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Prelim Bits 06-08-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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August 06, 2022

Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau conducted lightning inspections at the higher secondary directorate, deputy directorate, and regional offices in the State.

  • Operation Red Tape was conducted the Vigilance & Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) by following complaints of widespread corruption and irregularities in section handling teacher/ non-teacher appointments.
  • The VACB is the main Government Organisation to fight against corruption among the public servants.
  • Each State in India would have its own VACB, which is formed by the State Governments.

Central Vigilance Commission

  • The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is the main agency for preventing corruption in the Central government.
  • However, the CVC is not an investigating agency. It either gets the investigation done through the CBI or the chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government offices.
  • The CVC was established in 1964 by an executive resolution of the Central government.
  • It was established based on the recommendation of the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption1 (1962–64).
  • Thus, originally the CVC was neither a constitutional body nor a statutory body. In 2003, the Parliament enacted a CVC Act conferring statutory status on the CVC.
  • Functions - The CVC was set up to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.
  • It advises various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
  • The CVC shall have all the powers of a civil court while conducting any inquiry under Section 11 of the Act.
  • In 2004, the CVC has been designated as the agency to act on complaints or disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office from whistle blowers under the “Whistle Blowers” Resolution.

The “Whistle Blowers” Resolution is the common name for the “Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers’ Resolution” (PIDPI).

  • The CVC is also empowered as the only designated agency to take action against complainants making motivated or vexatious complaints.
  • Related Links - Advisory Board on Bank Frauds

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/vacb-conducts-raids-in-higher-secondary-offices/article6573506ece
  2. https://publicvigil.in/
  3. https://cvc.gov.in/?q=about/background

Porcupine Strategy

As the long-range, live-fire drills began with China’s Eastern Theatre Command firing several ballistic missiles, Taiwan is “preparing for war without seeking war” using the strategy of “porcupine doctrine”.

China has launched the aggressive and unprecedented military exercises near Taiwan in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island that Beijing claims as part of its territory.

  • The “Porcupine doctrine” was proposed in 2008 by the US Naval War College research professor William S Murray.
  • It was adopted by Taiwan in 2017 when Lee Hsi-Ming, then-chief of the Taiwanese military forces, referred to it as the "Overall Defence Concept" (ODC).
  • It is a strategy of asymmetric warfare focused on fortifying a weak state’s defences to exploit the enemy’s weaknesses rather than taking on its strengths.

Asymmetric systems are the ones that are small, numerous, smart, stealthy, mobile and hard to be detected and countered, and are associated with innovative tactics and employments.

  • This strategy is about building defences that would ensure that Taiwan could be attacked and damaged but not defeated, at least without unacceptably high costs and risks.
  • Outer surveillance layer is about intelligence and reconnaissance to ensure defense forces are fully prepared.
  • Behind this come plans for guerrilla warfare at sea with aerial support from sophisticated aircraft provided by the US.
  • Innermost layer relies on the geography (mountainous topography) and demography (urbanised environment) of the island.
  • This would give Taiwan an advantage during an invasion.
  • The ultimate objective of this doctrine is that of surviving and assimilating an aerial offensive well enough to organise a wall of fire that will prevent the Chinese Army from successfully invading.

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/taiwan-china-nancy-pelosi-porcupine-strategy-8072841/
  2. https://www.firstpost.com/explainers/explained-taiwans-porcupine-strategy-to-deter-potential-chinese-invasion-11018131.html
  3. https://www.indiatimes.com/explainers/news/what-is-taiwans-porcupine-strategy-to-deter-a-possible-invasion-by-china-570168.html

Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme

  • The Department of Commerce, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched and is implementing the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) since 2017.
  • Its objective is to assist the Central and State/UT Government agencies in the creation or up-gradation of appropriate infrastructure for growth of exports.
  • The scheme can be availed by States through their implementing agencies, for infrastructure projects with significant export linkages like
    1. Border Haats,
    2. Land customs stations,
    3. Quality testing and certification labs,
    4. Cold chains,
    5. Trade promotion centres,
    6. Export warehousing and packaging,
    7. SEZs and
    8. Ports/airports cargo terminuses.
  • Last and first mile connectivity projects related to export logistics will also be considered.
  • Under this Scheme, the following projects will not be considered,
    1. Projects where an overwhelming export linkage cannot be established, and
    2. Projects which are covered under sector specific schemes like textiles, electronics, IT, and
    3. The general infrastructure projects like highways, power etc.
  • Grant-in-aid - Under the scheme, financial assistance in the form of grant-in-aid is provided to Central/State Government owned agencies (or their Joint Ventures with major stake-holding by them).
  • This grant-in-aid will normally not be more than the equity being put in by the implementing agency or 50% of the total equity in the project.
  • However, this grant-in-aid can be up to 80% of total equity, in the case of projects are located in North Eastern States, Himalayan States including UT of J&K, Ladakh.
  • Recently, the scheme has been further extended for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26.

Reference

  1. https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1843955
  2. https://commerce.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/TIES-revised-guidelines-FY22-to-FY26.pdf
  3. https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/51-projects-sanctioned-under-trade-infra-for-export-scheme-till-jan-end-122020201332_1.html
  4. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1705455

Bodily Autonomy - MTP Act

The Supreme Court of India has allowed an abortion at 24 weeks for an unmarried woman under the 51-year-old Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971.

  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 and its Rules of 2003 prohibit unmarried women who are between 20 and 24 weeks pregnant to abort with the help of registered medical practitioners.
  • The Supreme Court, while loosening this provision, said that the prohibition of abortion was manifestly arbitrary and violative of women’s right to bodily autonomy and dignity.
  • Intention of the law - The rules permit termination of pregnancies up to 24 weeks in 7 specific categories, including survivors of rape or sexual assault, minors, in case of physical disabilities and fetal malformation.
  • The intention of the law is not to allow abortion freely to all, not to liberalize.
  • However, an unmarried woman whose pregnancy is over 20 weeks may have also conceived in a similarly vulnerable situation.
  • Significance - This SC judgment would put these unmarried women on a par with women with less than 20-week-old pregnancies who run the danger of suffering a mental breakdown as they had conceived.
  • This judgment also puts these unmarried women on a par with the married woman.

The MTP Act has not just used the word ‘husband’. It has also used the word ‘partner’. So, the legislature is not just concerned about women who undergo pregnancy within marriage, but outside marriage too.

  • Rules - The implementation of abortion in the case is subject to the decision of a medical board constituted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi (AIIMS).
  • This medical board will determine if terminating this pregnancy at this stage is medically safe for the woman.

Survey

  • There are nearly 8 lakh unsafe abortions a year and as many as 2.3 million abortions (78% of all abortions) are illegal as per the terms of the MTP Act simply because they occur outside of authorised facilities.
  • A 2021 Study by the Centre for Reproductive Rights titled ‘Legal Barriers to Accessing Safe Abortion Services in India’ found that the following are among the top reasons why women are denied abortions,
    1. Skewed patriarchal morality,
    2. Lack of women’s agency and
    3. Fear of anti-foeticide laws.  
  • In case of married women, first pregnancy, repeated abortions or fear that the woman is using abortion as a substitute for contraception are often used as reasons to deny abortion services.
  • For unmarried women, a Victorian morality in the medical community towards unmarried sex and fear of POCSO laws in case of underage women also leads to fear among service providers.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/sc-moots-verdict-for-bodily-autonomy-under-mtp-act/article65734593.ece
  2. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/sc-order-on-abortion-strengthens-body-autonomy-but-still-a-long-way-to-go-say-experts-83926
  3. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/the-right-to-safe-abortions-and-women-s-bodily-autonomy-in-a-man-s-world-news-212664

Glass Cliff

  • The glass cliff is a phenomenon that reinforces stereotypes about women not being ideal in leadership positions.
  • It refers to a situation in which women are promoted to higher positions during times of crisis or duress, or during a recession when the chance of failure is more likely.
  • Although glass cliff mainly refers to the obstacles faced by women, the term also applies to the challenges faced by minorities and other marginalised groups when promoted to leadership roles.
  • Origin - The term ‘Glass Cliff’ was coined by researchers from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom.
  • These researchers coined this term after studying the disparity between the promotion of men and women in 100 corporate organizations included in the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) Index.
  • They found that women were more likely to be promoted to higher positions mostly
    1. When there is an overall market slump or
    2. When the company was experiencing turbulence or
    3. When there was a decline in performance.
  • By doing this, women were set up for failure, which was likened to standing at the edge of a cliff.

The ‘think crisis think female’ theory perceives women to possess the qualities that help them deal with stressful situations better than men.

Contrasting this, the ‘think crisis think not men’ theory explains how women are perceived to be less valuable than men, making it easier for the companies to throw them under the bus.

Reference

  1. https://learningcorner.epaper.thehindu.com/article/65456972
  2. https://www.vox.com/2018/10/31/17960156/what-is-the-glass-cliff-women-ceos
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/glass-cliff.asp#:~:text=our%20editorial%20policies-,What%20Is%20a%20Glass%20Cliff%3F,are%20set%20up%20for%20failure.
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