Daily Mains Newsletter for UPSC 15 Jun 2022

Daily Mains Newsletter For
UPSC | RaghukulCS

15 June 2022 - Wednesday


Table of Contents

Scheme Agnipath

Why in the news?

The government recently introduced the Agnipath initiative for recruiting soldiers across the three services (Army, Navy and Airforce).

What exactly is the Agnipath Scheme?

It allows patriotic and determined young people to serve in the Armed Forces for four years.

The youth who join the army under this scheme will be known as Agniveer. Young people will be able to join the army for a limited time.

Under the new programme, approximately 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited each year, with the majority leaving the military within four years.

  • However, after four years, only 25% of the batch will be rehired into their respective services for another 15 years.
  • It is only open to employees below the level of officer (those who do not join the forces as commissioned officers).
  • Commissioned officers are the highest-ranking officers in the army.
  • In the Indian armed forces, commissioned officers are the only rank. They frequently have a commission under the president’s sovereign authority and are formally tasked with protecting the country.
  • Candidates between the ages of 17.5 and 21 will be allowed to apply.
  • Its objectives are to provide patriotic and motivated youth with the ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ with the opportunity to join the Armed Forces.
  • It is expected to reduce the average age of the Indian Armed Forces by 4 to 5 years.
  • According to the plan, the average age in the military will drop from 32 to 26 in six to seven years.
Benefits for Agniveers:
  • After four years of service, Agniveers would receive a one-time ‘Seva Nidhi’ package worth Rs 11.71 lakhs, which will include any accrued interest.
  • They will also receive a Rs 48 lakh life insurance policy for four years.
  • In the event of death, the payout will exceed Rs 1 crore, including salary for the remaining duration.
  • The government would assist in the rehabilitation of troops who leave the military after four years. They will be given skill certificates as well as bridge training.


What are the Concurrent Concerns?

Finding another job is difficult:
  • The ‘Agnipath’ system allows for the recruitment of around 45,000 personnel into the Army, Navy, and Air Force in the first year, but only on a four-year contract. After the contract is completed, 25% of them will be kept, while the remainder will depart the forces.
  • After four years of service, other occupations will be out of reach for us, and we will fall behind our contemporaries.
No Pension:
  • Those hired through the ‘Agnipath’ scheme will receive a one-time lump amount of slightly more than Rs 11 lakh at the conclusion of their four-year employment.
  • They do not, however, receive any pension benefits. Most people need a second job to sustain themselves and their family.

Training could go unused: Forces could lose experienced soldiers.

Jawans joining the Army, Navy, and Air Force will receive technological training to enable them to support ongoing operations. However, these men and women will leave after four years, perhaps leaving a hole.

What is the Importance of This Step for the Country?

  • Soldiers for the Future: It will produce “future-ready” soldiers.
Additional Job Opportunities:
  • It will boost job opportunities, and because of the skills and experience gained during the four-year service, such troops will be able to work in a variety of professions.
  • Higher Skilled Workforce: This will also result in the availability of a more skilled workforce in the economy, which will aid in productivity gains and overall GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth.

New Guidelines for Sentence Remission

Why in the news?

  • To honour the 75th year of independence, the Ministry of Home Affairs has published a set of instructions to the states and union territories on the grant of exceptional remission to inmates.

What are the Special Remission Guidelines?

  • Special Remission: As part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, a specific category of convicts will be granted special remission. These inmates would be released in stages.
  • Women and transgender criminals over the age of 50, and male offenders over the age of 60, are eligible for Special Remission.
  • These offenders must have served half of their total sentence time, not including the period of general remission earned.
  • Physically challenged or disabled convicts with 70% disability or greater who have completed 50% of their total sentence period, Terminally ill convicted prisoners who have completed two-thirds (66%) of their total sentence period, and Poor or indigent prisoners who have completed their sentence but are still in jail due to non-payment of fine imposed on them by waiving off the fine
Prisoners Not Included in the Scheme:
  • Persons convicted of a death sentence or a death sentence commuted to life imprisonment, or persons convicted of an offence for which death is one of the punishments prescribed.
  • Individuals sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Terrorist and Disruptive (Prevention) Act of 1985, Prevention of Terrorist Act of 2002, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967, Explosives Act of 1908, National Security Act of 1982, Official Secrets Act of 1923, and Anti-Hijacking Act of 2016.
  • Persons convicted of dowry death, counterfeiting currency notes, rape and human trafficking, offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, Immoral Trafficking Act, 1956, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, etc., offences against the State (Chapter-VI of IPC), and any other law that the State governments or Union Territory administrations deem appropriate to exclude would not be eligible for the special remission.\

What exactly is remission?

  • Remission is the entire termination of a sentence at a lower point. Remission differs from both furlough and parole in that it is a sentence reduction rather than a respite from prison life.
  • The character of the sentence is not altered in remission, but the duration is decreased, i.e. the remainder of the term is not required.
  • The impact of the remission is that the prisoner is given a certain date on which he will be freed and will be considered a free man in the eyes of the law.
  • The Prison Act of 1894 defines the remission system as “a collection of rules created for the time being in force regulating the award of marks to, and subsequent shortening of sentence of, inmates in jail.”
  • It was stated in the case of Kehar Singh vs. Union of India (1989) that courts cannot deny a prisoner the benefit of being considered for sentence reduction.
Constitutional Provisions:
  • The Constitution grants the President and the Governor the sovereign power of pardon.
  • Article 72 empowers the President to give pardons, reprieves, respites, or remissions of penalty, as well as suspend, remit, or commute any person’s sentence.
  • This can be done for any person convicted of any offence in all circumstances where: the penalty or sentence is by a court-martial, in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court-martial, in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court-martial, in all
  • In all cases of death sentences, the sentence is for an offence under any statute relating to the Union government’s executive power.
  • A Governor may, under Article 161, award pardons, reprieves, respites, or remissions of penalty, or suspend, remit, or commute the sentence.
  • This can be done for anyone convicted under any law on an issue that falls under the executive power of the state.
  • The President’s pardoning power under Article 72 is broader than the Governor’s pardoning power under Article 161.
The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)
  • provides for remission of jail sentences, which implies that the entire or a portion of the sentence may be revoked.
  • The ‘relevant government’ may suspend or remit a sentence, in whole or in part, with or without restrictions, under Section 432.
  • The appropriate authorities may commute any sentence to a lesser one under Section 433.
  • State governments have this authority, which allows them to order the release of prisoners before their sentences are completed.
Definitions of Terms
  • Pardon: It absolves the offender of all sentences, punishments, and disqualifications by removing both the penalty and the conviction.
  • Commutation refers to the substitution of one kind of punishment with a less severe form of punishment. A death sentence, for example, may be reduced to harsh imprisonment.
  • Remission: It refers to shortening the sentence without changing its character. For example, a five-year sentence of hard imprisonment may be reduced to one year of rigorous imprisonment.
  • Respite: It refers to the imposition of a reduced term in place of one that was initially imposed owing to a unique circumstance, such as a convict’s physical impairment or a woman offender’s pregnancy.
  • Reprieve: It denotes a temporary suspension of execution of a sentence (particularly one of death). Its objective is to provide the offender enough time to petition the President for a pardon or commutation.


Why in the news?

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is scrutinising the neobank business model, in which fintechs connect to a traditional bank’s network and provide customer-facing banking services.
  • The risk is that the digital model firm can rapidly build up and become larger in terms of consumers than the underlying bank. Although neobank customers remain underlying bank accountholders, the only route open to these users is the fintech-owned digital platform.

What exactly are Neobanks?

  • A neobank is a type of digital bank that does not have any physical locations. Neobanking takes place totally online, rather than at a physical facility.
  • Neobanks are financial institutions that provide customers with a less expensive option to traditional banks.
  • They use technology and artificial intelligence to provide personalised services to clients while keeping operational costs to a minimum.
  • Neobanks were dubbed “challenger banks” when they first joined the financial system because they challenged traditional banks’ sophisticated infrastructure and client onboarding process.
  • In India, these enterprises do not have their own bank licence and must rely on bank partners to provide licenced services.
  • This is because the RBI does not yet permit banks to be completely digital.
  • The RBI is steadfast in prioritising banks’ physical presence, and has stated that digital banking service providers must also have some physical presence.
  • Top Neobanks in India include RazorpayX, Jupiter, Niyo, Open, and others.

What Are the Different Neobank Operating Models?

  • Non-licensed FinTech (Financial Technology) companies that work with traditional banks to create a mobile/web platform and a wrapper for their partners’ products.
  • Traditional banks that are launching digital activities.
  • Neobanks with a licence (usually with digital banking licences in those countries that allow it).

What Are the Distinctions Between Traditional and Neobanks?

  • Funding and customer confidence: Traditional banks have many advantages over neobanks, including funding and, most significantly, the trust of their customers.
  • However, outdated systems are dragging businesses down, making it impossible for them to adapt to the expanding expectations of a technologically savvy age.
  • While neobanks lack the money and client base to unseat traditional banks, they do have something unique in their arsenal: innovation.
  • They can offer services and form partnerships to better serve their consumers far faster than traditional banks.
Underserved by traditional banks:
  • Neobanks serve retail customers as well as small and medium-sized businesses, which are underserved by traditional banks.
  • They differentiate themselves through the mobile-first concept by developing innovative products and providing exceptional customer service.
Investors in venture capital and private equity:
  • They have been keeping a close eye on market potential for such institutions and are becoming more interested in them.
  • Smartphone penetration: As of 2020, India had a 54 percent smartphone penetration rate, which is expected to rise to 96 percent by 2040.
  • Despite the fact that 80 percent of the population has at least one bank account, financial inclusion levels have yet to increase.

What are the Neobanking Challenges?

  • Meeting the requirements of a market segment: The key to their success is meeting the needs of a certain market niche while also implementing the appropriate technology, corporate strategy, and work culture.
  • Regulatory stumbling blocks: Because the RBI has yet to recognise neobanks as such, customers may lack legal remedies or a clear mechanism in the event of a problem.
  • Customers do not have access to in-person help because neobanks do not have physical branches.
  • Limited services: In general, neobanks provide fewer services than traditional banks.

What are the Benefits of Neobanks?

  • Low prices: Because there are fewer rules and little credit risk, neobanks can keep their costs low. Products are often affordable and do not require monthly maintenance.
  • Convenience: These banks provide customers with the bulk (if not all) of their banking services via an app.
  • Speed: Neobanks allow customers to open accounts and process requests rapidly. Those who provide loans may avoid the typical time-consuming application processes in favour of novel credit-evaluation strategies.
  • Transparency: Neobanks strive for real-time notifications and explanations of any charges and penalties imposed by customers.
  • Deep insights: The majority of neobanks offer dashboard solutions with greatly upgraded interfaces and simple-to-understand and valuable insights for services such as payments, payables and receivables, and bank statements.

What are the distinctions between Digital Banks and Neobanks?

  • Even though they appear to be built on the mobile-first approach and a concentration on digital operating models, a digital bank and a neobank are not the same.
  • While the phrases are occasionally used interchangeably, digital banks are frequently the internet-only subsidiary of a well-established and regulated financial player, whereas a neobank exists completely online, without any physical branches, and either independently or in conjunction with traditional banks.

The Way Forward

  • Neobanking can serve as an extension of measures taken to address the challenges of financial inclusion and bundling banking services with other financial services, such as the opening of bank accounts for immigrants, which can be facilitated through new onboarding procedures that do not rely on traditional identification documentation. With initially restricted aims, neobanks could gradually develop by offering new functionalities and services.
  • Although digital and neobanks are gaining traction, most have yet to demonstrate long-term profitability. Nonetheless, they have the potential to be major disruptors in banking and financial services, and the key to becoming successful organisations would be to persuade established banks to invest in cutting-edge technology and re-engineer procedures to give smooth and quick customer experiences.

Dialogue Application Language Model

Why in the news?

Google’s artificial intelligence-based chatbot Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), according to a senior engineer, has become “sentient.”

What exactly is LaMDA?


Google initially unveiled LaMDA in 2021 at its flagship developer conference I/O (Input/Output) as its generative language model for dialogue applications, ensuring that the application may speak on any topic.

LaMDA can converse freely about an almost infinite number of topics, which the business believes will enable more natural ways of interacting with technology and totally new categories of useful applications.

LaMDA can hold a conversation based on the user’s inputs entirely because of its language processing model, which has been trained on enormous quantities of discourse.

LaMDA 2.0:

Google unveiled LaMDA 2.0 at I/O 2022, which will expand on these features.

The new model can take an idea and generate inventive and relevant descriptions, can stay on topic even if a user strays off-topic, and can even recommend a list of objects needed for a specific activity.

What can the other language-based AI tool do?

Transformer 3:

 Generative Pre-trained

An autoregressive language model that produces human-like text using deep learning.

In 2020, an essay was released claiming that it was totally created by Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3, an AI text generator (GPT-3).

What exactly is a chatbot?

  • Chatbots, also known as chatterbots, are a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is utilised in messaging apps.
  • This technology adds convenience for customers because they are automated programmes that interact with clients like humans and cost next to nothing to use.
  • Chatbots deployed by businesses via Facebook Messenger, as well as virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, are prime examples.
  • Chatbots often operate in one of two ways: by machine learning or by following predefined guidelines.
  • However, as AI technology advances, chatbots that follow predefined standards are becoming a thing of the past.
Chatbot with Predefined Guidelines:
  • It can only react to a limited amount of inquiries and has the same language as its programming code.
  • A limited bot is an automated financial bot that asks the caller questions in order to understand what the caller wants to do.
Machine Learning Chatbot:
  • A machine learning chatbot features an artificial neural network inspired by the neural nodes of the human brain.
  • As fresh phrases and words are introduced to the bot, it is programmed to self-learn.
  • As a chatbot receives fresh voice or written dialogues, it enhances the amount of inquiries it can respond to and the accuracy of each response it provides.
  • Meta (Facebook’s parent company) has a machine learning chatbot that creates a platform for businesses to communicate with their customers via the Messenger app.
  • Chatbots are useful for delivering customer care and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • They also free up phone lines and are significantly less expensive in the long term than recruiting support staff.
  • Chatbots are becoming better at understanding what customers want and giving the assistance they require by utilising AI and natural language processing.
  • Chatbots are also popular among businesses since they can collect data on client enquiries, response times, satisfaction, and so on.
  • Even with natural language processing, they may not fully understand a customer’s input and may respond incoherently.
  • Many chatbots are likewise limited in the types of questions they can answer.
  • Chatbots can be costly to develop and operate, particularly if they must be modified and updated frequently.
  • The concerns of AI becoming sentient are far in the future; nonetheless, the real hazards to watch for include immoral AI propagating historical bias and echoing hate speech.

Organization for Shanghai Cooperation (SCO)

Why in the news?

  • The Union Cabinet was informed of an agreement made among Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states on cooperation in the field of youth work among the authorised bodies of the SCO member states.
  • The agreement was signed by the Indian Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports following the acceptance of the agreement on cooperation in youth work by the member states in 2021.

What are the Agreement’s Main Points?

  • The goal is to increase mutual trust, friendly relations, and cooperation among young people from SCO member countries.
  • Recognizing the significance of fostering youth cooperation as a component of enhancing cordial relations among SCO Member States.
  • Using worldwide experience to improve the circumstances for youth cooperation.
  • Cooperation areas: Increase cooperation with youth and public youth groups (associations) implementing state youth policy.
  • Encourage efforts aimed at improving international youth cooperation.
  • Professional staff training in the field of youth work,
  • Exchange of scientific, reference, and methodological resources, work experience of state bodies, young public organisations, and other organisations and associations participating in the implementation of state youth policy and the support of youth initiatives
  • Conducting collaborative research and activities on a variety of youth policy topics including youth collaboration,
  • Exchange of scholarly articles, research projects on current challenges related to reducing young engagement in destructive institutions,
  • Encourage collaborative economic and humanitarian activities to engage youth in entrepreneurship and innovative ventures that will boost their employment and well-being.
  • Supporting the SCO Youth Council’s operations.
  • The SCO Youth Council was established in 2009 at the suggestion of the SCO member nations’ youth organisations.

What is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

  • SCO is a permanent international intergovernmental organisation.
  • It is a political, economic, and military organisation in Eurasian that seeks to ensure regional peace, security, and stability.
  • It was founded in 2001.
  • The SCO Charter was signed in 2002 and took effect in 2003.
  • The Shanghai Five were Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan prior to the formation of the SCO in 2001.
  • The Shanghai Five (1996) developed from a series of border delineation and demilitarisation talks held by the four former Soviet republics with China to assure border stability.
  • The Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO after Uzbekistan joined the organisation in 2001.
  • India and Pakistan joined in 2017.
  • It was announced on September 17, 2021, that Iran would become a full member of the SCO.
  • Increasing mutual trust and neighbourliness among member countries.
  • Promoting successful cooperation in the fields of politics, trade and economy, science and technology, and culture.
  • Strengthening linkages in education, energy, transportation, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas.
  • Maintain and ensure regional peace, security, and stability.
  • Establishment of a new international political and economic order that is democratic, fair, and reasonable.

Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, and Iran are all members.

  • Heads of State Council — The top SCO body that decides on the organization’s internal operations, interactions with other countries, and international concerns.
  • Heads of Government Council – Approves the budget and considers and decides on topics pertaining to SCO’s economic domains of cooperation.
  • The Council of Foreign Ministers considers problems concerning daily operations.
  • Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) – An organisation formed to combat terrorism, separatism, and extremism.
  • SCO Secretariat — Located in Beijing, this organisation provides informational, analytical, and organisational support.
  • The official working languages of the SCO Secretariat are Russian and Chinese.
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