IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 16th November, 2016
TOPIC: General Studies 1
Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues
Crimes against women- Trends and Analysis
Findings of National Crime Records Bureau
As per findings by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) serious crimes against women have risen from 237 per day in 2001 to 313 per day in 2015.
In addition to this, there have been huge inter-state variations in the their occurrence.
Delhi, Haryana and Assam were the 3 worst states in terms of crimes against women in 2001 and 2015.
Crimes range from rape, kidnapping and abduction, dowry deaths and cruelty by family members and out of all these crimes, rapes constitute almost one-third of the crimes.
All sections of the females such as minor girls, adolescent and old women have frequently been victims of brutal rapes and murders.
Higher incidence of crimes during 2001-2015 coupled with low conviction rate suggests that women are more vulnerable to serious crimes.
Factors influencing women crimes
An increase in State GDP (per capita) leads to a reduction in the incidence of serious crimes against women.
Greater affluence and an increasing sex ratio both help in reducing the occurrence of such crimes. However, a skewed sex ratio undermines the impact of affluence. Example: Delhi and Haryana continue to be the worst States despite being affluent because of the very low sex ratio.
Reduction of alcoholism and substance abuse among men or better treatment of these addictions especially in more affluent states reduces the probability of sexual or physical assaults on women.
Two other major factors include female literacy and labour force participation because both these factors help in increasing the female bargaining power.
In such case women also face a backlash from male spouses especially those who are unemployed. Such partners try to assert their superiority by retaliatory physical and sexual violence.
A joint effect of female literacy and labour force participation is favourable, though less than the positive individual effects of female literacy and labour force participation. Exit options for literate and employed women, facing brutality and harassment in marriage, are more viable. Hence, this can help in reducing domestic violence.
The higher the rural/urban population, the higher the incidence of serious crimes against women.
Religion is a very key factor. This can be understood from the finding that there is higher frequency of domestic violence and dowry-related violence among Hindus than in Muslims.
Exposure to media through various languages has dual effect one of better reporting of crimes and a deterrence effect. A combined positive effect of both leads to reduction in serious crimes. Example: The Delhi Nirbhaya rape case wherein media activism led to quick arrest of accused.
The rate of crimes on women between Census 2001 and Census 2011 is as below:
Amartya Sen as a part of studies on gender equality has popularised the concept of “missing women” and also emphasised that rape and other serious crimes against women are related to inefficient policing and judicial systems.
The quality of governance in States is the key to understanding the huge variation in incidence of serious crimes against women.
Using the measures of governance as per a recent study, it is seen that the incidence of serious crimes against women declines with better governance.
Poor rate of women participation in voting during elections and poor electoral participation leads to policy implementation which lacks support of representatives for women oriented policies. Due to this adequate focus on women preferences is not laid.
On the basis of the above findings, we need to observe that if the crimes against women are still rising despite greater affluence and increase in the sex ratio during 2001-15, the answer must lie in effective governance and improvement of the sex ratios in certain states such as Bihar, Delhi and Maharashtra.
This is one of the biggest problems faced by the developing world in modern times. Therefore, along with governance, the role of democracy needs to be explored in solving the missing women’s problem.
The patriarchal mindset of the society needs to be changed. This leads to lack of inheritance rights, denial of participation in decision making, poor workforce participation, lack of empowerment and continued financial dependency on male members of the family.
The worsening sex ratio has to be addressed at the earliest to avoid gross neglect of women. Preference for a male child is a major cause for mistreatment of young girls, thus leading to crimes against them.
Connecting the dots
Reducing the occurrence of crimes against women is one of the most important agenda for the developing countries of the world. Analyse how measures other than legislations and judicial interventions can help India achieve this target.
General Studies 3
Security challenges and their management in border areas
General Studies 2
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
India’s nuclear policy- Should there be a change?
In news: The Defence Minister recently talked about India’s nuclear no-first-use policy. This has created a buzz in South Asia and among nuclear experts around the world with regards to India’s nuclear policy.
‘No First Use’ policy
No first use (NFU) refers to a pledge or a policy by a nuclear power not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an adversary using nuclear weapons. This concept is already applied to chemical and biological warfare.
India articulated its NFU in 2003 after its second nuclear tests, Pokhran-II, in 1998.
In August 1999, the Indian government released a draft of the doctrine which asserts that nuclear weapons are solely for deterrence and that India will pursue a policy of ‘retaliation only’.
The document also maintains that India ‘will not be the first to initiate a nuclear first strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail’.
The decision to authorise use of nuclear weapons rests with PM or his designated successor(s).
According to the National Research Development Corporation, despite the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan in 2001–2002, India remained committed to its nuclear no-first-use policy.
However, NATO has repeatedly rejected calls for adopting NFU policy by arguing that pre-emptive nuclear strike is a key option.
The ‘new’ nuke talk
The Defence Minister at an event expressed his personal view if India’s nuclear doctrine should be constrained by a ‘no first use’ posture. This was because there should be an advantage of ‘unpredictability’ in the country’s military strategy.
The written strategy gives away country’s strength. India should not be bound by NFU and it is suffice to say that India being a responsible nuclear power will not use nuclear weapons irresponsibly.
However, after such statements and backslash received for such comments, it was reiterated that there was no change in India’s nuclear doctrine and it was just expression of personal view.
India and nuclear use
India hold its values in Gandhiji’s non-violence principle and thus it is a reluctant nuclear power.
India believes that nuclear weapons are political weapons, not weapons of warfighting; their sole purpose is to deter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons.
India’s nuclear doctrine is built around ‘credible minimum deterrence’ and professes a ‘no first use’ posture. Minimum deterrence means that a state possesses no more nuclear weapons than is necessary to deter an adversary from attacking. To present a credible deterrent, there must be the assurance that any attack would trigger a retaliatory strike.
India is willing to absorb the damage that a nuclear first strike may cause. Against such attacks, it has declared its intention to launch massive retaliation to cause unacceptable damage in return.
Consequently, India follows a policy of deterrence by punishment through a counter targeting strategy which aims at destructing adversary’s major cities and industrial centres.
A doctrine is a set of beliefs and principles that guide the actions of military forces in support of a nation’s objectives.
The purpose of a doctrine is
Partly to enhance deterrence by making public one’s intentions
Partly to provide the basis for organising a country’s nuclear force structure, including the command and control system
Partly to reassure one’s own people and allies (wherever applicable).
However, this doesn’t mean that nuclear doctrines are rigid and can’t be altered. They are not binding international treaties that have to be adhered in letter and spirit.
If the deterrence breaks apart, the doctrine becomes irrelevant. If the crisis arise where there is a possible nuclear exchange, the national military strategy will focus in preventing escalation, minimizing civilian and military casualties, infrastructure damage and ensure survival of state.
In case of decision on nuclear exchange, the Political Council of the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) will decide how to retaliate based on the advice given by the Executive Council. This Council has army, navy and air force chiefs as members.
The retaliation method and mode will take into account the prevailing operational-strategic situation and the likely response of adversary, especially the probability of further nuclear exchanges.
Such decision will invariable include the reactions of the international community — threats held out, appeals made and UNSC discussion.
India’s NFU- Should there be a change?
Its been almost 14 years since Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved India’s nuclear doctrine. It was done by reviewing the progress in the operationalisation of nuclear deterrence.
Credible minimum deterrence and the posture of no-first-use have stood the test of time. There is no reason that justifies a first strike, because it is guaranteed to cause destruction on both sides.
Since 2003, many new developments have taken place, including the development of ‘full spectrum deterrence’ (FSD) by Pakistan. It means that Pakistan would use its nuclear capability only when enemy goes beyond Pakistan Nuclear Threshold.
Now India has adopted ‘Cold Start Doctrine’ which is to counter Pakistan’s ‘War by Other Means’ Strategy which was formulated after it realized that it could not win a conventional war against India because of India’s conventional military superiority.
‘Cold Start’ involves joint operations between India’s three services and integrated battle groups for offensive operations. A key component is the preparation of India’s forces to be able to quickly mobilize and take offensive actions without crossing the enemy’s nuclear-use threshold.
India’s declared strategy is that of massive retaliation. It is a viable deterrence strategy that has served India well and any change in it would not be beneficial. It will deter Pakistani plans to use tactical nuclear warheads (TNWs) against Indian forces on Pakistani soil as they cannot possibly risk massive retaliation that would result in the destruction of all major cities and lead to the end of Pakistan as a cohesive nation state.
Connecting the dots:
Should India review its ‘no first use’ policy? Critically analyse.
Uri attacks escalated tensions between India and Pakistan which even prompted Pakistan to use ‘N’ word. What is India’s nuclear policy and is it applicable in these changing times?