Topic– Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
8) As India transitions to renewable energy, it needs to articulate a credible economic future for the coal belt. Critically analyze.(250 words)
Why this question
India is one of the largest CO2 emitting nations in the world and this trend is going to increase for a certain period of time. Coal is a cheap and fairly abundant source of energy but it has its own problems which call for phasing out its production and use. However, the coal belt of India is highly dependent on coal and there is a need to chalk out a strategy for this coal belt in anticipation of phasing out coal in India.
Critically analyze- here we 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. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and bring out the reasons as to why there is a need to enhance the coal quality & economic future of the country.Based on our discussion we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.
Structure of the answer
Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the growth of renewable energy in India. E.g mention a few key statistics presenting India’s current energy mix and renewable energy installed capacity etc.
- Discuss the problems associated with coal and the need to phase it out of the energy mix. E.g Pollution; costly imports of higher grade coal; pressure from international and domestic environmental organizations to phase out coal etc.
- Discuss the need to bring out a credible economic future of the coal belt of India. E.g
- Roughly 15-20 million people in the coal belt are dependent on the coal industry, either directly or indirectly, for their livelihood.
- While companies like Coal India face no immediate threat to either coal demand or their market power, in a multi-decadal time-frame both these concerns will become real.
- Not surprisingly, many coal-bearing states are also in the bottom third by income per capita (Jharkhand, MP, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal in ascending order). But one of the big benefits of public investments is that they can be guided.
- PSUs like Coal India have built up considerable social and political capital in these regions and this social and political capital be used to pivot towards other activities etc.
- Discuss the strategy envisaged by you. E.g Ultimately, an Indian “coal commission” needs to be formed which should articulate a credible economic future for the coal belt and the companies that exist there.
Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.