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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 11 OCTOBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 11 OCTOBER 2019


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.


Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1) Analyse the causes for the failure of Revolt of 1857. (250 words)

Modern history by Spectrum publications

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is based on the theme of revolt of 1857.

Key demand of the question:

One must elaborately explain the causative factors that led to revolt of 1857.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief bring out the significance of the historic 1857 revolt. 

Body:

Explain the administrative, military and ideological causes separately under different sub-heads covering the causes in detail like – Lack of Planning and Co-ordination, Weak Leadership, Superior British Army, Limited Supplies and Lack of Modern Communication, Lack of Societal Alternative etc. 

Also list down the impact that the revolt left on the Indian nationalists.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of the revolt.

Introduction:

The British, under the East India Company’s rule disrupted the whole economic order of India by draining Indian wealth, disrupting the traditional land system they destroyed the relationship between sectors of the Indian economy. The all-destructive British policy produced a broad popular rebellion against its rule. The  Revolt  of  1857  has  been  hailed  as  the watershed in  the  colonial  history  of  British  India.

Body:

Although the revolt of 1857 was an extraordinary event in the history of India, it had very little chance of success against an organised and powerful enemy. It was suppressed within a year of its outbreak. There were many causes which led to the collapse of this mighty rebellion.

  • Narrow territorial base: The revolt of 1857 had limited territorial spread. It was not widespread and remained confined to North and Central India only. Even in the north, Kashmir, Punjab, Sind and Rajputana kept away from the rebels. The British managed to get the loyalty of the Madras and Bombay regiments and the Sikh states. Afghans and Gurkhas also supported the British. The eastern, western and southern parts of India were more or less unaffected by the uprising.
  • Lack of leadership: No national leader emerged to coordinate the movement and give it purpose and direction. Rani Lakshmi Bai, Tantya Tope and Nana Saheb were courageous but were not good military generals. The rebels were lacking in discipline and a central command and they could not win against a powerful and determined enemy who planned its strategy skillfully.
  • Infights: Their leaders were suspicious and jealous of each other and often indulged in petty quarrels. The Begam of Awadh, for example, quarrelled with Maulvi Ahmdullah, and the Mughal princes with the sepoy-generals. Thus, selfishness and narrow perspective of the leaders suppressed the strength of the revolt and prevented its consolidation.
  • Self-Interest: The rebel leaders were no match for the British soldiers. Most of its leaders thought only of their own interest. They were motivated by narrow personal gains. They fought to liberate only their own territories.
  • No concept of Modern nationalism: There were diverse elements among the rebels with different ideology, plan and motive. Most of the leaders of the revolt were fighting for personal gains and lack a coherent idea for modern India. Modern nationalism had not yet evolved in India. In fact, it was a concept unknown to the people.
  • Lack of unified vision and ideology: The rebellion swept off the British system of government and administration in India but the rebels did not know what to create in its place. They had no forward-looking plan in mind. The prominent leaders of rebellion like Nana Saheb, Begum of Awadh, Rani of Jhansi, etc., did not possess any unified programme. For example, the sepoys of Bengal wanted to revive the ancient glories of the Mughals while Nana Saheb and Tantya Tope tried to re-establish the Maratha power. Rani Lakshmi Bai fought to regain Jhansi, which she had lost as a result of the British policy of Doctrine of lapse.
  • Lack of unity: No broad-based unity emerged among the Indian people during the rebel. While sepoys of the Bengal army were revolting, some soldiers in Punjab fought on the side of the British to crush these rebellions. Adhesion of the Mughal emperor, turned the Sikhs of Punjab away from the rebellion, as they did not want to return to Islamic rule, having fought many wars against the Mughal rulers.
  • Fissures in the society: The modern educated Indians also did not support the revolt because, in their view, the revolt was backwards-looking. They believed mistakenly that the British would lead the country towards modernisation.
  • Poor organization: Another major factor contributing to the failure of the revolt was the weak leadership of the movement. Indian leaders lacked organisation and planning. The rebels were poorly organised. The uprisings in different parts of the country were uncoordinated. Often the sepoys behaved in an uncontrolled manner.
  • Lack of proper arms and equipment: The rebels were short of weapons and finances. Whatever few weapons existed, were old and outdated. In many areas, rebels fought with swords and spears which were no match for the sophisticated and modern weapons of the British. The telegraphic system and postal communication helped the British to speed up their operation. The English mastery of the sea enabled them to get timely help from England and crush the revolt ruthlessly.

Conclusion:

By the end of 1859, the revolt was suppressed and the British authority over India was firmly re-established. The revolt had finally failed. However, the revolt is remembered for the valour and the courage of its rebels. Even though they failed to achieve their objective they succeeded in sowing the seeds of nationalism among the Indians and paved the way for the future struggle for independence.


Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) Recently mental health conditions among youngsters have been on rise; in such a scenario discuss the need for multiple interventions to prevent mental health disorders among adolescents.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The question is in the background of world mental health day that was celebrated recently across the world. The question seeks to examine the significance of multiple interventions in mental health disorders and their need.

Key demand of the question:

One has to bring out the necessity of mental health interventions especially amongst the adolescents. 

Directive:

DiscussThis 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: 

At first explain how by making mental health services and resources readily available, we are investing in the future well-being of our society.

Body:

Explain first what is meant by mental health, why it is often a taboo to get medical help in this scenario.

Explain the irreversible damages that the mental health diseases can lead to especially among adolescents.

Quote data suggesting that the issue of such disorders is alarming.

Take hints from the article and explain that Half of all mental health disorders in adulthood start by 14 years of age, with many cases being undetected. Those who suffer from depression and anxiety in adulthood may often begin experiencing this from childhood and it may peak during adolescence and their early 20s.

Discuss the efforts made by the Government of India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with vitality of such medical interventions for the betterment of our societies and their futures.

Introduction:

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. (WHO) With over 18% of India’s population aged 10-17, the future of the country will be driven by this segment.

Body:

Recent data suggest that mental health disorders are on the rise among 13-17-year-olds, with one out of five children in schools suffering from depression.

  • According to the National Mental Health Survey of 2016, the prevalence of mental disorders was 7.3% among 13-17-year-olds.
  • With many resorting to self-harm, statistics suggest that suicide among adolescents is higher than any other age group.
  • According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2016, in India, the suicide death rate among 15-29-year-olds was highest in Karnataka (30.7), Tripura (30.3), Tamil Nadu (29.8), and Andhra Pradesh (25.0).
  • India’s contribution to global suicide deaths increased from 25.3% in 1990 to 36.6% in 2016 among women.
  • Though suicides among women have decreased overall, the highest age-specific suicide death rate among women in 2016 were for ages 15-29 years and 75 years or older.

Need for multiple mental health interventions:

  • Half of all mental health disorders in adulthood starts by 14 years of age, with many cases being undetected.
  • Those who suffer from depression and anxiety in adulthood may often begin experiencing this from childhood and it may peak during adolescence and their early 20s.
  • By learning more about mental health, parents and school administrations should sensitise themselves about what constitutes ‘warning signs’ like erratic sleep patterns and mood swings.
  • Peer support systems and trained counsellors can encourage dialogue around seeking support and better coping mechanisms.
  • Parents and peers can play an important role by being understanding and communicative.
  • There is evidence that technology can create loneliness, isolation and unrealistic expectations for adolescents.
  • By moving away from strict rules and diktats, parents should gently discuss the role of technology to bring adolescents to the realisation that limiting screen time and engaging in social activities may improve how they feel.

Other measures needed:

  • Executive wings of the government at both central and state levels have failed miserably to disseminate the new statute to stake holders. It has also failed to implement its provisions including the expeditious setting up of the State Mental Health Authority and Mental Health Review Board – the basic pillars central to the success of the Act. This need to be looked into.
  • Mental health services must be scaled up as an essential component of universal health coverage.
  • Barriers and threats to mental health, such as the pervasive impact of stigma, must be assertively addressed.
  • Mental health must be protected by public policies and developmental efforts.
  • New opportunities must be enthusiastically embraced, in particular those offered by the innovative use of community health workers and digital technologies to deliver a range of mental health intervention
  • Substantial additional investments must be urgently made as the economic and health case for increased investments in mental health is strong.
  • There is also an immediate opportunity for more efficient use of existing resources, for example, through the redistribution of budgets from large hospitals to district hospitals and community-based local services.
  • Finally, investments in research and innovation must harness diverse disciplines to advance understanding of the causes of mental disorders and develop more effective interventions to prevent and treat them.

Conclusion:

Projects such as SPIRIT (Suicide Prevention and Implementation Research Initiative) in India, aim to reduce suicides among targeted adolescents and implement research-based suicide interventions. They also aim to empower regional policymakers to integrate evidence generated from implemented research on suicide prevention in policymaking. India requires multiple similar interventions for change.


Topic:   Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3) What is Country Cooperation Strategy of the WHO that was recently in news? How far do you think India has achieved in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023: A Time of Transition’ has been launched recently.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain in detail what is The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023 and its significance.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief provide for an overview of the cooperation. 

Body:

First explain that the India CCS is one of the first that fully aligns itself with the newly adopted WHO 13th General Programme of Work and its ‘triple billion’ targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities.

CCS provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Government of India towards achieving its health sector goals, in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector.

Explain the significance of the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Government of India towards achieving its health sector goals, in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector. It builds upon the work that WHO has been carrying out in the last several years. In addition, it identifies current and emerging health needs and challenges such as non-communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance and air pollution.

Body:

The Union Health Ministry has launched the ‘World Health Organisation (WHO) India Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2019–2023: A Time of Transition’ with the collaboration providing a strategic roadmap for the WHO to work with the Indian government towards achieving its health sector goals; improving the health of its population; and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector.

India’s CCS and WHO goals:

  • The India CCS fully aligns itself with WHO ‘triple billion’ targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities.
  • It urges to address emerging health scenario of the country like non-communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and air pollution, etc.
  • The India CCS also connects with India’s National Health Policy 2017, and other initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, National Viral Hepatitis programme, Eat Right India movement, the Fit India movement and Poshan Abhiyaan that have collectively engaged with the people and enhanced the awareness about crucial health areas

India’s efforts towards transformative healthcare:

  • The National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 advocated allocating resources of up to two-thirds or more to primary care as it enunciated the goal of achieving “the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive healthcare orientation”.
  • A 167% increase in allocation this year for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) — the insurance programme which aims to cover 10 crore poor families for hospitalisation expenses of up to ₹5 lakh per family per annum.
  • The government’s recent steps to incentivise the private sector to open hospitals in Tier II and Tier III cities.
  • Individual states are adopting technology to support health-insurance schemes. For instance, Remedinet Technology (India’s first completely electronic cashless health insurance claims processing network) has been signed on as the technology partner for the Karnataka Government’s recently announced cashless health insurance schemes.

Measures needed to strengthen the existing state of Health infrastructure in the country are:

  • There is an immediate need to increase the public spending to 2.5% of GDP, despite that being lower than global average of 5.4%.
  • The achievement of a distress-free and comprehensive wellness system for all hinges on the performance of health and wellness centres as they will be instrumental in reducing the greater burden of out-of-pocket expenditure on health.
  • There is a need to depart from the current trend of erratic and insufficient increases in health spending and make substantial and sustained investments in public health over the next decade.
  • A National Health Regulatory and Development Framework needs to be made for improving the quality (for example registration of health practitioners), performance, equity, efficacy and accountability of healthcare delivery across the country.
  • Increase the Public-Private Partnerships to increase the last-mile reach of healthcare.
  • Generic drugs and Jan Aushadi Kendras should be increased to make medicines affordable and reduce the major component of Out of Pocket Expenditure.
  • The government’s National Innovation Council, which is mandated to provide a platform for collaboration amongst healthcare domain experts, stakeholders and key participants, should encourage a culture of innovation in India and help develop policy on innovations that will focus on an Indian model for inclusive growth.
  • India should take cue from other developing countries like Thailand to work towards providing Universal Health Coverage. UHC includes three components: Population coverage, disease coverage and cost coverage.
  • Leveraging the benefits of Information Technology like computer and mobile-phone based e-health and m-health initiatives to improve quality of healthcare service delivery. Start-ups are investing in healthcare sector from process automation to diagnostics to low-cost innovations. Policy and regulatory support should be provided to make healthcare accessible and affordable.

Way forward:

  • Besides the health priorities detailed in the strategy, focus needs to be given on other equally pertinent health areas of environmental and occupational health, accidents and road injuries, and good nutrition and food safety.
  • A mechanism needs to be institutionalized wherein every ministry has a health section/department, so that every policy factors in its health implications.

Conclusion:

India needs a holistic approach to tackle problems in healthcare industry. This includes the active collaboration of all stakeholders public, private sectors, and individuals. Amore dynamic and pro-active approach is needed to handle the dual disease burden. A universal access to health makes the nation fit and healthy, aiding better to achieve the demographic dividend.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources.

4) Indian cities are running out of water, coupled with alarming drinking water woes in cities, thus raising questions about the quality of the discourse and choice of water governance strategies in India. Discuss the factors responsible along with measures to improve water governance in the country.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article presents a detailed evaluation of NITI Aayog’s strategy for water resources and highlights the water management issues in India.

Key demand of the question:

One has to bring out the issues and challenges associated with the water governance in the country and suggest way forward for the same.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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: 

In brief explain the relevance of NITI Aayog’s plans in the past for governance of water.

Body:

Explain the factors responsible for water crisis in the country.

Cover all the aspects ranging from fresh water, ground water etc. and their respective problems.

Discuss the lacunae in terms of governance of these issues like – failure of the authorities to address the situation, outdated ideas, procedures etc.

Suggest solutions as required.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The NITI Aayog report on Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) said that India is facing its ‘worst’ water crisis in history. Taps in Shimla went dry in summer of 2018, posing an unprecedented water crisis in the hill town. According to a forecast by the Asian Development Bank, India will have a water deficit of 50% by 2030. Recent studies also ranked Chennai and Delhi at the top of the 27 most vulnerable Asian cities in terms of low per-day water availability Mumbai and Kolkata follow close.

Body:

India’s water crisis is more serious that its energy crisis:

  • The water crisis in India is more dire than imagined.
  • The annual per capita availability of water continues to decline sharply from about 5,177 cubic metres in 1951 to about 1,720 cubic metres in 2019.
  • The NITI Aayog in its report on Composite Water Management Index (2018) has underlined that currently 600 million people face high to extreme water stress.
  • Twenty-one cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.
  • Apart from mega cities, many fast-growing small and medium cities such as Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Dhanbad, Meerut, Faridabad, Visakhapatnam, Madurai and Hyderabad also figure in this list.
  • The demand-supply gap in most of these cities ranges from 30 per cent to as much as 70 per cent.
  • About two lakh die every year due to inadequate access to safe water, about three-fourths of the household do not get drinking water at their premise and about 70 per cent of water is contaminated.
  • The rate of groundwater extraction is so severe that NASA’s findings suggest that India’s water table is declining alarmingly at a rate of about 0.3 metres per year.
  • At this rate of depletion, India will have only 22 per cent of the present daily per capita water available in 2050, possibly forcing the country to import water.
  • About 81 per cent of India’s ultimate irrigation potential, estimated at 140 million hectares, has already been created and thus the scope for further expansion of irrigation infrastructure on a large scale is limited.
  • Climate experts have predicted that there will be fewer rainy days in the future but in those days it would rain more.

Causative factors for water crisis:

  • A combination of population explosion, unplanned growth of the city and its expansion to some traditional catchment areas (a region from which rainfall flows into a river, lake, or reservoir) have led to a reduction in the natural flow of water, and large-scale deforestation.
  • Climate change, leading to much lower precipitation during the winter months. As a result, the natural flow and recharge of water in the region has fallen sharply
  • Failure of State governments to check unplanned development and exploitation of water resources. There is no attempt at the central or state levels to manage water quantity and quality
  • The vegetation pattern has changed, tree cover is shrinking and unscientific dumping of debris in water streams is rampant.
  • The debris blocks the natural course of water bodies.
  • Increasing number of tube wells resulting in depletion of groundwater.
  • Changes in farming patterns lead to consumption of more water for irrigation and also change the soil profile because of the use of fertilizers
  • The states ranked lowest like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Jharkhand – are home to almost half of India’s population along with the majority of its agricultural produce.
  • There is also a lack of interest in maintaining India’s traditional water harvesting structures.

Measures needed:

  • Structural measures:
    • Putting in place an efficient piped supply system (without leakage of pipes) has to be top on the agenda.
    • Ancient India had well-managed wells and canal systems. Indigenous water harvesting systems need to be revived and protected at the local level. Examples: Karez, Bawli, Vav etc
    • Digging of rainwater harvesting pits must be made mandatory for all types of buildings, both in urban and rural areas.
    • Treating the Greywater and reusing it needs to be adopted by countries like Israel (upto 85%). It could be used to recharge depleted aquifers and use on crops.
    • Initiatives such as community water storage and decentralized treatment facilities, including elevated water towers or reservoirs and water ATMs, based on a realistic understanding of the costs involved, can help support the city’s water distribution.
    • Technologies capable of converting non-drinkable water into fresh, consumable water, offering a potential solution to the impending water crisis are needed. Example: Desalination technologies in Coastal areas, Water-sterilization in polluted water areas.

 

  • Non-structural measures:
    • The World Bank’s Water Scarce Cities Initiative seeks to promote an integrated approach, aims at managing water resources and service delivery in water-scarce cities as the basis for building climate change resilience.
    • Groundwater extraction patterns need to be better understood through robust data collection
    • Decentralisation of irrigation commands, offering higher financial flows to well-performing States through a National Irrigation Management Fund.
    • Public awareness campaigns, tax incentives for water conservation and the use of technology interfaces can also go a long way in addressing the water problem. Example, measures such as water credits can be introduced with tax benefits as incentives for efficient use and recycling of water.
    • A collaborative approach like the adoption of a public-private partnership model for water projects can help. Example, in Netherlands, water companies are incorporated as private companies, with the local and national governments being majority shareholders.
    • Sustained measures should be taken to prevent pollution of water bodies and contamination of groundwater.
    • Ensuring proper treatment of domestic and industrial waste water is also essential.

Way forward:

  • India’s water problems can be solved with existing knowledge, technology and available funds.
  • NITI Aayog has prescribed only a continuation of past failed policies.
  • India’s water establishment needs to admit that the strategy pursued so far has not worked.
  • Only then can a realistic vision emerge.

Conclusion:

Primarily water is not valued in India. “People think it is free”. In order to meet the future urban water challenges, there needs to be a shift in the way we manage urban water systems. An Integrated Urban Water Management approach must be adopted which involves managing freshwater, wastewater, and storm water, using an urban area as the unit of management.


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.

5) Ujjwala scheme has been heralding “The Blue Flame Revolution”, in this context discuss in what way it has impacted the lives of poor rural women. (250 words)

Hindustantimes

 

Why this question:

The article presents the success of the Ujjwala scheme that brought in the empowerment of rural poor women.

Key demand of the question:

One must elucidate on the salient features of the scheme and in what way it has successfully empowered the rural poor women in the country.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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: 

In brief narrate the importance of Ujjwala scheme in the Indian set up.

Body:

Ujjwala aims at bringing clean cooking fuel to poor households, identified according to the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC). More than 44 percent of Ujjwala beneficiaries is currently are from SC/ST communities. 

Discuss the factors that have led to the positive outcome of the scheme.

What are the associated challenges?

Explain how it has empowered rural poor women in terms of – access to education, access to basic needs etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households. India is home to more than 24 Crore households out of which about 10 Crore households are still deprived of LPG as cooking fuel and have to rely on firewood, coal, dung – cakes etc. as primary source of cooking.

The PMUY has helped the spread of LPG cylinders predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle class and affluent households. It aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.

Body:

Impact of lack of LPG gas-stove and cylinder:

  • Within poorer households, women often face a ‘triple burden’ – market work, housework and family care.
  • As families grow bigger, this burden increases as women are expected to participate both in low-paying jobs and also function as the main caregiver of the household.
  • Estimates suggest that Indian rural women spend 374 hours a year collecting firewood.
  • Over four million people die prematurely because of illnesses arising from open and polluting cooking fire sources.
  • Women are the most significant sufferers of unclean fuel sources and are susceptible to heart diseases, lung cancer, are at the risk of contracting tuberculosis and cataract.

Pros due to usage of LPG gas stove and cylinder:

  • Studies show that by shifting to LPG, women and girls may save up to 1.5 hours a day, allowing them time for education, self-employment and participation in the community activities.
  • Studies from Africa also suggest that shifting to cleaner alternatives increase women’s labour force participation by upto 9%.
  • While efforts to increase usage beyond first time installation are underway, the international community has been lauding government efforts.
  • Through this scheme, India has been making progress on Sustainable Development Goals.
  • It is promoting gender equality, giving women opportunities for self-development by creating additional employment opportunities(Goal 5); promoting good health (Goal 3); providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy (Goal 7); and, combating air pollution (Goal 13 and Goal 15).

Achievements of PMUY:

  • The oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) estimates that LPG coverage in India (the proportion of households with an LPG connection) has increased from 56% in 2015 to 90% in 2019. There is a significant increase in eastern states, with 48% of the beneficiaries being SC/STs.
  • The government reports show that around 80% of the beneficiaries have been refilling cylinders, with average per capita consumption being 3.28 cylinders.
  • PMUY has resulted in an additional employment of around 1 Lakh and provide business opportunity of at least Rs. 10,000 Crore in last 3 Years to the Indian Industry.
  • The scheme has also provided a boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign as all the manufacturers of cylinders, gas stoves, regulators, and gas hose are domestic.
  • PMUY reduces these ill-effects by providing clean fuel and cutting out on drudgery. Increased use of cooking gas will shrink the incidence of tuberculosis in India, based on the statistics from the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) on TB prevalence.
  • PMUY has helped in reducing the drudgery for women. The time saved can be used in socio- economically productive activities like Self-Help Group activities.
  • The World Health Organisation hailed PMUY as decisive intervention by the government to facilitate the switch to clean household energy use, thereby addressing the problems associated with Indoor Household Pollution.

Way Forward:

  • Increase Affordability: A case in point is state-run fuel retailers introducing a 5kg refill option to make purchases affordable.
  • Increase Accessibility: Gas Agencies should be set up within 10km radius, especially in the rural and remote areas to increase accessibility.
  • Increase Availability: Alternatives like Gas-grid and piped connections in cities and areas near the bottling plants can free up the cylinders for other areas.
  • Promote ‘Give it up’: The initiative of the government to persuade the well-off to give up the LPG subsidies has added to the corpus of PMUY. Similar initiatives can be promoted.
  • Encourage Private Players to set up LPG franchises at rural areas.
  • Sensitization and Education of safe use of LPG though LPG Panchayats, NGO’s etc.

Conclusion:

                PMUY is a novel scheme having twin benefits of women empowerment as well as environmental conservation. Ironing out the implementation issues can reap the envisioned benefits and lead to a sustainable future in energy consumption.


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

7) The government of India’s bid to build a Green wall will be a breakthrough development if fulfilled successfully. Comment.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article provides for the detailed presentation of the scheme for Green wall proposed by the government of India on the lines of the Green wall of Sahara in Africa.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the relevance of such move to the environmental efforts of the government.

Directive:

Commenthere we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief explain how the idea is a true inspiration. 

Body:

Discuss the grand significance of such a pilot project that is a great step forward in terms of reducing carbon foot print on Earth.

India is reportedly planning to undertake a vast reforestation exercise along the Aravalli hill range that stretches from the Ridge of Delhi to Banaskantha in Gujarat.

Provide for a brief discussion on the African green belt too.

Discuss the aim behind the project and assert upon its significance.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it is a positive step forward to deal with the issue of climate change and global warming.

Introduction:

‘Green wall of India’ is the proposal of a 1 a 1,400km-long and 5km-wide green corridor all the way from Panipat in Haryana to Porbandar in Gujarat. India is reportedly planning to undertake a vast reforestation exercise along the Aravalli hill range that stretches from the Ridge of Delhi to Banaskantha in Gujarat. It should reassure us that ecological concerns haven’t fallen off the map. The Green wall of India would be modelled on the so-called Great Green Wall of Africa that was envisioned to run from Djibouti in the continent’s east to Senegal in its west.

Body:

Need for the initiative:

  • Felling of trees is turning greenery scarce, but other forms of depredation too is also hurting.
  • Unauthorized mining for minerals and building materials, for instance, has gone on unchecked for much too long.
  • Around 96.4 million hectares, or nearly 30% of India’s total land, is estimated to have been degraded already.
  • The desertification and land degradation atlas of India, brought out by the ISRO in 2016, revealed that Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi were among states/UT where more than 50% of the total area was degraded land and those under the threat of desertification.
  • Two-thirds of all Indian households still live off the land and land degradation puts their livelihoods at direct threat.
  • Global warming has begun to distort rainfall and other climatic patterns that have sustained our ecological systems for millennia.

Green wall – a breakthrough initiative:

  • It would act as a defensive flank against climate change, desertification and other forms of land degradation.
  • The Delhi metropolitan region’s expansion has resulted in widespread deforestation around the capital.
  • The Aravalli range, which separates western India’s Thar desert from the relatively green plains to its east, has lost so much green cover that it is losing its ability to act as a natural barrier against the heat and dust that blows in from the west.
  • The greener the green wall remains, say ecologists, the less likely that the desert will expand into the rest of the Indian landmass.
  • Without top-level intervention in favour of vegetation, environmentalists warn, the Thar desert’s expansion could even threaten the “granary of India”—the fertile belts of Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and the Malwa region.
  • If this is so, then the proposed project could insure the country against a potential crisis of food insufficiency in the decades ahead.
  • The very idea behind it could inspire tree plantation drives elsewhere around the country.

Conclusion:

The green belt may not be contiguous, but would roughly cover the entire degraded Aravali range through a massive afforestation exercise. A legacy programme like converting such a huge tract of land as a green belt in high-intensive land-degraded states will be great boost towards meeting India’s target.