Mains Q & A 6 January 2023
Q1. Particularly in cases of sexual assault, having more women in the judiciary can result in a system of justice that is more unbiased and empathetic. Discuss. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II Judiciary related issues
Women make up a very small percentage of the judiciary in India. They make up only around 30% of the inferior judiciary. Four of the 33 currently serving Justices on the Supreme Court are women, making up 11.5% of judges on High Courts. This yields a meagre 12% representation, which is utterly insufficient.
Status of women in Indian courts:
In the 71-year history of the SC, just eleven women have held the position of judge; the first was Justice Fathima Beevi, who was selected for the position after a protracted lapse of 39 years following the SC’s establishment.
There has never been a female Chief Justice. This number is typically considered low by the higher judiciary as a whole.
Only 80 of the 1,113 judges appointed to the High Courts and Supreme Court are women.
Only four of the 80 female judges—or 7.2% of all judges—serve on the Supreme Court; the other 78 are members of various High Courts.
In the high courts of Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Tripura, Telangana, and Uttarakhand, there are no female judges.
Currently, there are three women serving as judges, but Justice Indira Bannerjee will step down in September.
Women facing barriers to entering the judiciary:
Hiring women as district judges is significantly hampered by the entrance exam criteria.
A lawyer needs to be between 35 and 45 years old and have worked in the legal field nonstop for seven years.
This is a disadvantage for them because many women of this age are married and have to take time off work for childbearing.
Additionally, because of the hard and strict work schedules that make it impossible for them to maintain the necessary level of continuous practise, many women are forced to abandon the legal profession.
Many eminent attorneys are not promoted to the position of Supreme Court Judge, with the exception of Justice Indira Bannerjee.
The following are advantages of gender equality and diversity in the Supreme Court:
The entry of women judges into domains from which they had previously been excluded has been a positive step toward judicial systems being perceived as more accessible, inclusive, and representative.
By virtue of their sheer existence, female judges elevate the legitimacy of the legal system by sending a clear message that they are accessible and open to anyone looking for justice.
Since they have a significant influence on how choices are made and the quality of justice as a result, they can do much more for justice than just improve its appearance.
By clarifying how laws and judgements might be founded on gender stereotypes or how they might effect men and women differently, a gender perspective enhances the decision’s fairness.
A judge from the Madhya Pradesh High Court required that a man accused of sexual assault visit the victim’s house and have a Rakhi tied around his wrist before granting him bail. These illogical assumptions can be prevented.
Women judges typically have more comprehensive and sensitive lived experiences to draw from when making rulings.
A more empathetic and fair attitude to cases of sexual assault could be obtained by increasing the representation of women.
This initiative must come from the Supreme Court itself because the Supreme Court Collegium effectively holds the majority of the appointment power. Having at least 50% of women in leadership roles must be the goal. According to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, women should be given a 50% reservation in the judiciary because it is their right.
Q2. The collaboration of technical projects under the name “Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission” will improve high-quality healthcare for all people worldwide. To achieve interoperability within the digital health ecosystem, examine its possibilities and constraints. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS III Government Schemes and Interventions
The prime minister launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. Each individual will consequently be given a unique digital health ID that contains their whole medical history. From the Red Fort’s ramparts, the prime minister announced the National Digital Health Mission pilot project on August 15, 2020.
The PM Digital Health Mission, often referred to as the National Digital Health Mission, is a programme that aims to create a national health identity card for every person as well as registers for healthcare providers and facilities.
It will also support preserving the confidentiality, security, and protection of personal health information.
Every citizen’s health ID will also act as their health account, to which they may link and access a mobile application to view their specific health records.
The Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR) and Healthcare Facilities Registries will store all healthcare professionals from both modern and traditional medical systems (HFR).
Currently, six Union Territories are participating in the project’s experimental phase.
The National Health Authority (NHA) is commemorating the third anniversary of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana at the same time as the project’s statewide launch (AB PM-JAY).
Potential of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission:
People’s longitudinal health records will be exchangeable and accessible through the mission with their consent.
The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will play a significant role in removing problems with the medical care of the impoverished and middle class.
Similar to how UPI revolutionised payments, the new programme will encourage interoperability across the digital health sector.
It will ensure that medical staff, facilities, and service providers can conduct business easily.
The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission Sandbox, a platform for testing technologies and products, will also help organisations, including private businesses, join the National Digital Health Ecosystem and grow into a source of health information.
The mission continues to deny that “Health” is a constitutionally guaranteed right. There should be an endeavour to make health a right, as stated in the 2015 draught of the National Health Policy.
One of the key challenges is the privacy and security of patient data. It is necessary to ensure the privacy and security of patient medical records.
Potential information misuse by insurance companies may have an influence on customers’ ability to acquire insurance.
If health information is disclosed, the companies may impose a hefty surcharge or, in rare cases, outright decline.
Additionally, in view of the failure of a comparable National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, technological and implementation-related issues must be vigorously addressed before the mission is launched on a pan-Indian scale.
In order to address the issues that different Indians, particularly the poor, experience with receiving medical care, the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission would be crucial. The technology that now links patients to hospitals, healthcare providers to patients, etc. can be used to link people together. This has the potential to be a game-changer for the health sector unlike anything that has come before, but caution must be exercised to prevent an unintentional disclosure of the information.
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