WEEKLY ESSAY CHALLENGE – 2013 (The following post was created when Essay Challenge was first started)

In the newly introduced pattern for the UPSC Civil Services Main examination, the Essay paper has been given high priority.

Now it carries  250 Marks, same as for other General Studies papers.

Compared to other GS papers, Essay does not have a fixed syllabus. Instead, for writing an essay, the knowledge gained after thoroughly preparing for the General Studies papers is sufficient.

You need not study separately for the Essay paper, but this doesn’t mean you need not ‘prepare’ for it.

You have to practice few essays before you go to the exam. To make you write, Insights will start a program called Weekly Essay Writing Challenge.

Guidelines For Writing An Essay (Please Read – Don’t Skip) – According to UPSC notification, you,

will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.”

and in previous Mains Essay Question Papers it is given that,

“Examiners will pay special attention to the candidate’s grasp of his/her material, its relevance to the subject chosen, and to his/her ability to think constructively and to present his/her ideas concisely, logically and effectively)

That is it. Just stick to the above rules. Word limit is 1000 – 1200 words.

Every Sunday morning, the topic of Essay will be posted, on which you should;

  • Do some reading from different sources – don’t spend too much time on this.
  • and then think well, arrange your ideas and write your Essay within 3 hours in One Go in the Comment Box below.
  • be Precise, Concise and Effective.

(Please read others’ Essays and exchange your ideas and opinions. Reserve 1-2 hours every day for Daily Answer Writing Challenge and Weekly Essay Writing Challenge – This will surely help you. )

First Week’s Topic

“For the ills of Democracy, social movements may be the cure, not revolutions”

Second Week’s Topic

““One is not born a woman, but becomes one”. Analyze the statement in the Indian Context.

Third Week’s Topic

“Globalization and the rural society in India”

Fourth Week’s Topic

“Education and Dalit Empowerment”

Fifth Week’s Topic

“Our university system is, in many parts, in a state of disrepair. In almost half the districts in the country, higher education enrollments are abysmally low, almost two-third of our universities and 90 per cent of our colleges are rated as below average on quality parameters” Critically Evaluate the state of higher education in India.

Sixth Week’s Topic

Post -1990 Democratization of Indian Politics – The Paradoxes

Seventh Week’s Topic

“1 billion people in the world are chronically hungry. 1 billion people are overweight.”

Eighth Week’s Topic

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” 

Ninth Week’s Topic

Capital Punishment and Rape Culture

Tenth Week’s Topic

Has Increased access to employment opportunities, financial independence and educational attainments enabled women in urban India to exercise their freedom and agency?

Eleventh Week’s Essay

To write – Click Here.

Twelfth Week’s Essay

To Write – Click Here

Thirteenth Week’s Essay

To Write – Click Here

Fourteenth Week’s Essay

To Write – Click Here

  • Bhavya saini

    please throw some light on the topic. i am unable to understand it.

    • I will give you a clue.

      Democracy is not the perfect system we have. It has certain ills – loopholes.

      To cure these ills, will you resort to a Revolution or a social movement? From past and present you will get number of examples to justify your stand – you can take any stand, but justify it. Or you can take a balanced approach.

      There is a subtle difference between a social movement and a revolution. In this backdrop, write an essay, taking Indian, American or British democracies as the examples. Analyze their functioning, defects and attempts at curing these defects in the past, if any, give examples and come up with a solution.

      Some recent events in India will provide you ample examples too.

      I hope it is clear now. 🙂

  • Abhishek

    With the very development of human consciousness ,there came into being the social order which distinguised men from the animals and man came to be known as a social animal which not only needed each other to survive but also to grow and what they say civilise themselves into an entity we now appear to be.In order to make life systematic and organise,protect and to impart a sense of belonging to a particular community the institution of ‘State’ came into being.This led to the need for governance which then brought into picture different forms of government which range from earliest Janas/shanghas of ancient times to the latest form called the ‘Democracy’.It is a form of government in which the governed has the right to choose their own representatives who inturn will govern them.They will be the one who on their behalf chalk out policies and make laws for all round development and welfare of the masses.The representatives or lets say the elected representatives are the one who are mandated to voice the aspirations and grievances of the people and work with each other in cohesion for the welfare of the people.This appeared to be a huge responsibilty on the shoulders of these representatives/leaders/ministers, so accordingly they were imparted certain powers to cope up with their duty by the law of the land.In due course of time throughout the world wherever democracy existed ,these powers were started being misused.The common man today fears his own representative,at times they are even inaccesible.the ministers no longer are a representative of the people,they are seen as a representative of a particular political party which has its own credentials irrespective of the concern of the masses.The irony is that these parties have their own agenda which is made keeping in view the interests of the well to do section of the society generally rich business houses or a particular community which can be used as a vote bank in elections.These are the ones who are responsible for creating rift and disharmony amongst the citizens to meet their political ambitions and gain a mileage above other rival parties.This has also led to a derth in the quality of leaders we are getting these days,very few leaders today are worth asking for the mandate ,those who are genuinelly good and want to work something for the people are hardly getting any seat from the recognised political parties where as those who are blindly affiliated to the ideology of any of these parties and are willing to spend money and has the stronghold on his area i.e . a berth of hooligans and miscrents as supporters and party workers, are easily getting the seats to contest election fron regional as well as the national parties.The elections,which was used to be celebrated as a festival of democratic society ,a triumph of the rule of law and a jewel of the just and welfare state has now lost its charm if not grandeur,it is nothing more than a ceremonial/symbolical process of electing the representatives.This is because those who contest are not the real but forced/dummy representatives.In this regard ,we also must understand that people are also equally responsible for the current state of affairs .The lack of education,social evils like casteism,communalism,regionalism etc. are still predominant and is gaining ground.The inability of the successive governments in bringing out timely and indispensible reforms have crippled the democratic machinery with a lot of evils like corruption,misuse of authority,policy paralysis,hoardings of black money,money laundering and many such evils.
    The time has come that the literate and the socially consus people come together and take a pledge to act as a catalyst for the change of our society at large inturn giving us a better govenment which does justice to the basic ideology of democracy.They should try and mobilise the masses against not only the mal practises of the government insisting reforms but also try and create an awareness aginst the age old social practises and believes which creates a divide and is holding us back.The masses first need to be streamlined otherwise the social movement can go rukus and the purpose will be defeated .Moreover, we must try and develop a consciousness and a believe in the democratic system ,especially amongst the youth of the country who are slowly but gradully losing interest in the matter which them unkowingly affects them most.The movement must focus and bring changes for devlopment in a phased manner ,unlike a revolution which will otherwise bring unstabilty and chaos in the country.Social changes are something which we all know takes time to show up hence a revolutionary approach must be refrained from.
    We must try and understand that the roots of a healthy democracy lies in the opportunity availed or imparted to all the eligible citizens to choose their own leader,who is again none other than one among themselves ,hence we get a leader like we ourselves are in general or say in majority.hence the national consciousness has to arise from the basic unit of the society that is the family.we must put befor our children examples of an ideal and conscious citizens life.We have to be vigilant of happenings in our society,use our franchise wisely,shouldnot get carried away by false promises of unscrupulous leaders or parties.Education is the key,not only scientific or technical education but also moral education which starts right from the family itself.
    I am quite sure that if we are successful in bringing out a social reform ridding the society permanently of its evils,then the purpose of democracy as a system of governance will regain its prominence and lost charm.

  • Democracy is a political setup in which people choose their representatives and those representatives exercise legitimate control over the masses. Democracy as an institution had its genesis in French Revolution which was driven by the rule of law, separation of power and a challenge to rule of monarchy. Democracy has been instrumental in accelerating political participation, distributive justice, promoted values of equality, fraternity and inclusion. After the end of two world wars, many nations got independence and embraced democracy because it prevents concentration of power and provides requisite political stability, social inclusiveness and economic progress. India, after 2 decades of imperialism chose democracy for promoting social, economic and political freedom and justice, universal adult franchise etc in one go.
    However decades after the development of democratic ideology, many questions have been raised about the impeccability and infallibility of democracy. It is under pressure due to increased interference by state in private affairs of individuals, augmented corruption in public life, mounting rift between political executive and common man, illicit land acquisitions in the name of development, amplified social evils, ignorance towards the minority and marginalized sections, frequent suppression of freedom of speech and expression, clandestine approach of the government, police apathy towards public etc. It has been contended that external colonialism is replaced by internal colonialism.
    The growing intolerance and abhorrence towards the ills of democracy is manifested in the form of revolution and social movements. Both are a kind of mobilization of the citizens with former may be armed rebellion or military coup or use of force while latter is defined as a peaceful protest and constructive criticism of the government through petitions, organizing pressure groups in a peaceful manner etc.
    The increasing intolerance among the people must not converge into revolution which is nothing but mobocracy. The examples of revolutions like naxalism can never bring a new social order. It can only lead to chaos, breeds extremism, increase factionalism and lead to a fractured mandate in the political system of the country. The recent coups in African nations hold testimony to the fact that most of revolutionary movements disregard public concern and current system of government without providing any viable alternative. The revolutions are marked by blood, use of weapons. The likes of Arab Spring and the recent skirmishes between Syrian and Rebellions tell the real story. Revolution has led to gross atrocities, murders, rapes etc and still the objectives remains elusive. Now even the international community has called for an internal process.
    On the other hand social movements have played an important part in the history of transition. The congress as an organization in India started a kind of social revolution in India. Further impetus was provided by various proponents of socio religious movements like Ishawar chand Vidya Sagar, raja ram mohan roy,jyotiba phule etc. The social mobilization which is peaceful was also advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. This led to independence of India though there was strong support from revolutionaries as well but social movements really helped in building a national base for raising the voice against the imperialism. Similar example very protests by different traders, merchants during American war of independence which led Britain to withdraw heavy duties on export of American goods. Mass social movements provide direct participation in democracy – some kind of direct powers to influence events. They would be the equivalent of giving rights not to the individual but to collectives. The ability to organize groups of people around single issues would translate into direct influence on power.
    The recent movement against corruption by Civil society organization is one example. International examples include Occupy Wall Street movement, movement for providing legal status to LGBT. In Indian context, social movements by different organization like PUCL for transparency in government appointments, accountability of the political executive have provided the right ground for taming the ills of democracy. There are social movements for the emancipation of women, providing them legal right, increasing their voices on political platform. Social movements have been instrumental in putting the government to enact certain laws for better efficiency and transparency. There has been spurt in the social movements because of increasing education and assertiveness of the people who are thriving for better societies for the acceleration of common good. Social movements bridge the gap between individual interest and collective wellbeing while revolutions have led to second and third wave of revolution in Middle east countries like Yemen etc.
    Hence it can be said that social movements are the hallmark for social change and revolution leads to growth of an anomic society with a fractured political setup with increased vulnerability. On the other hand, Social movements through the mouth of NGOs and other organizations have changed the course of present day world. They have pervaded to every nook and corner of the society for the acceleration of people concerns and led to change in the normal discourse.

    • lakshmi prasanna

      good but i think u failed to give examples of democratic ills. still i liked ur compilation by comparing revolutions with that of social movements from independence days to present days and b/w India and world
      thank u

    • Asha Goud

      Hi Sahil, i liked the later half of answer where you explained social movements nicely and gave many examples stating its role in a society.
      The ills of democracy mentioned by you in the first part were not only found in a democracy, those can be found in an authoritarian regime also.
      Here you try to put the flaws of democracy as a system.

      When i started writing i was not able to think of any drawback of democracy as a system. So i started thinking from the perspective of defenders of authoritarian regime. And points started coming. Initially very vague but slowly i could gather points.

    • tejaswini

      hello sahil, i appreciate the present and past illustrations given to support the idea and ur direct approach to the topic and not drifting from the central idea. but the essay could have been a little more comprehensive and thoughtful.

  • “For the ills of Democracy, social movements may be the cure, not revolutions”

    Democracy is a form of government wherein the people directly or indirectly are free to choose their government and legislate laws for enforcing. Unlike autocracy or dictatorship, people are granted equal rights and the people are directly involved in decision making of the country through elected representatives. These elected representatives actually sought to place the views of the people in the parliament and implement policy issues.

    Democracy has been tested over times and is instrumental in upholding the rights of the people. People participate in elections where each person is assigned the same value irrespective of his or her economic or social status. Thus democracy in a diverse country like India actually creates unity. The social and cultural divisions in the society are actually removed by democracy. Moreover, people can select the right person to represent their hopes in the parliament. This provides a sense of empowerment to the people.

    Liberal thinking and free speech are vital organs in a democracy. The right to liberty, equality and fraternity are ideals incorporated in various democracies all over the world. These are the main pillars upon which the institution of democracy rests upon. These rights enable people to criticize governments on issues and policies which are not pro people. The government can be brought down and another put in place if the government become autocratic and arrogant. Moreover, the judiciary also try to check the government if it becomes coercive.

    Power is given to the elected representatives by the people to govern the state. The state cannot misuse it to its advantage nor does use it to curb the people’s voice against its wrong policies. Issues like poverty, corruption, lawlessness, lack of development, nepotism, unemployment, economic disparity does create adverse public opinion among the masses against the government. With access to education people are more aware of the rights that are to be provided. Mass demonstrations, peaceful rallies, hartals etc provide ideal platform to protest against improper policy of the state. However on emotional issues, these rallies can become and take the shape of social movements and revolutions as per their nature.

    India has had many local, ethnic, cultural and ecological issues led movements .When these social movements are based upon the principle of violence and challenge the authority of government by undemocratic ways, the state tend to suppress it with force. Gradually it tends to become a revolution. It tends to challenge the very institution of democracy. Armed struggles against the state rule or liberation from the state to gain independence are pertinent issues. It results in the loss of life and public property due to violence. The states’ policy in dealing with these kind of revolution has been strict. There is no compromise on the part of the state to support movements based on radical ideologies and armed struggles. Recent trend in the insurgency affected areas in NE, J&K have been witnessing these issues.

    Many movements are based to lead to a change of social issues democratically. Notable among them include Chipko movement, Narmade bacho Andolan, Anna Hazare led movement to enforce RTI acts, and Lokpal Bill. The main characteristics of these movements lie in their basic foundation of nonviolence, easy access to public and the context on which they are organized. These movements have had enormous impact in the Indian society and polity. The state has recalibrated its policy due to public pressure and has accepted recommendations of many such movements.

    These changes in the government’s stance has enhanced the credibility of such movement and those of the common masses involved in it. It has created a pool of conscious citizens willing to further lead such movements for positive changes in the society. Moreover, acts like RTI has empowered the people to question the government regarding all sorts of information which were previously kept secret. Transparency and accountability have become key to execute government’s policy and decision.

    Democracies like India are evolving at present. The ever increasing dynamics of various issues including ethnicity, culture, history, language play a vital role in shaping the future of the country. The federal structure of the country implies that the central government and the state powers are at constant loggerheads with each other on various issues. Issues pertaining to creation of states on the basis of development, language are large. This protests and demonstration often lead to violence thus invalidating the very purpose these rallies. However, these issues can be dealt with discussion in proper forum, forming a public opinion and pressuring the state for early resolution by peaceful means. Although, talks might take long, yet it is the only tool to effectively press the state. The perseverance and patience of the masses are therefore of utmost important. It is by way of proper discussions and deliberations that issues can be sorted out.

    The constitution of India has provided for a democratic form of government. It is the duty of the government to maintain this structure. The democratic feature along with secularism, sovereignty and republic are the features which describe the values of the Indian society. It is the duty of the policy makers to remove all the defects of democracy, if it exists. Democracy as per Abraham Lincoln is government of the people, by the people and for the people. The control lie in the hands of the public via its elected representatives. Thus social movements should be the carrier of change in the society as revolutions contradicts the very definition of democracy.

    • lakshmi prasanna

      good i liked ur flowing story in single line. but if u had added some more current issues it might have looked better than what now.

      • cppcontrol

        will try to improve next time…

    • Asha Goud

      hi ,
      you explained social movements very well.
      liked your answer.
      but ills democracy were not mentioned in the answer.
      Also it was very India specific, rather about in general democracy.

    • payal

      nice explanation,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it helped me a lot……………………..

  • lakshmi prasanna

    Ours is a big democratic country on this earth. Everyone has to accept it. For this people of India should thank our fore fathers for giving us this opportunity to select people as our representatives. Though early independent day’s society is filled with most of illiterate people still they managed to practice election. Constitution assures adult franchise to every citizen of age above 18 years. It has completed six decades to Indian sovereignty as democratic country.
    In this duration we achieved to make ourselves to come out of the inflammations made by British rule. Yes now we are able to provide employment through developed industries and IT sectors, literacy rate, progress in GDP, improved life expectancy, Agricultural reforms made increase in production, preserve culture, women empowerment, and decline in poverty. Despite of these developments still we are witnessing death out of starvation and malnutrition, unemployment, depreciation of rupee, current account deficit, lack of infrastructure, human resources without proper skills, continued atrocities against women and abnormal sex ratios, destruction due to manmade disasters etc.
    We initiated certain things after compromising according to the situation demand in early days as people are illiterate. But still the things are seen. Giving power to vote to every citizen is appreciable. But demerit is valuing a vote of PhD fellow equal to that of an illiterate labor is not good. Former knows to whom they are voting and for what, but the later defines his vote based on the alcohol provided to him. Result is ineligible party is forming a government in this democratic country for rule. This uses the loopholes very well and improves corruption, scams and amends articles and makes laws for their convenience.
    The government will be approving many policies though they are disastrous like allowing GMO trials in the fields which is nothing but experimenting directly on human beings without worrying about the permanent mutations effects on us. Drafting bill like biotechnology regulation authority bill which removes information available on GMO. Recent food security ordinance is a perfect example of bills for political benefits.
    Recent proposal of statehood to telangana without any proper base reasons started agitations in that state and also demand for statehood, upraise in around sixteen states resulting law and order problems. Lack of proper international policy with neibhouring and other countries facing problems like terrorism, cyber attacks and terrorists exploded in bode Gaya and twice in Hyderabad, many people are immigrating from Bangladesh and causing security problem. India is also a victim of cyber attacks. . Without proper foreign policy to counter attacks from china we are facing border occupation like dehaung by its soldiers.
    Lack of accountability welfare schemes are malfunctioning like mid day meals caused deaths of children in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Lack of employment opportunities causing brain drain. Most of the intellectuals are settling in foreign nations. Lagging in infrastructure development losing leadership power in continent.
    Without any sustainable development and plans for mitigating natural disasters causing threat to human life. Best example is recent Uttarakhand floods. States senseless activities in the name of development caused this catastrophe. Many people lose life. If center and state would have taken any mitigation measures if not prevention destruction might have reduced.
    Government is not delegating powers to panchayats and municipalities. Without proper revenue allotments as stated in73 and 74 amendments of constitution rural areas are vulnerable. Decentralization of government is prerequisite.
    Economic reforms are needed to help the depreciation of repee. For which government is simplifying FDI norms in fields like defense and information broadcasting though many are opposing the same in the point of security. Land acquisition for infrastructure developments making people to jag jevan Satyagraha. Immediate improved land reforms implementation is required for equitable distribution.
    Recent CIC orders to make politicians accountable under RTI act for funds they get and reason for selecting a candidate has been nullified from amendment draft of RTI. This makes them protecting from accountability and responsibility. Allowing every Indian citizen to contest election without any restrictions made candidates having crime back ground to occupy power. SC verdict on representation of people act, not allowing MPs and MLAs to contest on approval of crime, on implementing this will curtail such candidate’s entry to some extent.
    Making government accountable is needed immediately which can be done through lokbal bill.But it is lagging in parliament for approval after Anna Hazares protest. After seeing all this failures people are coming out to protest like narmada bachao andolan, chipko movement, jal satyagrahas in different places etc. which have succeeded in attaining their demands.
    From the pre independence we have observed evolution of many social movements for achieving a common interest and many got succeeded. In the similar fashion to eradicate this democratic ills such strong consequent social movement are required rather than revolutions. Educating an voter about the importance of vote and how it impact his fate is necessary as a part of social movement

    • Abhishek

      hello Lakshmi,you have very well summarised the contemporary issues and problems in turn pointing out flaws in the governance,lack of accountability on the part of government,immediate need of electoral reforms,policy paralysis ..etc but these all can be attributed to just an inefficient government,democracy as a system of governance ,no where seemed to have taken any blow or any of its ills pointed out discretely.moreover the purpose of social movements and the imperative of refraining from a revolutionary approach could have been given more space.
      I am trying to think like an examiner,just started,learning is on…!
      Thank you.

      • lakshmi prasanna

        thanks i’ll include ur suggestions and improve

    • Asha Goud

      Hi Lakshmi,
      the answer was completely India oriented however the topic did not mention India. It is about democracy in general.

      • lakshmi prasanna

        i agree with u ahsa i might have included that as i just started writing this essay based on the knowledge i accumulated so far i didn’t gather any information specially and just continued to write this imagining that sitting in exam hall. so no much knowledge about world.

    • lakshmi prasanna

      insights sir can u give details about some democratic ills, what ever i mentioned are they relevant pls comment. if not pls explain me where i did wrong.
      thank u

      • Lakshmi,

        You have actually written whole essay on democratic ills. The weaknesses I found in your essay are:

        1) Your introduction is poor. Instead of talking about democracy, your introduction should be talking about the essay you are going to write. Imagine yourself as the guide at Khajuraho. When tourists come to you, you will first give them a good introduction about the place and create a curiosity in their minds, then you will explain different locations and conclude by saying something about the significance/present status about the place.

        I feel the same rule applies to the essay – your introduction must create a good impression and arouse the curiosity of the reader.

        2) There is no proper structure. Every paragraph should contain an ‘idea’ which is relevant to the topic.

        3) In the penultimate paragraph, you have mentioned few ‘social movements’ – actually the essay is about them, so you would have elaborated them

        4) Examples from around the world are missing.

        Before starting your essay, draw flow chart, or jot down quick ideas, interrelate them, brainstorm about various angles – take 30-40 minutes for this.

        Finally, constantly keep the topic of the essay in mind till the end.

        Keep writing. You will get better and better 🙂

        • lakshmi prasanna

          thanks a lot sir, for ur detailed, understandable, careful explanation. This is my first essay. I will keep in mind all ur suggestions while writing next essay.

  • Asha Goud

    “For the ills of Democracy, social movements may be the cure, not revolutions”

    Democracy is a form of political structure where people elect representatives through process of fair elections. These elected representatives hold office for a fixed term. Democracy is characterized by process of conducting regular elections. All citizens hold equal rights and freedom.

    India in the past was composed of large kingdoms ruled by kings. The position of king was hereditary. It is stated in Arthashastra by Kautilya that one of the main function of the king is welfare of the people. No where he has mentioned any formal control structure on the powers of the King. Therefore King was supreme.

    India was a British colony for about 100 years. Main focus of the colonial government was exploitation of the colonies under the pretext of providing development. Under colonial rule, people of India did not have any right. Authority of the colonial government was supreme.

    Therefore it is only democratic form of government that respects and protects the rights of the people. Authority lies with the people. People are not subordinates but the Supreme. The structure of a democratic government is designed to work according to the rule of law and treat all citizens as equals.

    Democracy therefore appears to be perfect in all forms and well suited for all countries. Sadly it isn’t true. There are many pre requisites for an effective functioning of Democracy.

    For an effective democracy, it is important that all citizens are well informed, well educated and society is not fragmented. If society is divided into classes based on religion, language, caste, etc there is possibility that the richer and more affluent among a class gain position of power by enticing the poor and less informed section. Therefore People get transformed into VoteBank. Politics gets converted into class based politics and is driven by self interest. Therefore people remain divided and society is fragmented. Growth and development is slow in such environment.

    There are other undesirable consequences of adopting a democratic polity in a society that has not been prepared for it. The tenure of a government is fixed in a democracy, as a result the policies adopted by government are short sighted and populist in nature. For example the policy of opening the economy to FDI to give boost to the economic growth rather than adopting policies that would help domestic companies grow. FDI can bring fast growth but which is short lived. Increasing subsidy and freebies provided to people are populist in nature but has adverse effect on finances of the country.

    In a democratic polity, as mentioned earlier, the rights of the individual are supreme. Therefore duties are secondary. In such a situation often conflict arises between the state and the citizens. Such conflicts sometimes make administration difficult. For example the Directive Principles of State Policy has a provision for uniform civil code, but a certain section of Muslim community considers it as an encroachment into their religion as it would alter marriage related laws.

    Therefore it can be said that democracy performs in its best form when ther people are well educated, well informed, the political structure is clean and uncorrupted and where the society is not fragmented

    However despite these drawbacks our constitution makers preferred a democratic framework for precisely the reason that India has a huge diversity of culture, religion, language. They held that holding together such huge diversity by force would only lead to dissatisfaction and fragmentation of the country.

    As mentioned earlier democratic polity can lead to a conflict between state and citizens. Where there is in place a effective grievance redressal mechanism, the conflicts are resolved. However it may happen that even where the system is well functioning, the citizens are not happy with the system. Citizens have the right to protest and put forward their view in a democracy. When a majority of citizens hold a grievance against the system it takes the form of either a revolution or a movement.

    Reasons for both, a revolution and a social movement are grievance or dissatisfaction with the existing structure. They are instruments adopted to express dissatisfaction. However a revolution differs from a social movement in its goal and methods adopted.

    A revolution is radical in nature and methods adopted can become violent. The goal of a revolution is to bring down the existing system and replace it with a new system. For example the Arab revolution, Bolshevik revolution, French revolution.

    A social movement on the other hand is not radical; it affirms with the existing system however it only aims to change certain failures and drawbacks of the system. For example the Indian national movement.

    Therefore Social movement aims to remove the ills of the system whereas a revolution aims to remove the system all together.

    The Indian national movement is an example of social movement. The methods adopted by Congress were not aimed at overthrow of British regime. Congress aimed at achieving increased participation of Indians in governing process. Though the process was slow, congress was able to able to bring lot of changes into the structure and functioning of government. At the same time the movement was able to strengthen the fabric of society. A feeling of unity, nationalism and brotherhood was strengthened among the people.

    Whereas a revolution has a tendency to turn violent. It leads to loss of life and property. Because revolution has a lot of force in it, it is also short lived. A revolution is led by radicals and therefore doesn’t work towards achieving a conciliation. The French revolution and Bolshevik revolution were able to over throw the imperial powers however those who succeeded the imperial government, turned into authoritarian regime. There is a danger that revolution follows a authoritarian or unstable form of regime.

    There for to keep democracy strong and stable, any grievance that arises should be resolved in the best possible manner by the authorities. Also it people wish to put forward their grievances and want redressal they should adopt methods like spreading awareness about the issue, generating consensus, engaging in dialogue with the existing system to achieve a resolution that is long term.

    • While writing an Essay, the first paragraph should tell the reader what is awaiting him/her in the rest of the essay. You should, succinctly write about the intent of your essay, mention the major themes that you would cover and state the thesis in the very first paragraph.

      Here, you have done it in the 5th paragraph. The first paragraph tells us about democracy, and nothing about the Essay.

      Hope you got my point 🙂

      • Asha Goud

        Thank you Sir for your review,
        you would see improvement next time.
        Sir please give some inputs on general structure of an essay.
        Thank you.

  • Nirmal Singh

    On the eve of Independence, our forefathers aptly recognizing the people contribution and their role in nation making adopted democratic form of government. This was for a number of reasons. First, the suffering mass throughout the phase of struggle had undergone can only be undone by placing power in people. Second after analysing other countries experience, democracy seemed to be more suitable alternative to India existing situation. After 65 years, democracy seems to override all fears articulated since its inception, yet the ride is not as smooth as it seems. The democracy has its inherent own weaknesses. To address the same different ideologies emerged .
    Someone has rightly remarked “Democracy is best of all worst forms of government”. The majoritism has made minority vulnerable to the might of majority. The recent movement in Turkey against mojoritarian Prime minister is a case in study. Such vulnerability becomes more amplified considering pluralism in Indian society whether it be religion, language or culture. There seems to be an element of coerciveness giving in to majority demands. Another important issue is the kind of democracy India has. Being an indirect democracy it is virtually impossible for people to call back the representative they elected to secure their interests now turning backs to them. The practice of referendum and initiatives founds no mention unlike in countries for e.g. Switzerland. Moreover we have only political democracy exercised once in 5 years; there is no economic and social democracy. The political institutions have become models for malgovernance, and corruption there by slowly losing credential and legitimacy in the eyes of people.
    This has generarated considerable unrest among people giving rise to two different ideologies. The former wants to reform the system while maintaining democratic ideals and working within the ambit of law. To achieve this they resorted to social movements. The latter category believes in overthrowing the system itself often called Pro revolutionaries. To compare both one needs a clear understanding of their strength and drawbacks.
    With deeply rooted belief that democracy is a self corrective system ,social movements are becoming effective tool to mobilize people support . It regards ills as part and parcel of democracy. Anna Hazare movement against corruption and JP Narayan struggle way back in late 70s during emergency to save democracy under the regime of Indira Gandhi had gained immense support . They hold that democracy has inbuilt mechanism through Elections to overcome its weaknesses . . Two very important measures PIL and RTI needs special mention here .Started to make justice accessible to poor PIL has made judiciary an important participant in social movements .The petitions filed in public interest has aroused considerable responses .Recently Supreme Court judgement to reduce criminalization in politics, declaring certain provisions of RPA unconstitutional brought certain electoral reforms are examples of corrective nature off democracy It exercise higher moral authority as any democratic government will never try to repress it thereby endangering its legitimacy and creditability. This gives more space to it expand its reach. During independence struggle Mahatma Gandhi deployed this to gain edge over British and constantly eroded their hegemony by placing them in moral dilemma. It finds people as the fulcrum of every move a nation undertakes. Further due its non violent nature ,it ensures wider people participation which otherwise would not have taken place if it is to be violent. It yields more space to peaceful negotiations .Another important aspect of social movements is its specific nature aimed at particular issue .It has ensured stability of system with rule of law. A related aspect is social media and ICT growth which made its reach even wider.Janlokpal movement is one such event which cached people attention due to electronic media.Inspite of its merits it is not flawless. Often labelled as soft it is too slow to bring changes demanding patience .Due to pluralist society Its character is usually limited in scale unless there is common issue affecting all like corruption. For example there is limited support when it comes to disabilities issues. Further the people has limited capability to carry on movement indefinitely considering its long term nature .Such limits explains why Janlokpal movement has lost its public base and has moved to background
    There is a parallel ideology which assumes system to be the source of every problem a country is facing and aims at system overthrow. It owes its growth to failure of social movements which caused widespread discontent with a section of society adopting revolution as the only way. It resists inertia and status quo. It is fast and more extreme .In the past it has changed the face of world history through French and Russian revolutions. The recent Arab revolution in countries like Tunisia ,Libya and Egypt has changed the has bought in new system. Unlike social movement there is less people participation in it due to its violent nature. The same is against ideals of our independence struggle which is largely a non violent To justify its existences it reasons gains made are more than cost paid in the form of human lives. It is more general and has a number of demands with no single issue at hand. The experiments with revolution in countries like Congo and African countries are not successful and on the contrary has resulted into Dictatorships and unstable government. Further the same has given way to problems like insurgency and naxalism .For example the FARC in Columbia and ULFA in India. It has less credibility. An important thing to note here is that it even if successful puts the clock of growth of a country back and undo all the economic and socials gains made. At the same it makes a country vulnerable to outsides influence as happened in Syria. It has no regard for law and is agent of anarchy.
    Over the number of years the social movement proved to be more effective than revolution owing to its inherent characteristics. The people credibility, legitimacy within law ,non violent approach add more weights to its arguments. Moreover it is unwise to ignore time tested methods over quick fix approach It .The recent SC judgements proves there is enough scope for reforms through social movements if right leverage is found. Democracy provides enough space for cure through peaceful means. Mahatma Gandhi once said “Means are more important than the end itself”. The revolution can bring changes but to maintain that change the answer lies in social movements.

  • Nirmal Singh

    Please suggest any improvement in essay

    • Nirmal Singh

      Sir Please suggest where I have to improve in essay.It is my weakness

      • You have given good introduction and followed a structure guided by the question. However, you would have given more depth to the essay by giving more examples from around the world.

        In the second paragraph, apart from mentioning the role of Majoritarianism and ‘politicization’ of democracy, you would have given numerous other reasons that trigger either social movements or revolutions.

        The question demands an answer from within a democratic setup, so the mention of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya are not relevant as they were under dictatorships. However, you would have given the example of recent developments in Egypt, where a democratic government was overthrown by the military in an apparent ‘revolution’ and it adverse consequences.

        Examples such as social movements which took place immediately after 1930s’ Great Depression to demand stronger laws to regulate stock markets, 1960s Civil Rights movements in USA to demand equal rights for all races, Women’ rights movements for voting rights and political representation, environmental movements (Green Peace, Earth First), Anti-War protests or recent Occupy Wall street protests could have been given.

        Then, the nature of social movement and revolution must be explained in detail.

        Coming to India, you have explained many things well. You would have linked how Gandhian principles of peaceful passive resistance movements have influenced post-independence India’s some of biggest social movements.

        To stress the futility of revolutions in the democratic setup we have, the birth of Naxalism and how it has turned into Frankenstein’s monster should have been stressed.

        Another example of Manipur, how this hotbed of insurgency integrated itself into democratic process and became a peaceful (relatively) state.

        Overall, your essay is good. If you can give depth and various dimensions without wandering away from the topic (here, you have not), your essay will fetch very good marks.

        You will get 3 hours time in the exam. It is enough to write good two essays! So take 30-40 minutes to brainstorm ideas, concepts and structure. If you have real stuff, write a lengthy essay, if you are short of ideas, write a small one. There is no prescribed word limit for Essay paper.

        (It is Majoritarianism, not majoritism, i know it is typo, still matters)

        • Nirmal Singh

          Thanks for such valuable advice.I will definitely work on you suggestions.Thanks again

          • Nirmal Singh

            Sir should I need to give more angles here or more depth to points already mentioned in essay.I have confusion on that part of your suggestion

            • In this essay depth is needed. But you can also add more angles – there is a scope for it. For eg, you could categorize triggers for social movements into Economic, Political, Cultural factors(without explicitly mentioning them like in school essay). Or types of revolutions especially in the contemporary world – taking examples from Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Greece, Bangladesh..etc.

              I feel you already have enough points to get good marks, what is needed is depth in this particular essay.

              • Nirmal Singh

                Thanks sir

  • Amudhan

    “One is not born a Women, But Becomes One”. Analyze the Statement in the Indian Context.
    The statement in question was made by the female existentialist philosopher Simone De Beauvoir in her book called the ‘Second Sex’. It alludes to the notion of women that is brought about by societal and Physiological conditioning. Hence Womanhood is something that is attained by a woman rather than something innate. Before we proceed however it is pertinent to difference between becomes ‘becomes’ (as used in the statement) and development. The latter is the manifestation of the being’s innate nature and growth in a quantitative manner whereas the former can involve a change in ‘Telos’ alien to oneself. A ‘women’ in the above statement refers to society’s idealized version hence referred to as ‘societal women’.
    Conditioning, both classical and operant, entails alteration in behavior and concomitant changes in one’s identity. A woman is conditioned by her physiology by virtue of her ability to bear children and by society by a combination of external and internal agents, such as her teacher or Father, in her milieu. She is also conditioned by societal expectation, rules and treatment by institutionally agencies in both favorable and unfavorable ways.
    Physiological conditioning starts from a very early age rights from gifts including skirts that hinder free movement and the ability to climb trees, enjoy play. It is at this point a girl becomes aware of the differences between herself and boys. Upon the attainment of womanhood a ceremony is conducted to signal to her womanhood. This is not practiced in western nation and no undue significance is given to this particular event anymore and can be attributed to advancement in women empowerment abroad. In India the woman has greater exposure to conditioning and its impact hence. She is told of the appetites of men and how she must behave in front of them. She is told to obey a combination of rules and has her movements severely restricted. Certain social classes ‘protect’ their women by not letting them have an education in public schools with boys. The environment in which the women operate undergoes changes after this event and she begins to be conditioned in a different manner. It is important for the reader to note the lack of agency for the female sex. Things are done to and for her while her passivity in the affair is a ‘Legitimate Expectation’ of society whereas men enjoy stability in the growth and are ‘developing’ as individuals without violent alteration to their Telos.
    Social conditioning of women is a lot more apparent in India. It is accomplished by the conforming of women to their societal expectations, even ones alien to them. This can be clearly understood upon examination of the societal role of ‘Wife’. From a young age women are taught to see their social standing in relation to theirs husbands or fathers. Her duties to her husband are learnt by watching her mother or movies or any other external source which depict this relation. Progress for her is made through men in her life and to identify with their success. These idealized versions stand in direct contradiction to the small margin of women who escape these notions and find a path for themselves. They seldom find accepting partners treating them as individuals and constantly experience covert societal indignation for their failure to meet these idealized versions of Wife. Although we as a nation embrace liberal beliefs and promise equality under the constitution our ‘alief’ (habitual belief-like attitude) is still backward.
    Why is it ‘right’ for men to expect women to cook and clean when they both earn the same amount of money? What about the subtle impediments faced by ambitious women in their pursuit by institutional actors. This is the result of women operating in a patriarchal structure. She pulled by the reward of meeting the expectations of society with honor and social standing, to fit and ‘become’ rather than ‘develop’. Any attempt at ‘development’ is met with systematic and persistent hardship and her struggles are not met with sympathies. It is seen as a struggle against her destiny of becoming a ‘Women’ as society intended her to be, to make her realize her rightful place. In India, a conservative society, strictly defined roles with both traditional and religious legitimacy are powerful and have tremendous impact.
    The reader might wonder if similar ‘societal expectations’ are not placed on Men and thus argue that men ‘become’ as well. It is the extent of the conditioning they face and the level of control that men have over themselves in their milieus that invalidates the argument. Men have far greater ability to escape these confining factors. Men are economically independent and society is far more tolerant of their ambition. The role of men has so far eluded strict definition and is therefore dynamic. It is defined, if at all, in a negative manner e.g. Men don’t…… A women’s role however is defined in a positive manner such as “A women’s place is in her home” and any negative definitions extends as a logical derivative similar to the statement “Women don’t belong in politics since they belong at home”.
    It does beg the question, why can she not stop ‘Becoming’ a societal woman? Virginia Woolf wrote a book called a ‘room of one’s own’ arguing for the need to find a space for ‘development’ without external conditioning. A plan to escape the conditioning effects of society and ‘develop’ as an individual however this will not be sufficient since the societal notion of a woman and their identity found does not fundamentally alter the patriarchal structure. Thus starting the cycle of conditioning afresh but this time she will be more resolute. Furthermore “A room of one’s own” is available is only available to affluent section with education and employment opportunities in India.
    We need a more fundamental change. She needs to regain her agency. J.J. Rousseau noted in the ‘Origins of inequality’ a direct relation between dependence and inequality and that inequality cannot exist without dependence. If women were thoroughly independent economically and empowered politically and socially, and in sufficient numbers it may be possible for them to ‘develop’ rather than ‘become’. We can see this happen in India with the women’s reservation bill bringing about political empowerment, increased participation in the labor market gives women economic independence and a place outside the home for women slowly brings about societal changes. For women to enjoy the agency that men enjoy and for the creation of a society where one’s anatomy is not the primary determinant of one’s role is a goal of our constitutional republic. Till then however “one is not born a women, but becomes one”

    • naveen

      really nice article rather to call as essay…

  • Ananya Basu

    Hey Amudhan,
    learned a lot from your essay!
    As a woman myself; couln’t agree more with what you have written 🙂
    liked the way you summarised “the second sex” of de Beauvoir and also threw in Woolf and Rousseau ideology.

  • neeraj

    Women comprise about half of the population of the world. Science has proven that the probability of girl being born is more than probability of a boy’s. This implies that by natural selection, the homosapiens chose a girl over a boy. Or for that matter, a religious man would say, God has created men and women equal. But where ever we see, we see a divide between the status of men and women. Girls are treated differently. They are paid less for similar. They are preferred in jobs like secretary, nurse, model, air hostess etc, while men take jobs like engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs, CEOs, Plane pilots etc. It’s the way we have perceived them since our childhood, as caring, loving, homebound women.
    Why and how has this perception formed? If one asks, we have to delve deeper in our psychology and upbringing. As kids, we are giving different kind of toys to play with. Girls are given dolls, kitchen sets, homes, where as boys get to play with planes, guns, bat and balls. But that doesn’t mean that girls and guys don’t pick up their toys. When given a choice girls tend to pick pink dolls, where as boys pick swords and guns which shows that from the birth we are born different. When kids are young, girls and boys are allowed to play with each other. By the time we reach six, there arises a schism between the two sexes. In India, this can be said to occur because of the social pressures and pressure from parents. But if we take a look at the countries of developed world, we find that kids above six and below fourteen tend to hang out with kids of the same sex rather than opposite sex. In a survey, when asked, “how many best friends of opposite sex they had?” kids of age upto six almost had equal numbers of friends of opposite sex as of same sex. But as the age kept increasing to fourteen, the number declined and started rising again after fourteen. This suggests that the number of opposite sex friends increased at an age they started dating. After the kids hit puberty, the hormonal changes also affect the mood and behavior of people of different sexes. So, we can say to some extent men and women are born different. But there is more to it than meets the eyes.
    In India however, the social constructs define the behavior of and towards the women. We, as a nations of innumerable gods and goddesses worship gods and goddesses almost equally. We have goddesses which give wealth, knowledge and happiness to goddesses who are warriors and defenders of the humanity. But, when it comes to treating women in our families, we hardly treat them as equals. It starts from the moment they are born and in some cases before they are born. Even women treat their sex unequally. The mother in laws want a baby boy. The whole atmosphere of an Indian family is male centric. Also, to be mothers want boys. Its not because they want to, but its because the social environment they are brought up in. She knows, that if she give birth to a baby boy, her stature will rise in the eyes of her in laws as well as in society. She more often than not, wants her first baby to be a boy.
    Then as kids grow up, they are isolated from other sexes. They are given different kind of jobs. The girls get to nurture kids, look after family member, learn to cook, help mothers in their daily chores and other homely jobs. This way they develop to work in teams, develop emotional intelligence, learn to be a subordinate and work their way up to be a family person. Boys on other hand are free to play and study. They meet new kids in schools, learn to work individually thus inculcating leadership qualities, which helps them in taking initiatives and negotiation. But, when we look in our history, we can see examples of Rani was able to take a leadership role and a warrior and proved to be a thorn for the British empire . There have been many other named and unnamed women in our freedom struggle.Indira Gandhi was our first female prime minister. Her performance during the 1971 war with Pakistan and liberation of Bangladesh is a shining example of leadership role. Our last president was a female. It shows that if given proper training and upbringing, they can be as good as their male counterparts.
    Females are generally not preferred in our society because of various reasons. The family doesn’t want girls because they are considered “paraya dhan”, that they will leave their parents house once they are married. Also, the dowry that has to be paid is another burden on the family. Also, security of teenage girls is a problem. Issues like eve teasing, rape has stopped girls from faring out late at night. Elopement and honor killing have become a daily issue. These factors also contribute to the preference of a male child. But, it is seen that females care about their old parents more than their male counterparts. In many cases they are providing shelter and monetary assistance to their parents. Also, govt has taken up issues of security of females. Supreme court has ordered companies to provide company conveyance to female workers who work late in night shifts. Govt. has passed many legislations for security of women.
    The portrayal of women in our bollywood movies has also stereotyped women. The female leads have been constrained to just a role of hot looking love interest of the male lead. They are shown to be weak sex. She has been reduced to a beautiful girl whom the male protagonist has to save from the world. Also, sas-bahu serials on the television have brought out another aspect of our society. Also, reality shows like Roadies and Splitsvilla portray women as sex objects. These movies and serials also play a vital role in creating an unhealthy impression of the girls on the young minds. The number of meaningful programs on television has come down drastically. The number of movies in which a female is the main protagonist can be counted on fingers. Though some female and male directors have forayed into the unknown world of female protagonist with little success. Such movies are put under the names of “Art Movies” and have hardly any takers.
    Education is another perspective. Boys are considered to be the breadwinners and so they are given better education. Also, it is believed that the girl has to do household work after she gets married. Even well educated upper class families demand that their daughter in law will not work after marriage. This uncertainity regarding job is another setback for the education of the girl child. This can be seen in the education levels of males and females in Census data, which clearly indicates more percentage of literate men than women, more percentage of high school passed men than women, more percentage of undergraduate men than women and other education. Also, we can see that the divide in education in terms of science and arts subject. Boys are given preference in science where as girls are deemed fit for arts subject. Even in science subjects we see a schism. Girls tend to go more for biology than maths, doctors than engineers. But women have proved their mettle. Its almost a trend now that female candidates outperform their male counterparts in secondary and senior secondary exams. But their dropout rates in school are still high. If we see results of IAS 2012, we find around 27% women in the selected list. Also they are proving their mettle in engineering streams and maths streams. Scientists like Madam Curie and others have proved that women can be scientists. It should be understood that when a male gets educated only one person is educated, whereas when a girl is educated her family is educated.
    It’s entrenched in our society that women are physically weak. They get cranky during their periods. They have to bear children due to which their work gets hampered. They can’t perform physical tasks. So, they are trained for jobs which does not involve much physical work such as service industry, air hostesses, doctors, teachers, professors, human resources, nurses etc. They are not preferred for jobs like police force, army, mining, engineering, etc. But women are proving that they are not in any way physically inferior to their male counterparts. Some examples are, Durba Banarjee(first woman pilot), Kiran Bedi(first woman IPS), Santosh Yadav and Bacchendri Pal(Mt. Everest climbers). More and more women are enrolling in engineering courses.
    It is considered that financial management is a man’s job. That’s why the head of an Indian family is a male. He has the right to earn and spend money. Women play a homemaker. So girls are taught to cook and knit while boys are taught to do shopping, bargaining and managing the finances of the home. But, things are not that rosy. There are many instance of males squandering their money on wine, gambling, betting, prostitutes and making bad decisions in business. Even in religious texts we find that the Dharmraj Yudhistir lost his wife in gambling. Women have proved their mettle in financial management. The Self Help Groups is a shining example. The women are managing the finances very well and have contributed well to increase the living standards of their families. In corporate world also, women are making a name for themselves. Kanika Dewan, Nidhi Saxena, etc are some shining examples of next generation Indian entrepreneurs. Recently global internet giant, Yahoo, appointed Marissa Meyer as its CEO.
    Women are making forays and are excelling in every field. Its not a matter of birth anymore. What is needed is to change our perspective towards our female counterparts. The need of hour is to change our social environment and as is clear from above examples, we will find them competing with men shoulder to shoulder. In this world of cut throat competition, we need the help of our other half to excel in the national and international scenario. To quote Gandhi, “To consider women, a weak sex ,is a libel”.

    • neeraj

      Insights. Please comment. This is my first essay ever. Identify the lacunas in my essay. Thanks

  • neeraj

    “Globalization and the rural society in India”

    Globalisation is the integration of world in economic, political and social spheres. Though India followed a closed economic policy till the eighties, it was forced to switch to liberalization owing to the economic crunch of the early nineties. The success of the liberalization process opened new avenues for the India and its people. It was almost impossible for the largest part of Indian population living in the villages to remain unaffected by the process of Globalisation. It affected them in every sphere of their lives be it economic, political or social. The statement, “world is a global village”, emphasizes the village as the basic building block of every country and its integration as a unit in the world.

    Globalisation has touched the lives of the common man. Rural society is no exception. The smart jeans and t-shirt clad rural youth signifies the impact the western world has. The increasing queues at the ATM machines , use of cellphones, internet and use of Hinglish exemplifies globalization in the social sphere of the rural community. People enjoying fast foods like noodles can be found on the stalls next to road. Youngsters listening to western music on their cellphones is a clear example of the western impact on the rural youth. But the question is that has this outward façade of a new smart, consumerist avatar of the rural society contributed to better socio-economic conditions of the people. The social condition of the women hasn’t changed much. Most of the rural population still lives from hand to mouth. Suicide of farmers is still as relevant as it was before liberalization. The rural society has still to go a long way.

    The backbone of our society is agriculture and it is the main occupation of our rural society. Globaliasation has helped the farmer through new high yielding varieties seeds, high-tech equipments, better knowledge of agricultural practices, agricultural call centers and many other innovations in agricultural sector. Trading in grains has opened up new avenues for farmers. Guar gum trading has become household name in Rajasthan. Balance of agriculture is shifting from grains to cash crops for higher profits. Floriculture and horticulture are new trends in agriculture. Microcredit facilities and Kisan credit cards facilities have decreased dependence on the moneylenders. Self Help groups ( a concept borrowed from Bangladeshi slef help groups) has increased the independence of women. Globalisation has ushered in a new era of competition in the agriculture sector. Now, our farmers have to compete with highly subsidized crops from the western world. Owing to this competition, Indian farmers are forced to sell their crops at much lesser price. Suicide rates are increasing. Although the developing world is increasing pressure on the western world against its protectionist policies at the WTO forums, not much has been achieved. We need to negotiate better trade agreements with the western world. The practice of monoculture has led to decreased genetic diversity. It has made our crops susceptible to damage due to lack of genetic diversity. The introduction of disease resistant genetically modified crops has started showing decrease in yield and the old variety of cotton (which was drought resistant) has vanished. The increased yield due to fertilizers and excessive use of ground water has reduced the fertility of soil. Bio-fertilizers are being introduced. Some of the affluent farmers have taken advantage of the globalization and have reaped heavy benefits whereas most of them have been reduced to penury.

    Globalisation has opened the world market for our marine products. Export of lobsters, prawns, and other products, which are high in demand in western commodities have added to the income of our coastal fishermen. The govt. has set up special zones for the farming of such products. 26% of our exports are marine products. The share of Indian marine product in global market is around 1.5% and there is a scope of growth in such exports. The govt. should assist the farmers to increase the production and help develop market for such products. It will help the farmers to increase their per captia income and thus contribute to increase in GDP.

    The cases of suicides, migration towards the cities and decline of population in agriculture are reminder of the poor state of the peasant in our country. . Even schemes like MNREGA have not been able to arrest the flow of rural people towards the cities. This is due to the decline of traditional handicraft industry. The competition our traditional industries face is due to cheap replacements from neighbouring and western countries which is a byproduct of liberalization. Inspite of demand of our handicraft products like carpet making etc is much in the western market, our traditional artist are not able to reap the benefits as the middlemen cut through a big share of the profit. Govt. should provide better market access and form institutions to help the farmers.
    Micro, Small and Medium enterprises have also benifited from the Globalisation. The inflow of FDI in such industries has increased their quality and competitiveness. Multinational companies which export their products to India find it uneconomical to export fully completed products to the Indian market. So, they produce the parts locally. The MSMEs are utilized to produce different parts of the product and these products are then assembled into the main factory of the Multinational corporations. Many MSMEs have become Large scale enterprises. But, sometimes due to lack of proper legislations, these multinationals become competitors to these MSMEs. The huge capital of these multinationals and better product quality dismantles these MSMEs and create monopoly over certain products. This is not good for the Indian economy as whole. Proper regulation might curb such instincts of MnCs.
    The global market also is cause of woes for our rural people. Most of the population in the rural areas lives near subsistence level. The slump in the value of rupee at the forex has made the life of people near subsistence level very hard. The rupee slump raises prices of oil products in India, thus increasing the prices of essential commodities as food. Rise in inflation is another byproduct of globalization. Deficiency of a commodity anywhere in the world market directly affects the prices of that commodity in India by increasing the demand of the commodity.
    Relaxation of visa rules of USA in 1970s led to migration of many Indians to this far land. With their hard work and honesty they gained wealth, name and fame in these countries. Also, Dubai has been a preferred destination for muslim workforce. Change in policies of the Govt. of other countries also affects our rural people. Indian labour force are a great source of foreign exchange. Recently, Dubai mandated 10% labour force to be locals. This will directly affect the huge Indian population working in Dubai. Of these Indian labour force 60% are from rural areas of Kerala. Change in immigration policies of USA and UK are also being contemplated. This will affect the chances of the rural people who want to go to those countries to work. Indian govt. must make efforts to allow easy access of our people to these countries who want to make a living in these countries.

    Communication has also played a vital role in the lives of rural masses. Cellphone usage has increased. Finding the market rate and trend of commodities in cities has been made easier. Getting to know the well being of the loved ones is now much easier. Govt. has launched agriculture call centre schemes to help the farmers know about their preferred crops and thus increase their productivity.SMS services have been launched for targeted approach of information about agricultural products. Prices of commodities are sent through SMS based services. Results of secondary and senior secondary are available by SMS based services.

    Internet connections have made the vast wealth of knowledge in the reach of the rural youth at just a click of button. It has also helped in bringing about transparency and accountability in government schemes. The list of beneficiaries of various scholarship schemes, housing schemes and other government services are posted on state and central government websites. This has helped in decreasing the difficulties faced by the rural people. Also, one stop kiosks have been set up, to provide hassle free services. Now people won’t have to run from one desk to another to get their forms submitted. Aadhar cards are another example. A UID is provided to each aadhar card holder. This can used to provide benefits directly to the beneficiary. The middlemen are removed from such transactions, leading to better services. The govt. is currently using aadhar cards for transfer of scholarship, pensions etc to the beneficiaries.

    E-commerce websites have brought fashion and other products to the doorsteps of the rural consumers. Most of the e-commerce website provide home deliveries and cash on delivery schemes. The fashion world and the technological market that bollywood movies and television has created can now reach the doorsteps of rural masses. In a survey, it was found that almost 60% of the products of ecommerce websites like snapdeal, ebay, infibeam were ordered from rural areas. Also, some international e-commerce websites like minnova.com etc supply international products anywhere in India. Thus internet has created a global market for rural areas. Also, the advent of amazon.com in Indian market will benefit consumers by reducing prices of the commodities by increasing competition in e-commerce websites.

    Also, some companies have set up work from home facilities. Now, our software geeks from rural areas won’t have to go to cities to work. They can work directly from their villages with just an internet connection. Also, international avenues for such works are opening.

    Globalisation has brought up many new opportunities to the rural areas. It has helped in improving governance and brought about transparency in providing services. It has also helped in bringing new technology to the farmers. It has opened new markets. Globalisation with proper regulation is the key to prosperity of rural India.

    • neeraj

      Insights. Please review this essay.

      • Neeraj,

        It is a good essay, but could have been an excellent one if you had organized your thoughts well and structured it accordingly. Also, more emphasis is given on ‘economic’ aspects.

        First, one should explain what is globalization. Then about rural society – its structure, nature and importance in India. Moving on, there are many aspects where the impact of globalization is profound.

        You have not touched upon cultural aspects. Effect on caste system, values and traditions, behaviour, pattern of mobility, etc. Impact on oppressed classes – women, low caste groups.

        How education has empowered certain groups.

        You have extensively covered effects on agriculture. It would have been good if you has explained how WTO rule have ruined/benefited agriculture in rural areas.

        There is also scope for contrasting the effect of globalization – how it has created affluent villages in Punjab and Kerala, while impoverished those in Vidarbha or other villages which were dependent on traditional rural crafts for subsistence.

        Also effect on tribal hamlets is missing. Famous examples of Niyamgiri – Vedanta could have been given.

        Anyway, it is a good essay. Please take 30-40 minutes to brainstorm and chart out a plan. Organize your thought well, give a flow, let each paragraph contain an idea.

        • neeraj

          thanks for the review.. i had read these things somewhere sometime.. but i dont remember them.. like I knew about WTO and its effect, niyamgiri-vedanta issue, and i knew i had to write about cultural aspects.. but i was not able to recall relevant data regarding these issues.. so i left them.. the main problem was of not able to remember what i read.. i need to increase my memory capcity and retaining power.. can u suggest something..

          other issues.. like contrasting the effect of globalisation did not cross through my mind.. for that i guess i need more reading..

          Thanks for the help will try to improve on these points in next essay.

  • neeraj

    “For the ills of Democracy, social movements may be the cure, not revolutions”

    Democracy, as defined by Abraham Lincoln, is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. This powerful instrument if wielded properly amounts to the empowerment of the people. But, many times the desires of the people are not met. In such times, change is needed. Change from the current system of governance. But change doesn’t come easily. Change has to be fought for. A method of this fight has to be picked. History has shown us two types of fight for change: revolution and social movements. French revolution, American revolution etc used violence to achieve their ends, where as Quit India movement was a peaceful movement. In a civilized world, violence has no place. Change has to be brought about by peaceful means. But sometimes these peaceful protests dwindle and no appreciable change takes place.

    With changing times, social changes in are a norm. These changes often don’t conform to the rules of the past generation. Sometimes, with passage of time, loopholes in present system are brought to the fore. These loopholes need to be fixed.

    The cause of change can be social, political or economic. The community may change due to change in mindset, like gay marriages, inter caste marriages etc or oppression of one community by another. The cause can be political, like need for self governance as in independence struggles, change to new type of government as from monarchy to democracy or change against an autocratic ruler, or oppressive rule of a foreign government. The change can be economic as well. The current government is not able to provide food, cloth and shelter to common man or the government is corrupt or inefficient.
    But these changes are resisted by the people who are benefited by the existing system. The tolerance of society is not unlimited and when exploitation of the masses due to such loopholes becomes intolerant, a struggle for change ensues.

    In old times, armed revolution was a popular means. When the oppression of the masses in France by their king, American by the Britishers and Russians by their kings reached peak, a need for change was felt. This need was reflected in overthrowing of the present system with an armed revolution. These armed revolutions were successful and democracy was installed in France and America where as in Russia, communist party came to power. These were cases of oppression by administrators who were either of foreign origin or had lost the faith of the masses. These revolutions came at a huge economic, social and demographic cost. A number of lives were lost. The money that could have been used for the welfare of common people were used to buy arms and ammunitions. To quell the revolution, the king used brutal force which in turn flared the demand for a change and a vicious cycle ensued until the revolutionaries won and a change of government was brought about.

    Revolutions had their advantages at their times. They were taken up at a time when the common man did not had any say in the administration of the government. They were oppressed and war was imposed on them. Criticism of government was not allowed and people who criticized had to live in constant fear of their rulers. They had to form underground societies. The discontent among the masses seethed and had no outlet. To alleviate such discontent, the British government helped the formation of Indian National Congress as a safety valve. But these concessions were very limited and hardly did much to lessen the misery of the people. In such circumstances, the masses left with no choice had to resolve to arm and the outburst of these armed masses turned into a violent revolution.

    The main aim of revolution was to replace the king with their own form of government. But such revolutions needed a philosophy of new government which would work for the betterment of the people. Democracy and Marxism were two such popular philosophies. The masses believed in philosophies of their leaders and hence the enthusiasm was at a high and these revolutions were able to set up their governments at a fast pace.

    But democracy being an elected form of government has provided many concessions to the masses. They have rights: rights to assemble, right of expression, right to life etc. Also they have judiciary to intervene on their behalf in form of public interest litigation, mandamus, certiorari etc. Above all they have right to universal adult franchise i.e. the right to choose their own candidate to represent them. Under such circumstance there is no moral backing to go for a revolution. Under proper use of these rights, democracy is self evolving. But, lack of education, economic instability, castism has eroded the basics of democracy. Corruption, immoral practices, poor administration, embezzlement of funds, infringement of privacy etc have become synonymous with democracy. These issues have to be addressed. Thus, social movements have acquired significance.

    Social movements are needed to address the problems of the existing government. They are the movement of common masses. India has a rich culture of social movements. Such movements predates to colonial times, when Raja Ram Mohan Roy started a movement to abolish sati pratha. Other such social movements were abolition of untouchability, remarriage of widows, khilafat movement, civil disobedience movement against salt tax etc. Indian National movement was itself a social movement. We achieved independence owing to a set of social movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. After independence, the JP Movement helped the masses uninstall Indira Gandhi government which had undermined democracy and had imposed emergency on flimsy grounds to perpetuate its existence. This was a huge success of social movements in India.

    Social movement in other parts of the world has also changed the attitude of governments. The movement for women’s right in America, movement against apartheid, movement for voting rights of blacks in America, movement for voting rights of women is some shining examples in the developed world. These social movements have strengthened the democracy in their respective countries.

    In recent times, Arab spring movement of Egyptian democracy has had a grand success. It was able to overthrow the repressive government of President Hosini Mubarak. A new feature of the movement was the use of social media to organize protest rallies and assemblies. Occupy Wall Street movement was started in America to protest against the greed of the financial institutions. It did not bring about any concrete results.

    In India, in recent times, rape and corruption has been a big issue. A mass movement against the rape of a college girl emerged in Delhi. This was a leaderless movementThe government set up Justice Verma committee to make recommendations for prevention of such atrocities against women. But most of the recommendations were ignored and an ordinance was passed. A social movement against corruption was started by Anna Hazare. The demands were for appointment of lokpal to increase transparency and remove corruption. The movement received unprecedented support from the masses. But conflict in upper echelons of the leadership led to demise of the movement. The govt passed a toothless and weak lokpal bill in Lok Sabha which is still to be ratified in Rajya Sabha. The fate of this feeble Lokpal bill seems to go in the same direction as of the previous five lokpal bills, which lapsed due to dissolution of the Lok Sabha.

    Revolution doesn’t have a place in democracy. Social movements have had a mixed response. Some of them brought about changes. But some of them in recent times have also failed to bring about any change. Social movement is a long process. It needs time. It needs breaks for people to gather their strength and fight back. Democracy has given us the power to go for social movements and they may bring about changes, though it may take time.

  • neeraj

    Insights. Please review my essay.

  • lakshmi prasanna

    Globalization impacted inversely to the expectations in rural society. Instead of improving the economic conditions on integrating with international forum it deprived the rural society from socio economic cultural development. Adversely affected the agriculture in India, generated unemployment, and elevated poverty. The fruits of globalization like technology development and creation of powerful human resource is not observed. People are still lacking in rationalized and scientific thought. Cultural influence to eliminate caste and gender disparities was not seen. Thus to purge Indian rural society urgent reforms with planned developmental schemes are required.
    Origin of globalization is not exactly predicted. It is defined in different ways according to the area of role, experiences, applications, and impacts by global intelligentsia. On amalgamating all their views it is found to bring world mutations in the lines, intensifying worldwide social relations, internationalization and spread of international products, intensive and extensive international interactions like integration, interdependence, and homogenation. Interconnection of economic political and cultural ideas worldwide, receding of constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements of people etc. over all globalization is expected to improve economy, exchange technology, free trade, inflow of foreign investments, exchange of human resources etc
    Indicators like secularism individualism, extent of division of labor, density of social relationships and way of life are considered to demarcate a given geographical area as rural or urban. On this basis most of the Indian geographical area is rural where people are mostly dependent on agriculture produce as their economy. Agriculture contributes third place in GDP and 55% employment opportunities. The rural society is classified based on different classes of people which in turn categorized based on demography, economic situations, political participation and cultural levels. The status of the people is different among these classes during pre-independence, pre-globalization and post globalization. The Indian society is finely demarcated as upper class and lower class before independence through reckless British administrative policies. The upper class includes zamindars and money lenders who use to squeeze lower class peasants for revenue taking advantage of tenancy acts. After independence government removed intermediaries and enacted land reform policy for distributing land to landless. Land lords used the loopholes of new provisions and started self cultivation taking land from tenants, causing no land benefit to lower class and losed their livelihood. Without reforming the situations government started globalization and occupied agricultural land in the name of development without proper rehabilitation with all these society further strengthened in its bifurcation.
    The policies which came forward like liberalization of import, withdrawal of subsidies to agriculture, lack of lending facilities and concessions of the banks, introduction of special economic zone system affected rural people further. Government concentrated mostly on improving GDP, rather improving status of people along with that. Different classes responded differently when economic changes interacted with society. Most of the time upper classes are the beneficiaries out of policies. Unemployment, under health conditions, illiteracy, discriminations was the bonus gifted to the lower class.
    . These policies are contradictory to the basic principles provided by constitution to every citizen of India. Fundamental rights providing right of equality is largely exploited. Free trade is mismatching with the Indian welfare program me. Constitution part IV deals with directive principles of state policy are provided to the states to maintain equality among people. States have to plan welfare schemes which facilitate people in improving their status out of continuous problems. On failing to implement DPSP people who can compete with the changing economy is growing rest are impoverished.
    Globalization led Indian rural society into crisis. Liberalized imports caused flood of foreign agricultural products into Indian markets leading to a situation of overproduction. Disparities in prices stopped producing such products in India. In addition to this government withdraw its subsidies to agriculture. Therefore increased cost of production discouraged small farmers continuing farming. Threats by introducing GM croups, herbicide resistant crops etc. most of the times poor small and marginal farmers are the looser. Never we have come across a land lord committing suicide but often witnessed petty poor farmer’s suicide
    Financial liberalization seized lending facilities and concessions of the banks. This practice of nationalized banks forced poor to approach moneylender for money even at high interest rates on mortgaging their property. Due to lack of incentives from government they failed to acquire money and lose their property. Introduction of special economic zone system for industries development and creation of employment the government acquired huge amount of land and deprived them from secured livelihood. People agitated for rehabilitation in the form of movements like jelsatyagraha. Mining activities for exporting Indian goods are enhanced. As a result tribal people are affected.
    Infrastructure development is poor in rural areas. People are still living in mud built houses. Indira awas yojana failed to provide required housing facility to them. Roads are very poor as pradan mantra sadak yojana for connecting rural areas with urban is corrupted. Electricity is not reaching to the need. Technology is failing to play role in rural areas because of improper electricity and communication infrastructure. So students are lacking in technical skills. Sanitation problems like open defecation due to lack of latrines paving ways to health disorders. Unemployment is prevailing. NREGA work providing days are reduced and also delaying payments. Recent days many committed suicide due to this.
    The changing technology did not influence much Indian culture. Rural areas are still preserving their traditional Indian culture. People there still like to dress up in the old fashion. They perform folk dances and listen to their folk songs. Globalization did not influence the standard of life. Their beliefs in untouchability, gender discriminations, are prevailing. The scientific and rational thought didn’t touch their brains so far. Gender discrimination is outstanding by poor sex ratios. The appreciable remark done by globalization was making girls going to school. Women organizations and welfare groups are working hard to empower women.
    Urgent reforms are required to overcome the crisis in rural society. Rationalized land reforms for restoring the livelihood of poor, providing encouraging subsidies to farmers, housing facilities, check to corruption by making transparency and accountability, lending money through banks to handicrafts, checking trade disadvantages, improving exports in place of imports. Sanitation measure for healthy population. Implementing NREGA strictly to avoid further suicides. Educating people for removing social ills and empowering women.

    • lakshmi prasanna

      sir please comment. finding any improvement?

      • lakshmi prasanna

        sir eager to know whether i became khajuraho guide or not?

        • Lakshmi,

          I will definitely go through. 🙂 Excited to see how well you guide me!

        • Lakshmi Prasanna,

          It is a good essay. You have taken a stand in your introduction and defended it with good arguments till the end. Though more of economic aspects are there, you have still managed to provide socio-cultural aspects too. As your stars indicate, it is a good essay. Anyway, there is always scope for improvement. 🙂

          • lakshmi prasanna

            thanks sir u are right i’m still in infant stage and i need to develop in many dimensions but one thing is true in developing so ur valuable words are showing directions to me. really u are adding meaning to my preparation. my sincere thanks to you for everything

  • Nikku

    Globalization is a term that originated in the 20th century. It is used to describe an economic phenomenon where the Nation-States reduce their trade barrier in order to foster deeper economic ties and knit the world together in a global economic village.
    If observed in a broader context, the phenomenon has existed for centuries. Since no civilization can be self sufficient, trade relations has existed since the beginning of civilization. And any trade relation inevitably leads to socio-cultural interchanges thereby possessing inherent elements of globalization in them.
    Infact the history of India, and its rural society has been written with the ink of globalization. From the Harappan civilization itself, there had been trade exchanges with Mesopotamia and social and cultural exchanges took place. Later the coming of Aryans established the infamous caste system, that has continued to this day. Turkish, Mongolian, Persian invasion while looting India of its wealth also had social and cultural impacts. The establishment of Mughal dynasty changed the fabric of rural and urban india forever.
    The biggest mark, however, was left by two centuries of colonialization by the Britishers that for the first time subjugated even the villages.

    Post Independence, India initially adopted a very inward looking approach and reduced the impact with the outside world to the bare minimum. However, a financial crisis in 1991 forced it to open up its economy and itself to globalization.
    Post 1991, there has been an accelerated interaction with the globe, and although an economic phenomenon, it has its effect in socio-politico-cultural fabric as well.

    Agriculture is the biggest employer in the rural areas, and has a prepotent impact on the rural society. Globalization has had mixed repercussion as far as agriculture is concerned. While on one hand, it has led to infusion of some new technologies, better quality of seeds on the other hand it has also impacted the cropping patterns of the country.
    Instead of catering only to the domestic markets, farmers are now targeting the global market and growing crops that are in demand internationally. It has helped in raising the income of some farmers. However, an unintended adverse effect could be on the food security. The lowering of import duty, due to multilateral obligations, too have negatively impacted some section of farmers growing those crops.
    Post globalization, the focus and priority has made a significant tilt towards urban areas and industries. This has adversely impacted investment in infrastructure related to agriculture. Off-late, there seems to be a realization in the govt circles of this and agriculture is once again starting to attract the attention that it righfully deserves. But the damage has already been done, it seems.
    Globalization has also widened the gap that existed between urban and rural areas in terms of opportunities of employment, wage level etc. This has led to an unprecedented beeline for urban areas. Although, it has added to the income of rural families, it has also had the adverse consequence of draining rural areas from skills of these people and have perpetuated the poverty in villages.
    Another cause of migration is the accentuated inequalities, that is a side effect of globalization. Working solely on market principles, globalization has favoured the already developed area at the expense of under-developed regions. This has resulted in greater unrest in some areas and an increase in relative depriviation for some rural socities.
    Globalization has had a negative influence on the small scale industries that were present in rural areas. By flooding the market from cheap imported goods, it has made the products of these industries less competitive.

    Another feature of globalization is the advent of Multi National Corporation (MNCs). These companies have gained significant political and economic clout and exploited the rural areas of their natural resources. They have scant regard for the environment and pollute it in an unchecked manner ( eg: Coca-cola’s pumping of groundwater etc). India has seen several protests in the rural areas against such policies of MNCs, as village society consider the environment as sacred with their livelihood depending on it. Issues of rehabilitation and resettlement in case of mining too are reported with reglarity. A need is felt for making of a holistic legal and political framework that provides adequate safeguards for the rural population against MNCs. The LARR bill pending in the parliament could be a solution to this.

    On the social front, the McDonalidization of society that had started decades back in Urban society, is now making way to rural societies as well.
    The easy access of multiple brands of good and their competetive pricing have enabled villagers to improve their standard of living. Goods that were earlier considered as luxury can now be seen in most households.
    Globalization has also impacted the value system of the society. The breakneck speed with which the liberal ideas have washed the rural society is unprecedented and it has led to emergence of poly-normativism and a confused generation that is trapped between primordial and new values.
    While some have been flexible and adopted these values, with a few modification of their own to suit the local needs, others have vehemently opposed it. The penetration of hollywood movies via interned and cd/ dvds in rural society is seen as corrupting the youth. A rise of cultural nationalism from a section of society can easily be observed in any rural society at present.
    Globalization has also led to improvement of the women folks in their social standing. The liberal values have worked to erode some of the rigidness that the society had nurtured within it for years against women.
    The migration of people to urban areas have also led to emergence of dis-jointed families, where a part of the household lives in city and other part in the village, with the city folks supplementing the income of the village family.
    A positive effect of globalization has been the increased importance given to education in rural areas. People have realized that to catch the bus of globalization, they need to be rightly skilled and the age-old inhibition against education as being a wastage of time and resource is now being shed and it is being seen in the light of investment.
    Politically, globalization has raised some uncomfortable questions. The most recent one being the FDI in multi-brand retail which has failed to acquire a political consensus. Some parties see it as improving the plight of farmers by reducing middlemen and improving technologies, whereas other feel that it would further aggravate the exploitation.
    Time and again, globalization has thrown such challenging proposition and it is for the political class to deal with it in a matured fashion.

    We can observe that globalization has had multi-dimensional impacts on the rural society. While it has raised several challenges, it has also brought in a plethora of opportunities. For eg: The income inequality has increased, but at the same time absolute poverty has declined. Similarly, small scale rural industries have been adversely affected, but it has also opened several international markets for India where demand for Indian handicraft could be leveraged.
    Globalization is a potent tool. While some feel that it is disguised agenda of neo-exploitation by the west, we must shed such prejudices and instead work towards encashing the opportunity that it brings. If used wisely, it could open up a sea of avenues for our rural folks and add another front for our struggle against poverty, unemployment etc.

    • Nikku

      Insights, please review.

  • Globalisation and rural society in India

    India is mainly an agrarian economy and about 70% of its population resides in rural areas and villages which contribute around 15% of GDP through its agriculture and allied sector. So any integration of Indian economy will have wider ramifications for both rural areas and its social, political and economic fabric. Rural life in India was characterized by self sufficient geographical unit following traditional way of life before the advent of globalization. Since the economic reforms of 1991 which led to liberalization, privatization and globalization, there have been implications on rural society which are both pathological and normal.
    It helped in mainstreaming rural society with the urban India and global world to an extent, helped in creating a more informed society and brought paradigm shift in education, devolution of power and technological reach. On the other hand, disproportionate economic prosperity in various parts induced pathological stains in the form of widespread migration, coerced land acquisitions, suicides of farmers, ever squeezing agricultural land leading to a disjunction between little tradition and great tradition of India.
    After globalization, Indian economy in general and rural areas in particular was opened up for quick development, increased income and standard of living. It was contented that the fruits of globalization will automatically trickle down to rural areas leading to better developments indicators. However in the long run, it led to a rural-urban divide of India. Most of the MNCs concentrated on leveraging the urban resources as more skilled manpower was available there. This led to growth in certain pockets leading to backwardness in most areas. Further it eroded the demographic base of rural society as more and more people migrated towards towns and cities for better life and income.
    Further globalization is based upon the principle of laissez faire which led to indiscriminate exploitation of resources for generation of wealth. This led to overuse of village land rendering them barren through mining. It also led to eviction of peasants from their land. Other factors like introduction of GMO crops in certain pockets of Maharashtra, cheap import of agricultural products from other countries etc took the toll over rural society. All these factors directly and indirectly led to suicides by farmers.
    Globalisation has also impacted the tribal society and its cultural identity in a big way. The trespassing of multi-national companies in these areas not only led to dissolution of most of tribal communities but also threatened their cultural identities, languages which a constitutional right. In addition to that the deforestation, absence of rehabilitation has led the death of their traditional earning and livelihood.
    However on the positive note, it generated a lot of avenues for rural India. Globalisation led to breakdown of castes barrier to a large extent in the rural society. It led to change in the village social structure. It also rapidly transformed village society from subsistence based to market based. The competition without frontiers provided the choice to farmers to sell their produce anywhere at competitive prices. This led to increased income.
    On the economic side, it led to the abolition of intermediaries like zamindars and money lenders and created new institutions like banks that provide formal credit to the farmers at cheaper rates. More credit facilities coupled with saving avenues has increased their income and repayment options. Globalization helped in providing the desired technology to agricultural sector and government is contemplating second green revolution in eastern region. Further global best practices on agriculture and organic farming has been accelerated in various rural parts in India.
    The globalization has led to more devolution of power to the villages after 73rd C.A. Act 1992. This not only empowered rural life politically but also helped in creating gender sensitization at the grass root level. It bridged the gap between government and people and they can have say in decision making with regard to various policies in the era of globalization that impact their environment and cultural and social milieu.
    Cropping up of various non-governmental organization which provide them skills and training for better employment opportunities and mushrooming of small, medium industries in the country side increased their income, improved their living standards. The technological transformation has created a better informed society. The media and telecommunication has helped them to increase their knowledge about the day to day issues in different context. Globalisation provided more representative governance. The newer forms of technology like AADHAR cards and other IT enabled services led to last mile connectivity and provided the services at the doorstep making life for easy. Fast means of transport and infrastructure like roads and electricity has definitely improved their developments indicators. The globalization has led government to enact various legislations to provide roads, sanitation, drinking water, rural households and other services at affordable cost to the rural people under its socialist policy.
    The formation of SHGs is the product of globalization which empowered the women and was able to break the patriarchal mindset infesting village life. These SHGs are tied to various industries in the towns and cities which created an income base for these women.
    Hence, Globalization has changed the face of rural India. The change has been drastic and positive. Rural economy is the backbone of India and the impact of globalization has catapulted India as one of the global superpowers. However rural India must tread cautiously on the path of globalization as its negative effects can prove to be catastrophic

  • Nirmal Singh

    Post 1991 globalization became a new buzz word in Indian society. The need for reforms and a prerequisite condition to correct the economic crisis compelled India to open its borders to world. After 22 eventful years it is interesting to see its role in envisaging transformations in Indian society especially rural. Considering the fact that 70% of populations still resides in villages, the relationship between both becomes more critical. Two parallel views have emerged over the years. One is of the opinion that it has culturally, economically and politically hijacked rural society arguing against its continuity. Other seems more optimistic and sees its relevance in continuing rural growth eradicating social evils and strengthening democracy. One must accept that its nature and impact is difficult to gauge in such a short time but if one has to keep past 22 years as a guide then it becomes clear that to analyze its relationship with rural society in black and white would be oversimplification and deserves a holistic and fresh outlook revisiting the interconnections in present context.
    The globalization acted like a spring boat for ‘Bharat’ multidimensional Development. The consumption patterns have changed. The accessibility and affordability to luxury items coupled with more choices has been an added advantage. The telephone density has increased. Farmers have gained increased bargaining power demanding more prices from MNCs. The agro industries, supply chain strengthening like cold stores, warehouses and export has further given economic boost. The newly set up industries provided much needed economic stability through diversification and increased job opportunities. The recent decision to allow FDI in multibrand with condition for sourcing raw material from farmers and bid to improve backend infrastructure can be a potential game changer.
    The economic push soon translated into social empowerment. Modernization of education, communication modes and new technology gave social character to globalization. People began to challenge orthodox traditions drifting towards scientific and reformist outlook albeit slowly and unevenly. The health indicators improved .New social projects are taken in collaborations with foreign partners. The women have been the major beneficiary gaining increased economic and social independence. Poverty has shown a major decline. The villages got global reorganization owing to their traditional crafts excellence and some have been able to get Geographic Trade indications. Tourism is another area which got boost owing to rich cultural diversity and traditions in Indian countryside.
    The advent of technology like internet has made democracy closer to rural people and more aware of their rights. The recent decision to connect all panchayati through high speed optical fibres is a welcome step and will strengthen democratic credentials. The successful democratic models of other country became a role model emphasizing devolution and principal of subsidiary. The people to people contact through informal and formal means facilitated sharing of political experience thereby striving for inclusive democracy.
    Having said that, one must realize that same is not devoid of ills. Contrary to its objective of homogeneous and balanced growth it has increased inequity widening the gap between ‘have’ and ‘have not’s’. The trickledown effect has failed to deliver .The dumping of cheap goods and overwhelming markets with low priced agricultural commodities has proved detrimental to domestic farmer’s interests. Recently corporate farming has emerged as another issue concerning farmers. Further the WTO Clause and trading rules on subsidy prevented India from saving its farmers from unhealthy competition. Traditional crafts have been worst hit by the same. The recent case of Vedanta in Niyamgiri hills overriding constitutional guarantees to tribals under forest rights act smacks of political overreach through unwarranted foreign party influence.
    There seems to be a genuine fear of cultural invasion through excessive use of means like internet. The westernization is held responsible as major cause of cultural extinction. For e.g. excessive use of English has reduced the importance of vernacular languages and local dialects to inferior status
    The highly individualistic western world is gradually alienating the rural generation from family structure so intrinsic to Indian society. Further ever-increasing migration has huge social ramifications. The low paid migrants from villages to other country find it difficult to get entry due to strict visa regimes. The introduction of GM crops from foreign companies like Monsanto has caused a series of suicides among farmers in different parts of the country. Another major issue is land acquisition in blatant disregard for Gram Sabhas causing rehabilitation and livelihood problems .The Bharat and India seems to be two distinct poles of the same magnet considering the biased nature of globalization towards cities. Even the disparities among villages are highly uneven.
    The ecological impact is even worse. The natural resources of villages like forestland, lakes are exploited for commercial purposes like mining. Invasive species has made danger of crop failure and endemic fauna more imminent. The mixing of GM crops with normal breed has raised concerns for increased resistance towards herbicides.
    Having taken into account concerns of both sides it must be realized that conceptualizing the complex relation between rural society and globalization into water tight compartments or Black-Blue scale would essentially means bypassing other equally important factors whose interplay causes globalization to act against or in favour. For e.g. The same globalization has caused effective reduction in poverty and inequity levels of Brazil and China but Inequity in India has increased on the contrary. This is due to different government policies and approaches. Obstructing globalization would essentially means putting clocks backward and keeping the present state of globalization unchanged would imply inability to learn from mistakes. The more pragmatic approach would be to realign factors like policies and leveraging strengths so that globalization becomes a facilitator for limitless possibilities for rural growth.

    • Nirmal Singh

      Feedback most welcome!

      • Nirmal Singh

        Sir I have a query regarding essay. While making structure of essay , I have many points but i am unable to explain these in detail.As a result my word limit does not even sometimes cross minimum level i.e.1000 like in the present essay .Please suggests some solution in such a scenario…..Further it will be helpful if you can suggest further improvement in the present essay …………………………….Eagerly awaiting your reply.

        • Nirmal,

          As I have observed over many days, you have mastered the skill of telling many things in very few words – which is a gift. Even this essay, though short, has all the qualities of a good essay. It is concise, effective, tight and balanced. I don’t see any negatives here. Having said that, taking cue from what you said, I want to say that you could have given some more details about how globalization and liberalization has affected the caste structure and women empowerment in villages.

          An essay with 800+ words is ok. If you have good arguments backed by logic and evidences, sky is the limit. 🙂

  • P.A

    The book view of varna system is totally different from the field view meaning , varna system which divided “traditional society” on the basis of occupation (book view) was slowly and steadily turned into a division based on ” institutionalised means of exploitation” as the society evovled into modernisation . Dalits also known as “shudras” were always the most neglected class of the society since Vedic age. This negligence and exploitation was slowly consolidated with the rise of greater hegemony of upper classes like brahmins. Though very much less was done before independence for the empowerment of dalits , India after independence saw a very much genuine effort by the forefathers of our constitution not missing to mention Dr. B R Ambedkar vision of empowering dalits through the institution of education .

    Empowerment can be defined as ” confidence ” which a person enjoys on his or her socio , political , economical or educational rights. Dalit empowerment and education is tit for tat relation.They have been fighting since centuries for their recognition in the society of which they are a part of. But still after celeberating 66 independence years there is a big question mark on their development issues. Many suggestions like “Hypergamy” , “sanskritization ” is on the table for caste mobility in our Indian society but somewhere it loses the very essence of meaning of empowerment . Why the word “Dalit” gives us the notion of backwardness , stagnation ,poverty , uneducational background but not the notion of development , growth , educated youths like the notion we get when using the word “rajputs” or “brahmins”. The solution to this problem is many but the most important among them is the means of “education ” – not just primary level but a higher level education which would provide a milestone in the recognition of the dalits. Ambedkar said “Education is something, which ought to be brought within the reach of everyone. The policy of the department therefore, ought to be to make higher education as cheap to the lower classes as it can possible be made.”

    Education among Dalits would bring an era of whole new inclusive growth . Reservation policy in education was concluded as a means to achieve this goal. Though after so many years after its implementation benefits have reached to only few sections which may be the result of the negligence on the part of central or the state government in its implementation. If properly implemented the young Indian dalits would not had to be dependent on the policy of reservation.

    Education empowers the youth to speak for their rights , questioning the well established dogmas of the society . It makes them more aware of the laws and rights guaranted to them by Indian constitution. Being educationally empowered the choice of their vocation would not have been dependent on choice of others and thus would make them an independent being enjoying freedom which has been denied to them since centuries. The best example is ” Milind Kamble ” a Dalit industrialist whose Dalit indian chamber of commerce and industry stands an example how education can change the life of Dalits.

    Lastly education as a tool to empower dalits will not be a reality until and unless people change their “traditional thinking” and strive for a society based on equality without any exploitation and realise that each and every person is capable of creating a positive change in the society .

    • P.A

      insight please give your valuable suggestions

      • P.A.

        It is a very good essay.

        Introductions is superb. So is the conclusion. However there was scope for including many more dimensions such as historical injustices in the form of systematic denial of education to Dalits andVarious social reforms movements and their efforts at bringing Dalits to mainstream through education.

        Overall, it is concise and effective in conveying the message.

  • neeraj

    Education and Dalit Empowerment

    All people are born equal and they should be treated equal. Dalits being one of the oppressed classes in India have been through much. Many reformers and reform movements during the past few centuries have tried to get rid of this menace. Education has been one of the main facets of this reform movement. Still a large portion of the dalit community remains uneducated. Partial success has been achieved to ameliorate the caste system but still the menace has firm roots in our society. Endogamy is strictly adhered to. Education has the ability to change the mindset of the people by making them a rational human being. Also it helps in economic development of the human being. Education can be a big tool for the dalit empowerment.

    India is a land of religions. Many religions were born and many found home in this land. Hinduism was one of them. Hindu was initially a geographical area around the river Sindhu. Aryans settled in the north part of India at around 2000 BC. They brought with them the caste system. The system was divided on the basis of work. It was a loosely defined system and change of caste was permitted. But with the passage of time, the caste system became rigid. The lower caste people (Dalits) were not permitted to mingle freely with upper class people.
    There have been many religious leaders like Buddha, Surdas, etc. who have spoken against the caste system. But the real impetus was given to the reform movements after the advent of the British rule. Thus began a movement against this cast oppression by some of the reformers during the colonial times. Many reform movements like Prarthana Samaj founded by Keshab Chandra, Arya Samaj by Dayananda Saraswati, etc denounced caste system and worked against it. In South India, Veda Samaj’s Keshabchanra, Swaminarayan Guru were some of the important leaders who made contribution to do away with the caste system.

    Later, during the freedom struggle, Gandhiji took upon himself to get rid of the caste system. To do away with the ignominy and humiliation of the untouchable, he coined the term “Harizan” i.e. men of God to denote these people. He took vigorous campaign in the south with Periyar and in other parts of India for the upliftment of the dalit people. Due to his untiring efforts, temples and public wells were opened to the dalits. B.R. Ambedkar, the drafter of our constitution, a great advocate and a great leader, fought for the cause of his people. The constitution he drafted gave special privileges for the upliftment of the dalit people.

    After, sixty seven years of independence, the dalit people have yet to earn the respect and economic independence that our forefathers dreamt. Still more than 75% dalits live in villages. A huge population still is uneducated. Most of the dalit families are below poverty line. Manual scavenging has still not been eliminated. And most of the manual scavengers are Dalits. Recent death of three out of four dalit scavengers while cleaning the sewers of the Indira Gandhi University in Delhi is a slap in the face of those who say that their state has zero manual scavengers. Endogamy is widely practiced and intercaste marriage is frowned upon. The recent tragic case of a Dalit boy getting married to a Vanniyar girl created ripples in our society. It culminated in suicide of the dalit boy. Dalit womens have been raped and paraded naked for petty reasons by the upper caste dabangs. Even the police refused to lodge complaint against these upper class people and only in some instances where the media intervened complaints were lodged. These cases point to the schism in our society and the way they are discriminated against. Education can provide them with knowledge of their rights to defend themselves against the social discriminations.

    The economic condition of the dalit community is not quite good. A large portion of the dalit community still lives under poverty line. Due to lack of skills and education, they are forced to take up menial jobs like manual scavenging on railway tracks, dry latrines, laborers etc. Education can provide them with necessary skills to get better jobs. Though they have been provided reservations in Civil Services and other govt. jobs, still the condition of the dalit community has not risen. This is partially because once they get into govt. job, they are too busy improving their own economic conditions than thinking about their community. Yet some progress has taken place. Many dalits have made forays in high paying govt. and private jobs. A few have even become entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur Milind Kamble founded Dalit Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(DICCI)in 2012 .He terming Dalit entrepreneurship as “Dalit capitalism”, and stressed the need for using this as a powerful tool for fighting caste-based discrimination. Some people have cricised this move of a caste based entrepreneur organisation as it will increase the schism between the upper and lower caste and will help in promoting the caste based organisations who might mobilise such organisations for political mileage.

    Constitution has also provided for political empowerment of the dalit community. It has reserved 15% seats for the dalit community in the panchayat election. Also, seats have been reserved for the community in legislative and parliamentary election. But, the empowerment has not trickled down cause the leaders forget to work for the welfare of their community. Rather they are busy erecting statues of B. R. Ambedkar and political symbols, making parks etc rather than doing genuine work for the empowerment of the people. Also, elected representative follow party lines and relegate the work for dalit in the back burner.
    B.R. Ambedkar stated, “Education is something which ought to be brought within the reach of everyone.” Education makes a person rational. It can empower them in two ways, firstly by bringing about a change in thinking and perspective and secondly by providing them means for a better earning. A radical change in thinking is a much needed solution for the social empowerment of the people. It helps in educating them rationally and prepares for the challenges in breaking down the shackles of the caste system. It will help them gain knowledge about the constitutional safeguards provided to them and help them resist and stand up to the upper class dabangs. Education in itself has an empowering effect. It brings in a heightened sense of self respect. Also it will help the upper class people to understand that their dalit brethren are no less of a human being themselves. Education has helped bridge the gap between classes and castes. It’s a common sight now that students of different community share food from the same plate. Also love marriages among educated students are in vogue which helps in breaking the caste system. This will help in emancipation of social evils of caste system.

    Education will also help in providing a better means of earning. It will equip them with necessary skill sets for a white collared job. It will help them in making better decision for their future. It will provide them with options for choosing from a diverse set of jobs. Also, it will help them move to urban areas in search of job where caste discrimination is less practiced and also provides anonymity from caste system.

    Education will also help them know about their right as provided in constitutions. It will also help them in knowing about legislations like Protection of Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes (prevention of Atrocities act, 1989), commissions like National commission for Scheduled Castes, positive discrimination as in reservation for scheduled castes, constitutional authorities like Commissioner for SC and ST etc. Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 is a welcome step to get rid of manual scavenging. It will help in better working conditions of the manual scavengers. Thus education can empower them by providing them knowledge about their rights.

    Education can be an effective tool of augmenting and widening democratic participation. It can help the people to make a rational decision to which candidate really represents them and not letting caste considerations and freebies cloud their judgments.
    Several government schemes have been initiated by the Govt. for education of the dalit community. Right to Education Act provides for free education till the age of 14 years. Sarva Siksha abhiyan is a flagship program to achieve this aim at primary level. Scheme for construction and running of Girl’s hostel for secondary and higher secondary schools have been started for providing hostel facility to Girl students of SC/ST/OBC community.

    Article 46 states that “The state shall promote, with special care, the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and in particular the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms for social exploitation. Article 330, 332, 335, 338 to 342 provides for safeguarding the educational interests of the SC and ST students.They have been provided reservation for admission in schools and colleges. Also, their school and college fee has been drastically reduced as compared to general candidate students. Scholarship programs for dalits are in place. “Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education” scheme was launched in 2008-09 with the objective to reduce drop outs and to promote the enrolment of girl child belonging to SC/ST communities in secondary schools and ensure their retention till 18 years of age. Other scholarships schemes are also in place.

    Gyan Darshan Channel is a channel totally dedicated for providing education to the students who cannot afford to go to school. Correspondance courses by IGNOU and other organizations are another means of getting education.

    “We may forego material benefits, but we cannot forego our rights and opportunities to reap the benefits of highest education to the fullest extent.”- B. R Ambedkar. Education can help in the social, political and economic empowerment of the depressed class and dalit section in particular.

    • neeraj

      Insights. Please give your valuable comments. I think I am still having problems with structuring. Please give some guidelines regarding it.

      • Neeraj,

        It is a good essay. Yes, proper structure is missing. By structure it is meant that there should be a smooth flow of ideas from Introduction to the conclusion and between paragraphs. In your essay, thoughts oscillate between different paragraphs.

        For example, immediately after the introduction I would have written Ambedkar’s quote you have mentioned in the sixth paragraph (B.R. Ambedkar stated, “Education is something which ought to be brought within the reach of everyone.” Education makes a person rational)

        After introduction you start dealing about the religions and how they gave birth to caste system etc. Fine, but in your introduction education is stressed and taking cue from the last sentence of your introduction, it is logical to mention Ambedkar’s quote – which brings immense value to your essay.

        When you start a new paragraph, take lead from the last sentence of the previous paragraph. The flow will be smooth and reader won’t find it difficult to read even a lengthy essay.

        • neeraj

          thanks insights.. what about the content?? did i miss anything?? was it a lengthy essay?? do i need to be more economical with the words?

  • Sunitha

    Education and Dalit Empowerment
    Caste System which is in existence in India from ancient times, is a division of society traditionally based on occupation and family lineage. Dalit’s who are at the lowest level of caste hierarchy, are the people on whom inhumane and unjust restrictions are imposed and are exploited to the highest level. Dalit’s who constitute 16% of the country’s population still struggle to achieve social equality.

    Education can be seen as a means of empowering socially and economically deprived groups into communities seeking political reforms. Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual ,political, social, educational, gender or economical strength of individuals. Bhimraj Ramji Ambedkar was one of the most important Dalit activist who believed that increasing educational access of Dalit’s would increase their empowerment. He thought that a higher level of education would cause the Dalit’s to realize their rights, to aspire to highest position and also consequently use political power and influence as a means to end their oppression. Many reasons are suggested why Dalit’s suffer from low rates of literacy but the most realistic one describes history and unequal access as the causes.

    The main intent of reservation policy was to assure empowerment of Dalit’s, but the benefits of reservation policy have not fully reached the Dalit’s because of the poor quality of implementation. Also the private sector that attracts 90% of the job market doesn’t implement reservation in recruitment. As a part of constitutional obligation the reservation strategy was restricted only to public sector. If properly addressed and implemented the reservation policy in education can be a effective tool for the empowerment of Dalit’s.

    Empowerment in Dalit’s will help them to be aware of their rights, fight. against their oppression . Moreover education will help them to increase their standard of living as well as is a tool to escape from the ill clutches of caste system.

    Government of India have initiated several measures to increase the educational status of Dalit’s. Right to education is a mile stone in that. Government also provides scholar ship schemes for Dalit students as well as free hostel facilities. NGO’s like Dalit foundation also play a vital role in promoting education in Dalit’s.
    If the real transformation of Dalit should happen , the change has to happen within the society. The traditional attitude of the society towards Dalit should change and the people should work for a society which grants egalitarian rights to all irrespective of their caste by birth.

  • please correct me since I am new to isights

    • Sunitha,

      Good introduction. Third and fourth paragraphs talk about ’empowerment’. Focus should be on how education has helped them.

      You should begin the essay by explaining how education was systematically denied to Dalits and how social movements, national movement, post-independence governments, Dalit movements, and regional parties helped Dalits in attaining modest level of education.

  • Education and Dalit Empowerment

    Caste system in India is the most prevalent and pervasive of all the classification of social stratification. The division of society on the basis of birth in a particular caste had led to the growth a hierarchical social system driven by the principle of purity and pollution and growth of social inequality which subsequently infested to the political and economic system. The higher caste consisting of Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishyas oppressed the lower castes that were also called as dalits. This subjugation is both historic and contemporary which led dalits to go for menial and polluting jobs leading perpetuation of their outcaste characteristic and pauperization of dalits. However, the advent of British rule and consequent development of rational thought and scientific temper due to modern education questioned these social prejudices and advocated for elimination of these social ills and biases from the society mainly through reform movements based on educational empowerment that changed the scenario of Indian society to a great extent
    Education is the mainstay of the development of a logical, rational and intellectual mind and it helps in increasing the consciousness of a person and his productivity, labor. Many scholars and advocate of dalit movements argue that social mobility is nothing but the product of education. M.N. Srinivas advocates that process of sanskritization through education leads to change in the ritual position of a person in the caste ladder. He consider that education help in the mobility of a person in the secular hierarchy which subsequently lead to change in the ritual sphere thereby creating a platform for social change. Other protagonist of dalit empowerment like B R Ambedkar and the likes of Gail Omvedt argue that education is a quintessential for the growth of assertive, innovative and empowered dalits. Mahatama Gandhi also advocated for the education of dalits in his program of constructive works for the growth of a rational and all inclusive society.
    Looking into the merits of education various social reformers opened schools and colleges for dalits in the 19th century. This led to great mobilization of dalits especially in south India and many dalits gained prominent position in different political and social sphere of the society. After independence India adopted a pragmatic approach of free and compulsory education to all as a directive principle of state policy. It seeks to provide primary education to all irrespective of caste or any other discrimination in order to empower the most oppressed and marginalized sections of the society. At the higher levels of education structure, government encourages the enrolments of dalits through its scholarship programs and other intervention schemes. The reservation of seats for dalits in educational institutions through constitutional amendments and as a fundamental right also provided a framework for the breakdown of caste system and thereby the empowerment of a more rational and productive dalit youth.
    The advent of globalization has really impacted the empowerment of dalits. Educational empowerment defines the status of a person in the globalised village. As globalization and global leading companies recruit employees on the basis of merit, more and more educationally empowered youth are getting a fair job leading to change in the political and economic sphere of the society. The caste is fast converging into class. This social change is nothing but the product of more informed and educated dalit youths. Thus education has been able to bring in the change of social status of the dalits who are joining these institutions on the basis of their educational capabilities.
    Education is also necessary for the empowerment of dalits about their political and constitutional rights. Only if they are properly educated and have knowledge about their rights, they can challenge the atrocities committed against them. Many laws have been passed by the government but as most of the dalits are oblivious about these laws or are not able to read them due to educational backwardness, this is creating a fissure between the present and future. It provides sufficient knowledge about the government policies and their implications. It also helps in the understanding of cultural heritage and constitutional ideals. The education of dalits helped in wider participation in the grass root level organization like panchayat raj institutions which also increased their decision making power.
    Education also helped in the emancipation of dalit women to a large degree. It led to the breakdown of social roles of dalit women about the daily chores and as a servicewoman of the family. It has provided them with opportunities for better access to wages and more financial inclusion through various self help groups. It also provided them with the awareness and information regarding their rights and brought about a sense of security in their mind. Education helped in breakdown of child marriages in lower castes. In addition it also helped in better access to medical and pregnancy health of dalit women thereby decreasing their mortality rates. Thus education helped in mitigating the gender gap in the society though in a slow and phased manner.
    However in certain pockets of the country, cultural segregation of the dalit children is still visible. The children coming out from dalit community are not allowed to sit and eat with children of higher caste thereby impacting their productive capacity. Various other Marxist scholars point out that education is nothing but the false consciousness injected into the minds of dalits by the dominant groups in order to mitigate the prospect of any caste based mobilization or revolution thereby endangering their interest. These arguments are tenuous and do not reflect the present contemporary reality.
    Thus, in order to encapsulate it can be said that education is a vehicle of modernity and is the fountain head of social change. It promotes equality among different sections of the society offering them identical position in different spheres of life. Birth makes people different but modern education brings equality among them. It is the education that eliminates primordial distinctions among people and brings in the criticality in man’s mind and accelerate mobility in every structure of the society.

  • Nirmal Singh

    The gain of Independence from colonial has been more of a paradox .It is indeed a irony that on the eve of independence, a section of people still remained prisoners to their past much to the grand vision of our forefathers. Nothing has plagued Indian society more adversely the way casteism did. Contrary to general belief the word ‘dalit’ not only includes Hindus but also Muslims, Tribals, Christians in broader way. After ordeal of centuries, a ray of hope begins to emerge at the end of dark tunnel. Lately, ‘Education’ is hailed as the new panacea to cure historic injustice and a new tool for empowerment. The constitution has provided certain guarantees like fundamental rights and directive policies to implement it. It will be interesting to see how lack of the same has perpetuated exploitation in the past and factors fuelling it. At the same time significance of education towards holistic empowerment cannot be overemphasized. The road lying ahead is bumpy and challenging and need to be taken into account while devising any strategy. The government along with civil society has introduced innovative schemes pioneering new initiatives. Moreover the country has a wider stake in such a mission to empowerment to enhance its growth and democratic credentials.
    The empowerment essentially means having power to self determination and creating more choices. The same can only be realized when there is conducive environment and one is aware of one’s rights. Only an educated and self aware person is capable to demand the same. It is in this context education can act as trail blazer for the growth of dalits. It is a social obligation which no civilized country can neglect. Before preceding further to gauge its potential, one must realize how the lack of access to same in the past has breaded evil and made our forefathers to realize its importance.
    Way to back to ancient era, what Manu called Verna system became a root cause of social segregation binding dalits to their predetermined destinies. Gradually they became alienated from so called upper society having access to every luxury and necessity including education. This alienation from education forced them to do manual labour causing economic and social deprivation driving vicious cycle. The higher post posts were reserved for high castes. They virtually become invisible politically. The state ruled by king with upper class Rajputs and Brahmans provided legitimacy to same. It continued throughout medieval period until colonial rule when personalities like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Vivekananda, Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr B R Ambedkar finally realized that same was perpetuating colonial raj. The dalit education became cornerstone of Gandhian strategy during constructive phases. Dr BR Ambedkar envisioned a classless society and regarded education as an important tool to realize it. With such historic backdrop, it is easy to imagine how education can act as catalyst for multifaceted growth of dalits.
    The education has multidimensional character and takes a holistic and integrated approach towards growth. To make things simple it is to study its gains separately i.e. economic, social and political heads, yet one must not forget that education is much complex affair where various dimensions corresponds to each other, connected more like a web influencing and reinforcing each other. The inherent nature of education is directed towards individual growth. One must remember that Gandhiji idea of swaraj is intimately linked with it and considers individual as the ultimate unit, ‘an end in itself’ and education as a ‘mean’ to achieve the same. The advent of western education along with reinterpretation of old scriptures has been homogenising society. The globalization further strengthened the same. The urbanization has raised their social status owing to its education credentials and cities have been less biased towards the same as compared to rural areas. On economic front the gains are more evident. The schemes like Mid Day meal programme, KGBY,SSA has facilitated social intermixing. The so called ‘dalits’ have been major beneficiaries of economic growth. The economic opportunities provided by education have reduced the income gap. They are contributing massively to country economy. The vocational education has made them self sufficient and economically independent. The women empowerment among dalits is a notable feature through SHGs which enables to get equipped with know-how of modern knowledge in their field. The political gains through education have made them self aware of their rights. They have become active participants in growth rather than passive recipients of entitlements. it ushered a new era where democracy is transitioning towards participatory model rather than elective model where one was expected to only exercise one’s power once in five years. Gradually they are becoming masters of their own destiny. Education in a way has literally opened plethora of opportunities yielding more ground for political empowerment.
    Government and civil society has been pioneering the efforts to realize the ideals and vision our forefathers of has envisaged. The constitution aptly recognizing the need for paradigm shift provide for several important provisions relevant for educational empowerment. The right to equality, right to public employment with reservations for dalits, right to education and progressive provisions under Directive principles of State policies are worth mentioning here. The government has introduced various legislations to give effect to the same. The RTE has revolutionised the access to education albeit amidst some problems. Various schemes like KGBY, SSA, Mid day meal scheme are some of the success stories. Further special initiatives like matriculation scholarships, Rajiv Gandhi overseas scholarships, free hostels, free registration with no fee for competitive exams, and special coaching needs no mention. The recent initiative to connect panchayati raj institutions with fibre optics will empower dalits in such a knowledge based society and is welcome steps. The efforts by civil society groups like NGOs needs special mention here and have been instrumental to made education accessible to last mile. The special programmes through under corporate responsibility like by Aziz Premji and Reliance are laudable.
    Inspite of such achievements there is lot of ground to cover. The ride is not as smooth as it seems. There are major concerns which need attention. The accessibility and affordability is still far from inadequate. Even measure like RTE failed to take shape owing to schools unwillingness to recognize it in absence of any incentives. The dropout rate among dalits especially high inspite of Mid Day meal scheme. The nature of education is more of theoretical type than vocational and practical as is demand of today’s industry. The lack of infrastructure and specially trained teachers is another gray area. The traditional and orthodox mindset has prevented society to acknowledge the same. There is still a backlog in vacancies of government schools and universities reserved for dalits. The situation is grimmer in rural areas. The need of the hour is break the status quo through community involvement. Schools should be incentivised through economic means like lax taxation. There should be capacity building among teachers and infrastructure should be provided. There is need for transition towards need oriented education. The panchayati raj institutions restructuring can be a good step here. The recent decision for compulsory social responsibility obligation under company law is a good step.
    The today world unlike past is a knowledge society. Whoever has access to knowledge can virtually do anything. The experience has shown education has been predecessor to social, economic and political growth of marginalised. India needs to utilize the same if there is to be true emancipation of dalits. It is no longer a luxury but a necessity, a social obligation and a human right. Not only it will benefits dalits but nation as a whole.

    • Mahesh

      need to more genre in thought

      • Nirmal Singh

        can you please rephrase what you have said. i didn’t get you.

  • Nirmal Singh

    Sir please suggest improvements

    • Nirmal Singh

      Sir please suggest improvements

    Sir please suggest improvements

    • Nirmal,

      Your essay has a very good introduction and many ideas, but in the middle it gets confusing and becomes more uni-dimentional explaining the role of government in Dalit empowerment.

      More stress should be given to historical context because of which the very phrase ‘Dalit Empowerment’ emanates. Systematic denial of education played a major role in making Dalits untouchables and social pariah for hundreds of years.

      Ambedkar must be given importance in this essay. He alone, ‘educated’ millions of Dalits through his own education. He is classic example of how education can transform an individual into a timeless role model.

      You started 4th paragraph brilliantly by saying, “The education has multidimensional character and takes a holistic and integrated approach towards growth. To make things simple it is to study its gains separately i.e. economic, social and political heads, yet one must not forget that education is much complex affair where various dimensions corresponds to each other, connected more like a web influencing and reinforcing each other” and the whole paragraph is very good.

      Some thoughts on role of education in creating political awareness along with social awareness was necessary. How education can enable one to use tools like RTI for effective empowerment by making accountable the administrative machinery that do not acts on constitutional mandate is also missing.

      The paragraph which starts as ‘Inspite of such achievements there is lot of ground to cover…..” is generalized and not focused on Dalits.

      Conclusion is good.

      What is missing is proper structuring. Make small pragraphs – may be 4-5 sentences maximum.

  • neeraj

    “Our university system is, in many parts, in a state of disrepair. In almost half the districts in the country, higher education enrollments are abysmally low, almost two-third of our universities and 90 per cent of our colleges are rated as below average on quality parameters” Critically Evaluate the state of higher education in India.

    Education plays a vital role in the inclusive growth of socio-economic conditions of any society. And higher education acts as the lynchpin of any country to establish itself as the dominant player in international scene. It provides us with the much needed innovation , managerial and technical skills for the economic empowerment of the society furthering the cause of increasing clout at international forum. Even though funding from the state at primary and intermediate level have been steadily increasing, the funding at higher education level has been decreasing. Also the mushrooming of private technical and medical colleges have deteriorated the quality of higher education. Also the increasing population has been a major challenge for the limited number of universities. The presence of only one university in top 500 universities of the world itself indicates the sorry state of the higher education in India.

    India has been the pinnacle of higher education in ancient times. The accounts of Chinese traveler Huien Tsang studying at Nalanda University at around seventh century BC is a shining example. But in recent times hardly any university has made a mark in international circles. Even the top colleges of India like IITs, IIMs, AIIMs and IIScs have not been able to make it to the top hundred universities of the world. If India has to emerge as a dominant force in the international arena, we have to increase the standard of higher education so as to reach the glory of the yesteryears.

    Higher education helps in broadening the social view of the masses making way for the eradication of social evils and breaking of age old systems. It ensures a progressive and radical change in the society. It imparts rationalism which is a basic feature of teaching of Vedas. . It helps in expanding the job opportunities. Quality higher education, by encouraging research, ensures the competence of our high end products in the international markets giving us an edge over the competitors It also provides for better medical facilities and cheap medicines. . It also ensures the safety and integrity of our country.
    Nevertheless, the condition of higher education in India is deplorable and not much is being done to improve the quality of higher education by the state. Though there has been a rise in number of colleges and universities in India since Independence, the quality of education has deteriorated. The state funding as a percentage of GDP has been declining as much of the attention of the government is on primary education. In fact it only a fraction of what countries like US, UK, Russia, China and Brazil spend on higher education. A huge chunk of funding that comes from the Central government goes into paying the high salaries of professors and there is a fierce competition between the colleges for the remaining funds.

    The poor condition of building, laboratories and hostel facilities in colleges speaks a volume in itself. Though regulations are in place for providing infrastructure, colleges have been regularly flouting these regulations. Better infrastructure will enable a better studying environment and enhance the learning experience.

    The lack of affordability of higher education due to weak financial condition and unavailability of institutions of higher education in local area is an impediment. Most of the students from financially weak section who pass their intermediate exams take jobs to support their families. They cannot afford to go to other cities to continue higher studies. This leads to abrupt end to the academic career of the students.

    One of the parameter for judging the quality of colleges is the faculty it employs. Lack of qualified faculty is one of the major concerns of the colleges. Corruption in employment of the faculty members has also played its part in degrading the quality of faculty. Also, absenteeism, private tutoring and coaching classes are playing their part.
    Consideration of equity in higher education has also played a role in degrading the quality of higher education. Appointment to places of specialization needs intellectually capable faculty. Reservations in recruitment of faculty have increased the mediocrity of the institutions.

    The system of competitive exams also has a bearing on the higher education. Since there is no way to determine the quality of the educational institute, national level competitive exams like NET, GATE etc for admission into research institute are conducted. Also employment in public sector pays very scant consideration to the academic achievements thereby decreasing the interest of the students in the academic courses, which becomes just another qualifying criterion for entering the jobs. Lack of consistency in placement strategy is also seen as a reason for lack of interest in education which increases the dependency on govt. sector jobs.

    Lack of consistency in state policy regarding higher education has contributed to the deplorable state of higher education. The policy of higher education has been dictated by the whims of the ruling party. There has been no consistent policy for higher education. Mostly it has been a patch work and lacks consistency and is driven by vote bank politics as in case of establishment of new IITs and IIMs even though infrastructure for them is still not available after five years of their establishment.

    Even the private sector due to stringent and opaque regulation system has kept away from venturing in this arena. This has been mostly on part of ideological ground of providing equity on basis of merit. Though private sector like NIIT and Aptech has ventured into diploma courses, they have stayed away from higher education. Many colleges from US, UK and Canada, who want to open institutes in India are kept at bay due to opaque system. The rulings of Supreme Court have also played an obscuring role. It has maintained its philanthropic stance and has ruled against capitalization of higher education. This has in turn lead to poor infrastructure facilities of the private institutes.

    Government has shown some interest in improving the deplorable condition of higher education. It has opened eight new IITs and seven new IIMs. Also, new NITs have been opened. Also, new colleges have been opened to increase the accessibility of higher education to remote areas. Higher education cess of 0.5% has been levied on goods and services. Merit cum means scholarship and other scholarship schemes are in place for financially weak meritorious students. Loans at low interest rates are being made available to financially weak students. JRF is provided to students pursuing research. But these have proved to be insufficient and more needs to be done to improve funding and other facilities.

    The higher education needs many progressive changes. Firstly, Government should have proper and transparent regulation for better inflow of FDI and foreign universities. Secondly, a system of gradation should be employed to enhance the quality of educational institutes and encourage students to take studies seriously. The all India competitive exams should be gradually removed to enhance learning experience at college level and make learning at college meaningful. This will also help in cutting down on the coaching industry in India and help in maintaining equity. Thirdly, remuneration and research facilities in colleges and universites should be improved to retain meritorious students from moving out of country, which will help in improving the standards of faculty members. Fourthly, number of institutions should be increased and infrastructure facilities should be enhanced to world class levels. Fifthly, more emphasis should be given to research facilities to improve upon quality to increase competencies and cutting edge technologies. Sixthly, increase the use of information and communication technology to enhance accessibility by providing online education, online training of faculty, and increase transparency in admission to higher education. This has been partially achieved. Lastly, thrust to vocational education and training should be imparted to create courses which are relevant to certain sections of society and attract them to higher education. Also, it will help create a pool of skilled resources to harness India’s demographic dividend.

    India has a second largest population in the world and a very low dependency ratio. To cash in this huge manpower and to reap demographic dividend, we need to enhance the condition of our higher education system. A few institutes of excellence has masked the deplorable condition of the mediocrity of the average higher educational institutes, its faculty and infrastructure facilities. We need to improve our higher education system if we aim to be a superpower in the world.

    • neeraj

      Insights, pls comment

      • neeraj

        Insights and others, pls review

    • Dusy

      Balanced essay. I liked all paras but conclusion. Superpower could have been avoided.. Overall, very lucid.. Kudos!!

      • neeraj

        thanks dusy

  • The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled. (PLUTARCH)
    Plutarch’s observation about education is relevant to all times. For a country of over a billion people, there isn’t a greater trans formative force than education. Education transforms societies by promoting social mobility, fostering values encouraging cohesiveness, empowering the hitherto suppressed and marginalized and prepares citizenry for an empowered role in participatory governance.
    Post-independence, our forefathers set eyes on developing our nation through instrument of education. Planned growth in a socialist democratic republic could not have taken place in absence of skilled manpower.

    Thus, technical institutes, often in foreign collaboration, like IITs and IISC were set up. Space and nuclear research was taken up. Agricultural universities and research centers were established, keeping in mind our largely agrarian economy. Liberal education was promoted by exploring new subjects like sociology, which threw policy data useful for policy making.

    However, over the year several lacunae have crept in our education system, especially higher education. Higher education today is conspicuous by the low Gross enrollment rations, lack of research output, poor soft skills of graduates, poor teaching pedagogy.

    Gross enrollment ratio in higher education is a pressing concern. Powered by article 21A of constitution, Right to education act has made primary education compulsory for children in between eight to fourteen years. This has increased enrollment in primary school and reduced out of school education. However, less GER at higher level indicate that benefits of RTE act has not evaporated to higher education.

    Teaching pedagogy has been poor in higher institutes due to lack of quality teaching inputs and materials. Huge divide between the qualities of institutions at higher and lower level. Research output has been, as a result, causality. Professors and teachers are often tied down with administrative burden which leaves them with little time to pursue research endeavors. Student research output has also been abysmal as the emphasis is on rote learning and passing the exams.

    Remedial steps in higher education are mostly a prerogative of MHRD, Government of India. It has been taking a slew of measures to address the dismal higher education state in the country.

    Teacher training has been taken up in a bigger way. National programme for teacher training is in place to augment the skills and improve the teaching pedagogy. Teacher remuneration is also being looked after keeping in mid the increase in the cost of living. Pecuniary benefits are likely to enhance the morale and motivate teachers to work extra hard.

    Information and communication technology (ICT) is a game changer in promoting higher education. NME-ICT is in place to address the issue of equity in access to quality education material and promote equity in between various technical institutions inter-se.

    Digitization of content is taking place at rapid pace. E-Gyankosh, an IGNOU initiative, providing a vast repository of quality education material has been setup. NPTEL programme, in collaboration with IITs are bringing quality education material to students across the country. Aakash tablet, with its linkages to Bharat Broadband program, is expected to change the learning landscape in the country.

    This brings us to the question of role of higher education in changing the socio-political-economic-technological landscape.

    Demographic divided, a once in a life time opportunity for a nation, is slowly going to taper off. There is nothing automatic about demographic dividend in terms of benefit. It can be harnessed only through skilling people and creating suitable opportunities for them. Promoting higher education is the only way to harness demographic dividend and transforming India into a knowledge economy.

    For a nation endowed with population disproportionate with its natural resources, skill development through higher education can be the only step to transform human resource to assets. As the population grows, the relevance of higher education in Indian context is likely to accentuate.

    Our nation, a nation comprising of multiple races, religion and culture, is marked by diversity. Fissiparous forces are at work, both within and without our country, to break it into parts. National cohesion and unity and integrity can only be promoted through emphasis on higher education.

    High proportion of population is historically disadvantaged. Despite affirmative actions, scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, minorities and differently- abled people – a vast majority of them- are still lagging behind. Endeavor of higher education should be to promote their interest and integrate them in national mainstream.

    The clear need for an emphasis on higher education has propelled our policy makers to take remedial steps to stem the slide of higher education. However, further policy steps can be taken up.

    Universalization of primary education is being implemented as per fundamental rights directive of 21A through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan. However, aim should be to universalize higher education as well. Linking vocational courses to higher education can also promote the poor sections to participate in higher education while learning skills which provide immediate monetization.

    Given the poor purchasing power of people, lack of finances shouldn’t come in way of students to pursue courses of their choice. Educational loans, up to a high threshold amount should be made available at subsidized rates, without any collateral requirements. Branding education as a social sector obligation for Banks would go a long way in removing obstacles of finance while pursuing studying professional courses.

    Foreign universities should be allowed to set up campuses in our country. Amendment should be made in statute book to allow foreign universities to repatriate profits, while also directing them to fulfill social obligations of promoting equity. This will increase competition between universities and foster research culture. The step is in line with public choice paradigm which envisages greater voice and exit choice for citizens.

    Public private partnership should be used in social sector like education to bring a synthesis between public oriented nature of government with economy, efficiency and expertise of private sector. National skill development programme (NSDC) is a step in right direction which envisages sill development in a big way through vocational courses by targeting hitherto excluded.

    Temples of modern India, as envisaged by Late Pundit Nehru, will not be built in absence of supporting infrastructure. Though, we have made significant progress in agriculture, space and nuclear domains, we seem to have reached an impasse in higher education due to access, quality and pedagogy concerns. However, remedial policy steps are being taken through improving teaching pedagogy, addressing quality concerns through ICT interventions and addressing equity concerns. Further steps like enhanced role of private sector, smooth credit flow to higher education and removing barriers for foreign university will improve the situation further.

    India as envisaged by our forefathers cannot be a reality without and emphasis on higher education. Goals of inclusive growth, as envisaged in 11th and 12th five year plans, would remain a pipe dream in absence of quality education. Neither the dream of establishing secular democratic republic- as laid down in preamble of our constitution, nor the goal of promoting scientific temper and respect for our nation ideals – as suggested in fundamental duties would be a reality in the absence of impetus on higher education.

    • @ Insight
      Kindly, review my essay posted in response to week 5 challenge. I would be grateful. Thank you.

    • Dusy

      Ur flow of essay seemed very smooth to me.. Still would advise you to add more points regarding the drawbacks and the negatives in higher education system in our country..ie. administrative hurdles, slow procedure, private players find it difficult to establish an inst., rigid rules and regulations, UGC yet not democratized in its functioning, teacher training not adequate.. these should be more focussed. You can find many such in the latest Yojana edition.
      Rest, I found ur essay very good at first go.. 🙂

  • Ankita

    “Our university system is, in many parts, in a state of disrepair. In almost half the districts in the country, higher education enrollments are abysmally low, almost two-third of our universities and 90 per cent of our colleges are rated as below average on quality parameters” Critically Evaluate the state of higher education in India.

    Education plays a pivotal role in overall socio- economic development of a country. Govt. of India has invested much in primary and intermediate education sector but higher education sector is still deprive Primary education and higher education sector both are two important pillars of a nation building. India can not get all fruits of demographic dividend without applying a balancing approach between primary and higher education.
    An international survey state that no any Indian university is in the list of world best 200 universities. In a group of developing economies BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) only India is a single country whose any IIMs/IITs/AIIMS and other institutions could not make a rank in this list. This survey depict a grim image of our country’s higher education at International level.
    In ancient time India was at a zenith of education so called “Vishwa Guru”. A chinese traveler Huwen Tswang came India and studied in Nalanda University. But, today India’s higher education system seems dismal.
    Universities are starving for funds so unable to upgrade library and to provide advanced laboratory. University administration can not organize educational seminars and not invite guest teachers and professors to teach and train the students for new ideas and experiments without any financial support. Due to financial problems Indian Professors can not attend any seminars organized at world level so detached from innovative ideas.
    In this year budget Govt. allocate 1.8% of country’s GDP for educational sector which is less than other countries and not sufficient for Indian entirely different education system. Western and other countries are investing in education sector since long and we started it only few decades back and therefore there is educationally huge gap.
    Politics are also involved in education system so selection of Vice Chancellor is more political than on merit, a lot of education bills stuck in parliament, unions and peoples with vested interest block reforms in the country.
    Quality of education depends on quality of teachers, in India teachers are not dedicated for their duties and career. Refreshment training are not given to them on time to time so they carry 19th century mindset. Students also follow rote learning pattern rather than understanding or experiment based. They study only to gain marks and degrees.
    In India no any university has innovation centers. The world enjoys technologies of unimaginable sophistication but we have none. Teachers don’t think for any innovation or experiments and don’t want to change prevailing pattern and scenario. All these put our higher education system in gray side and responsible for its deterioration.
    Due to poverty higher education is in access of very few, students generally stop their academic career early and try to earn bread. One can join research sector after qualifying NET/GATE exam that is very tuff due to limited seats and there is no guarantee of job after completing a long time research. Many PHD holders are appoint on adhoc basis in universities instead of permanent recruit. So many youths avoid this field and targeting for any other Govt. Job rather than struggling in research sector.
    Higher education is far from the reach of villagers and tribes, universities are not establish in these areas and they don’t know about any vocational and distance learning programme. Languages are also a main problem for them, so they don’t want to face universities environment for higher education.
    The higher education graph is very low in case of girls. Due to security concern, parents not allow them to come in big cities and to join co-ed for studies.
    To promote research sector and to encourage students for experiments, recently, Prime Minister of India invited youths in Indian Science Congress held in Kolkata. Scholarship also given to all students of centralized university pursuing PHD under JRF programme. To provide economic support of socially backward community as SC/ST and Minority, Maulana Azad Felloship is given. Financial support also given under Pradhan Mantri Pandrah Sutri Karyakram to minorities for higher studies.
    In India there is no any multi discipline university. A four year Graduation Programme launch by Delhi University is a laudable step to align Indian university with the world top most universities
    In this light of above, some remedial steps needed to sustain and robust our higher education system and to make it competable from other country, firstly, an academic freedom should be provided to universities and satisfactory educational system of a university should be one under which the university is run freely by educationists and enjoy the autonomous rights of independent thinking and free expression within the framework of the national constitution and law, secondly, FDI and PPP model should be invited for financial support and to make a competition within universities to perform better and to improve quality of teaching. Thirdly, centralized university should establish in tribal, hilly and remote areas. Fourthly, universities only for girls should also establish to make higher education more convenient and safe for girls. Fifthly, private tuition and coaching should ban for Govt. teachers and to provide them incentives for new experiment and better performance of university. Sixthly, the Govt. should increases its expenditure in education sector from 1.8 to 2% of its GDP. The center should invest money in state universities as they are the ones catering to the larger group of population. Seventhly, Govt. should instruct banks to provide educational loans at low interest rates for economic support of poor students and its return process should also be liberal. Maximum vocational and distance learning courses should be launch and disseminate it among masses to attract a number of youths.
    We should also think what is good for our nation, revise our educational policies and implement them effectively. Our agenda should be focused on to enhancement of socio-economic status of every citizen through education. We keep reminding ourselves on importance and significance of access to education, quality and equality in education as well as its relevance in life.
    We need to build a community, a generation of researchers and innovators so that they will provide maximum new research and experiments in the field of Agriculture, Medicine, Space, Metrology etc. and to support India to become a superpower at International level in every field of development.

  • Ankita

    insights pl. comment,
    this is my first essay, i have started preparation recently, so pl. suggest me to make my performance better….

    • neeraj

      My english is also not good, but I would like to point a few mistakes.. 1) use “none” instead of “no any”. It’s an essay not a rap 2) try to improve on your spellings ( eg Competable instead of compatible). Any word that has wrong spelling is underlined in red zig-zag line 3) try improving your grammar as well (use MS Word 2007 or above to write ur essay, it will highlight the grammatical mistakes in green zig zag line. Right click on the green underlined one and u can see the correct grammatical version of ur sentence. U can use the same method for incorrect spellings which are highlighted in red).

      The content is ok.. could have been better… dont worry.. my essays is not that good either.. keep practicing.

  • Ankita

    Thanks Neeraj for your valuable suggestion… i will follow it…

  • @ Insights … Kindly, review my essay posted in response to week 5 challenge. I would be grateful.

  • Jaspreet Singh

    “For the ills of Democracy, social movements may be the cure, not revolutions”

    Democracy is a form of rule, described most aptly by Abraham Lincoln as a rule – ‘by the people, for the people and of the people’. In recent times, it has evolved into an indirect and pluralist form of governance. It is pluralist because a variety of interest groups influence the decision making process so as to achieve a favorable outcome for them. In this process the voice of minorities and marginal members of society are drowned. To counter such ills of democracy, social movements have played a big role. Some ideologies like, the Marxists and Communists, think that democracy is untenable and should be replaced with other efficient forms of government. But social movements have shown that democracy itself provides such self-correctional mechanisms to remove any deficiencies which may have crept in it. Social movements happening in USA, Brazil, India and other parts of the world have shown that democracy remains the best form of government.

    The very first example of democracy was observed in ancient Greek city-states. It was a direct form of democracy in which people would gather at a pre-defined time and place to decide upon major issues relating to governance. The same type of system was observed in Indian villages, which Gandhi ji described as ‘Gram Swaraj’.

    Modern nation-states being geographically large with huge populations were unsuitable for direct democracy. Democracy is now being exercised indirectly whereby people elect their representatives from amongst themselves who rule for a fixed time frame, in accordance with a written set of rules and procedures which are codified in the form of a constitution. Various institutions have been set-up among whom the work of the government is divided.

    But there is a feeling among people that democracy has become too much rule bound, Institutions and procedures have become end in themselves rather than being a means to achieve public welfare. Minorities feel that democracy, being a rule of majority, has sidelined their aspirations and needs. Their voice is governance is minimal. Further, modern democracies have evolved into a kind of elite rule.

    Elites are a class of society who own most of the resources, power and prestige. It is these elites which rule the people. Some people believe that elections are nothing but replacement of one kind of elite as rulers with another elite. Enforcing accountability on such elite rule is a challenge. Social movements have been at the forefront to tackle this challenge and ensure that government works in the interest of people.

    Social movements are mass movements which derive energy from public participation. These movements work towards fighting for some common issue for public welfare. The 2008 global financial meltdown due to greed of corporates in USA, spurned the Occupy Wallstreet movement. Their slogan was – “We are the 99%”. It showed that people wanted equitable distribution of economic resources. In India, a very strong Lokpal movement was launched in 2010. It’s demand was that the government should enact an anti-corruption legislation which would ensure transparency and accountability in governance. In wake of various corruptions scandals in India, this movement saw widespread public support for it.These are some of the recent examples of social movements.

    But critics of democracy and social movements argue that social movements have achieved no concrete results despite having widespread support for them. India has still not enacted the Lokpal legislation. The Occupy movement has failed to bring the culprits of 2008 crisis to the book. These critics of democracy believe that revolution is the only solution to remove the ills of democracy. Ideologies like Marxism, believe that democracy protects the civil liberties of the ‘haves’, so that, they can continue to enjoy their privileged position over the ‘have-nots’.They believe that abolition of private property, curb on personal liberties and equitable distribution of fruits of each other’s labour, can only achieve wider public good. But a glance at world history will reveal that such systems of government have failed miserably and in worst cases lapsed into a kind of autocracy and dictatorship.

    The whole Marxist and Communist philosophy violates the principles of freedom and justice which are pillars of democracy. Under these autocratic forms of government, an individual cannot achieve maximum development of his/her personality which is essentially why we have government in the first place. Jawaharlal Nehru believed that freedom of thought and expression are essential conditions for progress of human race, Hence, any system of governance which forbids these freedoms can’t be in the best interest of anyone.

    Countries in which these forms of government existed after World War 2, observed frequent abuse of human rights, especially of the minorities. Many eminent scientists, writers fled these countries for those countries which had democratic governments. Hence, not only these forms of governments suppressed the minorities but they too in time became a kind of brutal elite rule which had zero tolerance for different opinions,

    Winston Churchill once said, ” Democracy is a bad form of government. But others are worse”. The above analysis of alternatives to democracy has clearly shown that. So if there is no alternative to democracy, then what is the cure for ills of democracy? Perhaps the role of people and especially social movements needs a re-look as whether they have the capacity to cure the ills of democracy. For this we need to go back to a very famous mass movement which tool place in the very birthplace of modern democracy- the United States of America.

    In the latter half of 20th century, a very powerful civil rights movement began in USA. It demanded that the black community which constituted a minority in comparison to the majority white population, be given equal rights. This movement was spearheaded by Martin Luther King, who was very much inspired by the principles of non-violence and Satyagraha propounded by our beloved Gandhi ji. This movement spanned many years. The black community suffered many excesses by the government. But ultimately the demands of this civil rights movement were accepted. It showed the efficacy and reliability of social movement as a tool to bring social change in favor of minorities in a democracy.

    In India, in early 2000s, there was a agitation which demanded for enactment of a legislation called Right to Information. It was spearheaded by a NGO. This legislation would bring about democratization of information and thus would ensure transparency and accountability in governance. This movement didn’t see immediate success. But slowly and steadily it built up support both in government and among public, In 2005, the Right to Information Act was enacted. The current Lokpal agitation is similar to RTI agitation. So, even though presently it may seem the Lokpal movement has failed to achieve anything but in the ling run it will bear fruits.

    The Occupy Wallstreet movement gave rise to similar Occupy movements all over the world – like Occupy Canada, Occupy Australia. It has made people aware globally of the inherent tendencies of government to promote class interests. People have become more vigilant and are using their constitutional rights given by democracy to enforce accountability on government. Thus the chances of a similar meltdown happening in the future has been drastically reduced. In no sense can such a movement be termed as a failure.

    In fact, social movements should not be viewed as something which is outside democracy or as an extra-constitutional method. Social movements are instruments of accountability provided by democracy itself. It is a device through which the marginal sections of society can make their voice heard in decision making. How strong is the effect of this instrument depends on how emphatically it is used. If one truly believes in social movements and its effectiveness, he/she will never be disappointed by it.

    Social movements should also be supported by other measures to increase their effectiveness. Efforts should be made towards imparting universal education and inculcating moral and national values in our leaders and citizens. We require an efficient parliament that spends time on debating and discussing national issues; a bureaucracy committed to public welfare; an independent judiciary which gives timely justice and an educated and aware citizenry which knows it rights as well as duties.

    it is safe to assume that as people become more aware of democratic processes and institutions, government functioning will become more transparent and accountable. People’s participation in policy making and implementation is lifeblood of an efficient democracy and social movements are precisely that. Social movements bring a sense of belongingness and a feeling of patriotism among people. It makes democracy not only a form of government but a way of life. The cure of all ills of democracy is more democracy and not revolutions.

    • Jaspreet Singh

      Srry for the typo mistakes. Please review my essay and give your valuable feedback. Thnx in advance

      • Jaspreet Singh

        @insights…. Sir plz give comments on my essay. This is first time I’m writing essay.

        • Jasprreet,

          This is a very good essay. Introduction is good and relevant. You have correctly focused on the topic throughout the essay.

          It is good that you have used examples from around the world. Some movements like, Bhoodaan, Sarvodaya could have been mentioned too in the Indian context.

          Also, you should have compared and contrasted about revolutions with respect to social movements too. Recent Arab Spring ‘revolutions’ are classic examples. Also, Naxalism in India.

          Try to give two opposing views too. Somewhere this essay tends look completely biased towards the positives of social movements. There are examples of revolutions being good for a nation, or some social movements, such as feminist movements still struggling to find a foothold and larger acceptance in the dynamics of many societies.

          In your essay, structure is good. Nowhere it is boring. Language and sentences are simple and straightforward. 🙂

      • This is a very good essay. Introduction is good and relevant. You have correctly focused on the topic throughout the essay.

        It is good that you have used examples from around the world. Some movements like, Bhoodaan, Sarvodaya could have been mentioned too in the Indian context.

        Also, you should have compared and contrasted about revolutions with respect to social movements too. Recent Arab Spring ‘revolutions’ are classic examples. Also, Naxalism in India.

        Try to give two opposing views too. Somewhere this essay tends look completely biased towards the positives of social movements. There are examples of revolutions being good for a nation, or some social movements, such as feminist movements still struggling to find a foothold and larger acceptance in the dynamics of many societies.

        In your essay, structure is good. Nowhere it is boring. Language and sentences are simple and straightforward. 🙂

        • Jaspreet Singh

          Thank You Sir… On behalf of all aspirants here, I thank you for your help and support.

          • You are welcome Jaspreet and thank you 🙂

  • @Insights

    Sir, can you please clear whether we are supposed to discuss the paradoxes or ironies, in the topic post-1990s democratisation of Indian politics. I was able to find only ironies in every event post-1990, be it PRIs, Social Media, Misrepresentation in parliament both economically and socially due to increasing economic disparity post-reforms etc.

    As per the dictionary meaning of paradox “self-contradictory statement that is actually true”, i am not able to find even a single paradox.

  • @Insights

    Sir, please clear whether we are supposed to discuss the paradoxes or ironies, in the topic post-1990s democratisation of Indian politics. I was able to find only ironies in every event post-1990, be it PRIs, Social Media, Misrepresentation in parliament both economically and socially due to increasing economic disparity post-reforms etc.

    As per the dictionary meaning of paradox “self-contradictory statement that is actually true”, i am not able to find even a single paradox.

    • Paradox also has another meaning: A situation that has two opposite features and therefore seems strange.

      Post 1990, India witnessed a process of democratization that was both paradoxical and natural.

      Communal parties, which were abhorred by the other so called ‘secular’ parties, were brought to the mainstream and heralded stable a coalition era – this is a paradox.

      Congress party, which ‘saved’ India through economic reforms, was reduced to minority, giving way o regional parties to the seat of power – a paradox.

      Caste system became the mainstay of India politics. Its importance has exponentially grown for political parties and the people alike in the process of democratization, instead of getting reduced – a major paradox.

      You can give some other examples.

      • Aditya Jha

        I had these points, thank you, i figured out.

  • Dusy

    Post -1990 Democratization of Indian Politics – The Paradoxes

    The last decade of the 20th Century marks a paradigm shift in our governance policy. From being a closed nation we geared forward towards accepting global trend of integrating our society and forming yet another link for a globalized inter-dependent world. From self sufficiency, the strategy was redirected towards being self reliant and this was then considered impertinent looking at the severe economic crisis the country was facing. While globalization is mostly associated with socio-economic reforms, it both directly and indirectly had repercussions on the political functioning of the government as a whole.

    Liberalization(L) and privatization(P) are considered as offshoots of globalization(G). Taken together, LPG has its roots in an open market economy where only competition decides the survival of the fittest. India, with caveat, imbibed this change with slow and careful moves. From welfare approach it re-oriented towards the goal of development where liberal policies like license free market interventions by the private players were encouraged but at the same time the marginalized were provided necessary protection and support in the form of subsidies and grants. Thus, post 1990, the very first change observed was the change in role of state- from being Mai-Baap (sole operator) to being a facilitator and a regulator. This is often termed as minimization of state. In democratic terms, it may be termed as giving voice and choice the people. The society now worked in tandem with the political and administrative heads of the government and operated in many new fields such as banking, heavy industries, infrastructure and services.

    With this wave of liberal milieu, the mindset of the political class was somehow shifting away from nationalism and chauvinism to serve selflessly towards self promotion and aggrandizing tendencies. Many factors are responsible for this unwanted change of attitude. Firstly, the representatives were now ruling a 50 year independent nation. Thus, the feeling of patriotism and unity was diminishing. More so, with the advent of LPG, the desire to serve self first and be financially stable won over that of being a servant to the nation. The business class, being the lobbies called the shots by forming alliance with these political representatives and with back door consultorcracy gained economic benefits in a quid pro quo setup. With this decline in ethics, the nation is still now suffering from all forms of corruption and ineptness. Individual gains still play a vital role in deciding policies that are ostensibly citizen-friendly.

    Coming to the party politics, the era of 1970s saw inter-party factionalism which led to the formation of regional, ideological multi-party system. This further escalated post 1990s with the intra-party factions coming up and forming alliances with others. This gave rise to a coalition governance. Illustrations are widely visible after the decline of Single party rule after 1996 and thereby a fight of gaining power and clout by many big and small parties in coalition. Money minded politics now came to the fore with dominance of private interests over public good.

    “A seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition”- This is the literal interpretation of the phrase ‘Paradox’. The New Economic Policy one one hand tried to have an open and competitive society in economic terms; the vote bank politics and desire to remain at power led to loss of ethics and morality on the other. Though our country boost of being robust and economically sound with year-on-year rise in GDP, the negative sentiments and public anger against the criminalization of politics cannot be ignored. Neo-Liberal approach has in many ways benefitted the haves by providing more choices, the have-nots still linger at the mercy of the political heads who in the name of populism appeasement enact those rule and laws which may be suicidal holistically but with a narrow view would benefit their voters and ultimately their self interest. Parliament, which was once considered a forum for brainstorming debates, is now disrupted by umpteen adjournments,

    I may easily comprehend that the new approach of governance is now lacking the essence of democracy. Our President rightly observed that the 3 Ds of democracy i.e. Discussion, Debate and Dissent is now followed by another D called Disruption. Parliament, which was once considered a forum for brainstorming ideas, is now disrupted by umpteen adjournments, slogans and demand to be heard first. This has led to derogation of parliamentary sessions and shear wastage of money. There is an ardent need to instill a moral and ethical character in those ruling our country to have relentless serving attribute. They are mere “Sevaks” and not the “Master” on whose whims and fancies the terms of democracy are dictated.

    • Dusy

      Insights, waiting eagerly for evaluation. It is my very first essay here and I have not taken help of any material cause the topics is very generic. Suggestions are most welcome.

      • Dusy

        *Parliament, which was once considered a forum for brainstorming debates, is now disrupted by umpteen adjournments,

        This is a typo in the second last para.. I wanted to add it in the concluding note.. So kindly ignore the same.. Thank you.

        • Dusy,

          I was searching for ‘Paradoxes’ in your essay and I found the mention of it in the penultimate paragraph: this suspense is not needed in exam essays.

          In the introduction, it is evident that you have inferred from the topic of the essay that ‘post 1990 paradoxes’ refer to political developments as a result of LPG reforms. But it is a wrong inference.

          Your thesis statement should have been on paradoxes of democratization process that is taking/took place after Babri Masjid demolition, Mandal politics, rise of regional powers (Janata Dal – V P Singh government) and of course LPG has also its role.

          Last two paragraphs talk about it. They should have been above instead of bottom of the essay.

          In the introduction there is nowhere the mention of democratization nor the paradoxes.

          But I must compliment you for the fine language and flow of it. Sentences are short, simple and are pleasant to read. Just, you should have gone through some sources. But as it is written without referring to any sources, it is a good essay. 🙂

          • Dusky

            Thank you Sir.. Will work and improve from the next post.. 🙂

  • Post -1990 Democratization of Indian Politics – The Paradoxes

    Ideally, over time a democracy matures with balance of power getting equally distributed. Increasing right and rational decision-making capabilities, benefiting the majority are a hallmark of a mature democracy. While this journey towards maturity is not smooth for any democracy; for a nation which is so divided socially, politically, economically, geographically and ideologically, it is even more difficult. Chronology of important events and incidents ,and their co-relation, post-1990s reflect this tendency and its inherent paradoxes.

    Starting with the 1991 economic reforms: Liberalisation, Privatization and Globalisation(LPG), brought in a host of new actors in Indian democratic interplay., including private national and international mass media. Though these actors were incidental to the process, they have been able to shape the popular opinion or democratic voice significantly in India through both reporting and misreporting. The ouster of Congress, saviour in times of economic crisis, can be attributed to the latter. Contrary to the then popular perception, economy fared much better post-reforms and this ouster was the first paradox. For, greater awareness and consequent empowerment should have strengthened democratic decision-making: the contrary is noted.

    The trend of coalition governments and hung parliaments post-reforms, impeding decision-making is increasingly discernible. For, it was an inevitable outcome of clashing political and economic ideologies of different political parties as popular opinion also became divided. Political competition between multitude of parties and candidates ensured that no single candidate got a majority of votes in the elections. Thus, the representatives garnering minority share of votes represent the majority, which is perhaps the biggest contradiction of the cardinal principle of democracy.

    Another consequence has been rising casteism, communalism and regionalism. Not only division of popular opinion , but also the narrow developmental base excluding sections of society(e.g North-eastern regions and its tribes) from reaping the benefits of the reforms, is responsible for the trend. So, either these segments excluded themselves from the political mainstream completely or lead a narrow sectarian political campaign to serve their interests. Democracy denting democracy can be seen. STs exemplify the former, while the OBCs and SCs exemplify the latter. BSP and SP are now national parties with 20 odd seats in the parliament. Secular parties gave way to communal parties in their coalitions for serving partisan interests. These were despite the fact that communally orchestrated incidents like Babri Masjid Demolition, Gujarat pogrom etc. were condemned by them.

    Closely connected with these happenings has been the rise of regional parties like TMC, BJD etc. in national politics which have both strengthened and weakened our federal democracy. Decentralised decision-making away from Delhi, the traditional seat of power, is a healthy sign. But simultaneously their regional interests have paralysed the decision-making. Withdrawing support from national coalition for unpopular decisions like recent reduction in gas subsidy and sanctioning a rail minister for a much needed rail fare hike are unhealthy signs for a democracy. The National Counter Terrorism Centre is in a lurch, because it allegedly violates federalism, as maintained by regional parties. Regional democratic aspirations have thus often impinged on democratic interests.

    Interestingly, Indian politics also has international dimensions. Boundary settlements and river-water sharing arrangements with neighbours, a domain of Central government, have been hanging owing to a lack of political consensus in the states. Our Pakistan and Sri Lanka Policy has historically been held hostage, and increasingly post-1990s due to coalition and regional pressures. Ofcourse, the popular opinion has a role to play here. With an open economy, closed door lobbying by foreign investors has also affected our plans and priorities. FDI in multi-brand retail was introduced with much urgency through an ‘executive order’, despite parliamentary uproar and several more important legislations like the Land Acquisition Bill in the loop.

    On a positive note based on popular opinion, RTI was enacted in 2005 to democratise information increasing transparency and accountability.The fact that several members of the political parties who supported the legislation are now being tried in courts and held in jails, is one of the biggest paradoxes the political leaders are unable to digest. More transparency was sought for recently culminating in a CIC ruling that political parties be brought under the ambit of the RTI Act . But paradoxically the leading party legislating the historic act would be now diluting the CIC ruling by an amendment, restricting the right to information.

    With time, our parliament should have become more representative of India’s economic reality. But, conversely, about 30% of the MPs and even a greater percentage of MLAs are facing criminal charges. These law makers have ensured though loopholes in laws that they are not debarred. It is evident from the proposal to amend the RPI Act, 1951 to nullify the recent Supreme Court ruling to debar the legislators immediately who are sentenced to 2 years or more in criminal cases, and have not appealed until now. Though the legality of the ruling can be debated, the intention of our law makers can not be. Also, the number of crorepatis MPs has spiked post-1990s, with 60% of MPs owning assets more than 5 crores. This is a highly contradictory representation of a nation, where 65% of the population lives on less than Rs. 60 a day (as per the latest round of NSSO survey).It is also interesting to note the rising number of cinema stars in our political institutions, both by election and nomination. The provision of nomination was inserted to ensure that intellectuals and social activists gain political positions and contribute to law-making. Contrary is being observed.Money power, criminalization of politics and political corruption are co-related, especially in the Indian context.

    All of this is aggravated given the alienation of India’s youth from political affairs. Though their numbers have been rising in the legislature, but the base is very narrow and mostly limited to political inheritance. Any awareness programmes or educational reform to correct the existing situation is contradictory to political interests.

    Despite all the roadblocks, socio-economic development due to progressive policies (like the Right to Education Act), and the spread of mass media to remotest corners of India has ensured continous accountability of our representatives. Even if regionalism, castesim and communalism is on the rise and being accommodated politically, development as separate from these ideologies has emerged as the central concern of our electors. Even now, there are several impediments to democratization of Indian politics, but they are also expected to remain for some time. For, paradoxes like this are always a part of any immature democracy. As we mature it can be expected that a greater and all-encompassing view would emerge fulfilling all our democratic aspirations.

    • @insights

      Please review my first essay.
      (1093 words)

      • Aditya Jha

        Sir, i am in dire need of your advice to advance and consolidate my preparation. As none of my answers have been reviewed by you, i may be making the same mistakes which i don’t realize.

        Peer reviews are useful but only up to a certain extent. If possible, please review this essay.

        • Aditya,

          Introduction is good, but should have been more specific on paradoxes in the process of democratization post 1990. In the introduction, you say that: “….nation which is so ‘divided’ socially….”, I would have used the word ‘diverse’ in the place of divided, because it is an extreme statement when you say India is a divided country across social, economic, geographic, political and ideological spectra.

          The essay is about politics, and your introduction should have talked about it.

          After the introduction part, your essay flows smoothly and is a pleasant read. Points on International disputes, RTI are noteworthy.

          You would have also talked about Local Self Governance and role of women in Indian politics (Government’s readiness to provide 50% reservation in Panchayats and its reluctance for the same in Legislatures, or decreasing numbers of women’s representation etc)

          Overall it is a very good essay. Work on the introduction part a bit.

          • Thank you so much sir for the feedback and the compliment. It is encouraging for me as i never refer to any source while writing, except my memory. I would definitely include the points and try to improve the essay.

  • Jaspreet Singh

    @ Insights…. Kind Sir, please review my essay, posted for Week one topic on democracy. It is bit late but plz review it. It is my first essay n I have no other guidance. Thnx

  • vipul

    For the ills of Democracy, social movements may be the cure, not revolutiontion

    Democracy is the form of government where people do govern themselves. Democracy in its idealistic form does not exist due to large number of people in a country. For ex. Indian democracy is classified as representative democracy. People do elect their representative and enter in to a social contract with elected representative who take decisions & deliver services on their behalf. India is the largest independent democracy in the world.
    Democracy is worst form of government except for all form of government which have been tried till date-Churchill. This remarks hold so true even in context of India.
    Undoubtedly, Indian democratic government has been the among the most successful one in comparison to government in many of countries who got their independence in 1940-50s. But rising corruption, insurgency, poor human development indicators, wide spread poverty & inequality etc. are some of the ills that are main cause of growing unrest among masses which have the potential to take form of a social movement or revolution. Success of social movements or revolution in democracy can be analyzed with the historical background .

    Social movement is a form of non-institutionalized collective approach that strive for bringing political or social change in the society. Social movements are the need for any democratic society. Social movements generally starts with a loose group of individuals who increase awareness among the masses about the social /political issues rooted in the system. Activists link with more or more people who faces the similar problems and create pressure on the governments to bring changes in government & its institutions to meet their interests.

    Post-independence, Indian has witnessed several social movements like Chipko movement, Narmada bachao andolan, Save silent valley, Chattisgarh mukti morcha, Natioanl campaign for people’s right to information ,India against corruption, telangana movement etc. These Social movements developed along various agendas ranging from need to protect environment sustainability, political autonomy, economic deprivation to demand for more accountability & transparency in government institution.

    Social movement have the mass appeal which is the prerequisite for sustained struggle & put pressure on the powerful government. For ex: Narmada Bachao Andolan started with the visit of few social activist to site of dam construction. They identified several malaises ranging from environmental non-clearance to poor rehabilitation strategy. Movement started gathering the support of directly affected people like adivasis, farmers etc and socially conscious environmentalist and human right activist against the large number of dams in Narmada river. Narmada Bachao Andolan delivered a yeoman’s service to the country by creating a awareness about the environmental and rehabilitation and relief aspects of Sardar Sarovar and other projects on the Narmada. Social movements are not only successful to meet the immediate objectives but the left behind legacy to inspire the generations to come. Until India got freedom, Indian national congress was also more a social movement than a party. Many of the post Independent movement were heavily influenced by the INC supported national movement.

    Social movements provides opportunities to not only protest but to experiment the participatory & deliberative forms of democracy. Social movement in India, organized for the right to information act totally transformed the aspect of transparency and accountability in the government & related institutions. Civil society members got the opportunity to participate with government in the drafting of legislative reforms. Similarly India against corruption campaign was successful the government on negotiation table along with activist

    Revolution is a form of protest which tries to bring a fundamental change in government structures in a very short period of time. Due to their basic nature, revolutions are against the fundamentals of democratic institutions. Revolutions have never led directly to democratic government. For ex. French revolution in 18th century led to spread of violence and eventually foundation of another autocratic regime under Napoleon .In recent times movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen were the revolution for establishing democracies. Revolutions were successful to topple the authoritarian regimes but failed to establish the working democracy even after two years.

    Though revolution highlights the courage and sacrifice of participants for their objective but it lacks the skill of mass mobilization.In absence of mass appeal, revolutionaries take the form of armed rebellion against the ruling government. Any form of government be it authoritarian or democratic will not tolerate the armed protest. Under such circumstances, revolutionaries are compelled to take the route of underground insurgency.

    Revolutions is a stage marked by high level of violence, exhausting population and grass root efforts.. Revolutionaries mobilize people based on their emotions instead of mindful consciousness. Destruction is a simple process but it is a building process which is fundamental for democracy because democracy deals with different people, ideologies and methodologies. But what will happen after the revolution has succeeded to topple the existing system. Who will replace it. Democracy develops gradually with the continuous negotiation & dialogues. Revolutions fails to establish the democratic culture. In absence of democratic institutions, revolution sometimes ends up creating more chaos.

    Revolutionary naxalite movement started in India in 1970s from Naxalbari in West bengal. Though the movement has spreaded to more 200 districts of India since then but its modus operandi has changed from mass mobilization to adventurism of few individuals. In early years of revolutionary movement, it attracted the support of urban middle class and intelligentsia leading to exodus of best brain of their time. But over a period of time, it support base has restricted to rural or tribal class.
    Revolutionary movement

    The Great revolutions of the 20th century mainly occurred when revolutionaries were confronting a state which was more backward, more barbaric and denied even the basic human rights to its citizen. Democratic government will have to accommodate or at least avoid the use of brutal force against the peaceful social movement amid its mass appeal, on the other hand it will leave no stone unturned to suppress the armed revolutions trying to question its legitimacy and crush it forcefully for the sake of survival of democracy. If we talk of relevance of social movement in countries like north korea, Myaanmar etc. such movements are unlikely to thrive in such environments where government has free license to use the brutal force. But Democracies like India, US etc. offers an opportunity for struggling group to broaden participation by not rejecting existing institutions, but rather making use of them. Rising education level & freedom of speech available in democracies offers an opportunity for likeminded people to come together and establish a peaceful movement to challenge the mal-governance.

  • Essay 5th week

    Q.Critically evaluate the state of higher education system in India

    (No sources referred)

    Higher education system(HES) is the backbone of any nation for it produces nation-building intellectuals. The present HES in India is largely a British Legacy, even though world class universities like Nalanda existed centuries before that. Therefore, to evaluate the HES, a discussion of its evolution would be in order.

    The British set up many universities and colleges(U&C) in India, including Madras Presidency College, Calcutta University, both for training their recruits and imparting western and eastern education to the Indian masses. Gradually, the British realized that these universities,owing to the moral education imparted in them, had become factories for producing nationalists, challenging the very regime. Consequently, the wood’s despatch ,1854, recommended a radical transformation of these U&C. The new syllabi and teaching pattern became more instrumental and less value-laden. Thus, the universities started producing skilled labourers for the industry rather than thinkers, suiting British Interests. This impressed so deeply on our HES that the system is conspicuous even today.

    In what follows, the structure, distribution and associated issues/problems of the HES are discussed for a comprehensive evaluation.

    The HES in India can be broadly divided into Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate. A sectoral(stream-wise) classification would be arts, commerce, science, engineering, management,law, medical and journalism. Another classification based on status is Deemed universities and affiliated colleges, run by both public and private.

    The geographical distribution of these U&C is quite uneven as most are concentrated in metropolitan and other urban areas. While the Governments have attempted an equitable distribution, private U&C far outnumber public U&C and thus distort the distribution. On the other hand, stream-wise distribution is also uneven, where engineering and management institutes, running in lakhs, outnumber all other institutes. This not only represents the genuine incapability of the state to accommodate the increasing number of students, but also the structural distortion in the Indian economy, where the service sector dominates.

    Present state
    It is well known that only two Indian universities, IIT Mumbai and IIT Kharagpur, feature in the top 200 world universities, and none in top 100. An overwhelmingly large number of them are from the west. Hence, prior to any evaluation of our HES it must be kept in mind that India is developing nation which is scarce in resources and lags behind on several socio-economic parameters. All of this has a bearing on our HES.

    A sectoral(stream-wise) evaluation, which discusses both the common and specific issues to the streams is in order.

    Common issues
    The common factors which affect the quality of education of any HES are teachers, examination pattern and syllabus, regulation/autonomy,skill training, R&D output, academia-industry linkage, political intervention in technical matters and migration across streams and nations.

    A large number of posts(as much as 50%) are vacant for teachers both in technical and non-technical U&C. Attempts have been made by both the public and private sector to attract them by higher incentives, quick promotion etc, which have hardly been successful. Recently a scheme, Jawahar Lal Nehru Full-Bright Fellowship, for bringing the eminent scientist and academicians back from abroad to India, to work here as professors, was announced by GoI. The impact is yet to be measured, but it is clear that teaching has lost its sheen in India. The attitude of teachers is reflected in the examination pattern and the students.

    Examinations in our U&C, barring few top U&C, test rote-learning more than conceptual clarity and value build up. Moreover, the syllabus of a majority of U&C is archaic and not revised regularly. As a result, the students passing out from these U&C lack specific skill sets and thus can not be employed by the industry. Hence,unsurprisingly, academia-industry linkages, common in western U&C, are largely missing in India. There is no incentive for the industry to work with the former if they do not get quality. This impacts both the quality and quantity of R&D output in India. For, the U&C are constrained due to lack of funds both from the private sector( the missing linkages) and the genuine inability of the state to invest owing to other socio-economic obligations. A recent survey showed indicates that only 0.2% of the total number of journals and research papers published in India find mention in the High Impact Journals(the best ones in the world). A majority of the patents granted in India belong to the non-Indian MNCs.

    Due to these structural, quality and commitment issues, a large number of students flee abroad for better quality of education, employment and R&D, also known as brain drain. This severely impacts India, as years of investment in building human capital builds the developed nations and not us. It is known that about one-third of the scientists in NASA are either from India or of Indian origin. These factors are aggravated by the fact that only about 15% of Indians students enter the HES. But, even this small percentage in unable to find employment suitable to their skill set resulting in underemployment and unemployment. This also discourages other families from sending their children for higher education,as they do not see returns.

    Despite the prevalence of underemployment and unemployment, there has been a massive proliferation of private U&C in India post-1991 reforms. Owing to slack regulation by the UGC, AICTE and other such licensing and regulatory bodies, their quality of education has become
    very unsatisfactory. Recently, the UGC cancelled the licenses of many private deemed universities. Management quota or capitation fees in some of these universities restricts the higher education to upper classes, while rejecting poor meritorious students.

    Also, a number of U&C are established, licensed and located based on political considerations and not on factors such as demand, supply,quality, reach etc. Autonomy provided to these institutes is often abused.

    Specific Issues
    There are also issues specific to the streams which impact HES. The arts and commerce U&C( like JNU, DU) usually lack vocational training courses to make their students employable. This acts as a deterrent for many seeking employment post graduation, rendering arts less popular.

    In the engineering and medical U&C (IITs, NITs, AIIMS etc.) students often move from their parent stream to other streams like finance, consultancy. This severely impacts at least the government run U&C, for technical education is highly subsidized in India. Also, the number of PhDs,8,900, produced by these U&C is meagre when compared to 10,000 PhDs produced by China in only Agricultural Biotech. Multiple number of entrance examinations confuses students especially those from rural areas. Also, interestingly there is no mandatory requirement for private medical U&C to conduct medical entrance examinations. The Supreme Court recently ordered against a common NEET to be conducted by MCI, a regulatory body for medical education. Thus, there is no assurance about the much-needed quality of doctors graduating from these U&C.

    Management education lacks relevant and dynamic syllabus and industry exposure to suit the demands of the business firms to the changing and challenging global business environment, especially in the wake of recurring economic crisis.

    Recent attempts
    Thus, a very sad state of affairs of the HES in India can be witnessed. The present crisis in the HES has all the possible dimensions. Thus, the need for reforms has long been felt by the GoI(Government of India) and state governments. For, the way forward for India is to become a knowledge economy and higher education has the most important role to play here.

    The GoI has undertaken legislative, administrative and policy measures to tackle the crisis in the HES.

    Over 13 bills, including the Higher Education and Research Bill, which seek to bring generational changes in the HES are pending in the Parliament.

    Regulation and supervision by UGC, MCI, AICTE etc. have been tightened to ensure quality education. A review of the Supreme Court judgement on NEET has also been suggested,as it is very important to maintain the quality of medical education to address health delivery issues in India. There are plans to restructure the curriculum of Delhi university, one of the biggest and most prestigious universities in India, to suit the present situation. The Nalanda University Bill seeks to establish a world class Nalanda university,at the seat of ancient learning, Nalanda, Bihar. Further, it is also being proposed to cut-short four year degree courses to three years. As the western four year models have proved very costly and unsuitable in the Indian context.

    The 12th Five Year Plan seeks to substantially enhance the allocations to the HES. The recently unveiled Science Technology and Innovation policy endeavours to increase the number of PhDs, quality journals, R&D investment from the private sector and patents. All of this would directly feed into the quality of the HES. Also, very importantly, the recently set up Yash Pal committee, on reforms in higher education, has suggested to do away with the excessive specialisation in the Indian universities. This, if implemented, would be a historic step as every stream would be taught in our U&C and specialized courses would be introduced only in the later years of the course. It has the potential to create not only more informed students while choosing their career, but also informed citizens of the nation who would be able to think from different angles about a problem, being a democratic asset.

    It took us years to understand the irrelevance of the western models of higher education. This was aggravated by lack of resources, new structures and excessive politicization of HES. The present state of HES has been a story of neglect and continuous erosion. Our U&C have failed to perform and deliver on every front in a highly competitive global environment. It is time to pay serious attention to the HES, if we want to reap the demographic dividend;create nation-builders, and not mere skilled labourers; and engage the best brains of India in the service of our nation rather than others. Though this seems a distant reality but the efforts of the government to reform the HES would hopefully bear fruits. The journey may not be an easy one.

    • @insight

      Sir i have used an editorial type of format in this essay(e.g. The Hindu Lead articles) where a large essay is broken under different sub-headings, while maintaining a regular flow of thoughts.

      Is it the right approach to be replicated in the exams?

      • Aditya,

        Again, Introduction is not proper. You can afford to write large introductions to a lengthy essay. In this introduction, you have not given the thesis statement which is very important. The entire essay talks about major weaknesses plaguing HES in India; not a single statement can be found in the introduction.

        Having said that, you started well from second paragraph after taking cue from the last sentence of the Introduction. This has given a good flow to your essay.

        In essays like this, you can give sub-headings, but limit them to minimum. For topics having a proverb, or a quote from a famous personality, sub-headings are not needed.

        You have brought up multiple issues. One important issue that is missing is about funding – you have mentioned that there is a lack of funding.The fact is, there is no paucity for funds, but bulk (nearly 80%) of it goes for Salaries, Hostels, Food etc. and minuscule for research, libraries, and infrastructure.

        Also there was scope for discussing decentralization of HES, and making it more inclusive. Taking HES to rural areas is one area where government should think loud.

        Anyway, you can always think of many points. You will have plenty of time in the exam hall.

        For an essay written based on memory, it is an excellent one. You have grip over flow, language and content.

        • Aditya Jha

          Thank you sir. I would work in the weak areas and further improve strong ones.

  • neeraj gupta

    Post -1990 Democratization of Indian Politics – The Paradoxes
    The founding fathers of India gave its people the gift of democracy, a govt., as described by Abraham Lincoln, “by the people, of the people and for the people”. In four decades preceding 1990, the country faced looming danger of disintegration, war, forced emergencies, coalition governments, economic stagnation etc. Nevertheless, the democracy was strengthened. With the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the political stability of the country was lost. It signaled the advent of coalition politics at the centre. The past two decades have proved beyond doubt that the coalition politics is workable and is the future of multiparty democracy. But, it has led to a weak govt., lack of ideology, corruption and other vices. Each and every question in parliament is now determined by the politics of number rather than quality debates. The political system in India is still developing and it remains to be seen if it can overcome the vices and develop in a mature democracy.

    The P.V. Narshimha Rao government came to power on a sympathy wave after assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. It was faced with economic turmoil and with the help of the policy of liberalization and globalization of the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, it was able to save the economy. Though the government did not have absolute majority, but it was able to complete its five year term without any hitches. But the scams eroded its popular base and the next election saw a hung parliament. In the next two years, the country saw two more elections. Finally in 1999, NDA with Atal Bihari at its helm was able to form a govt. which lasted its full term. This marked the advent of coalition politics at the Indian political stage.

    The coalition politics brought in an amalgam of ideologies which was much more representative of ideological diverseness of India than the single party rule of congress in previous decades. For the first time in Indian political history, it brought about a strong opposition at the center. The political arena has changed from a one party show where autocracy of PM was the norm to one where the PM was subject to push and pull of leaders of its alliance. The ideological supremacy of one party was changed to a consensus based decision making where say of every party of the coalition did not go unheard. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s acumen in handling the pressure of 24 party alliance is commendable and it proved beyond doubt that coalition government was workable and future of Indian politics.

    The coalition politics changed the election manifesto of the leading political parties. Development took a front seat pushing ideologies like Hindutva to the back seat. Apart from Roti, Kapra and Makan, electricity, education, employment, environment, and economy became the main agenda for the election campaigns. Right to education, right to information, right to food bills were passed. The economic growth which was projected to follow Hindu growth i.e GDP growth rate of below 5%, took a quantum leap. Women’s issues were taken up seriously. Women’s Reservation bill was brought up in the parliament. Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 was passed to make the society more secure for women. Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, was brought to alleviate the problem of manual scavenging. Infrastructure was created via Pradhanmantri Gramin Sadak Yojna and Golden Quardilateral. MNREGA gave employment to a large section of people.

    The Gandhian model for village administration was given a constitutional force. The 73rd and 74th Amendment Act introduced three tier panchayati raj at the village level and urban local govt at urban level respectively. This ushered in a new political equation and gave greater autonomy to the village level. Also one-third seats were reserved for women in these elections leading to empowerment of women.

    The information age brought in new levels of transparency in field of administration. The RTI Act was main driving force. Village panchayats were connected by broadband and information about the representative was easily accessible. A liberal progressive democratic model of governance was adopted.

    Regional parties have become more prominent and regional issues are brought more intensely to the foray. Government by different parties at state and centre has added to the diversity of democracy. International issues like marshy areas between Gujrat and Pakistan, Kashmir issue, treatment of Tamils in SriLanka etc are brought out in state elections. Also, state parties have important stake in the coalition governments.

    But, the coalition govt was more a bed of thorns than roses. It led to a weak and ineffective government. The battle for power was more pronounced. MPs fighting with chairs and mike in parliament , taking money for asking question in parliament and watching porn in parliament morally degraded the sanctity of sacrosanct institution. The shouting and coming to well in the parliament has led to adjournment of house and loss to public exchequer.

    In recent time the quantity and quality of debate for passing important legislation has decreased dramatically. Most of the bills are passed without any debate. Legislation has become politics of numbers in the house rather than invoking quality debate and then passing it on basis of merit. Gone are the days of Nehru and Patel, when consensus was sought to achieve through debates. The fate of the legislation is decided in a closed room meeting of the ruling party alliance and parliament acts as a proxy for legislation. The failure of successive governments to pass the Lokpal bill due to either lapse of the bill due to dissolution of house or not being passed in any house has been a shining example. The Lok Sabha passed an emasculated Lokpal bill in 2012 due to heavy pressure but it is slated to meet the same fate of lapsing as the earlier Lokpal bills due to upcoming election. Political will is needed to bring about a strong legislation which is not present in coalition government.

    Election has become a game of money and power. There is a direct relationship between the amount of money a candidate spends and his chances of winning in the election. Though due to tiring efforts of Election Commission, direct rigging of elections by booth capturing and proxy voting has reduced, distribution of Freebies, pecuniary and other benefits have become an accepted norm in the elections. Paying superstars from Bollywood to campaign for their beloved candidates and parties have added to the expenses. Though election commision has tried to put a cap on the spendings in election, the restrictions are openly flouted and giving wrong information to the election commission has become the norm. Supreme court has expressed its concerns over giving away freebies saying it “shakes(s) the root of free and fair election” but has declared it to be legal.

    After the elections are over, the process of horse trading is another malpractice. Ministries and top positions are sold to get support from the leading political parties. In one scenario, an independent MP was made CM to bring a party to power .Some steps have been taken to stem such problem. Anti-defection law was brought to end this malpractice. On one hand, it helps to discipline the MPs for leaving the party in lure of ministership and other benefits, but mandating a MP to vote only according to his party forces him to go against his consciousness in supporting his party. Also CIC declared that political parties come under the ambit of RTI. But, the govt. is prepared to bring a legislation to get the political parties out of the ambit of RTI. The moral degradation of the MPs have led to a situation where any legislation or ruling which might indict them has been resisted and amendment enacted to abrogate such rulings.

    The coalition politics has also added to the scams of the country. Scams have become day to day news. Scams have become ways to regain the investments made in the election campaigns and pay in kind the corporate houses for the help they provided during the election campaigns. Also, since the coalition is short lived and chances of coming back to power are slim, the policy to get as much as one can, has taken precedence over honesty and public good. Swiss banks are filled with black money from the MPs, MLAs and other big names of corporate giants. A hush-hush agreement was done by our government with the Swiss government to help the black money escape from the public eyes.

    Support of underworld and criminals and candidates having pending criminal cases has led to criminalization of politics. Use of criminals to get even and remove competition in election is widely used by political parties. According to a survey, almost one third of the sitting MPs have criminal cases pending against them. It’s a shame that with a population of one billion we are unable to produce 552 honest candidates.

    The bureaucracy has become the slave of their political masters. . Govt. employees are threatened and coerced by local and national leaders to toe the line. Those who toe the line are promoted and posted to places of their choice. Others are transferred and suspended on flimsy ground for being upright and doing the right thing. Legal and procedural remedy to such whimsical political action is time consuming. Manipulation of CBI for personal and political mileage is another such issue.

    Casteism and communalism have also taken their roots in the politics. Parties like RJD, SP, BSP have garnered votes on the basis of caste of their leaders. Votes on the basis of religion have also been casted. Issues like Ayodhya have been used for gimmicks like rath yatra. BJP has criticised Congress for being pseudo secular by trying to project other parties as Hindu parties and itself as saviour of the Muslims. Recently, Allahabad high court has banned caste-based rallies, which has been staple of many parties. It remains to be seen the effect of such rallies.

    Nepotism is also being widely practiced. Congress party is the progenitor of Nepotism. The highly touted youth brigade comprises mostly of sons and nephews of political leaders. Also, near and dear ones of leaders have become rich in almost no time.

    Regionalism is also being practiced. In Maharastra and Kerla workers from Bihar, UP and Orissa have been segregated and beaten to death on live camera by worker of political parties. Putting their state or region first before the nation is a serious threat to the unity and integrity of our country.

    Value of our political leaders has also degraded. Statement from Khap panchayat and other political leaders have brought common man to shame.

    Foreign policies have also suffered due to weak leadership. Negotiations with Bangladesh over river water distribution have been held back due to regional players in WB. Tamilnadu has banned Sri Lankan players from entering their state druing IPL matches. Also a weak leadership has not been able to effectively and forcefully put nations concern at international forums. It has started to tow the American line in its foreign policy. Non-Alignment and Panchsheel should still be our line of action in dealing with Foreign affairs.

    There have been a few achievements in democratic scenario but the degradation of democracy far outweighs the achievements. Though ours is the largest democracy in the world, illiteracy has been a major obstacle in the right usage of franchise. Coalition government has provided us with a weak leadership which had deferred the right decision in favour of power politics. Though our political leaders have become deft at coalition politics and democracy has strengthened, the quality of politics has reached its nadir. If we want to achieve social, political, economic equality and international recognition, a strong and upright leadership with absolute majority is the need of hour.

    • Hi neeraj,

      I really liked the flow of your essay. The language is also good.

      If you read the topic and then read your essay, you would find that you have not proved logically that any of these occurrences was a paradox, post-1990s. I understand that many points mentioned by you are every relevant, but their link to paradox is missing, which is the main demand of the essay..

      The essay is focussed on democratization of Indian politics post-1990s. And, thus the introduction and conclusion are also on the same lines.


      • neeraj

        Thanks Aditya… i have hinted at the paradoxes in most of the points.. but i think i needed to be more explicit.. i will keep ur views in my mind next time.

        Insights.. pls review my essay ..

    • neeraj

      Insights.. please review my essay

    • Being the Change

      Neeraj, though i am not an expert..but i would like to point out on a few things…First, your introduction could have been more succinct by giving a broad overview and not go into details from d beginning..Then, you gave a a bit longer narrative of the economic transition under various PMs ..UPSC seeks a concise,exact and effective expression..Adding to this i feel that one should not be personal in his references and be non partisan in approach..like ” Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s acumen in handling the pressure of 24 party alliance is commendable ” ..your argumetns seemed pro NDA ..

  • Post -1990 Democratization of Indian Politics – The Paradoxes

    Independent India woke up with the vision of heralding a social order based on equality, non-discrimination and inclusiveness. Parliamentary democracy was chosen as a vehicle to achieve it. In the decade of 90s and thereafter, political milieu has seen a lot of churning. Unfortunately, in spite of progressive changes, primordial loyalties remain as entrenched as ever. Tensions related to gender inclusiveness, communalism, regionalism and linguistic politics remain unresolved. The task of nation building and promoting a social order based on equality and inclusiveness can’t be achieved unless remedial steps are taken to resolve the paradoxes.

    Progressive legislation have brought major changes in social outlook since independence. Sati prohibition, widow remarriage, child marriage prohibition – once frowned upon- has emerged as high values one looks up to. The decade of 90s and thereafter saw its share of progressive legislation as well.

    Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRIs) and Urban local bodies(ULBs) got constitutional recognition ushering a new era of participatory governance. In pursuance to the directive principles of state policy, affirmative actions in the form of reservation to the marginalized sections in jobs and educational institutions were put in place.

    Progressive legislations were not without paradoxes. These paradoxes owe their origin to factors which include, inter-alia, a patriarchal society, adherence to primordial norms of community, cast and language and deteriorating standards of public service.

    Communalism raised its ugly head again, post-Babri Masjid demolition. Riots ensued. To see identity politics being played on grounds of religion to garner votes is distressing. It raised doubts about the promise of building a secular society, we made to ourselves in the preamble to our constitution.

    The polarization of votes following Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir issue propelled BJP to power in the center. The last bastion of Congress at the center was stormed, propelled by the communalism. It heralded a new era of coalition politics at the center political parties professing different political ideologies sat together and formed a government. National Conference, for instance, was a constituent of NDA regime. The co-operation and conflict between parties divided on communal-secular line is another paradox.

    The implementation of Mandal commission report, though controversial, aimed at achieving ends outlined in DPSP by way of affirmative action. Jobs and seats in educational institutions were granted to SCs, STs and OBCs to elevate their socio-economic standing in the country. Despite the reservations, political parties have done little to bring stricter laws to punish caste based discrimination in order to eliminate the scourge of casteism. Fast track courts have not been for speedier trial for atrocities committed on the, hitherto, marginalized and oppressed. This dichotomous policy is inexplicable.

    PRIs and ULBs were accorded constitutional recognition by 91st and 92nd constitutional amendment. It aimed at promoting participatory governance and created the third tier of our governmental structure. Reservations were provided for SC/ST/Women. Women reservation of 33 per cent announced to propel women in leadership position at grass root level. This in turn, was seen, as a stepping stone to granting a larger role to women at the state and central level. Unfortunately, proposals for promoting women reservation in Parliament and State legislature was vehemently shot down on grounds of it being detrimental to the interests of marginalized women. This duplicity of stand on the issue of women reservation is an unresolved tension.

    Criminalization of politics was another emerging factor in the politics of 90s. While political class was never ever completely blemish less in independent India, the decade of 90s and thereafter saw standards in political life stooping to a new low. Quantum of muscle power and money power became the determinants of political success. Bahubalis – a euphemism for Criminals and goons – tasted political success and engaged in opportunistic politics. The law and order condition, public confidence in public institutions and the rule of law was causality. In a nation deriving the freedom struggle’s inspiration on the moral grounds of non-violence and non-materialism, the rise of money and political power was a surprise. This trend was concomitant with increasing public restlessness about criminalization of politics. In spite of public outrage and anger, the fact that candidates with criminal antecedents are fielded by political parties, continue to surprise.

    Public outrage over criminalization of politics also resulted in shunning up of political structures by electorate. Voting age was reduced from 21 years to 18 years by the force of 61st constitutional amendment. Despite the lowering of age, voting percentages plummeted to new lows in elections. It underscores the extent of delusion the youth have about political structures. Politics was shunned as a career on account of the shimmering discontent, dissatisfaction with way our political life was organized. Failure of political parties to attract youth in election – either as candidate or as a voter – remains their drawback. In a democratic nation, demographically predominantly young, this is unpardonable.

    The dynamic politics was also a factor in keeping away the motivated youth in joining elections. In various states and at the center, dynastic politics has taken root. This trend has accentuated in the decades of 90s and thereafter. Yadav families in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Badals in Punjab etc. have successfully entrenched themselves in the political life. Inner party democracy is missing in political functioning. Leaders are drawn on the basis of their ascribed quality like lineage rather than relying on achieved educational status or mass following. This reactionary trend of neo-monarchism in a nation based on democratic values of equality and inclusiveness remains a handicap in building important precedents for posterity.

    Dynastic rule didn’t emerge in a vacuum. It was fueled by forces of regionalism. Independent India never saw formation of linguistic states as antithetical to national unity. This explains the linguistic reorganization of states in 1956. It was assumed that the formation of linguistic state is a sine qua non for holding a diverse country. Recent trends have portrayed a contrary picture. The emergence of son-of-the-soil doctrine in Maharashtra and political violence against north Indians serve as a grim reminder of the fragility of state institutions to protect constitutional guarantees. States have a central role in India whose political structure is based on federal polity. But, the violence manifested on citizens, on orders of political demagogues, strikes at the very root of national integration.

    Caste emerged as a major plank for vote mobilization in the decade of 90s. Primordial identity like caste still continues to dominate polity, especially in state elections. Emergence of successful caste based political parties like BSP and SP in Uttar Pradesh; RJD in Bihar etc. has accentuated the trend of caste based politics. Such wide spread mobilization of people on caste line promotes division in a diverse society and prevents integration of people within the socio-political life of the country.

    The unexplained paradoxes owe their origin to variegated factors of primordial loyalties, patriarchal values and can be only resolved by concerted action by a proactive legislature, assertive Judiciary and a vigilant media backed by an informed citizenry.

    Progressive legislation remains an active tool for social change; especially with regard to empowerment of marginalized and pruning the primordial instincts like caste, religion and language in people. Ideas which challenge and subvert national unity should be sternly countered with legislation.

    Judiciary, as a vanguard of fundamental rights, remains as important as ever. Recent Allahabad High Court verdict banning caste based political rallies underscores the important role Judiciary can play in curbing the menace of casteism. Judiciary should play an active role in handling issues of communal rights or regional jingoism by firmly protecting people’s right and upholding constitutional values.
    Media, described as fourth pillar of democracy, has no lesser role. It should highlight instances of injustice, inequality and moral turpitude so that the authoritative institutions of the state can step in to resolve issues.

    The task of nation building in a diverse country based on democratic values is a herculean task. Variegated socio-political-economic factors raise different paradoxes in political milieu during their normal functioning. Our response to such aberrations should be guided by constitutional values of participatory democracy, fundamental rights framework, secularism and socialism to resolve such conflicts in an amicable manner. The vision of a harmonious social order marked by principles of egalitarianism, social cohesion, and democratic polity would remain a vision in the absence of remedial steps to resolve the dichotomous paradoxes thrown up in the normal course of functioning of a nation state.

  • vipul

    “Education and Dalit Empowerment”

    Who are Dalits

    The word ‘Dalit’ has been adopted from Sanskrit word Dal which means the oppressed, broken or downtrodden. Dalit have been known by different names like untouchable, depressed classes or Harijans etc. during a course of time. As per traditional Hindu caste system, there were four castes Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, Atishdura, Avarnas etc. Dalits were the outcastes who were considered as impure and they were socially excluded from the rest of the society.
    Due to the traditional fallacy of caste system, Dalits faced discrimination and violence all across the country for centuries. Two important leaders of India, Gandhi Ji & Ambedkar showed great concern about the status of Dalits in our society. Gandhi ji raised awareness among people about the widespread discrimination and tried to raise Dalit’s status to shudras by calling them Harizans, while Ambedkar worked towards seeking constitutional and legal rights for the Dalits.
    Caste malady is so much ingrained in the Indian society that despite being Independent for last 67 years, a large section of Dalits in India have been denied even the basic human rights as promised in the constitution. Dalits represents nearly 17 % of the Indian population but their participation in India growth story has been far from satisfactory. Years of hostility has put the majority of Dalits among most backward and poor class of Indian society
    Provisions for up-liftment of Dalits
    Constitution of India abolished untouchability 3 years after the independence. Since independence government of India has passed numerals acts like protection of civil rights act 1955 , Prevention to atrocities act1989 to protect the basic rights of Dalits. Apart from constitutional & legal rights, Government of India has taken several measures like reservation in government jobs, sub-plans for SC to ensure budget allocation in proportion to their population, access to education, promoting entrepreneurship etc. to empower the Dalits. Education is one aspect of empowerment which has tremendous capability to bridge the wide gap between status of Dalits and non-Dalits in a relatively short span of time.
    Education is key to empowerment
    Education is key aspect in Dalit empowerment. Most of the Dalits are dependent on non-Dalits for occupations that make them vulnerable to exploitation despite the provisions of constitutional rights. Education has the potential to enhance the avenues for employment and cut the rope of dependency. All steps to curb the social exploitation will not succeed till the time, economic exploitation persists in the society.
    Primary education can provide the majority of illiterates the basic read and write skills. Government of India has implemented several scheme for the up-liftment of Dalits. But in the absence of basic literacy rights they are deprived of the benefits provided under schemes due to unawarenes and make the vulnerable to the exploitation of implementation officers. Dalits participation in design and implementation of such schemes can significantly improve the outcome of these schemes.
    Poverty is one of the reason that majority of Dalits students dropped out of schools after primary education. Vocation education can play a bigger role to improve the income and instill confidence & entrepreneurial spirit among this segment.
    In talk of empowerment we often ignore the women who are the most vulnerable among vulnerable.
    No policy of empowerment can be called successful until it touches the life of most vulnerable. “If you educate a man, you educate an individual; if you educate a woman, you educate a family” said Mahatma Gandhi. Education among women will empower to demand their basic rights and take care of their & family health in better way
    Quality higher Education can provide Dalits the new skills and opportunities to enter the new high paid job market that has opened up post globalization.

    Dalit education status & government measures to improve their participation

    Over last few decades, education level among the Dalits has improved a lot from 49 % in 1991 to 68 % among males and from 23 % to 49% among females in 2011.But the literacy rate among Dalits are still below national averages and is case of Dalit women, data is much more skewed. Drop out rate in primary education is nearly 35 %. Post-secondary school dropout ratio is as high as 70 %.Dalit enrolment in higher education is nearly 8 % below the national average of 15 % .

    Government has sponsored several schemes and program to accelerate the education development among Dalits. Some of the current schemes are discussed as under:
    • Government provides free supply of textbooks and stationary at all stages of school education
    • Government provides pre-metric scholarship to children’s whose parents are involved in unclean occupations
    • Government also provides reservation in Kendriya vidyalayas
    • Government has constructed several hostels for SC girls as well boys under Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatraws Yojna to impart the quality education to these students.
    • Apart from targeted schemes, the universal schemes like mid-day meal & SSA have been successful to improve the enrollment of children in schools.
    • Post metric scholarship scheme has been launched to provide the support to parents of SC children so that drop out from primary to secondary education can be minimized.
    • Government has launched the Rajiv Gandhi national fellow ship program to increase the opportunity for SC student to pursue higher education such as M.Phil. & Ph.D. Apart from this, Government also provides national overseas scholarship for selected SC students to master level courses in engineering, management, medicine etc.

    Hurdles to Dalit’s education
    Existing schooling condition available for Dalits is alarming. Quality of Schooling system is organized in terms of hierarchical pattern of social composition. Majority of upper class students are able to join the top school in respective urban & rural areas, while Dalits do join the schools inferior in quality due to the financial constraints. Primary schooling suffers from inadequate teachers, physical infrastructure, poor teaching material & availability of schools itself. At times they face discrimination from teachers and other students in the classroom.
    Students in primary schooling falling under 6-11 year age group has better enrollment ratio. But as soon as they reach 11-14 age group, they drop out of school to support their families by doing child labor. Government has not very successful to curb the child labor and in absence of sufficient compensation, parents are compelled to send their child for occupation in place of education. Wide spread poverty and absence of effective policy environment has been depriving Dalits not only of education but the young kids of their childhood as well.
    When a Dalit student reaches the higher education after overcoming all the hurdles, he faces the worst form of discrimination like castiest assault & verbal, physical abuse from his own batch mates. Such inhuman behavior has led to many meritorious Dalit students to take the extreme step of committing suicide.
    Despite the continuous government support, Dalit community has not been successful to reap the full benefit of educational development due to un-availability of schools and poor quality of education if schools are available for them. Despite the , 25 per cent seats at the entry level which are to be reserved for underprivileged children, very few schools are following the rule & many of them with dangerous discrimination practices. Rising literacy rates shows some rays of hope but Dalit’s satisfactory participation in post metric & higher education still remains a distant dream. Prevalent discrimination, abusive behavior of teacher and fellow students is forcing them to drop out of the education. On papers we have removed the untouchability but in reality majority of Indian population practice this hidden apartheid in their daily life. Government & civil society is yet to do a lot to eradicate the caste based discrimination in schools, colleges by raising awareness among government official, dropping caste demeaning section from curriculum & imparting sensitivity training to teachers & public at large so that education can play its critical role in Dalit empowerment.

  • neeraj

    where’s this weeks essay topic??

    • At last someone Noticed!!!

      • neeraj


  • “1 billion people in the world are chronically hungry. 1 billion people are overweight.”

    Roti, Kapda and Makkan are the basic amenities of life, so, every living soul in this world of 7 billion must have these three basic entities for survival. But the harsh reality of world is that we are not able to provide the people with even enough food to eat and survive. If we look into today’s world scenario it is clear the on one side the people are growing their belly by overeating where as on the other there are some who die in want of food.
    In oxford dictionary hunger is defined as the Painful sensation which is caused due t the want of food. But then a very serious question arises – we are living in this 21St century and food was never as abundant as it is today but then also why people are dying of hungr? Truth is we have enough food to feed the population of 7 billion but then there is 1 out of every 8 person is hungry and 1 out of 3 child is under weight. If we look into the world hunger distribution pattern, we find out that Africa, south east Asia and south Asia are the worst affected area. Why So?
    It become clear that developing, underdeveloped and undeveloped nation are the hunger hit countries of the world. Poverty and underdevelopment are the root cause. People in these countries do not have enough money to buy and trade for food. Farmers cannot grow good crop because they do not have enough tool and machinery. Irrigation facility is not proper and they lack in modern agricultural technique. Moreover the everyday growing population demands for more. Lack of basic agricultural infrastructure hit the country dearly. Inefficient storing and transportation result in 10%-25 % food wastage, which again lead food crises. Thousand of quintals of grains rot due to lack of ware houses. Developing countries also lack in roads and railway which leads to higher transportation cost thus higher price of the food. In short poor are hungry and their hunger trap them in proverty. The lack of irrigation, better seed, fertilizers and machinery lead to low productivity and attacks of insect and beetle graves the hunger situation. Poor farming practice, over cropping and over grazing are exhausting the earth fertility and spreading the root of hunger. Many of developing countries dependent on nature for rain, so, when rain fails, agriculture also fails. Natural Disaster are very frequent in equatorial and tropical region, flood, drought and storm are very common in these area which have disastrous effect on the life and agriculture of the region. With Global warming on rise and restless cutting down of precious forest has added to the woes of the country. Forest which are very essential for soil conservation and rain have been cut down and over exploited for tillable land and its product. Which have resulted in untimely rain, heavy flood and drought. War is another reason which has resulted in food crises, opposite forces try to destroy the food of the enemy. Fields and fields of standing crop are burnt, water is poisoned and many people are starved to death.
    Every person feel the same pain of hunger but children are worst affected. They grow to be dieses prone and Malnutrition. It is been estimated that about 25% of the world population gets only one time of food. When body does not get the required nutrients it slows the process of growth and the growth of child is not adequate. Their immune system, which is the basic fighting block in their body cannot fight against the pathogens and alien micro organism. Gravity of situation can only be estimated by the fact that in these undeveloped nation 10% of children are not able to see their 6th summer. The effect of malnutrition in adult is seen as slow death by various diseases.
    Many efforts has been taken worldwide to fight hunger and ensure and contain this situation. FAO(Food and Agricultural Organization) was setup to fight and eradicate hunger and malnutrition. There is UNICEF for children which help children worldwide. Recently In India Food Bill was passed by both the houses of legislature, which provide the Right for food at subsidized rate of 2 – 5 Rs a Kg(upto 5 kg. per person per month).This bill cover 75% of rural population and 50% of urban Population addition to that we have mid day meal program for children upto 14 year of age who can avail free lunch at school. Financial and food aid are provided to developing country worldwide to feed their growing population and new methods of agriculture are been introduced to these areas, which are drought resistant and can grow on less fertile soil. Many new industries and research center are coming up to support and the sustain the economy, so that these countries can standup on their own feet.
    Now if we look at the situation of the developed world the situation is totally opposite. In fact if we look at the population divide with the rich and poor prospective we will find the rich in developing countries and people of developed countries die of chronic disease caused by overeating and bad eating habits (Most of the case.) This seems legit as food is in so abundance in these countries that most of them have heart disease, High BP, obesity, artery blockage asthma and many more. In America alone Obesity is observed in 1 of 3 children and main cause of heart disease in USA is eating oily and trans fat food. Millions of tons of grains are converted to bio diesel and fed to pigs and cows for their meat. House hold wastage of food in developed countries is huge. About an estimate 30% – 40% of food bought by the people is either dumped or thrown away.
    The number of people in obese category is in rise. Western modernization and development has made everything so easy and fast that people don’t feel to raise their hand. On the contrary the food growth due to green revolution and mechanization has increase many folds and globalization has added to the variety of food which was never available before. New working habits of so called white and golden collar jobs has added to the woos of society. People are becoming lazy and lethargic. High energy drinks and trans fat food which are full of calories and with no nutrients are the prime choice of the youth of today. Today work culture(mental tiring and stressful) and lack of physical activity are the prime accuse of overweight. The junk food store like KFC, McDonald, subway are shown as the trending pillar in modernity which is the acute mistake of our world. The chemical and preservatives which are added to keep our canned food fresh has to be looked from a different prospective. Recently many evidence of food poisoning and health problem were discovered in additives of canned food.
    If we want to save our future generation from such things, it is evident that we have to change the living and eating habits of our modern asylums. For making healthy body physical activity and nutritious food is must. Tasty is not always good. Children avoid eating green leafy vegetable and pulses but cherish ice-cream and French fries, and even parents don’t mind providing their children with all these junk. Youth of the modern era has to change to save our future generation. Otherwise the legacy which they will carry may question the existence of humanity in future.
    On one side the poor of the world fight for their daily existence in want of food which put a question mark in the face of humanity. The great divide between the rich and poor seems to deepen by every passing moment. On the other the rich people have been completely engulfed in the pleasure of modernity which causes obesity and chronic overeating problems.
    The only thing which has kept humanity alive till today is its hope and never ending determination to achieve a better future. This is also applied in today’s world scenario. There are many people who are working to give a ray of hope and better future to the people and children of third world countries. So, that every soul get enough to eat and drink, have proper sanitation, schooling and better facilities in their home and country. Many things has been done and many more has to be done. Even there is change in the view of the people in developed country about their way of living and more and more people and involved in physical activities like gym and yoga classes. They are attracted to organic and fresh food. Many people are turning vegetarian for healthy lifestyle.
    All these are really a positive prospect for better future. The future of world is in the hand of every global citizen and we must act accordingly to overcome this grave problem, and try to build a better future. Hoping every hungry soul is able satisfy itself from hunger and every obese and overeating person can bring himself of the door of health living habits because only in a healthy body can a healthy mind reside and healthy mind is key for the betterment of future and existence of Humanity.

    • @ Insight Sir. Kindly review. This is my 1st essay so kindly give me detailed feedback of my mistake – if possible

  • Vicky..

    Sir Please provide good sources for the 7th topic..
    I am not getting good sources for the paradox of coexistence of Hunger and Overweight together…
    Data on Hunger is abundant , but not on overweight.

  • souvik banerjee

    Nice topics

  • harsha

    For ills of democracy social movement may be the cure, not revolution

    Democracy it is the Government of the people, by the the people, for the people. This is the main theme of democracy. It is the peoples power People elect there representative to rule them. Democracy has three pillars Legislative, Executive and Judiciary but the base to all this is Democracy means active paticipation of people is required to keep government working effectively. But even Democracy has loop holes. To tackle loop holes people may resort to both social movement and revolution
    social movement can be brought by drafting a plan and demanding it in front of Government to execute it people follow peaceful means to achieve the goal. If the drafted bill is taken for consideration it will debate in parliment. If drafted plan not implemented people call for – like strike by hunger, posing cutouts and peaceful demonstration in front of public office.
    Revolution it is done through violent means to achieve there goal but revolution may be used for there own advantage also. Guns, firing, bombs, hostages, threating public office, civil servant, politician to bring changes quickly but through fear. This kind of act will also lead to killing of public. As per Gandhi “ An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind “. so social movement are better han revolution as it does not create fear or killings of people. But only this or that ( social movement and revolution ) is not a solution to solve ills of Democracy.
    In democracy qualification to be elected is not required.it tells only a citizen of that country, of certain age, with no office of profit and a criminal background can participate as candidate to get elected. Country with more literate think before they elect their representative but country like India where illetracy rate is more some people get ellected by giving freebies to people. People may get tricked by that and elect their representative. The elected person even without the knowledge of poltics and function of govt will be elected and that person participate in elections only to make money and self-intrest. This will lead to corruption. If more people like this character get elected then working of govt leads to inefficiency. When this kind of situation arise people may resort to social movement to bring changes.when more number of corrupted representative get elected this will also lead to a revolutionary movement. To justify this-once gandhian people met Bhagat singh and asked him to stop revolutionary idea the movement he heard that he held the person with neck and squeezed him in the neck then the person suddenly reacted by hurting Bhagat singh in glass bottle which was kept near him. After this situation the singh explained this what revolutionary idea. When your enemy sits on your neck to escape instantly you may resort to by using violent means. Some times this revolutionary idea may be used if the representative becomes corrupt and work for there self intrest
    conclusion: Depending on the situation and state of working of government either social movement or revolution may be used to tackle the loop holes of Democracy

  • prasanna

    pls go through this link good for gs-4

  • vipul

    One billion Hungary and One billion Obese
    Hunger profile of world
    World current population is nearly 7 billion. Out of which, nearly 1 billion population is suffering from chronic hunger. Majority of this population resides in poor & developing countries. General tendency of media is to portray hunger in form of starvation. For ex: skinny small kids begging for food, weak mothers unable to breast feed their children etc. Majority of such cases of acute hunger are found among the people in war prone zones or the regions suffering from natural disaster.
    Another form of hunger is undernourishment. Hunger in form of undernourishment is much widespread and receives the least attention of society at large. Under-nourished people consists of nearly 90 % of the total hungry people in the world. Under nourishment occurs when people’s intake of mineral, protein & vitamins etc. is lesser than adequate amount needed for a good physical and mental health. Under nourished people have lesser physical stamina & weaker mental activity than the healthy people. Hunger reduces the concentration capability & immunity of people. People under effect of hunger are more vulnerable to common diseases like measles, diarrhea etc. Undernourishment is a vicious cycle as under nourished mother gives birth to an undernourished child and the cycle continues. Providing better nourishment at the right time is key to break this cycle of undernourishment. Majority of world hungry population resides in Asia, Africa & Latin America. As per the Global Hunger Index based India ranks 67 out of 84 countries in 2010.
    Overweight/ obese profile of the world
    1 billion hungry people in world coexist with 1 billion overweight population. Overweight is defined as abnormal or excessive fat that may cause a risk to health. Overweight /obesity is also a form of mal-nutrition. Overweight is generally measured in terms of body mass index (BMI).People with BMI above 25 are termed as overweight and above 30 as obese. Overweight/obesity may lead to diseases like diabetes, heart diseases and cancer etc. Overweight & obesity has become the fifth leading cause for the number of deaths globally. As per WHO estimate nearly 1.4 billion adults are overweight & 10 % of total adult population is suffering from obesity. Irony is that nearly 70 % of world population resides in countries where obesity kills more people than the hunger. Two major causes of overweight/obesity are intake of high fat enriched food and lack of physical activity. Since 1980s worldwide number of overweight/obese has almost doubled. This sudden upsurge can be attributed to environment & societal changes due to development & lack of supportive polices in healthcare, education, food processing etc. sectors. Once considered a phenomenon in developed countries, overweight/obesity is now more prevalent in poor/developing countries. Overweight people/obese & hungry people now resides side by side in the same country. For ex: In Mexico, 30 % poor population coexist with 70 % obese population. Obesity is rapidly overtaking hunger as the major cause of concern among the policymakers worldwide.
    Coexistence of Obesity and Hunger
    One more common misunderstanding is that obesity & hunger can not co-exist. Both obesity and hunger are serious public health problems, sometimes co-existing in the same families and the same individuals. Poor families are compelled to consume low cost food which are at times high in sugar, fat & energy dense food that lead to obesity .In absence of sufficient disposable income, poor are forced to be dependent on few selected item which lacks the micro nutrients requires for Human body. Such phenomenon of obesity existence with hunger in individuals is widely observed in countries like USA etc. Lack of Food continuous availability lead to overeating when it is available and causes overweight.
    Obesity and huger also coexist at national level as well. Over last 30 years global food system has completely changed. Middle class People in urban areas more rely on readymade processed food to fulfill their hunger. Instant availability of processed food has further increased the consumption among urban class who find it less time consuming & easily available. Processed food, cold drinks etc. in conjunction with lesser physical activity has increased the obesity among the urban population while farming families continues to starve in country side.
    Side effects of globalization has been that food processed chains of western world have brought the unhealthy western food system to developing countries. Result of all this is that India as a country is suffering with an epidemic of hunger as well as epidemic of obesity. Nearly 20 % of Indian population is overweight. As per a report India is expected to spend 200 Billion USD between 2010-2015 on obesity related species like diabetes, heart diseases, cancer etc.

    Both the groups (overweight as well as hunger) people suffer from nutrient malnutrition including vitamin, Mineral & protein deficiency. Majority of the government worldwide are feeling this double burden of mal-nutrition. Governments worldwide need to undertake programs to provide the nutritional support among the poor. Timely nutritional support to mother and small children will not only break the malnutrition cycle but help the countries to save a lot on public health expenditures. Availability of affordable nutrient rich food is the prime need to fight the obesity & hunger at the same time.
    Considering the media coverage processed and adulterated drinks manufacturers get, it is necessary that Government promotes the awareness programs on balanced diet especially among the urban masses. Government needs to form policies for food companies so that they start making healthier options with fewer harmful fats, salts, and sugar. At the same time, policies should aim at reduction in marketing foods to children, because they are more vulnerable to obesity.
    In context of India, we have been successful to raise our food production in sync with the population growth. Independent India has not witnessed any famine, something that was more prevalent in British India. In near future, Climate changes will pose a bigger threat in front of India as well as world to feed its population. Growth in food production has reduced the starvation in India but not the malnutrition. Poor people are still not able to afford the health protein, mineral enriched food.Government needs to think beyond its current strategy of supplying subsidized food grains to poor to providing nutritious diet to the poor. In recent times, though the production of wheat & Rice etc. has increased in India but production of nutrition support diet like pulses etc. have decreased. Poor people in general don’t get choice to choose their food. Considering majority of vegetarian population in India, government needs to come out with policies to promote the production of nutrition supporting crops pulses, soya beans, ground nuts etc. in India. Measures such as cash transfers/food vouchers are needed so that poor have variety of foods to choose from to meet their nutrient needs. Recently passed food security bill was a good step forward to reduce the starvation but it failed to address the issue of balanced nutritious diet which is must for all round development of people. Some Intellectuals are even calling the food security bill as ill-defined and naming it as Hunger and Starvation Bill”, or “Distribution of Subsidized Food Grains Bill.

  • neeraj

    1 billion people in the world are chronically hungry. 1 billion people are overweight.
    “Health” as described by World Health Organisation “is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It is amusing to note that though one billion people in the world are chronically hungry, another one billion are overweight. This describes the economic inequality and the unconcerned attitude about health prevailing in the world.

    Underweight and overweight are terms defined as less than 18.5 and more than 25 BMI respectively. The poor and developing countries of Asia, Africa and South America are the main victim of underweight. Overweight people can be found throughout the world, though more in the developed countries. Both are precursors and progenitors of many health issues. Underweight results in low stamina and a weak immune system. It affects women and children more acutely and can result in amenorrhea, infertility and complication during pregnancy in women and osteoporosis and increased mortality rates among children. Being overweight may cause heart disease, increased cholesterol level, high BP etc.

    According to Govt of India report, a grown up man requires minimum of 2400kcal and 2100kcal in rural and urban areas respectively and the average calorie of Indians is much less than stipulated numbers. Though the above figure only provide for energy requirements of a healthy body, lack of minerals and vitamins in our diet are important concerns as well. This causes malnutrition and contributes to malnutrition. A recently published Hungama (acronym for Hunger and Malnutrition) Report by Nandi foundation says that 42% of Indians are malnourished and 91% mothers have never heard the term “malnutrition”. An recent statement by chief minister of Gujarat claiming the deplorable status of health parameters to be enhancement of the wealth and economy proves the shortsightedness our leaders have towards the health system. These figure point to the deplorable health condition in our country.

    On the other hand, obesity (which is extreme form of overweight) is another problem being faced by the general population. The increasing propensity towards fast food and unhealthy diet habits are major cause of deteriorating health conditions among youth. Mc Donald, Pizza Hut and Dominos are becoming household names in India.

    Though the affluent are spending hundreds of rupees for a pizza and burger in air-conditioned restaurants, the poor are unable to meet daily energy requirements. Consumerism is on the rise. Branded food is in vogue.

    The social indicators like Maternal Moratlity Rate, Infant Mortality Rate etc are on decline. One of the major reasons is malnutrition. Though the govt. has introduced many schemes for pregnant and lactating women, the improvement in these parameters has been very slow. Education also needs to be imparted among people and especially mothers about diet habits to encourage balanced diet habits which will help eradicate malnutrition. Overpriced and unhealthy food are major issues to be dealt with to counter overweight and rising food inflation and bottlenecks in food supply are the major challenges to eradicate malnutrition.

    The hunger deaths in the country are on the rise and millions of tons of grain are rotting due to lack of proper storage facilities. Lack of food is another area to be improved. Our production is not increasing according to the growing demands owing to increase in population. Another green revolution is needed to meet the growing demand of food. This may include the use of Genetically modified crops , mechanization and best cultivation practices being used in the world. Also food inflation needs to be monitored and kept in check. Even if food is available, inflation cuts down on the purchasing power of the general masses. The recent easing of food inflation is good news. Bottlenecks also arise due to transportation within states and between states. A comprehensive policy is needed to counter the loss and unavailability of food due to inter and intra state transportation of food supply. Wastage of food inspite of heavy production is another major problem. MSMEs should be encouraged to produce packaged food to preserve food and be used in off seasons.

    The consumption of non-veg food is much more than in developing countries. Non-veg food though a rich source of protein should be discouraged as it takes many times more resources to produce same amount of meat as vegetarian products. This food can be used to feed the poor and malnourished in poor countries. But such an arrangement seems improbable and is much sought for.

    Another major area of concern is on the decreasing area under agriculture. With increasing population, the stress on limited land resource is increasing. Controlling population has to be a major policy among the developing nations. Use of scarce land resources to produce biodiesel has using plants like zatropha and corn has also decreased the fertility of soil. Also it decreases effective area under food production.

    The recent decrease in poverty as indicated by NSSO has been a major relief for the govt. But it has been criticized on the basis of parameters to determine the BPL line. Rs 26 per person is in no way an indicator to affluence. To counter this, the govt. has recently passed Food and Security Act, which will provide wheat, rice and pulses at 1 Rs/kg, 2 Rs/kg and 3 Rs/kg respectively. This scheme envisages an outreach to around 70% of Indian population. This may prove to be a boon for the poor of our country. But many important issues like availability of grains to be supplied, storage and effect on fiscal deficit and economy remains to be major impediment.

    A healthy body is home to a healthy mind. It can be easily seen among the developed nations. The health parameters in these countries are much better than the developing countries. The percentage of students going to colleges is much more in developed countries than in developing countries. Better health will decrease resources on medical facilities thereby freeing resources for educational and economic development.

    Also, expenditures on security need to be pruned to increase the outlay on poverty alleviation programs. Friendly relations with our neighbours will go a long way in decreasing our defence expenditure and free resources to provide better economic status to our people.

    Though there is a vast economic gap between the developed and developing countries, there is no reason to believe that health indicators can be improved. Countries like Bangladesh and Bhutan has shown that HDI can be increased inspite of developing economy. Eliminating economic disparity between nations can be achieved by bringing about development in health indicators. As an old adage goes “Health is Wealth”.

  • prasanna

    Broken food system yielded 1 billion hungers and 1 billion overweight in the world today. Consolidated agriculture, climate change, decreased availability of natural resources, rising food prices, easy availability of cheap processed food, urbanization and globalization of food markets, not meeting targets of world food summit and millennium goals are the causes for breaking food system. Government business and wealthy elites are responsible for current situation in the world as they played vital role in influencing policies.
    Hunger and overweight:
    Hunger is a condition of not having required for needy in a country. World hunger denoted as malnutrition. These are of two kinds’ protein energy malnutrition and malnutrition of micronutrient deficiency. Former is more frequent and more lethal as protein is required to body for its key functions. Later is also important as it covers important vitamins and minerals. Recent times hunger increased in Africa nearly one among four. There was a decrease of 30% of undernourishment in Asia and pacific due to their socio economic progress. But this progress decreased in recent times. Most of the times children are the victim’s underdevelopment causes death and magnifies diseases by deteriorating their immunity power. 70% children in Asia are the sufferers. Malnourished mother is the starting point of the hunger that gives birth to low weight baby. Infant mortality rate shoots up in this case. In case of India stunted children are observed, scientists are assuming this is may be due to poor sanitation and malnutrition.
    Obese is a person whose body mass index over 30kg/m2. Since 1980 threefold of obesity rates seen in North America, UK, Eastern Europe, Middle East pacific islands Australia and china. Economic growth, modernization, etc are responsible for overweight US has highest obesity statistics. Obesity is responsible for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Now many deaths are seen due to overweight than malnutrition. Mostly obesity is confined to the rich countries but now changing lifestyle making poor countries to susceptible. India is not exceptional in this case. As people are attracted towards processed food having tran’s fat and unhealthy artificial ingredients. Both these situations are manmade tragedies but not because of scarcity.
    Poverty and inequality:
    Poverty is the main cause of hunger. Both go in cyclic manner. Poverty is again caused by lack of resources, unequal income distribution, conflict and hunger itself. Poverty and hunger are caused by economic and political suppress in the world. Violence taking place in Somalia and Iraq increased number of refugees. A hunger lead to mental impairment reduces ability to work and learn thus experiences greater hunger. Food pricing increased left people in poverty.
    The international federation of Red Cross and red erecent societies said hunger existed not because there was a lack of food globally but because of poor distribution wastage and rising prices that made food unaffordable.
    Agriculture and Environment:
    Agriculture present situation more progress than before still these paradoxes. 1/3 rd of food is not reaching the poor instead simply wasted and causing pressure on land, water and soil resources. Food waste and its environmental impact should be tackled. Climate change is increasing drought, floods and changing climatic pattern needs a shift in crops and farming practice. Global warming is increasing deaths and cold food storage brings down civilization. Fertile land and fresh water scarce feeding the world get harder unless we repair our broken food system the number will be increased without any sympathy. In India some areas are still practicing shift farming, it should be avoided.
    Role of government, business and wealthy elites:
    Powerful minority imposes policy paralysis on us. Lack of equality, developed world wasting food while developing world suffering hunger. Government policies are responsible for rising prices as they are using corn for biofuels. US policy supports turning 15% of corn into biofuel even in heinous situations. On the other side demand for food is increasing but the increase in yield is not coinciding. So government should come up with policies which enable life of public. Like some countries who got benefited on adopting reforms. Vietnam out hunger by half through land reforms and investment in small farms. Similar related programme reduced hunger in Brazil reduced hunger by 33%. Canada reduced red tape to get food to the needy. NREGA is showing declining poverty in India, further steps like food security act hoping to insulate people from poverty. Government should regulate business and People should demand government and business to take steps under harsh situation.
    Instead of spending 20rs for a cool drink similar money can offer things like egg, banana, amla, and carrot which provide enough nutrition to the body in the form of protein, minerals and vitamins. So what is required is educating the people and children about nutritious food for healthy mind which in turn brings progressive economic and human resources. Most of the time people do not know what to eat and how much calories are needed to them to sustain healthily their day to day life resulting malnutrition or overweight. So programmes and course works in academics are needed to bring awareness among people.
    In order to educate people globally 30 project was started. This brings key organizations and activists working on hunger overweight and agriculture to share their visions for the food system organization bringing together best people to work for creating a truly healthy and sustainable global food system.
    World should take oath to promote sustainable agriculture and its equity distribution. It should limit itself in encouraging food grains for production of biofuels. Until this is achieved, both sides of the malnutrition coin hunger and overweight are likely to persist. Ingredients may vary between countries but the key components will be similar which plays crucial role in developing equity in health.

    • prasanna

      sir please highlight loopholes. thanks in advance

      • prasanna

        sir please review

  • prasanna

    Higher education in India is suffering out of qualitative and quantitative errors. Careers are chosen by people based on the boom to the course resulting unequal distribution of human resources to different areas and affecting their development. Inability to provide employment and technology for research causing brain drain. Inefficient left over human resources circulating their inefficiency to next generations without any change. Imitating features aroused due to globalization infecting the relation between teacher and student. Totally we losed our traditional teaching methods.
    Ancient Indian education was fully fledged in all dimensions like science astronomy math’s philosophy literature medicine administration etc. we have profound educationalists like arya batta, ramanuja, Vivekananda, kalidasa, kautilya etc. while traditional education was taught in gurukula by guru while sisya use to respect the words of guru and render his service with great love and passion. In the similar passion guru use to transfer all his knowledge which gives him character and sound mind to react according to the situation. Later by the advent of colonial rule Indian education system suffered a lot. Colonial rulers were not interested in developing education in India as they thought it will question their existence in India. However British’s bended at last to the pressures of social reformers and Christian missionaries and promoted English education in India. This was the initial seeds sown for the destruction of Indian traditional education. The education pattern changed and shaped towards western education. Indian social reformers of that time encouraged it based on prevailing conditions. Slowly traditional education losed its priority and western education was glorified till independence.
    After independence leaders continued the British policies and methods regarding education comprising primary, middle and higher education system. Initially they concentrated and developed primary education as the time was running with little literacy rate. After 1980 they turned towards middle education and later slowly little importance to higher education.
    Still surveys show that there are illiterate people; increased enrolments are not crystallized as they failed to curb dropouts. Quality of teaching is not good. A sixth class student is not able to first class English text or two digit subtractions. There is no availability of proper infrastructure and sanitation facilities. The ratio of students and teachers are no way matching. There are no regular teaching patterns in villages. With all these drawbacks the number of people reaching to the levels of higher education is thin.
    Higher education in India is not up to the mark. The students coming after their education is not able to compete with this globalised world. Reasons one there are no proper structured delivery educational institutions. Recent survey of QS shows none of our IITs, IIMs and central universities are able to compete globally. None stood in the list of top 200 institutions in the world. Even in Asia they failed to have appreciable rank while our all time compete china its Hong Kong University stood in first place. Second faculty most of the situations people choose teaching field when they failed to achieve their desired goals. So people lack interest in the field they are just acting as professors. In addition to this their exist an un healthy compition between the profs and no coordination among various departments Third students are not educated about the ways to grasp content, application techniques and methods to improve concentration and skills.
    Skill development is prerequisite in the present situation. Research in India is completely under plagiarism. They are not able to address the need of young skilled researchers. As students mostly prefer MBBS or engineering as their careers rest of the science subjects are under served with qualified students. In our country people normally hear about research at the time of their post graduation and they plan for research as career only in theoretical ways and not thinking about the practical knowledge. Soon as they enter into the field they will be made to sit in front of instruments worth crores and who having no knowledge will depend on the senior, fellow human being thinks about the competitive world and will not educate the junior in order to stop future compition for projects. Over all our PhD students skill is depending upon the courtesy of seniors instead of specialized training. As a result they end up their PhD without sufficient publications and even at times no publication. By the time when you compare with their co students in another field they will be settled in all ways. At this moment student lose their passion to serve India and family pressures make them to flew to countries were they offer better scholarships and better opportunities.
    After some years they become noble laurite just like 2008 chemistry venkataraman. Now our media persons cover the news saying our indigenous fellow got noble prize. They won’t stop there; they will pose a question to Nobel that when you are going to come back to India? By mistake if the noble says no as answer he will be portrayed completely saying he is not having affection towards India. By reading this every Indian feels bad about the statement. But in realty he says “when I am out after my PG this country failed me to serve a job worth 3000 and failed to trust my worth. I have roamed all over Chennai but no job? Even now you don’t know about me before this prize. Now you are inviting me to India after many years in between I have grown my family, office everything here, how can I leave all those? I have affection towards India but I cannot shift to India.”
    Whatever was done by him is right. Because there are some another category of people who came back to India on trusting our government’s policies to promote Indian research, result though having many worth publications serving as assistant professor under a HOD who not even knows how to utter a note written in English. All these are because of our political influences in granting and appointing to the professions. Now again fellow recalls his older days and takes oath to not to return back to India in life time. So students have to bare the lectures without proper preparation old Profs.
    Realty is in every field we have students who are ready to work for India but policies are not making use of young brains result brain drain to foreign nations where they can fulfill their visions. At last seeds are sown and grown by India with their subsidies and offering fruits to foreign nations to enjoy. Governments are not structuring proper policies so that those fruits can be enjoyed by India itself. With all these loopholes if still we expect good higher education in India it will certainly remains as dream. Therefore Skill development to students, proper training to professors’, improving technical facilities, and employment generation only can save our education system and Indian intelligentsia.

    • prasanna

      please review sir

  • byakti

    I have a query. if the essay topic comes as a question, should i take a stance and justify my answer or its like i have to write from both the angles.

  • santosh

    Human history is replete with the examples of distortionary developmental pattern .There has never been the case of ideally uniform type of societal development. Some sections have recklessly exploited the “global commons” and some sections have not even availed the resources for basic needs fulfillment. And the developed gap of haves and have-nots has now reached all time high.
    Though this rich and poor divide is visible in almost all walks of human lives, the issue of hunger of a big population and at the same time the issue of overweight owing to over-consumption of another big population are the most prevalent. While a large population is struggling everyday for availing two meals square a day, another big number is finding tough to shed their flabby muscular body. The tussle between these two sections are in perpetual mode fueling the gap of scarcity-ridden section and abundant resourced section.
    Food is the basic need of human. One can`t live without it. In fact one can`t do anything without a healthy body. Our entire effort throughout life goes for accessing better basic needs only. But suppose a section of society doesn`t` succeed in even availing this inevitable need then what would be social-mental status of this section. Obviously there would be vigorous internal agitation in them and their frustration would spill over in the form of social evils, inhumane incidents, crime and all maladies would follow then.
    Today a protracted population all over the world is passing through this inhumane , wretched and miserably hunger situations. They are fighting among themselves, committing crime and even getting trapped in perpetual civil wars. Sub-Saharan African countries, central African countries, eastern African countries, south Asian countries and sporadic aboriginal population are having a large population grappling with chronic hunger , malnutrition and many of its fallouts.
    Somalia, Eritria, Ethopia,Western Africa, central African Republic, Mali and Chad etc. are epitome of hunger situation.They have intense food shortage, no source of income to purchase food, hence trapped in complete vicious circle of chronic hunger. Even in case of south Asia the KBK region of Orissa in India, the tribal belt of Afghanistan and Pakistan are reeling under the unbearable hunger problem.
    These are some of indicative spatial locations but the situation of hunger is quite entrenched in almost all developing and under-developed countries. It is really inhumane situation to see a five year child looking far older than his age. The life expectancy in these places have been too low( hovering around 30 year only). People become inhabitant of all diseases owing to low immunity. The situation of women is even more deplorable. Maternal mortality rate is too high and infant mortality rate is unimaginably higher.
    In fact these are the poor who bear all the brunt of natural disaster, and vulnerable to all environmental degradation. They are victim of slave trade, human trafficking and many societal fallouts. They are pushed into naxalism, terrorism, sea-piracy and many human-induced crime.
    For such a miserable situation of this sections various reasons can be attributed such as negligence on part of the state, colonial subvention of past, historical marginalization by their society, displacement due to industrialization, loses of their habitats to predatory minors and conspicuous consumption of other section creating shortage of food resources.
    Despite scarcity there are others section who are living luxuriant, extravagant and expensive lives. They are gulping and swallowing the global riches reasoning that if they won`t then someone else will, so why they should not do themselves ( thanks to tragedy of commons). A culture of over consumption has given a sense of illusion- “man is made for eating only”.
    Even over-consuming people are also reeling under obesity and unmanageable body structure which is making their lives miserable. Many diseases have crept in their bodies still control over unrestrained consumption has not developed( thanks to culture of tongue-slavery).
    The consumerism culture of fast food , junk, over-processed high calorie contend foods costing many dollars have further aggravated the situation of overweight. The USA, European and some of east Asian countries have adopted such a life style that they have been using most of the resources of the world creating shortage for rest of the countries. In fact most of metros of even developing countries are also involved in such consuming pattern that they are stressed with load of myriad of food in their guzzling bellies and asking for even more ( hail to ironic sequence of starter-main course-dessert).
    Further , the process of bizarre consumption doesn`t end with just ingestion of costly food loaded with trans-fat and nutritional contents but the worry of shedding the central obesity ,using high cost machinery and sky-rocketing charges for slim making courses , also ridicules the starving population. Besides, traumatic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular strain, heart attack etc. also trouble them and eat away their fiscal saving.
    The insensitive and complex life style at the cost of deprived sections` share make the already strained human relationship even grimmer. Their behavior of unchecked consumption of foods create shortage of food in market and hence distort the market price causing ballooning inflation.
    In today`s world where wind of globalization has homogenized the market practices, where one`s error becomes other`s error, it has become impossible to be unscathed of one`s mistake and irresponsible behavior. It is really irony that in the same world where on one hand one is garnering so much benefit of global resources that one is tired of using and misusing food and other stuffs and on other hand one is dying every day just for a two meals square a day.
    There is urgent need to arrest such distortion in food habit in particular and over-consumption of daily usage in general. We have limited resources on the planet Earth. If everyone follows same over-zealous food habit then imagine how long we will sustain our lives here? Someone has very rightly observed that if India and China would adopt same consuming pattern as the USA has been carrying then perhaps even two more earth will not suffice their needs.
    Hence , entire world needs to adopt austerity measure a controlled life style in sync with available resources . In fact the definition of Sustainable development would be guiding principle for human kind vis –a- vis usage of available resources. The world community need to be more humane because one can`t prosper in isolation in this globalized world. There is as well a pressing need to have global leadership to channelize world resources equitably. The UN must come forward , Food and Agricultural organization(FAO) must appeal world community to be more sensitive towards marginalized people. And countries like the USA, countries of European Union, China, India, Brazil, Japan ,et. al. must take lead for distributive justice not in only their own countries but in whole world. Only a contend and stomach-filled human can have a peace of mind and become harbinger of a prosperous and habitable world.

    Plz review and suggest.

    • santosh

      Topic is—One billion Hungary and One billion Obese
      Hunger profile of world

  • neeraj

    “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”

    Our solar system is 4.568billion years old and we, human beings, evolved here as late as 200,000 year ago. Agriculture civilization started nearly 10,000 year ago. Since then we have been using the natural resources of mother earth. Since 1760s, after the advent of industrial revolution, the rate of use of resources has increased tremendously. Population explosion in the developing world also has taken a toll on the limited resources. Better medical facilities and control of epidemic has also contributed to increase in population. The strain on limited mineral and agricultural resources is a cause of concern. The extravagant use of these limited resources without a thought will render the lives of our future generation difficult. Sustainable development will help us to pass to our children what we have inherited from mother earth.

    Industrial revolution started in 1760s. It brought with it luxuries of life. The power of steam engine rendered use of manpower uneconomical and helped increase the productivity. The sustained increase in GDP of the Western world was an economic feat which had never been discussed even theoretically. Steam powered engines helped in easy transportation of men and material to far away land through sea and rails.

    But with increased luxury came a price for which the world was not ready. The indiscriminate cutting of forest for dwelling and industrial use decreased the forest cover and affected the habitat of wildlife leading to extinction of many species and bringing many species in endangered list. The increased carbon dioxide was a result of decrease in forest cover and emission from industries. Use of refrigerants had an adverse affect on the live saving ozone layer. The smoke and fly ash from the industry, the deafening noise of the machines, recurring accidents in the industry caused grave loss of limb and life. The chemicals rendered water, air and land unusable. Increasing use of fertilizer lowered productivity of the land. The effluents from the industries were dumped into rivers affecting and killing numerous riverine flora and fauna. Land fill sites polluted the underground water. Increased use of pumps led to lowering of water table. These resources which should and could have been passed to our future generation unaffected were deteriorated and destroyed due to indiscriminate use of resources beyond sustainable levels.

    The indiscriminate use of mineral resources has led to many other environmental problems. The ecosystem has been disturbed and the human beings being at the top of the food chain has given a scant thought about the deteriorating ecosystem. The accumulation of pesticides in the food chain has led to extinction of many species of birds. Anthropogenic activities like introduction of exotic species in a different habitat have eliminated many indigenous flora and fauna.
    Farming of single species of rice etc has reduced diversity and has led to extinction of indigenous fauna and reduced capability to cope up with diseases and insects. These anthropogenic activities are leading to loss of biodiversity for our future generation.

    Limited Mineral resources have also led to territorial conflict among nations. Colonisation was result of such greediness. World Wars have been fought over control of colonies and thus their resources. Conflict of interest due to monopoly of China over limited Rare Earth Resources is another example.

    Clamour for the scant resources have led us to find other forms of energy sources. One of such resources has been the nuclear energy. Though a potential for huge energy resource, the risk associated with the storing of fissile material and used fissile material has posed great challenge. Also, nuclear accidents like The three Mile Island , Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents have questioned the safety of such installments. The nuclear contamination can be carried far away with the winds and can cause cancer and mutation in large number of living species. A nuclear war can also render earth inhabitable for our future generation.

    A large amount of research is going on in renewable sources of energy. Hydropower, wind power, solar power, geothermal power, tidal power etc are a few names. With exception of Hydropower, other sources are not economical. Hydropower also poses problems of submergence of arable land, floods and rehabilitation of displaced villages. Inter State disputes on use of riverine water poses another major challenge. Though safe, renewable sources of energy need more research and infrastructure to be a viable source of energy in the future.

    Global warming is another issue of concern these days. The melting arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan ice caps have pointed to increasing global warming. Increase in sea level is conspicuous which will lead to submergence of coastal areas. Tsunami, hurricanes, floods, draughts, melting ice caps etc are manifestations of global warming. Marine ecosystem is affected in ways still unknown to human beings. Though in recent years, some cooling has taken place due to el-nino effect, increase in use of aerosol in developing countries and carbon dioxide absorption in deep sea level, it is a temporary hiatus in global warming.
    Oceans and rivers which are rich source of food are being adversely affected by untreated industrial effluents and human waste. These effluents increases the Biochemical Oxygen Demand of the water bodies thereby decreasing the dissolved oxygen leading to asphyxiation of the fishes and other aquatic animals. Several form of aquatic life like blue whale, dolphins, leather back turtle are on the brink of extinction.
    Indiscrimate cutting of forests have led to loss of habitat of tribal people as well as animals living in the forests. Frequent encounters with wildlife have endangered both human and animal lives. Also many birds and other animals are on brink of extinction, a few being, Bengal tiger, asian elephant, cross river gorilla, black rhino etc. Many tribes like Red Indians, pygmies, etc are also on brink of extinction. Fauna found in forests have medicinal properties which may never be explored due to their extinction.

    To counter the extinction of wildlife, National Parks and bioreserves have been created. Biodiversity Hotspots have been identified and protocols for conservation of flora and fauna have been put in place. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has been employed to ban nuclear explosion for military and civil purposes. Convention on the transboundary effects of industrial accidents have been designed to protect people and environment against industrial effects. Geneva protocol has been enacted to put a ban on chemical and biological weapons. Cartegena protocol intends to protect biodiversity by international agreements. Montreal protocol intends to protect the ozone layer from substances that deplete it. Kyoto protocol to UNFCC is an international agreement that sets binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gases.

    But these international agreements are being constantly and shamelessly flouted by powerful industrialized nations with scant regard to the environmental degradation. Kyoto protocol has not been signed by USA. Developing countries are being pressurised at international forums to reduce green house emissions whereas transfer of technology to developing country by developed countries to reduce emission remains a distant dream. Pressure to sign treaties to ban nuclear weapon is constantly given on developing countries even when developed countries like USA and Russia account for 90% of the existing nuclear warheads. Passing the buck to developing and least developed countries for greenhouse gas emission and blame game are conspicuous at international forums.

    Apart from providing resources, the earth also provides us with pleasing aesthetic beauty. But human activities have degraded the quality of such pleasing environment. Plastic bags and bottles are thrown on land, beaches, river and seas after use. Many animals swallow them or are entangled and asphyxiated in them. Plastics take around 500 years to degrade and thus create a problem of disposal. These reduce our pleasing experience of the nature. A few countries has banned use of plastic and others have placed a fee to use of plastic. Biodegradable plastic is another way to counter this menace.

    Nature has endowed us with enough resources to live a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing life. But our greed is leading to the rapid extinction of these resources. If we keep abusing these resources at this rate, nothing will be left for our future generation. We must use these resources in a sustainable way so that they can be used by our generations to come. As Gandhi has said, “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

    • neeraj

      Insights. Kindly review my essay.

  • neeraj

    Capital Punishment and Rape Culture

    It has been an emerging trend to seek capital punishment for rape. The Criminal Amendment Act 2013 also subscribes to capital punishment in cases where rape is followed by vegetative state or permanent physical injury or death. In a recent rape case in a moving bus in Delhi, capital punishment was awarded to the adult perpetrators of the crime. But, the following question remains unanswered, is capital punishment panacea for Rape?

    Capital punishment, an euphemism for legal murder, is defined as legally authorized killing of perpetrator for a crime by the state. It is the highest punishment for a crime. Historically, capital punishment has been awarded in cases like rape, espionage, murder, treason etc. Most of the time, the perpetrator was hung publically. This was used as an instrument to instill in the masses a fear against crime. Many countries have retained capital punishment including USA, China and India. Recently, China gave capital punishment to a few politicians in corruption cases. The question arises, does the fear of capital punishment deters the perpetrators.

    The answer is a big “No”. Had this been the case, the world would have been cleansed of all crimes. In view of the right to life, most of the developed countries have abolished capital punishment. It’s the most barbaric form of punishment which can be given by a liberal civilized government.

    Rape is forced sex by a man on other person. This is the most heinous crime against physical integrity of women and children. Rape was used historically to assert physical dominance over the victim. After wars or ethnic cleansing, rape was used as an instrument to signify dominance over the losing side. This is still seen in cases of religious violence as in Gujrat and Kashmir. The social stigma attached with rape makes the victim more ashamed and gives the perpetrator a sense of empowerment.

    But is rape the end of the world? Recently, a journalist who was a victim of rape said that she wanted to leave this episode behind and go back to work as soon as possible. This stand of hers was a very courageous one and promotes the idea that rape is not the end of the life. This incident took place in safest place for women, Mumbai. Mumbai is a place where people are not much involved in other people’s life. They believe in “live and let live”. But had this incident taken place in a village where Khap panchayat exists, the stigma attached would be so high that it might have led to suicide or vegetative state of the victim.

    The growing incident of reported rapes is increasing. Does this mean that rapes are increasing? No. It means that people who felt stigmatized to report about rape are now becoming more aware of their rights and the stigma associated is declining. People have started to believe that it’s not victim’s fault. It’s the fault of the perpetrator. The recent suicide of the perpetrator in Delhi rape case in custody indicates that the stigma has moved from victim to the perpetrator.

    In spite of Criminal Amendment Act 2013, new cases of rape are being reported every day. This implies that legislation and fear of punishment does not deter perpetrators from committing a crime. The problem lies in the patriarchal culture. The world has been mainly a male dominated society. Even in developed countries, females were not given right to vote and had to wait and struggle a long time to get this fundamental right. Women were considered physically weak and were pushed back to do daily chores. Purdah system was in vogues to protect women from the voyeuristic eyes of their male counterparts. We are still carrying the burden of this outdated system. Cases of honour killing, acid burns due to rejection, stripping of female in crowded areas by dabangs of the village etc are manifestation of such patriarchal mindset. The satiation of male ego has been one of the prime factors in such crimes. Such patriarchal mindset needs to be done away with.

    Men still think of women as an object of sexual pleasure. Movies have played an important role in putting forward such stereotypes. Sexual harassment in work places, voyeurism, stalking has been indicative of such mindset.

    Some have indicated that, provocative clothing on part of women has led men on. This seems a flawed argument. Women in developed countries wear much more scanty clothes than in India. But rape cases in such countries are nowhere as compared to India. Also, cases of rape of women in non provocative clothing have been recorded. Infact, in most of the rape cases, the victims were properly dressed.

    Also, men are threatened by the competition from women in work places. Women are proving themselves in every field. They are proving equal and sometimes better than their male counterparts. This is creating a sense of competition and threat to the areas where male domination was the norm. They feel that girls are taking undue advantage of their sexuality. In some cases of rape, this mentality of threat and competition from females has been a prime motivator in cases of rape.

    It has been argued by some that male cannot control sexual desires. Chemical castration has been suggested in such cases. This argument does not hold any merit. Also, if true in some cases, chemical castration is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. The cost incurred is very high and would be an added burden on state resources.

    Does capital punishment deter rape? It does not. The example of rape of a six year old victim the day after Criminal Amendment Act 2013, which provides for capital punishment in cases of rape, was passed indicates to this fact. Instead, it makes the perpetrator more aware of the fact that he may get capital punishment if he is caught and the incentive to leave the victim unharmed is taken out of the equation.

    Though India has maintained the validity of Capital punishment, the Supreme Court in its ruling has maintained that capital punishment must be given in “rare of rarest cases”. Does rape comes under purview of” rarest of rare case” clause? According to an estimate around 28,000 rape cases are recorded every year in India. Around 58,000 rape cases are recorded in USA every year. This means that rape is not as rare as it ought to be. It’s the social stigma attached to it which makes it a heinous crime. The punishment sought must be commensurate with the crime. Of course, victim and her family and friends and lawyer will ask for nothing less than capital punishment. But does that makes it logical to give capital punishment. If that were true, capital punishment will be sought for any crime. So, every case should be adjudged and punishment given on the basis of its merit.

    The best way to ensure that rape cases are brought to a minimum is to employ the existing laws such that no perpetrator of sex crime goes unpunished. Once the feeling of inescapability is instilled in the minds of the perpetrator, he will not dare to commit such heinous crime. Also, the patriarchal mindset needs to be changed. Parents should teach their kids that men and women are equal and boys should respect girls. The stigmatization associated with rape victim should be removed. It should be told that the perpetrators are the ones who should be ashamed and not the victims. Also stereotyping women as sex object should be avoided. This can be done by producing movies which has female protagonists in the lead. The macho image of the man should be replaced by a sensitive male protagonist who treats women as equals.

    Rape has been instilled in our cultures since historic times as a method to instill domination of one group over other. This is the most heinous crime against the physical and mental integrity of the victim. Capital punishment is another barbaric act which has no place in modern liberal society. To counter one heinous crime by another would be a folly. The reason for punishment is to bring out the better human being in us. Lethal punishment would only suck out the chances of the perpetrator to be a better person and integrate in the society. An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind and whatever doesn’t kills you makes you stronger.

    • neeraj

      Insights. Kindly review my essay.

    • neeraj

      Insights. Please review my essay

    • neeraj

      Insights .. please spare some time and review my essays

  • Vicky..

    Has Increased access to employment opportunities, financial independence and educational attainments enabled women in urban India to exercise their freedom and agency?
    Increased employment opportunities, financial independence and education attainment are the precipitation of the Urbanisation and Modernisation process culminating in India. Traditional barriers are weakening and today the status of women have grown tremendously. She has her own identity, unlike hitherto, being just recognised as a daughter, sister, wife, or mother of someone. The women have empowered in all fronts i.e. politically, economically and most importantly socially. They no longer remain dependent and subordinate to their families completely, owing to these factors.
    The demand of educated women has provided women, widespread employment opportunities. Today they are being recruited , even preferred over men for certain jobs. Many women have emerged as a role model in their respective fields showcasing the capabilities and heights a women can achieve, whether it may be Kiran Bedi, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chanda Kochar. Today women’s role is not just confined to the drudgery of household chores. This enables her to exercise more freedom , gain more voice and partnership in decision making. Even they represent politically, whether in state or central legislature elections. In the rural areas, where the employment opportunities are only in agriculture and petty jobs, it does not provide women with any choices or freedom to select. On the contrary, Urban women, one due to liberal environment and second due to opportunities, has abundant options to chose as per her wish. For instance, she can become an engineer, doctor, architect, scientist, pilot, civil servant, chartered accountant, or even open her new venture as an entrepreneur.
    Financial independence attained by women has gone a long way in determining their status. They not only contribute to the family resource, rather also carry a voice in determining various matters of family. They no longer remain dependent and obliged to their family member for their financial needs. This has made them self sufficient, self reliant and self independent too. They can even now spend as per their wish and fulfil their own wishes , which have been confined for a long time owing to their dependence. Consider a women earning 30000 per month, she can contribute some money for her children’s education, some money for family savings, family expenditures and even after that she can save money for her own wishes and needs. She can even give some money to her friend/mother in their need. She can join a new course, or may be pursue her hobbies. For fulfilling her children’s wishes also, she need not wait for her husband’s consent. Thus the application of mind has diversified and her being as a pillar of family’s resources also has become a reality. Hence a financially independent women not only debars from being a liability, rather commands the respect of an asset to the family.
    Thirdly, urban women, owing to liberalised ideas of families, adequate opportunities in urban areas and better conveyance are being able to attain much better education then their rural counterparts. Urban women, not only achieve higher education, but also attain intellectually. Their outlook changes, they no longer want to remain under the clutches of anyone and demand equal participation in the decisions of their lives. In the traditional families, or even today in rural families, Patriarchies enjoy the absolute rights for taking decisions, giving women the subordinate position to them. Education not only brings a sense of confidence in them and imbibe in them the capability to chose what is correct and wrong. Education is knowledge and knowledge is power. Hence education has made them powerful. They can question the wisdom of others now. Whether it may be the choice of career, choice of occupation, age of marriage, the choice of groom, even decisions in their married life, challenging ill attitude from in-laws etc have been asserted by Indian urban women. They no longer remain the sole instrument of sacrifice and compromise. Earlier, whenever there was a circumstance, where one needed to compromise for the family’s welfare, it was the woman by default. This need not be the case now. They participate in discussions about various other things apart from family matters with everyone. In a way, education has made them enlightened. In helping out their children also, they need not depend on anyone now, they can freely advice them and give them quality mentorship in other fields also. Their literacy helps them attain better respect and even voice in family matters. Hence education has made them more confident, independent, more significant, more respectful apart from allowing to achieve greater freedom.
    These three features namely, employment, economic elevation and education are precisely inter connected to each other and cannot be segregated outrightly. These are manifestations of empowerment of women in different forms. Education helps them achieve employment and employment makes them financially independent which in turn bear fruits in face of freedom and voice. The words of Gandhiji, i.e. a woman should be a companion of man in all of his decisions and functions can only be achieved by empowering women. Even the government has been working in these directions and brought various reservations for women for different jobs have been provided. Various laws and commissions ensure their rights are not exploited. Violence against women has decreased significantly in urban areas, where women can take steps for assuring their protection. Hence in many ways urban women have been empowered and the list goes on .

    • Vicky..

      Good Morning Sir.
      I have started writing essay as per your advice. But found it really difficult to find ideas. Still I have written something now.
      Please provide me the necessary inputs for improving the same.

  • Nikku

    “For the ills of Democracy, social movements may be the cure, not revolutions”

    Democracy is an institution that is based on the doctrine of political equality and power to the people.
    As defined by Abraham Lincoln, democracy is Govt of the people, by the people and for the people. Empirically, however, it is argued that democracy has become a govt “off” the people, “bye” the people and “far” the people. Experiences across the world have suggested that democracy has inverted the very concept that it was supposed to uphold, and has resulted in rampant corruption, ethnic clashes, unsustainable populism, gross ignorance of human rights etc.
    Some argue that to rid democracy of it’s ill, a revolution, even a sanguine one, is needed. According to them, the ills have become so deep rooted that evolutionary or gradual changes are incapable of addressing them. Thus a need is felt for an all encompassing fundamental restructuring of the society and a revolution is warranted.

    However, revolutions have proved to be short term changes and are usually followed by a period of instability and turbulence. Since they seek to replace only the power structure, and do not address the real issues, they are said to treat the symptoms, rather than the disease.
    Instead, what is needed are social movements. Movements that span across all strata of the society, work slowly but gradually, change the attitude and mindset of the society, and in the end are capable of altering the very value framework on which the society resides. Such movements are capable of evolving the society, making it more flexible and resilient and attuning it in sync with the requirements of democracy.

    Democracy, as a theory sounds quite appealing. After all, wouldn’t political equality to all would naturally result in a more egalitarian society and equitable redistribution of resources? Unfortunately, that is not the case. The performance of a democracy depends to a large extent on the nature of the society.
    A homogeneous, economically well off, literate and educated, aware and empowered society has a better chance of reaping the functional dividends of the democracy. In contrast, a society plagued with illiteracy, poverty, ethnic clashes is prone to getting polarized by the elites and is vulnerable of democracy being used an instrument to benefit a few and widen the social cleavages.
    For eg: the democratic structure seems to be working quite fine in countries like Switzerland, whereas it is marred with several problems in the Indian context. To accredit this to the different characters of the two society would not be far from reality.

    Thus democracy needs certain attributes in the society for it to really blossom. As such, revolutions are not the best remedy for its ill. Revolutions are generally a product of severe oppression and untenable circumstances. They seek a symbol to attribute their frustrations and problems to, and then desire to break that symbol and replace it with an institution that would seem to address the most glaring of their issues in the short run. But they fail to change the actual edifice, or reframe the fabric of social relationships. Thus they are generally short term, as the real problems continue to simmer even after the revolution. The new political/economic structure that comes up, generally, gets embroiled in the same corruption and vices that it had hoped to replace. And the cycle continues, till the time the society changes from within.

    Given the short comings of revolution, social movements provide a much better alternative. These movements work for an elongated period of time, and address the actual disease instead of looking at only the symptoms.
    By engaging a large section of the society and building momentum gradually, these movements hope to mould the society and make its structure and value system more conducive to the functioning of democracy. By addressing the ills of the society and bringing them in the public discourse, they also provide an opportunity to the decision makers to address them in the current constitutional and legal framework.
    Their evolutionary nature helps in reducing the gap between the govt and the governed. It articulates the needs and desires of the ordinary citizens, bridges the gap between them and the rulers, and create an atmosphere of reconciliation and dialogue.
    At the same time, these movements also strike at the major ills of the society. They work to narrow the gaps that exist in the society, help the citizens by making them more aware of their rights, question the values of the society that are inimical to a particular section of the society and preach more tolerance and cohesion.
    A great example of this is the Indian National Movement, that besides aiming at replacing the political power structure, also worked simultaneously to reshape the society. Gandhiji’s harijan campaign, Ambedkar’s mahar movement, the various Kisan Sabhas and labour movements were all aimed at correcting the flaws that existed at those times. It is probably for this reason that the Indian democracy after Independence has remained mostly stable and survived the several challenges that some of the other countries that became independent during that time have fallen to.

    While, it would be best if the democratic power structures themselves work to create a society that promotes democracy and ensures its proper functioning, real world is rarely utopian. It therefore falls on the shoulders of the social movement to complete the job that democracy has left incomplete. Revolutions might provide a temporary respite and may pave the conditions for strengthening of the social movements, but eventually it is the evolutionary change brought about by social movements that can crystallize and give a robust, flexible and tolerant society in which the ethos of democracy can be rooted, not only in letter but also in spirit!

  • Priya,

    Earlier essay were written on this page itself. There were no separate articles for them. You can find essays on those topics in this page itself.

  • vr1804

    Written below is the introduction for the essay – Education and Dalit Empowerment. Please comment if poaaible.

    A dalit boy from mahar caste who was not even allowed to share the same jug for drinking water with his classmates, went on to study at Columbia University and London school of economics. This ‘untouchable’ boy one day became the architect of the Indian Constitution and turned out to be one of the greatest leaders of modern India. Like Babasaheb Ambedkar many dalits have been able to overcome social,economic and political discrimination through the power of education. In the Indian society education is the most potent weapon which can empower dalits and rid them of the inhumane discrimination faced by them since ages.

    • ANJU

      Really nice intro given..try to write the whole essay??

    • Nishant Kumar

      Ur introduction is same as narrating a story which I loved d most..so keep writing it as a story and punch the key points in between…hats off

  • good

  • RV

    @Insights ! Vinay Sir time to bring back the weekly essay writing !! If not possible weekly atleast make it a monthly thing ! For 2014 need hell of a practice 🙂

    • priya


    • It will be back soon 🙂

      • Sir
        I have a doubt regarding word limit. We are given word limit say 200 words. Sir i am not clear whether words a,an,the,is,for,it etc will be counted separately or it will be counted with the successive word.

  • This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me.


    Check out my web page :: http://www.farmerssocial.com

  • Karunendra

    “For the ills of Democracy, social movements may be the cure, not revolutions”

    Democracy is widely accepted political system. It considers everyone has a role in the government. Unlike other political systems where a individual or few exercise the real power. It governs on principles of equality, rule of law, certain natural rights of people, non- discrimination and so on.
    This is why after independence many countries adopted this including India. Indian constitution took elements from other constitution of the world according to the need of the nation.
    However in few years of democratic rule it has some ills . For example corruption in public life, use of money and muscle powers in elections, criminalization of politics, widening gap between ordinary citizen and elected representatives, land acquisition of poor in the name of development, encroachment of powerful state in private life etc.

    These ills of democracy are the genesis of the social movement and revolution. People adopted different methods to fight against the state. It was realized that these are the only way to negotiate with the government.

    Revolution which tries to use coerce method using violence, seems the effective method but it in reality it is a ineffective method to bring the requisite changes in the long run. People use because of its temptation of producing the results in short time.

    On the other hand, Social movement is based on non-violence uses methods such as protests, gheraos, and
    demonstrations .

    Gandhiji is once said no society can expect peace which is thought to be achieved using violence. And many examples across the world and in India proved it to be true. Arab Spring which started with Tunisia on the name of replacing the dictotorial regime with democracy. What happened to them? About 3 years passed after falling their regimes but their is no clue of peace in the near future. They are still involved in the violence and civil war.
    In India, Naxalism started against the government to take the tribal rights on the lands and other natural resources. Today, they are killing innocents not even leaving the tribal people without any ideological aim.
    This method also looses its wide support even if it is fought on the true cause. No revolution can expect the mass support for the long.

    Social movement is considered as the part of democracy. It is accepted as the method to bring the changes in social , economic and political system for the benefits of the society as a whole.
    Its power is evident from the fact that Gandhiji and INC won the freedom using the same method against the powerful british raj. Gandhiji is opposed the violence and won the support of the masses .

  • Up123

    ESSAY TOPIC :Coexistence of Science and Religion in India

    The world famous scientist Albert Einstein
    once said “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is
    blind”. While science purifies religion from error and superstition, religion
    frees science from ideologies and falser absolutes. Ancient philosophers and
    religious teachers have held the view that both science and religion need to
    coexist to make India a super power. Hence they advocate a peaceful coexistence
    of both and speak of numerous people who have mastered both science and

    While science is the intellectual and
    practical activity that includes the study of the world and organisms around us
    through observation and experiment, religion is the belief and worship of a
    superhuman controlling power, a sphere of the divine and has been understood in
    different ways by different cultures and times. Modern physicists have
    described science and religion being two separate windows through which people
    look at the same universe and come up with explanations of their own. Both the
    views are one sided and incomplete. They can be complementary and can draw each
    other into a wider world in which both flourish.

    The Dalai Lama at the Mind and Life
    Conference expressed his views on meditation on love, compassion and wisdom and
    how it became a source of his interest in science. He insisted on instructing
    the Tibetian monks with a spark of science. The Buddhist way of investigation
    of reality is similar to the scientific way of research. Both approaches can
    work in parallel and the belief system doesn’t have to be bent to accept

    In India science and religion have always
    been in coexistence with each other since time immemorial. The ancient
    scriptures have held the view that to discover body, mind and soul, we need to
    understand the three laws of the universe-sound, light and vibrations. These
    are the everyday terms used in science.

    The Indian subcontinent has been the cradle
    for a vast array of faiths like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and has welcomed
    different faiths as well like Islam, Christianity, etc. Each of them has a huge
    history and traditions attached to it but all believe that science and religion
    complement each other. Hinduism describes that all knowledge is possible
    through three ways: direct sense perception, logical inference and verbal
    testimony. Buddhism and Jainism deny the existence of any God but they believe
    in the eternal nature of the soul and the four principles of reasoning:
    dependence, function, nature and evidence. This is similar to the scientific
    way of research. Christians believe that God created science and blessed us
    both with intelligence and a burning natural curiosity to seek the answers to
    questions such as our origins.

    Indians have believed that everything that
    exists today is a product of evolution. Evolution has been melted into ancient
    legends and the incarnations of the Hindu Lord Vishnu have been interpreted by science
    as the evolution of human being from an aquatic organism to amphibian to land
    animal to humanoid to a well developed human being and ultimately a machine man
    who is yet to come. This shows that the complexities of science were presented
    in a form that human beings could understand. Astrology and astronomy has been
    intertwined in the Indian context by great mathematicians like Aryabhatta.
    There have been texts which show Indian scholars were aware of advanced
    theories of atoms and their nature.

    Indian Christians have also had a strong
    presence in the sciences like Dr Tessy Thomas who was the project director for
    Agni-IV,V missile projects. Faith in God has always been the greatest
    motivation for exploring science in India unlike the western countries which
    strongly oppose to the view that we need to have an understanding of God to
    understand his creation.

    Time and matter coming into an instant and
    having a beginning is claimed by the Genesis, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists.
    This is described by scientists as the Big Bang Theory that the time itself and
    the universe began in a single instant when a huge mass of rock exploded to
    form the solar system. And that the planets are still moving apart in the vast
    universe. Hinduism speaks of multiple cycles of time as “Yugas” at the start of
    which a new universe is formed. And mankind develops in each of it. The theory of
    multiple galaxies described in our sacred texts has also been proved by science
    that our universe is not confined to the solar system but home to an infinite
    number of suns such as our own.

    Some examples show that many traditional
    Indian practices had scientific causes of such as: joining both palms together to greet, termed as “Namaskar” as a
    sign of respect. Scientifically, joining both hands ensures joining the tips of
    all the fingers together which join the pressure points of eyes, ears, and
    mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points which
    helps us remember that person for a long time. Indian married women wear ring on the second toe. A particular
    nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. It strengthens
    the uterus, keeps it healthy by regulating the blood flow to it. Silver being a
    good conductor, it also absorbs polar energies from the earth and passes it to
    the body. The practice of applying tilak
    on the forehead The spot between the two eyebrows is considered as a
    major nerve point in human body since ancient times. The tilak is believed to
    prevent the loss of “energy”, to retain energy in the human body and control
    the various levels of concentration. While applying kumkum the points on the
    mid-brow region the points are automatically pressed which facilitates the
    blood supply to the face muscles.

    Temples have bells to give sound for
    keeping evil forces away and the ring of the bell is pleasant to God. The
    scientific reason behind bells is that their ring clears our mind and helps us
    stay sharp and keep our full concentration on devotional purpose and the sharp
    and enduring sound which lasts for minimum of 7 seconds in echo mode is good
    enough to activate all the seven healing centres in our body. This results in
    emptying our brain from all negative thoughts. Prayer is interpreted as a
    religious practice of obtaining what you are asking for and from a scientific
    standpoint it is a process where an individual focuses his thoughts and
    emotions and releases a positive energy to accomplish the desired task. Intense
    devotion is nothing but a powerful mental tool . No wonder all great scientists
    are eventually big supporters of spirituality.

    Henna on the hand
    and feet Besides lending color to the hands, is a very powerful medicinal herb.
    Weddings are stressful, and application of mehendi can prevent too much stress
    because it cools the body and keeps the nerves from becoming tense. So it is
    applied on the hands and feet, which house nerve endings in the body.

    Sitting on the
    floor & eating we usually sit cross legged that instantly bring a sense of calm and
    help in digestion, it is believed to automatically trigger the signals to
    your brain to prepare the stomach for digestion.

    Hindus have a tradition of paying regards to
    Sun God early in the morning by their water offering ritual. It was mainly
    because looking at Sun rays through water or directly at that time of the day
    is good for eyes and also by waking up to follow this routine, we become prone
    to a morning lifestyle and mornings are proven to be the most effective part of
    the day.

    Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system
    sees the basic cause of many diseases as the accumulation of toxic materials in
    the digestive system. The human body, as explained by Ayurveda, is composed of
    80% liquid and 20% solid, like the earth, the gravitational force of the moon
    affects the fluid contents of the body. This is also explained in our religious
    texts as the constituents of human body being earth, air, water, fire and
    ether. Regular cleansing of toxic materials keeps one healthy. By fasting which
    is usually done on religious ceremonies, the digestive organs get rest and all
    body mechanisms are cleansed and corrected. Fasting acts as antidote, for it
    lowers the acid content in the body which helps people to retain their sanity.
    Research suggests there are major health benefits to caloric restriction like
    reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, immune disorders
    etc. through fasting.

    Even the existence of ghosts and other
    discarnate entities have been validated after conducting experiments where
    scientists have themselves observed and recorded dead persons materialize. Recently
    scientist Michael Roll has interpreted the subatomic particles called neutrinos
    may be responsible for these paranormal occurrences. The neutrino is an
    electrically neutral particle that travels close to the speed of light and
    passes through ordinary matter unaffected. If we consider that those entities
    are made of such neutrinos then we have given a scientific basis for the
    existence of souls and how it transcends into alternate realities and passing
    through matter and interacting with it as well.

    An important example of the existence of
    science and religion in Indian context is the vast number of schools, colleges
    and hospitals that are being run by religious foundations in the country like
    The Divine Life Society, The Dayanand Anglo-Vedic Institutions, Satya Sai Trust
    to name a few. These organisations preach on the importance of the religious
    texts and their interpretations and how it can be implemented in our day to day
    life. They believe in an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent God and yet they
    have hospitals with well maintained operation theatres having latest surgical
    instruments and fully equipped ambulances. They even provide free of cost
    education in full furnished residential schools for orphans and poor students
    to help them gain knowledge with the other privileged students. They also
    conduct awareness camps, programmes to spread the ancient art and teachings of
    Indian philosophy and culture to the youth.

    Modern day scientists in India hold the view
    that there are scientific truths in many religions and majority of them believe
    in God. For some Indian scientists, religious beliefs lead to a deeper sense of
    doing justice through their work.

    Science believes in reason and religion works
    on faith and devotion. They use different methodologies to pursue the knowledge
    of the universe. In the Indian context both have had a peaceful coexistence
    through centuries and will continue to do so. The progress of science in the
    recent years has enabled us to understand the variable complexities of the living
    world and how our sacred texts have tried to interpret it. The properties of
    numbers to the position of planets in the solar system to their significance
    during birth all have been studied in India and gradually we are coming to
    scientific reasons regarding them. This wonderful coexistence of science and
    religion since centuries have made the culture of India so unique compared to
    other nations.

  • krishna.munduri

    Dear Insight ,I think like GS we have an option to upload answer in question itself will help as rather simply posted in end of the comment box.

  • aspirant

    To download free e-books and civils materials visit the link ….

  • Ajitesh Ranjan

    Topic: Climate Change and Paris Climate Conference

    Earth provides enough for every man’s need but not every man’s greed”- M. K. Gandhi.

    A saying relevant in 90’s has got its starkness of relevance increased in current scenario and the days to come. Call it a result of maturing civilization that we are holding a debate to minimize carbon to cap temperature, else why would anyone waste this amount of money!The situation is grave and its gravity is increasing every day. Want to imagine? Then imagine of an island in Andaman & Nicobar Islands which is submerging few kilo meters in water every year. Frightening?

    Nature nourishes us; we praise her for her ascetic value , but what if nature is killing us slowly. I call it: self-immolation. Gandhiji rightly pointed out the solution of a grave danger which was imminent then but few noticed. And today the great visionary leader might be laughing in his grave watching world leaders confused in climatic jargons at Paris Climate Conference.

    19th century- the era of Industrial revolution, we call it dawn of modern world. But this dawn of a fast rate of growth of civilization had some basic flaws inscribed in it. The negative side of industrialization was ignored. Industrialization led to consumerism; consumerism to neo-capitalism and what not, to meet only one thing- increasing man’s greed. Trees were cut mercilessly, mines excavated like it is going be an end of the world. Man did everything that he could have done to meet his greed.

    Consequences are showing sign today. Many pacific island have already submerged in water and many are waiting for their turn. Regular droughts, heat waves, malaria, dengue- each of this ill words are gaining fame in media every year.

    Thankfully Gandhi’s thought got importance after his death and world started thinking of nature. United Nation Framework convention on Climate Change is a result of such progressive thought. World leaders decided to mitigate the menance and decided that they wouldn’t allow temperature to increase more than 2 degrees to post industrialization levels. Finally in Kyoto a logical solution was reached- Common but differentiated responsibilities. Developed countries had to take the onus and assist the developing countries in mitigating the problem, along with the self-correction.

    Path-breaking successes could have been achieved and we could have got our loving and caring nature once again. But again came the greed of humanity, now it was competitive greed. As developed countries were blamed to be the main culprit they saw themselves drawn into a web of monetary loss. They started bargaining with the developing ones to share the responsibility. Passing the buck game is going on and world for humanity is shrinking every day.

    Paris Climatic Conference is the 21st conference of parties of UNFCC. World divided in two block again- “Developed” and so called “Developing”. India, China leading the developing block want developed countries to pay for what they have done wrong in the past with nature. Developed countries are adamant that emerging economies like India and China should at least share responsibilities.

    Hearing argument of both sides appear pleasant to ears. But if both are right how can we reach to a consensus. No one is ready to go an inch behind and nature is left to suffer or call it- nature is asked to punish us. Developing countries impressed upon the fact that they have started providing their subjects the taste of development recently. So why should their subjects suffer on part of development for the deeds of someone else? Appears okay! Developed countries feel its improper to overload them with self-mitigation plus assisting developing and under developed nations.

    Whoever may be right, least of my concern. My concern is about those kids of Marathwada who are dieing of starvation and this number is increasing every year.

    India as one of the fastest emerging economy should understand one simple point. Climate change is an issue which will not kill only USA citizens, rather it will kill Indians too. USA should understand that Indians also share the right to enjoy the fruits of development and their right shouldn’t be crushed under the burden of climate change mitigation obligations. A positive approach to get over this impasse can be based on “progressive responsibility”. With the passage of time and with the attainment of means, responsibility will be added up in course of journey. In this way, neither Indians or Chinese will suffer on part of development neither Americans will feel overburdened.

    There are high hopes from this international event. World leaders should overcome the grievances of concerning parties and should try to reach to a consensus that can serve goodwill to whole humanity.

    That saying of greed and need should be kept in mind, while formulating a common document, during its implementation and even after its success. Because that saying was time and period neutral.

    We are proud of you Gandhiji and your visionary contribution to humanity.

  • dinesh Kumar bhojanapu

    Plz give me tips to write essays

    • kaira

      current affairs can provide you with lots of fodder material so just keep pace with it.

      • sahil shah

        try to cover as many as subjective topics as much u can and conclude it in a non bias way

    • anoosha

      you can also use some magazines like frontline epw yojana kurukshetra etc.

      • jasmin

        even year book can ad an advantage to it

    • MurliVm

      you just need to combine the info from news and conventional subjects we study to gether with facts included and an understanding of the topic before hand so as to think over it .

    • sneha

      it is similar to that of answer writing challenge on insights.

      • junaid

        i am a first timer.

  • anoosha

    nice initiative…

    • jasmin


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