Old Age

Old Age

This article deals with ‘Old Age ’. This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Introduction

  • Due to the demographic transition through which India is passing through, India will witness a population explosion of senior citizens. Elders (aged 60 years and above) constitute 
    • Presently = 8% of Indian population. 
    • 2041 = 16 % of Indian population  
Old Age
  • Reason for increased %age of old age 
    • Longer life expectancy due to better health facilities 
    • Decline in fertility:  This, coupled with a reduced birth rate have led to an increase in India’s population of senior citizens.
  • Elderly persons in society face a number of problems due to lack of family support, social security, health etc. 

Elders in Traditional Indian Families

  • Caring for the aged has always been a part of the Indian tradition. 
  • In large joint families, senior members used to be head of the families enjoyed the centre stage and were loved and respected by all children and grandchildren. 
  • Hence, the institution of Joint Family ensured peaceful living in old age with all dignity and respect.

But with changing structure of family due to various factors, old age people have become vulnerable to various insecurities.


Challenges of the ageing population

Change in Family Structures

  • Due to the changing family structure from Joint to Nuclear Family, the elderly have become more vulnerable. 

Burden on economy

  • The decline in the labour force.
  • The decline in savings and consumption.
  • The higher burden on the government for geriatric care.

Financial Insecurity 

  • Most elderly are not covered by a pension system or any other social security net.

Weak Geriatric Care System

  • Old Age homes are in bad shape.
  • Geriatric Specialists in India are lesser than required.

No Psychological Support

  • Elders suffer verbal abuse, emotional abuse, neglect & disrespect. 

Feminisation of Ageing

  • The sex ratio of the elderly is increasing (1,033 in 2011).  

Ruralization of the Elderly

  • According to Census-2011, 71% of the elderly live in rural India. It is difficult to provide quality geriatric care in villages   

Empty Nest Syndrome

  • Generally, next-generation had to migrate in search of a better future leaving old age persons alone. 

Digital illiteracy

  • Digital illiteracy acts as a great hindrance in times when every service is getting digitalized.

Steps to uplift Old Age

Constitutional Provision

  • Article 41 (DPSP): It has provision regarding public assistance in case of unemployment, old agedisablement etc.

Legal Provisions

  • Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior citizens Act,2007: 
    • It has the provision of Legal obligation for children to provide maintenance to the senior citizens
    • It also obligates state governments to establish old age homes in every district.

Government Schemes

  • Integrated Programme for Older Persons (IPOP): It is implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice.
  • National Social Assistance Program (NSoAP): NSoAP has a component of Assistance to Old Age. 
  • Pension Schemes: There are two pension schemes
    • Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme
    • Atal Pension Yojana
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana: It provides physical aids and assisted-living devices for Senior citizens belonging to the BPL category. 
  • Reservation of seats and concessions in the road, rail and air transport.
  • National Council for Senior Citizens has been set up to suggest policy changes for the elderly. 

State Specific Schemes

  • Delhi Police has a dedicated cell for old age.   

NGOs

  • Various NGOs are also working for old age persons like HelpAge India.

International Obligations

  • India is also a signatory of the Kathmandu Declaration of 2016, which focuses on the special needs of the elderly population in the region.

Analysis of Schemes

  • Low level of awareness and utilization about these schemes. 
  • Gender differentials: Women face greater vulnerabilities and isolation in old age. However, government schemes often ignore this factor. 
  • Lack of Geriatric care human resources: More than 10 million caregivers need to address the needs of the elderly population and a massive training programme to create a competent human resource.

Disabled Persons

Disabled Persons

This article deals with ‘Disabled Persons . This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Disabled Persons

These people told the world that it is not the disability but one’s ability that counts.


Introduction

Persons with Disability Act recognises 21 types of disabilities like

  • Blindness
  • Low vision
  • Leprosy cured
  • Hearing impairment
  • Locomotor disability
  • Mental retardation 
  • Mental illness
  • Acid Attack victims
  • Dwarfism

2011 Census says 2.21% of the Indian population is disabled (which is an underestimation).


Issues with Disables

  • Disability is not measured correctly in India. Census depends on self-reporting of disability, and many don’t report owing to social stigma.
  • India looks at disability from a medical or pathological angle only. Most developed countries look from a social angle.  
  • Lack of Institutional and Infrastructural Support for the disabled in India. 
    • Lack of schools for disabled 
    • Physical infrastructure is not disabled-friendly.
  • Under the new GST regime, almost all disability aids and appliances are to be taxed at the rate of 5% or 12%.
  • Employment: Private sector is reluctant to employ the disabled. 
  • Inaccessible Infrastructure: Physical accessibility in buildings, transportation, access to services etc., remains a challenge for the physically disabled.


Rights of Person with Disability Act, 2016

Provisions

  • Types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21, including Acid Attack Victims, Dwarfism, etc
  • Reservation in government jobs has increased from 3% to 4%.
  • Every disabled child in age group 6 and 18 years has the right to free education. 
  • Ensure accessibility in public buildings (both Government and private).  
  • Special Courts for handling cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.

Benefits

  • Right based approach: This will help to move the discourse away from charity. 
  • Broader coverage: The list of disabilities is expanded from 7 to 21.  
  • Provides reservation and hence will help in Socio-Economic development. 

Criticism

  • Reservation: Reservation was 5% in the 2014 proposed bill but reduced to 4% in this act.
  • There is no provision regarding insurance companies that they cant charge higher premiums from Disabled persons.

Marrakech Treaty and blind

  • Under Marrakech Treaty, copyrights don’t apply if the book is reproduced for the visually challenged.
  • India has ratified this treaty in 2014.
  • India has launched Sugamya Pustkalya in line with the treaty. 


Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan (Accessible India Campaign )

  • Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan is aimed at creating a barrier-free environment for the disabled.
  • The scheme draws inspiration from United Nations Convention on Rights for Persons with Disabilities (2007) and Incheon Strategy.
  • The campaign targets three separate verticals for 
    • Equality in Accessing built-up environment (i.e. Disable friendly buildings) 
    • Equality in Accessing Information and Communication
    • Equality in Accessing Transportation
Accessible India Campaign

Mental Healthcare Act, 2017

  • The act defines “mental illness” in line with the UN Convention on Rights of Person with Disability. 
  • The right to confidentiality has been given to persons with mental illness.
  • Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Health Authority has been set up to register psychologists, mental health nurses etc. 
  • Suicide has been decriminalised (IPC Section 309) & presumed to be suffering from mental illness. 
  • It has prohibited electro-convulsive therapy without the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia.  

Minorities

Minorities

This article deals with ‘Minorities ’. This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Why do Minorities need protection? 

  • In democratic politics, it is always possible to convert a numerical majority into political power through elections. It makes minorities politically vulnerable. 
  • State Machinery, mainly under the majority community, can suppress religious or cultural institutions of minorities. 
  • In the Constitutional Assembly debates, Ambedkar described the minorities are an explosive force that, if erupts, can blow up the whole fabric of the state. The history of Europe bears ample and appalling testimony to this fact. 


Sachar Committee  Recommendations

Main Recommendations

  1. Set up an Equal Opportunity Commission  
  2. The delimitation procedure should not reserve constituencies with a high minority population for Scheduled Castes.  
  3. Increase employment share of Muslims
  4. Work out mechanisms to link madrasas with the school board.  
  5. Recognise degrees from madrasas for eligibility in defence, civil and banking examinations.  

Population of different religious groups

The population of various religious groups in India is as follows.

Population of different religious groups

Although the Muslim population has increased, but the reason is low socio-economic development. Sachar Committee estimated that Muslims’ proportion will rise from 18% to 21% by 2101 under different scenarios. 

States with the highest percentage of Muslims include J&K (67%), Assam (30.9%), West Bengal (25.2%), and Kerala (24.7%). 


School Education of Minorities

  • The educational Status of Muslims is marginally higher than SC/ST.
  • Contrary to the common belief that a large number of Muslim children attend madrasas for primary education, only 4% of Muslim children among the school-going age go to madrasas.  
  • Instead, many Muslim children are enrolled in Maktabs, which provide supplementary religious education to children enrolled in public schools.  
Minorities

Job Share

Job Share of Muslims in any government job is not near their population proportion

Job Share of Muslims

Schemes for  minorities

USTAAD

  • USTAAD Scheme is used for skilling minority artisans.
  • The scheme primarily focuses on arts like Kashmiri embroidery, Bengali jardosi, Sikh phulkari embroidery, Buddhist Thangka paintings etc. 

Nai Manzil

  • Nai Manzil is used for skilling the Madrassa passouts with skills such as computer education, English speaking etc. so that they can join the mainstream.

Udaan

  • Udaan Scheme is used for skilling J&K youth.

Sikho aur Kamao

  • Under the scheme, a person belonging to Minority Community can get computer knowledge, tailoring skills etc. from Private institutions and the Government to reimburse that institution. 

Nai Roshini Yojana

  • Nai Roshini Scheme is used for generating Leadership among Minority Women.

Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres

  • Under the scheme, the Skill Development Centres will be established in 100 districts.
  • Employment-oriented skill development courses of short term (2 to 6 months) in fields such as mobile and laptop repairing, security housekeeping training, etc., will be given to minority students.

Jiyo Parsi

  • Jiyo Parsi is a scheme focussed on Parsi Community.
  • Need of the Scheme: The population of the Parsi community in India declined by 50% in the last 60 years.
  • Objective: To increase the Total Fertility Rate of the Parsi community.

LGBT

LGBT

This article deals with ‘LGBT . This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


What constitutes LGBT?

LGBT

Problems faced by the LGBT community

  • Intolerance, discrimination and harassment are faced by them in society, including at home and schools.
  • Marginalization in a society where heterosexuality is the only accepted norm.
  • LGBT face continuous harassment at the workplace, and they can’t express their sexual orientation at the workplace.
  • They face barriers to healthcare and housing. 


Impact of above problems on LGBT community

  • They tend to drop out of school and leave home and family.
  • They are unable to find regular jobs.
  • They become prone to drug abuse and suicide.
  • They are prone to sexual diseases such as HIV.


Issue 1: Section 377  of IPC

Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life and shall be liable to fine. 

Course of Things

1870 IPC came to force 
2009 Naz foundation case: Delhi High Court declared Section 377 to be unconstitutional. It was held that Section 377 violated Articles 21 & 14  of the Indian constitution.
 
2013 Suresh Kumar Kaushal case – Supreme Court reversed the previous judgement of Delhi High Court & held the validity of Section 377.
Supreme Court left it on Parliament to change it.  

Supreme Court’s judgement in the Suresh Kumar Kaushal vs NAZ Foundation Case was equalled by experts with the Dred Scott case(1857), where the US Supreme Court denied the right of equality to negros.  
2014 NALSA vs Union of India: Supreme Court recognised the third gender status for transgender people. Also directed the state to provide affirmative action to the LGBT community.  
2018 Navtej Singh Johar v/s Union of India, 2018 case declared Section 377 of IPC as unconstitutional.
Discrimination based on ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature‘ is arbitrary and cannot be used as classification criteria for the purpose of legislative protection under the right to equality.
Constitutional morality privileges over social or majoritarian morality.

Arguments to scrap 377

1. Cultural Aspect

  • It is based on Victorian Era Morality, where sex without intent to produce a child was considered a sin.
  • Books like Kamasutra, Mrichchhakatikam etc., shows that it isn’t part of Hindu culture. Hindu texts are not just open to homosexuality but treat gender as a fluid concept—for example, Lord Shiva’s depiction as Ardhnarishwara, i.e. half man & half woman. 

2. Constitutional Aspect

It infringes upon fundamental rights like

  • Right to Equality
  • Right to Expression (sexual Expression)
  • Right to Privacy (Part of Right to life after Justice Puttaswamy Judgement) 

3. International Situation

  • United States, Britain (from where we introduced this law in India) & Nepal (other Hindu nations) etc., have recognised LGBT rights. 

4. Health Aspect

  • It has led to the criminalisation of homosexuality as harassment by law enforcement agencies drives the LGBT community underground and increases the risk of HIV among the LGBT community.  

5. Biological Aspect

  • It is not against the order of nature. 
  • Homophilia is found in 450 species.

NALSA vs Union of India, 2015

The Supreme Court declared that

  • Transgender people to be recognised as a ‘Third Gender.’ 
  • Gave them the right to self-identification of gender as male, female or third gender
  • Transgender people are socially and economically backward classes; they should be granted reservations in admissions to educational institutions and jobs.

Issue 2: Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

Provisions of the Bill  

  • Definition of Transgender: Transgender means a person whose gender does not match the gender assigned to a person at birth. 
  • Prohibition of denial of service to transgender people.  
  • Right of residence: Transgenders have the right to reside in their household.  
  • Welfare measures like rehabilitation, vocational training etc., should be provided to the transgender by the government.
  • District Magistrate has been authorized to issue a Certificate of identity to transgenders.
  • Offences and Penalties: Provision of imprisonment between 6 months and 2 years, and fine. 
  • National Council for Transgender persons (NCT) to be constituted to advise the central government wrt transgender persons. 

Critical Appraisal of the Bill

  • In the NALSA v. Union of India judgment, the Supreme Court gave Transgenders the right to self-identify their gender as male, female or transgender. But the act doesn’t allow self-recognition of gender as male or female. It only provides for identity certificates as ‘transgender’. Ireland, Argentina and Denmark allow the transgender community to self-determine gender  
  • Supreme Court in NALSA Case provided for 2% reservation. But the act does not have the provision of reservation. 
  • It does not give positive rights such as the Rights of transgenders to the inheritance of property.

Manual Scavengers

Manual Scavengers

This article deals with  Manual Scavengers . This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Introduction

Manual Scavengers are mostly Scheduled Castes ( Balmiki caste) involved in manually removing the human excrement from the dry toilets of higher-caste families. 


Issues with Manual Scavenging

  • In 1901, Mahatma Gandhi termed manual scavenging a national shame. 
  • They gave low life expectancy. Unhygienic work makes them vulnerable to various infections. A large number of them die while cleaning excreta. 
  • They have low wage payments and no financial security.

Their numbers

  • The number of manual scavengers in India was 13,384 in 2018.

Initiatives already taken

Legal

Manual Scavengers (Prohibition and rehabilitation) Act,2013 

  • A “manual scavenger” is defined as a person engaged in manually cleaning human excreta in an insanitary latrine or an open drain, or on a railway track. 
  • If anyone employs a manual scavenger or constructs an insanitary latrine, he can face imprisonment up to one year or a fine of Rs 50,000 or both.  
  • Each occupier of an unsanitary latrine is responsible for demolishing it at his own cost. 
  • Responsibility to identify Manual Scavenger is with the Local Government.
  • Tasks the government to rehabilitate them in other jobs after training.

National Commission for Safai Karamchari 

  • Giving recommendations to the Government regarding specific programmes for the welfare of Safai Karamcharis.
  • Monitor implementation of  Prohibition of Employment as  Manual  Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act,  2013.
  • Enquire into complaints regarding contravention of the  Act.

Judicial Support

In 2014, Supreme court

  • Manual scavenging has to be ended.
  • Directed the centre & states to rehabilitate the scavengers.  

Technology use

  • The government has installed bio-digesters at public places, especially in the railways.

Swachh Bharat

  • The scheme has a provision to construct the flush toilets and penalize the dry toilet pit construction.

Other Initiatives

  • Valmiki Malin Awas Yojana: To provide housing to the safai karamcharis.
  • National Scheme for Rehabilitation of Scavengers: To provide training & rehabilitate them.

Why we aren’t able to stop it till now

  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Currently, Rs. 12,000 is given to build a latrine. But latrines of poor quality requiring regular cleaning is built with such a low budget.
  • The term is not defined properly as if protective gear is used; then government don’t count it manual scavenging.
  • Western toilets are used in India. But they require more water which is scarce in villages. It compels people to go for a dry toilet.  


Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe

This article deals with ‘Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe . This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Safeguarding Measures for SC and ST

1. Constitutional Measures

1.1 Affirmative Action

Article 15(4) The state can make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward (SEB) classes of citizens, including SCs and STs.
Article 16(4) Reservation in public services
Article 355 Claims of SCs and STs shall be taken into consideration in making appointments to the public services.

1.2 Protective Measures

Article 17 Abolition of Untouchability
Article 23 Forced labour is prohibited.
Article 25 The state is empowered to throw open Hindu religious institutions  to all classes and sections of Hindus

1.3 Political Measures

Article 330 Reservation of seats in Lok Sabha in the proportion of their population 
Article 332 Reservation in Legislative Assembly
Article 243-D(1) Reservation in Panchayat
Article 243-T(1) Reservation in Municipality

1.4 Administrative rights 

Schedule 5 Provisions for Scheduled Areas
Schedule 6 Provisions for Tribal Areas
Article 338 National Commission for SC
Article 338-A National Commission for ST

1.5 Specifically for STs

Article 19(5) The state can impose restrictions on freedom of movement or residence for the benefit of Scheduled Tribes.
Article 164 Appoint special minister for tribal welfare in MP, Bihar, and Orrisa.
Schedule 5 & 6 Discussed in Polity

2. Legal Measures

2.1 For Scheduled Castes

  • Protection of Civil Rights Act (PCRA), 1955: The act deals with untouchability 
  • Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of the Atrocities) Act, 1989
    • Prevents commission of atrocities against SC/ST by a person other than SCs & STs.
    • Establishment of special courts for speedy trial of such offences. 
  • Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013

2.2 For Scheduled Tribes

  • Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of the Atrocities) Act, 1989
  • PESA, 1996
  • Forest Rights Act, 2006

SCs and STs (Prevention of the Atrocities) Act, 1989

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe

Meaning of the Atrocities

  • The term atrocity is not defined in law (but the list of atrocities is given). 

Applicable to

  • The act is applicable in connection with Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who are subjected to violence and brutalities by any person who is not a member of a Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Atrocities mentioned in the Act

Atrocities under the act include (but are not limited to):

  1. Social discrimination
  2. Beating, lashing and other forms of torture
  3. Arson-the burning of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities and their homes
  4. Violence against women
  5. Bonded labour
  6. Denial of rights, especially land rights
  7. Deny to give job or do business with a person belonging to SC/ST
  8. Forcibly remove cloth
  9. Forcing to eat something
  10. Denying access to a public place
  11. Police abuses against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and custodial abuse

Imprisonment

  • The person will be put behind bars at the same instant when FIR is lodged against the person. 
  • There is no provision of Anticipatory Bail. Only High Court can grant bail. 
  • The act has the provision of imprisonment ranging from 6 months to life.

Regarding Government Servant

  • If any government servant indulges in such activity, there is a provision of imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year.
  • The case can be registered against a government servant only when he is found guilty in the investigation.

Other Provisions

  • Special Courts have been established to deal with these cases. 
  • SC/ST are provided with financial aid and a lawyer to fight the case.

Working Appraisal of Act

  • There are only 194 Special courts which amount to only 1 out of 3 districts having special courts.
  • The conviction rate is very low,
  • The awareness about the act is very low among the community it is designed to protect. 
  • The police, which in most of the states is filled up with dominant caste, guard the door to justice by not filing FIRs. 

Forest Rights Act,2006

  • Forest Rights Act or Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act came into force in 2006. 
  • It has been enacted to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation of forest land in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, who have been residing in such forests for generations, but whose rights could not be recorded. 

Main provisions of the act

  • The authority to vest forest rights in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and traditional forest dwellers have been vested with the Gram Sabha.
  • It guarantees the following rights   
    • Title Rights: The right in the land is granted to STs and the people who have been residing there for 75 years but don’t have documents (maximum 4 hectares)
    • Right of use of resources. E.g., Minor Forest Produce (honey, herbs etc.), common property resources etc.
    • Relief and Developmental Rights: In case of any displacement of tribals, proper relief packages should be given.
    • Forest Management Rights of the Forest Dwellers to protect forests and wildlife.  

Issues wrt Forest Right Act

  • The task of documenting the claims of communities is very tedious. 
  • Reluctance on the part of the bureaucracy
  • The narrow interpretation of the law 
  • Opposition from wildlife conservationists
  • The Forest Rights Act is often in conflict with other laws, e.g., rights in protected areas like wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, etc. 

Dalit Capitalism 

  • Dalit activist Chandra Bhan Prasad coined the term. 
  • It is a process in which capitalism is seen as a solution for the upliftment and emancipation of dalits. 

Government steps like

are inline with Dalit Capitalism

But there is a fundamental flaw with the concept

  • It wants to correct one exploitative system, i.e. Caste System, using another exploitative system, i.e. capitalism. 
  • Dalit Capitalism will not uplift the poorest of poor dalits. 

Stand Up India

Stand Up India

Every bank branch will provide 

  1. loan from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore 
  2. to one Dalit or Adivasi member and one woman each 
  3. For greenfield enterprises in the non-farm sector without collateral.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)

  • 1973Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups.  
  •  2006: The government of India renamed it to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • At present, they are 75 in numbers like Asurs of Bihar, Seharias of Rajasthan, Jarawas, Sentinelese and Onges of Andaman and Nicobar. 

PVTGs have some basic characteristics

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)

Problems faced by them

  • The growth of PVTGs’ population is either stagnating or declining. 
  • The health status of PVTGs is in awful condition because of poverty, illiteracy, lack of safe drinking water, bad sanitary conditions etc.
  • The condition of education is also deplorable, with an average literacy rate of 10% to 44% in PVTGs.

Scheme: Scheme for Development of PVTGs

  • It identifies 75 PVTGs as the most vulnerable among the Scheduled Tribes.  
  • It gives state governments flexibility in planning initiatives.  
  • Long term Conservation cum Development plan for five years for each PVTG to be established by States. 
  • The scheme is funded entirely by the Central government.

New: Eklavya Schools

  • The government opened Eklavya Schools in budget 2018. 
  • Eklavya schools were established in all Tribal blocks with more than 50% ST population. 
  • Eklavya schools provide boarding and lodging facilities to tribal students. 
  • These schools will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing sports and skill development training.


Umbrella Scheme for SCs

After rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes, all the Schemes for Scheduled Castes are taken under one Grand scheme, Umbrella Scheme for Scheduled Castes, which is Core of the Core Scheme and is 100% Centrally Sponsored. 

Some of the Schemes under this are

Educational Empowerment

  1. Pre-Matric Scholarships to SC Students
  2. Post Matric Scholarship for SC students
  3. Full financial support for pursuing studies beyond 12th class, in notified institutes of excellence like IITs, NITs, IIMs, reputed Medical/Law and other institutions.
  4. National Fellowship: Financial assistance to SC students for pursuing research studies  
  5.  National Overseas Scholarship: for pursuing higher studies of Master level and PhD programmes abroad.
  6. Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojna

Economic Empowerment

  1. Standup India
  2. Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes

Demographic Theories

Demographic Theories

This article deals with ‘ Demographic Theories .’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

What is demography?

  • Demography is the statistical study of the human population. It includes the study of size, structure and distribution of population as well as changes in time and location in response to birth, migration, ageing and death.

Demographic Theories

Malthusian Theory

  • Humanity is condemned to live in poverty forever because Human population grow at a much faster rate than food resources. According to Malthusian Theory
    • Food production increases in Arithmetic Progression (AP) while
    • Population increases in Geometric Progression (GP).
  • Hence, to make a balance between population vs food supply nature uses positive checks
Positive checks by nature famine disease
Preventive checks by humans delayed marriage Family Planning
  • According to Malthus, famines and diseases were inevitable as they are nature’s way of dealing with the imbalance between food supply and increasing population.
Demographic Theories

Debate: Has the Malthusian theory lost its significance? 

  • Some experts opine that with the world surplus of food and advances in medical science, the theory of positive checks of nature of Malthus has become obsolete. 
  • Whereas other experts are of the view that we are observing the change in positive checks of nature. These include 
    1. With world temperature rising due to global warming, the ocean level is rising.
    1. Increase in frequency of natural disasters due to climate change
    2. Attack of new pests on crops. 
    3. The new type of pandemics caused by new pathogens like the Corona Virus. 

Demographic Transition Theory

Phase-1: Period of stagnant or stationary

  • The period from 1901-1921.
  • The growth rate during this phase was very low, even recording a negative growth rate during 1911-1921. 
  • Both the birth rate and death rate were high keeping the rate of increase stagnant.
  • Poor health and medical services, illiteracy of people at large and inefficient distribution system of food and other necessities were largely responsible for a high birth and death rates in this period.
Period of stagnant or stationary

Phase-2: Period of steady population growth

  • The period from 1921-51
  • An overall improvement in health and sanitation throughout the country brought down the mortality rate. At the same time, better transport and communication system improved food distribution system. But birth rate remained high in this period leading to a higher growth rate than the previous phase.

Phase-3: Period of Population Explosion

  • Period of 1951-1981.
  • This was caused by a rapid fall in the mortality rate due to control over famines and epidemics but a high fertility rate of population in the country. (It should be noted that death rates can be brought down relatively quickly through advanced methods of disease control, public health, and better nutrition. However, it takes longer for society to adjust to change and alter its reproductive behaviour.)
Period of Population Explosion

Phase-4: Period of Moderate Growth

  • Period post-1981 till present.
  • The growth rate of the country’s population though remained high, started slowing down gradually. This was due to a moderate decline in fertility due to the use of modern contraceptives. 
Period of Moderate Growth

Phase 5 : Period of Contraction

  • India has not entered this phase. Developed countries like Japan and western European nations are in this phase. 
  • During this phase, the population starts to contract due to low birth rate although the death rate is also very low.
Period of Contraction

  Birth rate Death Rate
Phase 1 HIGH HIGH
Phase 2 High Medium
Phase 3 HIGH Low
Phase 4 MEDIUM LOW
Phase 5 LOWEST LOWEST

Migration

Migration

This article deals with ‘ Migration .’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .

What is Migration ?

  • Migration refers to  spatial mobility between one geographical unit and another , generally involving change of residence for a considerable period of time .
  • The Census defines a migrant as a person residing in a place other than his/her place of birth or one who has changed his/ her usual place of residence to another place .
  • Migration includes both additive (at place of destination)  as well as separative  (at place of origin) aspects.

Types of Migration in India

  • India has witnessed the waves of migrants coming to the country from Central and West Asia and also from Southeast Asia. In fact, the history of India is a history of waves of migrants coming and settling one after another in different parts of the country. Similarly, large numbers of people from India too have been migrating to places in search of better opportunities especially to the countries of the Middle East, Western Europe, America, Australia and East and South East Asia.
  • Migration can be divided into the following types on the basis of origin and destination:
    1. Rural to Rural R → R (mostly in cases of marriages only) 
    2. Rural to Urban R → U (also known as Urbanisation)  
    3. Urban to Urban U → U
    4. Urban to Rural U → R (very unlikely. It includes doctor or any govt employee going to village for job or reverse migration of the earlier migrant)
  • Other basis of division can be whether within country or outside country
    • Internal Migration – Within same country . Which can  further  be divided into
      • Intra- state : Within State
      • Inter-state  : Between States
    • International Migration – From one country to other country.
  • On the basis of duration
    • Permanent Migration
    • Semi-Permanent (when due to lack of economic resources, people are not able to sustain their living in the destination regions and are forced to migrate back) .
    • Seasonal / Circular ( because of rainfed nature of our agriculture along with the lack of employment opportunities, people migrate to other areas during lean season and come back to the source region once that period is over).

Trends of migration in India

According to Census 2011, 45.36 crore people i.e. 37% of the population or every third citizen of  India   is a migrant —now settled in a place different from their previous residence.  

1 . Intrastate Migration

  • About three-fourths of all intrastate migrants were females corroborating the fact that  marriage is the prime reason for such migration. Most people, 49%, migrate for marriage (while globally, migration is attempt by people to survive and prosper, in India, marriage appears to be the biggest reason why people migrate).
  • Other reasons
    • Rural to Urban in search of good job and educational facilities.
    • Urban to Urban : Due to job transfers etc.

2 . Interstate Migration

  • From underdeveloped states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar etc. to  comparatively developed regions like Maharashtra , Punjab, NCR Delhi, Chandigarh etc.
  • As per census 2001, Maharashtra occupied first place in the list with 2.3 million net in-migrants, followed by Delhi, Gujarat and Haryana. On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh (-2.6 million) and Bihar (-1.7 million) were the states, which had the largest number of net out-migrants from the state.

Interstate Migration is also of two types with different Destination

2.1 Rural as Destination

  • Mostly agricultural labourers from underdeveloped states coming to Punjab, Haryana etc.
Migration

2.2 Urban as Destination

  • These include groups of industrial labourers .
  • Post LPG reforms and ICT revolutions , Migration of skilled professionals in IT sectors  to Bangalore, NCR , Mysore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh etc. where BPOs are  situated .

3 . International Migration

  • Large scale international migration is seen from whole country but especially from Kerala & Punjab .
Kerala Mainly to Gulf Nations
Punjab Mainly to Canada, UK, Australia and to lesser extend to Gulf nations
  • Benefit that these regions are getting huge remittances . But it is an issue of worry because of high brain-drain.
International Migration

Side Topic : Curious Case of Mexican International Migrants

  • Mexico’s emigration problem is a unique one, with more than 98% of all Mexican migrants living in the U.S.A, the country with which Mexico shares a border that runs 3110 km in length.
  • The Mexican emigration rate increased substantially since the 1960s and, with more than 11% of Mexicans living abroad, Mexico is the country with the largest number of emigrants in the world.
Mexican Migration to USA

Side Topic : Brain Drain

  • Brain drain is related to selective migration of educated people . Some countries are losing the most educated segment of their population. It can be both a benefit for the receiving country and a problem to the country of origin.

Impact on receiving country

  • Receiving country gets highly qualified labour which contributes to the economy right away.
  • It promotes economic growth in strategic sectors especially science and technology.
  • Receiving country doesn’t have to pay education and health costs, for example, 30% of Mexicans with a PhD are in the US.

Country of origin

  • Education and health costs are not paid back to the country of origin. It is losing potential leaders and talent.
  • It has long term impact on economic growth. It has the possibility of getting remittances. Many brain drain migrants have skills which they can’t use at home. The resources and technology may not be available there. The specific labour market is not big enough.

Theories of Migration

1 . Ravenstein’s Gravity Model

  • Movement of population gravitates around the centres of socio-economic opportunities . 
  • Distance Decay Principle says that ‘As  distance increases , the tendency to migrate decreases’.

2. Pull-Push Hypothesis

Migration is the result of interplay between expulsive forces at  place of origin and attractive forces at  place of destination.

Push Factors 1. Famine & Floods
2. War
3. Huge Crime Rate
4. Low Jobs
5. Harsh Climate
Pull Factors 1. Better Jobs
2. Education
3. Cleanliness
4. Better Standard of living
5. Better Climate

3. Cost and Benefit Model

Difference between cost and benefits that will accrue after migration determines Migration.

Cost of Migration 1. Cost of travelling
2. Costs of searching job
3. Getting training
4. Psychic costs  etc.
Benefit 1. More earnings
2. Better living standard
3. Enhancement of prestige etc.

Causes of Migration

1 . Push Factors

Factors forcing person to leave his residence and move to some other place

1.1 Economic Causes

  • Lack of jobs
  • Rural Poverty
  • Low levels of Economic development .
  • Development led migration => building dam can force number of villages to be evacuated .
  • Pressure of population resulting in a high man to land ratio .

1.2 Socio-Cultural Causes

  • Caste System : Dalits feel suffocated in villages and hence migrate  .
  • Higher pressure on limited land in bigger families .
  • Marriage : Most people, 49%, migrate for marriage purposes.
  • Family conflicts also cause migration.

1.3 Political Causes

  • Targeted violence against community create fear among the survivors and force them to migrate => Eg: Large Sikh migration from Delhi to Punjab post 1984 riots and exodus of Kashmiri pandits from the valley.
  • Adoption of the jobs for ‘sons of the soil policy’ by the State governments . Eg : The rise of Shiv Sena in Bombay, with its hatred for the migrants and the occasional eruption of violence in the name of local parochial patriotism.

2. Pull Factors

Migrants are lured by the attractive conditions in the new place.

2.1 Economic Causes

  • Economic opportunities & Jobs in cities and abroad .
  • Better standard of living, health & educational facilities etc. 
  • In recent years, the high rate of movement of people from India to the USA, Canada & Middle-East is due to  better employment opportunities, higher wages & better amenities .

2.2 Socio-Cultural Causes

  • Caste don’t play much role in urban areas (due to urban anonymity).

2.3 Political Causes

  • Political freedom in western countries.

3. Pull Back Factors

  • This has been a recent phenomenon. With better opportunities for employment (due to MGNREGA and other schemes, agricultural revolutions) individuals are pulled back to their native places.

Side Topic :  Internal Migration due to disasters

  • India had the highest number of internally displaced people (IDP) due disasters  (five million) in the world in 2019 .
  • 5,90,000 people in India live are internally displaced due to disasters in India as a result of various cyclones like Fani, Vayu, Bulbul etc along with south west monsoon and droughts in various parts.
  • IDPs are different from refugees in that, having not crossed a border, they are not typically covered by international refugee protections. They remain subjected to national laws, and as such are afforded less protection .

Characteristics of the Migrants in India

  • Age selectivity : Most migrants, especially in developing countries are predominantly young adults. Also a major part of the female migration consequential to marriage occurs at the young adult ages.
  • Chain migration : Migrants have a tendency to move to those places where they have contacts and where the previous migrants serve as links for the new migrants and chain is thus formed in the process  .
  • Among women, as expected, marriage was the most important reason for migration, followed by associational migration.

Consequences of Migration

1 . On the destination

  • Creates pressure on urban infrastructure due to increased traffic, competition for housing facilities & water etc.
  • Create social and ethnic tensions due to clash of interests between  migrants and  locals due to rise in prejudice and xenophobia against migrants .
  • Mismanaged migration leads to formation of slums and ghettos and  act as source for outbreak of diseases .
  • It leads to skewed sex ratio in favour of males .

2. On the source

  • Separation of individual migrants from the origin areas & kinsmen .
  • Results in loss of human resource for the state, especially if the migration is of employable people.
  • Migrants acts as agent of social change. Internalised urban values are  transmitted to native place .
  • Impact on women : It leads to ‘Feminisation of labour & agriculture’  at source .   Because of the male migration from Kerala, wives suffer from neurosis, hysteria and depression.
  • Remittances sent by the migrants has the most important impact. Remittances are mainly used for food, repayment of debts, treatment, marriages, children’s education, agricultural inputs, construction of houses, etc. For thousands of the poor villages of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh etc. internal remittance works as life blood for their economy.
  • Migration leads to evolution of composite culture and broadening of the mental horizon of the people at large.
  • Migration has also changed the demographic profile of the rural areas corroborated by following facts
    • Reduced family size among the migrants as compared to non-migrants. The separation of the rural male migrants from their wives for long durations tends to reduce the birth rate.
    • Ageing of Villages as migrants are young leaving old age in villages .  
    • Increased Sex Ratio in villages as men usually migrate leaving females behind.

3. On migrants

  • Problem of document and identity which deprives them of social security benefits and government socio-economic programs.
  • Migration and slums are inextricably linked. Most slums are inhabited by the migrants. Such slums are deprived of basic healthcare and sanitation facilities. 
  • Limited access to Formal Financial Services results in them being exploited by their employers and they face risk of theft and personal injury in saving and transferring their earnings.
  • They face political exclusion because most of the times they don’t have voting rights at the destination. Further they are target of political rhetoric of local identity politics and  subjected to violence and abuse.
Consequences of Migration

Legal measures

  • Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979, required all establishments who hired inter-state migrants to be registered, as well as all contractors who recruited these workers to be licensed.
  • During Covid times (in 2020) and problems faced by the migrants during that time, need was felt to create a database to map migrant workers scattered across the country. Hence, Government has  decided to create a database of migrant workers using existing  databases of government schemes such as MGNREGA, and the one nation-one ration card .

Way forward

  • There is a legislation i.e. Interstate Migrant Workmen Act, 1979 which aims to safeguard migrants . However , it is obsolete and hardly enforced . Need of the hour is the judicial implementation of the act in letter and spirit .
  • Rather than treating migration as problem, destination states should aim to accommodate them into the economy of the state. There is ample evidence to support the fact that migrants generally take up those jobs and businesses which are not done by the locals.
  • The planning of cities should keep in mind the needs of the migrants.
  • Political class, civil society and NGOs should conduct inter group interactions to ward off mistrust between natives and migrants.

Women Safety in India

Women Safety in India

This article deals with ‘ Women Safety in India .’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .

Introduction

  • Women safety includes various dimensions like sexual harassment at workplace, rape, marital rape, dowry, acid attack etc.   
  • India is the 4th most dangerous country in the world for woman (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Congo are 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 and present laws have various 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

It was formed after the horrific event of Nirbhaya death .   

Women Safety in India

Recommendations of the committee

  • It 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  .
  • An officer who doesn’t report a FIR or delays it for a rape case should be punished.

Government schemes in this regard

1 . Acts and legal measures

  • Sexual Harassment of Women at workplace Act 2013 .
  • Various provisions under IPC .
  • States also have specific laws. Some states like Maharashtra have amended their laws making their provisions more stringent. Under the new Shakti Act, 2020, provisions include death penalty for rape, fine up to Rs 10 lakh on perpetrators of violence, investigation  to be completed within 15 days after an FIR is filed , trial has to be completed within 30 days after the chargesheet is filed against an accused.

2 . Surakshit Nari , Sashakt Nari

Following things have been done under this scheme

  • Panic Button has been introduced  in the Mobiles   .
  • 181 – Universal Women Helpline number has been started  .
  • Himmat App : To raise SOS alert has been started . 
  • CCTV Surveillance cameras have been installed in trains  .

3. Sakhi- One Stop Centre Scheme

  • It provides support women affected from violence .
  • Scheme offers Medical Aid , Police Assistance, Legal Aid , Counselling and shelters .

4 . Transportation Schemes

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

Side Topic : Sex Offenders Registry 

In 2018 , India has joined the 8 countries that maintain Sex Offenders Registry

  • It will be maintained by NCRB
  • It will contain Residential Address,  Fingerprints, DNA Sample, PAN & Aadhar Number of convicted sexual offenders .
  • Database will not be available to public (unlike US) .

Benefits

  • Instil  fear in the minds of repeat sexual offenders 
  • It will be very beneficial and handy for the law enforcement agencies also.

Criticism

  • This could prove counterproductive . Reason = Out of the 39,000 cases of rape , in nearly 95% cases, the accused was known to the victim and was close family member. In such a scenario when there is already pressure on the victim to not report the crime from within the family, this will make the victim more vulnerable to pressure given the prospect that once the name comes in the registry , person will have limited access to jobs .
  • Issue of Technical Rape : Registry will also contain name of persons accused of TECHNICAL RAPE – a term used by law enforcement to describe consensual sexual activity involving a girl under 18.
  • Studies on similar initiatives in US and UK shows that such registries have virtually no effect on reducing crime .

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

This article deals with ‘ Domestic Violence .’ This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .

Introduction

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

Forms of Domestic Violence

Physical Injury Includes slapping, kicking,  hitting, beating etc.
It is the most visible form .
Emotional Abuse Includes harassment; threats, verbal abuse , blaming and isolation etc. 
It erodes woman’s sense of self-worth .
Sexual Assault – Includes touching, or fondling; sexual coercion ; wife swapping etc.

Domestic Violence

Causes of Domestic Violence

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

Effects of Domestic Violence

  • 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

  • Definition of Domestic Violence has been modified recently – 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.
  • It has 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.
  • To fast-track the verdict , first hearing should happen within 3 days after receiving application and case should be disposed  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  .

Lacunae in the Act

  • Madras High Court Bench observed that 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 (just 3%) .
  • Marital rape is not included in the definition of Domestic Violence.
  • There is no provision of online filing of cases .
  • Number of protection officers appointed in state are inadequate .
  • Act singles out men as perpetrators of domestic violence and assumes that only women are victims. A man, who is a victim of domestic violence, has no rights under this law. In the western world, the domestic violence laws  provide protection to  both men and women.

Hence, the law in its current form is grossly inadequate to tackle the problem of domestic violence. It imposes a lot  of responsibility on men, without giving them rights. On the other hand, it gives lots of rights to women without requiring them to be responsible.

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