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IAS Foundation 2023-24, Batch Starts: 27th July

Sociology Optional Paper II Section B by Smriti Rao

  • Category
  • Test Date
    2022-06-14 07:00:00
  • Evaluated


  • Attempt One question out of the given two.
  • The test carries 15 marks.
  • Write Your answer in 150 words.
  • Any page left blank in the answer-book must be crossed out clearly.
  • Evaluated Copy will be re-uploaded on the same thread after 2 days of uploading the copy.
  • Discussion of the question and one to one answer improvement session of evaluated copies will be conducted through Google Meet with concerned faculty. You will be informed via mail or SMS for the discussion.

Question#1. Evaluate the emerging democratic profile of India.

Question#2. What are the reasons for skewed sex ratio in the Indian society? Examine its implications.

Model Answer

Question #1. Evaluate the emerging democratic profile of India.

 The ideals of democracy have been espoused by the Indian constitution since the birth of the nation. However, in the words of M.K. Gandhi, democracy is not a legal phenomenon but a spiritual one which involves respect for each other and decentralisation of power. India has witnessed a long journey traversing the undulating plains of democracy, along the composition of citizenship, voter democratic profile, trends in governance, and public participation. 

Robert Dahl characterises political parties as a linkage between the government and the people, which provides a platform for articulation of the population’s grievances.  Elections are an indispensable part of the democratic political system. Political parties context elections by choosing such a candidate who has greater chances of winning. This invariably affects the voter behaviour, where voters then choose their own line of reasoning to elect the candidate to power. In India this process is often marred by religious, caste and class based identities.  


  • Political parties have moved from dynasty politics to multiparty coalition. 
  • Since the first elections conducted in 1952, the voter turnout has significantly increased to 900 mn eligible voters and 67% turnout in 2019. 
  • The participation of women voters did a major fillip from being negligible in the first elections to the highest ever participation in the latest round. This has a wider implication on policies as women centric issues garner attention.
  • With rising levels of education and literacy, more people are aware of their constitutional rights and duties. 
  • Caste has been a major determinant for years; however, the recent elections have seen a mix of entitlement, development and economic parameters. Vote bank politics remain a challenge to be effectively tackled. 
  • Voters are now more conscious of the differences in state and national level politics. Awareness drives participation. 


 While democracy implies equality amongst men and women, propertied and property less, educated and uneducated, these ideals haven’t been witnessed in full form. Despite the changing nature of modern society, the female participation in politics remains abysmally low, despite 33% reservation at the state level. Furthermore, certain sections of the population such as the elderly, migrant labourers, poor have faced multiple challenges participating in the process of democracy. 

 These problems are compounded when the political parties engage in dynasty politics, communal politics, appeasement agenda, money and muscle power, corruption, and divide the democratic profile further.  

As the Prime Minister Narendra Modi states, the success of democracy is impossible without participation of the people. It is imperative to foster inclusive governance and enhance participation across all categories through education, awareness and empowerment to uphold the distinction of being the world’s largest democracy. 

Q2. What are the reasons for skewed sex ratio in the Indian society? Examine its implications.

The level of development of a nation is often gauged through the status of its women folk. The skewed sex ratio in the Indian society is a worrisome factor in this light. Demographic studies reveal socio-cultural causes for skewed indicators.  

The recent NFHS 5 survey reveals a cause for celebration and another for concern. While the sex ratio has increased to 1020 females per 1000 males, the sex ratio at birth is at 929 females per 1000 males. Furthermore, according to the statistics, children’s nutrition has improved, bringing stunting, underweight, and wasting further down.  However the larger picture highlights impending challenges.

Sex ratio refers to the proportion of females to males in a population, while sex ratio at birth is defined as the number of girls born for every 1000 boys born.  A paper titled Sex Ratio at Birth, by Ravinder and others for the UNFPA highlights the complex nature of low sex ratio at birth. The paper suggests that there could be a correlation between economic class and sex selection, such that the emerging middle class has a deteriorating effect on SRB.

Causes for low sex ratio  

  • Meta son preference continues to be the biggest challenge.
  • Kinship structure which renders justification to the gender bias.
  • Ironically, technological developments which can lead to better life chances have become a bane for rural areas where sex preference dictates the usage of medical facilities. 
  • Patriarchal mind-set contributes to rising violence against women, be it wife beating, alcohol abuse, dowry harassment, or sexual abuse.
  • Cultural superstitions and regressive practices such as female foeticide have found a place in public psyche.
  • Gender bias results in unequal distribution of resources, ranging from nutritional food, healthcare, to employment.
  • Urban sex ratio is low owing to the pattern of male migration from rural to urban areas.
  • The unintended effect of Green revolution reveals that the agriculturally prosperous regions such as Punjab and Haryana have the lowest sex ratios.

Way Forward

  • Effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act.
  • The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme is aimed at prevention of the sex selective abortion, increased participation in girl child education.
  • Effective implementation of the Anemia Mukt bharat programme which aims to increase the iron and folic acid supplements for children and women. 
  • Food fortification programme can help women avail nutrients required during the pre natal and post natal period, and for growing children.
  • Widespread awareness and exposure can help change the patriarchal mindset.
  • Increased investment in education, healthcare, and employment generation will help in reducing the gap between men and women.

Going forward, there is a pressing need for changing the general perception of both rural and urban India, upper lower and middle classes, men and women. Women empowerment begins with saving the girl child.

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Note: You have to write your answers on an A4 size sheet leaving margins on both sides based on UPSC pattern. Mention Your Name on 1st page and Page Number on each page. After writing the answer, Click pictures of each page of your answer sheet, merge them all in a single PDF and upload in the Your Answer Copy section of the same question.


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