The aftermath of a natural disaster in Chennai and highlights the factors that contribute to the city's ability to respond to such disasters. It also touches upon the impact of climate change on cyclones and the need for better infrastructure and planning. Understanding these issues is crucial for disaster management, which is a topic covered in the UPSC GS 3 syllabus.
Chennai experienced heavy rainfall on December 4 due to Cyclone Michaung.
The city received a record-breaking amount of rain, with some areas recording more than 250 mm in a single day.
The Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration stated that Chennai had not received this much rain in seven decades.
The power was shut off in the city as a precaution to prevent accidents caused by loose cables in the water.
The state of the power infrastructure in Chennai is concerning, as such precautions should not be necessary.
The city faced various issues such as fallen trees, water stagnation on roads, loose cables, and choked storm water drains.
Many trains were cancelled, the airport had to be closed, and people were stranded at various locations.
However, the city's response to the disaster was better than in 2015, thanks to warnings, preparation, resilient infrastructure, and people's memories of the previous calamity.
The storm dumped less water than the 2015 torrent.
Climate change may have contributed to the strength of Cyclone Michaung
Unplanned construction and defiance of zoning in the city have compromised its ability to respond to storms
Public indiscipline, especially littering, has also hindered the city's ability to handle storms
Resolving these issues will take time, but progress needs to be faster to prevent extreme measures like cutting power supply for safety
Chennai should prioritize treating its sanitation workers, who are mostly Dalits and Adivasis, better.
The global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C and the need for renewable energy. It also highlights the challenges faced by India in transitioning away from coal-fired power plants and the paradox of major economies' commitment to renewable energy. This article will provide insights into the current global climate discussions and the implications for India's energy policies.
The global climate discussions aim to cap the rise in global temperatures at 1.5°C.
Current global pledges to cut emissions are insufficient to achieve this goal.
To limit warming to 1.5°C, the world needs three times more renewable energy capacity by 2030, or at least 11,000 GW.
The New Delhi Leaders' Declaration at the G-20 summit in September emphasized the need for tripling renewable energy capacity.
So far, 118 countries have endorsed the pledge, but India and China have abstained from signing.
The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge calls for a phase down of unabated coal power, which is a major concern for India.
India has set a target to triple its renewable energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
However, India has stated that it cannot be forced to give up certain fuels, with coal-fired plants being responsible for nearly 70% of its greenhouse gas emissions.
Developed countries, like the United States, have made commitments to give up coal, but they have other large fossil fuel resources as back-up.
The United States only draws about 20% of its energy from coal and at least 55% from oil and gas, with plans to produce more of it in 2030.
The commitment to renewable energy by major economies is not actively geared to replace fossil fuels.
Without a genuine commitment to replace existing and future fossil fuel capacity with clean energy, pledges and declarations are not meaningful.
The importance of social justice policies in ensuring the participation and empowerment of historically marginalized groups like Dalits and Adivasis in the economic and political development of the nation. It highlights the need for reforms in the market economy to address the neglect and exploitation faced by these groups. Reading this article will provide insights into the challenges faced by Dalits and Adivasis in the current economic order and the potential solutions to promote their equitable participation and upliftment.
The values of social harmony and reforms are important in modern democracy.
Democratic institutions should engage with historically deprived and socially marginalized groups.
Babasaheb Ambedkar expected post-colonial India to be different from the exploitative past and include Dalits and other marginalized communities in the nation's development.
However, with the rise of neo-liberal economic development, support for Dalits and Adivasis from state institutions has decreased.
The domination of social elites in positions of power and privilege is a common occurrence.
Socially marginalized groups have only been able to have a tokenistic presence in positions of power.
Despite political regimes claiming to implement social justice policies, there is little impact in ensuring the participation of the worst-off social groups.
B.R. Ambedkar's principles of social justice criticize the neglect of Dalits and Adivasis and call for the market to be more responsible towards these groups.
Ambedkar's approach allows for the diagnosis of issues in the social and economic order and offers ethical corrective measures.
The mechanism of social justice is not radical or transformative like the Marxist model, but it provides moral sensibilities to institutions and makes them responsible towards the diverse population.
The neo-liberal market neglects the aspirations and demands of Dalits and Adivasis, making it exploitative and closer to crony capitalism.
The market economy needs reforms to integrate the worst-off social groups and reduce their perpetual subjugation.
Social justice policies should be expanded to the private economy to democratize the working classes and reduce poverty.
Adivasi concerns for habitat protection, ecological order, and cultural autonomy should be addressed within the market economy.
Economic development, technological innovations, and the expansion of the market economy should make Dalit and Adivasi groups influential in the neo-liberal discourse.
Reparation policies should be adopted to fight historical wrongs and social discrimination against Dalits and Adivasis, ensuring their equitable participation in economic development.
The new framework of social justice should focus on empowering Dalits and Adivasis to become leaders, business entrepreneurs, and influencers in the economic sphere.
Policymakers should move away from conventional social justice policies that treat Dalit-Adivasi groups as passive recipients of welfare packages.
Dalits and Adivasis should not be limited to being identified as poor and migrant working class dependent on corporate social responsibility for their livelihood.
Affirmative action policies are needed to democratize big businesses and allow the Dalit-Adivasi class to emerge as industrialists, market leaders, and influencers in the global economy.
The state has deviated from its responsibilities and has become a passive associate of big business in the neo-liberal realm.
Ambedkar's vision of social justice can redefine capitalism as a mode of economic order that ensures the substantive participation of Dalits and Adivasis in the market economy and positions of power and privileges.