Other Emerging Issues
Many issues are emerging as major
challenges for quite some time. We will
discuss here only three of them:
Environment, Gender and Migration.
Development was, for long, associated
with under-exploitation of natural
resources. It was little realised that
obsession with under-exploitation may
lead to over-exploitation. We believe that
natural resources are indefinitely large,
if not infinite. At the same time, we are
finding that our present technology
produces harmful elements along with
useful products (such as electricity or
transportation). We are also producing
many non-degradable materials. In
short, we are said to be using nature
beyond its carrying capacity, both
productive and assimilative. Blame is
apportioned to rising human population
(in underdeveloped countries), affluent
consumption style (in developed
countries), and misuse of technology
(everywhere). Some put the blame on the
poor people, not on their poverty, for some
of the environmental problems such as
deforestation. Even the development
framework proposed by the governments
are also blamed.
We can categorise our environmental
issues into two broad groups. The first
concern urban and industrial areas, and
are connected with air, water and solid
waste. The second relates to
of resources issues,
which largely concern
agriculture, forestry, livestock and bio-
diversity. We shall consider them below.
Pollutants are substances foreign to the
medium in which they are present. They
do not get sufficiently dissolved and
cause problems to the animal world.
These are classified as air pollution,
water pollution, noise pollution, etc.
India now has 35 cities which have
population in excess of one million.
Ambient air pollution levels exceed WHO
health standards in many of these.
Increasing power consumption,
increasing industrialisation, increasing
vehicular traffic, along with burning of
refuse, are worsening air quality of these
cities. Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kanpur,
Kolkata, Mumbai and Nagpur are worst
affected by pollution.
Excessive presence of certain gases
and suspended material particulates