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India Discrimination Report

  • 16 Sep 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: India Discrimination Report, Oxfam India, National Sample Survey on employment unemployment, Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), Right to Equality, Prohibition of Discrimination (Article 15).

For Mains: Impacts of Discrimination against Women & Minorities.

Why in News?

The India Discrimination Report which is released by Oxfam India highlighted that women and marginalized communities suffered discrimination in the job market.

What are the Key Highlights of the Report?

  • The dataset was taken from the 61st round of the National Sample Survey on employment unemployment (2004-05), the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and the All-India Debt and Investment Survey by the Centre.
  • Schedule caste/Schedule tribe: There has been a decline in discrimination in urban areas due to education and supportive government policies.
    • Difference in Earning: The average earning of self-employed workers in 2019-20 was Rs 15,878 for people from non-SCs/ST categories, while it is Rs 10,533 for those from SC or ST backgrounds.
      • Self-employed non-SC/ST workers earn a third more than their counterparts from SC or ST backgrounds.
    • Rise in discrimination in Rural areas: The SC and ST communities in rural India are facing an increase in discrimination in casual employment.
  • Women: Discrimination against women is so high that there is hardly any difference across religion or caste-based sub-groups, or the rural-urban divide.
    • The discrimination increased for women in this period — from 67.2% in 2004-05 to 75.7% in 2019-20.
  • Earning Gap between Males & Females: The earning gaps are large, both in rural and urban areas for casual workers ranging between 50% and 70%. The range is low for regular workers, with earnings of men exceeding those of women by 20 and 60%.
    • In the case of the self-employed, the disparity is much higher, with men earning 4 to 5 times that of women.
    • Gender discrimination in India is structural which results in great disparities between earnings of men and women under ‘normal circumstances.

What are the Constitutional Provisions against Discrimination?

  • Right to Equality (Article 14, 15, 16):
    • Equality Before Law: Article 14 says that no person shall be denied treatment of equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
      • The right is extended to all persons whether citizens or foreigners, statutory corporations, companies, registered societies or any other type of legal person.
    • Prohibition of Discrimination: Article 15 provides that no citizen shall be discriminated on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
    • Equality of Opportunity in Public Employment: Article 16 of the Indian constitution provides for equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters of employment or appointment to any public office.

What are the Government Initiatives Related to Women Empowerment?

What do we know about the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)?

  • The National Statistical Office (NSO) launched the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017.
  • The objective of PLFS is primarily twofold:
    • To estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the CWS.
    • To estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both usual Status and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. India is regarded as a country with “Demographic Dividend”. This is due to (2011)

(a) Its high population in the age group below 15 years
(b) Its high population in the age group of 15-64 years
(c) Its high population in the age group above 65 years
(d) Its high total population

Ans: (b)


  • Demographic dividend refers to the growth in an economy that is the resultant effect of a change in the age structure of a country’s population.
  • Demographic dividend is a situation in a country when it enjoys accelerated economic growth due to the decline in fertility and mortality rates.
  • When fewer births are registered and the number of young dependents grow smaller relative to the working population, there remains fewer people to be taken care of whereas the labour force increases.
  • In such a situation, the resources of an economy are freed up and invested in other areas to accelerate the country’s economic growth and development.
  • Total high population does not necessarily mean that there is a high proportion of the working population.
  • High population above 65 years of age amounts to a larger proportion of dependent population and lesser proportion of the labour force.
  • A country that experiences low birth rates in conjunction with low death rates receives an economic dividend or benefit from the increase in productivity of their working population as their dependent population is low (i.e., children).
  • High population in the age group of 15-64 years indicates towards a high working age population and labour force. Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.


Q. Comment on the challenges for inclusive growth which include careless and useless manpower in the Indian context. Suggest measures to be taken for facing these challenges. (2016)

Source: IE

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