India’s Cultural Setting

India’s Cultural Setting

1. Origin of Mankind

More than a million years back, early humans came from Africa to India. This is indicated by a discovery of around 3528 Acheulian stone tools mainly cleavers and handaxes, in Tamil Nadu’s Kortallayar  River Baisn at Attirampakkam, a prehistoric site. This research was conducted by a non-profit Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in Chennai, by a research team led by Shanti Pappu. The assumption that ancestors arrived in India half a million years ago, gets completely overturned, with this discovery.

Ancestors of modern humans – the Homo Erectus first created these tools more than 1.6 million years ago in Africa. Robin Dennell of England’s University of Sheffield voiced this study in a commentary which was published in the journal Nature in 2005.

The 3 periods which the Palaeolithic Age or Old Stone Age is divided into are the Lower Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic. A typical collection of stone tools characterize each period.

The stone collection containing cleavers and handaxes is the Lower Palaeolithic. The Acheulian people adapted well in different environments and were gatherers and hunters primarily. Tools were used for exploiting plant resources like tubers and roots, and to skin and butcher animals.

Analysis continues to date the tools, identify traces of elements, correlating the excavated archaeological layers etc. A number of artefacts have been identified in southern India. The research team states that sediments date back to more than 1.07 million years ago.  As per the retired anthropology professor, V N Misra, at Deccan College, Pune, ‘in Indian archaeology, this discovery, is one of the finest’. For the first time, there is proof that early humans migrated to Europe and Tropical Asia, from Africa. Due to the colder climatic conditions, they didn’t move towards India’s Himalayan side. There is lots of evidence that early humans were present in Asia much before Europe.

One of the finest places to visit to find possibility of life of the first modern humans in India, is Bhimbetka in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. Studies indicate that it existed since some 100,000 years ago. Full of rock shelters that have occurred naturally, perennial streams, creeks and springs filled with fish, quartzite rocks for tool making, as well as deer, hare, boar, roots, tubers etc, it spreads enchantingly over 7 hills. It was more like a most sought after luxury resort for the early humans and it was also possible for them to keep track of any approaching predator. Hence imagining that the Homo Sapiens our ancestors, had resided there is easy.

Archaeologists and geneticists have their own scientific studies about the first modern humans in India, but it is quite evident that modern humans migrated to India. All people outside Africa have come from a single African woman with origins of the L3 mt DNA haplogroup only. As far as rest of the lineages go it has been found that none went on to populate remaining part of the world.


2.The Caste System

In India the caste system has existed since ages, segregating people into classes or social strata. It is on the basis of religion, tribe, class and region that people are differentiated socially. Once the child is born, its status gets fixed on the social hierarchy on the basis of caste in which she or he is born into. As far as growth of the country and people is concerned, caste system proves to be a stumbling block.

What does caste in india mean?

‘Varna’ or ‘Jati’ are terms used for caste in India. Individuals are classified at the time they are born. Sudra, Vaisya, Kshatriya and Brahmin are the four castes in existence in India.

Topmost in caste hierarchy are the Brahmins constituting priests and scholars. The Kshatriyas are next in line comprising political leaders and soldiers. Next in line are the merchants called Vaishyas. Sudras are the last in hierarchy and generally are peasants, artisans, laborers and servants. There are also the outcaste called the untouchables who undertook jobs like scavenging and skinning dead animals.

By undertaking specific occupations, people of different classes earned income for their families. Their children acquired the same skills and occupations as per the class they belonged to. This way the hereditary specialization of occupations as well as occupational ranking was maintained. Social behavior of people belonging to these classes and their pursuits in occupation were governed by proper regulations, general rules, marriage rules and rituals.

History And Origin

There exists no caste system theory that has been accepted universally. While some theories are biological, others are religious and historical. However the ‘Rig Veda’ the ancient Hindu book states that ‘Purush’ created the human body, by destroying himself after which different castes were created from different body parts. While Brahmins were created from the head, Kshatriyas came from his hands, Vaishnavs from the thighs and Sudras from the feet.

According to another theory, castes came into existence from the body parts of the Hindu deity, ‘Creator of the World’, Lord Brahma. As per this theory, it is a heinous crime for people of different races to indulge in contact, mixture of blood or inter-caste marriages.

Historians state that around 1500 BC, the fair skinned Aryans from Central Europe and northern Asia came to India, after which the caste system began. They conquered regions in northern India and at the same time, drove locals towards mountains and jungles down south. Varna Vyavasthan was the social order the Aryans followed which later evolved into 4 hierarchical divisions in society.

Strict Rules And Regulations Followed

Members of the caste followed the rules and regulations, very religiously, especially relating to marriage, meals and worship. Restrictions however were fewer on Vaishyas and Brahmins while the Sudras suffered the most with laws and punishment also applicable to them.


  • Occupational choices were hindered
  • National unity hindered as lower classes were looked down upon by higher classes
  • Religious conversions took place
  • Lower caste people were exploited
  • Hindrance in national advancement and development


Social reformers and the government of India have strived and continue to strive in introducing a number of constitutional provisions and reforms to ensure justice and reduce exploitation of untouchables and sudras and in the process reduce ill-effects of the caste system in India.

3. Racial and Ethnic Diversity in India

India has a unique racial and ethnic diversity. With a large population it has cultural patterns, many languages and physical features in endless varieties. Being a land of multiple languages, all major religions across the world are professed by this country. People living in India have diverse customs, creeds and colors.


India has the largest snow covered mountains, the Himalayas. The mighty Yamuna, Ganga and Indus rivers flow perennially in India and irrigate huge regions in the north and sustain population.  The Rajasthan dessert with just a few shrubs is also located in northern India.


A group of people having a distinctive set of physical features including type of hair, nose, skin etc is called a race. Race is a large group of biological humans having inherited and distinctive characteristics that vary within a particular range.

Migratory races in huge numbers arrived in India from the Eastern and Western directions with most of them being descendants of immigrants from the Himalayan range. They dispersed in various regions into 6 main ethnic groups including the 1. Negrito 2. Proto-Australoids 3. Mongoloids 4. Dravidian or Mediterranean 5. Western Brachycephals and 6. the Nordic. In terms of food habits or physical appearance, these races didn’t have much in common, resulting in a perplexing racial diversity. So basically the Dravidian, Mongolian and Indo-Aryan are the 3 basic types of racial types, India has.


People follow different faiths like Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism and Christianity in India. Within each religion, there are different sects as well. India’s dominant religion is Hinduism, followed by Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Bahaism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism are religions that are lesser followed.


As many as 1652 dialects and languages are listed in the census of 1961. Very few people speak these languages. As per the subsequent census, 22 languages are recognized by the India Constitution including Dogri, Assamese, Maithili, Bengali, Boro, Gujarati, Santhali, Hindi, Sindhi, Kannada, Urdu, Kashmiri, Telugu, Konkani, Tamil, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Manipuri, Punjabi, Marathi, Oriya and Nepali.  All the languages are literature enriched. As per the Constitution, the official language of the Indian Union is Hindi, in Devanagiri script. Telugu is the 2nd largest language spoken in Andhra Pradesh mainly. Many of the languages spoken in northern India are part of the Indo-Aryan family.  Languages like Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil spoken in the south belong to the Dravidian family.


India is a nation of castes also called as ‘Jati’. Jatis are endogamous and hereditary status groups that practices particular types of occupations as per their tradition. In India there are more than 3000 Jatis or caste and graded different in various regions as per hierarchy. Caste hierarchy is seen in many of the castes followed in India.

4. Religious Minorities

The Indian society is pluralist in terms of character which is seen in the religious communities found in multitudes in the country. Some of them have overwhelming numerical strengths as compared to others and are termed as major religious communities. Rights of the minority religious communities are accordingly protected by the government. Minorities are provided with many safeguards by the Constitution.

In 1992 the government established the NCM – National Commission for Minorities for facilitating the same. The same year, it was launched under the National Commission for Minorities Act. Six religious communities have been designated by the Union government, as minorities. These include Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and Jains. It is the numerical strength of the particular community that designates it as a religious minority.

Approximately 18.4 percent of India’s population including Parsis, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and Christians belongs to minority communities as per the census figures of 2001. Muslims account for almost 72.8 percent of the total minority.

  • A majority of Muslims are found in Jammu and Kashmir and in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. In absolute numbers, the largest Muslim population is seen in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal.
  • Christians in highest percentage are in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and in significant large numbers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Orissa, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.
  • In Punjab 60% population are Sikhs.
  • Categorization of Buddhists is done into neo-Buddhist’s and traditional Buddhists. Buddhists are found in high percentage in Sikkim and in Arunachal Pradesh. In terms of absolute numbers, Buddhists are highest in Maharashtra. Traditional Buddhists inhabit hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam and other north eastern states.
  • Parsis reside in Maharasthtra mostly.

Among all the religious communities, low literacy prevails amongst Muslims. Amongst Muslims, the dependency ratio is high, Muslims are self employed, poverty level is higher and girls do not fare well in terms of education. A number of Muslim kids are first generation learners.

In the Census of 2001, for all the religious communities, the WPR – Work Participation Rate was 39.1%.  While the Muslims had 31.3% WPR, Christians 39.7% WPR, the Buddhists had 40.6% WPR.


Issues Faced By The Minorities Communities

  • Forced conversions in different parts of the country
  • Issues related to poverty
  • The feeling of being alienated
  • Deprivation resulting to discrimination
  • Economic and social life acutely impacted
  • Quality education deprivation
  • Beneficiary job opportunities deprivation
  • Struggle for even a minimum standard of living
  • Identity issues
  • Fear of being displacement
  • Feeling of being disoriented
  • Alarming increase in hate crimes against them
  • Desecration of places of worship

These issues lead to violation of major human rights and rebut fundamental statutes of equality and religious freedom as guaranteed by the constitution. With immediate actions, amending existing laws and implementing them better it is possible to improve their welfare conditions and protect rights of the minority communities.

5. Scheduled Tribes

The first appearance of the term ST – ‘Scheduled Tribes’, was in the Constitution of India. They are the tribal groups or parts of tribal communities within such specific tribal communities and tribes, as are considered under Article 342 to be ST’s for constitutional purpose.

The tribal communities or tribes or groups of parts within the tribal communities or tribes are specified by the President of India with respect to any Union Territory or State and where it is in a state, after a consulting the Governor after which a public notification is brought out. Accordingly they are considered to be scheduled tribes with respect to that particular Union Territory or State as the case may be.

A particular criterion is followed to specify a community as scheduled tribe. The specifications are indications of shyness of contact with other people at large, their primitive traits, backwardness, geographical isolation and distinctive culture. Though the Constitution has not spelled out this criterion, it has been established well. It includes definitions contained in the reports of first Backward Classes Commission 1955, on Revision of SC/ST lists (Lokur Committee) 1965, the 1931 Census, the Advisory Committee (Kalekar) and the Joint Committee of Parliament on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes orders (Amendment) Bill 1967 (Chanda Committee) 1969.

So far 9 orders have been promulgated by the President after consulting concerned states, to specify STs with respect to Union Territories and State. Eight are in operation out of the 9, in their amended or original form, at present.

As per Notification dated 6.9.1950 and order of Constitution Order (ST) 1950 the following states are applicable for Scheduled Tribes, including West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Assam, Orissa, Bihar, Mizoram, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Manipur, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Goa.

  • As per Notification dated 20.09.1951 and Constitution Order (ST) (Union Territories), Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep are applicable for Scheduled Tribes.
  • According to the Notification dated 31.03.1959 and order of the Constitution 1959, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are applicable for Scheduled Tribes.
  • As per Notification dated 30.06.1962 and Order of Constitution 1962, Dadra & Nagar Haveli are applicable for Scheduled Tribes.
  • As per Notification dated 24.06.1967 and Constitution Order 1967, Uttar Pradesh is applicable for STs.
  • As per Notification dated 23.07.1970 and Constitution Order 1970, Nagaland is applicable for Scheduled Tribes.
  • As per Notification dated 22.06.1978 and Constitution Order 1978, Sikkim is applicable for Scheduled Tribes.
  • As per Notification dated 22.06.1978 and Constitution Order 1978, Jammu and Kashmir is applicable for Scheduled Tribes.

For each Union Territory or State a list of scheduled tribes notification is provided which is valid within the jurisdiction of that Union Territory or State only and not outside.

6. Scheduled Castes (16.60% of The Total Population)

The Scheduled Tribe population isn’t much in the urban areas of India. However as per census the census report of the year 1971, states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Karnataka, West Bengal, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram and Tripura have around 16.60% of the total scheduled Tribe population. Highest percentage of Scheduled Castes is constituted in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Bihar and West Bengal. Karnataka state also is known to have a very high number of Harijans.

Negligible numbers are seen in the Union Territories and rest of the states. No scheduled caste has been notified in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Nagaland.

The Harijans

The social ladder’s bottommost rung in India is occupied by SC – Scheduled Castes. The Depressed or Backward Classes form a major part of the Scheduled Castes. Known popularly as ‘Harijans’, they are considered as ‘Untouchables’ generally. Scheduled castes are not found in a majority in any part of India. They are found scattered in more than 666 talukas and hence are scattered over the entire land of India.  There are very few talukas in India where people belonging to the Scheduled Caste are not found.

During the early period, different names were given to the Scheduled caste people or the Harijans. They were kept outside the social order of the Hindus and termed as ‘Panchamas’ or the fifth varna or fifth group. They were known as the ‘Chandalas’ and considered as untouchables, during the Vedic Period.  As per Manu, it was out of the Pratiloma marriages, that the Chandalas were born. They were descendants of a hated union of a Shudra male with a Brahmin female. This caste is mentioned in Vedic literature as an ethnic group, as an offspring from an inter-breeding of a lower caste male and higher caste female. They have been termed as a variety of shudras by Patanjali.

Determining the exact period of the origins of the chandalas or the untouchables is difficult. However studies indicate that their existence in India has been for around 2000 years.  At one time or the other, a majority of people from the Scheduled Castes have been termed as ‘Untouchables’. All SCs however are not considered as untouchables in all places of India.

SCs were called as ‘Exterior Castes’ by the British. It was only in 1928 the Simon Commission made used of the term ‘Untouchable Castes’ for these people in India. In 1950 as per the Constitution of India, they got referred to as the ‘Scheduled Castes’. However, they were addressed as –the people of God, the ‘Harijans’ by Mahatma Gandhiji.

It is difficult in India to find people of the Scheduled Caste or the Harijans, occupying the topmost position in the economic, political and social field. Amongst all the population in India, it is the scheduled caste people who are educationally neglected, socially depressed and economically backward. However, efforts of the government continue to provide them with a justifiable status in society.

7. Cultural Regions

In India, there are no boundaries set for regions in the country. While some may consider Mumbai as South India, others may say otherwise. However six regions can be generally considered to determine the Cultural Regions.

1. North India

Uttarkhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu Kashmir are states located in North India.

Major cities in North India include Kanpur, Delhi, Luchknow, Chandigarh and Jaipur with major languages being Urdu, Haryanvi, Punjabi and Hindi.

Famous attractions are historical places like the Red Fort in Delhi, the Sikh Golden Temple, Kashmir, the food in Punjab, hill stations like Leh and Shimla, the Taj Mahal – a historical Mughal site and Ayodhya and Varasani – pilgrimage sites.

2. West India

Maharashtra, some parts of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa and southern Rajasthan are states in Western India.

The major cities include Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Goa, Nagpur and Pune. Major languages spoken are Konkani, Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi. West India is popularly known for cricketers, chaat street food, Bollywood and for generating a high GDP.

3. South India

Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala are states located in South India.

Major cities here include Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Hyderabad. Major languages spoken are Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

South India is famous for spices like tamarind, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, for idli, dosais and biryani, politicians, movie stars, numerous pilgrimage sites and Hindu temples and Bharatnatyam dance and Carnatic Music.

4. East India

West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand are the states in East India.

Major cities include Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Patna, Ranchi, Dhanbad and Jamshedpur.

Major languages spoken are Oriya, Bhojpuri, Hindi and Bengali.

East India is popular for fish dishes, Nobel Laureates like Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali sweets, cricket and football culture and historical places.

5. Central India

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are two states in Central India

Southern Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are states located in Central India.

Major cities include Jabalpur, Indore and Bhopal. Hindi is the major language spoken here.

Central India is popular for the Khajuraho temples, forests, tiger reserves, mineral reserves, diamond mines and large amount of electricity production.

6. North East India

Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya are states located in North East India.

Major cities here include Imphal, Guwahati, Aizawl, Agartala, Shillong and Dimapur.

Major languages spoken in North East India are Sikkimese, Assamese, Nagamese, Bengali, Manipuri, Garo and Bodo.

North East India is famous for martial arts, football, bamboo handicrafts, meat dishes, scenic beauty, Darjeeling (as it is more associated with North East).

8. Demographic Characteristics of Indian Population

Characteristics of the demographic features of the Indian people mean the quality, size, growth, diversity, composition, etc. of the people.

Features of population of India are as follows:

1. Rapid Rise In Density

In 1951, density of Indian population was 117 per square km which in 2001 increased to 324, making India one of the most densely populated nations across the world. Land-man ratio gets affected adversely with such a ratio. India is an underdeveloped nation with low technology and capital. For the country to bear the rising density burden proves to be difficult.

2. Fast Growth And Large Size

India is known for the 2nd largest population across the world, in terms of size, after China. Population of India was 23.06 crore in 1901 and in 2001 increased to 102.7 crores.

Since 1951, the population in India has been growing at an alarming rate of around 1.9% per annum. Each year almost 21 million people are getting added to the existing population. Declining rate of death and high birth rate has resulted in this situation termed as population explosion.

3. Population Quality Is Low

The literary level of people in India is low with around 35 crore people yet to become literate. The training and education is of low level, hence the population quality is poor. The number of engineers and doctors are lesser as compared to developed nations.  Life expectancy is also low as compared to advanced nations.

4. Second Stage Of Demographic Transition

As development continues the nation undergoes 3 various stages. High birth rate and high death rate characterize the first stage. Population net growth is zero at this stage. In the demographic transition stage, India was in the 1st stage till 1921.

Declining death rate and high birth rate are features of the second stage, which leads to rapid population growth. After the years, 1921-1930 India entered into the 2nd stage of demographic transition.  As of now India is going through the 2nd stage. Developed nations are in the third stage.

5. Composition Of Sex Ratio Not Favorable To Females

The number of females per thousand males, refers to the sex ratio. As compared to other nations, the position of India is quite different.  In India the sex ratio is 927 females per thousand which kept declining in 1921 and 1931 to 953 and 950. It further declined in 1971 and 1991 to reach 927 per thousand.

However Kerala has more females that is 1040 females per thousand than males. Sikkim has 832 females per thousand, being the lowest. The lowest ratio of 760 is in Sikkim. Hence the conclusion is that the composition of sex ratio is not favorable to females.

6. Higher Rural Population

The industrialization level of a country is determined by the ratio of urban rural population. As per 2001 census the urban population was 27.8% and of the rural population was 72.2%. India is a land of villages and has been undergoing a slow urbanization process.

7. Low Proportion Of Labor Force

The bottom-heavy age structure and low female employment rate are causes of low work participation in India.

8. Age Composition Is Bottom Heavy

Age composition of the population in India is bottom heavy. People in the age group 0-14 are relatively high. The 2001 census indicates that children below the age of 14 year were 35.6% which is lower as compared to the earlier year.  The large number of dependent children per adult is responsible for the high birth rate. If the birth rate is slowed down, then percentage of this age group can be reduced.

9. Literacy Rate

In India as per the 2011 census, a person aged 7 and above who is able to write and read with understanding in a particular language is considered as literate.  If a person cannot write, but only read, he or she not termed as literate. 74.04% is the literacy rate in India, with Kerala having 93.91% literacy rate. Literacy rate is least in Bihar at 63.82%.

Not So Encouraging Facts

For India these facts are not at all encouraging especially with dreams of becoming a global player in every developmental aspect. India does have some villages without a single person being literate. Expenditure on education has to be increased, to become a global player and hence spend more of its GDP on education.

Basic Indicators In Development

The basic indicators in development which any society achieves are the education and literacy levels. Commerce, modernization, communication, industrialization and urbanization are vital traits of civilization in modern times.

Female Literacy Rate

The 2001 Census indicates that the female literacy rate is lower as compared to males. In rural areas the gap is more. Top five positions in literacy are occupied by Kerala, Chandigarh, Mizoram, Goa, Lakshadweep and Mizoram. In Kerala, the literacy rate of rural population is quite high. The literacy rate is lower in Bihar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

At the national level, literacy rate of urban population is 79.9%. Required literacy rate higher than the national average, has been achieved by a number of UTs and States in the range of 88% to 96%.

How Higher Literacy Can Help

Higher literacy in India can help improve social and economic conditions, lead to greater awareness, act as a catalyst for social upliftment and enhance returns on investment made in all developmental efforts, be it weaker section employment, population control, controlling degradation of environment, hygiene, heath, etc.

To evolve specific strategies for intervention, the number of towns, UAs or villages is grouped into various literacy rate ranges to get an idea about the literacy rate in India.

10. Age Composition

In the case of population studies, Age Composition is also called as Age Distribution. In a given population, the proportion of people in successive age categories is determined. A difference is seen in Age Composition due to trends and levels of fertility.

From the economic view point, the extent to which population of a nation is productive is indicated by the age structure of its population. The working population falls in the age group between 15-60 years of age. Population above 60 years of age and in the age group of 0-14 years of age is called the dependent / non working population.

If proportion of the working population is higher, then it proves to be beneficial for the country’s economic development. In India the population in the age group of 0-14 years continues to be high still. There is increase in population above the age of 60 years in India, which is an indicator that the death rate has been reduced and life expectancy is higher.

The Demographic Gap

Difference between the death rate and birth rate of the population of a country is called the demographic gap. In the initial and final stages, the demographic gap is small in the demographic transition. During the middle stages, it becomes larger.

Demographic Dividend

Demographic Dividend is a situation in a country when the population share between the age of 15 and 64 is high, as this group helps in boosting growth in the economy. The dependent population below the age of 15 years is low, when low fertility rates are arrived at by a country.  Also when the life expectancy of older generations is lower, then the population above 64 years of age becomes low.  Due to higher rate of birth in the previous generation, the population between the age group 15-64 is high, on the other hand. Hence the economic growth gets a boost as this reduces the dependency ratio.

Domestic savings increase, when the working population is larger and accordingly the economic growth and investment is higher. Higher economic growth has been attained by a number of East Indian nations, by making use of their respected demographic dividend. When supportive national policies, accompany the demographic dividend, then only it proves to be of use. It then helps provide health care, provide employment, improve literacy, etc. Also if the percentage of younger population is higher, then there can be negative consequences like higher rates of divorce, crime, social unrest, etc.

A situation where there is low fertility, indicates that the burden on females is less and they get more freedom to work, which in turn promotes equality between both genders and boosts production in the economy.

People have better capability to spend more on their health and take care of themselves, when they have lesser children which in turn leads to improvement in levels of production.

11. Migration

In 2017 an Economic Survey was conducted that revealed that as of today, people in India are much more mobile than in the past or as was believed. The population survey census and the NSS – National Sample Survey indicates that the rate of migration is quite large.  Since the past few decades, there has been an increase in mobility rate which is mostly for economic reasons.

As per studies, since 2001, the number of migrants has risen in 2011 from 314.5 million to 453.6 million. However the percentage of mobility between states has not been much.

New avenues of research have been created with innovative data analytics and unconventional data sources used in surveys. Around 20% of the migrants constituted are in the age group of 20-29 years and the rate of inter-state migration is gradually on the increase.

Overview Of International And Internal Migration In India

  • People migrate due to poor working conditions, basic amenities not being accessible, long working hours and social isolation.
  • In poor regions, migration serves as a safety valve.
  • When NGO programmes and government ignore laborers, they become vulnerable to migration.
  • The civil society does not support migrants well, besides which they are considered as low priority by the government.
  • Many people having high professional expertise from states like Punjab, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu migrate to other developed and industrialized nations. A lot of semi-skilled and skilled workers are observed migrating to countries in the Middle East.
  • Out of the total Indian workforce, less than 1 percent migrants are overseas migrants and its impact on the national labor market is not very much. Reduced employment however is seen in the case of emigration in states like Kerala and others.
  • The main benefit of external migration is remittances as there is scope for higher levels of investments and savings and scare foreign exchange is available.
  • Synergy between development policies and migration can be improved with efforts taken by the government. Where necessary, a more strict modification and simplification of laws and enforcement of labor legislation prove to be beneficial.
  • Panchayats should play a role in upgrading skills of workers work in coordination with NGOs thus acting as a resource tool for migrants.
  • Labor markets should be monitored by the labor market authority to study requirements of emerging skills, carry out negotiations on labor contracts etc.
  • Liberalization of the 1983 Emigration Act to bring the current market conditions in line and eliminate motives of recruitment agents so that they do not operate outside the law
  • Misapprehensions and stereotypes should be best addressed by advocacy campaigns about migrants and accordingly pursue goals and aspirations of people and seek redressal wherever injustice is seen, by raising their political voice.

12. Population Problems

In the development of any economy, the means as well as ends, are the people of that country. If they are available in overabundance, then they prove to be a liability and if there are adequate in strength, then they prove to be an asset.

In India, the optimum limit has been crossed by its population in the process, becoming a liability. Hence in the success of development and planning in the economy, its huge population proves to be a huge hindrance.

Main Effects

  • Formation Of Capital

Increase in capital formation is obstructed due to the composition of population.  Dependents in the total population are larger with low life expectancy and higher birth rate. Dependents are not productive and rely on others for the sake of subsistence. Saving capacity of the caretakers reduces due to burden of dependents and consequently, the capital formation rate falls.

  • Poverty

Bigger resources have to be spent by the rising population to bring up their children. This results in low rate of capital formation and lesser savings. It becomes difficult to improve techniques of production leading to low labor productivity.

Food Grain Shortage

The root cause of food problems in India is the rapid population growth. Economic development gets hampered in 2 ways. Productivity and health of people gets affected due to insufficient quality food. Low per capita income results in low productivity and in turn the result is poverty.  Also, food grains have to be imported from other nations. Huge foreign exchange is incurred and development work hampers.

Larger Investment

A bigger investment is needed to achieve the given rate of increase in per capita income when the growth rate of the population is high. The economy’s growth rate is also adversely affected by this. A bigger investment of national income is necessary for economic growth stabilization in India due to its huge annual population growth.

  • Unemployment

A large labor force is created due to a large sized population. Providing gainful employment to people becomes tough due to capital resource shortage. Hence open and disguised employment becomes normal features in urban areas of India.

·         Low Standard Of Living

Adequate bare necessities are not even available with rapid population growth, which in turn leads to a lower standard of living.

  • Low Per Capita Availability Of Capital

Rapid growth or a large sized population in India results in low per capita capital availability. The country’s national income grew at 3.6% per annum at an average from 1950 to 1981. However an increase of one percent in the per capita income was seen. This was because growth in population was by 2.5%.

  • Higher Dependency Levels

The rate of people in the age groups of above 60 and dependent children are high. Effective saving is adversely affected by such dependency.

  • Social And Population Issues

Social problems, increase due to population explosion. When people migrate from rural to urban regions it leads to slums, insanitary and unhygienic situations. Uneducated youth get frustrated due to poverty and unemployment.

  • Pressure On Land And Environment

Pressure is naturally exerted on the land and environment due to the rate of rising population as it leads to environmental degradation and lesser areas to occupy.

13. Health Indicators

There are a number of indicators related to the health sector, including heath finance, demographics, health status, health infrastructure, socio-economic and human resources.

  • Scarcity Of Doctors

As per the National Health Profile annual report of 2018 various reflections have been seen. Out of the total GDP, the government uses just around 1.3% in the public healthcare sector. There continues to remain a severe scarcity of doctors in the nation. Huge medical expenses are being incurred in hospitals in both urban and rural areas.

As per the recommendations of the WHO –World Health Organization the ratio at which a particular doctor has to attend population is 1:1000. However, in India it is seen that on an average, the ratio is around 1:11,082. Doctors are attending to people ten times more, which is definitely not as per the recommendations of the WHO.

Be it Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh or Jharkhand, the situation seems grim. Thousands of people are being served by a single doctor, thus making the situation worse.

As far as Delhi is concerned, the population-doctor ratio 1:2203 which is comparatively better than the rest of the states.

  • Lower Spending On Public Health

An indifferent approach has been consistently reflected in the NHP in terms of spending by the government on public health. For example in the financial year, just 1.02% of the country’s GDP was spent on the healthcare sector. The report also states that the government’s per capita public expenditure stands at Rs.1112 on health, which is around rupees 3 per day.

As compared to other low income countries, these figures prove to be quite dismal. A bigger chunk is spent by many of the low income nations on the public health care industry.

  • Higher Death Rate Due To Rabies

States like Karnataka and West Bengal especially, have reported higher death rates due to the most communicable and lethal disease, rabies in India.  Swine Flu cases have been reported in thousands in the year 2016. Uttar Pradesh has reported many cases of JE- Japanese Encephalitis – a brain infection caused by JE virus, in the year 2013.

  • Maternal And Infant Mortality

As far as maternal and infant mortality rate in India is concerned, the progress has been noteworthy in the health indicators. Significant progress has been also seen in the life expectancy rate.

At the national levels the infant mortality rate is at its lowest that is 34 per thousand live births. The mortality rate gaps, between urban and rural areas continue to remain high, however.

 14. Human Development Index in India

When year after year, the ranking of per capita GDP increases, governments feel satisfied and proud about the achievement. However a lot of things remain hidden with this GDP ranking.  In 1990, the HDI – Human Development Index was launched to gain better understanding of this dynamics. It is helpful in ranking and assessing achievement of countries. Emphasis of the HDI is that the final criteria to assess the country’s development are the people of the nation and their capabilities, and not just growth of the nation. HDI serves as a benchmark for both economic and social development.

Various dimensions of human poverty are captured through a range of HDI’s since the year 1990. They were introduced accordingly with the GDI-Gender-related Development Index, GEM-Gender Empowerment (1995) and GEI-Gender Equality Index in 1995. Besides this HPI-Human Poverty Index and GEI-Gender Equality Index have been introduced. MPI-Multi-dimensional Poverty Index a new index was devised in 2010 by the UNDP – United Nations Development Programme.

  • Calculation

The policy tool HDI was for mainly comparing the development of achievements within and between countries and regions/states. Nations are ranked on a scale of 0 to1 (that is lowest human development to highest human development), on the basis of 3 basic indicators or dimensions in human development namely, decent standard of living, access to knowledge and a healthy and long life. Accordingly, education, health as well as per capita income are taken into account as the multi-dimensional concept, the HDI.

As per the UNDP, nations having a value of 0.500 HDI are termed as ‘low’ human development nations and those with 0.800 HDI are termed as high human developed nations.

There is close relationship between HDI and growth in the economy. When economic growth is more, a country has additional resources for ensuring sustained improvements in human developments. Improvement in human capital quality on the other hand, encourages further growth.

  • HDI – Limitations

Attention shifted from GNP to HDI as soon as it came into the development domain. The concept of human measure of development broadened, then.

Erratic movements are seen in HDI with the mixing up of flow variables and stock variables, both. This is because a mixture of both flow variables like gross enrollment rates, real capita GDP, etc and stock variables like life expectancy at birth index, adult literacy index are taken stock of while constructing value of HDI.

  • Distribution Related Issues

The HDI faces criticism related to neglect on issues like occupation, gender, caste, religion, caste, income, ethnicity, religion, etc. Distributional aspects of human development are ignored by the HDI. Hence to measure deprivations and empowerment, supplementary indices including GEI-Gender Equality, MPI- Multidimensional Poverty Index, GDI-Gender-related Development Index, HPI-Human Poverty Index etc. have been introduced. At the same time HDI ranking is also being carried out state wise.

  • Inclusion Of New Dimensions

New dimensions like job and health security, political and civil rights, human development, nutrition, food and environmental quality and energy security, political freedom, etc are integral parts requiring consideration.

  • Quality of data

Serious scrutiny is needed on quality of data on life expectancy, adult literacy etc. Regular updating this data can surely help.







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