EL-NINO is expected to come this year from MAY to JULY. EL NINO is a geographical phenomenon which may affect Indian Economy as well. Due to EL NINO, the water of West Coast near Southern American Continent is getting warmer than normal, causing more rainfall in Latin America. Opposite to that, Countries like India, Australia, Indonesia are most likely to be more dry.
Less Monsoonal rainfall in Asian Countries and Australia Continent, summer will be harsh and dry, winter will be less cold. With Less Monsoon in India, Food Security and Nutritional Security will get affected. Manufacturing Sector will have shortage of Raw Material. Already due to late rainfall in 2023 winters, a large quantity of Wheat has been damaged, raising concerns about Food Inflation as well. 2020 was the year of La Nina, which had the reverse effect of El-Nino.
La Nina brought More Monsoonal Rainfall to India, winter became more severe and Summer lesser hot than usual. El-Nino and La-Nina are though Natural Events occur periodically but Climate Change has increased its frequency and severity. India before Green Revolution was non-sufficient in Food Security and Food Sufficiency. Earlier before 1960s, India was dependent on American aid of PL480 wheat for securing the food of its Citizens. With the efforts of Dr M S Swaminathan, the so called Father of Green Revolution in India, the nation not only achieved food security but also today India has become a major exporter of Food Grains. During Natural Calamities in any part of the world, India is generous to provide aid of Food Grains to the Victim country.
Earlier before 1960s, India was the importer of Milk but then the White Revolution came. With the effort of Dr Verghese Kurien, India became self-sufficient in its Milk Production. Amul has become a Global Brand which not only cater to domestic needs but also export. AMUL (Anand Milk Union Limited) is perfect example of Success of Co-operative Society in India. White and Green Revolution empowers Indian Agro and Dairy farmers, which ultimately does Rural Empowerment. India is the only country of the world having more than 6 lakh villages where most of the dwellers are dependent on Primary Sector of Economy for their livelihood. Inspired by the Success of Gujarat State Co-operatives, many other States took their legacy forward and started their own milk co-operative. These days controversy between AMUL and NANDINI (Milk Co-operative of Karnataka) is popping headlines.
In late 1980s, India started suffering from Balance of Payment Crises. In early 1990s, it got worse when India was left only with the Dollar Reserves for a Fortnight, which must be required for International trade like Import of Petroleum Products and many other essential needs. India. India then knocked the doors of International Monetary Fund which agreed to grant a loan on a condition of Devaluating Indian Currency and Opening up Indian Economy, which marks the beginning of game changing Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization. It was the time when American Tech Companies were booming which needed looked India for its Cheap Labour for their Technical Support and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Thus India became a part of Global Value-Chain in IT Sector. Today though Tertiary Sector (Service Sector) employees lesser number of Labour Force than Primary but contributes highest to India’s Gross Domestic Product. Service Sector is Labour Intensive instead of manufacturing which is Capital Intensive. India still needs to grow in Secondary Sector (Manufacturing Sector).
Climate Emergency: The above discussion is the story of growth of India. Today likewise all the countries of world, India is too facing Environment Threat which is likely to become worse with the coming years. In the race of Development, we overlooked Environment. Because of Green Revolution, Farmers of Punjab and Haryana started the use of Fertilizers and Pesticides in huge amount which increased the numbers of cancer cases in the region which harvested maximum benefits of Green Revolution. Farmers of Punjab also began the habit of using Tube-wells to extract water from inside the soil. Today the region is facing the threat of Desertification. Chennai often becomes victim to Floods. Tropical Cyclones have become more frequent and more severe in India, damaging more to life and Property. Also the frequency of Earthquakes in Jammu Kashmir has significantly increased like never before. Since Industrial Revolution, Earth has become warmer by 1.2 degree Celsius which is expected to rise further beyond 1.5 degree Celsius more than Pre-Industrial era within next 20 years. In North-Western India, Heat Waves are causing trouble. Recently India’s Population is estimated 142 crores, putting natural resources in more threat than ever before.
Degrading Water-bodies, Decreasing water-table, Loss of Soil Cover, Problem of Water Logging due to loss of green cover, Landslides, Rise in Sea Surface Temperature, Decrease in Crop Production, Increasing Earth’s Temperature, Melting of Glaciers, Losing Habitats of species of Plants and Animals, Loss in Forest Cover, Air Pollution, Human Induced Global Warming, Draughts, Extreme Precipitation, Deforestation are dangerously expected to de-growth Indian Economy in near future. These factors will not just heavily cut India’s Gross Domestic Product in future but also will give birth to the problems like Climate Migration.
Climate Change has already become Climate Crises.
12 cities of India is under the threat of sinking under water after few decades. Climate Change is negatively impacting Indian Agriculture. Small Farmers of India having land less than two hectares are more vulnerable and such farmers contribute two-third of the global food supply. Cities like Ahmadabad are at the risk of Scorching Heat Waves. Mumbai is facing the risk of Floods. With the risk of rising floods, the danger of vector born diseases is hanging over such coastal cities. Flooding in major rivers may also decline the Fisheries Production.
With increase in temperature, our Cropping and Food Habits may change. Many people may loss their livelihood and become Climate Refuges. The next mass migration is most likely to be based on Climate Crises. The Socio-Economic Effects of Climate Change are much beyond. Governments of world and International Forums have become serious in dealing with the negative impacts of Climate Change. Paris Agreement, Climate Change Conferences, Sustainable Development Goals are such global initiatives. Mission LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment) is an Indian Initiative in this direction. Every International and National Platforms is trying in their capacity to mitigate the ill effects of Climate Change.
Yet there is one area where I think we are lagging behind and that is educating each and Every Youth of India regarding the seriousness of the issue. The fate of the nation is now in the hands of its aware citizen. Only an educated aware youth of India can save Indian Economy to go down in future from the impending danger of Climate Change.
Source : State times May 2nd 2023 by Abhishek Jandia (The author is faculty, Panacea Classes, Udhampur).