MAINS DAILY QUESTIONS & MODEL ANSWERS
Q1. The probability of fire disasters is rising in India’s metropolitan areas. Talk about the elements that raise the danger of fire outbreaks in light of this. Include some recommendations for enhancing urban areas’ resistance to fire.
GS III – Disaster Management related issues
- Every state in the nation has had multiple fire incidents. Urban areas—particularly towns and cities—as well as factories and other sectors are particularly fire-prone. According to a survey by Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI), in the five years between 2016 and 2020, fire-related mishaps killed 35 persons on average every day.
- Concerns over fire safety in urban centres were raised by events such as the 1995 Dabwali Fire Tragedy, the 1997 Uphaar Cinema Fire, the 2011 AMRI Hospital Fire, the 2012 Sivakasi Factory Explosion, the 2017 Surat Fire, and the most recent fires in Mundaka and Hyderabad.
Factors that raise the possibility of fire outbreaks include:
- Absence of Planning: Since it promotes the development of unofficial settlements and overdensification, a key contributing factor to the rise in fire dangers in urban areas is the absence of planning and the inadequate application of rules. 17.4% of urban households, according to the 2011 Census, reside in slums and informal settlements.
- Response time: Despite being prepared to react as quickly as possible, fire and emergency services nationwide struggle with limited access, encroachments, and traffic congestion. This frequently results in a response delay that ends in the loss of lives and property.
- Enforcing planning, zoning, and building bylaws: Many fire incidents in India are caused by the city authorities’ negligent application of laws and regulations. Events such as the Dabwali Tragedy and the Meerut Trade Fair Fire highlight the necessity of strictly adhering to norms of practise for transient structures such as festival tents and pandals.
- Information and apathy: Another factor contributing to the nation’s frequent fire outbreaks is people’s carelessness and careless attitude stemming from a lack of understanding. Problems like clogged exits, storing extremely combustible goods, etc., are also brought on by people’s careless behaviour.
- Individual load management: In Indian towns and cities, the usage of defective equipment that causes fire breakouts is a significant worry. Users frequently place more load than is permitted, especially in business complexes, which can result in transformer fires. One such incident was the catastrophe at Uphaar Cinema.
- Absence of infrastructure: Several concerns have also been made about the fire rescue team’s inefficiency as a result of inadequate infrastructure. India currently suffers from a shortage of infrastructure, with 97.54 percent of fire stations, 80.04 percent of fire vehicles, and 96.28 percent of fire personnel lacking.
Strategies to increase urban areas’ resistance to fire:
bolstering the framework of policies and guidelines:
- strict compliance with current electrical load management standards for new buildings.
- The amount of flammable elements that can be utilised in each structure without increasing the risk of fire should also be specified in guidelines.
Enforcing fire safety standards and laws:
- appropriate examination and review prior to the granting of new licences, permits, approvals, NOCs, etc.
- Authorities conduct routine monitoring and inspections to verify that the installed firefighting apparatus is operating as intended.
Infrastructure and firefighting apparatus upgrades:
- The NDMA Guidelines on Scaling, Type of Equipment, and Training of Fire Services require municipal fire departments to modernise their infrastructure and firefighting apparatus.
- incorporating real-time traffic monitoring tools to reduce reaction times.
Preparing emergency routes in advance:
- Integrating risk reduction and management for fire hazards into urban planning and development:
- examination of fire risks and vulnerabilities at all levels is included. Urban and regional planning rules do not contain any explicit fire norms at the area level, however building level designs do have fire safety provisions.
Enhancing the resilience of a community:
- Every stakeholder should be consulted when creating an emergency management strategy for a building or settlement.
- organising education and awareness campaigns about the common dangers of urban fires for stakeholders and city dwellers.
- It is necessary to set up evacuation and safety drills for occupants of high-rise buildings, commercial complexes, educational and medical facilities, offices, etc.
- In order to mitigate the hazards associated with urban fires, the aforementioned actions must be put into practise to close the identified gaps. Even if the firefighting system has greatly improved because to the efforts of our governments and fire departments, advancements in prevention, mitigation, and monitoring are still vital. Urban development, traffic management, and fire department collaboration are required for fire risk management, a process-oriented coordinated activity.
Q2. Analyse the obstacles to India’s tribal population’s advancement. What actions has the government made to resolve tribal issues?
GS II – Social Issues
- Tribal people make up 8.6% of India’s population, but 46% of the country’s poverty rate, according to the 2011 Census. The nation’s tribal population is dispersed over its length and width and possesses key attributes like:
Signs of Primitive Characteristics:
- Unique Culture
- Fear of Making Contact with the Entire Community
- Regional Seclusion
Obstacles to the advancement of tribal people:
- Loss of Control over Natural Resources: Tribal rights were compromised and state control took the place of tribal authority over natural resources as India developed and natural resources were found in areas inhabited by tribes.
- Lack of Education: The majority of schools in tribal communities are devoid of even the most basic supplies and hygienic facilities.
- Tribal students are not familiar with official or regional languages, which are used in the majority of tribal education programmes.
- Displacement and Rehabilitation: The government’s acquisition of tribal property for the construction of major steel mills, power plants, and dams resulted in the widespread eviction of the tribe’s inhabitants.
- The most severely affected were the tribal areas in Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, and the Chotanagpur region.
- These tribal people have psychological issues as a result of their migration to urban regions since they find it difficult to adapt to the urban ideals and way of life.
- Issues with Nutrition and Health: The tribes’ predominance of diseases including malaria, cholera, diarrhoea, and jaundice is a result of their economic backwardness and precarious existence.
- Malnutrition-related issues such anaemia and iron shortage, high rates of newborn death, etc., are also common.
- The general population’s life expectancy at birth is 67 years, whereas the ST population’s is 63.9 years, according to a 2016 Lancet study.
- Gender Issues: Women’s position is affected by the state of the environment, especially when it comes to the loss of forests and a quickly depleting supply of resources.
- Identity Erosion: Tribals’ traditional laws and institutions are clashing with those of contemporary institutions, raising concerns among them about the preservation of their identity.
- Another reason to be concerned is the disappearance of tribal languages and dialects, which point to a weakening of tribal identity.
- traditional heritage destruction: Development initiatives and excessive external intervention can also result in the traditional heritage of tribal communities being destroyed.
Actions to resolve difficulties with tribes:
The creation of tribal groups that are especially vulnerable (PVTGs)
- This scheme gives tribes that are below the poverty line access to drinking water facilities, fishing nets, traditional dwellings, dairy products and two-wheelers.
Unique Central Support for Tribal Sub-Plan
- This programme gives tribal people that fall below the poverty threshold dairy cows.
Hostels and Schools:
- Students from tribes receive education in Government Tribal Residential Schools.
- Tribals’ access to higher-quality human resources will be aided by Eklavya model schools.
- The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) and the Forest Rights Act (FRA) both seek to safeguard the rights and advance the socioeconomic development of tribal tribes.
- Tribal people’s land rights are protected under the FRA and PESA, which also offer legal recognition.
- The PESA Act strengthens local self-governance by granting native communities the authority to manage their own affairs.
- Schedule V and VI, Articles under Fundamental Rights, Articles 46 DPSP, 244(1) and (2), Articles 330 and 332, Article 338-A NCST (National Commission for ST) are among the provisions covered by the constitution.
- A better price for tribal produce and assistance with economic empowerment can be obtained through the e-marketplace organised by TRIFED.
Direction of Travel:
- The spirit of policies created for tribal peoples should be guided by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and International Covenants.
- The concept of “Tribal Panchsheel,” as promoted by J.L. Tribals should be empowered by following Nehru’s lead.
- Implementing the Xaxa Committee’s advice will improve the outcome.
- Development initiatives should make sure that tribal populations are consulted and included in decision-making processes, and they should support their integration and empowerment into mainstream society.