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Day 71 – Q 1. E-waste is a serious threat accompanying the digital revolution in India. Do you agree? What are the current provisions to address the challenge of e-waste in India? Critically review. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • April 11, 2022
  • 0
GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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1. E-waste is a serious threat accompanying the digital revolution in India. Do you agree? What are the current provisions to address the challenge of e-waste in India? Critically review. (10 Marks)

भारत में डिजिटल क्रांति के साथ कचरा एक गंभीर खतरा है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? भारत में कचरे की चुनौती से निपटने के लिए वर्तमान प्रावधान क्या हैं? समालोचनात्मक समीक्षा करें।

Approach

Candidates need to write about the Ewaste pollution in India and it’s volume how it is creating the hurdle for clean sustainable digital revolution in India. Do the critical review of provisions of ewaste management and highlight how much they are efficient in addressing the challenges. 

Introduction 

India is the third-largest producer of e-waste after China and the United States. More than 95% of this waste is handled by informal sector. The unprecedented generation of e-waste is a cause of concern for digital revolution. 

Body 

Ewaste serious threat:

  • The e-waste stream contains diverse materials most prominently hazardous substances such as lead, PCBs PBBs mercury, PBDEs, brominated flame retardants (BFRs). 
  • E-waste releases harmful chemicals, on burning, which adversely impacts human blood, kidney and the peripheral nervous system. 
  • When it is thrown in landfills, the chemicals seep in the ground water affecting both land and sea animals. 
  • COVID-19 caused unnecessary short-term investment in technology, which leave us at risk with data being stored on a wide range of devices.

Provision of to address the challenge of ewaste:

  • Laws to manage e-waste have been in place in India since 2011, mandating that only authorised dismantlers and recyclers collect e-waste. E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 was enacted in 2017.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), along with targets. Producers have been made responsible for the collection of E-waste and for its exchange.
  • Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO)  and Deposit Refund Scheme has been introduced as an additional economic instrument. 
  • Urban Local Bodies (Municipal Committee/Council/Corporation) have been assigned the duty to collect and channelize the orphan products to authorized dismantlers or recyclers.

Still more need to be done:

  • Still as per MoEFCCC to NGT 95% of e-waste in India is recycled by the informal sector and scrap dealers unscientifically dispose of it by burning or dissolving it in acids.
  • Gaps in collection targets, as the amount of e-waste collected in 2018-19 was 78,000 tonnes against a target of 1.54 lakh tonnes. Clear governance deficits on the subject.
  • E-waste dismantling capacity has not been increased from 7.82 lakh tonnes since 2017-18.

Conclusion

There is need to identify the hotspot zone by constant vigil and to coordinate with the District Administration to prevent any damage local level environment and public health management should be clubbed to tackle and fill the gaps in address the challenges of ewaste. 

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