Mains Q & A 23 December 2022


Mains Q & A 23 December 2022


Q1. The decision to accept females for permanent commission at the National Defence Academy is a step in the right direction that has been long overdue in the effort to establish gender parity in the armed forces. Elaborate. (250 words)

Paper & Topic: GS II Government Policies and Interventions

Model Answer:

Introduction:

The National Defense Academy (NDA), which had previously been a military recruitment centre for men only, will now accept women, the Center informed the Supreme Court on September 8. If this decision is made in writing, women may start their military training once they complete Class 12.

The PM’s recent statement that women will be allowed to enrol in Sainik School is a positive step toward preparing girls for military service and equal duties.

Body:

Background:

According to a decision made by the Supreme Court on March 17 of last year, female officers must have the same opportunity as male officers to convert their short service commission into a permanent commission.

Despite feeble defences, women have long been denied equal admission to the military. Some of these include the demand that female commanders be exempt from certain standards, preserving women’s honour, and male troops’ lack of gender awareness.

All of this was rejected by the Supreme Court as being hogwash. Women in the military have consistently shown that they are equally as talented as their male colleagues when given the same opportunities.

The dangers of her area of work are also fully understood by a female officer or cadet. But only in the patriarchal sense, she has to be protected.

The decision made by the Center and the services demonstrates a much-needed change in perspective given that women have long been exposed to patriarchal norms yet serve in the military.

When will the military achieve gender parity?

The Navy selected its first class of female officers in 1992. Before women were awarded direct permanent commission, about 30 years had elapsed.

In the Army, Air Force, and Navy, women were first allowed to hold short-service commissions (SSC) in 1992.

Now, women in the military could work in professions other than medicine.

In their chosen professions, such as the Army Education Corps, Corps of Signals, Corps of Intelligence, and Corps of Engineers, they were awarded five-year commissions.

Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES) recruits had a shorter pre-commission training term than their male counterparts who were commissioned under the Short Service Commission (SSC) scheme.

The WSES programme was replaced by the SSC system, which employed female officers, in 2006. They agreed to a 10-year deal with a potential 14-year extension.

Present WSES officers can choose to remain in the current WSES or enrol in the new SSC programme.

However, because they had to be restricted to the aforementioned streams, fighters like infantry and armoured corps were not included.

One of the key moments for women in the military occurred in 2015 when the Indian Air Force (IAF) decided to allow women into the fighter stream.

In Secretary, Ministry of Defence vs. Babita Puniya & Ors., the court emphasised the “significant contribution” made by women since their admission into the army in 1992.

Giving female SSC officers permanent positions is a step toward achieving opportunity equality in the army.

Beginning in 2021, the Indian Navy resumed appointing female officers aboard warships after an almost 25-year break.

The fleet tanker INS Shakti and INS Vikramaditya, India’s sole aircraft carrier, have welcomed the nation’s first female sailors since the late 1990s.

When the Army inducted the first set of ladies into the Corps of Military Police in May 2021, women were permitted to enlist in the military for the first time in the non-officer cadre.

The Supreme Court (SC) recently decided that women may take the National Defense Academy (NDA) exam because the current ban’s “gender discrimination”-related defense.

Conclusion:

The SC affirmed the right to equality as provided by the Constitution since the prohibition against discrimination is the rule’s spirit. Including in the armed forces, unfair treatment and discrimination based on gender are unacceptable in any situation. The task of making the required changes to the culture, standards, and values of the Army’s rank and file falls on the highest levels of military and political leadership.

#Females #Permanent_Commission #NDA #Gender_Parity #Armed_Forces #India #GS-II #Government_Policies_Interventions #Mains #IAS #UPSC #Civil_Services


Q2. What are the major aims and characteristics of the National Digital Communications Policy? Therefore, if the telecom industry is to remain lucrative for the operators and accessible to the general population, government intervention is required. Comment. (250 words)

Paper & Topic: GS II Government Policies and Interventions

Model Answer:

Introduction:

The National Digital Communications Policy-2018 was approved by the Union Cabinet to address the contemporary needs of India’s digital communications sector (NDCP-2018). A new telecom policy has taken the place of the National Telecom Policy-2012, which intends to support India’s successful participation in the global digital economy. The strategy aims to preserve digital sovereignty and is expected to be completed by 2022.

Body:

NDCP 2018 Goals:

In addition to increasing its GDP contribution from 6% to 8%, ensuring universal access to broadband, four million more jobs are created in the digital communications sector, India moves up from 134 to 50 on the ITU’s ICT Development Index, it makes a larger contribution to global value chains, and it maintains its digital sovereignty.

These objectives must be accomplished by 2022.

Features of NDCP 2018 include:

Access to universal broadband at 50 Mbps should be available to all citizens;

All Gram Panchayats ought to have 1 Gbps connectivity by 2020, and 10 Gbps by 2022;

Verify the connectivity of any undeveloped area;

encourage the industry of digital communications to get $100 billion in investments; teach new skills to 1 million people;

5 billion linked devices will be a part of the Internet of Things ecosystem.

establish a stringent data protection law that safeguards people’s privacy, independence, and freedom of choice for online communications;

The construction of appropriate institutional frameworks is necessary to ensure that citizens have access to safe digital communications infrastructure and services, and India should be helped to fully participate in the global digital economy.

Government intervention has become crucial in order to keep the telecom business accessible to the general public and lucrative for operators:

Due to the company’s financial issues, up to five operators have shut their doors.

According to the Supreme Court, in addition to their main telecom profits, telecom companies must also give the government a portion of all other revenues, including those from consumer advertising, asset sales, income from written-off bad debts, and dealer commissions.

Analysts anticipate an annual increase of $22,000 crore for all telecom firms.

The remaining players currently have a concerning level of debt as a result of expensive spectrum auctions and a sharp decline in cash flows.

Telecom customers aren’t any better off now than they were twenty years ago in terms of service quality. All too frequently, customers are subjected to unwanted telemarketing calls, spotty data connections, dropped calls, and dishonest corporate practises that inflate rates.

The problem is made worse by the absence of a workable framework for handling complaints in a fair and reliable manner.

In India, a telephone monopoly or duopoly is feasible.

However, the public sector enterprises are constrained by high labour costs and bureaucracy in this area.

As India’s trade deficit worsens, worries regarding the country’s enormous imports of telecom accessories and equipment are at an all-time high.

Moving forward:

Ease of payment of AGR: The government could accept special zero-coupon bonds for the full amount due from telecom companies that have AGR funding issues at a discount from face value, based on the yield on a comparable sovereign bond at the time of issuance.

The zero-coupon structure would relieve pressure on cash flows without the need for tariff increases because there would be no immediate interest payments.

To assess the additional AGR dues that must be paid, the government should assemble a fair panel of experts, headed by a former Supreme Court justice.

Government’s Role:

The government must intervene and take action, just like in 1999. They might give the operators principle payments made over time with no interest or penalties.

Instead than investing more money in copper, the government should expand the network by purchasing optical fibre. This is required to protect last-mile connections.

The government must provide the framework for straightforward right-of-way clearances and cut back on right-of-way expenses.

Significant R&D expenditures must be undertaken if the government wants to permit India to make and even export hardware components like mobile phones, CCTV cameras, touch screen displays, etc.

Make judicious use of the Universal Service Obligation Fund: The USOF was established with the goal of assisting programmes that would enhance connectivity in rural areas.

The fund must be distributed efficiently to ensure that the majority of citizens have access to economically priced communication services.

Sharing infrastructure Given how heavily the telecommunications sector depends on capital investments, 40% to 60% of Capex is used to build and maintain the network infrastructure. Government should impose a minimum price and criminalise predatory pricing to stop a price war in the sector. By pooling their infrastructure, operators may lower their capital expenses and focus on providing their customers with innovative new services.

Lower License Fee The licence fee, which is 8% of Adjusted Gross Revenue plus 5% for Universal Service Levy, is one of the highest in the world (USL).

Conclusion:

Economic expansion requires a robust telecom industry, but over the past ten years, investors have suffered due to an unstable regulatory environment. The NDCP aims to prepare the country and its citizens for the future. A coalition made up of a number of major stakeholders would need to be formed in order to accomplish these goals in order to deliver this national strategy and missions. The NDCP seeks to harness the revolutionary potential of digital communications networks in order to realise the aspirations of the Indian people for digital empowerment and wellbeing. Various objectives, initiatives, tactics, and expected policy outcomes are defined in an effort to achieve this.

#National_Digital_Communications_Policy #Telecom_Industry #Telecom_Operators #General_Population #India #Government_Intervention #GS-II #Government_Policies_Interventions #Mains #IAS #UPSC #Civil_Services


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