According to the “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” report, climate extremes in the Indian subcontinent have become increasingly pronounced.

Average temperature in India has risen by approximately 0.7°C during the period from 1901 to 2018.

Summer monsoon rainfall has witnessed a decline of 6% between 1951 and 2015.

The drought-affected area has expanded at a rate of 1.3% per decade from 1951 to 2016.

Sea surface rise in the North Indian Ocean accelerated to 3.3 mm per year between 1993 and 2007.

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Increased frequency and intensity of climate extremes can have grave implications:

Food Security:

  • Disruptions in rainfed agriculture, which contributes to 60% of India’s agricultural GDP.
    • Example: Erratic rainfall patterns affecting crop yields in regions like Maharashtra.

Water Security:

  • Frequent droughts and floods hinder surface and groundwater recharge.
  • Rising sea levels lead to saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers, contaminating groundwater.
    • Example: Coastal regions in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu experiencing groundwater salinization.

Glacial Retreat:

  • Retreat of glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region may affect the water supply in major rivers and streams.
    • Example: The Ganges, a lifeline for millions, relies heavily on Himalayan glaciers.

Energy Demand:

  • Rising temperatures increase energy demand for cooling.
    • Example: Increased electricity usage for air conditioning during heatwaves.

Human Health:

  • Increased risk of heat strokes, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, and stress-related disorders.
  • Spread of vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue.
    • Example: Higher instances of heat-related illnesses during Indian summers.


  • Many species face increasing threats, especially those adapted to narrow environmental conditions.
    • Example: Coral reefs in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


  • Loss in productivity due to heat stress could result in the loss of 34 million full-time jobs.
  • Desertification, land degradation, and drought cost India about 2.5% of GDP in 2014-15.
  • Sea-level rise increases the vulnerability of coastal cities.
    • Example: Vulnerability of Mumbai and Kolkata to sea-level rise.

Social Issues:

  • Climatic disasters induce large-scale migration.
  • Repeated crop failures lead to farmer distress and suicides.
    • Example: Farmer suicides in states like Maharashtra due to crop losses.

Major Government Initiatives:

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): Comprising eight major missions.
    • Example: National Solar Mission to promote solar energy adoption.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): Facilitating cooperation among solar resource-rich countries.
    • Example: Promoting solar energy partnerships with African nations.
  • FAME Scheme for E-mobility: Promoting electric and hybrid vehicles.
    • Example: Increase in electric vehicle sales in India.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT): Focus on smart cities.
    • Example: Initiatives for sustainable urban development in Varanasi.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: Providing LPG connections to the underprivileged.
    • Example: Improved access to clean cooking fuel for rural households.
  • UJALA Scheme: Replacing incandescent lamps with LED bulbs.
    • Example: Energy-efficient lighting in public spaces and homes.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission: Aiming to clean the country’s infrastructure.
    • Example: Improved sanitation and waste management in urban areas.

Steps towards Building Climate Resilience:

  • Prioritize vulnerability assessment in long-term planning and develop region-specific adaptation and mitigation strategies.
  • Expand observational networks and research on regional climate changes and impacts.
    • Example: Deployment of tide gauges with GPS along the Indian coastline.
  • Promote afforestation efforts for carbon sequestration and drought resilience.
  • Enhance community awareness through effective media campaigns.
  • Utilize traditional knowledge for climate-resilient strategies.
    • Example: Kuttanad Below Sea Level Farming System in Kerala.


Emphasize equity and social justice in climate resilience efforts, particularly for vulnerable populations.
Example: Ensuring climate adaptation measures reach marginalized communities.

Advocate India’s leadership role in uniting developed and developing nations to build climate resilience on a global scale.
Example: India’s active participation in international climate agreements like the Paris Agreement.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish September 8, 2023