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[ Day 35 – 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


 

1. Explain the importance of disaster resilient infrastructure in disaster risk reduction. Is India’s preparedness to develop a disaster-resilient infrastructure sufficient? Examine. 10M

Introduction

Over the world, Natural disasters led to insured losses of over $100 billion in 2021 — the sixth such year apart from the loss of lives. The risk posed by natural hazards is expected to intensify in the coming decades as economies grow, urbanize, and grapple with climate change. Resilience planning, including measures taken to reduce, transfer, and manage climate and disaster risk, will be of vital importance to the world to sustain economic development and reduce loss.

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According to UNDRR, Infrastructure resilience is the ability of infrastructure systems to resist, absorb, accommodate, and recover from hazards to which they are exposed—and to mitigate the impact of such events.

Importance of disaster resilient infrastructure in disaster risk reduction.

  • Avoiding damage and losses – save lives, reduce the number of people affected, reduce damage to infrastructure and other strategic assets, and reduce economic losses and disruptions.
  • Reduce the cost of preparedness – Resilient infrastructure is less costly to maintain and repair Roads, mobile-phone towers, power lines, etc., that can withstand natural hazards.
  • To provide basic services in the event of Disasters – An infrastructure system of interconnected networks that provide reliable services before, during, and after disasters.
  • To mitigate Natural hazards – Worldwide, climate risks are increasing So Disaster resilience infrastructure became necessary to mitigate the natural hazards that we are increasingly encountering now, and will continue to encounter in the future.
  • The resilient infrastructure reduces the impact of natural hazards on people and economies. People and economies that can cope with disaster-related service disruptions.

India witnessed 2 of the world’s 10 most financially devastating climate events in 2021. Both caused financial losses worth more than $1 billion, apart from the loss of lives.

Is India’s preparedness to develop a disaster-resilient infrastructure sufficient?

As a part of preparedness for disaster resilience, India pioneered in the formation of CDRI. Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) – CDRI is a global partnership of national governments, United Nations agencies and others.

  • It aims to increase the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks, thereby ensuring sustainable development.

But apart from this, India needs to follow some other steps to develop a Disaster resilience infrastructure to reduce disaster risks.

Way forward

  • Effective investment in resilient infrastructure can support wider social and economic resilience.
  • Strengthening existing infrastructure regulations is the need of the hour.
  • The “Build Back Better” approach must be applied not just to structural infrastructure design but also to management systems that surround it.
  • Implementation of 2nd ARC recommendations like extending zonal regulations to all the regions based on the intensity of hazards, structural prevention measures as a part of long-term planning etc.

 

2. The ecosystem services of wetlands need to be highlighted in our development policies, urban planning, and climate change mitigation. Substantiate the importance of urban wetlands, highlight the threats they face, and suggest measures for better management. 15M

Introduction

The country has over 757,000 wetlands with a total wetland area of 15.3 million ha, accounting for nearly 4.7% of the total geographical area of the country. The bad news is that India’s cities have lost 25 ha of wetland for every one sq. km’s increase of built-up area in the last four decades. So it becomes important to include Wetlands to be part of our development policies, urban planning, and climate change mitigation.

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Importance of urban wetlands.

 

 

Nearly 30% of the natural wetlands in India have been lost in the last three decades mainly to illegal construction, unsustainable urbanization, agricultural expansion and pollution, according to estimates by Wetlands International South Asia.

Threats to wetland ecosystems

  • Unplanned urbanization – Chennai lost 90% of its wetlands to unplanned urbanisation, leaving the city to grapple with issues of water security and a degraded environment.
  • Vadodara lost 30.5% of its wetlands between 2005 and 2018.Mumbai lost 71%, Ahmedabad 57%, and Bengaluru 56% of wetlands.
  • Damming and water abstraction – Keoladeo Ghana Sanctuary, Loktak Lake, Chilika Lake, and Vembanad Kole are among those severely impacted by dams that affect water and silt flows.
  • Cultural Eutrophication – Drainage from agriculture like pesticides, fertilisers, nutrients from domestic sewage etc causes changes in species composition and richness in the ecosystem.
  • Climate change – wetlands are also suffering from climate change-induced alterations in the environment.
  • Inefficient waste management, industrial waste, rising pollution.
  • Natural causes – Droughts, cyclones, subsidence, invasive species.

Measures for better management.

  • Reforms in existing schemes – Mega urban schemes like Smart Cities Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation need to add the aspects of sustainable management of wetlands.
  • Stronger enforcement of rules existed – National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems and the Wetlands Conservation and Management Rules, 2017(Updated in 2020)
  • Identification of wetlands – Need for more scientific data, imagery, maps and other relevant tools to provide knowledge on the status of wetlands. ISRO mapped around 2 lakh wetlands in its mapping research but little effort has been made by the states in identifying wetlands.
  • Awareness and community participation – Existing laws completely ignore the participation of local communities in governing and monitoring wetlands.
  • Usage of local expertise – Robust policy that involves local expertise and experience, can be formed to transform the conditions of the wetlands.
  • Green-Blue policy – Like Delhi master plan 2041 which highlights the interdependence of water bodies and land around it in Delhi. Thus Plans like focusing on water bodies’ conservation and also land surrounding them are to be part of future urban planning.

Conclusion

Smart and innovative ideas along with increasing space for people’s participation in management and decision-making for the wetlands are a desperate requirement for building a climate resilient future for India.

Additional points

Models for community participation

  • Shweta Hule’s ’Swamini’ self-help group of ten women have been organizing a ‘mangrove safari’ for tourists in the Mandavi creek in Sindhudurg (Maharashtra) since 2017. This has been recognized as a model for community-led conservation through ecotourism.
  • In the Mithilanchal region (north Bihar), Narayan Choudhary’s Talab Bachao Abhiyan has mobilised communities over the years. The campaign created awareness of encroachment and pollution of local ponds and pushed the government to take action.

 


Ethics


3. What are the biases in a society that affects corporate governance? Explain with examples. 10M

Introduction

Corporate governance is a set of standards, processes and principles through which a company is governed in the interest of all the stakeholders such as shareholders, management executives, suppliers, government, customers and the community.

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Biases in a society that affects corporate governance.

  • Gender bias – There has been discrimination in appointment as employees and independent directors, partiality in promotion and payment of salary too.
  • Example – According to a recent report based on a review of FY17 annual reports, India’s women directors are not as well paid as their male counterparts. In the 30 Sensex companies, women directors on average were paid 46 per cent less than men. Women also lose out on big salary jumps as they are not getting promoted as much as men.

 

  • Favouritism – This leads to favouring the close ones in the family, relatives, friends compromising professional values like Integrity, and partiality.
  • Example – Recent case of former ICICI bank head Chanda Kochar approved a loan to Videocon for some deal for her husband.

 

  • Crony capitalism – It is Preferential treatment shown by the government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives.
  • Example – Captive coal block allocation in Coal scams in the early 2010s.

 

  • The concentration of powers – Ownership of corporations in India, is still held by a few hands. A single shareholder or family controls a large group of companies. This leads to several governance-related challenges and has often led to poor decision-making that harms the company’s profits.
  • Example – Naresh Goyal founder and Chairman of Jet Airways.Recently ED found he was the owner of 19 companies. Five of these companies were located abroad, and illegally money was siphoned off to foreign countries through them.

 

 

  • Nepotism – It is not just in India but also worldwide that the successor company is always from within the family
  • Example – Recently Roshni Nadar Malhotra took over as Chairperson in HCL Tech replacing Shiv Nadar, founder of company, an HCL tech company, while Rashid Premji is already chairperson of Wipro replacing Azim Premji, founder of Wipro.

Conclusion

Corporate governance is essential for the growth of companies. Ethical culture in business needs to be prioritized for the successful implementation of corporate governance.