Synopsis and Review-Think and Learn [Day 10]

  • IAS baba
  • July 9, 2015
  • 4
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Synopsis and Review – Think and Learn [Day 10]


1) Landslides have become frequent hazards in the Himalayan regions. Examine the causes of these landslides and measures needed to mitigate them. (200 Words, 10 Marks)

This is a very simple conceptual question, straight from the theory of Geography. Some of you might think why have we asked such a straight-forward question, which is unlike UPSC. Well, we wondered that a strong theoretical base is required in GS-1. And writing such questions will make your concepts rock-hard. So, at this stage we decided to ask such simple, yet, important questions every now and then.

Here, see that the question has asked for “Landslides in Himalayas”, so do examine the causes in this particular scenario. Give example of the Uttarakhand disaster too. But, the mitigation measures can be general ones with a broader perspective.

Each part for around 100 words would suffice for such a question.

The Top Answer is written by IWRA

Ans) Landslide is an event of land dislocation from original place in a very quick time,mostly at high slopes.This leads to widespread disaster and sometimes loss of human life.In India,the Himalayan region,especially in Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh this problem is very frequent.

Following are the major factors behind occurrence of landslides in Himalayan region:
1. High slope :Primary reason is high slope of landform where land is loose.
2. Loss of vegetation:on the sloppy areas increases the possibility of landslides.
3. High rainfall:makes foundation weak by percolation of water beneath.
4. Earthquake: shakes the foundation and causes landslide.
5. Bombarding/blasting for development purpose:This is done for projects like dam creation,mining in nearby areas.Blasting weakens the foundation of surrounding areas and leads to landslide.Recently this problem was highlighted in Uttarakhand where after repeated warning from CAG,permission has been granted for many development projects which took such type of activities.

Following measures are needed to control landslide:
1.Embankment and Vegetation:Holds the ground
2.Proper drainage system:To avoid loosening of the soil beneath
3.Limited development activities:to be permitted only in limited areas and to be done after doing proper EIA.

For above activities,effective government regulation,citizen and community participation as well as co-operative corporate is needed.

2) The replacement of the Planning Commission by the NITI Aayog, is an attempt to reinvent ‘planning’ in the backdrop of changed global and domestic scenarios. Critically comment. (200 Words, 10 Marks)

This is a question which interlinks cooperative federalism with economic planning. And do concentrate on the directive “critically comment”, which means that you need to give both positives and negatives of NITI Ayog.

The Top Answer is written by Subhash Tadala

Ans) Re-inventing of planning process is essential to answer the contemporary situations. In that case, Planning commission replacement by NITI Aayog is a re-invention in the following issues:

a)Co-Operative federalism: The improvement of state expertise in policy making actually demands a space for states to decide the priorities which NITI governing council can provide.
b) Bottom-Top approach Demand: The vision to decentralize the decision making by NITI actually give a space to bottom-top planning which was lied dormant in the planning commission history.
c) Equity in debates : The curtailment of drastic powers like that given to deputy chairman of planning commission can result in healthy egalitarian debates in governing council.
d)First consultation: NITI decides a policy after consulting states rather than design and throw upon states like in planning commission.
e) Increased Foreign Policy Importance : Growing states nexus with foreign countries demand a voice for states to re-draft a healthy foreign policy for which NITI Aayog has the potential to do.

Though it departs from dis-advantages, it lacks clarity in the following:
a) Rigid Governing Council: More representatives in the governing council may actually slow down the decision making.
b) Already Existed: The similar apparatus existed before also, so it depends on the centre wish to offer states the required space.

3) Nanotechnology can be used to develop simple, effective, low-cost and environment friendly techniques of pest control. Discuss. (200 Words, 10 Marks)

Concentrate on the word – “pest control”. This means that even though nanotechnology has many uses and purposes, but this answer wants only those that are useful in pest control. Other than that, it is very simple, if you get the right points.

Today’s Top Answer is written by – Gajendra Singh

Ans) Pest control is big menace for the agriculture and allied industry. Last year they lead to banning of Alphonso mango and other agriculture products. Pest control methods like- chemical pesticides, herbicides do have their adverse impact on health and environment like- Bio-magnification, Eutrophication and killing of pollinators, pest-predators, agro-friendly microbes like cyanobacteria etc.

Here the Nano-technology provides effective, low cost and environmentally friendly solutions:

Nano pesticides: Nano pesticides are pheromones- natural or artificial odours – that lure insects to either trap and destroy them or disrupt their breeding. This technology can be used to control pests of crops such as cotton, pigeon pea, chickpea, tomato, Brinjal, mango, rice and others crops as well. A small use of Nano-pesticides is adequate compared to the traditional fertilizers this makes it cost effective.

Plant disease : Silver Nano particles have been found useful in ‘collar root’ disease in groundnut and against powdery mildew on cucumber and pumpkins too.

Nano sensors: are used to detect pathogens.

Nano fertilizers: phloem transport of Nano scale calcium oxide in ground nut using solution culture technique.

Environment friendly: Since the other options like- bio-pesticides, hot and cold treatment, irradiation of the produce, nuclear agriculture and BT modifications have their own environmental limitations. Nano –tech is most promissing in this regard.

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