IASbaba's Think and Learn-Mains 2015, Think and Learn, Think and Learn-2015, UPSC, UPSC Mains- Think and Learn-2015
Synopsis and Review – Think and Learn [Day 19]
GS 1) Examine the importance of Tibetan Plateu in influencing the climate. Why has it been subject to intense meteorological studies in recent times. Discuss.
The Top Answer for this question is written by – Aditi
Ans) Tibet is the largest and highest plateau in the world. It plays a very crucial role in initiating the monsoon circulation over the Indian subcontinent. Given it’s altitude and topography, Tibet gets more sunlight and becomes hotter than land at sea level.
-Due to increased land ocean temperature differences, a pressure gradient is caused and low pressure in lands (Tibet, NW India and Pakistan) attracts wind from Southern hemisphere, These wind pick up moisture from the ocean surface and finally monsoon arrives.
-Also heavy snowfall on Tibetan plateau increases surface fraction, it delays spring warming and delays summer monsoon over northern India.
-Glaciers are the source of major river system in Tibet and increase in glacier level could cause significant disruptions to the region as well as neighboring states.
The impact of climate change in Tibetan plateau region i.e. rising temperature, increase variability in precipitation and extreme weather event are likely to have socioeconomic implications. States within the region are taking steps towards building climate resilience. Researchers now have been deploying sensors to measure temperature, moisture in soil and cloud properties.
Climate change is affecting the seasonality of rainfall which affects the agriculture productivity, health, food and water security. To ensure sustained measures to prevent the socioeconomic and climatic conditions and priority must be placed on greater regional cooperation for implementing the results of researches and studies.
GS 2) “The need of co-operation in the hydroelectric sector between Nepal and India has been emphasized by various stakeholders for the last five decades. However, there is very little progress to show on ground so far.” Analyze.
The Top Answer for this question is written by – Coop
Ans) Nepal is endowed with abundant hydroelectric potential stemming from steep Himalayan slopes facilitating large water runoff in monsoon season. Many experts have suggested Indo-Nepalese cooperation in this sector because:
1) Nepal has neither technology nor finance to take up large scale hydropower projects. Nepal requires cooperation with technologically advanced countries to address its energy crises.
2) India, with proximity to Nepal, is the main candidate. Northern India faces power shortage and any future cooperation will benefit both countries to meet their energy demands.
Regardless of mutual benefit for both countries, no such cooperation has been realized so far because:
1) Foreign agreements on Nepal require approval of two-thirds majority, which isn’t possible for coalition governments of Nepal.
2) Nepal’s investment environment is poor requiring many approvals from several government agencies.
3) Opinion in Nepal is that India’s financial power gives them more leverage to determine outcomes of any agreement, thus leading to mutual distrust between countries.
4) India’s primary aim is to build run-of-the river hydroprojects that do not impede river flow to India. This only benefits Nepal in monsoon season.
Recent developments like new Nepalese constitution and Indian aid to Nepal after earthquake might placate some of these roadblocks paving way for mutually fruitful cooperation, considering economic development aspirations of both countries.
GS 3) Critically discuss the government decision to reconstitute the National Board of Wildlife, throwing light on its implications on environment and development.
The Top Answer for this question is written by – Sepoy No. 1446
Ans) National Board for Wildlife is a statutory body formed under Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Its primary role is to advice government on all wild-life related matters.In this role it evaluates projects and activities affecting wildlife in and around National parks and recommends necessary action.The board is chaired by Prime minister and has a large membership consisting of Mps, Ministers, secretaries, wildlife and environmental experts, NGOs etc. The external representation ensures that decisions are not taken unilaterally.
Recently government has reconstituted the board, resulting into under-representation of NGOs and independent experts.The law mandates that total 15 external members should be there (5 NGOs and 10 independent experts).Recent re-constitution clearly defies this provision.This has been challenged by the Supreme court and many projects that were earlier approved have been put on halt.
The Original board was a 47 member mammoth organization which resulted in inordinate delay in project approval.This goes against the current regimes’s fight against red-tapism and improving ease of doing business.Delays cause distortion in development plan and hence lean NBWL is needed.
Faster file movement and project approval is important,but so is environmental and wildlife protection. By influencing decisions of board,Government would only put itself at the extremity of environment-development debate. A lean NBWL is needed,but not at the cost of sacrificing community participation. For that rightsizing is needed,not isolated downsizing of independent members.