Women in Command Roles of Indian Army

In News

  • For the first time, the Indian army promoted women officers to command units in their respective arms and services.


  • 80 women officers in the Indian Army have been cleared for the rank of Colonel (selection grade), making them eligible to command units in their respective arms and services for the first time.
  • The Women Officers were selected by the Special No. 3 Selection Board for promotion from the rank of Lt Colonel to Colonel to bring them on a par with their male counterparts.
  • Women officers were selected 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.
  • The Corps of Engineers has the maximum vacancy followed by the Army Ordnance Corps and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

Women Induction in Army: A battle long fought

  • 1992: Women were first inducted into the Indian Army as officers in non-medical roles while the Indian Army Medical Corps started inducting them from 1993.
  • 2010: Delhi High Court ruled that the Indian Army’s policy of not allowing women to serve in combat roles was discriminatory and violative of the Constitution.
  • 2013: Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Indian Army to exclude women from certain combat roles, stating that the Indian Army was not ready for women in combat roles due to societal attitudes and lack of infrastructure.
  • 2016: Indian Army announced that it would begin inducting women into combat roles in select military units, starting with the Corps of Military Police.
  • 2017Supreme Court stated that women should be given equal opportunities in the Army, including in combat roles.
  • 2020: Indian Army announced that it would open up all positions to women, including those in combat roles
  • 2021:  The Indian army starts to induct women in short service commission as fighter pilots.

Violation of Rights

  • Right to equality(Article 14): The exclusion of women from certain roles in the Indian Army has been seen as a violation of this right, as it discriminates against women on the basis of their gender.
  • Right to work(Article 15): The exclusion of women denies them  the opportunity to work in certain roles based solely on their gender.
  • Right to non-discrimination(Article 16): The exclusion of women from certain roles in the Indian Army is a violation of the right to non-discrimination, as it discriminates against women on the basis of their gender.
  • Right to life and personal liberty(Article 21): The exclusion of women is a violation of the right to life and personal liberty, as it denies women the opportunity to serve their country and defend their rights and liberties.
  • Right to education(Article 21): Exclusion from certain roles in the Indian Army is a violation of the right to education, as it denies women the opportunity to pursue education and training in certain fields.
  • Right to freedom of expression(Article 19): The exclusion of women denies women the opportunity to express themselves and their capabilities through their work.
Advantages of women in ArmyChallenges of women in Army
Increased diversity: Women bring a different perspective and set of skills to the military, which can enhance overall military effectiveness and decision-making.Improved operational effectiveness: Women can be effective in combat roles as they can improve the overall operational effectiveness of the military.Better representation of society: The Indian Army is meant to serve and protect the entire population, and by having a more representative force, it can better understand and serve the needs of the society.Better retention and recruitment: By providing opportunities for women, the Indian Army can attract and retain a larger pool of talented individuals.Breaking stereotypes: Induction of women challenges the societal stereotypes that women are weak and less capable.Improved morale: Women’s induction can improve morale among female soldiers and can lead to a more inclusive and supportive environment for all soldiers.Better support for women: The Indian Army has taken steps to create a more supportive environment for women, such as increasing the number of women-only barracks and providing childcare facilities.Cost-effective: As the number of women in the Indian Army increases, it can be cost-effective in terms of recruitment and training, as it would increase the pool of eligible candidates.Societal attitudes: Women in the Indian Army have faced resistance from societal attitudes that view women as less capable or less suited for roles in the military.Physical demands: The physical demands of military service can be challenging for women, and there have been concerns about whether women can meet the same physical standards as men.Limited opportunities: There have been limited opportunities for women in the Indian Army, particularly in combat roles, which has limited their career advancement.Lack of support: Women in the Indian Army have reported lack of support from their male colleagues and superiors, which can make it difficult to succeed in their roles.Harassment and discrimination: Women in the Indian Army have reported experiencing harassment and discrimination on the basis of their gender.Limited facilities: Women in the Indian army face limited facilities in terms of women-only barracks, toilets and other amenities.Limited representation: Women are under-represented in leadership positions in the Indian Army, and there is a lack of female role models for women to look up to.

Way Ahead

  • Although allowing women on equal footing in the army is a progressive step, the Indian Army should take steps to create a more supportive environment for women, such as increasing the number of women-only barracks and providing childcare facilities.
  • While there have been challenges with the induction of women into the Indian Army, there is a need to promote the overall trend as many women have succeeded in their roles and made valuable contributions to the military. 

Road Accidents in India

In News

  • Recently, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) emphasized that efforts by all are necessary to reduce road accidents by 50 percent before the end of 2025.


  • Efforts of MoRTH:
    • It has undertaken multiple initiatives across all 4Es of Road Safety by:
      • Engineering, 
      • Enforcement, 
      • Education and 
      • Emergency Care.
    • This year, the Ministry observed the Road Safety Week (RSW) from 11th to 17th January 2023, under “Swachhata Pakhwada”, to propagate the cause of Safer Roads for all.
    • It is committed to reduction in road fatalities and injuries.

Causes of Road Accident in India

  • Over Speeding and Undisciplined Driving:  Approx  50000 accidents in India are on account of over speeding.
  • Motorization and Urbanisation: Are also the main causes of road crash fatalities. 
  • Faulty Road Designs: Lack of caution signs, big potholes, illegal speed breakers.
  • Ineffective and Inefficient road regulations: Due to lack of caution signs, big potholes, illegal speed breakers.
  • Encroachment of Road: Unruly road congestion caused by hawkers disrupts normal movements of vehicles.
  • Laxity in Driving License Regulations: Lax procedure in obtaining a driving license
  • Inefficient Public Transport: The paucity of end to end public transport and its inefficiencies in India leads to the public opting for private vehicles. 

Impact of Road Accidents

  • Social effects of Road Traffic Accidents:  Include loss of productivity of the victims, the cost of the legal system, burden on the health sector and loss of quality of life.
  • Economic Effect: As per UN report, reducing road traffic deaths and injuries could result in substantial long-term income gains (Fair movement of goods, Logistics). India loses 3% of its GDP due to road accidents.
  • Burden on Women: About 40% of women reported a change in their working patterns post-accident (More responsibility, more burden of family)

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Laws and Initiatives

  • Global Initiatives:
    • Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety (2015): Adopted at the second global high-level conference on road safety held in Brazil. (India signatory to this) 
    • International Road Assessment programme (iRAP): A registered charity dedicated to saving lives through safer roads. 
    • Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030: Sets an ambitious target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.
    • Geneva Convention: India, being a signatory to Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949 (Geneva Convention). 
  • Indian:
    • Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act: The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 was brought in to improve road safety in India by amending Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
    • The amendment Act has introduced heavy fines for various offences
    • 3-Year Action Agenda of NITI Aayog: Highlighting the Standardising the reporting of accidents & action map thereafter.

Way Ahead

  • A law should be brought in the country to determine the working hours of truck drivers.
  • Similar Programmes like the telethon and outreach campaign “Sadak Suraksha Abhiyan” needs to be launched to make people aware about Road Safety
  • Vehicle design and Road infrastructure need to be as per the safety standards.
  • Proper training & capacity building is the need of the hour.

Changes to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

In News

  • Recently, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs MCA proposed a broad range of changes to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

Key Proposed Changes

  • Empowering National Company Law Tribunal:
    • The ministry has proposed to empower the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to slap hefty fines on those that contravene IBC rules. 
    • NCLT’s discretion has been increased in the new measures, so focus will be on strengthening NCLT for effective implementation.
  • Fast-tracking the Process:
    • It has also explicitly clarified that the adjudicating authority must admit an insolvency case if the default is established and need not get into other specifics like the reason for the default, etc, which was delaying the admission of applications.
  • Electronic Platform Minimal Human Interface:
    • The ministry has suggested developing a state-of-the-art electronic platform that can handle several processes under the Code with minimum human interface.
    • This e-platform may provide for a case management system, automated processes to file applications with the Adjudicating Authority (AA), delivery of notices, enabling interaction of IPs (Insolvency Professionals) with stakeholders, storage of records of CDs (Corporate Debtors) undergoing the process, and incentivising participation of other market players in the IBC ecosystem.
  • Recasting Liquidation Process:
    • The liquidation process is also sought to be made more open, flexible and equitable to provide comfort to the creditors
  • Redesigning the Fast-Track Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (FIRP):
    • The ministry has also proposed redesigning the Fast-Track Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (FIRP) to allow financial creditors to drive the insolvency resolution process for a CD outside of the judicial process while retaining some involvement of the Adjudicating Authority (AA) to improve the legal certainty of the final outcome.
    • Further, the resolution plan approved through this procedure will have the same sanctity as a regular plan approved during the CIRP (Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process).
  • Special framework for real estate: 
    • The ministry has pitched for a special framework for real estate to limit bankruptcy proceedings to only insolvent projects.
  • Transfer of the Ownership:
    • Another proposal is to enable a resolution professional to transfer the ownership and possession of a plot, apartment or building to the allottees with the consent of the CoC (Committee of Creditors).
  • Multiple Resolution Plans:
    • It will allow multiple resolution plans for a single stressed firm (in all sectors).
    • The ministry proposed a change in the mechanism to distribute resolution proceeds.
  • New Waterfall Mechanism:
    • The MCA has proposed a new waterfall mechanism under which creditors will receive proceeds up to the stressed firm’s liquidation value in the order of priority already stipulated (secured financial creditors gets precedence over usually unsecured operational creditors). 
    • But any surplus over such liquidation value will be proportionately distributed among all creditors in the ratio of their unsatisfied claims.
  • Extension of Insolvency Framework:
    • It extended the so-called prepackaged insolvency framework–meant for only MSMEs–to larger entities.

Significance of Changes

  • The changes will streamline various processes and procedures by the introduction of technology and bringing out clarity in relevant clauses to ensure smoother implementation. 
  • It will help cut delays in the resolution process.
  • It will prevent erosion of stressed asset value, somewhat discipline errant stakeholders.
  • The recommendations on prepack and out-of-court resolution (fast track resolution) with optional moratorium and NCLT sanction will take India closer to overseas prepack regimes


  • Based on the past hurdles faced in various provisions and clauses, the ground level issues have been identified and proposed to be rectified step by step
  • Such recommendations, once implemented properly, would result in effective resolution of insolvency.
  • However, insolvency regulator Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) should be conscious that these recommendations should not pave way for further litigations, which will stall the entire process of resolution.

Military Rule in Myanmar and Way Forward for 2023

In News 

  • Recently, Military-ruled Myanmar marked  75 years of independence.


  • Myanmar’s junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing announced that the elections would be held in August 2023

Internal Situation of Myanmar 

  • Coup: On 1 February 2021, Myanmar’s military took power in a coup, abruptly halting the country’s fragile transition toward democracy.
    • It justified the coup by alleging widespread fraud in the 2020 election – which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won by a landslide.
      • Independent observers have rejected such claims.
  • In the weeks following the coup, huge numbers of people took to the streets for mass protests. 
  • Army’s Response: The military responded with deadly violence and imposed a campaign of terror, raiding homes and arresting anyone suspected of supporting democracy.
    • As compared to 2021, the resistance took more violent forms and spread mostly to the North and Western parts of the country. 
    • The regime has introduced further restrictions on political parties by barring them from speaking with international organisations or foreigners without permission from the electoral body.


  • Safety and protection: The conflict constrained the movement of assistance, supplies and people, along with heightened security measures and denial of travel authorisations.
    • The safety and protection of humanitarian and front-line workers have also become a serious concern, as they are increasingly targeted and subject to arbitrary arrests and detentions. 
  • Media freedom:  It was also curtailed and the Information Ministry imposed pre-broadcast censorship on local and foreign television
  • Refugee problem: the ongoing conflict has resulted in widespread displacement within and outside the country, leading to the refugee problem in neighbouring countries, particularly India and Thailand.
  • The incidents of drug trafficking and money laundering have also increased across bordering states, especially Thailand and India.
    • Finally, drug consumption has surged within the country, deteriorating the health and potential of the younger population.
    • There are also reports of Myanmar emerging as a human trafficking hub.
  • The environmental crisis: It  also loomed over the country as the military regime was unable to take initiatives to address the problems of climate change. 
  • Economic: The price of basic commodities increased.In addition, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, there was a rise in the cost of fertilisers leading to a shortage in the production of food in Myanmar.
    • The banking sector has seen a slowdown, with a number of private bank branches closing due to armed resistance and instability, as well as Military Council guidelines that restricted fund transfers and limited cash withdrawals.
    • Since the coup, there have also been concerns over the shortage of electricity and frequent power cuts across the country. 

Response of Global Community 

  • The UN’s human rights office said that the military’s actions might amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in December 2022 that demanded an immediate end to violence in Myanmar and urged the military junta to release political prisoners, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
    • In the 15-nation Security Council, 12 members voted in favour, and India, China and Russia abstained.
  • The US included Myanmar on the list of 12 countries that are of “particular concern” for religious freedom violations.
    • They reported that the Christian minorities now face persecution similar to what the Rohingya have faced.
  • The EU imposed several rounds of sanctions on both Min Aung Hlaing and military-controlled conglomerates and companies.
    • The EU also did not invite Myanmar to its meeting with ASEAN leaders. 
  • China maintained close relations with the military by providing both defence and economic assistance.

Impact on India 

  • Incidents of cross-border movements of people and transport of illegal goods were also reported. 
  • It has had an adverse impact on India’s Act East policy, which had since 2014 become more dynamic and result-oriented. 
  • It has negatively impacted India’s initiatives in terms of land outreach towards the vibrant economies of South East Asia and  It has also retarded development in the Northeast.
  • This is creating impediments to the Centre’s overtures for future peace initiatives.
    • Also, reports of meddling by Chinese intelligence in supporting these militant groups are of concern and demand proactive action.
  •  India’s strategy concerning the military coup in Myanmar comes at the expense of security concerns for the indigenous stakeholders in the NER

Options available for India 

  • There is a need for continued engagement, both formal and informal, with the warring factions in Myanmar.
  • Favourable bilateral relations with Bangladesh  offer an opportunity for opening a new axis of land-sea connectivity for promoting trade and commerce with Southeast Asia. There is a need to upgrade the multitude of land routes to the seaports in Bangladesh, from Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura
  • Appropriate infrastructure such as container depots, cold storage facilities and seamless highways will have to be developed on a war footing. 
  • Indian manufactured goods will have to be transported to the rail/roadheads in the Northeast like Guwahati for ready access to the seaports of Bangladesh.
  • There is a need to raise an empowered department for monitoring and facilitating projects that support India’s Act East policy, transcending all critical Ministries like Home, External Affairs, Industry, Surface-River Transport, etc.

Way Forward 

  • As the country crisis enters its third year, it is important that all stakeholders are at the table to establish a peaceful and long-term solution. 
  • The year 2023, therefore, will be a very significant due to likely scenarios that might unfold in Myanmar and their impact on South Asia as well as Southeast Asia.
  • India needs to maintain a close look at the situation at the borders to ensure security.
    • The increase in violence could further lead to an influx of refugees, which could create an economic and social burden in the Northeastern states.
    • Furthermore, the security of the border states is important given the increasing incidents of drug and arms trafficking.
  • there is a need to ensure the continued economic development of Northeastern states.
    • Positive overtures by the Government of India will not only improve the security situation but reassure the locals that the region’s interest is paramount and kickstart the stalling economic outreach to the east.
Do you Know ?India-Myanmar relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural, and religious ties. As the land of Lord Buddha, India is a country of pilgrimage for the people of Myanmar.India and Myanmar share a long land border of over 1600 km and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. India and Myanmar signed a Treaty of Friendship in 1951. The visit of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 laid the foundations for a stronger relationship between India and Myanmar.


In News

  • The World Economic Forum in its ‘Global Risks Report 2023’ warned that the world could see a polycrisis emerging from the Russia-Ukraine war.

What is Polycrisis?

  • The term polycrisis was first used in the 1990s by French theorist of complexity Edgar Morin.
  • When multiple crises in multiple global systems become causally entangled in ways that significantly degrade humanity’s prospects. These interacting crises produce harms greater than the sum of those the crises would produce in isolation, were their host systems not so deeply interconnected.
  • The ‘polycrisis’ was first used by former European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to describe Europe’s combustible situation in 2016 which combined indebtedness with Brexit, climate change and a refugee crisis. 

World Economic Forum on Polycrisis 

  • The report has mentioned that  the world is facing a set of risks that feel both wholly new and eerily familiar.
  • There are older and familiar risks which are getting entangled with the new and emerging risks which collectively can lead to a polycrisis.
  • Older risks: These include inflation, cost-of-living crisis, trade wars, capital outflows from emerging markets, widespread social unrest, geopolitical confrontation and the spectre of nuclear warfare. 
  • New developments: These include unsustainable levels of debt, a new era of low growth, low global investment and de-globalisation, a decline in human development, and the growing pressure of climate change. 

The report categorises these global risks into short term and the long term risks. 

  • Short term risks: These include the rising cost of living, slow economic growth, and tight global food and energy supplies.
  • Long term risks: These are failure to mitigate climate change, failure to adapt to climate change, extreme weather events, and the threat of biodiversity collapse.
  • The report further goes on to state that these risks may converge into a polycrisis by the end of the decade.

Reasons for these Risks

  • Recent Events: The war in Ukraine sent energy and food prices soaring. The resulting inflationary pressures ignited a global cost-of-living crisis which has led to social unrest.
    • Reverberating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to global wars and conflict, from high inflation and sluggish economic growth to increasingly extreme climate events, the world is facing a remarkably diverse range of crises all at the same time.
    • On top of all that, carbon emissions continued to rise as economies reopened after the pandemic.
  • Persistent events: Demand for food, water and energy are rising as a result of population growth and socioeconomic advancement.
    • The expansion of renewable energy systems is creating an unprecedented demand for rare minerals and metals. 
    • The gap between demand and supply of these resources could have catastrophic consequences, including biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, trade wars and armed conflict between nations.
  • The report describes four potential futures centred around food, water and metals and mineral shortages, all of which could spark a humanitarian as well as an ecological crisis – from water wars and famines to continued overexploitation of ecological resources and a slowdown in climate mitigation and adaptation.  

Recommendations as per the Report

  • Given uncertain relationships between global risks, similar foresight exercises can help anticipate potential connections, directing preparedness measures towards minimizing the scale and scope of polycrises before they arise. 
  • In such a situation, many governments have refocused their priorities towards short-term risks such as countering food shortages or energy shortfalls at the cost of ignoring climate change and global development when they are most needed.
  • It asks world leaders to address the issue of erosion of trust. “Addressing the erosion of trust in multilateral processes will enhance our collective ability to prevent and respond to emerging cross-border crises and strengthen the guardrails we have in place to address well-established risks,”.
  • It further calls on leaders to act collectively, decisively and with a long-term lens to shape a pathway to a more positive, inclusive and stable world.


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