Social Issues in India: List of Current Social Issues in India 2023

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Social issues are also known as social difficulties, social conflict, or social evil. In simple terms, social issues in India or any other country are unwanted circumstances or happenings that are opposed by the entire society or a segment of the population. It is an undesirable social state, typically disagreeable, whose continuation is detrimental to society. Citizens deal with social issues in India, including caste, child labour, illiteracy, gender inequity, superstitions, religious disputes, and many others. The time has come to an end to these terrible social ills.

UPSC aspirants must have detailed knowledge about each topic discussed regarding major social problems in India. Current social issues in India 2023 are among the essential topics from the UPSC exam perspective. For detailed notes on this topic, aspirants can download the PDF from the direct link below.

What are the Social Issues in India?

The social issues in India result from a complicated mash-up of many cultures, people, religions, and languages that may have originated anywhere but are now a part of one huge country. Because of its diversity and depth, Indian Society has the distinct impression of a dynamic and colorful cultural country. However, the same complexity carries with it the complicated environment of social issues and challenges. Moreover, every culture across the world has its own set of social challenges. So, too, does Indian society.

Several social issues in India must be handled systematically to establish social and economic fairness for all Indian residents. India’s founders were interested in tackling India’s socioeconomic challenges through the constitution.
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Top 10 Social Issues in India

India is a developing country with its roots in its religious history and is also affected by westernization. The list of top 10 social issues in India includes the following problems that contemporary India is facing:

  • Illiteracy
  • Basic education
  • Poor Sanitation facilities
  • Healthcare
  • Pollution
  • Overpopulation
  • Safety of Women
  • Poor Infrastructure
  • High unemployment
  • Corruption

Major Social Issues in India

Indian society is deeply rooted in religious beliefs. There are Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, and Parsis. All of this contributes to the country’s socio-cultural diversity. Major social issues in India are also based on its people’s religious rituals and beliefs. The role of religion and culture in Indian society is crucial to combating many social problems and crises. There are a number of major social problems in India that have evolved over the years and still exist in some form today.

Social Issues in India PDF

Gender Issues: Gender is one of the major social issues in India, which gives rise to various crimes in our society. Our constitution ensures equal rights to men and women in all professions. Women are now empowered to vote, inherit, and own properties. They endure discrimination in several sectors of India, including health, education, and work. The females are liable for the dowry; following marriage, they must leave their parents’ house.

Furthermore, parents want to have male children to protect their old age. Many female newborns are still aborted, abandoned, purposely ignored, and underfed because they are females.

Several pieces of legislation have been enacted after independence to enhance the interests of women and fight this social issue in India. These norms control marriages, asset inheritance, divorce, and dowry. Despite these constraints, there is still significant discrimination toward women.

Instances Showing Gender issues in Indian Society:

  • According to the 2017-18 Economic Survey report, India has 63 million missing women. Foeticide or infanticide caused their deaths.
  • According to the World Economic Forum, India ranks 87th in the “Global Gender Parity Report.”

Though women are empowered to work in any profession, women still face sexual harassment at workplaces.

Government’s actions to overcome these Gender issues:

  • To overcome the gender gap, the Indian government created the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative.
  • By implementing behavioural change in society, the government conducts awareness programs to address these social issues in India.
  • To provide equity and justice to women, the government of India approved the Triple Talaq Bill, which makes all talaq declarations, both written and electronic, null and invalid.
  • A law was enacted by the government in 2013 that prohibits, prevents, and remedies workplace sexual harassment. It attempts to defend women’s rights in any job, in whatever capacity.

Poverty Issues:

Poverty is when a household cannot meet its fundamental survival needs, such as food, clothes, and shelter. It is one of the major social issues in India and has been a major worry from the country’s inception. The country is still plagued with poverty in the 21st century.

In India, the gap between haves and have-nots is huge. It should be noted that while the economy has shown some clear signs of development over the previous two decades, this progress has been unequal across various sectors or areas. Gujarat and Delhi have greater growth rates than Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Almost half of the population lacks sufficient shelter and access to a suitable sanitation system, communities lack a close water supply, and villages lack a secondary school and proper roads.

In some parts of society, such as Dalits, the government’s designated agencies do not even keep a poverty list. They are socially and economically underprivileged populations.

The government subsidies system, which contains leakages in the distribution system, further complicates and worsens the problem.

Instances Showing Poverty issues in Indian Society:

  • According to a World Bank Brookings Institute analysis, only 73 million individuals are in the poorest of the poor ranking as of May 2018.
  • According to the research, 44 individuals are lifted out of poverty in India every minute.
  • In 2022, 50 million people will escape poverty if the current growth rate continues.

Government’s actions to overcome Poverty issues:

People from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, emancipated bonded workers, and rural poor living below the poverty line can build houses through the Indira Awaas Yojna (IAY).

India’s MGNREGA scheme went into effect in 2005. The policy guaranteed 100 days of paid work in the form of unskilled manual labour per household per fiscal year.

Furthermore, the government introduced a food security program in 2003, distributing free food grains to priority and Antyodya households. This scheme covered a rural population of 75%, and 50% of the urban population.

Health Issues:

The readiness of healthy human resources is critical to a country’s long-term success. With a deteriorating environment and an unhealthy lifestyle, health is quickly becoming one of the current social issues in India.

Along with this young generation’s addiction to drugs and alcohol or drug abuse is one of the recent social issues in India.

Drug abuse typically has a detrimental social influence on the community. The damaging influence of drug misuse is significant on the industry, education, and its involvement in violence, crime, financial troubles, housing concerns, homelessness, and vagrancy. On the other side, alcoholism is associated with excessive alcohol intake. It harms the drinker’s health and is classified as an illness by the medical community. Depression and behavioural changes can also result from alcoholism. This might have an impact on his personal life as well as his interactions with friends and family.

Instances Showing Health issues in Indian Society:

  • According to a study from the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative, air pollution causes approximately 26% of premature deaths and disease burdens worldwide.
  • The primary cause of mortality in India is air pollution, which accounts for one out of every eight deaths.
  • Approximately 6 crore Indians are alcoholics, according to a recent study conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • More than 3 billion Indians use cannabis products.
  • In India, 8.5 lakh individuals use drugs.

Casteism Issues:

The Indian caste system is founded on cultural characteristics such as hierarchy, impurity, and cleanliness. It adheres to the Karma and Dharma principles. In 1935, the Indian government added the Scheduled Castes (SCs) category to the Indian constitution.

There are currently 16% of Indians who are SCs. Discrimination in society and untouchability are the most significant challenges Dalits face.

However, the caste system still threatens the country’s national integration. Untouchability, child marriage, the sati system, prostitution, and other brutal and immoral societal behaviours are exacerbated by the caste system.

Instances showing Casteism issues in Indian Society:

  • The majority of lynchings were carried out because of bovine-related issues.

Government’s actions to overcome the casteism issue:

  • According to the directives of the Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Courts, the Information and Broadcast Ministry has issued advice prohibiting the usage of the term “Dalit.”
  • Another mandate from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was to use only the phrase “Scheduled Castes.”

Current Social Issues in India 2023

The above-discussed social issues in India have existed for a long time. The government of India has taken various measures to overcome these issues. However, with the change in time, social problems have changed. The current social issues in India 2023 include the following problems:

Education System:

There is a serious problem with our education system, which is why it is one of the contemporary social issues in India. Our culture is already feeling the impacts of it. Our views are less conventional in a less educated society. Our educational system has already been heavily attacked. Proper education has the potential to tackle the core cause of any societal crisis. India, where most youngsters are still employed as child labourers, cannot get to the top of the world without education. This lack results in criminals, a bleak future, and even suicide.


This infamous problem is the germ in Indian culture, whether beneath or over the table. Competing at an international level requires a strong system. We observe bribery and corruption in public and private enterprises. It causes sickness in society and halts the country’s progress. This huge social issue in India causes other problems in the country. Because the weight is larger in one community, there is no equality in that society, and prejudice results.


Overpopulation has been a major impediment to the country’s progress and one of the major social issues in India in the current times. About 1.3 billion people live in India, making it the second most populous country in the world. Such a problem impedes a country’s economic progress. As the population rises, so do housing, employment, and resource availability.


With a growing population, unemployment has become a major social issue in India. This problem has yet to be fixed. The majority of individuals in our nation work on private farms, and there have been many people who have odd occupations. As an educated individual, one must deal with unemployment concerns. People are falling into poverty due to a lack of money. Either crime or suicide will rise.

Social Issues in India UPSC

Social issues in India are included in the UPSC syllabus under the “Indian Society” topic. These topics include corruption, overpopulation, unemployment and much more. These issues are covered comprehensively in the UPSC books and notes. The aspirants preparing for the IAS prelims and mains exams should get detailed knowledge about various social issues in India covered in the syllabus and current happenings.

Practising these questions will help aspirants to get an idea of the type of questions that appear in the competitive exams. Check out one of the sample questions on social issues in India.

Question: How many people in India will be lifted out of poverty by 2022?

  1. 77 million
  2. 50 million
  3. 53 million
  4. 73 million

Answer: 50 million

Important Notes for UPSC
Cyber Crime List of Acts Passed by British in India
Voting Behaviour 74th Amendment of Indian Constitution
Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India Indigo Revolt
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