Q Development of a country can generally be determined by:

  • (a) its per capita income
  • (b) its average literacy level
  • (c) health status of its people
  • (d) all of the above

Ans (d) all of the above

Q Which of the following neighbouring countries has better performance in terms of human development than India?

  • (a) Bangladesh
  • (b) Sri Lanka
  • (c) Nepal
  • (d) Pakistan

Ans (b) Sri Lanka

Q What is the main criterion used by the World Bank in classifying different countries? What are the limitations of this criterion, if any?

Ans The main criterion used by World Bank to classify different countries is the per capita income of the countries. The countries above a certain level of per capita income are considered as rich countries while the countries below that level are considered poor countries.

These are two limitations with this criterion:

The first limitation is that this criterion is very much influenced by the extreme upper and lower values and fails to represent the level of equality of income.

Secondly , it does not represent the other indicators of quality of life like level of health and education.

Q Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?

OR

How is the issue of sustainability important for development? Explain with examples.

Ans The concept of sustainable development or sustainability underlines the importance of these words— “We have not inherited the world from our forefathers—we have borrowed it from our children.” So this concept tells us that the present generation must utilise all the resources in such a judicious manner so that the future generations may also enjoy the benefits of such resources in the same manner as the present generations are enjoying today.

Development entails the costs for the society in the form of resources depletion, degradation, shifting, pollution, etc. Only when the development is sustainable, its benefits will outweigh the cost associated with development and such kind of development will give real welfare to the people of present and future generations.

Q Why do we use averages? Are there any limitations to their use? Illustrate with your own examples related to development.

Ans An average refers to a value which is calculated on the basis of per unit of something. If we take the example of income, than average income will refer to total income per person of a country. It is calculated by dividing the total income of a country by its total population. It is also called per capita income.

The biggest limitation of an average is that this value is very much influenced by the extreme values in the distribution. So, the very high or very low values may influence the average in such a manner which may present a false picture of some phenomena. For example, a group of 4 persons may have annual income of ₹ 5 lakhs (first person), ₹ 1 lakh (second person), ₹ 60 thousand (third person) and ₹40 thousand (fourth person). Their total income becomes ₹ 7 lakhs while their average income is ₹ 1.75 lakhs per person. Now this average figure does not represent the true picture of earning of any of the member.

Q Find out the present sources of energy that are used by the people in India. What could be the other possibilities fifty years from now?.

Ans The people in India primarily use energy derived from electricity, coal and petroleum products. Electricity in India is mainly generated by thermal and hydropower plants. The thermal power plants run primarily on coal and petroleum products. So, the energy requirements of people in India are met by coal and petroleum products and these resources are non-renewable which will get exhausted within few years by the speed at which they are being exploited today. So the judicious use of these resources is the need of the hour along with the search and use of alternative resources of the energy.

Now the government and people of India have got aware of the risk associated with the depletion of non-renewable resources and are preferring renewable resources such as nuclear energy, solar energy, wind energy etc. The use of solar energy is increasing in non-commercial areas like house, educational institutions etc. Battery driven vehicles are now being produced and used in large number in all the cities of India. So with the passage of time, the people in India are expected to shift to renewable and less polluting sources of energy and after 50 years the dependency of Indians on non-renewable sources will be to the least extent.

Q List a few examples of environmental degradation that you may have observed around your surroundings.

Ans Following are some of the examples of environ-mental degradation that have been observed in our surroundings:

  • 1. SMOG: It is the latest environmental problem that has taken place at a large extent in our surroundings. It is the mix of fog and smoke. The smoke is generated by the vehicles and industries using coal and petroleum products. The dust emerged from the construction activities add fuel to fire. The whole NCR and many parts of India have come under the coverage of smog. The smog leads to the respiratory problems in people, especially the elders and children which may become acute due to the prolonged exposure to this environmental problem. Even if fog is not present, the air pollution generated by vehicle and industries is at alarming level in our surroundings.
  • 2. River Water Pollution: Our rivers have got polluted to a very high extent. To such great extent it is not possible for the aquatic system or aquatic life of the river to survive in it. This pollution in the rivers is being caused by the industries and poor drainage and sewage system of the cities situated at the bank of the rivers.
  • 3. Fall in the Water Level: The over exploitation of groundwater and irregularity in the rain is resulting into the fall in the groundwater level. Now the multi-story buildings are being built and the industries are being setup in large numbers and the public supply of water from the rivers is getting scanty due to less flow in rivers and expanding of cities to far flung areas. So people are involved in individual groundwater extraction which is resulting into the fall in water level. Their wastage of water is also a reason for fall in water level. In rural areas, the groundwater is being over exploited for agriculture because of poor irrigation system. This is resulting into fall in water level in rural areas.
  • 4. Noise Pollution: Noise pollution generated by vehicles, factories is very common in our surroundings.

Q “The Earth has enough resources to meet the needs of all but not enough to satisfy the greed of even one person.” How is this statement relevant to the discussion of development? Discuss.

Ans The above statement is absolutely true. We have enough resources to fulfill our needs. Nature has given us sufficient resources to meet all our requirements. But when we start the overexploitation of resources in the name of more profits, more demand, lavish life style or anything else, they start depleting very fast, no matter whether they are renewable or non-renewable resources. For example, now most of the people having cars like to go anywhere by car only, no matter the passenger is only a single person in the car. So he likes to use a carrier which is consuming fuel that was sufficient to carry five persons together. It is wastage of a resource. The same is with electricity, water etc. whose wastage we can see in our families, streets and industries etc. Similarly we can see the wastage of fuels by vehicles on the crossings and in the jams. All this is resulting into the fast depletion of the fossil fuels. The depletion is so fast that at its present rate, the crude oil reserves would last only 53 years more. In the name of development and expanding agriculture, we can see deforestation taking place in all parts of the country. This deforestation has disturbed the ecological balance. That is why we see and hear the news of elephants roaming on the rail tracks and roads while lions entering the modern multistory societies. The same overexploitation and wastage is happening with other natural resources which is absolutely non-sustainable in the future.

Q Kerala, with lower per capita income has a better human development ranking than Maharashtra. Hence, per capita income is not a useful criterion at all and should not be used to compare states. Do you agree? Discuss.

Ans The per capita income is a simple criterion which is easy to calculate and understand. So it is useful but it is not a comprehensive measure of human development. It only reflects the average income per person of the country but there are two limitations with this criterion. The first limitation is that this criterion is very much influenced by the extreme upper and lower values and fails to represent the level of equality of income. Secondly, it does not represent the other indicators of quality of life like level of health and education which are equally or rather more important objectives for human development on which the magnitude of income depends. Kerala has Low Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and better level of education than those of Maharashtra that is why Kerala, though with lower per capita income has a better human development ranking than Maharashtra.

Q For each of the items given in the table below, find out which country is at the top and which is at the bottom.

Table 1.6. Some Data Regarding India and its Neighbours for 2014
Country Per Capita Gross National Income (GNI) (2014 PPP $) Life Expectancy at birth (2014) Literacy Rate for 15+ years population (2005-2013) HDI Rank in the world (2014)
Sri Lanka 9779 74.9 91.2 73
India 5497 68.0 62.8 130
Myanmar 4608 65.9 92.6 148
Pakistan 4866 66.2 54.7 147
Nepal 2311 69.6 57.4 145
Bangladesh 3191 69.6 57.4 145

Source: Human Development Report, 2014

Notes:

1. HDI stands for Human Development Index. HDI ranks in above table are out of 188 countries in all.

2. Life Expectancy at birth denotes, as the name suggests, average expected length of life of a person at the time of birth.

3. Per capita income is calculated in dollars for all countries so that it can be compared. It is also done in a way so that every dollar would buy the same amount of goods and services in any country.

Ans Following is the table representing the top and the bottom countries on various parameters:

S.No. Data Top (Country) Bottom (Country)
1. Per Capita Gross National Income Sri Lanka Nepal
2. Life Expectancy at birth Sri Lanka Myanmar
3. Literacy Rate Myanmar Pakistan
4. HDI Rank in the world Sri Lanka Myanmar