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

MEANING OF THE ATROCITIES UNDER THE ACT

  • 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.

TYPES OF ATROCITIES MENTIONED IN 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 person belonging to SC/ST
  8. Police abuses against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and custodial abuse

Imprisonment

  • 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.

Issue of Poverty

Issue of Poverty

This article deals with ‘Issue of Poverty.’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

About Poverty

Poverty is the worst form of violence – Gandhiji

Definition of Poverty

Poverty is a socially created concept due to unequal distribution of benefits of socio-economic progress.

World Bank definition

Extreme poverty Living on less than $ 1.25 per day
Moderate poverty Living on less than $ 2 per day

Note – poverty is measured in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rate & not absolute exchange rate.

Poverty Gap

  • (mean income among poor)- (poverty line)
  • It measures Depth of poverty
  • Also called Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) Index

Engel’s Law

  • When incomes rise , % age of overall income spent on food items decrease
  • This  is evident from data too
area Average MPCE % food Expenditure
Urban Rs.2399 38.5%
Rural Rs.1278 48.6%

MPCE = Monthly per capita Expenditure

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) & Poverty

  • SDG 1 :  End poverty in all its forms every-where by 2030
    1. SDG wants to end Global Extreme Poverty by 2030
    2. By 2030 , reduce atleast by half the people living in poverty according to national definitions.
  • India is home to 26% of the global extreme poor. This means that the world’s ability to end extreme poverty by 2030 —  hinges on India’s ability to make strong and sustained inroads in reducing poverty

Constitutional Provisions regarding Poverty

  • Article 39 : Adequate Livelihood
  • Article 21 : Right to life with dignity
  • Article 17 : Untouchability
  • Article 41 : Right to work, public assistance and education
  • Article 47: Nutrition and standard of living
  • Article 46 : Education and Economic interests of SC / STs

Causes of Poverty

1 . Economic Reason

  • Models of growth not conducive for poverty alleviation – India chose capital intensive model in labour intensive country which was a great fault.
  • Widespread reliance on agriculture(more than 60% population dependent on sector  contributing 15% to GDP)
  • Lack of institutional formal credit leading to debt trap
  • Large scale inequality
  • MATTHEW EFFECT :  The phenomenon, widely spread across advanced welfare states that middle class tend to be the main beneficiary of social benefits & services that are targeted to poor (India is trying to rectify this using Targeted Delivery of Subsidy with help of Aadhar) 

2. Demographic

  • Rapid Population growth with inadequate growth of new job opportunities.

3. Social Cause

  • Caste system : subordination of low caste people by the high caste people caused  poverty of the former.
  • Joint family system provides social security to its members. Some people take undue advantage of it. They live upon the income of others. They become idlers. Their normal routine of life consists in eating, sleeping and begetting children.
  • Social Customs : ruralites spend a large percentage of annual earnings on social ceremonies like marriage, death feast etc. As a result, they remain in debt and poverty.

4. Climatic Factors

  • Drought, Floods, Cyclones etc perpetuates poverty

5. Historical factors

  • like colonialism & imperialism which led to exploitation of Indian people and it’s natural resources. India’s wealth was drained to metropole Britain for two centuries.

6. Institutional Factors

  • Withdrawal of Government from Social Security especially after LPG Reforms
  • Anti poverty schemes not successfully implemented due to institutional inadequacies

Poverty Line

What is Poverty Line?

  • It defines a threshold income. Households earning below this threshold are considered poor.
  • Different countries have different methods of defining the threshold income depending on local socio-economic needs.

Different approaches to define poverty line

There are two approaches regarding this

  1. Nutritional Approach : based on certain minimum criteria of nutrition intake
  2. Relative Deprivation Approach : It doesn’t take into account just nutritional deficits but in comparison to the progressive section, person is not that progressed . Eg : Person earning less than 60% of country’s per capita income

Nutritional Approach is generally followed by developing countries . But now time has come that India should move from Nutritional Approach to Relative Deprivation Approach to ensure Sustainable and Equitable Development.

Poverty line in India is decided by

  • Earlier it was used to be determined by erstwhile Planning Commission
  • Now NITI Aayog decide (Commission under Arvind Panagariya made for this & gave report  ) 
  • June 2016- Panagariya has  suggested that
    • Tendulkar Committee’s report should be accepted for poverty line estimation
    • But socio-economic indicators, say, as collected by Socio-Economic Caste Census, should be used to determine entitlement for benefits

Various Committees constituted for Poverty Line Determination

1 . Lakdawala Committee

In books, we frequently come across the Poverty Line defined as 2400 calorie in Rural & 2100 calorie in Urban . This definition of Poverty Line was based on the recommendations of Lakdawala Committee.

Calorie
Rural 2400
Urban 2100

2. Tendulkar Committee

Tendulkar Committee defined Poverty Line based on per capita monthly expenditure.

Area Monthly Expenditure per person (Rs.)
Rural 816
Urban 1000

While calculating , Tendulkar Committee based it’s recommendation on

  • Food
  • Health
  • Education
  • Clothing

The poverty has declined according to Tendulkar  committee report

Year%age of population below Poverty Line
2004 37.2%
2011 22%

Reduction in poverty is attributed to

  • Increase in employment in non agriculture sector – Construction sector absorbed the landless laborers & daily wage earners from villages
  • Schemes like MGNREGA, National rural livelihood mission reduced the stress during lean season, created employment opportunities during non agricultural seasons also.
  • India’s demographic bulge provided more working population compared to dependents (Children and elders) – More working hands, reduced unemployment
  • Social welfare schemes like PDS, AAY, MGNREGA, NRLM, Pension schemes and others provided safety net to the poor
  • Inward remittances – Large emigration of citizen to  US, EU etc. and to west Asian destinations like UAE, Saudi, Qatar etc. generated huge inward remittances for India, which directly benefited dependents in India
  • Quality jobs in Service sector like BPO, Hospitality, Retail chain, E – commerce supply chain provided heavy wages
  • Rapid growth of the economy during this period except 2008 recession , provided better opportunities to come out of poverty through better employment opportunities, increased demand for services etc.

3. C Rangarajan Committee

C Rangarajan Committee  defined Poverty Line based on Monthly Expenditure of  family of five.

Urban poverty line (Rs) Rs 7035 per family of five, per month
Rural poverty line (Rs) Rs 4860  per family of five, per month

Rangarajan Committee took more things than Tendulkar Committee into it’s calculations

  • Food (both included this)
  • Clothing (both included this )
  • Education (both included this )
  • Health (both included this )
  • Rent (only Rangarajan)
  • Transportation (only Rangarajan)

Rangarajan recommends that at any given point of time,

  • bottom 35% rural junta always be considered poor
  • bottom 25% urban junta always be considered poor.

Rangarajan Committee recommended delinking of the Poverty Estimate lines from the Government Entitlement Benefits . Food Security benefits should be given in accordance with Social and Caste dimensions and not BPL.

Critique of these Poverty Lines

  • Experts argue that Indian way of calculating poverty  is incorrect.  It is simply what some call a “starvation line”. According to critics, the government has deliberately kept poverty line low. A low poverty line has enabled the government to show that millions have moved out of poverty. 
  • India should be using some relative measure as opposed to absolute measure to define Poverty. In most of Europe, a family with a net income of less than 60% of the “median net disposable income”  is counted as poor. A poverty line “relative” to the national average also gives an idea about the state of inequality. 
  • A comparison shows that India’s poverty line is abysmally low than even African Poverty Lines. Even poverty line of Rwanda is higher than that of India . Per capita poverty line of a rural adult Rwandian in Indian terms comes out to be Rs. 900/ month,  more than Rs. 816 for a person in rural India. 
  • Other critique which PL faces is that , once decided the PL remains same for years & don’t take into account inflation.  It needs to be updated every year by applying cost inflation index to keep it realistic.
  • Multidimensional Poverty Index : We define Poverty in  very limited way by just looking to household consumption  . UNDP define Poverty using Multidimensional Poverty Index which takes holistic view and consider indicators like Health , Education and Standard of Living . Need to move toward that

Two other important Committees

Saxena Committee – For recommending Methodology of finding Rural Poor
By Rural Ministry
Hashim Committee (2012) For recommending Methodology to find Urban Poor (BPL)
– By Urban Ministry

1 . Saxena Committee on Rural Poverty (2009)

  • When Tendulkar Committee Report came, Ministry of Rural development  , hurriedly set up a committee known as the SAXENA COMMITTEE , in 2009 to review the methodology for inclusion of person in BPL Category to include them in government schemes
  • Recommendation of the Committee
    • Gave famous Automatic Inclusion and Automatic Exclusion principle
    • Automatic  inclusion criterion for the most vulnerable sections of society (E.g. homeless people, persons with disability)
    • Automatic Exclusion : Those having motor bike etc
    • Percentage of people entitled to Below Poverty Line (BPL) status should be revised upwards to at least 50%.
    • Apart from Automatically included, find other using scores of various deprivations .

2. Hashim Committee on Urban Poverty (2012)

  • To suggest methodology for inclusion of person in BPL category in Urban Areas to include them in government schemes .
  • Recommendations of Hashim Committee
    • Automatic Exclusion
    • Automatic Inclusion
    • Scoring Index:  remaining households will be assigned scores from 0 to 12 based on various indicators . They should be considered eligible for inclusion in the BPL List in the increasing order higher scores 

Multidimensional Poverty Index

  • In India , we calculate poverty using Tendulkar Method based on household consumption
  • But UNDP takes holistic view of poverty and measures it differently
  • Released since 2010 .
  • In Multidimensional Poverty, they look into following components to measure poverty (HES)
    • Health with Components like child mortality
    • Education with components like years of schooling
    • Standard of Living with components like Electricity, water etc

Impact of Poverty

Several issues like hunger, illness and thirst are both causes and effects of poverty. Hence , term known as poverty trap is usually used for this ie bad cycle is created not allowing people to come out of poverty.

Poverty Trap
On Society Poverty => homeless => social unrest => crime

Poverty results in  inequalities which can culminate into violent upheavals like Arab Spring .  Various Revolutions in Arab Spring started because of the lack of jobs and high poverty levels. 
 
On Children – This leads children to build an antisocial behavior . Discrimination and social exclusion often push them to more aggressiveness and less self-control   
Terrorism Most of the time terrorists do come from poorer countries with high unemployment
 
Diseases Diseases are very common in people living in poverty because they lack the resources to maintain a healthy living environment. 
 
Education – Many people living in poverty are unable to attend school from a very early age.
– Obtaining a basic education could bring 171 million people out of poverty. A bad cycle is created; poverty prevents people from gaining a good education, and not obtaining an education prevents people from escaping poverty.
 

How can India  reduce poverty

Eventhough India has grown rapidly, its growth has been less effective at reducing poverty than in some of India’s middle-income peers such as China, Vietnam, Brazil and Turkey. Following can be done in this respect

In Agricultural sector With 4 out of every 5 of India’s poor living in rural areas, progress will need to focus on the rural poor. Using Agricultural Sector, Poverty can be removed through following initiatives
1. Value addition through food processing
2. Organic farming 
3. Cooperation farming, milk cooperatives and farmer produces organization 
 
In Manufacturing sector Create Jobs in India via
1. Skill development
2. Make in India  
In Service sector 1. Creation of quality jobs in BPO, IT, ITES for youth 
2. Promotion of tourism
3. Promotion of higher job creation in E commerce, supply chain, Hospitality and construction sector  
In Governance 1. Effective implementation of JAM trinity for targeting beneficiaries and ensuring Subsidies reach the poor
2. Universal health insurance to reduce out of pocket expenditure to health care  

Value Addition : Capability Approach to Poverty by Amartya Sen

  • Capability approach  is an economic theory conceived in the 1980s as an approach to welfare economics.
  • Traditionally
    • Poverty has been defined by an individual’s level of income.
    • Eg : Extreme Poverty is defined as those  who live on $1.25 per day or less.
    • As a result, following this approach governments center their Poverty Removal Policies on  job creation, GDP growth and other economic policies
  • Capability Approach
    • In richer countries, all are fortunate enough that they can earn good income. Does that mean , they are not poor
    • Amartya Sen’s Capability approach defines Poverty in Holistic Way.  A better approach is to see poverty  as deprivation of a person’s capabilities to live the life they value

Issue of Hunger

Issue of Hunger

This article deals with ‘Issue of Hunger.’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

What is Food Security ?

It means , all people have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food at all time.

It has three aspects wrt access

Physical There should be presence of food
Social Caste aspect and gender aspect
1. Dalits aren’t given food or given food on ground
2. Male child given nutritious food than girl child
Economic People should have money to buy food

Malnutrition

  • It is physiological condition due to unbalanced macro and micro nutrients manifested in form of
    • Wasting ie weight:height ratio is less
    • Stunting ie Height is lower wrt age
    • Underweight ie Weight is lower wrt age
    • Anaemia – Red Blood Cells reduces
  • Malnutrition at early stages reduces intelligence and affects the formation of cognitive and non-cognitive skills that affect the long term wellbeing.
  • Cost of malnutrition is high both for individuals and nations 

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and Hunger

Two goals are associated with this ie SDG 2 and SDG 12

SDG and Hunger

 SDG 2 aims to End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

SDG 12 aims to Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

We have to keep in mind that, on one hand humanity faces issue of hunger and on other hand , large amount of food is simply wasted due to wrong practices. It has been estimated that :-

  • 1/3rd food produced in world gets rotten due to poor transport, storage, processing
  • By 2050, 3 planets are required to sustain human lifestyle

IFPRI Global Hunger Index

  • Status of India (2019)
    • Rank = 102 out of 117 countries (In 2014 – it was 55)
    • India has highest number of hungry people in the world    
  • But they have also appreciated MGNREGA, NRHM & ICDS programmes of the government and recognised their role in reducing hunger but even after that , absolute number is very high

Hidden Hunger

  • 2014 Report of IFPRI also  spoke about HIDDEN HUNGER
  • If you are giving just Carbohydrates in diet to person, he willn’t die . But this isn’t enough for overall development of human body. Vitamins and other micro-nutrients are equally necessary 
  • If person doesn’t get proper micro-nutrients in his diet, his hidden hunger will remain
  • More than 50% women & children in India suffer from Anaemia
  • To fight hidden hunger – give
    • iodized salt,
    • fortified flour,
    • bio fortification of crops ,
    • PDS Reforms,
    • Education

Cause of Malnutrition

Green revolution phase saw new, fast growing varieties of staples especially wheat and rice, the following decades saw a steady decline in the food basket diversity, especially of traditional grains such as bajra, millet which have nutritional value.

  • Micronutrient Deficiencies / Hangover of Green Revolution : Green Revolution phase saw new, fast-growing varieties of staples, especially wheat and rice, the following decades saw a steady decline in the food basket diversity, especially of traditional grains such as bajra and millet, which have high nutritional value. Indians suffer deficiencies in vitamins and minerals- iron, vitamin A, zinc and iodine due to faulty diet
  • Breastfeeding practices :  Lack of improvement in infant and young child feeding practices are also responsible for poor status of nutrition.
  • Poor sanitation : About half of Indians defecate outside without using toilets and from here children pick up parasites and chronic infection that impair the ability of the intestines to absorb nutrition. 
  • Problem with Public Distribution System
    • Leakages in PDS : In 2012, 46% of total grains released through PDS leaked
    • Wastage : 62,000 tonnes of wheat & rice damaged in Food Corporation of India godowns
  • Social Causes : Women in household and girlchild  don’t get proper food (compared to other members)

Implications of Hunger

Hunger leads to unending cycle of hunger for future generations as well

Implications of Hunger

What India is doing to fight Hunger / Malnutrition

  • Mid Day Meals in School
  • POSHAN Scheme (refer below)
  • MGNREGA – Increased income of poors
  • National Food Security Act and PDS System
  • Integrated Child Development Program (ICDP)
  • Initiatives such as India Food Banking Network (IFBN), are promoting the concept of collaborative consumption with support from the private sector and civil society organisations. 
  • National Iron Plus Initiative and Vitamin A supplements 
  • Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding – Recommending exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life
  • Anganwadi worker and ASHAs Worker  working towards this especially in rural areas .

POSHAN Scheme

  • POSHAN = PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment   Abhiyaan
  • Aims : ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.
  • Seeks to reduce the level of stunting, undernutrition and low birth weight by 2% each
  • Union government had signed a loan deal worth $200 million with the World Bank for the POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Public Distribution System (PDS)

Indian government gives subsidized food grains to it’s population thorugh

When Introduced When PDS was introduced it was universal scheme  
Targeted PDS In 1997 :  Targeted PDS was introduced (Not given to all but on the basis of some criteria)  
National Food Security Act (NFSA) – Criteria => Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) will be used
– Food grains will be given to 67% population

National Food Security Act (NFSA)

We will study National Food Security Act with detail as this system is presently used in India for Public food distribution at subsidized rates. Under the act,

  • Central Government procures , store and then supply it to states
  • State Government identifies the beneficiaries using Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC)  in a way that it cover 67% of population and then distribute cereals /allowance to them.
National Food Security Act

Entitlements under NFSA

What Following things are given at mentioned rates
1. Rice at ₹3/kg
2. Wheat at ₹2/ kg
3. Coarse Grain at ₹1/kg
To whom 1. Antyodaya Family is given 35kg/Family/ month
2. Priority Households are given 5kg/person/month (max : 5 person)
3. ₹6000 is given to pregnant women
4. Free meals and ration given to students

Criticism of NFSA

  • No need to cover 67% population & it should have been targeted scheme  . It will lead to Fiscal deficit
  • Hidden Hunger Problem will remain because it don’t have pulses, edible oil, fruits, veggies and milk component in it. Present diet will just provide Carbohydrates 
  • Nothing done to reduce leakage . GPS Truck tracking , CCTV etc should have been used in this but there isn’t any provision like this in the act
  • Economic Survey is of the view that instead of this , Food Stamps should be given to targeted people who can buy the food of their choice from market

Alternatives to present National Food Security Act

1 . Universal

When PDS was introduced it was universal scheme . In 1997, Targeted PDS started but states like Tamil Nadu continued to use Universal Entitlement

Pros No Exclusion Errors
Cons Fiscal Deficit Issues
– Theoretically, subsidy should be targeted to poor only

2. CashTransfer

Give Cash via Direct Benefit Transfer . People will buy themselves

Pros 1. Increased choice on what to eat
2. Nutritional Security instead of food security
3. Low administrative cost
4. No leakages
Cons 1. No surety that it will be used to buy food
2. Expose already vulnerable people to price volatility of food
3. Financial Inclusion is not 100% and most of persons outside net are those who need food subsidy the most .

3. Food Coupons

Pros Household is given the freedom to choose where it buys food
Increases incentive for competitive prices and assured quality of food grains among PDS stores
Ration shops get full price for food grains from the poor; no incentive to turn the poor away  
Cons Food coupons are not indexed for inflation; may expose recipients to inflation
Difficult to administer; there have known to be delays in issuing food coupons and reimbursing shops

4. Use Technology

Some of the states are already using the technology to stop leakages in the PDS and showing positive results . These include

Issue of Smart Card Haryana , Tamil Nadu, Punjab
Using GPS Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu
SMS based Monitoring Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, UP

Globalization

Globalization

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

 

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

 

When did Globalization started?

No agreement on this

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

What Exactly is Globalization ?

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

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

 

Social
  • Local happenings are shaped by events occuring miles away

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Factors helping Globalization

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Negatives of Globalization in General

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

 

 

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

 

Socio-cultural Globalization & India

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

 

 

 

Economic Globalization & India

Economic globalization comprises of two aspects :

  • Globalisation of production
  • Globalisation of markets

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Impact of Globalization on various sections of society

1. Society as a Whole

Family structure Value of Individualism  =>  nuclearisation of families

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Withdrawal of

Government

 from Social Sector

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

 

2. Female

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

 

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

 

 

3. Farmers and Agriculture

Positive Impact of globalization

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

 

 

Negative Impact of globalization

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

 

 

4. Old Age

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

5. New Generation / youth 

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

 

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

 

 

 

5. Art Forms

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

 

Localisation  vs Homogenisation vs Clash of Civilisation

With increase in globalization, what will happen? 

Three contrasting views

Globalisation
Result of increasing Globalisation

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

 

Glocalization

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

Globalization
Glocalization

 

Arguments for Glocalization

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

 

 

 

Argument for  Homogeneity

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

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

 

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

 

Infact Globalization is Americanisation of the world

 

 

3rd view – Cultural polarization

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regionalism

Regionalism

This article deals with topic titled ‘Regionalism’.

 

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

 

 

What is Regionalism?

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

 

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

 

 

Is Regionalism a threat to National Integration?

The politics of regionalism has two connotations

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

 

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

 

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

 

Characteristics of regionalism

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

 

 

 

Types of Regionalism

Regionalism
Types of Regionalism

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Causes of regionalism in India

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Son of the Soil Movement

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

 

 

Why son of the soil?

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Impact of Regionalism in India

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

 

Negative Regionalism at times transforms into secessionism

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

It can cause great damage to private and public property.

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

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

 

 

 

 

Ways to Combat 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Other factors why India hasn’t faced Regionalism 

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

 

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

 

  • Economic interdependence between different regions

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Secularism

Secularism

This article deals with topic titled ‘Secularism’.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Three models

Secularism
Models of Secularism

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

 

Arm length distance is maintained between state and religion.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Provisions regarding Secularism in India

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

 

 

Challenges to Secularism

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

 

 

 

For more articles on Society, click below.

Society – UPSC Material

 

 

Communalism

Communalism

This article deals with topic titled ‘Communalism.’

 

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

 

 

Definition of Communalism

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

 

 

Stages of Communalism

Communalism is manifested at three levels

communalism
communalism

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

 

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

 

6 types of Communalism

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

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

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

 

 

Characteristics of Communalism

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

 

Evolution of Communalism in India

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

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

 

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

 

Causes of Communalism

Failing of Minorities to integrate in Mainstream

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

 

Vote Bank Politics

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

 

Communal way of History writing

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

 

Economic Causes

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

 

Absence of Uniform Code

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

 

Psychological factors

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

 

Politics of Appeasement

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

 

Provocation of Enemy Countries

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

 

 

 

Problems in State Machinery to fight Communalism

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

 

Impact of Communalism

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Ways to eradicate Communalism:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety of Women at Workplace

Safety of Women at Workplace

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Initiatives taken so far

      • Vishakha Guidelines by  Supreme Court in 1997

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2012

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

      • Limited time period of 90 days to file complaint

 

      • Provide security to only women and not men

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Current Cases

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

 

 

 

Women Safety in India

Women Safety in India

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Factors aggravating & affecting women safety

1. Socio-Economic-Cultural Factors

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

 

2. Institutional Failures

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

 

3. Lack of Reporting

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

 

4. Infra Gaps

  • Poorly lit urban spaces coupled with inadequate police patrolling

 

 

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

 

 

 

Justice Verma Committee

Formed – After the horrific event of Nirbhaya death

 

Recommendations

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

 

 

Government schemes in this regard

1.Acts and legal measures

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

 

2. Surakshit Nari , Sashakt Nari

Following things done under this scheme

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

Etc

 

3. Sakhi-One Stop Centre Scheme

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

4. Transportation Schemes

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

 

 

 

 

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

This article deals with topic titled ‘Domestic Violence’.

 

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

 

 

What is Domestic Violence?

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

 

 

 

Forms  

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

 

 

Causes  

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

 

 

 

 

Effects  

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

 

 

 

Act : Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

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

 

 

 

 

Negative points / Lacunae

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

 

 

 

Recent Judgement making it Gender Neutral

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

 

Reasoning of Court

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

 

Significance of the Change

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