates and Delhi 487.
  • The highest number of properties left by Chinese nationals is in Meghalaya (57).West Bengal has 29 such properties and Assam seven.

Who oversees these properties?

Under the Defence of India Rules framed under The Defence of India Act, 1962, the Government of India took over the properties and companies of those who took Pakistani nationality.

  • These “enemy properties” were vested by the central government in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India. The same was done for property left behind by those who went to China after the 1962 Sino-Indian war.
  • The Tashkent Declaration of January 10, 1966 included a clause that said India and Pakistan would discuss the return of the property and assets taken over by either side in connection with the conflict.

However, the Government of Pakistan disposed of all such properties in their country in the year 1971 itself.

How did India deal with enemy property?

The Enemy Property Act, enacted in 1968, provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India. Some movable properties too, are categorised as enemy properties.

The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2017:

The act amended The Enemy Property Act, 1968, and The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.

Salient features of the new act:

Expanded the definition of the term enemy subject and enemy firm: To include

  1. The legal heir and successor of an enemy, whether a citizen of India or a citizen of a country which is not an enemy and
  2. The succeeding firm of an enemy firm, irrespective of the nationality of its members or partners.

The enemy property continues to vest in the Custodian:

Even if the enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm ceases to be an enemy due to death, extinction, winding up of business or change of nationality, or that the legal heir or successor is a citizen of India or a citizen of a country which is not an enemy.

Power to dispose these properties:

The Custodian may dispose of enemy properties:

With prior approval of the central government, the Custodian may dispose of enemy properties vested in him in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and the government may issue directions to the Custodian for this purpose.


Prelims Link:

  1. What are enemy properties?
  2. Which state has highest number of these properties in India?
  3. Who oversees them?
  4. Who has powers to sell them?
  5. Changes introduced by Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2017.

Mains Link:

What are enemy properties? How are they classified? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims

Zero Hour:

Zero Hour is an Indian parliamentary innovation. It is not mentioned in the parliamentary rules book.

  • Under this, MPs can raise matters without any prior notice.
  • It starts immediately after the question hour and lasts until the agenda for the day (i.e. regular business of the House) is taken up.

Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier:

  • It is located in Northeast Greenland.
  • It is Arctic’s largest ice shelf.

Why in News?

  • A massive chunk of ice has broken off from this ice shelf because of warmer temperatures in Greenland.



  • It is a flammable gas that on Earth occurs from the breakdown of organic matter.
  • On Earth, this gas is associated with living organisms.
  • It can only be made by life—whether human or microbe.
  • Used as a chemical weapon during World War I, phosphine is still manufactured as an agricultural fumigant, is used in the semiconductor industry, and is a nasty byproduct of meth labs.

Why in News?

Presence of this gas was observed on Venus.

This indicates possible sign of life on Venus.


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