1. What do you understand by a ‘fragile ecosystem’? Which factors make an ecosystem fragile? Can you identify such regions in India?
A fragile ecosystem is an ecosystem or community which lacks resilience or which is so heavily impacted by an ‘un-natural’ event that it changes in unexpected and undesirable ways leading into the conditions that are often termed as natural catastrophe . The fragile ecosystem, as can be claimed is the price paid by the humans for incessant development done at the cost of natural destruction.
Fragile ecosystem are those ecosystems which have very less adaptive power towards adversities in comparison to other category ecosystems and therefore, can be easily destructible with bleak chances of recovery in case of climate change patterns and anthropogenic interventions.
Factors that make an ecosystem fragile:
Anthropogenic factors (Provide short description on each)
Extensive exploitation of resources and unscientific resource use
Introduction of foreign/alien species
Any disaster – natural or man made
Climate change facilitates
Fragile ecosystem regions in India
Fragile ecosystems include deserts, semi–arid lands, mountains, wetlands, small islands and certain coastal areas.
Desert: The Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert is a large, arid region in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent, covers Rajasthan and extends into the states of Gujarat, Punjab, and Haryana.
Coastal areas: Nine states and two union territories of the country have coastal areas. These coastal areas have 97 major estuaries, 34 major lagoons, 31 mangrove areas and 5 coral reef areas, and these various habitats support unique flora and fauna.
Mangroves and Wetlands: India, with its varying topography and climatic regimes, supports diverse and unique wetland and mangrove habitats. These wetlands are distributed in different geographical regions ranging from Himalayas to Deccan plateau and coastal areas of India – Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea – especially Andaman Islands and mangroves of Sundarbans and Bhitarkanika, Rann of Kutch region.
Mountains: The major mountain ranges in India are the Himalayas and the Western Ghats. These two mountainous ranges are recognised as two hottest biodiversity hotspots of the world, exhibit high level of endemism.
Islands: There are a total of 1,208 islands, including uninhabited ones in India. Most of the fragile ecosystem can be found in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands. These islands have unique flora and fauna, and exhibits high level of endemism.
2. Assess the potential of animal husbandry in India. Why despite having the largest livestock population in the world, animal husbandry is an underperforming sector in India? Analyze.
Since ancient times, animal husbandry is an important economic activity and contributed significant share in GDP even after later independence times. Moreover, animal husbandry is a livelihood millions of Indians dependent on agriculture and allied sectors. India’s traditional bovine breeds like Murrah, Ongole breed have great physical strength, endurance and dairy productivity. With advent of National Dairy Development Programme and White Revolution, India became the world’s top exporter of milk and milk products in a cut throat competition from China, Denmark etc., and contributed for exports earnings, employment generation, and acted as saviours during earlier drought times. Thus, animal husbandry has great potential for Indian economy as majority of population lives in rural areas.
Nutritional security – honey, milk, eggs, eggs, and other protein sources demand is increasing in India. Proper supply by harnessing the potential of animal husbandry will ensure nutritional security.
Hide industry – The skin of certain animals can be used to produce high quality leathers, which have high economic value.
Mixed farming – drought resistant and animals act as credit card for farmers in distress, waste product of animals can be useful for agriculture.
Exports – beefs, pork, etc. have high demand in foreign countries, India can fulfill this demand. This will bring foreign currency and reduce CAD.
Biodiversity – adopting animal husbandry may increase the biodiversity.
It can provide supplementary employment and additional income.
Source of nutrition (milk, eggs, meat etc) as well as raw materials for food processing industry.
Two third of rural population depends on it and it contribute 27% to agricultural GDP which can be enhanced significantly if budgetary outlay to sector is increased.
It has the potential of saving rural economy in drought like situation by ensuring continuous income.
Majority of the production is for national consumption, leads to fall in export value.
2. Lack in infrastructure such as processing units. There is also underutilization of scientific techniques (till date traditional methods for breeding are used).
3. Lack in health care facilities, delay in identifying diseases – reduces productivity levels
4. Scarcity in animal feed resources.
5. There are weak linkages between stakeholders and farmers. There are fewer production units and transport facilities to access markets.
6. Failure in preserving threatened breeds and insecurity of livestock – less financial assistance such as insurances towards livestock.
Less focus on entrepreneurship developmental activities – lack of skills.
But the government is taking new measures to improve this sector.
Budget 2016-17 has allotted Rs 850 Million to livestock sector.
Nakul swasthya pathra , an animal health card in the lines of soil health cards.
Pashudhan sanjeevani, an animal welfare program.
National Genomic centre for research on indigenous breeds and enhancing their productivity.
E- pashudhan haat, connecting farmers with breeders’ thereby eliminating middlemen.
Best answer: Naveen
Livestock products accounts for about one fifth of India’s trade of agricultural products. it is a promising sector with huge potential as;
– secured income and unemployment sector in rural and drought prone areas
– fulfilling the nutritional needs of malnourished and poor people
– extended benefit of thriving various food processing industries along
– foreign exchange earning can be made through the trade of quality products
– skin and hides are used by leather industry
– Byproducts can be used to generate manure, gobar gas plants etc
however the sector is performing low and India doesn’t have significant presence in global animal husbandry trade because;
– climate- being a tropical country, the livestock is vulnerable to get affected by varied diseases like foot and mouth etc
– lack of research development in vetenary care
some of the exotic diseases which affect livestock kills mass number as effective vaccine has not been developed. Also research in developing and breeding quality breeds is lacking compare to global front [national livestock mission could prove to be changing event]
– lack of fodder and space to keep the livestock as it is costlier affair [ it could not compete with livestock of American and European countries where special ranching and breeding sites are marked]
– vertical linkages providing ready market in the rural areas to sell the livestock products is missing. Agglomerates working on the industrial lines providing backward and forward likages with livestock farms and allied industry are needed.
Also the credit support facility for the farmers to carry out extended farm operations and secure productive animal husbandry should be incorporated in national agriculture policy.
3. The Indian diaspora is a neglected lot especially the blue collar workers. Do you agree? What steps can be taken to improve their living standards and security in their countries of residence/ job? Discuss.
There are 27 million overseas Indians, out of which 7.5 million are in Gulf region alone employed in blue collar jobs.
Problems faced by the blue collar workers/neglect by the government:
Lack of education and awareness about the countries which they live in and the procedures.
Frequent change of the terms of employment contract by the foreign employer which are detrimental to the workers interest.
Complicated visa and immigration procedures leading to less intervention by the government
Cases of Indian Diaspora being exploited have surfaced quite often for ex confiscation of passports on arrivals, poor working conditions, lack of religious freedom etc. Little efforts have been taken by the government to raise these issues on bilateral levels.
Steps to improve living standards of the workers:
Workers having ECR passports must be made aware of the problems and the available redressal avenues before they undertake the journey.
Compulsory registration of the emigrant workers with the Indian missions, so that identification and other procedural formalities can be expedited.
Extending consular services by digital applications like MADAD to take care of day to day issues
Raising issues of workers at diplomatic levels as recently raised with Saudi Arabia.
Digitization of documents, creation of online data base to avoid cases of passport confiscation and having real time check.
Collaborating with host nation to provide regular health checkups and observing safety of workers
Coming into bilateral agreements with different countries like that of Saudi and Israel for mutual benefits and greater cooperation.
To prevent changing of terms of employment contract, web-based attestation system of employment at the Indian missions must be carried out
Government should come up with scheme for resettlement, insurance cover and pension provisions for those workers who return to India.
Write a brief conclusion.
Best answer: SVSR.
India has largest diaspora settled across the world in diversified countries right from developed nations like USA, UK to small island nations like Maldives, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago. India’s getting benefitted from huge remittances by diaspora, and thus reducing the gaps in savings and investment. Majority of these remittances are drawn from Gulf nations wherein thousands of Indians are engaged in blue color jobs, unlike in developed nations. Owing to the rigid governance of gulf countries, the woes of Indians are innumerable and raised the moral obligation for India to ensure their safety and security at foreign lands.
Areas of hardships: > Tendencies of modern slavery by huge industrialists and capitalists. Reports revealed their woes like keeping visa documents and taking workers hair into their hands, and indulging in physical abuse, rape, human right violations.
> Social security of Indians abroad, particularly in gulf and other low/middle income countries is low.
> Lack of support in dealing with ignorance of foreign laws and unnecessary legal battles.
> Poor wages, inhumane housing, accommodation and working conditions and unbreakable contracts of work.
Steps to be taken: > Empowering and revamping Indian embassies abroad to bolster their existence by giving necessary help in terms of legal issues, ensuring social security and rights.
> Coming into bilateral agreements with different countries like that of Saudi and Israel for mutual benefits and greater cooperation.
> Conduct of counseling sessions and educating the workers about their rights, laws of land and other issues related to their work, and their safety systems.
> Neutral stand in the internal and external affairs of the host countries for not cultivating hatred and racial discrimination against Indians abroad.
> Setting up system of emergency help, support and evacuation infrastructure.
> Regular conduct of diaspora meets summits and events like Pravasi Divas for accruing combined strength of Indians abroad and for awareness generation.