Indian Statistical Service Indian Economic Service (ISS IES) 2021 General Studies-2, Question-2
(a) Why are the farmers of India still haunted by the recurrence of drought and flood despite river valley planning?
Answer- Despite the implementation of river valley planning in India, farmers continue to face the recurrent problem of droughts and floods. Here are some reasons why this is still the case:
1. Inadequate Implementation: While river valley planning is a comprehensive approach to water resource management, the implementation of these plans has often been inadequate. Many projects have faced delays, cost overruns, and technical problems, which have resulted in incomplete or ineffective solutions.
2. Climate Change: India's farmers are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which has led to more frequent and severe droughts and floods. This has made it difficult to predict the availability of water resources and plan for their management.
3. Inequitable Distribution: Even when water resources are available, their distribution is often inequitable, with some regions having an excess of water while others face shortages. This has resulted in conflicts between different regions, as well as between different sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, industry, and urbanization.
4. Poor Agricultural Practices: Many farmers in India continue to use inefficient and unsustainable agricultural practices, which exacerbate the effects of droughts and floods. This includes excessive groundwater pumping, monoculture farming, and insufficient soil conservation practices.
5. Corruption and Lack of Accountability: Corruption and lack of accountability in the implementation of river valley planning projects have resulted in mismanagement and misuse of resources. This has led to delays in implementation, cost overruns, and ineffective solutions, leaving farmers vulnerable to the recurrence of droughts and floods.
Overall, the problem of recurrent droughts and floods in India is complex and multifaceted. While river valley planning is a comprehensive approach to water resource management, its implementation has been inadequate, and other factors, such as climate change, inequitable distribution of resources, poor agricultural practices, and corruption, continue to haunt the farmers of India.
(b) How does the conservation of biodiversity, especially in the humid tropics, assure the sustenance of the livelihood of the people below the poverty line?
Answer- Conservation of biodiversity is essential for sustaining the livelihoods of people living below the poverty line, especially in the humid tropics. Here are some reasons why:
1. Ecotourism: Biodiversity conservation can lead to the development of ecotourism, which can provide new job opportunities for people in the local communities. Ecotourism can generate income for local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and tour operators, providing employment for people in the area.
2. Food security: Biodiversity is essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems, which provide various ecosystem services such as soil fertility, pollination, and pest control. These services are essential for agriculture and food production, which is a primary source of livelihood for many people in the tropics.
3. Traditional knowledge: Many people living in the humid tropics rely on traditional knowledge to sustain their livelihoods. Biodiversity conservation can help preserve traditional knowledge, which can be passed down to future generations, ensuring the continued survival of traditional practices that are essential for livelihoods.
4. Medicinal plants: Biodiversity conservation can help preserve medicinal plants that are essential for treating illnesses and diseases. Many people in the tropics rely on traditional medicine for their healthcare needs, and the loss of biodiversity can lead to the extinction of these plants, thereby threatening the health and livelihood of people.
5. Climate change: Biodiversity conservation can help mitigate the impacts of climate change by preserving forests and other ecosystems that sequester carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This can help ensure the sustainability of natural resources, which are essential for the livelihoods of people in the tropics.
In conclusion, the conservation of biodiversity is critical for sustaining the livelihoods of people living below the poverty line in the humid tropics. It can provide new job opportunities, preserve traditional knowledge, ensure food security, protect medicinal plants, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
(c) Enumerate the factors responsible for the high frequency and magnitude of landslides in the mountain ecosystem.
Answer- The factors responsible for the high frequency and magnitude of landslides in mountain ecosystems include:
1. Steep slopes: Mountainous terrain often features steep slopes, which are prone to landslides due to the instability of the soil and rock layers.
2. Soil erosion: The erosion of soil due to water, wind, or other factors can weaken the soil and make it more susceptible to landslides.
3. Heavy rainfall: Intense rainfall can saturate the soil and cause landslides, particularly in areas with steep slopes and poor drainage.
4. Geological conditions: The underlying geology of a mountainous region can influence the frequency and severity of landslides. Areas with weak or fractured rock layers, for example, are more likely to experience landslides.
5. Human activities: Human activities such as deforestation, mining, and construction can destabilize the soil and increase the likelihood of landslides.
6. Earthquakes: Mountainous regions are often located in seismically active zones, and earthquakes can trigger landslides by shaking the ground and destabilizing soil and rock layers.
7. Climate change: Changes in climate patterns, such as increased rainfall or melting of permafrost, can affect the stability of mountainous terrain and increase the frequency and severity of landslides.
8. Vegetation cover: The presence or absence of vegetation cover can also affect landslide occurrence. Areas with dense vegetation cover tend to be more stable and less prone to landslides, while areas with little or no vegetation cover are more susceptible to soil erosion and landslides.
(d) Assess the prospect of the food processing industry with suitable examples from India.
Answer- The food processing industry in India has a promising future due to various factors such as rising population, increasing urbanization, changing food habits, and growing demand for convenience and packaged foods. Here are some examples that illustrate the potential of the food processing industry in India:
1. Dairy processing: India is the world's largest milk producer, and dairy processing is one of the most significant segments of the food processing industry in the country. With the increasing demand for dairy products, the dairy processing industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The Indian dairy industry has undergone a major transformation in recent years, with several players introducing new and innovative products like flavored milk, yogurt, and cheese.
2. Ready-to-eat foods: The demand for ready-to-eat foods has been increasing steadily in India, especially in urban areas, due to changing lifestyles and a growing working population. This segment includes products like instant noodles, soups, and frozen foods. Companies like Nestle, ITC, and Haldiram have been actively investing in this segment and launching new products to cater to the demand.
3. Fruits and vegetable processing: India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world, and the processed fruit and vegetable segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% in the coming years. The increasing demand for processed fruits and vegetables is driven by the rising awareness about health and nutrition and the need for convenience.
4. Seafood processing: With a long coastline and abundant marine resources, India has significant potential in the seafood processing industry. The seafood processing industry in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% in the coming years. The increasing demand for seafood in domestic and international markets and the availability of low-cost labor are some of the factors driving the growth of this segment.
In conclusion, the food processing industry in India has immense potential due to the favorable demographics, changing food habits, and growing demand for convenience foods. The government's focus on the sector, including the 'Make in India' initiative, has also contributed to its growth.
(e) What are the pros and cons of infrastructural development in the coastal zone?
Answer- Infrastructural development in the coastal zone can have both pros and cons. Here are some of them:
1. Economic Growth: Developing infrastructure in the coastal zone can attract investment, create jobs, and lead to economic growth.
2. Increased Accessibility: Infrastructure such as ports, airports, and highways can make it easier for people and goods to move in and out of coastal areas, promoting trade and tourism.
3. Improved Disaster Response: Coastal infrastructure can improve disaster response by enabling faster evacuation and rescue efforts during natural disasters such as hurricanes or tsunamis.
4. Enhanced Energy Security: Coastal infrastructure, such as wind farms or offshore oil and gas platforms, can contribute to energy security and reduce dependence on foreign sources of energy.
1. Environmental Damage: Coastal infrastructure can have significant environmental impacts, such as altering natural habitats, increasing pollution, and causing erosion.
2. Increased Vulnerability to Natural Disasters: Infrastructure in the coastal zone can make communities more vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes or tsunamis, which can cause significant damage to infrastructure and populations.
3. Climate Change: Developing infrastructure in the coastal zone can contribute to climate change, as it may increase greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the rate of sea-level rise.
4. Cost: Developing infrastructure in the coastal zone can be expensive due to the need for specialized construction and maintenance, as well as the potential for damage and destruction from natural disasters.
In summary, while infrastructural development in the coastal zone can have significant benefits, it is important to carefully consider the potential negative impacts and take steps to minimize them.