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Environmental Issues in India


Environmental Issues in India

1.Environmental Hazards

Environmental Issues that Challenge India - When a natural process or activities of human reach beyond particular time limits or intolerable magnitude, it results into environmental hazards. It results in huge losses as it is difficult to manage or adjust the situation or calamity. Environmental hazards are of different kinds including, volcanic eruptions, fires, landslides, droughts, cold waves, heat waves, cyclone, floods, earthquakes, etc.

Man Made And Natural Disasters

The disaster phenomenon can be man-made or natural. In the case of natural disasters, the balanced equation between ecology, stock, resources of the earth get distorted due to movement of the earth, climatic changes etc leading to environmental disasters.

Man-made disasters are a result of industrialization, man-made advancements in technology and other technological disasters including erosion of soil, deadly pollution by industries, nuclear disasters, etc.

India experiences various natural hazards related to water, climate and geological, biological, industrial, accidental, chemical and nuclear disasters a number of times in different parts of the country. These hazards claim lives, in millions. Almost 199 districts out of the total 593 districts in India are prone to disasters. From time immemorial, floods, cyclones and earthquakes and other major natural hazards have affected India.

Natural Disaster Affected Areas

The North Eastern States, Kutch area of Gujarat, North Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, some parts of peninsular India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have experienced earthquakes of great magnitude in the past.

On the East Coast of India, a 50 km strip is prone to severe cyclones, while the West Coast is lesser prone to cyclonic activities. As per the World Disaster Report more than one million housing units and around 59 million people get affected and approximately 5000 people get killed each year in India when the natural hazards occur.

Environmental Issues in India

A tremendous blow affects the economy as rehabilitation, reconstruction and physical losses keep on adding each year. Heavy loss of people’s lives and house collapses were heavy damages caused during earthquakes in Kashmir, Latur and Gujarat in the recent times. Flow of debris caused by dam failures in the Himalayas, flash floods from landslides and cloudburst floods are numerous instances where natural disasters have occurred in India. In the higher regions of the Himalayas, cloudbursts are a common thing affecting many of the narrow villages.


Drought is a rain deficit or rainless period where the dry weather extends for longer period and affects crops. The shortage of rainfall or moisture has adverse effects on agricultural production and could continue for 2/3 years if not managed properly.


Excessive rain water or water in the wrong place submerges the land and causes floods. Torrential rains, tsunamis, hurricanes, dam failures, bursting of water mains, rapid melting slow, storm surges in the oceans and ice floes blocking a river are some of the causes of floods’. It must be noted though that it is humans make the land area more prone to floods and in turn become more vulnerable.


A seismic or volcanic origin could disturb large water bodies creating a train of waves called the tsunami. The waves can reach up to 30 meters height and travel at hundreds of kilometers per hour and touch the coast many hours after the earthquake. Buildings get destroyed, debris, boats and large rocks move with the tsunami. Large towns can get reduced to rubble within minutes.


Heavy rainfall, speedy winds varying from 180 to 400 km per hour are associated with a cyclone. This affects coastal areas and spreads from sea to land.


An earthquake is a sudden motion of earth and is caused when the earth’s crust moves suddenly. The Richter scale is used for measuring the magnitude of energy, which the earthquake releases.

2.Natural Disasters

Many of the natural disasters in India are climate related. Greatest threats are caused by landslides, droughts, avalanches, cyclones, flash floods, snowstorms and torrential rains. Hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, flooding, volcanic eruptions etc are causes of natural disasters. Effect on the environment and human life is profound besides which the country faces huge financial loses. Northern India is prone to frequent dust storms during summer which generally track from north to south. Dust in large amounts from the arid regions gets deposited and in the process cause extensive damage to property. Another common natural disaster in northern India, is hail which destroys standing crops include wheat, rice and many other crops.


One common natural disaster in India is floods. Banks of the Brahmaputra and other rivers swell and flood the surrounding areas often due to the heavy southwest monsoon rains. Even if rice paddy farmers depend upon the rains for natural irrigation, the flooding of rivers can displace people in millions and kill in thousands. Crops get ruined and washed away due to the untimely, erratic and excessive monsoons. Many parts of India are prone to floods.

Torrential rains and flash floods are extreme precipitation events which coincide with increasing temperatures since the past many decades in Central India. Differences are seen in sea-land temperature and the Indian Ocean is warming rapidly due to the weakening circulation of monsoons and gradual decline in annual precipitation. In the recent decade, Central India is experiencing longer dry spells and rainfall events are extreme.


Climatic changes bring in changes in weather. Rise in monsoons is predicted for most states in India leading to extremely wet monsoons, extremes in minimum and maximum temperatures and increase in precipitation over central and north-east and western coast of India.


Thousands of Indians residing in the coastal regions are affected by the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The tropical cyclogenesis is seen commonly in and around the Bay of Bengal and northern reaches of the Indian Ocean. Strong winds, storm surges and heavy rains accompany the cyclones and cut off regions from supplies and relief. The cyclone season prevails in the North Indian Ocean from April to December and between May and November, is its peak activity.

Environmental Issues in India

The Bay of Bengal experiences intense heating in summer, creating unstable and humid air masses which in turn create cyclones. Severe cyclones have occured namely the 1737 Calcutta cyclone, the 1970 Bhola cyclone, the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone and 1999 Odisha cyclone that lead to devastation in India’s eastern coast and Bangladesh. On 29th October 1999 a super-cyclone ‘Cyclone 05B struck Odisha, one of the worst in more than a quarter century that disrupted, took away lives and made millions of people homeless. The Gaja cyclone affected Tamil Nadu on 20th November 2018 in which thousands of people were evacuated to relief camps.

Avalanches And Landslides

In the lower Himalayan range, landslides are common. Rock formations on the younger hilly Himalayan region are prone to slippage. Besides this, deforestation is caused by development pressures due to tourism and logging and also increasing population. Hillsides get denunded increasing landslide severity. Prevention of downhill water flow is difficult due to sparse tree cover on the hills. Landslides of low intensity are also experienced in many parts of the Western Ghats. In Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir etc, avalanches occur commonly.

Sand Storms, Heat Waves And Droughts

Some regions in India are experiencing summers at a temperature of 45 degree over the last 4 years. Severe storms have affected northern India due to increased soil dryness and wind intensity. Surface temperature of land is more pronounced in northern India. Heat waves, water scarcity and warming conditions aggravate the impact of droughts.

Glaciers And Rivers

Due to climatic change and growth in population, by 2025 a drop in freshwater availability is expected. Water is already scare in river basins of Luni, Subarnarekha, Krishna, Cauvery, Tapi, Sabarmati, Mahi, Penna and other rivers. Exposure to storm surges, intrusion of saltwater, coastal flooding and high density of population have made Mahanandi, Krishna, Godavari and Ganga coastal river deltas more prone to vulnerable climatic change. Since the past few decades Himalayan glaciers have been receding and diminishing. Water scarcity is likely in the Indus and Ganga.

Rise In Sea Level

Loss of marine biodiversity and ecosystems, flooding, erosion and salination lead to an increase of storms along the sea coasts. Loss of wetlands, submergence of coastal lands in the Sundarbans, bleaching of coral reefs and rise in sea level exposes people to flooding and huge impact to people living in cities as well.

Environmental Issues in India

3.Environmental Pollution

India faces a horrendous air pollution problem. The WHO-World Health Organization has listed that out of the 12 most polluted cities across the world, 11 are Indian cities. Air pollution is worsening in India. People are facing a growing threat of sulfur oxides, dust, soot and ozone. As per the WHO’s World Global Ambient Air Quality Database a roaring 9 out of 10 people breathe air that is highly polluted. Pollution in the outdoors is very high in the urban areas exceeding health standards.

Environmental Issues in India

Worst Affected Cities

Delhi is one city in India that faces the worst air pollution, along with many other cities. A pattern of very unhealthy range of polluted air is being seen on an average daily especially during the summer season. Other cities ranking high in terms of air pollution  and highest small particulate measurements include Kanpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Muzaffarpur, Agra, Varanasi, Faridabad, Bamenda, Lucknow, Patna and Gaya.

Air Pollutants

Health is negatively impacted by various air pollutants including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and ozone. Diesel exhaust and open flames release pollutants that are of bigger concern for the health officials and for reduction they are high priority targets. As per reports, India has been declared as one of the riskiest nations in the world for anyone to breathe.

Wood used for cooking purposes, burning coal, smoke released by vehicles cause high levels of unhealthy pollution. Most of the nation is being affected by forest fires and dust storms as well. Toxic air is trapped in the Indian mountains and hills that act as basins.. The pollution is so high that it is dangerous to breathe such air.

Environmental Issues in India

Air Pollution And Poverty Both Go Hand In Hand

Developing countries everywhere produce unhealthy air. Growing population is another cause for increased pollution. People living in underdeveloped regions use kerosene, wood, coal, burn crop stubble and use outmoded vehicles that spew out noxious exhaust. Add to this dust from construction sites, heating fuel, cook-stoves etc in the bigger cities in developing nations. The absence of Strict laws and poor governance and compliance are reasons for not being able to control pollution levels in the country. More and more particulates are released in the air, only increasing the pollution levels in India.

If the right reforms are sought by the government to keep a check on pollution then it is possible to reduce pollution levels. As of now the dirty air has become a highly volatile public concern.

Air Pollution Governance In India

Pollution masks and placards are used by school children to create awareness about the air pollution levels in different cities of India. The white marble walls of the Taj Mahal, Delhi are being affected by the choking dirty air.  Other issues caused by air pollution include cancellation of flights as it could cause accidents and schools remaining shut etc.

Air pollution has also increased the death rates in India. Rural poor rely on dung and wood for heating and cooking, in their household which leads to breathing problems. A widespread practice also in India is to burn up crop stubble as part of agricultural activity. In the industrial areas, factory emissions, traffic exhaust, construction dust, mining, etc are causes of air pollution. Only if the right steps are immediately taken, then only it will be possible for India to tackle the air pollution issue.

4.Environmental Awareness

One nation that is known to have the fastest growing population in the world is India. With a 1.3 billion population it is set to overcome China which tops the list in having the largest population in the world. However when it comes to ecology and environment preservation, India is far behind the rest. India is plagued with many environmental issues. In the last few decades these concerns have only worsened further. It’s no solution turning a blind eye to these issues. It is high time India tackled these issues head-on. India should stick to a growth path that is more sustainable for the environment. Irreparable damage and havoc could result if the environment is neglected. The right steps must be taken up or else it can be too late.

Environmental Concerns Faced By India

Changes In Climate

In the past few years, heat waves have become increasingly tormenting. Frequency of the natural disasters like floods, melting of Himalayan glaciers etc is increasing at an alarming rate. Unprecedented calamities like earthquakes, floods, forest fires etc also are frequently occurring.

Air pollution

As per the IEA – International Energy Agency report the drastic air pollution in India could cause lakhs of premature deaths, besides which the average life expectancies are also likely to go down. Eleven out of the 20 polluted cities across the world are in India.

Unrestrained Plastic Use

Another main concern for India is unrestrained plastic use. As per Plastindia Foundation data, it is estimated that demand for polymers is expected to go up significantly. Right from the year 2006, plastic consumption has shot up and has been the cause of damage to the environment. Of all the materials, the least biodegradable is plastic and if a plastic bottle for example, has to decompose naturally then it could take 500 years at an average.

Sanitation And Disposal Of Garbage

As per reports, around 72% of the people in rural areas defecate in the open and millions of household do not have toilets. India is one of the most unhygienic nations in the world as it lacks garbage disposal systems. Prevailing conditions have to be improved by the government and hard work of the people.

Depletion Of Groundwater

In India, livelihood and food security of the people has been threatened by the rapid depleting groundwater levels. Over the decades accessing groundwater has become extremely difficult. Groundwater is being extensively used for cash crop irrigation. The other reason for depleting groundwater is the low rainfall. Worst hit are the southeastern and north western parts of India which are mainly responsible for the agricultural production of the nation.

Loss Of Natural Habitats And Ecology

As reported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red Data Book, the biodiversity of India is gradually being lost. Around 47 species of animals and plants in India are in grave danger, due to indiscriminate leather and fur hunting, poaching, rapid industrialization, etc. Even herbal treasures and exotic flora is nearing extinction. Under the Ayurvedic treatment legacy, many medicinal plants are vanishing.

5.Changes in Patterns of Land Use

The most important natural wealth for any nation is land. Land is put to use in a range of categories. Using land resources most appropriately is the main concern for people of any country.

Land Classification

After India gained independence, classification of land was done in 5 categories.

  1. Forest area
  2. Uncultivable land
  3. Non cultivable land excluding current fallow
  4. Land under current fallow
  5. Net sown area

As a clear picture was not available about actual area under various categories of land use, in March 1950 a reclassification was adopted. The new 9 land use categories in India are:

  1. Forests
  2. Un-cultivable and barren land
  3. Land put under non-agricultural use
  4. Cultivable wastes
  5. Grazing land and permanent pasture land
  6. Miscellaneous groves and tree crops not included in the net area sown
  7. Current fallows
  8. Other fallows
  9. Net sown area

Changing Patterns In Land Use

In India temporal and spatial changes have been seen in patterns of land use. Substantial changes have been seen in agriculture in areas where success has been attained in the green revolution, even after occurrence of radical changes in India. Net area sown in 1951-1952 has been 119.4 million hectares and it was more than 141 million hectares in 2006-2007.

From the 1990s, a slight decline was seen however. In 1951-1952 the forest cover increased from around 14% of the land cover to more than 23.5 % in 2006-2007. This indicates that forest cover increased with the forest area demarcated. There has been an increase in the multiple-cropped and double-cropped area. Substantial changes have been recorded in agricultural land. Increase in land for area for rice and wheat cultivate has been recorded whereas there has been reduction in cultivation fodder, millets and pulses.

Wasteland Categories

India has different types of wasteland categories including sheet rock, barren rock, glacial, snow covered, coastal-inland, sands, ravine or gullied land, land affected by alkalinity or salinity, marshy and water logged, sniffing cultivation, steep sloping area, upland without or with scrub, industrial or mining wastelands, pastures, grazing or degraded land, degraded or underutilized notified land, degraded land under plantation crop and forest land.

Land that does not have proper water management, is underutilized and is brought under vegetation with reasonable effort is termed as wastelands. Changes in patterns are seen in land usage, as the economy grows. Due to this, besides agriculture, land is used for other purposes like building in urban area. Agricultural development has also led to a decline in pastureland. Tremendous transformations have been seen in land use patterns, due to impact of industrialization and urbanization which in turn also causes ecological changes.


6.Development of Backward Areas

To attain balanced regional development in India, a lot of emphasis has been laid on industrial development of backward areas. Different areas are considered for backward area development including public sector project location, concessional finance, licensing policy, investment subsidy, setting up industrial estates, concession on income tax import duty, etc.

Classification of districts in India is done as per 4 categories:

·         Special region districts or no industry districts

·         Moderately backward districts

·         Least backward districts

·         Non backward districts

Subsidy on investment in fixed assets in an industrial unit is provided by the government as follows:

·         Special region / no industry districts – 25 lakhs

·         Moderately backward districts – 15 lakhs

·         Least backward districts – 10 lakhs

·         Non-backward districts – not eligible for subsidy

Helpful Measures By Government

One third of the cost for infrastructural facility development for the no industry districts is provided by the government, while the rest 2/3rds is to be borne by the state government. In this scheme, however the Centre provides a bigger subsidy. Some concessions are also provided to companies that come under MRTP if new plants are located in the no industry districts and moderately backward districts. In each district this way a nucleus plant would be established which in turn would lead to various ancillary units. Incentives are also provided by state governments to industries for locating plants in backward regions.

Helpful measures by the government have helped attained success in development of backward areas to a great extent. During 1975-1979, backward regions in developed states were issued more than half of the industrial licenses. Employment opportunities in industries were generated in Tamil Nadu, Madras, Pune, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Surat etc.  Subsidy amount to the extent of 56% was provided to around 15% percent of eligible districts like Dharamapuri and Mysore near Bangalore, Medak near Hyderabad and North Arcot near Madras.

Top financial institutions in India have also provided concessional finance to at least 22 eligible districts. However, not much effort was consciously taken to identify all public sector units in backward areas, except a few.

Industrial Development Uniformity Yet To Prevail

Uniformity in industrial development has not happened in India for various reasons and accordingly State and Central governments are taking steps towards promoting backward areas. Accordingly some backward areas are declared as Taluka or District or Union Territory and provided with exemption from sales tax, investment subsidy etc for setting up units in such areas. Related infrastructure and industrial estates are also developed in these areas.

Industrially Backward Districts

Industrially backward districts are located in various states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Backward States And Union Territories

The backward Union Territories and States include Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Daman & Diu, Tripura, Sikkim, Goa, Pondicherry, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur and Lakshadweep.

7.Command Area Development

After India gained independence irrigation projects in huge numbers were constructed to increase production of agriculture. An analysis conducted during the early 70’s indicated that the gap between the created and utilized irrigation potential was quite substantial. In 1972 as per reports of the Irrigation Commission, recommendations were made specifically for developing commands of irrigation projects, systematically so that the irrigation potential created and be utilized to the fullest.

The issue was analyzed by the Committee of Ministers set up by the Ministry of Irrigation and Power. As per the analysis a broad based Area Development Authority must be set up for each irrigation project so that the comprehensive area development work can be undertaken. A  CADP – Centrally Sponsored Command Area Development Programme was initiated by the Indian Government in December 1974 for an improvement in utilizing irrigation potential and in the process ensure effective production in agriculture from irrigated land and coordinate in a way for optimized water management.

Components Included In The Programme

Various components like warabandi enforcement, construction of field drains and field channels, suitable cropping patterns introduced, land shaping and leveling, strengthening extension services, land holding consolidation, realignment of field boundaries etc were included for tuning with the programmes objectives.

More components were included to make the programme beneficial to farmers like waterlogged area reclamation and participation of farmers with effect from 1st April 1996.

During the 8th and 9th Five Year Plan period, the programme implementation was reviewed, which revealed that a number of constraints existed like water supply unreliability at the outlet due to the irrigation system deficiency above the outlet. Other constraints included absence of intermediate drains and links to allow surplus water into the main drains, low priority given to training and extension activities by the State Governments, not including minor irrigation projects from non hilly regions, cost norms not being revised for various activities since the 8th Plan etc.

Restructuring The Programme

Accordingly in 2004-2007during the Xth Plan Period, the programme was structured again and renamed as the CADWM Programme – Command Area Development and Water Management Programme which proved to be more beneficial and comprehensive to the farmers.

From 2008-2009 to 2011-2012 during the XI Five Year Plan and in the first two years of the XIIth Plan, the scheme was implemented as a State Sector Scheme. The CADWM programme was implemented side by side with the AIBP Programme –Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme. From 2015-2016 it was implemented under the PMKSY – Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna – (Har Khet Ko Pani). Now restrictions have been imposed on the CADWM programme to implement CAD works of 99 prioritized AIBP projects.

The CAD undertook 60 medium and major irrigation projects initially, by 20115-2016, there were 158 ongoing projects across 29 states. 99 AIBP projects were prioritized from the year 2016-2017 onwards under the PMKY. Currently around 40 AIBP projects are being implemented and the remaining on receiving project reports from respective states.

Approval has been given by the Cabinet during 2016-2017 to establish the PMKSY Mission to make sure that the 99 prioritized projects and CAD&WM are completed by December 2019, in phases.

A LTIF – Long Term Irrigation Fund has been created by the Finance Minister in 2016-2017 as part of funding of Central Assistance and State for the projects.

Environmental Issues in India

8.Watershed Management

A geographical unit having one common outlet for natural drainage is termed as a watershed. A watershed varies from a micro-watershed (500 ha) to sub-watershed (5000 ha). The water development concept has extended form simple water and soil conservation to a holistic approach towards development of natural resources. Accordingly from a territory approach to a systemized approach towards development, a paradigm shift has been seen.

A watershed plays an important role in determining economical, social and food security and in turn proves to be a life support to people residing in rural areas. A drainage area on the surface of the earth on which rainfall causes a runoff from one point to a larger ocean, lake, river or stream, is termed as watershed. A divide binds this soil body which leads to a runoff at one common point. As part of a positive formation, is precipitation which occurs in its upper boundary and evaporation occurs as part of a negative formation.

Watershed Programme

Millions of people thrive on rain-fed agriculture. In India a large part of land falls under arid and semi-arid climatic region. In the agricultural sector, production requirement can be best harnessed with the help of watershed management. The un-irrigated rain fed areas in India are able to take maximum benefit of watershed management.

From the year 2009-2010, the IWMP – Integrated Watershed Development Programme was implemented by the Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development in all states of India. After China the IWMP is the second largest watershed programme across the globe. Covering rain-fed land upto 55 million hectares by the year 2027 is the main objective of the programme. The Central and State government are financers of the programme in the ratio 90:10.

Environmental Issues in India

What The Programme Envisages Through Watershed Management Initiatives

  • Consider harnessing to restore ecological balance
  • Conserve and develop natural resources that have degraded like vegetative cover, soil and water Prevent run-off of soil
  • Harvesting rain water
  • Regenerate natural vegetation
  • Ground water table recharging

This helps in encouraging multi-cropping and diverse agro-based activities which in turn provide people living in the watershed areas with sustainable livelihoods.

Selection Of Water Shed

Criteria for considering a watershed are dependent on objectives of the terrain slope and development. The water shed is larger if it has to be managed for pasture or forest development or in plain valley areas. The water shed size is smaller in hilly regions where plans are made for intensive agricultural development.

The hotspots of severe degradation of land, poor institutional and social infrastructure, insecurity of food, malnutrition, scarcity of water and poverty are the rain-fed areas. If these issues are to be addressed then a Watershed Development Programme is definitely an effective tool. Marginal and fragile rain fed areas can be developed and it proves to be a potential engine for growth in agriculture.

9.Area Development Programmes

The rural sector of India is in the process of development and up-liftment. Accordingly, the Government of India and the Ministry of Rural Development have coordinated with the Department of Rural Development and Department of Land Resources so that different schemes can be carried forward for the benefit of people living in rural areas of India. In the long run, if rural India is developed then the citizens can become pillars of the Indian economy, eventually.

Different important schemes have been launched by the Government of India for rural development.

Environmental Issues in India

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India launched this scheme on 25th December 2000. Enhancing connectivity of roads in rural areas was the main aim of this scheme. Habitations having either less or no connectivity at all benefit from the scheme. By promoting access to social and economic services, villagers can live better lives and poverty can be reduced in the process. Opportunities are provided to people to connect with other parts of the world. Many rural areas have been connected to cities already by December 2017 and plans are that by March 2019 remaining habitations will also get connected by all-weather roads. Both the Central and State government share expenses for the Yojana.

Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (Sgsy) / National Rural Livelihood Mission / Ajeevika

The scheme is known as Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana or the National Rural Livelihood Mission or the Ajeevika. Main aim of the Yojana is empowering women with a self-help model across India. A rupees 3 lakh loan at 7% interest rate is provided which at repayment time can be reduced to 4%. With help from the World Bank effective and efficient platforms were generated for the poor people. Accessibility to financial institutions was improved and capability of the poor was harnessed.

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

As per this Act of 2005, any adult in rural household is guaranteed employment in terms of unskilled manual work for 100 days. The Act aimed at important of basic right to work and fundamental rights of people to live a dignified life. Unemployment allowance is provided to people not getting a job within 15 days. Corruption in the scheme has been minimized by amending the Act.

Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana

Launched in 2001 the Yojana aims at providing employment to the poor, food to people living below poverty line, improving levels of nutrition and providing economic and social assets to rural poor.

Environmental Issues in India

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) / Indira Awas Yojana

In 2016, the Indira Awas was revamped as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana was a welfare programme launched by the Government of India and implemented all over India excluding Chandigarh and Delhi. The programme aims at providing rural people with housing with proper amenities like drinking water and electricity connection, toilet, LPG connection etc by the year 2022. The Centre and State share the construction cost of the houses. Housing allotment is done under the name of husband and wife, jointly.

Sarv Siksha Abhiyan

Atal Bihari Bajpayee, the former Prime Minister pioneered and launched the Abhiyan in 2000. Main aim was to provide children between 6 and 14 years of age free education which is their basic fundamental right. The project expenses are shared by the Central and State government.

Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

The Government of India launched this project in 2014 for rural development. Responsibility of 3 villages is taken up by each Parliament Member to take care of economic, personal, environmental, social and human development of villages. Focus was laid on improving life quality in villages and standard of living substantially. Funds are raised from existing schemes.

Antyodaya Anna Yojana

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India launched the Yojana in 2000 to provide food-grains at subsidized rates to around 2 crore people. Initially the programme was launched in Rajasthan and now in all states.

Prime Minister Rural Development Fellows Scheme

The Ministry of Rural Development initiated the scheme in collaboration with State Governments. Developing the remote and underdeveloped areas of the country by providing short term support to the district administration and in the process developing committed and competent facilitators and leaders was the main aim of the scheme.

Environmental Issues in India

National Social Assistance Programme

This is a centrally sponsored programme launched on 15th August 1995 that provides assistance to people in terms of unemployment, sickness, help to elderly people and widows, disabled in the form of pension and old aged people with of economic capabilities.

Provision Of Urban Amenities In Rural Areas

APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India launched this Central Government strategy in 2004 to provide urban infrastructure and services in rural areas and in turn create opportunities outside the cities. This can help prevention of youth migration to urban areas, from the rural areas.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana

Launched on 25th September 2014, this Yojana is a subdivision of the National Livelihood Mission. Helping out youth (between 15 and 35 years of age) in rural areas in career aspirations and help them to earn income for their rural families is the main objective of the Yojana. To enhance employability, the scheme has provided around 1500 crores. To change lives of the youth, the Yojana is in place in 21 States and Union Territories. Three hundred partners have implemented approximately 690 projects. Reports indicate that almost 1.34 lakh candidates have got jobs and 2.7 lakh have received job training.

10.Problems of Agrarian Unrest

In 1920-1922 and 1930-1934 in India, nationalist movements took place on a big scale. Traces of agrarian unrest in India can be seen from the British rule period. World War II caused the economic depression with nationalist movements in the 1930s worsening condition of peasants in India. During the Civil Disobedience Movement in the Independence struggle and due to the emergence of the left, a lot of workers and peasants took active participation. In 1936 the first All-India Kisan Sabha was set under Swami Sahajanand Saraswati’s leadership.

Agrarian movements increased during 1945-1947 due to requirements of independence and changes in agrarian relations. Agrarian unrests of different types took place during the post-independence period, right from the legendary Telengana movement, the Naxalite movement and the PEPSU tenant movement. During 1957-1958 the Kharwar tribal movement took place in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, in 1967-1975 the Bhil Movement in Dhulia (Maharashtra) and the Warlis movement headed by Jesuit Pradeep Prabhu the Marxist of the Kashtakad Sanghatana. In 1968 the Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union was set up by the Communist Party of India.

Environmental Issues in India

Popular Peasant Movements During Post-Independence In India

Telangana Movement

Communist emergence in Andhra Pradesh in 1942 is associated strongly with the Telangana Movement. This was after the ban on the Communist Party of India was lifted by the ruling British government due to its pro-war stand. The Deshmukhs and Jagirdars began oppressing the peasants which started the unrest. Farmers were provoked by Communists to go against the British policy and forced a levy of collecting grains. The movement spread slowly over Telangana. A decision was endorsed by the Nizam of Hyderabed to stay out of the Indian Union which helped Communists attain bigger success.

The pro-integration and anti-Nizam movement was organized by Communists in Khamman, Nalgonda and Warangal districts. Lands taken over by landlords during the economic depression of the 1930’s in lieu of repayments of debt were distributed again to the farmers. Government owned uncultivated forests and land was given to the landless. Social ills were taken care of and there was increase in minimum wages. Peasants were subjugated in bitter confrontation between the government and peasant led communists.

In 1949 abandonment of Jagirdari Abolition Regulation took place and in 1950 the Hyderabad Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act was passed. Lakhs of tenants were given rights and easy terms to purchase land. Implementation of land reforms was done well in the Telangana region.

Patiala Muzara Movement

It was in the 19th century that this movement originated, a time when the Patiala Maharaja oppressed the princely Patiala state. Property rights on land were enjoyed by local landlords however tenants felt that no legitimate land rights were held by these landlords. This was when the 1920s the Praja Mandal and Akali movements began.

Many provinces were held by the Congress party during the liberal atmosphere in the 1930s. The Communists soon became the Muzara movementt’s nerve centre. The Muzaras received protection against the onslaught of the landlords towards the end of 1948.

Political resurgence began in 1951 with the Congress ministry formation and the issue was tackled by measures taken by the Agrarian Reforms Enquiry Committee. In 1952 to offer protection against eviction, the PEPSU Tenancy (Temporary Provision) Act was formed. President’s Rule was imposed after the Rarewala’s Congress Ministry fell. As per the Act peasants had to pay 12 times the land revenue as compensation in order to become owners. The legislation was condemned as without compensation, land owned by biswedars was not confiscated. Hold over the peasants was lost gradually by Communists.

Naxalbari Movement of West Bengal

In 1967 after the first non-Congress United Front government in West Bengal was formed, a decision was made by the government to provide landless peasants with surplus land. While small and middle land owners were unhappy about their land distribution among sharecroppers, the poor were enthusiastic about the initiative. In terms of claim verification, grant of pattas, etc, legal constraints were felt by the ruling coalition.

In the early 1950s, Communists argued that legal means were not effective for land reforms and hence option violent means for land seizure. In 1967, Naxalbari villages came under their control and around twenty thousand peasants became full time activists under Charu Majumdar’s leadership. Differences and clashes between Naxalites and Communists grew to great extents.

The police and Naxalite elements clashed with each other, the ruling coalition exited the CPM- Communist Party Marxist, endorsed the Naxalites, persuaded the role of a mediator and pursued for an amicable settlement with the government. However the Naxalbari movement ended with police repression with all leaders jailed or shot down in encounters.

Srikakulam Movement In Andhra Pradesh

In the northern part of Andhra Pradesh is located a backward area called Srikakulam. Local communists of Patapatnam, Kottur, Parvatipuram and Palkonda felt instigated with the continued backwardness of Srikakulam and under their banner they organized local tribes like Saara and Jatapu.

Under leadership of the Mahila Sangham and Girijan Sangham, a movement started from 1957-1958 to 1967 after which lands taken over by moneylenders from tribals were restored. In November 1967 started a violent movement which intensified from November 1968 to February 1969.

The CP(ML) – Communist Part formed in 1969 focusing more on individual assassinations and guerilla activities. Forest officers, police, moneylenders, landlords and many people were assassinated.

In 1970 police action led to the end of the movement and Adibhatta Kailasam and V.Satyanarayana, two major leaders were killed.

New Farmers’ Movement

In 1980 with a rail-roko in Nashik in Maharashtra, a fresh movement of farmers began, led by Sharad Joshi, under leadership of the Shetkari Sanghata. The farmers demand a higher rate for onions and sugarcane.

A Jat leader, Mahinder Singh Tikait brought together villagers in lakhs and forced the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister to accept the demand to reduce charges on electricity.

Various movements including the Khedut and Kisan Sangh in Gujarat, the Rajya Ryothu Sangha in Karnataka, the Bharatiya Kisan Union in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and the Vivasayigal Sangam in Tamil Nadu were successful in mobilizing peasants in rural areas. It was due to policy of the government of paying low agricultural prices to control costs of raw materials and food that led to occurrence of the peasant movements. Serving urban interests, led to victimization of farmers.

Strong issues like elimination of dues of the government like interest rate, charges on canal water, remunerative prices for agricultural goods, electricity charges, etc, attracted attention of the media. To secure money and power, farmers’ movements became political weapons after the Green Revolution. Political mileage has been attained by many of the new peasant movement with narrow caste-based mobilization.


11.Industrial Unrest

Conflict between workers and employers in industries is termed as industrial unrest. In industries protests are displayed by laborers in the form of demonstrations, go slow tactics, gheraos, strikes etc while employers show their power in the form of lockouts, dismissals, retrenchment, etc. When an industrial unrest occurs it leads to recession in industries and in the process national income declines.

Causes Of Industrial Unrest

Industrial disputes see a qualitative change an indicator that laborers get an unfavorable treatment.

·         Lack Of Social Security and Welfare

Social assistance and social insurance are the two social measures needing consideration. The State, employers and employees are financers to social insurance schemes to face issues like lack of employment insurance, insufficient coverage, overlapping schemes, exit policies face inherent bottlenecks and there is lack of facilities with respect to beneficiaries.

·         Trade Unions Fight Against Employers

Demand for leave, holidays, better safety measures, lesser working hours, etc induce trade unions to fight against the employers.

·         Variation In Wages

Larger disparity is seen between unskilled and skilled labor in unorganized and organized sectors. Also industrial disputes increase with higher demand for bonus.

·         Globalization

In the economy, intense competition is seen with the new liberalization policy. Productivity is pushed and wages are squeezed by entrepreneurs for survival in the market driven economy today.

·         Alternatives For Low Cost Production

To defeat the purpose of trade unions, low cost production alternatives are sought by employers in small scale subsidiary units form, in small towns where wages are low.

·         New Urban Lifestyles

New expensive lifestyles are adopted by workers in urban regions which puts pressure on the family’s income. With such a compulsion, workers indulge in industrial battles.

·         Low Production And Increased Wages

Labor productivity is not able to keep pace with increased wages, due to which units are often closed down by big companies. This results in industrial tension.

·         Industrial Relations Policy

Ø  The two objectives of the Industrial Relations Policy are using labor cooperation and management to promote good relations in industries and opt for prevention and peaceful dispute settlement.

Ø  The Industrial Disputes Act was passed in 1947 to promote good relations between parties by the working committee of employees and employers. Both parties were brought together by the government for coalition officers’ recruitment.

Ø  A Board of Conciliation was appointed by the government to take part in any industrial dispute and also recommend remedial action.

Ø  A Court of Enquiry comprising of 1 or 2 independent individuals to investigate dispute matters, was appointed which had to submit the report to the government. Disputed orders of suspensions and dismissals of employees and disputed orders of employers were to be handled by labor courts in various states.

Ø  Industrial tribunals at national and state had authority to adjudicate issues related to profit sharing, bonus, wages etc for which one or more tribunals could be appointed.

Ø  The national tribunal is appointed by the Central government to adjudicate issues involving national importance.

New Economic Policy

In 1984 the New Economic Policy gave power to employers to endorse lockout methods to punish the workers.

12.Regional Disparities in Economic Development

Regional imbalances in economic development are caused due to a number of factors.

Historical Factors

It is from the time of the British rule that regional disparities began in India as indicated in history. Only those regions having rich potential for prosperous trading and manufacturing activities were developed by the British. Preference was given to states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata and surrounding areas for industrial development.

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Farmers felt frustrated with the land policies introduced by the British and it led to growth moneylenders, zamindars and privileged classes by exploiting poor farmers. Satisfactory economic growth could not be attained with absence of proper industrial policies and right measures for land reforms.

Uneven growth was seen in a number of regions due to uneven investment pattern in industries and allocation of expenses towards power and irrigation, communication and transport facilities, etc.

Geographical Factors

Terrains surrounded by thick forests, rivers and hills led to increased administration expenses towards resource mobilization and developmental projects. A lot of regions like states Hill districts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Northern Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, North eastern states and Arunachal Pradesh continued to remain backwards due to inherent difficulties and inaccessibility.

Economic development was poor in areas facing the threat of floods, adverse climatic conditions which resulted in poor industrialization and low productivity in agriculture. Growth remained uneven in various regions of the country.

Insufficient Economic Overheads

In development of a particular region, various economic overheads are important like banking and insurance, power, communication and transport facilities, technology etc. As compared to other developed regions, some regions like Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, North-Eastern region etc have remained backwards and are given special favor in terms of settlement of some development projects.

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Planning Mechanism Failure

Since the Second Plan, not much of headway was made in achieving a balanced growth in India which is one of the main objectives in economic planning of a country. Disparity between the less developed states and developed states of the country has enlarged by the planning mechanisms, in the real sense. It has been seen that as compared to less developed states, its the developed states that get more favors  in respect to allocating plan outlay. Right from the First to the Seventh Plan states like Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra and Gujarat have been receiving larger allocation of the plan outlays.

On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Orissa and Assam are backward states on the other hand that have been getting per capita plan outlay in the smallest allocation. Despite framing regional balance achievement as an important economic planning objective, the imbalance between different Indian states, continues.

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Location advantages

Certain regions get special favors due to some locational advantages in terms of site locations of various developmental projects. Special considerations are given including technical factors while determining any industrial projects, refineries or iron and steel projects.

13. Relationship Between Population and Development

Development and population are correlated. Infrastructure requirements like food supply, health services, housing etc are determined by vital factors, like population size, population composition and growth and geographical distribution of population. Growth rate and population size also determines productive capacity of health.

Economic, educational, technological and scientific development factors are responsible for declining death rate and static birth rate, which is seen especially from 1900 to 1970. Nominal increase in birth rate is seen in developed nations. However in developing nations one vital factor is the pressure of population. Studies indicate that in formulating suitable policies for the population, developing countries since the 1950s have been shown genuine concern.

Development And Population Growth

Growth in population can help the development process and at the same time hamper it in certain ways. The reason is the interacting, complex and intricate relationship between economic development and population growth.

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If seen positively, there is increase in labor supply if population increases which proves to be the greatest productive asset for any country. However the mouths to feed are many. Age composition of people has an effect on the per capita output level, population growth pattern and framework of the institution. Increasing number of children relative to adults and high fertility leads to faster growth in customers as compared to producers. Burden on active workers becomes heavier which in turn has a negative effect. However productive years of workers get extended with rise in life-expectancy. This can partially offset the issue of increased dependency burden.

Age distribution is reflected by the spending pattern. Quantity of products needed by old age people is relatively more as compared to the younger people.

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Increased Adaptability In Younger Workers

Changing demand for services and goods has to adjust itself with the industrial system. In the aging population, the labor force adapts lesser when problems arise with this adjustment.

Generally more adaptability and productivity is seen in young workers as compared to the ageing population which is less enterprising and energetic. The effect is discouraging as to reach responsible positions the younger people have to wait for a longer time.

Mobility of labor is the worker’s ability to move from one job to another, easily. This has significance in economies where changes are seen in demand at home, competition and foreign demand.

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Production And Working Age Group

It is on the working age group that production depends. If the working age group population (between school leaving students and retirement ages) is larger then producing more services and goods is possible which in turn helps in achieving a better standard of living and providing support to non working community members. Extra education costs and pension costs fall on smaller number of people who are earning or working.

Other Factors

Other factors to take into consideration in population growth are density in relation to technology and natural resources. Have pressure falls on natural resources of the community when population growth is higher in a limited geographical area. If capital stock in society is limited then for capital, substitution of labor is necessary. In this case the law of diminishing returns is exhibited by the production function. If population growth is rapid then diminishing returns turns out to be a serious issue and only a marginal increase in capital and natural resources is seen.

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14.Globalization and Indian Economy

In the early 1990s, major changes were seen in the Indian economy. LPG – Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization are the latest economic reforms that aim towards making a globally competitive and fastest growing Indian economy in the world. Reforms undertaken with respect to the financial and industrial sector aimed a more efficient Indian economy.

July 1991 was a period of tremendous impact and transition for all major sectors of the economy in India. It was during this time that the Indian economy integrated in true sense into the global economy.  Restrictive governance forms were followed since independence which had resulted in overall inefficiency, backwardness and isolation of the Indian economy, besides many other issues. However India always had good potential to be on the fast track towards economic development and prosperity.

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Presently, India’s economy is in the process of being restructured and economic development is speeding up. The country has also undertaken an ambitious plan with FDI – Foreign Direct Investment playing a positive role to arrive at a profitable and safe destination in terms of economic development.

With globalization in India, the world of trade has opened up, advanced means of communication have development, inter-nationalization of financial markets has taken place, MNCs have gained importance and more generally the mobility of data, goods, ideas, capital has increased besides pollution, diseases and infections. The Indian economy has opened up to FDI and facilities are provided to foreign companies for investment in various economic activities. Indian companies are allowed to collaborate with foreign companies, set up joint ventures abroad, remove obstacles and constraints for MNCs in their entry into India and also carry out huge import liberalization programmes by switching to import duties and tariffs and from quantitative restrictions.

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Steps Taken Towards LPG - Liberalization Privatization And Globalization

In July 1991 the economy in India was in deep crisis, inflation roared, foreign currency reserves crashed, fiscal deficit increased and became unsustainable and NRIs and foreign investors lost faith in the Indian economy. India was on the verge of defaulting loans. A complete overhauling of economic programs and policies was called for due to economic compulsions abroad and at home. A number of measures were initiated including:


Indian currency underwent devaluation against major currencies in the international foreign exchange market, in order to get the Balance Of Payment crisis resolved.


To ensure the globalization process becomes smooth the liberalization and privatization policies were kept moving. The private sector has taken up many of the public sector undertakings. The business community is able to reach out across the globe. Businesses and industries have changed completely with technology. India laid a number of stabilization-cum-structural adjustment measures having widespread effects. Gradually the country is one of the economic giants across the globe for substantial growth and continues to use and explore its huge potential and all set to face the globalizing world.

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15.Agriculture and Globalization

One economy that has grown really fast across the world is the Indian economy. The mother of any economy is agriculture be it a poor or rich economy. Agriculture has great influence on services and industry of the economy. The agricultural sector predicates the economic security of India and in the near future this is less likely to change.

Restoring Agricultural Vitality

At the time of independence the share of agriculture in employment was 75% of the population which has currently reduced to 49%. As compared to the world average, approximately 51% of the geographical area of India is being cultivated already. Since independence the cropping intensity of India has increased up to 25% only. Besides this, 65% of the total net area sown is the rain fed dry lands.

Productivity gets affected by degradation of ground water resources and land. By the year 2050 demands of the population can be met only if agricultural production is doubled and deceleration is arrested. Degradation and shrinkage of natural resource base of agriculture, affects production. If vitality of agriculture is restored then only demand of population and industrial sector can be easily met. Hence it is very necessary to restore vitality of the agricultural sector, confront severity of the problems and put it back it on a trajectory of higher growth.

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A lot of opportunities and tools are available for applying science and technology in the agricultural sector. Since the last few decades the achievements recorded are indeed impressive. In the late sixties, with the onset of the Green Revolution, India has been successful in overcoming widespread starvation and hunger and at the same time reduce poverty, attain food self sufficiency and bring about economic transformation in the lives of millions of people living in rural areas. Around the 90s adverse situations have been faced by this sector. The output growth rate slowed down, leading to decline in income of farmers stagnation, agrarian distress etc which is further getting more serious.

Major Role Of Globalization

Globalization plays a major role right from agriculture to the internet industry. It is from the year 1990 that traces of agriculture sector growth can be traced, after globalization. Since 1980s the term globalization has been used commonly. Globalization helps reflect technological advances which help quicker and easier completion of international transactions flows, in terms of finance and trade, both. Globalization has reference to the green house beyond borders of the country of the same market forces operational since hundreds of years at all levels of human economic activity.

Key Drivers Of Globalization

Turn down of investments and trade can be termed as the key drivers of globalization. The FDI – Foreign Direct Investments and international trade of a country can get directly affected by a decline in investments and trade. A number of countries are removing restrictions from the FDI. A significant role is played by technology like communication, internet, transportation and World Wide Web. When different countries merge, globalization take place and accomplishments are made possible through foreign investment and advanced foreign trade.

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