Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Climate Change – Impact and Innovations
Climate change is a phenomenon which is often related to natural disasters such as heat wave, floods and cyclones. However, other than these disasters, climate change is bound to have many other effects as well. These effects might lead to a crisis which will have many more ill consequences in the long run.
Occurrences due to Changing Climate
Over the past few years various natural changes that have been witnessed due to climate change are:
Rising sea levels,
Changing weather patterns,
Rising temperatures across the globe, and
Decreasing water resources
Impact of Climate Change
Changes in urban and rural landscapes in the long term are expected due to rising sea levels, changing weather patterns and decreasing water resources.
The World Bank has predicted an impact on multiple sectors of the economy such as food, energy and water due to rising temperatures.
Extreme heat due to changing temperatures and changing rainfall pattern has been witnessed in India over the years. The agricultural sector is expected to suffer a lot due to these issues.
Sea level rise is also expected to impact coastal ecosystems and degrade the quality of groundwater.
Climate change is not only going to impact the environment or the society but will have a deep impact on the economy also.
Even if rise in temperature is controlled within the target of 2°C, still India will have to import double the food grains as it used to do in the times when no climate change and its impact was visible.
The problem of climate change has an impact on the GDP also. It would cost the world 1-2 per cent of the global GDP a year to reduce greenhouse emissions. Further if this problem is totally ignored, it would cost 5-20 per cent of the global GDP.
Strategy for Climate Change
For tackling climate change in the long run, there is a need to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from various sectors of the economy in a comprehensive manner and move to a low-carbon economy.
Innovative financing opportunities and strategies should be adopted by existing and new businesses. Achieving the targets under India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) will need new kinds of financial innovations to mobilise trillions of funds meet those targets.
Green Bonds are the latest form of investment innovation for funding climate mitigation strategies. YES Bank issued India’s first green infrastructure bonds.
Financial instruments such as Blue Bonds have been conceptualised for water, agriculture and related infrastructure. These financial instruments need to be given a push through adequate mechanisms such as credit guarantees. This will make them customer friendly and also assist in reaching huge numbers.
Blending of resources can also help in creating a requisite impact and scale essential for combating climate change. This can be done through public private partnerships.
Traditional irrigation methods and instruments, like bawdis and tankas used for water conservation have to be used along with modern irrigation techniques like drip and sprinklers that use less water for irrigation.
India has set steep target of achieving a renewable energy installed capacity of 175 GW by 2022. India’s energy goals have received a lot of support from developers and financiers. Various initiatives undertaken in India are:
Partial Risk Guarantee Fund for Energy Efficiency and Partial Risk Sharing Facility which aims to boost support for promotion of this concept in the industry through the Energy Services Companies model.
India’s target of carbon sink under the INDCs will be supported by National Green Highways Mission under which the corporates are encouraged to adopt highways and work towards their greenery.
Other than the Green Bonds, YES Bank also became the first private institution to commit CSR funds towards creation of carbon sink.
Schemes and targets like these give the private and public sector major opportunity to collaborate and finance climate mitigation.
Connecting the dots:
What is Climate Change? Discuss the socio-economic impact of climate change and also suggest innovative strategies for India to adopt for climate mitigation and adaptation.
TOPIC:General Studies 3
Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
Treating soldiers right
In news: A BSF soldier deployed at LoC brought forth a video of poor quality of food supplied to soldiers at borders. Is it a onetime incident or is there a pattern?
The need of spotlight
The video was picked up by media and there was a public outcry at the plight of Indian soldiers.
The allegations of the soldier, which also included corruption in supply of food by the senior officers, was taken at face value by the government as well as BSF and have initiated a further probe into the matter.
Now, if the allegations are true, those responsible will be identified and punished. If the trail leads to systematic abuse and corruption in the supply of rations to frontline soldiers of the BSF, it is expected to be identified and rooted out.
However, it will take time to fix as this requires clean up of the system from top to bottom and immediate quick fixes are not the solution.
Similar more videos from paramilitary forces have also emerged which talk about the hardships faced. This shows that India’s paramilitary forces are facing tough challenges not related to their duty which can adversely affect their physical and mental capacity.
The Indian security forces
The over one million-strong paramilitary forces are the backbone of India’s internal security. Along with the Indian Army, they are the guardians of India’s lengthy, dangerous and inhospitable borders.
The scope of work of the BSF, the ITBP, the SSB to stand guard over India’s borders ranges from Kashmir and Ladakh to Rann of Kutch, from the Sunderbans to the thick jungles of the Northeast.
The CRPF battle Naxals in India’s heartland whereas CISF guard India’s vital infrastructure. The RPF guards Indian railways and the NSG performs a crack anti-terror and VIP protection role.
Thus, the role of these security forces are hybrid in nature and they derive their organisational and administrative structure from army and police.
Barring the CRPF and the RPF, all the other forces are the creation of an independent, democratic India, in response to specific needs.
CRPF- Central Reserve Police Force
CRPF is largest of India’s Central Armed Police Forces and is under aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs.
Its primary role is to assist State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and counter insurgency. Now it is involved in other duties such as security arrangements during elections, deployment in UN Mission etc.
It came into existence as Crown Representative’s Police on 27 July 1939.
Post independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act in 1949.
In 2008 a wing called Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was added to the CRPF to counter the Naxalite movement.
RPF- Railway Protection Force
It is entrusted with protection of railway passengers, passenger area and railway property of the Indian Railways.
It is the only central armed police force which has the power to arrest, investigate and prosecute criminals.
Origin traced back to 1855 when East India Company had deployed a contingent for the security of the railway with the owner companies bearing their upkeep.
On the recommendation of Railway Police Committee, 1872, Railway Police was organized into ‘Govt. Police’ for Law enforcement.
The ‘Company Police’ evolved into present RPF in 1957 passing through “Watch and Ward” phase from 1872-1954.
In 1957, a Railway Protection Force Act was enacted by the Parliament and Railway Security Force was renamed as Railway Protection Force.
BSF- Border Security Force
It is charged with guarding India’s land border during peacetime and preventing transnational crime. It is one of the forces of CAPF and was established in the wake of the 1965 War.
From independence to 1965, India’s international border was protected by local police belonging to each border state, managed by inter-state coordination.
Under the aegis of MHA, its Director General is from IPS cadre inspite of it having its own cadre.
It currently stands as the world’s largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.
Where does the problem lie?
The video of the soldier brings out three possibilities — either the quality of cooking is poor or quality of ration is poor or ration supplied is insufficient. All the three possibilities determine the agony faced by first line soldiers who have the right to healthy and sufficient food.
If the incidence is seen in a macro perspective, there are larger issues raised beyond immediate concerns. The incident may be case of a general unprofessional neglect of welfare issues or systematic corruption by those responsible for procurement and distribution of rations.
A soldier- whether on border or in jungles- requires healthy meal to sustain and satisfy its physical and mental need of food. If the basic right to eat is not healthy, it is difficult to upkeep the morale of the security forces with empty or upset stomachs.
On the other hand in a reaction to the video, BSF stated that the soldier had a difficult past with incidences of absenteeism without permission, chronic alcoholism, misbehaving etc. Then it raises a question on BSF’s leadership which posted such a soldier on critical location of India-Pakistan’s border.
Corruption in security forces have a critical possibility of denting country’s defence capabilities. Putting responsibility of protecting the crucial borders on the soldiers who are indisciplined or habitual offenders affect the morale and attitude of fellow soldiers.
Not a healthy environment
Currently, the COAS is in charge of issues related to operational preparedness and modernisation of the Indian Army, development of military logistics infrastructure, pay and allowances of officers and soldiers, OROP, etc. Thus, it is imperative to allow him to concentrate on his job rather than attending to less important issues.
Similarly, Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi is commanding the Eastern Command and looking after the defence of territories bordering China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh and Lt. Gen PM Hariz is looking after India’s border with Pakistan and commands one of the largest geographical areas in our country.
These commanders command lakhs of troops and under the present circumstances, it will be unfair to drag these organisations and the officers into controversies.
Moreover, taking support of social media site can be dangerous as it is a double edged sword as rightly called by the COAS. Expression of grievances is important for the forces, but they have to be done within limits given the fact that all uniformed personnel are restricted by law and hence social media cannot become the primary platform for airing these complaints.
What needs to be done?
These organisations protect India’s borders and should not be shown in negative light. If any issues come up, they need to be highlighted and proper remedial measures be taken through grievances redressal mechanism but not stretch them beyond a point.
The facts need to be verified before highlighting. Fake or unnecessary news may deviate the security organisations from their task and thereby affecting their working capacity and morale.
The security organisations have to be less sensitive to criticism. They should look into the issues highlighted and investigate them impartially to solve the issues. They should refrain from commenting on each and every news pertaining to their criticism and rather initiate a probe into it.
The centre has decided to set up a new mechanism to solve soldiers’ grievances which is another step in providing support to soldiers to express their genuine problems and register their complaints. A formal channel shall give support and solution as against informal videos which will be forgotten soon enough.
Ethics in armed forces is as much as important as it is in other organisations. The security forces are not mohalla sabhas and hence are bound by discipline, hierarchy and loyalty. The army, paramilitary and CPFs are working overtime to ensure a peaceful and secure living for its citizens. They have enough operational and administrative problems to resolve in their own domains. Smaller and solvable issues should not take larger than required image. If the current case of BSF jawan was an isolated one or not will be established by the impartial inquiry which has to approach grievance redressal with an open mind. The proliferation of media into sensitive nature of armed forces have to be protected but when it comes to any violations of human well-being, it should be looked into from a non-partial view. This will bring in more confidence amongst the forces as well as people.
Connecting the dots:
What are central armed police force? What the challenges faced by it and suggest measures to address them.
The security organisations face twin challenges- external and internal. Comment.