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 2 High Medium
Phase 3 HIGH Low



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.

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 .


  • 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) .


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


  • 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 .


  • 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

Triple Talaq

Triple Talaq

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


  • In Shayara Bano v. Union of India (‘Triple Talaq case’) , Supreme Court declared Triple Talaq as un-Islamic and “arbitrary”  .
  • Triple Talaq (also known as Talaq-e-Bidat) is a practice in which  a man pronounces ‘talaq’ thrice in a sitting, or through phone, or writes in a talaqnama or a text message and the divorce is considered immediate and irrevocable, even if the man later wishes to reconciliate.
  • The only way for the couple to go back to living together is through a Nikah Halala, and then return to her husband. Nikah Halala refers to practice under which a divorced Muslim woman has to marry another man and consummate the marriage and get a divorce. Only then can she be eligible to remarry her former husband.

Why Triple Talaq should be banned ?

  • Triple Talaq is not Essential Practice of Islam : It is not an Islamic Practice but  social practice of Arab Society which has gradually crept into Islam .  
  • Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco,  Philippines, Sudan, Syria,  UAE and Yemen have made concept of Triple Talaq unconstitutional & India must follow the suit .
  • It infringes Right to Equality and Right to Life of women.
  • 2012 Committee on the Status of Women  recommended  to ban Triple Talaq and polygamy.

Arguments against Supreme Court’s interference in Triple Talaq

  • In Narasu Appa Mali (1952) CaseSupreme Court held that,  personal laws are not Laws for purpose of Article 13 . Hence, they can’t be scrutinised for violation of fundamental rights violations .
  • Religious practices are safeguarded under Article 25 of the Constitution .

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act


Triple Talaq
1986 : Shah Bano Case Shah Bano Case  was to decide whether the relief extended to divorced women under CrPC, 1973, applied to Muslims too. Constitution bench decided that it extended to Muslim women as well.  
1986   Shah Bano Act /  Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act was enacted by the Rajiv Gandhi government to overturned  Supreme Court order  . It held that divorced women was entitled to maintenance for period of iddat (3 lunar cycles / menstruations) only .  
2001 Daniel Latifi Case – Maintenance for  period of (only) iddat was challenged for violating Article 14 & 21 . Supreme Court held that this doesn’t violate Article 14 & 21 as intelligible difference can be made in this case.  
2017 Shyara Bano Case : Declared Triple Talaq to be unconstitutional .  
2019 Government  introduced Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act .

Provisions of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage)  Act

  • Triple Talaq will not nullify the marriage .
  • Act makes Triple Talaq a criminal offence with imprisonment of upto 3 years .
  • Act shall be cognisable and non-bailable (i.e. police officer can arrest  without a warrant.)
  • Principle of Locus Standii don’t apply : Complainant can be any body – not just wife.
  • Act also provides provision of reconciliation without undergoing the process of Nikah Halala if the two sides agree to stop legal proceedings and settle the dispute.
  • Muslim woman, against whom Talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children. The amount of the allowance will be determined by the Magistrate.

Main issues with bill

  • Act converts a civil wrong into a criminal wrong as marriage is a civil contract .
  • Against Doctrine of Proportionality and hence infringes Right to Equality . Under IPC, 3 year jail term is for   crimes like  rioting.   
  • Against principles of natural justice :  Triple Talaq don’t nullify marriage . Hence, when Crime is not committed , how can person be punished for act of crime .
  • Issue of implementation: The is difficult to implement, especially in cases of oral triple divorce given by husbands when no one other than the couple was present
  • Rise in divorces and abandonment: Issues remain as no husband on his return from jail is likely to retain the wife on whose complaint he had gone to prison.

Points in favour of Criminalisation of Triple Talaq

  • Triple Talaq has never been sanctioned even in Islamic scripture . In Pakistan and Bangladesh too , which are Islamic countries, Triple Talaq is criminal offence (with imprisonment upto 1 year ) .
  • Government Intent is not to punish . Government argues that if nobody gives Triple Talaq, nobody gets punished.
  • SC judgment of 2017 had recognised the discriminatory nature of Triple Talaq. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019 offers Muslim women recourse and access to protection of the law from the practice of arbitrary instant divorce.

Women in Combat Forces

Women in Combat Forces

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

In news because

  • 2018 : India announced that women will be allowed to occupy combat roles in all sections of  army, navy and air force  .
  • 2019 : Sainik Schools opened for girls  (Earlier only boys could take admission)
  • 2020 : Women allowed Permanent Commission by Supreme Court. So far, women officers are recruited mostly on short service commission for 14 years  , which means they are not eligible to get pension.

Current position

Despite being inducted in the armed forces since 1990s women officers form a meagre number in the total armed forces of the country. Currently, %age of women in Indian Forces

  1. Army :  3.80%
  2. Air Force : 13% 
  3. Navy : 6%

Earlier, Women officers were mostly inducted under the Short service commission (SCC) where they can serve maximum of 14 years .  Women were directly permanently commissioned only in the education, legal branches, medical, dental and nursing services.

In other countries as well, this issue is contentious.  Countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States have been conservative about women in their respective combat arms, while others like the Israeli Defense Forces have achieved widespread integration of women.

Case study of Gunjan Saxena

Women in Combat Forces


  • Issue of acceptability of women as officer by men  .
  • Concerns over women’s vulnerability on capture and maternity women are not allowed in combat roles
  • The combat roles are  physically demanding  .
  • It should not be a political gimmick  .
  • On name of Gender Equality, security of nation shouldn’t be put at risk . 

Rationale for the decision to include women in forces

  • Infringement of
    • Right to Equality 
    • Right to freedom of profession (Article 19(1)(g)).
  • Qualities required for a good soldier are taking responsibility for fellow soldiers , moral and mental toughness; expert in the use of weapon ,  commitment etc and women score better in these .
  • Best and fittest people should be taken and   resource pool should not be limited to half by putting a blanket ban on women.
  • Landscape of modern warfare itself has changed with more sophisticated weapons, focus on intelligence gathering and emergence of cyberspace as arenas of combat.
  • Granting Permanent Commission to women officers will make them eligible to full pension post their retirement, thereby securing their futures.

Women in Politics

Women in Politics

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 .


Women have 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.

Women were  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 .

Women in Politics

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.

Low Female Labour Force Participation

Low Female Labour Force Participation

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%.
Low Female Labour Force Participation
  • Only in Meghalaya , women LFPR was above 50% .

Possible reasons  for low Woman LFPR

  • Social Causes
    • 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 .

Feminization U-Hypothesis

With development,

  • 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 reached.

Steps ahead

  • Bangladesh ModelPromote Apparel & Shoes Sector as these  two sectors are most women friendly . 
  • Open more sectors for woman : eg Defence Services etc. 
  • Skilling  woman so 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 .

Class System

Class System

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


  • Class  is an economic concept which is decided by economic factors like Income, wealth, occupation .
  • Before arrival of British there was  no vivid classes as caste system  was the basis of social structure.

British rule & emergence of Class System

After arrival of British class system developed in India due to

  1. Agricultural reforms
  2. Urbanisation
  3. Industrialisation
  4. Education

Agricultural reform : after arrival of Britishers Indian revenue system was overhauled into Ryotwari  , Mahalwari  and Permanent system which divided rural society into two classes

  1. Zamindars & Mahajans
  2. Farmers, Ryot, small animal husband, landless labourers


Industrialisation and urbanisation divided society into

  1. Industrialists and investors
  2. Labour class.


After independence, there was more development of class system in India due to reasons like

  1. Green revolution
  2. IT revolution
  3. LPG Reforms
  4. Vocational education

After 1990 , even three classes were subdivided thrice each  into lower, middle and upper.

  • Upper class(upper,middle and lower)
  • Lower class (upper,middle and lower
  • Middle class(upper,middle and lower)

Generally three classes broadly identified in India has following characteristics

  1. Upper class: those people which control and regulate wealth & investment and gain profit from wealth & investment .
  2. Middle class : those people which do white collared jobs, or are in technical or administrative sectors  .
  3. Lower class : these people do unskilled or semi-skiled work .

Middle Class

The middle class in  India is decided mainly by three factors

  • Income : range 15000 to 1.5 lakh / month . Income is such that basic requirements of life like food, housing, clothing, education and even entertainment are easily met.
  • Occupation: middle class generally do white collared, technological or administrative jobs .
  • Education : well educated and ambitious.


The reasons for expansion of middle class in India are

  • Macaulay’s education policy
  • Industrialisation and urbanisation
  • Green revolution : middle class created in OBC
  • Reservation and education : middle class in SC and STs
  • LPG reforms : middle class in women as  separate identity
  • Globalisation : Middle class in states like Kerala, Punjab etc. with help of remittances send from abroad.

The structure of middle class in India is quite complex and around 35 crore people come under it, which is double the total population of US.

Importance of Middle Class

  • Initiator of Reforms : French Revolution was result of Middle Class .
  • Economic Development : Demand of Middle Class is highest . Apart from that, they are the main contributors of tax in the country.
  • Political Accountability : Middle Class demands accountability making government responsive and transparent .
  • Promotes formation of human capital (as they spend on education of their children) .

But Indian Middle Class is criticized because

  • Self Centric : Indulged in preserving and promoting only their own interests .
  • Self Exclusivist : Instead of demanding accountability from Political System they have started living in gated communities.
  • Not paying back to society and don’t accept the fact that they have benefited from highly subsidized education system .
  • Excessive indulgence : consumerism has plagued Middle Class  .

But even after that, most of the social movements are led by Middle Class .

Welfare Schemes , Laws and Institutions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

Welfare Schemes , Laws and Institutions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

This article deals with ‘Welfare Schemes , Laws and Institutions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

Vulnerable Groups

Groups  that  experience  a  higher  risk  of  poverty  and  social  exclusion  than  the  general  population.  (European Commission)

Following groups can be identified as Vulnerable Groups in India

  1. Schedule Caste
  2. Schedule Tribe
  3. Religious Minorities
  4. Differently Abled Persons
  5. Old age people/ Senior Citizens
  6. Orphans and Street Children
  7. Women
  8. Sexual Minorities  

Reason why they are more vulnerable than other groups is because they lack

  1. Economic capital in the form of material assets and income
  2. Cultural capital such as educational qualifications and status
  3. Social capital in the form of networks of contacts and social associations.

Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe

Safeguarding Measures

1 . Constitutional Measures

1 . 1 Affirmative Action

Article 15(4) State can make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward class of citizens including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Article 16(4) Reservation in public services
Article 355 Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes 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 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 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 (for more, Click here)
Schedule 6 Provisions for Tribal Areas (for more, Click here)
Article 338 National Commission for Scheduled Castes (for more, Click here)
Article 338-A National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (for more, Click here)

1 .5 Specifically for STs

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

2. Legal Measures

2.1 Legal measures for Scheduled Castes

  • Protection of Civil Rights Act (PCRA), 1955 :  deals with untouchability
  • SCs and STs (Prevention of the Atrocities) Act, 1989 :
    • Prevents commission of atrocities against SC/ST by person other than SCs & STs
    • It leads to establishment of special courts for speedy trial of such offence
  • Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013

2.2 Legal measures for Scheduled Tribes

  • SCs and STs (Prevention of the Atrocities) Act, 1989 :
  • Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
  • Forest Rights Act, 2006

Constitutional Measure Analysis : Affirmative Action /Reservation

Reservation  in Indian law is quota based affirmative action . 

We have already dealt with Reservation and it’s indepth analysis in another chapter. For reading it, Click here.

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


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

Applicable to

  • 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 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 person belonging to SC/ST
  8. Police abuses against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and custodial abuse


  • Person will be put behind the bars at the same instant when FIR is lodged against person
  • No provision of Anticipatory Bail. Bail can only be granted by High Court.
  • Imprisonment ranging for 6 months to life imprisonment

Regarding Government Servant

  • If any government Servant indulge in such activity, there is provision of imprisonment of 6months to 1 year
  • Case can be registered against Government Servant only when he is found guilty in Investigation .

Other Provisions

  • Special Courts to deal with these cases
  • To fight the case, SC/ST is provided with financial aid and lawyer

Working of Act

  • There are only 194 Special courts => only 1 out of 3 district has special court
  • Conviction rate is very low

2018 Judgement on SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

Supreme Court’s Judgement-  SC/ST Atrocities Act 1989 is being misused (NCRB data, conviction rate is 15% ) — and checks are needed to prevent such misuse . To check the misuse, Supreme Court placed two checks

  • No FIR should be filed under the SC/ST Atrocities Act till it is investigated by a DSP-level officer
  • No FIR should be registered against government servant under SC /ST Atrocities Act  without the approval of the appointing authority.
  • Anticipatory bail can be given on the orders of Magistrate

August 2018 : Lok Sabha has passed amendment in the Act to nullify the Judgement.

Act Analysis : Forest Rights Act,2006

  • Schedule 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. 

It guarantees following rights

  1. Title Rights : the right in the land is granted to STs and the people who are residing there for 75 years but don’t have documents (maximum 4 hectare)
  2. Right of use of resources. Eg : Minor Forest Produce (honey, herbs etc) , Common Property Resource etc
  3. Relief and Developmental Rights : in case of any displacement of tribals , proper relief packages should be given
  4. Forest Management Rights 

Issues wrt Forest Right Act

  1. Task of documenting the claims of communities is very tedious
  2. Reluctance on the part of bureaucracy
  3. Narrow interpretation of the law
  4. Opposition from wildlife conservationists
  5. Forest Rights Act is often in conflict with other laws e.g. Rights in protected areas like wildlife sanctuaries, national parks etc.

Way forward

  • Political will should be there
  • Devolution of fund, functions and functionaries
  • Awareness among the tribals about their rights

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)

  • 1973 : Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups. 
  •  2006 : Government of India renamed it to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • At present, they are 75 in number.
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups

PVTGs have some basic characteristics

  • Small population.
  • Relatively physically isolated.
  • Absence of written language
  • Subsistence => hunting or gathering.
  • Zero or negative population growth.
  • Extremely low level of literacy.

Problems faced by them

  • Growth of PVTGs’ population is either stagnating or declining
  • Health status of PVTGs is in an awful condition because of  poverty, illiteracy, lack of safe drinking water, bad sanitary conditions etc
  • Condition of education is also very poor, 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.
  • Scheme is funded entirely by Central government.

Schemes for upliftment of SCs and STs

1 . Umbrella Scheme for SCs

  • After rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored  Schemes, all the Schemes for Scheduled Castes are taken under one Grand scheme that is 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   
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

2. Stand Up India

  • Every bank branch will provide
    • loan from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore
    • to one Dalit or Adivasi member and one woman each
    • For greenfield enterprises in the non-farm sector without collateral.

3. Eklavya Schools

  • Budget 2018 : announced establishment of Eklavya Schools.
  • To be established in all Tribal blocks with more than 50% ST population
  • Ekalavya schools will provide boarding and lodging facilities to tribal students.
  • These schools will have special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.