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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 31 January 2023


Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 31 January 2023


Contents

  1. A New Urban India Will Be Created by 5G  
  2. India has better groundwater governance

A New Urban India Will Be Created by 5G


Context:

  • According to research firm Techarc, as of January 25, more than 25% of India’s population was 5G-enabled. According to the report, this 25.2% of the population is spread out across 189 different areas of the nation.
    • According to dashboard data, live 5G networks cover 25.2% of India’s population, making the technology accessible in 1 out of every 4 cities in the nation.

Relevance:

GS Paper-3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Mains Question

Urban space organisation and the nature of production and communication could change as a result of 5G. Discuss (150 words)


Important Takeaways:

  • 5G technology is anticipated to fuel significant advancements and economic growth, but realising its full potential necessitates understanding of related fields like the Internet of Things, automation, virtual reality, and Web 3.
  • Users have higher expectations for better communication and faster data access. All of those things and more are promised by 5G, but in the years before it is fully realised, it is important to think about how the application of 5G technology will affect our spaces and our perception of what it means to be “urban.”

Future of Urbanization:

  • When considering how 5G will affect the design and planning of future urban environments in India, the concept of small, affluent islands fueled by technological advancement is suggested.
    • These islands can be thought of as small, connected, and well-equipped urban centres centred on one or more 5G-enabled social or economic activities.
    • The development of these tiny, affluent islands, fueled by 5G technology, is likely to determine how India’s urbanisation will proceed in the future.
  • This prediction is based on the knowledge that 5G will transform many economic activities, alter how people interact professionally, necessitate the localization of specific tasks, and require the development of specific infrastructure.

The Technology:

  • The excitement surrounding 5G stems not only from the speed improvements it offers compared to earlier generations of mobile networks, but also from the recent sharp rise in mobile users.
    • These users call for more data, faster data access, and improved communication. With its high speed and low delay, 5G is anticipated to meet these demands.
    • As a result, IoT (Internet of Things) and machine-to-machine communication will become widely used, allowing connected devices to exchange real-time data.
  • The adoption of edge computing will be sparked by the need for real-time processing of the vast amounts of data generated by these devices.
  • This indicates that data processing must take place as close to the source as is practical. Small or micro data centres may need to be built close to the site where the data is generated, such as by 5G towers, in order to accomplish this.
    • The significant reduction in communication lag may increase the viability and efficiency of co-working in virtual reality.
  • 5G-enabled 3D simulations and virtual environments might make it possible for staff members to connect and work together in a way that resembles casual interactions.
    • This might lessen the effects of “Zoom fatigue,” which is brought on by the current reliance on video conferencing. Additionally, the remote work capabilities of 5G could reduce the importance of a person’s physical location.
  • 5G is not only intended for the consumer market; it is also built to support a wide range of industries, including food production, medical care, transportation, and welfare service delivery, among others.
  • This means that for 5G to be successful and become economically viable, it needs to monetize its use in businesses in addition to consumer adoption.
  • 5G’s ability to deliver time-sensitive communication could revolutionise industries like manufacturing.
    • A case in point is the recent deployment of a captive 5G network at Mahindra’s Chakan auto manufacturing facility.
    • Using high frequency bandwidth, which can carry a lot of data per unit of time, will greatly help this property.

Way Forward

  • The various 5G aspects that were covered above provide fascinating perspectives on how cities will develop in the future.
  • It will be necessary to establish hubs with 5G-propelled economic units, network infrastructure, and social provisions for the employees and their families, or what we refer to as the “5G islands.” These islands could take the form of townships tailored to employees in remote-working sectors or be centred on automatic or semi-automatic industrial clusters; oppo
    • These islands may be built on top of existing cities or they may be positioned close to larger cities, much like the current satellite cities.
  • The underutilised peri-urban areas may even see the development of these townships.

Conclusion

  • The adoption of 5G-specific applications that make use of higher frequency bands will open up a variety of new growth prospects for the nation.
    • If sound planning techniques are used, this new form of urbanisation can also be resilient and sustainable.
  • Compact urbanisation can be combined with a variety of land uses and undeveloped natural areas in between to reduce the amount of land needed per resident and per job.
    • Urban planners and policymakers must consider how 5G will affect urbanisation as it happens in order to create well-planned, effective, sustainable, and resilient urban systems in the future.

India has better groundwater governance


Context

  • With nearly 18% of the world’s population, India occupies about 2.4% of the planet’s land and uses 4% of its water resources. The nation’s groundwater resources are under stress as a result of the economy’s and population’s rapid growth.
    • As a result, the management of groundwater resources has gained importance in the nation.

Relevance:

GS Paper-2: Government Policies, Governance and related issues.

GS Paper-3: Water Resources and its conservation.

Mains Question

What steps is the Indian government taking to improve groundwater governance? Include some recommendations for additional improvement. (250 Words)


Key Points

According to a World Bank report, India uses more groundwater than any other country in the world. There is no federal law governing the use of groundwater, and each State has its own laws governing its extraction that are applied haphazardly.

The significance of groundwater

  • For nearly 80% of the country’s drinking water needs and two-thirds of its irrigation needs, India’s agriculture and drinking water security in rural and urban areas depend on groundwater. As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India will need adequate groundwater resources to manage anthropogenic pressures.
    • Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, it is crucial to ensure source sustainability in order to deliver clean drinking water to all rural households by 2024. o Groundwater is essential to India’s water security.

Assessment of the Dynamic Ground Water Resource, 2022

  • Recently, a report titled “National Compilation on Dynamic Groundwater Resources of India” that provides an overview of the groundwater situation in India was made public by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
    • The results of the groundwater assessment point to a favourable tendency toward groundwater management.

Major Findings

  • The number of “overexploited” groundwater units has decreased by 3%, and the number of “safe” category units has increased by 4%, according to the most recent assessment.
  • The annual extraction of groundwater is 239.16 BCM, while the total annual groundwater recharge is 437.60 BCM.
  • on 909 units, the state of the groundwater improved.
  • The assessment also revealed a decrease in annual extraction (of about 9.53 billion cubic metres); the corresponding figures for irrigation, industry, and domestic use are 208.49 BCM, 3.64 BCM, and 27.05 BCM, respectively.
  • According to the 2022 assessment, groundwater extraction is at its lowest level since 2004 (231 bcm).

Initiatives for Better Groundwater Governance:

  • The federal government is working with the states and union territories to manage groundwater sustainably.
    • During this process, a number of significant initiatives have been noted, including A reduction in groundwater extraction to below 70%.
  • Extending the groundwater observation well network.
  • Setting up digital water level recorders for ongoing observation.
  • routine groundwater quality inspections.
  • Data dissemination and aquifer mapping.
  • Improving industry regulation of groundwater extraction.
  • Supporting routine groundwater resource assessments and participatory groundwater management.
  • Establishment of the Jal Shakti Ministry (by combining the former Ministries of Drinking Water and Sanitation, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation), which will help to advance the management of water resources with a focus on demand and supply.
  • After recognising the value of community involvement, the Jal Shakti Abhiyan was started to turn Jan Shakti into Jal Shakti through the creation of assets, rainwater harvesting (the “Catch the Rain” campaign), and a broad awareness campaign.
  • Other initiatives, such as the National Project on Aquifer Management and the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY), have been taken to effectively manage and regulate groundwater (NAQUIM).
    • In order to achieve “participatory groundwater management,” ABY seeks to foster the kind of behavioural modification made possible by incentives.
  • Aquifers that contain water are to be mapped as part of NAQUIM in order to collect accurate information and allow for well-informed decision-making.
  • Out of the nearly 25 lakh square kilometres that can be mapped, about 24 lakh square kilometres of the country have been mapped. By March 2023, the remaining area should be mapped.
  • Rapid and precise aquifer mapping has been achieved by combining traditional exploratory techniques with a heliborne-based survey (state-of-the-art technology).
  • Boosting the Number of Monitoring Stations
    • There are currently 7,885 automated monitoring stations in India, which makes up about 65,025 total monitoring stations. o This number is expected to rise to over 84,000, with over 35,000 automated stations being added, with a particular focus on identifying groundwater-stressed areas and industrial and urban clusters that extract a lot of groundwater. o Dynamic groundwater assessments will now be performed annually, and a committee has been formed to review the assessment methodology.
  • Additionally, a programme called the “India-Groundwater Resource Estimation System (IN-GRES)” has been created.

Need of the hour

  • Communities will need assistance from numerous governmental and non-governmental organisations to better manage their groundwater resources.
    • In the context of climate change, efforts must be made to find solutions that are crucial for sustainable development as uncertainties in relation to groundwater resources will grow.
    • According to a draught national water policy, recycling should take precedence over using freshwater for industrial purposes and water-intensive crops should be abandoned.
    • Water shouldn’t be viewed as a free, private resource; instead, its costs should be calculated and shared fairly.
    • Despite the fact that water is still a divisive political issue in India, the global warming crisis should inspire agreement on the need to discourage wasteful consumption of this limited resource.
    • The initiatives taken by various governments have started to show results, which is why the groundwater resource assessment report for 2022 predicts a better future for groundwater conditions in the nation.
      • This is a fresh start, and action must be taken to make India a water-surplus country, achieving one of the main Sustainable Development Goals of the UN: providing access to clean water for all.

Conclusion:

The government’s efforts to improve the general groundwater situation in India show a commitment to cooperative federalism in the management of this priceless resource.


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