- Management of water at household and individual level is often the responsibility of women members. Explain how gender perspective in water resource planning can help achieve sustainable access to water resources? (15 marks)
- Recent depreciation of rupee is a matter of concern as it has led to many negative impacts on the economy. Enumerating the reasons for falling rupee, discuss the concerns associated with it. (10 marks)
1. Management of water at household and individual level is often the responsibility of women members. Explain how gender perspective in water resource planning can help achieve sustainable access to water resources? (15 marks)
- India has 17% of the world's population but only 4% of freshwater resources. This is reflected in NITI Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) which states that India is a water stressed country facing one of the worst water crises.
- Issues of water availability affects women and girls the most as it exacerbates availability of proper sanitation and hygiene facilities. Case study by Centre for Social Research states that on an average rural women walk 5-20 kilometers daily for water. This results in health issues and poor security of women belonging to all age groups.
- Thus gender perspective in water resource planning can help in sustainable access to water by-
- Feminization of agriculture has led to 37% of the agricultural workforce being women. Thus ease of access to water for fields will directly benefit them.
- Irrigation management committees take decisions on water management at the local level. As women spend more time in crop fields than men, their representation in such committees will guarantee sustainable use of water resources.
- Household work including fetching water from wells and other sources, is unpaid work which further affects the health and well being of women. Engineering water resource planning will directly benefit them.
- More say in household decision-making results in more empowerment, sense of belongingness and existence which has multiplier effects on mental well being of women.
- Women have higher needs for water, sanitation, and hygiene during menstruation, pregnancy, etc but inequity in WASH-related employment results in lopsided policies. Thus their inclusion will further enhance their prospects in this area.
- Some examples of how women association helped in sustainable water management programs include campaign for social audits in Rajasthan, upkeep of 450 water pumps by Jharkhand’s Lava panchayat etc
- Any policy must keep the section of society which it has potential to affect the most. Thus water management policies must put women’s needs at the center stage by improving women’s leadership in this area.
2. Recent depreciation of rupee is a matter of concern as it has led to many negative impacts on the economy. Enumerating the reasons for falling rupee, discuss the concerns associated with it. (10 marks)
- At the start of 2022, Indian currency was trading against US dollar at 75 mark but with Ukraine crisis and omicron variant, along with recent hike in interest rates by Federal Reserve of USA, the Indian currency breached the mark of 81 Rupees per Dollar.
Depreciation of any currency is controlled by a combination of internal and external factors. Similarly, recent depreciation in value of rupee is due to-
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to push India’s current account deficit to a 10-year high of 3.3% of GDP. This is exacerbated by the rising oil import bill which has resulted in a steep rise of essential commodities.
- Internal factors like high inflation in India means more printing of Rupees by RBI thus further depreciation.
- Another step to counter inflation is tight monetary policy which results in depreciation of local currency.
- Continuous increase in interest rate by U.S. Federal Reserve since March 2022 has made investors pull out investments from developing economies to reap benefits of higher rates in the USA.
- Sell off in equity markets due to the war scenario and hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve also adds to depreciation of Rupee.
All these factors are responsible for depreciation, which raise concerns like-
- Fall in forex reserves held as reserves by the RBI due to a fall in the Dollar value of assets.
- Import of goods & services becomes dearer which further widens the trade deficit and current account deficit because oil imports are Dollar-denominated.
- Another area of concern is agriculture as there is fear of fertilizer subsidy bill more than doubling to around INR 2.5 trillion against budget estimates of INR 1.05 trillion.
- High inflation and costlier imports result in cost-push inflation and hurts foreign investors.
- Depreciation of rupee is not a completely negative occurrence as little depreciation results in enhanced export competitiveness and better remittances. But this has to be monitored to prevent the situation from getting out of control, because with current inflation, depreciation has a cascading effect in damaging the economy.
Get 5% Early Bird Discount on our UPSC Basics Courses till 5th Oct,