Sunday, January 21, 2018

Green Energy & Conservation: A New Paradigm For Inclusive Growth

In case of India the five year plans have to be comprehensive in true sense as we have a vast assemblage of the down trodden living below the poverty line.  Informal economy limits the playing fields to the rich and the fortunate. Our Nation comprises of diverse human profiles subsisting on all steps of the economic ladder, unfortunately it is busting at its seams lower down. Hence all should benefit from economic endeavours of the State.  

In current scenario dominated by impending climate change or global warming economic planning has to be circumspect - discouraging unfriendly practices. This makes tackling inequity a challenging task as lot of old norms the unfriendly practices which are causing environmental disturbances have to be done away with. The old practices have to be conducted in a greener way or completely abundant hence innovation & technology has to step in. Greater stress has to be placed on cottage industry especially those pertaining to production of endemic specialities, and arts and crafts. Global appeal has to be created for indigenous production especially from the rural sector. This means induction of innovative practices and contemporary technologies at grass root level for production of globally acceptable products. 

Sound policies also means greater stress has to be placed on education and instilling technological proficiency amongst our masses. Education can be the biggest poverty alleviation instrument besides being helpful in eliminating social evils and conservatism - both are the need of the hour. Without tackling these it is difficult to come out of economic quagmire that the developing country like ours faces.           

Alternative energy is one of the positive sources which could solve our energy crisis in a friendly manner. It can also be instrumental in alleviating poverty by providing fuel at lower cost. Alternative energy would be an indirect and direct growth boosting factor. It has to be seen what policies are shaped by Governments in India to encourage generation. The majority of sufferers from polluting environment are living below the poverty line in India. Hence improvement in quality of life in the country should not be a top down approach it should be the reverse.            

The scourge of developing economies is rabid industrialisation, a haste that creates lot more problems and solves  less. In order to achieve a rapid growth detrimental aims and objectives are unthinkably pursued which cause lot of environmental distress besides social injustice to local residents (sometimes).

Highly impressive economic growth does not mean production of unmanageable numbers of luxury cars or extensive stressful housing complexes. This is what years of faulty planning and myopia has led us into. Ill planned industrial complexes near urban areas are major cause of  pollution leading to unmanageable health problems that large cities in India are facing.   

In order to feed the ever growing millions we have ravaged our forests and other fragile ecosystems due to fast expanding agricultural fields, commercial wood logging,  and livestock without a second thought. Though with the creation of protected areas the rot seemed to have stemmed but this is not the case everywhere. Primal land is still being targeted for economic gains and this spells bad conservation policies.       

Improper utilisation of land at the cost of last remaining natural places, valuable resources and our inherited wealth are the damage rabid industrialisation does besides releasing large amounts of pollutants in the air.

We have become a human centrist society, and completely disregard nature and other life forms. Habitat destruction has been the norm since times immemorial and continues till this day. Most of the conservation efforts remain on paper, are poorly implemented and some die unheard due to legal entanglement. In a fast developing India this seems to a sector of least concern. Hence to many of our policy makers environmental concerns especially that relating to our remaining natural lands and wildlife conservation has no importance or perceived as conservationist nuisance. Even for the ruling Governments this has no place as populist policies are of prime importance for remaining in power. The gain is that of mega corps with paltry benefit to those employed. Corporate influence on Governing bodies is well known, and this is what does the utmost damage. Industrialist gauge their profits from mega projects and totally ignore environmental factors.       

Unchecked population growth is another factor that is proving detrimental to environment besides increasing poverty in India. Although active efforts have been in this direction since decades but we are still heading to the most populous status on Earth. Hence we are eventually going to leave more carbon footprint on Earth that others.     

In order to undo what missteps we have taken in the past with grave consequences we will have to restart from step one with an out of the box thinking. 

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