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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 15 March 2023


Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 15 March 2023


Contents

  1. Marginal Representation of Women in Politics and Bureaucracy
  2. A Global Ocean Treaty Benefits Everyone

Marginal Representation of Women in Politics and Bureaucracy


Context

Due to social factors like being assigned to distant cadres, patriarchal conditioning, and the need to balance family obligations, women frequently choose to leave the civil service.

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.

Mains Question

What social factors influence women’s decision to leave the civil service? Give suitable examples to help your explanation be more understandable. (150 words).


Key Points

  • The IMF expects India’s economy to grow at a rate of 6.8% this year, compared to 1.6% for the US, making it one of the fastest-growing in the world.
    • It is also predicted to become the third-largest economy in the world by 2030, behind only the US and China.
    • Women’s participation in India’s economy, politics, and society has not kept pace with the country’s economic growth.
  • Recent elections in India have shown a striking contrast. The female voter turnout has increased in the country. The number of female voters increased in seven out of the eight states where elections were held in 2022.
    • Despite the fact that this sounds encouraging, the rising percentage of women voters in local, state, and general elections has not led to an increase in the number of female candidates.

Women’s Political Participation

  • According to data compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), women make up 14.44% of the Lok Sabha in India.
    • According to data from the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) most recent report, as of October 2021, women made up 10.5% of all members of parliament.
    • For all the state assemblies, female MLAs’ representation stands at an average of 9 per cent.
  • In recent years, India’s position has slipped in this category. At the moment, it trails Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal.
    • According to data for May 2022, women made up 20% of the population in Pakistan, 21% in Bangladesh, and 34% in Nepal.
  • Since Independence, women’s representation in Lok Sabha has not even increased by 10 per cent.

Women’s Participation in Bureaucracy

  • Indian women are underrepresented in bureaucracy. Numerous positions in the public sector at the federal level and in states must now allow free applications from female candidates due to low female participation.
  • Despite this, as per Indian Administrative Services (IAS) data and the central government’s employment census of 2011, less than 11 per cent of its total employees were women.
  • In 2020, this reached 13 per cent. In actuality, only 1,527 of the 11,569 IAS officers who entered service between 1951 and 2020 were female.
    • In addition, only 14% of IAS Secretaries in 2022 were female. In all Indian states and union territories, there are only three female chief secretaries.
    • A female cabinet secretary has never existed in India. There haven’t ever been any female secretaries of the home, finances, defence, or personnel.

Amazing Contrast

  • In 2019, there were approximately 367,086 applications from women for the UPSC examination, but only 177,611 women actually took the exam, according to the most recent official data from the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC).
    • Only 1,534 women out of the total number of test takers qualified. In contrast, 768,175 male applicants submitted exam applications during the same time period, but only 390,671 of them actually took the test.
    • In addition, female candidates are more likely than male candidates to request a voluntary separation from the military.
  • These figures reveal a startling disparity between male and female participation. Furthermore, female candidates are more likely than male candidates to request a voluntary separation from the military.

Initial Challenges

  • The main obstacles to women’s empowerment are structural limitations that make it difficult for them to enlist in the armed forces.
  • These barriers include patriarchal conditioning, service requirements that require postings in rural areas, and juggling family obligations with the demands of the job.
  • These social factors frequently lead to women leaving the civil services. Furthermore, it is widely believed that women are more suitable for “soft” ministries like social welfare, culture, women’s issues, and child development.

Conclusion

  • It is clear from a cursory examination of other sectors that the situation is equally dire. Only 20.37 percent of MSME owners are women, and only 10 percent of startups are founded by women.
  • Only 23.3 percent of women are employed in the workforce, though it can be difficult to measure their participation.
    • The majority of data on India’s female labour force that is currently available do not take into account the unpaid work that women frequently perform.
  • In addition, women frequently fail to recognise their work as work. This topic emphasises the value of female financial and academic literacy.

A Global Ocean Treaty Benefits Everyone


Context

It was recently decided in New York to ratify the UN High Seas Treaty, which will aim to protect 30% of international waters by 2030.

Relevance

GS Paper-3: Economic Development, Biodiversity, and Environment.

Mains Question

Talk about how human activity affects ocean biodiversity and what can be done to preserve and restore it. (150 Words)


Key Highlights

  • The world’s oceans cover 71% of our planet’s surface and serve as the earth’s largest carbon sink.
  • By absorbing 93% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases and roughly 30% of the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels, they reduce climate change.
  • Three billion people also rely on its ecosystems for their food security and financial stability.
  • Currently, less than 7% of the ocean is under protection, and the high seas, which make up 95% of the habitable space on Earth and two-thirds of the world’s oceans by volume, are largely lawless.
  • The Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty, also known as the high seas accord, designates 30 percent of the world’s oceans as protected areas.
  • This agreement ensures that benefits from the use of marine genetic material are shared and requires environmental impact assessments for new activities.
  • Additionally, it makes it easier to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030 by allowing countries to establish marine protected areas (MPAs) in the high seas.
  • A 2017 study showed that marine reserves in national waters have on average 670% more fish, as measured by biomass, than adjacent unprotected areas, demonstrating the effectiveness of MPAs in protecting marine life.
  • Flourishing populations of marine life in MPAs also spill over into fishing areas, resulting in increased catches for fishermen.

What Justifies Protecting the High Seas?

  1. The Ocean is BIG: o The high seas refer to the part of the ocean that is beyond any country’s jurisdiction.
  2. Biodiversity: The world’s oceans are among the last unspoiled areas left.
    1. They are home to a plethora of marine species, including some of our most recognisable and prized ones.
    1. They protect migratory paths and habitat that act as “rest stops” for whales, sharks, sea turtles, and seabirds.
  3. 3030: According to scientists, if we want to support robust marine ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide, we must conserve or protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030.
    1. Although there are thousands of marine protected areas spread out across the globe, they only make up a small portion of the ocean.
  4. Less than 1% of the high seas are currently covered by marine protected areas.
  5. Climate Change: Protecting the high seas through marine protected areas is important for our climate as well as for biodiversity.
    1. The ocean is a key player in controlling our climate because it drives global weather patterns and absorbs excess heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
    1. Ensuring that the ocean continues to play its crucial role in our climate system by supporting marine conservation and the preservation of blue carbon ecosystems.
  6. Reduction in Whale Population: Unlike animals on land, when a whale dies in the ocean, the carbon is pulled down to the depths, where it is stored.
    1. Whales also contribute to an increase in phytoplankton activity through a process known as the “whale pump,” in which they descend to feed and then resurface to breathe.
    1. Phytoplankton captures about 37 billion tonnes of CO2 a year and produces at least 50% of the oxygen in our atmosphere.
    1. Phytoplankton blooms follow whales wherever they go.
    1. Sadly, the great whale population has declined as a result of decades of industrial whaling, which has decreased phytoplankton activity.

How can ocean biodiversity be preserved and restored?

  • Creating protected areas: Setting aside portions of the ocean as marine protected areas can aid in defending delicate ecosystems and species against overfishing and other human activities.
  • Reducing plastic waste: Because marine species like turtles and seabirds can become entangled in plastic or mistake it for food, reducing plastic waste can help protect marine life from harm.
  • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions: Cutting greenhouse gas emissions can help lessen the effects of climate change on the oceans, such as ocean acidification and temperature increases.
  • Promoting sustainable fishing techniques: Supporting techniques like using fishing gear that reduces bycatch.

Conclusion

  • A major step forward in safeguarding the world’s oceans and biodiversity has been made with the new Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty.
  • Because healthy oceans are essential to the carbon cycle and contribute significantly to biodiversity, marine protected areas have advantages beyond biodiversity that also contribute to climate change mitigation.
  • To ensure the treaty’s success, governments will need to remain committed and focused on implementing it.
  • In order to maintain the health of our planet and its ecosystems, nation-states must make protecting the high seas a top priority in the coming decades.

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