Post Independent India

UPSC Syllabus for Post-Independence Consolidation

UPSC Syllabus for Post-Independence Consolidation


1) The political and administrative reorganisation of states and territories has been a continuous ongoing process since the mid-nineteenth century. Discuss with examples. (250 words)
The process of political and administrative reorganization of states and territories in India has involved the creation of new states, the reorganization of existing states, and the redrawing of administrative boundaries. Several factors, including linguistic, cultural, historical, and administrative considerations, have influenced these reorganization efforts
Political and administrative reorganization of states since the mid-nineteenth century.
  • Formation of provinces: In 1858, the British introduced the Indian Councils Act which established legislative councils in various provinces of India. The Act also provided for the creation of new provinces such as Bihar and Orissa, which were carved out of the Bengal Presidency in 1912.
  • Linguistic reorganization: In 1953, Andhra Pradesh was the first state to be formed on linguistic lines. The States Reorganization Act of 1956 led to the creation of several new states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Formation of Union Territories: Constitution provided for the creation of UTs as centrally administered areas. Some of the Union Territories such as Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, and Lakshadweep were formed by merging several smaller territories.
  • Creation of new states: Demand for the creation of new states based on cultural and administrative considerations. E.g.: Telangana was formed in 2014 after a long struggle by the people of the region. Similarly, in 2019, Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
  • Consolidation of small states: In some cases, small states have been merged to create larger administrative units. For example, the states of Sikkim and Manipur were merged with the Indian Union in 1975 and 1949 respectively.
Reorganisation of states and territories has resulted in the formation of new states and territories for various reasons that are still continuing and will continue in future. Call for separate Vidarbha region is an example.


2) Assess the main administrative issues and socio-cultural problems in the integration process of Indian Princely States. (150 words)
Princely states were ruled by native Indian rulers. Their integration to Indian union at the time of independence was complex process.
Administrative issues in the integration process of Indian Princely States
  • Reluctance of rulers to transfer power to Indian government.
    Travancore announced its independent existence.
  • Integration of the princely states into the Indian Union - the drafting of new constitution and the creation of new administrative structures – transition from monarchy to democracy.
  • Drawing up instruments of accessions.
  • Lack of expert administrators in civil services.
Socio-cultural problems in the integration process of Indian Princely States
  • Integrating princely states of diverse ethnic and linguistic groups into the Indian Union and creating a national identity.
    Telugu speaking and Marathi speaking
  • Peasant discontent E.g.: Hyderabad saw the Telangana peasant movement (1946)
  • Issue of religionE.g.: Kashmir, Hyderabad, and Junagarh had a Muslim ruler but a majority Hindu population.
The Indian government used negotiations, headed by Vallabhai Patel and V.P.Menon. They used force only as a last resort. (E.g. operation Polo in Hyderabad). Accepted the popular verdict like referendum in Junagarh. Declared its secular credentials to assuage all communities. Created a federal system of government to accommodate regional political aspirations. Thus, the Indian government was able to persuade all princely rulers to join the Indian Union. The process also created a sense of national identity of unity in diversity for modern India.


No questions were asked


No questions were asked


3) Discuss whether formation of new states in recent times is beneficial or not for the economy of India. (250 words)
India has seen the formation of many new states due to various administrative, political and cultural factors. Its impact on the Indian economy needs a deeper analysis.
Formation of new states in recent times- beneficial for the economy of India
  • New states helped in decentralizing power and resources, leading to better governance and faster development.
    The creation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh has resulted in better utilization of resources and targeted development.
  • Economic Survey 2016-17 stated that smaller states in India trade more than the rest due to newer and better infrastructure - new state borders have 25% more economic activity than the parent state.
  • Satisfying political aspirations of people brings political stability and later translates to economic growth.
Formation of new states in recent times- Not beneficial for the economy of India
  • New states also led to a reduction in economies of scale. E.g., the formation of Telangana has resulted in the splitting of Hyderabad, which was the hub of IT industry in the country. This has led to a decrease in employment opportunities and slowed down the growth of the IT industry in the region.
  • Similarly, the formation of smaller states has led to an increase in administrative costs and saw dependence on central grants.
  • It has created issues of identity politics leading to social unrest and regional tensions. It negatively impacted investment and tourism, leading to a slowdown in economic growth.
  • New states like Jharkhand, Uttarakhand etc continues to be placed at the bottom of growth and development indices.
Formation of new states in recent times has been a mixed bag for the economy of India. Therefore, it is essential to carefully evaluate the economic and social implications of the formation of new states before taking any such decision.


4) What are the two major legal initiatives by the State since Independence addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes (STs)? (150 words)
Since Independence, the Indian State has undertaken several legal initiatives to address discrimination against Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Major legal initiative by the State since Independence
  • The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989: This Act provides for the prevention of atrocities against members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and STs. It covers offences such as assault, rape, and false cases against SCs and STs, and provides for stringent punishments for such crimes. Provides for special courts to try such cases
  • The Forest Rights Act, 2006: This Act seeks to recognize and vest forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers. It recognises individual and community forest rights, and aims to secure the livelihoods of forest-dwelling communities. The Act also requires the free and informed consent of forest-dwelling communities for any development activities in forest areas.
Other initiatives:
fundamental rights, schemes, national commission under art 338 etc.
These legal initiatives have helped address the historical injustices faced by STs and provide them with equal opportunities and rights. However, challenges remain in implementing these laws effectively and ensuring that STs can exercise their rights and access justice.
5) Distinguish between religiousness/religiosity and communalism giving on example of how the former has got transformed into the latter in independent India. (250 words)
Religiousness or religiosity and communalism are two major terms heard evidently in secular State like India. Religiousness or religiosity refers to an individual's personal belief and practice of religion, while communalism is the politicization of religious identity and the promotion of the interests of a particular religious community at the expense of others.
Differences between religiosity and communalism
  • Religiousness is a personal and individual expression of faith, communalism transforms religious identity into a basis for social and political mobilization, leading to communal tensions and conflicts
  • Religion is an old construct, communalism is a new phenomenon compared to religiosity.
  • Religiousness does not lead to violence, whereas communalism often culminates in violence.
Examples of transformation of religiosity into communalism
  • Babri masjid issue: Initially, the dispute was framed in terms of religious sentiment and the desire to protect a sacred site. However, over time, it became a symbol of communal identity and a tool for political mobilization. The issue was taken up by various Hindu nationalist groups, who used it to promote their agenda of Hindu supremacy and anti-Muslim sentiment. The dispute was transformed from a religious issue to a communal one. Islamic jihad movements also used this incident as a tool to recruit members to terror organisations to protect their community from majoritarian repression.
  • Muzaffarnagar riots
  • Sikh riot of 1984
The transformation of religiousness into communalism often occurs when religious issues are politicized and mobilized for political gain. For a religiously-diverse country like India, it is important to prevent religiosity transforming into communalism.


6) Has the formation of linguistic States strengthened the cause of Indian Unity? (200 words)
Demand for linguistic states was rejected by Dhar and JVP commission on state reorganisation. It was the Fazl Ali commission or States Reorganization Commission, in 1953, which allowed it in principle, while giving primacy to administrative convenience.
Popular demand later led to the formation of linguistic states –
E.g.: Gujarat, Punjab etc.
Formation of linguistic States strengthened the cause of Indian Unity
  • Acted as a major step towards recognizing the diversity and plurality of the country.
  • It allowed different linguistic communities to have a sense of pride and ownership over their language and culture, which was previously suppressed during the British colonial period.
  • Helped to decentralize power and promote regional autonomy, allowing for greater participation and representation of local communities in the political process.
  • Linguistic states have allowed for the development of regional languages and cultures and increase of literacy
  • Better governance: It satisfied the aspirations of people to have smaller autonomous political units for governance.
Negative consequences of linguistic regionalization
  • Fragmentation of the country along linguistic lines. This has resulted in a sense of separatism and regionalism, which has at times challenged the idea of a unified India.
    E.g.: Anti-Hindi movements in South India.
  • “Sons of the soil” doctrine
The formation of linguistic states has had both positive and negative effects on Indian unity. Ultimately, it is up to the people of India to find a balance between these competing factors and work towards a unified and diverse India.


7) It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but its experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss. (200 words)
The Constituent Assembly of India was formed in 1946, under the Cabinet Mission Plan. Constituent Assembly's working spanned from 1946 to 1949, during which it meticulously crafted the Indian Constitution by adopting from other constitutions and British acts.
Role of Government of India Act, 1935 in drafting the Constitution for Independent India
It was the longest act passed by the British government and helped the constituent assembly as it introduced -
  • All India Federation: It became the basis of federal polity of contemporary times as it also provided for the representation of princely states in the federal setup.
  • Division of legislative powers into list system of Federal, provincial, and concurrent.
  • Instrument of instructions in the Act was incorporated as directive principles of State policy
  • Role of Governor, All India Services, residuary powers
  • Adult franchise: This act extended the limited franchise based on certain criteria laying the foundation for adult franchise after independence.
Some of the other Sources that Helped Framing Constitution
  • Nehru Report: The Nehru Report of 1929 was like a mini constitution which provided a lot of essential features whose experiences later helped in the constitution formation.
  • Regulating Acts: The various Regulating Acts, Government of India Acts paved the way for political enlightenment of the Indians.
  • Borrowed provision from other countries constitutions.
    Fundamental duties from USSR, Judicial Review from USA etc
Other factors that helped constituent assembly
  • Many members of the Constituent Assembly had prior experience in constitutional law.
    E.g.: B.R.Ambedkar
  • Access to a wide range of expert advisors, including legal scholars, constitutional experts, and political leaders.
The Government of India Act, 1935, served as a significant precursor to the Constitution and provided a foundation for understanding and implementing democratic governance in India.


8) Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan Movements initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave and their success. (200 words)
Bhoodan (Land Gift) and Gramdan (Village Gift) movements, initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave, were significant social and land reform movements in post-independence India
Objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan Movements
  • Bhoodan (meaning "gift of land") - to collect land as voluntary gift from zamindars and rich farmers through persuasion and redistribute it among the landless farmers. Target was 50million hectares (1/6th cultivable land in India).
  • Gramdan (meaning "transfer of village") - Gram Sabha like institution collectively owned and managed entire land/farms of the villagers. No landowners and absentee land lords. Distribute land earnings according to needs of farmers.
Success of Bhoodan and Gramdan Movements
  • Raised awareness regarding land-lessness – many states passed land reform laws
  • Redistribution of wealth – from rich land owners to landless tillers
  • Empowered rural communities to assert their rights
  • Popularised Gandhian trusteeship model
Issues of Bhoodan and Gramdan Movements
  • Targets unmet – barely 5 hectares million lands were volunteered but only 10% was redistributed
  • Land fragmentation - average size of land given to beneficiary was 0.5 to 3 acres. – reduced productivity – disguised unemployment
  • Corruption and political influences – land for votes – bureaucratic apathy
  • Bogus Land and Land unfit for cultivation were donated
  • Court cases filed by landlords – delayed the process – lost its steam
  • Not successful in villages with high caste discrimination
Bhoodan and Gramdan movements, despite their limitations remain an important part of India's social and political history and continue to inspire similar efforts to address issues of poverty and inequality in other parts of the world.


9) Write a critical note on the evolution and significance of the slogan, ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’. (200 words)
Slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan" (Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer) was popularised by the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri (1965)
Evolution of the slogan, ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’
  • In 1960’s India was facing military aggression by Pakistan and China.
  • There was a huge scarcity of food grains due to draughts and reduced foreign aid.
Significance of the slogan, ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’
  • Slogan helped to rally the people and give confidence to soldiers and farmers and express gratitude for their sacrifices for the nation.
  • It proved successful as nation could repel the Pakistani aggression (1965), recovering from the earlier loss to China (1962).
  • It lifted the spirit of farmers, who welcomed and implemented the green revolution, transforming the ship-to-mouth shortage economy to a surplus economy.
Issues associated with the campaign, ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’
  • Slogan has been criticised as being out of touch with reality and being merely a campaign gimmick
  • Even after so many decades farmer poverty and suicides
  • Soldiers continue to be poorly equipped and facing constant aggression from neighbouring nations.
  • It is not inclusive of the other sectors working for the nation.
    E.g.: doctors and nurses.
  • Recently, the opposition changed the slogan to “Na Jawan, Na Kisan”, regarding the attitude of government to farmer and army veterans’ protests in the nation.
However, in 1998, then Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee added “Jai Vigyan” (hail science) to the slogan, highlighting the power and appeal of this simple yet powerful message of national pride and unity.
10) Discuss the contributions of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad to pre and post independent India. (200 words)
Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad (11 November 1888 - 22 February 1958.) was a senior Muslim leader of Indian National Congress during Indian independence movement. He is commonly remembered as Maulana Azad (word Maulana is honorific meaning ‘Our Master’) and he had adopted Azad (Free) as his pen name.
Contributions of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad to pre-Independence
  • Entered the national movement during Bengal partition opposing it (1905).
  • Azad was president of the Indian National Congress in 1923 and between 1940-46
  • His journal the Al-Hilal talked for Hindu-Muslim unity and against partition.
  • He was a leader of Non-cooperation and Khilafat movement, Dharasana salt satyagraha, Quit India Movement – persuading Muslims to join the struggle
  • Was an outspoken critic of British colonial rule - imprisoned several times
  • He was an elected member of Constituent Assembly.
Contributions of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad to post-Independence
  • Azad was the first Minister of Education of India shaping the country's educational policies - instrumental in setting up of the UGC and Indian Institutes of Technology. His birthday (11 November) is celebrated as National Education Day
  • Established institutions such as the Sahitya Academy, the Sangeet Natak Academy, the Lalit Kala Academy, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to boost foreign ties.
  • He also wrote extensively on a wide range of topics, including politics, history, religion, and culture. E.g.: India Wins Freedom (1959)
In recognition of his contributions, Azad was awarded the Bharat Ratna, in 1992. His legacy continues to inspire future generations of Indians, who look to him as a model of selfless dedication to the cause of freedom and progress.
11) Analyze the circumstances that led to the Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the Agreements. (200 words)
The Tashkent Agreement was a peace treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1966, following a brief but intense war between the two countries.
Circumstances led to the Tashkent Agreement in 1966
  • Long-standing tensions on Kashmir issue, as well as wider geopolitical rivalries in the region.
  • The war broke out in 1965, with fighting on both the western and eastern fronts of the India-Pakistan border. The conflict resulted in significant losses for both sides
  • International pressure for a ceasefire mounted, leading to a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan in Tashkent, USSR (now Uzbekistan).
The Tashkent Agreement aimed to restore peace and normalize relations between India and Pakistan.  
Key highlights of Tashkent Agreement, 1966
  • Mutual commitment to the peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes.
  • Withdrawal of troops to their pre-war positions
  • Restoration of diplomatic and economic relations
  • Creation of a joint commission to address ongoing issues.
Failures of Tashkent agreement
  • Lack of trust: The Tashkent Agreement failed to address the underlying mistrust and deep-seated animosity between the two nations, making it difficult to implement the agreed-upon terms.
  • Limited scope: The Tashkent Agreement primarily focused on a ceasefire and the withdrawal of forces, but it did not address the core issues that led to the conflict, particularly the status of Kashmir.
  • Domestic political pressures: Both India and Pakistan faced domestic political pressures that hindered the implementation of the Tashkent Agreement
  • Assassination of Lal Bahadur Shastri: sudden demise further complicated the implementation of the agreement and created a leadership vacuum, leading to a lack of momentum in the peace process
This was a significant step towards resolving the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan and was greeted with relief by the international community.
However, the agreement proved to be short-lived, as tensions between the two countries continued and escalated into another war in 1971. Despite its limitations, the Tashkent Agreement remains an important moment in the history of India-Pakistan relations and continues to shape the discourse around peace and security in the region.
12) Critically examine the compulsions which prompted India to play a decisive role in the emergence of Bangladesh. (200 words)
The emergence of Bangladesh as an independent nation in 1971 was a significant event in the history of the Indian subcontinent. India played a decisive role in the liberation of Bangladesh, motivated by several compelling factors and compulsions.
Compulsions that prompted India to play a decisive role in the emergence of Bangladesh
  • Political - India saw the situation in East Pakistan as a threat to its own stability as the violence was causing massive influx of refugees into India - strain on India's resources and posed a security risk.
  • Strategic - India was also concerned about the increasing military presence of China in the region and the potential for Pakistan to form alliances with other countries in the region, which would threaten India's security. By supporting the independence of Bangladesh, India aimed to counterbalance the power of Pakistan and maintain a strategic advantage in the region.
  • Humanitarian considerations - widespread violence and human rights abuses committed by the West Pakistan government against the people of East Pakistan - India sought to support the rights of the Bengali people.
However, India’s actions may not have had the intended effect.
Challenges associated with creation of Bangladesh
  • The refugee crisis became a permanent headache for government of India causing insurgency in Assam.
  • Bangladesh in a few years came under military dictatorship.
  • India’s intervention is used as an excuse by Pakistan in its support for Kashmiri militants.
  • Pakistan shifted from a full-frontal war to terror policy to attack India.
The emergence of Bangladesh marked a significant shift in the regional power dynamics and had long-lasting implications for South Asia.