Triple Talaq

Triple Talaq

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

Introduction

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

Why Triple Talaq should be banned ?

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

Arguments against Supreme Court’s interference in Triple Talaq

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

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act

Timeline

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

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

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

Main issues with bill

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

Points in favour of Criminalisation of Triple Talaq

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

Women in Combat Forces

Women in Combat Forces

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

In news because

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

Current position

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

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

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

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

Case study of Gunjan Saxena

Women in Combat Forces

Concerns

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

Rationale for the decision to include women in forces

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

Women in Politics

Women in Politics

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

Introduction

Women have a very low status in the political scenario in the country. The number of women in the Parliament has never crossed the 20% mark till now.

Women were  not considered fit for politics earlier. According to philosophers like Kant , women have inability to control emotions & thus, inability to be impartial & rational, requires their exclusion .

Following amendment bills have already been introduced

  • 73rd & 74th amendments to the constitution has provision of reservation of 1/3rd for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions .
  • 108th Constitutional Amendment Bill to provide  1/3rd reservation  for women in Lok Sabha .
  • 110th Constitutional Amendment Bill  to reserve 50% seats for women in Local Bodies .
  • Pam Rajput Committee recommended  50% reservation of seats for women at all political levels .

Data of Women Representation in Politics

  • (17th) Lok Sabha has 14.6% women representatives .
  • Rajya Sabha has 11% women representatives .
  • State Legislatures have just 9% women representatives (some states like Nagaland  have 0% women representation) .

Case Study of Bhakti Sharma

  • Bhakti Sharma , sarpanch of Barkhedi Abdulla village was just 25 years old when she left her job with attractive package and post-graduate degree in political science to become Sarpanch of her village.
  • She  gives up her two months’ salary to each family where a girl child is born in the village
  • In 2015, she was chosen as one of the 100 popular women in the country .

Women in Politics

Problems in Reservation approach

  • One-size-fits-all policies designed in New Delhi backfires in states like Nagaland  .It would perpetuate unequal status of women since their merit will always be questioned.
  • Right to choice of voters restricted . 
  • Sarpanch Pati Syndrome  : In many places the concept of sarpanch pati has emerged where the women is just the nominal sarpanch, whereas her husband is the real decision making authority.
  • Reservation do not lead to real empowerment as seats are contested by women from rich families, business and political families.

Watch this video to know more about the phenomenon of Sarpanch Pati

Points in favour of reservation

  • In states like M.P , Kerala , Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan etc. where the reservation has been extended to women in local municipal corporations and PRIs , positive impact on governance is visible where they are headed by women. Women representatives have contributed immensely in overcoming social taboos and constraints like removal of ghunghat , sitting at same height as men on chairs etc.
  • Though it begins at token equality that caused acute discomfort and even confrontation, women especially dalit has been able to push boundaries and create space in the decision making sphere across all sectors.
  • The acts made by women are more gender sensitive and are able to include female perspective in them.

Feminization of Agriculture

Feminization of Agriculture

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


Introduction

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

Historians and even M.S. Swaminathan believe that it was women who first domesticated crop plants and initiated the art and science of farming. While men went out hunting in search of food, women started gathering seeds from the native flora and cultivating those of interest from the point of view of food, feed, fodder, fibre and fuel.”


Reasons for Feminization of Agriculture

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

Has this led to women’s empowerment?

Yes, it has

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

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

No, it hasn’t

  • Feminization of Agriculture is not an intended consequence but an unintended impact of distress migration.
  • Due to the patriarchal nature of society, they are referred to as flexible labours. Hence, they are joining the sector as an agrarian proletariat.
  • Although they participate in agriculture, they don’t have  land rights (According to the agricultural census, 73.2% of rural women are engaged in farming activities, but only 12.8% own landholdings.)
  • Because of rural sector schemes like MGNREGA,  men are migrating back, and women are again confined to domestic spheres (a phenomenon known as the ‘de-feminization of agriculture’).

Issues

  • Lack of Property Rights: Given India’s social and religious set-up, women do not generally enjoy equal property rights as their male counterparts. As a result, they are not guaranteed the rights they would otherwise be given if they were recognized as farmers, such as loans for cultivation, loan waivers, crop insurance, subsidies or even compensation to their families in cases where they commit suicide.
  • Women also have poor access to credit, irrigation, inputs, technology and markets.
  • Agricultural implements are designed for men. 

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

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

Steps taken by Government

  • 15 October is celebrated as ‘Women Farmers day‘.
  • At least 30% of budget allocation should be provided to women beneficiaries in all schemes & programs (including agriculture).
  • Low duty and tax if the land transfer is in a women’s name in some states like Punjab.
  • The government is promoting Women’s Agricultural Self-Help Groups (SHGs).  

Side Topic: Defeminization of Agriculture

  • Due to schemes like MGNREGA, men who migrated to other areas in search of jobs have started returning. It has led to a reverse process known as the Defeminization of Agriculture.


Concept: Feminization of work

It has three dimensions

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

Low Female Labour Force Participation

Low Female Labour Force Participation

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

Introduction

  • LFPR of women is continuously decreasing . In 2017-18, LFPR among women was just 25%.
Low Female Labour Force Participation
  • Only in Meghalaya , women LFPR was above 50% .

Possible reasons  for low Woman LFPR

  • Social Causes
    • Patriarchal Mindset  : Patriarchal norms of Indian society and social constraints on freedom of women results in lower LFPR among women.
    • Nuclearisation of families :  childcare and household work restricts woman participation in work.
    • Caste factor :  in some upper castes, there is a stigma attached to women working outside the home .
  • Many sectors like Armed forces arent open for women .
  • Unpaid household work : Economists distinguish between production for self-consumption and production for the market. Only the latter is counted as ‘work’. Most of woman are working at home, but since it is unpaid, it is not counted in labour force participation.
  • Rising incompatibility of work : Due to structural change in Indian economy , skilled jobs in service and construction sector coming up but  women don’t have necessary skills for these jobs .
  • Higher Education :  As women are pursuing higher education, their entry in the job market is delayed (Feminization U-Hypothesis ( given below)).
  • An income effect of the husband’s higher earnings. Rise in the income of men has resulted in withdrawal of women from the labour market.
  • Violence against woman force woman to move out of labour force . Eg :
    • Violence against woman at workplace restricts their participation.
    • Mode of transportation is not safe for woman restricting their movement. 
  • Problems like looking after young child, lack of crèches facility at workplace  etc. force working mothers to quit job .

Feminization U-Hypothesis

With development,

  • Women’s labour force participation drops during the initial phase of industrialization .
  • But in long run, Labour Force Participation will increase once a certain level of development is reached.

Steps ahead

  • Bangladesh ModelPromote Apparel & Shoes Sector as these  two sectors are most women friendly . 
  • Open more sectors for woman : eg Defence Services etc. 
  • Skilling  woman so that they can fit in post LPG Reforms economy .
  • Promoting woman entrepreneurship : Via Standup India and many other schemes .
  • Maternity Benefits  : Government has already increased it to 26 weeks. Extend it to informal sector as well.
  • Self Help Group (SHG) promotion like Kudumbshree  to make women especially in rural areas to be self-employed.
  • Japan Model (Womenomics) :  It includes getting more women into  positions of leadership.
  • Reshaping societal attitudes and beliefs about women participation in the labour force.

Side Topic : Women in leadership roles in India

  • Women representation on company boards in India is also very low at mere 13.8% .
  • But this number is gradually increasing, which is a very positive sign. Many big corporates are headed by women, example Pepsi by Indra Nooyi, Axis Bank by Shikha Sharma, ICICI Bank by Chanda Kochhar (who just quit) etc.
  • In 2020 , Germany has made mandatory quota for minimum number of women working in senior management positions in the country’s listed firms.

Reasons for lack of women in leadership role

  • Glass ceiling Effect  : It restricts the promotion of women to the top most positions. This glass ceiling exists due to the persistence of patriarchy in the society, and also due to the fact that the present leadership consists of men who promote the interests of men only
  • Leaky Pipeline Effect : Tendency for the proportion of women to decline as management grade rises .

Class System in India

Class System in India

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


Introduction

  • Class is an economic concept which is decided by economic factors like income, wealth, and occupation of a person.
  • Before the arrival of the British, there were no vivid classes, as the caste system was the basis of social structure. The caste system was synonymous with the class system.


British rule & emergence of Class System

Class System in India

After the arrival of the British class system developed in India due to 

  1. Agricultural reforms
  2. Urbanization
  3. Industrialization
  4. Education

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

  1. Zamindars & Mahajans
  2. Farmers, Ryot, Small Animal Husbands and Landless Labourers

Industrialization and urbanization divided society into

  1. Industrialists and investors
  2. Labour class

Post-Independence

After independence, the class system further developed in India due to reasons like 

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

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

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

Generally, three classes broadly identified in India have the following characteristics

  1. Upper Class: Those people who control and regulate wealth & investment and gain profit from wealth & investment.
  2. Middle Class: Those people who do white collared jobs or are in technical or administrative sectors.
  3. Lower Class: These people do unskilled or semi-skilled work.

Middle Class

The middle class in India is decided mainly by three factors.

  • Income: Income ranges from Rs. 15,000 to 1.5 lakh/month. Income is such that basic requirements of life like food, housing, clothing, education and even entertainment are easily met.
  • OccupationMiddle class generally do white collared, technological or administrative jobs.
  • Education: They are well-educated and ambitious.

The reasons for the expansion of the middle class in India are

  1. Macaulay’s education policy 
  2. Industrialisation and urbanisation 
  3. Green revolution: Middle class created in OBC
  4. Reservation and education: middle class in SC and STs
  5. LPG reforms: middle class in women as a separate identity
  6. Globalization: Middle class in states like Kerala, Punjab etc., with the help of remittances sent from abroad.

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


Importance of Middle Class

  • Initiator of Reforms: Historically, Middle Class has always been the initiator of reforms. French Revolution was the result of the Middle Class. Middle class acts as the opinion makers in the society and challenge the status quo.
  • Economic Development: Demands of the Middle Class are highest. Apart from that, they are the main tax contributors in the economy. 
  • Political Accountability: Middle Class demands accountability, making government responsive and transparent.
  • Promotes the formation of human capital (as they spend on their children’s education).

But Indian Middle Class is criticized because

  • Self-Centric: The middle class is always interested in preserving and promoting their interests.
  • Self-Exclusivism: Instead of demanding accountability from the political system, they have started living in gated communities.
  • Not paying back to society: This is due to the fact that the middle class doesn’t accept that they have benefited from the highly subsidized education system.
  • Excessive indulgence: Middle class has indulged in excessive indulgence as consumerism has plagued it.

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

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

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

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

Vulnerable Groups

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

Following groups can be identified as Vulnerable Groups in India

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

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

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

Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe

Safeguarding Measures

1 . Constitutional Measures

1 . 1 Affirmative Action

Article 15(4) State can make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward class of citizens including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Article 16(4) Reservation in public services
Article 355 Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration in making  appointments to the public services

1 . 2 Protective Measures

Article 17 Abolition of Untouchability
Article 23 Forced labour is  prohibited
Article 25 State is empowered to throw open Hindu religious institutions  to all classes and sections of Hindus

1 .3 Political Measures

Article 330 Reservation of seats in Lok Sabha in proportion of their population
Article 332 Reservation in  Legislative Assembly
Article 243-D(1) Reservation in Panchayat
Article 243-T(1) Reservation in Municipality

1 . 4 Administrative rights 

Schedule 5 Provisions for Scheduled Areas (for more, Click here)
Schedule 6 Provisions for Tribal Areas (for more, Click here)
Article 338 National Commission for Scheduled Castes (for more, Click here)
Article 338-A National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (for more, Click here)

1 .5 Specifically for STs

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

2. Legal Measures

2.1 Legal measures for Scheduled Castes

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

2.2 Legal measures for Scheduled Tribes

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

Constitutional Measure Analysis : Affirmative Action /Reservation

Reservation  in Indian law is quota based affirmative action . 

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

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

MEANING OF THE ATROCITIES UNDER THE ACT

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

Applicable to

  • Act is applicable in connection with Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who are subjected to violence and brutalities by any person who is not a member of a Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

TYPES OF ATROCITIES MENTIONED IN ACT

Atrocities under the act include (but are not limited to):

  1. Social discrimination
  2. Beating, lashing and other forms of torture
  3. Arson-the burning of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities and their homes
  4. Violence against women
  5. Bonded labour
  6. Denial of rights, especially land rights
  7. Deny to give job or do business with person belonging to SC/ST
  8. Police abuses against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and custodial abuse

Imprisonment

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

Regarding Government Servant

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

Other Provisions

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

Working of Act

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

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

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

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

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

Act Analysis : Forest Rights Act,2006

  • Schedule Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers(Recognition of Forest Rights) Act came into force in 2006.
  • It has been enacted to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation of forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, who have been residing in such forests for generations, but whose rights could not be recorded. 

It guarantees following rights

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

Issues wrt Forest Right Act

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

Way forward

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

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)

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

PVTGs have some basic characteristics

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

Problems faced by them

  • Growth of PVTGs’ population is either stagnating or declining
  • Health status of PVTGs is in an awful condition because of  poverty, illiteracy, lack of safe drinking water, bad sanitary conditions etc
  • Condition of education is also very poor, with an average literacy rate of 10% to 44% in PVTGs.

Scheme: Scheme for Development of PVTGs

  • It identifies 75 PVTGs as the most vulnerable among the Scheduled Tribes. 
  • It gives state governments flexibility in planning initiatives. 
  • Long term Conservation cum Development plan for five years for each PVTG to be established by States.
  • Scheme is funded entirely by Central government.

Schemes for upliftment of SCs and STs

1 . Umbrella Scheme for SCs

  • After rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored  Schemes, all the Schemes for Scheduled Castes are taken under one Grand scheme that is Umbrella Scheme for Scheduled Castes which is Core of the Core Scheme and is 100% Centrally Sponsored

Some of the Schemes under this are

Educational Empowerment 1. Pre-Matric Scholarships to SC Students  
2. Post Matric Scholarship   
3. Full financial support for pursuing studies beyond 12th class, in notified institutes of excellence like IITs, NITs,  IIMs, reputed Medical/Law and other institutions.
4. National Fellowship: Financial assistance to SC students for pursuing research studies     
5. National Overseas Scholarship:  for pursuing higher studies of Master level  and PhD programmes abroad.  
6. Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojna
Economic Empowerment 1. Standup India  
2. Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes

2. Stand Up India

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

3. Eklavya Schools

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

Issue of Poverty

Issue of Poverty

This article deals with the Issue of Poverty.’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ and ‘Economics’ series, which is an important pillar of the GS-2 and GS-3 syllabus respectively. For more articles, you can click here


Poverty is the worst form of violence- GANDHI

Introduction

What is Poverty?

Poverty is a social concept which results due to unequal distribution of benefits of socio-economic progress.


How does it manifest itself?

Poverty manifests itself in the following ways

  • Hunger & Malnutrition
  • Lack of access to education and health care
  • Social Discrimination
  • Lack of participation in decision making

World Bank definition

World Bank defines extreme and moderate poverty in the following way

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

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


Poverty Gap

Poverty Gap
  • It measures the Depth of poverty
  • It is also called Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) Index.

Engel’s Law

Engel Law states that when incomes rises, percentage of overall income spent on food items decreases. This is known as ENGEL’S LAW.

Engel's Law
Engel's Law

SDG & Poverty

  • Sustainable Development Goals gives utmost importance to poverty. The First SDG talks about ending poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030.
SDG 1: End Poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030
  • India is home to 26% of the global extreme poor. Hence, the Indian role in achieving that goal is most important.

Causes of Poverty

Economic Reason

  • Growth Model not conducive to poverty alleviation: India chose a capital-intensive model in a labour-intensive country, which was a great fault. 
  • Widespread reliance on agriculture (42% population is dependent on sector contributing 17% to the GDP)
  • Lack of formal institutional credit pushes a large number of Indians into poverty every year.
  • MATTHEW EFFECT:  The phenomenon, widely spread across advanced welfare states that the middle class tends to be the primary beneficiary of social benefits & services targeted to the poor (India is trying to rectify this using Targeted Delivery of Subsidy with the help of Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile).   

Demographic

  • Rapid Population growth in India is also the primary cause of poverty as enough resources were not available for all.

Social Cause

  • Caste system: The subordination of low caste people by the high caste people caused poverty of the former.
  • Joint family system: Joint Family System, followed by many families in India, provides social security to its members. As a result, some people take undue advantage of it and live upon the income of others. They become idlers. Their routine of life consists in eating, sleeping and begetting children.
  • Social Customs: Ruralites spend a large percentage of annual earnings on social ceremonies like marriage, death feasts etc., which force them to take debt and remain trapped in poverty.

Climatic Factors

  • Drought, Floods, Cyclones etc. perpetuate poverty.

Historical factors

  • Historical reasons such as colonialism & imperialism led to the exploitation of Indian people. India’s wealth was drained to metropole Britain for two centuries. 

Institutional Factors

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

Poverty Line

What is Poverty Line?

  • The poverty line is the threshold income and households earning below this threshold are considered poor. 
  • Different countries define the poverty line in different ways depending on local socio-economic needs.

Different approaches to define the poverty line

There are two approaches regarding this 

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

Developing countries generally follow the nutritional Approach. But now the time has come that India should move from the Nutritional Approach to the Relative Deprivation Approach to ensure sustainable and equitable development.


Poverty line in India is decided by

  • Earlier it was used to be determined by erstwhile Planning Commission
  • Now NITI Aayog determines the Poverty Line. NITI Aayog made the Commission under Arvind Panagariya recommend Poverty Line in India.
  • Panagariya has suggested that 
    • Tendulkar Committee’s report should be accepted for poverty line estimation. 
    • But socio-economic indicators, say, as collected by Socio-Economic Caste Census, should be used to determine entitlement for benefits.

Various Committees constituted for Poverty Line Determination

Timeline of Committees to define Poverty

Lakdawala Committee

In books, we frequently come across the Poverty Line defined as 2400 calories in Rural & 2100 calories in Urban. This definition of the Poverty Line was based on the recommendations of the Lakdawala Committee (1999). 


Tendulkar Committee

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

Tendulkar Committee

While calculating, Tendulkar Committee based its recommendation on food, health, education and clothing.

Tendulkar Committee for Poverty

According to Tendulkar Committee Report, Poverty has declined in India from 37.2% in 2004 to 22% in 2011.

Number of people below Poverty Line

C Rangarajan Committee

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

Rangarajan Committee

Rangarajan Committee took more things than Tendulkar Committee into its calculations

Rangarajan Committee for Poverty

Rangarajan Committee also recommended delinking the Poverty line from the Government entitlement benefits. Food Security benefits should be given as per Social and Caste dimensions and not BPL. 


Side Topic: Saxena Committee on Rural Poverty (2009)

  • When Tendulkar Committee Report came, the Ministry of Rural development hurriedly set up a committee known as the SAXENA COMMITTEE in 2009 to review the methodology for inclusion of a person in the BPL Category to include them in government schemes. 

Recommendation of the Committee

Committee gave the famous Automatic Inclusion and Automatic Exclusion principle.

  • The automatic inclusion criterion for the most vulnerable sections of society (E.g. homeless people, persons with disabilities etc.)
  • Automatic Exclusion: Those having motorbikes etc. 
  • Apart from being Automatically included, find other using scores of various deprivations. 

Side Topic: Hashim Committee on Urban Poverty (2012)

  • To suggest a methodology for inclusion of a person in the BPL category in Urban Areas to include them in government schemes.

Recommendations 

  • Automatic Exclusion 
  • Automatic Inclusion 
  • Scoring Index: remaining households will be assigned scores from 0 to 12 based on various indicators. They should be considered eligible for inclusion in the BPL List in the increasing order of higher scores.  

Multidimensional Poverty Index

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

Value Addition: Capability Approach to Poverty by Amartya Sen

Traditionally

  • Poverty is defined by an individual’s income
  • E.g., Extreme Poverty is defined as those who live on $1.25 per day or less. 
  • As a result, following this approach, governments centre their Poverty Removal Policies on job creation, GDP growth and other economic policies.

Capability Approach 

  • In richer countries, all are fortunate enough that they can earn a good income. Does that mean they are not poor?
  • Amartya Sen’s Capability approach defines poverty in a Holistic Way. A better approach to look at poverty is the deprivation of a person’s capabilities to live the life they value. 

Critique of these Poverty Lines

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

Reduction of Poverty in India

According to Tendulkar Committee Report, poverty in India has reduced from 37.2% in 2004 to 22% in 2011.

Poverty Rate in India

Reduction in poverty is attributed to

  1. Increase in employment in the non-agriculture sector – The construction sector absorbed the landless labourers & daily wage earners from villages
  2. Schemes like MGNREGA, National rural livelihood mission also reduced the stress during the lean season by creating employment opportunities during the non-agricultural season.
  3. India’s demographic bulge provided more working population compared to dependents (Children and elders).
  4. Social welfare schemes like PDS, AAY, MGNREGA, NRLM, Pension schemes and others provided a safety net to the poor 
  5. Inward remittances – Large emigration of the citizen to the US, EU etc. and to west Asian destinations like UAE, Saudi, Qatar etc. generated huge inward remittances for India, which directly benefited dependents in India
  6. Quality jobs in the Service sector like BPO, Hospitality, Retail chain, E-commerce supply chain provided heavy wages.
  7. The rapid growth of the economy provided better opportunities to come out of poverty through better employment opportunities, increased demand for services etc.

Impact of LPG Reforms on Poverty

  • Poverty has decreased: Consider any Poverty Line, all points to the fact that Poverty in India has declined. Take the example of the extreme poverty line as defined by the World Bank.
Poverty in India and LPG Reforms
  • Inequality: Inequality in India has increased after LPG Reforms.
Inequality and LPG Reforms

The rich section has reaped the benefits of LPG Reforms. This is the leading cause of the increase in Inequality.

The above Paradox can be explained by the Redistribution of Income by Government. Because of the increase in income of richer sections, the government is getting more taxes. Therefore, redistribution of this source has ensured that Poverty has decreased.


Impact of Poverty

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

Poverty Trap
On Society Poverty results in inequalities which can culminate into violent upheavals like Arab Spring. Various Revolutions in Arab Spring started because of the lack of jobs and high poverty levels.    
On Children Poverty leads children to build antisocial behaviour and social exclusion.    
Terrorism Most of the time terrorists do come from poor countries with high unemployment.  
Diseases Diseases are very common in people living in poverty because they lack the resources to maintain a healthy living environment.   
Education Those living below the poverty line cannot attend schools and create a vicious cycle in which poverty prevents people from getting a good education, and being uneducated prevents them from escaping poverty.  
Poverty Trap

How can India reduce poverty?

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

In Agricultural sector

With 4 out of every 5 of India’s poor living in rural areas, progress will need to focus on the rural poor. Hence, the government should focus on following to increase the income of those involved in the agriculture sector.

  • Value addition through food processing 
  • Organic farming  
  • Cooperation farming, milk cooperatives, and farmer producer organizations. 

In Manufacturing sector

Create Jobs in India via

  • Skill development
  • Make in India
  • Startup India

In Service sector

  • Creation of quality jobs in BPO, IT and ITES for youth 
  • Promotion of tourism
  • Promotion of higher job creation in e-commerce, supply chain, Hospitality and construction sectors.

In Governance

  • Implement Jan Dhan- Aadhar- Mobile (JAM) effectively to target subsidy to the poor and eliminate inclusion and exclusion errors.
  • Look into the feasibility of providing Universal Basic Income. 

Issue of Hunger

Issue of Hunger

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

What is Food Security ?

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

It has three aspects wrt access

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

Malnutrition

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

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and Hunger

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

SDG and Hunger

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

SDG 12 aims to Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

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

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

IFPRI Global Hunger Index

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

Hidden Hunger

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

Cause of Malnutrition

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

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

Implications of Hunger

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

Implications of Hunger

What India is doing to fight Hunger / Malnutrition

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

POSHAN Scheme

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

Public Distribution System (PDS)

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

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

National Food Security Act (NFSA)

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

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

Entitlements under NFSA

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

Criticism of NFSA

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

Alternatives to present National Food Security Act

1 . Universal

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

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

2. CashTransfer

Give Cash via Direct Benefit Transfer . People will buy themselves

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

3. Food Coupons

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

4. Use Technology

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

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

Globalization

Globalization

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


When did Globalization start?

There is no agreement on this.

  • 1st view: Since old times as world was never isolated. There was trade & exchange of culture & ideas.
  • 2nd view: It happened during the 15th & 16th centuries when Europeans connected new countries through colonialism.
  • 3rd view: It was during Industrial Revolution due to the invention of the steam engine.

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

Note – India’s concept of ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’ is in line with Globalization. Hence, Indians have been experiencing Globalization for a long.


What exactly is Globalization?

  • Globalization is a process of increasing interdependence, interconnectedness and integration of economies and societies to such an extent that an event in one part of the globe affects people in other parts of the world. 
  • Due to globalization, the world has become a “global village”. 
  • Due to globalization, the concept of the sovereignty of states is diluting. MNCs are encroaching and sometimes becoming more powerful than States.
  • It has various aspects – social, political, economic etc. 
  • Whether it is beneficial or not is a 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 the soft underbelly of corporate imperialism that plunders and profiteers on the back of rampant consumerism.


Factors helping Globalization

International Trade

  • Trade is the most significant contributor to Globalization.  
  • Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Regional Integration & Global institutions such as WTO plays an important role in promoting globalization. 

ICT

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

International Governmental Organisations

  • Organizations like WTO, UN, European Union (EU), ASEAN etc., have integrated different parts of the world.

Tourism

  • People are travelling in different parts => such surge in tourism was never seen before.

International Sports

  • CWG, Olympics, FIFA etc., play an important part in globalization.

Negatives of Globalization in general

  • Attack on the sovereignty of nations by MNCs, institutions like WTO, IMF etc. and other powerful countries. 
  • It has led to the spread of terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy etc. 
  • Globalization has negatively impacted Micro and Small Scale Industries. E.g., Women silk spinners and twisters of Bihar lost their jobs once the Chinese and Korean silk yarn entered the market. Weavers and consumers prefer this yarn as it is somewhat cheaper and has a shine.
  • Increased Insurgencies  
    • Adivasis have been uprooted from their ancestral lands by MNCs. 
    • Support of diaspora to insurgencies. E.g., Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers relied on the Tamil diaspora.
    • Environmental damage due to overfishing, forest depletion etc.
  • Disease Spread: Diseases spread like fire in the forest because of increased global connectivity & movement. E.g., Covid-19’s rapid spread during 2019-20. 
  • The global economy became too fragile, corroborated by frequent depressions and slowdowns. 
  • Inequality has increased as capitalists have exploited the situation to their advantage. 
  • Increased vulnerability of workersMNCs keep on shifting their manufacturing bases based on the cheap availability of labour. E.g., Nike shifted their production from Japan to South Korea to Indonesia, India and Thailand when labour became expensive in these economies. 
  • Globalization has given impetus to the culture of materialism and consumerism. 
  • Exploitation of farmers
    • Globalization has exposed farmers to global competition.
    • WTO obligations regarding the de-minimus limit have led to lower farm subsidies in developing nations. 
    • MNCs are controlling farmers through contract farming.
    • Seed monopoly by MNCs like Monsanto.

Then how much Globalisation is required?

  • Outright rejection of globalization and a retreat into autarky is neither practical nor desirable as nobody wants to be the next Myanmar or North Korea. 
  • Also, nobody wants to be Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – who opened their border for all goods with the same tax as on domestic goods and had double-digit negative growth in 2009. 
  • Countries that find the golden middle, like Chile and Singapore, tend to thrive. 

We can’t 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.  

Kupamanduka

Socio-cultural Globalization & India

  • Socio-cultural Globalisation has increased cross-cultural contacts. 
  • Globalization has resulted in the penetration of western food culture like McD, Pizza Hut, KFC etc. & western cloth culture. 
    • Critics say that it is Westernization and not Globalization because of the imbalance of transfer.  
    • But MNCs also adapt to the local cultures, e.g. McDonald’s doesn’t serve beef burgers, Pizza Hut comes with Indian flavours etc. 
  • In theory, globalization tends to reduce poverty by promoting economic growth in developing countries. Some scholars have argued that ‘trade is good for growth, growth is good for the poor, and so trade is good for the poor’.  
  • Cultural Homogenization: We all watch the same television programmes, buy the same commodities, eat the same food, support the same sports stars. Hence, cultural diversity is being destroyed. 
  • The use of ‘English’ is rapidly increasing, and multilingual speakers are growing as well. 
  • In reaction, there is a rise of right-wing parties to protect local values & culture.
  • Globalization has, through greater exposure, liberalized our attitudes, reduced our biases and predispositions about people, situations and communities worldwide.
  • Due to Globalization, many languages are becoming extinct every year. A UNESCO report states that nearly 1,500 ethnic languages are globally becoming extinct every day.

Economic Globalization & India

Economic globalization comprises of two aspects :

  • Globalization of production  
  • Globalization of markets  

Positive Impacts

  • Creation of jobs. E.g., jobs in the BPO sector. 
  • Bringing in improved technological processes. 
  • MNCs are providing revenue by way of paying taxes. 
  • Global Corporations bring better work culture to India.
  • The indirect impact is that to attract more MNCs to India, the government invests a lot in infrastructure (roads, faster railway services, and aeroplane facilities). 
  • It has led to the IT revolution in India due to the setting up of a huge BPO sector providing services to their clients in the developed world.  

Negative Impacts

  • Worsening of labour conditions as the chief aim of MNCs is the maximization of profits (the main thing that seduces MNCs to manufacture in India is cheap labour ). 
  • MNCs repatriate their profits to their respective countries rather than investing in India.
  • Global Corporations are deriving small companies and artisans out of business. 
  • Big MNCs violate human rights & damage environment. 
  • The health sector has been significantly impacted. Due to patent protection, the price of patented drugs has skyrocketed.
  • It has impacted agriculture negatively because of the creation of seed monopoly and dumping of food crops by the US & Europe.
  • For its survival in the face of global competition, Indian industry has transformed itself from labour-intensive processes to capital intensive processes by adopting global technologies and automatic machinery. It has resulted in a high rate of unemployment in India.

Impact of Globalization on various sections of society

1. Society as a Whole

Family structure

  • Globalization promotes the value of individualism and has led to the nuclearization of families.
  • New forms of families are emerging. E.g., Single-parent households, live relationships, female-headed households, dual-in career families (both husband and wife are working) etc.

Marriage values

  • Children are taking their own decision to select their partners.  
  • Finding partners: Younger generations have started depending on internet marriage sites like ‘Shaadi.com, Bharat Matrimony’ etc. Family involvement in finding a groom/bride is reducing. 
  • Marriage is now seen as a contract rather than a sacrament. 
  • Due to globalization, we are observing a large number of divorces. 

Caste System

  • Globalization has brought about information technology and the internet, which have also helped, though indirectly, consolidate and promote caste solidarity. For example, matrimonial websites help in locating the same caste grooms. Similarly, caste-based forums are mushrooming on the web and social media.

Social interactions and festivals

  • Due to the value of individualism, social interactions have been reduced. 
  • People prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day rather than Holi and Diwali.

Youth

  • Youth is increasingly becoming westernized and consumerist in their thinking.

Food & clothing 

  • People have abandoned local foods & attracted to junk food which has increased health disorders.
  • Males prefer western suitings, but they are inappropriate for the Indian climate.  

Withdrawal of Government from Social Sector

  • LPG Reforms led to a general reduction of the state’s public spending. The state has now taken the role of regulator instead of the service provider. 
  • The government has placed significant budget cuts on health, education and social security.  

2. Female

Globalization affects different groups of women in various places in different ways. On the one hand, it may create new opportunities for women to be forerunners in economic and social progress. But, on the other hand, it may take away job opportunities by providing cheaper avenues in the form of assembly-line production or outsourcing.


Positive Impacts

  • Globalization has opened new avenues of jobs for women, raising self-confidence and bringing about independence. 
  • Working from home and flexible hours are physically less burdensome.
  • Globalization has posed a challenge to the institution of Patriarchy.
  • The feminist movement has spread to India due to globalization, making women more vocal about their ideas.
  • Women in India are inspired by women worldwide to fight for their rights. E.g., fighting for maternity leave.
  • Modern ideas like Equality of Sexes and Equal wages for both sexes have reached India. 
  • Due to globalization, India has signed conventions like CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women). 

Negative Impacts

  • Double Burden / Second Shift: Women are suffering two-fold. As women in developing countries move into the workforce, their domestic responsibilities are not alleviated. Hence, women are forced to work two full-time jobs.
  • Globalization exploits cheap women labour in countries like India, Bangladesh etc. 
  • Globalization has exacerbated gender inequalities => although it has benefitted women, but has benefitted men more than women. 
  • Globalization has corrupted the value system of males =>  Due to the objectification of women, cases of rape and sexual exploitation have increased.      
  • With the encroachment of MNCs, small women entrepreneurs have gone out of the market. E.g., Women silk spinners from Bihar aren’t able to compete against Chinese silk yarn. 
  • Male members have moved to other nations (especially from Indian states like Punjab and Kerala). Women have to pass almost the whole of their life without their husbands. 


3. Farmers and Agriculture

Positive impacts of globalization

  • Globalization has provided greater access to better technology like 
    • High yield varieties
    • Genetically Modified Crops (GM crops)
    • Micro-irrigation techniques
  • Foreign investment in agriculture through contract farming and food processing has helped farmers. 
  • Globalization has given access to farmers to foreign markets. 

Negative impacts of globalization

  • With globalization, farmers were encouraged to shift from traditional crops to export-oriented ‘cash crops’ such as cotton and tobacco. But such crops need far more inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and water.
  • Exposed to competition from World =>  good produce in Jamaica can make the price of sugarcane fall in India. 
  • MNCs use IPRs to create seed monopolies. E.g., Monsanto’s monopoly over BT cotton seed. 
  • Due to WTO obligations and de-minimus limits, state support for agriculture has declined substantially.  
  • MNCs control farmers through Contract Farming due to monopsony in exotic products.
  • Crops grown in contract farming usually require high doses of fertilizers and pesticides that damage the environment.
  • The number of suicides has increased since LPG reforms in India. E.g., Vidharbha is called the suicide capital of India.


4. Old Age

Loneliness

  • Children are migrating either to work in MNCs in cosmopolitans or other countries. (also known as Empty nest syndrome)  

Economic Impact

  • With new kinds of jobs and technological changes, they are not fit for employment in many sectors.

Psychological Impact

  • They cannot accept encroachment of foreign values, which has occurred at a huge pace. It leads to clashes between parents and children (especially girl children).

Health Impact

  • Due to agreements like TRIPS price of patented drugs have skyrocketed. It has impacted Old age the most.

5. New Generation / Youth  

Positive Impacts

  • New avenues of Job: New avenues of jobs have opened. E.g., IT sector, BPO, Sharemarkets etc. 
  • More political awareness: Due to the idea of individual liberty, justice etc., among the youth. 
  • Rise of entrepreneurial spirit: Globalization has led to the end of the monopoly of Parsis, Marwaris etc., in the industry. India has seen the rise of startup culture & first-generation millionaires (e.g., Ola, Oyo etc.). 
  • Pressure for protection of children: 
    • India has signed international conventions like   Convention on Child Rights
    • NGOs & Social workers like Kailash Satyarthi’s efforts got global recognition.
  • Youth see themselves as global teenagers. They belong to a much bigger community than the community they were born into. The younger generation embraces Western popular culture and incorporates it into their Indian identity.

Negative Impacts

  • Change in value system: Individualism had increased suicidal tendencies & loneliness. 
  • Hyper consumerism:  Globalization has engulfed a feeling of relative deprivation in the youth. 
  • Increased Competition: Now they have to compete not just with their countrymen but the whole world. 
  • Globalization is also changing family institutions, and the nuclear family is increasingly the norm. Youth are not as close to their grandparents as were earlier generations and spend less time with the older generation resulting in loss of wisdom handed down from generation to generation.
  • Drugs: Globalization has brought drugs like heroin, smack etc. to India.


6. Art Forms 

  • Globalization has led to the fusion of Indian and Western Art forms—E.g. Fusion Music, Fusion Dance etc.
  • Packaging and branding of traditional folk and festivals.
  • Tourism to see Indian culture. E.g., Langar of Golden Temple to ruins of Hampi have become tourist destinations.
  • Yoga has become world-famous.  
  • Foreign culture is also penetrating India, and hence, right-wing groups have revived cultural nationalism. E.g., campaigns against Valentine’s Day etc. 


Glocalisation  vs Homogenization vs Clash of Civilisation

With the increase in globalization, what will happen? 

There are three contrasting views regarding this:-

  1. All cultures will become similar/ homogeneous. 
  2. It will lead to an increasing tendency towards Glocalization. 
  3. Clash of Civilizations will happen at a large scale. 

Globalization

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

Glocalisation = Globalization + Localisation


Arguments for Glocalization

  • It is a strategy adopted by foreign firms to enhance their marketability
  • Glocalization can be seen in the following things in India,   
    • Netflix is making Indian TV Series.
    • Foreign TV channels like MTV and Cartoon Network use Indian languages. 
    • McDonald’s is selling Indian Burgers.
    • English movies are dubbed in Hindi to increase marketability and cater to a larger Indian audience.
    • Bhangra pop & remixes have become extremely popular.

Glocalisation
  • But the ratio of influence of the western culture on local cultures is more. 

Argument for  Homogeneity

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

Socio-cultural level

  • Common values of Globalization like modernization and the promotion of democracy.
  • Homogenous food habits (Mcdonaldization, pizza culture etc.). 
  • ‘English’ is becoming the global lingua-franca.
  • Creation of Global Celebrities like Britney Spears and Ronaldo. 

Economic level

  • Large corporations have a presence in the whole world.
  • Same corporate culture. 
  • Same production techniques. 
  • Use of crypto-currencies like Bitcoins, Ethereum etc.

In fact, Globalisation is the Americanization of the world.


3rd view – Cultural polarization

  • Samuel Huntington dismissed the idea of a global monoculture as well as Glocalization. 
  • He was the proponent of a phenomenon known as the ‘clash of civilizations, ‘ i.e. the civilizational conflict between the USA and China and between the West and Islam.

Does economic globalization promote prosperity and opportunity for all?

Points in favour

  • The magic of the market: Economic globalization can expand opportunities and prosperity. 
  • It lets the country produce goods in sectors where it enjoys a ‘comparative advantage’ & import other goods, thus benefiting from economies of scale
  • MNCs bring with them access to modern technology in the developing world. 
  • Economic freedom promotes other freedoms: When people become rich, they demand democracy and rights. 

Points against

  • Deepening of poverty and inequality: Winners are USA & MNCs, and losers are people of the developing countries who are exploited. 
  • Globalization is often alleged as the soft underbelly of Capitalism.
  • Globalization promotes ethics of consumerism & feeling of relative deprivation
  • Example of Bhutan: People are happy even without outside links. 


Previous year UPSC GS Mains questions

  • Critically examine the effect of globalization on the aged population in India.
  • Discuss the positive and negative effects of globalization on women in India?
  • To what extent globalization has influenced the core of cultural diversity in India? Explain.