UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | Stepping Back From An Ecological Abyss | 17th August, 2022

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What the article is about:
  • The article talks about how India need to balance her development needs with the sustenance of its ecological foundation.
 
Relevance:
  • GS3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
 
Analysis:
An earth under stress:
  • 480 Million Indian face the world’s most extreme air pollution level.
  • According to NITI Aayog “600 million people of India face high to extreme water stress.
  • With nearly 70% of water being contaminated; India is places at 120th amongst 122 countries in the water quality index.
  • According to ISRO Land degradation and desertification are taking place over 30% of our land.
  • Average levels of land productivity are one fourth of one fifth of what they could be.
  • Food items in most cities have pesticides well above human safety levels.
  • World Bank reported in 2013 that India was losing 5.7% of GDP due to environmental damage.
  • The latest global environmental ranking by Yale and Columbia university puts India at the bottom among 180 countries.
 
Need of the hour
  • Five thousand dalit women farmers of the Deccan development society have demonstrated how organic, rain fed farming with traduce seed diversity can provide full food security and sovereignty.
  • There is a need to shift away from large infrastructure and industrialisation with producer cooperatives, ensuring community rights over the ‘commons’ (land, water, forest, coasts, knowledge) and direct decision making powers to gram sabha  and urban area sabha.
  • There is need of collective mobilisation of industrial workers, farmers, fishers, craft persons, pastoralists, urban amd rural youth, women in all sectors, the disabled and LGBTQ.
  • Then only will India finish its century of Independence as a nation that has achieved genuine well being- a real ‘amrit kaal”



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