Understanding Violence, Homelessness, and Mental Health in Women:

NFHS-5 Findings:

– The survey highlights the prevalence of violence against women in India, with 30% experiencing physical               violence and 6% reporting sexual violence.
– Violence and mental health conditions share a reciprocal relationship, significantly increasing the risk of                 homelessness.

Relevance of Findings:

– Studies show that relational disruptions, often stemming from violence, predict homelessness, even among           women accessing mental health care.
– Qualitative research reveals how violence and associated trauma contribute to homelessness and mental             health struggles in women.

Narratives of Women:

– Personal accounts shed light on the interplay between violence, mental health, and homelessness,                       illustrating how societal factors exacerbate these issues.
– Women’s experiences of madness are varied, with some viewing it as resistance against patriarchal norms           or as a means of escape and empowerment.

Addressing the Complexities:

– The mainstream discourse on women’s mental health often overlooks the role of violence, focusing instead           on biomedical perspectives.
– Comprehensive solutions must unpack the multifaceted factors perpetuating violence against women,                   including unpaid labor, economic insecurity, and harmful gender norms.
– Policies and interventions should address childhood adversity and structural inequalities to mitigate the                impact of violence on mental health and homelessness.

Multifaceted Approach Needed:

– Tackling homelessness and mental illness requires a nuanced understanding of the intersections with                    violence against women.
– Adopting diverse perspectives, conducting innovative research, and prioritizing lived experiences can lead           to more effective responses tailored to the needs of homeless women.

The Significance of India’s Agni-5 Missile Test:

– The recent Agni-5 ballistic missile test, dubbed “Divyastra”, by DRDO, marks a significant development in              India’s nuclear deterrence capabilities.
– The Agni-5, with a range exceeding 5,000 kilometers, is India’s longest-range missile and is equipped with            Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs), enhancing its potency.
– MIRV technology allows missiles to strike multiple targets simultaneously, providing strategic advantages in          evading ballistic missile defenses.

Comparison with China:

• India’s development of MIRV-capable missiles aligns it with a select group of nations possessing advanced            nuclear capabilities.

• China’s ballistic missile defense systems pose a challenge, but the integration of MIRVs on Agni-5 restores            balance in the Sino-Indian nuclear deterrent relationship.
• More testing is required to ensure the credibility of India’s MIRV-capable ballistic missile arsenal.


Technical Challenges and Achievements:

– Developing MIRV-capable missiles demands meeting rigorous technical criteria, including warhead                       miniaturization and precise re-entry vehicle configuration.
– Despite challenges such as limited nuclear testing, India’s DRDO has successfully developed MIRV                     capability for Agni-5, enhancing its strategic posture.
– Opacity surrounds details like the number of warheads and their yields, but Agni-5 likely carries a limited               number of warheads.


Future Prospects:

– India’s nuclear arsenal is expected to expand further with projects like long-range Submarine Launched                Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), bolstering its deterrence against China
– The successful test of Agni-5 MIRV missile signals India’s readiness to counter China’s missile and                        defense  advancements, enhancing its credibility as a nuclear power.

Key Facts About MIRV Technology:



– MIRV technology originated in the United States, with the deployment of a MIRVed Intercontinental                      Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in 1970.
– MIRV allows a single missile to carry multiple warheads (usually 3-4), each capable of targeting different              locations independently.
– It enhances the missile’s effectiveness by increasing the number of potential targets it can engage.
– MIRVs can be launched from both land-based platforms and sea-based platforms, such as submarines,                 expanding their operational flexibility and range.

Global Adoption and Proliferation:

– Nations possessing MIRV technology include major nuclear powers such as the United States, the United            Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and India. Pakistan also tested the technology (Ababeel Missile) in 2017.
– The test flight of Agni-5 marked India’s first testing of MIRV technology, aiming to deploy multiple warheads           at different locations in a single launch.
– Equipped with indigenous avionics systems and high-accuracy sensor packages, the Agni-5 weapon                     system ensured that the re-entry vehicles reached the target points within the desired accuracy.

Strategic Significance:

– Initially designed to enhance offensive capabilities rather than to defeat ballistic missile defenses, MIRVs               present significant challenges to defense systems due to their ability to deploy multiple warheads                         independently.
– Their deployment significantly complicates defense strategies compared to traditional

Agni-5 Missile:

– Agni is an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) developed indigenously by the DRDO.
– It is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and has a target range of over 5,000 km, utilizing a three-stage             solid-fueled engine.
– Successfully tested multiple times since 2012, with a recent test in December 2022 assessing its night-time          capabilities.
– The Agni family includes missiles with varying ranges, such as Agni I, II, III, IV, and Agni Prime (Agni-P).
– The next upgrade, Agni-6, is expected to be a full-fledged intercontinental ballistic missile with a range                  exceeding 7,000 km.

Introduction to TEPA

– The India-EFTA Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) signifies a significant step in India’s               trade policy.
– It marks India’s first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with European countries, including Switzerland, Norway,            Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
– TEPA reflects India’s commitment to trade liberalization amidst global protectionist trends.

Key Features of TEPA


– TEPA targets $100 billion investment from EFTA countries into India over a 15-year period.
– India retains the right to withdraw tariff concessions if investment targets are not met.
– Conditions for investment realization include India’s GDP growth of 9.5% and a 16% annual return on EFTA         investments.

Trade in Goods:

– India commits to eliminating tariffs on most products within 7 to 10 years, benefiting EFTA exports.
– EFTA gains access to the Indian market for products such as seafood, fruits, coffee, medical equipment,               and  textiles.
– Tariffs on cut and polished diamonds will be reduced from 5% to 2.5% in five years.

Trade in Services:

– Liberalization commitments extend to sectors like yoga instructors, traditional medicine practitioners, and               highly skilled professionals.
– Annexes streamline qualification recognition and ease regulatory requirements for service                                      providers.Sustainable Development:
– TEPA includes a chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD), a first for India in FTAs.
– Emphasizes environment and labor commitments, respecting multilateral agreements and balance of rights          and obligations.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR):

– TEPA addresses concerns of pharmaceutical and high-tech MNCs regarding IPR protection.
– Requires swift rejection of “prima facie unfounded” oppositions in India’s patent process.
– Raises considerations for amending Indian patent rules to align with FTA commitments.

Challenges and Considerations

– Complex criteria for investment realization and regulatory adjustments pose challenges.
– Scrutiny of India’s implementation of environment and labor obligations under TSD chapter may require               careful management.
– IPR provisions necessitate potential adjustments to Indian patent rules to meet FTA commitments.


– TEPA represents uncharted territory for India’s trade agreements.
– Its long-term impact depends on effective implementation and management of challenges.
– Monitoring the agreement’s implementation over time will reveal its true impact on India-EFTA economic               relations.