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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. Special Marriage Act.


GS Paper 2:

1. Supreme Court rejects plea for imposition of President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh.

2. Lokpal panel minutes need not be disclosed.

3. Why has Columbia granted temporary legal status to Venezuelans?


GS Paper 3:

1. Odisha repromulgates ordinance on APMCs.


Facts for Prelims:

1. Bengaluru scientists develop a new marigold variety.

2. Sessa Orchid Sanctuary.

3. Sadiya earthquake.

4. Shahtoot dam.


GS Paper  : 1


Topics Covered: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Special Marriage Act:


The Centre has objected to a petition seeking to discontinue with the provision of inviting objection from public while applying for marriage registration under the Special Marriage Act (SMA).

  • The government defended its move by saying that the intention behind the provision was to “keep adequate safeguards to the interest of various parties involved”.

What’s the issue?

The petition has sought to quash section 6 and 7 of SMA, which mandates publication of the public notice, on the ground that it is unreasonable and arbitrary.

  • The petitioner argues that the 30-day period offers an opportunity to kin of the couple to discourage an inter-caste or inter-religion marriage.

What is Special Marriage Act of 1954?

The SMA is a law which allows solemnization of marriages without going through any religious customs or rituals.

  • People from different castes or religions or states get married under SMA in which marriage is solemnized by way of registration.
  • The prime purpose of the Act was to address Inter-religious marriages and to establish marriage as a secular institution bereft of all religious formalities, which required registration alone.

The SMA prescribes an elaborate procedure to get the marriage registered. It includes:

  1. One of the parties to the marriage has to give a notice of the intended marriage to the marriage officer of the district where at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for at least 30 days immediately prior to the date on which such notice is given.
  2. Such notice is then entered in the marriage notice book and the marriage officer publishes a notice of marriage at some conspicuous place in his office.
  3. The notice of marriage published by the marriage officer includes details of the parties like names, date of birth, age, occupation, parents’ names and details, address, pin code, identity information, phone number etc.
  4. Anybody can then raise objections to the marriage on various grounds provided under the Act. If no objection is raised within the 30 day period, then marriage can be solemnized. If objections are raised, then the marriage officer has to inquire into the objections after which he will decide whether or not to solemnize the marriage.

What are the Criticisms?

  1. Vulnerable to coercive tactics by family.
  2. Intrusion of privacy.
  3. Pushes for religious conversion.


Prelims Link:

  1. Objectives of the Special Marriage Act.
  2. Key provisions- Sections 5 and 6.
  3. Key requirements under the Act for the registration of marriage.
  4. Details published by the marriage officer.
  5. Overview of Articles 14 and 21 of the constitution.

Mains Link:

What are the controversial provisions in the Special Marriage Act of 1954? Why the law needs a review? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Supreme Court rejects plea for imposition of President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh:


The Supreme Court has dismissed a PIL that sought imposition of President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh for alleged breakdown of constitutional machinery and rising crime in the state.

What did the court say?

The court warned the petitioner-advocate of imposing cost on him and questioned him about the research of crime records of other states.


  • The petitioner alleged that unlawful and arbitrary killings including extrajudicial killings are being perpetrated by police in Uttar Pradesh.
  • He alleged that situation has arisen in the state in which the government of Uttar Pradesh cannot be allowed to carry on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

As Per National Crime Record Bureau’s Crime in India 2019 report:

Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes against women. India reported 4,05,861 cases in 2019 and of these, Uttar Pradesh had 59,853 such incidents.

What is the President’s Rule?

Article 356 of the Constitution of India gives the President of India the power to suspend state government and impose President’s rule of any state in the country if “if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.

It is also known as ‘State Emergency’ or ‘Constitutional Emergency’.


Upon the imposition of this rule, there would be no Council of Ministers.

  • The state will fall under the direct control of the Union government, and the Governor will continue to be the head the proceedings, representing the President of India.

Parliamentary Approval and Duration:

  • A proclamation imposing President’s Rule must be approved by both the Houses of Parliament within two months from the date of its issue.
  • The approval takes place through simple majority in either House, that is, a majority of the members of the House present and voting.
  • Initially valid for six months, the President’s Rule can be extended for a maximum period of three years with the approval of the Parliament, every six months.

Report of the Governor:

Under Article 356, President’s Rule is imposed if the President, upon receipt of the report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.


  • A proclamation of President’s Rule may be revoked by the President at any time by a subsequent proclamation.
  • Such a proclamation does not require parliamentary approval.


Prelims Link:

  1. Imposition of President’s Rule.
  2. Related Provisions.
  3. Report of Governor.
  4. Parliamentary approval and duration.
  5. Revocation.
  6. What happens to the State legislature Under President’s Rule.

Mains Link:

What is President’s Rule? Why it is controversial? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Lokpal panel minutes need not be disclosed:


The Centre has refused to disclose the minutes of the Lokpal selection committee’s meetings, and its decision has now been upheld by the Central Information Commission (CIC).

  • The Centre has invoked the exemption clause in Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act in its defence.

Selection Committee:

The members are appointed by the president on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.

The selection committee is composed of

  • the Prime Minister who is the Chairperson;
  • Speaker of Lok Sabha,
  • Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha,
  • Chief Justice of India or a Judge nominated by him/her and
  • One eminent jurist

The 2016 amendment enables the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha to be a member of the selection committee in the absence of a recognized Leader of Opposition.

Highlights of the Lokpal Act of 2013:

  1. The Act allows setting up of anti-corruption ombudsman called Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the State-level.
  2. The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members.
  3. The Lokpal will cover all categories of public servants, including the Prime Minister. But the armed forces do not come under the ambit of Lokpal.
  4. The Act also incorporates provisions for attachment and confiscation of property acquired by corrupt means, even while the prosecution is pending.
  5. The States will have to institute Lokayukta within one year of the commencement of the Act.
  6. The Act also ensures that public servants who act as whistleblowers are protected.


  1. The Lokpal will have the power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by the ombudsman.
  2. As per the Act, the Lokpal can summon or question any public servant if there exists a prima facie case against the person, even before an investigation agency (such as vigilance or CBI) has begun the probe. Any officer of the CBI investigating a case referred to it by the Lokpal, shall not be transferred without the approval of the Lokpal.
  3. An investigation must be completed within six months. However, the Lokpal or Lokayukta may allow extensions of six months at a time provided the reasons for the need of such extensions are given in writing.
  4. Special courts will be instituted to conduct trials on cases referred by Lokpal.


Prelims Link:

  1. About Lokpal.
  2. Powers.
  3. Functions.
  4. Selection.
  5. Overview of the Lokpal Act of 2013.

Mains Link:

Comment on the changes made to Lokpal Act and its delay in operationalisation.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Why has Columbia granted temporary legal status to Venezuelans?


Columbian President Iván Duque recently announced that Venezuelans will have temporary protected status for the next ten years in what is being called a “historic” decision.

  • The temporary protection statute is for those Venezuelan migrants who are fleeing dictatorship in their country.
  • The decision covers more than 1.7 million Venezuelans who have fled to Columbia in the last few years.

Why are Venezuelans fleeing their country?

Venezuela is engulfed in a political crisis with two rival politicians claiming to be the country’s legitimate leader.

  • Venezuela is currently under the authoritarian rule of President Maduro, who belongs to the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
  • After completing his first term, Maduro began his second term in January 2019, which is seen by many Venezuelans and members of the international community as illegitimate.
  • The country had also slipped into an economic crisis and entered recession in 2014.
  • After the economic collapse, the crime rate in the country doubled and inflation multiplied in a situation that was made worse by Western sanctions.

Role of the US:

Maduro has blamed the US sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company and government for the economic problems that the country is currently riddled with, which include hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages and electricity blackouts. Maduro has also accused the US of trying to rule the country from afar.


According to UN estimates, over 90 per cent of the country was living in poverty in April 2019 and an estimated 4.8 million Venezuelans have fled the country for other places in Latin America and for the Caribbean countries as of February 2020.


Prelims Link:

  1. Where is Venezuela?
  2. What are the reasons for the present crisis?

Mains Link:

Discuss the reasons for the present Venezuelan crisis.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints.

Odisha repromulgates ordinance on APMCs:


The State Cabinet has approved repromulgation of Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) for the third time.

  • With this, the Odisha government seeks to set up and operate private market yards and farmer consumer market yards to enhance competition among different markets and market players for the agricultural produce.

Overview of the ordinance:

  • The law has been drafted on the lines of a model law titled ‘The Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017’ circulated by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.
  • The ordinance proposes to abolish fragmentation of market within the State by removing the concept of notified market area so far as enforcement of regulation by the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Market Committee is concerned.
  • The government aims to declare warehouses or silos or cold storages and other structures or space as market sub-yard to provide better market access or linkage to the farmers.

Key features of the Model Act:

  1. A state government may declare the whole state as a single unified market area.
  2. In such an area, a single license will be applicable for the trade of agricultural produce and livestock.
  3. Market Committee: A Market Committee will manage market yards in a specified area
  4. Private market yards may be set up by private individuals to facilitate operations of traders, and commission agents.


Prelims Link:

  1. What are APMCs?
  2. Overview of Odisha’s recent APMC ordinance.
  3. Key features of the Model Act.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of a model law titled ‘The Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017’.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims:

Bengaluru scientists develop a new marigold variety:

  • Named Arka Shubha, the variety has been developed by the Hessarghatta-based Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR).
  • This variety of marigold has a carotene content of 2.8%, which is the highest content from a plant source.
  • It will fetch money even if they get spoilt as it can be used for extraction of crude carotene, which is mainly used in the pharmaceutical sector.

Carotenes are photosynthetic pigments important for photosynthesis. Carotenes contain no oxygen atoms. They absorb ultraviolet, violet, and blue light and scatter orange or red light, and (in low concentrations) yellow light.


Sessa Orchid Sanctuary:

  • Located in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Notified in November 1989 under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • The Sanctuary is a natural home to more than 236 species of orchids, as well as a wealthy diversity of mushrooms and other medicinal plants.
  • It is the only one of its kind in the country, where these flowering plants grow wild.

Sadiya earthquake:

  • Scientists have found the first geological evidence of an earthquake at Himebasti Village on the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, documented by historians as Sadiya earthquake.
  • Sadiya earthquake is recorded to have caused massive destruction in the region and almost destroyed the town in 1697 CE.
  • This finding could contribute to a seismic hazard map of the eastern Himalaya, which can facilitate construction and planning in the region.

Shahtoot dam:


Signing ceremony of MoU for the construction of the Lalandar “Shatoot” Dam in Afghanistan.

Key Points:

  • The project is a part of the New Development Partnership between India and Afghanistan.
  • The dam would come upon the Maidan river tributary of Kabul river.
  • This is the second major dam being built by India in Afghanistan, after the India – Afghanistan Friendship Dam [Salma Dam], which was inaugurated in June 2016.

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