Budgeting Process

Budgeting Process

This article deals with the ‘Budgeting Process.’ This article is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3. For more articles, you can click here.


What is Budgeting?

Budgeting is the process/strategy with which the budget is prepared.


Line Item Budget

  • Line item budget clusters proposed expenses of each department. It represents the allocation of funds to each item in a single line. It includes detailed ceilings on the amount of salaries, travelling allowances, office expenses, etc. The focus is on ensuring that the agencies or units do not exceed the ceilings prescribed.
Line Item Budget

Advantages 

  • This type of budget is easily understandable and implementable.
  • It facilitates centralized control and fixing of authority and responsibility of the spending units.
  • This aggregation method can easily illustrate which department and cost centre absorbs the bulk of the entity’s funds.

Disadvantages 

  • It leads to incrementalism.
  • It does not provide enough information to the top levels about the activities and achievements of individual units. 

Weaknesses of the line item budgeting were sought to be remedied by introducing certain reforms. Performance budgeting was the first such reform. 


Performance Budget

It was propounded by First Hoover Commission (USA) and implemented by President Truman in 1950. On the recommendations of the First ARC in 1968, Indira Gandhi Government tried to implement it in 1968. But this experiment doesn’t prove to be successful. Hence, Line Item Budget is still popular in India.

A performance budget reflects the resource inputs and service outputs for each unit of an organization. 

Process to make Performance Budget

  • The purpose of every Organisation / Ministry is defined.
  • Programmes, activities, projects and works are charted out to meet that purpose. 
  • It is different from Line Item Budget in the sense that it doesn’t look only into expenditure. Instead, the main emphasis is on programs, activities and works that will be carried out to achieve the stated purpose. (Eg: to increase Primary Education, Line Item Budget will tell the amount to be spent on Education whereas the Performance Budget will tell us about programs, activities and works that will be carried out to achieve that purpose.)  
Performance Budget

Line Item Budgeting vs Performance Budgeting

Line Item Performance Budget
Expenditures are arranged from Major Expenditure Item to Smaller Expenditure Items.   Itemised Expenditures are not shown. Emphasis is on showing accomplishment of program, activity and work with given expenditure.
Aim: Reducing the expenditure Aim: Achieving the purpose and objectives with given expenditure.
Old projects and programmes are continued, and new items are joined with it. The budget maker has to perform more work every year. For every financial year, he has to define purpose, programme, activity and work. Hence, new programs are seen every year.
Generalists are required for its operationalisation. Specialists are required for its operationalisation.

For a developing country like India,  reasons for failure of its implementation

  • Performance Budget requires Specialist Bureaucracy, but Generalists are powerful in India.
  • Frank Cruze, in 1964, commented that until Accounting is decentralised, it cant be implemented in India.
  • It becomes difficult to stop old programs in developing countries. In such a situation, a Performance Budget cant be implemented because, in this system, programs keep on changing every year.
  • In India, the Budget is used for political purposes. For that, Line Item Budget is more helpful as more items can be added to it.
  • Everything from purpose to work has to be defined every year. In India, it is impossible because here, even the aims of Organisations / Ministries are not defined in a proper way.

Output Budget

  • It was introduced in India in the financial year 2005-2006.
  • It is an Indian version of Performance Budget.
  • Budgeting scheme that gives program / project-wise outlays for all central ministries, departments and organisations listed against corresponding outcomes (measurable physical targets) to be achieved during the year.
Output Budget
  • The government is continuously increasing the number of departments whose Budget is made on this basis. It started with the Department of Space.
  • 2017: Delhi Government introduced Outcome Based Budgeting in 2017 Budget.

Features / Nature

  • Under Outcome Budget, Organisation’s Budget is made in such a way that it has monitorable and measurable targets. 
  • Cost-benefit analysis of every unit is carried out to yield maximum benefit at minimum cost. 
  • Benchmarking of services and goods is provided.
  • The feedback mechanism is strengthened to get feedback from customers / citizens
  • Management Information System (MIS) is operationalised to digitalise expenditure and outcomes for rapid evaluation.

Impact of Outcome Budget

More than one decade has passed since India has adopted the Outcome Budget. The number of Departments under this has increased.

  • In Winter Session (in September), every Department where Outcome Budget is operational presents their Report Card.
  • Accountability of the Executive: Linking funds to the results is a powerful tool to increase the accountability of the executive.
  • It helps in better utilisation of money.

Problems in Outcome Based Budgeting

  • Difficulty to define targets.
  • A large number of ministries are involved in achieving the target. E.g. to achieve an IMR of say 20, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Woman and Child Welfare need to work in synergy. 
  • Not only the Union but help of States and Local Governments is also needed to achieve targets.  

What more needs to be done?

  • Apart from implementing Outcome Budget in all Central Departments, it should also be implemented in all the states. 
  • Many programmes are run jointly by states and union. These programs always face the issue of ‘Match Funding’. This need to be brought under the Outcome Budget.
  • Like Performance Budget, Outcome Budget also requires decentralisation of accounts to make it a success. 

Zero Based Budget (ZBB)

  • It was invented by Peter Pyhrr in 1969 and implemented in Texas Instrument (company) for the first time. 
  • It was implemented in 1972 in the Georgia state of USA by Jimmy Carter as Governor, and in 1978-79, it was implemented in the Federal Budget of USA. 
  • In India, we tried to implement it in 1974. But it proved to be a failure.

What is Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB)

The budgeting process in which the rationale of every expense needs to be justified for a new period is known as Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB).

Process of formation of ZBB 

  • In this Budget, all the running programs and projects are zeroed at the end of each financial year, i.e. old facts and figures aren’t taken.
  • Budget maker plans for next financial year keeping in mind which programs and projects are needed for the present situation.  

Reasons for failure of ZBB in India 

  • The digitalisation of records of finances is required. But in India, all the departments are not digitalised even today.
  • Managerial autonomy is required. But in India, the enormous influence of politics can be seen on administration.
  • Citizens in India don’t like frequent changes in government programs. But in ZBB, there are chances of changing programs. 
  • For operationalisation of ZBB, Specialist Bureaucracy is required (India has Generalist Bureaucracy).

Social Influence and Persuasion

Social Influence and Persuasion

This article deals with the topic titled ‘Moral Influence and Persuasion’ This is part of our series on ‘Ethics’. For more articles, you can click here.


Attitude Change Theory 

Attitudinal change means changing someone else’s perception of what is right or wrong according to our will.

Attitudes change can manifest itself as:

  1. A person receiving new information from others or media – Cognitive change
  2. Through direct experience with the attitude object – Affective change
  3. Force a person to behave in a way different than normal – Behavioural change

Attitude change can happen through the following mechanisms.

1 . Creating Dissonance 

  • This method can be used to alter cognitive based attitude.
  • For example, a person might not have thought that not paying tax is also a form of corruption. Hence, we can change this attitude by planting an idea in a person mind that challenges his beliefs by arguing that tax evasion is the same as corruption  
  • Application for Civil Servants: In advertisements or via mass campaigns we give information to challenge the beliefs of the public.

2. Operant Conditioning

  • This method can be used to alter behaviour-based attitude. 
  • Punish when somebody does the wrong thing. He will stop doing that thing.

3. Classical Conditioning

  • It can be used to change attitude, especially of children. For example: Create phobia in children of things you don’t want them to do.

4. Social Influence

  • Explained below.

5. By Persuasion

  • Explained below.

Persuasion Theory

  • Persuasion refers to the process of changing the attitudes and behaviours of the TARGET GROUP  towards some event, idea, object, or another person (s) in the intended direction, by using written or spoken words to convey information, feelings, or reasoning, or a combination thereof.
  • It should be noted that Persuasion is a RECEIVER CENTRIC EXERCISE. It is not what the source says it is what the receiver understands.  

Persuasion involves 4 elements

  • Source / Persuader: Which is the originator of the information or message
  • Receiver / Target Group: It receives the information presented by the source 
  • Persuasive Message: Appeal issued by the source 
  • Channel / Medium through which message/information is delivered to the Receiver 

It can be summed up as – Who says, what, to Whom through what means. 


Why Public Officials are not able to Persuade the Target group?

  • The reason for this is the presence of certain barriersSemantics, Psychological and Physical Barriers. If the Public Official can overcome those barriers, only then Persuasion will be successful.
Persuasion Theory
  • To overcome these barriers, District Magistrate can use various influence tactics such as involving Sarpanch to overcome these barriers. Along with that, he/she must take feedback from the Target Audience to rectify any shortcomings.
Persuasion UPSC Case Study

Source, Receiver and Message Characteristics

1 . Source

The source will communicate the message.

It should have the following three characteristics:-

Credible 
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2. Trustworthiness 
Attractiveness 
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1. Physical Features 
2. Communication Styl 
3.AttitudinaI Similarity 
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1.1 Credibility 

  • To access credibility, we have to look into two things i.e. 
    1. Expertness (judged by the knowledge base of source). 
    2. Trustworthiness (judged by finding out whether the source has a vested interest). 
  • A high credibility source is more successful in bringing about the desired attitude change as the credibility of the source will make the Target Group listen to the message delivered by the source. 

1.2 Attractiveness

  • An attractive Source is more likely to succeed in persuasion.
  • The primary factors that decide the attractiveness of the source include 
    1. Physical Features 
    2. Communicative Versatility 
    3. Attitudinal Similarity

1.3 Power

  • Power is the potential to change the behaviour of the target group in the intended direction despite their resistance.

Power, Attractiveness and Credibility will cause behaviour change in different ways

Power Compliance
Attractiveness Identification
Credibility Internalisation

Hence, Credibility is the best way to change behaviour because it will lead internalization of values and attitudes. If all three things are present, nothing better than that.

Note:  The biggest barrier to behavioural changes in India is that the common citizen does not have an emotional connection with the chief change agent—the government. Governments are considered corrupt and inefficient.


2. Message

2.1 Message Discrepancy

  • It means the degree of inconsistency in the message the source should present to the target group. 
  • The message should be such that it should be within the zone of acceptance of the target group. 
    1. Some people have a wider zone of acceptance and they are facilitators. 
    2. Some people have a very narrow zone of acceptance and they are resistors. 
Message Discrepancy

2.2 Emotional Factor

  • The message should have emotional content in that.
  • For example, to motivate someone to stay fit or to quit smoking, one should not only cite scientific evidence to prove the point but can also convince using the fear of deadly diseases or the joy of a healthy life.

2.3 Fear Appeal

  • Mild and moderate appeals to fear generally work better than strong fear appeals. 
  • Strong fear appeals produce defensive avoidance wherein the target group insulate itself from the message.

2.4 Targeting values

  • People can manage their self-images by yielding to requests for action that fits or enhances their identities.
  • Influence professionals can increase compliance by linking their requests to the values to which people feel committed, especially when these values are prominent in consciousness.

2.5 Other factors

  • Persuasion requires a message to be presented in vivid language and backed by data.
  • The message should be such that it establishes a common ground with target people. For example- Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas Slogan used by BJP during election campaign established common ground with the public.
  • Point out the benefits: Persuader should highlight the major benefits of changed behaviour or attitude.
  • Social proof technique: People tend to follow others (bandwagon effect) more so when they don’t have sufficient information to decide on their own. This technique will involve you telling the target population that other people are getting benefits from the suggested change, with empirical evidence. For example, in campaigning against female feticide in Haryana we may invoke the examples of some female sportspersons who have won laurels like S. Nehwal in Badminton.
  • Scarcity: This involves letting people know that they stand to lose on a chance to get the benefits out of the proposed change. For example, we often see the end of the season or hoardings like Hurry!! Limited offer.

Best results are obtained when the Persuasive message has both emotional and factual element in it.


3. Receiver Characteristics

3.1 Personality factors

  • Individuals with high self-efficacy, high self-esteem, moderate level of arousal and internal locus of control are difficult to persuade but when they are presented with logical arguments supported by relevant facts, they are likely to be won over. 

3.2 Intelligence

  • Intelligence refers to the information processing ability of an individual.  
  • Intelligent people because of their superior critical thinking abilities are less likely to be influenced by appeals that are illogical or not supported by relevant facts. However, when presented with appeals that have factual backing, they are likely to be convinced. 

4. Channel Factor

  • Use appropriate channel of communication (Don’t show the picture to the blind).
Radio 
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Digital Marketing

Cognitive Route to Persuasion – Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)

  • It is an influential cognitive model of persuasion and it suggests that attitude change can occur either through
    • Careful processing of attitude relevant information i.e. Central Route OR 
    • In a relatively automatic manner in response to various persuasion cues i.e. Peripheral Route
  • Attitude change produced through Central Route is more lasting and has a stronger impact upon the old behaviour. 
Elaboration Likelihood Model

Central Route: When the target group finds the message interesting, important and personally relevant and when nothing else prevents them from devoting careful attention to it, they are likely to examine the message in a careful and thoughtful manner evaluating the strength and rationality of the arguments made. If they find the arguments appealing, relevant and factually supported, then they are likely to change their attitude and Persuasion occurs. 


Peripheral Route: In contrast, if they find the message uninteresting or uninvolving, they are not motivated to process it carefully but still the persuasion occurs but this time through the peripheral route. If the message contains something that induces a positive feeling or the source of a message is high in prestige and status, under these conditions Attitude change may occur without critical analysis of message content. 


Attitude Change accomplished through Central Route is more desirable because

  • It lasts longer than one achieved through the peripheral route.
  • It is more resistant to later attempts at persuasion. 
  • It is more closely related to behaviour than the attitudes changed through the peripheral route. 

Culture and Attitude Change

  • In the west, people are more individualistic (not bothered about what others feel about them). But Asian Culture is different & people are more interdependent
  • The western ad should let people feel that they are free but Indian ad should be such that you will be treated positively by the community if you do something (because here what society thinks about you is more important).


Social Influence / Peer Pressure

  • Social Influence can be defined as a change in behaviour caused by real and imagined pressure from others (in the society). 
  • It plays a very important role in  
    1. Attitude formation and change. 
    2. Removal of Prejudice 
    3. Group Decision making 
  • It gets manifested through three mechanisms
Conformity Group influence in action
Compliance Making a request
Obedience Giving orders

1. Conformity

  • Involves changing one’s behaviour to match the responses of others and to fit in with those around us.
  • Why person do this?
    • Human beings, being inherently social, desire companionship or associations. For a successful and healthy atmosphere in the group, people try to blend in.
    • They change their behaviour somewhat so that they are liked.
    • To avoid social rejection and fear of being different from the group. 

Case Study of #SelfieWithDaughter

The selfie campaign showcased examples of parents around the country who were celebrating the birth child. Most people wanted to conform, and more and more parents posted selfies with their girls. Started by one proud father in a village in Haryana, the campaign went viral and #SelfieWithDaughter became a worldwide hit.


2. Compliance

  • Act of changing one’s behaviour in response to a direct request from friends, neighbours, relatives etc.
  • In this, people appear to agree with others in public but keep their dissenting opinions private.

3. Obedience

  • Obedience is a special type of compliance that involves changing one’s behaviour in response to a directive from an authority figure.
  • One reason authorities are influential is that they are often experts, and, by following an authority’s directives, people can usually choose correctly without having to think hard about the issue themselves.
  • Reasons for Obedience 
    1. Visible Badges: Badges on the dress of General is different from Captain to remind them who is IN-CHARGE. 
    2. Transfer / Diffusion of Responsibility: Transfer of responsibility in case you are ordered to do that work by your superior or person of authority and diffusion of responsibility when a person is working in a group.

Milgram’s Experiment

  • To show that how people indulge in acts of destructive obedience. 
  • Hitler was an evil dictator. But even ordinary Germans participated in atrocities against Jews. The reason for this observation was given by Milgram’s Experiment. 
  • Prof. Stanley Milgram of Yale University (1961) did this study and experiment.

Experiment

  • In this experiment, Confederate (Learner / Actor) and Subject (Teacher) were made to sit in two rooms separated by transparent glass. 
    • Subject (Teacher) was asked to give a shock to the Student if he did a mistake and increase the magnitude of shock with each mistake. 
    • Confederate (Actor) was the person implanted by the Experimenter in the experiment who deliberately committed mistakes and pretended to be hurt by the shocks and scream in pain when the button was pushed.
  • 2/3rd of the participants gave shocks to a fatal level (450 volts).
  • Reason: There was a doctor (Person of Authority) who kept saying “increase the voltage, the person will not die.”
Milgram Experiment

Moral of the story

  • Ordinary people are willing although with some reluctance to harm an innocent stranger if ordered to do so by someone in authority. They did so because of (destructive) Obedience since there was 
    • Visible badge (person of authority) 
    • Transfer of responsibility (responsibility was of a person who gave order)
    • The gradual escalation of orders by an authority figure
  • This is the reason why German Officers many of whom were not even anti-Semitic killed Jews.  

How to resist Destructive Obedience 

  • Exposure to Disobedient Morals such as Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of Civil Disobedience. A person should learn to say no to things which his/her conscience won’t allow. 
  • Making the target group members realize that it is them and not authorities that would be responsible for the harm produced. 

Successful Case Studies

Successful Case Study of Changing Attitude : Swachh Bharat Mission
Successful Case Study of Changing Attitude

Moral and Political Attitudes

Moral and Political Attitudes

This article deals with the topic titled ‘Moral and Political Attitude.’ This is part of our series on ‘Ethics’. For more articles, you can click here.


Part 1: Political Attitudes

Political Attitude and Ideologies

In Political Attitudes, the attitude object is a political party, political person or political ideology. It defines your likes or dislikes for a political person, party or ideology.

Types of Political Ideologies

Moral and Political Attitudes

1. Reactionary

  • They want to go to previous systems and can be ranked one step behind conservatives (who just want the status quo). 
  • Eg: Taliban and ISIS.

2. Conservative

  • They demand Status-quo.
  • Reason: Their interests are tied to the system.

3. Liberal / Moderate

  • Liberals are proponents of liberty, equality and democracy. 
  • Unlike Conservatives, they do want reforms in the system but not using violent methods but gradually through legal means.

4. Radicals / Extremists

  • They want immediate reforms and can even adopt violent means.
  • Eg: Communists who want to confiscate private property and are even ready to use violent means for that.

Personality Traits and their impact on Political Attitude

1 . Agreeable-ness

  • A person with a high level of agreeableness is friendly and tactful. They have an optimistic view of human nature  
  • A person who scores low on agreeableness put their interests above others. They are distant, unfriendly & uncooperative. 
  • Eg: When Modi Govt requested well offs to give off their LPG Subsidy arguing that they will use the same money to provide LPG to the poor, those who were agreeable left it but certain people who scored low on agreeableness questioned the intention and asked first MPs should give up their canteen subsidy and then ask for this.

2. Openness to experience

  • Those who are open to experience  enjoy trying new things 
    • Modi promised Acche Din  
    • AAP: Many people in Delhi gave chance to them because they were open to experience 
  • Those who are not ready for experience are Conservative & enjoy having a routine. In the UK, supporters of the Conservative Party.

3. Emotional Stability

  • Emotional Stability is a measure of how well a person can control his/her emotions 
  • Those who rank high are calm, resilient & poised.
    1. They don’t get swayed by incidents like riots or intolerance. 
    2. They cant be easily moulded by media.

4. Emotional Stability

  • Extrovert: People who speak a lot, are easily sociable & get energised by social interaction. 
  • Introvert: People who are reserved, tentative and drained by social interaction.

Those who score high in extroversion are the life of the party.


5. Religion

  • Religion impacts political attitudes as  
    1. Devout Christians in the USA vote in favour of Republicans because they are against Homosexual Marriages.  
    2. Devout Hindus vote in favour of the BJP because they talk about protecting the Hindu religion.
  • “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is” – Gandhi

6. Age

  • Young people generally vote in favour of parties that favour change as they will reap the benefits of those changes.
  • On the other hand, old age people generally vote in favour of parties calling for a Status Quo.

7. Economic Status

  • Poor vote in favour of Socialist and Communist parties calling for wealth redistribution.
  • Rich vote in favour of right-wing parties which talk about lower tax rates and protection of property right.

8. Residence

  • If a person is unemployed, he will align with parties like MNS who promise Son of the Soil Policies.

9. Family

  • The political ideology of parents is generally copied by Children.

10. Gender

  • Females favour Liberal ideology and those who talk about the emancipation of women.

11. Education

  • School curriculum and lessons taught in school plays important role in the formation of political attitudes.
  • The Soviet Union and Maoist China’s education used to glorify the teachings of Marx.  

12. Conception about human nature

Nature of human beings in general perceived by the person has an important role to play in the formation of Political Attitude

  • Hobbes Philosophy: It is of the opinion that” Person is fundamentally evil“. Advocates of such philosophy will have a political attitude favouring a strong state which can keep the evils of humans in check 
  • Locke’s Philosophy: ” Man is a good rational person. “Advocates of such philosophy will have a political attitude favouring weak state with more rights and freedom guaranteed to its citizens.

13. Social media

Media and social media can be used to mould political attitudes. Eg : 2014 & 2019 elections.

Positive Side

  • Greater Outreach: Social media allows politicians and political parties to connect directly with people at a reduced cost.  
  • It allows ‘two-way communication’ and leaders can take real-time feedback from common people.
  • Campaign management as political parties come to know about the demographics, economic and social status of the followers and manage the image of candidate with tailored messages for a particular segment.
  • Election Commission uses social media campaigns to encourage citizens to cast a vote. 
  • It is used by NGOs like ADR to increase transparency. 

Negative Side

  • It leads to the polarisation of votes.
  • Playing with Psychology as was done by Cambridge Analytica.  
  • Dissemination of misinformation at lightening speed leading to events such as the mass exodus of north-easterners from Bengaluru. 

Overall political attitude will be formed not by just one component but by the combination of all these factors.


Case Study: Cambridge Analytica

  • Cambridge  Analytica created a psychological profile of Facebook users using their likes and dislikes on Facebook.
  • Advertisements were targeted according to psychological profiles.  For example, someone who was judged to be an extrovert would see a different version of an advertisement than someone who was judged to be an introvert. 
Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Moral Attitudes

  • Attitude is the enduring predisposition to behave, either favourably or unfavourably, towards something. But not all attitudes are concerned with the question of morality. Moral Attitudes are those attitudes where the question of morality (i.e. Judgement of being right or wrong) is involved.
  • For example, A person may have a favourable attitude towards transacting in cash rather than electronically. There is nothing moral or immoral about it. However, if his motive to transact in cash arises from his desire to hide his income from the government, then it has a moral connotation.

How are moral attitudes shaped?

Moral Attitudes are made up of the same three elements i.e.

  • Cognitive: It is the knowledge of ethical rules and judgments of what is good and what is bad.
  • Affective: It involves the person’s feelings and conduct in reaction to situations that need moral and ethical decisions.
  • Behavioural: It is the person’s actual behaviour, his response to situations involving ethical considerations.

Important points about Moral Attitudes

  • Moral Attitudes are made up of amoral attitudes that are strongly influenced by society and culture. Religious beliefs, traditions, folklore, myths, legends – all have an implicit messaging in them- about what is good and what is bad. As such, they shape the moral attitudes of people. 
  • Moral attitudes vary over time and space. For example, people had a positive moral attitude wrt Sati during Medieval times. Similarly, they can also vary with gender. Men, for instance, may have a less negative attitude towards bribery than women.  
  • Moral attitudes can be both facilitative and prohibitive. They facilitate actions such as helping someone in need (altruism), social service, etc. Also, actions that are considered immoral are discouraged such as adultery, stalking, cheating, etc.

Migration

Migration

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

What is Migration ?

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

Types of Migration in India

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

Trends of migration in India

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

1 . Intrastate Migration

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

2 . Interstate Migration

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

Interstate Migration is also of two types with different Destination

2.1 Rural as Destination

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

2.2 Urban as Destination

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

3 . International Migration

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

Side Topic : Curious Case of Mexican International Migrants

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

Side Topic : Brain Drain

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

Impact on receiving country

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

Country of origin

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

Theories of Migration

1 . Ravenstein’s Gravity Model

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

2. Pull-Push Hypothesis

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

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

3. Cost and Benefit Model

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

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

Causes of Migration

1 . Push Factors

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

1.1 Economic Causes

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

1.2 Socio-Cultural Causes

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

1.3 Political Causes

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

2. Pull Factors

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

2.1 Economic Causes

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

2.2 Socio-Cultural Causes

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

2.3 Political Causes

  • Political freedom in western countries.

3. Pull Back Factors

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

Side Topic :  Internal Migration due to disasters

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

Characteristics of the Migrants in India

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

Consequences of Migration

1 . On the destination

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

2. On the source

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

3. On migrants

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

Legal measures

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

Way forward

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

Honour Killing

Honour Killing

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

Introduction

According to Britannica , Honour Killing is the murder of a woman or girl by male family members. The killers justify their actions by claiming that the victim has brought dishonour upon the family name . 

Reasons

Problem of Honour killing is quite complex & reasons vary in different areas.

  • Feudal Mindset  :  woman marrying outside her community brings dishonour to the family and it is better to kill them and set example for others .
  • Strike against Dalit Assertion  especially when women is from OBC caste & boy from Dalit caste .
  • Inter religious marriages : Politicisation of matter  especially in  UP  and ‘Love Jihad’ campaign by Hindutva ultra right wing.
  • Same Gotra Issue in Haryana : In Haryana, marriages between couples belonging to the same gotra  are not recognised leading to incidents of honour killing.
  • Law Commission of India observed that one of the reasons of honour killing is change in economic status of women and taking a stand against the male-dominated culture.

Law regarding this

But, inspite of the increase in the number of crimes in the name of honour there is

  • no definition of the crime
  • no protections legally afforded to  couple

Special law like Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act could render some justice to the victims of honour killings.

Judgements wrt Honour Killing

1 . Shakti Vahini Case (2018)

  • NGO Shakti Vahini filed PIL in Supreme Court.
  • Supreme Court gave various guidelines to end honour killings like
    1. State Government should identify districts where honour killing happened in last 5 years .
    2. Khaps  should not act as they are conscience-keepers .
    3. Police should help couples . 
    4. Safe Houses for couples (1 month to 1 year) .
    1. Fast Track Courts should be made to decide case within 6 months .

Earlier Judgements regarding Honour Killings

2. Supreme Court Judgement on Khap Panchayats (2011)

In 2011, Supreme Court termed

  • Khaps were termed as “kangaroo courts” .
  • They were declared them illegal .
  • Court wanted them to be stamped out ruthlessly. 

3. Lata Singh v. State of U.P.

  • Inter-caste marriages are in fact in the national interest as they will result in destroying the caste system.

4. Bhagwan Das v. Delhi  (2011)

  • Supreme Court deemed honour killings in the “rarest of rare” category of crimes that deserve the death penalty.

Feminisation of Agriculture

Feminisation of Agriculture

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

Introduction

  • Feminisation of agriculture means the increasing visibility and participation of woman in agriculture .
  • Women constitute close to 35 % of all agricultural workers (NSSO 2011-12).
  • However , they are joining agriculture as agrarian proletariat /labour class (& not as owners) .

Feminisation of Agriculture

Reasons

  • Migration of Males  from rural areas to cities leaving behind  agricultural chores to women. This trend in the agriculture sector was most visible during 1999-2005 marked by declining agriculture growth rates which saw a distress migration of male members to relatively better paying jobs either in the urban informal economy or the agriculturally prosperous states .
  • Widowhood forces woman to till the land to feed family. 

Has this led to women empowerment ?

Yes, it has

It has increased participation of women in the workforce & helped them to

  1. Acquire financial independence 
  2. Imbibe decision making skills.

No , it hasn’t

  • Feminization of Agriculture is not an intended consequence but an unintended impact of distress migration .
  • Due to patriarchal nature of society, they are referred as flexible labours . Hence, they are joining the sector as an agrarian proletariat .
  • Although they are participating in the agriculture but they don’t have  land rights.
  • Because of rural sector schemes like MGNREGA,  men are migrating back  and women are  again confined to  domestic spheres (phenomenon known as ‘de-feminization of agriculture’) .

Issues

  • Lack of Property Rights : Given the social and religious set up in India, women do not generally enjoy equal property rights as their male counter parts .
  • Women also have poor access to credit, irrigation, inputs, technology and markets.
  • Agricultural implements are designed for men .

What steps can  government take in view of feminization of Agriculture ?

  • Gender responsive agricultural budgets and  policies are the need of the hour.
  • More property rights should be provided to women .
  • Machines like tractors should be specifically designed for women .
  • Women should be provided preferential membership in the rural cooperatives.
  • Formation of Agricultural SHG for women.
  • Providing creche facility to such women farmers  .

Steps taken by Government

  • 15 October is celebrated as ‘Women Farmers day‘ .
  • Atleast 30% budget allocation should be provided to women beneficiaries in all schemes & programs (including agriculture) .
  • Low duty and tax if land transfer is on women name in some states like Punjab.
  • Women Agricultural Self Help Groups (SHGs) are being promoted by the government.

Side Topic : Defeminisation of Agriculture

  • Due to schemes like MGNREGA, men who earlier migrated to other areas in search of jobs have started to come back. This has led to reverse process known as Defeminisation of Agriculture .

Concept : Feminization of work

It has three dimensions

  1. When more number of females are working
  2. When there is increased concentration of woman in certain jobs
  3. When men start participating in the work that was traditionally domain of women (Eg : cookery)

Contract Farming

Contract Farming

This article deals with ‘Contract Farming.’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is important pillar of GS-3 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here .

Introduction

It is a forward agreement between farmers & buyers  in which

Buyer – Agrees to buy produce from farmer at predetermined price &
– Usually provides inputs (Seeds, fertilizers, pesticides), technology and production practices so that final produce meets his desired quality.
Farmer – Agrees to grow and supply the produce to the buyer at predetermined quality, quantity and prices.

But problem is,  this is prevalent in only few states where APMC laws allow this  

Punjab 1. PepsiCo doing contract farming with Potato farmers of Hoshiarpur district.
2. ITC doing contract farming for Soyabean.
3. Mahindra Shubhlabh doing contract farming for Basmati rice.
Karnataka Himalaya doing contract farming with Ashwagandha producers.
Madhya Pradesh Hindustan Unilever doing contract farming with wheat farmers.

In news because

  • Model Contract Farming Act was released by the government.
  • It is Important component  in doubling farmers income .

Benefits of Contract Farming

  • Improving Farmer’s Productivity : It provides  access to better inputs, scientific practices and credit facilities .
  • Insurance to post harvest price fluctuations : Prices are fixed, hence farmers are saved from price fluctuations .
  • Crop Diversification : Otherwise farmers grow only wheat and rice which is procured by Government .
  • Helps in promoting Food Processing Industry .
  • Company can get desired quality of agro products .
  • Consumers Benefit : Elimination of intermediaries can  reduce food price inflation.

Challenges with Contract Farming

  • Stockholdings limits on contracted produce under Essential Commodities Act, 1955  .
  • Not benefiting Small Farmers: Buyers have no incentive for contract farming with a large number of small and marginal farmers due to high transactions and marketing costs, creating socio-economic distortions and preference for large farmers
  • It is a capital-intensive and less sustainable pattern of cultivation as it promotes increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides which have detrimental impact on natural resources, environment, humans and animals.
  • Encourages Monoculture Farming: This will not only impact soil health but also pose risk to food security .
  • Monopsony: Product is generally special crop and for that company is the only buyer. Hence, farmer can be price taker only because company is the sole buyer .
  • Predetermined prices denies farmer the  benefits of higher prices  prevailing in the market  .

Key Features of Contract Farming Act

  • Mainly to address issue of breach of contract by the company (because company can breach contract if they are getting goods at cheap price and then afford lawyer to fight case) .
  • It sets up Contract Farming Authority and Recording Committees to register the contracts and implement them effectively .
  • It provides to keep contract farming outside the ambit of APMC act .
  • The produce will be insured under the existing agriculture insurance schemes.
  • It makes provisions for making farmer producer Companies (FPCs).

Income Inequalities

Income Inequalities

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

Introduction

  • Income inequality is the degree to which income is unevenly distributed throughout the population.
  • It is measured statistically using Gini Coefficient.
  • Apart from that, Oxfam also releases a report every year showing the income inequality in the world and India.

Gini Coefficient

  • Gini Coefficient is a statistical measure to gauge income inequality or wealth divide .
  • It’s value vary between 0 to 1 ; 0 indicating perfect inequality and 1 indicating perfect equality.
  • An increase in value of Gini Coefficient means that inequality in an economy is increasing and government policies are not inclusive and benefitting richer .

Calculation of Gini Coefficient

  • Gini Coefficient is a statistical measure to gauge income inequality or wealth divide .
  • It’s value vary between 0 to 1 ; 0 indicating perfect inequality and 1 indicating perfect equality.
  • An increase in value of Gini Coefficient means that inequality in an economy is increasing and government policies are not inclusive and benefitting richer .

Calculation of Gini Coefficient

  • Gini Coefficient = A / (A+B)
Gini Coefficient

In the graph shown above

  • Horizontal axis on this chart represents cumulative shares of the population.
  • Vertical axis is cumulative shares of income.
  • A+ B is constant and if
    • A is higher, it means inequality is higher .
    • A is smaller, it means inequality is lower.
    • If A = 0 , then no income inequality.
  • Hence, Gini Coefficient is measured from 0 to 1 and lower value means low inequality and higher means more inequality .

Kuznet Curve on Inequality

  • Famous US Economist Simon Kuznet showed that as an economy develops, market forces will first increase inequality and then decrease inequality among people.
  • This happens because the initial phase of economic growth boosts the income of workers and investors who participate in first wave of innovation . But this inequality is temporary as other workers and investors soon catch-up resulting in improvement of their incomes as well.
Kuznet Curve

India and Income Inequality  

  • Piketty the world famous economist have cautioned India for rising levels of Income inequalities and its consequences. In country like India where other forms of inequalities are present too most important being caste system, income inequalities exacerbates the situation .
  • India grew at average rate of 7.5% since 2011 but growth is not equally distributed (rich are growing more)  . Gini Coefficient shows that income inequality is continuously increasing in India . The following data corroborates this 
Gini Coefficient of India
  • According to Oxfam Report (2020) , India’s top 1% wealthy people hold 42.% of the National Wealth  while the bottom 60% own less than 5%.
Income Inequalities
  • According to Oxfam head , it is morally outrageous that a few wealthy individuals are collecting growing share of India’s wealth , while the poor are struggling to find their next meal . If this obscene inequality continues, it will lead to complete collapse of social and democratic structure of this country.

Causes of Income Inequality

Historical Causes Caste System : Due to exclusion of lower caste from ownership of land and education , people belonging to lower caste are poor .  
Social Causes Caste System is the main reason.
Due to patriarchal and patrilineal nature of Indian society, Women don’t own factors of production in India.
 
Frequent Global Economic Crisis Economic Crisis like that happened in 2008 accentuate income inequality by making richer rich and poorer poor . 

(How= Central Bank cant allow big houses to fell . Due to this, they get large cuts . Currency devaluate and Amount of loans that companies have to pay decrease in reality. On the other hand, households who have deposited their money loose value of their money)  
Faulty taxation system In India , there is more reliance on Indirect Tax which is regressive in nature . Apart from that, government has removed wealth tax in India.  
India relied on  trickle down approach India relied on ‘Trickle Down Approach’ which benefitted the industrial houses and rich businessmen. In order to reduce inequality, India should have followed  redistributive justice principles of John Rawls, Gandhian trusteeship principles or Amartya Sen’s capability approach.    
Technological Change Rapid technological changes is leading to automation of industries . As a result, few people with high skills are getting high packages while large number of workers are losing their jobs .  
Capture of power by elites Due to Crony Capitalism , political leaders and government is working as agents of elites . Policies of government are made in such a way that it benefits elite sections of the society.    

Consequences of Inequalities

Conflicts  and Insurgency – Arab Spring of 2011 in the Middle-East  was result of high inequalities in that region .
Earlier in India, Naxalbari Movement was result of inequality (in land holding)  
Crimes It has been observed that unequal societies have higher crime rates. Poverty force people to earn via illegal means .  
Political Impacts In case of higher income inequalities, political democracy and government starts to loose its legitimacy.  
Effects on Growth Income distribution matters for growth. If income is more equally distributed, it means more potential buyers of goods creating bigger markets.

Steps Taken by India

Tax Reforms  Piketty has suggested India to improve its Tax : GDP which is abysmally low .
Indian Government is taking steps to bring more people in tax net. Taxation system helps in ‘redistribution of money’ from richer to less well off.  
Skill Development Improving education quality, eliminating financial barriers to higher education, and providing support for apprenticeship programmes .  
Social Security The high cost of healthcare and medicines drives a hundred million people into poverty every year.  For the very poorest and most vulnerable there must be a universal and permanent safety net that is there for them in the worst times. Government has taken various measures in this regard like starting Ayushman Bharat Scheme.  
Various steps against Black money Steps like demonetization have been taken by the government to control black money .

Humidity, Condensation, Clouds and Precipitation

Humidity, Condensation, Clouds and Precipitation

This article deals with ‘Humidity, Condensation, Clouds and Precipitation’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

Humidity

  • Water vapour present in the air is known as humidity. 
  • It is expressed quantitatively in different ways like 
Actual Humidity Actual amount of the water vapour present in the atmosphere.
Relative Humidity The ability of the air to hold water vapour depends entirely on its temperature. The percentage of moisture present in the atmosphere as compared to its full capacity at a given temperature is known as the relative humidity .
Specific Humidity Ratio of weight of water vapour to weight of dry air.
Vapour pressure Part of barometric pressure that is caused by water vapour alone.
  • The air containing moisture to its full capacity at a given temperature is said to be saturated. It means that the air at the given temperature is incapable of holding any additional amount of moisture at that stage.
  • The temperature at which saturation occurs in a given sample of air is known as dew point.

Evaporation & Condensation

1 . Evaporation

  • Evaporation is a process by which water is transformed from liquid to gaseous state.
  • It can occur in three conditions
    • High temperature
    • Low Pressure conditions
    • Fast moving wind

2. Condensation

  • Condensation is process of conversion of water vapours present in air into water droplets .
  • Condensation is caused by the loss of heat. When moist air is cooled, it may reach a level when its capacity to hold water vapour ceases. Then, the excess water vapour condenses into liquid form.
  • Condensation takes place:
    • When the temperature of the air is reduced to dew point  or When moisture is added to the air  
    • Surface : Which may be natural like grass etc (making dew) or Hygroscopic Surface/ Nuclei

3. Sublimation

  • If water vapour directly condenses into solid form, it is known as sublimation.

Dew, frost, fog and clouds

After condensation, the water vapour or the moisture in the atmosphere takes one of the following forms — dew, frost, fog and clouds.

1 . Dew

  • When the moisture is deposited in the form of water droplets on cooler surfaces of solid objects such as stones, grass blades and plant leaves, it is known as dew.
  • The ideal conditions for its formation are calm air, high relative humidity, and cold and long nights.
  • For the formation of dew, it is necessary that the dew point is above the freezing point (otherwise frost will form) .

2. Frost

  • Frost forms on cold surfaces when condensation takes place below freezing point (0 C).

3. Fog

  • When temperature of an air mass containing a large quantity of water vapour falls all of a sudden below dew point, condensation happens and subsequent cloud  is formed at ground level. This is known as fog.
  • Fogs are mini clouds in which condensation takes place around nuclei provided by the dust, smoke, and the salt particles.
Radiation fog Associated with temperature inversion & formed at cold night when temperature of air near ground falls below dew point .
Most common type in winter season.
Frontal fog When cold air masses converge against warm humid air masses , cold air being heavy remains at bottom while warm air is pushed over leading to cooling & formation of fog
Famous fog of Newfoundland is formed like this.
  • In fog, visibility is less than 1 km.

4. Smog

  • Fog + Smoke = Smog.
  • In urban and industrial centres, smoke provides plenty of nuclei which help in the formation of fog . Such a condition when fog is mixed with smoke, is described as smog.
  • It is associated with very low visibility and health hazard.

There are two type of Smog

a . Sulphurous Smog

  • Aka London Smog
  • Results from high concentration of Sulphur Oxides in the air caused by use of Sulphur containing fossil fuels , particularly Coal .
  • Occur in cool humid climate
  • Chemically reducing hence called reducing smog
  • Characterised by blue coloured skies aka blue haze.

b. Photochemical Smog

  • Occurs in warm, dry & sunny climate
  • Results from the action of sunlight on unsaturated Hydrocarbons & oxides of Nitrogen produced from factories and automobiles.
  • Chemically Oxidising and hence called Oxidising Smog
  • Ozone, PAN (Peroxyacetyl Nitrate), Acrolein & Formaldehyde are produced in it which can cause serious health problems .

5. Mist

  • The only difference between the mist and fog is that mist contains more moisture than the fog.
  • In mist, each nuclei contains a thicker layer of moisture.
  • Mists are frequent over mountains as the rising warm air up the slopes meets a cold surface.
  • Visibility is more than 1 Km but less than 2 km.

Visibility Comparison : Mist > Haze  > Fog > Smog.

6. Cloud

  • Cloud is a mass of minute water droplets formed by the condensation of the water vapour in free air at considerable elevations.
  •  As the clouds are formed at some height over the surface of the earth, they take various shapes

Clouds

  • Clouds are tiny water droplets suspended in the air formed due to the condensation.
  • To understand the nomenclature of Clouds, one must be aware of the meaning of some Latin words.
Cirrus Curl of hair/ high .
Cumulus Heap or pile of cotton.
Strato Sheet or layer.
Nimbo Rain.
Alto Middle altitudes.

Classification of Clouds

The clouds can be classified based on their form, height and appearance as follows:

Classification of Clouds

1 . High Clouds

Different types of Cirrus clouds are present above height of 6Km

1.1 Cirrus Clouds

  • They look like curl of hair
  • It indicates fair weather and gives brilliant sun set.

1.2 Cirro Cumulus 

  • This appears as white globular masses, forming a mackerel sky.

1.3 Cirro Stratus 

  • This resembles a thin white sheet. The sky looks milky and the sun and moon shines through this clouds and form a ‘halo’

2. Middle Clouds

Different types of  Alto clouds  are found between 2 km to 6 km above the ground.

2.1 Altocumulus

  • These are woolly, bumpy clouds arranged in layers appearing like waves in the blue sky.
  • They indicate fine weather.

 2.2 Altostratus

  • These are denser and have watery look.

3. Low Clouds

Mainly Stratus or sheet clouds below 2 km height.

3.1 Stratocumulus

  • This is rough and bumpy clouds with wavy structure.

3.2 Stratus

  • This is very low cloud, uniformly grey and thick, appears like highland fog.
  • It brings dull weather and light drizzle. It reduces the visibility and is a hindrance to air transportation.

3.3 Nimbostratus

  •  This is dark dull cloud, clearly layered, as it brings gentle rain, snow and sleet and it is called as rainy cloud.

4. Clouds with vertical extend

These are mainly cumulus clouds whose  height extend from 2 km to 10 km approximately.

4.1 Cumulus

  •  This is vertical cloud with rounded top and horizontal base, associated with convectional process in the tropical region.

4.2 Cumulonimbus

  • This is over grown cumulus cloud with great vertical extent, with black and white globular mass.
  • This is formed due to heavy convection in the tropical regions. It is accompanied by lightning, thunder and heavy rainfall

Precipitation

Precipitation is the process by which all forms of water particles fall from the atmosphere and reach the ground.

Conditions necessary for precipitation

  • Air parcel must be cooled below dew point.
  • Presence of condensation nuclei(i.e. minute hygroscopic particles serving as nuclei for water particles) in the air . Eg salt, smoke & dust particles=> if they aren’t present, precipitation will not occur even if relative humidity is above 100% .
  • Condensation must occur rapidly & for fairly long time . If occur for small time  , then it may not reach to earth as it would be absorbed by unsaturated air present in lower parts .

Forms of precipitation

1 . Rainfall

  • Most common type of precipitation in temperate & tropical regions.
  • When water droplets of more than 0.5 mm diameter falls from the atmosphere to the ground it is called as ‘Rainfall’.
  • If the diameter is less than 0.5mm, it is called as ‘Drizzle’.

2. Hail

  • When condensed moisture in form of raindrops is carried to great heights by strong convection currents & they get frozen due to low temp at greater heights=> when they come down they gather more water around them & size of pellets become large.
  • Ice pellets has size of 5 to 50 mm or some times more. 

3. Snowfall

  • Precipitation occurs at below freezing point and falls as thin ice flakes or powdery ice, called  ‘Snow’.

4. Sleet

  • Precipitation in the form of mixture of raindrops  & ice pellets less than 5 mm in diameter.
Forms of precipitation

Types of  Rainfall

Since rainfall is the major type of precipitation, we will look of type of rainfalls. It can be of various types depending upon process of rising up of air

1 . Convectional Rainfall

  • As a result of heating of the surface air, the warm moist air expands and is forced to rise to a great height. As the air rises, it cools, reaches dew point and condenses to form clouds.
  •  Cumulonimbus clouds are formed in this .
  • This type of rainfall occurs
    1. Throughout the year near the equator in the afternoon. It is called as 4 ‘O’ clock rainfall region.
    2. In middle latitudes, convectional rainfall occurs in early summer in the continental interiors
Convectional Rainfall

2. Orographic Rainfall

  • Air is forced to move up by landform features like   mountain, plateau , escarpment etc and air thus rising may cool below dew point causing rain.
  • Windward side gets heavy rain whereas leeward side is rain shadow area.
  • Most of rain occurring in India and world is orographic . In India, Western coast & North East India gets rainfall by this process.
Orographic Rainfall

3. Cyclonic Rainfall

  • This type of precipitation is associated with a cyclonic activity (Tropical and Temperate cyclones)
  • Cyclonic rainfall is associated with Cumulo-Nimbus  clouds. The rainfall is very heavy and accompanied with lightning and thunder and high speed winds which has the potential to cause damage.

4. Frontal Rainfall

  • ‘Frontal rainfall’ is associated with fronts which form due to collision of different air masses.
  • It can be of two types
    1. Warm Air Front Rainfall : In this , warm air invades cold air leading to formation of Nimbostratus clouds and gentle rainfall.
    1. Cold Air Front Rainfall : In this, cold air invades warm air leading to formation of Cumulonimbus cloud and violent rainfall with lightening.

Wind Systems

Wind Systems

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

Winds

  • Wind is the horizontal movement of air molecules from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure to maintain the atmospheric equilibrium.
  • Nomenclature of Winds
    • Winds are named easterly, westerly, northerly etc on basis of direction of their origin.
    • Easterly wind is that which originate in east & blow from east to west.
  • Wind direction is identified by an instrument called Wind Vane and wind speed is measured by Anemometer.

Factors affecting direction & velocity of wind

1 . Pressure Gradient

  1. If pressure gradient is more, velocity will be more in magnitude because differences in atmospheric pressure produces a force.
  2. The wind always moves perpendicular to isobars.

2. Frictional Force

  • Lower is frictional force, greater will be the speed .
  • Over the sea surface the friction is minimal.

3. Coriolis Force

  • If the earth did not rotate, the winds would blow in a straight path. Then the rotation of the earth results in Coriolis effect and it deflects the direction of the wind.
Northern Hemisphere Deflect towards Right or Clockwise (NCR)
Southern Hemisphere Towards Left or Anticlockwise.
  • Coriolis force is directly proportional to the angle of latitude. It is maximum at the poles and is absent at the equator.

Type of Winds

Type of Winds

1 . Primary / Global/ Permanent Winds

Pressure belts lead to the formation of primary wind system resulting in Trade Winds, Westerlies and Polar Easterlies

1.1 Trade Winds

  • The winds blow from the sub tropical high pressure belt towards the equatorial low pressure belt.
  • Due to Coriolis Effect, these winds are deflected to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
  • As winds are named after the direction from which they originate they are called as the North East and South east trade winds.
  • As the winds favoured trading ships they are called as ‘Trade winds’.

Side Topic : Tropic Deserts & Trade Winds (aka Trade Wind Deserts or Trade Deserts)

  • Tropical easterlies/ Trade Winds flow from east to west  . Hence, windx becomes dry when they reaches the western coast of continent as all the moisture  is already shed in form of rainfall on eastern coast .As a result, in tropical region, deserts are found on western coasts of continents .They are also known as Trade Deserts.
  • Apart from that, Cold Currents near the western coasts of continents also provides desiccating imapct on the surrounding lands leading to more dryness .

1.2 Westerlies

  • Westerlies flow towards the Sub Polar High from Sub-Tropic Low
  • They turn towards right and left in northern and southern hemisphere respectively due to Coriolis force.
  • As they flow from West to East, they are called Westerlies
  • Ocean is dominant in the southern hemisphere between the latitudes 40º and 60ºS. Hence the westerlies are so powerful and persistent that the sailors used such expressions as “Roaring Forties”, “Furious Fifties” and “Screeching Sixties” for these high velocity winds in the latitudes of 40º, 50º and 60º respectively.

1.3 Polar Easterlies 

  • Polar Easterlies  flow towards the Sub Polar High from Polar High .
  • They turn towards right and left in northern and southern hemisphere respectively due to Coriolis force.
  • As they flow from East to West, they are called Easterlies

2 . Secondary / Regional / Seasonal Winds

Monsoon and Cyclones are considered to be Secondary or Seasonal Wind

2.1 Monsoons

  • Monsoons are seasonal winds which reverse their direction due to various reasons .
  • These winds bring rainfall in India and are the major climatic feature of climate of Indian Sub-continent.
  • We will detail with these winds in Indian Climate .
Monsoons

2.2 Cyclones

  • Wind blowing in circular manner around an area of low pressure 
  • Due to Coriolis effect – blow in anticlockwise direction in Northern hemisphere & clockwise direction in southern hemisphere.
  • Cyclones are of two types.
Tropical cyclones Develop over oceans in summers in tropical regions . Eg : in Bay of Bengal, China sea , Caribbean sea etc.
Temperate / Extra tropical Develop in middle latitudes in winter season

More about cyclones in separate article

3. Tertiary / Local Winds

Tertiary winds are formed due to pressure gradients which may develop on a local scale because of differences in the heating and cooling of the earth’s surface.

3.1 Sea and Land Breezes

  • Sea Breeze :  During daytime, land heats up much faster than water. The air over the land warms and expands leading to formation of low pressure. At the same time, the air over the ocean remains cool because of water’s slower rate of heating and results in formation of high pressure. Air begins to blow from high pressure over ocean to the low pressure over the land. This is called as ‘Sea breeze’.
  • Land Breeze : During night time, the wind blows from land to sea and it is called as ‘Land breeze’
Sea and Land Breezes

Note :  Sea breeze and land breeze influence the movement of boats near the coastal region and fisher men use these winds for their daily fish catching. Fishermen go for fishing at early morning along the land breeze and return to the shore in the evening with the sea breeze.

Sea and Land Breezes

3.2 Mountain and Valley Breezes

  • Valley Breeze / Anabatic Winds  : During the day, mountain hillslopes are heated intensely by the Sun, causing the air to expand and rise. This draws in air from the valley below, creating a valley breeze.
  • Mountain Breeze / Katabatic Winds  :  During the night the hillslopes get cooled and the dense air descends into the valley as the mountain wind

3.3 Warm and Cold Local  Winds

Warm and Cold Local  Winds

Cold Local Winds

  • High Pressure  conditions are created in areas situated in high latitudes due to cold weather. As a result,   air starts to come down and diverge into different directions (forming anti-cyclones) blowing as ‘Cold and Dry Local Winds’ and reducing temperature of surrounding regions as well.
  • In Siberia such anti cyclonic winds are created and diverge in different directions  . These winds are called Buran
Buran Explained above
Mistral (Europe) Cold northerly from central France and the Alps to Mediterranean
Bora (Eastern Europe) North easterly wind from eastern Europe to north eastern Italy
Blizzard (USA & Canada) Cold and dry snowy winds blowing in USA and Canada
Pampero (Argentina) Cold and dry wind blowing in Pampas of Argentina
Southern Bursters Cold and dry wind blowing in  Australia

Warm Local Winds

  • Low  pressure develops  over Deserts and low latitudes in summers due to excessive heating of land . The air starts to move upward and diverges in different directions blowing as upper tropospheric wind. They carry sand and dust with them and raises temperature of regions over which they flow. These winds are known with different names in different regions like
Loo India (Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Delhi etc)
Sirocco From Sahara desert to Italy and Spain after crossing Mediterranean Sea
Khamsin Egypt
Harmattan From Sahara desert to Gulf of Guinea
  • Other  type of warm and local winds like Chinook winds develop when warm, moist air blows from the adjoining ocean ( Pacific Ocean in this case) towards the Mountain range situated near the coast (Rockies in this case). In such situation, dry and warm air over the mountain will descend in the adjoining valley on the leeward side of wind .  Other such type of winds are Fohn and Zonda
Chinook US and Canada Rockies
Fohn Europe Alps
Zonda Argentina & Uruguay Andes
Santa Ana California Santa Ana Mountains
Chinook , Fohn , Conda

Upper Atmospheric / Meridional  Circulations

Hadley cycle Air from equator being lighter move up & diverges toward poles & descends at subtropical areas causing higher pressure there. That wind is again carried by trade winds to equator.
Ferrel Cycle Same  thing between subtropical & subpolar pressure belts
Polar cell  Between polar & subpolar pressure belts
Meridional  Circulations

Side Topic : Upper Tropospheric Winds and Geostrophic Winds

To understand formation of Jetstreams, it is important to know what are Geostrophic winds.

  • Unlike air moving close to the surface, an air parcel in the upper troposphere moves without a friction force because it is so far from the source of friction—the surface. So, there are only two forces on the air parcel, the pressure gradient force and the Coriolis force.
  • A useful heuristic (i.e. theoretical model) is to imagine that air parcel in the upper troposphere is starting from rest under the influence of ‘Pressure Gradient Force ”  moving from point of High Pressure to Low Pressure .
  • Due to pressure gradient force and absence of friction force , speed of wind will  keep on increasing . Since, Coriolis force increases with increase in speed and acts perpendicular to Pressure Gradient Force,  situation will be reached when Pressure Gradient Force equals Coriolis Force  & these winds will deflect 90° (clockwise) . At this point, the flow is no longer  from high to low pressure, but parallel to the isobars. Such winds are called Geostrophic winds
Geostrophic Winds
  • These are also known as Upper Tropospheric Westerlies
  • Jetstreams are an example of Geostrophic winds .

Direction of Geo Strophic winds

Always move from WEST TO EAST  (hence called Westerlies)

Northern Hemisphere Geostrophic winds deflect clockwise .
Move from West to East.
Southern Hemisphere Geostrophic winds deflect Anti Clockwise.
Move from West to East.

Jetstreams

  • Jet streams are special type of Geostrophic winds .
  •  These are strong and narrow bands of meandering wind blowing at height of 6 to 14 km ( just below Tropopause) at very high speed of upto 450 Km/hr. They occur at points where atmospheric pressure gradients are strong and friction force acting on moving air is absent.
  • Jetstreams flow in wavy fashion and create alternate   High Pressure & Low Pressure zones .

Location of Jet Streams

  • They aren’t found arbitrarily . They are situated at typical positions like  where two Meridional Circulations meet. (Reason : Point where  two air masses of different temperatures meet, the resulting pressure difference is highest.  Only in such condition, Pressure Gradient Force can increase the speed of wind to such an extend that Coriolis Force can balance the Pressure Gradient Force and rotate it by 90°) (I know it is hard to understand. To properly understand what is happening, you can refer this useful video What is the jet stream and how does it affect the weather?)
  • Hence , 4 permanent Jet streams are always found .
2 Polar Jet  Between Polar cell & Ferrel cell.
2 Sub Tropical Westerly Jet  (STWJ) Between Ferrel cell & Hadley cell.
Jetstreams
Jet Streams

Apart from that, there are some temporary Jet-streams like

  • Tropical Easterly Jetstream
  • Somali Jetstream

Speed of Jetstreams

  • Cause of Jetstreams is the pressure difference (due to temperature difference) in the upper atmosphere. Hence , higher the pressure gradient (or temperature gradient) higher will be speed of Jetstream.
  • Temperature variations are more in winters (lowest ~ -70 C & highest ~ 15 C) compared to summers (lowest ~ 20 C & highest ~ 55 C) . Hence, Jetstreams are faster in winters of the respective hemisphere.

Importance of Jetstreams

1 . Sub Tropical Westerly Jet Stream (STWJ) & Indian Weather

  • It is centred around 25° N & S at altitude of 12 km & is strong in winter season with velocity of 40 mph.
  • It greatly determines the weather of Indian Sub continent .
    1. During summer until it is present over Indian subcontinent , High Pressure is maintained over there & monsoon can’t start. Only when STWJ moves above Himalayas & low pressure is created over Indian subcontinent  , monsoon hits India.
    2. Western Disturbances : STWJ comes to India after passing over Mediterranean Sea where rainfall occurs during  winter. STWJ bring those cyclonic disturbances to north India along with it. This results in winter rain & hailstorms in North India  & occasional high snowfall in hilly areas  .

2. Jetstreams and Frontal / Temperate Cyclones

  • Jetstreams play important role in formation of Temperate Cyclones which are important feature of the climate of temperate regions like Britain etc .

3. Tropical Easterly Jet and Somali Jetstream

  • These Jetstreams play important role in the Indian Monsoon.
  • More about this can be read in (chapter) Indian Climate .

4. Role in Aviation Industry

  • If aeroplanes moves in the direction of Jetstream, it can lead to large fuel savings and vice-versa

Impact of Climate Change on Jetstreams

Due to Climate change and Global warming, Earth’s Polar regions are warming more rapidly than other parts . This has resulted in weakening of Polar Jet Streams because temperature contrast that drives Jetstreams has decreased.