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[ Day 34 – Synopsis ] 75 Days Mains Revision Plan 2022 – Environment and Disaster Management & Ethics

 

 

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.


Environment and Disaster Management


 

Q1. What is compensatory afforestation? Has the increase in funding for Compensatory afforestation led to an increase in forest cover? Analyze. 10M

Introduction

Compensatory Afforestation is defined as the process of afforestation, and associated regeneration activities that are done to compensate for destroyed forest land that has been diverted to non-forest activities.

Main Body

Funding for Compensatory Afforestation 

  • India’s journey of industrialization has impacted its forests; nearly 14,000 square km of forests were cleared to accommodate 23,716 projects over the last 30 years.
  • To compensate for the loss of forest area, India introduced the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
  • In India, one of the major ways in which afforestation takes place is through compensatory afforestation.

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Act 2016

  • For better funding of compensatory afforestation, The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Actor Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act was passed in 2016.
  • The act seeks to provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to ensure expeditious utilization in the efficient and transparent manner of amounts released in lieu of forest land diverted for the non-forest purposewhich would mitigate the impact of diversion of such forest land.
  • As per the rules, 90% of the CAF money is to be given to the states while 10% is to be retained by the Centre.

Has the increase in funding resulted in the increased forest cover

Various sources of Data suggest that the increased funding in the CAMPA has not resulted in an adequate increase in forest cover.

  1. Afforestation is deficient in proportion to funding –
    1. Data from Forest Survey India shows that between 2009-10 and 2016-17, funding by the central government increased by 84.67 percent, but forest cover increased by only 2.42 percent. So, an increase in CAMPA funding by the central government has clearly not resulted in a significant increase in forest cover.
  2. Underutilisation of the CAMPA fund due to litigations
    1. In Punjab Rs.86 lakhs from CAMPA funds for afforestation remained underutilized due to litigation.
  3. Highlights of CAG report
    1. A CAG audit report found that 11 out of India’s 30 states could not use more than 50% of the funds released to them by the center.
    2. The report also added that it was difficult to procure land for compensatory afforestation.
    3. This is because the state forest departments lacked planning and implementation capacity.
  4. No concern for the wider ecological issues during afforestation
    1. For example, the choice of tree species for a new plantation often is chosen without due consideration of its wider ecological value,”
    2. Socio-economic needs are not consideredand there is also no monitoring of the afforestation as well.
  5. Other issues associated with compensatory afforestation
    1. Land grabbing in the name of compensatory afforestation, has also been well documented.
    2. Evaluation and monitoring – Issues have been documented with respect to uniformity of data and updating it with the environment ministry portal.

The proposed objective of the Act must be fulfilled by utilizing the CAMPA funds only for the purpose it is meant for. It should efficiently be used only for afforestation and wildlife conservation activities.

Conclusion

To make it convert into tangible results a closer look at the state government activities using CAMPA funding is needed. The central government should adopt the concept of outcome budgeting for the allocation of funds to the state government in which funding will be done on an installment basis by checking the outcome of previous funds.

 

 

Q2. Examine the impact of land use change on disaster risk in hilly regions. Highlight the challenges involved in sustainable land use policies and suggested mitigation measures. 15M

Introduction

The increasing demand of humankind has caused a large number of land use changes, which pose a direct or indirect threat to the environment while promoting economic growth. The lack of risk-oriented land use changes may increase the disaster risk in the regions.

Body

Impact of land use change on disaster risk in hilly regions.

  • Flash Floods – Shifting cultivation and other unscientific agricultural practices have caused deforestation and soil erosion in hilly regions like Northeast, Uttarakhand, UP, and Himachal Pradesh regions.
  • Deforestation and soil erosion supplemented by Earthquakes, landslides, heavy precipitation, and inadequate drainage management has been causing frequent flash floods in hilly regions.
  • Eg – the 2021 Chamoli disaster ( Uttarakhand flash floods), Amaranth flash floods, Frequent flash floods in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, etc.

 

  • Landslides – It is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, or debris down a slope under the direct influence of gravity.
  • Development of roads, unplanned growth of cities, and unplanned construction of houses without testing the type of rocks and soil increase the chances of landslide occurrences.
  • Eg –In November 2021, the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh was struck by landslides for the 2nd time within 15 days. Frequent landslides in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand.

 

  • Earthquakes – Hilly regions from Jnk, Himachal Pradesh to Northeast fall under Very high-risk zone(Zone V) and high-risk zone(Zone IV) of Earthquake.
  • Construction of deep underground tunnels, Blasting of rock by dynamites for mining and construction purposes and Reservoir induced seismicity by reservoirs in hilly regions of India causing devastating earthquakes in the regions.
  • Eg – EQ in Jammu Kashmir (2005).
  • This, combined with steep slopes, rugged topography, high seismic vulnerability, and rainfall, makes the hilly region of India one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world.

To minimize the above disasters, Sustainable land use is necessary, that is to integrate the management of land, water, and other environmental resources to meet human needs while ensuring long-term sustainability, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and livelihoods.

Sustainable land use policies.

Agroforestry, Effective and efficient utilization of water, Minimum soil disturbance, organic fertilization, and agronomy.

But there are certain challenges involved in sustainable land use policies.

  • Climate change – Increased frequency of extreme weather events and natural disasters because of climate change, causing soil erosion and land degradation. These made it difficult to adopt sustainable land use policies.
  • Economic growth vs Environment -Poor urban planning and unsustainable development practices by the government.
  • Inadequate funding – Inadequate investment in sustainable land management Agriculture practices by land owners and inadequate government support for the same.
  • Lack the knowledge, infrastructure, and resources to practice sustainability.

 

Mitigation measures

  • Education to women – Investment in expanding educational opportunities for women and improving soil conservation, and water supply may lead to the highest returns for development and the environment.
  • Promoting indigenous practices – Traditional water harvesting methods like Johads,ahar pynes etc will reduce instances of flash floods, at the same time help to conserve the water.
  • Terrace farming, Contour bunding should be encouraged instead of slash and burn agriculture practices in the northeast.
  • Restricting development activities such as roads, and dams in risk-prone zones.
  • Technological solutions to achieve environmental sustainability.

Conclusion

Therefore land use planners and policymakers must establish a key connection between disaster risk reduction and land use changes to balance development and disaster risks.

 


Ethics:


Q3.Discuss the moral values which have influenced Indian foreign policy. Illustrate with examples the importance of ethics in international relations. 10M

Introduction

India’s foreign policy occupies a distinguished place in international relations due to its persistent commitment and adherence to eternal and universal moral values.

Body

Moral values that have influenced Indian foreign policy.

  • Non-alignment – It is right to follow an independent foreign policy. India followed this value especially during the cold war era to remain neutral and not to formally align itself with either the United States or the Soviet Union.
  • Anti-racism, anti-colonialism – India was against apartheid and colonialism by Western countries over other countries like South Africa which is against individual countries’ sovereignty.
  • Non-violence – Non-violence is a precondition to respecting other civil and human rights of foreign country citizens. From its initial days of independence, India called for a Nuclear weapon-free world and non-violent world order.
  • Universal Peace – India repeatedly called for the maintenance of peace, the cessation of the arms race, and the peaceful coexistence of all States. India contributed more personnel than any other country to the UN peacekeeping force. India participated in peace missions in Korea, Cyprus, Congo, etc.
  • Neighbourhood first policy

Importance of ethics in international relations.

  • Peace and harmony – Ethics ensure global affairs are carried out with peace and harmony, thus recognizing and representing the civil and human rights of other country’s citizens.
  • Eg – the United Nations establishment for the maintenance of peace in the world.
  • The solution to global problems Ethics ensures that countries cooperate in tackling global problems and do not look for short-term goals for their interest.
  • Eg- Countries cooperating against terrorism.
  • Compassion – Ethics brings compassion to international relations and countries express solidarity in difficult times with each other.
  • Eg – Countries cooperating in COVAX Programme for COVID-19 vaccination in poor countries.
  • Responsibility – Ethics ensure that the rich and developed countries contribute to the development of the Least Developed Countries and thus make them responsible for human development in these countries as well.
  • Eg – Paris Climate Change Agreement and Common But Differential Responsibilities in mitigating climate change.
  • Humanitarian ethics – Ethics ensures that newer developments in the field of science, defence, and security and cooperation of countries in these areas do not hamper human rights.
  • Eg-Countries putting restrictions on the end use of weapons through MTCR, Australia Group, and Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Conclusion

  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. But the recent Ukraine-Russia war, Syria war, Rohingya refugees crisis, etc are in opposition to the statement and shows the deterioration of ethics in the world. This is where the role of ethics comes into play to bring back peace and harmony in the world.


Case Study: 20M


Q4. You are a young graduate aspiring for a job. Your brother suggests you to apply for an internship in a reputed corporate company. Even though the specified job role is different from your expertise, you are determined to work hard during the internship and learn the required skills. You have been selected for the internship. The internship is for 3 months and there will be an interview after the internship which you have to clear to get the job.

X is also a young graduate who has been selected for the internship. You and X have been assigned projects to work during the internship. X is smart and hardworking; she can easily finish the project. As it isn’t your area of expertise you are struggling to finish it. You had expected that the internship would involve training, but the company is expecting you to work on your own. You have asked X for help but she isn’t friendly and doesn’t help you.  After a lot of struggles and help from others at the office, you have completed the project. Three months pass by; you are not confident of getting the job as X is your competitor. A day before the interview you discuss the issue with your brother.  You come to know that the manager of the company is your brother’s close friend and he has assured you the job. Now you just have to attend the interview and not worry about clearing it. You meet X that evening, she says that she badly wants the job as her family is struggling financially. You feel bad for her. You talk to your brother about the morality of recommendation; he scolds you for being sympathetic and asks you to attend the interview. He further says that it’s a private company and they can hire whomever they want.

Given the situation,

    1. Q) Discuss the ethical issues involved and the need for ethics in a company.
    2. Q) What would be your response in such situations, would you attend the interview? Give your reasons.

Introduction

The case study highlights the ethical dilemma between securing a job and being sympathetic to others. It also shows a violation of the code of ethics by a reputed company.

 

Body

  1. Ethical issues involved in the case study.
  • Here, My brother forced me to attend the interview which is against my will and voice of conscience.
  • I already felt bad for X’s present struggling situation, so now not being sympathetic to X will be against my values like Compassion, Humanity, and Morality.
  • I may directly talk with the manager of the company and convince him about X’s situation and get her to secure the job but this may turn against me only as the company will reject me from getting the job.
  • The lack of self-confidence in me to attend interviews and get the job forced me to get help from my brother.
  • Favoritism by company managers is a violation of the code of ethics to be followed by the company in its work.
  • X is a Smart, hard worker and has expertise in the required job but favouring me over her by the company shows a lack of transparency in recruitment which is supposed to be based on merits.
  • Being a reputed company, It is not providing enough training during the internship to the employees and does not focus on reskilling employees.
  • Even though X is expertise in their Job, she is with lower Emotional intelligence. It is manifested while not helping me to finish the project during their internship but presently asking for help for her self-gain.
  • My brother also lacks ethical values like Compassion, humanity, and impartiality.

Need for ethics in a company.

 

  • Ethics help in recruiting the best talent required for the specified job and ensuring the recruitment process is based on merits.
  • Ethics help in providing a level playing field for all job seekers and undermining unethical practices like favouritism, and partiality.
  • Being a reputed company’s transparent recruitment process enables the company to gain trust, credibility, and long-term financial rewards.
  • Business ethics will act as a guiding standard for values, the behaviour of employees, and decision-making in selecting employees. Thus creating healthy work culture.
  • Ethics ensures responsibility and accountability by the manager to the company and board members.
  • Transparent and ethical practices by a company will attract and retain highly talented individuals like X.
  • Ethics in the company will encourage teamwork, employees and employers trust one another and work harmoniously and efficiently.
  1. My response to such a situation.
  • I will not attend the interview as I was already under lower confidence in getting the job and X’s present situation made me help her in securing the job as she needs it and also deserves the same.
  • I will once again try to persuade my brother about X’s situation and also telling that the specified job role is different from my expertise which will put me under pressure when I got the job, as I already faced difficulty in completing the project given in the internship.
  • As I am a hard worker and can learn skills, I will assure my brother that I will look into other jobs which required the expertise that I had. This will also help in my future career growth.
  • If my brother will not persuade and let force me to attend the interview, I will whistleblow the situation to the company This will ensure X secures the job in the company and my brother will not have dought over me and scolds me because as he already said that it’s a private company and they can hire whomever they want.

No, I will not attend the interview because,

  • It will be against my voice of conscience.
  • It will be against my ethical values.
  • Apart from being a financial struggle, X deserves the job as she has expertise in the specified job and has the required skill set.
  • Being sympathetic to X will strengthen my ethical values.
  • It will indirectly help the company to recruit the best talent X.

Conclusion

Business ethics in any company helps to gain long-term credibility apart from financial gains. This will also curb unethical practices like nepotism, favouritism, partiality etc.