top of page

Indian Statistical Service Indian Economic Service (ISS IES) 2021 General Studies-1 Question- 2

(a) "Climate change is likely to adversely affect certain countries dependent on agriculture." Examine this statement by citing relevant examples.

Answer- Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on agriculture, particularly in countries that heavily rely on this sector for their economy. The changing weather patterns, including shifts in temperature and precipitation, can adversely affect crop yields, livestock health, and agricultural productivity. The following are examples of countries that are likely to be negatively affected by climate change due to their dependence on agriculture.

1. Sub-Saharan Africa: Sub-Saharan Africa is home to over 300 million people who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Climate change is projected to reduce crop yields and increase the frequency and intensity of droughts, floods, and heatwaves in this region. Countries such as Ethiopia, Mali, and Niger are particularly vulnerable to these effects. In Ethiopia, for example, agriculture accounts for over 80% of employment, and climate change is expected to cause significant declines in yields for crops such as maize, sorghum, and millet.

2. India: India is one of the world's leading agricultural producers, with the sector accounting for around 17% of the country's GDP and employing nearly 50% of the population. However, climate change is already having a severe impact on agriculture in India, with farmers facing frequent droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events. In 2019, a heatwave in the country caused the deaths of hundreds of people and livestock, while also damaging crops and leading to significant economic losses.

3. Australia: Australia is a significant exporter of agricultural products, particularly crops such as wheat, barley, and canola. However, the country is already experiencing the effects of climate change, including prolonged droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires. These conditions are likely to reduce crop yields and livestock production, particularly in regions such as the Murray-Darling Basin, which is one of Australia's most important agricultural areas.

In conclusion, climate change is expected to have severe consequences for countries that depend heavily on agriculture, both in terms of food security and economic growth. While some countries have already begun to implement measures to adapt to these changes, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be sufficient to mitigate the worst effects of climate change on the agricultural sector.

(b) Many countries prefer coal rather than solar or wind energy as a source of fuel. Why ?

Answer- There are several reasons why some countries still prefer coal as a source of fuel over solar or wind energy:

1. Cost: Coal is often cheaper than solar or wind energy, particularly in countries with large coal reserves. This makes it an attractive option for countries looking to keep energy costs low.

2. Reliability: Coal-fired power plants can provide a consistent and reliable source of energy, whereas solar and wind energy production can be variable and dependent on weather conditions.

3. Infrastructure: Many countries already have well-established infrastructure for coal production and consumption, including power plants and transportation systems. Transitioning to solar or wind energy would require significant investment and changes to existing infrastructure.

4. Politics: In some cases, coal may be viewed as a symbol of national pride or identity, particularly in countries with a long history of coal mining and production.

5. Job Creation: Coal mining and power generation can provide jobs and economic benefits to local communities. In some countries, politicians may prioritize job creation and economic development over environmental concerns.

However, it's important to note that the long-term environmental and health costs of using coal as a source of energy can far outweigh the short-term benefits. Solar and wind energy, while initially more expensive to implement, offer a clean and sustainable source of energy that can ultimately lead to significant cost savings and environmental benefits over time.

(c) "Air pollution and water shortages are among the problems faced by urban centres across the globe." Examine this statement.

Answer- The statement "Air pollution and water shortages are among the problems faced by urban centres across the globe" is accurate and reflects two of the most pressing challenges faced by urban centers worldwide.

Air pollution is a significant issue in many urban centers, with sources including industrial activities, vehicular emissions, and domestic heating and cooking. High levels of air pollution can lead to a range of health problems, including respiratory diseases and cardiovascular issues, and can have broader environmental impacts such as climate change. Efforts to reduce air pollution in urban centers include promoting the use of public transportation, encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles, and implementing regulations on industrial emissions.

Water shortages are also a major issue in urban centers, particularly in regions with limited water resources or inadequate infrastructure. Urbanization can lead to increased water consumption and pollution, exacerbating water scarcity in some areas. Water shortages can have severe consequences for communities, including health problems, economic challenges, and social unrest. Efforts to address water shortages in urban centers include improving water management practices, increasing investment in water infrastructure, and promoting water conservation behaviors.

In conclusion, air pollution and water shortages are two significant problems that urban centers across the globe face. Addressing these issues will require coordinated efforts from government, industry, and civil society, and will be essential to ensuring the health, wellbeing, and sustainability of urban communities worldwide.

(d) What factors influence the location of industries in India today?

Answer- The location of industries in India today is influenced by various factors, including:

1. Availability of Natural Resources: Industries such as mining, agriculture, and forestry require natural resources like minerals, water, and timber. The availability of such resources in a particular region can attract industries that depend on them.

2. Infrastructure: The presence of well-developed infrastructure, including roads, ports, airports, and rail networks, can attract industries as it reduces the cost of transportation and enables the smooth movement of goods and services.