Ecologically Sensitive Urbanization in India: Lessons from Europe

By Ishita Puri, St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Urbanization spurs a unique set of issues for both human and ecological well being, blemished by economic disparity and environmental degradation. In developing countries like India, urban spaces are the motors of the economy and generators of wealth. While it is difficult for a resource-rich and densely populated India to sustainably fulfill the loft demands of urbanization for food, energy and water and accommodation of increasing waste and emissions, certain efficacious models adopted by European countries can highlight the way forward.


Assessing India’s ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ Procedure 

     By Riya Mathur, SRCC, Delhi.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) refers to the formal process undertaken to understand the environmental consequences of any development project or business plan upon its implementation. It is thus an efficient tool to identify projects which can be executed with the best possible combination of economic and environmental considerations. The need for environmental clearance in India arose when the Planning Commission required a comprehensive examination of several upcoming river valley projects around 1976-77. Later the Environmental Protection Act of 1986 made EIA mandatory in the year 1994.


Clean and Affordable Energy-The Way Forward for India

Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in the UN Sustainable Development Summit, 2015 by all member countries of the United Nations. Countries agreed upon The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, known as ‘Transforming Our World’, which is a shared blueprint for the development and prosperity of people and the planet. It comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are to be achieved by all countries by 2030. These goals provide a holistic approach to move towards sustainable development covering poverty alleviation, health, education, growth, clean energy, and other areas. Certain targets and indicators have been agreed upon to quantify the progress towards these goals.  (more…)

Climate Change & Food Policies in the age of Social Media



If the current policies of India are to be critically examined, the response aims to focus on short-term and ad-hoc goals rather than long term sustainable solutions. Current social protection programmes are deemed expensive in nature and are based on a narrow understanding of people’s need. An important factor in the adaptation process is to measure the concrete effects of climate change on food production and agriculture. A deep understanding of how these effects play out on different aspects of food policy is what is essential for the country to avoid a national level food crisis. (more…)

Sea Level Rise: The Silent Disaster

Sea-level rise is one of the major challenges identified in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special ReportGlobal Warming of 1.5°C’. It is almost certain that we will experience at least one meter of sea-level rise, with some models estimating this will happen within the next 80 years, inducing serious implications in the form of damage to infrastructure, loss of land and displacement of communities. Even if we succeed in limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees, sea levels will continue to rise for centuries to come, owing to the emissions we have already locked in. While living on the coast has always come with a certain level of flooding and erosion risks, climate change will alter our coastlines and we must prepare for this new reality.


The Himalayan Urgency: Ecological Consequences of Progress

By Nitika Grover, Amity Law School, Noida.

Extending from the Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east, the Himalayas stretch across six countries of which India triumphs in terms of area. It is spread across ten administrative States namely Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and two hill regions of Assam and West Bengal. In India the strategic position of entire northern boundary of the Himalayas cover up a total of 95 districts. (more…)

Fairs, Forts and Forests: Touring the Environment of Rajasthan

By Ishita Puri, St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

According to Lucy Long, the basis of tourism is perception of otherness, of something being different from the usual.” In this sense, India does enjoy a vibrant and unique diversity of natural spaces – from the glaciers of the Himalayas to the backwaters of Kerala. Tourism is amongst the fastest growing sectors in the country and Rajasthan captures a major part of the industry with its lavish palaces, historic forts and deserts. In 2018, Rajasthan accounted for 2.7% of domestic tourist visits and 6.1% of the foreign tourist visits. Thus, a critique of the predicament of tourism on the ecology of Rajasthan becomes apposite to the discussion. (more…)

Global Carbon Project: Course Correction for Carbon Consumption

By Shashank Shekhar Shukla, Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh.

“Limiting global warming to the 2015 Paris Agreement goal would need Carbon Dioxide emissions to reach net zero by about 2050.”

Last month, levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high. This continuing trend means that future generations will have to face increasingly severe impacts of climate change. We are already witnessing some of these impacts in the form of global warming, extreme weather, and the rise of sea levels. (more…)

Central Pollution Control Board: A story of wasted potential?

By Drashti Vadhel, Rizvi College of Engineering, Mumbai.

Rapid industrialization in the country, coupled with an emphasis on the development of a “Modern India” has led to an increase in the amount of pollutants being generated everyday. The economic growth of India has come at the cost of deterioration of its environment. Be it in the form of harmful and toxic gases being emitted by the industries or contamination of our natural water bodies, the noxious presence of pollution can be witnessed throughout the spectrum. (more…)

Goa: Surging Tourists and Dwindling Beauty

By Akshat Jain, Madras School of Economics, Tamil Nadu.

Anna decided to quit her desk job in UK in 2012 and become a digital nomad permanently living in Goa. She was amazed by the sun-kissed beaches, vibrant environment and the multi-cultural society of Goa. Like Anna, thousands of foreign tourists come to the “Rome of the East” every year, seeking an experience of a lifetime. Goa has been a top tourist destination in India for both foreign as well as domestic travelers for decades. Since 2012, as per the data issued by the Department of Tourism in Goa, there has been an increase of 187% in the total number of tourists in the State. Such an exponential rise in the popularity of the State among tourists has harmed its environment and has disturbed the ecological balance. The serene beaches are now muddled with plastic and used bottles. Amid the generation of more than 7 million tonnes of waste per year, Goa has now declared a war on pollution by pledging to go plastic-free by the year 2022. (more…)