Famous US Economist Simon Kuznet showed that market forces would first increase inequality and then decrease inequality among people as an economy develops.
It happens because the initial phase of economic growth boosts the income of workers and investors who participate in the 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.
It is the ratio of the percentage of income earned by the richest 10% with the percentage of income earned by the poorest 40%.
For India, this ratio is approximately 1.5.
It is the ratio of income of the richest 10% and poorest 10% in an economy.
In the case of India, the income of the richest 20% is 45% of total income, and the poorest 20% is 8% of total income. Hence, the Quintile Ratio of India is 5.6.
India and Income Inequality
Piketty, the world-famous economist, has cautioned India for rising levels of Income inequalities and their consequences. In countries like India, where other forms of inequalities are present, like the caste system, income inequalities exacerbate the situation.
India grew at an average rate of 7.5% since 2011, but growth is not equally distributed (the rich are growing more). Gini Coefficient shows that income inequality is continuously increasing in India. The following data about India’s Gini Coefficient corroborates this.
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%.
According to Oxfam head, it is morally outrageous that a few wealthy individuals are collecting a growing share of India’s wealth while the poor struggle to find their next meal. If this obscene inequality continues, it will lead to a complete collapse of the country’s social and democratic structure.
According to the World Inequality Report (2022) released by the World Inequality Lab of the Paris School of Economics
It termed India as a ‘poor and very unequal country, with an affluent elite’.
The top 10% of the Indian population holds 57% of national income, including 22% held by the top 1%
The bottom 50% of the Indian population holds just 13% of national income.
The report has suggested levying a modest progressive wealth tax on multimillionaires.
According to the Global Social Mobility report released by the World Economic Forum, the poor in India are more likely to remain poor. It would take 7 generations in India while 2 generations in Denmark for the poor to reach average income.
Further, the Covid pandemic has deepened inequalities of wealth, education, and gender as shown by Oxfam’s report.
Causes of Income Inequality
1. Historical Causes
Caste System: Due to the exclusion of lower caste from ownership of land and education, people belonging to lower caste are poor.
2. Social Causes
Due to the patriarchal and patrilineal nature of Indian society, women don’t own factors of production in India.
3. Frequent Global Economic Crisis
Economic crises like that of 2008 accentuate income inequality by making richer rich and poorer poor. (How= Central Bank cant allow big houses to fall. Due to this, business houses get significant cuts. Currency devaluates, and the loans that companies have to pay decrease in reality. On the other hand, households who deposit their money lose the value of their money).
4. Faulty taxation system
In India, there is more reliance on Indirect Tax, which is regressive in nature.
Inheritance tax, which is levied when wealth is inherited from one generation to another, is almost negligible in India.
5. India relied on trickle-down approach
India relied on the ‘Trickle Down Approach’, which benefitted the industrial houses and rich businessmen. Instead, in order to reduce inequality, India should have followed the redistributive justice principles of John Rawls, Gandhian trusteeship principles or Amartya Sen’s capability approach.
6. Technological Change
Rapid technological changes are leading to the automation of industries. As a result, few people with high skills are getting high packages while many workers are losing their jobs.
7. Capture of power by elites
Due to Crony Capitalism, political leaders and government work as agents of elites. Policies of government are made to benefit elite sections of society.
Consequences of Inequalities
1. Conflicts and Insurgency
Arab Spring of 2011 in the Middle East was the result of high inequalities in that region.
Earlier in India, Naxalbari Movement was the result of inequality (in landholding).
It has been observed that unequal societies have higher crime rates. Poverty force people to earn via illegal means.
3. Political Impacts
In case of higher inequalities, political democracy and government lose their legitimacy.
4. Effects on Growth
Income distribution matters for growth. If income is more equally distributed, more potential buyers of goods create bigger markets.
Steps Taken by India
1. Land Reforms
The government introduced the land reforms and abolished the Zamindari System for equitable distribution of the land in the country.
2. Tax Reforms
Piketty has suggested India should improve its Tax: GDP, which is abysmally low. The Indian government is taking steps to bring more people into the tax net.
Apart from that, India has a progressive system of taxation. Progressive Taxation system helps in ‘redistribution of money’ from richer to less well off.
3. Skill Development
Improving education quality, eliminating financial barriers to higher education, and supporting apprenticeship programmes.
4. Social Security
The high cost of healthcare and medicines drives a hundred million people into poverty every year. There must be a universal and permanent safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable. The government has taken various measures like starting the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
5. Various steps against Black money
The government has taken steps like demonetisation to control black money.
Case Study: Wealth Redistribution Council
In 2021, Japanese PM Kishinev announced the creation of the ‘Wealth Redistribution Council‘ to tackle rising wealth inequalities and redistribute the wealth among households.
Japan aims to pass on wealth from corporations to the households to double the household incomes and rebuild a broader middle class. It will also help in recovering the Japanese economy post-Covid pandemic.
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 canclick here
Water vapour present in the
air is known as humidity.
It is expressed quantitatively
in different ways like
amount of the water vapour present in the atmosphere.
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 .
weight of water vapour to weight of dry air.
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.
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
Low Pressure conditions
Fast moving wind
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:
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
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) .
Frost forms on cold surfaces when condensation takes place below freezing point (0 C).
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
Fogs are mini clouds in which
condensation takes place around nuclei provided by the dust, smoke, and
the salt particles.
– Associated with temperature inversion & formed at cold night when temperature of air near ground falls below dew point . – Most common type in winter season.
– 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.
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
Characterised by blue coloured skies aka blue haze.
b. Photochemical Smog
Occurs in warm, dry &
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 .
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.
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 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.
hair/ high .
pile of cotton.
Classification of Clouds
The clouds can be
classified based on their form, height and appearance as follows:
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
of Alto clouds are found between 2 km to 6 km above the
These are woolly, bumpy clouds arranged in layers appearing like waves in the blue sky.
They indicate fine weather.
These are denser and have
3. Low Clouds
Mainly Stratus or
sheet clouds below 2 km height.
This is rough and bumpy clouds with wavy structure.
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.
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.
This is vertical cloud with rounded top
and horizontal base, associated with convectional process in the tropical
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 is the process by which all forms of water particles fall from the atmosphere and reach the ground.
Conditions necessary for
must be cooled below dew
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’.
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.
Precipitation occurs at below freezing point and falls as thin ice flakes or powdery ice, called ‘Snow’.
Precipitation in the form of mixture of raindrops & ice pellets less than 5 mm in diameter.
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
Cumulonimbus clouds are formed in this .
This type of rainfall occurs
year near the equator in the afternoon. It is called as 4 ‘O’ clock
In middle latitudes,
convectional rainfall occurs in early summer in the continental interiors
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
Windward side gets heavy rain
whereas leeward side is rain shadow area.
of rain occurring in India and world
is orographic . In India, Western coast & North East India gets rainfall by
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
It can be of two types
Warm Air Front Rainfall : In
this , warm air invades cold air leading to formation of Nimbostratus
clouds and gentle rainfall.
Cold Air Front Rainfall : In
this, cold air invades warm air leading to formation of Cumulonimbus
cloud and violent rainfall with lightening.
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 canclick here
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
Factors affecting direction & velocity of wind
1 . Pressure Gradient
If pressure gradient is more, velocity will be
more in magnitude
because differences in atmospheric pressure produces a force.
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.
Deflect towards Right or Clockwise (NCR)
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
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 .
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
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
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
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
We will detail with these
winds in Indian Climate .
Wind blowing in circular manner around an area of low pressure
Due to Coriolis effect – blow
in anticlockwise direction in
& clockwise direction in southern hemisphere.
Cyclones are of two types.
over oceans in summers in tropical regions . Eg : in Bay of Bengal, China sea , Caribbean sea etc.
in middle latitudes in winter season
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 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.
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
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.
such anti cyclonic winds are created and diverge in different
directions . These winds are called
from central France and the Alps to
wind from eastern Europe to north eastern Italy
(USA & Canada)
Cold and dry snowy
winds blowing in USA and Canada
Cold and dry
wind blowing in Pampas of Argentina
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
Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Delhi etc)
Sahara desert to Italy and Spain after crossing
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
Upper Atmospheric / Meridional Circulations
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.
Same thing between subtropical & subpolar
Between polar & subpolar pressure belts
Side Topic : Upper Tropospheric Winds and Geostrophic Winds
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
These are also known as Upper
are an example of Geostrophic winds .
Direction of Geo Strophic winds
move from WEST TO EAST (hence called Westerlies)
– Geostrophic winds deflect clockwise . – Move from West to East.
– Geostrophic winds deflect Anti Clockwise. – Move from West to East.
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
Polar cell & Ferrel cell.
Tropical Westerly Jet (STWJ)
Ferrel cell & Hadley cell.
Apart from that, there are some temporary Jet-streams like
Tropical Easterly 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
It greatly determines
the weather of Indian Sub continent .
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.
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
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.
This article deals with ‘Pressure and Pressure Belts’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you canclick here
Atmospheric pressure is
defined as the force per unit
area exerted against a surface by the weight of the air molecules above
the earth surface.
Atmospheric pressure is
measured by an instrument called ‘Barometer’
The atmospheric pressure is
not distributed uniformly over the earth. The amount of pressure increases or
decreases, according to the amount of molecules, that exerts the force on
When temperature of air
increases, the air expands and reduces the number of molecules over unit
area leading to reduction in pressure.
Similarly, when the
temperature falls, the air contracts and the pressure increase.
Factors affecting Atmospheric Pressure of area
1 . Temperature
As the temperature increases,
air expands because of which its density decreases resulting in low
pressure over area.
On the other hand, cold
climate makes air denser resulting in high pressure over area.
Equatorial regions have low
pressure because of high temperatures. On the other hand Polar regions
have high pressure due to low temperature.
2. Height from Sea
The pressure at sea level is
highest and keeps on decreasing rapidly with increasing altitude because
of the progressive reduction of the mass above the point where it is
Water vapours are light in weight therefore pressure of humid air is less compared to dry air.
4. Gravitation of Earth
Atmosphere glues around the
Earth due to its gravitation
Due to shape of earth, Polar regions are nearer to core of the
Earth as compared to Equatorial regions and hence have higher air
5. Rotation of Earth
Rotation of Earth results in
centrifugal force. Centrifugal
force pushes things away from its core.
Centrifugal force is highest
over equator and zero over poles. Hence,
air pressure will decrease in Equatorial regions as compared to
that in polar regions.
Distribution of Atmospheric Pressure
Horizontal distribution of pressure is studied by drawing isobars . Isobars are lines connecting places having equal pressure. In order to eliminate the effect of altitude on pressure, it is measured at sea level. These distributions change with season as well.
Pressure Belts of Earth
belts envelope on the surface of the earth. They are equatorial low pressure
belt, sub tropical high pressure belts, sub polar low pressure belts and polar
high pressure belts
1 . Equatorial Low Pressure Belt
Region extending between 5° N
latitude to 5° S
Following are the reasons
creation of low pressure belt over this region :
Rays of sun fall vertically
=> High temperature creates low pressure.
Owing to high temperature,
evaporation process is also very fast => large amount of water vapours
decrease the weight and density of air resulting in reduction of air
Rotation of Earth and
resulting centrifugal force has its maximum magnitude on Equator
When air moves upward , it
leads to formation of clouds .
Hence, it rains heavily in these
clouds & Convectional rainfall) . There is single
season throughout the year ie high temperature & high rainfall
Advection is absent in this
region because gradient of pressure is low
. Hence known as Belt of
Calm / Doldrum .
2. Sub-Tropical High Pressure Belt
At about 30°N and 30°S
latitudes on both sides of equator
Air which rises in equatorial
region begins to cool when it reaches higher altitude over equatorial
region and flows towards the poles. This wind collides with the wind
coming from the polar region at higher altitude and subsides down over sub
tropical latitudes. This leads to formation of high pressure belt
It is said that to avoid the
slowing down of ship due to high pressure, the horses were thrown into the
sea. So this belt is called as ‘Horse latitude’.
3. Sub Polar Low Pressure Belt
These are low pressure belts
found at 60°N and 60°S latitudes on both sides of equator
The warm westerly wind from
sub tropical region moves towards the pole and collide with the cold polar
easterly wind from polar high pressure region and raises up to form sub
polar low pressure belt.
4. Polar High Pressure Belt
Region at poles on both sides
In this region, high pressure
is formed because temperature remains low for whole of the year.
Side Note : Basis of formation of pressure belts
Pressure belts can be created because of two reasons
1 . Temperature / Thermally formed
The Equatorial Low Pressure Belt and Polar High Pressure Belt are formed due to high and low temperature respectively. Hence, these are ‘thermally formed pressure belts’
2. Dynamically formed
The Sub Tropical High and Sub Polar Low pressure belts are formed due to movement and collision of wind systems. Hence, they are called ‘Dynamically formed pressure belts’.
This article deals with ‘Temperature and Heat Budget of Earth’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you canclick here
Air temperature of a
particular place denotes the degree of hotness or coldness of air at a
given place. It is generally measured in Celsius
Heating process of Atmosphere
There are different ways of heating & cooling of the atmosphere.
Conduction :The air in contact with the land gets heated by
conduction . Conduction is important in heating the lower layers of the
Convection : The air in contact with the earth rises vertically on heating in the form of
currents and further transmits the heat of the atmosphere. This process of
vertical heating of the atmosphere is known as convection. The convective
transfer of energy is confined only to the troposphere.
Advection : The transfer of heat through horizontal movement of air is called advection. (In northern India, during summer season local winds called
‘loo’ is the outcome of advection process).
Radiation (Green House effect) : The insolation received by the earth is in
short wave form and it heats up surface.
The earth after being heated itself becomes a radiating body and it
radiates energy to the atmosphere in long wave form. The
long wave radiation is absorbed by the atmospheric gases particularly by
carbon dioxide & other Green House Gases. Thus, the atmosphere is
indirectly heated by the earth’s radiation.
Heat Budget of Earth
The earth as a whole
does not accumulate or loose heat. It maintains its temperature. This can
happen only if the amount of heat received in the form of insolation equals the
amount lost by the earth through terrestrial radiation. This is known as Heat Budget
This is done in following way
Suppose 100 units are coming to earth
Factors affecting Horizontal temperature distribution
1 . Latitude of the place
by any place depend upon latitude because when we move from equator
towards pole, sun-rays become slanted . In slanted
sun-rays, same energy is diffused over large area
decreases from the equator to the poles.
2. Distribution of Land and Water
Compared to land, the sea gets heated slowly and loses heat slowly. Land heats up and cools down quickly.
So more land mass in northern hemisphere leads to higher average temperature than the southern hemisphere
3. Presence of warm & cold current
Places located on the coast where the warm ocean currents flow record higher temperature than the places located on the coast where the cold currents flow.
4. Air mass circulation
The passage of air masses also affects the temperature. The places, which come under the influence of warm air-masses experience higher temperature and the places that come under the influence of cold airmasses experience low temperature.
Cloudy sky obstructs the solar radiation from
the sun to reach earth. Hence, clear sky increases the temperature of
Due to this, Maximum insolation is received over
the subtropical deserts, where the cloudiness is the least. Equator receives
comparatively less insolation than the tropics because of clouds.
6. Nature of Surface
Albedo ie ability of surface
to reflect the sunrays also impact temperature of place.
Fresh snow has albedo of upto
90% and more reflection from the
snow surface leads to low temperature accumulation compared to bare land.
7. Local aspects
Depend on position to position.
Factors affecting vertical temperature distribution
The temperature decreases with increasing altitude from the surface of the
Reason : Atmosphere is
indirectly heated by terrestrial radiation
from below. Therefore, the places near the sea-level record higher
temperature than the places situated at higher elevations.
The vertical decrease in
temperature of troposphere is called as ‘Normal Lapse Rate’ which is 6.5 C
per 1000 meter of ascent.
Normally , within
Troposphere, temperature decreases with increase in height . But if reverse happens, it is called Temperature Inversion .
Since cold air is
denser/heavier than warm air , in case of temperature inversion, air will not be
able to move upward .
When Temperature Inversion can happen
At Tropopause : Temperature starts to increase from here
. As a result, air packets reach till Tropopause & then starts moving
downward . There is no vertical air
movement after that
A cool winter
night with no clouds and stable air : Air above cold surface gets cold but layer above cold air is still warmer &
hence it cant move upward . This phenomenon is prominent till 400 m above
Inversion/Air Drainage :
In winter, mountain top becomes cold quickly compared to valley . As a result, cold air comes down to occupy valley . This uplifts warm air of valley &
situation is created when lower layer is cold & upper layer is
Frontal inversion occurs when a cold air mass undercuts a warm air mass and lifts it
Implications of Temperature Inversion
1 . Formation of Fog
As we have seen in
currents , where ever warm &
cold current meet , fog is created
In same way , when
warm air & cold air meets , fog is created . This lowers the visibility in
2. Atmospheric Stability
Temperature Inversion prevents
upward & downward movement of air.
Hence, it discourages
3. Impact on Agriculture
Frost formed due to valley inversion damages
crops in foothills,
whereas trees and vegetation at top of hills and mountains are not
damaged. The valley floors in the
hills of Brazil are avoided for coffee cultivation because of frequent frosts.
(Beneficial Case :
Though generally fog (caused due to temperature inversion) is unfavourable
for many agricultural crops such as grams, peas, mustard plants, wheat
etc. but sometimes they are also favourable for some crops such as coffee plants in Yemen hills of
Arabia where fog
protect coffee plants from direct strong sun’s rays. )
4. Environmental problem
concentration of pollutants raises to very high levels in cities as due to
temperature inversion, air gets trapped . Eg : Delhi’s pollution levels are more
in winters than summers.
Urban Heat Island
An urban heat island
is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its
surrounding rural area due to high concentration of high rise concrete buildings, metal
roads, sparse vegetation cover and less exposure of soil. These factors
cause urban regions to become warmer than their rural surroundings, forming an
“island” of higher temperatures.
This article deals with Composition and Structure of Atmosphere’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you canclick here
Atmosphere is combination of
two words ‘Atmo’ and ‘sphere’. It means that region of Earth which has ‘air’.
Atmosphere is present as life
saving layer between outer space and land surface. It is the source of
important gases which are important for the existence and continuity of
life. It also filters the harmful rays travelling towards Earth
Composition of Atmosphere
Earth’s atmosphere is composed of a mixture of various gases .
It is held to earth by gravitational forces
Atmosphere is denser at sea level & thins or gets rarefied rapidly upward . It should be noted that, 99% of the mass of atmosphere is confined to height of 32 km
Percentage of different gases (by volume) in atmosphere is as follows :-
Atmospheric gases don’t
interact with each other chemically & don’t lose their own property.
These gases can be divided
into two groups based on their distribution horizontally
– Nitrogen , Oxygen, Hydrogen & Argon. – Their quantity remain same on all places .
– Water Vapour , Carbon dioxide & Ozone – Their quantity vary from region to region. Eg : In coastal areas, there will be more water vapours and in cities, there will be more Carbon dioxide. – They can absorb heat & hence known as Green House Gases.
Based on vertical distribution, they can also be
grouped into two groups. Heavy gases like Nitrogen , Oxygen and Methane have high composition near
earths surface. While going up, composition of lighter gases keep on
increasing but since there is high turbulence, no effective separation
occurs in most of gases except for
surface of earth, they are upto 2% by volume but no trace present above
mainly between 10-50 km in stratosphere.
Side Note : Important gases in Atmosphere ( not on basis of percentage but function )
1 . Nitrogen
Present in atmosphere in
highest proportion (78%)
It is very important for
living organisms because it is an important element of Amino acids which
2 . Oxygen
Second most abundant gas in
All the living organisms use
it for breathing
important gas .
is transparent to incoming solar radiation but opaque to outgoing
terrestrial radiation . Hence, it is mainly responsible
for Green House effect.
Ozone gas is found between
It act as filter and absorb UV rays .
But scientists are very
concerned about the depletion of ozone layer due to action of chlorofloro
carbons on Ozone
5. Water Vapour
Can be upto 4% by volume in wet tropics
In dry & cold areas of desert & polar deserts it can be less than 1% of air .
It also absorbs parts of the insolation from the sun and preserves the earth’s radiated heat.
May originate from different
sources & include sea salts, fine soil, smoke-soot, ash, pollen, dust
& disintegrated particles of meteors.
It is concentrated
in lower parts , yet convectional air currents can take them to great heights .
They perform two very
It provides Hygroscopic nuclei
around which water vapour condenses to produce clouds .
They absorb and reflect small amount of radiation
rays of sun.
Structure of Atmosphere
Atmosphere can be divided into five distinct layers based on the thermal characteristics and temperature variations (note : these divisions are based on thermal characteristics)
1 . Troposphere
Troposphere is the lowest layer of atmosphere and it is
very important for all the living organisms
Name has been derived from
Greek word ‘Tropos’ which means mixing
and ‘sphere’ which means ‘region’. Hence, ‘troposphere’ means
‘region of mixing’
Troposphere is zone of air
turbulence because in this zone,
convectional air currents rise due to heating of earth surface
Thermal Characteristic of Troposphere
Temperature decreases with increase in height
(reaches – 60 degree Celsius at
In normal conditions, the rate of decrease of temperature is
(ie lapse rate) is 6.5 degree Celsius per kilometre . This happens
because of decrease in gases with increase in height
However, due to local
reasons, at some places this phenomena reverses also (called Temperature
Height of Troposphere
on Equator, it is 18 km
(gases are heated up and rises upward from strong convectional currents)
on poles, it is 8 km (gases
are cold and settles down)
At average its height is upto
12 kilometre from ground.
All weather phenomena occur in
this layer as it has dust particles and water vapour. This layer has
clouds which produce precipitation on the earth.
It is the region between
Troposphere and Stratosphere which is 1.5 kilometre high
The fall in temperature comes
to an end in this region
Turbulent mixing of gases,
winds, and radiation etc. none of the weather activities take place in
Stratosphere extends from end of Tropopause up to a height of 50
km from the earth’s surface.
The lower part of this layer is
highly concentrated with ozone gas which is called as
‘ozonosphere’. It prevents the harmful ultra-violet rays from the Sun to
enter into the lower part of the atmosphere
Thermal Characteristics of
Temperature increases with
height (ie from – 60 degree Celsius at start to 0 degree Celsius at
Temperature increases because
of absorption of ultra violent rays by ozone gas
It is turbulence free zone . Hence, it
is ideal for flying jet aircraft.(important prelims question)
Mesosphere lies above the
stratosphere, which extends up to a height of 80 km from earth’s surface .
Thermal characteristics of
In this layer, once again, temperature starts decreasing with the increase
From 0 degree Celsius at
start, it reaches up to minus 100°C at the height of 80 km.
Most of the shooting stars get burned in
Mesosphere .Luminous noctilucent clouds form here due to the presence of
cosmic dust. ( important prelims question)
It is the coldest layer of
4. Ionosphere /Thermosphere
It extends from 80 km to 400
km above Earths Surface ..
It is called
ionosphere due to presence of electrically charged ions that reflect radio waves back and thermosphere
because it is at very high temperature.
Thermal characteristics of
increases rapidly with height .
increases rapidly up to 1,000 degree Celsius. This is due to absorption
of high energy solar radiation and cosmic waves ( which break molecules
Ionosphere is formed ?
sun rays and cosmic rays break
atoms of gases in this region .
become ionised (positive charged ).
These are highly energised
particles & behave as free particle .
called auroras at higher latitudes
when Solar Winds are able to reach ionosphere and collide with ions
present in this layer (Aurora Borealis
(Arctic Zone ) & Aurora Australis(Antarctic Zone) )
of Ionosphere in radio communication : It is useful in radio
communication because ions can
reflect radio waves.
Outermost layer of
atmosphere and lies from 400 km to
1000 km from earth’s surface.
This is the highest layer but
very little is known about it.
It has rarefied contents. It
contains mainly oxygen and hydrogen atoms. These atoms can travel hundreds
of kilometres without colliding with one another. Hence, matter in
exosphere doesn’t behave like gases.
It gradually merges with outer
Magnetosphere/ Van Allen Radiation Belt
Magnetosphere lies above
Atmosphere and extends from 1000 km to 36000 km from earth’s surface
Although it isn’t part of atmosphere but plays important
part in shielding earth
from solar & other cosmic winds .
Magnetosphere is formed due to earth’s magnetic field and it prevents
most of solar
energised particles) from reaching earth .
Polar cusps: regions above geomagnetic poles where solar wind can enter relatively easy to earth’s atmosphere.
Magnetospheric storms are temporary disturbances in earths magnetic field caused by occurrence of magnetic flares & sunspot. In this process, material from solar coronal mass ejection hits earth
Major effect in such event is global disruption of radio & telegraphic communication.
Luminous phenomenon observed in high latitude
May appear as rolling lights
or coloured streaks .
by entry of charged
particles from sun into earth‘s
atmosphere & collision of these charged particles
with ionised particles in ionosphere . They emit energy on interaction leading
to formation of aurora.
these charged particles occur at Cusp . Hence, formed at particular places
on earth (& not everywhere)
Occur in Ionosphere.
Most frequent during intense period / solar minimum of sun spot cycle(sun spots have
cycle of 11yr).
Side Topic : Sunspot , Sunspot Cycle & Solar Minimum
Sun-spots are the regions on the sun
where the solar
magnetic field is very strong (and as a result, it doesn’t allow solar
streams to escape the sun)
Sun-spot cycle is the solar
magnetic activity cycle with the average time period of eleven years.
Solar minimum is the period
of least solar activity in the eleven year solar cycle. During this time, sunspot activity
diminishes. According to NASA and other agencies, a solar minimum is about to occur in 2020-21.
Impact of Solar Minimum
During the solar minimum, coronal holes can last for a longer time. Coronal holes are vast
regions in the sun’s atmosphere where the sun’s magnetic field opens up
and allows streams of solar particles to escape the sun.
It could enhance
events of geomagnetic storms & auroras, potentially
disrupting communications and navigation systems.
Sun’s magnetic field weakens
and provides less shielding from the cosmic rays. This can pose an
increased threat to astronauts travelling through space.
This article deals with ‘External Benchmark System .’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is important pillar of GS-3 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
decreases Repo Rate, Banks don’t decrease their interest rates proportionately.
Why banks don’t transmit Repo Rate cuts to borrowers?
a. Banks don’t depend on RBI
In India(& all developing countries ) ,RBI is not the main source of money to banks . Common people are main supplier(mainly because people don’t have much option to invest money in alternate investment facilities eg mutual funds etc )
b. Small saving schemes rate not reduced
Transmission is limited by high small savings rates. Banks worry that if they cut their deposit rates, customers will flee to small savings instruments.
c. High Statutory Liquidity Ratio
Large money has to be kept idle as SLR which
banks cant lend
This reduces their ability to
pass the benefit to consumers .
d. Banks increasing their Spread
Due to losses incurred to
banks as a result of high NPAs
& lowering of Credit Demand , Banks are increasing
their Spread in order to maintain
their profits in absolute term.
This has reduced the capacity
of banks to decrease Lending Rates.
To deal with inadequate transfer of Repo Rate cuts by banks to borrowers , RBI Came up with MCLR and External Benchmark Rate System
How Banks decide their Interest Rate
began nationalization of private banks, and ‘administered interest rates’ on
suggested deregulation: Government should not dictate / administer
individual banks’ interest rates & RBI should only give methodology to
introduced Benchmark Prime Lending Rate
introduced BASE Rate + Spread system; update
frequency was on individual
RBI introduced Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) +Spread system.
RBI introduced External Benchmark Rate System.
Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR)
Banks to calculate lending rate on monthly basis.
Lending Rate to be calculated using CRR Cost, Operating Cost, Marginal cost of funds (calculated using Repo Rate) (don’t need to go into detail. Just remember, MCLR has Repo Rate as component)
Lending Rate = MCLR + Spread (to be decided by banks)
Better transmission of
accountability to borrowers.
RBI’s Janak Raj internal study group(2017) showed MCLR did not yield all benefits . Banks keep on increasing ‘Spread’ based on their discretion .
So new method was introduced
External Benchmark System
Applicable from April 2019 (on recommendations of Dr.
Janak Raj Committee)
NEW loans to be linked with
External Benchmark system.
In this system
Bank will be asked to choose any benchmark like
Repo rate or
91-day T-bill yield or
182-day T-bill yield or
any other benchmarks by Financial Benchmarks India Pvt. Ltd.
It has to be updated atleast
every 3 months.
Lending Rate of Bank will be External Benchmark +
Spread (eg if
Bank choose Repo Rate as External Benchmark, then Interest Rate will be
Repo Rate + Spread)
This article deals with ‘Monetary Policy .’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here
In any economy
The Central Bank of the nation formulates monetary policy to control the money supply in the economy.
Objectives of monetary policy can be (depending on economy)
Accelerating the growth of the economy
Exchange rate stabilization
Balance saving & investments
Monetary policy can be
Increases total money supply in an economy.
E.g. in 2008, all countries, including India, used this to beat the recession.
Traditionally used to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering the interest rate.
Decreases total money supply in the economy.
E.g. 2010 onwards, India & many other countries used it.
Traditionally to combat inflation in the economy.
When Monetary policy is announced in India?
a. Till 1988-89
announced twice a year according to
b. After 1989
Since the monetary policy has become dynamic in nature, RBI reserve its right to alter it from time to time, depending upon the state of the economy.
Along with that, the share of credit toward industry increased, which was earlier dominated by agriculture.
The major policy was announced in April & reviews take place every quarter. But within a quarter at any time, RBI can make any major change in policy depending upon the need.
Changes can be done at any time when RBI feels but announced necessarily after two months.
Tools used by RBI for Monetary Policy
RBI implements it using two tools
a. Quantitative /Indirect/General Tools
Reserve Ratios (CRR, SLR)
OMO (Open Market Operation)
Rates (Repo, Reverse Repo, Bank rate, Marginal Standing Facility etc.)
b. Qualitative /Selective/Direct Tools
Margin /Loan to Value Ratio
Consumer Credit Control
We will discuss all this in detail.
1 . Quantitative tools
1.1 Reserve Ratios
1.1.1 Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)
CRR is the percentage of public deposits (Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL)) that banks have to keep with the RBI in cash at any point in time. Usually, RBI doesn’t give any interest in this.
CRR provisions are applicable on Scheduled Banks, Non-Scheduled Banks & Cooperative Banks.
RBI get these powers from RBI Act.
Present Rate (Dec 2021)- 4% of Net Demand and Time Liabilities.
1.1.2 Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)
SLR is the percentage of NDTL that banks have to maintain with themselves in the form of specified liquid assets (like cash, gold & government securities, or RBI approved) at any point in time.
It is mandated under RBI Act.
SLR is applicable to all commercial banks, Cooperative Banks and NBFC deposit-taking. RBI can prescribe different levels for each.
Although not used as Monetary Policy Tool, but if decreased, a large amount of capital is infused into the economy.
Present Rate (Dec 2021) – 18% of Net Demand and Time Liabilities.
Trends of CRR and SLR
Note – Earlier, CRR & SLR used to be very high (53% combined). As a result, banks had significantly less money to lend. It impacted the Indian Economy because the rate of loans was high, and businesses were not expanding. It was one of (the many) reasons for the 1990 Balance of Payment Crisis. Narasimhan Committee & other experts asked the government to reduce this. As a result, it was gradually reduced.
Use of CRR and SLR
CRR and SLR can be used to fight Inflation and Deflation
They also act as security in case of bank runs.
Side Topic: CRR Exemption
2020: RBI has announced that banks will not have to maintain CRR for all the loans they have given to three sectors, namely the automobile sector, residential sector and loans to MSME industries, for the next five years. It will boost loans to these sectors.
Side Topic: What are G-Secs?
Concepts like Repo, Reverse Repo and Open Market Operations involve the concept of G-Secs ( or Government Securities). Hence, we will first deal with the concept of G-Secs.
When Government wants extra money for their schemes, they ask RBI to print that much Government Securities (G-Secs) and give equivalent cash in return.
Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradeable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments. It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligation. It promises that Government will pay interest of x% to the holder for y years and pay principal at the end of tenure.
Now RBI can use these G-Secs for various operations. E.g. to absorb the excess liquidity from the market etc.
In India, the Central Government can issue treasury bills and dated securities, while State Governments can only issue Dated Securities to raise funds.
Types of G-Secs
1. T- Bills
T-bills are the short-term debt instruments issued by the Union Government. Presently, they are issued in three tenors, i.e., 91-day, 182 day and 364 days.
They are zero-coupon securities, i.e. government pays no interest. Instead, they are sold at a discount on face value and redeemed at face value.
2. Dated G-Secs
Dated G-Secs have a fixed interest rate on the face value and have a tenor ranging from 5 years to 40 years.
Under LAF, Central Bank tends to reduce short term fluctuations of liquidity (money supply) in the economy through Repo and Reverse Repo transactions. RBI adjusts the liquidity of the market using these tools.
Official Policy rate in India is REPO RATE (i.e. RBI announces Repo Rate only).
LAF includes both Repo Rate & Reverse Repo Rate
These are available to all the Scheduled Commercial Banks. (Update 2021: Even Regional Rural Banks can avail LAF) .
Repo & Reverse Repo operations can only be done in Mumbai & in securities as approved by RBI.
In this, Bank borrows immediate funds from the RBI for the short term (up to 14 days) with Government Securities as collateral and simultaneously agrees to repurchase the same Securities after a specified time at a specified price. For example, when a bank borrows, it will give its securities worth, say ₹ 100 crores, & agree to repurchase it back at a rate of ₹ 104 crores ( if the repo rate is 4).
The amount that can be borrowed under this facility: minimum 5 crores to unlimited
All Banks, Central & State Governments and Non-Banking Financial Institutions are eligible.
But during the whole operation, the bank has to maintain its SLR, i.e. Collateral securities can’t be from the SLR quota.
Present Repo Rate is 4% (Dec 2021)
RBI was reducing the rates before Covid to spur economic activity. Post-Covid, RBI has kept the Repo Rate at 4% for increasing the demand in the market.
Suppose the bank is in dire need of cash but doesn’t have spare securities. Under such conditions, the bank can borrow under MSF by pledging SLR securities overnight. But they will have to pay 0.25% higher than Repo Rate (as punishment)
MSF= Repo + 0.25%
Only Scheduled Commercial Banks can avail this facility within a range of a minimum of one crore & Maximum of 1% of Net Time and Demand Liabilities.
It helps to solve short term crunch
It is also necessary because Repo operations are limited to a specific period during the day.
1.2.3 Reverse Repo Rate
In this, RBI takes money from banks & give them securities (opposite of Repo Rate)
RBI pledges securities in the form of G-Secs.
All clients eligible in the Repo rate are eligible here as well.
Until now, such a facility was not available to the Corporate Houses. They can’t issue Corporate Bonds to lenders and agree to repurchase them later at a pre-determined rate. Corporate houses also wanted to use this route to raise funds.
But there is an issue of trust in this case. Hence,
there is a need for an Intermediary who can assure lenders that Corporate House
will surely buy back these bonds at a decided rate. If borrowers refuse to pay,
the intermediary Custodian will pay the lender. Custodian will charge a fee for
providing this service.
In a standard repo operation, there are two parties- borrower vs Lender (RBI).
In Tri-party Repo, there are 3 parties 1) borrowers 2) lenders 3) Tri-Party Agent ( presently 2 – BSE and NSE) who acts as an intermediary between the two parties to facilitate collateral custody, payment and guaranteed settlement.
RBI issued guidelines for this in 2017.
It is not a tool of Monetary Policy. It helps deepen the Corporate Bond market.
Negative Interest (Reverse Repo) Rate
In news because
The European Central Bank (ECB), Bank of Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark have negative interest rates.
25% of the world economy is under a negative interest rate regime.
All the banks park their excess funds with the central bank from time to time. A negative interest means banks will have to pay the central bank for holding these funds.
How does this work?
Negative interest rates are just an extreme form of the easy money policies used by central banks to try and stimulate the economy.
Negative rates penalize banks for holding idle funds and force them to lend them out.
A sub-zero rate should reduce borrowing costs and spur loan demand (maybe banks don’t charge negative interest, but interest would be very low).
Negative rates encourage capital outflow (because they find investing abroad a better option), resulting in currency depreciation. A weaker currency will encourage exports and will also help import some inflation.
These types of ultra expansionary Monetary policies increase inequality because profits increase faster than wages in such a situation. Those in the financial business see more income growth than other businesses.
It can lead to people not using the Banking system to store their money.
Customers would either have to save more to meet long-term targets or hold cash to avoid adverse effects.
1.2.4 Bank Rate
Bank Rate is the interest rate at which the central bank lends for the long term to commercial banks against corporate securities.
The rate of interest at which Central Bank provides rediscounting facilities against their first-class securities (corporate securities like Commercial Paper and Commercial Bills).
No collateral is required under these operations.
Presently: 4.25 % (Dec 2021) ( although Bank Rate = MSF but both are declared separately)
Although RBI doesn’t use this tool to control the
money supply, if it does, the same theory apply here as well.
It is not the primary tool to control money supply these days but act as a penal rate charged on banks for shortfalls in meeting their reserve requirements. How is it done?
If a bank is not maintaining its SLR or CRR, the bank is fined a penalty on whatever amount is less than the amount to be maintained. Rate Charged is determined as:-
First time: Bank rate +3%
Second Time: Bank Rate +5% and so on
1.3 Open Market Operations (OMO)
In Open Market Operations (OMO), the Central Bank (RBI) buys and sells the Government Securities to influence the money supply in the economy.
It is different from Repo and Reverse Repo Rate because there is no promise by either party to repurchase it back. RBI will pay the interest rate to the holder of the security, but there is no repurchase agreement.
How government the use this to control the money supply?
Case 1: When there is inflation trends in the market, RBI issue these securities. Banks buy these securities & the money supply decreases.
Case 2: When the government wants to increase the money supply, it starts buying these securities at a high price.
Why do banks go for OMO, although there are no compulsions on this?
A lot of money keep on lying idle with banks.
Banks don’t earn any interest on that. Hence, it is better to invest those in govt securities & earn ~8% interest on them.
To manage liquidity in the market, RBI has developed a new tool. It was started in 2019.
Under this three-year currency swap scheme, RBI purchases dollars from banks in exchange for rupees.
RBI wants to address the issue of higher bond yield via this scheme.
Currently, in Repo and Reverse Repo, RBI uses G-Secs. But there is the issue of higher Bond Yields. To address this issue, Dollar-Rupee Swap comes to the scene
Increasing liquidity = Buy $ from Banks and giving them money
Decreasing liquidity = Give $ to Banks and take ₹ from them
High Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA) / Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR)
BASEL-III norms mandated that banks have to keep enough amount in High-Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA) so that banks can survive a 30-day stress-test scenario. HQLA eligible assets include:
Cash, including foreign currency.
Cash beyond CRR
G-Sec beyond SLR
High rated Marketable securities (e.g., backed by PSE, Multilateral development banks, Foreign Governments)
From 1/1/2019, banks have to maintain HQLA for 30 days stress scenario.
Incomplete Transmission of Rate Cut by Banks
Monetary policy transmission refers to the way in which changes in the policy rates (such as Repo) by the RBI lead to commensurate changes in the rates of Interest of the Banks.
decreases Repo Rate, Banks don’t reduce their interest rates proportionately.
Why don’t banks transmit Repo Rate cuts to borrowers?
1. Banks don’t depend on RBI
In India (& all developing countries), RBI is not the primary source of money to banks. Ordinary people are the main supplier(mainly because people don’t have many options to invest money in alternate investment facilities, e.g. mutual funds etc.)
2. Small saving schemes rate not reduced
Transmission is limited by high small savings rates. Banks worry that if they cut their deposit rates, customers will flee to small savings instruments such as PPF, NSC etc.
3. High Statutory Liquidity Ratio
Significant money has to be kept idle as SLR, which banks cant lend. It reduces their ability to pass the benefit to consumers.
4. Banks increasing their Spread
Due to losses incurred to banks due to high NPAs & lowering of credit demand, banks are increasing their Spread to maintain their profits in absolute terms.
5. Higher NPAs
Indian banks face the issue of huge NPAs, which reduces banks’ profitability.
To deal with the inadequate transfer of Repo Rate cuts by banks to borrowers, RBI Came up with MCLR and External Benchmark Rate System.
External Benchmark System
How Banks decide their Interest Rate: Timeline
The government began nationalising private banks and ‘administered interest rates‘ on them.
M.Narsimhan suggested deregulation: Government should not dictate/administer individual banks’ interest rates & RBI should only give a methodology to banks.
RBI introduced Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR).
RBI introduced the BASE Rate + Spread system; update frequency was at individual banks’ discretion.
RBI introduced Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) +Spread system. – Banks to calculate the lending rate on a monthly basis. – Lending Rate to be calculated using of CRR Cost, Operating Cost, Marginal cost of funds (calculated using Repo Rate) (don’t need to go into detail. Just remember, MCLR has Repo Rate as a component in it).
Benefits? – Better transmission of Monetary Policy. – Transparency & accountability to borrowers.
RBI’s Janak Raj internal study group (2017) showed MCLR did not yield all benefits. So banks keep on increasing Spread based on their discretion.
Hence, a new method was introduced.
External Benchmark System
Applicable from April 2019 (on recommendations of Dr Janak Raj Committee).
NEW loans to be linked with External Benchmark system.
In this system
Bank have been asked to choose any of the 4 benchmarks like
Repo rate or
91-day T-bill yield or
182-day T-bill yield or
Any other benchmarks by Financial Benchmarks India Pvt. Ltd.
It has to be updated at least every 3 months.
Lending Rate of Bank will be External Benchmark + Spread (e.g. if Bank choose Repo Rate as External Benchmark, then Interest Rate will be Repo Rate + Spread)
Better transmission of Monetary Policy.
Better transparency and accountability.
2. Qualitative / Selective / General tools
These measures are used to regulate the money supply in specific sectors (i.e. these are sector-specific measures).
2.1 Marginal Requirements/LTV(Loan to Value)
If Spice Airlines wants to borrow money from SBI and pledges ₹100 crore collateral but RBI prescribe a margin (Loan to Value ratio) of say 65%, then SBI can give only a 65 crore loan.
It is obligatory for SBI to obey directives of RBI in this context (unlike base rate)
Hence, it is a Selective & direct tool.
2.2 Consumer Credit Regulation
In this, RBI can make various regulations on credit.
Can increase down payment from say 10% to 30% (it will force some people to delay buying vehicles financed through bank loans).
Can decrease least EMI for automobile sector say from ₹ 5,000 to 3,000.
2.3 Selective Credit Control
In this, RBI can instruct banks not to extend loans to a particular sector (Negative / Restrictive Tools) or give a minimum %age to a particular sector (positive).
These are Qualitative and Direct Tools.
2.3.1 Negative Restrictions
a. Ceiling to big loans
It was operational from 1965 to 1989.
Under this, all Commercial Banks had to obtain prior approval of RBI before giving loans greater than ₹ 1 crore to a single borrower.
b. Ceiling on Non-Food Loans
It started in 1973.
To boost Green Revolution
So that more loans go towards the agriculture sector
These tools were used before LPG Reforms, but they weren’t effective because these can be easily flouted using loopholes.
2.3.1 Positive Restrictions
a. Priority Sector Lending (PSL) / Rationing
Rationing is the main feature of the communist economy. E.g. in the Soviet Union, they used to make provisions like giving a particular amount of loan to a specific sector. PSL is a form of Rationing.
PSL means giving a specific minimum amount of loans to some Priority Sectors. In India, 40% of loans are given to Priority Sectors.
Government can increase the supply of money to that sector by increasing its limit.
2.4 Moral Suasion
Moral Suasion is “persuasion” without applying punitive measures. RBI governor tries this tactic via conferences, informal meetings, letters, seminars, convocation, panel discussion, memorial lectures.
Please reduce giving automobile loans instead; invest your money in government securities.
I have reduced the repo rate; now, you also decrease your base rate.
It is not obligatory on the part of the Bank to follow orders, but generally, they do follow.
2.5 Direct Action
RBI can take direct action against any bank for going against the rules. RBI gets this power under the Banking Regulation Act, RBI Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act etc.
E.g.: if Bank is not maintaining CRR or SLR, RBI can scrap its license.
This article deals with ‘Money Supply .’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is an important pillar of the GS-2 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.
Money Supply is the total stock of all types of money (currency and deposits) held by the public at any point in time. The term public includes all economic entities other than the government and banking system.
Factors affecting Money Supply
– For example, during November & April, crops harvest, and industries buy their raw material leading to more money in the hands of a farmer. Hence, the Money supply will rise.
– Money supply decreases with higher taxation and sale of G-sec and vice-versa.
– If people deposit a higher portion of their income in banks (instead of storing it in their lockers), then the bank can expand loans. The money supply rises in such cases.
– If RBI follows dear money policy = money supply decreases. If RBI follows a cheap money policy = money supply increases.
Why should we measure money supply?
The job of RBI is to control inflation through qualitative & quantitative tools (i.e. Repo Rate, Cash Reserve Ratio etc.)
But for this, RBI must first know how much money supply is there in the system. Only then RBI can make policy to control the money supply.
Types of Money
M0 (Reserve Money or High Powered Money)
It is the total stock of currency held by the public and banks.
Mo is base for creating Broad Money supply(M3)
Mo is the sum of the following things
Currency held by Public and Banks
Bankers’ deposits with RBI plus
Other deposits with RBI (held by certain individuals like former RBI Governors and certain institutions like IMF)
Basically, it is Total Currency Printed by RBI. RBI prints money
equivalent to bonds it gets from Government.
M1 (Narrow Money)
Currency and Coins with public
Demand deposit in all banks (i.e. Deposit in the current account and savings account)
Other deposits with RBI (held by certain individuals like former RBI Governors and certain institutions like IMF)
Basically, it denotes a situation when a person has money; he can do two things to maintain liquidity. Either he can keep that money in its hard form or deposit it in the bank in a Current or Savings Account (not a Fixed Account).
M2 (Narrow Money )
M2= M1 + Demand Deposits in Post Office
Currency and Coins with public
Demand deposit in all banks
Demand Deposits in Post Office
Other deposits with RBI (held by certain individuals like former RBI Governors and certain institutions like IMF)
M3 (Broad Money or Money Aggregate)
M3 = M1 + Time deposits with Commercial Banks
Currency and Coins with public
Demand deposit in all banks
Time deposits with banks
Other deposits with RBI (held by certain individuals like former RBI Governors and certain institutions like IMF)
M3 is most commonly used to measure money and is regarded as the main indicator of money supply in the economy.
M3 is the Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL).
M4 (Broad Money)
M4 = M3 + total Post office Deposits
Currency and Coins with public
Demand deposit in banks
Time deposits with banks
Demand deposit in post-offices
Time deposits with post-offices
Other deposits with RBI (held by certain individuals like former RBI Governors and certain institutions like IMF)
Ranking of Liquidity
is the ease of converting an asset into cash.
Liquidity Ranking : M1 > M2 > M3 > M4
There are two approaches to look into this concept
a. 1st Approach
Money Multiplier is Ratio of
Broad Money & Reserve money, i.e. M3 / Mo
M3 = Mo X Money Multiplier
Its value depends on the credit creation capacity of banks, which depends on the following
Banking habits of the public
When Reserve Money increases, Broad money will also increase.
In 2018, India’s Money Multiplier was ~5.55. (150 lakh crore/27 lakh crore).
b. 2nd Approach
Money Multiplier is 1/R (R= Cash Reserve Ratio)
Every ‘R’ Cash Reserve Ratio generates ‘1/R’ new money.
Explanation of the above formula?
Consider a situation in which a Person deposited ₹ 100 hard currency in the bank. Let’s assume that Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) fixed by RBI is 10%. First Bank will keep aside ₹10 & give ₹90 as a loan to some person. Then the person who got the loan again paid another person through the bank by depositing money in the person’s bank account. This bank will keep ₹9 (10% of 90) aside and give 81 as a loan to some other person. And the game keeps on going like this.
Hence , Money Multiplier is 1/R (where R is Cash Reserve Ratio).
Note: Presently, Money Multiplier is
around 6. But if we consider the 4% Cash Reserve Ratio, it should be 25.
for low Money Multiplier than theory
Since Financial Inclusion is low, there might be a case that either banks have money, but people are not available to take loans, or people cannot keep their money in banks.
Along with that, Banks aren’t always willing to give loans.
Significant cash in India is stored as Black Money and is never stored in Banking System.
Survey (2020) observed that India’s Money Multiplier has been decreasing since
Velocity of Money Circulation
The average number of times money passes from one person to another during the given period.
Factors affecting Velocity of Money Circulation
Poor people immediately use their money. Hence, cash in the hands of the poor has a higher velocity.
Booming period = higher velocity.
If more people use EMI loans for purchase, then the higher velocity.
Low financial inclusion means less velocity because banking penetration is low. People tend to save more on physical assets. Hence, money doesn’t change hands much.
This article deals with ‘Reformist Movements– UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Modern History’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
Main reason why Britain emerged as powerful nation was it
accepted modern civilization first among all nations . But in India , intentionally they followed the policy
to stall the change
in society . Changes did occur & Indian society did try to change but
not due to British policies but due to efforts by some progressive Indians
These efforts happened first in Bengal because it came under British control
first . First lot of Indians who studied in Western English knowledge were
also created in Bengal at the end
of 18th Century. New intellectual stirrings created reformed mentality . They didn’t reject Indian tradition but sought to change certain
unreasonable aspects of Hindu society which didn’t conform to their
Later , British officials also joined the race & this provided legitimacy to the reform
agenda of the Utilitarian reformers like Bentinck .
But problem was , this
mentality was confined to a
small circle of English Educated elite. Series
of reforms followed but they remained on paper . They faced problem
because they never attempted to develop modern social consciousness from
below . They should have followed ‘bottom up approach’ instead of
‘top down approach’
. Reform forced from above remained
Untouchability as an issue of social reform had to wait
until the beginning of the twentieth century and the arrival of Mahatma
Gandhi in Indian public life after World War One .
Lacking in a broad social
base, the reformers of the early nineteenth century thus exhibited an
intrinsic faith in the benevolent nature of colonial rule and relied more
on legislation for imposing reform from above. There was very little or no attempt to create a
consciousness at the grass-roots level, where religious
revivalism later found a fertile
The reform movement broadly fell under two categories
– Eg : Brahmo Samaj, Prarthana Samaj & Aligarh Movement – Relied on reason & conscience. They wanted to purge outdated elements from the religion which didn’t pass on the scale of reason .
– Eg : Arya Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission & Deoband Movement – Relied upon traditions & wanted to go back to their self made golden past
Side Topic : Why Britishers tried to reform Indian Society in 19th Century?
There were various reasons for this
Several ideological influences in Britain, such as Evangelicalism, Utilitarianism and free trade
For renewal of Charter of company
Pro socio-religious reform
thrust in contemporary England => because Progressive Whig Party came into power back in
Role of Christian missionaries was also noticeable.
But the Company’s government was still tentative about interfering
for fear of adverse Indian reaction unless a section of the Indian society was
prepared to support reform. Such a group was soon to emerge through the
introduction of English education
Status of Woman &Civilizational Critique
Status of woman
became the main focus of the reforming activities of colonial state as
well as educated Indians
At that time, way in which civilisations were ranked , position of
woman was one of the important criteria & here Indians
were increasingly under attack by western observers from missionaries to
civilians . Indian civilisation was
despised because it assigned such a low status to women .
Hence, Indian Intelligentsia
responded to this civilisation critique by advocating & supporting reforms to
improve status of woman in Indian society.
But such reforms remained very
restricted to only few women belonging to high class because women remained recipient of male patronage & never became involved in
these reformist projects as conscious
subjects of their own history .
Upper Class Women vs Peasant Women
were better compared to Upper caste woman during that time
They didn’t practice Purdah
System , Right to Remarry was there
& Sati was also not that widespread among Peasant class unlike
We have seen the reasons why Social Reform movements were started in India. Now we will look in detail into one strand of these movements known as Reformist Movements .
Features of reformist social movements
a. Confined only to narrow social group
Reformist spirit appealed only
to a small elite group who were primarily the economic & cultural
beneficiaries of the colonial rule
– Small number of western educated elite known as Bhadralok – Socially they were mostly Hindus & although caste wasn’t a major criteria for membership, they were mostly higher caste Brahmin, Kayastha & Baidya
– Members of Prarthna Samaj were mainly English educated Chitpavan & Saraswat Brahmins along with Merchants from Gujarat
Indeed the high caste character of the early 19th century
explains to a large extent the relative
silence on caste question & untouchability which had to wait till Gandhi
b. Faith in benevolent nature of colonial rule
They had great faith in the
benevolent nature of colonial rule & infact existence of these classes
depended on Colonial rule .
Because of faith , they relied more on legislation for imposing
reform from the above
c. Colonial Character of the reforms
assumption was religion
was the basis for Indian society &
this religion was encoded in the scriptures . Social evils
were thought to be result of the distortion
of scriptures by self seeking people , in this case the cunning Brahmins who
had the monopoly over this textual knowledge .
mission of the colonial state thus seen to lie in giving back the natives
the truth of their own little read & even less understood shastras .
Whole debate over
Sati was grounded in scriptures & its abolition was not based on fact
that it is morally & ethically
wrong but when government was convinced that custom was not enjoyed by the
As the colonial rulers gave supreme importance to scriptures, the Indian reformers too, as
well as their detractors, referred to ancient religious texts to argue
their respective cases. The brutality or the irrationality of the
custom, or the plight of women, whom the reform was intended for, were
lesser concerns in a debate
Note : The intellectuals did not however attacked the social system as a whole; their attack centred only on the perversions and distortions that had crept into it. They did not advocate a sharp rupture in the existing social structure of the country. They did not stand for structural transformation; changes were sought within the framework of the very structure. They were advocates of reform and not revolution.
Social problems and Reformist efforts to reform them
a. Female Infanticide
It was most common in Western & Northern India .
There landowning high caste families , practising hypergamy found it difficult to find suitable grooms for their daughters or pay high demands of dowry . Hence, they killed their female offsprings at birth .
British authorities tried to persuade them & after 1830 sought to coerce them to desist from practice but no tangible effect was observed.
In 1870, Female Infanticide Act was passed . But even after that, condition didn’t change because abject neglect of female children resulted in high mortality .
b. Sati Abolition
Sati Abolition was the
greatest achievement of Lord Bentinck .
Sati is self immolation of
wife on funeral pyre of dead husband.
According to social
reformers , it has always been there much the exception rather than a rule
in Hindu life & during Mughal period, it was practiced in Rajputs & Kingdom of Vijayanagara . But during British period, it revived on much larger scale
& experienced highest rate of development.
Reasons for practice of Sati
Earlier it was practiced by Upper Caste
Hindus but during
British rule, it started in peasant
families of lower & intermediate
caste who achieved social mobility & then sought to legitimize their new status by imitating their caste superiors.
Greed of the relatives – Child marriage was widespread at that
time & many a times bride who has not even lived with groom was forced
to perform Sati in order to get property of that man.
Sati was widespread in areas where Dayabhaga school of personal Hindu law was applicable . Areas where ] Mitakshara
applicable, it was less prevalent because Mitakshara
school gives lesser rights to wife to inherit property
Campaign against it
First started by Christian Missionaries
But very strong campaign under
Raja Rammohan Roy gave real momentum
Finally in 1829 , Governor
General Bentinck prohibited
Sati by Govt Regulation Act XVII. Pressure was also put by the Court of Directors because they wanted to present credible image of Company’s rule in India in the
before renewal of Charter
pending in 1833.
Although it reduced very much after that but
the idea & myth of Sati persisted in popular
culture & was continually reaffirmed through epics, ballads & folktales
of surfaced even in 1987 ( Roop Kanwar Case of village Deorala in Rajasthan).
c. Widow Remarriage
Main protagonist was Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar . But he too, like Raja
Rammohan Roy looked to colonial state for piece of legislation for
In 1856 , Hindu Remarriage Act was passed but
this couldn’t make the
practice socially acceptable . Along with that, Act was intrinsically
conservative in nature because on remarriage , widow
disinherited her deceased husband’s property .
Movement ended with its
unavoidable death . Vidyasagar failed to see widows remarried because this
needed social consent which could
not be generated by piece of legislation .
Practise of Widow Remarriage
remained rare & exceptional among the educated class &
within few years taboo universalised & penetrated to lower castes.
1860s : Movement to
promote widow remarriage spread among educated class & debate became sharp between reformers &
1866 : Vishnushastri Pandit started a Society for
Encouragement of Widow Remarriage while opponents started rival
Movement ended in whimper . By end of century only 38 such marriages happened & in that cases
too couples were subjected to enormous social pressure & ostracism .
In Telegu speaking
areas , movement was started by Veersalingum Pantulu . In 1878 , Society for
Social Reforms was founded by him for this.
1881 : first widow remarriage
officiated by him in 1881 in face of stiff opposition but till 1891 ,
support increased & he formed Widow Remarriage Association with
patronage of prominent citizens .
North India : Haryana
Here practice of widow remarriage was already
there& new act provided
such marriage with legitimacy & further social acceptance
d. Child Marriage
Vidyasagar continued his campaign against Polygamy & later
Child Marriage .
In 1860 , finally he was able
to secure an Age Of Consent
Act, 1860 that fixed age of
consent for consummation of marriage at 10 years which was raised to 12
years in 1891.
But census showed that it
continued to be practiced widely among all castes.
were stereotyped into the colonial construct called Thugs who were believed to have
been members of a fraternity traditionally involved in robbery & ritual killings in the name of religion
Campaign against thugee was
initiated in 1830s by Lord Bentinck
Thugee Act (XXX) , 1836 was passed & Thugee
Dept. was created
for prosecuting gangs seen as perpetrating a crime in the name of religion
but it’s elimination proved to be a difficult task.
In 1839 , Sir William Sleeman as head of Department claimed that
thugee had been exterminated but in reality he begun to realise difficulty
in doing this and it was just a face-saving measure.
Laws were even more
ineffective against less organised social customs that remained part of
everyday life from centuries .
Slavery was such an example .
Slavery was abolished in Britain in 1820 & in India too Charter of 1833 instructed government to abolish slavery & Parliamentary pressure
continued till it was abolished .
problem was, they tried to see slavery
in India through lens of their British idea of Slavery but in India where
agrarian relations were complex & marked by numerous structures of
labour dependencies it was almost impossible to stop it
Process was failure in India
Renaissance literally means ‘rebirth’. It refers to the revival of Graeco-Roman (classical) learning in 15th-16th century after long winter of dark ages. In Indian context , intellectual revolution that took place in the nineteenth century in the fields of philosophy, literature, science, politics and social reforms is often known as Indian Renaissance. An important part of this Renaissance was reforming Hinduism from within on the basis of Post Enlightenment Rationalism.
Very much like the Italian Renaissance, it was not a mass movement; but instead restricted to the upper classes.
Response of the educated Indian elite to civilisational critique was to reform Hinduism from within, in the boundary of post enlightenment rationalism . Such phenomenon is known as Bengal Renaissance
Movement was started in Bengal by Raja Rammohan Roy who is often described as Father of Modern India .
Raja Rammohan Roy(1772-1833)
He was Hindu Brahmin and was born in Hooghly ,Bengal
He fought against the stagnant
He was one of those upper caste
gentry whose power & position had been enhanced by Permanent
other opportunities opened by the Colonial rule.
He studied Persian and Arabic at a Madrasah in Patna . He was proficient in Arabic,
Persian, Sanskrit & European languages like English, French, Latin ,
Greek & Hebrew
At a time when Bengali youth
under the influence of western learning was drifting towards Christianity,
Roy proved to be the champion of Hinduism . Although, he defended Hinduism against the hostile criticism of the
missionaries , he sought to purge Hinduism of the abuses that had crept
Then he studied Vedantic monism & after his migration to Calcutta in 1815, he was exposed to the Christian
Unitarianism . Such intellectual influences motivated him to contest the
missionary claim of superiority of Christians . His answer to this was to reform Hinduism using reason by going back to its purest form
as enshrined in Vedanta
Raja Rammohan Roy accepted the
concept of ‘One God’ as propounded by Upanishads . For him God was shapeless , invisible & omnipresent but the
guiding shape of the universe . He declared his opposition to idol worship
& was of view that worship to be performed through prayers &
meditation & readings from Upanishads . He translated Upanishads into Bangla to demonstrate
that ancient Hindu scriptures themselves propagated monotheism
He published his first philosophical work, Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhiddin
in 1805 in which
he analysed the major religions of the
world wrt ‘reason’ and ‘social comfort’. He denied that religion was merely a matter of
faith outside reason and attempted to expose the myth of miracles associated with it.
Later, he started English Hindu college at Calcutta in 1816
He was great exponent of the
Bengali language .
newspaper MIRAT UL AKHBAR ( mirror of news) and Bengali newspaper Samvad Kaumudi.
He was given the title of Raja by
Mughal Emperor Akbar II , who sent him to England
in 1831 as Ambassador of the king to ensure that Bentinck’s Regulation of
banning the practice of Sati is not overturned and also to overturn
the decision to make Mughals
Princes & taking royal titles from them
He died there at Stapleton
,Bristol in 1833 (due to Meningitis)
Worked for the emancipation
of the women
Sati System was abolished on
account of his efforts . Government passed Anti Sati legislation in 1829
declaring sati as a criminal offence
He condemned polygamy, early marriage and opposed
the subjugation of women and their inferior status in society. He related their problems to
the root cause of absence of property
rights. To him, female
education was another effective method to free Indian Society from social
To propagate his message
against Sati he started a Bengali newspaper SAMVAD KAUMUDI (moon of
Worked against the rigidity of
the Caste System
maximum age of Civil services to be 22 years
Favoured Jury system
Founded Hindu College(1817) along with David Hare , Radhakant Deb,
Maharaja Tejchandra Ray of Burdwan , Prasan Kumar Tagore , Babu Budhinath
Mukherjee & Justice Sir Edward Hyde ( Hindu College later became Presidency College( in
1855) & Presidency
University (in 2010)
supported Macaulay in favouring English language
In 1825 , he started Vedanta College which offered both
Indian & western knowledge
He also compiled Bengali
He raised not only social issues but political and economic issues too
He stood for
Indianisation of services
Trial by jury
Separation of Powers between the executive and the judiciary
Freedom of the Press
Judicial equality between Indians and Europeans
Criticised the Zamindari System for its oppressive practices
He was progenitor of nationalist consciousness, and ideology in India. His every effort of social and religious reform was aimed at nation-building.
In particular, he attacked the rigidities of the caste system which, according to him, had been the source of disunity among Indians. He held that the monstrous caste system created inequality and division among the people on the one hand, and ‘deprived them of patriotic feeling‘ on the other.
Rammohan was an internationalist, libertarian and democrat in his orientation. He took active interest in international affairs and wanted amity among nations. His concern for the cause of liberty, democracy and nationalism led him to cancel all his social engagements when he came to know of the failure of the Revolution in Naples in 1821. By giving a public dinner, he celebrated the success of the Revolution in Spanish America in 1823.
Newspaper and Books
Roy started following newspapers and pamphlets
Kaumudi – Bengali Newspaper
Akhbar – Persian Newspaper
– An Exposition of Revenue &
Judicial System in India (urged government that administration & judiciary
should be separated among other things )
Along with that , he wrote following books
Gift to Monotheists (1809)
Percepts of Jesus (1820)
Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhiddin in 1805
Mahanirvana Tantra (1797)
Propagated MONOTHEISM and Vedantic Monism.
He opposed the idol worship
a. Atmiya Sabha – Calcutta
Started in 1815
It was a philosophical discussion circle
Discussed monotheism in Hindu Vedantism
It was also attended by Dwarkanath Tagore (Grandfather of Rabindranath)
Opposed worship of idols
Against rigidity of caste & meaning less religious rituals
He blamed the Brahman priests for perpetuating religious evils by keeping people ignorant about the true teachings of the scriptures.
b. Brahmo Samaj
Brahmo Sabha in 1828 (later became Brahmo Samaj)
Founded by Dwarkanath & Raja Rammohan Roy
Main Theme – rid Hinduism of its evils & preach
Purpose was to purify Hinduism of all evils which
had crept into it
It vehemently opposed Sati System.
Mohan Roy & Dwarkanath Tahore
Works done by Brahmo Samaj
It propagated Monotheism (discarded the faith in divine Avataras) .
It was against idolatry and idol worship
It attacked Casteism & Untouchability
Any scripture could enjoy the status of ultimate authority transcending reason & conscience .
It took no definite stand on the Doctrine of Karma & Transmigration of soul & left it to the individual Brahmos to believe either way.
Worked for respectable position of the women in the society and for this
Favoured abolition of Purdah System
Discouraged Child Marriages & Polygamy
Crusaded for widow remarriage etc
After Roy’s death in 1833, the leadership of the Brahmo movement was taken over by Debendranath Tagore who provided the movement with a better organisational structure and ideological consistency
But the movement was actually taken out of the limited elite circles of Calcutta literati into the district towns of east Bengal by Bijoy Krishna Goswami and Keshub Chandra Sen in the 1860s.
Goswami bridged the gap between Brahmoism and the popular religious tradition of Vaishnavism
Sen’s specific focus was to reach larger numbers of non-Westernised Bengalis in the eastern Gangetic plains and to take the movement outside Bengal to other provinces of India
Schisms & other Developments
First schism in the Samaj in 1866
Samaj for India
– Led by more radical Keshav Chandra Sen, Anandamohan Bose & Shiv Narayan Shastri . – Reverted away from the Hindu components and accepted the teachings of all religions
– Under Debendranath Tagore (Father of Rabindranath) – Remained in a more inclusive and Hindu sphere of influence
Basically, as Meredith Borthwick has shown, it was a schism between Keshav’s followers, for whom social progress and reform were more important than anything else, and the followers of Debendranath, who preferred to maintain their identification with Hindu society.This rift was, as it became clear soon, more about an identity crisis than about any fundamental difference of ideology: while some of the Brahmos wanted to define themselves as separate from the Hindus, others began to seek a position within the great tradition of Hinduism.
Second Schism in 1878
A band of Keshub Chandra Sen followers left him
On account of
Marriage of Sen’s minor daughter to Prince of Cooch Bihar
Also because he became devout follower of Ramakrishna and tried to bridge Brahmanism and Brahmo Samaj.
They Started Sadharan Brahmo Samaj and worked mainly for the social work & female education and famine relief . Consisted of Anand Mohan Bose & SN Shastri
Thus Brahmo samaj also contributed prominent nationalists who later formed the backbone of the moderate phase of congress
In 1881, Sen formed his Naba Bidhan (New Dispensation) and started moving towards a new universalist religion. But by this time , successive ideological rifts and organisational divisions had weakened the Brahmo movement, confining it to a small elite group.
Limited to urban areas only
Lot of internal rivalries
Achievements of Brahmo Samaj
Sati : Pressure
was put by the samajis & as a
result Anti Sati legislation was passed
by Lord William Bentinck in 1829
Abolition of the caste system and dowry system
Emancipation of the women
Improving educational system
Brahmo Samaj ultimately failed and emerged as sectarian religious order after continuous schisms but nevertheless , its achievements were huge
Rabindranath Tagore admitted the failure of Samaj but also recognised the very important role played by Samaj of providing a shock to static Indian society and made it to think on rationalist lines.
According to Bipin Chandra Pal , main impact of Samaj was on Political Culture . It was from Brahma Samaj that idea of free thinking individual emerged who would be able to absorb democratic & western ideals.
Henry Vivian Derozio & Young Bengal Movement
(Anglo-Indian Teacher at Hindu
College) started Young Bengal Movement
At age of 17, he started Young
He was much more modern than Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
He was a free thinker and a rationalist, helped promoting a radical & critical outlook among
his students who questioned authority, loved liberty and worshipped truth.
Most radical at that time
& was inspired by French Revolution
nationalist poet of Modern India
the followers of Derozio, were staunch rationalists; they measured everything
on the yardstick of reason. He organised debates where ideas and social
norms were freely debated. In 1828, he motivated them to form a literary
and debating club
called theAcademic Association.
In 1838, they formed ‘Society for the Acquisition of General Knowledge‘, where they discussed
various aspects of Western science, and stood for a number of social
reforms, such as the prohibition of caste taboos, child marriage, polygamy etc.
Young Bengal followed classical economics, and was composed of free traders who
took inspiration from Jeremy Bentham, Adam Smith, and David Ricardo.
They were passionate advocates of women’s rights and
demanded education for them.
He was dismissed from the Hindu College in
1831 because of his radical views, and shortly afterwards he died of
Cholera at the young age of 22.
carried forward Rammohan’s tradition of educating the people in social, economic
and political questions through newspapers, pamphlets and public
associations. They carried on public agitation on public questions such as
the revision of the Company’s Charter, the Freedom of the Press, better treatment for Indian
labour in British colonies abroad, Trial by Jury, Protection of the Ryots
from oppressive Zamindars, and Employment of Indians in the higher grades
of government services.
Why they didn’t succeed?
Social conditions were not yet ripe for their
ideas to flourish. The common
people , who were not acquainted with those ideologies, considered
those young as arrogant.
Their total faith in the British and in
their rationalism and scientism derived from the west, set
them apart from the masses of Indians and they never succeeded in
organising any social movement in support of their proposed reforms.
Book by Derozio (GK for prelims)
To India – My Native Land
In this , he wrote about pain given by British rule
He was son of Dwarkanath
Tagore , father of Rabindra Nath Tagore and a close friend of Raja Ram
Mohan Roy .
1839 , he started Tattvabodhini Sabha to disseminate the knowledge of the Upanishads
was the principal organ of the Sabha to propagate the ideas .
After death of Raja Rammohan
Roy, he became the main organiser of Brahmo Samaj.
1850 , he wrote book
Dharma where he
Emphasised on monotheism
Supported rationality and
reject scriptural infallibility
Rejected Caste distinctions
Inspired his sons into reform movement ,most
famous being Rabindranath Tagore
He was part of Landholders Society and played important role in formation of British India Association
His original name was
He was born on 26 September
1820 in the Paschim Midnapore District of West Bengal to impoverished Brahmin
During the period from 1829 to 1841, Ishwar Chandra
studied Vedanta, Vyakaran, Literature, Rhetorics, Smriti and Ethics in Sanskrit
College. And in 1839 the title ‘Vidyasagar’ was
conferred on him for his unusual talent.
1841, at the age of
twenty one years, Ishwar Chandra joined the Fort William College
as a head of the Sanskrit department. In 1851 , Vidyasagar became a professor and later on the
Principal of the Sanskrit College
Works toward Education
He firmly believed that the
regeneration of India was possible only through education.
His work was aimed at
extending the benefits of learning to common people. He stressed upon
instruction through vernacular language.
also opened the doors
of the colleges and other educational institutions to lower caste students,
which was earlier reserved only for the Brahmins. For his immense
generosity and kind-heartedness, people started addressing him as “Daya Sagar”
(ocean of kindness).
spent his early life in village Ishwar Chandra could realize the sorrowful
condition of the womenfolk. He rightly believed that the emancipation of women
was not possible as long as they remained ignorant. Ishwar Chandra,
upon himself the task of promoting the cause of female education.
Pioneer in the women upliftment
Started girls schools in Bombay and Calcutta
Encouraged women to study in
He also collaborated with Drinkwater Bethune in
establishing the Hindu Female School (at present known as Bethune School and College) in
initiative in pushing the Widow Remarriage Act ,1856
in passing the Special Marriages Act of 1872.
Wrote book for women
emancipation titled BAHUVIVAH
He initiated the concept of
widow remarriage and raised concern for the abolition of child-marriage
and polygamy. He demonstrated that the system of polygamy was not sanctioned by the ancient Hindu
He took the
initiative in proposing and pushing The
Hindu Widow Remarriage Act XV of 1856 in India during
Governor-Generalship Lord Canning.
He brought a revolution in the education system of Bengal. In his book, “Barno-Porichoy” (Introduction to the letter), Vidyasagar refined the Bengali language and made it accessible to the common strata of the society.
Vidyasagar invented Bengali prose through translation as well as own writings.
Social Reform Movements in western India
Main reform movements in western India were as follows :-
Paramhans Mandali / Samaj
It was started in 1849
Pandurang . Other
important leader was (Lokhitwadi)
Gopal Hari Deshmukh
It was first socio religious
movement of Maharashtra
Paramhansa Sabha’s principal
objective was the demolition of all
caste distinctions. Each new recruit to the Sabha had to undergo initiation ceremony, and take the pledge that he
would not observe any caste distinctions. He had to eat a slice of bread
baked by a Christian and drink water at the hands of a Muslim.
The Sabha was, however, a secret society; its meetings were conducted in the strictest
secrecy for fear of facing the wrath of the orthodox. The challenge to the
caste system and other social evils thus remained limited
to the participation of its few members only.
transformation into Prarthana Samaj was the direct consequence of two visits of
KC Sen to Bombay in 1864 & 1867
It was founded by Atmaram
Pandurang in 1867 inspired from the Brahmo Samaj & the main spirit
behind formation was MG Ranade who was ably assisted by KT. Telang
All leading members
were Western educated Maratha Chitpavan Brahmins .
was almost similar to
idolatry & priestly domination
Favoured Widow Remarriage
& raising age of marriage for both males & females .
connected themselves with Maharshtrian Bhakti Tradition .
Prarthana Samaj maintained
distinction from Brahmo Movement of Bengal & the most notable
distinction was they were moderate
& more accommodative. They didn’t signal a sharp break & this
gradualist approach made it more acceptable
It’s branches were opened in
Surat, Ahmedabad , Poona & reached even in South India where leader
was Veerasalingum Pantulu
It faced crisis in 1875 when
Swami Dayanand visited Gujarat & Maharashtra & offered
possibilities of a more radical & self assertive religious program
. A group of Samaj members under SP
& felt attracted to Arya Samaji ideology of Dayanand .
Side Topic : MG Ranade
was co-founder of Prarthana Samaj
He was a product of
the Elphinstone College, Bombay & was Judge of the Bombay High Court during 1891-
He held that the caste distinction was the main blot on Indian social system.
Under his guidance the
Paramhans Sabha was reorganised in 1867 under the name Prarthana
He was the founding
member of Indian National Congress , member of Bombay Legislative Council and
founding member of Indian
Social Conference (1887)
He was the editor of the Anglo
Marathi paper – Induprakash
Jyotirao Phule and Satyashodak Samaj
He was from Satara ,
In 1873, Phule established the Satyashodhak Samaj, an organization for challenging Brahmanic supremacy.
He promoted women education along with his wife
Savitribai Jyotirao Phule by
opening women schools.
He also worked for widow
remarriage and to prevent female infanticide, he opened homes for newborn
He wrote book titled GULAMGIRI
Ideology of Satyashodak Samaj
It was against untouchability & caste system
It opposed idolatry and Brahmin’s role as intermediary between person
Promotion of rational thinking
It also rejected Vedic
Servants of India Society
Started by Gopal Krishna Gokhale in 1905
band of dedicated workers for nation building
activities for the upliftment of Indians
Sri Narayan Guru & SNDP Yogam
Sri Narayan Guru was social
reformer born in 1854 in Kerala into
bhakti for spiritual freedom
Rejected divisiveness based on caste, religion etc
He was a pioneer reformer who rejected the caste system and stressed on the equality of man. He gave the universal message, “One caste, one religion, one God”
He was influenced by Vedanta.
He supported Temple entry movements.
Sri Narayana Guru condemned animal sacrifice
He urged the Ezhavas to leave the toddy tapping profession and even to stop drinking liquor.
Dr. Palpu, a devotee of Guru established the Sree
Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP Yogam) in 1903 to further Narayana Guru’s message