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Synopsis: Mains Self Study Test – 16, 17 and 18

Insights Mains Self Study 2016- Test 16, 17 and 18

You can find Mains self Study Question papers and answer written by aspirants HERE

These questions are based on THIS Timetable.

Note: Following answers are neither model answers nor proper synopsis. We are trying to provide you information that is not usually found in textbooks.  If you have already written answers to these questions, compare and check if you have written relevant points, if you haven’t answered yet, choose important points from the following content to frame 200 words answer.

  1. “Historically, an Indian nationalism took shape under British colonialism.” Examine.

Indian nationalism grew partly as a result of colonial policies and partly in reaction to colonial policies.

Reasons for growth of Indian nationalism under British Colonialism:

Economic exploitation of India: Drain theory was put forward by Dadabhai Naoroji, RC Dutt and M G Ranade. They held that British raj was plundering India – source for cheap raw materials for industries of Britain and as a destination for machine made British goods. This understanding, united Indians against the colonial oppressive economic policies

Spread of education: British introduced western education in India. Lord Macaulay favoured education in English, so as to create a class of Indians who were Indians in colour and blood, but Englishmen in tastes, ideals and morals. This was done to ensure there was a cheap supply of men for staffing lower administrative posts. But western education brought Indians in contact with the western ideas of democracy, liberalism, dignity of individual, liberty.

Government repression: and unpopular land revenue policies, etc. aroused resentment among Indians and they readily responded to Gandhian call for mass movement.

Introduction of railways, posts and telegraphs: was done by the British to ensure faster movement of army, to easily fetch raw materials from distant parts of India and also to undersell Indian goods in the market. But, this brought about more unification of India and brought political leaders and masses together.

Role of press: British introduction of vernacular press act which aimed to curb the freedom of press was resented by Indians. Indian nationalists through press, exposed the oppressive and discriminatory character of the British raj and aroused nationalist feelings among the masses.

Reactionary policies: curbing of civil liberties through ordinances, arrests of leaders, partition of Bengal and other reactionary measures by the British led to rise of nationalism in India.

Thus, whether it was the repressive measures or seemingly benevolent measures of the colonial raj, it went on to erode the invincibility of the British rule and gave shape to nationalist feelings.

  1. Define and Explain the significance of:

a) Dependency Ratio: It is the ratio of dependents – people younger than 15 years and older than 64 years – to the working age population – those aged between 14 and 64 years.

Significance: It provides a metric for the government to align its policies – for eg: higher percentage of population in age group 15 to 64, means emphasis on skill development. Higher dependency ratio means more health expenditure, social security expenditure etc.

b) Sex Ratio: it is the ratio of number of females to 1000 males in a population.

Significance: It reflects the nature of society. For eg: if sex ratio is skewed in favour of males, it reflects a patriarchal society where preference is given to male child. It also hints at various policy interventions needed – protection of girl child, women safety, empowerment and so on.

c) Fertility Rate (FR): In simple terms, it is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her reproductive age.

Significance: It reflects the direction in which population is heading in a country. For eg: if fertility rate has reached replacement levels, it means that there are as many births as there are deaths, indicating that population growth is stable. The rate also helps to initiate appropriate policy interventions. For eg: if fertility rate is high, then there has to be better access to contraceptives, family planning measures. Also, high FR could be because of illiteracy and lack of awareness. This implies emphasis should also be on education.

d) Rate of Natural Increase: it is the difference between the birth rate and the death rate. When this difference is zero, we say that population has reached replacement levels or that the population has stabilized.

Significance: it reflects the success or otherwise of population stabilization measures. If the rate is negative, a country may encourage births. If the rate is too high, it may initiate appropriate family planning measures. It also has implication on resource allocation in the country.

  1. Discuss the reasons for drastic decline in the child sex ratio in India. Suggest measures to halt this decline.

Child sex ratio has seen a rapid decline from 927 according to 2001 census to 914 according to 2011 census. Economically developed states like Haryana, Punjab have recorded the lowest ratios.

The reasons for this disturbing trend are as follows:-

Technological access: ultrasonography has become increasingly accessible especially in urban areas. The technology is being misused to determine the sex of the child before birth. This leads to sex selective abortions.

Patriarchal mind set: preference for a male child continues. This leads to female infanticide or female foeticides.

Girls are treated as a liability: there is a perception that girls are “paraya dhan” and hence cannot be counted for support during the old age. A girl child also means paying huge amounts as dowry in her marriage which poor people cannot afford. There is also a perception that a girl child needs to be protected more and there is higher chance of bringing disgrace to the family if something goes wrong.

Poverty: perception that working outside home and earning income is the domain of men. Hence, a male child means another hand for labour which can ensure more income to family.

Measures to halt the decline:

Penalising misuse of diagnostic techniques: although Indian government has enacted PCPNDT act in 1994, prenatal sex determination continues on a wide scale till today. Higher penalties, stricter implementation is needed to curb the misuse.

Awareness campaign: by bringing together efforts of government, NGOs, media, programmes like Satyamev Jayate, Atmaja (a serial on plight of girl child) should be used to create awareness among people against the practice.

Government Incentives: like Dhanlaxmi scheme, ‘Beto bachao, beti padhao’ should be encouraged to ensure that girls are not considered as a liability. Encouragement to mass marriages at subsidised costs should be given, so that parents of girl child do not feel the burden of getting her married.

Institutional deliveries: and compulsory registration of birth should be encouraged , so that cases of female infanticide can be tracked easily and the guilty get punished.

Fixing accountability: make Panchayats accountable for any instance of female foeticide or infanticide. Panchayats with a balanced sex ratio can be rewarded and a certain grants be given based on the same.

  1. “The Charter Act of 1813 was an important benchmark in the push towards westernization of India.” Comment.


The previous Charter act of 1793 had given monopoly to East India Company to trade with east for a period of 20 years. During that time, rise of Napoleon Bonaparte in France had made days difficult for Britain due to Napoleon’s continental system. Due to these hardships, British traders demanded entry to the ports of Asia and dissolve the monopoly of East India Company. The theory of free trade policy of Adam smith had also become quite popular in those days. Supporters of the policy argued that ending the monopoly of EIC in trade with India could help the growth of British commerce and industry. The Christian missionaries had also been demanding free entry into India to carry on the civilising mission. Evangelists like Charles Grant and utilitarian like Jeremy Bentham and J mill also played role here. All these culminated in the Charter act of 1813.

Provisions of the act:

  • The act ended the monopoly of EIC in trade with India.
  • The act gave Christian missionaries free hand to establish themselves in India without any restrictions.  
  • The act provided for a sum of 1 lakh rupees annually to be set apart for introduction and promotion of literature and knowledge of science in India. As emphasis was on English education and western scientific knowledge, it too favoured westernisation of India.

Thus, the charter act of 1813 opened the gates for westernisation of India.

5. Discuss the significance of the contributions made by C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru to India’s national movement.  

Contribution of Motilal Nehru:

  • He supported Home Rule Movement started by Annie Besant in 1916.
  • M Nehru was appointed as a member of the Congress Enquiry Committee to enquire into the events of Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
  • He played a prominent role in Non Cooperation movement led by Gandhiji. He gave up his lucrative legal practice at the call of the mahatma.
  • Along with CR Das, he started Swaraj party to fight elections to enter legislatures. This helped to fill the void after the withdrawal of NC movement and ensured that people’s morale was kept high. Legislature was used as a forum for propaganda against the British. He made powerful speeches to defeat the government on important matters, for example on public safety bill which he termed as “slavery of India bill No. 1”.
  • The All Parties Conference under the chairmanship of M. Nehru took up the task of drafting constitution. The report came to be popularly called as the Nehru Report – which called for dominion status for India, joint electorates, universal adult franchise, minority rights, separation of state from religion, provincial autonomy among others. Majority of these key features were later on incorporated in the constitution of independent India.
  • Though he did not live to see India’s independence and promulgation of constitution, his contributions to its development remain seminal and unsurpassed.

Contribution of CR Das

  • He was popularly called as “deshbandhu” (friend of the country). He was a barrister who successfully defended Aurobindo Ghosh on charges of involvement in Alipore bomb case.
  • He was a leading figure in Bengal during NC movement and initiated the ban on British clothes, setting an example by burning his own European clothes and wearing khadi clothes.
  • He, along with Motilal Nehru founded the Swaraj party to fight elections.
  • He was a firm believer in nonviolence and constitutional methods for realisation of national independence, and advocated Hindu-Muslim unity, communal harmony and championed the cause of national education. A believer in women’s emancipation, he supported the spread of female education and widow remarriage.

6. Generally, political instability leads to weak economic growth. But, India is an exception in this case. Illustrate why.

What led to exception in the case of India?

Economic agents are less risk averse or more tolerant about political instability in democracies than in authoritarian systems.

In India’s case, there is a reason to believe that greater political instability is a result of flowering democracy as hitherto marginalised social groups began to exercise a degree of rights conferred to them by the democratic system. So, economic growth was not hurt much.

Economic agents have greater confidence in systemic stability of democracies despite overt manifestations of political instability. This is because democracies are more likely to develop a broad and deep matrix of relatively autonomous public institutions – of restraint, regulation, coordination, adjudication. These are councils, boards, tribunals, commissions, and a range of statutory and non-statutory institutions, and public and private institutions, that weave a thick institutional web. Such diversity of a country’s institutional portfolio reduces risk perception and gives India a systemic resilience . This weakens the risk of political instability.

However, Not all parts of India have seen economic growth irrespective of political instability:

West Bengals performance where CPI dominated coalition has ruled for nearly a quarter of a century, has been only little better than all India average.

Punjab , which was wracked by a severe secessionist movement iin the 1980s has grown faster.

Former Soviet Union exemplified why stability is neither necessary not sufficient for economic growth. What is required for a long lasting economic growth and national development is an able leadership, active citizenry and a progressive vision for the future.

  1. In Parliament, the most important functional committees are those that exercise control over the finances. Which are these committees? Discuss their composition and functions.

Parliament is too unwieldy a body to deliberate effectively the issues that come up before it. Its functions are also voluminous and complex. It neither has adequate time not necessary expertise to make a detailed scrutiny of all legislative measures. It is thus assisted by parliamentary committees. Three such committees namely: Public Accounts Committee, Estimates Committee and Committee on Public Undertakings make the accountability of the executive to the parliament in financial matters more in depth and comprehensive.

Public Accounts Committee:

Composition: 22 members, 15 from Lok Sabha and 7 from Rajya Sabha. The members are elected by parliament every year according to the principle of proportional representation by means of single transferrable vote. Thus all parties get due representation in it. Chairman is appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members. Since 1967, a convention has been adopted whereby chairman of the committee is selected invariably from the opposition.


  • It examines appropriation accounts and the finance accounts of the union government
  • It scrutinizes audit reports of CAG to satisfy itself that: money that has been disbursed was legally available for the applied service or purpose; the expenditure conforms to the authority that governs it; and every re-appropriation has been made in accordance with related rules.
  • It examines CAG reports on state corporations, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies whose audit was done by CAG.
  • It examines money spent on any service during a financial year in excess of the amount granted by the Lok Sabha for that purpose.

Estimates Committee:

Composition: 30 members, all from Lok Sabha. Elected from amongst the members in the basis on proportional representation by single transferable vote. Chairman is appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members who invariably belongs to the ruling party.


  • It examines the estimates included in the budget and suggests “economies” in public expenditure.
  • It reports improvements in organisation, efficiency and administrative reforms consistent with the underlying policy.
  • It suggests alternative policies in order to bring about efficiency and economy in administration.
  • It examines whether money is well laid out within the limits of the policy implied in the estimates.
  • It also suggests the form in which the estimates are to be presented to the parliament.

Committee on Public Undertakings:

Composition: 22 members, 10 from Lok Sabha and 7 from Rajya Sabha. Members elected from parliament according to principle of proportional representation by single transferable vote. Chairman is appointed by speaker from amongst its members who are drawn from Lok Sabha only.


  • It examines the reports and accounts of public undertakings
  • It examines reports of CAG on Public Undertakings.
  • It examines whether affairs of Public Undertakings are being managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices.

8. The MP Local Area Development Scheme is criticised for several reasons. How does the Scheme work? Critically evaluate its performance.  

How does the MPLADS work?

The MPLAD and MLALAD scheme was introduced in December 1993 by former Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao to enable legislators to execute small works of a local nature to meet the urgent needs of their constituents.

There are three major stakeholders in the entire process: the MP, district authority and the Government of India. MPs recommend works to be undertaken under the MPLADS, based on locally felt needs; with preference to certain sectors, including drinking water facility, education, health, sanitation, irrigation, roads etc. Following the recommendation, the district authority is responsible for sanctioning the eligible works, and implementation of the sanctioned ones. As per official guidelines, the district authority shall make the selection of an implementing agency for execution of the recommended works by an MP. The Government of India releases the annual entitlement of Rs. 5 crore in two equal instalments of Rs 2.5 crore each, directly to the district authority.

Evaluation of its performance:

In 2002, the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution recommended immediate discontinuation of the MPLAD scheme on the ground that it was inconsistent with the spirit of federalism and distribution of powers between the centre and the state.

The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission’s report on “Ethics in Governance” taking a firm stand against the scheme arguing that it seriously erodes the notion of separation of powers, as the legislator directly becomes the executive. However, in response to a Writ Petition that challenged the constitutionality of the MPLAD scheme as ultra vires of the Constitution of India, in May 2010, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that there was no violation of the concept of separation of powers because the role of an MP in this case is recommendatory and the actual work is carried out by the Panchayats and Municipalities which belong to the executive organ.

Some development projects might cost more than the allocated amount of Rs. 5 crore, which might be one reason for low utilisation of MPLADS funds for the first year in some constituencies.

Audits done, in certain cases found that the assets created under the scheme could not be traced.

Construction of community halls etc within religious places in gross violation of guidelines; construction of shopping complexes to promote private enterprise; diversion of computers bought for schools to commercial enterprises; supply of computers to private educational institutions; community centres built with MPLADS funds being commercially let-out by the beneficiary agencies – such instances have been found.

Unless problems such as poor utilisation of funds, irregular sanction of works, and delay in completion of works are tackled in an efficient manner, the efficacy of the scheme will remain in doubt.

  1. The institution of CAG enjoys considerable autonomy from the executive. Yet, in recent years its autonomy is threatened by multiple factors. Which are these factors? Comment on them.

Article 148 of the Indian Constitution provides for a CAG who acts as guardian of public purse. The institution ensures the financial accountability of the executive to the parliament.

How it enjoys autonomy:

  • Though appointed by president, he doesn’t hold office during pleasure of president.
  • He is not eligible for any employment post retirement
  • Salary, allowances etc are changed from consolidated fund of India, which is not subject to the vote of the parliament.

However, its autonomy is threatened by multiple factors:

Article 148 of constitution provides for appointment of CAG by president; in other words, appointment is done on the advice of the executive. CAGs appointed in the recent years have been from the IAS who were on the verge of retirement. By offering such prestigious assignments, government can assure itself of the loyalty of the CAG.

Autonomy of the institution has also been undermined by multiplicity of missions. Even after departmentalisation of audit (when audit was separated from accounts), the accounts of state governments remain the responsibility of the CAG. Maintaining the accounts of the state governments means diversion of much needed manpower from audit function.

Audit report relates to transaction which took place several years ago. During the intervening years, it is very likely that Government functionaries involved in irregular practices might have gone to other departments or retired from service. Delays also take place during consideration of CAG reports by the PAC.

Recently, there was a debate about making CAG accountable to the parliament. This will, however have the effect of reducing the autonomy of the institution as government enjoys majority in Lok Sabha.

As Dr BR Ambedkar called CAG as one of the bulwarks of the constitution, ensuring independence and autonomy of the institution is important for sound financial management.

10. Is the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) effective as an anti-corruption institution? Critically comment.

CBI is the premier investigating agency in India. Following broad categories of criminal cases are handled by it:

Anti-Corruption Division: Cases of corruption and fraud committed by public servants of all Central Govt. Departments, Central Public Sector Undertakings and Central Financial Institutions.

Economic Crimes Division: Deals with cases including bank frauds, financial frauds, Import Export & Foreign Exchange violations, large-scale smuggling of narcotics, antiques,cultural property and smuggling of other contraband items etc.

Special Crimes Division: Deals with cases such as cases of terrorism, bomb blasts, sensational homicides, kidnapping for ransom and crimes committed by the mafia/the underworld.

Effectiveness as an anti-corruption institution:

The Anti-Corruption Division is responsible for collection of intelligence with regard to corruption, maintaining liaison with the various Departments through their Vigilance Officers, enquiries into complaints about bribery and corruption, investigation and prosecution of offences pertaining to bribery and corruption and tasks relating to preventive aspects of corruption. It handles all cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and cases registered under other similar Sections of the Indian Penal Code. However, there is inadequacy in the number of investigation officers, prosecution wings. This leads delays in investigation, to poor conviction rates, unsuccessful prosecution.

The Anti-Corruption Division investigates cases against public servants. Section 6A of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act – legal provision that makes prior sanction mandatory for CBI to conduct a probe against senior bureaucrats (above the rank of joint secretary) in corruption cases under prevention of corruption act. Though it was enacted to protect the decision making power of the executive from undue harassment and exercise of police powers by CBI, it has also been misused to protect corrupt officials.

Political interference in functioning of CBI: eg: in coalgate scam case where CBI was called by the Supreme Court as a “caged parrot”. Even earlier, in the Hawala case, SC pulled up the CBI for showing inertia to investigate offences involving influential persons. CBI has dropped cases siting lack of evidence in a number of high profile cases.

CBI has been overburdened with cases. Many times, cases which can be handled by the state police are also handed over to CBI. This leads to dilution of its focus on more important functions.

Way forward: A new CBI act, replacing the archaic DSPE act, clearly defining its role, powers, and jurisdiction is the need of the hour. It should be granted more operational and financial autonomy so as to reduce political interference. This autonomy means freedom to investigate crime, while it remains under administrative control of government of the day.

  1. ‘The Ilbert Bill controversy was the last straw that politically conscious educated Indians could take, as it made them painfully aware of their subordinate position in the imperial power structure.” Discuss.

The Western higher education system introduced Indians to the political modernity consisting of concepts such as human rights, social justice, democracy, and scientific rationality and so on. Empowered with these ideas, they started demanding some reforms in the legislative and administrative fields, favouring Indians. But, the reforms were always introduced keeping in mind imperial desires.

Educated Indians who became politically conscious used print culture to circulate the modern ideas. They started demanding their rights under colonial rule. Initially it started with opposition against Christian conversion encouraged by Lex Loci Act, 1850, protecting the rights of a convert to inherit ancestral property.

Government imposed Income tax in 1860 when India was experiencing series of natural calamities and outbreak of famines. They do not gave Indians, any control over the expenditure of this revenue income. Later income tax were increased and government funds for higher education were cut down and at the same time government continued to spend excessively on army and other public works serving imperial needs. The educated Indians were shaken by this suppressive government actions.

The Indian council Act, 1861, provided for inclusion of a very limited number of non-official Indian members in the Governor General’s council, but they could not introduce any bill without the prior sanction of governor general who also had power of veto. Once again no heed to Indian interests was paid.

In 1870s, few concessions were given to educated Indians through municipal reforms by introducing limited principles of election. But, it was counterbalanced when in 1876 the maximum age for sitting the Indian civil services examination was lowered from 21 to 19.

Lord Lytton came as viceroy in 1876 and he passed Vernacular press act in 1878, which was to curb the freedom of Indian press. The act provided for a deposit from all printers and publishers of regional language newspaper, which was to be forfeited and their machinery confiscated if they publish anything objectionable. The educated Indian agitated against this act, as it curbed the freedom of expression and that too against oppressive colonial rule.

Next, in the chronology was Arms act in 1878, again favoured by Lytton, which introduced a licensing system throughout India for possessing firearms, but it exempted European and Eurasians from its coverage. This was clearly reflecting the racially discriminatory policies of British government, which caused irritation among educated Indians.

Lord Rippon tried to provide some relaxations to India by introducing local self-government in India (in 1882), repealing Vernacular press act, modifying Arms Act. But, next in the series was Ilbert bill issue which clearly reflected that British authorities consider themselves racially superior and practise discrimination.

Ilbert bill was introduced in 1883, which proposed to give Indian district magistrates and session judges the power to try European offenders in small towns, as they already did in the presidency towns. The Anglo-Indian racism was revealed in the white mutiny, as the British born started opposing this clause. They called for racial privileges and opposed any kind of equality. Later, the bill was withdrawn and a compromise formula was expected by adding a provision of trial by a mixed jury in such cases involving European offenders.

The Ilbert Bill controversy made it crystal clear to educated Indian that racial equality was something which they could not expect from the present regime. After, realising the subordinate position in imperial structure, they started bringing change in the political life of India. The educated and politically conscious Indians started forming new organisations and association’s like- Indian association, Bombay association, Poona Sarvajanik Sabha and others. Now there motive was to demand for Indian causes in more organised and energetic way. This led to further formation of INC, which revived the political mobilisation in India and then the seeds of Indian freedom struggle were sown by the politically conscious educated.

12. Critically analyse the contribution made by Moderates to India’s national movement.

Moderates believed that British rule in India could make India modernized and developed like west. So, initially they adopted the strategy of three Ps- Petition, Prayer and Protest to pressurize British government to grant more concessions and reforms.

Positive Contribution

  • They helped in understanding the economic exploitation by British thorough their economic critique. Leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, R C Dutt and other helped India in understanding about poverty, drain of wealth and resources.
  • Their method of petition and request provided limited constitutional reforms favouring Indians in Legislative and administrative matters like – Indianization of higher services, abolition of arms and vernacular press Act, reduction in military expenditure, etc. This helped in freedom struggle by providing platform for mobilising people and opposition to British policies.
  • Some moderate leader like C R Das, Motilal Nehru entered legislative councils and used it as a platform to express true character of British rule in India.
  • Swadeshi Movement in reaction to partition of Bengal was one of the first mass mobilisation where moderates played important role, it gave taste of mass mobilisation for freedom struggle to India, which was very instrumental in later years

Negative contribution

  • Their political style aloof the masses, people from educated background, high class and caste dominated the moderates. So, they failed in reaching the masses and mobilising them.
  • Their style was submissive to British policies and it was very slow. It failed in attracting the youth and leaders with radical ideology.
  • Their methodology and style of working created rift within congress and pushed the national movement in its dullest phase after Surat split in 1907.

Even though the moderate politics failed in above mentioned dimensions, but it provided necessary impetus for freedom struggle by exposing the oppressive British policies. Same was used by Gandhi for launching his mass struggle.


13. What was the nature of cow – protection movement that took place during the National Movement? Critically examine.

Cow protection movement started as religious revivalism by the Hindu religious groups. They used this movement to unite people on the basis of religious background. But it took the ugly shape of communal politics disturbing peace and harmony among various religious

Nature of the movement:-

  • It created rift between the Hindus and Muslim community causing communal violence and disturbances across country in 1893.
  • Gaurakshini Sabhas (Cow protection societies) were established for the mobilisation, which became more strong in the Hindu dominated areas Like Bihar, Benares, Awadh and other regions. The Zamindars leading Gaurakshini Sabhas tried to reassert their social power that had been slipping away from their hands because of various changes instituted by colonial rule.
  • It was initiated to unite people, but it turned into religious revivalism. It opposed not only the British rule, but it also started opposing the past rulers from Muslim community.
  • The movement was seen by Muslims as conspiracy and attack on their cultural practises. So, in reaction to it they also started their own religious revivalism.
  • Congress, though was not directly involved, remained silent. Prominent cow protectionist leaders like Sriman Swami attended the Allahabad congress in 1893, while other well-known Congress leaders like Tilak were closely associated with the local Gaurakshini Sabhas. This alienated the Muslims from Congress politics, as Muslim representation in Congress sessions declined drastically in 1893.

The movement united the Hindus on religious lines, but it created deep crack in the communal harmony of the society and drew the lines between two religious communities in North India, which was later used by British as part of their ‘Divide and rule’ policy.

14. How colonialism brought about major changes in the institution of caste? Analyse.

Colonial powers were not exposed to the caste system, it was a unique experience for them in India. They tried to use it for their own benefits and tried to bring some reforms in orthodox caste system.

Positive impact of colonialism:

  • Few castes saw crossing of sea as being outcast from their caste. In the starting, it was opposed, but movement of Armies from one country to another through ships, later helped uniting Indians irrespective of caste and it helped in blurring the rigid line of caste distinction.
  • Indian people joined the jobs under colonial powers, due to their needs and to fight against poverty. They worked together forgetting about their caste, even if they had personal reservations about it.
  • The western education under colonialism, exposed Indians to the ideas of equality, rationalism, humanism, liberalisation, etc. These ideas were used by individuals like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishawar Chandra Vidyasagar, B.R Ambedkar to attack the rigidities of the caste system and to oppose the irrational customs and practises of the society.
  • British started the policy of affirmative action by giving reservation to schedule caste, which empowered them politically. Same was provided to socially backward people post-independence by extending it, for their socio, economic and political empowerment.
  • The law and judicial system, which was introduced by British government, did not discriminate people on caste lines. So, it helped in reducing the rigid caste system.
  • The British administration started giving recognition to the casts at the bottom of the hierarchy that suffered severe discrimination, including all the so-called ‘untouchable’ castes were included among the ‘scheduled castes’ and separate representation to depressed class under the Government of India Act, 1935. Same has been continued in the independent India, for the social advancement of such castes.

Negative impact of colonialism:

  • Recruitment of people on the basis of norm created as ‘martial race’ and ‘non-martial race’ caused division and friction on religious and caste lines.
  • The changes brought by colonial powers in land revenue system in the form of Zamindari system, further entrenched the caste system. Because, the zamindars and landlords usually belong form high caste and their oppressive policies were opposed by peasants who belong to lower caste.
  • British administrators began trying to understand the complexities if castes in an effort to learn how to govern the country efficiently. The most important official effort to collect information on caste was through the census. Before this kind of intervention caste was much more fluid and less rigid, but census recording gave new life to the castes, people started claiming higher position in social scale. (Sanskritisation)
  • The land revenue settlements and related laws and arrangements served to give legal recognition to the customary (caste based) rights of the upper castes.

Caste system as a social institution was in existence even before the arrival of colonial powers. But, colonialism helped in revival of the caste system for the social advancement of India and also it was used as a tool by British for ‘divide and rule’ policy.

15. In your opinion, will the long term benefits of liberalisation exceed its costs? Give reasons for your answer.

Liberalisation refers to steps taken by Indian government in 1990s which allowed the liberal movement of people, capital, ideas, etc. by reducing the restrictions on domestic and foreign companies. It has socio-economic costs and benefits.

Social Costs and benefits of Liberalization

  • Liberalisation has given boost to cross border trade and movement of people, but along with, it has also facilitated the easy movement of terrorists, drugs and arms trafficking. With better security provisions and cooperation with neighbouring countries, the negative aspect can be dealt. It will help in improving the bilateral relation, improving people to people contact and bringing peace to the region.
  • Liberal ideas have been very beneficial in fighting the orthodox practises of caste discrimination, domestic violence, human rights, female foeticide, etc. Few people see it has going against social norms and values. But, these ideas have helped in social upliftment of the people, women empowerment and it has helped Indian democracy in becoming more mature. So, in future it will further help in fighting the social evils (superstition, witch hunting, etc)
  • Liberalisation has helped in globalisation of cultural practises. Due to free movement of people and commodities has led to increase in pornography and alcoholism in Indian society. It can be supported in favour of personal human right and choice, but it has increased the level of crime in India. In long term also, its impact is not going to reduce, until sufficient government measures are provided.

Economic Costs and benefits of Liberalization

  • The inflow of foreign companies to set up their units in India has led to competition, which has caused the premature death of many infant domestic companies. But, if we see the long term impact of it, it has helped in providing skilled jobs, up gradation of technology, better management skills and helped India in becoming globally competitive.
  • Lowering of tariffs has promoted cheaper imports hurting the domestic industries. But it is helping in large scale production, fulfilling the needs of Indian demands and also helping India in contributing to the export trade, increasing its base of trade.
  • FDI and FII has been pouring into India since liberalisation which has provided the needed thrust for economic growth in India. But the cost which we bear is that in case of global economic instability, these investors flow out of India, which causes currency depreciation and also stall the economic progress.
  • The Indian agriculture was protected from the world market by support prices to ensure minimum income for farmers and subsidies for lowering the cost of farming. Liberalisation is against this kind of government interference in the market and if such supports are removed many of the small and marginal Indian farmers would not be able to earn sufficient earnings. With proper protection to Indian farmers, if we integrate them to the world market they can reap the benefit of liberalisation through better prices and agricultural practises.
  • The privatisation of public companies has increased their efficiency and has reduced the government’s burden of running these companies.

Liberalisation comes with both benefits and costs. With proper cost-benefit analysis and preparations, we can allow better responses, as liberalization is here to stay.

16. Critically comment on some of the state and non-state initiatives addressing caste and tribe discrimination.

State initiatives:

State initiatives can be analysed with respect to constitutional and statutory measures.

Constitutional measures:

  • Under Article -17, abolition of untouchability has been given as one the fundamental rights to all the citizens. This gives protection against any discrimination based on caste and is a punishable offence. This has helped in ending discrimination to much extent and has ignited the attitudinal change. Though the implementation has been poor and still few pockets of the country untouchability in practise.
  • National commission for SC, ST has been given constitutional status and have been given sufficient power (civil court) to check any kind of discrimination against the scheduled caste and tribes in India. Their work has been very instrumental in providing the rights to the desired people but there reports are only recommendatory in nature.
  • The discrimination is also seen as violation of human rights, for this National commission for human rights has been setup, which look after such violation. It has been very effective in providing justice to the people. But, it also suffers with the recommendatory nature and limited power.
  • Reservation for SC and ST in the field of politics, education and job has helped in their socio-economic empowerment. The proportion of reserved seats is equal to the percentage share of the schedule caste and tribes in the total population. Constitutional amendments like – 95th amendment act in 2005, which states that state can make reservations for socio-economic backward class in government aided educational institution, even in private.
  • In order to provide more autonomy to tribal people, constitution has provided for 5th and 6th schedule which recognises certain areas in states as scheduled and tribal areas – where the tribal people get more autonomy in their own administration.

Statutory measures:

Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, has been enacted to check the atrocities against the schedule caste and schedule tribes. The spirit of the act is in congruence with constitutional values. But the lower prosecution rate, piling up of cases and delay in justice and police not registering FIR are some of the hurdles in successful implementation of this Act.

Protection of civil rights Act, 1955, punishes any act of discrimination, untouchability on the basis of caste. It give freedom to schedule caste and tribal people to use all the public places without any discriminations.

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013– It ask for stopping any kind of manual scavenging and that too performed by any particular caste or community.

Non- state initiatives:

Under non- state initiatives, role of NGOs, civil societies, people in the society have been organising themselves since colonial times. Movements under the leadership of Jyotiba Phule, Periyar, Ambedkar and others to contemporary political organisations like the Bahujan Samaj party in Uttar Pradesh or Dalit Sangharsh Samiti of Karnataka have been constantly fighting for the cause of scheduled caste and tribes in the country. Few of the contemporary organisations are:

Rashtriya Garmina Andolan :- it is fighting for the restoration of rights of Manual scavengers

Dalit Panthers: – is a revolutionary anti-caste organization. It came into origin by bringing all the Dalits on to one single platform and mobilize them for the struggle for their civil rights and justice.

JagLAG (Jagdalpur Legal Aid group) :- for the people of Bastar, who caught in vicious conflict between security forces and the Maoists.

With 24 percent of the population, belonging to the Scheduled Castes and tribes, India needs better protection and practise to check any kind of discriminatory practices. Else under the influence of liberal practises, it may cause civil unrest.

17. Was the Ghadarites movement a failure? Critically examine.

Ghadar movement was started by leaders like Lal Hardayal, Sohan Singh, Kartar Singh & others on the foreign land in the year 1914. It started with the opposition against the discriminatory policies of host countries towards immigrant Indians and lack of support by British. Gradually, it took the shape of nationalism in the form of armed struggle.

Significance of Ghadar movement can be analyzed, with respect to its success and failure as below:-

On what grounds, it was successful?

  1. It united the immigrant Indians for opposing and fighting against the British authorities. The Ghadar paper was published and distributed not only in USA and Canada, but it also reached to the Indians residing in Philippines, Singapore, Fiji,etc an acted as unifying factor.
  1. It helped in sustaining the freedom struggle post Swadeshi movement, when Congress was not much politically active. So, the flame of patriotism and nationalism was kept alive by Ghadar movement.
  1. The Ghadar paper was nationalist critique of colonialism and was a huge propaganda effort motivated and educated Indians.
  1. The movement set out secular consciousness as the leaders were from diverse religious background worked together with peace and cooperation. As, Lala har dayal was Hindu, Ras Bihari bose was Bengali, Barkatullah was Muslim.
  1. Leaders tried to give it democratic and egalitarian outlook, by incorporating people from diverse background like laborers, agriculture farmers and others. Their objective was to establish independent republic of India.

On what grounds, it was failure?

  1. They completely underestimated the level of preparation needed – financially, organizational, ideological, which was needed before the launch of armed revolt.
  1. They underestimated the strength of British in India in terms of their armed and organizational might, using which Ghadar movement was suppressed.
  1. The movement was sustained more by the zeal and enthusiasm of the militants rather than any effective organization.
  1. There was also Leadership crisis, due to lack of consistent leadership. Once Lala hardayal escaped, there was no one to lead the Ghadarites. In India after a continuous search they found Ras bihari bose as their leader.

Even though there was no immediate success of Ghadar movement, but in later years Gahdarite helped in foundation of secular national peasant movement in Punjab.

18. Why the Lucknow session of the Congress  (December 1916) has been hailed as one of the significant events during India’s national movement? Examine.

Lucknow session of INC, 1916 was landmark session in the Indian history, because of the Lucknow pact, which was symbol of compromise, unity and progressive thought process.

Why it is hailed significant?

  • The political vacuum created after the Swadeshi movement was filled up with energy due to this session and provided the required momentum for future movements.
  • It was able to unite moderates and extremists under one roof for the first time after the Surat Spilt in 1907, which was called by the President of the session AmbiKa Charan Mazumdar as “united we stand, divided we fall”
  • It was seen as symbol of Hindu- Muslim unity, where Muslim league (ML) and INC came together on a single platform and this was very important for Indian national movement. This unity was further used to launch together the Khilafat and Non-cooperation movement. (Sarojini Naidu called Jinnah as Ambassador of Hindu- Muslim Unity )
  • INC accepted the separate electorate for Muslims. This removed the apprehensions of minority and it was formally seen that INC wants to include them for the freedom and United independent India.
  • It was decided, that INC and ML both will pressurise the British government for further reforms. They demanded reforms as a step towards self-government.
  • The session was also participated by the home rule league members (who were the same congress members), and after the congress session, they used same venue to discuss their further plans and methodology. They demonstrated their strength here, as Tilak and his followers were welcomed back into the Congress by the president.

It provided platform for future struggle, paved way for constructive political work and it was able to infuse fresh blood in the political environment of the freedom struggle.


  1. How did the South African experiment prepare Gandhiji for leadership of the Indian national struggle? Examine.

South Africa exposed Gandhi ji to oppressive and racial discriminatory British policies and gave him chance to oppose against them in his own style. Later, the same style was used by him with confidence in The Indian freedom struggle.

How South African experiment helped:-

  • For the first time he experimented Satyagraha (passive resistance or civil disobedience) and non-violent methods in South Africa. When he was convinced that his moderate methods of petitioning, sending memorials to South African legislature, colonial secretary and British Parliament are not effective, then he started his Satyagraha. He used it for the first time against the legislation making it compulsory for Indian to take out certificates of registration which held their finger prints. He used same tool of satyagraha in Indian Movement where it became more mature and broad based.
  • He properly understood the discriminatory policies of British South Africa, same was being practised in India too. It helped him in understanding the Indian cause and soon he started mass struggle against those policies.
  • His legal career in South Africa gave him proper understanding of laws, constitution and the legal means. In India, he used those experience for putting up his points in front of government or for defending himself in cases against him.
  • Community work, building houses (Tolstoy farm) for Indians in South Africa, gave him enough self-confidence to continue the same in India on much broader scale. In India, he set up Sabarmati Ashram, started village construction program and many such works.
  • In South Africa, he already led diverse group of people- Hindus, Muslims, men, women and others. So, he knew the strength of a united mass struggle, that’s why he never supported Communal politics and separative tendencies in Indian national movement.

South African experience made Gandhi ji, an able organizer, fundraiser, as a journalist and as a propagandist. When Gandhiji came to India, soon after the one year tour of India, he started experimenting his tools for localised caused at Champaran, Ahmedabad and Kheda. Later, his style, strategy and tools gave him wide scale acceptance as mass leader of Indian National Movement.


  1. Gandhiji had promised Swaraj within a year if his programme was adopted during the Non-Cooperation movement. But the year was long over, the movement was withdrawn, and there was no sign of Swaraj or even of any tangible concessions. Had it all been in vain? Was the movement a failure? Critically comment.

Gandhiji promised Sawraj, because he had faith on his strategy, but due to violent activities in Non-cooperation movement, he had to withdraw the movement. The efforts were not futile, in fact it prepared Indian masses and leadership for the next round of mass struggle

Why movement was Successful:-

  • It was first mass struggle with all India appeal under the leadership of Gandhi ji and organizational structure of Congress. So, it gave people idea about Gandhain strategy of non-violent Satyagraha, which was again used in Civil disobedience movement.
  • The movement was successful in mobilising people from diverse background like – students, lawyers, peasants, workers, artisans, shopkeepers, with its spatial spread nationwide. They demonstrated that with their courage and sacrifice they can fight the adversity and oppression.
  • The movement also raised the consciousness and confidence of Indian people. And this helped them in uniting and rising against British government and ultimately this power of mass gave freedom to India.
  • It also demonstrated the communal unity, due to tremendous support of the Muslims in the movement, despite the Malabar incident. It gave mass character to the movement

Why movement was failure?

  • This led to emergence of faction groups, who were not happy with the Gandhian strategy. Those groups adopted, violent and extremist methods.
  • Morale of people was lowered after the withdrawal, who actively participated in the movement. Few sections of people like intelligentsia, did not participate in latter movements.

There was no immediate success or outcome of the NCM, but we have seen how successful NCM became with its short term failures. It provided upthrust to the leadership of national movement and it ignited the fire of nationalism nationwide among the masses.