Q 1- Air Pollution is a rising phenomenon in today’s India. What are its causes? What measures have been taken for it?
Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials.
- Burning of Fossil Fuels: Most of the pollutants are produced by burning fossil fuels or wood, for driving, heating, power plants and industry.
- Agriculture & Allied Sources: Farming is one such source of pollution, with ammonia from livestock manure and fertilisers blowing into cities and forming particles, particularly in spring time when crops are sown and muck is spread.
- Further, stubble burning is also one of the major sources of air pollution in northern India, especially in winters.
- Natural Sources: Apart from it, there are some natural sources of outdoor air pollution such as dust storms.
- There are thermal power plants around Delhi and the polluted air moves towards the neighbouring cities. Many industries are using high sulphur oil which is highly polluted. There are large mounds of solid waste Seasonally farmers of Punjab and Haryana burn their crop residues for preparing their fields for next crop and during the winter the air becomes heavy, there is temperature inversion and the dispersal of the pollutants is very low. During winter we also see people burning fire during night to bear the cold. All this put together has a cumulative effect on the air quality.
Measures to improve air quality:
- Improving public transport
- Limiting the number of polluting vehicles on the road
- Introducing less polluting fuel
- Strict emission regulations
- Improved efficiency for thermal power plants and industries
- Moving from diesel generators to rooftop solar
- Increased use of clean renewable energy
- Electric vehicles
- Removing dust from roads
- Regulating construction activities
- Stopping biomass burning, etc.
- WHO’s 4 Pillar Strategy: WHO adopted a resolution (2015) to address the adverse health effects of air pollution. There is a need to adhere to a roadmap highlighted under this. This 4-pillar strategy calls for an enhanced global response to the adverse health effects of air pollution. Those four pillars are:
- Expanding the knowledge base
- Monitoring and reporting
- Global leadership and coordination
- Institutional capacity strengthening
- Proactive Measure: Interventions like pollution-monitoring apps should be promoted, so that people can choose to avoid the travelling worst times, and take alternative city walking routes that keep people away from the most polluted areas. The application of Graded Response Action Plan in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) is a step in the right direction.
- Innovative Measure: There is a need to adopt innovative solutions for in-situ treatment of pollution. For example, the Delhi government is also experimenting with a new organic way of decomposing stubble with Indian Agriculture Research Institute’s “Pusa decomposer”.
- Responsibility of Citizens: Despite plenty of ideas and solutions to tackle air pollution, still conditions remain the same. This is due to the lack of serious political will and people’s participation. Therefore, citizens should continue to stand up for their right to healthy and sustainable environments and hold governments accountable.
- Addressing Injustice: There are huge injustices at the heart of the air pollution problem as the Poorer people are also most exposed to air pollution. Thereby, the need to enforce Polluter Pay principle and an environment tax must be levied from industries of polluting in nature.
Q 2- Conservation of Environment is of paramount importance for India as well as World. Explain major steps taken to conserve environment at global stage.
Environmental conservation is a practice that paves the way for protecting the environment and natural resources on the individual, organisational as well as governmental levels.
Importance of Environmental Conservation
It has become inherently important to work towards environmental conservation in contemporary times. The following pointers elucidate this crucial need to save the environment from further degradation:
- To reduce air, water and land pollution
- To facilitate the conservation of natural resources for our future generations
- To ensure the protection of biodiversity
- To implement sustainable development
- To restore the ecological balance
- To save our planet from harmful repercussions of global warming
Ways of Conserving the Environment
Here are some ways of conserving the environment:
- Deforestation must be stopped
- Natural non-renewable resources must be utilized properly
- Every year, we lose a huge number of forest life due to forest fire. We must find a solution to this.
- Afforestation is the best way to conserve the environment
- Create public awareness
- Control pollution and population
- Recycle goods
- Adopt an environment-friendly lifestyle
- Adopt waste management techniques
- Species on the verge of extension should be saved.
Q 5G technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. Elaborate
Advantages of 5G Technology
· Faster Data Speed – Currently 4G networks are capable of achieving the peak download speed of one gigabit per second. With Fifth Generation (5G) the speed could be increased up to 10Gbps.
- Ultra-low latency – Latency refers to the time it takes for one device to send a packet of data to another device. In 4G the latency rate is around 50 milliseconds but 5G will reduce that to about 1 millisecond.
- A more Connected World – 5G will provide the capacity and bandwidth as per the need of the user to accommodate technologies such as Internet of Things. Thus, will help to incorporate Artificial Intelligence in our lives. It can also support Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality services.
- In agriculture, Fifth Generation (5G) can enable improvement in the entire value-chain, from precision farming, smart irrigation, improved soil and crop monitoring, to livestock management.
- In manufacturing, 5G will enable use of robotics for precision manufacturing, particularly where humans cannot perform these functions safely or accurately.
- In the energy sector, ‘smart grids’ and ‘smart metering’ can be efficiently supported. With the rise of renewable and storage technologies, low latency communications will be critical to manage these grids.
- In health-care, Fifth Generation (5G) can enable more effective tele-medicine delivery, tele-control of surgical robotics and wireless monitoring of vital statistics.
Disadvantages of 5G Technology in India
· Huge Investment Required
- Expensive spectrum: Indian spectrum prices are some of the highest in the world and the allocated quantity is well below global best practices, while 40% of the spectrum is lying unsold.
- Lack of uniform policy framework: Delays due to complex procedures across states, non-uniformity of levies along with administrative approvals have impacted telecom service providers in rolling-out Optical Fibre Cables (OFC) and telecom towers.
- Local Regulatory Issues: Many of the local rules and regulations are prohibiting the rapid and cost effective roll-out of small cells in city centres where Fifth Generation (5G) is initially expected to be most in demand.
- Debt scenario in the industry: According to ICRA, the collective debt of telecommunications service providers (TSPs) stands at Rs 4.2 lakh crore.
- Low optical fibre penetration: India lacks a strong backhaul to transition to 5G. Backhaul is a network that connects cells sites to central exchange. As of now 80% of cell sites are connected through microwave backhaul, while under 20% sites are connected through fibre.
- High Import of Equipments: Imports account for a 90 per cent of India’s telecom equipment market. However due to lack of local manufacturing and R&D, Indian telecom providers have no option other than to procure and deploy 5G technologies from foreign suppliers.
- Security: According to the Global Cyber Security Index released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), only about half of all the countries had a cybersecurity strategy or are in the process of developing one. The index, which was topped by Singapore at 0.925 saw India at 23rd position.
- Possibility of increased digital divide: Initial deployment of 5G networks in dense urban areas could left
behind rural areas due to commercial viability, may led to increase the digital divide.
- Human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: There has been concern about the said impact of these frequencies on health of human as well as on animals.