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Indian Express

2-November-2023

1) Apple’s Alert

Context:

  • Ahead of the approaching elections, privacy and security concerns have been raised in relation to recent reports of monitoring on leaders of opposition parties in India.
  • These accusations are not new; similar claims about the use of spyware, specifically Pegasus, to target members of civil society, journalists, and politicians have been made before.

Previous Allegations and Investigations:

  • Over 300 mobile phone numbers in India were targeted by the Pegasus malware in 2021, according to a global investigative journalism report. These numbers included journalists, civil society members, and opposition party officials.
  • On the 29 phones it looked at, the Supreme Court’s committee tasked with looking into the issue was unable to uncover any solid proof of Pegasus malware use.
  • The supreme court observed that the central government had not cooperated with the probe.

Apple’s Threat Notification Feature:

  • Since its activation in 2021, Apple’s threat notification feature has been utilized to warn people in about 150 different nations.
  • The fact that state-sponsored attackers are well-funded and technically proficient is highlighted, but the precise triggers for these warnings are not disclosed.
  • Recently, this option was activated for a number of leaders of opposition parties in India, raising questions about government monitoring.

Impact on Upcoming Elections:

  • Given that a period of elections is about to begin in India, the timing of these accusations is significant.
  • With general elections slated for the next year, voters in a number of states will be casting ballots in the upcoming weeks.
  • Politicians from all parties are impacted by privacy concerns, as evidenced by the opposition leaders who got Apple’s warnings.
  • Such surveillance gives rise to concerns about invasions of privacy, security ramifications, and effects on democracy in India.

Way Forward:

  • The inquiry must be conducted in a fair, impartial, and open manner in order to allay these worries and safeguard the democratic process.
  • To keep the electoral process honest and safeguard individual rights, any monitoring that violates someone’s right to privacy needs to be carefully investigated and dealt with.

2) The Sarkari Naukri

Context:

  • The campaign for Maratha reservations exposes a basic inconsistency in India’s economic narrative driven by the private sector.
  • This article highlights the reasons for getting attracted towards government jobs and also discuss what possible steps can be taken to attract more people towards private sector.

Reasons for attraction towards government jobs

  • Job security and prestige associated with government job
  • Becoming a part of the power structure
  • Decent work life balance
  • Lack of organized labor union in the private sector and hence less bargaining power in private sector.
  • Dilution of workers’ rights in new labor code of India
  • Recent laying off of employees by companies.
  • Lack of opportunities in private sector
  • Benefit of reservation in government jobs
  • Less emphasis on soft skill/communication skills of employee as compared to private sector (specially for vernacular candidates)
  • New emphasis of corporate leaders for raising working hours in private sector (recently Narayan Murthy called for 70 hours working in a week)

Possible steps which the Government and private sector can take to attract more people towards private sector in India.

  • Improve pay and benefits of formal jobs
  • More formalization of jobs
  • Follow the labor code in letter and spirit at the same time raise the bargaining power of laborers in India.
  • More hours of work do not result in more productivity. Hence the private sector should resist increasing work hours.
  • Provide opportunities for growth and career progression through upskilling, reskilling, etc.
  • Create a positive non-hostile work culture
  • Create an awareness about the perks and benefits to join private sector among the youth
  • Increasing apprenticeship programmes in a big way to attract youth to the private sector.
  • Reduce the entry barrier for vernacular candidates into the private sector.

Conclusion

  • The popularity of government jobs, the growing need for reservations, and the push to introduce quotas or reservations into the private sector all point to a decline in the caliber of employment in the private sector.
  • To lessen the conflict between India’s state-led job market and the country’s private sector-led growth, the public and private sectors must work together.

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