Empowering Children: National Plan of Action for Children, 2016



Empowering literally means to ‘put in’ or ‘to cause’ power as derived from its Latin roots. The act of empowering children is a process of guiding them to feel and believe that they are powerful now as well as creating optimum conditions that mirror back to them these concepts. Government has initiated various projectsand programmes to empower the children. Present paper aims to discuss the National Plan of Action for Children, 2016.

History at a Glance

India has passed various child­centric legislations such as the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act (2000) and the new Act of 2015 keeping in line with standards of care and protection required in present time, establishment of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) (2005), the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (2006), the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (2009), and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act (2012). The Government is imple­menting large number of schemes and programmes for children. Notable among them are Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS, 1975), Swachh Bharat Mission (Total Sanitation Campaign, 1999 and Swachh Bharat Mission, 2014), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA, 2000), National Health Mission (NHM, 2005), Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS, 2009), National Skill Development Mission (NSDM, 2015) and many others. The National Nutrition Mission (NNM) is soon to be re-launched to address key issues of under-nutrition in a compre­hensive way. The Government is also undertaking gender and child bud­geting to ensure adequate resource allocation for women and children. While some “Initiatives of the Government, like Mahatma Gandhi

National Employment Guarantee Act do not directly relate to children, they significantly affect children’s condition. The benefits of MNREGA are extended to them by developing better infrastructure at community level through convergence, and empowering vulnerable households by providing them employment in their own village. In recent years, the most important policy initiative taken by Government of India has been adoption of the National Policy for Children 2013 which reaffirms com­mitment to inclusive development and protection of all children and declares them to be a ‘unique and supremely important national asset’.

Policy Framework for Child­ren

  1. National Policy for Children, 1974
  2. Promotion and adoption of International Year of the Child (IYC), 1979
  3. National Policy for Education, 1986
  4. Adoption of 1990s’ World Child Survival and Development Goals, 1990
  5. Accession to UNCRC, 1992
  6. National Nutrition Policy 1993
  7. National Health Policy, 2002
  8. National Charter for Children, 2003
  9. National Plan of Action for Children, 2005
  10. Adoption of Guidelines for NCPCR, 2011 and 2015
  11. National Policy for Children 2013
  12. National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy 2013
  13. India New Born Action Plan 2014

The National Policy for Children, 2013

The National Policy for Children 2013 was adopted by the Government

on April 26, 2013. It adheres to the constitutional mandate and guiding principles of UN CRC and reflects a paradigm shift from a ‘need-based’ to a ‘rights-based’ approach. It emphasises that the State is com­mitted to take affirmative measures to promote equal opportunities for all children and to enable all children in its jurisdiction to exercise all the constitutional rights. The National Policy for Children 2013 recognizes that:

  1. A child is any person below the age of eighteen years;
  2. Childhood is an integral part of life with a value of its own;
  3. Children are not a homogenous group and their different needs need different responses, espe­cially the multi-dimensional vulnerabilities experienced by children in different circum­stances;
  4. A long term, sustainable, multi­sectoral, integrated and inclusive approach is necessary for the overall and harmonious deve­lopment and protection of children.

This Policy is meant to guide and inform all laws, policies, plans and programmes affecting children. As children’s needs are multi-sectora! and interconnected, and require collective action, the Policy aims for purposeful convergence and strong coordination across different sectors and levels of governance; active engagement and partnerships with al! stakeholders; setting up of a compre­hensive and reliable knowledge base: provision of adequate resources; and sensitization and capacity develop­ment of all those who work for anc with children.

Some other issues are :

  1. The best interest of the child is a primary concern in all decisions and actions affecting the child

Integral to the well-being of all children is the assurance of their safety and security.

  1. Recognition of every child’s worth,. and provision for this critical protection thus stand at the heart of the Government’s present resolve to formulate and carry out a new plan to benefit all children in the country.
  2. In setting the course of national action for the good of children, India expresses its awareness that childhood safety and security are essential com­ponents of change and progress across and above all sectors of development.
  3. The National Policy renews and reaffirms India’s commitment to all the children it is pledged to care for.

The National Plan of Action for Children, 2016

The National Plan of Action for Children 2016 succeeds the Plan of Action adopted in 2005. The previous plan had identified 12 key areas keeping in mind priorities and the intensity of the challenges that require utmost and sustained attention :

  • Reducing Infant Mortality Rate.
  • Reducing Maternal Mortality Rate.
  • Reducing Malnutrition among children.
  • Achieving 100% civil registration of births.
  • Universalization of early child­hood care and development and quality education for all children achieving 100% access and reten­tion in schools, including ECCEs.
  • Complete abolition of female foeticide, female infanticide and child marriage and ensuring the survival, development and protection of the girl improving Water and sanitation coverage in both rural and urban areas.
  • Addressing and upholding the rights of Children in Difficult Circumstances.
  • Securing for all children all legal and social protection from all kinds of abuse, exploitation and neglect.
  • Complete abolition of child labour with the aim of progres­sively eliminating all forms of economic exploitation of children.
  • Monitoring, Review and Reform of policies, programmes and laws to ensure protection of children’s interests and rights.
  • Ensuring child participation and choice in matters and decisions affecting their lives.

Programmes and Schemes in the NPAC 2016

  1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.
  2. Dindayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme.
  3. Integrated Child Development Services (Including SABLA and Kishori Shakti Yojana).
  4. Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahayog Yojana.
  5. Integrated Child Protection Scheme.
  6. Integrated Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan.
  7. Janani SurakshaYojana.
  8. janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram.
  9. Mid-Day Meal.
  10. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
  11. National Health Mission.
  12. National Nutrition Mission.
  13. National Rural/Urban Drinking Water Mission.
  14. National Mental Health Pro­gramme.
  15. National AIDS Control Pro­gramme.
  16. Pradhanmantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
  17. Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karya­kram.
  18. Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme.
  19. Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram.
  20. Sarva Shiksha Mission.
  21. Swachh Bharat Mission.
  22. Scholarship Schemes.
  23. Schemes under National Trust Act.

The NPAC 2005 was framed for a period of five years. While no formal evaluation of the plan has been under­taken, many of the goals remain unfulfilled, like reducing IMR to 30 per 1000 live births and MMR to 100 per 100,000 live births; 100% coverage for rural sanitation, universalization of early childhood care and education services, elementary education and complete abolition of child labour and child marriage by 2010. The Government of India is committed to achieving these objectives; the new National Policy reaffirms this as a national mandate, and the new plan is set to carry it forward to practical realisation. The NPAC 2016 takes into account the current priorities for children in India. It is an initiative to further strengthen and activate the implementation and monitoring of national constitutional and policy commitments and the UN Conven­tion on the Rights of the Child. It provides a road-map that links the Policy.

Objectives of Actionable Pro­grammes and Strategies

In alignment with the NPAC 2013, it affirms the State’s responsibi­lity to provide for all children in its territory and jurisdiction before, during and after birth, and through­out the period of the growth and development, up to the age of 18 years. The plan takes due note of the importance of strengthening the ability of communities and families to support children and to ensure their overall survival, well-being, protection and development. The focus of the NPAC is to reach and serve the ‘Last Child First’. This is a commitment ta give first rank to the children who are most vulnerable due to gender, socio-cultural and economic or geographic exclusion, including other vulnerable children- street children, children of migrant workers, sex workers and those suffering from HIV/AIDS or other diseases. In this context, it aims at establishing an effective coordination among all stakeholders, including Ministries, departments and civil society organisations in the planning, implementation, monitoring and assessment of all policies and pro­grammes adopted for children. The NPAC states the initiatives to be taken by various sectors and services in a time-bound manner to achieve targets ensuring to all children their right to survival, dignity, health, nutrition, education, development, protection and participation. The Goals and Targets are in alignment with National Goals and targets envisaged for children. It also provides a framework for the States and Union Territories to develop their own state plans so as to protect children’s rights and promote their development.

Key Priority Areas of NPAC 2016

  1. Survival, Health and Nutrition.
  2. Education and Development (including Skill Development).
  3. The NPAC 2016 attempts to address key issues and concerns identified in each key priority area. The key issues have been identified based on analysis of existing data on child survival, health, nutrition and protection as well as through consultations held with children themselves.

Status of Children in India

  1. Maternal Mortality 167 per 100,000 live births (SRS 2011-13).
  2. Neonatal Mortality 28 per 1000 live births (SRS 2013).
  3. Infant Mortality 40 per 1000 live births (SRS 2013).
  4. U-5 Mortality 49 per 1000 live births (SRS 2013).
  5. 48% of neo-natal deaths due to prematurity and low birth weight (SRS 2010-13).
  6. 45-4% Mothers received 4 or more ANCs (RSOC 2013-14).
  7. 78-7% Institutional Delivery (RSOC 2013-14).
  8. 39-3% Neonates received PNC within 48 hours of delivery/ discharge (RSOC 2013-14).
  9. 38-7% of children 0-59 months stunted; % higher for SC/ST (RSOC 2013-14).
  10. 15-1% of children 0-59 months wasted; % higher for SC /ST (RSOC 2013-14).
  11. 29-4% of children 0-59 months underweight; % higher for SC/ST (RSOC 2013-14).
  12. 6% children 0-23 months breastfed immediately/within 1 hour of birth (RSOC 2013-14).
  13. 65-3% children 12-23 month fully immunized; % lower for SC/ST (RSOC 2013-12).
  14. 49-84% HHs practice open defecation (Census 2011).
  15. Net Enrolment Ratio at Elemen­tary Level: 88-45% (U-DISE 2014- 15).
  16. Net Enrolment Ratio at Secon­dary level: 48.46% (U-DISE 2014- 15).
  17. Drop-out rates at Elementary level 36-3% (Educational Statistics at a Glance, MOHRD; 2014).
  18. Drop-out rates for SC and ST at Elementary level 38-8% and 48.2% respectively (Educational Statistics at a Glance, MOHRD; 2014).
  19. 33 million children in the age group of 5-18 years engaged in the labour force (Census 2011).
  20. 30-3% women in the age 20-24 married before 18 years (RSOC 2013-14).
  21. Rise in rate of crimes against children as well as committed by children (NCRB 2014).
  22. Approximately 40 per cent of the reported offences against child­ren are sexual offences (NCRB 2014).

The NPAC is committed to focusing on the ‘last’ and least-served children, across the full span of childhood, to bring them into the radius of the plan provisions and safeguards. It will assure special attention, care and protection to all children of socially, economically or otherwise disadvantaged groups, such as SC/ST children, children with disabilities or other special needs, street children, child labour, trafficked children, children affected or displaced by natural hazards and climate conditions or by civil dis­turbance, orphans and children with­out family support, or in institutions, or children affected by HIV/AIDs, leprosy and other socially stigmatiz­ing conditions. The plan will give due attention to the inter-relatedness of deprivations and needs, and thus of measures to address each of them. The Ministry of Women and Child Development engaged with children to incorporate their voices in the NPAC 2016.

Issues in NPAC 2016

The following issues were raised

by children during various consul­tations held :

  1. Need information regarding different schemes and program­mes for children.
  2. Need information regarding their own health, growth and development and on specific issues like trafficking, violence, abuse.
  3. Need information regarding disasters, everyday hazards and risks and safety measures.
  4. Need to use various forms of interactive media to increase awareness.
  5. Safe and adequate spaces for play, sports and recreation for both boys and girls, adequate sports facilities in schools.
  6. Girls & boys should be taught self defence.
  7. Child-friendly and free transport system: special buses for children during school hours.
  8. Greater outreach of quality education, age-appropriate vocational training and medical services for all children.
  9. Tracing missing children should also be a priority, special camp? should be made for these groups
  10. Disability certificates should be easily available.
  11. More institutions required for •children with disabilities with adequately trained staff.
  12. Vocational and technical training and career counseling for adole­scents which will ensure thei: employability.
  13. Children in the age group of 15- 18 in all CCIs to be linked tc vocational courses so that they have a source of income ar.c good standard of living after 1′ years.
  14. Guardianship and family care for each child without a family.
  15. Parents and teachers need to be oriented to listen to children and take their views seriously.
  16. Spaces to voice their concern? regarding service delivery, and or behaviour of teachers or heal:: service providers.


  1. Awareness camps, street plays, short films on social evils and their disadvantages should be organised and shown in each and every village, especially with the parents.
  2. Need freedom of speech and expression
  3. Opportunity to participate in various development initiatives concerning them and chance to showcase their own leadership skills and qualities.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to spearhead the campaign to improve the child sex ratio by launching the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme in January this year, it seemed like the harbinger of better policies for women and children in the country. Just a month later, the government slashed its budget for the Ministry of Women and Child Development by more than half from the ? 21,193 crore available in 2015. Towards the end of the year, the Rajya Sabha passed the juvenile justice bill, bringing down the age at which juvenile offenders could be tried as adults from 18 to 16. While the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 mandated all workplaces to set up internal com­plaint cells, no mechanism is in place to even collate data on this. The recent UNDP report on Gender Inequality Index shows India lagging behind war-torn Syria and Iraq and every South Asian neighbour barring Afghanistan.

The Census (2011) data showed a significant declining trend in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR), calculated as number of girls for every 1000 boys between age group of 0-6 years, with an all time low of 918 in 2011 from 976 in 1961. The decline in CSR has been unabated since 1961. This is an alarming indicator for women empowerment. It reflects both pre birth discrimination manifested through gender biased sex selection, and post birth discrimination against girls. The decline is widespread across the country and has expanded to rural as well as tribal areas. Alarmed by the sharp decline, the Government of India has irttroduced

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) programme to address the issue of decline in CSR in 100 gender critical districts. Coordinated & convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival, protection and education of the girl child. The Overall Goal of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme is to Celebrate the Girl Child & Enable her Education. The objectives of the Scheme are as under :

  • Prevent gender biased sex selective elimination.
  • Ensure survival & protection of the girl child.
  • Ensure education of the girl child. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) initiative has two major components : (i) Mass Com­munication Campaign and (ii) Multi-sectoral action in 100 selected districts (as a pilot) with adverse CSR, covering all States and UTs.

Looking Forward

Proposals are under way to increase maternity leave in govern­ment services from six months to eight months. For those in the private sector, the labour department has so far agreed to raise it to only six on the grounds that a longer maternity leave will adversely affect the employ- ability of women. Also, under way is a legally enforceable model pre­nuptial agreement that looks at ensuring maintenance for women in case they are abandoned by their spouses or terminate their marriage for any other reason. While, on one hand, the JJ Bill has introduced a provision for inter-country adoption, the Assisted Reproductive Techno­logy Bill is expected to disallow foreigners from hiring surrogate mothers, raising fears of commercial surrogacy being driven underground. Schemes for women may get a boost, including setting up of one-stop centres in states to address the issue of gender violence as well as a 24- hour women’s helpline in addition to proposals by the Home Ministry. The ministry has also decided to harness technology to provide for panic buttons in mobile phones. A report is expected soon from an inter-minis­terial panel studying ways to crack down on fraudsters who con women or run extortion rackets through

matrimonial websites. Over the next year, plans are also afoot to digitise the work of 13-46 lakh anganwadis working under the government’s flagship Integrated Child Develop­ment Scheme programme for fighting lack of nutrition among children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.                                             RDafpan

Continued from Page 87

  1. Non-Democratic : Caste is non-democratic because it does not favour equality between different castes, creed and colour. It creates obstacles in the way of lower caste fellows to come up in the society and develop their total faculties.
  2. Denies Social Progress : Caste system is based on Karma theory. People feel that their destiny is fixed and they cannot change their eco­nomic status. This leads to a state of inertia which kills their initiative and enterprise. It is an obstacle in the way of social and economic progress.


The advent of M. K. Gandhi in Indian politics brought the movement of uplifting lower castes to national scene. In 1917, the ‘All India Congress’ passed a resolution for removing the disabilities imposed on lower castes. In 1921, the ‘All India Congress’, again appealed to the Hindus for removal of untouchability and uplift of lower castes’. Thus, we find that several efforts were made for removal of untouchability and betterment of lower castes prior to Indian Inde­pendence. It brought some relief to these castes. After Independence, untouchability has been legally banned. Yet we find that the condi­tion of these castes has not improved very much. One primary cause of it has been that whatever advantages were provided to them were grabbed by a minority among them who were educated and economically well-off and they then formed a distinct class of themselves. Unless the economic lot of lower castes is improved, their members cannot expect to gain social or religious upliftment. Besides, enlightened education should be provided to them so that these classes understand their rights and make self-efforts for improving their lot.






‘The laws of science do not distinguish between the past and the future. Steven.”

Caste Question Surfaces and History of Casteism in India —Dr. Ranjeet Kedarta



The word ‘caste’ is taken from the Spanish word, ‘Casta’. It means ‘breed, race and a host of hereditary qualities’. The English word ‘Caste’ is a variant from the original word. The Sanskrit word for caste is ‘Varna’ which means colour.

The caste system is a unique to Indian society. It seeks its origin in the ‘Chaturvarna System’, according to which Hindu society was divided into four main varnas namely, the Brahmans, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the Shudras. This Varna system was mainly based on the division of labour and occupation. The present caste system may desig­nate from the earlier Varna model. However, Varnas and Castes are not one and the same thing.

Origin of the Caste System

The origin of caste system is obscure. It is, however, believed that caste system originated in India. A host of theories have been put forward to explain the origin of caste system in India. Unfortunately none explains it properly. Risely explains the origin of caste in racial differ­ences; Nesfield and Ibbestson locate its origin in occupational sector; Abbe Dubois refers to the role played by the Brahmins and Huttons searches in the belief of ‘mana’ to find out the origin of caste system.

Changes in Caste System in India

The caste system in India grew and developed through millennia. The course of evolution and develop­ment of this unique institution can be studied by dividing history into four periods :

  1. Ancient Period
  2. Medieval Period
  3. Modern Period
  4. Post Independence Period.


  1. Ancient Period : The ancient period includes Vedic Period, Brah- manic Period, Maurya Periods, Post- Maury a Period and Harsha-Vardhana Period.

We observe two distinct streams of thought regarding caste system that prevailed during the Vedic period. Rig Vedic society recognized the three caste divisions of Brahmans, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. The end of the Vedic period marks the outset of the later Vedic age known as the Brahmancal age. In this period, the hierarchy of four Varnas was for­mally established. The Brahmins and the Kshatriyas consolidated their positions in the society. The theory of four castes became clearly established and rigid. Brahmans described duties and codes of behaviour and social relationship of man. Division of labour became the basis of social specification.

During the Mauryan period the Vedic ritualism was completely ruled out. The caste system could not deve­lop as a rigid institution because social and political atmosphere was not favourable. Mauryan dynasty was ended by a Brahman Pushya- mitra Shunga. In this phase equality of law was completely destroyed and caste system developed on rigid lines and assumed a new structure.

The revival of Brahmins was further strengthened during the Gupta period. However, caste system was not so rigid in that period. The Shudras were permitted to become traders, artisans and agriculturists. But untouchability existed. The Harshavardhana period saw the similar caste structure. Brahmins dominated and the caste ruled the social structure.

  1. The Medieval Period : The

medieval period includes the Rajput period and the Muslim Period and it runs between 700-1750 A.D. The departure of the Harsha saw political
disintegration and rise of similar kingdoms under Rajput rulers with­out any external dangers for around five hundred years. The Indian social system did not change. Society became static and caste system became rigid. A large number of castes and sub-castes sprang up. Brahmins became more rigid. In due course, a large number of occupa­tional castes which originally started only as occupational guilds came to be regarded as distinct castes and sub-castes. Each of them had been driven by petty selfish motives. This had political and social represen­tations.

During the phase of the Islamic period consequent and consolidation on Indian soil caste system became still more rigid because Muslims were not absorbed in the elastic Hindu fold. Islam was monotheistic and could not compromise with Hindu polytheism. Hindu and Muslims could not mix together. In order to save people from the slaughter of Muslim crusade against Hinduism Brahmins made caste system even more rigid with their control over temples^which were then the centres of political, cultural, social, ritual and educational activities. Brahmins declared Muslims and all local asso­ciates of Muslims as ‘Mallechch’. Puranas were rewritten making caste system very rigid.

  1. The British Period : The British period includes the pre-industrial period and pre-independence indus­trial period. This period runs between 1757-1918 A.D. and 1919-1947 A.D. The administrative and socio-econo­mic policies of the British Govern­ment coupled with some legislative measures taken brought changes in the caste structure of the Indian society. The British transferred the judicial powers of the caste councils to the civil and the Criminal Courts. This affected and challenged the authority which panchayats held ever
    their members. Some legislative measures such as the caste Disability Removal Act (1850) also attacked the caste system. The British Government took some, social measures to remove disabilities of untouchables which further shook the integrity of the caste system.

During this period some social reforms also attacked the caste system. The Brahmo Samaj, the Arya Samaj, the Prarthana Samaj along with Ram Krishan Mission and Lingayat Movement in multiple ways attacked the rigidity of the caste system and helped the disintegrating forces to begin. In reality the British hardly did anything to modify India’s religious and social customs. They maintained a neutral position in this regard. However, the impact of industriali­sation was not uniform and absolute on all salient features of the caste system. For examples, it did not affect the customs pertaining to the marriage institution and belief in the caste norms. The authority of the Brahmins was also questioned. Inter­caste dining and intermingling weakened the rigidity of the caste system.

  1. Post Independence Period :

After the political independence the main factors which have affected the caste system, besides, industrialisa­tion and urbanisation are the merger of various states, enactment of laws, spread of education, rural-urban mig­ration, spatial mobility, the growth of market economy, socio-religious reforms westernisation and growth of modern profession. Prior to independence some states were strong bastions of the caste system. But in independent India the reorga­nisation of states and the framing of new Constitution for the whole coun­try on the basis of equality, justice and liberty to all persons irrespective of caste, colour, creed and abolishing the practising of untouchability led to the emergence of a new social order wherein caste system no longer functions on rigid lines. On the face of these modernising trends disinte­gration of caste is one of the main features of contemporary India. Below mentioned factors are responsible for these changes :

  1. Western Education;
  2. Importance of Wealth;.,-
  3. Industrialisation; i
  4. Transportation and Communica­tion;
  5. Social Reforms Movement;
  6. Origin of New Social Classes;
  7. Political Movements;
  8. Religious Movement.

Merits of Caste System

The very Survival of the caste system through ages despite the attack on it from various comers to cure the evils attached to it, exhibits the fact that the system has merits. The merits of caste system are as under:

  1. Social Security : Caste pro­vides every individual a fixed social environment. It acts as a permanent body of associations which controls almost all his behaviour and contacts. His caste determines his marital choices and acts as his trade union, his friendly society and his orphanage.
  2. Spirit of Cooperation : Caste develops the spirit of cooperation and ‘we-feeling’ among the members. It helps the poor and needy thereby reducing the rule of State in this regard. It minimises unhappiness.
  3. Economic Goals : Caste sets economic goals of the individual. Every caste is associated with an occupation and this ensures the future of the new members of the caste and develops a sense of pride for caste occupation as change of occupation is not thought of com­monly.
  4. Purity of Race : Caste has preserved the racial purity of higher castes through the practice of endo­gamy.
  5. Influences Mental Makeup :

Caste conditions the psycho of the individual. The caste dictates the customs pertaining to diet, marriage, rituals, occupation etc. to every individual and hence the caste customs and traditions influence his views pertaining to social and political matters.

  1. National Integration : Caste develops class consciousness without creating class struggle. It helped develop the social structure in such a way that within one society people of different cultures co-existed peace­fully thereby preventing the country from splitting up into fighting racial groups.
  2. Institutionalisation of Func­tions : Caste ensures various func­tions which are necessary for smooth functioning of social life ranging from scavenging to the government.
  3. Cultural Diffusion : Culture is transmitted from one generation to another. Thus, the caste custom, beliefs, skills, behaviour, the trade secrets are transmitted and carried on from one age to another.
  4. Separation of Social Life from Political Life : Caste has successfully maintained the independence of social life from the political life. A Hindu’s intimate life is independent of the political conditions. It has its own religious system and own caste gods.

Demerits of Caste System

The caste system is not without the following evils:

  1. Labour Mobility Denied ; Denied of labour mobility leads the stagnation as one has to follow the caste occupation.
  2. Untouchability : It develops untouchability whereby major section of the society is no better than slaves. It has created other social evils like child marriage, dowry system, veil system and casteism.
  3. Solidarity Retarded : The practice of social segregation between classes and rigid prohibition of social intercourse together retarded the growth of solidarity and brotherhood in the Hindu Society and finally weakened it.
  4. Talent Denied in Sections :

Under Caste system occupation is hereditary when son assumes the place of father in due course of time. But many a time it denies the choice, talent and skills of the individual in the matters of job selection. Some­times an uplift person assumes a position for which he has no requisite qualification of skills due to heredi­tary nature of occupation.

  1. Promotes Casteism : It has developed casteism. The caste followers exhibit blind faith in their castes and deny the healthy social standards of justice, equality and sense of brotherhood. Casteism creates social animosity and into­lerance of others’ existence. Casteism has become a tool in the hand of politicians who spread hatred and play caste politics.

Prime Minister Modi’s Good Governance Initiatives



Prime Minister Narendra Modi is well known in India and across the globe as a leader who is totally committed to development and good governance. Narendra Modi’s com­mitment to a development Agenda, rising above all other political consi­derations ushered in a paradigm shift towards pro-people and pro-active good governance.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies fought the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on the plank of good governance and development. The country gave the party an overwhelm­ing mandate and people believed in the vision and Narendra Modi’s promise of better quality of life and a better tomorrow.

His election-time slogan ‘Less government, more governance’ does not indicate a withdrawal of the state from its customarily important role in the Indian economy. Rather, his guiding philosophy appears to be that the state will continue to pay a major role, but that his government will do a better job of delivering on governance.

Meaning of Good Governance

Good governance is an indeter­minate term used in international development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources. Governance is “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)”. The term governance can apply to corporate, international, national, local gover­nance or to the interactions between other sectors of society. The concept of ‘good governance’ often emerges as a model to compare ineffective economies or political bodies with viable economies and political bodies. The concept centres on the responsi­bility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the
masses as opposed to select groups in society.

Concepts such as civil society, decentralisation, peaceful conflict management and accountability are often used when defining the concept of good governance. The definition of good governance promotes many ideas that closely align with effective democratic governance. Not surpris­ingly, emphasis on good governance can sometimes be equated with promoting democratic government. According to the UNDP, governance can be seen as the exercise of eco­nomic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institu­tions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their diffe­rences. Good governance is, among other things, participatory, trans­parent and accountable. It is also effective and equitable, and it pro­motes the rule of law. It ensures that political, social and economic prio­rities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over the allocation of development resources. Generally, public involvement includes three elements or ‘pillars’:

  1. Public access to information;
  2. Public participation in decision­making processes;
  3. Public access to judicial and administrative redress often termed ‘access to justice’.

It promotes openness of govern­ment action, decision-making pro­cesses, and consultative processes among public sector and all stake­holders. These processes are subject to scrutiny by other government institutions, civil society and external institutions. Good governance leads to a number of positive consequences, including:

  • People trust your organization.
  • You know where you’re going.

0 Your board is connected to your

membership and stakeholders.

  • You get good decisions; people

value your work.

  • You have the ability to weather


  • Financial stability.

Modi and Good Governance

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a ‘wildcard’, an ‘unknown quantity’ to his counterparts in Washington, Beijing, Paris, Germany and Canada. At home, Modi has worked to convey an image of political strength : showcasing his ability to drive growth through the Gujarat model, making commitments to create jobs and work for the poor, promising to tackle corruption, signalling a path for greater foreign investment, and more. In India and outside, there are great expectations from Modi. For now, India’s tech- savvy prime minister has shown he is a proactive leader—a visible head of government who tweets his thoughts and experiences daily. But despite his convincing victory in the elections, there are still those who fear for the future of minority groups in India: who question the road forward for freedom of speech and the press; and who worry about the practice of crony capitalism.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has decided to conduct a study to assess impact and bottlenecks in the implementation o: good governance initiatives and bes: practices being followed in the state? and at the Centre. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in July 2014 launched a website ‘www.mygov.in’ tc help citizens contribute in gover­nance by giving their opinions anc views on important issues like clean Ganga, clean India, skill develop­ment, job creation and girl chile
education among others. The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has decided to engage a consultant to conduct research and evaluation study on good governance initiatives.

Modi’s Independence Day add­ress to the nation was expected to give a clearer picture of his policy priorities. The issues he did empha­size—sanitation and the societal treatment of women and girls are particularly important in India, and were widely praised and appreciated. Economics did find a mention in that Modi outlined a vision of India manufacturing rather than importing the goods she needs. India could become an export hub as a side benefit, but the essential underlying message seemed to be : why buy something abroad when it can be made here. Now this could be inter­preted two ways. One, as recognition that India has been a difficult place for manufacturers, and as a sugges­tion that his government planned to do something about it. Alternatively, as a statement that India would follow Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China in choosing and support­ing specific industries—an industrial policy, in other words.

According to Modi, “Mere good governance is not enough; it has to be pro-people and pro-active. Good governance is putting people at the centre of development process. ‘Citizen-First’ is our mantra, our motto and our guiding principle. It has been my dream to bring govern­ment closer to our citizens, so that they become active participants in the governance process.”

  • Point Development Model
  1. Education & Job Opportunities for Youth: IITs, IIMs and AIIMS in all states.
  2. Children & Women’s Empower­ment: Beti Bachao Programme.
  3. Urban Development / Infra­structure: 100 smart Cities, Twin City Concept, Satellite Cities, Interlinking rivers, Golden Quadrilateral of bullet trains.
  4. Inflation/Price Control : Price Stabilisation Fund, Special courts for black marketers. ■
  1. Agriculture Reform: Data bank for Agri Produce, National Agriculture Market.
  2. Health Care for All: Preventive health care.
  3. Federal Structure: Addressing regional aspirations.
  4. Anti-Corruption Measures: Bring Back Black Money Stashed Abroad.

Modi’s Brand India

Brand India focuses on 5-Ts :

  1. Talent
  2. Trade
  3. Tradition
  4. Tourism
  5. Technology Rainbow of India

Work on a seven-point ‘rainbow’ principle:

  1. India’s Culture
  2. Youth Power
  3. Women Empowerment
  4. Agriculture
  5. Natural Resources
  6. Democracy
  7. Knowledge

Another aspect of Narendra Modi’s approach to governance has been his adherence to Gandhiji’s principle of Swaraj. Mahatma Gandhi was a believer in the importance of self-government and believed every village must be empowered to deal with local issues. Narendra Modi took concrete steps towards fulfilling Bapu’s dream by making local self- governments more effective. He made decentralization a basic pillar of his governance model and ensured adequate powers were given to people. The decentralization of administration up to the sub-district (taluka) level has made growth speedier, more effective and trans­parent as well as citizen centric. Every taluka now makes plans according to its requirements and challenges, and accordingly carries out focused implementation of deve­lopment schemes for higher benefits.

Red tape and harassment by the middle man, which was a major hurdle for people in small towns and villages, is curtailed. People, espe­cially farmers had to travel long distances, but can now avail easy
access to services. This approach is innovative, proactive and in tune with needs of the region and has defined the socio-economic life of villagers.

Another fascinating innovation by Narendra Modi is the adoption of the concept of a ‘Samras Gram’. Sometimes, panchayat elections can be acrimonious and the ensuing bitterness can lead to impediments in development works. In order to prevent such obstacles, he identified the need to build consensus around development. Under this initiative, villages, which select a Sarpanch by consensus, receive monetary rewards and encouragement.

Initiatives of the Prime Minister Modi

  1. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana : Narendra Modi launched his mega pet project, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. The Jan Dhan Yojana aimed to make available formal banking to 1 crore people and provided accident insurance cover to ‘1.5 crore people’. The initiative also aims to provide bank accounts to 100 crore people in the next one year. Narendra Modi had mentioned the National Mission on Financial Inclusion titled, ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’ (PMJDY) in his first Independence Day speech on August 15, 2014. According to the reports, 5.29 crore bank accounts have been opened and f T78 crore debit cards have been issued so far under the Jan Dhan Yojna. ,
  2. Swachch Bharat Abhiyan : In

a symbolic way, Narendra Modi launched Swachch Bharat Abhiyan on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The motive of the mission is to make India a cleaner and greener place.

‘Time in its aging course teaches all things.’
  • Make in India : Inviting global companies to India, Narendra Modi launched his campaign ‘Make in India’. The initiative has been taken to boost the economy of the country by inviting global companies to invest in the Indian market. Modi first mentioned the words ‘Make in India’ during his maiden speech as PM on Independence Day. As the NDA government has eased the foreign direct investment cap in several areas like construction,

defence and the railways, the pro­gramme gives international com­panies easy access to the Indian market.

  1. Scrapping of Planning Com­mission : On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the 64-year-old Planning Commission would be replaced by a new institution. Plan­ning Commission had been accused of being insensitive towards the problem of the states. The motive behind scrapping planning commis­sion and establishing NITI Aayog is to increase the involvement of state governments in decision making process. It remains to be seen whether the new think-tank makes state government equal partners with centre or not.
  2. Mann Ki Baat: Narendra Modi always tries to reach out to the people. Even before he became the Prime Minister, he always used to try to connect with people through social platform. After Indira Gandhi, Modi became the first PM to address the people on radio. Narendra Modi started programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to reach out to the rural as well as the urban population. Through his speeches aired during ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi conveys his thoughts and messages directly to the countrymen. The initiative is unique as it clearly indicates that the PM of the country is concerned about people. It also conveys the message that the PM is not out of the reach and tries to understand the problems of masses.
  3. MyGov : Aiming to get the feedback of people about the government, Narendra Modi laun­ched a web portal ‘MyGov’. MyGov (mygov.nic.in), a technology-driven medium that will provide citizens an opportunity to contribute towards good governance. It aims to help citizens contribute in governance by giving their opinions and views on important issues. The web portal is focused on six main issues as of now- Girl Child Education, Clean India, Skilled India, Digital India, Clean Ganga, and job creation. It has not limited itself to mere discussions but people can also upload documents, case studies, pictures, and videos which will be monitored by National Infor­matics Centre.


PM Modi calls for Digital India to improve governance : PM Modi underlined the need for using infor­mation technology to improve gover­nance and spread education and medical facilities. Several dimensions and factors influence the definition of e-governance or electronic gover­nance. The word ‘electronic’ in the term e-governance implies techno­logy driven governance. E-gover­nance is the application of Informa­tion and Communication Technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information communication transactions, integra­tion of various stand-alone systems and services between government-to- customer (G2C), government-to-busi- ness (G2B), government-to-govern- ment (G2G) as well as back office processes and interactions within the entire government framework. Through e-governance, government services will be made available to citizens in a convenient, efficient and transparent manner. The three main target groups that can be disting­uished in governance concepts are government, citizens and businesses/ interest groups. In e-governance there are no distinct boundaries.

Minimum Government, Maximum Governance

For decades, we have had extra­ordinarily large governments while ironically the quality of governance has been quite poor. There has been more attention paid to the size of the government and not so much to its quality. Thus, Narendra Modi’s model of a small yet efficient government stands out. Narendra Modi believes that the role of a Government in businesses should be limited to that of a facilitator. Narendra Modi has translated his beliefs into reality with Gujarat ranking as the number one state in economic freedom in India.

The concept of “Minimum Govern­ment Maximum Governance” captures what was perhaps the most alluring slogan of the BJP’s election campaign. The idea of minimum government and maximum governance is an appealing one as it implies that government will be efficient, and that a smaller bureaucracy with more skilled people will be better than a larger one. This implication itsej points to at least one condition thi- must be satisfied for small govern­ment to be effective—the presence of skilled people, or more generally, tf e placement of the right person in the right position.

Make in India

Make in India is an initiative of the Government of India, t: encourage companies to manufacture their products in India. It we- launched by Prime Minister Narendi; Modi on September 25, 2014. Make in India initiative has been on mair agenda in various foreign visits of Narendra Modi. Modi had hinte: towards the initiative in his Indepen­dence Day speech of August 15, 2011 It was launched on September 25, 2014 in a function at the Vigyar. Bhawan. On December 29, 2014, .= workshop was organised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion which was attended by Modi, his Cabinet ministers, chief secretaries of states and various industry leaders. The major objective behind the initiative is to focus on 25 sectors of the economy for job creation and skill enhancement. Some of these sectors are : automobiles, chemicals, IT, pharmaceuticals, tex­tiles, ports, aviation, leather, tourism and hospitality, wellness, railways, auto components, design manufac­turing; renewable energy, mining, biotechnology, and electronics. The initiative hopes to increase GDP growtfy and tax revenue. The initia­tive also aims at high quality standards and minimising the impact on the environment. The initiative hopes to attract capital and technolo­gical investment in India.

The campaign was designed by the Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) group which had previously worked on the Incredible India campaign and a campaign for the Indian Air Force. In August 2014, the Cabinet of India allowed 49% Foreign Direct Invest­ment (FDI) in the defence sector and 100% in railways infrastructure. The defence sector previously allowed 26% FDI and FDI was not allowed in railways. This was in hope of bringing down the military imports of India. Earlier, one Indian company would have held the 51% stake; this was changed so that multiple companies


could hold the 51%. Out of 25 sectors, except Space (74%), Defence (49%) and News Media (26%), 100% FDI is allowed in rest of sectors.

Web Portal

The BJP-led NDA government is following its ‘less government, more governance’ mantra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 26, 2014 launched a web portal titled MyGov where citizens can post their sugges­tions to the government. The initia­tive is a step ahead to digitize the government. Modi said MyGov (mygov.nic.in) is a technology-driven medium that will provide citizens an opportunity to contribute towards good governance. National Infor­matics Centre (NIC) of the Depart­ment of Electronics and Information Technology will implement and manage the platform. There are multiple theme-based discussions on MyGov where a wide range of people can share their thoughts and ideas with the government.

MyGov-External website that opens in a new window is an innovative platform launched to ensure citizens’ engagement in
decision making by the Government so that the ultimate goal of ‘Good Governance1 for building India is achieved. This initiative is an opportunity for citizens and well- wishers from across the world to share their views on key issues directly with the Prime Minister of India.

The Prime Minister believes that “the success of democracy is impos­sible without participation of the people”. Groups and creative corners are an important part of MyGov – External website that opens in a new window. The platform has been divided into various groups namely Clean Ganga, Green India, Job Creation, Girl Child Education, Skill Development, Digital India, Swadhh Bharat (Clean India). Each group consists of online and on ground tasks that can be taken up by the contributors. The objective of each group is to bring about a qualitative change in that sphere through people’s participation.


  • Directly connect with the Govern­ment, Ministries and Depart­ments led by Hon. Prime Minister.


  • Realize their hidden potential and talent on a national platform and get recognized.
  • (Discuss) Express views on policies, programs and matters of national interest.
  • (Do Tasks) Collaborate on key areas of development and gover­nance.
  • Contribute to nation building while earning credits along the way by Posting views on Dis­cussions.
  • Completing tasks volunteered for.
  • View ideas and viewpoints of others and share the same.


  • Understand viewpoints of citi­zens and gather feedback.
  • Get people’s ideas and their contribution through the tasks.
  • Identify talent and expertise which can be garnered towards the success of projects with people’s participation.
  • Implement best ideas and achieve the goal of ‘Good Governance’.