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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2017 [30th March] – Day 54

  • IASbaba
  • April 16, 2017
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IASbaba's Think Learn and Perform 2017, UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2017 [30th March] – Day 54

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1. Discuss the problem of nitrate pollution in India. What are its remedies?

Nitrates are the oxides of Nitrogen. They are naturally formed when Nitrogen gas reacts with Oxygen gas during lightning (Normally nitrogen is an inert gas which does not easily react). It is also produced due to bacterial activity in soil and by human activities.

Access amount of nitrates in Surface water or underground water causes Nitrate Pollution. In India, major reasons for nitrate pollution are:

  • Release of untreated sewage directly in water body.
  • Run off or leaching of nitrogenous fertilizer from agricultural fields.
  • Release of industrial effluents in water.
  • Large scale open defecation near water bodies.

Effects:

  • In closed lakes and ponds it increases the weed growth and caused Eutrophication.
  • Causes bio – accumulation and bio – magnification in aquatic organisms.
  • Nitrogen poisoning causes a disease called ‘Blue Baby Syndrome’ in children. It reacts with the hemoglobin of blood and cuts the oxygen supply.
  • Stomach and Gastrointestinal cancer.
  • It can leach to ground water and contaminate the ground water supply. This is a severe problem on the banks of Ganga, Yamuna and Gomti.

Remedies:

  • Open defecation should be stopped and sewage should be treated before it is discharged in the river.
  • Subsidies on nitrogenous fertilisers should be rationalized.
  • Awareness should be created amongst the farmers on how much fertilizer to use so that wastage is minimized.
  • Water should be treated properly before consumption. Treatment processes, such as ion exchange, reverse osmosis, biological denitrification and chemical reduction to actually remove portions of the pollutant are used.
  • Manure storage areas should be leakage free.
  • Deforestation and overgrazing should be checked to reduce run off from the field.

(Note: Direct question many more points can be written)

 

Best Answer: Fara dar

Nitrates are anionic form of nitrogen Oxides, our atmosphere constitutes around 80%of nitrogen in different forms like n2, n2o, no2etc but they mix up with rainwater to form two hazardous compound like ammonium cation, Nitrates anionic. Problems asciociated with Nitrates are
Ground water contamination

Due to its presence in atmosphere formed by reaction with rainwater goes deep in soil and mix up with groundwater, however its concentration is below risk level less than 10mg /dl but most important contributors are man made activities like inorganic fertilizers, industrialist wastes, nitrogen manufacturing units, It leads eutrophication and algE boom which is detrimental to blue water economy

Health issues

Nitrates is considered hazardous when its concentration to rise above 25mg/dl, it created many health related problems like blue baby syndrome due to its effect on robbing the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells, this condition is also called methemahemoglobina characterised by decreased blood supply to tissues resulting bluish colouration of whole body termed as cyanosis

Prolonged exposure can also lead stomach and intestinal cancers due to its effect at molecular level, creeps into cells and cause irregularity in cell division

Economical loss

Since farmers are more affected by Nitrates usually the disease manifestations take place usually in spring seasons when farmers Apply inorganic fertilizers, the overall effect incidence is falling on families income, excessive and un regulalated usage results increased salinity, decreased productivity, loss of revenue to farmer

Methods to prevent

European Nitrates directives (association) to deal with Nitrates pollution produced certain guidlines to prevent this Shift from inorganic to organic fertilizers

Pasture regulations by appointing care takers who would function to collect nitrogeneous excreatra of livestock

Others Denitrification technique

Mixing the waters with different nitrate concentration so as to dilute it to mitigate abnormal sequels
Authority establishment to monitor the levels, draft plans execute them
Water harvesting techniques to conserve rainwater especially in areas where ground water is highly contaminated


2. Differentiate between HFCs and HCFCs in terms of their adverse effects on the environment. Why were these compounds in controversy internationally? Examine.

HFCs and HCFCs are used as refrigerant gases. Because of the presence of Chlorine, HCFCs are ozone depleting while HFCs are not. However, both the gases have very high greenhouse potential.

Because of HCFCs are ozone depleting they are put under Montreal protocol and are supposed to be phased out with CFCs. The substitute for HCFCs and CFCs is HFC which is not an ozone depleting substance. The controversy started when US pitched in with the idea that HFC should also be put under Montreal Protocol and should be completely phased out.

Developing countries opposed this idea for several reasons –

  • First of all HFC is not an ozone depleting gas so it should not be put under Montreal protocol rather Kyoto Protocol.
  • Montreal protocol is binding hence all the signatories will have to abide by it. While Kyoto protocol is non – binding.
  • Developing Countries do not have an alternate to HFCs. If they have to phase out HFCs they will get totally dependent on US for alternate gases.

Finally after negotiations, HFCs were brought under Montreal protocol in Kigali Agreement, but the time duration given to phase out HFCs is stretched for developing countries.

 

Best Answer : Neha

Both HFCs(Hydro flouro) and HCFCs (Hydro chloro Carbons) are a threat to the environment.
HCFCs were used as refrigents , aerosols etc . The HCFCs chemicals harmed the stratospheric ozone(due to the presence of chlorine which reacts with sratospheric ozone) and thus causes thinning of ozone layer. So to prevent the harmful effect of HCFCs , hydrochlroflourocarbons were replaced by HFCs (hydroflouro carbons) as they do not deplete the ozone layer. But later it was found that although they don’t harm the ozone layer they had a very high GWP (global warming potential) with very long lifetime.

So the basic differnce is that CFCs mainly harm the ozone layer while hydro flouro carbons are potent green house gases with high GWP.

The compounds are in controversy because in the Kigali agreement in Rawanda which is binding on the countries which will come into force into 2019 it set emmission targets for the phase out of CFCs. The developed countries will be at the fore front in phasing out the CFCs but the dispute arose over meeting the targets as poor countries like India does not have the resources and being a warm country it is heavily dependent on HFC substitues and wanted the period of commitment to be advanced. In the recent Paris agreement the countries under INDC have decided to reduce the emission global warming by 2 degree Celsius so phasing out HFCs can go a long way in helping to meet the commitments.

The substitutes for HFCs and HCFCs that are environmental friendly products like propane, ammona are too costly for developing countries like India. Under the Montreal Protocol the countries agreed to phase out the HFCs. There is a need for cooperation among the developed and developng countries through finacing of developing countries so that they can move to environment friendly products and meet the INDC targets


3. Billions have been spent for rejuvenation of live giving rivers of India but yet the levels of pollution remain unprecedented in India’s rivers. Why? Analyse.

Introduction:

Write a brief introduction.

Body:

the recent decision by the Uttarakhand HC to accord living status to Ganga and Yamuna, along with assigning parental responsibility for their upkeep to select government employees, has reignited the debate over the need to protect our rivers.

Reasons for failure of such schemes can be attributed to:

  1. Adoption of only engineering-centric approach to solve the problem with undue emphasis on creation of sewage treatment plants, etc.
  2. Catchment areas have been encroached upon and diverted for construction and developmental activities.
  3. Erratic and poor availability of power for operating the pumping stations, STPs
    and crematoria is a major bottleneck. As a result, in the event of power failures, raw sewage finds its way into the river and the treatment plants are adversely affected.
  4. Lack of local technical expert committees for monitoring the work.
  5. Excessive Damming and diversion of water: Plans to use river for their hydroelectric potential, for tourism or inland transport(NW planned over Ganga) reduce their ecological flow, and absorptive and effluent dilution capabilities. This also has ramifications for Marine life.
  6. Not involving the local communities and village panchayats in the project.
  7. Lack of focus on cleaning tributaries of Ganga like Yamuna, Son, etc. which are also polluted.
  8. Absence of holistic planning and isolated efforts, Often the government treats the problem of river pollution solely as a technocratic exercise (Greater allocation of funds and latest machinery). Inability to rope in other ministries like Ministry of transport, tourism, Drinking water and sanitation etc.
  • Ideas to clean the river and address the issue of pollution along its bank:
  1. The focus should be on visual pollution. The river should be made visually clean
    and the riverfront should be beautified.
  2. River bed farming, poaching of turtles, dolphins and fishing should be banned.
  3. Colonization of river land for urbanization and industrialization should not
    be allowed.
  4. Army should be involved in cleaning the river in Cantonment stretches.
  5. Industries which produce large amount of waste water e.g. tanneries, should be made to pay environmental tax thus they would themselves treat the waste water.
  6. Waste water from homes should be collected separately (not with industrial waste) and treated till tertiary stage.
  7. Can rope in PPP to augment resources and technical expertise. Even utilizing CSR should be looked at.
  8. “polluter pays principle” should be the bedrock while dealing with industries on the banks. Either pay money or self-treat waste.

CONCLUSION:

Write brief conclusion.

 

BEST ANSWER: aashna 

-Recently, The Uttarakhand High court declared the Ganga and Yamuna as ‘legal persons’ thereby conferring them human protection and conservation status.

-The government has over the years implemented various schemes relating to conservation, protection and maintenance of rivers. Be it the Ganga Action Plan to the most recent Namami Gange, Swach Yug Swach Bharat to the stringent norms for effluent discharge- the plans have not been very successful in reaching the desired goal.

-The various reasons can be attributed as under:
1. Lack of basic infrastructure which avoids the disposal in rivers
2. Insufficient people awareness, hygiene practises
3. schemes tend to target the practise, leave out the behavioural aspect
4. Implementation is not backed by consistent monitoring
5. top down implementation with lack of stakeholder approach

– To address these systemic and peripheral issues, the government can adopt various mechanisms like:
1. streamlining multiple schemes under one umbrella
2.enhance community participation
3.incentivise constructive behaviour through panchayat meetings, campaigns, competitions.

In conclusion, such changes coupled with a mission mode approach of the bureaucracy can transform the sacred status of rivers from letters of the judgement into its spirit.


4.What is your opinion on the impact of demonetization on the unorganized sector? If demonetization has actually affected it, why the same isn’t reflected in India’s latest GDP figures? Examine.

Introduction:

Move by the government on demonetization of high valued currency notes though has long terms economic and social benefits, it has hit various sectors hardly.

Body:

Unorganized sector is the most affected of all and more than 90% of workforce is placed in unorganized sector worsens the scenario.

1.Cash economy – Most of the transactions in this sector happens through cash, some even daily wages. Sudden liquidity crunch hit both employers and employers on merchandise and wages respectively
2. Bank and digital literacy- Most of the employers in the unorganized sector are illiterate; they are not tech-savvy and may not be completely aware of banking procedures. Also many unorganized jobs are in rural areas gives them less access t banks and ATMs
3. Future trade flow – No cash made them impossible to carry on buying products for next cycle of selling. This could be clearly evidenced in agriculture sector, where farmers were not able to buy seeds, fertilizers for rabi cycle.

4.There is high casualisation in the unorganised sector. Cash starved MSME’s resorted to shutdown of operations in absence of cash, leading to joblessness to the vulnerably employed.

5.Absence of social security net, labour laws protection, etc ensured that workers rendered jobless due to the Cash Crunch had difficulty in sustaining themselves in the intervening period.

6.Credit flow in the unorganized sector (Lower bank credit in absence of a secure credit history) suffered, affecting a few firms.

The same however wasn’t reflected in the GDP as:

  1. As pointed out in the economic survey, the Eco statistics for the unorganized sector, in absence of reliable inputs, are approximated using their organized sector counterparts. This latter group resorted to digital transactions during the period and was thus less affected.
  2. The relative contributions of some of the most affected sectors (like Saree makers, Diamond traders specially in Surat, etc) to the GDP is low. Thus their low business wasn’t reflected adequately in the GDP.
  3. Any losses(assumed) in agriculture cannot be reflected immediately due to a 3-6 month growing period induced lag.

4.Government’s prudent steps towards speedy remonetisation ensured that the losses were short lived and businesses rebounded quickly.

Conclusion:

write brief conclusion.

 

Best answer: abhishekrwt597 

The recent demonetisation drive, though well intentioned, suffered from a few hiccups in execution. Further, it also caused financial hardships,inconvenience and loss of livelihood to the vulnerable sections of the society.
Its impact on the unorganised sector was substantial as:

1)The unorganised sector is more cash intensive than the financial sector and lack of enough money in circulation delayed several transactions.

2)There is high casualisation in the unorganised sector. Cash starved MSME’s resorted to shutdown of operations in absence of cash, leading to joblessness to the vulnerably employed.

3)Absence of social security net, labour laws protection,etc ensured that workers rendered jobless due to the Cash Crunch had difficulty in sustaining themselves in the intervening period.

4)Credit flow in the unorganised sector(Lower bank credit in absence of a secure credit history) suffered, affecting a few firms.

The same however wasn’t reflected in the GDP as:

1)As pointed out in the economic survey, the Eco statistics for the unorganised sector, in absence of reliable inputs, are approximated using their organised sector counterparts. This latter group resorted to digital transactions during the period and was thus less affected.

2)The relative contributions of some of the most affected sectors(like Saree makers, Diamond traders specially in Surat, etc) to the GDP is low. Thus their low business wasn’t reflected adequately in the GDP.

3)Any losses(assumed) in agriculture cannot be reflected immediately due to a 3-6 month growing period induced lag.

4)Government’s prudent steps towards speedy remonetisation ensured that the losses were short lived and businesses rebounded quickly.


5. What type of investment model would you suggest for highway development in India? Substantiate.

introduction

India has the second-largest road network in the world, spanning around 50 lakh kilometers, consisting of national highways, state highways, rural, urban and district roads.

Body:

An efficient network of National Highways is necessary to ensuring easier connectivity, hassle free travel, besides cutting down on logistics cost.

The NH development in India suffers from multiple obstacles:

1) The issue of land acquisition:
NH often pass through private land, and land acquisition thus faces obstacles (Eg DMIC facing land issues due to the need to setup 24 smart cities and the needed trunk infrastructure).
2) Need for environmental clearances:
NH often pass though virgin territory and involve loss of some biodiversity. This leads to environmental hurdles (Need for EIA, clearances, Social audit, etc. E.g. Highway planned via Corbett)
3) Finances:
Since NH are public infra, they have to be constructed by the Government. Being capital intensive, the government can look for innovative PPP models like Hybrid annuity, TOT, BOT etc.

The Ministry of road transport and highways to introduced an alternative mode of project delivery “Hybrid annuity model” to sustain the pace of implementation of highway projects through optimum utilization of available financial resources.

The hybrid model will be the fourth to be introduced in India for the execution of road projects and is intended to kickstart stalled projects and accelerate highway construction.

The three formats for road projects in India followed so far are:

One, build-operate-transfer (BOT) annuity, in which a developer builds a highway, operates it for a specified duration and transfers it back to the government, which then pays the developer annuity over the period of concession.

Two, BOT toll, under which a concessionaire generates revenue from the toll levied on vehicles using a road.

Three, EPC, wherein the developer executes the project on behalf of the government.

The hybrid annuity model is a mix of BOT toll and EPC models.

ADVANTAGES OF HYBRID ANNUITY MODEL:

1.The hybrid annuity model probably has some hope of bringing a few select Indian contractors back into the highway concession business, where they may have struggled to deploy capital into toll roads. This model involves lower equity outlay upfront and substantially higher revenue certainty.This model provided for joint sharing of capital burden by government and private player.

2.The hybrid annuity model gives a lot of flexibility for a bidder

3.Lending for hybrid annuity-modelled projects would be comparatively easier as there is no traffic risk associated. Lenders would be comfortable as the execution risk is less for contractors as the bidding rolls out only after 90% land is available,

4.Introduction of the hybrid annuity model is expected to result in speedy completion of projects.

5.For private participants, this allows them to focus on execution of the projects wherein they will be hedged against inflation risk associated with increasing cost of raw materials as project cost will be allowed to increase with inflation.

6.The hybrid annuity model has provisions for inflation-adjusted project cost over time.

Conclusion:

Write brief conclusion

No Best answer.

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