Friday, November 30, 2007


MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY IN NEPAL--Second movement for democracy.

Nepal witnessed an extraordinary popular movement in April 2006.The movement aimed at restoring democracy, it was aimed at regaining popular control over govt. from the king.


Nepal a third wave country, had won democracy in 1990.

--King was formally the head of the state but the real power was excerised by the elected representatives.

--The king Birendra, was the one who accepted this transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, he and his family was massacred in 2001.

--King Gayendra the new king of Nepal was not prepared to accept democratic rule, on feburary 2005 he dismissed the Prime minister and dissolved the popularly elected Parliament.

Events during the popular revolt:

All the political parties in the parliament formed an alliance--Seven party alliance--SPA and called for four day strike in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

2. The protests turned into indefinite strike in which Maoist and various organisations joined hands.

3.People defied curfews and took to streets.

4.More than lakhs of people gathered almost everyday to demand retoration of democracy, on 21 april they served an ultimatum to the king and the leaders rejected the halfhearted concessions given by the king and struck to their demand s.

5.their main demands were--a)restoration of parliament,

b)power to an all party govt.

c)new constituent assembly.


On 24th april , the king was forced to conceed to all the demands

--Girija Prasad Koirala was choosen as the new PM of the interim givt.

--The SPA & Maoist came to an understanding as to how new Constituent Assembly was to be elected.

--Parliament passed laws taking most of the powers of the king.

It was known as second movement of democracy in Nepal.

BOLIVIA'S WATER WAR-A Struggle against Privatisation of Water

--Bolivia is a small and poor country in Latin America.The WorldBank pressuried the govt. to give up its control of municiple water supply.

--The govt. sold off these rights to an MNC.The company immediately increased the prices four times.

--In January 2006 a new alliance of labour, human rights and community leaders organised a sucessful strike for four days in the city and the govt. agreed to negotiate but nothing happened. Police resorted to brutal repression when the agitation was started again in Feburary.

--Another strike was there in April and govt. imposed martial law.

--But the power people forced the officials of MNC to flee the city and made govt. to conceed to all demands of the protesters.

--The contract with MNC was cancelled and water supply was resorted to municipality at old rates.

This was known as Bloivia's water war.

The two incidents have following
In both cases political conflict led to the popular struggles.
Both the cases involved mass mobilization.
Both instances involved critical role of political organizations.
1.Nepal was struggling to establish democracy while in Bolivia the struggle involved claims on the elected govt.
2.In Bolivia struggle was about one specific policy, while struggle in Nepal was about the foundations of the country’s politics.
1.It evolves through popular struggles. If significant decisions are through consensus than it is an exceptional situation. Democracy usually involve conflicts between those groups who have excercised power and those who aspire for share in the power. This happens when the country is going through transition to democracy, expansion of democracy or deepening of democracy.
2.Democratic conflicts are resolved through mass mobilization. Some times it is possible that the conflicts are resolved by the existing institutions like parliament or judiciary but when there is a deep dispute, very often these institutions get involved in the dispute and the resolution has to come from outside , from people.
3.The conflicts and mobilizations are based on new political organizations, these include—political parties, pressure groups and movement groups.

Which were the major organizations involved in mobilization of the masses in Nepal & Bloivia?
In Nepal:
a) SPA-Seven party alliance of big parties.
b) Nepalese Communist Party—Maoist.
c) All major labour unions and their federations
d) Organizations like organization of indigenous people, teachers, lawyers & human right groups extended their support.
In Bolivia
There was no political party but it was led by ,
a) A n organization-FEDECOR-it comprised of local professions, engineers &environmentalists.
b) Ffederation of farmers.
c) Confederation of factory workers union
d) Middle class students and city’ growing population of homeless children.

Q. What role is played by the organizations in any big struggle?
The organizations play their role in two ways—Direct & Indirect
Direct: One way of influencing the decision in democracy is direct participation in competitive politics. This is done by creating parties, contesting elections and forming govts. Citizens participate through voting.
There are many indirect ways in which people can get govt. to listen to their demands or their point of view. This can be done by forming an organization and undertaking activities to promote their interest or their viewpoints. These are called Interest or Pressure groups.
trol of municipal water supply.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Dear students you will have to go to Ms. Saini' blog for notes of political science chapters--3&4.
There is link on my blog at right side .You can go to her blog from my blog also.

Sunday, November 25, 2007



LIBERLISATION: Removing barriers or restrictions set by government is known as liberalization.It has two components.,
1.goods could be imported and exported easily.
2. foreign companies could set up factories and offices here-in India.
TRADE BARRIER—Tax on imports.It is called so because some restriction has been setup.
--govt. can use barriers to increase or decrease(regulate)foreign trade and to decide what kind of goods and services and how much of each should come into the country.
Q. Why did the Indian govt., after independence had put barriers to foreign trade & investments?
--This was considered necessary to protect the producers with the country from foreign competition.
--As the industries were just coming up in 1950’s and 1960’s and the competition from imports at that stage would not have allowed these industries to come up.
--India allowed the imports of essential items as machinery, petroleum, fertilizers etc.
Around 1991, some far-reaching changes were made in India
The govt. decided that the time has come for Indian producers to compete with producers around the globe.
--It felt that the competition would increase performance of the producers with in the country since they would have to improve their quality.
--Thus the barriers on foreign trade &foreign investments were removed to a large extent.
--This was Liberalisation and with it business were are allowed to take decisions freely about what they wish to export to import.
--The govt. imposes much less restriction than before, & therefore is said to be more liberal.
It is an organization whose aim is to liberalise international trade.
--It was started at the initiative of developed countries.
--It establishes rules regarding international trade and sees that these rules are obeyed.
--149 countries are at present members of the WTO.
--Though WTO is supposed to allow free trade for all, in practice, it is seen that the developed nations have unfairly retained trade barriers. On the other hand, WTO rules have forced the developing countries to remove trade barriers.
In the lasy fifteen years, globalisation of the Indian economy has come a long way.
1.MNC’s have increased their investments over the past 15 years, which means that investing in India has been beneficial to them.
a)MNC’S have invested in cell phones, automobiles, electronic, soft drinks, fast foods & in the areas such as banking in urban areas. Thses products have large number of well off buyers.
b) In these industries various new jobs have been created.
c)local companies who are supplying them raw material have also prospered.

2. Several top Indian companies have been able to benefit from the increased competition.
a) They have invested in newer technology and production methods & raised their production & standards.
some have gained from successful collaborations with foreign companies.
b)Globalisation has enabled some large companies to emerge as multinationals themselves as.,Tata motors, Ranbaxy. Asian Paints, Sundaram Fasteners (nuts& bolts).

3. Globalisation has also created new opportunities for companies providing services, particularly those involving IT. The Indian companies are the host of services like, data entry, accounting, administrative tasks, engineering are now being done cheaply in India & are exported to the developed countries.

4.Globalisation& competition among producers-both local and foreign has been of advantage to the consumer, particular of the well off section.
a)Now there is greater choice.
b) They enjoy improved quality and lower prices.
c) As a result these people, today enjoy much high standards fo living than they had before.
There are several drawbacks also.

1.Small producers, compete or perish—for a large number of small producers & worker it has posed major challenges.
-- Rising competition has led to shutting down of many units and many workers have been rendered jobless.
--Batteries, capacitors, plastics, toys, dairy products and vegetable oil are the examples of the industries which have been hit hard due to hard competition.
2. Competition and uncertain Employment—Globalisation & pressure of competition have substantially changed the lives of workers, faced with growing competition, most employers prefer to employ workers flexibly.
-This means that the workers are no more secure; they have long working hours, work night shifts on regular basis during peak season, no job security, no benefits as of pension, overtime, medical leave etc.
-Workers are denied their fair share of benefits brought about by globalisation.
-With this the conditions of work in the organized sector has come to resemble that of the unorganized sector.
In the recent years central and state govt. in India is taking some special steps to attract foreign companies to invest in India.
--Industrial zones -called SEZ’s, Special economic zones are being setup.
--SEZ’s are to have world class facilities like electricity, water road transport, storage, recreational and educational facilities.
--The industries which will set up their production units here will not have to pay taxes for initial five years.
these companies are allowed to ignore many of rulers that aim to protect the workers i.e., instead of hiring workers on regular basis, companies hire workers flexibly for short period during the peak period.
--this is done to reduce the cost of labour for the company.
Fair Globalisation: this would create opportunities for all &also ensure that the benefits of globalisation are shared better.
The govt. can play a major role in the making this possible.
1.Its policies must protect the interests, not only of rich & powerful but all in the country.
2.the govt. can ensure that labour laws are properly implemented and the workers get their rights.
3.It can support small producers to improve their performance till the time they become strong enough to compete.
4.If necessary govt. can use trade & investment barriers.
5.It can negotiate at the WTO for the ‘fairer rules’.
6.It can also align with other developing countries with similar interests to fight against the domination of the developed countries in WTO.
In past few years, massive campaigns and representations have influenced important decisions relating to trade & investments at WTO. This shows that even people can also play an important role in the struggle for fair globalisation.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Today we have wide choice of goods and services before us.
There is explosion of brands.
It is a recent trend and in a matter of years our markets have been transformed.
Middle of twentieth century:
--Production was largely organized with in the countries
--What crossed the boundaries was mainly the raw materials, food stuff and finished products.
--Trade was the main channel connecting distant countries.
EMERGENCE OF MNC’S—Multi national corporations
--It is a company that owns or controls production in more than one nation.
--MNC’s set up offices & factories for production in the regions where they can get cheap labour and other resources.
--This is done so that the cost of production is low and the MNC’s can earn greater profits.
--Many MNC’s have wealth exceeding the entire budgets of the developing countries , with such enormous wealth they have immense power & influence.
MNC’s set up production where it is
-- close to the markets.
--where there is skilled labour available at low costs.
--where the availability of other factors of production is assured.
--They look for the government policies that look after their interests.
The money that is spend to buy assets such as land, building, machines and other equipment is called investment.
The investment made by MNC’s is called foreign investment.
Q. Why do MNC’s set up production jointly(with local companies)?
The benefits to the local company of such joint production is two-fold.
MNC’s can provide money for the additional investments like buying new machines for faster production.
2.MNC’s might bring them latest technology for production.

There are variety of ways in which MNC’s are spreading their production and interacting with local producers in various countries across the globe. They do this by various means:

1.By setting up partnerships with local company..
2.By closely competing with local companies or buying them -the most common route for MNC investments is to buy up local companies and to expand production. With their huge wealth they can easily do so..
3. By using local companies for supply - Large MNC’s in developed countries place orders for production with small producers.Eg., garments, footwear, sports item etc. The products are supplied to MNC’s which then sell these under their brand names ti the customers.
As a result, production in these widely dispersed locations is getting interlinked.
MNC’s are exerting strong influence on production at these distant locations.

Top MNC’s have enormous wealth and at times even bigger than the budget of the developing countries.
--Another way in which they control production is that MNC’s in the developed countries place orders for production with small producers .
--The products are supplied to the MNC’s, which then sell these under their brand names to the customers.
--These MNC’s have enormous power to determine price, quality, delivery. and labour conditions for these distant producers.
--Various trade routes connecting India and South Asia to markets both in the East and West & extensive trade that took place along these routes.
--It was trading interest which attracted various trading companies such as East India Company to India.
Q. What is the function or purpose of foreign trade?
1--Foreign trade creates an opportunity for the producers to reach beyond the domestic markets i.e., markets of their own countries.
2--Producers can sell their produce not only in markets located within the country but can also compete in markets located in other countries of the world.
3—For the buyers, import of goods produced in another country is one way of expanding the choice of goods beyond what is domestically produced.
There are various positive & negative effects of foreign trade. Its positive effects are
1.With the opening of trade, goods travel from one market to another.
2. Choice of goods in the markets rises.
3. Prices of similar goods in the two markets tend to become equal.
Producers in the two countries now closely compete against each other even though they are separated by thousands of miles.
Foreign trade thus results in connecting the markets or integration of markets in different countries.The economies of various countries are getting interlinked.
Chinese manufacturers got an opportunity to export plastic toys to India.
Q. How did it benefit to India & to China?
To China: Chinese got an opportunity to trade and expand their business.
--As they were selling it at high selling price, they got high profits.
--Within an year 70-80% of toys shops have replaced Indian toys with Chinese toys.
To India:Indian buyers have more choice now.
--Prices are cheaper now.
--designs are new.
--But due to the cheaper prices & new designs , the Indian toy makers face losses, as their toys are selling much less.
Q. What is Globalisation?
It is the process of rapid integration or interconnection between countries.
--There is one more way through which countries are becoming closer and that is Movement of people between countries. People usually move from one country to another in search of jobs or better education.This is also a result of Globalisation.
MNC’S are playing major role in the Globalisation process.
MNC’s have been looking for locations around the world , which would be cheap for their production
--As a result of greater foreign investment and greater foreign trade ,has been greater integration of production and markets across countries.
--More and more goods and services, investments and technology are moving between the countries.
--Most regions of the world are in closer contact with each other than a decade back
--Foreign investment in the countries has been rising.
--Foreign trade between the countries has been rising.
--The activities of most of the MNC’s involve substantial trade in goods and also services..
TECHNOLOGY: Rapid improvement in technology has been one major factor that has stimulated globalisation process. Due to technology there has been improvements in various fields as in ,
a) In past fifty years this technological improvements has led to faster delivery of goods across long distances at lower costs.
b) Containers for transport of goods: have led to huge reduction in port handling costs, increased the speed with which goods can reach markets.
c) Airlines: the cost of air transport has fallen, this has enabled much greater volumes of goods being transported by airlines.
IT, has played a major role in spreading out production of services across countries.
Remarkable improvements have in the areas of telecommunications, computers &internet.
a)Telecommunications: facilitated by the satellite communication devices, facilities as telegraph, telephone including mobiles, fax are used to contact around the world, to access the information instantly,& to communicate in the remote areas.
b)Computer and internet: computers have entered in almost all the fields.
Internet allows one to share information on almost every thing, we can send instant e-mail and talk through voice-mail across the world at almost negligible cost.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


When we as consumers become conscious of our rights, while purchasing goods& services, we will be able to discriminate and make informed choices.
Q. Describe some duties which as a consumer we should observe.
If customers want their rights they should also observe duties also.
After a purchase we must insist on cash memo.
While purchasing goods we must be carefull about the quality of goods as well the guarantee of products ans services.
We should buy certified goods—ISI, AGMARK etc.
Consumers should form Consumer Awareness Organisations in their localities to help & aware others.
Consumers must know their rights & must exercise them too.
These are logos and certifications which help consumers get assured of quality while purchasing goods & services.
--The organizations that monitor and issue these certificates allow producers to use their logos provided they follow certain quality standards.
--It is not compulsory for all producers to follow standards. However the products that affect health and safety of consumers or the products of mass consumption, it is mandatory on the part of producers to get certified by these organizations.
(LPG Cylinders, food colours and additives, cement, packaged drinking water etc.)
Q. After 20 years of the enactment of COPRA, consumer awareness in India is spreading but slowly. Discuss.
The consumer redressal process is becoming cumbersome,expensive and time consuming because
1.Many a times consumers are required to engage lawyers.
2.These cases require time for filing and attending the court proceedings etc.
3.In most purchases cash memos are not issued hence evidence is not easy to gather.& most purchases in the market are small retail sales.
4.The existing laws are also not very clear on the issue of compensation to consumers injured by defective products.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Consumer—When we pay a price for a commodity or service & use it ,we become consumer.
We participate in the market both as producer and consumers
Q. Why do we need rules and regulations in the market?
--Rules and regulations are required in the market for protecting the environment .
--As in the informal sector moneylenders use various technique to bind the borrower, similarly many people who work in the unorganized sector have to work at low wages and have to accept conditions which are not good for their health. To prevent such exploitation we need rules & regulations.
--These are required for the protection of the consumers in the market place.
--Markets do not work in a fair manner when producers are few and powerful where as consumers purchase in small amounts and are scattered.
--Companies with huge wealth , power and reach can manipulate the markets in various ways—as false information through catchy advertisements, discounts, gift offers.
The above said conditions require rules and regulations.
Exploitation in the market happens in various ways, as
--Underweight& under measurement The goods sold in the market are sometimes not measured or weighted correctly.
--Sub Standard Quality: Selling defective home appliance and expired medicines are its examples.
--High Prices: some times seller charge higher than the MRP.
--Duplicity: Fake and duplicate items are sold in the name of genuine goods.
--Adulteration& Impurities: Adulteration is done in the costly items as in oil, ghee, milk, spices etc. to earn higher profits. This effects consumers health and their money goes waste.
--Lack of safety devices: Electronic goods produced locally lack the required inbuilt safeguards, which may cause accidents.
--Artificial scarcity or shortages: To earn more profits business create artificial scarcity by hoarding and sell the same at higher price.
--False or incomplete information: sellers mislead people by giving wrong information about the products, price, quality, safety, expiry date, maintenance costs etc.
--Unsatisfactory after sales service; many suppliers do not provide satisfactory after sales service in case of expensive electronic equipments, home appliances and cars etc.
--Rough behavior & undue conditions: consumers are often harassed in matters like LPG &telephone connections and in getting licensed items.
Q. Why do consumers get exploited or factors causing exploitation of consumers: informatiom. supply. competition.
4.low literacy or awareness.

CONSUMER MOVEMENT —Factors &Evolution
1. Consumer movement in India arose out of dissatisfaction of the consumers as the sellers were indulging in many unfair practices.
2. There was no legal system available to consumers to protect them from exploitation in market place.
1.As a social force it originated with the necessity of protecting and promoting the interests of consumers against unethical and unfair trade practices.
2.Rampant food shortages, hoarding, black marketing , adulteration of edible oil gave birth to the consumer movement in an organized form in 1960’s.
3.Till 1970’sconsumer organizations were largely engaged in writing articles and holding exhibitions.
4.These organizations formed consumer groups to look into the mal practices in the Ration shops and over crowding in the Road Passenger Transport.
5. More recently India has witnessed an upsurge in the number of organized consumer groups. There are today more than 700 consumer groups in the country of which only about 20-25 are well organized & recognized for their work.
6.India has been observing 24 December as National Consumers’s Day as it was on this day that the Indian parliament enacted COPRA in 1986.
6. India is one country that has exclusive courts for consumer redressal.
In 1985 UN adopted the UN guidelines for consumer protection.
This was a tool for nations to adopt measures to protect consumers and for consumer advocacy groups to press their governments to do so.
At the international level it has become the foundation for consumer movement.
Today Consumer International has 240 organisations from over 100 countries.
1. This act was passed in 1986, on 24th December, and since then this day is celebrated as Consumers Day in India.
2. This act was passed to bring pressure on business firms as well as government to correct business conduct , which may be unfair and against the interest of the consumers at large.
3. Under COPRA, a Three –Tier Quasi-Judicial machinery at District, State and National levels have been setup for redressal of consumer disputes.
--District level court deals with the cases involving claims upto Rs 20 lakhs, the State level courts take cases between 20 lakhs to 1 crore& the National leveldeals with the cases involving claims exceeding 1 crore.
If the case is dismissed at Distric level court, the consumer can also appeal in state and than in National level courts.
4. The enactment of COPRA has led to the setting up of separate departments of Consumer Affairs in central & the state govts. Through them the govt. spread information about the legal process which consumer can use. They work through media.
1.Safety is everyone’s right:
While using many goods& services, we as consumers, have a right to be protected
against the marketing of goods and delivery of services that are hazardous to life and property.
--Producers need to strictly follow the required rules and regulations.
--There are many goods and services that we purchase require special attention to safety. For example..pressure cookers have a safety valve which if defective can cause accident, LPG gas cylinder should be sealed and leakproof.
2.Right to be Informed: --When we buy a commodity, we find details given on the packing, These details are about ingredients used, price,batch no., date of manufacture, expiry date & address of the manufacturer.
We have right to be informed about the above mentioned informations, so that consumers can complain and ask for composation or replacement in case product proves to be defective
----These days this right has been expanded to cover various services provided by the govt. In October 2005, the govt of India enacted RTI-right to information act, which insures its citizens all the information about the functions of govt. department
3.Right to Choose: Any consumer who receives a service in whatever capacity, regardless of age, gender and nature of service, has a right to choose whether to continue to receive service.
4. Right to Seek Redressal: Consumers have this right against unfair trade practices and exploitation. .If a damage is done to the consumer, she has the right to get compensation depending on the degree of damage.
5. Right to Represent:
--COPRA has enabled us to have the right to represent in the consumer courts.
--There is a three-tier quasi-judicial machinery at district, state and national levels.--There are various organisations locally known as Consumer Forums or Consumer Protection Council, they guide consumers on how to file cases in the consumer courts: they also they also receive financial support from the govt. to create awareness..

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