Indian Society

UPSC Syllabus for Indian Society

Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
Role of Women and Women’s Organization
Population and Associated Issues
Poverty and Developmental issues
Urbanization, their problems and their remedies
Effects of Globalization on Indian society
Social Empowerment, Communalism, Regionalism & Secularism


1) Explore and evaluate the impact of ‘Work From Home’ on family relationships. (150 words)
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in the number of people working from home.
Positive impact of ‘Work From Home’ on family relationships
  • Increased time with family: Working from home has allowed individuals to spend more time with their family members, leading to stronger family bonds.
  • Improved work-life balance: With no commute time, employees can spend more time with their families, leading to an improved work-life balance.
Negative impact of ‘Work From Home’ on family relationships
  • Increased stress: With work and personal life being carried out in the same space, individuals may experience increased stress, leading to conflicts with family members.
  • Blurring of boundaries: The line between work and personal life may become blurred, leading to difficulty in balancing both and causing conflicts within the family.
  • Isolation: The lack of physical interaction with colleagues may lead to feelings of isolation, which could impact an individual's mental health and in turn affect their relationships with family members.
In summary, while working from home has brought positive and negative impacts to family. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life to minimize the negative impacts and foster healthy family relationships
2) How is the growth of Tier 2 cities related to the rise of a new middle class with an emphasis on the culture of consumption? (150 words)
As per the government, cities having a population size ranging between 50,000 and 100,000 are categorised as tier 2 cities in India. The growth of Tier 2 cities in India is closely linked to the rise of a new middle class that has emerged in recent years. This middle class is characterized by its emphasis on the culture of consumption, which has fuelled the growth of Tier 2 cities.
Growth of Tier 2 cities related to the rise of a new middle class
  • Increasing disposable income: The rise of the new middle class has led to an increase in disposable income, which has created demand for products and services that were previously inaccessible.
  • Expansion of industries: As a result of this increased demand, various industries have expanded into Tier 2 cities to tap into this growing market. This has led to the creation of new jobs, infrastructure development, and economic growth.
  • Exposure to global trends: With greater exposure to global trends through social media and other channels, the new middle class is more aware of the latest fashion, technology, and lifestyle products. This has driven the growth of retail and entertainment industries in Tier 2 cities.
  • Emphasis on quality of life: As the new middle class seeks a better quality of life, they are moving away from traditional notions of frugality and austerity. This has led to the growth of the hospitality and tourism industries in Tier 2 cities.
Culture of consumerism in Tier 2 cities
  • Retail Boom: Tier 2 cities in India, such as Jaipur, Surat, and Lucknow, have seen a significant rise in modern retail outlets, including malls and hypermarkets.
    E.g.: establishment of shopping malls like Phoenix Market city in Lucknow
  • Global Brand Presence: Many international brands have recognized the potential in Tier 2 cities and have expanded their operations into these areas.
    E.g.: popular fast-food chains like McDonald's, KFC, and Domino's have established outlets in cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh.
  • Housing and Real Estate Boom: As more people move to Tier 2 cities for better job opportunities and improved standards of living, the demand for housing has risen.
  • Luxury Goods Demand: The growing affluence in Tier 2 cities has also resulted in increased demand for luxury products such as high-end fashion, accessories, and electronics.
    E.g.: Brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Apple
As the culture of consumerism in tier 2 cities continues to evolve, it's essential to strike a balance between economic development and sustainable living.
3) Given the diversities among tribal communities in India, in which specific contexts should they be considered as a single category? (150 words)
India is known for its rich cultural diversity, and tribal communities play a significant role in adding to this tapestry of traditions, languages, customs, and lifestyles. There are over 700 recognized tribal groups in India.
Diversities among tribal communities in India
  • Language and Linguistic Diversity: Tribal communities in India speak a wide array of languages and dialects.
    E.g.: Gonds in central India: Gondi, Santhals in West Bengal, Jharkhand, and: Santhali.
  • Economic Activities: Different tribal communities engage in various economic activities based on their geographical location and available resources.
    E.g.: Todas in the Nilgiri Hills are pastoralists, rearing buffaloes and selling dairy products, Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh practice sustainable agriculture, including wetland cultivation.
  • Traditional Attire and Jewellery: Tribal communities in India have their distinct traditional attire and jewellery that vary from region to region.
    E.g.: the Rabaris in Gujarat are known for their colourful and elaborately embroidered garments, while the Nagas in the north-eastern states adorn themselves with unique tribal jewellery made from beads, shells, and metals.
Contexts in which tribal community be considered as a single category
  • Policy making: In order to create policies that address the needs of tribal communities, it is necessary to group them together based on certain commonalities such as their social, economic and cultural characteristics.
  • Advocacy: While advocating for the rights and welfare of tribal communities, it is necessary to highlight the common issues faced by them, such as displacement due to development projects, lack of access to education and healthcare, and discrimination.
  • Historical context: In the context of India's colonial history, the tribes were collectively marginalized and exploited by the British authorities. Therefore, it is important to recognize the common history of oppression and exploitation faced by tribal communities and work towards addressing the historical injustices.
  • Cultural events and festivals: In certain cultural events and festivals, tribal communities can come together to showcase their unique traditions and customs, while also highlighting their commonalities.
Thus, while there are contexts where tribal communities can be considered as a single category, it is equally important to recognize and respect their individual identities, diversity, and specific needs.
Policies and interventions should be tailored to address the unique challenges faced by each tribe, considering their distinct cultural practices, languages, geographical locations, and socio-economic conditions.
4)Analyse the salience of ‘sect’ in Indian society vis-à-vis caste, region and religion. (250 words)
In Indian society, the term 'sect' refers to a group of people who share a common religious belief or practice, often distinguished by a particular set of rituals, customs, or traditions. Sect is a small religious group that has branched off from a larger established religion.
Salience of ‘sect’ in Indian society vis-à-vis caste, region and religion
Sect and caste
  • Sects are likely to arise from castes that are particularly oppressed in India.
    E.g.: Vaishnavaite Alwars as opposition to Brahmanical hegemony in Hinduism
  • They may also emerge from upper castes who are spiritual but devoid of material wealth.
    E.g.: Hare Krishna Movement
Sect and region
  • Most of the sects are region specific as the local polity, demography and socio-economic condition influence their growth.
    Eg.: patronisation of Nayanmars by Cholas in South, Navayana Buddhist sect in Maharashtra due to efforts of Ambedkar.
Sect and religion
  • Sects in India are often associated with specific religious traditions such as Hinduism, Islam, or Sikhism.
    In Hinduism, there are numerous sects such as Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shaktism,
  • Within Islam, there are several sects such as Sunni, Shia, and Ahmadiyya,
While caste, region, and religion remain important social categories in Indian society, the salience of sects cannot be overlooked. Sects in India provide a way of expressing religious identity and community, and can serve as a means of transcending traditional social boundaries.
At the same time, sectarian conflicts can also pose significant challenges to social harmony and political stability, particularly when they intersect with other social categories such as caste and region.
5) Are tolerance assimilation and pluralism the key elements in the making of an Indian form of secularism? Justify your answer. (250 words)
Indian philosophy of secularism is related to “Sarva Dharma Sambhava” (literally it means that destination of the paths followed by all religions is the same, though the paths themselves may be different) which means equal respect to all religions.
Tolerance, assimilation, and pluralism are key elements that have contributed to the evolution of a distinct form of secularism in India.
Tolerance in the making of an Indian form of secularism
  • Indian society has a long history of respecting diverse religious and cultural traditions.
    E.g.: Bhakti and Sufi traditions. Concept of Dhamma of Asoka and Din-i-ilahi of Akbar.
  • Common principle of all religions: India being multi-religious stands on the same principle of ‘Dharma nirapekshetha’.
    E.g.: Jainism preaches ‘Anekanthavada’ indicating tolerance.
Assimilation in the making of an Indian form of secularism
  • India has been home to many different religious and cultural groups. These groups have interacted and influenced each other. This process of assimilation has contributed to the evolution of a uniquely Indian form of secularism that emphasizes inclusivity and diversity.
    E.g.: reverence of Sufi saints by Hindus.
  • No state religion: The Indian state accepts all faiths and protects the Rights of Minorities by Article 29, Article 30 and there is no state religion
Pluralism in the making of an Indian form of secularism
  • Pluralism recognizes the value of different perspectives and encourages open dialogue and debate. In India, this has led to a vibrant public sphere where individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds can engage with each other and exchange ideas.
    E.g.: Gandhian ideal of “Sarva Dharma Sama Bhava”
  • Acceptance of diversity: Diversity exists in all spheres of life but Indian state treated with equality & equal separation.
    E.g.: Hindu festivals of Diwali are celebrated by all the people & Christmas is celebrated by all the children irrespective of faiths.
Along with the above, India's secularism is also characterized by a complex set of legal and institutional arrangements that seek to balance the interests of different groups and prevent the dominance of any religion or group.
E.g.: Article 25 guaranteed right to citizens to practise, profess and propagate their religion Tolerance, assimilation, and pluralism have shaped India's historical narrative, constitutional framework, and societal dynamics. By embracing these elements, India strives to maintain a harmonious coexistence of diverse religious communities and foster a sense of unity amidst diversity.


6) Examine the uniqueness of tribal knowledge systems when compared with mainstream knowledge and cultural systems. (150 words)
Tribal knowledge refers to the collective wisdom, beliefs, practices, and customs that are passed down through generations within a specific indigenous community or tribe.
Uniqueness of tribal knowledge systems comparing with mainstream knowledge and cultural systems
  • Mainstream knowledge systems are based on rigorous experimental research whereas tribal knowledge is based on observation and interpretation of nature.
    E.g.: “Kani Medicines” of Kani tribe of Kerala.
  • Tribal knowledge has a holistic approach to understanding nature, incorporating traditional ecological knowledge, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs. In contrast mainstream knowledge is secular.
    E.g.: concept of sacred groves.
  • Tribal knowledge systems often prioritize the conservation and preservation of biodiversity, while mainstream knowledge systems that often prioritize resource extraction and economic development.
    E.g.: Bishnoi tribe and forest conservation
  • Tribal knowledge is passed on orally while the mainstream knowledge is documented and passed on through formal education.
  • Tribal knowledge have region specificity while mainstream knowledge is universal.
Tribal knowledge systems are unique in their holistic approach to understanding and managing nature, their emphasis on community values. There is a need to conserve this rich tradition and integrate it with the mainstream knowledge without losing its identity.
7) Examine the role of ‘Gig Economy’ in the process of empowerment of women in India. (150 words) 
The ‘Gig Economy’ refers to the labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work rather than permanent jobs.
Gig economy and empowerment of women in India
  • Women who are unable to take up full-time jobs due to household responsibilities or other constraints are finding opportunities in the gig economy.
  • This has resulted in an increase in the number of women entrepreneurs, freelancers, and independent workers.
  • The gig economy has also opened opportunities for women to work in non-traditional fields such as technology, content writing, digital marketing, and graphic designing.
  • Gig economy has helped women in breaking traditional gender roles and stereotypes, leading to their empowerment.
  • It has enabled them to become financially independent and improve their decision-making abilities.
  • Women in the gig economy have reported an increase in their confidence levels, self-esteem, and overall well-being.
It is important to note that the gig economy is not without its challenges, including low job security, lack of benefits, and absence of labour protection laws. Therefore, appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure the safety and rights of women in the gig economy.
8) Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail. (250 words) 
Population Education is a process that aims to create awareness and educate individuals about population-related issues such as population growth, population control, reproductive health, and family planning.
Main objectives of Population Education
  • To create awareness about population-related issues and their impact on society, economy, and environment.
  • To promote reproductive health and family planning.
  • To encourage responsible parenthood and child bearing practices.
  • To promote gender equality and empower women to make informed choices about their reproductive health.
  • To promote environmental conservation by promoting sustainable population growth.
Measures to achieve Population Education in India
  • Introducing Population Education in schools and colleges as a mandatory subject in the curriculum.
  • Conducting training programs for teachers to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to teach Population Education effectively.
  • Creating awareness campaigns through mass media such as radio, television, and print media.
  • Providing access to family planning services and counselling for individuals and couples.
  • Promoting community participation through community meetings, and workshops.
The government of India has launched several initiatives to promote Population Education, such as the National Population Education Project, which aims to create awareness about population issues and promote responsible parenthood practices. The program also includes the training of teachers, the development of teaching materials, and the organization of workshops and seminars.
Population Education plays a crucial role in promoting responsible parenthood practices, reproductive health, and sustainable population growth. To achieve its objectives, it requires the cooperation and participation of individuals, communities, and governments.
9) What is Crypto currency? How does it affect global society? Has it been affecting Indian society also? (250 words) 
Crypto currency is a digital currency that uses encryption techniques to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
It operates on a decentralized ledger technology called blockchain, which provides a secure and transparent way to store and transfer data.
E.g.: Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.
Impact of the Crypto currency on the global society
  • Economic impact – Quick and easy transactions across borders, without the need for intermediaries like banks can reduce the transaction costs for businesses and individuals.
  • Political impact – potential to replace traditional currency - might threaten the monetary sovereignty of central banks.
  • Social impact – may increase wealth inequality – currencies are owned by very few members.
  • Energy impact – higher energy requirements can cause environmental issues
Risks associated with the Crypto currency on the global society
  • Use in illegal activities like money laundering and terrorism financing.
  • Cryptocurrency transactions are also highly volatile, leading to concerns about financial instability.
  • The lack of regulation and oversight in the cryptocurrency market also makes it vulnerable to fraud and hacking.
Effect of crypto currency on Indian context
  • It can become an alternative to gold as investment.
  • Remittances may be sent through cryptocurrencies saving transaction costs
  • Increase employment possibilities in this trade.
  • Reserve Bank of India has taken a cautious approach towards cryptocurrency and has issued warnings about the risks associated with it
  • India is planning a new Central Bank Digital Currency
Cryptocurrency has the potential to transform the global financial system, but it also poses several risks. Governments and regulatory bodies around the world are grappling with how to regulate this emerging technology to prevent fraud and illegal activities while also encouraging innovation and growth.
10) How does Indian society maintain continuity in traditional social values? Enumerate the changes taking place in it. (250 words) 
Indian society has a rich cultural heritage and a deep-rooted history of traditions, customs and values. Despite the impact of modernity and globalization, India has managed to maintain continuity in traditional social values.
Ways in which Indian society maintains continuity in traditional social values
  • Joint family system: The family elders play a vital role in passing on traditional values to the younger generation.
  • Religion and spirituality. Religious and spiritual practices are a way of life in India, and they play a crucial role in maintaining traditional social values. Example, visiting holy places
  • Festivals and celebrations: help passing on traditional values and beliefs to the younger generation. Example, various harvest festivals like Baisakhi, Bihu etc
  • Education: The education system in India has incorporated traditional values and teachings to create a sense of pride in the culture and heritage of the country.
Changes taking place in traditional values
  • Nuclear family system: The traditional joint family system is giving way to the nuclear family system due to urbanization and the impact of modernity.
  • Women empowerment: Women are taking on more significant roles in society, breaking free from traditional gender roles and challenging patriarchal structures.
  • Changing values: The impact of modernity and globalization is leading to changes in traditional values, beliefs, and cultural practices. Example, modernism is reducing religious values
While India has managed to maintain continuity in traditional social values, it is also experiencing significant changes due to the impact of modernity and globalization. It is crucial to strike a balance between maintaining traditional values and embracing change to keep pace with the changing times.


11) Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi- cultural Indian Society? Elaborate your answer with illustrations(Answer in 150 words)
Caste has been a defining feature of Indian society for centuries, with social and economic status often determined by one's caste identity.
Caste losing relevance in multi-cultural Indian society
  • Increased social mobility and economic opportunities for lower castes.
  • India has also implemented affirmative action policies to promote education and employment opportunities for members of lower castes.
  • Legal provisions against caste-based discriminations.
    E.g.: banning untouchability, manual scavenging
  • Many younger generations are rejecting traditional caste-based identities and advocating for a more inclusive and egalitarian society.
    E.g.: many dropping their caste names.
Caste continues to play a significant role
  • Despite legal prohibitions, individuals from lower castes still face social stigma and economic disadvantage.
    E.g.: Dalit groom attacked for riding horse in UP recently.
  • Inter-caste marriages are often discouraged or even prohibited.
    E.g.: honour killings
  • Many political parties and social organizations continue to use caste identities to mobilize support.
Overall, while there are certainly signs of progress towards a more inclusive and egalitarian society, caste continues to be a significant factor in shaping social and economic relationships in India.
12) COVID-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India. Comment. (Answer in 150 words) 
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on India's economy and society, exacerbating existing inequalities and poverty in many ways.
COVID-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India
  • Job and income loss: particularly in informal sector - disproportionately affected vulnerable low-income workers lacking social protections.
  • Education: The shift to online learning has further widened the education gap between students from low-income backgrounds and those from affluent families – reduce chances of economic opportunities
  • Healthcare: Those from lower-income backgrounds have less access to quality healthcare, which has resulted in a higher mortality rate among these populations.
  • Housing: particularly those living in crowded slums are more vulnerable to the spread of the virus, due to lack of sanitation facilities and limited space for social distancing – more death of breadwinners.
  • Women: suffered disproportionate job losses (26% compared to 20% for men) and increased domestic violence (increased by 1.23 times) – reduced their financial independence increasing poverty.
  • Widened prevalent disparities: Dalits and Adivasis faced heightened discrimination and exclusion during the pandemic
Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly severe on vulnerable communities, including daily wage earners, migrant workers, and marginalized groups. Addressing these issues requires comprehensive efforts to ensure equitable access to resources, strengthen social safety nets, and bridge existing gaps in education and digital infrastructure.
13) Do you agree that regionalism in India appears to be a consequence of rising cultural assertiveness? Argue.(Answer in 150 words)
Regionalism is the expression of a common sense of identity and purpose by people within a specific geographical region, united by its unique language, culture etc.
Regionalism due to rising cultural assertiveness
  • Language Movements: Several states in India have witnessed language movements, where people demand the recognition of their regional language as the official language and the medium of instruction in schools and colleges.
    E.g.: Bengali Language Movement
  • Cultural Festivals and Celebrations: Each Indian state has its own unique cultural festivals, traditions, and celebrations. People take immense pride in showcasing their cultural heritage
    E.g.: Pongal in Tamil Nadu
  • Cultural Preservation: There is an increasing emphasis on preserving and promoting regional art, literature, music, and dance forms.
  • Traditional Attire: People often take pride in wearing traditional regional attire, especially during festivals and cultural events
    E.g.: Saree in South India
Regionalism in India driven by other factors
  • Regionalism is a response to perceived neglect or exploitation by the central government, or to disparities in economic development between different regions.
    E.g.: Telangana Movement.
  • Political factors, such as regional political parties and electoral alliances.
    E.g.: Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Asom Gana Parishad etc.
  • Historical factors - India has a long history of regional kingdoms and empires have contributed to the development of unique regional identities.
    E.g.: Tribal states of North-East
Overall, while rising cultural assertiveness can certainly contribute to regionalism in India, it is important to recognize that there are multiple causes and factors at play. Any attempt to address regionalism in India must consider the diverse and complex factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
14) Is diversity and pluralism in India under threat due to globalisation? Justify your answer.(250 words) 
Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, organizations, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology.
Globalisation has undoubtedly brought significant changes to India, including economic growth, increased connectivity, and exposure to global cultures and ideas. However, the impact of globalisation on diversity and pluralism in India is complex and multifaceted.
Globalisation as threat to diversity and pluralism
  • The proliferation of multinational corporations and global brands can also lead to the standardisation of tastes and preferences, reducing cultural diversity.
    E.g.: McDonald’s fast food, wearing jeans and shirt.
  • Globalisation has led to increased migration, both within the country and across borders, which can create tensions between different cultural and religious groups.
  • The emergence of global cities and enclaves can also lead to the formation of exclusive communities that exclude others, further eroding diversity and pluralism.
Globalisation enhancing diversity
  • Globalisation facilitates cross-cultural exchanges, promoting intercultural dialogue, and providing opportunities for marginalized groups to participate in the global economy.
  • Globalisation can also create new avenues for cultural expression and innovation, as well as new opportunities for political mobilization and advocacy.
    E.g.: food chains like McDonald's, KFC promoting mixed food culture such has aloof burger
It is therefore important to carefully evaluate the impact of globalisation on different aspects of diversity and pluralism and to develop strategies to mitigate its negative impacts while harnessing its positive potentials.
15)Customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism. Do you agree?(250 words)
Obscurantism refers to the practice of deliberately keeping knowledge or information hidden or obscure, often for the purpose of maintaining power or control. It can manifest in various forms, such as religious dogma, cultural norms, or societal expectations that discourage critical thinking and rationality.
Customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism
  • Customs and traditions as social norms: They may include beliefs, values, rituals, and ways of life that are specific to a particular culture or group.
    E.g.: practice of sexism, like menstrual taboos - adhering strictly to these customs without questioning their underlying rationale, individuals may be discouraged from critically examining their own beliefs and values.
  • Customs and traditions often have a strong emotional and sentimental value attached to them - makes it difficult for individuals to objectively evaluate their merits or consider alternative perspectives.
  • Customs and traditions as sources of conflict: customs and traditions that discriminate against certain groups of people or that are based on superstition or myth may be seen as incompatible with reason and enlightenment.
On the other hand, customs and traditions can also serve as valuable sources of meaning, identity, and continuity, providing a sense of belonging, purpose, and security.
  • Traditions and customs can embody the collective wisdom, experience, and values of a community.
    E.g.: traditional medical practices
  • They can also foster social cohesion, tolerance, and mutual respect, that transcend individual differences and divisions.
    E.g.: Indian tradition of Vasudaiva Kudumbakam.
It is essential to critically evaluate the underlying rationale of customs and traditions, considering their historical context, societal impact, and alignment with universal human rights principles.
16) How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate your answer.(250 words)
Digital initiatives in India have significantly impacted the education system in the country, contributing to the democratization of education and the enhancement of access, equity, and quality.
Ways digital initiatives have transformed education in India
  • Online Learning Platforms: They provided learners with access to high-quality educational resources and courses from top institutions and educators - learn at their own pace and convenience, and have promoted lifelong learning and up skilling.
  • E-Content and Digital Libraries: learners and educators with access to a vast repository of e-books, e-journals, and other digital resources expanded knowledge and promoted self-directed learning and research.
    E.g.: e-Pathshala, e-Granthalaya, and National Digital Library
  • Digital Classrooms: These initiatives have facilitated live and interactive classes, digital whiteboards, and other features that enable collaborative and engaging learning experiences, particularly in rural and remote areas.
  • Online Assessment and Certification: online examinations, digital certification, and e-portfolios have enabled learners to receive recognition, regardless of their location or background - facilitated transparent and objective assessment and evaluation, reducing the risk of bias and subjectivity.
  • Education Management Systems: Digital initiatives such as Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) have improved the management and governance of the education system, providing policymakers with real-time data and analytics on enrolment, attendance, and learning outcomes.
However, there are still challenges to be addressed, such as the digital divide, the need for digital literacy and skills, and the potential for surveillance and exclusion.
Overall, digital initiatives in India have contributed to the transformation of the education system, enabling greater access, equity, and quality, and facilitating the development of a knowledge-based economy.


17) What makes the Indian society unique in sustaining its culture? Discuss. (150 words)
India is a pluralistic society with a harmonious coexistence of various cultures wrt languages, religion and ethnicity.
Factors making the Indian society unique in sustaining its culture
  • Strong sense of community and family values.
    E.g.: the joint family system, has helped to pass down customs and beliefs from one generation to another.
  • The emphasis on passing on the traditional knowledge and values to the next generation.
    E.g.: Thathera community passed on traditional copper utensil making
  • The spiritual and religious practices have been a source of inspiration for generations, which has helped to maintain Indian culture.
    E.g.: harvest festivals sustain the agricultural traditions
  • Literature – most of the ancient literature were in the form of poems and songs that were easily remembered and transmitted.
    E.g.: the Vedas, Mahabharata
  • Government support – example setting up museums, schemes to protect traditional crafts.
    E.g.: USTTAD scheme for handicrafts training.
While the above factors have been helpful in sustaining the cultural traditions in India, the rising regionalism and casteism threaten the fraternity and social harmony. It requires all sections of Indian society to come together to sustain the cultural traditions of India.
18) “Empowering women is the key to control population growth”. Discuss. (150 words)
Empowering women means promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices. It is done through providing women with education, healthcare, and access to reproductive rights.
Women empowerment and population control
  • Educated women are more likely to have smaller families and make informed decisions about their reproductive health
  • Economic empowerment of women allows them to be financially independent and make decisions about their own lives, including family planning.
  • Women who are educated and have access to reproductive health services are more likely to delay marriage and childbirth, have fewer children.
  • Educated women are more likely to provide better care for their children leading to a reduction in child mortality rates. This can lead to a virtuous cycle of population growth control, as reduced child mortality rates can lead to lower fertility rates.
Challenges associated with women empowerment
  • Gender Pay Gap: Women in India often face lower wages for the same work as men, contributing to economic disparities and limiting their financial independence.
  • Stereotyping and Social Norms: Prevailing gender stereotypes and cultural norms can restrict women's roles and opportunities, limiting their potential
  • Limited Access to Education: While there has been progress in girls' education in recent years, many girls, especially in rural areas, still have limited access to quality education.
Empowering women is a key strategy for controlling population growth, as it can lead to increased education, access to reproductive health services, increased economic productivity, and improved child mortality rates.
19) Do we have cultural pockets of small India all over the nation? Elaborate with examples. (250 words)
India has cultural pockets all over the nation that are essentially 'small Indias'. They are regions where the people, language, and culture have remained relatively unchanged over time, and they continue to follow their traditional practices and beliefs.
Cultural pockets of small India all over the nation
In different states of India:
  • Rajasthan's Jaisalmer: The city has a distinct culture and language, and its people have a rich tradition of music and dance. The traditional attire of Jaisalmer, known as the 'ghagra-choli', is still worn by women in the region.
  • Assam's Majuli: Majuli is a river island home to several ethnic communities, each with their own language and culture. The people of Majuli are known for their traditional practices, such as the 'Sattriya' dance, which is a form of classical dance that originated in the region.
In communities and cities:
  • Marwaris, Sindhis, Parsis, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs: These communities have their own customs, traditions and practices and they form stable and sustainable lifestyle
  • Cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai: These cities are known as metropolitan areas which represent a culture of their own and are diverse within themselves as well. For example, the Ganpati Utsav in Mumbai and Independence Day celebrations in Delhi form cultural pockets within these cities
  • Higher education institutes: Universities and colleges have students from different parts of the nation, representing diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religions, and these institutes form cultural pockets in themselves
India has several cultural pockets spread throughout the country that offer a glimpse into its diverse cultural heritage. These cultural pockets are an essential part of India's cultural identity ( unity in diversity) and serve as a reminder of its rich cultural heritage.
20) What are the continued challenges for the women in India against time and space? (250 words)
India has made significant progress towards gender equality over the years, but women still face numerous socio-cultural, economic, and political challenges against time and space. These challenges limit women's opportunities and rights.
Challenges for the women in India against time
  • Patriarchy: Women face pressure to conform to traditional gender roles and are often restricted in their movements and decision-making due to patriarchal social structure.
  • Violence against women: Physical and mental violence against women, including domestic violence and dowry-related deaths.
  • Lack of access to education and health: particularly in rural areas, leading to a significant disparity in literacy rates and health outcomes between men and women.
  • Dowry system: Demands for large sums of money from the bride's family by the groom's family, leading to violence and death if the demand is not met.
Challenges for the women in India against space
  • Pink collarisation of jobs: Women being confined to stereotyped 'pink-collar jobs' such as teaching and nursing, limiting their opportunities in other fields.
  • Glass ceilings: Artificial barriers preventing women from advancing in their careers and reaching management-level positions.
  • Sexual harassment at the workplace: The #MeToo movement brought attention to the widespread issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Lack of political participation: Low representation of women in political positions, with only 11.8% of women in the Indian Parliament and 9% in state assemblies.
  • Online harassment: Women in India are increasingly facing online harassment and abuse, which can have significant mental and emotional impacts.
Addressing these challenges will require a multi-faceted approach including sensitisation about gender equality and women’s right from early ages, stronger laws and policies, increased female participation in economy and polity. These will ensure that women have equal access to opportunities and rights.
21) Are we losing our local identity for the global identity? Discuss. (250 words)
Globalization has undoubtedly had a significant impact on local identities worldwide. While globalization has led to greater cultural exchange and connectivity, it has also created a homogenized global culture that often threatens local identities.
Impact of globalization on local identity
Losing local identity
  • Westernisation of culture particularly in urban areas
    E.g.: western costumes, cuisines etc
  • Local artefacts and art traditions losing market to cheap western made goods
  • Rising individualism and declining collectivism
    E.g.: nuclear families
  • Rise of consumerism and materialism – loss of touch with environment.
    E.g.: sacred groves making way for housing flats
  • Loss of local languages to English
Preserving identity
  • Greater connectivity has created opportunities for local cultures to be showcased on a global stage.
    E.g.: Indian hotels in Europe.
  • Growth of social media has made it easier for people to connect - helped growth of cultural tourism and the promotion of local products and traditions.
    E. g.: yoga
  • Rise of “glocalization”: western cuisines adapting their Indian avatar like McDonald’s introducing vegetarian menu, Indo-western fusion music etc
While there are arguments for and against the idea that we are losing our local identity for the global identity, globalization has had a significant impact on local identities worldwide. It is important to ensure that local traditions and practices are preserved and promoted, even as we embrace the opportunities and benefits of global connectivity and exchange.


22) “Caste system is assuming new identities and associational forms. Hence, caste system cannot be eradicated in India.” Comment. (150 words)
The caste system in India has been a longstanding social issue that has persisted for centuries. Despite the efforts to eradicate it, it has evolved into new identities and forms.
Caste assuming new identities
  • Emergence of new castes and sub-castes.
    E.g.: Lingayat in Hinduism
  • Emergence of new associational forms in Politics based on caste identities.
    E.g.: Bahujan Samaj Party
  • Caste-based mobilisation demanding economic rights.
    E.g.: Marathas, Jats, Kapus etc.
  • Increasing caste-based customs.
    E.g.: caste-based matrimonies, separate graveyards for converts.
However, it may be premature to say that caste system cannot be eradicated in India.
  • Legal and judicial interventions.
    E.g.: Kerala making appointment of a Dalit Temple priest.
  • Increasing inter-caste marriages
  • Educated youth casting aside their caste names etc.
The caste system in India may assume new identities and associational forms, making it challenging to eradicate it. However, it is important to continue to strive towards social equality and justice. In this, the ideals of our constitution and ideas from “Annihilation of Caste” by Ambedkar may become guiding lights.
23) ‘Despite implementation of various programmes for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty still exists’. Explain by giving reasons. (150 words)
According to a World Bank working paper, extreme poverty in India dropped to 10.2% in the pre-Covid year of 2019 from as much as 22.5% in 2011.
Govt. Schemes against poverty: Prime Minister Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi – PM SVanidhi, National Nutrition Mission (NNM), Poshan Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) etc
Reasons for still existing poverty in India
  • Bureaucratic inefficiencies and corruption suffer from leakages, where the benefits do not reach the intended beneficiaries, and instead go to middlemen or corrupt officials.
  • Poverty is often caused by structural issues, such as unequal distribution of resources and economic opportunities.
  • Poverty is concentrated in certain regions and among certain social groups, making it difficult to alleviate through general programs.
  • Poverty is also perpetuated by social and cultural factors, such as discrimination and exclusion based on caste, gender, or religion. These factors create barriers to accessing education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, thereby keeping people in poverty.
  • Poverty is also affected by external factors such as natural disasters, global economic downturns, and pandemics, which can cause a sudden increase in poverty and make it difficult to alleviate poverty.
Way forward
  • Realistic Assessment of the present situation of poverty in the country in need of the hour.
  • Direct income transfer to needy is an immediate solution.
  • Taxing wealth of rich people to fund amelioration of poor in the country.
  • By improving social infrastructure and job opportunities in rural areas, migration to urban areas can be decreased, and thus urban poverty can also be decreased.
  • Invest in infrastructure and agriculture.
In conclusion, despite the government's efforts to eradicate poverty in India, the issue persists due to bureaucratic inefficiencies, structural inequalities, social and cultural factors, and external factors. Addressing these root causes of poverty will require a multi-pronged approach that goes beyond just the implementation of poverty alleviation programs.
24) Mention core strategies for the transformation of aspirational districts in India and explain the nature of convergence, collaboration and competition for its success. (250 words)
The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) was launched by the Government of India in 2018, with the aim of transforming 112 underdeveloped districts in the country. The program aims to improve the socio-economic indicators of these districts by focusing on five core themes, namely health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, and skill development.
The core strategies for the transformation of aspirational districts in India
  • Convergence of Central and State schemes: The ADP aims to converge various central and state schemes for effective implementation and optimal utilization of resources.
  • Collaboration with local stakeholders: The ADP focuses on involving local stakeholders such as community organizations, NGOs, and private sector entities to ensure effective implementation and sustainability of interventions.
  • Competitive spirit among districts: The ADP encourages a competitive spirit among districts to improve their rankings and performance, thereby ensuring accountability and effective implementation.
The nature of convergence, collaboration, and competition for the success of the ADP
  • Convergence: The convergence of various central and state schemes is essential for effective implementation of the program. This ensures that resources are utilized optimally and avoids duplication of efforts. The convergence of schemes also helps in addressing the multi-dimensional nature of the challenges faced by these districts.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration with local stakeholders such as community organizations, NGOs, and private sector entities is essential for the success of the ADP. Collaboration ensures that interventions are relevant and appropriate to the local context and that there is ownership and sustainability of the interventions.
  • Competition: The competitive spirit among districts is essential for the success of the ADP. Competition encourages districts to perform better and improve their rankings. This ensures accountability and effective implementation of the program.
The core strategies of convergence, collaboration, and competition are essential for the success of the Aspirational Districts Programme in India. These strategies help in ensuring effective implementation, sustainability, and accountability, and are essential for the transformation of underdeveloped districts in the country.
25) ‘Women’s movement in India has not addresses the issues of women of lower social strata.’ Substantiate your view. (250 words)
The women's movement in India is a broad term that encompasses various feminist groups, organizations, and individuals that advocate for gender equality and women's rights. However, it is widely argued that the women's movement in India has not been able to effectively address the issues faced by women belonging to lower social strata.
Failure of women moments in addressing issues of lower strata
  • Women's movement in India has been largely dominated by the upper and middle-class women (according to Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi).
  • These movements have focused their efforts on issues such as women's education, economic independence, and reproductive rights, which are not the primary concerns of women from lower social strata. While, women of lower strata face more pressing issues such as poverty, illiteracy, and lack of access to healthcare.
  • Feminist discourse in India has largely been centred around the rights of women in the public sphere, such as education, employment, and political representation. However, women from lower social strata face issues such as domestic violence, child marriage, and dowry harassment, which are often overlooked.
  • They are confined to urban areas, neglecting the rural women who make up the majority of the population. They face unique challenges such as lack of access to basic amenities like water and sanitation.
  • The language used by the feminist movement is often inaccessible to women from lower social strata who may not speak English or be literate.
Thus, it is essential that the movement becomes more inclusive and diverse to effectively address the challenges faced by all women, regardless of their social and economic status. The feminist discourse in India needs to broaden its scope to encompass issues faced by rural women, marginalized communities, and women from lower social strata.
26) ‘Globalisation is generally said to promote cultural homogenisation but due to this cultural specificities appear to be strengthened in the Indian society.’ Elucidate. (250 words)
Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, organizations, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology.
Globalisation promoting cultural homogenisation
  • Fast Food Chains: The spread of global fast-food chains like McDonald's, KFC, and Starbucks to various countries has led to a homogenization of food choices.
  • Fashion Trends: Global fashion brands and media influence have led to a convergence of clothing styles worldwide.
  • Language Shift: English has become the dominant language of international business, diplomacy, and communication.
  • Social Media and Internet: The internet and social media platforms enable the rapid dissemination of ideas and trends, leading to the adoption of similar cultural practices and norms worldwide.
Globalisation strengthened cultural specificities in the Indian society
  • Globalisation has led to resurgence and increased visibility of Indian culture on the global stage.
    E.g.: Indian classical music.
  • Globalisation has also led to the emergence of a new Indian middle class that is proud of its Indian cultural identity. They reject the western cultural influences that were previously seen as aspirational.
  • The rise of the Hindu nationalist movement in India is a response to the perceived threat of Westernization and the erosion of traditional values.
    E.g.: attacks during Valentine’s Day
  • The impact of globalisation on India has been uneven, with different regions and communities experiencing it differently.
    E.g.: the Tribals of North-East India
  • The Indian way of living is getting global recognition as a counter to the western, attracting more foreigners and strengthening Indian’s pride in their culture.
    E.g.: Yoga.
  • India is using its culture as an ambassador for its national interests in international ties due to globalisation.
    E.g.: Buddhism as soft-power and Ayurveda for its medical tourism.
  • Glocalization: with the increasing accommodation of Indian culture by even global companies
    E.g.: Aaloo tikka by McDonald’s.
India is a diverse country with a rich cultural heritage, and the impact of globalisation has been felt differently in different regions of the country. While globalisation has led to the spread of western cultural influences in urban areas, it has also given rise to a renewed interest in traditional Indian culture, particularly in rural areas.


27) In the context of the diversity of India, can it be said that the regions form cultural units rather than the States? Give reasons with examples for your viewpoint. (150 words)
India is a diverse country with different regions having their own unique culture and traditions. While the states are administrative units with defined boundaries, they may not necessarily represent the cultural units of the country.
Regions form cultural units rather than the States

  • The regions, on the other hand, are cultural units that are defined by a common language, history, and customs.
  • This is because the culture of a region is shaped by various factors such as geography, history, and traditions, which may not necessarily be confined to the administrative boundaries of a state.
  • Moreover, the culture of a region is dynamic and constantly evolving, influenced by factors such as migration, globalization, and technological advancements.
    E.g.: North-East region: Though they comprise various tribes, the tribal cultures and closeness to nature is a common feature.
  • Southern Region: Though there are different languages like Kannada, Tamil etc they have Dravidian roots. Have common history, of rulers and empires which integrated them as a cultural whole.
While the states are important administrative units, it is the regions that form the cultural units of India, with each region having its own distinct identity and cultural heritage.
28) The spirit of tolerance and love is not only an interesting feature of Indian society from very early times, but it is also playing an important part at the present. Elaborate. (250 words)
India has a long tradition of tolerance and love, which has been an integral part of its cultural ethos from ancient times.
Tolerance and love - interesting feature of Indian society from very early times
  • Spirit of tolerance and love had been an important part of teachings of Jainism and Buddhism in Ancient India.
    E.g.: reflected in the Ashokan Edicts.
  • The Sufi-Bhakti tradition of India displayed tolerance and love with both streams attracting devotees from different religions.
    E.g.: Salim Chishti walked among the poor of all religions
  • Rulers like Akbar made tolerance and love as part of their policy in sulk-i-kul
  • Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, used the principle of Ahimsa as a tool for India's independence movement, and it remains an important value in contemporary India.
  • The various festivals celebrated across the country are a testament to this spirit of tolerance and love.
  • Moreover, the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religion and belief, which reflects the country's commitment to tolerance and inclusivity.
Spirit of tolerance and love is playing an important role in contemporary India
  • Muslim can be seen helping the Amarnath Yatris and similarly Hindus working near Dargahs.
  • India is home to various refugees from the ancient Jews and Parsis to recent Tibetans and Rohingyas irrespective of religions.
  • India exerts on citizens of this world a great unifying force. This is in the form of non-violence (Ahimsa), peaceful co-existence (NAM); in pledging protection to the global commons (Paris Climate Pact), to the rights of man (democracy, human rights), and to universal nuclear disarmament etc.
However, there have been recent reports of violence particularly during festivals. They are quickly controlled and tolerance and love is used to heal such wounds.
The spirit of tolerance and love has been an integral part of Indian society from ancient times and continues to be relevant today. It is important to preserve and promote this spirit of tolerance and concept of “Vasudeva Kodambakkam” in the face of emerging challenges and threats to social cohesion.


29) To what extent globalization has influenced the core of cultural diversity in India? Explain. (200 words)
The caste system in India has been a longstanding social issue that has persisted for centuries. Despite the efforts to eradicate it, it has evolved into new identities and forms.
Caste assuming new identities
  • Emergence of new castes and sub-castes.
    E.g.: Lingayat in Hinduism
  • Emergence of new associational forms in Politics based on caste identities.
    E.g.: Bahujan Samaj Party
  • Caste-based mobilisation demanding economic rights.
    E.g.: Marathas, Jats, Kapus etc.
  • Increasing caste-based customs.
    E.g.: caste-based matrimonies, separate graveyards for converts.
However, it may be premature to say that caste system cannot be eradicated in India.
  • Legal and judicial interventions.
    E.g.: Kerala making appointment of a Dalit Temple priest.
  • Increasing inter-caste marriages
  • Educated youth casting aside their caste names etc.
The caste system in India may assume new identities and associational forms, making it challenging to eradicate it. However, it is important to continue to strive towards social equality and justice. In this, the ideals of our constitution and ideas from “Annihilation of Caste” by Ambedkar may become guiding lights.
30) “An essential condition to eradicate poverty is to liberate the poor from the process of deprivation.” Substantiate this statement with suitable examples. (200 words)
Poverty is a condition in which one lacks the financial resources and essentials for a certain standard of living. Various methods to eradicate poverty have been launched in India. But most of them didn’t meet the goals primarily because they looked at poverty through the lens of financial paucity.
Essential condition to eradicate poverty is to liberate the poor from the process of deprivation
Liberate the poor from the process of deprivation means that we must address the root causes of poverty, which include lack of access to education, healthcare, basic services, and economic opportunities.
  • Providing education not only provides individuals with knowledge and skills but also helps them develop critical thinking abilities and self-confidence. It opens doors to employment opportunities and enables individuals to break the cycle of poverty.
  • Similarly, providing access health can enable an individual's ability to work and earn a living, and come out of cycle of poverty.
  • Moreover, providing basic services such as clean water, sanitation, and electricity can improve health outcomes, increase productivity, and enhance the overall quality of life of the poor.
Eradicating poverty requires a comprehensive approach that includes providing education, healthcare, basic services, and economic opportunities to the poor. By addressing the root causes of poverty, we can enable the poor to break the cycle of poverty and achieve sustainable development.
31) Why are the Tribals in India referred to as the Scheduled Tribes? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment. (200 words)
According, 8.9% of Indian population recognises themselves as Tribals (Census 2011).
Reason behind Tribals in India referred to as the Scheduled Tribes
  • The term originated from the Constitution of India, which classified certain tribes as "Scheduled Tribes" under Article 342.
  • The term "Scheduled" refers to the fact that these tribes are listed in a schedule or list maintained by the government.
  • The purpose of this classification is to provide special protections and benefits to these communities, acknowledging their distinct cultural, social, and economic characteristics.
Major constitutional provisions to uplift and empower the Scheduled Tribes
  • Reservation: seats in the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies - ensures their representation in the political process and voice in decision-making.(Article 330)
  • Protective measures: Such as the prohibition of forced labour(Article 23) and the protection of their culture and heritage.
  • Land rights through “Scheduled Areas”: These areas are predominantly inhabited by Scheduled Tribes. Article 244 allows administration of these areas is carried out through autonomous district councils or regional councils.
  • Educational and economic development: Article 46 directs the state to promote the educational and economic interests of Scheduled Tribes- ensuring their participation in all spheres of life, and preventing exploitation.
  • Financial assistance: Article 275 allows for the grant of special financial assistance by the central government to states having Scheduled Tribes residing in specified areas.
In conclusion, the Constitution of India recognizes the unique needs and challenges faced by the Scheduled Tribes and have several provisions aimed at their upliftment and empowerment. However, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that the Scheduled Tribes have access to equal opportunities and can lead a dignified life.
32) With a brief background of quality of urban life in India, introduce the objectives and strategy of the ‘Smart City Programme’.
According to census 2011, nearly 31% of India lives in urban areas set to increase to 40% by 2030. Urban areas contribute over 63% to GDP. However, urban areas face several challenges
Quality of urban life in India
  • Overcrowding – cities represent just 3% of Indian land and house one-third population
  • problems of basic amenities like housing, water, electricity
  • Poor sanitation – problems of waste management and pollution
  • inadequate infrastructure
  • Urban violence is on the rise
Smart City Programme
  • To address these challenges and improve the quality of life in Indian cities, the Indian government launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015.
  • Objective: develop 100 smart cities across the country with modern infrastructure and amenities that can provide a better quality of life to its residents.
Features of SCM multi-pronged strategy
  • Area-based development: where a specific area of a city is identified for integrated development. This includes improving basic infrastructure, upgrading transportation, creating public spaces, and providing access to basic services. It involves
    • Retrofitting (It is development of an existing built area to make it more efficient and liveable);
    • Redevelopment (replacing existing built environment in an area to make it smart and efficient)
    • Greenfield (developing a previously vacant area of more than 250 acres using innovative planning).
  • Technology-driven solutions: This includes the use of technology for better traffic management, waste management, and efficient delivery of public services.
  • Citizen participation: in planning and implementation of smart city projects - consultations with citizens to understand their needs and priorities, and involving them in decision-making processes.
  • Sustainable development: To create environmentally sustainable cities - promote use of renewable energy, green buildings, and improving water and waste management.
In conclusion, the Smart Cities Mission is a comprehensive programme aimed at improving the quality of life in Indian cities. Through its multi-pronged strategy, the programme aims to create sustainable, technologically advanced, and citizen-centric cities that can provide a better quality of life to its residents.
33) What is the basis of regionalism? Is it that unequal distribution of benefits of development on regional basis eventually promotes regionalism? Substantiate your answer.
Regionalism is the feeling of loyalty or attachment that people have towards their own region, often at the expense of other regions.
Basis of regionalism
  • Linguistic Differences: Variation in languages or dialects spoken within a country can contribute to regional identities and aspirations for linguistic preservation.
    E.g.: Marathi, Bengali etc
  • Cultural and Ethnic Identity: Regions often have their own distinct cultural practices, languages, and traditions, which contribute to a sense of identity and solidarity among the local population.
    E.g.: Dravidian Movement, Naga movement
  • Political Marginalization: Perceptions of political neglect or marginalization by the central government can fuel regionalist sentiments.
    E.g.: Khalistan movement
  • Historical Background: Historical events and experiences specific to a region can create a shared narrative and shape the regional consciousness.
    E.g.: British colonial policies especially in the north-east.
Unequal distribution of benefits of development on regional basis eventually promotes regionalism
  • Regionalism is often based on the perception of unequal distribution of benefits of development and resources between different regions.
  • When people feel that their region is being neglected or discriminated against in terms of economic development, political representation, or access to resources, they may develop a sense of grievance and resentment towards other regions.
  • This can lead to demands for greater autonomy or even separation from the larger political entity.
    E.g.: demand for separation of Jharkhand from Bihar
  • Regional disparities in development can also lead to the concentration of economic and political power in certain regions, leading to further marginalization of other regions. This can exacerbate the sense of regional identity and strengthen regionalism.
    E.g.: the case of Hyderabad in Telangana movement.
In conclusion, while the unequal distribution of benefits of development on regional basis can promote regionalism, it is not the only basis of regionalism. To address regionalism, it is important to address the underlying factors that contribute to the development of regional identity and loyalty, and to ensure equitable distribution of benefits and resources across regions


34) Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity. (200 words)
India is known for its rich cultural diversity, which is reflected in its art, music, literature, cuisine, and other cultural elements.
Four cultural elements of diversity in India
  • Religion: Religion is an integral part of India's cultural identity. The country is home to many religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Christianity. While religion has often been a source of conflict in India, it is also a unifying force that brings people together.
  • Festivals: India is known for its numerous festivals, which are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour. These festivals reflect the country's cultural diversity and bring people of different religions and regions together. Some of the popular festivals include Diwali, Holi, Eid, Christmas, and Guru Nanak Jayanti.
  • Cuisine: Indian cuisine is diverse and reflects the country's cultural diversity. Each region of the country has its own unique cuisine, and there are a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Food is an important part of India's culture, and it is often served during festivals and celebrations.
  • Traditional attire: India is known for its colourful and diverse traditional attire. Each region of the country has its own unique clothing style, which reflects the local culture and traditions. Traditional attire is often worn during festivals and special occasions.
Significance of these cultural elements in building a national identity
  • Religion and festivals are perhaps the most significant cultural elements in India. They bring people together and promote a sense of unity and belonging.
    E.g.: Festivals like Diwali (Festival of Lights), Holi (Festival of Colours), Eid, Christmas
  • Cuisine and traditional attire are also important, but they are more region-specific and may not have as broad an appeal in terms of building a national identity.
    E.g.: saree, salwar etc
  • Language: Language is an essential cultural element that unites people and allows them to communicate effectively. A common language fosters a sense of belonging and facilitates national integration.
    E.g.: Hindi serves as a lingua franca in India and is recognized as the official language, contributing to India's national identity.
  • National holidays and celebrations mark significant events and achievements in a country's history, reinforcing a shared sense of identity.
    E.g.: Independence Day celebrations
Overall, all these cultural elements play an important role in shaping India's diverse cultural identity and help to foster a sense of national pride and unity.

35) Critically examine whether growing population is the cause of poverty OR poverty is the mains cause of population increase in India. (200 words)


According to UN estimates, India has now become the most populous nation in the world. India also has one of the largest poor populations. Population and poverty have some inter-relationships:
Growing population causing poverty
  • Limited Resources: In developing countries with high population growth rates, there might not be enough resources, such as food, clean water, and healthcare facilities, to adequately support the growing number of people.
  • Unemployment and Underemployment: A rapidly growing population can outpace job opportunities, leading to high levels of unemployment and underemployment which ultimately cause poverty.
  • Environmental Degradation: Growing populations may engage in unsustainable practices to meet their needs, such as deforestation, overfishing, or excessive use of natural resources.
  • Urbanization Challenges: Rapid population growth often leads to unplanned urbanization, resulting in slums and informal settlements where people live in substandard conditions with limited access to basic amenities, perpetuating urban poverty.
Poverty as a cause of growing population
  • Poverty can contribute lack of education which leads to population growth by reducing access to family planning and other reproductive health services.
  • Limited Access to Healthcare: Poverty can restrict access to healthcare services, including reproductive healthcare and family planning resources. Inadequate access to contraception and family planning information can contribute to larger family sizes.
  • Lack of Economic Opportunities: In regions with high poverty rates, economic opportunities may be limited. Some families may have more children with the hope that they will contribute to the family's income in the future.
  • Dependency on Children for Labour: In poverty-stricken societies, children are often seen as a source of additional labour and economic support for the family.
Hence, both factors can reinforce each other, creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. It is therefore difficult to say whether growing population is the cause of poverty or poverty is the main cause of population increase in India.
Breaking of the cycle can be done by improving access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, as well as by promoting family planning and reproductive health services. By addressing these issues, India can create a virtuous cycle of economic growth and development that benefits all its citizens.

36) How do you explain the statistics that show that the sex ratio in Tribes in India is more favourable to women than the sex ratio among Scheduled Castes? (200 words)

The sex ratio, which is the number of females per 1,000 males in a population, varies widely across different communities in India. While the overall sex ratio in India is skewed towards males, with around 940 females for every 1,000 males, there are significant variations within different caste and tribal groups.
Reasons for favourable sex ratio among tribes
  • Many tribal communities have a matrilineal system of inheritance, where property and other resources are passed down from mother to daughter -creates a more equal gender dynamic.
    E.g.: Gharo, Khasi tribes of Meghalaya
  • Many tribal communities have strong social norms that prohibit violence against women and promote gender equality.
    E.g.: Worship of mother goddesses.
  • More balanced economic value system of genders among tribes.
    E.g.: Absence of dowry system
  • Lack of access to sex-selective abortion technologies
In contrast, many Scheduled Castes are part of patriarchal communities where women are traditionally viewed as inferior to men. This can lead to gender discrimination, violence against women, and other forms of gender-based oppression. Additionally, Scheduled Castes may have lower access to education and healthcare, which can contribute to higher rates of female infanticide and neglect.
While in comparison to Scheduled castes, the tribes may have a better sex ratio but it is still lower than the natural sex ratio of 1050. This indicates that gender discrimination is still a problem in these communities.
Nonetheless, the more favourable sex ratio in many tribal communities suggests that social norms and cultural practices can play an important role in promoting gender equality and creating a more equitable society.

37)Discuss the changes in the trends of labour migration within and outside India in the last four decades. (200 words)

In the last four decades, there have been significant changes in the trends of labour migration both within and outside India. These changes have been driven by economic, social, and political factors.
Migration within India
  • Rural to urban migration as a result of rapid industrialization and urbanization, in search of better economic opportunities – led to a significant increase in the urban workforce.
  • However, this trend has also resulted in increased competition for jobs, poor living conditions, and social challenges.
  • Inter-state migration - states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Odisha have been major sources of migrant workers who move to other states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu for employment opportunities.
  • This pattern of migration is primarily driven by regional disparities in economic development
Migration to outside India
  • Shift towards skilled migration, with an increasing number of highly educated and skilled workers moving to developed countries in search of better job opportunities and higher wages. This has created a brain drain in India
  • At the same time, there has also been an increase in unskilled migration, to Gulf region for work in low-skilled jobs such as construction, domestic work, and hospitality.
  • Type of migration can also lead to exploitation, abuse, and poor living conditions.
  • Emergence of diasporas entrepreneurship among Indian migrants. Many Indian migrants who have settled abroad have started their own businesses or become entrepreneurs in their host countries.
    E.g.: USA
While migration can offer new opportunities and help to alleviate poverty, it can also create significant social and economic challenges for both individuals and communities. As such, there is a need for policies and programs that help to support and protect migrants, while also addressing the root causes of migration and creating better economic opportunities within India.

38) Discuss the positive and negative effects of globalization on women in India? (200 words)

Globalization arrived in India through an external and internal alignment of political and economic forces that led to the opening of the country to the outside world.
Positive effects of globalization on women
  • Growth of industries–increased participation in the workforce and contribute to the economy, which has led to greater financial independence and increased bargaining power within households.
  • Increased awareness of women's rights and greater advocacy for gender equality.
  • Exposure to new ideas and perspectives about different cultures, lifestyles, and opportunities beyond their immediate surroundings - broadened their horizons and empowered them to challenge societal norms
Negative effects of globalization
  • Rise of exploitation and abuse of women workers, particularly in the garment and textile industries - low wages and work in poor conditions, with little to no access to basic amenities.
  • Commodification of women's bodies and the rise of consumerism.
    E.g.: beauty products
  • Rise in human trafficking and sex work, which disproportionately affects women and girls.
  • Erosion of traditional gender roles and family structures, which has created new challenges in balancing work and family responsibilities – increased their vulnerability
  • Feminisation of agriculture due to male urban migration
There is a need for policies and programs that help to support women's economic and social empowerment, while also addressing the negative impacts of globalization on women's rights and well-being which will help in achieving SDG 5.
39) Debate the issue whether and how contemporary movements for assertion of Dalit identity work towards annihilation of caste. (200 words)
The caste system categorizes individuals into hierarchical groups based on their birth, has resulted in discrimination of certain communities, particularly the Dalits. Contemporary movements for the assertion of Dalit identity have emerged as a response to this systemic oppression.
Contemporary movements and the annihilation of caste
  • These movements focus on empowering the Dalit community and giving them a voice and visibility - demanding equal rights and opportunities, they challenge the hierarchical nature of caste. g.: Bhim Army of Chandrashekhar Azad in UP.
  • Seek to raise awareness about the ongoing discrimination and violence that Dalits face daily, which is a key barrier to the annihilation of caste.
    E.g.: National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, a collective of NGOs working for Dalit emancipation
  • Through public protests, social media, and other means, these movements aim to challenge the deeply ingrained stereotypes and biases that perpetuate caste discrimination
Movements not working towards the annihilation of caste
  • Reformist Approach: Some Dalit movements might take a reformist approach, seeking to reform the existing social and political structures rather than aiming for the complete annihilation of caste.
  • Varied Ideological Perspectives: Dalit movements consist of diverse ideological perspectives, ranging from revolutionary ideologies to more moderate ones.
  • Strategic Alliances: Some Dalit movements may form alliances with other marginalized groups, progressive organizations, or political parties to address broader social justice issues rather than focusing solely on caste annihilation.
In conclusion, contemporary movements for the assertion of Dalit identity play a significant role in empowering Dalits and creating a more inclusive and equitable society. However, achieving the annihilation of caste requires sustained efforts from all sections of society to challenge deeply ingrained beliefs and practices.


40) How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle-class working woman in India? (200 words)
Despite the increasing number of women entering the workforce in recent years, patriarchal norms and attitudes continue to limit the opportunities and experiences of women in the workplace.
Impact of patriarchy on middle-class working woman in India
  • Gender-based discrimination. Women are often paid less than men for the same work and are underrepresented in leadership positions. They suffer the glass-ceiling effect.
  • Violence: women may face sexual harassment, abuse, and other forms of gender-based violence in the workplace, creating a hostile work environment.
  • Dual burden of work and care: Women are expected to take on a disproportionate amount of care work, such as cooking, cleaning, and caring for children, even if they work full-time – this impacts women's health, financial stability, and career advancement.
  • Societal expectations: Women may be pressured to leave their careers to take care of their families or may face criticism for prioritizing their careers over their families.
  • Reduced financial freedom: since the male members takes all the financial decisions in the family.
In conclusion, patriarchy has a major impact on the position of a middle-class working woman in India, limiting their opportunities and experiences in the workplace and perpetuating gender-based discrimination and inequality. Addressing these patriarchal norms and attitudes is crucial for promoting gender equality and empowering women in the workplace.
41) Why do some of the most prosperous regions of India have an adverse sex ratio for women? Give your arguments. (200 words)
Some of the most prosperous regions like Punjab (895), Haryana (875) and Western UP have been infamous for lower sex ratio compared to the nation (943). This is due to multiple social, cultural, and economic factors.
Reason for adverse sex ratio for women in some of the most prosperous regions of India
  • In prosperous regions, the agrarian economy has historically been male-dominated (only 14 per cent of the agricultural holdings owned by women.), and sons are seen as a source of labour and support for parents in old age.
  • Male meta preference: There are social and cultural practices such as dowry, which place a considerable financial burden on the bride's family, leading to a preference for male children.
  • The widespread availability of ultrasound technology has made sex-selective abortion more accessible.
  • Perceived inability of daughters to provide economic support to the family, coupled with the low status of women in society, has led to discrimination against female children.
  • The patriarchal system and cultural norms like law of inheritance that value male children over female children have been deeply ingrained in Indian society.
  • In-migration of male workers into these regions in search of employment opportunities.
It will take a concerted effort from the government, civil society organizations, and individuals to change these norms and promote gender equality. Addressing this issue requires comprehensive efforts including education, awareness campaigns, legal enforcement against prenatal sex determination, and changing societal attitudes towards gender equality.
42) The life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors rather than social values. Discuss. (200 words)
The joint family system is a social structure where multiple generations of a family, including parents, children, grandparents, and sometimes even extended relatives, live together under one roof.
Life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors
  • Joint families pool resources and share financial burden - reduce the financial strain on individual members
  • Reduce the burden of child-rearing making it affordable
  • In agriculture, increased cost of inputs makes the pooling of land labour machinery logical and keeps joint families intact despite the nominal distribution of land to new generations
  • Rising property prices also make it difficult for people to afford a home of their own
  • Encourage family business which strengthens family ties.
    E.g.: various trader communities like Jains and Aggarwals
Life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors
  • Unity and solidarity - Social values such as cooperation, sharing, and collective decision-making foster a sense of unity and cohesion within the family unit
  • Respect for elders - the wisdom and experience of older family members helps maintain familial bonds and ensures the continuity of the joint family across generations
  • Emotional support - Family members prioritize maintaining harmonious relationships and resolving conflicts through open communication and compromise
  • Cultural preservation - Customs related to marriage, childbirth, religious ceremonies, and other familial events provide opportunities for strengthening familial bonds and reinforcing social value.
However, economic factors can also lead to the disintegration of joint families.
  • With increased access to education and employment opportunities, individuals may choose to pursue their own economic goals, leading to a breakdown in the social cohesion of the joint family.
  • Inheritance laws may favour male heirs, which can lead to disputes over property in joint families
  • Lack of access to credit or limited job opportunities can also create economic pressures that make it difficult for the joint family to sustain itself.
In conclusion, while social values such as family cohesion and mutual support are important factors in the life cycle of a joint family, economic factors also play a crucial role. The changing economic landscape and access to education and employment opportunities can impact the economic interdependence and social cohesion of a joint family, potentially leading to its disintegration.
43) Discuss the various economic and socio-cultural forces that are driving increasing feminization of agriculture in India. (200 words)
The feminization of agriculture refers to the increasing participation of women in agricultural activities, both as farmers and labourers. As per Census 2011, there were about 263 million agricultural workers in India and 37 per cent (or 98 million) of them were women.
Economic forces driving increasing feminization of agriculture in India 
  • Landlessness, low wages, and increasing migration of men to urban areas in search of better employment opportunities have led to an increasing number of women taking up agriculture as a means of livelihood.
  • The growth of the agricultural sector has created more opportunities for women to participate in the sector as farm laborers, entrepreneurs, and business owners.
  • The state of poverty pushes the women members to work in the agricultural fields to supplement the income levels of the family.
  • Lower skills and access to credit force women into agriculture.
Socio-cultural forces driving increasing feminization of agriculture in India
  • Women are increasingly being educated and empowered to challenge traditional gender roles and take on more active roles in agriculture.
  • Women's self-help groups and women's cooperatives are providing women with access to credit, training, and technology to help them succeed in the agricultural sector.
  • The feminization of agriculture is also being driven by government policies and programs that are aimed at promoting women's empowerment and gender equality.
    E.g.: Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana
In conclusion, the feminization of agriculture in India is being driven by a combination of economic and socio-cultural factors. The trend is creating opportunities for women to participate in the agricultural sector and contribute to the growth of the economy, while also challenging traditional gender roles and promoting gender equality.
44) How do the Indian debates on secularism differ from the debates in the West? (200 words)
Debates on secularism in India and the West differ in significant ways, reflecting the unique cultural, historical, and political contexts of each region.
Western debates on secularism
  • It often revolves around the separation of religion (church) and state.
  • Tends to be more individualistic by protecting the individual's right to freedom of religion or belief.
  • It seeks to create a neutral public space where individuals of different religious beliefs can coexist and practice their beliefs without interference from the state.
    E.g.: France ban on public display of religious symbols
Indian debates on secularism
  • More complex and often center on issues of religious diversity, social justice, and the role of the state in regulating religious practices.
  • The Indian constitution guarantees freedom of religion to all citizens, but it also recognizes the importance of ensuring social justice and promoting the welfare of marginalized communities.
  • Indian secularism seeks to promote the idea of "sarva dharma samabhava" or equal respect for all religions, while also acknowledging the need for affirmative action to address historical inequalities.
    E.g.: Article 30 – minorities can set up educational institutions
  • Secularism has often been challenged by Hindu nationalist movements that seek to promote a Hindu-centered vision of the nation.
In conclusion, debates on secularism in India and the West differ in their focus, with Indian debates centering more on issues of religious diversity and social justice, while Western debates focus more on the separation of church and state and individual rights and freedoms. The unique historical and political contexts of each region shape the nature of these debates and the approach to secularism that is taken.


45) Discuss the various social problems which originated out of the speedy process of urbanization in India. (200 words)
India’s urban population is estimated to stand at 675 million in 2035, the second highest behind China’s one billion, according to a recent UN World Cities Report.
Social problems originated out of the speedy process of urbanization in India
  • Overcrowding: all cities of India see large population squeezed into small spaces - Led to strain on the infrastructure and public services, such as water supply, sanitation, transportation, and waste management
  • Housing: High residential prices force people to stay in congested accommodations, slums, and squatter settlements.
    E.g.: Dharavi
  • Pollution: Increasing pollution and environmental degradation, leading to health problems for urban residents.
    E.g.: Bellandur lake in Bengaluru.
  • Rising income inequality: large portion of the urban population live in poverty and face challenges such as unemployment, underemployment, and limited access to quality education and healthcare.
  • Urban crimes: Cities are meeting points of people with no affinity with one another – leads to various crimes, leading to a decline in safety and security.
    E.g.: Delhi rape case
  • Social tensions: Influx of rural migrants to cities has resulted in cultural and social tensions, as well as increased competition for jobs and resources.
In conclusion, the rapid process of urbanization in India has created numerous social problems that need to be addressed through effective planning and implementation of urban policies and initiatives that focus on ensuring inclusive and sustainable urban growth.
46) “Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias.” Comment. (200 words)
Women’s organisations face allegations of gender bias in the form of distorted opinions and misuse of laws meant to safeguard women. In this context, introducing male membership needs to be analysed.
Encouraging Male membership in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias membership
  • Promoting gender equality: it sends a powerful message that gender equality is not just a women's issue but a societal issue that requires participation of all genders.
  • Challenging stereotypes: It challenges traditional gender roles by demonstrating that men can be allies in the fight for gender equality.
  • Expanding resources and networks: can bring new perspectives, experiences, and resources to women's organizations.
Issues associated with increasing Male membership
  • Women's organizations are created as a response to lack of representation and opportunities for women. Encouraging male membership may dilute this.
  • Men may not work towards dismantling patriarchal structures and promoting gender equality in these organizations.
Suggestions to improve women’s organisational functioning with male membership
  • Maintaining focus on women by prioritizing the needs, experiences, and leadership of women while actively engaging men as allies.
  • Creating safe spaces for women to share their experiences, discuss issues specific to them, and build solidarity.
In conclusion, encouraging male membership in women's organizations can be a valuable strategy to make these organizations free from gender bias. By fostering collaboration and understanding between men and women, we can create more inclusive and effective organizations that work towards achieving gender equality.
47) Critically examine the effect of globalization on the aged population in India. (200 words)
The process of globalization, characterized by increased interconnectedness and integration of economies, societies, and cultures, has brought about both positive and negative consequences for the elderly in India.
Positive effects of globalisation on the elderly in India
  • Improved access to healthcare: increased life expectancy and improved quality of life.
  • Remittances from family members working abroad, which have helped improve their standard of living.
  • Increased job opportunities: information technology, outsourcing, and services – some elderly continue working and improve financial stability
  • Social connectedness through technological development
Negative effects of globalisation on the elderly in India
  • Disintegration of joint family systems: feeling isolated and without a strong support network.
  • New consumerist attitudes that prioritize material wealth over familial obligations
  • Unclear roles in a fast-changing world causes psychological problems like a sense of dependence, insecurity, fear, and alienation.
  • Globalisation has led to faster inflation - fast depletion of savings – increasing poverty
Thus, globalization has been a mixed bag for the elderly It is important for the government and society to address these challenges and ensure that the aged population are active participants in globalization. This can be done through the implementation of policies and programs that support the well-being and needs of the aged population, such as pension schemes and access to healthcare.
48) Growing feeling of regionalism is an important factor in generation of demand for a separate State, Discuss. (200 words)
Regionalism refers to the feeling of attachment and loyalty towards one's region or state, based on shared cultural, historical, linguistic, and economic ties.
Growing regionalism factor in generation of demand for a separate state
  • It has arisen due to a perceived sense of neglect or discrimination by the central government towards a particular region - result in a desire for greater autonomy and control over the region's resources.
    E.g.: Demand for separate north eastern states
  • It can also stem from a desire to protect and preserve the unique cultural, linguistic, and historical heritage of a particular region.
    E.g.: Dravida Nadu movement, Gorkhaland.
  • It can also be fuelled by economic factors, such as unequal distribution of resources and developmental opportunities between regions - leading to resentment and frustration.
    E.g.: Telangana movement, Vidarbha in Maharashtra
  • Regionalism can stem from the political ambitions of people. They feel voiceless without political power.
    E.g.: Ladakh separation from J&K.
In conclusion, the growing feeling of regionalism is a crucial factor in the generation of demand for a separate state. There is a need for balancing the goal of national unity and integrity with the genuine demands of the regions. In conclusion, tackling regionalism in India requires a comprehensive approach that includes special area-developmental packages, political autonomy and promoting an inclusive national identity.