1.What are the advantages resulting from inter-basin transfers through inter-linking of rivers? (GS Paper-1, Geography) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduction: Explain the Rivers Inter-link project and its component
· Then discuss advantages of this project
The Indian Rivers Inter-link is a proposed large-scale civil engineering project that aims to effectively manage water resources in India by linking Indian rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals and so reduce persistent floods in some parts and water shortages in other parts of India.
The Inter-link project has been split into three parts: a northern Himalayan rivers inter-link component, a southern peninsular component and starting 2005, an intrastate rivers linking component. The project is being managed by India’s National Water Development Agency (NWDA), under its Ministry of Water Resources.
Inter-Basin Transfers Through Inter-linking of Rivers
The inter-linking of rivers and the transfer of surplus water, especially in the monsoon period from the surplus basins to the deficient basins has been championed by many experts over time.
- The idea of interlinking of rivers is described as the perfect win-win situation that will address the twin problems of water scarcity in the western and southern parts of the country and the problem of flood in the eastern and north-eastern regions. When the proposed interlinking project is completed, the right quantity and quality of water could be stored and delivered at the right time in the right places.
- Interlinking of rivers will promote and sustain the objective of food security both by increasing productivity of land and enabling reclamation of waste lands.
- The essence of the proposed interlinking of rivers is that with the construction of storage dams, the severity of floods and the extent of flood damage will be drastically reduced. When transferred to other basins with lower water endowment, the water thus stored would reduce the regional imbalance in the availability of water in the country.
The overall implementation of Interlinking of Rivers programme under National Perspective Plan would give benefits of 35 million hectares of irrigation, raising the ultimate irrigation potential from 140 million hectare to 175 million hectare and generation of 34000 megawatt of hydropower, apart from the incidental benefits of flood control, navigation, water supply, fisheries, salinity and pollution control etc.
2.What are the general and specific causes for women disempowerment? Bring out the measures to uplift the level of women in society. (GS Paper-2, Social Justice) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Brief introduction on women empowerment and its component
· Point out the causes of women disempowerment
· Discuss the efforts needed for women empowerment
Reference– NCERT/ Current Affairs
Empowerment means involvement in decision making and control over resources for being able to achieve higher quality of life, and also improving the capability for taking advantage of the opportunities for development, provided by the system. Women empowerment is a mission that aims at enabling women to gain control over the sources of power – economic, social and political – through awareness and capacity building leading to greater participation in decision making process, control and transformative action.
Following are the factors that result in women disempowerment-
The factors behind women disempowerment can be classified under two heads viz. (i) general and (ii) women specific.
The general causes include:
- Lack of possession of productive assets,
- Inadequate access to institutional sources of credit due to absence of ability to provide collateral security,
- Gender discrimination in general, and
- Lack of skills.
Causes specific to women can be identified as:
(i) illiteracy, (ii) seclusion, (iii) lack of organisation, (iv) absence or limited control over family earnings, (v) exclusion in household decisions relating to size of the family, education and marriage of female children, purchase or sale of assets etc., and (vi) lack of awareness and information.
Various strategies aimed at empowering women have been tried out to address the causes of women disempowerment. It is particularly emphasised in all developmental plans to have greater focus on women empowerment. A more vigorous thrust in this respect is particularly given since the 8th Five Year Plan in India.
- Since overall empowerment of women is crucially dependent on earnings of women, policy makers have time and again reinforced government intervention at different levels to ensure removal of discrimination as a step towards enhanced earnings for women. These include focused development projects that enhance income earning capacity of women through appropriate and specific skill formation, capacity building, and increased access to institutional credit.
- In this context, the efforts of many non-government organisations and social workers who have supplemented the government efforts in bringing women into the mainstream of economic development need to be appreciated.
- The 73rd and the 74th constitutional amendments mark a significant step in the direction of providing legislative provision for women empowerment in India.
3. What measures do you suggest to promote artificial recharge and rainwater harvesting? (GS Paper-3, Environment) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduction: Briefly write about the need of artificial recharge and rainwater harvesting
· Discuss the measures for artificial recharge and rainwater harvesting
· Conclude with suggestion like people’s participation
Usable water availability can be increased by tapping water that otherwise would run-off to the sea. Water storage above ground through dams and diversion through weirs are the conventional means.
However, water can also be stored underground by enhancing percolation through artificial recharge. Rain water harvesting in many small ponds through construction of bunds can also add to water availability. Inter-basin transfer of water through inter-linking of rivers can substantially expand availability.
Artificial Recharge and Rainwater Harvesting
The groundwater levels are declining in many parts of the country. Artificial recharge of groundwater with rainwater is an important strategy to arrest this trend. In urban areas, many cities have by-laws making rainwater harvesting compulsory for new buildings. However, in rural areas there is no such programme. Measures needed to augment the effective usage of water include the following:
- i) Local storage: There is significant potential for increasing the overall utilisable water through methods like: rainwater harvesting, construction of check dam, watershed management, and restoration of traditional water bodies as well as creation of new ones.
- ii) A cess on bottled water is merited since many negative externalities are associated with it like generation of plastic waste, their improper disposal, etc. The cess levied could be used for revival of traditional water bodies or for recharging ground water with community participation. The local communities need to be motivated to undertake this work on priority basis and to build their capacity for this purpose.
iii) Technical support systems for developing an optimal water management master plan for a micro watershed/hydrological unit need to be created.
- iv) Groundwater mapping, GIS mapping, satellite imagery, etc. need to be utilised for assisting the village community in preparing master plans for water resource development and management. This is possible with the internet broadband connectivity expected to reach all over India in near future. It is, however, a difficult challenge to create the institutional systems and delivery mechanisms required for providing the technical back-up and support to the village community for preparing the water management plans.
- v) The flood plains in the vicinity of rivers can be good repositories of groundwater. A planned management of groundwater in such areas offers excellent scope for its development helpful to meet the requirements of water. During rainy season, the flood water spreads over the plains, but due to very shallow water table the recharge is small and the rejected recharge result in river out-flows.
Development of shallow aquifers in flood plains, therefore, creates the necessary subsurface space for augmentation of groundwater from the river flows during the monsoon. Induced recharge is an effective management tool to meet the gap between demand and supply in areas adjacent to rivers with active flood plains.
Conducting mass awareness programmes on Rain Water Harvesting and Artificial Recharge of ground water throughout the country involving Central/State/ NGO’s, VO’s, resident welfare organizations, educational institutions, industries and individuals is also necessary for mass participation.
4.How are emotions and performance related? (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Explain the positive and negative impacts of emotion on our performance
· Give examples to illustrate your arguments
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
Emotions act as a very important tool in helping in the performance of an individual. Things which are normally done at a very low pace are done at a much faster rate in individuals who are under some emotional arousal.
- For example, a person may run faster than ever before at the site of a snake or a tiger because of the emotion called fear is experienced by him.
- An angry man for example can defeat a mighty man because of his extra energy due to his emotion called anger.
- However, if the arousal is too high then the performance of the individual will get adversely affected. For example, a student who is too tensed and very anxious about the exam may not be able to concentrate properly on preparation, forgoes sleep and food because of fear and thus the performance gets adversely affected.
- A certain amount of arousal can be a motivator towards change obtained through learning. But too much or too little will be acting against the learner. Too little arousal has an inner effect on learner impeding learning process and too much arousal has an arousal effect impeding learning and performance in an individual.
Thus it can be stated that optimal learning and optimal performance depends on optimal level of arousal.
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