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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 14 December 2022


Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 14 December 2022


Contents

  1. Efficacy of female leadership in government  
  2. The increasing cyberattackss

Efficacy Of Female Leadership In Government


Context

The article emphasised the importance of overcoming inherent biases and perceptions about the effectiveness of women in leadership roles, as well as the need for increased female representation in policymaking. According to government data presented in the Lok Sabha recently, women’s representation in Parliament and most state legislatures is below 15%, with 19 state assemblies having less than 10% female legislators.

Relevance

GS Paper 1: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Social empowerment.

Mains Question

Having a fair proportion of women in elected bodies can empower Indian women politically. Comment. (250 words)


Women’s leadership attributes

  • Women’s political empowerment is based on three fundamental and non-negotiable principles:
    • Gender equality between men and women (gender equality).
    • The right of women to reach their full potential.
    • The right of women to self-representation and self-determination.

Global picture – Crisis leadership by women

  • Three countries, Germany, Taiwan, and New Zealand, have female heads of state and appear to have handled the Covid-19 pandemic much better than their neighbours.
  • Furthermore, states with female governors saw fewer COVID-19-related deaths, as female governors acted more decisively by issuing stay-at-home orders earlier than their male counterparts.
  • This means that women leaders are more effective than men in times of crisis, and there is a need to eliminate inherent biases and perceptions about female effectiveness in leadership roles.

India scenario

  • When it comes to the most important political right – the right to vote – women in India, unlike mature democracies in the West, have been allowed to vote on an equal footing with men since 1950.
  • It took several decades of struggle in the United States before women were granted the right to vote in 1920. Indira Gandhi, Jayalalitha, Mayawati, Sushma Swaraj, and Mamata Banerjee are just a few of India’s charismatic female leaders. However, the overall picture in India is bleak.
  • For example, female members of the Central Government make up only about 10% of the total ministerial strength.
    • The situation in West Bengal (which is led by a female chief minister) is no different.
    • The 2019 election sent the most women to the Lok Sabha, accounting for just over 14% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha, giving India a dismal rank of 143 out of 192 countries, according to data reported by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Rwanda comes out on top, with women filling 60% of the seats in its lower house.

Gram Panchayats in India show female leadership.

  • Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo investigated the impact of reservations for women in local governments and examined the effectiveness of female leadership in Gram Panchayats in India.
  • The 73rd Amendment to the Indian Constitution mandated that all States reserve one-third of all pradhan (head) positions for women.
    • Today, over a million women are elected members of the country’s 2.6 lakh gramme panchayats.
  • The study shows that female leaders outperform men when it comes to enacting policies that benefit women’s interests.
  • For example, because collecting drinking water is primarily the responsibility of women, women pradhans were more likely to invest in providing easy access to drinking water.

Way ahead

  • Creating quotas for women: It is critical to level the playing field through appropriate legal measures while acknowledging that women running for office face numerous challenges.
    • When the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve 33% of Lok Sabha seats and all state legislative assemblies for women, was first introduced in 1996, it was met with opposition from male members of several parties under various pretexts.
    • Although the Rajya Sabha approved the Women’s Reservation Bill [The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, 2008] in 2010, the Lok Sabha and state legislatures have yet to do so.
  • Nominating more female candidates: Until the bill is passed, the major political parties must reserve one-third of their nominations for female candidates. It will result in an increase in the number of women in legislatures and, eventually, cabinets.
  • Internal democracy within political parties: Granting women quotas within political parties will serve as a strategic complement to the Women’s Reservation Bill, paving the way for more women to enter politics.

Conclusion

  • Increasing female representation in policymaking through quotas improves perceptions of female effectiveness in leadership roles and reduces voter bias against female candidates.
  • This will lead to an increase in the number of female politicians running for and winning elections.
  • Thus, addressing various issues related to women’s political participation should be a priority from the standpoint of gender equality.

The Increasing Cyberattackss


Context

  • In response to repeated cyberattack attempts from China, the government has decided to increase its vigilance.
  • Employees in ministries and public sector units (PSUs) are being asked to adhere to a standard operating procedure or face disciplinary action.
    • The steps in this SoP include basic hygiene such as turning off computers, signing out of emails, and updating passwords.
  • Malware, also known as malicious software, is any programme or file that is designed to cause harm to a computer, network, or server.
  • It is essentially a programme designed to gain unauthorised access to computer systems, usually for the benefit of a third party.

Relevance

GS Paper 3: Computers, Technology, Cyberattacks

Mains Question

“A strong focus on cyber security is required for digital India.” Discuss the challenges of cyber security and offer suggestions for increasing cyber expertise in India. (250 words)


Types

  • Viruses
  • A virus is a piece of malicious executable code that is attached to another executable file. When an infected file is passed from system to system, the virus spreads.
    • Viruses can be harmless or have the ability to modify or delete data. When a programme virus becomes active, it infects other programmes on the computer.
  • Worms
    • Worms replicate on the system, attaching themselves to various files and looking for pathways between computers, such as a computer network that shares common file storage areas.
    • Worms typically cause network slowdown. A virus requires a host programme to function, whereas worms can function independently.
  • Spyware
    • Its goal is to steal private information from a computer system and send it to a third party. Spyware gathers data and sends it to the hacker.
  • Trojan horse
    • A Trojan horse is malware that performs malicious operations while masquerading as a desired operation, such as playing an online game.
    • A Trojan horse differs from a virus in that it binds to non-executable files such as image files and audio files.
  • Logic Bombs
    • A logic bomb is a malicious programme that activates malicious code via a trigger.
    • The logic bomb remains inactive until the trigger event occurs.
    • When triggered, a logic bomb executes malicious code that harms a computer.
  • Ransomware
    • Ransomware seizes control of a computer system or the data it contains until the victim pays a ransom.
    • Ransomware encrypts data on the computer with a key that the user does not know. To retrieve data, the user must pay a ransom (price) to the criminals.
  • Backdoors
    • A backdoor circumvents the usual authentication used to gain access to a system.
    • The backdoor’s purpose is to give cyber criminals future access to the system even if the organisation fixes the original vulnerability that was used to attack the system.
  • Rootkits
    • A rootkit modifies the operating system to create a backdoor. Attackers then use the backdoor to gain remote access to the computer.
  • Keyloggers
    • A keylogger is a programme that records everything a user types on his or her computer in order to obtain passwords and other sensitive information and sends it to the source of the keylogging programme.

Background

  • On November 23, 2022, a breach in AIIMS’ internal systems was discovered. Not long after, the hospital’s digital patient management system was rendered inoperable.
    • The attack disrupted routine tasks such as appointments and registration, billing, patient care information, and lab reports.
    • It corrupted files and data on the mega-main hospital’s and backup servers.
    • As a result, the hospital shut down most digital patient care systems and switched to manual methods.
  • According to various media reports, the hackers demanded a ransom in order to regain access to the data.
  • The government has decided to increase its vigilance, instructing employees across ministries and public sector units (PSUs) to follow a standard operating protocol or face disciplinary action.
    • Several Indian government agencies have constructed multiple firewalls to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
    • However, irresponsible behaviour on the part of stakeholders and employees frequently exposes them to risks.

In recent months, there has been an increase in attacks.

  • There have been numerous cyberattacks on everything from the power grid to the banking system.
  • A CERT-IN report estimated a 51% increase in ransomware incidents reported during the first half of 2022.
    • While the majority of the attacks targeted data centres, the IT sector, manufacturing, and finance, critical infrastructure such as oil and gas, transportation, and power were also targeted.
  • In a separate report, cyber security firm Norton stated that India faced over 18 million cyber threats in the first quarter of 2022.
  • The majority of these attacks are thought to be the work of Chinese hackers, who frequently operate as “sleeper cells” on the computers of Indian users.

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