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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 October 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.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic : Social empowerment

1. What is the difference between gender equity and gender equality? Why is it important to take gender concerns into account in programme design and implementation? (250 words)

Reference: unfpa.org

Why the question:

The question is concerned with importance of accounting gender concerns into programs and policies of the country to ensure greater equity and equality of all genders.

Key Demand of the question:

Differentiate between gender equity and gender equality, and discuss the important to take gender concerns into account in programme design and implementation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the definitions of the two terms.

Body:

Gender equity is the process of being fair to women and men while Gender equality requires equal enjoyment by women and men of socially-valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards.

Explain in detail with examples that gender equality; equality between men and women does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they were born male or female. Gender equity means fairness of treatment for men and women according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities.

Then discuss the importance of accounting these factors in policies and program implementation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of it.

Introduction:

‘Gender equality’ means equal outcomes for women, men and gender-diverse people whereas ‘Gender equity’ is the process to achieve gender equality. Gender equity recognises that women and gender-diverse people are not in the same ‘starting position’ as men. This is because of historical and social disadvantages. Treating women, gender-diverse people and men equally might not actually be fair. In fact, it can create further disadvantage. Gender equity measures are often needed to level the playing field.

Body:

McKinsey Report: “The Power of Parity” key findings:

  • If gender gap is filled by 2025 then Indian GDP could increase by 60%
  • Gender inequality in India is extremely high at the workplace and in terms of legal protection and political voice.
  • Economic development enables countries to close gender gaps, but progress on four indicators in particular:
    • Education level
    • Financial & Digital inclusion
    • Legal Protection
    • Unpaid care work
  • India has among the worst levels of gender wage disparity (men earning more than women in similar jobs) with the gap exceeding 30%: ILO
  • Only 33% of India’s internet users are female: UNICEF.

Gender Budgeting (GB):

  • GB is concerned with gender sensitive formulation of legislation, programmes and schemes; allocation of resources; implementation and execution; audit and impact assessment of programmes and schemes; and follow-up corrective action to address gender disparities.
  • A powerful tool for achieving gender mainstreaming so as to ensure that benefits of development reach women as much as men.
  • Does not seek to create a separate budget but seeks affirmative action to address specific needs of women.
  • Monitors expenditure and public service delivery from a gender perspective.
  • Entails dissection of the Government budgets to establish its gender differential impacts and to ensure that gender commitments are translated in to budgetary commitments.

Rationale Behind Gender Budgeting

  • According to the 2011 census, women account for 48 per cent of the total population of the country.
  • Women face disparities in access to and control over services and resources.
  • Bulk of the public expenditure and policy concerns are in ‘‘gender neutral sectors”.
  • Implications on women in the above sectors are not recognised or identified.
  • Gender responsive budgets policies can contribute to achieving the objectives of gender equality, human development and economic efficiency.

Gender Budgeting in India

  • Gender Budget Statement (GBS) was first introduced in the Indian Budget in 2005-06. This GB Statement comprises two parts–
  • India’s gender budgeting efforts stand out globally because they have not only influenced expenditure but also revenue policies (like differential rates for men and women in property tax rates and reconsideration of income tax structure) and have extended to state government levels.
  • Gender budgeting efforts in India have encompassed four sequential phases: (i) knowledge building and networking, (ii) institutionalizing the process, (iii) capacity building, and (iv) enhancing accountability.
  • Gender budgeting in India is not confined to an accounting exercise. The gender budgeting framework has helped the gender-neutral ministries to design new programs for women.
  • Gender Budgeting Cells (GBC)as an institutional mechanism have been mandated to be set up in all Ministries/Departments.
  • GBCs conduct gender based impact analysis, beneficiary needs assessment and beneficiary incidence analysis to identify scope for re-prioritization of public expenditure and improve implementation etc.

Shortcomings

  • Not only has the magnitude of the gender budget as a proportion of the total expenditure of the Union Budget decreased, the budgetary allocations for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment have also shown a decline.
  • There are only a few “big budget” women exclusive schemes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) like the Nirbhaya Fund and the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign.
  • Lack of dedicated human resources to implement the interventions identified by the GBCs.
  • Monitoring remains one of the weakest links in the GRB work with no designated mechanism for monitoring it at the national level.
  • Assumptions behind reporting allocations under Part B of the GBS remain questionable.

Way Forward

  • An assessment of gender responsive budgeting in India reveals a mixed picture.
  • There are number of positive developments, such as changes in select planning and budgeting processes and creation of gender budget cells.
  • However, restricted reach of GB and stagnant or even declining allocations for the gender agenda are stumbling blocks.
  • The adoption of the GB should be accompanied by multifaceted and interrelated improvements to budgets in general and the gender sensitivity of budgets.
  • There needs to be shift from mere “reporting” of gender allocations to “purposive planning” with wider participation of women.

Conclusion:

India has shown a dedicated will to bring changes by pledging to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals which includes gender justice and women empowerment. Only with constructive planning and comprehensive changes at various levels in society the new emerging “women power” shall be soon able to realize its complete potential in India.

 

Topic : Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

2. How did Sir Syed Ahmed Khan articulate the identity and existential issues of Muslims in India? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the contributions of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in articulating the identity and existential issues of Muslims in India.

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 set the context of the question by referring to the timeline of events highlighting the coming of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.

Body:

Start by elaborating on the works and contributions of him such as – He dreamed to model MAO College on Oxford and Cambridge. His Aligarh Movement galvanized the entire community and stirred it into action. The Movement shaped generations of Muslims in India.

He opposed ignorance, superstitions and evil customs prevalent in Indian Muslim society. He firmly believed that Muslim society would not progress without the acquisition of western education and science. As time passed, Sir Syed began stressing on the idea of pragmatic modernism and started advocating for strong interfaith relations between Islam and Christianity.

List down his overall contributions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with appreciation of the contributions made by him.

Introduction:

Sir Syed Ahmed khan was a teacher, politician, social reformer etc and founder of Aligarh Muslim university. He has often been criticised as the father of Two nation theory which led to the formation of two separate nations i.e. India and Pakistan. It is erroneously believed by some historians that the Hindu-Muslim divide in India was the by-product of the two-nation theory which supposedly had its origin in Sir Syed’s ideology.

Body:

  • Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was born in 1817in a family that was close to the Mughal court, he was a man of many distinctions, a civil servant, journalist, educationist, social reformer and historian among others.
  • He served the British administrationbefore the revolt of 1857.
  • He has also written a pamphlet titledThe Causes of the Indian Revolt” to explain the reasons for the revolt from an Indian perspective.

Educationist: 

  • Sir Syed is, first and foremost, known for his pioneering role in transforming the educational opportunities for Muslims.
  • Sir Syed realised that Muslims could only make progress if they took to modern education. For this he startedthe Aligarh movement.

Social Reformer: 

  • He also pushed for social reforms and was a champion of democratic ideals and freedom of speech.
  • He was against religious intolerance, ignorance and irrationalism.He denounced purdah, polygamy and easy divorce.
  • Tahzebul Akhlaq(Social Reformer in English), a magazine founded by him, tried to awaken people’s consciousness on social and religious issues in a very expressive prose.

Critical of National Movement:

  • In his later years Sir Syed encouraged the Indian Muslims not to join the National Movement.He felt that education and not politics was needed by them.
  • In a way he encouraged the forces of communalism and separatism at this stage.

Belief in multiculturalism:

  • Sir Syed believed in a multiculturalismunder which all cultural communities must be entitled to equal status under state.
  • The view that people must be incorporated not merely as citizens but also members of distinct communities possessing multiple identitiesis one of the most cherished norms of liberal democratic traditions. This means rejection of “melting pot” and acceptance of “salad bowl” theory where integration rather than assimilation is the preferred choice.
  • Thus, under Article 29of the Indian Constitution, distinct cultural communities are entitled to preservation of their distinct language, script and culture.

Establishment of Aligarh Muslim University

  • systemic movement aimed at reforming the social, political and educational aspectsof the Muslim community.
  • The movement undertook to modernise Muslim’s educationby adapting English as a medium of learning and western education rather than just focusing on traditional teachings.
  • Sir Syed established the Scientific Society in 1864,in Aligarh to translate Western works into Indian languages to prepare the Muslims to accept Western education and to inculcate scientific temperament among the Muslims.
  • The Aligarh Institute Gazette,a magazine published by Sir Syed was an organ of the Scientific Society.
  • In 1877, he founded the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental Collegeon the pattern of Oxford and Cambridge universities. The college later grew into Aligarh Muslim University.
  • The Aligarh Movement helped in the Muslim revival. It gave them a common language— Urdu.

Conclusion:

Throughout his life, Syed Ahmad Khan remonstrated against the practices of purdah, polygamy, easy divorce and many other fallacies in his community. His main priority was advancement of modern western education, in Muslim society. He believed that his community can only enhance their status and progress when the Muslims accept western scientific knowledge and culture. In AD 1864, he established the Translation Society at Aligarh. It was later renamed the Scientific Society.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

3. Devastating floods in Northern Karnataka are not just a fallout of unprecedented rain but of insufficient decentralisation when it comes to managing disasters. Do you agree with the statement? Critically examine. (250 words )

Reference: Deccan Herald  , Indian Polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

Heavy rains over the last few days have disrupted normal life in several districts which are now staring at a flood-like situation as they grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the role and lacunae in the decentralisation process and governance in disaster management like that of floods that have severed the situations in the backward regions of the country.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to 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. 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:

Present the flood conditions of Northern Karnataka districts in brief.

Body:

Discuss first the causative factors of devastating floods in Northern Karnataka that are currently being witnessed.

Explain that blaming the elected representatives alone for the apathy towards North Karnataka or regions alike will serve no benefit. Instead we should demand effective decentralisation to be in the party manifestos of all parties. Every Zilla Panchayat, Municipal council and Village Panchayat member should have the power to respond to ground level needs and challenges and procedures for accountability. If not, these inequalities will persist irrespective of social media outrage.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions and need to recognise the importance of decentralisation and its execution in practicality.

Introduction:

In recent years, extreme rainfall events leading to flooding are becoming common, particularly in the Western Ghats and northern districts of Karnataka. World Meteorological Organization, in its report ‘The Global Climate in 2015–2019,’ concluded, “While tropical cyclones are responsible for many of the world’s most destructive floods, there have been many other instances of major flooding since 2015.

Body:

Floods in India:

  • India is one of the most flood-affected nations in the world, after Bangladesh.
  • Floods constitute 52% of all natural disasters in India, and the costliest as well, with over 63% of all damages attributed to it.
  • The economic losses due to this destruction was 0.43% of GDP.
  • The damages translate to 2.68% of the Centre’s total expenditure every year.

Reasons of urban floods in case of Indian cities:

  • Heavy rainfall during monsoons. There are other weather systems also that bring in heavy rainfall. Storm surges also affect coastal cities/ towns.
  • The urban heat island effect has resulted in an increase in rainfall over urban areas.
  • Global climate change is resulting in changed weather patterns and increased episodes of high intensity rainfall events occurring in shorter periods of time.
  • Poor maintenance of Stormwater drainage systems.
  • Encroachments are also a major problem in many cities and towns. The flow of water has increased in proportion to the urbanization of the watersheds. There have been large scale encroachments on the natural drains and the river flood plains. Consequently, the capacity of the natural drains has decreased, resulting in flooding.
  • The floods are caused by the cloud bursts and runoff of heavy rainfall during the monsoon.
  • Accumulation of silt and sand with no clearing operations taking place for years.
  • As a result, the water carrying capacity of the rivers is drastically reduced, resulting in floods. e.g. Jhelum flooding
  • Deforestation of hill slopes results in the water level suddenly rising and causing floods.
  • Rivers like Brahmaputra changes course frequently and it’s virtually impossible to contain the river.
  • Lack of proper drainage systems in residential areas or unchecked civil development.
  • unregulated construction on hills, failure of embankments to check water flow and extreme rainfall aggravates the flood problem.
  • Mining loosens the soil and contributes to the rise of the river bed.

Ineffective Decentralisation:

  • The response of State governments to this imperative is delayed.
  • States are hesitant to act against encroachment of lake catchments, river courses and floodplains.
    • g., even the extreme distress in Chennai has not persuaded the State government against allowing structures being constructed on a lake bed, after reclassification of land
  • Granting such permissions is a clear abdication of responsibility and violation of National Disaster Management Authority Guidelines to prevent urban flooding.
  • Lack of resolve among political leaders,
  • rampant inefficiency and
  • lack of integrity in the administrative machinery.
  • Foreign funding assistance issues: Centre’s discord with Kerala during Kerala floods, receiving funds from UAE.
  • Misunderstandings between Centre and States:
    • Mutual political suspicion and a lack of appreciation of the complexities of the international situation have brought about a confrontation.

 Way Forward

Development of Federal Harmony:

  • Marshalling of resources is the responsibility of the Union government according to the Constitution.
  • India is a federal state, but unitary in nature when it comes to national security and foreign policy, this approach must change, with participatory democracy, including states in decision making.
  • flood-resilient infrastructure: State governments should focus on economic development by building flood-resilient infrastructure—monitoring embankments of key flood-prone rivers and improving river connectivity, apart from construction of canals, assumes significance.
  • Suitable techniques and methods should be in place to predict accurate rainfall, especially in low-lying areas, and appropriate rainfall warning systems be installed in vulnerable areas.
  • The dire need is for watershed-based master planning and development legislated guidelinesfor each major river basin, especially those that impact densely populated settlements.
  • There must be a demarcation of ecologically sensitive zones using existing village survey maps and public participation.
  • There must be clear land use plan for these zones specifying flood plains, protected forest areas, agricultural and plantation zones, with details of the types of crops;
  • The master plan should focus on permitting only ecologically sensitive building strategies for these areas by proposing new construction techniques.
  • Roads should be built on difficult terrain and all public infrastructure projects in wetlands and the High Ranges.
  • Copenhagen in Denmark, which faces a similar problem of repeated flooding, has come up with active cloudburst responsive planning as a process to develop the city in line with climate change needs.

Conclusion:

A complete overhaul of processes to hire technical expertise which allows access to necessary skills, and with a long-term vision of capacity building of local agencies, is the way forward. Long-term flood management definitely requires healthy coordination between Centre and states.

 

Topic : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

4. Critically analyse the impact of Pradhan Mantri Garib kalyan yojana on the aspects of inclusive growth in the current Covid times.(250 words)

Reference: Business Standard

Why the question:

The question is premised on the implementation and execution of the Pradhan Mantri Garib kalyan Yojana and its role in inclusive growth amidst the current challenges facing the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically present the impact of Pradhan Mantri Garib kalyan yojana on the aspects of inclusive growth in the current Covid times.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When 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:

Start with the main goal and motto with which Pradhan Mantri Garib kalyan Yojana came into picture.

Body:

The Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns imposed by the government to control its spread in India have seriously disrupted livelihoods and businesses.

First put across the features of the schemes, discuss the possible benefits that it can bring.

Then move onto discuss the concerns and lacunae of the scheme and how it is still far from achieving the aspects of inclusive growth.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions and way forward.

Introduction:

Union Finance Minister has announced Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package under the newly framed Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Coronavirus (COVID-19). The central government’s package comes a week after Kerala first announced a Rs 20,000-crore support for its people.

Body:

Insurance Scheme for Health Workers

  • The Centre would provide 50 lakh medical insurance cover for the next three months for about 22 lakh health workers in government hospitals fighting the spread of the virus at personal risk.
  • The health workers include ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers, medical sanitary workers in government hospitals, paramedics, nurses and doctors.

Food Security:

  • Each person who is covered under the National Food Security Actwould get an additional five kg wheat or rice for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrains already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • One kg of pulse a household would also be provided for free, according to regional preferences. This is expected to benefit about 80 crore people.

Cash Transfers and Other Benefits

  • About 3 crore poor pensioners above 60 years, widows and disabled people would be given ₹1000 in two instalments.
  • The 20 crore women holding Jan Dhan Yojanaaccounts would get ₹500 a month.
  • The 8.3 crore poor households, which received cooking gas connections under the Ujjwala scheme, would get free gas cylinders.

For Workers

  • Wages are being hiked under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Actscheme, from ₹182 to ₹202 a day.
  • The Centre is directing the States to use the ₹31,000 crore held by Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Boardsto provide support to the 3.5 crore registered workers.

For Land-owning Farmers

  • The first instalment of ₹2000 due to them under the PM-KISAN income support scheme will be paid promptly in April, the first month of the financial year.

For Companies & SHGs

  • For small companies with 100 employees or less,of whom 90% earn less than ₹15,000 a month, the Centre will bear the cost of both employer and employee contribution (a total of 24%) to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for the next three months. This will benefit 80 lakh employees, and incentivise 4 lakh establishments.
  • Collateral free loans provided for women self-help groupsunder the National Rural Livelihood Mission are being doubled to ₹20 lakh, potentially benefiting seven crore households.
    • Immediate Impact of the Announcement on the Market
  • Sentiments in the market improvedleading to gains in BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty. Earlier, Sensex and Nifty have crashed badly during the pandemic.

 Positive Impacts of PM Garib Kalyan Yojana

  • It covers various sections of the vulnerable,ranging from farmers to healthcare workers.
  • use of existing schemeslike PM Kisan has kept funding within the budget as much as possible and retain control over the deficit.
  • Application of PM Garib Kalyan Yojana will help in the disposal of excess stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
  • The offer to pay both employer and employee contributions to the Provident Fund will offer relief to those businesses that have been forced to shut down operations.

Challenges of PM Garib Kalyan Yojana

  • Theeffectiveness of PM Garib Kalyan will be more in states with well-functioning PDS. That is, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Odisha — but not Uttar Pradesh or Bihar.
  • When daily wage earners are supposed to remain at their homes (lockdown), the only way to compensate them under MNREGA is through unemployment allowance.
  • Farmersare facing both lower crop prices due to a coronavirus-induced market collapse, and higher harvesting costs on account of labour shortages.
  • Another challenge for the government will be to locate and deliver support to the migrant workers.
  • Corporate sector and middle class people not being beneficiaries.

Way Forward:

  • Globally, many countries had announced stimulus packages involving 10-12% fiscal expansions. In comparison, this package is only about 0.75% of India’s GDP,which is marginal.
  • The Government should now turn its focus towards businessesthat are running out of cash and may soon default on even salaries and statutory commitments if relief is not given.
  • Revised package of the economic relief packageshould not be delayed beyond the next couple of days.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5. With suitable examples discuss the human perturbation to carbon cycle. (250 words)

Reference: Science Daily

Why the question:

The question is based on the impact of humans on Carbon Cycle.

Key Demand of the question:

With suitable examples discuss the human perturbation to carbon cycle.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

The human perturbation of the carbon cycle is driven by the combustion of fossil fuels and changes in land use and land use intensity.

Body:

The current climate crisis underlines that carbon cycle perturbations can cause significant climate change.

Discuss the sources of carbon gases that are human activities based such as agriculture; Agriculture is the major source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere from human activities not accounted in the global C-CO2 budget, and contributing to 10-12% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions.

The global anthropogenic CO2 perturbation leads to the creation of carbon sinks in the ocean and on land. The physical ocean responds to excess atmospheric CO2 through increased air-to-sea fluxes by dissolution of CO2 in surface water given the under-saturation state of the ocean.

Suggest what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

90% of anthropogenic (human-related) carbon release comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The remaining 10% comes from is caused by land-use change such as deforestation, agricultural practices and land drainage. Approximately half the anthropogenic carbon is absorbed evenly between the oceans and vegetation. The remaining half is absorbed by the atmosphere. Global concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased from around 320 ppm to over 400 ppm since the 1960s. This is the highest level ever recorded.

Body:

Human influence on Carbon Cycle:

Combustion of fossil fuels

  • Carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel has been increasing since the Industrial Revolution. This man made carbon dioxide contributes to the natural greenhouse effect causing global temperatures to rise.
  • Rapid industrialisation in developing nations such as China and continued demand from industrialised nations has led to a rapid increase in emissions since the 1950s.

Land-use change

  • Ten per cent of carbon released globally comes from changing land-use. This affects mainly short-term stores and has direct links to climate change.

Farming practices

  • There is a range of ways agricultural practices contribute to the release of carbon. Activities that release carbon include:
  • Ploughing and harvesting
  • Rearing livestock
  • Using machinery that burns fossil fuels
  • Using fertilisers that contain fossil fuels
  • For E.g.: Amount of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere has continued to rise, with 576 million tonnes of the gas added every year between 2008 and 2017, showed two recent studies from the Global Carbon Project. Methane is also a bi-product of rice cultivation. Methane is emitted from flooded rice fields as bacteria in the waterlogged soil produce it in large quantities.

Deforestation

  • Forests are effective stores of carbon. In a natural system when a tree dies it decomposes and slowly releases carbon dioxide over time.
  • When deforestation occurs by burning, carbon dioxide is immediately released into the atmosphere. Twenty per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions is caused by deforestation.

Urbanisation

  • Urbanisation is the replacement of countryside with built-up areas. Urbanisation has a significant impact on local carbon cycles.
  • For E.g.: Around the world, only 2 per cent of the Earth’s land area is urbanised. However, these urban areas are responsible for the release of 97% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Emissions originate from transport, industry, cement production and the transformation of land from natural to urban.
  • For E.g.: using limestone to make concrete, transfers significant quantities of carbon into the atmosphere.

Ocean Acidification:

  • The ocean absorbs much of the carbon dioxide that is released from burning fossil fuels. This extra carbon dioxide is lowering the ocean’s pH, through a process called ocean acidification.
  • Ocean acidification interferes with the ability of marine organisms (including corals, Dungeness crabs, and snails) to build their shells and skeletons.

Impacts of Rising Carbon emissions:

  • If no action is taken to curtail the global carbon emissions, climate change could cost between 5 and 20 percent of the annual global gross domestic product. It would take 1 percent of GDP to lessen the most damaging effects of climate change.
  • Rising carbon emissions may significantly lower lake levels, altering shoreline habitats and costing millions for the relocation of ports and shore infrastructure.
  • Globally, more intense hurricanes and downpours could cause billions of dollars in damage to property and infrastructure.
  • Declining crop yields due to prolonged drought and high temperatures, especially in Africa, could put hundreds of thousands of people at risk for starvation.
  • High sea temperatures also threaten the survival of coral reefs, which generate an estimated $375 billion per year in goods and services.

Conclusion:

The Need for comprehensively and inclusively participate in Paris climate summit and fulfil targets envisioned in Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon cycle disruption and halt climate change.

 

Topic : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. How would dependence on groundwater in an urbanized environment be a driver of water problems? (250 words)

Reference: www.epw.in

Why the question:

The article brings to us the association of urban dependence of ground water and its impact on water problems.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the causative factors of water problems specific to urban regions of the country.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly present few statistics depicting the water problems in the cities of the country.

Body:

Explain that contemporary India is witnessing rapid urbanisation, and groundwater resources have been overexploited almost to the point of depletion. In addition to urbanisation, the changing trends in agriculture also put additional pressure on groundwater resources. While the model groundwater bill has undergone several iterations to address the issue, a critical look at the work of some non-governmental organisations and a case study of Bengaluru through the lens of transition theory help shed light on community-driven, participatory groundwater management approaches.

Discuss the demands of Urban India with respect to water and its dependence on groundwater and its effects thereafter.

Suggest what needs to be done to address the problems.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to urgently address the issues.

Introduction:

Groundwater is the water that seeps through rocks and soil and is stored below the ground. The rocks in which groundwater is stored are called aquifers. Aquifers are typically made up of gravel, sand, sandstone or limestone.

Body:

Statistics:

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Water Development Report states that India is the largest extractor of groundwater in the world.
  • Two-thirds of the total amount is abstracted in Asia with India, China, Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh as major consumers.
  • 21 major cities of India are expected to run out of groundwater as soon as 2020, affecting around 100 million people, the think tank’s new report states.
  • About 75% of households do not have drinking water at home, 84% rural households do not have piped water access, and 70% of India’s water is contaminated, with the country currently ranked 120 among 122 in the water quality index.
  • By 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions and an eventual loss of around 6% of the country’s GDP.

Importance:

  • Groundwater is supporting livelihoods of over 26 crore farmers and agricultural labourers.
  • Groundwater is one of the most important water sources in India accounting for 63% of all irrigation water and over 80% of rural and urban domestic water supplies.
  • Wells, including dug wells, shallow tube-wells and deep tube wells provide about 61.6% of water for irrigation, followed by canals with 24.5%.

Reasons for Depletion:

  • Increased demandfor water for domestic, industrial and agricultural needs and limited surface water resources lead to the over-exploitation of groundwater resources.
  • There are limited storage facilitiesowing to the hard rock terrain, along with the added disadvantage of lack of rainfall, especially in central Indian states.
  • Green Revolutionenabled water intensive crops to be grown in drought prone/ water deficit regions, leading to over extraction of groundwater.
  • Frequent pumping of waterfrom the ground without waiting for its replenishment leads to quick depletion.
  • Subsidies on electricity and high MSP for water intensive cropsis also leading reasons for depletion.
  • Water contaminationas in the case of pollution by landfills, septic tanks, leaky underground gas tanks, and from overuse of fertilizers and pesticides lead to damage and depletion of groundwater resources.
  • Inadequate regulationof groundwater laws encourages the exhaustion of groundwater resources without any penalty.
  • Deforestation, unscientific methods of agriculture, chemical effluents from industries, lack of sanitation also lead to pollution of groundwater, making it unusable.

Impact:

  • India rank 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index, an astounding 2,00,000 people die each year due to polluted water.
  • Droughts are becoming more frequent, creating severe problems,

Measures needed:

  • There should be restrictions to cut off the access to groundwater in areas identified as “critical” and “dark zones”, where the water table is overused or very low.
  • There is a need to treat water as common resource rather than private property to prevent its overexploitation
  • Problems and issues such as water logging, salinity, agricultural toxins, and industrial effluents, all need to be properly looked into.
  • Research and scientific evaluations should be done before forming any policy.
  • Water depletion can be controlled by reducing electricity subsidies.
  • Another way of efficiently using groundwater is by encouraging farmers to adopt micro-irrigation techniques such as drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers. Government has initiated schemes like DRIP programme, more drop per crop, Krishi Sinchai Yojana to ensure economical water use practices in agriculture.
  • Bottom-up approach by empowering the local community to become active participants in managing groundwater.
  • Creating regulatory options at the community level such as panchayat is also one among the feasible solutions.
  • Traditional methods of water conservation should be encouraged to minimize the depletion of water resources.
  • Technology should be used extensively for determining the relationship between surface hydrological units and hydrological units below the ground, identification of groundwater recharge areas, mapping of groundwater etc.
  • Artificial recharge of tube wells, water reuse, afforestation, scientific methods of agriculture should also be done.
  • Imparting key hydrogeological skills to non-profits and rural practitioners to improve decentralised water management in India.

Conclusion

No single action whether community based, legislation, traditional water harvesting systems, or reliance on market forces will in itself alleviate the crisis in India. The effective answer to the freshwater crisis is to integrate conservation and development activities – from water extraction to water management – at the local level; making communities aware and involving them fully is therefore critical for success. All this will ultimately pave the way for combining conservation of the environment with the basic needs of people

 

Topic : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. How would dependence on groundwater in an urbanized environment be a driver of water problems? (250 words)

Reference: www.epw.in

Why the question:

The article brings to us the association of urban dependence of ground water and its impact on water problems.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the causative factors of water problems specific to urban regions of the country.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly present few statistics depicting the water problems in the cities of the country.

Body:

Explain that contemporary India is witnessing rapid urbanisation, and groundwater resources have been overexploited almost to the point of depletion. In addition to urbanisation, the changing trends in agriculture also put additional pressure on groundwater resources. While the model groundwater bill has undergone several iterations to address the issue, a critical look at the work of some non-governmental organisations and a case study of Bengaluru through the lens of transition theory help shed light on community-driven, participatory groundwater management approaches.

Discuss the demands of Urban India with respect to water and its dependence on groundwater and its effects thereafter.

Suggest what needs to be done to address the problems.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to urgently address the issues.

Introduction:

This case study explains the dilemma of making verbal commitment without prudence then the succumbing to temptation of violating verbal commitment when better opportunity arises.

Body:

Verbal commitment is a non-binding, unofficial commitment given by one person to another through oral communication. For Instance, the essence of Promise lies in keeping it. People dont trust the person who breaks promises because A promise is only as credible as the person giving it.

One has a moral duty to keep one’s promises because making a promise will lead others to believe that you will do what you promise. Breaking the promise is then tantamount to deceiving those one promised, and since one has a moral duty not to do this, one has a moral duty to keep one’s promises.

Making promises becomes merely expectation-producing mechanisms, bringing on excess burden upon the person who makes the promise.

According to Kant, when we don’t keep a promise to someone, it communicates to that person that we don’t value him or her. We have chosen to put something else ahead of our commitment. Even when we break small promises, others learn that they cannot count on us. Tiny fissures develop in our relationships marked by broken promises.

Unfulfilled promises leave open loops – Because promises made to someone come with a certain emotional attachment. An attachment which leads to unpleasant consequences when unfulfilled. For E.g.: Falsely assuring a customer, just to gain profits is wrong.

There is a need to take responsibility of our words. For E.g.: When Satish Dhawan took responsibility of the actions of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam during failure of SLV – 3, he put out strong responsible word and made sure it became a success. Thus, Promise-keeping emerges as a moral obligation.

Based on the above ideas on verbal Commitment:

Aryaman should not take back the resignation and oblige to the verbal promise that he has committed himself to, just for the sake of pecuniary monetary benefits. He should have thought before giving a commitment to someone, once a word is given, it must not be changed, because it reflects integrity of an individual.

Because a person only as good as his/her word. If he takes back resignation and chooses to accept higher salary package it shows:

  • The person values money more than the dignity of the work
  • Lack of credibility on teachers’ side.

This might also open avenues for corruption of teacher in the field of education.


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