Important Topic for RBI Phase 2 ESI: Social Structures in India


RBI Grade B is one of the most prestigious jobs in India. It cannot be denied that it remains one of the best jobs in the Indian banking sector until now. Being a Grade B Officer at the RBI gives you direct access to the country’s economic policymaking. If you see yourself doing that, you should thoroughly prepare for the exam. 

The syllabus for this exam is vast and covers various topics which aren’t related to one another. This makes this exam a hard nut to crack. But with thorough preparation, a deep understanding of the concept, and thorough practice, one can achieve the desired goal. 

RBI Grade B Phase 1 exam 2021 was slightly difficult from the aspirant’s point of view. Thus, RBI Grade B Phase 2 preparation demands more and more practice to ensure that you are on the safer side. Therefore, in this blog, we are covering the frequently asked topic in the ESI paper of RBI Grade B. The article focuses upon the Social Structures in India and is written from the perspective of the descriptive paper of ESI. 

Social Structure in India is sectioned under the Economic & Social Issues Paper for RBI Grade B Phase 2. This topic is extremely important as it covers a lot of subtopics that are extremely relevant for the exam. A lot of questions come from this section, hence aspirants should not ignore this topic. We will delve deeper into this topic to try and understand it better.

Introducing Social Structure In India

The social structure refers to an organized relationship between the basic components of a social system. These structures exist in all societies regardless of their ethos, history, or any cultural variability. Some of the important features of the Indian social structure are the presence of a complex society, racial and lingual diversity, casteism, multiculturalism, regionalism, traditional society, etc.

More than any other part of the world, India is known for its diversity in terms of religion, caste, language, culture, tradition, food habits, etc. Each of these elements corresponds to a distinct set of social relationships which in turn forms a social structure. From the exam point of view, the following topics are covered under the topic Social Structure of India in Economic & Social Issues Paper for RBI Grade B Mains:

  • Multiculturalism
  • Demographic Trends
  • Urbanization & Migration
  • Gender Issues
  • Social Justice: Positive Discrimination in Favor of the Underprivileged
  • Social Movements
  • Indian Political System
  • Human Development
  • Social Sectors in India
  • Health and Education

Now that we have a brief idea about social structure in India and what all topics are covered in the ESI paper for RBI Grade B Mains, let us briefly cover each of these subtopics.


Multiculturalism is defined as the state of co-existence of diverse cultures. Culture includes racial, religious, linguistic, etc. which may have differences and distinctions in customary behaviors, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles. It also aims at the preservation of different cultures and their identities within a unified society as a state or a nation.

It is a way in which a society deals with cultural diversity. Sociologically, multiculturalism assumes that the society will benefit from the increased diversification as it will allow the harmonious coexistence of different cultures. Primarily, there are two methods in which multiculturalism evolves in any society. They are described by the two metaphors ‘melting pot theory’ and ‘salad bowl theory’.

While the melting pot theory assumes that different cultures will melt together abandoning their individuality and will eventually assimilate into society, the salad bowl theory is more liberal in its approach. It describes a kind of heterogeneous society wherein people of different cultures coexist and complement each other much like different vegetables in the salad bowl, each of which has an element of its own.

The concept of multiculturalism originated in the 1970s and was used in Canada for the first time to tackle the problem of immigrants. Then it spread to other countries like Australia, the USA, the UK, and some countries in the European Union where immigrants of different countries of the world lived and settled. Since assimilation and homogenization failed, multiculturalism has become inevitable and thus the governments adopted it as an official, political policy.

Demographic Trends

Demography is the study of the growth, structure, and movement of human populations. It focuses on enumerations (censuses), which take stock of a population at a moment in time, and also flows of vital events—births, deaths, marriages, and migratory movements. It helps in analyzing certain trends, more commonly known as demographic trends which allows the governments to formulate efficient policies that can benefit the population of their country.

There is a strong tradition to study the demographic trends, especially in economics to understand the population in a better way. 

The most comprehensive source for analyzing demographic trends for the government of India is the decennial census of India. As of 2011, the census has been conducted 15 times in India. It was commenced under the supervision of the then Viceroy Lord Mayo in the year 1872. However, the first complete census was conducted in 1881. Since the Independence of India, the Census is conducted by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India under the 1948 Census of India Act.

Urbanization and Migration

Urbanization is the process of a greater proportion of human activities – economic, social, cultural – taking place in urbanized areas. It is characterized by a rise in the urban proportion of the total population. Migration refers to the demographic process that links rural to urban areas stimulating the growth of cities thereby resulting in the urbanization of a place. The most common form of migration viz rural-urban migration or internal migration plays a crucial role in the urbanization process and the economic growth and development of a place. A big factor in the migration and urbanization process, especially in the less developed countries is linked to volatility in the agricultural practices and the lack of sectoral diversification within the economy of a country.

India is no exception to this scenario. Mostly, laborers and migrants who migrate from rural areas to urban areas are in search of jobs. It is because of the volatility in the agricultural practices, low growth of agricultural production, and lack of infrastructure investment by the government to support their needs. This leads to outmigration from several rural areas to urban settlements where they are absorbed into the urban informal economy.

Gender Issues

Forty-six years have passed since the United Nations first decided to commemorate March 8th as International Women’s Day, marking a historical transition in the feminist movement. Gender remains a critically important and largely ignored lens to view development issues across the world. Gender Issues refer to concerns that are determined by gender-based or sex-based differences. 

Although gender equality is a human right, across the world there exists a persistent gap in access to opportunities between men and women. Across the globe, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation. Gender Inequality can be seen across various facets of society. Women are more susceptible to crisis because they have less access to a lot of elements like basic and higher education, better healthcare facilities, political participation to name a few.

Guaranteeing rights to women and giving them equal opportunities to make them reach their full potential will not only help in gender equality but will also fuel meeting a wide range of International Developmental Goals.

Social Justice: Positive Discrimination in Favor of the Underprivileged

The pressing need for positively discriminating in favor of the underprivileged was felt during the nationalist movement. It was Mahatma Gandhi, a staunch believer of the caste system and a devout Hindu, who first advocated the idea of positive discrimination in the favor of the underprivileged. The policy of positive discrimination grants special privileges to the downtrodden and underprivileged sections of society. It is an affirmative action policy that is not only institutionalized but also is enshrined in the Constitution of India.

Social Movements

Social Movement refers to a loosely organized effort or movement where people come together to achieve a common goal. It can be a political, social, or environmental goal. For eg, Anna Aandolan or the 2011 Anti-Corruption Movement, or Narmada Bachao Aandolan. David F Aberle in the year 1966 identified four different kinds of social movements namely, alternative, revolutionary, redemptive, and reformative social movements. Each of which has a distinct characteristic.

Alternative Social Movement: It seeks to reform some aspects of an individual that is harming the self or society. For example, “Mothers Against Drunk Driving”

Redemptive Social Movement: Redemptive Social Movement seeks the complete transformation of a person. For example, a religious movement 

Revolutionary Social Movement: Revolutionary Social Movement seeks complete or a total change in the social system. For example the French Revolution or Communist Revolution

Reformative Social Movement: Reformative Social Movement seeks partial transformation in the social system. For example “Women’s Suffrage Movement” or “Anti-Corruption Movement”

Indian Political System

Indian political system functions within the framework of the Constitution of India. It is a pseudo-federal parliamentary democratic republic wherein the President of India is the head of the country and the Prime Minister of India is the head of the government. India follows the dual government system (federal) wherein we have a Union or a Central Government at the center and the State Government at the periphery. The constitution of India designates the power and authority of each of these governments and they work within those frameworks.

In the Constitution of India, there is a provision for the bicameral legislature (two houses of Parliament). It consists of an upper house, the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) representing the states of the Indian federation, and the lower house,  the Lok Sabha(House of People) representing the people of India as a whole. While the members of Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people of India, the members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the members of state legislative assemblies by a single transferable vote.

Human Development

Human Development refers to the process of enlarging people’s freedom and opportunities and improve their well-being. It refers to the real freedom that ordinary people pose to decide who they want to be, what they want to do, and how they want to live. The concept of Human Development was put forward by Mahbub ul Haq.

Social Sectors in India

The Indian social sector plays an important role in the growth and development of the country. It has several important components namely, health, education, poverty alleviation, sanitation, housing condition, etc that plays an important role in overall human development. The expenditure on these components is a critical indicator of the commitment of the government towards the social sector in India.

Social Development, thus, focuses on the need to put the people first approach for development processes. It aligns with the fact that poverty is more significant than low income, poverty also encompasses exclusion, inaccessibility, vulnerability, powerlessness, and incapability. It can only be alleviated by improving the social sector of India.

Health and Education

Health and Education are the two major components of the social sector in the world. It was included in MDG (Millennial Development Goals) and now, is a part of SDG (Sustainable Development Goals), the 2030 Agenda. The government of India has also committed itself to provide basic elementary education by making it a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution of India under the 83rd Constitution Amendment Act.

The current Indian government is taking up measures to improve the health and education sector in India. Some of the state-run schemes concerning the same include:

  • PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojna
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna
  • Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

These are some of the schemes that ensure development by enhancing the health and education sector in India.

To make the learning of these concepts easy, you can enroll in our detailed course specifically designed for RBI Grade B Phase II. Our expert mentors have described each of these topics at a great length covering the type of questions that are asked in the previous years and the expected questions that can be asked in the exam.

Also Read:

RBI Grade B Phase 2: Tips to Qualify Descriptive English (Reading Comprehension)

RBI Grade B 2021: How to Approach ESI Descriptive Paper?

RBI Grade B 2021 Phase 2: Revised Strategy for ESI and FM

RBI Grade B Phase 2: Descriptive Writing Strategy and Tips

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