Q.1). Write a critical note on India’s deindustrialization and industrialisation during the British rule.
Answer: Britain’s economic policy in India is driven by its colonial goals of making India act as an exporter of raw materials and importer of finished goods from Britain. This resulted in overall deindustrialization of Indian economy.
- After the industrial revolution in cotton textile industry there had been massive growth of British imports in India and the domination of British cloth damaged the Indian industry.
- Tariff policy pursued by the British Government is a leading cause in the decay of handicrafts.
- At the same time, no industries were established to employ the farmers displaced from farms due to bad revenue policies.
- India was forced to supply raw materials for triggering industrial revolution in England. India was then forcibly transformed from being a country of combined agricultures and manufactures into an agricultural colony of British manufacturing capitalism.
- Along with these, shortage of capital, lack of management experience and technical expertise, as well as the absence of a growing indigenous market and general poverty, caused slow expansion of Indian industries.
- At the same time, a modern industrial sector was coming up in India’s urban centres under the patronage of the British Government. Modern Indian large scale private industry between 1850 and 1914 is associated with the developments in mainly plantations like jute, cotton, and steel.
- The foundations of cotton textile industry were laid during the early 1850s. Cotton industry was shaped and cared by the natives, mainly the Parsee entrepreneurs.
- Large scale manufacture of steel in India started with Jamshedji Tata. Tata Iron and Steel Company were set up in 1907.
- Despite diversification, India’s modern manufacturing industry could not develop on a sound footing before the outbreak of the World War I; because of:
a) Young inexperienced entrepreneurs,
b) Absence of State aid towards industrialisation,
c) Steep uninhibited competition with developed foreign machine manufactures.
- British Government appointed the Industrial Commission in 1916.
- During the war-period, industries like cotton and jute made much headway. Steel industry also experienced substantial growth. Consumer goods industries like chemicals, cement, fertilisers, mineral acids, etc., for which India depended on foreign countries, also progressed during the War.
Q.2) The party system in India, which is the mainstay of any parliamentary competitive electoral democracy, is said to be facing a serious internal crisis. Comment.
Answer: Political parties and the party system in India have been greatly influenced by cultural diversity, social, ethnic, caste, community and religious pluralism, traditions of the nationalist movement, contrasting style of party leadership, and clashing ideological perspectives.
The two main categories of political parties in India are National and State, and are so recognized by the Election Commission of India on the basis of certain specified criteria.
- Lack of internal democracy in the parties.
- Non transparency to the members and to the public.
- As tickets are given on winnability, parties are increasingly losing the trust of members and floor crossing has become rampant.
- Parties set up an artificial agreement among people who profess to have identical views. Such artificial agreements and disagreements keep the people divided in to hostile camps.
- Parties create factions within the community.
- In Parliamentary form of government, the majority party forms the government. The talented persons from other parties are not including in the government as it is against party spirit and the need for political homogeneity.
- The parties divide the nation not on basic issues. It is a sort of artificial agreement or disagreement. The party members and change sides.
- Strict party disciplines the members to the party line. The individual member loses his individuality.
- It leads to spoils system: The party in power usually possesses vast patronage which it likes to confer upon its own adherent even it they are good for nothing.
- It makes the government unstable. Since a vote of non-confidence by a majority of members in the legislature can out the government.
Q.3) Despite a plethora of legislation, child labour is rampant in India. Highlight the nature and causes of child labour in India. Suggest measures to eradicate child labour in India.
Answer: As per the National Census 2011, there are close to 10.1 million child labourers in India, in the age group of 5 to 14 years.
Protection against child labour:
- Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act – It outlines where and how children can work and where they can not.
- Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act – the act only discusses trafficking in relation to prostitution and not in relation to other purposes of trafficking such as domestic work, child labour, organ harvesting, etc.
- 1 in 3 child labourers in the age group of 7-14 are illiterate. There is a high potential of early school leavers and those not learning at school to remain outside the world of employment.
- India’s legal framework is based on the assumption that children can work and still be educated. However, the numbers contradict this assumption. For example, the proposed amendment in the Child Labour law leaves a gap in the prohibition of labour for children under the age of 14. The new law allows children in this age group to work in family occupations after school hours.
- Child labour in India has become a social norm that we accept and tolerate in our society.
- Children work mainly to help their families because the adults do not have appropriate employment and adequate income.
- Children also work because there is a demand for cheap labour in the market.
Measures to eradicate:
- Identifying the root causes which force families and communities to allow children to be engaged in labour.
- Proper implementation of employment schemes, food security and access to all government provisions.
- Addressing the instances of child trafficking and children forced into labour.
- India has ratified two conventions on Child labour. They create Zero tolerance towards exploitation of children and also prohibit worst forms of child labour.
- Minimum Age Convention 1993
- Worst forms of Child Labour Convention 1999
Q.4) The recent exodus of migrant workers from Gujrat highlights the pathetic condition of migrants and local resentment against them. Discuss in light of the provisions of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act.
Recently, a 14-month-old was raped allegedly by a migrant labourer in Gujarat. The incident triggered a massive backlash against the growing number of migrants in a rapidly industrialising Gujarat.
Provisions of ISMWA:
Under the act, migrant workers are legally entitled to all their basic labour rights. These include:
- minimum wages, regular wage payment
- regular working hours and overtime payment
- decent working and living conditions which include taking care of the health and education of their children
- the governments of the States from where migrant workforce originate are expected to issue licences to contractors who take workers away, register such workers and also monitor their working and living conditions in other States.
- Mostly, they work in unskilled or semi-skilled jobs in a wide range of activities such as in agriculture, brick kilns and construction work.
- Lack of data on/estimates of migrant workers.
- Segmenting the labour market and creating a separate labour market for migrant workers has been a common strategy of employers across India.
- They earn low wages.
- Work very long hours without any overtime benefits.
- Almost without any leave or social protection.
- Unskilled and migrant workers live on worksites in makeshift huts or on roads, slums and in illegal settlements not served by municipalities.
- They are neither able to save much to improve their conditions back in their home States nor save enough to live comfortably in new states.
- Local workers resent the presence of migrant workers who they feel take away their jobs in factories and other places on account of being cheap labour.
- Enforce all relevant labour laws for migrant workers so that segmentation of the labour market becomes weak.
- Workers (local and migrant) should get a fair and equal deal in the labour market. This will weaken unfair competition between local and migrant labour.
- Extending welfare benefits to all states through portability.
- Regular collecting of data about migrants to monitor their status and living conditions.