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Course: Expected Questions Geo-Mains Paper GS- 1 Presented by Ashna Sisodia
Question 37: Discuss the recent initiatives taken by the Union government regarding urbanisation. (200 words)
. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has outlined these priorities as part of its "Urban Strategy': I. Increasing 'Shelter' for the urban poor. 2. Provision of basic urban services such as 'Education,' Primary Healthcare, Clean Water and Sanitation' Improving women's access to 'Basic Services' and government facilities. 4. Upgrading Energy, use and alternative Transport systems. 6. Reducing 'Air Pollution'
Answer: What is needed to make these initiatives a success? 1. Though some funding through the new missions will help, as in the case of JNNURM, our cities have to be empowered with finances and capacity by the state governments and helped by the government of India. Without this, private funds will not come forth to supplement the limited funds of the government and the hope of public private partnership will not materialise. 2. Greater autonomy to the elected urban local governments in the running of city affairs. This will improve the quality of life of their citizens and also play their role as engines of rapid growth. 3. State governments will have to come on board in a partnership mode with the urban local bodies, the community and the private sector to make Public-private partnerships work.
Why cities are important? 1. To make GDP growth of 8 to 10 per cent per annum, which is necessary to improve economic conditions in India and remove/ reduce poverty within a short period, this can only be driven by industry and services sectors, which can grow much faster than agriculture. 2. After having grown at close to 4 per cent per annum during the Eleventh Plan period (2007-08 to 2011-12), agricultural growth in India has slowed down to less than 2 per cent in more recent years Undoubtedly, Indian agriculture can and should grow at 4 to 4.5 per cent per annum and, for this, we need to make large investments in research and development, soil and water management and agricultural extension. But rapid growth of GDP will have to be driven by non-agricultural sectors.
3. Structural transformation: Faster growth of industry and services leads to a decline in the share of agriculture in both GDP and employment. . 4. By generating economies of agglomeration and by acting as centres of knowledge and innovation, they make investments in industry and services more productive
Question 38: What do you understand by urban heat island effect? Discuss its causes and consequences. (200 Words)
An urban heat island is the name given to describe the characteristic warmth of both the atmosphere and surfaces in cities (urban areas) compared to their (non urbanized) surroundings The heat island is an example of unintentional climate modification when urbanization changes the characteristics of the Earth's Surface and atmosphere. Causes of Urban Heat Island: S. 1. Reduced vegetation in urban regions : Reduces the natural cooling effect from shade and evapotranspiration 2. Properties of urban materials: Materials commonly used in urban areas for pavement and roofs, such as concrete and asphalt, have significantly different thermal bulk properties and surface radiative properties than the surrounding rural areas. This causes a change in the energy balance of the urban area, often leading to higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas.
3. Urban geometry: The height and spacing of buildings affects the amount of radiation received and emitted by urban infrastructure. The tall buildings within many urban areas provide multiple surfaces for the reflection and absorption of sunlight, increasing the efficiency with which urban areas are heated. 4. Weather: Certain conditions, such as clear skies and calm winds, can foster urban heat island formation. 5. Geographic location: Proximity to large water bodies and mountainous terrain can influence local wind patterns and urban heat island formation. 6. Human Activities : Air conditioning, manufacturing, transportation, fossil fuel combustion and other human activities discharge heat into urban environments 7. Pollution : High levels of pollution in urban areas can also increase the UHI, as many forms of pollution change the radiative properties of the atmosphere.
Consequences of Urban Heat Islands: 1. Impaired air quality : Warmer air accelerates the formation of smog (ozone) from airborne pollutants like nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Elevated demand for cooling energy in the form of Air conditioning and Refrigerator use can also increase the emission of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from fossil fuel power plants. 2. Impact on Health : Higher air temperatures and lower air quality can cause Heat related and respiratory illnesses, 3. Effect on Weather It may also increase cloudiness and precipitation in the city, as a thermal circulation sets up between the city and surrounding region