Learn everything about IAS..

Category: Social Issues

Women representation in Indian politics

  • Increase in the representation of backward castes resulted in an escalation of demands for political representation from other excluded groups, notably women.
  • Changing the social composition of the legislature may have a minimal effect on the structure of party politics, policies and outcomes for the disadvantaged groups.
  • The space available to women within the political system has not been significant (though we had a woman PM for many years)
  • Contd…
  • From 1952 to 1999 over 1400 women have contested elections and over 365 have been elected to Parliament.
  • Proportion of women in Parliament – less than 10 %
  • Parties give low preference to women candidates, even though voters are not disinclined to support their candidacy.
  • Political parties often give tickets only to attract ‘women’s votes’ or appeal to ‘women’s constituency’.
  • Women’s Reservation Bill (WRB) pending despite strong pressure from women groups
  • Interestingly, one-third reservation for women in Local Bodies
  • Challenges for political representation in India’s diverse democracy… (1)
  • To ensure a link between representatives and those represented (pave the way for substantive democracy)
  • Backward caste mobilization has successfully challenged upper caste/class domination, the experience of the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
  • However, over-emphasis on descriptive representation could weaken the basis for political accountability.

With this also mention about the beginning of women liberalization in pre independence India. Women in politics idea were first initiated by liberal Indian men who received the western education and compared Indian scenario in its light. This led to help these learned few Indians raise a voice against the age old suffering women and was perhaps the first positive seed in the representation of women in India.. inspire of stances from the medieval period of Rani laxmibai (bravely lead her people against the British removing political instability in Jhansi), jodha bai (with her marriage helped to bring settlement between the rajputs and mougals) the real step towards women representation began by the socio religious reform movements that began in the early 19 century.

  • Raja ram mohan roy – helped bring law against sati, child marriage and widow remarriage
  • Vidyasagar- education for women, widow remarriage

Then later in 20th century reformist like Anne Beasant, Bal gangadhar Tilak, Gandhi made way for women to reach a representative platform.

Post independence with likes of Indira Gandhi, Sarojini naidu, Vijaylaxmi the stigma and stain of no women representation finally faded away.

At present women in the parliament have positively made their space and this has been possible due to the liberal policy and a national univocal attempt for women to be at shoulders with men.

With likes of Ms Sonia Gandhi, Ms Jayalaitha, Ms Vijayraje Sindhia, Ms Mamata banerjee, etc etc the women have definitely created a ever increasing activity centre for them in walks of social life especially in indian politics and have proved their merit.

Kerala Model of Development

Regional Development of Kerala

The reasons why states are poor – cannot be attributed to just income but also low human development.

Kerala, actually stands out because it has low per capita income and yet has a high human development and it figures higher on the social indicators list.

Trickle down hypothesis says that only when you have high levels of income can the State invest in social development. So a State cannot do the latter without the former.

Kerala is an exception because it shows that a region need not wait for income to rise and for a state to intervene and invest

major features of Kerala’s developmental achievements

1. Health Achievements

Demographic indicators

In Kerala, health and demographic transitions have been achieved within a single generation, i.e. after the formation of Kerala state. Four indicators which represent the outcomes of the health and demographic transitions in Kerala are life expectancy at birth, the infant mortality rate and the birth and death rates.

Life expectancy at birth in Kerala is similar to the corresponding figures for developing countries classified as having achieved high human development in Human Development Report,1993.

The birth rate in Kerala is also much lower than the birth rate for all of India. The decline in birth rate in Kerala was particularly substantial in the 1980s. Kerala’s low birth rate is associated with comparatively high rates of birth control.

The death rate in Kerala has declined steadily since the beginning of this century, and more rapidly than the Indian average.

The infant mortality rate of kerala in 1993 is better than the average for developing countries with ‘high human development’.

Food consumption and nutrition

According to the NNMB ( National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau) data, Kerala was the only state in which consumption improved over the 2 periods ( 1975-59, 1988-90) in terms of both anthropometric and intake indicators

Literacy in kerala

Literacy – and in particular female literacy – is an essential facilitator of kerala’s achievements in the spheres of health and of demographic change

Sex ratio

A key indicator of the historical status of women in Kerala and of the influence of the culture of old kerala on socio-economic development is the sex ratio, measured here as females per thousand males in the population. The sex ratio was 1040 in 1991 and has been more than 1000 at every census since the formation of the State.

The economy

 Kerala’s achievements are an outstanding example of the power of public action even in conditions of low production growth. However, Kerala faces an acute crisis in the spheres of employment and material production. People at large and political parties perceive the problems of unemployment and production as the major economic problems of the immediate future. The question also been raised is whether the development achievements of Kerala’s people can be sustained if the employment and production situations are not transformed.

 Net state domestic product per capita in kerala is below Indian average.

 Kerala’s agriculture is characterised by the existence of a series of agricultural micro environments suited to different kinds of mixed farming and by a substantial proportion of perennial crops in total agricultural output.

 The manufacturing sector grew at 2.8 % per annum between 1970-71. and 1986-87; the corresponding growth rates in Tamil nadu and Karnataka wee 5.3% and 6.0%

 Productive capita per capita in the factory sector has been consistently lower in kerala than in the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The state govt spread its invst thin ; most units were small with low absolute levels of invst. Their small sizw has made many of these enterprises financially and technologically unviable

Capital industrial entrepreneurship in Kerala is ill developed. One reason for the slow development of large and medium scale industries is  perhaps the lack of entrepreneurs interested in their development. There is only one big capitalist industrial house from Kerala.

Kerala kas the highest rate of unemployment in the country. Unemployment is high particularly among educated persons.

Kerala has a history of labour migration and remittances from outside the state influence disposable incomes significantly. From the 1970s the migration of workers to countries of West Asia particularly Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE has been a major feature of social and economic life in Kerala.

 Despite the stagnation in per capita domestic income, per capita consumption expenditure registered a steady increase.

 Market forces will not ensure that productive invst appears spontaneously; transformation in the spheres of production and employment requires public intervention. State supported infrastructural invst is crucial for industrial and agricultural growth in Kerala. The potential for the expansion of skilled employment in Kerala is extraordinary. Any plan for rural economic growth in kerala must consider the very promising opportunities for growth based on the mixed cultivation of diverse crops that require skilled crop management and that involve new forms of production organisation.  

2. Historical aspects

a) Aspects of caste and gender relations in kerala

Among the worst forms of untouchability in the country were practiced in kerala, and the oppression of people of the oppressed caste took savage forms

At the top of the traditional caste hierarchy were the Namboodiris, Malayalam speaking Brahmans who were patrilineal. At the bottom of the caste- Hindu scale were the Nayars, who were matrilineal. Below the Nayars in terms of ritual status were the Izhava caste.

The diversity in the traditional caste calling of the people of the Izhava caste was to have important consequences for the Izhava social reform movt.

In traditional Kerala, matrilineal systems of inheritance were followed by an important section of people. The Nayars were matrilineal and so were some sections of Ambalavasi and Izhava caste and sections of Muslim population.

The matrilineal system influenced social and cultural development in kerala in general. It contributed to changing social attitudes and it contributed to creating social conditions in which women made real progress in health and education. Progressive social attitudes towards female survival and female education are a precondition for the health and demographic transition. In the case of Kerala, a set of historical and sociological conditions – inclusing systems of marriage and matrilineal inheritance that were specific to the region – contributed to the establishment of such attitudes.

b) Literacy expansion in the nineteenth century

Mass literacy requires mass schooling, and the history of literacy in Kerala is closely linked with the history of modern schooling, introduced in the region in the first part of the nineteenth century.

Modern schools were first established by Christian missionaries and later by the state. Protestant missionaries were pioneers of modern school education. The importance of Protestant missions for education lay in their leading role in giving a new direction to schooling in the early 19th century.

  • First, the mass base of the Protestant missionaries, such as it was, came from the oppressed castes , the Shanars, the Pulayas and Izhavas.

  • Secondly, there was a clear perception among the early Protestant missionaries that educational work was a necessary pre-requisite for their religious work.

  • Thirdly, it followed that missionaries asserted the right of people of oppressed castes to modern education, and mission schools were the only new style schools to which the people of oppressed castes had access.

  • Fourthly, conversion and primary education were linked with missionary led movements against other features of Hindu Society : against untouchabilty and distance pollution; against agrarian slavery, against upper caste prohibition on women of ritually impure castes wearing clothes above the waist, and against other caste-taboos.

  • Fifthly, missionary education brought girls from oppressed castes to schools.

  • Sixthly, the school courses though biased towards Christian theology, also had a secular component to school studies (arithmetic, geography).

  • Seventhly, instruction in these schools was in the vernacular i.e Tamil and Malayalam.

  • Eighthly, missionary schools were the first institutions of elementary technical training or craft schools.

The rulers of Travancore, under the influence of missionaries and British, took significant initiative in spreading mass education and mass literacy.

Education was linked to employment, and schooling a pre-requisite for a government job

c) Caste based reform movements

The well known caste reform movements were among the people of the Izhava and Pulaya castes and among the Nayars and Namboodiris. Caste movts were active in the movt for social reform and for changes in social practices, particularly the practice of untouchability; they also made efforts to reform internal caste rules and to alter, by means of state intervention through legislation, inheritance laws and rules of family organisation.

The Izhava social reform movt: For all the advances in the economic status, the Izhava people continued to be victims of different forms of caste discrimination. The emerging Izhava elite demanded the right to be full participants in the modernisation that began in the 19th century. Their main movts were against untouchability

for literacy and education, for employment in govt jobs, and for greater representation in the restricted franchise legislature.

The Pulaya social reform movt : Demands for education and against caste discrimination and civil disabilities were important to the agenda of the movt.

Nayars :.Nayar caste movts aimed at increased access to higher education and at large scale Nayar entry into the professions and the bureaucracy. Two important features of reform among Nayars were the reform of marriage law and the reform of property law.

Namboodiris : There were reform movts against reactionary marriage practices within the caste, and for the right to modern education

3. Agrarian change

Agrarian relations

A foundational feature of Kerala’s development experience and of social and economic progress in Kerala, is the transformation of agrarian relations in the state. The history of this change is a history of public action – which took the form of mass struggle and of legislative action – against some of the most complex, exploitative and oppressive rural social formations in the country.

Agrarian movements

Agrarian rebellion was fiercest in Malabar, and the organised peasant and agricultural worker movt in Kerala began there.

Three main currents in the movement to transform agrarian relations in Malabar have been identified.

The first was the movt of Mapilla tenants and agricultural labourers against ‘lord and state’

The second major current was the organised effort of kanakkaran intermediaries to acquire occupancy rights on land over which they had kanam rights

The third current was the most radical current, the movement of peasants and working tenants that culminated in the land reform of contemporary Kerala

The independent class demands of agricultural workers involved the right to organise, demands against social oppression, for higher wages, for payment in standard measures and against arbitrary exactions from landlords.

Land reform

Land reform was crucial to the transformation of agrarian relations in Kerala. The land reforms had 3 major components.

The first involved that burdensome, complex, and rampant affliction of Kerala agriculture tenancy

Second main component of land reform involved homestead land occupied by the rural poor. Occupants of such land were to be given ownership rights

3rd component – concerned the imposition of limits on land ownership and the distribution of land identified as surplus to the landless.

The agrarian movement has played a crucial role in creating an awareness of people’s rights, in democratising rural life, and in creating conditions favourable to the spread of mass education and facilities for improved conditions of public health.

4. The role of the Left

The Communist party and the organisations of workers, peasants, agricultural labourers, students, teachers, youth and women under its leadership, have been the major organisers and leaders of mass political movts in Kerala since the end of the 1930s, and have been the major agents of the politicisation of the mass of Kerala’s people. The different movts included the freedom movt, movt of workers, peasants and radical intellectuals

The first govt. in Kerala was a Communist govt and the major features of its agenda and of later communist ministries in the State were, among other things, land reform, health, education and strengthening the system of public distribution of food and other essential commodities.

5. Women’s agency

2 issues regarding the place and the role of women in Kerala’s development achievements are worth emphasizing. First Kerala’s women have made outstanding gains in the fields of education and health and are more equal participants with men in education and health achievements than in any other part of India.

Secondly, Kerala’s experience is a dramatic example of the role of women’s agency in advancing the social and economic development of a society. Female literacy and education are crucial determinants of child survival, general health and hygiene. These, in turn determine progress in other demographic and health indicators

6. State Governments

The areas of State govt intervention in Kerala that have been most significant for the people have been land reform, health and education, and the public distribution system. It also introduced measures to provide protective social security to persons outside the organised sector, who are not usually covered by such schemes. Throughout the post independence period, health expenditure as proportion of total expenditure has been higher in kerala than in any other state

Education was also an early concern. The proportion of total govt expenditure spent on education in Kerala is much higher than the corresponding proportion spent by all the states.

The 2 tier public distribution system was established and strengthened in the 1970s and the 1980s

Kerala has social security measures that cover most sections of rural workers


There has been a progressive transformation in Kerala of the health and demographic conditions characteristic of less developed societies, and the state is far ahead of the rest of India with respect to these conditions

Essence of Indian constitution as a social text

The Preamble to an Act sets out the main objectives which the legislation is intended to achieve.’ It is a sort of introduction to the statute and many a times very helpful to understand the policy and legislative intent. It expresses “what we had thought or dreamt for so long”. The Constitution makers gave to the Preamble ”the place of pride”. The Preamble declares and secure to all citizens justice, social, economic and political.

The preamble serves the following purposes namely,

1. It indicates the source from which the Constitution comes

2. It contains the enacting clause which brings in to force the Constitution

3. It declares the great rights and freedoms which the people of lndia intended to secure to all citizens and basic type of Government and the quality which was to be established.

The 42nd Constitutional Amendment has inserted three new words in the preamble: Secularism, socialism and integrity. Socialism is implicit in the Preamble and the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution. The term “Economic Justice” in the Preamble denotes nothing but India’s resolve to bring socio-economic revolution. The Directive Principles, particularly Art, 39 (b) & (c) of the Constitution are Charters of social and economic liberties of the people. The word “socialism has, however, no definite democratic and communistic. Generally, the term implies a system of government in which the means of production is wholly or partially controlled by the State. India’s socialism is, however a democratic socialism and not a “communistic socialist.”

In the Constitution of India, the Preamble (as amended in 1976) declares the State to be “Secular”, and this is of special relevance for the Religious Minorities. Equally relevant for them, especially, is the prefatory declaration of the Constitution in its Preamble that all citizens of India are to be secured “liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship and “equality of status and of opportunity.” The Constitution of India has provided two types of safe-guards -general and specific to safeguard various interests of the minorities. In the first category are those provisions that are equally enjoyed by both groups. The provisions ensure justice- social, economic and political equality to all. The second category consists of provisions meant specifically for the protection of particular interests of the minorities.

1. People’s right to “equality before the law” and “equal protection of the laws”.

2. Prohibition of discrimination against citizens on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

3. Authority of State to make “any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens” (besides the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes)
4.citizens’ right to “equality of opportunity” in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State – and prohibition in this regard of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
5. Authority of State to make “any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State.

6.People’s freedom of conscience and right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion – subject to public order, morality and other Fundamental Rights;
7.Authority of State to make law for “regulating or restricting any economic financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice”, and for “providing for social welfare and reform”;
8.Authority of State to make laws for “throwing open” of Hindu, Sikh, Jain or Buddhist “religious institutions of a public character to “all classes and sections of the respective communities;
9.Sikh community’s right of “wearing and carrying of kirpans”

10.Right of “every religious denomination or any section thereof – subject to public order, morality and health – to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable proposes, “manage its own affairs of religion”, and own and acquire movable immovable property and administer it “in accordance with law”.
11. People’s “freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion”.
12. People’s “freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in educational institutions” wholly maintained, recognized, or aided by the State.
13.Right of “any section of the citizens” to conserve its “distinct language, script or culture”
14.Restriction on denial of admission to any citizen, to any educational institution maintained or aided by the State, “on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them”.
15. Right of all Religious and Linguistic Minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
16. Freedom of Minority-managed educational institutions from discrimination in the matter of receiving aid from the State.

Part IV of the Constitution of India, containing non-justifiable Directive Principles of State Policy, includes the following provisions having significant implications for the Minorities:
1.Obligation of the State “to endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities” amongst individuals and groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations;
2.Obligation of State to “endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”;
3.Obligation of State “to promote with special care” the educational and economic interests of “the weaker sections of the people” (besides Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes)
4.Obligation of State to “take steps” for “prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle”.

Part IV-A of the Constitution, relating to Fundamental Duties, applies in full to all citizens, including those belonging to Minorities and of special relevance for the Minorities are the following provisions in this Part:
1.Citizens’ duty to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India “transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities
2.Citizens’ duty to “value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture”.
Some other provisions of the Constitution having special relevance and implications for the Minorities are:
3.Official obligation to pay out of the consolidated funds of the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu 46.5 and 13.5 lakh rupees respectively to the local “Dewasom Funds” for the maintenance of Hindu temples and shrines in the territories of the erstwhile State of Travancore-Cochin
4.Special provision relating to the language spoken by a section of the population of any State
5.Provision for facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage
6.Provision for a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities and his duties
7.Special provision with respect to Naga religious or social practices, customary law and procedure, and “administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law.”
8. Identical special provision for the Mizos
9.Provision relating to continuation in force of pre-Constitution laws “until altered or repealed or amended by a competent legislature or other competent authority”

Part III of the Constitution gives certain fundamental rights. Some of these rights are common to all the citizens of India including minorities. These rights are enshrined in:
Article 14: This ensures equality before law and equal protection of law
Article 15: This prohibits discrimination on any ground i.e. religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth.
Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except the procedure established by law.
Article 25: This ensures freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.
Article 26: This ensures a right to manage religious institutions, religious affairs, subject to public order, morality and health.
Article 29: Gives minorities a right to conserve their language, script or culture. It provides for the protection of the interests of minorities by giving them a right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. The State is directed not to discriminate against minorities institutions in granting aid.
Article 350A: Directs the State to provide facilities for instruction in the mother tongue at the primary stage of education.
Art 164(1): According to this article in states of Bihar, MP and Orissa there shall be a Minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in charge of the welfare of the scheduled castes and backward classes.
Art 244(1): Regarding administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas – (1) The provisions of the Fifth schedule shall apply to the administration and control of the Scheduled areas and Scheduled tribes in any state other than the state of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. (2) The provisions of the sixth schedule shall apply to the administration of the tribal areas in the state of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
Art 244(A): Formation of an autonomous state comprising certain tribal areas in Assam and creation of local legislature or Council of Ministers or both thereof. Parliament may by law form within the state of Assam an autonomous state comprising (whether wholly or part) all or any of the tribal areas.
Art 275: Provided that there shall be paid out of consolidated fund of India as grants-in-aid of the revenues of a state such capital and recurring sums as may be necessary to enable the state to meet the costs of such schemes of development as may be undertaken by the state with the approval of the Govt of India for the purpose of promoting the welfare of the scheduled tribes in that state or raising the level of administration of the scheduled areas therein to that of the administration of the rest of the areas in that state. Provided further that there shall be paid out of the consolidated fund of India as grant-in-aid of the revenues of the state of Assam sum capital and recurring.
Art 330: Reservation of seats for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the House of People.
– Seats shall be reserved for scheduled castes
– The scheduled tribes except the scheduled tribes except the scheduled tribes in the autonomous districts of Assam
– The scheduled tribes in the autonomous districts in Assam.
Art 332: Reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the Legislative Assemblies of the states.
– Seats shall be reserved for the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes (except the ST’s of autonomous districts of Assam) in the Legislative Assembly of every state.
– Seats shall be reserved also for the autonomous districts in the Legislative Assembly of the state of Assam.
Art 334: Reservation of seats and special representation in Legislative Assemblies and House of People to cease after fifty years.
Art 335: Claims of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to service and posts-The claims of the members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes shall be taken into consideration consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration in the making of appointments to service and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a state.
Art 338: National Commission for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes
Art 339: Control of the Union over the administration of Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes.
Art 340: Appointment of a commission by the president to investigate the conditions of backward classes.
Art 341: Power of the President to specify the castes, races or tribes or posts of or groups within castes, races or tribes as scheduled castes.
Art 342: Power of the President to specify the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities as scheduled tribe.
Art 350(A): Facilities for instruction in mother tongue of a minority group.
Art 350(B): Special officer for linguistic minorities.


Primary Education

The Millennium development goals aims at eradicating poverty and improving the welfare if their people by the year 2015. The second of its gaols is achieving universal Primary Education, with a specific target of ensuring that by 2015 everyone, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of Primary Schooling.

Primary Education develops the capacity to learn, read and use mathematics to acquire information and to think critically about the information. Micro-economic research has shown that education improves individual income. Research also indicates the contribution of primary Education to better natural resource management and more rapid technological adaptation and innovation. And the returns to Primary Education are higher than returns to higher levels of Education. When a large number of children do not complete primary education, the productivity of the labour force and the human potential from which the society can draw declines. It has been found those mothers who have completed Primary Education are 50 percent more likely to ensure that their infants are immunised than illiterate ones. But, in several developing countries, average level of schooling is still less than primary Education.

Compulsory primary Education

Compulsory primary Education is a Policy Instrument by which state effectively removes children from Labour force, thereby protecting both against parents and would be employers.

Indian Scenario

Since Independence the country has witnessed phenomenal educational development both in quantitative and qualitative terms. But the Nation goals of Universal Elementary Education (UEE) and the total eradication of illiteracy still remains elusive. Some of the relevant features are:

  • Primary Education is still not compulsory
  • Child Labour is not illegal. Law prohibits employment of children in factories but not cottage Industries, restaurants, agriculture or households
  • Children often stay at home to care for cattle, tend young ones, collect firewood, work in field or are employed elsewhere as above.
  • Children are economic asset to Poor Families. Thus, sending them to schools involves explicit opportunity costs

Today India is way behind in decreasing Illiteracy Rates. It is the single largest producer of Illiterates in the World. The literacy rate stands at 65.38% (2001 census). Percentage of Primary Students Enrolment for boys is 63.6% while for girls is 50.3%. Still startling is the Gross drop-out rates, 38.4% for boys and 39.4% for girls (2001 census).

Is is not surprising then that right since independence, the government of India, every commission appointed by the government and every ruling Congress party, all opposition parties have advocated abolishing child labour and establishing compulsory primary education for children up to the age of fourteen. This commitment is reflected in preceding and succeeding efforts by the major parties and then the government.

Some of such developments on Primary Education in India’s past and present are:

  • Gopal Hrishna Gokhale, then president of Indian national congress unsuccessfully urged the British to establish free and compulsory elementary Education
  • In 1930s Indian National Congress passed Legislation authorising local bodies to introduce compulsory education
  • In 1950, Indian constitution declared that the state shall endeavour to within a period of ten years from the commencement of Constitution for free and compulsory education to all children until they attain the sage of fourteen years.
  • Thus in the Indian Constitution of, school education was put in the State list. As such, it was responsibility of the state to provide universalisation of Primary Education
  • In 1964, Kothari Commission was set up to formulate a coherent education Policy for India. It proposed Indian Education Policy to aim at free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14.
  • The compulsory primary education acts were passed by most of the state governments and the number of primary schools 2.1 lakh in 1950 to 5.2 lakh in 1986.
  • In 1976, School education was put in the concurrent List. Thus UEE became a shared responsibility of the central and the state government.
  • In 1979, International year of Child, commission appointed to probe into stat of children in India also padvocated universal primary education for ending child labour
  • In 1986 after the adoption of National Policy of Education proposed by Rajiv Gandhi government, the 1968 policy goals had largely been achieved: more than 90 per cent of the country’s rural population were within a kilometre of schooling facilities and most states had adopted a common education structure

  • In 1987, as step towards NPE, Operation Blackboard was started as as to provide ceratin minimum essnetail facilities in all Primary Schools

  • In 1987 Policy on Restructuring and Reorganization of Teacher Education created a resource for the continuous upgrading of teachers’ knowledge and competence as a result of which

    • The Shikhsa Karmi Project was started in Rajasthan for universalisation and qualitative improvement of Education in very backward villages. The mobilisation and participation of the community in the functioning of Primary Schools is an important feature of this project.
    • Another project, Lok Jumbish project has made a profound impression on the Primary Education in Rajasthan.
  • In 1994 was launched, The District Primary Education Programm (DPEP) for overhauling the Primary Education System. This was done to follow a decentralised approach to planning and community participation for achieving UEE. The main goals of DPEP were, increasing enrolment rate, decreasing drop out, provide primary education to all chiledre thorugh formal and informal means.
  • In 1995, The School Meal Programme was started to increase enrolment, retention attendance in Primary Schools by providing supplementary nutrition to all children in Primary Schools

  • In 1997, United Front Government introduced 83rd Constitutional Amendment Bill to make Schooling Compulsory. Proposed to amend Article 21 by adding the clause ‘The state shall provide free & Compulsory Education to all citizens of 6 to 14 yrs age. Tamil Nadu is the only state to have passed the law (yet to be implemented)

  • Movement to Educate All (2000) aimed to achieve universal primary education by 2010 through micro-planning and school-mapping exercises, bridging gender and social gaps. Elemetary School within 1 km under Education Guarantee Scheme

  • Fundamental Right (2001) involved the provision of free and compulsory education, declared to be a basic right for children aged between 6 and 14 years

  • Sarav Shiksha Abhiyan is a flagship program of the national government in the new Millennium. It seeks to achieve the goal of Universal Primary Education (5 years of Primary Schooling) by 2005 and the goal of UEE (eight years of Elementary Schooling) by 2010.

What holds them back?

Despite, all these efforts, why has state not take a legislative action on when Indian Constitution calls for ban n Child labour and Compulsory Primary Education. The reason behind this problem of backwardness in this regard is more complex to understand than the problem itself

  • The Poverty argument: India’s Low per capita Income and economic backwardness forces households to send their children to school. Children are and economic asset to poor people.

  • Education as a means of maintaining differentiations in Social Class: A set of belies widely shared by Educators, Social activists, trade unions, academic researchers, Indian middle class, government, non-government etc, all see Education as a means of differentiation among social classes..

    • Excessive and inappropriate” Education would disrupt existing Social Order

    • Does not train children of the poor to work (service/white collar jobs)

    • They should work with hands (ruled) than heads (ruler)

    • Parents and not state are the ultimate guardians of Children


  • Problem of Poverty: Sending children to School involves an explicit opportunity cost. The free education available right now still remains out of reach f the Poor sections of society. This brings in a major affordability issue in light. The cost of Education is high expenses on textbooks, uniforms and stationery around Rs 318 per year which is very high for the poorest brackets.

  • Problem of Quality: Quality of Education remains a major deterrent. Poor Infrastructure, absences of a functioning school, incompetent teachers provide less incentive to an Education which doesn’t even ensure a job

  • Problem of Motivation: People living in long years of Deprivation, with no tradition of Literacy and inadequate availability of Information find no motivation to send their children to school.

  • Inadequate Expenditure in Education: Kothari Commission proposed that 6.2 % of GDP should be spent on Education as compared to current spending of 4.2%. India’s expenditure on Elementary Education was 2.02% of GDP in 2001-02. Human development Report states than India spent much less than other East Asian Countries as Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia

  • Teacher performance: PROBE report found widespread problem of teacher Inertia due to a de-motivating environment, lack of accountability, single-handedly managing several grades, lack of teaching material, low monetary incentive

  • Religious Systems: None of the religious systems in India be it Hinduism or Islam propagate Mass Education and state intervention. In many other countries theologies or secular ideologies have stood for a system of national education aimed at social equality


Primary education imparted at the most formative years of any child will form the foundation on which any child would develop his/her cognitive abilities. Strangely, the socio-cultural and linguistic background of the child is of no consequence to curriculum planning and classroom interaction. Children coming to these schools often speak different languages, wera different clothes, eat different kind of food, live in different geographical conditions.

  • Professor R.C das remarks that primary Education Package should be designed so as accommodate for Cultural diversity, local needs and local resources.

  • There should be enough space for Teachers to grow or to develop innovative programmes

  • Children often come to school with empty stomachs, adequate provision for good quality food can be good motivation to come to school

  • Affordability issue should be addressed by not only providing free education but the concept should be extended to uniforms, books and other related expenses.

  • The curriculum should accommodate for the vernacular backgrounds of children so as to not distant children from the materials and methods used in the schooling system

  • Alternative Channels of Education such as the Non-Formal Education (NFE) System

Non-formal education has become an accepted alternative channel of education for children who cannot attend full-time schools due to various socio-economic constraints. To reach this large segment of marginalised children, we in India have been running, since 1979-80, a programme of NFE for children in the 6-14 age group, who have remained outside the formal system. These include drop-outs from formal schools, children from habitations without schools, working children, children who have to remain at home to do domestic chores, and girls who are unable to attend formal schools for a variety of reasons.

The enlarged and modified version of the NFE programme now in operation visualises NFE as a child-centred, environment-oriented and flexible system to meet the diverse educational needs of the geographically and socio-economically deprived sections of society. Non-formal education is designed to overcome the shortcomings of the formal school and make education a joyful activity. Decentralised community participation through village education committees (VECs) in planning, running and overseeing the programme has been considered crucial for its success.

Minimum Levels of Learning (MLL)

The need to lay down minimum levels of learning (MLL) emerged from the basic concern that irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex, all children must be given access to education of a comparable standard. The MLL strategy is an attempt to combine quality with equity. It lays down learning outcomes in the form of competencies or levels of learning for each stage of elementary education.

The focus of the MLL strategy is development of competency-based teaching and learning. Preliminary assessment of the existing levels of learning achievements has revealed that they are quite low across several districts. Minimum levels of learning in respect of three subjects, namely language, mathematics and environmental studies, have already been laid down for the primary stage. It has been stressed that the emphasis should be on concept formation rather than on content.

Revamping the Scheme of Operation Blackboard (OB)

Recognising the unattractive school environment, unsatisfactory condition of school buildings, inadequate physical facilities, and insufficiency of instructional materials in primary schools, which function as demotivating factors for enrolment and retention, a scheme symbolically called Operation Blackboard was introduced in 1987-88 to bring all existing primary schools in the country to a minimum standard of physical facilities. Under this scheme, each school is provided with: (i) at least two reasonably large all-weather rooms along with separate toilet facilities for boys and girls; (ii) at least two teachers (one male and one female); and (iii) essential teaching and learning materials including blackboards, maps, charts, a small library, toys and games, and some equipment for work experience.

External evaluation of the scheme indicated the lack of training of teachers in using the teaching materials, specification of a large number of uniform facilities to be provided without modification according to local needs, and lack of provision for breakage of equipment. Effective steps have since been taken to remove these drawbacks. The scheme of Operation Blackboard has also been modified and expanded to provide a third room and a third teacher to primary schools where enrolment exceeds 100, and it has been extended to upper primary schools. The scheme is concentrating on rural areas and SC/ST areas, and girls� schools are being given the first priority.

Establishing Linkages between Programmes of early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), Primary Education, Literacy and UEE

  • Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is viewed as a crucial input in the strategy of human resource development, as a feeder and support programme for primary education, and as a support service for working women of the disadvantaged sections of society. Since the age-span covered by ECCE is from conception to 6 years, emphasis has been given to a child-centred approach and play-way and activity-based learning in place of formal methods of teaching including introduction of the 3 Rs. Keeping in mind the role of ECCE as a support service in UEE, it is deliberately directed to the most underprivileged groups, those who are still outside the mainstream of formal education. The aim of ECCE is that every child should be assured access to the fulfilment of all basic needs. It involves the total development of the child in every aspect including the physical, psychomotor, cognitive, language, emotional, social and moral. The present ECCE programmes include:
  • the integrated child development service (ICDS)
  • the scheme of assistance to voluntary organisations for running early child education (ECE) centres
  • balwadis and day-care centres run by voluntary agencies with government assistance
  • pre-primary schools run by state governments, municipal corporations and other agencies
  • maternal and child health services through primary health centres, sub-centres and other agencies

The ICDS is today the biggest programme of early childhood development, serving about 15 million children and 3 million mothers.Appropriate linkages are being established between ECCE programmes, primary schools, NFE centres and other related schemes of UEE.

Promotion of Access to Girls and Disadvantaged Groups

As with all educational indicators, gender disparities are conspicuous in regard to enrolment and retention. Over the past 25 years, enrolment of girls at the primary stage has grown from 5 million to 47 million and at the upper primary stage, from 0.5 million to 16 million. But disparities persist. Today girls account for only 46 per cent of the enrolment at the primary stage and 38 per cent at the upper primary stage. The drop-out rates of girls at the primary and upper primary stages are higher than those of boys. Regional disparities are also conspicuous. The very low female literacy (20 to 29 per cent) in some of the major north Indian states causes grave concern. The rural girls are doubly disadvantaged by non-availability of educational facilities and by their domestic chores.

Concerted efforts are now on to reach out to the girl child in rural and remote areas and urban slums by designing special NFE programmes with a view to getting them back into the formal stream. The NFE programmes are being dovetailed into the total literacy campaigns (TLC) to reach out to the girls in the 10-20 age group. Programmes for continuing education are being designed to ensure that neo-literates and school-going girls have access to reading materials.

An important constraining factor for female education is the lack of women teachers in rural areas. Therefore, special efforts are being made to recruit women teachers and to augment teacher training facilities for women so that adequate numbers of qualified women teachers are available. Co-ordinated efforts are also on to provide the necessary support services to enhance their participation and performance.

We in India are unambiguous about removal of disparities and attainment of equality of education opportunities for SCs, STs and other backward sections including girls. A number of strategies aimed at accelerating their rate of enrolment and retention have been detailed and are being implemented. Because of the affirmative policies of the government, the enrolment of these categories has increased considerably at the primary stage. The participation of SCs and STs at the primary level is more or less in proportion to their share in the population. Drop-outs, though declining, continue to be significantly large [primary stage (classes I-V), SC 49 per cent, ST 64 per cent; upper primary stage (classes VI-VIII), SC 68 per cent, ST 79 per cent]. Gender disparities are conspicuous among SCs and STs.

To ensure universal access and enrolment of SC children in rural areas, priority is given to the needs of SC habitations and hamlets in opening primary and upper primary schools. For SC children access and enrolment are assured primarily in the formal schools. Where they are not able to attend these, provision is made for non-formal and distance education centres. Every ST habitation is being provided with a primary school or other suitable institution. In tribal areas, the educational plan is being implemented in an integrated manner. Pre-school education, non-formal education, elementary education and adult education are being organically linked and integrated to ensure achievement of total literacy of the entire population.

Adequate incentives are given to the children of SC, ST and other backward sections in the form of scholarships, uniforms, textbooks, stationery and midday meals. All schools, NFE centres, and pre-school centres in SC/ST habitations are being equipped with necessary infrastructural facilities in accordance with the norms laid down for Operation Blackboard and for achieving MLL. Operation Blackboard has already covered almost all schools in tribal areas. Indigent SC/ST families are given incentives to send their children, particularly girls, to school.

Restructuring of Teacher Training

Teacher performance is the most crucial input in the field of education. In the ultimate analysis, the national policies on education have to be interpreted and implemented by teachers as much through their personal example as through teaching-learning processes. With a view to improving the quality and competence of teachers, a centrally sponsored scheme of Restructuring and Reorganisation of Teacher Education (RRTE) was launched in 1987.

During the period 1987-90, nearly 1.8 million teachers were trained under the programme of mass orientation of school teachers (PMOST). Most of them were primary and upper primary teachers. The main objective of the programme was to orient teachers in the main priorities and directions envisaged in the NPE 1986 and to improve their professional competence.

Among the other main components of the RRTE, as far as elementary education is concerned, are:

  1. setting up of District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) in all districts to provide good quality pre-service and in-service training to elementary school teachers and adult education/non-formal education personnel and to provide resource support to these systems
  2. organising Special Orientation Programmes for Primary Teachers (SOPT) with a view to providing training to teachers in the use of OB materials and orienting them towards MLL strategy with a focus on teaching of language, mathematics and environmental studies

More than 300 DIETs have already become operational and have started conducting training programmes. The SOPT launched in 1993-94 is now going on in almost all states and more than 115,000 teachers have already been trained. A National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) was set up in 1993 with statutory status for the effective implementation of all teacher education and training programmes and to achieve planned and co-ordinated development of the entire teacher education system throughout the country. The regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the teacher education system is the responsibility of the NCTE.

Availing of External Financial Support for Basic Education

As a matter of policy and principle, India had not been seeking financial support from external agencies to implement its programmes of basic education. This situation changed in 1991-92, when a conscious and strategic decision was taken to avail of external assistance to achieve the goal of Education for All (EFA).

Today a number of agencies including the World Bank, Unesco, Unicef, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), International Development Association (IDA), and the British Overseas Development Agency (ODA) are sharing our concerns in this area. A new phase has, therefore, emerged � a phase of partnership between the inherent potential of the country and financial and other support from external agencies.

Launching the National Elementary Education Mission (NEEM)

With the objective of mobilising all the resources � human, financial and institutional � necessary for achieving the goal of UEE by the year 2000, a National Elementary Education Mission (NEEM) was set up in August 1995 with the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) as its core. This Mission will monitor and implement all the meticulously formulated strategies based on microplanning, and will ensure that free and compulsory education of satisfactory quality is provided to all children up to 14 years of age by the turn of the century.

DALIT Politics in India

Definition and Introduction :- Dalit is marathi word which means ground or broken into pieces. it was popularised by dalit panthers in Maharashtra which mean schedule caste population. dalits generally refers to the schedule caste population in Indian varna system. They were placed low in the caste hierarchy because of which there was inequality and were oppressed and exploited most. dalits comprise about 15 *% of indian population. according to the 2001 census dalit comprise 16.2 percent of the Indian population. Spread throughout maharshtra , bihar , u.p , punjab , Bengal, Andhra pradesh  Tamil nadu, Rajasthan etc.
researches show that the condition of dalits in india have not shown improvement despite having policies for development.
As a result of the protective discrimination policies of government there has been a new elite class dalit population coming into fore. who get easy access of the policies of the government for dalit development.

Political mobilization of dalits:

1. Pre independence period:-  At all India level bhim rao Ambedkar articulated the dalit’s interest for the first time in 1920s. Prior to the Ambedkar there has been reforms brought about about by the likes of Phule in Maharashtra. but it was reform not mobilisation for political objectives.
Ambedkar has been the sole spokesperson for dalit issues before 1919 and because of this only had been having differences with congress.
In 1930s Ambedkar and Phule had firm belief that unless caste is abolished untouchability cud not be alleviated.
In 1942  Ambedkar formed All India schedule caste federation. (AISCF)He also formed several other organisations like ILP( independent labor party). ILP broadly looked at the problems of broader sections of the indian society not exclusively for dalits. This was also an effort to have class kind of stretegy to improve numbers by including all other sufferers.
Ambedkar and Gandhi had two different approaches for dalits issues. Ambedkar supported the total destruction of caste system while Gandhi called dalits harijans and taleked of giving equal status to dalits by calling them harijans ( People of god ) like brahmins. Gandhi called untouchability as corrupt form of Hinduism.
Ambedkar did try to oppose tenets of untouchability with the orbit of Hinduism but failed and hence thought of full abolishment of caste system as a whole. for this he suggested conversion to be the most important tool of protest against oppression. Buddhism preferably was the religion he advised.

There were movements on the provincial level as well.
1. Nadars
2. pulayas
3. exhavas in south
4. namsudra in west bengal
5. Adiram movement by mangoo ram
6. Adi hindu movement by achutananda among chamars of punjab and uttar pradesh respectively.
7. narayan guru proposed one caste one religion and one god philosophy.
8. Satnami movemnt in madhya pradesh. it talked of no god or goddess by rejecting the puja and purohit of temples. Was against hierarchy in religion.

Furthermore, poona pact was yet another example of gandhian and ambedkar differences of opinion.

2. In post colonial period
it has been divided into three phases

A. First phase – 1950s-1960s:- Implementation of universal adult franchise, reservation in educational and political institutions and in job sfor schedule caste and schedule tribes. States in india staretd many programs for the betterment of the scs and STs polulation.
Politicisation of dalits toook place in different parts of india as a staretegy by the congress party.
Dalits soon realized that they are not getting proper representation the leadership so they thought of discarding hinduism and with the ideas of ambedkar they formed Republican party of india abused on the ideas and principles of ambedkar. They launched cultural and political movement  in uttar pradesh and maharashtra and  a large number of dalits converted to buddhism. RPI emerged one of the important political party in the elections. but it cud not continue in UP because its leadetrship got mixed with congress against which they had started the party.

B. Second phase- 1970s and 1980s:- this phase was marked by combination of class and caste struggle. Naxal movement in bihar and bengal were the xample of the movement against caste and class.
In the city of bombay and pune dalit panthers came with the same kind of movement. DALIT PANTHERS:- a group of educated youth, young dalit writers and poets, set in two cities of maharshtra the offices of Dalit panthers in 1972. They were influenced by ambedkar marx and negro literature. media and communications , discussion and debate in public spaces against exploitation was their strategy to build awareness. Initially the movement proclaimed to have an alliance of exploited people like dalits, backward castes, workers and peasants. They aimed at acieving the power as per abedkar.this movement grew in wake of failure of the republican party of india which suffered personality differences in the leadership.

Dalit movement in karnatka.:- dalit movement in karnatka organised into dalit sanghrash samiti. It was set up in 1973 It also took up class and caste issues and tried to build alliance for exploited class . it tried to include ambedkarite , marxist and sociaklist under one head. it also addressed the issue of wage, devadassi and reservation.

C. Phase three-1990 onwards
Upcoming BSP in uttar pradesh has been a remarkable progress and a very important development with reference to dalit movement.BSp was found on 14th april 1984 by the president kashi ram. Before forming BSP  kashi ram mobilised dalit under two organisations named BAMCEF( all india backward and minority employee federation) and ds4( Dalit shoshit samaj sangharsh samiti). The cultural organisation were later on politicised into BSP.

Effects of Globalization on Indian Society

What is Globalization?

  • Globalization is increased global interconnectedness and interdependence
  • A process rather than outcome
  • Interchange of economic, social, cultural, political and technological attributes between the societies.
  • Though happening since times immemorial, has accelerated considerably in from late 20th century.
    • Ancient silk route connecting india to great civilizations : china, Persia, Egypt and rome.
    • People came and settled in India from various parts as : traders, conquerors and as migrants. Eg: Panini, who systematized Sanskrit grammar and phonetics was of Afghan origin.
    • Colonialism

Dimensions of Globalization

1. Economic

  • Integration with world economy ie greater inter connection between world economies in terms of free movement of goods, capital, labour and services.
  • It involves processes of liberalization and privatization. In india these two were heralded in a major way from 1991 through New Economic policy and New Industrial policy.
    • Liberalization means decrease in regulations for private sector. Government providing greater freedom and choice for private sectors to operate on their own. For instance dismantling of licence-permit raj – for opening new industries, expansion and diversification of industries, reduce regulatory compliance requirements – making more self certificatory etc. Removing barriers for free trade and investment through reduced customs duty and eliminating various non-ariff barriers. No of industries reserved for pubic sector reduced to 3 and requiring licencing were also drastically limited.
    • Privatization involves leaving more and more public sector enterprises to private sector for better and efficient management.
  • Development of
    • Electronic economy – Banks, Mutual funds, insurance and pension companies and other financial companies
    • Transnational Companies and MNCs,
    • Knowledge economy

2. Political

  • Collapse of erstwhile socialist country gave specific dimension – free market orientation and hastened globalization The existing process of globalisationin this sense does have a political vision as much as an economic vision.
  • However, the possibilities that there can be a globalisation which is different do exist. We, thus have the concept of an inclusive globalisation, that is one, which includes all sections of society.
  • Another significant political development which is accompanying globalisation is thegrowth of international and regional mechanisms for political collaboration. The European Union (EU), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Asian Regional Conference (SARC) and more recently South Asian Federation of Trade Association (SAFTA) are just some of the examples that indicate the greater role of regional associations.
  • The other political dimension has been the rise of International Governmental Organisations. (IGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs).
    • The WorldTrade Organisation (WTO) for instance increasingly has a major say in the rules that govern trade practices.

3.Globalization – Social and Cultural Dimension

  • The effect of globalisation is far reaching. It affects us all but affects us differently.
  • Thus, while for some it may mean new opportunities and choices, for others the loss of livelihood.
    • Women silk spinners and twisters of Bihar lost their jobs once the Chinese and Korean silk yarn entered the market. Weavers and consumers prefer this yarn as it is somewhat cheaper and has a shine.
    • Similar displacements have come with the entry of large fishing vessels into Indian waters. These vessels take away the fish that used to be earlier collected by Indian fishing vessels. The livelihood of women fish sorters, dryers, vendors and net makers thereby get affected.
    • In Gujarat, women gum collectors, who were picking from the ‘julifera’ (Baval trees), lost their employment due to the import of cheaper gum from Sudan. In almost all cities of India, the rag pickers lost some of their employment due to import of waste paper from developed countries.
  • There are many ways that globalisation affects culture : india open to cultural influcences through out history.
  • We retain our ‘traditional’ open-ended attitude to this day. Thus there are heated debates in our society not just about political and economic issues but also about changes in clothes, styles, music, films, languages, body language.

3.1 Homogenisation versus Glocalisation of Culture

  • A central contention is that all cultures will become similar, that is homogeneous. Others argue that there is an increasing tendency towards glocalisation of culture. Glocalisation refers to the mixing of the global with the local, neither spontaneous or delinked from commericial interest.
  • It is a strategy often adopted by foreign firms while dealing with local traditions in order to enhance their marketability.
    • In India, we find that all the foreign television channels like Star, MTV, Channel V and Cartoon Network use Indian languages.
    • Even McDonald sells only vegetarian and chicken products in India and not its beef products, which are popular abroad. McDonald’s goes vegetarian during the Navaratri festival.
    • In the field of music, one can see the growth of popularity of ‘Bhangra pop’, ‘Indi pop’, fusion music and even remixes

3.2 Gender and Culture

  • Very often defenders of a fixed traditional idea of cultural identity defend undemocratic and discriminating practices against women in the name of cultural identity. These could range from a defence of sati to defence of women’s exclusion from education and participation in public matters.
  • Globalisation can then be taken as a bogey to defend unjust practices against women. Fortunately for us in India we have been able to retain and develop a democratic tradition and culture that allows us to define culture in a more inclusive and democratic fashion.

3.3 Culture of Consumption

  • Often when we speak of culture we refer to dresses, music, dances, food. However, culture as we know refers to a whole way of life. There are two uses of culture that any chapter on globalisation should mention. They are the culture of consumption and corporate culture.
  • Till the 1970s the manufacturing industries used to play a major role in the growth of cities. Presently, cultural consumption (of art, food, fashion, music, tourism) shapes to a large extent the growth of cities.
    • This is evident in the spurt in the growth of shopping malls, multiplex cinema halls, amusement parks and ‘water world’ in every major city in India

3.4 Corporate Culture

  • Corporate culture is a branch of management theory that seeks to increase productivity and competitiveness though the creation of a unique organizational culture involving all members of a firm. A dynamic corporate culture – involving company events, rituals and traditions – is thought to enhance employee loyalty and promote group solidarity. It also refers to way of doing things, of promotion and packaging products

3.5 Threat to Indigenous craft and Literary Traditions and Knowledge Systems

  • Yet another link between cultural forms and globalisation is evident from the condition of many indigenous craft and literary traditions and knowledge systems
    • For instance about 30 theatre groups, which were active around the textile mills area of Parel and Girgaum of Mumbai city, have become defunct, as most of the mill workers are out of jobs in these areas.
    • Some years back, there were reports of large numberof suicides by the traditional weavers in Sircilla village of Karimnagar district and in Dubakka village in Medak district, both in Andhra Pradesh. These weavers with no means to invest in technology were unable to adapt to the changing consumer tastes and competition from power looms.
    • Similarly, various forms of traditional knowledge systems especially in the fields of medicine and agriculture have been preserved and passed on from one generation to the other. Recent attempts by some multi-national companies to patent the use of Tulsi, Haldi (turmeric), Rudraksha and Basmati rice has highlighted the need for protecting the base of its indigenous knowledge systems.

3.6 Impact on Rural Society

  • The policy of liberalisation that India has been following since the late 1980s have had a very significant impact on agriculture and rural society. The policy entails participation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which aims to bring about a more free international trading system and requires the opening up of Indian markets to imports.
  • After decades of state support and protected markets, Indian farmers have been exposed to competition from the global market.
    • For instance, we have all seen imported fruits and other food items on the shelves of our local stores – items that were not available a few years ago because of import barriers. Recently, India has also decided to import wheat, a controversial decision that reverses the earlier policy of self-reliance in foodgrains. And bring back bitter memories of dependencey on American foodgrains in the early years after Independence.
  • These are indicators of the process of globalisation of agriculture, or the incorporation of agriculture into the larger global market – a process that has had direct effects on farmers and rural society. For instance, in some regions such as Punjab and Karnataka, farmers enter into contracts with multinational companies (such as PepsiCo) to grow certain crops (such Retail in rural areas as tomatoes and potatoes), which the companies then buy from them for processing or export.

Contract Farming

  • In such ‘contract farming’ systems, the company identifies the crop to be grown, provides the seeds and other inputs, as well as the knowhow and often also the working capital.
  • In return, the farmer is assured of a market because the company guarantees that it will purchase the produce at a predetermined fixed price.
  • Contract farming is very common now in the production of specialised items such as cut flowers, fruits such as grapes, figs and pomegranates, cotton, and oilseeds.
  • While contract farming appears to provide financial security to farmers,it can also lead to greater insecurity as farmers become dependent on these companies for their livelihoods.
  • Contract farming of export-oriented products such as flowers and gherkins also means that agricultural land is diverted away from food grain production.
  • Contract farming has sociological significance in that it disengages many people from the production process and makes their own indigenous knowledge of agriculture irrelevant.
  • In addition, contract farming caters primarily to the production of elite items, and because it usually requires high doses of fertilisers and pesticides, it is often not ecologically sustainable.
  • Entry of MNCs into agricultural inputs:
    • Farming of Flowers Another, and more widespread aspect of the globalisation of agriculture is the entry of multinationals into this sector as sellers of agricultural inputs such as seeds, pesticides, and fertilisers.
    • Over the last decade or so, the government has scaled down its agricultural development programmes, and ‘agricultural extension’ agents have been replaced in the villages by agents of seed, fertiliser, and pesticide companies.
    • These agents are often the sole source of information for farmers about new seeds or cultivation practices, and of course they have an interest in selling their products. This has led to the increased dependence of farmers on expensive fertilisers and pesticides, which has reduced their profits, put many farmers into debt, and also created an ecological crisis in rural areas.

Farmers Suicide

  • While farmers in India for centuries have periodically faced distress due to drought, crop failures, or debt, the phenomenon of farmers’ suicides appears to be new.
  • Sociologists have attempted to explain this phenomenon by looking at the structural and social changes that have been occurring in agriculture and agrarian society.
  • Such suicides have become ‘matrix events’, that is, a range of factors coalesce together to form an event.
    • Many of the farmers who have committed suicides were marginal farmers who were attempting to increase their productivity, primarily by practising green revolution methods.
    • However, undertaking such production meant facing several risks:
      • the cost of production has increased tremendously due to a decrease in agricultural subsidies,
      • the markets are not stable, and
      • many farmers borrow heavily in order to invest in expensive inputs and improve their production.
    • The loss of either the crop (due to spread of disease or pests, excessive rainfall, or drought), and in some cases the lack of an adequate support or market price, means that farmers are unable to bear the debt burden or sustain their families.
    • Such distress is compounded by the changing culture in rural areas in which increased incomes are required for marriages, dowries, and to sustain new activities and expenses such as education and medical care.
  • The pattern of farmers’ suicides point to the significant crises that the rural areas are experiencing. Agriculture for many is becoming untenable, and state support for agriculture has declined substantially. In addition, agricultural issues are no longer key public issues, and lack of mobilisation means that agriculturists are unable to form powerful pressure groups that can influence policy making in their favour.

3.7 Labour: New International Division of Labour

  • A new international division of labour has emerged in which more and more routine manufacturing production and employment is done in the Third World cities.
  • For instance: Nike grew enormously from its inception in the 1960s. Nike grew as an importer of shoes. The company grew to a multinational enterprise, a transnational corporation. Its headquarters are in Beverton, just outside Portland, Oregon. Only two US factories ever made shoes for Nike.
    • In the 1960s they were made in Japan. As costs increased production shifted to South Korea in mid-1970s. Labour costs grew in South Korea, so in the 1980s production widened to Thailand and Indonesia. In the 1990s we in India produced Nike. However, if labour is cheaper elsewhere production centres will move somewhere else.
  • This entire process makes the labouring population very vulnerable and insecure.
  • This flexibility of labour often works in favour of the producers. Instead of mass production of goods at a centralised location (Fordism), we have moved to a system of flexible productionat dispersed locations (post-Fordism).

3.8 Globalization and Employment

  • Here too we seen the uneven impact of globalisation. For the middle class youth from urban centers, globalisation and the IT revolution has opened up new career opportunities.
    • Instead of routinely picking up BSc/BA/BCom degree from colleges, they are learning computer languages at computer institutes or taking up jobs at call centers or Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies. They are working as sales persons in shopping malls or picking up jobs at the various restaurants that have opened up
    • The largest number of poor people lives in South Asia. The poverty rate is particularly high in India, Nepal and Bangladesh,” states an ILO report “Labour and Social Trends in Asia and the Pacific 2005”… The study provides a stark analysis of a growing ‘employment gap’ in the Asia region. It states that the creation of new jobs has failed to keep pace with the region’s impressive economic growth. Between 2003 and 2004, employment in Asia and the Pacific increased by a ‘disappointing’ 1.6 per cent, or by 25 million jobs, to a total of 1.588 billion jobs, compared to the strong economic growth rate of over 7 per cent

Female Foeticide

What is Female Foeticide?

Female Foeticide is the act of aborting a foetus because it is female. The frequency of female foeticide is indirectly estimated from the observed high birth sex ratio, which is the ratio of boys to girls at birth. The natural ratio is assumed to be between 103 to 107, and any number above it is considered as suggestive of female foeticide.

Why is it in news?

The Supreme Court has directed the State governments to provide up-to-date data on steps taken to curb female foeticide. The recent order by a Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra came on an application filed on August 6, 2013 by Dr. Sabu Mathew George, a member of the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) set up under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 to inspect medical clinics suspected of indulging in the illegal practice.


India is one of the several countries where higher human sex ratio is observed. The decline in the number of women in India is evident by looking at the child sex ratio. According to United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), in 1991, the figure was 947 girls to 1000 boys. Ten years later it had fallen to 927 girls for 1000 boys 1. A decline of 20 girls among 1000 boys should set alarm bells ringing.

This is assumed to be caused by female foeticide, an assumption that is the subject of considerable scholarly debate and continuing scientific studies.

  1. High sex ratio implies female foeticide
  1. One school of scholars suggest that any birth sex ratio of boys to girls that is outside of the normal 105-107 range, necessarily implies sex-selective abortion.
  2. Significant deviations in birth sex ratios from the normal range can only be explained by manipulation that is sex-selective abortion.
  3. In a widely cited article, Amartya Sen compared the birth sex ratio in Europe (106) and United States (105) with those in Asia (107+) and argued that the high sex ratios in East Asia, West Asia and South Asia may be due to excessive female mortality.
  1. High human sex ratio may be natural
  1. Other scholars question whether birth sex ratio outside 103-107 can be due to natural reasons.
  2. A research reports that, there is an excess of males at birth in almost all human populations, and the natural sex ratio at birth is usually between 102 to 108.
  3. However the ratio may deviate significantly from this range for natural reasons such as early marriage and fertility, teenage mothers, average maternal age at birth, paternal age, age gap between father and mother, late births, ethnicity, social and economic stress, warfare, environmental and harmonal effects.

Reasons for female foeticide

What makes India, which venerates the Goddess of Wealth – Lakshmi, and the Goddess of Knowledge, Art & Science – Saraswati, hate its daughters? Possible reasons:

  1. Sons ensure the continuation of the family
  1. In a predominantly patriarchal society like India, the concept of family is limited only to a surname, women are unfortunately seen as temporary ‘guests, who ultimately have to leave and join their ‘true’ family, that of their husband
  1. India is traditionally an agrarian economy, though this is rapidly changing. More sons meant more hands to help in the fields that increased productivity hence income.
  2. Sons will bring wealth into the family through dowry, while daughters only mean expenditure and wealth depletion
    1. What once began as a means of giving a daughter her fair share in the family property at the time of her marriage by her parents as streedhan that literally translates to woman’s wealth, so that later on she was not forced to beg or fight her brothers has degenerated to a terrible social custom of the bride’s family providing dowry to the groom’s family for taking their daughter’s hand in marriage. The better the match the higher the dowry.
  3. Sons will be able to take care of ageing parents while daughters will not do so as they are dependent on their husbands and parents-in-law.
  4. Girls need to be protected from the big, band world or they will bring in shame to the family
    1. By trying to marry of their own choice and may be in to the wrong social class/caste/community.

Is Femal Foeticide a crime?

Thankfully, infanticide is equivalent to murder in the eyes of the law, with special emphasis on the heinousness of the crime and the vulnerability of the victim – the girl child.

  1. The law prohibits the determination and disclosure of the sex of the foetus in, The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation & Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994.
  2. The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act and Rules 1994 (as amended up to 2002) dictates that sex selection by any person, by any means, before or after conception, is prohibited. Culprits can be punished with a jail term of upto five years.
  3. Doctors, lab technicians, hospitals & clinics, nurses and other support staff – all can be charged in case of violations. Hospitals can lose their licences, and so can doctors. But this is a light deterrent and regulating quacks, unlicensed clinics and hospitals is difficult.

Long Term Consequences:

  1. Fewer women eligible to marry
    1. Haryana, a state in northern India that followed this cruel practice is now reaping the poison of its actions. Men are forced to travel over 3000km to find suitable brides and somttimes even pay for the same. Women from outside Haryana might not be able to adjust to the culture and patriarchal society of the palce leading to higher divorces and instances of domestic violence.
    2. Polyandry is another outcome of this situation and many tribes and families in backward areas are being forced to adopt this illegal practice.
  2. Increasing crimes against women
    1. Rapes, molestations, lewed behavior against women in both rural areas and cities have increased sharply over the years. Women’s groups are fighting for an amendment in the existing laws – the terminology of verbal and physical molestation needs to be changed from ‘eve teasing’ to ‘sexual harassment’.
  3. Women losing their place in society
    1. With fewer women their representation in places of importance like parliament, the judiciary, civil services will decline. With girls being hidden behind closed doors for fear of the outside world that is out to harm them, we will have generations of women not reaching their true potential for want of opportunity.

The way ahead/How do we correct our mistakes?

A singular approach in tacking this malaise might not bring about the change that is required. A multi-pronged strategy is required to stop the dwindling numbers of girls and correct the havoc brought about by years of systematic crime.

The four pillars in this fight to increase the lop-sided sex ration could be;

  1. Abolishing dowry and strengthening the laws against it
    1. The current Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 limits the maximum punishment that the crime of demanding and accepting dowry can warrant, at five years. This needs to be increased to further discourage the practice of seeking dowry
  2. Stronger inheritance laws for women-irrespective of religion
    1. The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 did not grant equal status to daughters in the division of the family property until its amendment in 2004
    2. However the laws applicable to other communities in India do not bestow upon women the same benefits and rights. These need to be amended and common law for all religion could evolve giving equal rights to be enjoyed by all women
    3. By allowing every woman, irrespective of religion, to a share in inheritance, the chances of her being at the mercy of others is reduced and allow her the status, dignity and power to make her own choices
  3. Illegal doctors and pre-natal clinics offering sex-determination and sex-selective abortions to be suspended and banned
    1. The efforts in this endeavor need to be encouraged and monitored to prevent the final act of terminating a pregnancy based on gender determination
  4. Educating people on the ill effects of female foeticide & infanticide and the rights of women
    1. The most important way to curb this malaise is to educate the youngest generation-school and college students and women on the evils of female foeticide & infanticide. The rights of women also need to be discussed more openly to foster a culture where the rights of a women are not begrudged and her choices are respected and supported
    2. This is also an area that we are sorely lacking in our education system that does not spend much time or give much emphasis on this subject
    3. Encouraging women to participate in local governing bodies-right from the gram panchayat or village council level-will be a step in this direction

Only when a culture that supports and encourages women in every sphere is created only then women can reach their potential and are no more seen as a liability and burden by their loved ones.


The Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) is an index designed to measure of gender equality. GEM is the United Nations Development Programme’s attempt to measure the extent of gender inequality across the globe’s countries, based on estimates of women’s relative economic income, participations in high-paying positions with economic power, and access to professional and parliamentary positions.

The GEM was designed to measure “whether women and men are able to actively participate in economic and political life and take part in decision-making”

The GEM tends to be more agency focused (what people are actually able to do) than well-being focused (how people feel or fare in the grand scheme of things). The GEM is determined using three basic indicators: Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments, percentage of women in economic decision making positions (incl. administrative, managerial, professional and technical occupations) and female share of income (earned incomes of males vs. females). The GEM is thought to be a valuable policy instrument because it allows certain dimensions that were previously difficult to compare between countries to come into international comparison.


1. Debate has arisen over whether or not they have been as influential in promoting gender-sensitive development as was hoped when they were first created.

2. They are highly specialized and difficult to interpret, often misinterpreted, suffer from large data gaps, do not provide accurate comparisons across countries, and try to combine too many development factors into a single measure. The concern then arises that if these indices are not well informed, then their numbers might hide more than they reveal.

3. It is often said to represent an elite bias. It has been accused of measuring inequality only among the most educated and economically advantaged women and to focus mainly on the higher echelons of society. Women in grassroots organizations or at the local political level are not reflected, as well as work in lower levels of employment or in the informal sector, where many women in poor and developing countries are forced to seek employment.

4. Not many less-developed countries collect reliable data on women’s involvement in economic participation or labor involvement. As a result, the GEM is only reliable for very highly developed countries which do collect those statistics. It is also often argued that the number of women in parliament isn’t an adequate indication of gender empowerment progress in a given country because many times feminists are considered political liabilities, and as such, female politicians do not always promote female interests. On the other hand, however, information regarding the number of parliamentary seats held by women is very easy to obtain, and very hard to alter, making it one of the more reliable sources of data in the measure.

5. Failure to address the issue of female control over their bodies and sexuality, which some argue is an important source of female empowerment and as such should be included in the measure.

6. The GEM has also been criticized for being far too dependent on the income component of the measure for determining the overall GEM score.

Measures taken by Govt of India include establishment of National Commission for Women(NCW), Rashtriya Mahila Khosh(RMK), launching of Indira Mahila Yojana(IMY), Balika Samridhi Yojana(BSY), Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment Project(RWDEP).

GEM Dimension 1: ‘Political Participation &

Decision-making Power


  1. % Share of Parliamentary Seats (elected)
  2. % Share of Seats in Legislature (elected)
  3. % Share of Seats in Zilla Parishads (elected)
  4. % Share of Seats in Gram Panchayats (elected)
  5. % Candidates in Electoral Process in National

Parties in the Parliamentary election

  1. % Electors Exercising the Right to Vote in the Parliamentary election.

GEM Dimension 2: ‘Economic Participation and

Decision-making Power’


  1. % Share of officials in service in Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service
  2. % Share of enrolment in medical and engineering colleges.

GEM Dimension 3: ‘Power Over Economic



  1. % Female/Male with Operational Land Holdings
  2. ii) % Females/Males with Bank Accounts in Scheduled Commercial Banks (with credit limit above

Rs. 2 lakh)

  1. Female/Male Estimated Earned Income Share.

Suggestions for improving the GEM

Suggested alterations

  1. Let the GEM be altered to include female representation in local government instead of only national government to make it less elite.
  2. It has been recommended that it should be revised to reflect female participation in political activities such as voting.
  3. It has been recommended that a component regarding women’s control over their own bodies and sexuality be added by measuring availability of birth control and the right to abortion.
  4. It has also been suggested that the GEM could be altered to include the proportion of females who are in extreme poverty as opposed to the proportion of females holding parliamentary positions.
  5. It has been suggested that the GEM could be altered to include female levels of unemployment.
  6. Coming up with different ways to deal with the earned income part so as to make it a more straightforward mode of measurement.

Suggested Alternatives

  1. the calculation of separate Human Development Indexes for males and females which would provide a more straightforward picture of gender inequality
  2. Create a Gender-Gap Measure.

Influence of western culture on Indian Society


Indian Culture, which is one of the oldest & richest cultures in the world with varied languages, customs, beliefs, ideas, taboos, codes, instructions, works of art, architecture, rituals, ceremonies etc. India’s cultural history of several thousands years old and it shows a continuity and subtle change with strong thread of continuity, epitomised in the assimilative power of culture and unique display of ‘unity in diversity’. With the conquest of European powers and subsequent British rule in India has had a profound effect of western culture on Indian society. Western culture has made its presence in various forms.

Westernization is defined as incorporation of the norms, values and culture of the west into our culture. It has greatly affected our traditions, customs, our family and our respect and love for others. The concept of joint families is fastly decreasing everyone wants to remain aloof from others and has given rise to single families. Marriages are fast breaking down & our tolerance and patience has given the answer.

 Sociological definition of westernization

 M.N.Srinivas defines westernization as “the changes brought about in Indian society and culture as a result of over 150 years of British rule, the term subsuming changes occuing at different levels say technology, institutions, ideology and values”.

 Various impacts of western culture on Indian society

  • There were different kinds of westernization. one kind refers to emergence of a westernized sub-cultural pattern through a minority sections of Indians who first came in contact with western culture.
  • This included the sub-culture of Indian intellectuals who not only adopted many cognitive patterns, or ways of thinking , life styles, but also supported its expansion.
  • This impact of Westernization was mainly in urban areas. But some villages are more westernized than urban areas.

 Westernisation vs Modernisation

  • Westernization is not the same as modernization. Modernization refers to changes in culture under the impact of technology, communications etc. And all western countries are not modern.
  • Indeed Japan has become modernized but by retaining its own culture. But, in   India modernisation has been generally through Westernization.

Characteristics of Westernization

  1. Morally neutral. Many good things and bad things have come from the West.
  2. Westernization is a wide , complex and multi-level concept. It includes all changes consequent upon Western technology and   Science. It is complex since it has had a varying impact on   different sections
  3. It was not consciously integrated into India but has come through mostly through direct contact.

Consequences of western culture on Indian society

  1. Affected caste, joint family,marriage and other social structures.
  2. Introduced new institutions like press, christian missionaries     etc.
  3. Modern values like humanism, egalitarianism, secularism have entered   Indian value systems. Our criminal law   has   been reformed. Evil customs like sati ended , Untouchability abolished.
  4. Concept of welfare state was introduced and thus Governmental activities on welfare measures have expanded.
  5. Far reaching reforms in Hindu society through social reform movements like the Brahmo samaj etc. under inspiration from the Western educated middle class in India.
  6. Many political and cultural movements emerged like movement for     eradication of caste
  7. Spread of mass education. Emergence of a educated middle class as the vanguard of the freedom movement.

Agents of Westernization

  1. British rule – The establishment of British rule brought about deep and far reaching changes in the economic, political, educational and cultural spheres in India. It offered some new avenues of social mobility to the scheduled castes, e.g., new economic opportunities, education, westernisation, conversion to Christianity and politicisation.
  2. Indians employed in government offices or converts   to Christianity.
  3. Those educated in modern schools and colleges. Some of them launched great movements like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Tagore, Sir Syed Ahmad etc.
  4. Those who went to England for study or medical treatment.
  5. Those who lived in port towns.
  6. The tolerant spirit of Indians was largely responsible for the spread of Westernisation.
  7. There was no whole sale but only selective Westernisation. Old styles continued side by side. There was also a movement to preserve Indian values.(eg. The Arya Samaj)

Influence of western culture on Indian society

 Influence of western culture on Caste

  1. We find that the traditional social organisation exemplified by the caste system has undergone several changes yet continues to exist in Indian society performing some old and some new functions.
  2. During the last few decades, as a result of the forces of modernisation, the ideology of caste has become less pervasive in an individual’s day to day life.
  3. Caste rituals have become increasingly a personal affair, rather than public due to changed circumstances of living, forces of industrialisation, and urbanisation. Place of residence and food habits are influenced more by an individual’s workplace and occupation than by his or her caste or religion.
  4. Industrialisation and factory system broke down caste barriers to a large extent.
  5. Urbanisation made many castes live together.
  6. Transport broke down caste restrictions.

 Impact of English education

  1. Changes in dress and food habits
  2. Supply of water through pipes – you cannot ask the caste of the person who sends water down the pipes.
  3. Impact on untouchability

Impact on women

  1. Educational advance of women
  2. Entry of women into all occupations
  3. Social reformers also helped liberation of women
  4. Discarding pardah.

Impact on social structure

  1. Career open to talent and no longer based on caste
  2. Money and wealth regarded important
  3. Decline of rituals

Impact on marriage

  1. Marriage came to be regarded a contract and not entirely a sacrament

Influence on culture

  1. English words came to be used commonly – Daddy, mummy, cutting the cake     culture; contrast the Indian custom of lighting a lamp with the   western habit of blowing out the candle light.
  2. Western gadgets freely used ; Television, washing machine etc

 Impact of western literature on Indian literature, religion

  1. Art – cinema, western dance, musical instruments, modern art
  2. Religion – decline of superstition, ritualism
  3. Rise is scientific belief

 Influence of western culture on Tribes

  1. The Westernisation of tribals had begun during the Bristish colonial rule when they first came in contact with them.
  2. Not all tribes were subjected to the efforts of modernisation. There were many which continued to survive in their traditional modes till India’s Independence.
  3. The fate of traditional material culture and styles of tribes were to be ‘preserved’ as museum specimens.
  4. Attempts were made to synthesise the customary and the modern laws. In all these efforts, the focus was on modernising the tribals.
  • Changes in style of life

 The changes in the style of life have followed two trends. They are

 Changes in relation to the political system

  1. The political system, which developed during the British rule, gave increasing opportunities for political articulation to the people of India, especially those who acquired western education.
  2. This facility was taken advantage of by the backward classes. The advent of Independence and the introduction of adult franchise and more recently Panchayati Raj institutions have increased the access to power, especially political power, to the backward classes.
  3. Such access led to a shift from Sanskritisation to competition for positions of higher bureaucratic and political power.

Social Mobility through Westernisation

The upwardly mobile untouchable castes adopted the life-style implied in Westernisation. This was facilitated by the prevalence of various non-Sanskritic traditions among them—such as, eating meat and drinking alcohol.


  1. Sociology: Society in India by IGNOU
  2. Sociology : The Study of Society by IGNOU
  3. Studymode.com/…/influence-of-western-culture-on-india-page1.ht
  4. wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_India
  5. http://creative.sulekha.com/impact-of-westernization-on-indian-culture_27724_blog

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén