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Education Marks Proper Humanity


Education Marks Proper Humanity


Education Marks Proper Humanity


Education Marks Proper Humanity


Education Marks Proper Humanity

Showing posts with label UPSC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UPSC. Show all posts

Friday, December 25, 2020

Revolutions in India (Geography)

Revolutions in India 

Revolutions in India




Person Associated with


Black Revolution


Petroleum Production

Dr. Arun Krishnan

Blue Revolution


Dr. Arun Krishnan

Brown Revolution

Leather Production/ Cocoa

Dr. Arun Krishnan

Evergreen Revolution 

Over-all development of Agriculture

Dr. Arun Krishnan

Grey Revolution

Housing development/ Fertilizers

Dr. Arun Krishnan

Golden Revolution

Horticulture, Honey-bee (Apiculture)

Nirpakh Tutej

Golden Fibre Revolution


Nirpakh Tutej

Green Revolution


Norman Borlaug, M.S. Swaminathan, W.Goad Durgesh Patel, Vishal Tiwari

Pink Revolution

Prawns, Onions, Pharmaceutical

Norman Borlaug, M.S. Swaminathan, W.Goad Durgesh Patel, Vishal Tiwari

Red Revolution

Meat & Tomato

Norman Borlaug, M.S. Swaminathan, W.Goad Durgesh Patel

Round Revolution


Indira Gandhi, Vergesh Kurien

Silver Fibre Revolution


Indira Gandhi, Vergesh Kurien

Silver Revolution

Poultry & Eggs

Indira Gandhi

White Revolution

Dairy development

Vergesh Kurien

Yellow Revolution


Sam Pitroda

Protein Revolution

Technology-driven 2nd Green Revolution

Coined by PM Narendra Modi & FM Arun Jaitely


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Environmental Pollution - UPSC

Environmental Pollution

  •  A substance that causes an undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of the natural environment is known as pollution
  • Although there are some natural pollutants such as volcanoes, pollution generally occurs because of human activity. 
  • Biodegradable pollutants, like sewage, cause no permanent damage if they are adequately dispersed.
  • Non-biodegradable pollutants, such as lead (Pb), maybe concentrated as they move up the food chain.
  • At present, Air Pollution- associated with basic industries such as oil refining, chemicals, iron and steel, and coal, as well as with internal combustion engine- is probably the principal offender, followed by water, and land pollution.
  • Other forms of environmental pollution include noise and the emission of heat into waterways, which may damage aquatic life.
  • Present-day problems of pollution include acid rain and the burning of fossil fuels to produce excessive carbon dioxide.
There are four types of environmental pollution which have been described briefly in the following:
  • Air Pollution
  • Water Pollution
  • Soil and Land Pollution
  • Noise Pollution

Air Pollution: 

Fig: Air Pollution
  • The presence in the Earth's atmosphere of man-caused or man-made contaminants may adversely affect the property, or lives of plants, animals, or humans.
  • Commonly air pollution includes CO2, CO, Pb, NOx, O3 (Ozone), SOx, and smoke.
  • The tremendous increase in vehicles during the last three decades in the country has increased air pollution, especially in large cities.
  • Consequently, the urban population is suffering more by cough, nausea, irritation of the eyes, and various bronchial and visibility problems.
  • Because of the emission of CO2, CO, NOx, and suspended particles of lead (Pb) and heavy metals, the urban environment is more polluted than the rural environment.
  • The air pollution is the main cause of many of the disease and ailments.
Air pollution has to lead the increase in the incidence of some of the disease like;
  • Cough, shortness of breath, bronchitis, cold and fatigue, bronchopneumonia, lung infection, infection & anemia, high blood pressure, nervous system, emphysema, angina pectoris, fatal arrhythmia or myocardial damage, coronary damage, coronary disease, cancer in the kidney, testis, brain, stomach, lung, respiratory tract bladder & uterus, leukemia & problems associated with gastro-intestinal & liver damage.
Fig: Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

  • Reduction in vehicular emission
  • Improvement in the quality of diesel and petroleum
  • Use of alternate sources of fuel e.g., CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) & LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas)
  • More use of public transport
  • Improved vehicular technology
  • Mass awareness
Fig: Air Pollution Scrubber

Water Pollution:

Water is one of the most important requirements for human survival. Clean water is necessary for health & human development. Water pollution has been defined as the alteration of the physical, chemical, & biological properties of water, which may cause harmful effects on human & aquatic life. Unfortunately, over 70% of the available water in India is polluted. 
Fig: Water Pollution

The main causes of water pollution are:


  • The unplanned growth of urban centers, especially inevitably lead to huge quantities of domestic and industrial waste. 
  • The high energy consumption in urban places gives rise to large quantities of waste-water, sewage, and domestic trash. 
  • The inadequate development of sewerage disposal has polluted most of the rivers, lakes, ponds, and wells.
  • Municipal water treatment facilities in India are not up to the international standard.
  • The quality of water is poor in the urban areas, especially in the unauthorized colonies & slums.


  • The industrial waste consists of chemicals, detergents, metal & synthetic compounds, besides the solid waste & garbage.
  • These pollutants are generally discharged in rivers.
  • Consequently, most of the rivers, lakes, ponds, and wells in India are polluted by industrial wastes.

Withdrawal of Water:

  • The water of most of the rivers is utilized for irrigation, industries, & domestic purposes.
  • In the plain areas, generally, the rivers contain little water during the winter & summer seasons.
  • What flows into the rivers is the water merging from small streams & drains carrying untreated sewage & effluent.
  • Each river must contain a minimum discharge throughout the year to maintain its ecology.

Application of Plants Protection Chemicals:

  • After the introduction of High Yielding Varieties in the agricultural landscape, the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides & pesticides has increased substantially.
  • These inputs can be used with success only in the areas where controlled irrigation is available. In fact, these chemicals have changed the soil chemistry. 
  • The use of insecticides has killed the useful bacteria in the soil as well as the fertility-enhancing earthworms.

Ground-Water Quality:

  • The underground water is largely consumed for irrigation, drinking, and industrial purposes.
  • The underground water is being polluted by the heavy application of chemical fertilizers, plant protection chemicals, infiltration of contaminated water, & waste disposal.
  • Once polluted, underground water may remain in hazardous conditions for decades or even for centuries.
Fig: Ground-water quality

Consequences of Water Pollution:
  • Consumption of polluted water is a major cause of poor health in India. 
  • The polluted water causes diseases like cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, jaundice & tuberculosis.
  • Children, especially in the urban slums & rural areas are the worst affected.

Soil & Land Pollution:

Fig: Soil & Land Pollution
  • Soil is the life support system of mankind. Soil becomes polluter either due to the misdeed of man or at times by the environmental hazards.
  • The main factors of soil & land pollution are soil erosion, excessive use of chemical fertilizers & plant protection chemicals.
  • Soil is also polluted by liquid & solid wastes from urban & industrial areas, forest fires, water-logging, related capillary processes, & mining wastes.
  • The soil pollution can be reduced by a judicious application of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, & pesticides.
  • The urban & industrial effluents can be used for irrigation after proper treatment.

Noise Pollution:

Fig: Noise Pollution
  • Noise is one of the important forms of atmospheric pollution.
  • It may be defined as the state of discomfort & restlessness caused to humans by unwanted high-intensity sound.
  • Noise pollution has increased in India considerably with the increase in urbanization & industrialization.
  • The automobiles, factory machines, & loudspeakers at the religious places are the main noise pollutants.
  • Noise pollution leads to impairment of hearing.
  • It also results in mental tension, blood pressure, heart disease, irritation, fatigue, & stomach trouble.
Noise pollution can be reduced by:
  • Locating the noise-producing industries away from the residential areas
  • Replacement of old machinery
  • Minimum use of horn
  • Improvement in rail tracks, &
  • To educate the younger generation about the adverse consequences of noise pollution.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Environmental Management - UPSC

 Environmental Management

Our Natural Resources are limited and won't unlimited. The judicious utilization of natural resources is imperative to make them sustainable. There is, thus, a need for conservation of resources. Conservation of environment (resources) means to use the resources in such a way so that the present generation may fulfill its needs without compromising the needs of future generations. 

The main objectives of conservation are:

(i.) to maintain the resilience characteristics of the ecosystem.

(ii.) to prepare the biodiversity

(iii.) to enhance the sustainability of the environment.

Some of the measures which may go long in achieving these objectives have been given briefly here:

Forest Conservation

Fig: Forest Conservation

  • Forest resources are renewable but not inexhaustible. 
  • The rate of forest removal and they're complete by cutting and burning has been accentuated during the last few decades after Independence. 
  • About four thousand years back, the Indo-Gangetic Plain was under thick forest cover, but now hardly any forest is found in this physiographic fertile region. 
  • The rapid urbanization & industrialization during the Post-Independence period, the requirements for construction of houses, railway sleepers, paper and timber, fuel-wood, and furniture, have degraded the Indian forests significantly. 
  • Moreover, forest fires and shifting cultivation have converted many of the lush green tacts into ecological slums.
The following steps are needed to keep the forests in a healthy and regenerative condition:


Fig: Agri-Silvi-pastoral systems
  • The cultivable waste, village community land, and degraded forest need to be brought under social forestry.
  • Every tree cut must be replaced by a new tree. For this purpose, incentives should be given to rural females and youths.
  • The forest can be conserved by adopting better harvesting techniques. Only the mature trees are cut.
  • Simultaneously, there is a need to reduce wastage. The waste paper could be recycled.
  • Protection of forests from natural hazards such as large-scale fires, insects, and diseases need immediate attention.
  • Over-grazing should be prevented in forest areas.
  • There should be more areas marked as reserved forests, national parks, and biosphere reserves.
  • Agri-silviculture and Agri-Silvi-pastoral systems should be encouraged.
  • Scientific rotation of crops can make the agricultural land more sustainable.

  • Recycling of metallic minerals should be encouraged.

  • Mass awareness is required to keep the environment in a sound condition.


Monday, October 5, 2020

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - UPSC

 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • The United Nations (UN) General Assembly in its 17th session in September 2015 announced a set of 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) & 169 targets which will stimulate action over the next 15 years.
  • The SDGs were adopted after one of the largest consultations exercises in UN history.
  • The goals were proposed in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012.
  • The SDGs will be effective between 2016-2030.

Major highlights of the Sustainable Development Growths are as given below 17 Goals to transform our world: 
  • Poverty eradication or No Poverty;
  • Zero hunger;
  • Good health & well-being;
  • Quality education;
  • Gender equality or promoting women & girl empowerment;
  • Clean water & sanitation;
  • Affordable & clean energy;
  • Decent work & economic growth;
  • Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure;
  • Reduced inequalities or combating inequalities
  • Sustainable cities & communities;
  • Responsible consumption & production;
  • Climate actions;
  • Life below water;
  • Life on land;
  • Peace, justice & strong institutions;
  • Partnership for the goals
Fig: Sustainable Development Goals

In comparison to the MDGs, the SDGs are very comprehensive with provisions of indicators for all of its 169 targets which need a proper monitoring mechanism- a challenge for the countries of the world. Financing the goals will be another challenge in this regard.

Fig: World map showing countries that are closest to meeting the SDGs (in dark blue color) & those with the greatest remaining challenges (in the lightest shade of blue color)


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Paris Agreement (COP 21) - UPSC

 Paris Agreement (COP 21)

  • The Paris Agreement on post-2020 actions on climate change will succeed the Kyoto Protocol.
  • It provides a framework for all countries to take action against climate change.
  • Placing significance on concepts like climate justice & sustainable lifestyles, the Paris Agreement for the first time brings together all nations for a common cause under the UNFCCC.
  • One of the main focus of the agreement is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial level & on driving efforts to limit it even further to 1.50 C.
  • The agreement comprises of 29 articles & is supported by 139 decisions of the COP.
  • The crucial areas are identified as essential for a comprehensive & balanced agreement, including mitigation, adaptation, loss & damage, finance, technology, development & transfer, capacity building & transparency of action & support.

Salient Features of the Agreement:

  • It acknowledges the development imperatives of developing countries by recognizing their right to development & their efforts to harmonize it with the environment while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.
  • It follows to enhance the 'implementation of the Convention' while reflecting the principles of equity & CBDR-RC (Common but Differentiated Responsibilities & Respective Capabilities), in the light of different national circumstances.
  • Countries are required to communicate to the UNFCCC climate action plans known as nationally determined contributions (NDC) every five years. Each Party's successive NDC will represent a progression beyond the Party's then-current NDC thereby steadily increasing global effort & ambition in the long-term.
  • Developed countries are encouraged to scale up their level of financial support with a complete road map towards achieving the goal of jointly providing US$ 100 billion by 2020.
  • At the same time, a new collective quantified goal based on US$ 100 billion floors will be set before 2025.
  • Develop countries are encouraged to take the lead in the mobilization of climate finance while noting the significant role of public funds in the mobilization of finance which should represent a progression beyond their previous effort.
  • It includes a robust transparency framework for both action & support.
  • Starting in 2030, a global stock-take covering all elements will take place every five years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement & its long-term goals.
  • It establishes a compliance mechanism, overscreens by a committee of experts that operates in a non-punitive way, and is facilitative in nature.


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Green Revolution

Green Revolution

Green Revolution, initiated during the third 5-year plan was meant to increase the production of rice and wheat and attain self-sufficiency in food grain production. However, the program was initially implemented only in the few select pockets ie Haryana, Punjab, and western Uttar Pradesh. Most of the eastern regions were overlooked despite the availability of fertile soil and sufficient water. The major regions behind the neglect of eastern regions were:

  • Most of the landholding in the eastern regions were either marginal or small landholdings. The green revolution promoted large scale farm machinery which required large estates.
  • Most of the eastern region was dominated by the cultivation of rice. While rice responded late to the Green revolution, the western region excelled in the production of wheat, maize, and millets.
  • Also Bihar, Odisha, and Bengal were the poorest states of India with a large number of people living below the poverty line. This discouraged the policymakers to focus on these regions as the Green revolution required investments from the farmers.
However, it would not be correct to say that the Green revolution totally surpassed the eastern region. The green revolution was implemented in phases and it eventually reached eastern India bringing changes in the method of farming and substantially increased production.

The second phase of the green revolution was implemented in the 1970s and it focussed on southern and western states. While the third phase implemented in the 80s focusing on the relatively poor states of Bihar, Odisha, Bengal, and Assam.

It can be said that the differential implementation between regions. Nevertheless, the government has renewed its focus on the eastern regions and the second Green Revolution or the Green Revolution 2.0 is meant specifically for the eastern region.


Micro-Watershed Development Projects

Micro-Watershed Development Projects

The Watershed is a geographical unit with a common natural drainage outlet. The scope of micro-watershed is up to 500 hectares. According to a recent World Bank report, the rising demand for water along with a further increase in population and economic growth can result in half the demand for water in India being unmet by 2030.

Micro-watershed development can be considered as one of the best programs in the conservation of drought-prone and semi-arid regions of India both in terms of immediate and targeted effects. 

Semi-arid regions receive very less rainfall (<50 cm annually) and are affected by deforestation and desertification.

Micro-watershed projects can prevent unwanted evaporation by increasing the biomass component of the area. The strategies of micro-watershed of development include:

  • Restoring the natural resources of water collection like ponds, lakes, etc.
  • Building infrastructures like tanks, artificial ponds, check dams, etc. to store the rainwater and increase the moisture level of the soil.
  • Improving water use efficiency for agriculture with methods like drip irrigation and sprinkle irrigation.
  • Preventing soil erosion, planting trees in the wastelands, groundwater reaching, and conservation of soil moisture. 
  • Improving the quality of life of the drought-prone region by the increased availability of water both for drinking and irrigation purposes.
  • Increasing the vegetation occur in semi-arid regions by rational utilization of water resources.
Micro-watershed development can result in phenomenal success in regions like Vidarbha, Bundelkhand, & Rajasthan. Micro-watershed development aims for the collection and judicious use of groundwater and surface water to conserve the ecology of the place and use it to sustain agriculture in the future.


Thursday, July 16, 2020



“Going beyond India’s National parks and Wildlife sanctuaries”

§  Introduction :

a.    Biosphere Reserve (BR) is an international designation by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes extending over large areas of terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems or a combination of both.

b.    Biosphere Reserves tries to balance economic and social development and maintenance of associated cultural values along with the preservation of nature.

c.    Biosphere Reserves are thus special environments for both people and nature and are living examples of how human beings and nature can co-exist while respecting each other’s’ needs. 

    §  Criteria for Designation of Biosphere Reserve :

a.    A site must contain a protected and minimally disturbed core area of value of nature conservation.

b.    Core area must be a bio-geographical unit and should be large enough to sustain a viable populations representing all trophic levels.

c.    The involvement of local communities and use of their knowledge in biodiversity preservation.

d.    Areas potential for preservation of traditional tribal or rural modes of living for harmonious use of the environment.

    §  Structure of Biosphere Reserve :

a.    Core Areas:

(1)  It is the most protected area of a biosphere reserve. It may contain endemic plants and animals.

(2)  They conserve the wild relatives of economic species and also represent important genetic reservoirs having exceptional scientific interest.

(3)  A core zone is a protected region, like a National Park or Sanctuary/protected/regulated mostly under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972It is kept free from human interference.


b.    Buffer Zone:

(1)  The buffer zone surrounds the core zone and its activities are managed in this area in the ways that help in the protection of the core zone in its natural condition.

(2)  It includes restoration, limited tourism, fishing, grazing, etc.; which are permitted to reduce its effect on the core zone.

(3)  Research and educational activities are to be encouraged.


c.    Transition Zone:

(1)  It is the outermost part of the biosphere reserve. It is the zone of cooperation where human ventures and conservation are done in harmony.

(2)  It includes settlements, croplands, managed forests and areas for intensive recreation and other economic uses characteristics of the region.


Fig. Three zones that characterise a Biosphere Reserve


  §  Functions of Biosphere Reserves: 

     a.    Conservation:

(1)  Managing Biosphere Reserve’s genetic resources, endemic species, ecosystems, and landscapes.

(2)  It may prevent man-animal conflict e.g. death of tiger “Avni” who was shot dead when she turned man-eater

(3)  Along with the wildlife, culture and customs of tribal are also protected


b.    Development:

(1)  Promoting economic and human growth that is sustainable on a sociocultural and ecological level. It seeks to strengthen the three pillars of sustainable development: social, economic and protection of the environment.


c.    Logistic support:

(1)  Promoting research activities, environmental education, training and monitoring in the context of local, national and international conservation and sustainable development.


       §  International Status of Biosphere Reserves:

A.   The UNESCO has introduced the designation ‘Biosphere Reserve’ for natural areas to minimize conflict between development and conservation. Biosphere Reserves are nominated by national government which meets a minimal set of criteria under the Man and Biosphere Reserve Program of UNESCO. Globally, there are 686 biosphere reserves in 122 countries, including 20 trans-boundary sites.

B.   Man and Biosphere Programme: 

(a)  Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

 (b)   MAB combines natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.

   C.   There are total 11 biosphere reserves of India which have been             recognized internationally under Man and Biosphere Reserve program:

1.    Nilgiri

2.    Gulf of Mannar

3.    Sunderban

4.    Nanda Devi

5.    Nokrek

6.    Panchmani

7.    Similipal

8.    Achanakmar – Amarkantak

9.    Great Nicobar

10. Agasthayamala

11.  Khangchendzonga (added under Man and Biosphere Reserve program in 2018)

   §  Biosphere Conservation :

      I.  A scheme called Biosphere Reserve is being implemented by the Government of India since 1986, in which financial assistance is given in 90:10 ratio to the North Eastern Region States and three Himalayan states and in the ratio of 60:40 to other states for maintenance, improvement, and development of certain items.

     II.        The State Government prepares the Management Action Plan which is approved and monitored by the Central MAB Committee.


     §  In India we have 18 Biosphere Reserves and    exploring              them go beyond just exploring the National Parks they host.

    1)    Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Tamil Nadu,       Kerala    and                      Karnataka, 1986

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, an International Biosphere Reserve as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Key faunas are Nilgiri tahr and lion-tailed macaque. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is home to national parks such as Aralam, Mudumalai, Mukurthi, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Silent Valley, and wildlife sanctuaries such as Wayanad and Sathyamangalam.


Fig. Lion-Tailed Macaque in Anamalai


2.) Nokrek Biosphere Reserve in Meghalaya, 1988

Home to the Nokrek National Park, Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is an important biodiversity hotspot. Nokrek is one of the last remaining homes of the elusive red panda; a safe habitat for the rare stump-tailed macaque, pig-tailed macaque and hoolock gibbons. It doesn't come as a surprise that Nokrek is also an Important Bird Area.