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Approach to Cover Environmental Topics like Ground Water Depletion for UPSC Examination

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  • Published
    24th Dec, 2021

Environment is one of the widely used terms all over the world. No doubt, UPSC asking questions year after year from Environment related topics like ground water depletion, Climate change & its impact, renewable source of Energy, important convention and so on. Any Environment topics are a must-know for every Civil Services aspirant. Questions from Environment touch areas of basic understanding from static portion as well as hot burning issues of current importance, so aspirants are advisable to focus on both areas as equal priorities.

Analyse Pattern of Asking Questions:

Aspirants should give their first priority to analyze the pattern of asking questions. Without knowing the pattern of asking questions, it would be difficult to move forward and prepare for any topics related to civil services examination. Explore, which all types of questions asked, whether it is static based or current based?

Static Questions


Current Questions

Q. Consider the following statements regarding the water as a natural resource:

  1. Water is an indispensable, natural resource as no life can exist without water and it is also renewable and reusable.
  2. It is estimated that nearly three fourths of earth is covered with water of the ocean, seas, rivers, lakes, snow, glaciers and ground water.
  3. Only less than 1% of this water is fresh water and usable for living organisms including humans.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 1 and 2 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3 All

Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. 36% of India’s districts are classified as “overexploited” or “critical” by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
  2. CGWA was formed under the Environment (Protection) Act.
  3. India has the largest area under groundwater irrigation in the world.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 2 only

d) 1 and 3 only

Look for Stats/Facts and Figures:

  • Aspirants should look to find facts and figures related to concerned environmental topics. Like in this case of groundwater depletion, aspirants should look to find; what is the condition of groundwater in India. If aspirants explore various reports, whether published by international organisation like United Nation (UN World Water Development Report 2020), WHO (Drinking Water) or national bodies like Central Ground Water Board report on ground water depletion, it is quite evident that ground water depletion is the major issue of India.
  • Aspirants should look to collect information like, India is heavily reliant on groundwater for irrigation and pumps out the vast majority of the world's groundwater. Irrigation wells are responsible for around 70% of India's food output. These facts and figures will help aspirants in analysing the grave situation of water scarcity and furthermore, these stats can be utilised in mains answer writing.

Find out Reasons:

From the preparation point of view, aspirants should look to find out the reasons like, why /what and how. In case of ground water depletion, aspirants should find out the very reasons of water depletion.

There are various reasons of ground water depletion like:

  1. Physical Factors: Availability of hard rock terrain, storage facilities are limited, with the added drawback of a paucity of rainfall, particularly in central Indian regions. Deforestation, improper agricultural techniques, chemical effluents from industries deplete the water resources.
  2. Policies Paralysis: Policies like, Green Revolution allowed water-intensive crops to be cultivated in drought-prone/water-scarce areas, resulting in groundwater overuse. Other problems like, inadequate groundwater control fosters the depletion of groundwater resources with no consequences.

Interlink Subjects (topics):

  • Aspirants are highly advisable to interlink topics that has been read with various subjects. For Example, if we take an example of Water issues, aspirants are advised to link this topic with issues like, Gender Education (School Dropouts), health sector unevenness in terms of men vs women and urban vs poor.
  • At present feminisation of Agriculture sector is on the rise, in irrigated agriculture, women make up the majority of the farm labour force. However, they have no say in whether or not to invest in such wells.
  • Role of Women has emerged as the first responders to the Groundwater Crisis and are in charge of overcoming drinking water shortages, securing alternative livelihoods, and maintaining the farm and family. Ground water depletion hit the most to women.

Find out Initiatives/Polices Related to Ground Water Conservation:

It highly advisable that aspirants should look to explore initiatives or polices taken with regard to ground water conservation. These polices will not only help aspirants in solving prelims questions that is directly asked from these policies but it will also help aspirants in writing good mains answers to provide edge to your answers. Read, what kind of steps taken by the Government for Groundwater Conservation:

  1. Atal Bhujal Yojana
  2. National Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme

Water conservation is very important topic that UPSC tend to ask question on frequent basis. Aspirants should look to prepare themselves well enough for burning issues like water pollution and water conservation. Question from this portion will increase year after year for next years to come for sure.


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