Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

This article deals with ‘ Domestic Violence .’ 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.


  • Domestic violence is the use of physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or financial abuse by one person against another in an intimate relationship like marriage. This behaviour is used to gain power and control over the victim (woman) and can cause significant harm and fear.
  • It is also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). 
Domestic Violence

Forms of Domestic Violence

Physical Injury Includes slapping, kicking, hitting, beating etc.
It is the most visible form of Intimate Partner Violence.
Emotional Abuse Includes harassment, threats, verbal abuse, blaming and isolation etc.  
It erodes a woman’s sense of self-worth.
Sexual Assault Includes touching or fondling, sexual coercion, wife swapping etc. 
Types of Domestic Violence

Causes of Domestic Violence

  • Dowry Demands: It can lead to physical & emotional abuse and even dowry death and bride burning.  
  • The patriarchal structure of household where men claim ownership over women’s bodies, labour, reproductive rights and level of autonomy
  • Cultural acceptance of Intimate Partner Violence
  • Alcoholic husband. 
  • Not having a male child
  • Legislative lacunae, as marital rape is not punishable under Indian law
  • Violence against young widows, esp. in rural areas, as they are cursed for their husband’s death
  • Under Reporting: Underreporting & non-reporting encourage partners to indulge more in this.
  • Erosion of the joint family structure has reduced the check on the spouse’s violent behaviour.
  • Lack of awareness of women’s rights and belief in women’s subordination perpetuates a low image of women.
  • Increasing stress has increased the instances of Intimate Partner Violence

Effects of Domestic Violence

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

Act: Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

Provisions of the Act

  • The definition of Domestic Violence has been modified recently – it encompasses actual or threat of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and economic abuse, as well as harassment in the form of unlawful dowry demands made on the woman or her relatives.
  • It has widened the scope of the term WOMEN: The act now covers “live-in partners”, wives, sisters, widows, mothers, single women, and divorced women.
  • Right to Secure Housing, i.e. the right to live in a matrimonial or shared household, regardless of whether or not she has any ownership or rights.  
  • The principle of Locus Standi doesn’t apply. 
  • The state needs to create shelter homes for women who prefer not to stay in the shared household.
  • To fast-track the verdict, the first hearing should happen within 3 days after receiving the application, and the case should be disposed of in 60 days. 
  • Protection Officers should be appointed to assist women with medical examination, legal aid etc. 
  • The act has a provision of up to 1-year imprisonment. 

Lacunae in the Act

  • Madras High Court Bench observed that it could be misused by the women to file frivolous cases.
  • A man can be booked under the act even if women feel she has been mentally harassed and verbally abused. But these terms are subjective.
  • The conviction rate in such cases is very low (just 3%).
  • Marital rape is not included in the definition of Domestic Violence. 
  • There is no provision for the online filing of cases.
  • The number of protection officers appointed in the state is inadequate.
  • The law specifically targets men as being responsible for domestic violence and only recognizes women as being victims. This law fails to acknowledge the rights of male victims of domestic violence. In contrast, domestic violence laws in the Western world provide equal protection to both genders.

Therefore, the present legal framework fails to address the issue of domestic violence effectively. It places an excessive burden on men while denying them rights and granting women numerous rights without holding them accountable.

Recent Judgement making it Gender Neutral

The Supreme Court has declared that a female individual has the right to file a complaint against another woman who she believes is responsible for domestic violence.

Reasoning of Court

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

Significance of the Change

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

Triple Talaq

Triple Talaq

This article deals with ‘ Triple Talaq .’ 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.


Triple Talaq
  • Triple Talaq (also known as Talaq-e-Bidat) is a practice in which a man pronounces ‘talaq’ thrice in a sitting, or through the 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 reconciliation.
  • The only way for the couple to go back to living together is through Nikah Halala and then return to her husband. In Nikah Halala, a divorced Muslim woman is required to wed another man and then obtain a divorce. 
  • Then and only then will she be qualified to remarry her ex-husband.
  • In Shayara Bano v. Union of India (‘Triple Talaq case’), Supreme Court declared Triple Talaq as un-Islamic and “arbitrary”.

Why should Triple Talaq 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.  
  • Islamic countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, UAE and Yemen have made the concept of Triple Talaq unconstitutional & India must follow suit.
  • It infringes on the Right to Equality and the Right to Life of women. 
  • Committee on the Status of Women (2012) has also recommended banning Triple Talaq and polygamy.

Arguments against Supreme Court’s interference in Triple Talaq

  • In Narasu Appa Mali’s (1952) Case,  Supreme Court held that personal laws are not ‘laws for the 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


Triple Talaq - Timeline
1986: Shah Bano Case Shah Bano Case was to decide whether the relief extended to divorced women under CrPC, 1973, applied to Muslims too. The 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 overturn the Supreme Court order. It held that divorced women were entitled to maintenance for the period of iddat (3 lunar cycles/menstruations) only.
2001 Daniel Latifi Case – Maintenance for a period of (only) iddat was challenged in the Supreme Court for violating Articles 14 & 21. Supreme Court held that this doesn’t violate Articles 14 & 21 as an intelligible difference can be made in this case.
2017 Shyara Bano Case: Supreme Court declared Triple Talaq to be unconstitutional. 

The government introduced the 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.
  • The act makes Triple Talaq a criminal offence with imprisonment of up to 3 years.
  • The act shall be cognisable and non-bailable (i.e. police officers can arrest without a warrant.)
  • Principle of Locus Standii don’t apply: Complainant can be anybody – not just wife.
  • The Muslim woman who has been subject to Talaq is allowed to seek subsistence allowance from their husband for both herself and her dependent children. The Magistrate will determine how much the allowance will be. 

Main issues with Act

  • Act converts a civil wrong into a criminal wrong as marriage is a civil contract. 
  • Against the Doctrine of Proportionality and hence infringes on the Right to Equality. Under IPC, a 3-year jail term is for crimes like rioting.    
  • Against principles of natural justice: Triple Talaq doesn’t nullify the marriage. Hence, when a crime is not committed, how can a person be punished for the act of crime? 
  • Issue of implementation: The is challenging 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.

In favour of the Criminalization 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 a criminal offence (with imprisonment of up to 1 year ).
  • The government’s intent is not to punish. The government argues that if nobody gives Triple Talaq, nobody gets punished.
  • Supreme Court judgment of 2017 recognized the discriminatory nature of Triple Talaq. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019 offers Muslim women recourse and access to the 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 an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here .

In news because

  • 2018: Government of India allowed women to occupy combat roles in all sections of the army, navy and air force.
  • 2019: Sainik Schools opened for girls  (Earlier, only boys could be admitted)
  • 2020: In the Babita Punia case (2020), Supreme Court ordered the government to ensure that Women are allowed Permanent Commission in the Armed Forces. Till that time, women officers were recruited through the Short Service commission for 14 years.
  • 2021: The Supreme court authorised women to take the National Defence Academy entrance exam (NDA).

Current position of woman in Combat Forces

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

  • Army: 3.80% 
  • Air Force: 13%  
  • Navy: 6%

Earlier, Women officers were mainly inducted under the Short Service Commission (SCC), where they could serve a maximum of 14 years. Women were permanently commissioned only in the education, legal branches, medical, dental and nursing services.

In other countries as well, this issue is contentious. For example, countries such as UK and USA have been conservative about women in their respective combat arms. In contrast, others, like the Israeli Defense Forces, have achieved widespread integration of women.

Case study of Gunjan Saxena

Women in Combat Forces

The rationale for the decision to include women in forces

  • Unequal treatment of women leads to the 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, being an expert in the use of a weapon, commitment etc., and women score better in these skills.
  • The best and fittest people should be taken, and the resource pool should not be limited to half by putting a blanket ban on women. 
  • The landscape of modern warfare has changed with more sophisticated weapons, a focus on intelligence gathering and the emergence of cyberspace as the combat arena.
  • Granting Permanent Commission to women officers will make them eligible for full pension post their retirement, thereby securing their futures.


  • Issue of acceptability of women as an officer by male jawans.
  • Concerns over women’s vulnerability in capture.
  • The combat roles are physically demanding.
  • Certain situations, such as pregnancy, can affect the deployability of women in combat.
  • It should not be a political gimmick.
  • In the name of Gender Equality, the security of the nation shouldn’t be put at risk. 

Women in Politics

Women in Politics

This article deals with ‘Women in Politics .’ 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.


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

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

Steps taken to improve women representation in politics

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

Data on Women Representation in Politics 

  • 17th) Lok Sabha has 14.6% women representatives.
  • Rajya Sabha has 11% women representatives.
  • State Legislatures have just 9% women representation (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 an 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 most popular women in the country.

Examples of Women in Indian Politics

Women in Politics

Problems in the Reservation approach

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

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

Points in favour of reservation

  • Due to reservations in Panchayati Raj Institutions, a positive impact on governance is visible where women head them. Women representatives have contributed immensely in overcoming social taboos and constraints like removing ghunghat, sitting at the same height as men on chairs etc. 
  • Though it begins with token equality that caused acute discomfort and even confrontation, women, especially Dalit women, have 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 perspectives 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.


  • 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’).


  • 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 .


  • 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

Last Updated: May 2023 (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.


  • 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


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.

Issue of Poverty

Last Updated: March 2024 (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


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.

A recent World Bank Report has shown that extreme poverty in India more than halved between 2011 and 2019 – from 22.5 per cent to 10.2 percent. 

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 Factors

  • 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

1. 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). 

2. 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

3. 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. 

4. 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. 

5. 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 of the Committee 

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

Andhra Pradesh is already using this approach.

Capability Approach to Poverty by Amartya Sen

Traditional Approach

  • 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. 

Well Being Approach

Given by Erik Allard, it includes three dimensions as:

  1. ​Having (Material),
  2. Loving (Social), and
  3. Being (Spiritual-emotional)

World Poverty Clock

  • The World Poverty Clock was developed by World Data Lab to monitor global progress toward ending extreme poverty.
  • The latest data (released in March 2024) shows that India has managed to reduce extreme poverty to below 3% of its population.

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.

Chinese Case Study

  • According to World Bank, people living below the poverty line reduced from 770 million in 1978 to 5.5 million in 2019.
  • In 2021, China declared that it had eradicated extreme poverty.
  • Steps taken by Government in this regard
    1. Targeted Approach: China identified the poorest region to allocate more resources there.  
    2. Economic Development: China’s economic development generated a lot of jobs, helping people to come out of poverty
    3. Social Welfare Programs: The government provided healthcare coverage, education, housing assistance etc. 
    4. Agriculture and Rural Development: China focused on agricultural reforms, modernization, and supporting farmers. 

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. 



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 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.


  • 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.  


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 ‘, 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 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


  • 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. 


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.

  • 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.


Last Updated: June 2023 (Regionalism)


This article deals with Regionalism’ . 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.

What is Regionalism?

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

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

Is Regionalism a threat to National Integration?

The politics of regionalism has two connotations.

Positive Connotation

This type of Regionalism is not a threat to National Integration. It is manifested in the form of 

  • The desire for preserving identity based on language, culture and ethnicity
  • To protect socio-economic interest
  • For administrative convenience  

Negative Connotation

Any demand of regionalism that acts as a threat to nation-building efforts is referred to as a negative form of regionalism. For example, Son of Soil policy & demand for secession. 

The second form can be seen as a threat, while the first form is not a threat per se.

Characteristics of Regionalism

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

Types of Regionalism

  1. Demand for Separation: It includes the demand to secede from the Indian union and become a sovereign state. E.g., Khalistan, Azad Kashmir, Naga etc. 
  2. Supra-state regionalism: Group of states are involved which share common issues & build common identities. E.g., North-eastern states for economic development and rivalry between North and South Indian States on language.
  3. Inter-state regionalism: It is between states on specific issues. E.g., disputes between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Kaveri and disputes between Punjab and Haryana over Chandigarh and Satluj-Yamuna Link Canal. 
  4. Intra-state regionalism is between the regions within the same state due to a lack of equitable sharing of benefits within the state. E.g., Coastal area vs western region in Odisha and Jaipur (Amer) vs Jodhpur (Marwar) in Rajasthan. 

Causes of Regionalism in India

Regionalism is a pre-independence phenomenon. But it became predominant in the post-independence period. The establishment and role of the Justice Party in Chennai, and to a lesser extent, of Akali Dal in Punjab in the pre-independence period are examples of emerging regionalism in India.

1. Linguistic Reorganisation of States

  • After Independence, Indian states were divided into linguistic lines. It generated sub-national identity and thus regionalism. 

2. Historical and Cultural Factors

  • History has divided India into “Aryans” and “Dravidians”. 
  • Different regions have their own local heroes & people tend to mobilize around them—E.g. Shivaji in Maharashtra, Periyar in Tamil Nadu, or Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Punjab. 

3. Colonial Legacy

  • Britishers prioritized easy governance, leading to administrative unification and not cultural or linguistic unification. This caused a mismatch between people’s personal identities and the territories they inhabited. 

4. Economic Underdevelopment

  • Sometimes, the development of a particular community raises the regional aspirations of the community. E.g. After Green Revolution, Sikh Jatts of Punjab became economically prosperous, and they started to demand separate Punjab from other Hindi speaking regions. 

5. Politico-administrative Factors

  • Some region-based parties use these. E.g., Shiv Sena claims to protect Maratha interests and Akali Dal to protect Punjabi (& Sikh) interests.
  • Undue interference in state affairs by the central government gives birth to regionalism.

6. Economic Development

  • Sometimes the development of a particular community raises regional aspirations of the community. E.g. after Green Revolution, Sikh Jatts of Punjab became economically prosperous, and they started to demand separate Punjab from other Hindi speaking regions. 

7. Religion

  • Religion plays a significant role in regionalism when combined with dominance and linguistic homogeneity, as seen in Punjab or fed on a sense of religious orthodoxy and economic deprivation as seen in Jammu and Kashmir.

8. Disintegration  of Congress Party

  • After Nehru, central leaders started to impose their mandate on regional leaders. As a result, local leaders moved away to form parties like NCP in Maharashtra, Trinamool Congress in West Bengal etc. They encouraged regionalism.

Son of the Soil Movement / Nativist Movement

  • “Son of the soil” doctrine argues that the state belongs explicitly to the main linguistic group inhabiting it, the sons of the soil or local residents.
  • The ‘sons of the soil’ or nativist movements emerged in the sixties and seventies in some parts of India. 
  • Shiv Sena of the sixties and seventies and the Assam movement, which culminated in 1985, belong to this genre. 

Why the Son of the Soil?

  • Cultural prejudice is the main reason behind the rise of nativist movements. The more dissimilar the immigrant population is ethnically or culturally, the stronger is likely to be the opposition. 
  • Indian economic model has not been able to create enough employment opportunities. There remains a competition for jobs.
  • Rising aspirations of the local middle class.
  • Politicians with vested interests try to consolidate their voting base using this—E.g. Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.

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

Not Present in Punjab, West Bengal, Delhi etc. because

  • Son of Soil theory is for middle-class jobs and not for menial jobs.
  • It is not an issue of political parties. E.g., Akali Dal is Jatt dominated party, and Communist Party refused to use anti-migrant sentiments in Calcutta because of its ideological commitment. 
  • Symbiotic Relationship: Punjabis want cheap agricultural labour. Hence, they don’t raise voices against the immigration of cheap labour from Bihar and Eastern UP.
  • In Delhi, culture is purely cosmopolitan. 

It is present in Maharashtra because 

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

Various Regional Aspirations


1. Demand of Dravida Nadu (Supranational Regionalism)

  • Its genesis lies in the Self-Respect Movement of Tamil Nadu started in  1925
  • Later it stood against the imposition of Hindi on non-Hindi areas. 
  • The demand of  Dravida Nadu in the 1960s made it a secessionist movement. 

2. Gorkhaland

  • Gorkhas are demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland by seceding from West Bengal. 
  • Reason 
    • Gurkhas speak Nepali, while the West Bengal Government of Mamata Banerjee tried to impose Bengali on them by making it compulsory in schools. 
    • The region is under-developed compared to other parts of West Bengal. 

3. Khalistan Movement

  • During the 1980s, the Khalistan movement to create a Sikh homeland, often called Khalistan, cropped up in Punjab. This demand also has the colours of communalism, as their demand is only for Sikhs.

4. Shiv Sena and MNS Targeting North Indians

  • Shiv Sena & MNS in Mumbai frequently attack North Indians.

Border disputes between States

1. Maharashtra vs. Karnataka

  • The border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka is over the Belagavi region. 
  • Belgaum is a Marathi-speaking region in Karnataka. At the time of independence, it was part of the Bombay presidency. But it was integrated with Mysore (now Karnataka) by the State Reorganization Commission. Maharashtra wants it to be unified with Maharashtra.
  • Countermovement is run by Kannada groups who argue that Belagavi is now a Kannada-speaking district.

2. Assam vs. Mizoram

  • Issues started when Mizoram was the district of Assam and was known as Lushai Hills District. In 1933, the British government demarcated the boundary between Lushai Hills, Cachar district of Assam and neighbouring Manipur state. However, Mizos rejected this demarcation, arguing that Mizos were not consulted while demarcating this boundary.
  • Things became more complicated when Mizoram became a full-fledged state of the Indian Union. Subsequently, an agreement was signed between two states that a status quo would be maintained at the no man’s land at the boundary.

3. Andhra and Odisha

  • A territorial dispute exists between Andhra and Odisha. Andhra Pradesh demands the inclusion of certain Telugu villages in Odisha. In 2021, the issue became important as the Andhra Pradesh government announced Panchayat polls in a group of villages in Odisha.

Impact of Regionalism in India

Positive Impact

  • It can lead to inter-group solidarity in a particular region. People belonging to a region may feel the need to come together to protect their vested interests, setting aside their differences. E.g., Tripura Tribal Autonomous District Council, which was formed in 1985, has served to protect an otherwise endangered tribal identity in the state.
  • Due to regionalism, the most important basis for forming identity was language. Hence, it has kept communalism and political identity formation based on religion in check.
  • Given the increasing uncertainty in the contemporary globalized world, regionalism has become a source of identity among people. 
  • Regionalism has helped in promoting democracy in India. Regional parties like Shiv Sena, DMK, Akali Dal etc., fight to capture power via democracy. 
  • It may induce competition among people of a region and propel them to do better to improve the status of their region. E.g. Competitive Federalism in India. 

Negative Impact

  • Regionalism at times transforms into secessionism.
  • Son of Soil Policy impacts the Fundamental Rights of citizens like right to life or right to carry out any profession.
  • It can cause significant damage to private and public property.  
  • Regionalism creates sub-national feelings in the people. E.g., Naga Nationalism or Punjabi Nationalism vs Indian nationalism. 
  • Development plans can be implemented unevenly to curb regionalist and secessionist demands.
  • Regionalism also becomes a hurdle in international diplomacy. E.g., Tamil Parties impact diplomacy with Srilanka & Trinamool Congress with Bangladesh (like in settlement of Teesta Water dispute).

Ways to Combat Regionalism

  • Making India truly federal in word and spirit. 
  • Doing away with regional imbalances. 
  • Not imposing single culture on the whole nation. E.g., imposing Hindi in the entire nation will face backlashes from Non-Hindi speaking states.  
  • As suggested by Sarkaria Commission, three language formulas should be strictly implemented. 
  • Encouraging ‘People to People’ contact and making people aware of other cultures using TV & Radio. 
  • Taking steps to end the prejudices of Cow Belt against North Easterners & South Indians.

Federalism to Combat Regionalism

  • Other countries with ethnic and linguistic diversities face many problems like secessionist movements as they weren’t able to accommodate regional aspirations.  
    1. Nepal was recently facing Madhesi Agitation.  
    2. Pakistan is facing Baluchi & Sindhi movements.
    3. Sri Lanka has experienced a Tamil civil war.  
    4. Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia.     
    5. Yugoslavia broke due to various sub nationalisms at play.
  • But India, despite such a massive diversity of cultures, is still united. The reason for this is federalism and devolution of power which gives a sense of meeting regional aspirations by various groups. 
  • Indian federalism provides democratic ways to meet local aspirations of people
    • Indian federalism provides democratic ways to meet the local aspirations of people. 
    • Sovereignty is constitutionally shared. States enjoy significant power. People feel that they are governed by their own people. Cooperative.
    • 73rd and 74th Amendments led to the formation of Panchayati Raj and Urban Local Bodies.
    • Regions under the 5th and 6th Schedule enjoy certain autonomy. 
    • Article 371 has special provisions helpful in addressing the concerns of some states.

Other factors why India hasn’t faced Regionalism 

  • Linguistic reorganization of states: Unlike our neighbours, India recognized early that language is the reason behind regionalism & opted for the linguistic reorganization of the states in 1956. And by 1966, all prominent language speakers have states of their own. It led to the regionalism problem getting subdued in India.
  • Unlike other countries, India has a peculiar situation where economically most backward regions are politically most powerful. E.g., UP is one of the most backward states in India, but they decide who will make the Government at Union. Hence, they can’t complain of political apathy & discrimination. 
  • Economic interdependence between different regions has necessitated migration to different cities and states, thereby reducing loyalties towards a particular region.
  • The wave of globalization: India is becoming homogenous under the wave of globalization. Globalisation has subsumed regionalism.