1.Discuss the impact of climate change on groundwater reserves. Also highlight the situation of groundwater in India. (GS Paper-1, Geography) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Explain the impact of climate change on groundwater reserves
· Conclude with suggestion
Reference- NCERT/ Current Affairs
Groundwater reserves are already under pressure as the global population explodes and crop production rises in lockstep. But the extreme weather events such as drought and record rainfall — both made worse by our heating planet — could have another long-lasting impact on how quickly reserves replenish.
Researchers found that only half of all groundwater supplies are likely to fully replenish or re-balance within the next 100 years — potentially leading to shortages in drier areas. This
The process through which rainwater is filtered through bedrock and accumulated underground can take centuries and varies greatly by region. As climate change delivers longer droughts and bigger superstorms, the extremes of rainfall become more pronounced, impacting groundwater reserves for generations to come. In arid areas took far longer — several thousand years in some cases — to respond to alterations in climate than reserves in more humid parts.
- Today, India is the largest user of the groundwater in the world with almost 90% being used for drinking water and almost 60-70% for irrigation.
- Current statistics also show that nearly 50% of urban water supply comes from groundwater.
- India is on the threshold of a very serious groundwater crisis, which needs mitigation both in the fields and at the policy corridors of the country.
- Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families.
- Drought afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries including India, worsening hunger and malnutrition.
There is a need to modernise the regulatory framework for accessing groundwater soon after massive expansion in mechanical pumping led to the realisation that recharge could not keep pace with use.
2.What do you understand by the concept “freedom of speech and expression”? Discuss if freedom of speech and expression is absolute in India. (GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Explain the article 19(1) of the Constitution of India
· Write down restriction mentioned in article 19(2) of the Constitution of India and SC Judgements
Freedom of speech and expression means freedom to express whatever one wishes and state/speak one’s opinion without fear of repercussions. In India it is a fundamental right given by the Constitution under Article 19 (1) (a). Supreme Court has expanded the ambit by included freedom of press, commercial advertisement, right to telecast etc. also under Article 19.
Under Article 19(1) in The Constitution of India, all citizens shall have the right-
- to freedom of speech and expression;
- to assemble peaceably and without arms;
- to form associations or unions;
- to move freely throughout the territory of India;
- to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and
- to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business
- Under Indian law, the freedom of speech and expression do not confer an absolute right to express one’s thoughts freely. Clause (2) of Article 19 of the Indian constitution enables the legislature to impose certain restrictions on free speech under following heads:
- security of the State,
- friendly relations with foreign States,
- public order,
- decency and morality,
- contempt of court,
- incitement to an offence, and
- sovereignty and integrity of India.
- Supreme Court in various cases has upheld Criminal Defamation (Section 499 and 500 of IPC) and Sedition (Section 124 A of IPC) as a reasonable restrictions.
- In a recent judgment apex court held that appealing for votes on grounds of religion, caste, creed, language or community as corrupt practices under section 123 of Representation of people’s Act, 1951.
Thus, no right including right to Freedom of speech and expression is absolute in nature. Every right entails certain responsibility. The, freedom of speech and expression of one person should not undermine the rights and dignity of other people.
3.Hydrocarbon Fuels have adversely affected the environment with Green House Gas Emissions (GHG). Discuss the benefits of methanol blending in fuel. (GS Paper-3, Science & Technology) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Then discuss the benefits of using Methanol in fuel
Reference– NCERT/ Current Affairs
Methanol is a promising fuel as it is clean, cheaper than fossil fuels and a good substitute for heavy fuels. India imports methanol from Saudi Arabia and Iran at present. Across the world, methanol is emerging as a clean, sustainable transportation fuel of the future.
Benefits of using Methanol
- Methanol can be used as an energy producing fuel, transportation fuel and cooking fuel, cutting down India’s oil import bill by an estimated 20% over the next few years. Unlike CNG, using methanol as a transportation fuel would require minimal alteration in the vehicles.
- Methanol is a clean-burning fuel that produces fewer smog-causing emissions — such as sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter — and can improve air quality and related human health issues.
- Methanol is most commonly produced on a commercial scale from natural gas. It can also be produced from renewable sources such as biomass and recycled carbon dioxide.
- As a high-octane vehicle fuel, methanol offers excellent acceleration and power. It also improves vehicle efficiency.
Methanol has the potential to be an enduring solution to human energy needs is because the belched out C02 (greenhouse gas emission) both from using Methanol and while producing Methanol can be tapped back to produce Methanol. Thereby a seamless loop of CO2 sequestration cycle is created to perpetually burn fuels without polluting the environment at all. C02 from steel plants, Thermal Power plants, Cement Plants etc. can be tapped in large quantities to produce Methanol.
4.Explain the difference between Wisdom and Knowledge. Is it better to be smart or wise? (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (150 words)
|Structure of the Answer
· Briefly define intelligence and wisdom
· Mention the benefits of both intelligence and wisdom
· Finally discuss the requirement of both in success
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
Intelligence can be defined as the ability to acquire and apply all the information you collect. It’s a relationship between learning and curiosity that influences the types and quantity of information one acquires.
On the other hand, wisdom, which is directly associated with experience, is a more complex ability. When we use wisdom, we’re using our rich history of experience to help us make a decision. Without these experiences to draw on, we can’t have wisdom.
- Some people have an enormous amount of knowledge, but what they lack is the wisdom needed to cope with ordinary daily tasks. We might call this: intelligence without wisdom.
- On the other hand, there are those who are highly efficient in solving complicated issues but haven’t got any factual knowledge to accompany their ideas. These would be high wisdom: low intelligence individuals.
A balance between wisdom and intelligence is the key for success. Everyone has both abilities, but not all of us are aware of their presence.
Our lifestyle, profession, and habits play an important role in building our skills and cognitive abilities. Everyone has different strengths that are naturally encouraged by their environment, as what we practice on a daily basis is bound to improve.
The easiest way to achieve a successful balance between wisdom and intellect is by applying the knowledge you acquire in everyday situations. This is how we can build a healthy balance between our experiences and knowledge.
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