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21-01-2023

12:00:AM

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Women get command roles in the Indian Army: why this is a remarkable achievement

GS-1: Role of women and women’s organization

 

108 women officers in the Army will be eligible to command units and troops for the first time as they are set to be promoted to the rank of Colonel (selection grade) by a special selection board. 

A total of 244 women officers being considered for promotion, from the batch of 1992 to 2006, in various arms and services including Engineers, Signals, Army Air Defence, Intelligence Corps, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.



Significance of this move

  • The move grants women officers in the Army parity with their male counterparts by allowing them to command units and troops, something that was not previously possible due to a limited career period in the force. 
  • Previously, women officers were only able to reach the rank of Colonel and beyond in two branches, the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch and the Army Education Corps, and these were staff appointments rather than command appointments. 
  • However, the Supreme Court's decision to grant permanent commission to women Army officers in February 2020 opened the doors for promotions across all streams of the Army, except pure combat arms. 
  • With a longer career in the Army, women officers will now be considered for promotions, including to the rank of Colonel and beyond, which is a significant step forward in achieving gender equality in the military.
  • This appointment is valued because it is the only rank in which an officer has the opportunity to interact directly with troops on the ground, unlike higher ranks such as Brigadier or Major General. 
  • It is also considered an opportunity for officers to demonstrate their leadership abilities.


Arms and Services opened for commanding by women officers

  • Eligible: Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and Intelligence Corps. 
  • Non-Eligible: For core combat arms such as Infantry, Mechanized Infantry and Armoured Corps, as the Army does not allow women to fight on the borders as foot soldiers. 
  • This decision is based on past experiences of male soldiers being captured and tortured by the enemy. 
  • The Army has recently decided to open the Corps of Artillery, a combat support arm, to women.


Why did women in the Army get promoted to Colonel so late despite being inducted as early as 1992?

  • The reason why women officers in the Army received promotions to the rank of Colonel so late is because they were originally inducted as Short Service Commission (SSC) officers in 1992, and did not have the option to choose a permanent commission. 
  • The exception was the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch and the Army Education Corps, where a permanent commission was available to them in 2008
  • For other branches and services, women officers were not able to become permanent members of the cadre and had to retire before completing the necessary service period to be promoted to the rank of Colonel.


Supreme court order of 2020

  • In 2019, the Army changed its rules to allow Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers to choose permanent commission, instead of retiring after 14 years of service
  • However, this change was not retroactive and only applied to women officers starting their careers in the Army in 2020.
  • But in February 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that permanent commission should be granted to women officers retroactively. 
  • This cleared the way for women officers to progress and be promoted in the Army, which has recently been opening up leadership and higher management courses for women.


Status of women in the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force

  • Navy
  • Women officers have been inducted into all branches of the Navy and they will be eligible for permanent commission in the future.
  • Women officers are now able to command shore-based units and, as they progress in their careers and become eligible for permanent commission, they will also have the opportunity to command ships and air squadrons.
  • Airforce
  • The IAF has opened all branches for women officers, including the fighter stream and the new weapon systems branch.
  • As they are granted permanent commission based on eligibility and vacancies, they will be eligible to command units in the future.

 

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‘Charge sheets are not public documents’: Breaking down the SC ruling

GS-2: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

 

Recently, The Supreme Court has ruled that charge sheets are not considered to be public documents under Sections 74 and 76 of the Evidence Act. Allowing unrestricted access to them would violate the Criminal Code of Procedure, potentially compromising the rights of the accused, victims, and investigation agencies.


Charge sheet

  • A charge sheet, as defined by Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), is a report prepared by a police officer or investigative agency following the completion of an investigation into a case. 
  • The officer in charge of the police station submits the charge sheet to a Magistrate, who has the authority to take note of the offenses listed in it. 
  • It includes details such as the names of the individuals involved, the nature of the information, and the specific offenses. 
  • It also answers questions about the accused's arrest status, whether they are in custody, or have been released, and whether any action has been taken against them. 
  • Additionally, if there is sufficient evidence against the accused, the officer submits all relevant documents to the Magistrate for the prosecution's case and for charges to be filed. 
  • It must be filed against the accused within a specified time frame of 60-90 days, failure to do so makes the arrest illegal and the accused is eligible for bail.


Chargesheet vs FIR

  • FIR (First Information Report) and charge sheet are both legal documents used in criminal cases in India, but they serve different purposes and are filed at different stages of a case.


FIR

Charge sheet

An FIR is filed at the "first instance" when the police are informed of a cognizable offense, such as rape, murder, or kidnapping.

A charge sheet is filed by the police or other investigative agencies at the end of an investigation, once they have gathered sufficient evidence against the accused.

It is filed under Section 154 of the CrPC. 

It is filed under Section 173 of the CrPC.

It does not define the guilt of a person and it is only used to initiate an investigation.

It includes evidence and is used to prove the offenses that the accused is charged with.

It is filed at the first instance of knowledge of a cognizable offense.

It is filed only if the police have sufficient evidence to support the charges mentioned in the FIR.

 

  • If the police do not have enough evidence, they may file a "cancellation report" or "untraced report" instead of a chargesheet.

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Fact Files



Why PM Modi has distributed land title deeds to Banjaras, an SC group in Karnataka 

  • The Prime Minister symbolically distributed land title deeds to five Banjara (Lambani) families, a nomadic Scheduled Caste group, at a state Revenue Department event in Kalaburagi district's Malkhed, Karnataka. 
  • The Lambani tribe have a large population in the underdeveloped districts of northern Karnataka's Kalyana region. 
  • They are considered a tribal group in terms of their lifestyle.



Hakkupatras or title deeds

  • A title deed is a legal document that proves ownership of a property
  • The person who holds the title deed is considered the owner of the land. 
  • Having a title deed allows individuals to access bank loans and allows for the buying and selling of the land for which the title deed is issued by the government.

Other related news (Karnataka + Tribes)

  • In 2017, the Congress government passed a law granting ownership of houses to agricultural laborers living in unrecorded habitations. 
  • The law was expected to benefit 200,000 people living in Lambanithandas and other settlements of backward communities like Kurubarahattis, Haadis, and Palyas.
  • A sub-sect within the Lingayat community, which makes up about 17% of the state's population, is currently pushing for increased quotas.



What's World Economic Forum, what happens at Davos summit?: Here is everything about WEF 

  • Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit was concluded in Davoswhere business leaders, government officials, and civil society members discussed global priorities.
  • The theme of the 2023 summit was “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”.


World Economic Forum

  • Established in 1971 by the German economist Klaus Schwab
  • The WEF was originally known as the European Management Forum until 1987.
  • An international non-governmentalobbying organization
  • HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Funded by: Its 1,000-member companies - typically global enterprises with more than $5 billion in turnover – as well as public subsidies.
  • Mission: The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance.
  • WEF publishes several major reports, including:
  • Energy Transition Index
  • Global Competitiveness Report
  • Global IT Report (published in partnership with INSEAD and Cornell University)
  • Global Gender Gap Report
  • Global Risk Report
  • Global Travel and Tourism Report.

Davos

  • Davos is a resort town located in eastern Switzerland, consisting of two villages, Davos-Platz and Davos-Dorf. 
  • It is situated on the Landwasser Riverin the Rhaetian Alps.

















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