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[Mission 2024] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 March 2024

 

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General Studies – 1


 

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

1. The Quit India Movement marked a shift in the Indian nationalist movement towards more aggressive and direct action against British colonialism. One of the key figures who played a pivotal role in the Quit India Movement was Usha Mehta, a prominent freedom fighter and a staunch Gandhian. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express.Insights on India

Why the question:

Usha Mehta was 22 when the Quit India Movement began. A law student in Bombay, she was in awe of Gandhi, and like many peers, quit studies to join the movement.

Key Demand of the question: 

To write about Quit India movement and role of Usha Mehta in it.

Directive word:

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give the context of political scene of the country that led to the launch of Quit India movement.

Body:

First, write about the factors that made the movement stand apart from other struggles or movements against the Imperial rule, on lines of, Gandhi’s strategy, emergence of new leaders, Violence, Princely States, new developments and mass involvement etc and the way it aligned the local interest with that of national interest.

Next, write about the contributions of Usha Mehta to Quit India movement and India’s struggle for independence.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

The failure of the Cripps Mission in April 1942 made it clear that Britain was unwilling to offer an honourable settlement and a real constitutional advance during the War. Consequently, Gandhiji drafted a resolution for the Congress Working Committee calling for Britain’s withdrawal and nation edged towards Quit India Movement or August Kranti. Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ inspired thousands of party workers but also created frenzy among the British who rushed to imprison the entire Congress leadership.

Body

Quit India Movement stands apart:

  • Social radicalism of Gandhi:
    • In a sharp contrast to Non-cooperation movement, where Gandhi withdrew after Chauri Chaura incident, in Quit India movement he not only refused to condemn the people’s resort to violence but unequivocally held government responsible for it.
    • Though the need for non-violence was always reiterated, Gandhi’s mantra of Do or Die represents the militant mood of Gandhi.
    • Gandhi also gave a call to all sections of the people, the princes, the Jagirdars, the Zamindars, the propertied and moneyed classes, who derive their wealth and property from the workers in the fields and factories and elsewhere, to whom eventually power and authority belong.
    • This  indicates Gandhi’s social radicalism and shift in the philosophy of the Congress, by now people with the goals of socialism and communism have become a part of the broad-based Congress organization.
  • Violent at some places:
    • The Quit India Movement was mainly a non-violent movement. However, it became violent at some places.Rails were uprooted, post offices were set on fire and offices were destroyed.
  • Leaderless movement:
    • Even before the formal launching of the movement, the government in a single sweep arrested all the top leaders of the Congress. This led to spontaneous outburst of mass anger against the arrest of leaders. 
    • The spontaneous participation of the massesin the Quit India movement made it one of the most popular mass movements.
  • Demand for independence:
    • This historic movement placed the demand for independence on the immediate agendaof the national movement.
    • The spirit unleashed was carried further by Indian National Army of Subhas Chandra Bose. After ‘Quit India’ there could be no retreat. Independence was no longer a matter of bargain.
    • It accelerated and sustained the urge for freedom and enabled India to achieve freedom in 1947.
  • Establishment of Parallel Governments:
    • Parallel governments were established at many places.
    • Balliaunder Chittu Pandey, got many Congress leaders released.
    • In Tamluk and Contai subdivisions of Midnaporein West Bengal, the local populace were successful in establishing Jatiya Sarkar, which undertook cyclone relief work, sanctioned grants to schools, supplied paddy from the rich to the poor, organised Vidyut Vahinis, etc.
    • In Satara (Maharashtra)“Prati Sarkar”,was organised under leaders like Y.B. Chavan, Nana Patil, etc. Village libraries and Nyayadan Mandals were organised
  • Underground Activity:
    • Many nationalists went underground and took to subversive activities.
    • The participants in these activities were the Socialists, Forward Bloc members, Gandhi ashramites, revolutionary nationalists and local organisations in Bombay, Poona, Satara, Baroda and other parts of Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra, United Provinces, Bihar and Delhi.
    • The main personalities taking up underground activity were Rammanohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan, Aruna Asaf Ali, Usha Mehta, Biju Patnaik, Chhotubhai Puranik, Achyut Patwardhan, Sucheta Kripalani and R.P. Goenka.
    • Usha Mehtastarted an underground radio in Bombay.
    • This phase of underground activity was meant to keep up popular morale by continuing to provide a line of command and guidance to distribute arms and ammunition
  • Strong women participation:
    • Quit India movement was unique in the sense that it saw women participation where they not only participated as equals but also led the movement.
    • Women, especially school and college girls, actively participated, and included Aruna Asaf Ali, Sucheta Kripalani and Usha Mehta.
    • There was Matangini Hazra, who lead a procession of 6,000 people, mostly women, to ransack a local police station.
  • Extent of Mass Participation
    • The participation was on many levels.
    • Youth, especially the students of schools and colleges, remained in the forefront.
    • Workerswent on strikes and faced repression.
    • Peasantsof all strata were at the heart of the movement.
    • Even some zamindars
    • Government officials, especially those belonging to lower levels in police and administration, participated resulting in erosion of government loyalty.
    • Muslimshelped by giving shelter to underground activists. There were no communal clashes during the movement.

Role of Usha Mehta in Quit India Movement

  • Usha Mehta, a Gandhianand freedom fighter, played a pivotal role during the Quit India Movement of 1942.
  • Usha Mehta is rememberedfor organizing the Congress Radio, also known as the Secret Congress Radio. This underground radio station operated clandestinely during the Quit India Movement.
  • On 14 August 1942, Usha and some of her close associates began the Secret Congress Radio, a clandestine radio station. It went air on 27 August. Secret Congress Radio also kept the leaders of the freedom movement in touch with the public
  • The Chittagong Bomb Raid, Jamshedpur strike and running of parallel governments in Bihar and Maharashtra were some of the major developments that the secret Radio broadcast to the masses.
  • However, the police found them on 12 November 1942 and arrested the organizers, including Usha Mehta.
  • When senior leaders like Mahatma GandhiJawaharlal NehruMaulana Azad, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patelwere arrested by the British colonial authorities, Congress Radio played a crucial role in coordinating protests and disseminating information.
  • In March 1946, she was released, the first political prisoner to be released in Bombay, at the orders of Morarji Desai, who was at that time the home minister in the interim government.
  • Usha Mehta’s unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom and her innovative use of radio communication left an indelible mark on India’s struggle for independence.
  • She continued to spread the Gandhian ideals. In recognition of her significant contributions, the Government of Indiahonored Usha Mehta with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India.

Conclusion

Despite its failure, the Quit India movement is considered significant as it made the British Government realize that India was ungovernable in the long run. Post the Second World War, the question that was most prominent for the British was on how to exit India peacefully.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2.  Tuberculosis (TB) transcends being solely a health crisis; it also poses significant economic challenges. Addressing TB effectively requires not only medical interventions but also holistic approaches that address the socioeconomic determinants of the disease and its impact on individuals and societies. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu ,The Hindu ,Insights on India

Why the question:

Globally, and in India, tuberculosis (TB) continues to loom large as a public health challenge impacting millions.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the challenges posed by TB and ways to end it.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving statistic highlighting the incidence and impact of TB in India.

Body:

First, write about the impact of TB on health as well as its economic impact.

Next, write about the shortcomings of the above and other major challenges in India’s fight against TB.

Next, write about the possible solutions to the above issue to end TB in India – improving awareness, strengthening healthcare infrastructure, reducing its economic impact, expanding access to diagnostics and treatment, targeting high-risk populations, and promoting research and innovation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Tuberculosis (TB) remains the biggest killer disease in India, outnumbering all other infectious diseases put together — this despite our battle against it from 1962, when the National TB Programme (NTP) was launched. According to the World Health Organization’s “Global Tuberculosis Report 2018“, India accounted for 27% of the 10 million people, who had developed TB in 2017, besides making up 32% of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people, and 27% of combined TB deaths. In India, the TB capital of the world, the disease kills some 1,400 persons every day.

Globally, and in India, tuberculosis (TB) continues to loom large as a public health challenge impacting millions. The current goal is to end TB by 2030, but clarity on definitions of ‘end’ and the means of verification are not fully in place.

Body

India’s efforts to eliminate TB:

  • In the 1950s and ’60s, India was the global leader in research in epidemiology, transmission and domiciliary treatment of TB. The National TB Control Programme of 1962 was a district-based one with public-private participation.
  • Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program(RNTCP)
    • It was renamed to National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP))
    • It is the state-run tuberculosis control initiative of the Government of India.
    • RNTCP incorporates the principles of directly observed treatment-short course (DOTS).
  • In 1992, the WHO devised the Directly Observed Treatment-Short Course (DOTS) strategyand advised all countries to adopt the strategy to combat the menace of tuberculosis. The DOTS strategy is based on 5 pillars:
    • political commitment and continued funding for TB control programs
    • diagnosis by sputum smear examinations
    • uninterrupted supply of high-quality anti-TB drugs
    • drug intake under direct observation
    • accurate reporting and recording of all registered cases
  • The Indian government has been implementing Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB (PMDT) services, for the management of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and TB-HIV collaborative activities for TB-HIV
  • Nikshay,” (2012) an online tuberculosis reporting system for medical practitioners and clinical establishments was set up. The aim is to increase the reporting of tuberculosis, especially from the private sector.
  • In 2018, Indian government launched Joint Effort for Elimination of Tuberculosis (JEET), to increase the reporting of TB cases by the private sector.
  • National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination (2017-2025) was launched in 2017. The government also called for the elimination of TB by 2025, five years prior to the international target (2030).
    • The NSP plans to provide incentives to private providers for following the standard protocols for diagnosis and treatment as well as for notifying the government of cases.
    • Further, patients referred to the government will receive a cash transfer to compensate them for the direct and indirect costs of undergoing treatment and as an incentive to complete treatment.

Challenges to achieve TB free India by 2025:

  • Poor socio-economic conditions:
    • Poverty remains a stark reality in India with associated problems of hunger, undernourishment and poor and unhygienic living conditions.
    • According to GTB Report, 2018, a majority of TB patients (6lakhs) in India are attributable to undernourishment.
  • Underreporting and misdiagnosis:
    • According to GTB Report 2018, India is one of the major contributors to under-reporting and under-diagnosis of TB cases in the world, accounting for 26% of the 3.6 million global gap in the reporting of tuberculosis cases.
    • Biomarkers and other diagnostics that identify individuals at highest risk of progression to disease are inadequate.
  • Treatment:
    • Inequitable access to quality diagnosis and treatment remains a major issue in combating tuberculosis. Further, the private sector which contributes a major part of TB care is fragmented, made up of diverse types of healthcare providers, and largely unregulated.
    • Standard TB treatment is not followed uniformly across the private sector, resulting in the rise of drug resistance.
  • Follow-up treatment:
    • Though the reporting of TB cases has increased lately, the reporting of treatment outcomes has not been robust.
    • The absence of consistent follow-up of treatment regimens and outcomes may result in relapse of cases and MDR-TB and XDR-TB. India has already been facing the problem of increasing MDR-TB cases
  • Drugs:
    • The drugs used to treat TB, especially multidrug-resistant-TB, are decades old. It is only recently that Bedaquiline and Delamanid (drugs to treat MDR-TB) has been made available. However, access to such drugs remains low.
  • Funds:
    • The RNCTP remains inadequately funded. There has been a growing gap between the allocation of funds and the minimum investment required to reach the goals of the national strategic plan to address tuberculosis.
  • Issues with RNCTP:
    • No prescribed methods of monitoring: First, for a programme that is heavily funded by the government, there is no prescribed method of monitoring the trajectory of TB control.
    • Programme is based on assumptions: The assumption that treating pulmonary TB patients alone would control TB was epidemiologically fallacious in India.
    • Failed to elicit people’s participation: RNTCP has failed to elicit people’s partnership in TB control. In India’s AIDS Control Programme, public education was given high priority. Red ribbon clubs in schools and colleges are its legacy.
  • R&D:
    • R&D for new methods and technologies to detect the different modes of TB, new vaccines, and new drugs and shorter drug regimens have been slow, as compared to other such diseases like HIV/AIDS.
  • Social Stigma:
    • According to a study which assessed social stigma associated with TB in Bangladesh, Colombia, India, India had the highest social stigma index.
    • Patients often hesitate to seek treatment or deny their condition altogether for fear of social discrimination and stigmatization.

Measures needed:

  • It is important to address the social conditions and factorswhich contribute to and increase vulnerability to tuberculosis. Concerted efforts should be made to address the issues of undernourishment, diabetes, alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Increased political will, financial resources and increasing researchto develop new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent TB will help achieve the goal.
  • Private sector engagementin combating TB needs to be strengthened. The private sector should also be incentivised to report TB cases. Example: The Kochi Model– Increasing TB cases reporting from private sector
  • There is an urgent need for cost-effective point-of-care devicesthat can be deployed for TB diagnosis in different settings across India.
  • Universal access to drug, susceptibility testing at diagnosis to ensure that all patients are given appropriate treatment, including access to second-line treatment for drug-resistant TB.
  • To ensure public participation — a missing element in the RNTCP —in public-private participation mode.
  • Mass awareness campaignslike ‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega’ can play an important role in breaking social taboos regarding TB.
  • India’s leadership of the G20 and the focus on health could be catalytic, in the same manner, that the Japanese G7 presidency in 2001 was for the creation of the Global Fund.
  • Providing historical symmetry, Japan leads the G7 in 2023, providing leaders of both nations and groupings to act synergistically towards ending TB.

Conclusion

India has the highest TB burden in the world. Given our inter-connected world and the airborne spread of TB, we need collective global action. Ending TB in India will have massive global impact in addition to saving the lives of tens of millions of India’s people over the next 25 years. Even if ending TB by 2025 is not complete, pulling the TB curve down by 2025 and sustaining the decline ever after is a possibility.

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

3. The question of whether India should restart trade with Pakistan is complex and influenced by various factors, including political, economic, and security considerations. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu ,Insights on India

Why the question:

Pakistan will “seriously examine” whether to restart trade with India, said its newly appointed Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the evolution of Indo-Pak foreign trade relations and state opinion on restarting Indo-Pak trade.

Directive word:

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

In the first part, impact write about trade relations between India-Pakistan since independence.

Next, write about the current impasse between India and Pakistan on trade and its impact.

Next, write about the pros and cons of normalising the trade relationship between the two countries.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion on the issue.

Introduction

India and Pakistan’s relationship is a complex web of historical baggage, territorial disputes, and deep-rooted mistrust. Pakistan will “seriously examine” whether to restart trade with India, said its newly appointed Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

Body

India-Pakistan Trade Relations: A Historical Overview

  • Post-Independence to Partition Impact (1947-1965)
    • The partition of British India in 1947 led to significant political and social upheaval, impacting trade relations.
    • Initial trade agreements were overshadowed by territorial disputes, notably over Jammu and Kashmir.
    • Trade fluctuated with political relations, often coming to a halt during conflicts.
  • Period of Minimal Engagement (1965-1990s)
    • Following the 1965 war, trade relations were minimal, with both nations imposing restrictions.
    • The “Enemy Property” legislation further formalized the adversarial relationship, impacting economic ties.
  • Attempts at Normalization (1990s-2010s)
    • Efforts like the Shimla and Lahore summits aimed to improve relations, with some success in trade cooperation.

Current Impasse and Impact

  • Suspension of Bilateral Trade (2019-Present)
    • Bilateral trade was suspended by Pakistan in 2019 following India’s constitutional changes in Jammu and Kashmir.
    • The move was also influenced by India’s imposition of a 200% tariff on Pakistani imports earlier that year.
  • Economic Impact
    • The suspension has led to increased costs for traders, as goods are routed through third countries like Dubai or Singapore.

Pros and Cons of Normalizing Trade Relations

  • Pros
    • Economic Benefits: Enhanced trade could lead to economic growth and stability in the region.
    • Political Stability: Improved trade relations could foster better political ties and peace prospects.
  • Cons
    • Security Concerns: India’s concerns about cross-border terrorism could hinder normalization efforts.
    • Political Resistance: Domestic political narratives in both countries may resist normalization due to historical tensions.

Balanced Opinion

  • Economic vs. Political Realities: While the economic benefits of normalized trade are clear, political and security concerns remain significant obstacles7.
  • Incremental Approach: A gradual, step-by-step approach to building trust and addressing concerns could pave the way for improved trade relations7.
  • Regional Stability: Ultimately, the normalization of trade could contribute to a more stable and prosperous South Asia, but it requires careful navigation of the complex political landscape7.

Conclusion

The history of India-Pakistan trade relations reflects the broader political dynamics between the two nations. The current impasse presents challenges but also opportunities for economic cooperation. A balanced approach that considers both the potential benefits and the existing concerns could lead to a more peaceful and prosperous future for both countries.

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

4. As regional challenges continue to evolve, the strong relationship between India and Bhutan will play a crucial role in maintaining stability and addressing common concerns in the region. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bhutan last week, while productive, was largely symbolic.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the various areas of cooperation between India and Bhutan.

Directive word:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a brief history of India Bhutan relations.

Body:

In the first part, write about the various areas of cooperation between India and Bhutan – Treaties and Agreements, Economic Cooperation, Security Cooperation, Cultural Ties, People-to-People Contacts etc. Substantiate with facts and examples.

Next, write about the various regional challenges in the Indo-Bhutanese relations and ways to address it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the importance of Indo-Bhutanese relations.

Introduction

The emergence of an assertive and expansionist China has brought about profound shifts in the geopolitical landscape of South Asia. This transformation has rippled through neighboring nations, notably impacting the close ties between India and Bhutan. As China’s territorial claims and assertive behavior have escalated, Bhutan, nestled between two regional giants, finds itself at the forefront of a complex strategic dynamic.

India and Bhutan recently strengthened their close ties with a visit from Bhutan’s Prime Minister to India. The discussions led to the signing of several agreements between the two nations.

Body

Key Highlights of the recent India-Bhutan Bilateral Talks:

  • Petroleum Agreement:Both nations signed an agreement ensuring a reliable supply of petroleum products from India to Bhutan
  • Food Safety Collaboration: Bhutan’s Food and Drug Authority and India’s FSSAI signed an agreement to enhance cooperation in food safety measures, facilitating trade and reducing compliance costs.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation: An MoU on energy efficiency and conservation reflects a commitment to sustainable development, with India assisting Bhutan in enhancing energy efficiencyand promoting the use of energy-efficient appliances.
  • Border Dispute Resolution:Ongoing discussions between China and Bhutan to resolve their border dispute were discussed, particularly in the Doklam region, with implications for regional security.
  • Bhutan’s Regional Economic Hub in Gelephu:Plans for a regional economic hub in Gelephu aim to foster regional development and connectivity

Various dimensions of cooperation between India and Bhutan with examples:

Dimension Examples
Strategic Bhutan serves as a buffer between India and China, protecting the Siliguri Corridor (also known as Chicken’s Neck). The Doklam standoff (2017) has re-established Bhutan’s strategic significance for India. Bhutan does not have any formal diplomatic relations with China.
Historical The Indo-Bhutan Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1949, is the bedrock of India and Bhutan’s relationship
Economic India is Bhutan’s largest trading partner (mostly in electricity). Also, increased trade with Bhutan benefits landlocked states like Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. India has decided to support Bhutan’s upcoming 13th Five-Year Plan (for 12 FYP, India had provided 4500Cr)
Assistance As per India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the largest share of the aid portfolio was granted to Bhutan in the interim budget 2024-25
For Bhutan’s 12th Five-Year Plan, India’s contribution of Rs 4,500 crore constituted 73% of Bhutan’s total external grant component
Cultural and Educational Buddhism. India also offers various scholarships for Bhutanese students through Nehru-Wangchuck Scholarships, Ambassador’s Scholarship
Energy India has constructed three Hydroelectric Projects in Bhutan (and exporting surplus power to India)—Chhukha HEP, Kurichhu HEP, and Tala HEP. India is also building Mangdechhu, Punatsangchhu 1 and 2 Hydroelectric Power Projects in Bhutan.

 

Also, India will expedite the proposed Kokrajhar-Gelephu rail link project.

Regional Both nations cooperate in regional forums such as BIMSTEC and SAARC.
Technological E.g., the E-Library project and the India-Bhutan satellite, India’s Vaccine Maitri Initiative
Environmental India is supporting Bhutan in its efforts to become carbon-negative.

Issues between the two countries:

  • Border Dispute:Disputes over the exact demarcation of the border between the two countries.
  • Hydropower Projects: Concerns in Bhutan over environmental and social impacts from the project. Also, Bhutan has sought greater revenue from these projects
  • Trade Imbalance:Bhutan is heavily dependent on India for its imports.
  • Cross-Border Movement: Bhutan has restricted the cross-border movement of Indian workers, citing concerns over the impact on Bhutan’s culture and society.
  • Political Interference:Bhutan has accused India of interfering in its internal affairs, particularly during the 2013 elections.

Conclusion:

India-Bhutan relations have remained strong and friendly, characterized by a deep sense of trust and understanding.  Both countries must enhance connectivity which is a central pillar of India’s Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Bioremediation is a promising approach for cleaning up polluted environments, offering several advantages. However, it also has limitations and challenges that need to be considered. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: investopedia.com

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the different types of bio-remediation techniques and their advantages and limitations in cleaning up polluted environments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining bio-remediation and explain it briefly.

Body:

In brief, write about the different types of bio-remediation techniques like phytoremediation, mycoremediation, and microbial remediation, and how they work.

Next, write about the advantages of bio-remediation, such as being cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and non-invasive, among others.

Next, write about the limitations of bio-remediation, such as long timeframes, lack of predictability, and inability to remove certain pollutants, among others.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning about the potential of bio-remediation.

Introduction

Bioremediation is a process where biological organisms are used to remove or neutralize an environmental pollutant by metabolic process.  The “biological” organisms include microscopic organisms, such as fungi, algae and bacteria, and the “remediation”—treating the situation. The main principle is degrading and converting pollutants to less toxic forms. Bioremediation is highly involved in degradation, eradication, immobilization, or detoxification diverse chemical wastes and physical hazardous materials from the surrounding through the all-inclusive and action of microorganisms.

Bio-remediation and bio-mining are clearly specified as the first choice under Rule 15 (zj) of The Rules for the Safe Treatment of Legacy Waste in all open dumpsites and existing operational dumpsites in India.

Body

Different types of bio-remediation techniques

Advantages

  • The contaminations of soil through heavy metals become a major problem among all other environmental problems.
  • These metals can also be removed by the use of various biological agents like yeast, fungi, bacteria, and algae etc. which act as bio sorbent for sequestering the metals.
  • In solid waste, about 12% constitute of rubber. A rubber can neither degrade easily nor recycled due to its physical composition. This can be removed due to bioremediation.
  • Bioremediation of Agricultural Waste
  • Each year, human, livestock, and crops produce approximately 38 billion metric tons of organic waste worldwide. Disposal and environmental friendly management of these wastes has become a global priority.these can be managed through vermicomposting.
  • A vermicompostingis nothing but a joint action between the earth warms and microorganism. Here microorganism helps in degradation of organic matter and earth warm drives the process and conditioning to the substrate and altering the biological activity.
  • It leads to near-zero emission of harmful gases (such as methane, hydrogen sulphide, and ammonia) and leachate
  • Organic fraction of the original waste is degraded biologically by the bioculture. Specific microbes are also used for leachate treatment.
    • Once the waste is stabilised, it is ready for bio-mining, and can be separated into different fractions which can then be used for different purposes — for compost, road subgrade, making RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) pellets, recycling plastics, or inert for landfills etc.
  • The major advantage of the bioremediation methods is that it allows for contamination to be treated, neutralized or removed and then produces a waste product itself that is more easily disposed of.
  • In some cases, there is no need for disposal at all. In the case of the plants used in phytoremediation and rhizofiltration,the plant is able to do something called bioaccumulation. This means is holds onto the contaminant. As the plant is still growing, there is no need to remove and destroy it.

Disadvantages

  • Not applicable to heavy metal contamination or chlorinated hydrocarbons such as trichloroethylene.
  • Non-permeable soil requires additional processing.
  • The contaminant can be stripped from soil via soil washing or physical extraction before being placed in bioreactor.
  • Depending on specific site, some contaminants may not be absolutely transformed to harmless products.
  • If transformation stops at an intermediate compound, the intermediate may be more toxic and/or mobile than parent compound some are recalcitrant contaminants cannot be biodegradable.
  • When incorrectly applied, injection wells may become blocked by profuse microbial growth due to addition of nutrients, electron donor and electron acceptor.
  • Heavy metals and organic compounds concentration inhibit activity of indigenous microorganisms.
  • In-situ bioremediation usually required microorganism’s acclimatization, which may not develop for spills and recalcitrant compounds.

Conclusion

Thus, it is not only a process of removing the pollutant from the environment but also it an eco-friendly and more effective process. The purpose of bioremediation is to make environment free from pollution with help of environmentally friendly microbes.

 

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

6. What are ecotones? Ecotones deserve high conservation investment, potentially serving as speciation and biodiversity centres. Elaborate on their importance. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ecotones and their importance and the need to conserve them.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin defining ecotone.

Body:

First, mention briefly how ecotones are formed. Mentioned about the edge effect.

Next, write about the importance of ecotones – providing an area for a large number of species, nesting, food provisions, greater genetic diversity, serve as bridges of “gene flow” and buffer-zone” protecting the neighbouring ecosystem from possible environmental damage.

Next, write about the need to conserve them.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the importance and how Ecotones provide a sensitive indicator of global change.

Introduction

The transition zone between two ecosystems is called an ecotone. It is an area that represents the boundary between two ecosystems.  This area is of high environmental and scientific importance. Marshy land, grassland ecosystem are few examples of Ecotones.

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Significance of Ecotones

  • Ecotones, in simple terms, are transitional lands, which is why they provide such valuable insights and information regarding the evolution of the topography.
  • Ecotones are also very special when it comes to species diversity.
  • The transitioning region boasts species richnessand elaborate biodiversity.
  • This is because they contain animal and plant species from both the adjacent ecosystems.
  • This phenomenon is formally referred to as the edge effect.
  • Ecotones act as biodiversity hotspotsbetween two ecosystems.
  • Because this region borders two well-defined ecosystems, it promotes gene flowfrom one community to another, thereby giving rise to interesting variations.
  • As such, ecotones hold evolutionary significance for researchers.
  • Ecotones are the biological analogues of buffer states. They act as buffer regions when catastrophic conditions strike and protect the adjacent ecosystem from any prospective dangers.
  • For instance, if a tsunami hits a coast, it’s usually the mangrove vegetation that acts as the shock absorbers. It prevents a massive amount of danger from infiltrating the terrestrial region.

Conclusion

Moreover, such a region is also very susceptible to climate- and human-induced changes. These changes result in modifications related to the biodiversity, structure, and functioning of the thriving flora and fauna.

 

 


General Studies – 4