1. Policy-makers in India and other developing countries face a big problem to address poverty and climate change together. How are the poor impacted by Climate change? What is Climate Proofing for Development?(GS 3)

 The Hindu

 Yes it’s tough for government to address poverty and climate change together :-

  • Because the impacts of climate change, and the vulnerability of poor communities to climate change, vary greatly.
  • Climate change exponentially increases the expenditure to be spent by the countries to pull out some one from poverty.
  • Climate change represents a direct and immediate threat to poverty alleviation.

How are the poor impacted by climate change:-

  • The adverse effects of climate change that are anticipated in South Asia are droughts, floods, heat waves, sea level rise and related problems such as food shortages, spread of diseases, loss of jobs and migration. These will harmfully affect the poorest and further deteriorate the quality of their lives.
  • Numerous studies have shown that the poor suffer the worst effects from climate variability and climate change.
    • One can understand these relationships by recognising that severe storms damage inadequately built houses; floods wash away those living on riverbanks; and the poorest are the most affected by severe droughts that lead to food shortages and higher food prices.
  • Agriculture is one of the most important economic sectors in many poor countries .Unfortunately, it is also one of the most sensitive to climate change given its dependence on weather conditions, both directly and through climate-dependent stressors.
  • The World Bank report says a small rise in temperatures could increase the number of people at risk for malaria by up to 5 percent, or more than 150 million more people affected. Diarrhea would be more prevalent, and increased water scarcity would have an effect on water quality and hygiene

What is climate proofing for development:-

  • Development policies that consider the context of climate change are often called “climate proofing development”.
  • The purpose is of integrating climate considerations into planning at national, sectoral, project and local levels. By viewing development through a climate change lens, appropriate steps can be taken to decrease vulnerability, and ensure that projects or programmes progress in a way that pays due consideration to the implications of environmental change.
  • Climate Proofing for Development determines the bio-physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change in order to plan appropriate adaptation strategies.
  • Climate-proofing” is primarily concerned with protecting development investments and outcomes from the impacts of climate change. It increases the sustainability of projects by:
    • Analysing the risks that climate change poses to project activities, stakeholders and results then
    • Modifying project designs or implementation plans to reduce those risks.
    • For example, an increase in the frequency and severity of floods may require water pumps to be built above predicted flood heights in order to ensure the availability of safe water during emergencies
  • If one were to estimate the various vulnerabilities for poverty at district levels and then overlay expected climate change impacts for these areas, future local problems due to the combination of these would become clearer for policymakers.
  • A district with severe nutritional deficiency might anticipate extended periods of drought from climate change, then the focus ought to be on improving local food access and to combine this with managing water efficiently to prepare for future water shortages.
  • Similarly, proposed improvements in sanitation and housing ought to factor in the increased likelihood of future flooding events in low-lying areas and use appropriate design strategies that are resilient to water-logging.
  • Concerns:
    • However even the experts do not know how this should be done for specific sectors, policies, or particular local situations. Multi-dimensional understanding of poverty becomes important in this context of research and policy.
  • Measuring poverty through its different dimensions, along with the consumption measures, would help policymakers figure out which aspects of poverty expose the poor and exacerbate their vulnerability to climate change.

2. The registration of over one lakh companies which had allegedly engaged in suspicious transactions post-demonetization had been scrapped. Why was such a bold step taken? Do you think that this move would curb tax evasion and generate resources for the poor and needy?(GS 3)

The Hindu

Why was such a bold step taken?

  • The government has identified over 3 lakh companies for indulging in dubious transactions after last year’s demonetisation drive.
  • An additional 37,000 plus shell companies involved in converting black money into white have also been traced.
  • Check the menace of tax evaders to prevent using shell companies for evasion.
  • This action will  make the companies comply with law in future.
  • Honouring the tax compliant.
  • Moving towards behavioural change to tax compliant society.
  • It is in line with the policy and commitment of the present government to make the system transparent and curb tax evasion.
  • Due to unscrupulous practices on the part of companies, government were losing huge chunk of revenue, hence to stop this such bold step was taken

It will curb tax evasion and generate resources for poor and needy:-

  • The government will further step up action to ensure there is a regular flow of data from the Swiss national bank to keep a check on fraudulent transactions.
  • shows firmness of government to act against such malpractices.
  • Chokes terror financing, illegal smuggling etc through shell accounts
  • It generates fear among culprits to avoid loopholes n the system.
  • It shrinks the loopholes in the system preventing people to use it.
  • Government will have the revenue to focus on social infrastructure.

No:-

  • Auditors question there is no concrete procedure to show how these companies have been deregistered .
  • Ease of doing business will be affected because of unilaterally terminating companies.
  • No curb on further operating shell companies.

What is needed to be done?

  • Proper appellate mechanism has to be established lest the genuine companies may also suffer.
  • Auditors need to be made more transparent and be made aware to make the companies tax compliant.

3. What are aerosols? How do aerosols weaken the Indian Monsoon? Discuss the importance of aerosols.(GS 1)

The Hindu

Aerosols :-

  • Aerosols are minute particles suspended in the atmosphere. When these particles are sufficiently large, we notice their presence as they scatter and absorb sunlight.
  • An aerosol is considered a two phase system consisting of solid or liquid particles and the gas (air) they are suspended in. Aerosols result from both natural and anthropogenic sources
  • They have varying atmospheric lifetimes. Aerosols generally have sizes ranging from 2 nm to hundreds of micrometers (4,5).

 Importance :-

  • As a direct effect, the aerosols scatter sunlight directly back into space.
  • As an indirect effect, aerosols in the lower atmosphere can modify the size of cloud particles, changing how the clouds reflect and absorb sunlight, thereby affecting the Earth’s energy budget.
  • Aerosols also can act as sites for chemical reactions to take place (heterogeneous chemistry). The most significant of these reactions are those that lead to the destruction of stratospheric ozone.
  • The aerosols have a direct radiative forcing effect on climate because they scatter and absorb solar and infrared radiation in the atmosphere.
  • Aerosols serve as media upon which chemical reactions can occur.
  • Visibility reduction:
    • Aerosol particles can scatter or/and absorb electromagnetic radiation at different wavelengths.
  • Aerosols are also believed to have an “indirect” effect on climate by changing the properties of clouds. Indeed, if there were no aerosols in the atmosphere, there would be no clouds.
  • Since aerosols can scatter, absorb and emit electromagnetic radiation and serve as cloud nuclei, they can influence global temperature, rainfall and dynamical circulations.
  • In addition to scattering or absorbing radiation, aerosols can alter the reflectivity, or albedo,of the planet

How do these weaken the Indian monsoon ?

  • Researchers now think aerosols from vehicular exhaust, half-burnt crop residue, dust and chemical effluents may be weakening the life-giving rainy season.
  • Dust clouds shield the earth from the sun’s rays, depressing land and sea temperatures and reducing the variation between the two.
  • A good monsoon, which is produced by the difference in temperature between land and sea, is thus weakened by aerosol accumulation.
  • Aerosols have dimmed sunlight over the Arabian Sea and have consequently cooled that part of the ocean as compared to the southern Indian Ocean as we know that the rain system gravitate towards warmer side and this has reduced temperature gradient between those two parts of the ocean has slowed monsoon circulation and thereby decreased rainfall.
  • India needs to develop a system to understand the role of aerosols in determining climate and the changes in aerosol levels on the complex Indian monsoon.

 

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