Urbanization and Displacement

Urbanization and displacement are two related aspects which are very widely manifested in contemporary times. Both these concepts galvanize each other and are also consequences of each other. However apart from a mutual cause and effect relation which they enjoy with each other, they are also linked to a number of other factors viz. needs for social mobility, economic development, technological progress, demands of consumerism, wars or ethnic struggle and also changing cultural patterns. Most of the time when urbanization and displacement are voluntary, it is more an issue for the sociologists however when it is forced upon people and communities it becomes something more than a social issue rather it acquires political, economic and technological explanations as well.

Questions which arise due to urbanization

In the contemporary context, not only in India but across the world, the fields of urbanization and displacement are most severely bothered by issues like whether urbanization driven by rural to urban migration is a desirable phenomenon, or whether urbanization induced by alien agencies including the government, introduced in rural and tribal hinterlands is detrimental to the indigenous cultures and lifestyles of the local inhabitants. Dilemas arise like:

• If yes is it likely to create ruptures and tensions in the society?
• If yes what is the right way to bring the people hitherto isolated from the mainstream of the society into it?
• Further whether displacement ushered in by the forces of economic and technological development is getting acceptance within the displaced rural and ethnic communities;
• If no, what are the factors which need to be worked upon?
• Whether such displacement induced by such alien forces of the new era contributing to the alienation of the local communities?
• Are adequate safeguard measures being taken to address the concerns of those displaced?
• Moreover whether consequences of such displacement should be allowed to spill over the urban infrastructure of the country?
• What sort of arrangements should be made which could address the problem, both on the fronts of improving the stress taking capacity of the urban infrastructure as well as reducing the negative spill offs of displacement.

Urbanization is understood in several senses viz. development of physical infrastructure, development and usage of cutting edge technology, adherence to a definite cultural pattern and social relationships, etc. however herein we will see it in terms of influx of people from rural areas to urban areas in search of better standards of living which we call migration and such influx of people as a fallout of infrastructural projects and other factors like side effects of ‘development’, land acquisition, etc. which we call displacement. Though there is some sort of overlapping in both the reasons as well as figures for migration and displacement, yet the fundamental difference is the factor of choice Vs factor of compulsion associated with them respectively. It is important to accord space to both these concepts as both of them have a bearing over contours of urbanization. Once we get a fair idea of these concepts we will try to delve into the related issues and finally end up with some prescriptions and measures as part of the solution to these issues.

Migration

Migration, particularly in India, is triggered by a variety of reasons but the major reason is to seek economic opportunities. This is primarily because of low productivity of agriculture where-in, often on small family farms, it is difficult to improve one’s standard of living beyond basic sustenance. Further, farm living is dependent on unpredictable environmental conditions, and in times of drought, flood or pestilence, survival becomes extremely problematic. Moreover in modern times, industrialization of agriculture has negatively affected the availability of jobs for agricultural labour. Cities, in contrast, especially after the process of liberalization, privatization and globalization have started, to be known as places where money, services and wealth are centralized. With vast infrastructural activities being taken up in a big manner and huge number of service sector jobs being created, cities are believed to be places where fortunes are made and where social mobility is possible. Businesses, which generate jobs and capital, are usually located in urban areas. It is also through the cities that foreign money flows into a country thus there is no surprise if someone living on a farm might wish to take their chance moving to the city and trying to make enough money to send back home to their struggling family.

Furthermore, there are better basic services as well as other specialist services that aren’t found in rural areas. For example there are better health services in urban areas, therefore people, especially the elderly are often forced to move to cities where there are doctors and hospitals that can cater for their health needs. Other factors include a greater variety of entertainment (restaurants, movie theatres, theme parks, etc) and a better quality of education, namely universities. Moreover, due to their high populations, urban areas can also have much more diverse social communities allowing others to find people like them, which goes on to fill the affinal gap in the urban areas.

Displacement

The reasons for displacement which however also spills over to contribute to urbanization are somewhat qualitatively different. The prime factor is the issue of land acquisition. Mostly displacement as we understand is driven by the process of urbanization itself. As the cities are expanding due to their increasing population and thus the increasing requirement for infrastructure, they are expanding fast into the adjacent rural areas through the process of land acquisition. Another reason for land acquisition is that the increasing levels of industrialization demands more and more access to raw materials to feed the industries in form of various natural resources like minerals, metals, forest resources, etc. which have necessitated to explore hitherto untouched areas in search of these resources as such resources in easily accessible areas have already been exploited. This has led to the advent of huge construction and mining activities in hitherto pristine lands. Third reason for land acquisition is that, on one hand, increasing levels of environmental degradation have necessitated the demand for clean power and on the other increasing population has created a food urgency which has made extension of irrigation facilities to these areas absolutely essential. Thus we are resorting to big hydroelectric projects which however bring in inundation of large tracts of land and displacement of huge chunks of population as a cost for development. Thus we have a situation when the issue of land acquisition driven by forces of urbanization and industrialization is manifesting itself to create conditions of widespread displacement of primarily indigenous population who are again directed towards the urban centres, further adding to the appetite of the cities for more and more resources.

The result is an exponential increase in levels of urbanization fed by the processes of migration and displacement. The rapid urbanization of the world’s population over the twentieth century is described in the 2005 Revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects report. The global proportion of urban population rose dramatically from 13% (220 million) in 1900, to 29% (732 million) in 1950, to 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. The same report projected that the figure is likely to rise to 60% (4.9 billion) by 2030. In 2007 the percentage of urban world population exceeded the rural population for the first time in history. Further in regard to future trends, it is estimated that 93% of urban growth will occur in developing nations, with 80% of urban growth occurring in Asia and Africa.

Problems associated with displacement and migration

A part of the problem is that there are a number of factors which have contributed to make this process of urbanization fuelled by migration and displacement stressful. Broadly these problems can be categorized into two sections.

• One is related to the limited capacity of the urban infrastructure to support this huge influx of population
• Secondly it is related to the socio-economic and cultural miseries the people have to suffer after getting uprooted from their lands which was integral to their lives for centuries and pushed into an alien environment which not even guarantees the bare minimum.

The second problem is however listed here because of the fact that most of the rehabilitation initiatives of the government have not been a success with the people, and on most occasions people have ultimately ended up in the slums of the urban centres after they were evacuated from their lands. As the state of affairs on the urbanization front stares us on our faces, we cannot help but realize that a part of it could be attributed to the faulty policies of the government over displacement. This topic carries a long debate which seek to answer a number of questions like what should be the patterns of development in these hitherto unchartered areas to make sure that development programmes are implemented and at the same time the local population is not forced to evacuate from their native regions or whether development should be delivered to these areas in the first place, if it is not acceptable to the local people or what should be the degree of involvement of the local inhabitants in the process of development planned for their areas. The list of such questions is very long and involves complex questions of politics, economics and social connotations. Nevertheless one point is clear that the present approach of the government has not been received well by the people.

Urban Infrastructure: The capacity of urban infrastructure is usually interpreted in various senses viz. the quality and capacity of the transport infrastructure available in the city, the housing facilities, the standards and availability of basic necessities like drinking water, sanitation, electricity etc. in the city, the capacity of the Police machinery to maintain the law and order situation in the area and so on. The ground reality however suggests that the state of the urban infrastructure is not as robust so as to handle the enormous influx of migrants which are heading towards the cities, and provide them with all basic facilities which constitute a dignified living for them. The result is the problems like big slums, increase in crime, traffic congestion on the streets, excessive pollution, joblessness, deviant behaviour, alcoholism, drug abuse and poor health compounded by unhygienic living and dismal sanitation etc. becoming a part of the urban life for a huge chunk of population. In case of India, as revealed by the Slum Census conducted by the Registrar General of India in 640 towns in 2001, about 23.5 per cent of the urban population lives in slums. Of the country’s major cities, Mumbai has the biggest slums some 6.5 million people living in cluttered shacks lined with a maze of open drains. The city is home to Asia’s second largest slum, Dharavi. Delhi follows Mumbai with around 1.8 million people living in slums. In case of India according to the National Sample Survey Organization’s 61st round data about 81 million people living in cities lived below the poverty line in 2004-2005.

Socio-economic and cultural miseries the people: The process of forced displacement is an important issue not merely in the sense that it has its compounding effects over the problem of urbanization but in the broader socio-cultural and political sense as well. Development projects are usually located in remote villages, hills and forests. This means that those displaced tend to be the indigenous and tribal people who have been the traditional agents of conservation of environment and habitats. Thus displacement in this context meant a loss of livelihood, habitat and assets, physical and mental dislocation, social disruption and disorder and severance from an eco-system that for generations had sustained them. Further, these displacements threaten the poor and the weak with even greater tenacity and impoverishment. No doubt, these cases of ‘involuntary resettlement’ invite attention of social and environmental bodies and other agents of civil society like the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) in case of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada in India.

Though India’s tribal people make up roughly 7.5 per cent of the population, over 40 per cent of those displaced so far are from tribal communities. Since 1990 the figure has risen to 50 per cent. It is stated that policy planners and administrators invariably capitalize on and manipulate the relatively weaker socio-economic and political position of most of the people facing displacement especially the tribals. Their numbers are underestimated, they are treated indifferently and only minimal cash compensation, if at all, is paid. They are rarely granted security of tenure on alternative developed land sites. Most of time they are tried to be cajoled to settle with monetary compensation, however at other times when they are granted alternative land, it is mostly unusable and the ecology of the area is not at all in consonance with their customs and cultures. The result is that several tribal groups are nearing extinction and several others have already embraced modern ways of life abandoning their centuries old distinct traditions out of sustaining under the pressures of urban living. This is accounted as a severe loss by the anthropologists as the peculiar codes of life which an evolved culture develops over centuries is useful in providing valuable insights in man’s relationship with nature, particularly in that environment, which is lost forever, with the ethnic communities once its members perish or embrace alternative lifestyles.

However this is only one way how the affected people have reacted to the problem of forced displacement. In other forms they have resorted to organized protests either peacefully as in case of anti-POSCO agitations in Orissa presently or even by using violence as in case of Kalinganagar in Orissa, sometime back. Even the present Naxal problem which is severely bothering the policy makers has its relations with the problems of displacement. The agony and plight of the people as a result of displacement or under the apprehensions of displacement has been exploited by the Naxalites in garnering support for their cause by painting the government and its agents in dark colours before the people. Even the present demand of statehood for Gorkhaland is seen by some commentators as an attempt by the Gorkhas to guard their exclusive culture and practices against the brutal onslaught of development triggered by the expansionary policies of the government.

In case of rural communities this problem has surfaced in the form of extensive agitations against land acquisitions for developing state of the art urban infrastructure, visible at several places in recent times. The basic issue again is the inadequate compensation provided or unsuitable rehabilitation package provided to the locals against their lands. The farmers feel that the government is acquiring land from them in collusion with the builder mafia, and making loads of money out of developing it, while leaving the farmers in jeopardy with pecuniary compensations which is neither sufficient to sustain their families in the shorter run nor is helpful in any way in the longer term. This short sighted approach of the government has thus been widely criticized and has also been challenged in the court of law by the farmers in several areas to seek a reasonable solution to the problem. A part of the solution has been the proposed Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill.

Solution to the issue

The solutions to the problems of urbanization and displacement as discussed above are also linked with each other as the causes and the nature of the problems are. The core of the solution is to devise ways and means by which this rural to urban exodus can be curtailed whether it is in case of tribals or it is in case of farmers and agricultural workers. This does not mean that we should halt all the development programmes in the rural and tribal hinterlands, nor does it mean that we should create barriers for entries into cities, what it really means is finding local solutions to problems and providing urban amenities in rural areas (PURA). The other part of the solution is to develop urban infrastructure as well in such a planned manner so that it is capable of supporting a definite quantum of migrants and at the same time is able to provide decent living amenities to its residents. This is the broadest guideline under which the policy should proceed and the government is also trying to move in this direction.

In case of India, some of the initiatives of the government like MNREGA and Bharat Nirmaan have been aimed at creating descent physical infrastructure in the rural areas. Moreover a part of the rural land acquisition has also contributed in bringing industries to the rural areas which has brought better paying jobs for the rural inhabitants particularly the agricultural labourers and the small farmers who are interested in switching over from agriculture. Alongside this several initiatives like soil improvement programmes, Seed Village programme, National food security mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, etc. are being pursued to improve agricultural productivity so as to keep agriculture profitable. This is in combination with initiatives like the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) and several other initiatives within it, aimed at increasing the capacity of urban infrastructure as well as maintaining the existing capacities, covering all aspects of urban life including drinking water, sanitation, roads as well as urban poverty alleviation.

However there are certain areas which need to be worked on further. For example, the approach on increasing the capacity of the cities and the related employment generation. One important suggestion could be the systematic development of the fast growing urban centres and planning an investment programme which, over the next 20 years or so, would give rise to a large number of well distributed, viable urban centres throughout the country. Further, so far we have been focusing attention on programmes for providing wage employment in rural areas to hold people back in the village. While there is ample justification for providing rural employment, this by itself is not enough. It is not possible to provide gainful employment in the agricultural sector beyond a certain point. For this purpose, we have to emphasize on programmes which can permit multifunctional activities to sustain people in cities. As a part of this the Land pricing policy which gives land in large chunks at throwaway prices has to be re-planned to encourage industries to move to backward areas and create gainful employment opportunities there. This will also take care of linear development of metropolitan and big cities. A policy of the state taking over potential high value land in and around large cities with a view to exploiting its full cost at a later date also needs serious consideration.

Another proposal by innovative planners for maintenance and up-gradation of urban infrastructure is the structural decentralization of local self government itself. This could entail the creation of ‘neighbourhood-action groups’, to be called community centres consisting of representatives of residents and municipality officials. These centres will identify and act upon neighbourhood needs. For examples, many new colonies have come to be established in many cities in which as many as 10,000 to 50,000 people reside. Thus, these colonies are small towns by themselves. The centres would direct the affairs of the neighbourhood without reference to the City Municipal Corporation and use the collected money in maintaining roads, lights and so forth. The argument for this kind of decentralized structure within the city is that the same system that allows lakhs of people a substantial control over their civic destiny denies them an effective role in shaping the institutions that shape their lives.

The major issues on the displacement front have been related to land acquisition and the relief and rehabilitation of the displaced people as a result of such acquisition. The issue of relief and rehabilitation though discussed by the National Rehabilitation Policy is in some ways corollary of the land acquisition issue. Though there has been some progress on the land acquisition front by means of the draft land acquisition (amendment) Bill, the National Rehabilitation Policy has still evaded acceptable reform.

On the issue of land acquisition there has been a lot of grievance of the farmers against the manner in which the state governments have been acquiring land. This aspect is being tried to be addressed by the proposed Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, the draft of which has now been put in public domain. The salient features of the Bill are:

i. It proposes a liberal compensation and award package for land owners, that includes a subsistence allowance of 3,000 per family per month for a year, annuity of Rs.2,000 per family per month for 20 years, 20% of the appreciation in value of land during each transaction for 10 years, and mandatory employment provisions, among other things.
ii. The draft proposes that 80% of the population in the area must agree to the acquisition of land for a project, and uniform compensatory laws should be applicable to all owners.
iii. It further says land owners should be compensated with twice the registered or stamp value of the land in urban areas and six times in rural areas.
iv. A special departure from the existing model followed by most states is to make people who do not own the land, but whose livelihoods depend on it, eligible for compensation under the Act.
v. Moreover, the draft bill bans the acquisition of all irrigated multi-cropped land, which will effectively take away 40% of the overall agricultural land in the country. Most of this land falls in the Indo-Gangetic plains, which in India encompasses areas of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal – the most fertile and densely-populated regions of the country.

Though the provisions of the bill promise a lot of relief to the land owners whose lands are being acquired yet it would be really effective only when it is conjugated with a corresponding revamp of the rehabilitation policy as well. Some of the suggestions which could be incorporated into this Bill can be drawn from the criticisms of the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy of 2007.

The National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy of 2007 notified on 31 October 2007 however fails to address the key issue of forcible acquisition of lands and the related rehabilitation. One of the important points of objection is the ‘One Law One Purpose’ clause under which the policy upholds the sovereign power of the State to apply the concept of “eminent domain” to forcibly acquire any private property in any part of the country in the name of “public purpose”. This power is provided under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. The freshly proposed draft Bill on land acquisition is also silent on this aspect. Further though the Preamble of the 2007 Policy states that: “A national policy must apply to all projects where involuntary displacement takes place” but under the related clause, the appropriate Government shall declare area of villages or localities as an “affected area” and only if there is likely to be “involuntary displacement of four hundred or more families en masse in plain areas, or two hundred or more families en masse in tribal or hilly areas, due to acquisition of land for any project or due to any other reason”. In short, the 2007 Policy only applies to large scale displacements and provides for almost no provisions for rehabilitation for small scale displacements.

Another major point of contention is that the affected people are denied the rights to take any kind of informed decision regarding the usage of their lands with regard to development projects. Only in the case of acquisition of lands in the Scheduled Areas does the 2007 Policy provide that the concerned Gram Sabha/ Panchayats/ Village Councils shall be “consulted”. However it is important to note that “consultation” in no sense denotes “consent”. The affected persons do not have the right say “no” at the time of determination of the project site. Further there are no provisions for inclusion of the affected persons or their representatives in the preparation of the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) report and/or the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the project. After the declaration of an area as “affected area”, the Administrator for Rehabilitation and Resettlement undertakes a baseline survey and census for identification of the persons and families likely to be affected by the proposed project. Although the Administrator is required to publish a draft of the details of the findings to invite comment and objections from the affected persons, there is no provision for the compulsory inclusion of affected persons or their representatives in the survey. This aspect of local participation in the planning of the development project as well as the Impact Assessment Studies can be very useful if incorporated into the proposed draft Bill.

Though the 2007 Policy provides that the Scheduled Tribe families who are or were having possession of forest lands in the affected area prior to the 13th December 2005 be included in the survey of the Administrator for the Resettlement and Rehabilitation. However, it does not guarantee land-for-land compensation to the displaced families. The clause rather states that each affected family owning agricultural land in the affected area and whose entire land has been acquired or lost, agricultural land or cultivable wasteland “may be allotted” only “if Government land is available in the resettlement area”. In other cases, the 2007 Policy only makes weak guarantees such as “may be allotted”, “may be provided”, “may be offered”, etc. Further the clause states that “In case a family cannot be given land in the command area of the project or the family opts not to take land there, such a family may be given monetary compensation on replacement cost basis for their lands lost, for purchase of suitable land elsewhere”. Moreover, the affected families could be coerced to accept money in lieu of land. It provides that “In case of a project involving land acquisition on behalf of a requiring body, the affected families who have not been provided agricultural land or employment shall be entitled to a rehabilitation grant equivalent to seven hundred fifty days minimum agricultural wages or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government”. Furthermore, the rehabilitation and resettlement for affected families displaced by linear acquisitions in projects relating to railway lines, highways, transmission lines, laying of pipelines, etc., is absolutely inadequate. According to the related clause, the victims of linear acquisitions would be provided only ex-gratia payment of such amount as the appropriate Government may decide but not less than Rs 20,000. However, the benefits of rehabilitation and resettlement under the 2007 Policy will be provided to any land-owner if he/she becomes “landless or is reduced to the status of a ‘small’ or ‘marginal’ farmer” as a result of land acquisition. Such provisions wherein a repressive approach is adopted could well be either avoided completely or should only ‘sparingly used’ in the rarest of rare cases.

Another aspect which has been questioned is the faulty structure and process of redressal of grievances. The Ombudsman which has been created to serve as the higher appellate authority to dispose of grievances does not have enough powers, mandate and resources. The Ombudsman is appointed by the appropriate Government which also prescribes “the form and manner in which and the time within which complaints may be made to the Ombudsman and disposed of”. The Ombudsman has limited mandate. Under the related clause “In case of a project involving land acquisition on behalf of a requiring body, the disputes related to the compensation award for the land or other property acquired will be disposed of as per the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 or any other Act of the Union or a State for the time being in force under which the acquisition of land is undertaken, and will be outside the purview of the functions of the Ombudsman”.

Various human rights groups have severely criticized the policy as too inadequate in a framework of checks and balances. The processes are open to abuse and the appointment processes of all bodies raise serious questions about independence. The process wholly excludes the affected groups who have no say in their own future. The proposed draft bill on land acquisition would do well to avoid these pitfalls in order to sound convincing and genuine to the affected people.

These twin issues of urbanization and displacement especially in the sense we have discussed them in this article are two of the biggest challenges which our policy makers are facing in the new century and road ahead is definitely not going to be easy. However they will do well to make the process as participative and inclusive as possible.




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Easy Timeline for Modern India

Easy Timeline for Modern India
(From Indian National Congress to Partition of India)
The Indian National Congress:
• Formed in 1885 by A.O.Hume, an Englishman and a retired civil servant.
• First session in Bombay under W.C.Banerjee in 1885 (72 delegates attended it).
• In the first two decades (1885 – 1905), quite moderate in its approach and confided in British justice and generosity.
• But the repressive measures of the British gave rise to extremists within Congress like Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai (Lal, Bal, Pal).

Partition of Bengal:
• By Lord Curzon on Oct 16, 1905, through a royal Proclamation, reducing the old province of Bengal in size by creating East Bengal and Assam out of rest of Bengal.
• The objective was to set up a communal gulf between Hindus and Muslims.
• A mighty upsurge swept the country against the partition. National movement found real expression in the movement against the partition of Bengal in 1905.

Swadeshi Movement (1905):
• Lal, Bal, Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh played the important role.
• INC took the Swadeshi call first at the Banaras Session, 1905 presided over by G.K.Gokhale.
• Bonfires of foreign goods were conducted at various places.

Formation of Muslim League (1906):
• Setup in 1906 under the leadership of Aga Khan, Nawab Salimullah of Dhaka and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk.
• It was a loyalist, communal and conservative political organization which supported the partition of Bengal, opposed the Swadeshi movement, demanded special safeguards to its community and a separate electorate for Muslims.

Demand for Swaraj:
• In Dec 1906 at Calcutta, the INC under Dadabhai Naoroji adopted ‘Swaraj’ (Self-govt) as the goal of Indian people.

Surat Session of Indian National Congress (1907):>
• The INC split into two groups – The extremists and The moderates, at the Surat session in 1907. Extremists were led by Bal, Pal, Lal while the moderates by G.K.Gokhale.

Indian Councils Act or Minto Morley Reforms (1909):
• Besides other constitutional measures, it envisaged a separate electorate for Muslims.
• Aimed at dividing the nationalist ranks and at rallying the Moderates and the Muslims to the Government’s side.

Ghadar Party (1913):
• Formed by Lala Hardayal, Taraknath Das and Sohan Singh Bhakna.
• HQ was at San Francisco.

Home Rule Movement (1916):
• Started by B.G.Tilak(April, 1916) at Poona and Annie Besant and S.Subramania Iyer at Adyar, near Madras (Sept, 1916).
• Objective: Self – government for India in the British Empire.
• Tilak linked up the question of Swaraj with the demand for the formation of Linguistic States and education in vernacular language. He gave the slogan: Swaraj is my birth right and I will have it.

Lucknow Pact (1916):
• Happened following a war between Britain and Turkey leading to anti-British feelings among Muslims.
• Both INC and Muslim League concluded this (Congress accepted the separate electorates and both jointly demanded for a representative government and dominion status for the country).

August Declaration (1917):
• After the Lucknow Pact, a British policy was announced which aimed at “increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration for progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British empire”. This came to be called the August Declaration.

Rowlatt Act (March 18, 1919):
• This gave unbridled powers to the govt. to arrest and imprison suspects without trial for two years maximum. This law enabled the Government to suspend the right of Habeas Corpus, which had been the foundation of civil liberties in Britain.
• Caused a wave of anger in all sections. It was the first country-wide agitation by Gandhiji and marked the foundation of the Non Cooperation Movement.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13, 1919):
• People were agitated over the arrest of Dr. Kitchlu and Dr. Satyapal on April 10, 1919.
• General O’ Dyer fires at people who assembled in the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.
• As a result hundreds of men, women and children were killed and thousands injured.
• Rabindranath Tagore returned his Knighthood in protest. Sir Shankaran Nair resigned from Viceroy’s Executive Council after this.
• Hunter Commission was appointed to enquire into it.
• On March 13, 1940, Sardar Udham Singh killed O’Dyer when the later was addressing a meeting in Caxton Hall, London.

Khilafat Movement (1920):
• Muslims were agitated by the treatment done with Turkey by the British in the treaty that followed the First World War.
• Two brothers, Mohd.Ali and Shaukat Ali started this movement.

Non-cooperation Movement (1920):
• It was the first mass-based political movement under Gandhiji.
• Congress passed the resolution in its Calcutta session in Sept 1920.

Chauri –Chaura Incident (1922):
• A mob of people at Chauri – Chaura (near Gorakhpur) clashed with police and burnt 22 policemen on February 5, 1922.
• This compelled Gandhiji to withdraw the Non Cooperation movement on Feb.12, 1922.

Simon Commission (1927):
• Constituted under John Simon, to review the political situation in India and to introduce further reforms and extension of parliamentary democracy.
• Indian leaders opposed the commission, as there were no Indians in it.
• The Government used brutal repression and police attacks to break the popular opposition. At Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai was severely beaten in a lathi-charge. He succumbed to his injuries on Oct.30, 1928.

Lahore Session (1929):
• On Dec.19, 1929 under the President ship of J.L.Nehru, the INC, at its Lahore Session, declared Poorna Swaraj (Complete independence) as its ultimate goal.
• On Dec.31, 1929, the newly adopted tri-colour flag was unfurled and an.26, 1930 was fixed as the First Independence Day, was to be celebrated every year.

Revolutionary Activities:
• The first political murder of a European was committed in 1897 at Poona by the Chapekar brothers, Damodar and Balkishan. Their target was Mr.Rand, President of the Plague Commission, but Lt.Ayerst was accidentally shot.
• In 1907, Madam Bhikaiji Cama, a Parsi revolutionary unfurled the flag of India at Stuttgart Congress (of Second international).
• In 1908, Khudiram Bose and Prafulla chaki threw a bomb on the carriage of kingford, the unpopular judge of Muzaffapur. Khudiram, Kanhaiyalal Dutt and Satyendranath Bose were hanged. (Alipur Case).
• In 1909, M L Dhingra shot dead Col.William Curzon Whyllie, the political advisor of “India Office” in London.
• In 1912, Rasbihari Bose and Sachindra Nath Sanyal threw a bomb and Lord Hardinge at Delhi. (Delhi Conspiracy Case).
• In Oct, 1924, a meeting of revolutionaries from all parts of India was called at Kanpur. They setup Hindustan Socialist Republic Association/Army (HSRA).
• They carried out a dacoity on the Kakori bound train on the Saharanpur-Lucknow railway line on Aug. 9, 1925.
• Bhagat Singh, with his colleagues, shot dead Saunders (Asst. S.P. of Lahore, who ordered lathi charge on Lala Lajpat Rai) on Dec.17, 1928.
• Then Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw a bomb in the Central Assembly on Apr 8, 1929. Thus, he, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged on March. 23,1931 at Lahore Jall (Lahore Conspiracy Case) and their bodies cremated at Hussainiwala near Ferozepur.
• In 1929 only Jatin Das died in Lahore jail after 63 days fast to protest against horrible conditions in jail.
• Surya Sen, a revolutionary of Bengal, formed the Indian Republic Army in Bengal. In 1930, he masterminded the raid on Chittagong armoury. He was hanged in 1933.
• In 1931, Chandrashekhar Azad shot himself at Alfred Park in Allahabad.
Dandi March (1930):
• Also called the Salt Satyagraha.
• Along with 78 followers, Gandhiji started his march from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12, 1930 for the small village Dandhi to break the salt law.
• He reached the seashore on Apr.6, 1930.
• He picked a handful of salt and inaugurated the Civil Disobedience Movement.

First Round Table conference (1930):
• It was the first conference arranged between the British and Indians as equals. It was held on Nov.12, 1930 in London to discuss Simon commission.
• Boycotted by INC, Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, Liberals and some others were there.

Gandhi Irwin Pact (1931):
• Moderate Statesman, Sapru, Jaikar and Srinivas Shastri initiated efforts to break the ice between Gandhiji and the government.
• The two (government represented by Irwin and INC by Gandhiji) signed a pact on March 5, 1931.
• In this the INC called off the civil disobedience movement and agreed to join the second round table conference.
• The government on its part released the political prisoners and conceded the right to make salt for consumption for villages along the coast.

Second Round Table Conference (1931):
• Gandhiji represented the INC and went to London to meet British P.M. Ramsay Macdonald.
• However, the session was soon deadlocked on the minorities issue and this time separate electorates was demanded not only by Muslims but also by Depressed Classes, Indian Christians and Anglo – Indians.

The Communal Award (Aug 16,1932):
• Announced by Ramsay McDonald. It showed divide and rule policy of the British.
• Envisaged representation of Muslims, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo Indians, women and even Backward classes.
• Gandhiji, who was in Yeravada jail at that time, started a fast unto death against it.

Poona Pact (September 25, 1932):
• After the announcement of communal award and subsequent fast of Gandhiji, mass meeting took place almost everywhere.
• Political leaders like Madan Mohan Malviya, B.R.Ambedkar and M.C.Rajah became active.
• Eventually Poona pact was reached and Gandhiji broke his fact on the sixth day (Sept 25, 1932).
• In this, the idea of separate electorate for the depressed classes was abandoned, but seats reserved to them in the provincial legislature were increased.

Third Round Table Conference (1932):
• Proved fruitless as most of the national leaders were in prison. The discussions led to the passing of the Government of India Act, 1935.

Demand For Pakistan:
• In 1930, Iqbal suggested that the Frontier Province, Baluchistan, Sindh and Kashmir be made the Muslim State within the federation.
• Chaudhary Rehmat Ali gave the term Pakistan in 1923.
• Mohd. Ali Jinnah of Bombay gave it practicality.
• Muslim League first passed the proposal of separate Pakistan in its Lahore session in 1940.

The Cripps Mission – 1942:
• In Dec. 1941, Japan entered the World War – II and advanced towards Indian borders. By March 7, 1942, Rangoon fell and Japan occupied the entire S E Asia.
• The British govt. with a view to getting co-operation from Indians sent Sir Stafford Cripps, leader of the House of Commons to settle terms with the Indian leaders.
• He offered a draft which proposed dominion status to be granted after the war.
• Rejected by the Congress as it didn’t want to rely upon future promises.
• Gandhiji termed it as a post dated cheque in a crashing bank.

The Revolt of 1942 & The Quit India Movement:
• Called the Vardha Proposal and Leaderless Revolt.
• The resolution was passed on Aug.8, 1942, at Bombay. Gandhiji gave the slogan ‘Do or Die’.
• On Aug 9, the Congress was banned and its important leaders were arrested.
• The arrests provoked indignation among the masses and, there being no program of action, the movement became spontaneous and violent. Violence spread throughout the country.
• The movement was however crushed.

The Indian National Army:
Founded by Rasbehari Bose with Captain Mohan Singh.
• S.C.Bose secretly escaped from India in Jan 1941, and reached Berlin. In July 1943, he joined the INA at Singapore. There, Rasbehari Bose handed over the leadership to him.
• The soldiers were mostly raised from Indian soldiers of the British army who had been taken prisoners by the Japanese after they conquered S.E.Asia.
• Two INA head quarters were Rangoon and Singapore (formed in Singapore).
• INA had three fighting brigades named after Gandhiji, Azad and Nehru. Rani Jhansi Brigade was an exclusive women force.
The Cabinet Mission Plan (1946):
• The struggle for freedom entered a decisive phase in the year 1945-46. The new Labour Party PM.Lord Attlee, made a declaration on March 15, 1946, that British Cabinet Mission (comprising of Lord Pethick Lawrence as Chairman, Sir Stafford Cripps and A.V.Alexander) will visit India.
• The mission held talks with the INC and ML to bring about acceptance of their proposals.
• On May 16, 1946, the mission put towards its proposals. It rejected the demand for separate Pakistan and instead a federal union consisting of British India and the Princely States was suggested.
• Both Congress and Muslims League accepted it.

Formation of Interim Government (Sept 2, 1946):
• Based on Cabinet Mission Plan, an interim government consisting of Congress nominees was formed on Sept.2, 1946. J.L.Nehru was its Vice-President and the Governor-General remained as its President.

Jinnah’s Direct Action Resolution (Aug 16, 1946):
• Jinnah was alarmed at the results of the elections because the Muslim League was in danger of being totally eclipsed in the constituent assembly.
• Therefore, Muslim League withdrew its acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan on July 29, 1946.
• It passed a ‘Direct action’ resolution, which condemned both the British Government and the Congress (Aug 16, 1946). It resulted in heavy communal riots.
• Jinnah celebrated Pakistan Day on Mar 27, 1947.
Formation of Constituent Assembly (Dec 9, 1946):
• The Constituent assembly met on Dec 9, 1946 and Dr.Rajendra Prasad was elected as its president.

Mountbatten Plan (June 3, 1947):
• On June 3, 1947, Lord Mountbatten put forward his plan which outlined the steps for the solution of India’s political problem. The outlines of the Plan were:
• India to be divided into India and Pakistan.
• Bengal and Punjab will be partitioned and a referendum in NEFP and Sylhet district of Assam would be held.
• There would be a separate constitutional assembly for Pakistan to frame its constitution.
• The Princely states would enjoy the liberty to join either India or Pakistan or even remain independent.
• Aug.15, 1947 was the date fixed for handing over power to India and Pakistan.
• The British govt. passed the Indian Independence Act of 1947 in July 1947, which contained the major provisions put forward by the Mountbatten plan.

Partition and Independence (Aug 1947):
• All political parties accepted the Mountbatten plan.
• At the time of independence, there were 562 small and big Princely States in India.
• Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the first home minister, used iron hand in this regard. By August 15, 1947, all the States, with a few exceptions like Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagarh had signed the Instrument of Accession. Goa was with the Portuguese and Pondicherry with the French.




India stays firm on food security, blocks WTO trade deal

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) failed to clinch a trade facilitation deal within the scheduled deadline that expired on Thursday, with India refusing to relent on its demand for a concrete assurance on food security and stockpiling.
Informing the WTO members in Geneva of the developments just two hours before the deadline got over, WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said, “We have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to bridge that gap. We tried everything we could. But it has not proved possible. The fact that we do not have a conclusion means that we are entering a new phase in our work — a phase which strikes me as being full of uncertainties.”
However, going forward, Azevedo said he would be “travelling and talking” to members during the month to get their views on the present situation and the way forward. WTO diplomats will go on summer break in August and will meet again in September.
“When everyone is back in Geneva, I will be asking the chairs of the negotiating groups and the regular bodies to consult with members on what can be done in these changed circumstances. As I have indicated, I will be doing the same under my own authority — I will be talking to members and to the chairs and will report back to you all in due course,” he said.
On Thursday, the WTO trade facilitation agreement — the customs deal which would reform and standardise the procedures across — could not be ratified as India vetoed the deal, asking the WTO members to implement the TFA “only as part of a single undertaking including the permanent solution on food security.” Amid mounting pressure from developed nations, New Delhi had suggested establishing an institutional mechanism for finding a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security by December 31, 2014.
Although Azevedo said the failure of the talks is likely to have significant consequences, a Commerce Ministry official in New Delhi said the July 31 deadline is not tantamount to collapse of the talks but merely a “delay” and should not have any ramifications for the Bali package as a whole.
“We are ready to work from day one, as soon as the summer break is over. We have given our proposal and the process and our position is firm, our commitment to TFA is firm. We are saying that TFA and food security should pass muster together,” the official said.
Azevedo had said that while major economies will have “other options open to them”, the smaller and more vulnerable economies are at risk of being left behind.



All you need to know about Ebola

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a highly-contagious hemorrhagic virus that breaks down the
epithelial cell wall of blood vessels and triggers extensive internal
and external bleeding.

File image by the CDC shows an ebola Virus. (AP Photo/CDC, File)

How do humans catch it?

From animals, through close contact with infected animals’ blood,
secretions, organs or other bodily fluids. The bushmeat trade (the
catching and eating of wild animals), is thought to play a role in
outbreaks of the disease.

How does it spread?

Once in the human population, the virus continues spreading through
direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids. It
spreads quickly through human-to-human transmission, as family and
friends care for infected people

Who are at risk?

Healthcare workers and family members have frequently been infected
while treating Ebola patients. The virus has also been known to spread
at burials where mourners touch the body.

Medical personnel wear personal protective
equipment as he they care for Ebola patients at the case management
center on the campus of ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. (Reuters
Photo)

What are the symptoms?

Ebola is often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense
weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by
vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in
some cases, both internal and external bleeding such as from the nose or
via a person’s urine.

Early symptoms such as rashes and red eyes are common, making it hard
to diagnose in the early stages. Symptoms can appear from two to 21
days after exposure.

How is it treated?

There is no specific treatment or vaccine available to people or
animals. Patients believed to have caught the virus must be isolated to
prevent further contagion. They can only be given supportive care to
keep them hydrated. There are a handful of experimental drug and vaccine
candidates for Ebola and while some have had promising results in
animals including monkeys, none has been rigorously tested in humans.

What is the fatality rate?

Historically, it has a 90% fatality rate, but the current outbreak is killing 60% of those infected.

Medical personnel transport a person who
died from the Ebola virus in the Case Management Center in Foya,
Liberia. (Reuters Photo)




What to do on UPSC Dooms Day? Part One by Roman Saini ( 18th rank UPSC 2013)




CSAT WONT BE REMOVED Arvind Verma Panel says CSAT is Scientific should not be tinkered with

New Delhi: In a major jolt to protesting aspirants, the Arvind Verma committee has recommended status quo vis a vis Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Preliminary Examination, sources said on Friday. According to the committee the Civil Service Aptitude Test is a scientifically formed exam and shouldn’t be tinkered with, the sources added.
The committee, however, has recommended that the quality of English to Hindi translation in CSAT paper should be improved. There are 20 marks of English comprehension which are of class 10th level and sources say that future civil servants are expected to have that level of knowledge.
In a bizarre decision the English questions are translated in Hindi through Google translator which gives the literal meaning of the word. For example the word steel plant was translated into ‘Loohe Ka Paudha’. Anyone who has used Google translator would vouch that its resulted are of an extremely poor quality.
The Google translator has put aspirants from the Hindi belt in a disadvantageous situation and has allegedly become a roadblock for them to qualify.
But the recommendations are not binding on the Central government and the UPSC, which is an autonomous body. Yet any decision by the government will have political ramifications as several MPs have raised the alleged bias of CSAT against rural, Hindi and regional language background students.
The Civil Service Preliminary Examination is the first step towards joining the top echelons of bureaucracy. The structure of the CSAT is the main bone of contention, which many aspirants feel is biased towards technical and management students and it should be scrapped.
The structure of the exam was changed in 2011 and since then the aspirants from Humanities and Hindi belt are protesting against it. The change has adversely affected the number of aspirants cracking the exam from Humanities stream and Hindi belt as the numbers have gone down drastically.
The prelims examination is divided into two sections – General Studies and CSAT and both the papers are of 200 marks. The General Studies consists of 100 questions and the CSAT of 80 questions. But the marks required to qualify General Studies is 30 whereas for CSAT it is 70.
The CSAT comprises of questions based on communication skill, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision making and problem solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy, data interpretation and English comprehension.