What are the various forms in which gender based violence manifests. Discuss the causes that lead to it. Do you agree that it remains biggest impediment to the advancement of women in India?

● Introduce with what gender violence is
● Talk about various forms of violence – preferably under different categories
● Talk about the causes – can break it into various categories.
● Discuss aspects of women development that get affected by gender violence
● Conclude by summarizing and giving brief suggestions to end gender violence.

Gender based violence is primarily used to refer to acts of violence committed against women.
A result of unequal distribution of power in society between women and men, it gets
manifested throughout the entire lifecycle of the women- right from the womb of the mother till death.

Takes place in many forms:
Gender based violence takes place in many forms, including physical violence – through assault, domestic violence, honour killings; sexual violence – groping, workplace harassment, sexual assault; verbal violence – through use of abusive and filthy language; social violence – like humiliating a woman or her family in public; emotional violence– by depriving women of love , care , concern; financial violence – by depriving basic financial means.

Various causes of gender based violence includes:
Socio-Cultural factors:
● The patriarchal notions of ownership over women’s bodies, sexuality, labor,
reproductive rights, mobility and level of autonomy encourage violence against women.
● Dogmatic religious beliefs with deep-rooted ideas of male superiority are also used to
legitimize control over women.
Economic factors:
● Poverty, lack of education and livelihood opportunities, and inadequate access to basic
services like shelter, food, water can increase exposure to gender violence, including
forced prostitution or survival sex.
Legal-Administrative factors:
● Inadequate legal framework, State’s inability to enforce laws, unequal access to justice,
gender bias in legal institutions and mechanisms, slow justice system result in culture of
impunity for violence and abuse .
Individual factors:
● Threat/fear of stigma, isolation and social exclusion and exposure to further violence at
the hands of the perpetrator, the community or the authorities, including arrest,
detention, ill-treatment and punishment force women to suffer silently.
Yes, gender violence is one of the biggest hurdles in women’s advancement due to following factors:
● It seriously affects all aspects of women’s health- physical, sexual and reproductive,
mental and behavioural health, thus prevents them from realizing their full potential.
● Violence and threat of violence affects women’s ability to participate actively, and as
equals, in many forms of social and political relationships.
● Workplace harassment and domestic violence has an impact on women’s participation
in workforce and their economic empowerment.
● Sexual harassment limits the educational opportunities and achievements of girls.
Thus, half of our human capital will not be able to realize its true potential till gender violence is curbed in all its forms. The underlying causes must be addressed though adequate legal framework and its strict enforcement, building institutional capability, along with gender sensitization campaigns to change attitudes towards women.

Everything about INS Kalvari

INS Kalvari

• INS Kalvari is a Scorpene-class submarine described as a “deadly predator”.

• It is one of six built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai as a part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.

• Kalvariis a potent Man o’ War capable of undertaking offensive operations spanning across the entire spectrum of Maritime Warfare.

• Kalvari is named after a deep sea tiger shark and weighs about 1,600 tonnes.

• The state-of-the-art features of the Scorpenes include superior stealth and ability to launch crippling attacks with precision-guided weapons.

• The boat also has two 1250 kW MAN diesel engines for rapidly charging batteries.

• The submarine boasts of a highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System.

• India has just about 15 submarines, a mix of Russian-origin Kilo-class vessels and German HDW submarines.

Everything about special courts for politicians

• The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that it will set up at least 12 special courts to try exclusively criminal cases involving MPs and MLAs.


• Criminalisation of politics has remained a key issue. In 2014, as many as 1,581 lawmakers were facing prosecution in a mind-boggling 13,500 cases.

• It took years, probably decades, to complete the trial against a politician and by this time, he or she would have served as a Minister or legislator several times over.

• On average, 4,200 cases are handled by each of the 17,000 subordinate courts hence there is need to set up special courts.

Special Courts

• The SC had in 2015 laid down that special courts to be set up exclusively to try criminal cases involving “political persons” on the lines of the fast track courts and decide cases within a year.

• However Centre argued that it is not averse to setting up special courts to try criminal cases/offences involving politicians. It was for the state governments to set up additional courts as the issue comes within their jurisdiction.

• Hence setting up special courts would depend on the availability of funds with the States. And this has delayed the overall process.

Recent SC direction

• In November-2017, hearing a PIL which sought a lifetime ban on all convicted politicians, Court made determined effort to cleanse politics of criminality and corruption.

• Countering Centre argument on fund availability for special courts, Supreme Court gave direction to the  government to frame a Central scheme for setting up special courts across the country.

• The scheme should give the details of the funds that are required to set up such courts.

• The court also directed the Centre to place before it details of 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by the politicians at the time of filing their nominations during the 2014 general elections.

• Supreme Court would directly interact with the State governments on issues like the appointment of judicial officers, public prosecutors, court staff and other requirements of manpower and infrastructure for the special courts.

Centre’s response and Scheme

• In response to SC direction, the government, in an affidavit, said it had allotted ₹7.8 crore and framed a scheme to set up the special courts.

• The Centre told the SC today that it will start with 12 such special courts.

• Hence it also sought some time from the Supreme Court to collect data on cases pending against elected representatives across the country, so it can better decide on how many special courts it needs to set up in total.

Election Commission’s view

• SC also pulled up the EC for not taking a stand on the issue and asked how the commission could afford to be silent on it.

• In response, EC said, it had already recommended to the Centre to amend an existing law to incorporate a life ban provision against convicted lawmakers. The existing law calls for a six-year ban after the lawmaker has completed their sentence.

• EC said for the first time that convicted MPs and MLAs must be debarred from contesting polls – ever.

• However the Centre refused to take a stand on the issue and said that the the government was examining the recommendations of the Law Commission and EC for imposing a life ban on convicted MPs and MLAs from electoral politics.

• During a hearing, the EC told the court that a law was needed to curb the growing menace of criminalisation of politics.

Everything about Mi8 Helicopter

• Indian Air Force is phasing out the Mi-8 helicopters.

• Mi-8 helicopter has been used in numerous operations, missions, expeditions and movements conducted by IAF.

• Most of the Indian Air Force Officials have called the helicopter ‘iconic’.

Mi-8 helicopters

• They are a utility and medium sized assault helicopter.

Induction in IAF

• In 1972, they were inducted in IAF from erstwhile USSR.

• They were first assembled at Mumbai and were test-flown by Russian and Indian teams before they were despatched to their first unit in Assam.


Mi-8 helicopter is most commonly used as:

1 Transport helicopter

2 Airborne command post

3 Armed gunship

4 Reconnaissance platform


• They are available in civil and military versions.

Mi-8T transport helicopter

• The Mi-8T military transport helicopter is configured with a conventional pod and boom, with a tail rotor and non-retractable tricycle nose-wheel landing gear.

• The five-bladed rotor is made from aluminium alloy.

• The cockpit accommodates three crew: commander, navigator and flight mechanic.

• An oxygen system is provided for the crew and for casualties in the ambulance and rescue variants of the helicopter.

Mi-8TV armed helicopter

• The armed variant is designated as Mi-8TV.

• It is fitted with 7.62mm built-in machine guns and six external weapons racks with S-5 rockets.

• The helicopter can also deploy anti-tank missiles and is also capable of laying minefields.

Mi-8MPS search and rescue helicopter

• The Mi-8MPS search and rescue helicopter was developed for the military transport helicopter.

• In rescue missions, the helicopter crew drop radio-beacons to mark the distress area and deliver rescue teams to aid and recover the casualties.

• The helicopter can lift ten people at a time on a sling and is provided with an emergency landing device that ensures buoyancy for up to 30 minutes.

GST- Pros and Cons of Electricity Inclusion

Why should electricity be brought in GST

1. Multiplicity of rates

  • Currently, there is a confusing number of electricity taxes that vary by states and across user categories (lower tax rates for consumers and high for industrial users).
  • Taxes levied by the states thus vary from 0% to 25%.
  • The current situation imposes large costs that seriously undermine the government’s Make in India initiative.


2. Higher cost of electricity making manufacturing costlier:

  • The most serious problem is that costs to industrial users of electricity are higher because they include the taxes on inputs that have gone into the supply of electricity.
  • These include taxes on raw materials (coal, renewables) and other equipment (solar panels and batteries).
  • Not being part of the GST means that input-tax credit can not be claimed.
  • This results in input taxes getting embedded in the final price.
  • This, along with the cross-subsidisation of domestic and agricultural users, total up to increased costs and lower margins of between 1-3% for several industries.

Hurts domestic manufacturers:

  • This embedding of taxes hurts manufacturers selling to the domestic market.
  • For the textile industry, for example, these embedded taxes amount to about 2% of the price.

Hurts exporters even more:

  • In particular, they hurt exporters of electricity-intensive products because they are not liable to any duty drawback—relief for taxes embedded in exports.
  • 1-3% increased costs for manufacturers are significant especially for exporters who face ferocious international competition and where a 1% extra cost could be fatal.

3. Will remove current bias in GST towards renewables:

  • Currently, there is a large bias in favour of renewables in GST policy.
  • Inputs to renewables generation attract a GST rate of 5% while inputs to thermal generation attract higher rates of 18%.

GST in not the tool to support renewables:

  • Support for renewables should be direct, conscious, and transparent.
  • GST should not become the instrument for adding (non-transparently) to that support.
  • Supporting renewables might be conscious policy (and also good policy), but currently subsidisation is proliferating across many policies, making it difficult to quantify the overall support.

Electricity in GST will level the field:

  • If electricity were to be included in GST, then there would be no discrimination between renewables and thermal energy. This is because all inputs going into both forms of electricity generation would receive tax credits.
  • GST would then become neutral between different forms of electricity generation as good tax policy should be.
  • Thus, the case for including electricity in the GST is compelling.

Won’t be easy to get electricity in GST

It would lead to losses for both Centre and especially States:

  • As explained above, including electricity in the GST would reduce or eliminate embedded taxes in electricity-using products.
  • That means that both the central and state governments would lose revenues from these products.
  • In addition, state governments would lose taxes from electricity use itself.

States would be reluctant to lose taxes on electricity:

  • Taxes on electricity is an important source of revenue for the states, amounting to about Rs. 31,000 crore for all the states combined.
  • On average, electricity taxes account for about 3% of own tax revenues of the states, going up to close to 9% in other states.
  • States are therefore reluctant to give up the right to levy these taxes.

What can be done to make it possible to include electricity in GST

1. Centre and States share the burden in light of benefits:

The Centre and the states can bear the losses of the embedded taxes since the benefits would also be shared.

The Centre would then compensate the states only for the direct loss of revenues.

2. Allow state governments to impose a small non-GST able cess:

Tax (about 5%) could be imposed on electricity in the GST—allowing inputs tax credits to flow through the GST pipeline.

To compensate for loss of revenue, the state governments may be allowed to impose a small non-GST able cess on top of the GST rate.

In this case, however, the greater the cess, the more it would resemble situation as is now, with all its problems. So, this half-way solution must come with some limits on state governments’ freedom to levy further taxes on electricity.

Summary of benefits of electricity in GST:

In sum, there are four clear benefits from bringing electricity into the GST:

  1. Reducing the costs for manufacturing
  2. Improving the competitiveness of exporters
  3. Reducing the cross-subsidisation of electricity tariffs that further undermines the competitiveness of manufacturers and exporters
  4. Eliminating the large biases—and hence restoring neutrality of incentives—in electricity generation


There would be costs in terms of foregone revenues but the benefits would be large and states could be partially or fully compensated. Indian manufacturing is saddled with costs. Efficient GST policy should aim to reduce them.

Everything about TFA, GATS and  WTO Ministerial Conference

  • The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body of the WTO and meets at least once every two years.

Main points of discussion in MC11

  • Service negotiation under GATS will be on priority:
    • Domestic regulation: to address the contentious issue of professional visa fee hikes by the likes of the US and UK, which India has been claiming are discriminatory.
    • Agreement on Trade Facilitation in Service (TFS)
    • Global rules on services and e-commerce: While EU proposed it and wants to finalize but India wants to avoid these rules.
  • India will also push for others pending issues like progress of Doha Development Agenda (DDA), commitment on Public stock-holding, new mechanism for domestic support for food procurement, seeking sharp cuts in support to farmers in the US and Europe etc.

What is GATS?

  • While services currently account for over 60 percent of global production and employment, they represent no more than 20 per cent of total trade (BOP basis).
  • In order to facilitate the trade in service sector by simplifying or removing complexity in trade rules & regulation by member state in service sector, it was needed to have General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) with same objectives as its counterpart in merchandise trade, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
  • GATS entered into force in January 1995 as a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations to provide for the extension of the multilateral trading system to services.
  • The GATS is the first multilateral, legally binding set of rules covering international trade in services.
  • The objective of GATS:
    • Creating a credible and reliable system of international trade rules
    • Ensuring fair and equitable treatment of all participants (principle of non-discrimination)
    • Stimulating economic activity through guaranteed policy bindings
    • Promoting trade and development through progressive liberalization
  • All Members of the World Trade Organization are signatories to the GATS and are committed to entering into further rounds of services negotiations.

Modes of Supply of services:

The definition of services trade under the GATS is four-pronged, depending on the territorial presence of the supplier and the consumer at the time of the transaction.

  • Mode 1 — Cross border trade: A user in country A receives services from abroad through its telecommunications or postal infrastructure.  Such supplies may include consultancy or market research reports, tele-medical advice, distance training, or architectural drawings.
  • Mode 2 — Consumption abroad: Nationals of A have moved abroad as tourists, students, or patients to consume the respective services.
  • Mode 3 — Commercial presence: The service is provided within A by a locally-established affiliate, subsidiary, or representative office of a foreign-owned and — controlled company (bank, hotel group, construction company, etc.).
  • Mode 4 — Presence of natural persons: A foreign national provides a service within A as an independent supplier (e.g., consultant, health worker) or employee of a service supplier (e.g. consultancy firm, hospital, construction company).

Major areas of services negotiations under GATS:

  • Services negotiations covers four areas:
    1. Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS)
    2. Services related to e-commerce – Set of rules to facilitate online service transactions focusing on the issues of electronic contracts, electronic authentication and trust services, consumer protection and unsolicited commercial electronic messages
    3. Market Access- Negotiations to liberalize market conditions for trade in services
    4. Domestic Regulation – It relate to how WTO members should develop licensing & qualification-related measures and technical standards to ensure that these measures & standards are impartial and adequate. These should be based on objective and transparent criteria that do not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade in services.
  • The first such round started in January 2000. Since 2001 the services negotiations became part of the “single undertaking” under the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), whereby all subjects under the negotiations are to be concluded at the same time.

What is Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS)?

  • TFS will be like the Trade Facilitation Agreement (“TFA”). TFA, adopted recently, will facilitate trade in goods.  Similarly a well-structured TFS will significantly enhance the potential for trade in services.
  • India is pushing for TFS Agreement, which also aims to ensure easing rules regarding movement of professionals and skilled workers across borders for temporary work/projects.
  • The objective behind India’s proposal for an Agreement on TFS is to initiate discussions at the WTO on how to comprehensively address the numerous border and behind-the-border barriers, across all modes of supply, which are impediments to the realization of the full potential of services trade.

India’s submission

  • On TFS:

    • Through TFS, India wants issues related to easier access for Indian software and accounting professionals along with nurses and doctors.
    • It particularly emphasised hurdles faced by natural persons supplying services in foreign jurisdictions.
  • On Domestic rule:

    • India has highlighted the difficulties faced by services suppliers from developing economies in complying with complex domestic regulations brought out by developed country Members.
    • India also rejected attempts by some WTO Members such as European Union and Canada to include ‘gender equality’ in the services trade negotiations agenda under DR discipline as it will create service trade barrier.
  • On e-commerce:

    • There is fear that under the banner of e-commerce several other aspects are sought to be introduced that will leave countries like India with little flexibility in seeking domestic content for programmes such as Digital India and may also make it tough to depend on open source software.
    • Plus, it limits the government’s ability to tailor rules that serve its interests instead of policies that benefit only Amazon or Alibaba.
  • On Doha Round

    • For the last 16 years, WTO has been negotiating the Doha Round – which includes agriculture, services and import duty on industrial goods – but has made little headway due to the reluctance of the US and the EU to play ball.
    • Instead of discussing and negotiating issues of Doha round like agriculture farm subsidy, public stock-holding etc., these countries instead want new issues such as e-commerce, investment facilitation and a global regime for MSMEs.
  • The other issue that is likely to be clinched is a global agreement on support for fisheries although the agenda has now been reduced only to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. On this issue too Indian officials said, they would seek a postponement as it will impact poor fish farmers who receive support from the state governments.

India’s support

  • India is banking on support from the African Group to block the launch of negotiations, which may culminate in global standards.
  • But there is a split with many African countries indicating their backing for the move from Japan, South Korea and Singapore, with tacit support from the US.
  • In past, India and China have joined hands to get the developed world for many negotiations like reduce subsidies offered to their farmers etc. But China too is not in favour of international disciplines but is open to a more accelerated work programme.

Way forward

  • Due to short time duration, no outcome in the form of an agreed text can be expected in Buenos Aires in these areas, and the proponents agree with this assessment.
  • In terms of post-Buenos Aires work on these two topics, India and the EU have communicated their intention to re-engage on services trade facilitation and online transactions, respectively.

Effects of Globalization on Indian Culture and Society

Effects of Globalization on Indian Culture

Globalisation has affected what we eat and the way we prepare food (Mcdonaldization), what we wear , purchase etc( Walmartization).

There is trend toward homogenization of culture with similar food habits, dressing pattern, music, news , TV programs, movies etc. However, there is also increasing tendency toward Glocalization of Culture.

Glocalization refers to mixing of Global with Local. Eg Foreign TV channels like Star, Sony , Cartoon Network use Indian languages.

Other Effects:-

1. Development of Hybrid Culture– Due to increase exposure to different cultures, there emerge a 3rd culture or hybrid culture. It accept the change and preserve the tradition in social and cultural life.

2. Language– Globalization give rise to increased use of English with people becoming more bilingual and multilingual than before. On the other hand, over emphasis on English leads to decline and even extinction of various language. Eg BO

3. Religion– Globalization leads to changes in the religion and practices. Now, secular aspect of religion like honesty, non violence, brotherhood are promoted. There is also increasing commodification of various religious practices with rise of sects and cults.

4. Festivals– There is general trend toward decline in ritual aspect of culture and growth of secular festivals. Eg Father’s day.

Effects of Globalization on Indian Society

1. Marriage– With Globalization, there is increasing trend toward civil marriage over ritual marriage, love marriage over arranged marriage. Inter caste and inter religious marriages are also increasing.

2. Family– Globalization has increased the pace of transformation of families from Joint families to either Nuclear families or Extended families. Due to declining Joint family system, Elderly population suffers from isolation, powerlessness and depression.

3. Education– Globalization catalyses the rate of literacy. It also increases investment in education and global education system. However there is more and more commercialization of education.

Effects of Globalization on Indian Economy

Effects of Globalization on Indian Economy

1. Liberalization– main features of liberalization policy were:- (i) General reduction in role of state in economic governance. (ii) Withdrawal by state from many economic sectors and its replacement by the private sectors. (iii) Decline in the public sector spending in basic and key industries like banking, insurance and other PSUs. (iv) Decline in the state’s role in provision of public social services like education , housing and health.

2. Privatization– It largely means selling of publicly owned assets to private owners. Indian government adopted various measures such as abolition of license raj, scrapping of MRTP and FERA, disinvestment in PSU etc with the aim of privatization of Indian economy.

3. Globalization of Financial Market– There has been progressive liberalization of controls on financial flows and market leading to increase FDI, FII, etc. It centre around the movement of capital , of which FDI is major form.

4. Role of WTO as International Trade Regulatory Body– India’s increase participation in rule based system in the governance of international trade is the result of its increased foreign trade. It helped to ensure more predictability in trade rules and benefits of features like MFN/ National Treatement etc for its export.

5. Increased penetration of MNCs and TNCs– It results into creation of more job opportunities, improved technologies and improved revenue to state (by way of Corporate taxes etc).

6. Infrastructure Development– Globalization warranted for the world countries, faster and large scale development of infrastructure. It was to ensure and facilitate industries and trade in order to become more competitive in world market.

7. Expansion of Information and Communication Technology– Rapid development of I.T. in different areas of governance, economy, education, banking, etc has improved productivity. Augmentation of I.T. also results in phenomenal growth of “outsourcing” of services. Eg BPO, KPO, back office operations etc.

Everything about Missiles

What is a missile?

  • A missile is essentially a sophisticated bomb which after being released is governed by the laws of ballistics.
  • The laws of ballistics means only the force of gravity acts upon it.
  • It can be made more accurate and faster by attaching a propulsion system to the bomb and then it is called a rocket.
  • If guided and controlled, a rocket can be made deadlier and that is what a missile is.
  • The missiles can carry tons of nuclear warheads at speeds way higher than fighter planes.


Missiles are classified variously based on the launching system. Thus, missiles can be:

  • Surface-to-Surface Missile
  • Surface-to-Air Missile
  • Surface (Coast)-to-Sea Missile
  • Air-to-Air Missile
  • Air-to-Surface Missile
  • Sea-to-Sea Missile
  • Sea-to-Surface (Coast) Missile

Based on the working principle, missiles can be:

  • Ballistics
  • Cruise

Classified by range and proposed use, missiles can be:

  • Short RMedium RaIntermediate RangeMissile
  • Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

How is a ballistic missile different from a cruise one?

  • A ballistic missile is used to hit a predetermined target —launched such that it burns most of its fuel to attain the desired velocity in the first phase (also called the boost phase).
  • Such a missile can only be guided during the powered phase of flight.
  • 31 countries have operational ballistic missile systems.
  • India’s Agni and Prithvi are ballistic missile.
  • A cruise missile is a small pilotless craft that carries an explosive warhead.
  • It has wings and an engine, but is built more economically.
  • It is steered by inertial navigation system (INS), that’s also used by airplanes.
  • A cruise missile can be made so accurate that it can be aimed at any specific place like a door or a window.
  • Its flight can be guided for a longer period.
  • BrahMos is a cruise missile system.

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

  • Ballistic missiles are categorised according to their range, which is the maximum distance along the surface of the earth from the point of launch to the point of impact of its payload.
  • Until recently, Russia, US, China, the UK, France and Israel were the only countries with operational ICBM technology.
  • With Hwasong-15, North Korea’s joined this club.
  • With over 5,000-km range, India’s Agni-V also qualifies for this club.

Which countries have the longest range of operational ballistic missiles?

Russia, US and China have many missile systems that qualify for the ICBM range.

China Myanmar Economic Corridor

  • China and Myanmar have moved a step closer on negotiating the China-Myanmar economic corridor.
  • This initiative is being given a high priority on account of the stalled Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) connectivity proposal.
  • The negotiations for the formation of the BCIM corridor have virtually been stalled after Beijing went ahead with its plans to establish the China-Pakistan economic corridor.

Y- shaped corridor

  • China-Myanmar economic corridor will be a Y- shaped corridor.
  • It will start from China’s Yunnan province and head towards Mandalay in Myanmar.
  • From Mandalay, it will extend towards Yangon New City in the East and Kyaukphyu special economic zone (in the Rakhine province) in the West.

Importance of the corridor

The corridor is important for both China and Myanmar in the following ways:

  1. It will enhance the connectivity between the two countries.
  2. It will connect Beijing with the Indian Ocean.
  3. It will accelerate the transfer of China’s industries to Myanmar (Due to the rising cost of labour, overcapacity and industrial development, China has begun to transfer some of its industries abroad).
  4. It will turn Myanmar into an important destination for China and other East Asian countries.
  5. It will create more jobs and bolster development.

Myanmar’s approach

  • Despite a flurry of diplomatic interaction between China and Myanmar in the aftermath of the Rohingya crisis, the Myanmar side is shedding a zero-sum approach and is also actively engaging with India.
  • Myanmar is seeking Indian investments in the central Myanmar region.
  • Myanmar has backed India’s Act East Policy and Neighbourhood First approach that promoted India’s relationship with the ASEAN countries including Myanmar.
  • Recently, India-Myanmar Bilateral Military Exercise (IMBAX-2017) was concluded at the Joint Training Node in Umroi, Meghalaya.