Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 18 March 2023

GPT-4 is different from ChatGPT

GS Paper - 3 (Communication Technology)

AI powerhouse OpenAI announced GPT-4, the next big update to the technology that powers ChatGPT and Microsoft Bing, the search engine using the tech. GPT-4 is supposedly bigger, faster, and more accurate than ChatGPT, so much so that it even clears several top examinations with flying colours, like the Uniform Bar Exam for those wanting to practice as lawyers in the US.

What is GPT-4?

  1. GPT-4 is a large multimodal model created by OpenAI and announced on 14 March 2023. Multimodal models can encompass more than just text – GPT-4 also accepts images as input.
  2. Meanwhile, GPT-3 and GPT-3.5 only operated in one modalitytext, meaning users could only ask questions by typing them out.
  3. Aside from the fresh ability to process images, OpenAI says that GPT-4 also “exhibits human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks.”
  4. The language model can pass a simulated bar exam with a score around the top 10 per cent of test takers and can solve difficult problems with greater accuracy thanks to its broader general knowledge and problem-solving abilities.
  5. For example, it can “answer tax-related questionsschedule a meeting among three busy people, or learn a user’s creative writing style.”
  6. GPT-4 is also capable of handling over 25,000 words of text, opening up a greater number of use cases that now also include long-form content creationdocument search and analysis, and extended conversations.

How is GPT-4 different from GPT-3?

  1. GPT-4 can ‘see’ images now: The most noticeable change to GPT-4 is that it’s multimodal, allowing it to understand more than one modality of information.
  2. GPT-4 is harder to trick: One of the biggest drawbacks of generative models like ChatGPT and Bing is their propensity to occasionally go off the rails, generating prompts that raise eyebrows, or worse, downright alarm people.
  3. GPT-4 can process a lot more information at a time: Large Language Models (LLMs) may have been trained on billions of parameters, which mean countless amounts of data, but there are limits to how much information they can process in a conversation.
  4. GPT-4 has an improved accuracy: OpenAI admits that GPT-4 has similar limitations as previous versions – it’s still not fully reliable and makes reasoning errors.

Collapse of Signature Bank

GS Paper - 3 (Economy)

Signature Bank, a New York financial institution with a big real estate lending business that had recently made a play to win cryptocurrency depositsclosed its doors abruptly, after regulators said that keeping the bank open could threaten the stability of the entire financial system. To some extent, Signature is a victim of the panic around Silicon Valley Bank, which regulators seized.

What happened to Silicon Valley Bank?

  1. Silicon Valley Bank, a lender to startups, imploded on 10 March 2023 after some ill-timed financial decisions left it struggling to meet customer withdrawal requests — and just as slowing venture capital funding prompted fledging companies to tap their accounts more.
  2. Similarly, Signature became one of the few banks to welcome cryptocurrency deposits, just before the overheated industry blew up last year.
  3. As word about Silicon Valley Bank’s troubles began to spread last week, business customers of Signature began calling the bank, asking if their deposits were safe.
  4. Many were worried that their deposits could be at risk because, like business customers of Silicon Valley, most had more than $250,000 in their accounts.
  5. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the entity that seized Silicon Valley, insures deposits only up to $250,000.

What services did Signature bank provide?

  1. The demise of Signature, with assets of under $100 billion, is a blow to many of the professional services firms that have come to rely on it.
  2. The bank long specialized in providing banking services to law firms, providing escrow accounts for holding client money and other services.
  3. Scott Shay, Joseph DePaolo and John Tamberlane founded Signature in 1999 with backing from Israel’s biggest lender, Bank Hapoalim.
  4. One of Signature’s specialties was financing the purchase of taxi medallions, which authorize holders to operate cabs.
  5. It was known in New York for providing banking services to law firms and real estate companies, and for catering to wealthy families in the area.

Governors cannot precipitate the fall of elected governments: SC

GS Paper -2 (Judiciary)

The Supreme Court said that Governors seriously undermine democracy if they use their constitutional office to call for a trust vote, citing dissension within a ruling political party, and precipitate the fall of a legitimately established and functioning government.

More about the news:

  • Governor must be aware of the fact that his very calling for a trust vote may precipitate the loss of majority for a government.
  • Chief Justice of India, while heading a Constitution Bench, observed Governors must not lend their offices for effectuating a particular result.

Consequences:

‘Serious for democracy’

Ø  The Bench was referring to then-Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's call for a trust vote on the floor of the House, which eventually led to the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray government in 2022.

Ø  The court questioned the version of the Governor's office, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, that there was a serious difference of opinion within the Shiv Sena party between the Eknath Shinde faction and the Thackeray camp.

Ø  They (Shinde group) had a remedy then and could have voted their leader out. But can the Governor say there is dissension about certain aspects of the leadership and a trust vote is called.

Ø  It is because that government had already established its majority in the House. It was a functioning government.

Flashback:

About Governor Functions:

The primary function of the governor is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law as incorporated in their oath of office under Article 159 of the Indian constitution in the administration of the state affairs.

The entire governor's actions, recommendations and supervisory powers (Article 167c, Article 200, Article 213, Article 355, etc.) over the executive and legislative entities of a state shall be used to implement the provisions of the Constitution.

In this respect, the governor has many different types of powers:

  • Executive powers related to administration, appointments and removals.
  • Legislative powers related to law-making and the state legislature, that is the State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) or State Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad).
  • Discretionary powers to be carried out according to the discretion of the governor. The governors of India have similar powers and functions at the state level as those of the president of India at central level.

Reservation for women in politics:

GS Paper -2 (Women Empowerment)

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K. Kavitha launched a six-hour hunger strike seeking early passage of the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill. More than 10 parties participated in the protest.

More about the news:

The history of political reservation for women:   

Ø  The issue of reservation for women in politics can be traced back to the Indian national movement.

Ø  The issue of women’s reservation came up in Constituent Assembly debates as well, but it was rejected as being unnecessary. It was assumed that a democracy would accord representation to all groups.

Ø  The Committee of the Status of Women in India, set up in 1971, commented on the declining political representation of women in India.

Ø  The National Perspective Plan for Women recommended in 1988 that reservation be provided to women right from the level of the panchayat to that of Parliament.

Ø  These recommendations paved the way for the historic enactment of the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution which mandates all State governments to reserve one-third of the seats for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and one-third of the offices of the chairperson at all levels of the Panchayati Raj Institutions, and in urban local bodies, respectively.

About Women’s Reservation Bill:

  • The Women’s Reservation Bill proposes to reserve 33% of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies for women.

 

  • It was first introduced in the Lok Sabha as the 81st Amendment Bill in September 1996 by the Deve Gowda-led United Front government.
  • The bill failed to get the approval of the House and was referred to a joint parliamentary committee which submitted its report to the Lok Sabha in December 1996. But the Bill lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
  • In 2014, the BJP promised 33% reservation for women in its manifesto and repeated the promise in its 2019 agenda. But there has been no movement from the government in this regard.

Arguments for the Bill:

v  Proponents of the Bill argue that affirmative action is imperative to better the condition of women since political parties are inherently patriarchal.

v  Despite the hopes of the leaders of the national movement, women are still under-represented in Parliament. Reservations, proponents believe, will ensure that women form a strong lobby in Parliament to fight for issues that are often ignored.

v  There is now evidence that women as panchayat leaders have shattered social myths, been more accessible than men, controlled the stranglehold of liquor, invested substantially in public goods such as drinking water, helped other women express themselves better, reduced corruption, prioritised nutrition outcomes, and changed the development agenda at the grassroots level.

v  India has a high percentage of crimes against women, low participation of women in the workforce, low nutrition levels and a skewed sex ratio. To address all these challenges, it is argued, we need more women in decision-making.

Arguments against the Bill:

  • Opponents of reservation for women argue that the idea runs counter to the principle of equality enshrined in the Constitution.
  • It is also argued that women will not be competing on merit if there is reservation, which could lower their status in society.
  • Women’s interests cannot be isolated from other social, economic and political strata.
  • Some argue that reservation of seats in Parliament would restrict the choice of voters to women candidates. This has led to suggestions of alternate methods including reservation for women in political parties and dual member constituencies (where constituencies will have two MPs, one of them being a woman).
  • It has also been argued that men hold primary power as well as key positions in politics, that bringing women into politicscould destroy the ideal family.

Data of women in Parliament:

v  There are about 14% of the members in the Indian Parliament are women, the highest so far.

v  According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, India has a fewer percentage of women in the lower House than its neighbours such as Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

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