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INSIGHTS IAS MAINS TEST SERIES – 2018

INSIGHTS IAS MAINS TEST SERIES 2018


TEST-2
GENERAL STUDIES PAPER-1
SYNOPSIS

1. Many of the world’s saline lakes are shrinking at alarming rates. Examine
the causes and consequences. Also discuss significance of saline lakes to
humans and other animals.

https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_journals/2017/rmrs_2017_wurtsbaugh_w001.pdf

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171023123537.htm

Saline lake is a landlocked body of water that has a concentration of salts (typically sodium
chloride) and other dissolved minerals significantly higher than most lakes. These lakes account
for 44% water volume and cover 23% of geographical area on earth. But there has been reports
of the shrinkage of these lakes at alarming rates due to reasons like

1) Climate change : it’s leading to changes in the precipitation patterns and the increase in
temperature hence the increased evaporation from the lakes. Ex: Dead sea

2) Surface flow diversion for the purposes like the agriculture, industrial use etc is resulting
in decreased inflow in these lakes and hence shrinkage. Ex: The diversion of surface flow for
agriculture resulted in the shrinkage of owens lake in the California.

Another example is classic case of Aral Sea which has completely vanished since 1960s after
the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects.

3) Groundwater pumping : threatens many shallow salt lakes that are essentially surface
‘windows’ of shallow water tables. Ex: Most of the shallow permanent and temporary salt lakes
in central Mexico have already disappeared because of over-pumping of groundwater for
irrigation, and other deeper lakes have shrunk rapidly.

4) Mining : It involves the construction of levee banks, causeways and other structures that
physically damage the structure of the lake. These structures impede the free surface movement
of water across the bed of the lake. Apart from the physical disturbance, mining may have
impacts on salt lakes by adding pollutants. Ex: Oil spills from mining rigs in the Caspian Sea

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5) Pollution: Inorganic plant nutrients appear not to be major pollutants in salt lakes, though
exceptions occur (Williams 1981). For example, Farmington Bay of the Great Salt Lake has
become eutrophic as a result of excess nutrients in runoff from urban development around Salt
Lake City

In addition soil erosion, increased sediment loads and changes in runoff patterns can be the
result of other catchment activities, including overgrazing by cattle and sheep and excessive
clearance of the natural vegetation etc are also contributing to the shrinkage of the saline lakes
of world.

But it has to be noted that these saline lakes are significant to humans as well as other animals
and their shrinkage is bound to have serious consequences.

1) Environmental significance and consequences


 These lakes provide habitat for the different aquatic species. With their shrinkages the
biodiversity is also threatened. Ex: Water birds
 The saline lakes provides environmental services like the aquifer recharge via water
percolation, nutrient filtration etc. With their shrinkage there is threat of decreasing
water tables that is vital for the human survival given the increasing demand for fresh
water with consequent increase in population and the urbanisation.
 Salt lakes develop as the termini of inland drainage basins where hydrological inputs and
outputs are balanced. The shrinkage will disturb this hydrological balance.

2) Economic significance and consequences


 The saine lakes are home to many minerals like trona, calcite, gypsum, borax and, more
recently, lithium and uranium salts. With the shrinkage of saline lakes the source for
these minerals will also be lost.
 The fishing activities provide livelihood to the communities residing in the nearby areas.
With the shrinkage of these lakes their livelihood is also threatened.
 Many of these lakes has aesthetic values and provide recreational opportunities.
 Some of the saline lakes also provide for the cost effective and environment friendly
shipping routes.

3) Sociological significance and consequence


 The saline lakes in the arid and semiarid areas provide effective barrier against the dust
storm. The shrinkage of saline lakes is causing asthama, respiratory disease in the
population residing the region.

4) Political consequences like water wars. Ex: Dead sea - Syria and Israel

Thus the saline lakes are important natural assets with considerable aesthetic, cultural,
economic, recreational, scientific, conservation and ecological values. Though the shrinkage is
part of natural cycle the worrying fact is that it has been accelerated by anthropological
interventions. It is high time to redress this situation by raising awareness of the values of salt
lakes, the nature of human threats and impacts on them, and their special management
requirements.

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2. Some communities in North East India have experienced persistent


displacement due to ethnic violence. Discuss how these ethnic violences
have affected development of North East India and steps necessary for
successful repatriation and for a long-term solution.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uNvtL64c-B8CeibsiT5x8FTBrYFmONV1/view?usp=sharing

The North eastern part of India is home to many ethnic tribes(such as Naga, Bodo, Mizo, Garo,
Chakma, Paite and Hajong) which has their own unique culture and customs. The conflict over
limited resources has often lead to violences. It has eventually become institutionalised form of
armed conflict that has hamstrung the development in the region in spite of the fact that the
region is endowed with rich natural resources.

1. The law and order problem has dissuaded the investors from the region. As a result
there has been lack of development of industries in this region of the country. The wrath
of ethnic groups on the industries employing the immigrants has driven out the
investment from the region.
2. The region stands way below in comparison with the rest of India in socio-economic
indicators. As per the 2001 census, the annual per capita income of NER is 6,625 INR
against the rest of India average of 10,254 INR. Nearly 34.28% of the population is below
poverty line as compared to the national average of 26.1%. However, the NER is a highly
literate region. Except for Arunachal Pradesh, all the other states have literacy rates
about or above national average of 64.8% which provides a good pool of educated human
resources in the region
3. The law and order problem has necessitated the large chunk of government resources to
be spent on the maintenance of forces instead of on the development like education.
4. The zeal to save their traditions in at the root of many of these conflicts. So the social
change is not easily accepted by the people and it is major hurdle in bringing the
development in the region as such a development would likely to alter their traditions.
This is also at the root of their aversion to abandon the subsistence farming like slash
and burn agriculture.
5. The ethnic violences often causing blockages makes the market access difficult causing
hardships for the the marketing of produce.

In addition the ethnic violences also result in the damage to the public properties like roads,
railways etc that in turn become drag on the developmental process.

Adding to these there is also the geographical difficulties like the swift streams, forbidding
terrain and the international conflicts that has dragged down the development in the region.

All these factors have resulted in the migration of youth out of North east in search of better
opportunities and livelihood. It is resulting in the challenges like changing demographics in the
region, social instability in the region. Hence there is need to ponder upon bringing the
development to this region of nation. Some of the measures that can be undertaken are

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1) Infrastructure
Development of infrastructure facilities in the region (ex: Roads, railways etc) in order to ensure
interconnectedness with the rest of the country. The Kaladan project and trilateral highway are
need to be expedited as it will provide quick and alternative connectivity to the region.

2)Poverty eradication
Eradication of poverty has the potential to bring stability in the region by dissuading youth from
joining insurgent activities. It can be done by
 The region, which is heavily dependent on the agriculture sector, needs a green
revolution to eradicate poverty and boost its economy. Such a green revolution must be
adequately backed by financial institutions, marketing functionaries and R&D. Given the
vast swathe of tribal population and their unique culture traditional handicrafts and
skills can be promoted to give the economic opportunities for the people in the region.
Sports can also be used to attract the youth in the region.
 The organic farming can be promoted in the larger scale in scale with Sikkim given the
increase in the demand for organic produce and the potential of the region
 Evergreen revolution as advocated by Swaminathan

3) State policies
 Improving the availability of services like education, health facilities etc.
 Strengthening of local law and order situation as absence of threat of law is escalating
the conflicts into violence.

In addition government can organise the tribal festivals to bring together the different tribes
together to foster the people to people contact and the confidence. Plus the peace has to be
restored in the troubled regions like bodoland at the earliest by bringing back the secessionists
on the negotiating table.

It’s the development that is antidote to these ethnic violence as it will bring down the
competition for resources between the different ethnic groups.

3. The Hindu notions of purity and pollution, inextricably linked with the caste
system and the practice of untouchability, underlie the unsanitary practices in
Indian society. Discuss the statement and also critically examine how Swachh
Bharat Abhiyan seeks to address caste-based manual scavenging practices.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gq87sX1NTq9pIOsryZvxioSqy6V3yZ1S/view?usp=sharing

https://www.epw.in/engage/article/why-india-needs-address-caste-based-manual-scavenging-
swacch-bharat

A society that has seen stratification done on each and every level has also seen the notion of
purity and pollution by distance respective of caste. The idea of purity and pollution is the major
aspect in the hierarchy of caste system and has also formed the basis of discrimination against
untouchables.It is linked to the orthodox mindset of society that has lived for long time.

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These beliefs perpetuate the oppression of the “polluted castes,” who are forced to undertake
manual scavenging, unclog manholes and clean other people’s filth. These jobs have been tagged
as polluted hence upper caste person are forbidden from engaging in such jobs. The contact with
the person who does these jobs is expected to pollute the caste of person. Hence these castes
were made to reside in different part of village and aren’t allowed access to public spaces like
temple, well etc. Thus these polluted castes are came to be labelled as untouchables and were
made to do these sanitar jobs.

The home is considered as the sacred place and having sanitary facilities in home is believed to
pollute this sacred place. This has been the major reason for open defecation in India.

The throwing of dead bodies is ganga is resorted to owing to the belief that it will purify the soul
from all sins.

The availability of cheap Dalit labour to do these dehumanising jobs can be cited as one of the
reasons why development of toilet facilities and a modern garbage and sewage management
system have been neglected so far.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan seeks to address caste-based manual scavenging practices in the
following ways

1) There has been thrust to project a samras (harmonious) picture of our society, where
cleanliness or the lack of it was connected with our kartavya (duty) towards Bharat Mata
(Mother India). There by it tries to dignify these jobs.

2)It is motivating communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and facilities through
awareness creation and health education. It also encourage cost effective and appropriate
technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation with focus on scientific Solid &
Liquid Waste Management systems. With this Swachh Bharat is trying to eliminate the need of
human labour to do these insanitary jobs.

3) The subschemes like Swachh samriddhi yojana are trying to transform manual scavengers
into entrepreneurs.

4) In addition swachh Bharat aims to promote social inclusion by improving sanitation


especially in marginalized communities. Via this it will be able to eliminate the notion of
‘pollution’ that is attached to these communities.

4) It aims to bring in improvement in the general quality of life by promoting cleanliness,


hygiene and eliminating open defecation by providing financial aid to construct toilets at home.

Swachh Bharat trying to address the unsanitary practices

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1) The behavioral change component of swachh bharat is trying to whittle down the notion of
purity and pollution that forbids people from using sanitation facilities.

2) The awareness generation at very young age about the health benefits of sanitary
practices with the involvement of school children.

Having said so the task of removing these notions are not easy. It requires sustained efforts from
government and also the civil society.

4. Digital inclusion of tribes in India is pivotal to tribal development.


Comment.

https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/AhrviHfdlAluJ6ffBBpUQN/Preserving-our-vanishing-
tribes-their-heritage-language-an.html

https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/D690VlyjUVXGSpT3HvMUFI/Tribal-development-with-
digital-inclusion.html

ITU defines digital inclusion as the empowering people through information and
communication technologies (ICTs). These technologies has a lot to offer to tribes living in
difficult and remote areas as connectivity can offer better access to government schemes,
entitlements and also rights.

The common problems faced by the tribals in India are


1) Geographical isolation to accessibility
Most of the tribal population live in inaccessible locations like hilly tracts, remote interiors etc.
The services like education, health are rarely available in these hinterlands. The digital
inclusion can bring in these services at the door steps of the tribal population. Ex: e-education
initiatives like VSAT classes, virtual classrooms can foster the education among tribals who
otherwise have no access to it.

2) From passive recipients to active participants


Their remote locations often makes their voice being unheard in the policy making. The digital
technologies can be used to provide them platform to voice their grievances and needs hence
providing for their participation in the governance. It also increases the accountability of the
elected representatives.

3) Global platform for products


The tribals derive their livelihoods from the traditional vocations like minor forest produce,
paintings, artifacts etc. The ICT technologies can help these people in getting better price for
their products by expanding the markets. Ex: Jharcraft portal of Jharkhand, Tribes India brand
of Government of India.

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4) Protection of traditional knowledge


The tribals in India are unique for their traditional practices like dance, language, cuisine etc.
Many of these are at the verge of extinction. The documentation of same with help of ICT
technologies will help in safeguarding these practices and also makes the data available to policy
makers which may result in more realistic policies for the development of tribals.

5) globalisation of indian tribes with the increased interaction with other indigenous people.

It will also lead to dissemination of their culture to the outside world

In addition the ICT technologies can be used to create awareness about their rights and available
remedies as the lack of awareness often leads to their exploitation, the skill development which
will expand the employment opportunities for the tribals etc.

Thus the ICT technologies can provide for the development of tribes without disturbing their
culture in cost effective way. But the intention should not merely to teach them how to use
computers or mobiles but to provide them contextual, relevant and timely digital literacy so that
they can access these technologies to consume information for their wellbeing.

5. Analyse the impact of ‘regionalisation’ and ‘deglobalisation’ on Indian


diaspora and Indian society.

https://www.bbc.com/news/32783365

https://www.livemint.com/Companies/tKamdGDvvyCt8Smn39TQMK/We-are-in-a-
deglobalization-period-Business-historian-Geoff.html

https://www.cigionline.org/sites/default/files/documents/Paper%20no.135WEB_1.pdf

The rising wave of protectionism has been causing the diminishing interdependence
and integration between countries in the world the process termed as the
deglobalisation. Ex: The recent ‘america first’ policy of Trump, Brexit.
Regionalisation in global discourse represents world that is less interconnected with stronger
regional focus. Ex: Apathy of EU countries to present migrant crisis.
These two process will result in decline of trade, investment, cultural and personal links.

The effect of such process on the Indian diaspora are

1) The demand for employing local is making Indian diaspora lose their jobs in these
countries. The immediate effect will be fall in the flow of remittances and the pressure on the
Balance of payment.

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2) There are racial attacks on the Indian Diaspora in the western countries like USA, Britain etc
where once Indians were being viewed as contributors to the overall development of country.

3) obstacles in business investment avenues and hence reduced profits and remittances
Ex: Pravasi Bhartiya contributions

The process of deglobalisation and regionalisation also affects Indian society at large

1) The rise of trade barriers will create hurdle for the exports and decelerates the export oriented
growth which is necessary to provide employment to the youth. It will also affect the economic
well being of the business communities in India.

2) The rise of Indian middle class and the rising standard of living is mainly attributed to the
forces of globalisation. The reversing of it will lead to the sharpening of inequalities in the
Indian society.

3) The protectionism threatens the free flow of investment that is vital for the success of
programmes like make in India in which all the sections of the society has larger stakes.

4) Brain gain as diaspora comes back.

5) Deepening unemployment in the country and social congestion as result of the same

6) Access to technology and modern practices will be reduced hampering the development of
society.

It can be seen that the protectionism of developed countries was at the root of failure of the
WTO trade negotiations which is vital for the agriculture of Indian society.

6. Justice for women and girls is one of the main accelerators for
achieving inclusive growth and development. Discuss the hurdles that
women face in their access to justice and steps required to remove these
hurdles in India.

https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/04/03/invisible-victims-sexual-violence/access-justice-
women-and-girls-disabilities

https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/blog/2016/10/womens-access-to-justice-a-transformative-
approach/

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According to OECD inclusive growth is economic growth that is distributed fairly across society
and creates opportunities for all. It enables one to be an active participant in the society and the
economy and realise one’s potential.

Women are considered to be the most vulnerable sections of society who have faced injustice in
form of discrimination from time immemorial. The hurdles they face while accessing justice are

1) societal outlook
The patriarchal mindset that views girls as burden and son leads to girls being denied the
resources and opportunities. The resultant lack of education, nutrition leads to lower labour
participation, health problems etc

Apart from this the sex selective abortion stemming from male preference is also a injustice
meted out to girls.

2) Institutional framework
Though the gener justice has been echoed in all legislations the proper enforcement of these
regulation and awareness about these laws is the hurdle in way of access to justice. Ex: There are
media reports highlighting the apathy of police in registering the cases of violence against
woman.

3) Violence against women


There are cases of sexual violence against girls that props up the question of security of women
in our society. In addition there are also case of the domestic violence. It will affect their physical
and mental well being and their work efficiency

4) Economic injustice
 Many of the low skilled women workers are paid less than their male counterparts even if
their nature of work is same.
 In addition the domestic work of caregiving and nurturing are not counted as having
economic value even if it’s time consuming and physically toiling

5) Gender based socialisation of girls from childhood will curb their potential and
uniqueness thereby it constitute a form of psychological injustice.

The women are often denied voice in decision making and stereotyped as being physically weak.
All these factors stands in way of woman in accessing the fruits of growth.
The steps that can be taken to remove these hurdles are
1. Promoting social and economic empowerment of women through cross-cutting policies
and progress. Ex: Mahila e-hat
2. Mainstreaming gender sensitivity through awareness creation about rights of women,
the available remedial measures etc. Ex: Through street plays, exhibitions etc
3. The government machinery has to be geared towards the different needs of women and
the frontline workers are to be made more responsive. This has to be accompanied with
the stricter enforcement of rules and regulations formulated to create gender justice.

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Along with these encouraging women participation in the legislative bodies that will result in
policies becoming more gender sensitive, increasing patrol to provide for safer public places for
women, facilitating women achievers as done by President recently (facilitating first women) etc
will boost confidence among the women and make them the equal partners of development.

Though there are steps like reservations, national women commission, Sakhi centres etc the
injustice in the domestic space has persisted. Ending this injustice is the biggest challenge facing
India and the world as a whole.

7. Transit-Oriented Development may transform the future of Indian


cities. Discuss.

https://www.financialexpress.com/money/transit-oriented-development-may-transform-the-
future-of-indian-cities/634047/

http://mohua.gov.in/upload/whatsnew/59a4070e85256Transit_Oriented_Developoment_Poli
cy.pdf

According to world bank the urbanization in India is only 33%, whereas the size of the urban
population is about 429 million. In addition Indian cities are among the fastest-growing in the
world (JLL’s Cities Momentum Index 2017). Though it is an indicator of positive development,
rapid urbanization is also accompanied by a host of challenges.

The growing urban sprawl in India is leading to increased use of private vehicles, congested
roads, increased pollution, public safety issues, increased household spending – and the stress
that increasing population puts on the existing infrastructure of our cities. Many of these
problems can be solved or at least significantly reduced by cities augmenting their public
transport systems and also integrating land use planning and development with the transport
network. Transit oriented development holds key here.

Essentially, TOD is any macro or micro development focused around a transit node which
results in improved ease of access to the transit facility. When done correctly, such
developments encourage citizens to prefer walking and using public transportation over using
private vehicles. TOD will result in

1) Releases under-utilized urban lands: The major reasons for urban sprawl and shortage
of urban land is the fact that urban lands are not exploited to their optimal potential. TOD opens
up dense developments near transit nodes through relaxed FSI norms, thereby increasing the
developable area in the same piece of land.

2) Ensures sustainable urban growth: TOD curtails urban sprawl and hence reduces the
strain on existing infrastructure. This helps in achieving compact and controlled developments
within the cities, and reduces the average travel time and household spends on transportation.

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3) Increased modal shift towards Non-Motorized Transport (NMT): Done correctly,


TOD creates a balanced mix of land use through concentrated residential development at a
walking distance of 500 to 800 m along the transit corridor, or from the transit station. This
increases ‘walkability’, encourages public transport use and also makes ‘last-mile’ options such
as cycle sharing systems much more viable.

4) Increased financial viability of transit investments: Increase in the modal shift


increases the ridership (the number of passengers using a particular form of public transport) by
improving access to transit stations through seamless connectivity. This enhances the economic
and financial viability of transit investments. It also helps in better channelling of peak hour
traffic along both directions, improving the efficiency of existing vehicle fleets.

5) Improved quality of life with better places to live, work and play: Factors such as
increased walkability, reduced traffic congestion and shorter commutes result in more leisure
hours, reduced pollution, more reliable and safer public transport systems, mixed-use
development, and efficient and shared open spaces. All these add up to significantly improved
quality of life for citizens.

6) Efficient management of infrastructure spending: In a city, a lot of infrastructure


investments are often planned for the fringe areas owing to the urban sprawl and lack of
infrastructure facilities. Infrastructure spends also need to be concentrated to benefit the core
cities; it costs less to build roads/ expressways and other physical infrastructure for the urban
sprawl. Also, transit options are first developed within city limits and later scaled to outer areas.
Effectively optimizing these spends within the city limits is critically important, and is the
perfect solution.

Also, TOD exploits available urban lands to the maximum, thereby making enough space
available to meet the growing demand for affordable housing.

Along with it TOD could also lead to more stable property prices and improved municipal
revenues, Increased availability of EWS housing, Expanded economic opportunities and public
safety, especially for women, who prefer to travel shorter distances to work in India etc.

In short we can say that TOD is literally the last lap to achieve sustainable urban transformation
in amalgamation with various initiatives and concepts such as Smart Cities, AMRUT, NMT,
MMI (Multi-Modal Integration), Last Mile Connectivity options, Green Mobility Schemes, etc.
As the indubitable future of urbanization in India, TOD requires dedicated fund allocations from
governments (depending on the size and positioning of the city) for its effective implementation

8. Reversing feminisation of agriculture in India is key to social stability


in the nation. Discuss critically.

https://thewire.in/agriculture/rural-economy-crisis-feminisation-agriculture
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YwCZFUZoOBWkA_dyMvwu47P1_cgEhyJa/view?usp=sharin
g

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https://www.thehindu.com/business/farm-sector-sees-feminisation/article22564340.ece
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminization_of_agriculture

For sustainable development of agriculture and rural economy the contribution of women to
agriculture and food production cannot be ignored. As per 2011 census 55% work as agriculture
labours and 24% as cultivators out of total female workforce. There is predominance of women
at all levels of production, pre-harvesting, processing, packaging, marketing of the agricultural
value chain. This feminisation of agriculture is mainly because of men moving out of hinterland
to cities in search of a living, leaving women with farm responsibilities.

Some argue that reversing this trend is important, for stable families hold the key to social
stability in the nation because

1. The rural urban migration is resulting in skewed sex ratio in the villages as it’s mostly the
men who move out of villages. They often end up working as construction labourers,
lorry loaders, parking attendants, security guards, rickshaw pullers, domestic servants
and street vendors earning pittances. Most of them live in slums and squatters that lack
the basic facilities like sanitation, drinking water, electricity etc. The resentment over
deplorable conditions of life may be exploited by the anti-social elements.

2. The rural urban migration also overburdens the urban infrastructure facilities and there
are also evidences of rising crime rates in the cities committed by these migrants.

3. The women who are left behind by these men will be double burdened with the
responsibilities both inside domestic space and outside domestic space.

As pointed out by economic survey many of these women don’t have land titles in their names.
Oly 12% of operational land holdings are women owned. This creates hurdles for women
farmers in credit access, insurance reclamation etc that makes even the agricultural growth
suffer.

This doesn’t mean we should be reversing the feminisation of agriculture. Because of the
positive implications it has on lives of women.

1) It has resulted in the economic independence of the women folk. Ex: The coming up of SHGs
and cooperatives via schemes like Kudumbashree

2) Women status in home and the society is being increased as they are emerging as the decision
makers.

3) Social benefits: Greater care for children education and health

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4) Reduction in domestic violence

Thus we need the inclusive transformative agricultural policy aimed at gender-specific


interventions to raise productivity of small farm holdings, integrate women as active agents in
rural transformation, and engage men and women in extension services with gender expertise.

9. Critically analyse causes of worsening groundwater crisis in India and


its impact on urban regions and agriculture. Also discuss solutions to
address this crisis.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/indias-groundwater-future-is-at-
stake/article9689155.ece

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/the-alarming-levels-of-indias-
groundwater/article19253949.ece

https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/v4nXpXNxSJtxQNlEbvtJFL/Indias-groundwater-
crisis.html
Groundwater is the most exploited resource in world. With the increase in population and
urbanization and industrialization the pressure on ground water is increasing. Ex: according to
study of International Water Management Institute India’s groundwater increased from 7km³ in
1940 to about 270 km³ over the past decade.

But there is Rapid depletion of water table in many parts of the country as indicated in the
2016 Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) report. This points to the looming ground water
crisis in India. The reasons that can be attributed are

1) Faulty agricultural practices:


The agricultural practices like growing the water intensive crops that has higher MSP,
monocropping, unscientific methods of irrigation etc. are leading to overexploitation of
groundwater. Ex: Haryana and Punjab are relying on crops like paddy that are water intensive
and unsuitable for the region.

2) Pollution
The overuse of chemical fertilizers in agriculture, the leaching of toxic chemicals from the
landfill and industries are leading to groundwater pollution that is rendering the ground water
not usable. Ex: Arsenic contamination in the Gangetic basin

3) Decreased recharge
The aquifers that feed groundwater are not being recharged owing to the diversion of the surface
flow, concretization in the urban areas, encroachment of the wetlands for settlement etc.

4) Faulty policies

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The diesel and electricity subsidies have led to the indiscriminate extraction of groundwater.

In addition to this deforestation, salinization, climate change leading to erratic rainfall patterns
etc are affecting the groundwater tables in India.

The impact of such groundwater crisis in urban regions are


1. Land subsidence
The basic cause of land subsidence is a loss of support below ground. In other words,
sometimes when water is taken out of the soil, the soil collapses, compacts, and drops.
2. Increased costs for the user
As the depth to water increases, the water must be lifted higher to reach the land surface.
If pumps are used to lift the water (as opposed to artesian wells), more energy is required
to drive the pump. Using the well can become prohibitively expensive.
3. Water shortage for drinking and other domestic usage

Impacts on agriculture
1. With 60% of India’s irrigation dependent upon groundwater the groundwater crisis will
result in failure of borewells and associated crop failure
2. The groundwater crisis will affect the agriculture production and productivity
3. The fall of water availability will affect the cropping pattern.

The crisis has to be addressed in high priority as it threatens the food security. The steps that
can be taken in this direction are

1) Rain water harvesting at the community levels. It will lead to rise in the water tables.

2) Rationalization of subsidies and the MSP and also water pricing to discourage the
overexploitation of groundwater.

3) Adopting scientific agricultural practices like micro irrigation practices, mulching, growing
crops in that suit the agro ecological conditions of the region etc.

4) Sustained measures should be taken to prevent pollution of water bodies, contamination of


groundwater and ensure proper treatment of domestic and industrial waste water.

5) In urban areas putting in place an efficient piped supply system and providing spaces for the
seepage of the rainwater has to be top on the agenda of policymakers and planners.

India can also adopt the World Bank’s Water Scarce Cities Initiative that seeks to promote an
integrated approach to managing water resources and service delivery in water-scarce cities as
the basis for building resilience against climate change.

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INSIGHTS IAS MAINS TEST SERIES – 2018

Along with these measures there has to be afforestation, awareness drive in order to ensure the
long term gains.

10. Examine how Amartya Sen’s “Missing Women” and recent Economic
Survey’s “‘unwanted girls” concepts are interrelated. Also discuss socio-
economic implications of phenomenon of “unwanted girls” in India.

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/economic-survey-unwanted-girl-child-
5045397/

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/indias-missing-women/article5670801.ece

https://thewire.in/economy/indias-preference-sons-resulted-21-million-unwanted-girls

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_women

In 1990 economist Amartya Sen had formulated the concept of ‘missing woman’ - female who
had not been born because of technology enabled foeticide at mass scale. In India it is estimated
to be close to 40 million in 1990. In 2014 it stands at 63 million.

This year economic survey brings the concept of ‘unwanted girls’ in India i.e., females between
age of 0 and 25 who were born because their parents wanted a son but had a daughter instead.

The Stricter enforcement of PCPNDT act, the difficulties in the sex selection abortions made
some families to delay the adoption of contraceptives till they have male child.

Both these concepts hold mirror to the male preference still prevalent in the country that
perceives girl child as the burden. Given basket of limited resources in a family a girl will always
get less from nutrition to education till opportunities. The socio-economic implication of such
phenomenon are

1) Worsening sex ratio


The more number of unwanted girls will lead to skewed sex ratio distorting natural balance
between men and women in the society and may lead to unmarried youth disturbing health of
society.

2) Health issues
Lack of adequate food and nutrition in girls leads to anaemia, low cognitive developments. It
will be worsened in the reproductive age resulting in birth defects, high MMR and IMR. Thus
our next generation will also suffer resulting in vicious cycle.

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INSIGHTS IAS MAINS TEST SERIES – 2018

3) Depriving opportunities
These unwanted girls will be educationally deprived which makes them more vulnerable and
easily exploitable. Because of lack of exposure they become prone to domestic violence and
vices.

4) Abandonment
Many of the girls who are abandoned become targets of vested interests like human trafficking,
beggary rockets, drug abuse etc

In addition to these we also have economic implications of these two phenomenon


1) Low labour force participation
With the low education and the skill these women will end up in low paying jobs or unemployed.
This will lower the status of women in family and society and also deprives country of it’s
demographic dividend in addition to lowering GDP growth
Ex: World bank reports says Indian women contribute only 19% to the human capital formation
and our GDP rate will increase by 2% if we ensure full participation of women in economy.

2) The increase in family size and the need for more consumption will bring down the savings of
family that have repercussions for the family as well as economy as it will affect the saving rates
and capital formation in the households.

This phenomenon shows unchanged attitude of society towards women. There has to be a
sustained efforts to increase the avenues for women to enable them to realise their potential and
awareness generation and behaviour change. It calls for efforts from all of us to give woman
their due place in our society and acknowledge their equal contribution in our homes.

11. Interlinking of river waters is a complex process influenced by Centre


State Coordination and technical sign offs. Comment.

http://www.insightsonindia.com/2017/10/21/2-interlinking-river-waters-complex-process-
influenced-centre-state-coordination-technical-sign-offs-comment/

Interlinking of rivers aims to transfer the water from water surplus basin to water deficit basin
there by catering for water shortages. The National Perspective Plan (NPP) drafted in 1980
aimed to connect Himalayan rivers with peninsular rivers. Under the NPP, the National Water
Development Agency (NWDA) has identified 30 links (16 under Peninsular Component & 14
under Himalayan Component). This initiative is expected to end farmers dependence on
monsoon, bring million of hectares of cultivable land under irrigation and generate huge
megawatts of electricity in addition to curtailing floods in the surplus basin.

However, the success of these projects depends heavily on the effective coordination and
cooperation between the center and states as well as the states among themselves.

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INSIGHTS IAS MAINS TEST SERIES – 2018

1) The subject of water remains primarily a state subject i.e. list 2 of the seventh schedule,
therefore there is a need for an amendment to bring water into the concurrent list i.e. list 3 of
the seventh schedule.

2) Institutional framework for inter-state water disputes must be strengthened in order to avoid
long arbitrations since in future, the upper riparian states may not be unwilling to share
proportionate amount of water with the lower riparian states especially during the dry months
owing to increased demand for water in its own state. Ex: Mahanadi water dispute between
Chattisgarh and Odisha.

3) Proper rehabilitation of people affected by the interlinking projects must be undertaken to


ensure justice and also to ensure people support to future projects.

4) environmental issues to must be considered to avoid the adverse effects of environmental


degradation and climate change.

In addition to these there are also technical glitches that have to be taken into account while
proceeding with river interlinking

1) Data deficiency

There is dearth of data related to hydrological sector. We need to have data related to water
availability in different seasons and water demand across the sectors for a particular region. This
will aid in devising the water sharing formula between different states and avoiding the disputes
as we see in case of Kaveri

2)Economic feasibility and land acquisition

Some Economists question the economic feasibility of the project given the need for prime
pumping required to transfer the water from Himalayan rivers to peninsular rivers. In addition
to it there is question of land acquisition and forest submergence.

3) Environmental conundrum

 Diversion of west-flowing rivers of Western Ghats would affect bio-diversity of the


Sahyadris, which is also a hot-spot
 Construction work in biodiversity hotspots would further create environmental and
social crises
 Water ecosystem may be damaged with river diversion

4) International cooperation

Rivers like the Ganga-Brahmputra and Teesta are international rivers and projects on them
might raise diplomatic issues with the neighbors

5) Geological

There is fear of seismology of region being affected by the reservoirs. In addition there
is possibility of alteration in the river flow and sediment load in the lower stream.

The above questions needs to addressed before embarking on this mamooth project with long
gestation period of about 50 years. Simultaneously focus can be given on “more crops , less
drop” mission , water-shed management Nerranchal scheme which are good viable alternatives.

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INSIGHTS IAS MAINS TEST SERIES – 2018

12. Bank recapitalisation plan is a necessary but not sufficient condition for
reviving growth. It must be accompanied by structural changes. Discuss.

http://www.insightsonindia.com/2017/10/27/6-bank-recapitalisation-plan-necessary-not-
sufficient-condition-reviving-growth-must-accompanied-structural-changes-discuss/

Recapitalization means readjustment of banks capital structure by issuing of bonds, budgeted


amount to bail out etc.The need for recapitalisation arises due to

1. Staggering NPA
 First, public sector banks have experienced a steady deterioration in the quality of
assets. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) noted in its annual report for 2016–17 that
as of end-March 2017, 12.1% of the advances of the banking system were stressed.
 The resultant exuberance in lending to infrastructure projects via the public–private
partnership (PPP) model, coupled with governance issues in select public sector
banks and associated reports of crony capitalism added to this baggage of non-
performing assets.

2) Low credit growth

 India is predominantly a bank finance-led economy, so when bank lending slows


down, it surely impacts future growth. Bank credit growth has been at nearly a 60-
year low.
 Bank credit growth since 2014–15 has decelerated drastically and stood as low as
8.2% during 2016–17.

The recapitalisation is expected to give much needed fuel to the public sector banks and it may
lead to credit growth which is very low from few years. Industries can avail bank loans so that
they can invest in new projects . Now banks can write off some portion of the loan so that stalled
projects can rejuvenate. Due to all this reason growth will occur.

But closer scrutiny at the economy reveals for the need of other structural reforms in addition to
recapitalisation as it’s not the credit availability but also the demand for credit availability that
has affected the growth in recent years. These structural reforms has to be in both banking
sector and economy as whole.

Banking structural reforms

1) Governance reform -- granting genuine autonomy to banks in their functioning, including


all aspects such as lending, recovery, and recruitment decisions. It will lead to better
accountability and quicker decisions.

2) There has to be the contingency plan and also the compulsory risk assessment
before lending. This will result in better credit flow.

3) Insolvency provision: Early detection of stress asset, better implementation of recovery


and stringent application of Insolvency and Bankruptcy code should be done.

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INSIGHTS IAS MAINS TEST SERIES – 2018

These measures will enable the banks to better cater for the needs of growth in the economy as
the health of banking system is crucial for the revival of growth.

Economy wide structural issues

1) Infrastructure projects can be funded through long-term bonds or developmental


organisations like the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank, or the IDBI in its original
avatar as they have long gestation and long payback period. This will reduce the stress on the
banks.

2) Judicial reforms - The second reason for deterioration of loans could be the impact of key
judicial decisions like abrupt cancellations of coal mines and spectrum allocation. When the
same were re-allocated through expensive auctions, it proved to be a fatal burden on respective
business models of power, steel and telecom.

3) Land acquisition and Environmental clearances -- have to be obtained at the earliest


in order to avoid delay and the cost escalation.

In addition we can also adopt the three pronged strategy suggested by the IMF in it’s regional
economic outlook -- addressing the corporate weaknesses, continued fiscal consolidation
through revenue measure, and improving the efficiency of labour and product markets.

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