Directions (1-5):Read the following passage and answer the questions as directed.
Ecological ruin is on a gallop across South Asia, with life and livelihood of nearly a quarter of the world’s population affected. Yet, our polities are able to neither fathom nor address the degradation. The distress is paramount in the northern half of the subcontinent, roping in the swathe from the Brahmaputra basin to the Indus-Ganga plain.
Within each country, with politics dancing to the tune of populist consumerism, nature is without a guardian. The erosion of civility in geopolitics keeps South Asian societies apart when people should be joining hands across borders to save our common ground. Because wildlife, disease vectors, aerosols, and river flows do not respect national boundaries, the environmental trends must perforce be discussed at the regional inter-country level. As the largest nation-state of our region, and the biggest polluter whose population is the most vulnerable, India needs to be alert to the dangerous drift. China has been resolutely tackling air pollution and promoting clean energy. But while Beijing’s centralized governance mandates environmentalism-by-decree, the subcontinental realities demand civic participation for sustainability to work. Unfortunately, despite being a vast democracy where people power should be in the driving seat, the Indian state not only neglects its own realm, it does not take the lead on cross-border environmentalism.
Thus, Bihar is helping destroy the Chure/Siwalik range of Nepal to feed the construction industry’s demand for boulders and conglomerate, even though this hurts Bihar itself through greater floods, desertification and aquifer depletion. Air pollution is strangling the denizens of Lahore, New Delhi, Kathmandu and Dhaka alike, but there is no collaboration. Wildlife corridors across States, provinces, and countries are becoming constricted by the day, but we look the other way. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has chosen India to be the ‘host country’ to mark World Environment Day today. But when will New Delhi rise to connect the dots between representative democracy and ecological sanity?
Truth be told, the environment ministry is invariably the least empowered in the major countries of South Asia, without clout vis-à-vis line ministries, and unable to coordinate the ecological response. Governments were content once to regard environmental protection as synonymous with wildlife protection. Today they stand unprepared when the challenges have greatly multiplied and deepened. There is distress across the ecological spectrum, but one need only study the rivers and the atmosphere to track the inaction of governments and our weakened activism. On the water, the subcontinent is running out of the resource due to the demands of industrialization and urbanization, and continuation of the colonial-era irrigation model based on flooding the fields. The economic and demographic forces are arrayed against the rivers and their right-of-way. In the hills, the Ganga in Uttarakhand and the Teesta of Sikkim are representative of rivers that have been converted into dry boulder tracts by ‘cascades’ of run-of-river hydroelectric schemes. The same fate now threatens the rivers of Nepal and India’s Northeast, while the tributaries of the Indus were ‘done in’ decades ago through water diversion.
Everywhere, natural drainage is destroyed by highways and railway tracks elevated above the flood line, and bunds encircling towns and cities. Reduced flows and urban/industrial effluents have converted our great rivers into sewers. We refuse to consider drip irrigation as a solution just as we fail to acknowledge that the rivers are made to carry hundreds of tonnes of plastics daily into the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. While underground aquifers are exploited to exhaustion, the popular ‘river-training’ prescription imprisons our rivers within embankments, according to the inherited Western engineering canon that does not factor in the natural silt carried by rivers of the Himalaya. The would-be high-dam builders have not adequately studied the phenomenon of Himalayan cloudbursts, nor do they find it necessary to address the question: how do you de-silt a deep reservoir when it fills up with sand and mud?
As we have seen, the highs of environmental movements are invariably followed by lows, and so to exit the cycle what is needed is an “environmental system” inbuilt into the infrastructure of state and society. Work towards ecological sustainability must go beyond ritual, with the path seeming to lie in the empowerment of local government all over. Elected representatives in cities and districts must be challenged to emerge as the bulwark of environmentalism even as the provincial and national governments are asked to rise to their regulatory responsibilities. When ‘organic environmentalism’ rises from the grassroots and makes state authority accountable, South Asia and its peoples will be protected. At that point, no force will be able to stop activism across the frontiers and South Asia will begin to tackle pollution and dislocation as one.
Q1. According to the passage, what is the drawback of the popular ‘river-training’ prescription under inherited Western engineering canon?
A. It doesn’t consider how to de-silt a deep reservoir when it fills up with sand and mud
B. How to save natural drainage by highways and railway tracks elevated above the flood line
C. It does not factor in the natural silt carried by rivers of the Himalaya.
D. Both B and C
E. None of these
Option C is the correct answer choice. Option C can be traced from the 5th paragraph of passage
Q2.Why author finds the government responsible for the paced ecological imbalance and destruction?
A. Government in each country is following the populist consumerism theory
B. Government in countries are neither addressing the issue nor they are getting it.
C. Government in countries are not taking the lead on cross-border environmentalism.
D. All of the above
E. None of these
Option D is the correct answer choice. Option B can be traced from the 1st paragraph of passage
Q3. According to the passage why South Asian societies are unable to discuss the environmental trends at the regional inter-country level?
A. As polities are able to neither fathom nor address the degradation
B. As formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech has totally vanished in geopolitics
C. Today they stand unprepared when the challenges have greatly multiplied and deepened
D. Both A and C
E. None of these
Option B is the correct answer choice. Option B can be traced from the 2nd paragraph of passage
Q4. Which of the following options explain the most suitable meaning of the phrasal verb ‘done in’ used?
A. To make something happen
B. Extremely tired
C. Be unwilling to tolerate or be bothered with
D. In a situation so bad that it is impossible to get out
E. None of these
option B is the most suitable answer choice.
‘Done in’- extremely tired.
Q5.What are the reasons that the subcontinent is running out of the water resources?
A. Industrialization and urbanization
B. Continuation of the old irrigation model based on flooding the fields
C. By continuous use of run-of-river hydroelectric schemes
D. Natural drainages are being destroyed by highways and railway tracks elevated above the flood line
E. All of the above
option E is the most suitable answer choice as all the given statements are true. Option (a), B and C can be traced from the 4th paragraph of passage