This article deals with ‘Women in Politics .’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .
a very low status in the political scenario in the country. The number of women
in the Parliament has never crossed the 20% mark till now.
not considered fit for politics earlier.
According to philosophers like Kant , women have inability to control emotions
& thus, inability to be impartial & rational, requires their exclusion
Following amendment bills have already been introduced
73rd & 74th amendments to
the constitution has provision of reservation of 1/3rd for women in
Panchayati Raj Institutions .
108th Constitutional Amendment Bill to
provide 1/3rd reservation for women in Lok Sabha .
110th Constitutional Amendment Bill to reserve
50% seats for
women in Local Bodies .
Pam Rajput Committee recommended 50% reservation of seats for women at
all political levels .
Data of Women Representation in Politics
(17th) Lok Sabha has 14.6% women representatives .
Rajya Sabha has 11% women representatives .
State Legislatures have just
9% women representatives (some states like Nagaland
have 0% women representation) .
Case Study of Bhakti Sharma
Bhakti Sharma , sarpanch of
Barkhedi Abdulla village was just 25 years old when she left her job with
attractive package and post-graduate degree in political science to become
Sarpanch of her village.
She gives up her two months’ salary to each
family where a girl child is born in the village
In 2015, she was chosen as one
of the 100 popular women in the country .
Problems in Reservation approach
One-size-fits-all policies designed in New Delhi backfires in states like Nagaland .It would perpetuate unequal status of women since their merit will always be questioned.
Right to choice of voters restricted .
Sarpanch Pati Syndrome : In many places the concept of sarpanch pati has emerged where the women is just the nominal sarpanch, whereas her husband is the real decision making authority.
Reservation do not lead to real empowerment as seats are contested by women from rich families, business and political families.
Watch this video to know more about the phenomenon of Sarpanch Pati
Points in favour of reservation
In states like M.P , Kerala , Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan etc. where the reservation has been extended to women in local municipal corporations and PRIs , positive impact on governance is visible where they are headed by women. Women representatives have contributed immensely in overcoming social taboos and constraints like removal of ghunghat , sitting at same height as men on chairs etc.
Though it begins at token equality that caused acute discomfort and even confrontation, women especially dalit has been able to push boundaries and create space in the decision making sphere across all sectors.
The acts made by women are more gender sensitive and are able to include female perspective in them.
This article deals with ‘Feminisation of Agriculture .’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .
Feminisation of agriculture means the increasing visibility and participation of woman in agriculture .
Women constitute close to 35 % of all agricultural workers (NSSO 2011-12).
However , they are joining agriculture as agrarian proletariat /labour class (& not as owners) .
Migration of Males from rural areas to cities leaving behind agricultural chores to women. This trend in the agriculture sector was most visible during 1999-2005 marked by declining agriculture growth rates which saw a distress migration of male members to relatively better paying jobs either in the urban informal economy or the agriculturally prosperous states .
Widowhoodforces woman to till the land to feed family.
Has this led to women empowerment ?
Yes, it has
increased participation of women in the workforce & helped them to
Acquire financial independence
Imbibe decision making skills.
No , it hasn’t
Feminization of Agriculture is
not an intended consequence but an unintended impact of distress migration
Due to patriarchal nature of
society, they are referred as flexible labours . Hence, they are joining
the sector as an agrarian proletariat .
Although they are
participating in the agriculture but they don’t have land
Because of rural
sector schemes like MGNREGA,men are migrating back and
women are again confined to domestic spheres (phenomenon known as
of agriculture’) .
Lack of Property Rights :
Given the social and religious set up in India, women do not generally
enjoy equal property rights as their male counter parts .
Women also have poor access to credit, irrigation, inputs,
technology and markets.
Agricultural implements are designed
for men .
What steps can government take in view of feminization of Agriculture ?
Gender responsive agricultural budgets and policies are the need of the hour.
More property rights should be provided to women .
Machines like tractors should be specifically designed for women .
Women should be provided preferential membership in the rural cooperatives.
Formation of Agricultural SHG for women.
Providing creche facility to such women farmers .
Steps taken by Government
15 October is celebrated as ‘Women
Farmers day‘ .
Atleast 30% budget allocation
should be provided to women beneficiaries in all schemes & programs
(including agriculture) .
Low duty and tax if land transfer is on women name in some states like Punjab.
Women Agricultural Self Help
Groups (SHGs) are being promoted by the government.
Side Topic : Defeminisation of Agriculture
Due to schemes like MGNREGA, men who earlier migrated to other areas in search of jobs have started to come back. This has led to reverse process known as Defeminisation of Agriculture .
Concept : Feminization of work
number of females are working
When there is increased
concentration of woman in certain jobs
When men start participating
in the work that was traditionally domain of women (Eg : cookery)
This article deals with ‘Low Female Labour Force Participation.’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .
LFPR of women is continuously
decreasing . In 2017-18, LFPR among women was just 25%.
Only in Meghalaya , women LFPR
was above 50% .
Possible reasons for low Woman LFPR
Patriarchal Mindset : Patriarchal norms of Indian society and social constraints on freedom of women results in lower LFPR among women.
Nuclearisation of families : childcare and household work restricts woman participation in work.
Caste factor : in some upper castes, there is a stigma attached to women working outside the home .
Many sectors like Armed forces arent open for women .
Unpaid household work : Economists distinguish between production for self-consumption and production for the market. Only the latter is counted as ‘work’. Most of woman are working at home, but since it is unpaid, it is not counted in labour force participation.
Rising incompatibility of work : Due to structural change in Indian economy , skilled jobs in service and construction sector coming up but women don’t have necessary skills for these jobs .
Higher Education : As women are pursuing higher education, their entry in the job market is delayed (Feminization U-Hypothesis ( given below)).
An income effect of the husband’s higher earnings. Rise in the income of men has resulted in withdrawal of women from the labour market.
Violence against woman force woman to move out of labour force . Eg :
Violence against woman at workplace restricts their participation.
Mode of transportation is not safe for woman restricting their movement.
Problems like looking after young child, lack of crèches facility at workplace etc. force working mothers to quit job .
Women’s labour force
participation drops during the initial phase of industrialization .
But in long run,
Labour Force Participation will increase once a certain level of development is
Bangladesh Model – Promote
Apparel & Shoes Sector as these two
sectors are most women friendly .
Open more sectors for
woman : eg Defence Services etc.
that they can fit in post LPG Reforms economy .
Promoting woman entrepreneurship : Via Standup India and many
other schemes .
Maternity Benefits :
Government has already increased it to 26 weeks. Extend it to informal
sector as well.
Self Help Group (SHG) promotion like Kudumbshree to make
women especially in rural areas to be self-employed.
Japan Model (Womenomics) : It includes getting more women into positions of leadership.
Reshaping societal attitudes
and beliefs about women participation in the labour force.
Side Topic : Women in leadership roles in India
Women representation on
company boards in India is also very low at mere 13.8% .
But this number is gradually
increasing, which is a very positive sign. Many big corporates are headed
by women, example Pepsi by Indra Nooyi, Axis Bank by Shikha Sharma, ICICI
Bank by Chanda Kochhar (who just quit) etc.
In 2020 , Germany has
made mandatory quota for minimum number of women working in senior
management positions in the country’s listed firms.
Reasons for lack of women in leadership role
Glass ceiling Effect : It restricts the promotion of women to the top most positions. This glass ceiling exists due to the persistence of patriarchy in the society, and also due to the fact that the present leadership consists of men who promote the interests of men only
Leaky Pipeline Effect : Tendency for the proportion of women to decline as management grade rises .
This article deals with ‘India-Maldives Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .
The archipelago of Maldives consists of 1192 islands of which roughly 200 islands are inhabited with an estimated population of 430,000.
Maldives was a British colony since mid-1880s . Maldives was important for Britishers in order to secure the trade routes with India (the crown jewel of British Empire).
India – Maldives formal relations began with the declaration of Maldivian independence in 1965. India was the first country to recognise Maldives
The first state level visit was in 1974 when President Ahmed Zaki of Maldives made an official visit to India.
Later, India saved the regime of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom under Operation Cactus from Coup attempted by Pro-Eelam group in 1998 .
Key Players in Maldivian Politics
He was elected
democratically in 2008 .
India and Maldives had cordial
relationship during President
Nasheed’s tenure. He made his maiden international trip to India in 2008
and India promised a $100 million loan to improve the tourism industry in
But subsequent coup d’état in
2012 led to his fall. In 2013, he lost to Abdullah Yameen in rigged
He came to
power in rigged elections in 2013 .
He started his autocratic rule
and declared emergency in Nov 2015 .
Later, he went close to China posing threat to
During President Yameen’s time
in office, Male-New Delhi relations turned rather sour because he was
Ibrahim Mohammad Solih
He was elected in 2018 as the new President after defeating Abdullah Yameen .
India’s engagement has significantly grown since President Solih came to power, particularly in development partnerships.
Narendra Modi had attended the swearing-in ceremony of President Solih .
India announced $1.4 billion financial assistance to bail out its debt-trapped economy.
Backed by India, Maldives became Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Member .
Solih visited India on his first overseas trip since assuming the presidency (Dec 2018) .
importance was realized for the first time during British rule. Maldives is located
just 700 km from the strategic Lakshadweep island chain , 1200 km from the
Indian mainland and around
major trade routes of India . Hence, Maldives is very important for securing the
trade routes of India.
India has various Military assets in
Maldives for surveillance purposes in the Indian Ocean which makes Maldives part of our security grid .India and Maldives also cooperate to contain
piracy in the region.
India has the ambition to be
‘Net-security provider’ in Indian Ocean region and this calls for close
military and naval ties with Maldives .
out as a huge expanse in waters and has a tremendously large exclusive economic
zone (EEZ) but lacks the defence capacity to ensure surveillance over the marine zone. Maritime security leadership by India for
Maldives is crucial for its size.
Uncertainty in Maldives could
prove a fertile breeding ground for extremism and religious
fundamentalism, smuggling and drug trafficking. Islamic State (IS) and
Lashkar-e-Taiba are also reported to
have established bases in Maldives.
India and Maldives signed Comprehensive Trade Agreement in 1981. After that trade
Bilateral trade between India
and Maldives stands at US$ 289 million (2018) .
While the exports from
Maldives to India are not of much significance , the imports from India to
Maldives are quite substantial .
State Bank ofIndia (SBI) is one of the
major banks operating in Maldives .
Taj Hotels of Tata Group are important component of tourism industry of
Indian tourists also account
for close to 6% of tourists Maldives receives each year .
It has supported India’s permanent membership candidature at
UNSC and has also
voted in favour of India for non-permanent seat for the year 2020-21.
India and Maldives are part of
Indian Ocean Rim Association
Commonwealth (During Yameen’s time, they left Commonwealth
but Solih rejoined it)
India and Maldives have always
supported each other in multilateral platforms such as the UN, the
Commonwealth, the NAM, and the SAARC.
Maldives is part of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) where Pakistan frequently
raise voice on Kashmir Issue . Hence, Maldives is important ally which
play part in safeguarding Indian interests in OIC .
People to People Relations
Maldivian students attend
educational institutions in India .
Maldivian patients fly here
for super-speciality healthcare.
India Cultural Centre (ICC) in
Male was inaugurated in 2011, which conducts courses in yoga, classical
music and dance.
Hindi commercial films, TV
serials and music are immensely popular in Maldives.
22,000 Indians live in Maldives
making it second largest expatriate community of Maldives.
25% of the doctors and teachers in
Maldives are Indians .
Maldives support for India’s
candidature for permanent membership of an expanded and reformed UN .
In 2015, India launched Operation Neer to help the Maldives by providing water aid after a
major fire broke out at the Male Water and Sewerage Company.
Passenger and Cargo services started between Kochi and Male (700 km) & Kulhudhuffushi (500 km) .
It will increase tourism, health etc. and will be useful for Maldivians
who travel to India for educational purpose but air travel is expensive.
Indian Initiatives for Maldives
India has announced $500 million assistance for the Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP) to connect Male to three neighbouring islands – Villingili, Thilafushi and Gulhifahu islands. GMCP would be the largest civilian infrastructure project in Maldives.
India provides the largest number of training opportunities for Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF), meeting around 70% of their defence training requirements.
In 2020, India announced $400 million Line of Credit (LoC) comes in addition to a previous LoC of $800 million that was announced in 2018.
Major completed development assistance by India include Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Maldives Institute of Technical Education, Construction of National Police Academy etc.
Grants for projects under High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs): These include projects such as ambulances, Convention Centre, drug rehabilitation centre, police station upgradation, development of Addu Tourism zone etc. in Maldives .
Water-Aid : India has provided large-scale assistance to Maldives in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and during the 2014 Male water crisis under Operation Neer .
Mission Sagar : India launched Mission Sagar to provide assistance to Indian Ocean Region Nations during Corona period. Under this INS Kesari was dispatched for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide food items and COVID related medicines.
Issues in India-Maldives Relations
Maldives is part of China’s Maritime Silk Road (MSR) .
Maldives provide base to Chinese Navy in Indian
Ocean which disturbed Balance of Power .
Maldives has signed a controversial Free Trade Agreement with China in 2017 (update
new government has decided to pull out of FTA with China, realizing the
onesided nature of the FTA).
Maldives has earlier cancelled
Infrastructure contracts given to Indian companies in
favour of Chinese Companies (eg : GMR’s contract for building Male’s
Debt Trap : Chinese loans are 1/4th of Maldivian GDP which Maldivian
economy can’t service on it’s own.
In 2012, Maldives annulled the
$500 million contract with GMR Group to develop a modern International
Airport near Male, which was given to a Chinese company.
Maldives has provided maximum number of terrorists per capita to ISIS.
Radical Wahabi and Salafi
ideology is on rise in Maldives.
Uneasiness over Indian Military installations in Maldives
Earlier, Maldives had asked
India to withdraw 2 Indian ALHs operating in Maldives.
Maldivian refused to extend visas of 26 Indian
Increased bonhomie with Pakistan during Abdullah Yameen’s (previous President) reign
During Pakistan’s Army Chief’s
visit in 2018 , Maldives announced joint patrolling with Pak Navy to guard
Maldivian Exclusive Economic Zone challenging the Indian position in the
Investment cooperation with
Maldives should be enhanced .
‘Free-Purse’ policy of aid to Maldives is needed if India wants to offset
Chinese big-ticket investments in Maldives.
India must enhance anti-terrorism cooperation and intensify cooperation in
the areas of training and capacity building of
the Maldives National Defense Force
and the Maldives Police Service.
While dealing with smaller
neighbours like Maldives, India needs to become a lot more magnanimous,
staying true to its own “Gujral Doctrine.”
SAARC and IORA should be used to work on lingering concerns .
Connect Moreh in Manipur to Mandalay in Myanmar to Mae Sot in Thailand .
India and Thailand have
constructed their part . Only Myanmar is lagging behind because of the
political instability .
2. LNG / Energy
Myanmar has large
reserves of natural gas .
Myanmar’s gas is
attractive for India because
to transport via pipelines .
Companies likes ONGC Videsh can buy stake .
can usher prosperity in North Eastern states (same done by China wrt
Yunan Province) .
already invested $1.6 billion in Myanmar gas with 30% stake in Shwe gas fields.
Jubilant Energy and
Reliance are also working in shallow water blocks in Myanmar.
Note : China is far ahead
as Chinese investments in energy
sector in Myanmar has been $ 8 billion .
3. Trade & Investment Opportunities
Myanmar’s economy is opening up . Hence, there are immense investment opportunities for Indian Companies .
India imports beans, pulses and forest products from Myanmar while it exports steel and pharmaceutical products.
Myanmar is also helpful in Make Outside India because of Free Trade Access to ASEAN Market.
There are large untapped Natural Resources (oil, gas, teak, copper & gemstone)
Myanmar is the second largest supplier of beans and pulses to India .
There has been a huge presence of Indian companies in Myanmar. Tata Motors has established a truck assembly plant in Magway. Apart from that, GMR, TVS motors, Birla Corporation, ITC hotels , Shree cement and Bharti Airtel are the notable Indian companies in Myanmar .
State Bank of India has also acquired commercial license for banking purposes in Myanmar.
India is also trying to built a Buddhist circuit in association with Myanmar where India intends to promote tourism and create job.
4 . Security
Insurgents in North East especially Naga groups find havens in Myanmar where border is not fenced and free movement of people is permitted (due to 16 Km Free Movement Regime).
In 2015 , Indian troops reportedly crossed into Myanmar territory to target a NSCN (Khaplang) military camp . India & Myanmar are now helping each other in containing insurgency by not allowing insurgents to take shelter in each other’s territories.
Myanmar is a part of the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Thailand and Laos) and has become an important transit country for illegal drug trafficking. In 2010, India and Myanmar established Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty on criminal matters which has emerged as the core legal instrument to address issues related to drug smuggling .
India has been an important arms supplier to Myanmar. India has supplied T-55 tanks, transport planes and naval crafts to Myanmar .
In 2006, both concluded an MoU on intelligence sharing and training of Myanmar military personnel.
Side Topic : Rohingya Issue
A large number of Muslims were
taken by the Britishers from Bengal to Burma from 1823 onwards when the
British occupied the Rakhine state of Myanmar. After the independence of Burma in 1948,
these Muslims stayed back in Burma.
These are known as Rohingyas in Myanmar.
According to the
1982 Citizenship law of
Myanmar, the Rohingyas were not recognized as an official ethnic group and since
then have become stateless in Myanmar.
In 2011, ethnic
violence broke against the Rohingyas under the influence of radical and
rightist Buddhist monk known as Ashin
Wirathu. This led to the mass exodus of
Rohingyas to Bangladesh, India and Thailand . Those who remain are ghettoized and persecuted .
There are around 40,000 Rohingyas in India. The
Indian government has decided to deport the Rohingya Muslims as
immigrated to India illegally.
These illegal immigrants, living
majorly in Kashmir, are susceptible to recruitment by terrorist groups and thus
constitute a security threat to India.
Influx of Rohingya Muslims to
India also disturbs the demographic pattern and social, political and
cultural stability of the society.
5. People to People Contacts
Buddhism reached Myanmar from
Both nations have great
relations since centuries . Even during British colonialism, both Myanmar
and India had almost free movement of people & goods .
Many Tribes in North East like
Nagas have population on both sides of the border.
6. Multilateral Engagements
ASEAN: Myanmar is only
ASEAN country which shares a land border with India.
BIMSTEC: Myanmar is a
member of BIMSTEC .
and Myanmar are part of Mekong Ganga Cooperation .
SAARC: Myanmar was
given the status of observer in SAARC in
Issue : China Factor
is part of OBOR and China is building following in Myanmar
and Rail connecting Kyaukpyu to Yunan
important to provide outlet to South Western Province (Yunan) .
Energy : China has invested $
8 billion in Energy sector .
conflict going on in Myanmar & its porous borders with China, Myanmar
requires Chinese assistance to cope with situation.
Advantages of India over China in Myanmar
India prefers to give ‘development & Human
Capital Formation loans” while China indulges in ‘Debt Trap Diplomacy’ .
help Myanmar in building up strong
India is investing heavily in Myanmar . Eg : Sittwe Port
and Kaladan Multimodal Project .
Both are part
of Multilateral Forums like BIMSTEC and Indian Ocean Rim Association .
Ties : India is birthplace of Buddhism and most of Myanmar’s
population follow this tradition . Eg: ancient city of Bagan, has
famous Hindu temples .
– Large number of these refugees have also fled to India. – Sittwe port and Kaladan Multimodal Project also passes through Rakhine Province .
China is investing in large projects in China as part of it’s ‘Debt Trap Diplomacy’ . Ports like Kyaukpyu are alleged to part of String of Pearls strategy of China to contain India.
There is widespread discontent against India over continuing delay in completion of flagship projects — Kaladan and the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway.
Myanmar is one of the poorest nations in Asia. Infrastructure in Myanmar is almost non-existent . Hence, Private Indian capitalists hesitate to invest .
One-quarter of seats in both Houses of Parliament are reserved for the military. Hence, Military yields too much control in Myanmar .