In this article, we will discuss article titled ‘Effects of globalization on Indian society.’


Note :  This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.


When did Globalization started?

No agreement on this

  • 1st view : Since  old times as world was never isolate . There was trade & exchange of culture & ideas


  • 2nd view : it happened during 15th & 16th century, when Europeans through colonialism connected new countries


  • 3rd view : it was during Industrial Revolution which led to formation of steam engines


Finally although there is no agreement on the definition, everyone agrees that the pace of globalisation has increased during 1990s with internet & telecommunication


Note – India’s concept of Vasudeva Kutumbakam is in line with Globalization. Hence, Indians are experiencing Globalization since long





What Exactly is Globalization ?

  • In simple terms , globalization is increasing global interconnectedness
  • In Globalization, concept of Sovereignty of States is diluting . MNCs are encroaching and sometimes becoming more powerful than States
  • Has various aspects – Social,  economic etc. 
Economic Economic globalization comprises of two aspects :

  • Globalization of production : manufacturing  goods and services at place with minimum cost of labour
  • Globalization of markets


  • Local happenings are shaped by events occuring miles away


Whether it is beneficial or not is matter of debate. It has both sides .

      • Some consider it the cause of the rising standard of living throughout the world.
      • Others think globalization to be soft underbelly of corporate imperialism that plunders and profiteers on the back of rampant consumerism.





Factors helping Globalization

International Trade
  • Trade is the biggest contributor of Globalization .
  • Free Trade Agreements , Regional Integration & Global institutions such as WTO played important role.


  • ICT has connected offices situated in different parts of the world
  • BPOs in India can do work for companies in US and EU at fraction of price .


International Governmental Organisations Organisations like WTO , UN, European Union (EU), ASEAN etc integrated different parts of the world.
Tourism People are travelling different parts => such surge in tourism was never seen before
International Sports CWG, Olympics, FIFA etc




Negatives of Globalization in General

  • Attack on sovereignty of nations by MNCs and Institutions like WTO , IMF etc.
  • Spread of Terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy etc
  • Increased Insurgencies
        • Adivasis uprooted from ancestral lands by MNCs
        • Support of diaspora . Eg : Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers relied on the Tamil diaspora
  • Environmental damage : overfishing, forest depletion etc.
  • Disease Spread : Diseases spread like fire in the forest because of increased global connectivity & movement
  • Global Economy became too fragile – frequent depressions and slowdowns
  • Inequality has increased . Capitalists have exploited the situation to their advantage
  • Increased vulnerability of workers : MNCs keep on shifting their manufacturing bases based on cheap availability of labour. Eg : Nike –  Japan => South Korea => Indonesia , India and Thailand.
  • Impetus to Culture of Materialism and Consumerism
  • Exploitation of farmers
        • Globalization has exposed the farmers to global competition
        • WTO obligations regarding de minimus limit
        • MNCs controlling farmers through Contract Farming
        • Seed monopoly by MNCs



But we cant live in isolation and we can find a warning against isolationism in a parable about a well-frog- the ‘kupamanduka’ that persistently recurs in several old Sanskrit texts.


Socio-cultural Globalization & India

  • Cultural Globalization has increased cross cultural contacts 
  • Penetration of western food culture like McD, Pizza Hut, KFC etc & western cloth culture .
        • Critics say that it is Westernisation and not Globalization because of imbalance of transfer
        • But  MNCs also adopt to the local cultures eg McD don’t serve beef burgers,  Pizza Hut coming  with Indian flavours etc .
  • Cultural  homogenization : we all watch the same television programmes, buy the same commodities, eat the same food, support the same sports stars . Cultural diversity is being destroyed .
  • Use of  ‘English’  rapidly increasing + Multilingual speakers are  increasing
  • Rise of right wing parties  to protect local values & culture




Economic Globalization & India

Economic globalization comprises of two aspects :

  • Globalisation of production
  • Globalisation of markets



Positive Impacts
  • Creation of jobs. Eg : Jobs in BPO sector
  • Bringing in improved technological process
  • Providing revenue by way of paying tax
  • Bringing better work culture  to India
  • Indirect impact is – To attract more MNCs to India, government invest a lot in infrastructure (roads, faster railway services and airplane facilities)
  • IT revolution in India and setting up of huge BPO sector providing services to their clients in developed world. This has created crores of jobs in India .


Negative Impacts
  • Worsening of labour conditions as MNCs chief aim is maximisation of profits (main thing that seduce MNCs to manufacture in India is cheap labour )
  • Repatriating their profits to respective countries rather than investing in India
  • Driving small companies and artisans out of business
  • Violating human rights & damaging environment
  • Health sector has impacted greatly. Due to patent protection , price of patented drugs have skyrocketed
  • Impact on agriculture sector : Seed monopoly + dumping  by US & Europe





Impact of Globalization on various sections of society

1. Society as a Whole

Family structure Value of Individualism  =>  nuclearisation of families


Marriage values
  • Children taking their own decision to select their own partners.
  • Marriage is seen as contract rather than sacrament
  • Large number of divorces.


Social interactions and festivals
  • Individualism => Social Interactions have reduced
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day rather than Holi and Diwali.


Food & clothing 
  • Abandoned local foods & attracted towards  junk food =>  increased  health disorders
  • Western  suitings preferred by males but they are inappropriate  for Indian climate.


Withdrawal of


 from Social Sector

  • LPG  led to general reduction of  state’s  public spending => State has taken the role of regulator instead of service provider
  • Large budget cuts on health, education and social security. 


2. Female

  • Has opened new avenues of jobs for women
  • Working from home and flexi hours are less burdensome physically.
  • Globalization has posed challenge to institution of Patriarchy
  • Women in India are inspired by women the world over to fight for their rights. Eg : fighting for maternity leave
  • Modern ideas like Equality of Sexes and Equal wages for both sexes have reached India
  • Signed conventions like CEDAW


  • Double Burden / Second Shift : Women get job in MNCs but her social responsibilities don’t lessen
  • Globalization exploit cheap women labour in countries like  India , Bangladesh etc
  • Globalization has exacerbated gender inequalities – no doubt women have been benefited but men have been benefited more than  women
  • Corrupted value system of males =>  objectify women =>increased cases of rapes and sexual exploitation
  • With encroachment of MNCs , small women entrepreneurs have gone out of market. Eg : Women silk spinners  from Bihar arent able to compete against Chinese silk yarn
  • Male members move to other nations ( Punjab and Kerala) -Women has to pass almost whole of her life without her husband



3. Farmers and Agriculture

Positive Impact of globalization

  • Greater access to better technology
        • high yield varieties
        • genetically modified crops (GM crops)
        • micro irrigation techniques.
  • Foreign investment in agriculture in contract farming  and food processing have helped farmers.
  • Access to foreign markets



Negative Impact of globalization

  • Exposed to Competition from World =>  good produce in Jamaica can make price of sugarcane to fall in India .
  • MNCs using IPRs to create seed monopolies . Eg :  Monsanto’s monopoly over BT cotton seed
  • Due to WTO obligations and De-Minimus limit , state support for agriculture has declined substantially .
  • MNCs controlling farmers through Contract Farming (monopsony in exotic products)
  • Crops grown in Contract farming  usually requires high doses of fertilisers and pesticides which damage environment
  • Increased suicides since LPG reforms in India . Eg : Vidharbha is called suicide capital of India .



4. Old Age

Loneliness Children are migrating either to work in MNCs in cosmopolitans or other countries . (Empty nest syndrome)


Economic Impact With new kinds of technology in jobs , they are not fit for this


Psychological Impact Not able to accept encroachment of foreign values which have occurred at huge pace. This leads to Clashes  between parents and children especially girl child  .


Health Impact Due to agreements like TRIPS price of patented drugs have skyrocketed => impacted Old age the most


5. New Generation / youth 

  • New avenues of Job : New avenues of jobs have opened . Eg: IT sector , BPO , Sharemarkets etc .
  • More political awareness– idea of  individual  liberty, justice etc
  • Rise of entrepreneurial spirit :   end of monopoly of Parsis, Marwaris etc on industry => startup culture & rise of    first  generation  millionaires (eg : Ola, Oyo etc)
  • Pressure for protection of children :
        • International  conventions  like   Convention  on  Child  Rights
        • NGOs  & Social workers like Kailash  Satyarthi’s efforts  get global recognition


  • Change in value system :  individualism => increased suicidal tendencies & loneliness
  • Hyper consumerism => engulfed in feeling of relative deprivation among youth
  • Increased Competition : Now they have to compete not just with their countrymen but whole world
  • Increased divorces : Marriage seen as contract due to globalization
  • Drugs : Globalization has brought drugs like heroin , smack etc to India.




5. Art Forms

  • Fusion of Indian and Western Art  forms  . Eg Fusion Music , Fusion Dance
  • Packaging and branding of traditional folk and festivals
  • Tourism to see Indian culture. Eg – Langar of Golden Temple to ruins of Hampi have become tourist destinations
  • Yoga becoming world famous
  • Foreign culture is also penetrating India and hence, right wing groups revived cultural nationalism . Eg campaigns against Valentines Day etc


Localisation  vs Homogenisation vs Clash of Civilisation

With increase in globalization, what will happen? 

Three contrasting views

Result of increasing Globalisation
  1. With Globalisation ,  all cultures will become similar/ homogeneous.
  2. There is an increasing tendency towards glocalisation .
  3. Clash of Civilisations



Glocalization refers to the mixing of the global with the local.



Arguments for Glocalization

  • It is a strategy adopted by foreign firms  to enhance their marketability.
  • Glocalization In India,  
      • Netflix making Indian TV Series
      • Foreign TV channels like  MTV and Cartoon Network use Indian languages.
      • McDonald selling Indian Burgers
      • Bhangra pop &  remixes




Argument for  Homogeneity

homogeneity due to globalization in India can be seen at 2 levels

  • Socio-cultural level:
        • Common values of Globalization like modernization, promotion of democracy
        • Homogeneous food habits (macdonaldization, pizza culture)
        • Use of  ‘English’ as a global language
        • Creation of Global Celebrities like Britney Spears or Ronaldo


  • Economic level:
        • MNCs – same large corporations having presence in whole world
        • Same corporate culture
        • Same production techniques


Infact Globalization is Americanisation of the world



3rd view – Cultural polarization

    • Samuel Huntington  dismissed the idea of a global monoculture as well as Glocalisation
    • ‘clash of civilizations’ –  civilizational conflict would  occur between USA and China and between the West and Islam.













This article deals with topic titled ‘Regionalism’.


Note : Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.



What is Regionalism?

The phenomenon in which people’s political loyalties become more focused on particular region in preference to the nation or other parts of the state of which that region is sub-part is called regionalism


In Indian context, regionalism is rooted in India’s diversity vis-a-vis caste , religion , language , ethnicity etc. When all these factors get geographically concentrated along with the feeling of relative deprivation, it results into Regionalism.



Is Regionalism a threat to National Integration?

The politics of regionalism has two connotations

  • Positive : This type of Regionalism is not threat to National Integration
        • Desire for preserving identity based on language, culture, ethnicity
        • To protect socio-economic interest
        • For administrative convenience .


  • Negative : Any demand of regionalism which acts as a threat to nation building efforts is referred as negative form of regionalism . Like Son of Soil policy & demand of secession.


Second form can be seen as threat while first form is not threat per se.


Characteristics of regionalism

  • Regionalism is conditioned by economic, social, political and cultural disparities. 
  • Regionalism at times is a psychic phenomenon.
  • Regionalism is built around as an expression of group identity as well as loyalty to the region. 
  • Regionalism supposes the concept of development of one’s own region without taking into consideration the interest of other regions. 
  • Regionalism prohibits people from other regions to be benefited by a particular region.




Types of Regionalism

Types of Regionalism
  • Demand for  Separation  : Demand to secede from Indian union and become a sovereign state. Eg : Khalistan , Azad Kashmir , Naga etc


  • Supra-state regionalism: Group of states are involved. They share common issues & build common identities . Eg    Northeastern states for economic development and rivalry between North and South Indian States on language


  • Inter-state regionalism: Between States . It is  issue-specific. Eg : Disputes between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Kaveri


  • Intra-state regionalism: Due to lack of equitable sharing of benefits within state. Eg:  Coastal region vs western region in Odisha, Jaipur (Amer) vs Jodhpur (Marwar) in Rajasthan


Causes of regionalism in India

  • Linguistic Reorganisation of States
    • States  divided linguistically => generate sub-national identity


  • Historical and cultural factors: 
    • History has divided India into two  parts – “Aryans” and “Dravidians”.
    • Different regions have their own local heroes &’people tend to mobilise around them .Eg Shivaji in Maharashtra or Periyer in TN etc
    • After integration of princely states , people were still loyal to their old territorial units


  • Economic underdevelopment : Uneven development generates  regionalism and separatism. It can manifest in form of demand for Special Category Status or separate state or secession . Eg Bodoland, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chhatisgarh, Telangana, and so on.


  • Politico-administrative factors:
    • Used by some region based parties. Eg : Shiv Sena => protect Maratha interests 
    • Undue Interference in the affairs of state by  central government gives  birth to regionalism.


  • Economic DevelopmentSometimes development of particular community raises regional aspirations of the community . Eg : After GR, Sikh Jatts of Punjab became economically prosperous and they started to demand separate Punjab from other Hindi speaking regions


  • Disintegration  of Congress Party : After Nehru, central leaders started to impose their mandate on regional leaders. As a result, local leaders moved away to form parties like NCP in MH , Trinamool Congress in WB. They encouraged regionalism




Son of the Soil Movement

  • “Son of the soil” doctrine argues that state specifically belongs to the main linguistic group inhabiting it , who are the sons of the soil or local residents.
  • Aka Politics of Nativism.



Why son of the soil?

  • Rising aspirations of the local middle class
  • Economy’s failure not to create enough employment opportunity. There remains a competition for jobs
  • Politicians with vested interests try to consolidate their voting base using this. Eg Shiv Sena in Maharashtra


Note : In some areas like Punjab , Haryana , Delhi etc , son of soil theory is not there but in Maharashtra , Karnataka etc it is present.

Not Present in Punjab, West Bengal, Delhi etc
  • Son of Soil theory is for Middle class jobs and not for menial jobs
  • It is not issue of political parties . Eg : Akali Dal is jatt dominated party + Communist Party refused to use anti-migrant sentiments in Calcutta because of its ideological commitment
  • Symbiotic Relationship : Punjabis and Haryanvis want cheap agricultural labour
  • In Delhi, culture is purely cosmopolitan


There in Maharashtra
  • Political parties like Shiv Sena, MNS use this as political tool
  • Competition between migrants and nativists is for middle class jobs
  • If national party is weak, the native political parties become more assertive




Impact of Regionalism in India

  • Most important basis for the formation of identity was language. Hence, it has kept communalism and formation of political identity based on religion in check
  • Regionalism has helped in promoting democracy in India. Regional parties like Shiv Sena, DMK etc fight to capture power via democracy
  • Agitate to preserve their culture => helped in preserving the diversity of nation


Negative Regionalism at times transforms into secessionism

Son of Soil Policy impacts Fundamental rights of Citizens like right to life or right to carry out any profession

It can cause great damage to private and public property.

Creates sub national feelings in the people . Naga Nationalism or Punjabi Nationalism vs Indian nationalism

Regionalism, also becomes hurdle in the international diplomacy, . Eg : Tamil Parties impact diplomacy with Srilanka & Trinamool Congress with Bangladesh (like in Teesta Water dispute)





Ways to Combat 

  • Making India truly federal in word and spirit
  • Doing away with regional imbalances 
  • Not imposing single culture on whole nation . Eg imposing Hindi in whole nation will face backlashes from Non-Hindi speaking states .
  • Three language formula as suggested by Sarkaria Commission to be strictly implemented
  • People to People contact + making people aware of other cultures using TV & Radio + Ending the prejudices of Cow Belt against North Easterners & South Indians



Federalism to Combat Regionalism/ Why India didn’t face Regionalism  to the extent other multi-lingual/diverse countries face

  • Other countries with ethnic and linguistic diversities are facing many problems like secessionist movements => they werent able to accommodate regional aspirations 
        • Nepal is facing Madhesi Agitation
        • Pakistan facing Baluchi & Sindhi movements
        • Sri Lanka experienced Tamil civil war
        • Eriteria seceded from Ethiopia
        • Yugoslavia broke due to various sub nationalisms at play


But India inspite of such a huge diversity of cultures is still united  .  Reason = Federalism and devolution of power which gives sense of meeting regional aspirations by various groups.



  • Indian federalism provides democratic ways to meet local aspirations of people
        • Sovereignty is constitutionally shared. States enjoy significant power  . People feel that they are governed by their own people . Cooperative  and Competitive Federalism is the new watchword in India.
        • 73rd and 74th Amendment
        • Regions under 5th and 6th Schedule enjoys certain autonomy
        • Art 370 & 371 has special provisions helpful in addressing concerns of some states.




Other factors why India hasn’t faced Regionalism 

  •  Linguistic reorganization of states
        • Unlike our neighbours, India recognized early that language is the reason behind regionalism & opted for linguistic reorganization of the states in 1956.And by 1966 all major language speakers have states of their own. This led to regionalism problem getting subdued in India.


  • Economically most backward regions are politically most powerful.
        • India has a peculiar situation  unlike other countries =>  UP is one of the most backward state in India but they decide who will make Government at Union => cant complain of Political Apathy & Discrimination
        • Out of 14 Prime Minister, 9 are from UP.


  • Economic interdependence between different regions


  • Wave of globalization => India is becoming homogenous => Regionalism subsumed by Globalisation








This article deals with topic titled ‘Secularism’.


Note : Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.


Secularism is defined as the principle of separation of state from religious institutions and religious dignitories.


But nature and extent of separation may take different forms depending upon different values it intends to promote.



Three models

Models of Secularism
  • Religion is private affair of person and state passively respects all religions


Arm length distance is maintained between state and religion.


  • Laicite / Militant Secularism
  • In France, due to long battle against religious influence on laws and government, Laicite was introduced.
  • There is total separation between religion and state (ie  religious activities and symbols are banned in public sphere).


French secularism has come under criticism that rather than promoting diversity, freedom of thought and multi-culturism , it is interfering with the basic right to religious self expression


  • The Indian idea and practice of secularism although was inspired by western ideas yet it is rooted in India’s unique socio-historic circumstances like religious diversity and support for all religions .


  • Based on this , features of Indian secularism are as follows
      • Wall of separation between state and religion is porous ie state can intervene in religion to promote progressive voices within every religion . Eg : Abolition of untouchability.
      • However, religion is strictly prohibited to interfere in state matters hence disallowing mobilisation of electoral support on religious line





Provisions regarding Secularism in India

  • Articles 25 to 28 => freedom of religion to all.
  • Articles 14, 16, 44 (Uniform Civil Code) and 51A, by implication prohibit the establishment of a theocratic state.
  • In the Kesavananda Bharati case the Supreme Court (SC) had declared secularism as a part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • Doctrine of Essential Practices by SC
  • Section 123(3) of Representation of Peoples Act 1951  prohibits political parties to ask for votes on religious lines
  • Rev Stanislaus vs State of MP held that forcible conversions is not included in right to propagate religion



Challenges to Secularism

  • Frequent recourse to revivalist events such as Ghar Wapsi etc. breeds fear amongst the minorities
  • Incidents of lynching
  • Communal Riots and Targeted Violence
  • Religious hate speech,  falsification of history and dissemination of wrong information




For more articles on Society, click below.

Society – UPSC Material





This article deals with topic titled ‘Communalism.’


Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.



Definition of Communalism

Allegiance to ones own  ethnic/religious group  rather than  to wider society



Stages of Communalism

Communalism is manifested at three levels

Mild When people belonging to same community believe that they have same secular interest
Moderate When people belonging to different communities believe that they have different secular interests
Extreme When people believe that they not only have different interests but mutually antagonistc and hostile interests (one community can prosper only at the cost of other community)


Communalism is an ideological tool often used by upper class to mobilise people to achieve their own political goals 


6 types of Communalism

Often there is perception in the society that communalism is threat to National Security . But , it is not a threat to national security prima facie. It depends upon type of communalism which is present

  • When large religious community tries to bring into it’s fold small communities
  • Eg : Hindu organisation projecting Tribals as Hindus
  • When religious community makes effort for welfare of the members of that community
  • Eg : Christian organisations doing welfare work for Christians
  • When the religious community forbid their members from participating in political affairs
  • Eg : Bahi Community
  • When members of the religious communities are made to believe that their interests are mutually antagonist to interests of other religious communities
  • Eg : Hindu-Muslim community
  • When based on religious identities , people demand a separate state within the federal framework
  • Eg : Punjabi Suba
  • When based on religious identities , people demand secession
  • Eg : Khalistan

Last three are threat to national integration but first three arent . Hence, we cant say communalism is always threat to national integration.



Characteristics of Communalism

  • Communalism is an ideological concept. 
  • It is total commitment to a set of beliefs & unwillingness to accept other beliefs 
  • It mostly rests on prejudices.
  • It close the self and is highly emotional
  • It causes rivalry and violence among masses.
  • It is used by the higher class people and elites as an instrument for division and exploitation.
  • It strikes at the roots of secularism and national integration.


Evolution of Communalism in India

The genesis of  communalism in India can be traced back to the British rule

  • With the emergence of secular education,  new educated middle class emerged . But the aspirations  of the middle class were not getting satisfied in the absence of adequate economic opportunities. Communal Politics emerged to get largest pie .
  • Socio-economic classes coincided with religious distinctions. Eg :
        • Hindu Zamindars vs Muslim peasants in Bengal, Kerala etc
  • Divide and Rule Policy of Britishers : To counter the growing national movement


However, the overthrow of colonial state was only the necessary condition to fight the menace of communalism but not sufficient condition . There were other forces at play too. Even in post-independence period , Government failed to control communalism.


Causes of Communalism

Failing of Minorities to integrate in Mainstream

  • Muslims failed to intermix in the national mainstream and insist to sustain separate identity.


Vote Bank Politics

  • Various religion base parties use Communalism to consolidate their vote banks


Communal way of History writing

  • British historian like James Mill described ancient period  as the Hindu period and  medieval period as the Muslim period


Economic Causes

  • If certain religious community is economically weak => feeling of relative deprivation => rise of communalism


Absence of Uniform Code

  • In absence of Uniform civil code, there is  perception that all communities have divergent and contradictory interests.


Psychological factors

  • Hindu groups consider that the Muslims are crusaders , fundamentalists and unpatriotic.
  • On the other hand, the Muslims believe that they are  treated as inferior group in India .


Politics of Appeasement

  • Political parties try to appease communities for votes. Eg : Shah Bano Case . This promote Communalism


Provocation of Enemy Countries

  • Eg : Pakistan foster Communal feelings especially in Kashmiri Muslim Youth




Problems in State Machinery to fight Communalism

  • National human rights commission (NHRC)  fights for  communal violence related causes . But it’s recommendations are advisory in nature
  • Various commissions have given suggestions to  solve the issue of communal violence. Prominent among them are SACHAR COMMITTEE  and RANGANATH MISHRA COMMISSION.
        • Sachar committee (2010) : set up Equal opportunity commission (EOC) 
        • Ranganath Misra Commission : recommended reservation for minorities
  • No Special Act dealing with Communal Violence and targetted violence. It was also held in Sajjan Kumar vs State (2018)
  • Role of police in communal riots is highly controversial. This is further aggravated by large scale concentration of dominant caste in police .


Impact of Communalism

On Politics
  • Organisation of Political parties on Communal Basis
  • Voting on Communal Basis
  • Large scale riots  near elections to polarize votes


On Society
  • Created wide rift among the people
  • Hampers unity of nation and creates various sub-national feelings
  • Curbing of Progressive voices . Eg Voices for abolition of Triple Talaq is being opposed 


On Economy
  • Vandalisation of public property like burning of buses, trains etc
  • Badly impacts the investors confidence





Ways to eradicate Communalism:

  • Balanced and job intensive economic development
  • Interreligious marriage
  • Equal Opportunities commission  should be formed .
  • Going towards Uniform civil code
  • Zero Tolerance toward riots .
  • Avoid communalisation of politics.
  • Promote Indian ideology of Vasudeva Kutumbakam ie whole world is a family ie universal brotherhood.







Safety of Women at Workplace

Safety of Women at Workplace

This article deals with topic titled ‘Safety of Women at Workplace.’


Note – This article is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles, click here.


According to NSSO Data, Women’s workforce participation has decreased to 21%  ( one of the lowest in the world ) .



Initiatives taken so far

      • Vishakha Guidelines by  Supreme Court in 1997


      • Protection of Woman from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act  based on  Vishaka Judgement


    • She Box Portal to enable woman employees  to file harassment complaints at workplace






Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2012

      • It  defines sexual  harassment  as laid down by SC in Vishaka  case.


      • It puts the legal responsibility on the employer to provide a safe & conducive environment for the woman  worker.


      • Formation of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) or, in case of unorganised sector , formation of 5 member Local Complaint Committee under the supervision of District Collector.


      • Those who  donot  comply  with the Act’s provisions will be fined up to Rs 50,000.


      • 2015 study : 36% of Indian companies have not constituted ICC


      • Non inclusion of the armed forces and all paramilitary forces within its purview.


      • If a complaint is found to be “malicious” , she is liable for punishment. This will discourage victims


      • Limited time period of 90 days to file complaint


      • Provide security to only women and not men


      • Punishment   for misconduct is as per the service rules of the employer ( if it exists), else as per the rules of the act. The Act is, however, silent on the situation where employers’ service rule contains less stringent punishment provisions.






Current Cases

Oct 2018 #MeToo Campaign : Large number of women came forward to share their old experience of harassment at workplace by men in power




Women Safety in India

Women Safety in India

In this article, we will look into topic titled ‘Women Safety in India.’


Note- This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles, click here.


Women safety includes various dimensions like Sexual harassment at workplace, rape, marital rape, dowry, acid attack etc.  (In general question, cover all aspects)


India is the 4th most dangerous country in the world for woman (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Congo ahead of India)



Factors aggravating & affecting women safety

1. Socio-Economic-Cultural Factors

  • Institutionalisation of Patriarchal System 
  • Objectification / Commodification  of women
  • Influence of “Western culture”.


2. Institutional Failures

  • Poor enforcement of laws + laws have lacunae
  • Poor conviction rate in crimes against women
  • Slow criminal justice system
  • Poor gender sensitization of law enforcing agencies like police, judiciary etc.


3. Lack of Reporting

  • Women don’t complain due to various reasons like social stigma or fear of retaliation


4. Infra Gaps

  • Poorly lit urban spaces coupled with inadequate police patrolling



Note – Not only physical spaces but women is not safe in India even on Digital space (Internet) .




Justice Verma Committee

Formed – After the horrific event of Nirbhaya death



    • Rules out death sentence for rape convicts
    • Life Imprisonment in case of Rape means imprisonment for entire natural life of convict
    • Stalking to be viewed as serious offence
    • Law Enforcement Agencies are Gender Insensitive
    • Marital Rape should be made offence under IPC



Government schemes in this regard

1.Acts and legal measures

  • Sexual Harassment of Women at workplace Act 2013
  • Various provisions under IPC


2. Surakshit Nari , Sashakt Nari

Following things done under this scheme

  • Panic Button  in Mobiles 
  • 181 – Universal Women Helpline number
  • Himmat App : To raise SOS alert .
  • CCTV Surveillance cameras in trains



3. Sakhi-One Stop Centre Scheme

  • Will support women affected from violence
  • Will offer Medical Aid , Police Assistance, Legal Aid , Counselling and shelters

4. Transportation Schemes

  • Pink Auto initiative of  Odisha: pink autos drivers have undergone psychological testand training.
  • Delhi : Women compartment in Metro





Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

This article deals with topic titled ‘Domestic Violence’.


Note- This is part of our series on Society for UPSC. For more articles, click here.



What is Domestic Violence?

  • It is also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
  • Domestic violence in India is endemic. Around 70% of women in India are victims





Physical Injury
  • Most visible form
  • Includes slapping, kicking,  hitting, beating etc
Emotional Abuse
  • Erode woman’s sense of self-worth
  • Include harassment; threats, verbal abuse , blaming and isolation. 
Sexual Assault
  • Includes touching or fondling; sexual coercion ; wife swapping




  • Dowry Demands :  can lead to physical & emotional abuse and even dowry death and bride burning
  • Patriarchal household structure
  • Cultural acceptance of Domestic Violence.
  • Alcoholic husband.
  • Not having a male child.
  • Violence against young widows esp in rural areas –  they are cursed for their husband’s death
  • Under Reporting :  Under reporting & non reporting encourage partner to indulge more into this






  • Emotional Distress & suicidal tendencies in women suffering from Domestic Violence.
  • Infringement of Fundamental Rights of women including Right to Life
  • Serious health problems :  Injury,  Unwanted Pregnancy etc
  • Negative Impact on Children : Children of such parents also face psychological problems and they live in atmosphere of fear




Act : Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

  • Domestic Violence has been modified – it includes actual abuse or the threat of abuse that is physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic and further harassment by way of unlawful dowry demands to the woman or her relatives.
  • Widened the scope of the term WOMEN –  Act now covers “live- in partners”, wives, sisters, widows, mothers, single women, divorced women
  • Right to Secure Housing i.e. right to reside in the matrimonial or shared household, whether or not she has any title or rights in the household.
  • Principal of Locus Standi doesn’t apply
  • For women who prefer not to stay in the shared household, state needs to create shelter homes.
  • First hearing within 3 days after receiving application and dispose the case in 60 days.
  • Protection Officers to provide assistance to woman for medical examination, legal aid  etc
  • Act has a provision of upto 1 year imprisonment 





Negative points / Lacunae

  • Madras High Court Bench observed – it can be misused by the women to file frivolous cases
  • A man can be booked under the Domestic Violence act even if women feel that she has been mentally harassed and verbally abused. But these terms are subjective
  • Conviction rate is very low (3%) .
  • Marital rape is not included
  • No provision of online filing of cases
  • Number of protection officers appointed in state is inadequate




Recent Judgement making it Gender Neutral

Supreme Court has laid down that a woman can also file a complaint against another woman, accusing her of domestic violence.


Reasoning of Court

  • Since the perpetrators and abettors of domestic violence can also be women, insulating them would frustrate the objectives of the Act. Under this immunity, females and minors can continue to commit domestic violence. 
  • It discriminates between persons similarly situated and, thus, violates Article 14 of the Constitution.


Significance of the Change

  • It makes Domestic Violence gender neutral
  • However, there are concerns that it would encourage husbands to file counter cases against their wives through their mothers or sisters.


Dowry issue in India

Dowry issue in India


This article deals with Dowry issue in India.


Note – This article is part of our series on Society for UPSC. For more articles, click here.


What is Dowry?

  • Dowry =  payment in cash or  kind to a bridegroom’s family at marriage
  • Dowry Death  = When young women are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by husbands and in-laws in an effort to extort an increased dowry.



Reasons :

  • Part of Indian culture => Exclusion of women from workforce especially those belonging to higher caste necessitate this
  • Increasing   consumerism – people see dowry as avenue to fulfil their  impossible dreams.

For some people, paying dowry at their daughter’s marriage is an investment  for  fetching high  dowry through    their son’s  marriage.


New Trend : Earlier only upper castes indulged in dowry but now lower castes are imitating higher castes in this. This is process of Sanskritisation at play

Effects of Dowry System

  • Domestic Violence : women harassed & tortured
  • Imbalance in sex ratio: Daughters  seen as financial burden => female infanticide & foeticide
  • Against Constitutional Spirit of Equality and Justice => violation of Fundamental Rights of women and their parents
  • Impact on children‘s personality 
  • Detrimental for Indian image at global level + Against CEDAW  (Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) ratified by India 



Provisions to Prohibit  Dowry

Dowry Prohibition Act 1961

  • Asking & giving Dowry punishable by 6 months
  • Issue –  “Dowry” is defined as a gift demanded or given as a condition for marriage. Gifts given without condition are not considered dowry, and are legal.
  • Asking or giving of dowry can be punished by an imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine


Section 304 B of IPC

  • deals with dowry death related cases.
  • imprisonment of 7 years to life term.


Section 498 A of IPC

  • Dowry related cases are non bailable and non compoundable.


Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 (PWDVA)



  • Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)




How to end dowry

  • Attitudinal Change   => Use Peer Pressure
  • Amend Section 406 and 498A of IPC  as suggested by Malimath Committee.
  • Strict   enforcement  of  laws  + Dowry related cases should be fast tracked.
  • Government should promote “Adarsh Marriage” & ” Mass Marriage”




Side Topic : Issues with provisions of IPC

  • IPC Section 406  don’t clearly demarcates boundary between dowry & Streedhan. This has been misused in demanding dowry. (Justice Malimath Committee)
  • Section 498 A of IPC is problematic
Problems with Section 406
  • Husband or his family members are presumed to be guilty till they prove their innocence  => Misused by Women
  • Non-compoundable (cant compromise while case is going) and non-bailable => According to Justice Malimath Committee , it kills any effort of Conciliation


July 2017 Judgement Rajesh Sharma v State of UP

  • SC accepted – Section 498A of the IPC is misused
  • As safeguard –
        • Set up of 3 membered ‘family welfare committees’ in all districts.  Every complaint will be looked into by Committee within month & no arrest can be made till that.
        • Automatic assumption of guilt has been seen as a problem


Problem :

  • 1 month period too long – make women vulnerable
  • NRI husbands can abscond





Initiatives for Women

Initiatives for Women

In this article, we will discuss topic titled ‘Initiatives for Women’.


Note- This article is part of our initiative on Society for UPSC. For more articles, click here.




Provisions related to Women Safety & Government initiatives

Initiatives for Women
Initiatives for Women

Constitutional measures

  • Right to Equality under Article 14
  • Equal pay for equal work under Article 39(d) (DPSP) 
  • Article 42 : Maternity Leave
  • Renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women under Article 51(A) (e) (Fundamental Duty)




  • Vishakha Judgement – regarding protection of women at workplace.
  • Shyara Bano case – Triple Talaq declared unconstitutional
  • Laxmi vs Union of India => For Acid Attacks
      • Don’t sell acid to person under 18.
      • Sell acid only if they show identity proof and purpose of purchase
      • Record the sale details and submit them to police.
      • Sell only non-harmful form of acid.




Statutory Provisions

1.Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956

2.Dowry Prohibition Act,1961

  • Making dowry demands in wedding arrangements is declared illegal.

3.Indecent   Representation   of   Women (Prohibition)  Act,   1987

4. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

5. Sexual Harassment At Workplace Act

  • Based on Vishakha Guidelines
  • Internal Complaints Committee to deal with cases of Sexual Harassment at workplace

6. Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017

  • increased women’s leave entitlements from 12 to 26 weeks

7. Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 

8. Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 2003.

9. Various provisions of IPC and CrPC



Convention on Elimination  of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

  • India ratified it in 1993.





Government’s Schemes  to Empower Women


  • PM Suraksheet Matritva Yojana (SMY) (2016)
        • Ante – Natal (before birth) checkup for pregnant women on 9th of every month by specialist


  • Janani Suraksha Yojana (2005)
        • To promote Institutional delivery of the pregnant women


  • PM Matru Vandana Yojana 
        • ₹ 6,000 to be given to all mothers
        • To be given in Installments (6th Month pregnancy || 3 months after birth || 6 months after birth)
        • For  first  two  children
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
      • Safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG


  • To Combat Diseases among Pregnant Women & infants
        • Anaemia : Major problem in Pregnant women.  Iron Folic Acid Supplements given
        • Diarrhoea : Large number of infants die because of this . ORS and Zinc Tablets are given



New Schemes

PM Mahila Shakti Kendra
      • To be set-up at village level in all Anganwadi Centres. 
      • It will Empower women through training and capacity building


Sakhi– one stop centre scheme Provide  support ( rescue , medical and legal, psychological support ) to women affected by  Domestic Violence






Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (most Important Scheme)


  1. Prevent female foeticide &  infanticide
  2. Ensure every girl child is educated (beti padhao)


100 % funded by Centre



Salient Features of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana

  • Task Force  under District Collector
  • Ensure strict implementation of PCPNDT Act
  • Strict implementation of POCSO Act  (POCSO= Protection of children from sexual offenses)
  • Sukanya Samridhi Yojana : Small Saving Scheme under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao





What more should be done

Reproductive Health 

      • Shift focus from female sterilisation to male sterilisation.



      • Mission mode approach for literacy among women



      • Assessment of  incidence of poverty by gender
      • Recognizing women’s unpaid work
      • Rights of women to immovable property.


Governance and Decision Making

      • Number of women legislatures should be improved



Environment and Climate Change

      • Climate change will impact Women the most =>
        • higher temperatures will increase their labour in food processing & collection of potable water
        • Global warming => low food => it will  affect females more than males due to unequal intra-household food allocations
      • Programs should place women at center stage


      • Recognizing special needs of single women including widows, separated, divorced and deserted






Concept of Gender and Women Movements

Concept of Gender and Women Movements

In this article, we will discuss Concept of Gender and Women Movements.


Note: This is part of our series on ‘Society’ for UPSC examination. For more articles, you can click here.



Concept of Gender?

It is a social construct . Men and women are biologically different, but when due to that biological difference  both have different access to resources (education, employment, political participation etc)


Gender manifest itself at three levels

        • Identity Level : Male or Female
        • Cultural Level : Masculinity and Femininity
        • Structural Level : women confined to domestic sphere  and males working outside


Impact of gender stereotyping on position of woman / Impact of Patriarchal Mindset on woman

        • Domestic Division of Labour : Household work reserved for women
        • Pink Collared Jobs :  Teaching, Nursing , Air Hostess etc reserved for them
        • Glass Ceiling : Women  stereotyped to be emotional – higher levels jobs of decision making   denied to them
        • Violence against woman



Useful data

  • Woman Labour Force Participation : 27%
  • Global Wage Report : indian Woman are paid 30% lesser than males for same job
  • Global Gender Gap Report  2018 (by World Economic Forum) : India  ranked 108






Movement for Women’s welfare & Security

Concept of Gender and Women Movements
Concept of Gender and Women Movements

Feminist Movements

Feminist activism in India gained momentum in the late 1970s.

  • Towards Equality Approach (Women in Development to Women and Development)


  • Mathura Rape Case : brought women’s groups together for first time. Reason was acquittal of policemen accused of raping a young girl in a police station leading to country-wide protests in 1979-1980 which forced Government to create a new offence, custodial rape.


  • Alcoholism (Anti Arak Movement)  : alcoholism => violence against women . Women groups launched anti-liquor campaigns in AP, HP, Haryana, Odisha, MP etc


  • Triple Talaq : Started in Shah Bano Case & culminated with Shyara Bano case in SC


  • Bhanwari Devi Gangrape Case (1992) : Bhanwari Devi was a Saathin in Rajasthan with job of raising consciousness in her village about child marriage, dowry etc. Her efforts wrt Child Marriage was resented by men of dominant caste and she was brutally gangraped . NGO named Vishakha filed Case in SC culminating in Vishakha Guidelines



In 1990s, grants from foreign donor agencies enabled the formation of new women-oriented NGOs like  Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) which have played a major role in the advancement of women’s rights





    • SHGs were key instruments in women’s empowerment .
    • 10-20 rural women from the same village , mostly poor , come together to contribute fortnightly or monthly dues as savings and provide group loans to the members



Literary Movements

Journals devoted to promote women’s equality in various languages started to come up to raise women issues

Feminist Network English Bombay
Ahalya Bengali Calcutta
Women’s Voice English Bangalore
Stree Sangarash Hindi Patna
Manushi Hindi Delhi




Present Movements

  •  ‘Pinjra Tod’ : fighting against the discriminatory rules in colleges and university hostels against girls


  • Temple Entry Movement : At Sabrimala , Shani Shignapur etc.


  • #MeeToo Movement :  Metoo Movement started in US and came to India where women named powerful men  who have sexually assaulted their colleagues at workplace. This movement showed  that Balance of Power at workplace is skewed in favour of perpetrators of sexual harassment