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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 20 June 2023

Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 20 June 2023


  1. Groundwater Extraction Shifts Earth’s Tilt, Study Finds
  2. Refugee Potential: Sharing Humanity

Groundwater Extraction Shifts Earth’s Tilt, Study Finds


  • The Earth’s axis has been discovered to be greatly impacted by groundwater extraction, a practise widely utilised to meet human water demands, leading it to lean towards the east.
  • The impact of groundwater depletion on the rotation of the earth has not previously been recognised, according to a recent study by researchers at Seoul National University.
  • The study emphasises how this phenomena affects sea levels and how crucial it is to address current groundwater management practises.

Relevance –

  • GS Paper 1 – Physical Geography – Earth and its motion
  • GS Paper 3 – Environmental Impact

Mains Question

The influence of groundwater extraction on sea level rise and Earth’s axis shift is highlighted in the study by researchers at Seoul National University. Discuss the environmental effects that groundwater depletion might have and offer solutions to the problems that come with sustainable groundwater management. (150 Words)

Earth’s Dynamic Axis for Understanding Earth’s Wobble

Various factors, such as weather patterns, seasonal changes, the molten core, and powerful hurricanes, contribute to the axis’ movement, which is akin to a spinning top slightly off-kilter. Scientists track this motion relative to astronomical phenomena, such as the centres of bright galaxies or quasars.

Groundwater depletion and its relation to water:

  1. The Effect of Water on Earth’s Rotation: Previous research has demonstrated that global water circulation affects the dynamics of the Earth’s rotation.
    1. The 2016 study showed how the Earth’s axis wobble was influenced by water circulation.
  2. Information on Groundwater Extraction:
    1. The Earth’s axis shift is linked to water movement, such as melting ice caps, glaciers, and groundwater, by scientists at Seoul National University under the direction of Professor Ki-Weon Seo. Initial model simulations did not match the observed axis drift until groundwater extraction was taken into account.
    1. The rotation pole drift’s previously unknown source, groundwater pumping, has been discovered.

Findings and Implications

  1. Sea-Level Rise and Groundwater Depletion: According to the study, between 1993 and 2010, 2,150 billion tonnes of groundwater were pumped into the oceans, causing a 6.24 mm sea-level rise.
    1. A major aspect affecting the amount of axis drift is the location of groundwater depletion.
  2. Mid-Latitude Regions Most Affected: The model showed that groundwater extraction from mid-latitude areas had the most significant impact on the Earth’s axis drift, and that groundwater redistribution was most intense in northwest India and western North America, both mid-latitude regions.

Groundwater Depletion and Regional Issues:

  • India has struggled with serious groundwater depletion, especially during the past ten years.
  • Irrigation of agricultural land in India accounts for over 95% of groundwater extraction.


The latest work brings to light a hitherto underappreciated effect of groundwater extraction on Earth axis shift. Along with other issues, groundwater depletion contributes to the planet’s swaying motion. The importance of sound groundwater management practises is also emphasised, along with the connection between groundwater extraction, sea-level rise, and these factors. The development of sustainable ways to reduce the negative effects of groundwater extraction on the dynamics of the Earth can be aided by an understanding of these consequences.

Refugee Potential: Sharing Humanity


On June 20, World Refugee Day, we honour the amazing bravery and tenacity of the 103 million people who have been forcibly displaced due to conflicts around the world. There are innumerable human stories of loss and dashed hopes hidden under the startling statistics.


GS Paper 2 : International Relations – Refugees

Mains Question

Examine how different parties, such as the public and corporate sectors, NGOs, and community-based organisations, contribute to the support of refugees. How can international cooperation be improved to create long-term solutions for displaced populations like resettlement and safe returns? (250 Words)

The Problem of Internal Migration in South and Southeast Asia

  • Significant issues with relocation also exist in South and Southeast Asia.
  • Numerous people have been displaced from their homes in the area as a result of ongoing conflicts in the Ukraine, Myanmar, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

The Generous Hospitality of India

India, which is a generous host and advocate for refugees and asylum seekers, has over 250,000 forcibly displaced people living there.The nation’s long history of accepting refugees is evidence of our common humanity.

Instead of receiving aid, refugees seek opportunities

  • Refugee youth prefer opportunities to handouts and seek out chances instead.
  • Many other instances exist where refugee youth have shown resiliency and talent when given the right opportunities, such as various, stateless Rohingya women pursuing a career as an artist-designer.
  • Many other examples exist where refugee youth have demonstrated talent when given the right opportunities.

Taking Down Barriers to Inclusion

It is our responsibility to remove these barriers and ensure equal opportunities for refugees in employment, education, housing, and healthcare. Refugees and asylum seekers face a variety of obstacles, including challenges obtaining legal recognition and government-issued documents, which limit their access to essential services like financial support and healthcare.

Sustainable development and youth participation

  • We must engage and incorporate refugee youth while taking into account their particular needs in order to build an inclusive society. By including them in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda, we can make sure that no one is left behind.
  • The Global Compact on Refugees places emphasis on the urgent need for group action to address the displacement situation.
  • It acknowledges that aiding the forcibly displaced, particularly in the Global South, is the responsibility of governments, people, the commercial sector, NGOs, and community-based organisations.

Taking Advantage of Potential and Opening Up New Doors

Unlocking the potential of refugees and their host communities and upholding our obligations to them will help create a world where opportunities and hope are abundant.

What is India’s current legal framework for handling refugees?

  • The Foreigners Act of 1946 gives the central government the authority to apprehend and expel foreign people who are living illegally.
  • The Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920 allows for the forcible removal of an illegitimate foreigner in accordance with Article 258(1) of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Citizenship Act of 1955, which included measures for citizenship renunciation, termination, and deprivation.
  • The 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) aims to award citizenship only to immigrants who were persecuted by Hindu, Christian, Jain, Parsi, Sikh, and Buddhist groups in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Important Fact

  • The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, the two most important legal agreements relating to refugee protection, are not parties to India.
  • However, India has a fantastic track record when it comes to protecting refugees. India has a moral legacy of integrating immigrants’ cultures.


In recognition of the courage, steadfast hope, and untapped potential of refugees and displaced people, let’s confirm our commitment to supporting them on this World Refugee Day. We can have a long-lasting effect by removing obstacles, opening doors to worthwhile opportunities, and restoring people’s feeling of dignity. Making sure that no one is left behind is our shared responsibility

May 2024