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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 1 April 2020


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


 

Topic:  Geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1. Most of the rare climatic events are expounded as an outcome of the El-Nino effect. Do you agree? Given your viewpoint with suitable substantiation.(250 words)

Reference: Physical Geography by Savindra Singh

Why this question:

The question is around the fact that goes undeniable – that the El Nino has been used to explain unusual climatic changes across the globe.

Key demand of the question:

Explain briefly the concept of El-Nino and its impact on the rare climatic events.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In short, explain the concept of El-Nino.

Body:

El Nino means ‘little boy’ or ‘Christ child’ in Spanish. The phenomenon was thus named because it was first recognised by South American fishermen in the early part of the 17th century. The events, i.e., warm waters in the Pacific Ocean, tended to occur in December, hence, the name was chosen.

Then move on to define the likages of El-nino with climatic events.

When the linkage between El Nino and climate effects were initially suggested by the British scientist, Gilbert Walker, it was deemed ridiculous that one phenomenon could have an effect on regions as far off as Australia, India etc and Canada. However, the occurrence of El Nino in the past few decades has proved without a doubt, their far-reaching consequences. Some of the effects of El Nino in the past have been causing of droughts and forest fires in South Asia (Indonesia and Philippines) and Australia, floods in the South American countries in the eastern Pacific region, increased rain in certain other areas of the world etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of El-Nino.

Introduction:

El Niño is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy child,” which is often used to refer to Jesus Christ, and the phenomenon earned this name because it typically occurs in December around Christmas. El Niño occurs every 2-7 years, and can last anywhere between nine months and two years.

Body:

El-Nino:

  • El Niño, an oceanic phenomenon usually occurs with Southern Oscillation, an atmospheric phenomenon. Together they are called El Niño Southern oscillation (ENSO).
  • El Nino is a climatic cycle characterized by high air pressure in the Western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern.
  • In normal conditions, strong trade winds travel from east to west across the tropical Pacific, pushing the warm surface waters towards the western Pacific.
  • The surface temperature could witness an increase of 8 degrees Celsius in Asian waters.
  • At the same time, cooler waters rise up towards the surface in the eastern Pacific on the coasts of Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
  • This process called upwelling aids in the development of a rich ecosystem.

EI-Nino

El-nino and related climatic events:

El Nino affects the global climate and disrupts normal weather patterns, which as a result can lead to intense storms in some places and droughts in others.

  • Tropical Cyclones:
    • The atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean can also be drier and more stable during El Niño events, which can also inhibit tropical cyclone genesis and intensification.
    • Within the Eastern Pacific basin: El Niño events contribute to decreased easterly vertical wind shear and favours above-normal hurricane activity.
    • However, the impacts of the ENSO state in this region can vary and are strongly influenced by background climate patterns.
  • Extreme Weather events:
    • Normal or High rainfall in Eastern/Central Pacific, Drought or scant rainfall in western pacific/Asian region.
    • typhoons in the Pacific, wildfires in Indonesia, heavy rains and floods in southeastern India, and flooding of the Mississippi River have been attributed to El Niño.
  • Disasters:
    • Forest fires in Indonesia leading to wiping out of Equatorial rainforest regions.
    • Heat-waves in India leading to deaths of people and fauna.
    • Water sources dry up leading to increased distress migration and climate refugees.
    • Most critically, global mass bleaching events were recorded in 1997-98 and 2015–16, when around 75-99% losses of live coral were registered across the word. Considerable attention was also given to the collapse of Peruvian and Chilean anchovy populations that leaded to a severe fishery crisis following the ENSO events in 1972–73, 1982–83, 1997-98 and, more recently, in 2015–16.
  • Economic impacts:
    • Agriculture dependent countries like India face huge losses due to drought conditions. Crop yields are affected leading to food inflation. To tackle food inflation, tweaks in monetary policies to make it tighter, leading to lesser available money supply.
  • Social Impacts:
    • A WHO Paper said that El Niño 2015-2016 is affecting more than 60 million people
    • Rising temperatures and more variable rainfall patterns can often reduce crop yields, compromising food security.

Way Forward:

  • The government must expand the farm insurance cover and advice banks and financial institutions to settle crop insurance claims in the drought-hit areas without delay.
  • High quality seeds of alternative crops must be distributed among farmers in the drought-affected areas.
  • Technologies like drip and sprinkler irrigation, precision agriculture.
  • Monetary Control measures to tackle inflationary trends in country.
  • Financial support from global organizations for rehabilitation and rebuilding.
  • Disaster Response Forces to tackle floods and droughts.
  • Developing early warning systems and alerting the people much in advance.
  • Global co-operation to tackle the climate change which can further aggravate El- Niño and La- Niña conditions.

 

Topic:  Geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2. Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 degree north and on the western side of the continents. Why? Explain.(250 words)

Reference: Physical Geography by Savindra Singh

Why this question:

The question is straight from the static portions of GS paper I, theme physical geography.

Key demand of the question:

One should explain the reasons owing to which all the Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 degree north and on the western side of the continents.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly on a map show the locations of major hot deserts.

Body:

The hot deserts lie along the Horse Latitudes or the Sub-Tropical High Pressure Belts where the air is descending, a condition least favorable for precipitation of any kind to take place.
• The rain-bearing Trade Winds blow off-shore and the Westerlies that are on-shore blow outside the desert limits.
• Whatever winds reach the deserts blow from cooler to warmer regions, and their relative humidity is lowered, making condensation almost impossible.
• There is scarcely any cloud in the continuous blue sky. The relative humidity is extremely low, decreasing from 60 per cent in coastal districts to less than 30 per cent in the desert interiors. Under such conditions, every bit of moisture is evaporated and the deserts are thus regions of permanent drought. Precipitation is both scarce and most unreliable.
• On the western coasts, the presence of cold currents gives rise to mists and fogs by chilling the on-coming air. This air is later warmed by contact with the hot land, and little rain falls. The desiccating effect of the cold Peruvian Current along the Chilean coast is so pronounced that the mean annual rainfall for the Atacama Desert is not more than 1.3 cm.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a reassertion that the climate, geography have a major role to play in deciding the locations of these hot deserts.

Introduction:

A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile to plant and animal life. In other words, it is extremely dry area of land with sparse vegetation. Deserts are created due to arid and semi-arid conditions because of the lack of moisture. It is accelerated by intense heating. Between 20-30 degree north latitude the insulation is relatively direct and less scattered and reflected by the atmosphere. Intense heating takes place in this zone. The hot deserts lie along the Horse Latitudes or the Sub-Tropical High Pressure Belts where the air is descending, a condition least favourable for precipitation of any kind to take place.

Body:

Deserts

Hot Deserts of the World

  • Arabian Desert in Arabian peninsula
  • Great Sandy, Victoria, Simpson, Gibson and Sturt deserts in Australia
  • Chihuahuan Desert in north central Mexico
  • Kalahari Desert in south-western Africa
  • Mojave Desert in USA
  • Monte Desert in Argentina
  • Sahara Desert in North Africa
  • Sonoran Desert in North and Central America
  • Thar Desert in India and Pakistan

Reasons:

  • Offshore trade winds in the region and location in rain shadow zone:
    • Trade winds that blow in the region, shed their moisture on the eastern part and by the time they reach the western margin, they become dry.
  • Anticyclonic conditions:
    • Areas between 20–30 degree latitudes on western margins of continents are the regions of descending air.
    • It means the air gets compressed and warm as it descends and thus the moisture holding capacity keeps decreasing.
  • Leeward sides of mountains/Parallel mountain ranges:
    • In the case of few deserts, mountains are situated as a barrier which prevents orographic rainfall. For instance, the presence of Rockies on the western coast of North America does not let moisture bearing winds do rainfall in leeward sides.
    • In the case of Thar desert in India, Aravallis are situated parallel to the region. Therefore, the moisture holding winds pass away from the region because there is absence of mountain barriers.
  • Presence of cold ocean currents along the western coast of continents:
    • These tend to stabilize the air over the coast by having a desiccating effect on the land.
    • This prevents cloud formation and rainfall.

Conclusion:

Thus, major hot deserts in northern hemisphere such as Thar desert, Rajasthan in Indian sub-continent, Sahara Desert in Africa, Great Basin Desert in North America, Arabian desert in Arabian Peninsula are all located between 20-30 degree north and on the western side of the continents.

 

Topic:  population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

3. Critically analyse the hardship faced by the migrant laborers in the light of the lockdown owing to COVID-19 scare.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article brings out the hardship faced by the migrant laborers in the light of the lockdown.

Key demand of the question:

One must present a detailed analysis of hardship faced by the migrant laborers in the light of the lockdown.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The lockdown measures have been in place to slow down the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The measures taken to address the public health challenge have also led to a humanitarian crisis for many among the poorer segments of India’s urban population. The most affected section due to the lockdown has been the inter-State migrant worker community.

Body:

State first the reasons of vulnerability of migrant workers.

 They largely dependent upon casual and daily wage labour and unorganized retail. Lockdown would severely affect their livelihood opportunities.

Lack of hygiene and sanitation facilities makes this section highly vulnerable to such epidemics.

They are generally the primary breadwinners, and the survival of their families back home is entirely dependent on them.

Discuss the lacunae in the role played by the govt. in dealing with migrant workers.

Suggest solutions to address the above issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Thousands of migrant labourers have headed home on foot after national lockdown, which has created an acute shortage of labourers in major agrarian states. The inter-State migrant worker community, thousands of these migrant labourers have been leaving cities, even on foot, for their towns in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and elsewhere.

Body:

Hardship faced by migrant labourers:

  • The migrant workers are largely dependent upon casual and daily wage labour and unorganized retail.
  • The lockdown would severely affect their livelihood opportunities.
  • Citing the uncertainty of employment, and therefore of money and resources, these migrant labourers sought the comfort of the social net in their towns and wanted to return back.
  • Most of the migrant workers live in cramped spaces where it would be difficult to maintain physical distancing.
  • The lack of hygiene and sanitation facilities makes this section highly vulnerable to such epidemics.
  • An analysis of the migration trend shows that a major portion of the rural-urban migration constitutes the migration of men to cities in search of better employment opportunities.
  • They are generally the primary breadwinners, and the survival of their families back home is entirely dependent on these migrant labourers. The anxiety of being affected by the virus drove many to return to their families.

Issues faced by migrant lockdown due to Government lockdown:

  • The Central government announced the lockdown with just a four-hour notice, making it even harder for the migrant labourers to figure out ways to face the challenge of a lockdown.
  • The lockdown has a disproportionate impact on the socioeconomic conditions of the poor and unorganized sector.
  • The lack of social security among the poor makes it difficult for them to practice social distancing. They are mostly dependent upon daily and even hourly wage earnings. The lockdown would lead to an income security challenge to them.
  • There have been suggestions that given the prior warnings of COVID-19, the situation could have been handled much better. There have been concerns that the decision was arbitrary, unplanned and ill-prepared.
  • The lockdown was not accompanied by practical and necessary relief measures.
  • The movement of the labourers towards their hometowns was not aided by the government.
  • There have been some sections which have argued that if the government was willing to evacuate Indians from other countries, why similar intent is not being shown to make sure that the poor migrant labourers reach their hometown.

However, the Government’s measures were necessary:

  • The need for a very short notice before lockdown was considered essential given the fact that a larger time lag would lead to large scale movement of people and make it difficult to contain the spread of the epidemic.
  • The decision for a lockdown at the earliest was considered necessary given the examples of other countries like Italy and Spain where a delay in lockdown had substantially increased the number of cases. The intention was to announce the lockdown and then taken necessary actions for easing the pressure on the citizenry.
  • The first priority during such a crisis has to be tackling the health challenge, which can be followed by other measures. The economic package by the government in the form of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana was directed at easing the pressure on the vulnerable.
  • Given the daunting scale of tracking that would be required if the migration was allowed, the government chose not to allow migration of the labourers to their hometowns. The possible spread of the virus in the rural hinterlands would be beyond the carrying capacity of the Indian health system.

Measures needed:

  • The proposed quarantine camps must be well equipped with sufficient supplies of essential items for all.
  • Governments must use schools and college hostels for the migrants to stay and also utilize the Public Distribution System to provide food.
  • Governments must show resolve, commitment, and compassion to deal with the migrant crisis.
  • Civil society must come forward and support the most vulnerable.
  • For the migrants already enroute to their places, there should be proper screening en route and they should be informed of the practical health protocols to be practiced during the first 14 days.
  • These migrants need to be put under observation, further screening, isolation, testing, and quarantine where required.
  • The affected families also have to be given minimum guarantees of food, health, and some income by the government during the lockdown.

Way forward:

Lock-down

 

Topic:  Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

4. “With the Corona outbreak, democracy and federalism are on trial in India”, Elucidate.(250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times

Why this question:

The editorial talks about the essence of preserving the tenets of

 Democracy and federalism amidst the testing times posed by the pandemic.  

Key demand of the question:

Explain in what way democracy and federalism are on trial in India with the coming of the Pandemic.

Directive:

Elucidate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly bring out facts relevant to the context of the question to begin the answer.

Body:

Explain first why the tenets of Democracy and federalism are on test with the coming of the Pandemic.

One can illustrate the case of China and the way it handled the crisis being an autocratic country in contrast with India which is democratic.

Discuss the importance of federalist characters that the country must stick to to ensure better outcome in terms of solutions to the concerns posed by the outbreak.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suggestions as to what needs to be done to preserve Democracy and ensure the federal character of the country is put to right use and is not harmed.

Introduction:

The outbreak of Coronavirus in China made the political observers keen to understand whether an authoritarian system was better equipped to deal with a crisis of this magnitude or the system’s deficiencies would impede recovery. China’s efforts to project its success in dealing with the pandemic is as much an effort to shore up the legitimacy of its domestic political system as to regain international credibility. With Covid-19, democracy and federalism are on test in India.

Body:

A democratic system means that the flow of information is free and open and that there is a constant feedback loop, where criticism from the Opposition and media and public interventions from domain experts can be included in making and refining policy. In Federalism of the constitutional scheme in India envisages a healthy working relationship between the Centre and the states. Certain subjects fall exclusively in the domain of the Centre under the Union List. Then there are subjects such as health that are enumerated in the State list. One expects that on matters of national importance, such as the coronavirus situation, politics would not come in the way of a suitable and coordinated response between the parties concerned — the health ministry and the state governments.

Challenges of Democracy and Federalism during COVID-19:

  • In recent months, the relationship between the Centre and the states has seen a breakdown over several issues.
  • COVID-19 is potentially a national health disaster, and the states would expect help and assistance from the Centre in tackling this threat.
  • A democratic system also, by its very nature, is slower and more deliberative.
  • It is difficult to enforce decisions including the national lockdown.
  • Any curtailment of rights can only be through due process and temporary; and finding quick solutions to structural problems (a weak health system in this case) is not easy.
  • The broad policies to deal with Covid-19 can be framed at the Centre; the power of implementation lies largely with state governments, which also have room to innovate.
  • The rift between different units has been apparent during the exodus of migrant workers from Delhi — with differences between the Centre and the Delhi government, and the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar governments
  • Testing facilities are unevenly distributed across states

Measures needed:

  • The hierarchical system of health secretary, the Director General Health services, chief medical officers in the districts, block-level medical officers and health personnel at the taluka and sub-centre levels is quite remarkable.
  • This must be enabled for strengthening health ecosystem.
  • The Centre should declare that it would extend all support, including financial, to all states and not make the coronavirus outbreak a partisan issue by excluding specific states or communities.

Way forward:

  • The crisis will also require both the Centre and the states to work together.
  • The political parties across the divide must seek to work together during such crisis.
  • India has to beat back the pandemic, not just to save lives and preserve its economy, but also to safeguard its fundamental political features.
  • Cooperative and competitive federalism are complementary ideas that should drive India’s story in fighting the COVID crisis.

 

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. With limited fiscal space and amidst the uncalled financial distress, the onus for economic revival rests with the RBI. Do you agree? Examine.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is amidst the financial downturn that India is going to face in its near future owing to the distress caused by the corona outbreak.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in what way India’s financial distress was exacerbated by the pandemic. With limited fiscal space, the onus for economic revival rests with the RBI.

Directive:

ExamineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the context of the question.

Body:

First, present the factors that have caused the financial crisis – The constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic have cast a long shadow on the global economy, which was already jolted by the US-China trade war.

Comment on the fears of a possible   global recession; massive supply-chain related disruptions across a range of industries from containment efforts in China and other economies; amplification of demand-side shocks due to uncertainties as well as lockdowns and other containment measures domestically; and propagation of financial shocks and the US dollar credit crunch etc.

Discuss the role that RBI needs to play to handle the situation.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting measures to address the issue.

Introduction:

The constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic has cast a long shadow on the global economy, which was already jolted by the US-China trade war. India’s financial distress was exacerbated by the pandemic. This global shock comes at a particularly inopportune time for India, as the economy was already on a very concerning downward trajectory since the turn of FY 2018-19.

Body:

With the fears of a global recession on the horizon, Covid-19 appears to have dealt the global economy a triple-whammy:

  • Massive supply-chain related disruptions across a range of industries from containment efforts in China and other economies.
  • Amplification of demand-side shocks due to uncertainties as well as lockdowns and other containment measures domestically.
  • Propagation of financial shocks and the US dollar credit crunch.

India’s financial situation currently:

growth_trajectory

The roots of India’s economic drag in recent years:

  • Aftermath of the drastic demonetization experiment, which led to significant collateral damage.
  • The effects of the rollout of the GST.
  • Both these supply-side measures may have been well-intended, they have certainly contributed to marked economic disruptions.
  • This has led to a deeply entrenched slowdown in the informal sector.
  • This has, in turn, been exacerbated by acute banking sector problems, with banks being saddled by non-performing assets (NPAs) partly driven by “crony capitalism” stemming from the close nexus between banks and large “politically connected” businesses, giving rise to dubious lending practices and bad loans.
  • Added to these banking woes has been a generalized credit crunch in the financial system due to stresses in the non-bank financial sector, especially following the collapse of Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services (IL&FS).
  • India’s inability to exploit investor interest in looking beyond China (as Vietnam has, for instance), is a failure of the country’s flagship “Make in India” initiative which seems to be becoming an excuse to revert to a degree of protectionism rather than of enhancing export competitiveness per se.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Indian Economy:

  • The immediate economic and market impacts of the coronavirus have been on India’s financial markets as well as the rupee, which hit a new low vis-à-vis the US dollar in March due to global risk-off sentiment
  • For firms laden with dollar-denominated debts, a continuous weakening of the rupee is likely to intensify their struggles to repay their obligations.
  • Beyond the financial shocks, India has to urgently find a way to cushion the demand-side shocks induced by potential lockdowns and other ongoing containment measures.
  • a prolonged lockdown in the near future is likely to be economically costly, with the brunt of the pain falling disproportionately on those in the informal sector.

Fiscal measures needed:

  • India will have to undertake more aggressive counter-cyclical fiscal measures at some stage to buffer against acute negative shocks arising from the spread of Covid-19.
  • an appropriate fiscal response is imperative to uplift the economy and especially assist the most vulnerable, a massive fiscal expansion of the type envisaged by many other countries is likely to exceed the fiscal targets set by the FRBM.
  • This would imply that the government has to either invoke the escape clause or ignore the rule temporarily with the hope of returning to a path of fiscal consolidation once the Covid-19 storm has been weathered.

Monetary measures by RBI:

  • The Central bank has also taken some steps to ease the dollar credit crunch via long-term repo operations (LTRO).
  • It offered a $2-billion swap for six months to ease the pressure on the rupee.
  • RBI took measures although it has not been part of the coordinated action by central banks in taking even more aggressive measures to counter the heightened volatility and adverse economic fallout from the coronavirus.

Conclusion:

Even if the RBI rolls out more aggressive measures, the broader concern that still remains is the inadequate monetary policy transmission that limits the effectiveness of any monetary stimulus in India, especially in the context of an impaired financial sector. Thus, the government must refocus its priorities towards dealing with economic stabilization and upliftment rather than pursue the more controversial aspects of its social and political agenda.

 

Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

6. What is clean hydrogen? Discuss the potential that clean hydrogen industry holds in ensuring cuts in the global greenhouse gas emissions.(250 words)

Reference: Down To Earth 

Why this question:

The article talks about the potential that the clean hydrogen industry holds for doing away with global greenhouse gas emissions.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what clean hydrogen is; discuss its significance in curbing the global greenhouse emissions.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define what clean hydrogen is. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, produces only water. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of domestic resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind.

Body:

Highlight the facts pointed out by ‘Hydrogen Economy Outlook’. The report suggested that renewable hydrogen could be produced for $0.8 to 1.6/kg in most parts of the world before 2050.

Explain the fact that Hydrogen has the potential to power a clean economy. In the years ahead, it will be possible to produce it at low cost using wind and solar power, to store it underground for months, and then pipe it on demand to power everything from ships to steel mills.

Take hints from the article and explain the significance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the clean hydrogen.

Introduction:

Hydrogen is a clean fuel. It is an energy carrier that can be used for a broad range of applications. Also it could serve as a possible substitute to liquid and fossil fuels. Its physical properties could be stated as following. At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a nontoxic, nonmetallic, odorless, tasteless, colorless, and highly combustible diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2. Widespread adoption of clean hydrogen can cut global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 34 per cent in fossil fuel-dependent sectors by 2050 — and at a manageable cost — according to a new study by research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF).

Body:

potential of clean hydrogen industry in reducing greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Hydrogen as a fuel has long been touted as an almost magical solution to air pollution crisis. The only by-product or emission that results from the usage of hydrogen fuel is water — making the fuel 100 per cent clean.
  • Hydrogen is considered an alternative fuel. It is due to its ability to power fuel cells in zero-emission electric vehicles, its potential for domestic production, and the fuel cell’s potential for high efficiency.
  • In fact, a fuel cell coupled with an electric motor is two to three times more efficient than an internal combustion engine running on gasoline.
  • Hydrogen can also serve as fuel for internal combustion engines.
  • The energy in 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of hydrogen gas contains about the same as the energy in 1 gallon (6.2 pounds, 2.8 kilograms) of gasoline.

Benefits of hydrogen as a fuel:

  • It is readily available. It is a basic earth element and is very abundant. However, it time consuming to separate hydrogen gas from its companion substances. While that may be the case, the results produce a powerful clean energy source.
  • It doesn’t produce harmful emissions. When it is burned, it doesn’t emit harmful substances. Basically, it reacts with oxygen without burning and the energy it releases can be used to generate electricity used to drive an electric motor. Also, it doesn’t generate carbon dioxide when burnt, not unlike other power sources.
  • It is environmentally friendly. It is a non-toxic substance which is rare for a fuel source. Others such as nuclear energy, coal and gasoline are either toxic or found in places that have hazardous environments. Because hydrogen is friendly towards the environment, it can be used in ways that other fuels can’t even possibly match.
  • It can be used as fuel in rockets. It is both powerful and efficient. It is enough to provide power for powerful machines such as spaceships. Also, given that it is environmentally friendly, it is a much safer choice compared to other fuel sources. A fun fact: hydrogen is three times as powerful as gasoline and other fossil fuels. This means that it can accomplish more with less.
  • It is fuel efficient. Compared to diesel or gas, it is much more fuel efficient as it can produce more energy per pound of fuel. This means that if a car is fueled by hydrogen, it can go farther than a vehicle loaded with the same amount of fuel but using a more traditional source of energy. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells have two or three times the efficiency of traditional combustion technologies. For example, a conventional combustion-based power plant usually generates electricity between 33 to 35 percent efficiency. Hydrogen fuel cells are capable of generating electricity of up to 65 percent efficiency.
  • It is renewable. It can be produced again and again, unlike other non-renewable sources of energy. This means that with hydrogen, you get a fuel source that is limited. Basically, hydrogen energy can be produced on demand.

Limitations to Hydrogen production:

  • Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but it does not occur in deposits or reserves like fossil fuel. It needs to be actually produced using chemical reactions.
  • And here lies hydrogen’s biggest roadblock to wider acceptance — hydrogen today is almost entirely produced from fossil fuels.
  • Hydrogen is produced by extraction from organic matter, hydrocarbons and, of course, water.
  • Majority of the hydrogen that is produced comes from steam-reforming, which combines steam with natural gas at very high temperatures. The most popular gas used for this process is methane.
  • Hydrogen, using renewables, is far more expensive to produce. And hydrogen-fueled vehicles are also more expensive than even battery-electric ones.
  • It is highly flammable. Since it is a very powerful source of fuel, hydrogen can be very flammable. In fact, it is on the news frequently for its many number of risks. Hydrogen gas burns in air at very wide concentrations – between 4 and 75 percent.
  • It is difficult to store. Hydrogen is very hard to move around. When speaking about oil, that element can be sent though pipelines. When discussing coal, that can be easily carried off on the back of trucks. When talking about hydrogen, just moving even small amounts is a very expensive matter.
  • The clean hydrogen industry is small and costs are high. There is a big potential for costs to fall, but the use of hydrogen needs to be scaled up and a network of supply infrastructure created.

Conclusion:

China uses hydrogen fuel cell-powered trams while Germany runs hydrogen-trains. Hydrogen is used in bikes, cycles, scooters, trucks, aeroplanes and most other forms of transportation. NASA even launched space shuttles with hydrogen fuel. With a view to accelerate development of hydrogen energy sector in India, a National Hydrogen Energy Road Map (NHERM) was prepared and adopted by the National Hydrogen Energy Board in January, 2006 for implementation.

 

Topic:  Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

7.  “Our future cannot hinge on on the government alone. The eventual way out lies in the attitudes and the actions of the citizens of the country”. Analyse.(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question aims to evaluate the role of citizens; their attitudes and actions on the future of the country. And in what way the government alone cannot change the future.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the role of citizens in sculpting the future of the country.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the role of society in sculpting the future of the country.

Body:

Discuss the concept of active citizenship; Active citizenship means people getting involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels, from towns to cities to nationwide activity. Active citizenship can be as small as a campaign to clean up your street or as big as educating young people about democratic values, skills and participation.

Active citizenship is a combination of knowledge, attitude, skills and actions that aim to contribute to building and maintaining a democratic society.

 Active Citizenship supports democratic cooperation that is based on the acceptance of universal human rights and the rule of law, values diversity and includes the whole community.

Explain then why it is important along with the efforts of the govt.

Quote a case study to justify better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

“No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off its youth severs its lifeline.” – Kofi Annan

A citizen of a country is an individual recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign nation or allegiance to a government in exchange for its protection, whether at home or abroad. A citizen is one of the dominant pillars of the country. They are entitled to enjoy all the legal rights and privileges granted by a state to the people encompassing its constituency and are obligated to obey its laws and to attain his or her duties as called upon. We are all a citizen of our country and retain several rights and responsibilities towards our community, state, and country.

Body:

Active citizenship means people getting involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels, from towns to cities to nationwide activity. Active citizenship can be as small as a campaign to clean up your street or as big as educating young people about democratic values, skills and participation. Active citizenship is one of the most important steps towards healthy societies especially in new democracies like India.

Active citizenship is a combination of knowledge, attitude, skills and actions that aim to contribute to building and maintaining a democratic society. Active Citizenship supports democratic cooperation that is based on the acceptance of universal human rights and the rule of law, values diversity and includes the whole community.

Active citizenship has a crucial role to play in this context to allow citizens to interrogate real solutions to problems rather than indulging in scapegoating, discrimination and other tactics peddled by extremists.

However, such attitudes do not develop spontaneously. While we might learn some them at home or in our community, a crucial role should be played by the education system. Our schools and colleges need to foster young people to become active citizens protecting and upholding fundamental rights, which are at the basis of democracy.

Educational programs need to be developed to improve competencies like co-operation and communication as well working to increase critical ability, reduce prejudice and build tolerance, understanding, empathy, and an openness to diversity.

Conclusion:

The future of this form of government is dependent on the possibility for the young to participate in the democratic process or, paraphrasing Kofi Annan, to include young people from birth. This is directly connected to the capacity of the education system to nurture young people who are aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, take action for social and environmental justice, hold their governments accountable and stand up for other people’s rights.