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Daily Answer Writing Scheme (DAWS) – 19/09/2022

Daily Answer Writing Scheme (DAWS) – 19/09/2022

GS II Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Discuss the impacts of low fertility rate and also give some measures to deal with low fertility rate in India.

The average number of children per woman in the reproductive age group has declined by 50%, from an average of five children per woman in 1951 to 2.4 children in 2020, according to the World Population Prospects 2022 by the United Nations population estimates and projections and prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.

Impacts of low fertility rate:

  • Lower fertility impacts women’s education positively, which in turn lowers the fertility of the next generations. With better infrastructure development, better health care, and education, fertility drops and income rises.
    • The spiral of lower fertility leads to a window of time when the ratio of the working- age population is higher than that of the dependent age groups.
    • This high proportion of people in the workforce boosts income and investment, given the higher level of saving due to lower dependence.
    • The falling fertility rate will also lead to lower pressure on land, water and other resources and would also contribute to achieving environmental goals.
    • After the window where a country reaps the benefits of the demographic dividend, the huge working age population moves to old age, supported by fewer workers. Japan was the first country to experience the implications of falling fertility rates.
    • Asian countries such as South Korea are now reporting lower fertility than Japan which is now optimistic about having managed the lower fertility without moving to an utter demographic collapse.
  • A fall in fertility rate beyond replacement level would have a negative effect on the proportion of the working population, which in turn will affect output in an economy.
    • A higher level of education and technological advancement in areas including artificial intelligence could increase the productivity of the lower working age population.
    • An ageing population will also affect global interest rates negatively as the share of people over 50 years will form almost 40% of the population by 2100.

Measures with some global examples:

  • The fall in fertility around the globe has been a result of decades of demographic process, and hence needs scientific and sustainable policies for mitigation.
    • There is looming pessimism about a lower fertility rate, there are ways to get the most out of it and diminish its negative effects.
    • The advancement in health care and better nutrition around the world have increased the life expectancy and productivity of older citizens.
    • Reforms in the labour market to induce more flexibility in the labour market would encourage working women to have more children and non-working mothers to enter the labour market.
    • Countries across the globe are experimenting with policies to boost fertility. Germany found success in boosting births through liberal labour laws, allowing more parental leave and benefits.
    • Denmark offers state-funded IVF for women below 40 years, and Hungary recently nationalised IVF clinics. Poland gives out monthly cash payments to parents having more than two children, whereas Russia makes a one-time payment to parents when their second child is born.
    • Russia also reinstituted the Soviet era ‘Mother Heroine’ title, who bore and raised more than 10 children amounting to almost a one-time payment of ₹13 lakh.

Way forward:

  1. The benefits of demographic dividend are being reaped the below replacement level fertility rate would mean a smaller dividend window than expected.
  2. India’s working-age population will continue to grow for many more decades, it would need to keep an eye on fertility dips.
  • Liberal labour reforms, encouraging higher female labour force participation rate, and a higher focus on nutrition and health would ensure sustained labour supply and output despite lower fertility.
  • India, like other countries in the globe, would need to be equipped to aid the patter of more tiny feet sooner or later.

~Source The Hindu https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-consequences-of- declining-fertility-are-many/article65900093.ece

GS I Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones etc., geographical features and their location, changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and polar ice caps) and, in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2.  Global warming increases the fluctuations in the monsoon, resulting in both long dry periods and short spells of heavy rains. Do you agree with this view?

Monsoon in India has undergone several changes over the years, especially on account of climate change. A shift in the track of monsoon systems, like low pressure and depression travelling south of their position and flash floods are a result of this change.

Global warming increases the fluctuations in the monsoon:

  • It has been very complex to understand the rainfall variability and how monsoon patterns have been behaving of late, especially this year.
    • The problem is that it is very challenging for us to understand the situation, which calls for a lot more research.
    • Persistence of intense La Nina conditions, the abnormal warming of East Indian Ocean, negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), southward movement of most of the monsoon depressions and lows and pre-monsoon heating over the Himalayan region are melting glaciers.
    • An alarming case as incidents of floods and droughts have increased, there is more evidence coming our way on how global warming has been impacting the Indian monsoon.
    • There is no doubt about the fact that most of the monsoon weather systems have been travelling across central parts of the country, changing the area of rainfall.
    • Climate change is definitely behind these changes and thus, it calls for more research on the changes in the behavioural pattern of these systems.

Both excess and deficit rainfall:

  • States such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of Maharashtra have been recording excess rainfall this season.

Monsoon systems move across Northwest India giving rains over the region there. Experts believe that these changes are here to stay, which would continue to propel extreme weather events over the entire South Asian region.

During the last six months, entire South Asia has been reporting a series of extreme weather events. While Bangladesh, Pakistan and India have battled severe floods, China is reeling under massive drought conditions.

During the last six months, entire South Asia has been reporting a series of extreme weather events. While Bangladesh, Pakistan and India have battled severe floods, China is reeling under massive drought conditions.

  • Slow onsets can still be taken care of through adaptation and resilience ideas, but these kinds of big events are very difficult to cope with.
    • That is where the main issue lies as the country would then have to divert development money to climate finance to combat climate change.
    • After a weak onset, monsoon went into a lull and so no thumping activity was seen in Kerala and adjoining parts of Karnataka.
    • Back-to-back monsoon systems in the Bay of Bengal in July led to excess rainfall to the tune of 8% actual rainfall recorded was 472.8 mm as against the normal of 437.2 mm.
    • August too saw two back-to-back depressions forming in the Bay of Bengal and travelling across Central India. These intense systems in quick succession kept the monsoon trough well south of its normal position for most of August.

Way Forward:

  1. Monsoon rainfall became less frequent but more intense in India during the latter half of the 20th century.
  2. Scientists and food experts believe that a better rainfall scenario could have helped increase the harvest.
  3. India’s hundreds of millions of rice producers and consumers are being affected negatively with these unprecedented changes which are also raising concerns over food security.

~Source The Hindu https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/how-climate-change-is-altering- indianmonsoon/article65900632.ece#:~:text=A%20shift%20in%20the%20track,record

%20even%20normal%20monsoon%20rains.