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9th January 2021 – Editorials/Opinions Analyses

Content

  1. Night and day
  2. Grading India’s counter-coercive strategy

Editorial: Night and day

Context:

  • The dirge continues as news of another horrific alleged rape and murder emerged from Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.

Relevance:

  • GS Paper 1: Role of women and women’s organisation;

Mains Questions:

  1. Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality. In this context, discuss growing violence against women in India. 15 Marks
  2. To expect women to stay indoors for their safety is to deny them their freedoms, rights. Discuss 15 Marks

Dimensions of the Article:

  • Status of women safety in India
  • Challenges in addressing women safety.
  • Measures taken by government:
  • Way forward:

Status of women safety in India:

  • Women safety involves various dimensions such as Sexual harassment at workplace, rape, marital rape, dowry, acid attack etc.
  • The United Nation’s ‘Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces’ programme, which started in 2010, recognized that cities all around the world were becoming unsafe for women.
  • The latest NCRB data for the year 2016 shows that o Overall crimes against women have risen by just about 3%, whereas incidents of rape have gone up by 12%.
    • Majority of cases categorized as crimes against women were reported under ‘Cruelty by husband or his relatives’ (32.6%). This draws a bleak picture of women safety in private places or home.

Challenges in addressing women safety.

  • Lack of reporting: It is seen as a major roadblock for creating a safe atmosphere for women.
  • Slow criminal justice system: The investigation and disposal of cases take long time thereby encourage offenders.
  • Inadequate implementation: Many employers are yet to establish Internal complaints committee which is a clear violation of law.
  • Poor gender sensitization of law enforcing agencies like police, judiciary etc.
  • Various social factors like level of education/illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society etc. also pose a challenge.
  • Frivolous complaints: This is seen mostly in context of domestic violence act.
  • Exclusion by Technology: Technology though helpful to enhance public safety in certain ways, but its scope is limited so far as they exclude women without access to smartphones.
  • Hinders women development: For example- Sexual harassment at workplace is one of the most important causes of low labour force participation rate of women in India. Male dominated nature of India’s public sphere is being recognized but not challenged.

Measures taken by government:

  • For sexual harassment at workplace- VISHAKA guidelines by Supreme Court which provide measures to be taken by employers, Sexual Harassment of Women at workplace (prevention prohibition and redressal) Act 2013 by parliament, SHE Box by Ministry Of Women and Child Development for online complaint.
  • For rape cases: Proposal of Justice Verma Committee was accepted to treat juvenile between 16-18 years age as an adult for committing heinous crimes. Recently, the government has brought amendments in PoCSO act 2012 in which Rape of girl child below 12 years will be punished by death penalty
  • For domestic violence: Domestic violence act 2005 and Section 498A of IPC deals with cruelty by husband or relatives.
  • Other initiatives: SWADHAR: A Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances, GPS tracking, ‘panic buttons’ etc.
  • Government is also planning to set up a dedicated National Mission on women safety to ensure specified actions by Ministries and Department.

Way forward:

  • Strengthening criminal justice machinery: Strict enforcement of laws, setting up of fast track special courts, strengthening of prosecution machinery, strengthening of Alternate Dispute resolution mechanism like Lok Adalat, implementing Draft National Policy for Women 2016 in letter and spirit etc.
  • Encourage women to step up and speak to the relevant committee in the organization in case of any issues such as harassment and improper conduct and situation. Women should also be trained for selfdefence.
  • Gender sensitisation of the law enforcement agencies, especially the police and the judiciary through periodic training as well as instituting gender-sensitization trainings incorporates.
  • Development of a community-based strategy to tackle domestic violence and community policing initiatives such as Mahila Suraksha Samiti and Women State Committee to check crimes.
  • Adopting zero tolerance policy towards any form of harassment at the workplace. It should be embedded in an organization’s various policies and principles, such as the code of conduct.
  • Civil society in collaboration with all sections of society should organize several grass root movements. Many movements like ‘Pinjra Tod’ and ‘One Billion Rising’ are contributing significantly via bottom up approach for the cause of women safety.
  • Moral education: Moral overhauling of the mindset of masses should be attempted through awareness and education.

Editorial: Grading India’s counter-coercive strategy

Context:

  • India’s geostrategic location, its relatively sound economic position vis-à-vis its neighbours and its liberal democratic credentials have induced the government to undertake proper management of Indian borders, which is vital to national security.

Relevance:

  • GS Paper 3: Border Areas (security challenges and management thereof); Security forces & agencies (mandate); Role of External State & Non-State actors in creating internal security challenges

Mains Questions:

  1. Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management. 15 Marks

Dimensions of the Article:

  • Issues related to Border management in India
  • Technology can play an integral role in addressing Border Management Issues:
  • Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS):
  • Way Forward:

Issues related to Border management in India:

  • Porosity of borders: International borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh run through diverse terrain including deserts, marshes, plains and mountains.
    • This porosity of borders facilitates various illegal activities such as smuggling, trafficking of humans, drugs and arms and infiltration.
  • Contested International borders: History of mistrust and constant border skirmishes with Pakistan along line of control (LOC) makes India highly susceptible to cross-border terrorism. o Similarly, India’s border with Myanmar is threatened by several insurgent groups that have found sanctuaries in jungles along the border. o Political boundary issues of “enclaves and adverse possessions” in Bangladesh have resulted in political sensitivity along the entire eastern border.
  • Inefficiency in Border management: Indian borders continue to be guarded by military and police forces that report to different ministries in the Centre and states, making the border management task arduous and leading to duplication of efforts by the security forces.
  • Lack of critical infrastructure: Critical infrastructure such as observation towers, bunkers, Border Flood Lights etc. are lacking in many border areas which also prevent deployment of hi-tech equipment.
  • Poor intelligence and resource efficiency: Security forces are ill-equipped to handle border management given poor intelligence capabilities and severe resource deficiency.
  • Ethnic conflicts and separatist movements: The situation has worsened due to the changed demographic profile of many Border States and shift in ethnic balance of communities as a result of illegal migration.
  • Over-population in the border areas: Density of population in the border areas at some places is approximately 700-800 persons per square km on the Indian side and about 1,000 persons on the Bangladesh side.
  • Political instability and disorder in its periphery impacts India’s security directly or indirectly. Proxy war between India and Pakistan adds to this security risk.

Technology can play an integral role in addressing Border Management Issues:

  • Upgrading existing system: Technology can be integrated with the existing systems to facilitate better detection and interception by the man behind the machine.
    • At present, border guarding is almost fully dependent on human surveillance. This makes border management a time-consuming and complex task.
  • Checking infiltration: It can be help to detect infiltration via land, underwater, air and tunnels by deploying close circuit television cameras, thermal imagers and night vision devices etc.
  • Facilitate Cross Border Trade: For example: Blockchain technology can help quickly and securely process transactions, it also makes much easier to identify and trace illegitimate trade.
  • Improved Intelligence inputs and Surveillance: through Remote sensing satellites, radar satellites and satellites with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors which are capable of providing day and night all terrain and all-weather inputs.
  • Madhukar Gupta Committee on border protection had recommended the Union Government to strengthen border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border. This led to implementation of CIBMS in 2015.

Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS):

  • It is a robust and integrated system that is capable of addressing the gaps in the present system of border security by seamlessly integrating human resources, weapons, and high-tech surveillance equipment.
  • It improves the capability of Border Security Force (BSF) in detecting and controlling the cross border crimes like illegal infiltration, smuggling of contraband goods, human trafficking and cross border terrorism etc.
  • It also improves situational awareness to facilitate prompt decision making and quick reaction to emerging situations.
  • It involves deployment of a range of state-of-the-art surveillance technologies.
  • 2 pilot projects covering about 71 Kms on Indo-Pakistan Border (10 Kms) and Indo-Bangladesh Border (61 Kms) of CIBMS have been completed.
  • In 2018, BSF undertook the project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) to equip Indo-Bangladesh borders with different kind of sensors in unfenced riverine area of Brahmaputra and its tributaries.

Way Forward:

  • Dispute resolution– Government should resolve pending border disputes with the neighbouring countries, as they later become matters of national-security threat.
  • No diversion of security forces– The border-guarding force should not be distracted from its principal task and deployed for other internal security duties. For Eg-ITBP, a force specifically trained for India China border should not be used in the Naxalite-infested areas.
  • Involvement of army – It is felt that the responsibility for unsettled and disputed borders, such as the LoC in J&K and the LAC on the Indo-Tibetan border, should be that of the Indian Army while the BSF should be responsible for all settled borders.
  • Follow one-force-one-border principle to effectively manage borders as divided responsibilities never result in effective control.
  • Developing Infrastructure-accelerated development of infrastructure along the border, especially to wean the border population from illegal activities.
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