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


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


When did Globalization started?

No agreement on this

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


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


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


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


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





What Exactly is Globalization ?

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

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


  • Local happenings are shaped by events occuring miles away


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

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





Factors helping Globalization

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


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


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




Negatives of Globalization in General

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



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


Socio-cultural Globalization & India

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




Economic Globalization & India

Economic globalization comprises of two aspects :

  • Globalisation of production
  • Globalisation of markets



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


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





Impact of Globalization on various sections of society

1. Society as a Whole

Family structure Value of Individualism  =>  nuclearisation of families


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


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


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


Withdrawal of


 from Social Sector

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


2. Female

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


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



3. Farmers and Agriculture

Positive Impact of globalization

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



Negative Impact of globalization

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



4. Old Age

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


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


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


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


5. New Generation / youth 

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


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




5. Art Forms

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


Localisation  vs Homogenisation vs Clash of Civilisation

With increase in globalization, what will happen? 

Three contrasting views

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



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



Arguments for Glocalization

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




Argument for  Homogeneity

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

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


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


Infact Globalization is Americanisation of the world



3rd view – Cultural polarization

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











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