Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 08 Mar 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

08 Mar 2022-Tuesday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Initiative SAMARTH

Why in the news?

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, the Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) recently launched the “SAMARTH” Special Entrepreneurship Promotion Drive for Women.

What exactly is the SAMARTH Initiative?

The following benefits will be available to aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs through the Ministry’s Samarth initiative:

Women will be allocated 20% of the seats in free Skill Development Programs organised under the Ministry’s skill development schemes.

Under the Ministry’s Marketing Assistance schemes, 20% of MSME Business Delegations sent to domestic and international exhibitions will be dedicated to women-owned MSMEs.

Discount of 20% off the annual processing fee for National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) Commercial Schemes.

In addition, to encourage women entrepreneurs to participate in public procurement, a special 20 percent discount will be offered on the annual processing fee for the NSIC’s following commercial schemes during the fiscal year 2022-23:

Scheme for Single Point Registration Tender Marketing B2B Portal msmemart.com provides raw material assistance and bill discounting.

What is the significance of International Women’s Day?

It is observed annually on March 8th. It consists of the following elements: celebrating women’s accomplishments, raising awareness about women’s equality, and

Lobbying for accelerated gender parity, raising funds for female-focused charities, and so on.

Brief History: Clara Zetkin, a German, was the first to celebrate Women’s Day in 1911. The celebration had its origins in the labour movement.

However, it wasn’t until 1913 that the celebrations were moved to March 8th, and they’ve stayed that way ever since.

The United Nations (UN) observed International Women’s Day for the first time in 1975.

In December 1977, the General Assembly passed a resolution declaring a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, to be observed by Member States on any day of the year in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

The theme for 2022 is ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.’

Relevant Information:

According to the UN, legal barriers have prevented 2.7 billion women from having the same job opportunities as men.

Women made up less than a quarter of parliamentarians in 2019.

Gender-based violence affects one in every three women.

According to International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates, female labour force participation in India was 20.5 percent in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Males had comparable estimates of 76%.

The theme for 2022 is ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.’

Relevant Information:

According to the UN, legal barriers have prevented 2.7 billion women from having the same job opportunities as men.

Women made up less than a quarter of parliamentarians in 2019. Gender-based violence affects one in every three women.

According to International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates, female labour force participation in India was 20.5 percent in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Males had comparable estimates of 76%.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index (which measures progress toward gender parity), India is one of the worst performers in South Asia, ranking 140th out of 156 countries in 2021.

According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5, 57 percent of women aged 15-49 were anaemic in 2019-21, up from 53 percent in 2015-16.

What are the Women’s Protections in India?

Constitutional safeguards include:

Fundamental Freedoms: It guarantees all Indians the right to equality (Article 14), prohibits the state from discriminating on the basis of gender (Article 15(1)), and requires the state to make special provisions in favour of women (Article 15(3)).

Fundamental Duties: Articles 51 (A)(e) of the Constitution impose a fundamental duty on every citizen to renounce practises derogatory to the dignity of women.

Legislative Framework: The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 provides victims of domestic violence with a practical remedy in the form of prosecution.

The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 forbids the demand, payment, or acceptance of a dowry.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act of 2013: This legislation aims to protect women from sexual harassment at work.

Schemes like Mahila e-haat, Women Technology Park, Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI), and others.

Are there any Women’s World Conferences?

The United Nations has hosted four global women’s conferences. These took place in Mexico City in 1975, Copenhagen in 1980, Nairobi in 1985, and Beijing in 1995.

The Fourth World Conference on Women (WCW), held in Beijing, was one of the largest UN gatherings in history, and a watershed moment in the world’s focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The Beijing Declaration is a women’s empowerment agenda that is widely regarded as the most important global policy document on gender equality.

It establishes strategic objectives and actions for women’s advancement and gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern, such as women and health, women in power and decision-making, the girl-child, and women and the environment.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently proposed a Temporary Basic Income (TBI) for poor women in developing countries in order to help them cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and alleviate the economic pressures they face on a daily basis.

2022 Democracy Report

Why in the news?

According to the latest report from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg’s V-Dem Institute, the average global citizen’s level of democracy in 2021 is down to 1989 levels, with the post-Cold War period’s democratic gains eroding rapidly in recent years.

The title of the report is ‘Democracy Report 2022: Autocratisation Changing Nature?’

Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) creates the world’s largest democracy dataset, with over 30 million data points for 202 countries from 1789 to 2021.

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance previously released the Global State of Democracy Report, 2021. (International-IDEA).

What criteria were used to evaluate the state of a democracy?

The report divides countries into four regime types based on their Liberal Democratic Index (LDI) scores: Liberal Democracy, Electoral Democracy, Electoral Autocracy, and Closed Autocracy.

Based on 71 indicators that comprise the Liberal Component Index (LCI) and the Electoral Democracy Index (EDI), the LDI captures both liberal (individual and minority rights) and electoral aspects (free and fair elections) of a democracy (EDI).

The LCI considers indicators that guarantee free and fair elections, such as freedom of expression and freedom of association, whereas the EDI considers indicators that guarantee individual liberties and legislative constraints on the executive.

Furthermore, the LDI employs an Egalitarian Component Index (how equal different social groups are), a Participatory Component Index (the health of citizen groups and civil society organisations), and a Deliberative Component Index (whether political decisions are taken through public reasoning focused on common good or through emotional appeals, solidarity attachments, coercion).

What are the Report’s Key Findings?

Top Performance: Sweden topped the LDI index, with other Scandinavian countries such as Denmark and Norway, as well as Costa Rica and New Zealand, rounding out the top five liberal democracy rankings.

India’s Performance: India is part of a larger global trend in which an anti-plural political party drives a country’s autocracy. India was ranked 93rd in the LDI, putting it in the “bottom 50%” of countries.

The Electoral Democracy Index has dropped to 100, and the Deliberative Component Index has dropped to 102. In South Asia, India ranks lower than Sri Lanka (88), Nepal (71), and Bhutan (65), but higher than Pakistan (117) in the LDI.

Spreading Autocracy: Autocracy is rapidly spreading, with a total of 33 countries autocratizing.

In contrast to the average of 1.2 coups per year, 2021 saw a record 6 coups, resulting in the establishment of four new autocracies: Chad, Guinea, Mali, and Myanmar.

While the number of liberal democracies was 42 in 2012, it has now dropped to its lowest level in over 25 years, with only 34 countries and 13 percent of the world population living in liberal democracies.

Between 2020 and 2021, the number of closed autocracies, or dictatorships, increased from 25 to 30.

Electoral Autocracy is the Most Common Regime Type: Although the world now has 89 democracies and 90 autocracies, electoral autocracy remains the most common regime type, accounting for 60 countries and 44 percent of the world population (3.4 billion people).

Electoral democracies were the second most common type of regime, accounting for 55 countries and 16% of the global population.

What does the report have to say about the Changing Nature of Autocracy?

The Most Important Drivers of Autocracy:

“Toxic polarisation” is a major driver of autocratisation.

Polarisation has been defined as a phenomenon that undermines respect for opposing arguments and associated aspects of democracy’s deliberative component.

It is a dominant trend in 40 countries, as opposed to 5 countries where rising polarisation was observed in 2011.

Toxic levels of polarisation contribute to anti-pluralist leaders’ electoral victories and the empowerment of their autocratic agendas.

The report states that “measures of polarisation of society, political polarisation, and political parties’ use of hate speech tend to systematically rise together to extreme levels,” noting that “polarisation and autocratisation are mutually reinforcing.”

Sharpening Polarisation Tools: “Misinformation” has been identified as a key tool used by autocratic governments to sharpen polarisation and shape domestic and international opinion.

Other tools used by autocratic regimes included repression of civil society and media censorship.

While freedom of expression declined in a record 35 countries in 2021, with only 10 improving, repression of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) worsened in 44 countries over the previous ten years, “putting it at the very top of the indicators affected by autocratisation.”

Furthermore, in 37 countries, direct government control over the existence of CSOs has shifted toward authoritarianism — “evidence of the far-reaching weakening of civil society around the world.”

In 25 countries, the Electoral Management Body’s (EMB) decision-making autonomy has deteriorated.

Artificial Intelligence in the Courtroom

Why in the news?

Recently, the Law Minister stated that in order to implement phase two of the eCourts project, new, cutting-edge technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) must be used to increase the efficiency of the justice delivery system.

In addition, the Supreme Court of India has formed an Artificial Intelligence Committee to investigate the use of AI in the judicial domain.

The committee has identified applications for AI technology in judicial document translation, legal research assistance, and process automation.

What exactly is the eCourts Project?

It was conceived with the goal of transforming the Indian judiciary through the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the courts.

It is a pan-India project for District Courts across the country, overseen and funded by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice.

The project’s objectives are to provide efficient and time-bound citizen-centric service delivery.

Creating, installing, and implementing decision support systems in courts.

To automate processes in order to provide transparency and information accessibility to its stakeholders.

Improving judicial productivity, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in order to make the justice delivery system more affordable, accessible, cost-effective, predictable, dependable, and transparent.

What is the Importance of Technology in the Judiciary?

Cases that are still pending: According to the most recent National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), 3,89,41,148 cases are pending at the District and Taluka levels, while 58,43,113 remain unresolved at the high courts.

Such pendingness has a knock-on effect that reduces the efficiency of the judiciary and, as a result, people’s access to justice.

What are some examples of how technology is used in the judiciary?

Virtual Hearings: During the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of technology for e-filing and virtual hearings has increased dramatically.

SUVAS (Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software) is an acronym for Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software. It is an artificial intelligence system that can aid in the translation of court decisions into regional languages.

This is yet another historic effort to improve access to justice.

SUPACE (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court Efficiency): The Supreme Court of India recently launched it.

It is intended to first understand judicial processes that require automation before assisting the Court in improving efficiency and reducing pendency by encapsulating judicial processes that can be automated through AI.

Global Initiatives That Are Similar:

COMPAS IN THE U.S. (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions).

HART (United Kingdom) (Harm Assessment Risk Tool).

Giving legal advice and approving pensions in China, Mexico, and Russia.

Estonia has created a robot judge to hear small claims.

Malaysia: Assisting with sentencing decisions.

Austria: Advanced document management.

Prometea, Argentina/Colombia (Identifying urgent cases within minutes).

Singapore: Real-time transcription of court hearings

What are the potential applications of AI and machine learning in the judiciary?

Increasing judicial efficiency: It has the potential to assist judges in conducting trials more quickly and effectively, thereby reducing case backlogs.

It will enable legal professionals to devote more time to developing better legal reasoning, legal discussion, and legal interpretation.

Developing Judge Analytics: After “training” the application on a massive historical set of precedents, the application is capable of highlighting key points in specific contracts.

This will aid in the analysis of thousands of previous cases and the development of ‘judge analytics.’

The Way Forward

AI side effects: As AI technology advances, concerns about data protection, privacy, human rights, and ethics will pose new challenges, necessitating extensive self-regulation by AI developers.

It will also necessitate external regulation by the legislature via statute, rules, and regulation, as well as by the judiciary via judicial review and constitutional standards.

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