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1. What is the basic idea behind the SHGs for the poor? Explain in your own
The basic idea behind the SHGs for the poor is to make them self-sufficient in financial areas. It
is a small group comprising people in the rural areas who collect their savings, and loan these
out to members on an interest rate lower than what is charged by the informal sector. In
general, a SHG becomes eligible for loans from banks if it functions well for one year or so.
These loans are then used for creating self-employment opportunities for the poor. This makes
them economically capable and also frees them from the clutches of moneylenders.
The main objectives of the SHGs are:
1. To organize rural poor especially women into small SHGs.
2. To collect savings from their members.
3. To provide loans without collateral for a variety of purposes at cheaper rate of interest
and easy terms.
4. To provide a platform to discuss and act on a variety of social issues such as education,
health, nutrition, domestic violence etc.
Rural poor can solve their common problems with mutual help. Usually, the number of people
in a SHG is around twenty and they belong to similar socioeconomic background. Thus, the
basic idea is to foster a sense of co-operation among people who are among the poorest in
society, and don't have access to formal banking institutions.

2. What is the main criterion used by the World Bank in classifying different
countries? What are the limitations of this criterion, if any?
The main criteria for classification of countries provided by World Bank are:
Geographic regions: These groupings are primarily based on the regions used for
administrative purposes by the World Bank. There are two main variants: one, which includes
all economies, and one, which excludes high-income economies.
Income groups: Economies are currently divided into four income groupings:
1. Low
2. Lower-middle
3. Upper-middle, and
4. High.
Income is measured using gross national income (GNI) per capita, in U.S. dollars, converted
from local currency using the World Bank Atlas method. Countries are immediately reassigned
on July 1st each year, based on the estimate of their GNI per capita for the previous calendar
year. Income groupings remain fixed for the entire fiscal year (i.e., until July 1 of the following
year), even if GNI per capita estimates are revised in the meantime.
Operational lending categories: Economies are also divided based on the operational policies
of the World Bank. International Development Association (IDA) countries are those with low
per capita incomes that lack the financial ability to borrow from the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Blend countries are eligible for IDA loans but are also
eligible for IBRD loans because they are financially creditworthy.
1. GNI may be underestimated in lower-income economies that have more informal,
subsistence activities. It does not reflect inequalities in income distribution.
2. The Atlas method used to convert local currencies into a common U.S. dollar is based
on official exchange rates, which do not account for differences in domestic price

3. Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?

Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development has continued to evolve as
that of protecting the world’s resources and its true goal has been to control the exploitation of
world’s resources.
The aim of sustainable development is to balance economic, environmental and social needs,
allowing prosperity for now and future generations. It consists of a long-term, integrated
approach to developing and achieving a healthy community by jointly addressing economic,
environmental, and social issues and avoiding the over consumption of key natural resources.

There are four objectives of sustainable development:
1. Social progress and equality,
2. Environmental protection (afforestation, adopting ways to reduce pollution),
3. Conservation of natural resources (by harnessing natural resources other than fossil
fuels) and
4. Stable economic growth.
Economic growth should be supported and developing nations should be allowed a growth of
equal quality compared to the developed nations. Nations of the world must be allowed to
meet their basic needs of employment, food, energy, water and sanitation in a sustainable
manner. Thus, sustainability encourages conserving and enhancing the resource base, by
gradually changing the ways in which development is happening and use of technologies is
being done.

4. How is food security ensured in India?

Food security has been a matter of prime concern for India where about one-third of its
population is estimated to be absolutely poor and as many as one half of its children have
suffered from malnourishment over the last three decades.
Several important issues have emerged in the context of food security in India such as:
1. The liberalization of the economy and its impact on agriculture and food security;
2. The establishment of the WTO and the agreement on Agriculture;
3. Climate change and its impact on ways of food production and prices;
4. The prevalence of hunger and poverty coexisting with high levels of food stocks;
The Government in these ways has ensured food security in India:
1. Maintaining buffer stock.
2. Public Distribution System to act as a price support programme for the consumers. It
does not act as a permanent poverty alleviation measure. While it does provide some
immediate relief, it fails to provide enduring food security to the poor. It is important to
focus on strategies that reduce poverty and stabilize prices of food grains.
3. Promoting domestic production to meet the demands of the growing population (Green
Revolution and AMUL).

4. Various schemes and programmes such as minimum support prices for procurement
and storage of food grains, mid-day meals in schools, National Food Security Act, 2013,
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana etc.
Though the government has introduced food security and anti-poverty programmes but there
are critical gaps in terms of inclusion and exclusion errors. Despite the achievement of national
food self-sufficiency, the challenges have to be addressed effectively through sustainable
agricultural practices, better harvesting, and storage and market mechanisms.

5. Discuss the major reasons for poverty in India? Also lay emphasis on
government strategy of poverty alleviation?
Poverty and unemployment have been serious issues in India since long. Their reduction has
been one of the major goals of India’s development planning after 1947. Reasons for poverty in
India are as follows:
1. Demographic factors- Rapid growth of population has lowered the per capita income of
the country. People are constantly being added up in the labour force but there is
absence of enough opportunities of employment for them. This leads to disguised
unemployment in agriculture.
2. Economic factors such as low agricultural productivity, unequal distribution of land, lack
of availability of loans to farmers, indebtedness leading to farmer suicides, decline of
village industries have contributed to poverty for many decades.
3. Social issues like caste system led to subordination of low caste people and they could
not choose a profession beyond their caste. They have been aloof from economic
progress and education.
4. Political factors such as faulty practices of land revenue by British and exploitation of
resources to serve colonial interests weakened the base of Indian economy.
Government Strategy for Poverty Alleviation:
1. Rapid economic growth to have an increase in GDP in all sectors. Post-independence,
Mahalnobis model for industrial growth was adopted during the second five-year plan.
2. Accelerating human resource development requires greater investment in educational
facilities such as schools to promote literacy, technical training institutes and vocational
colleges to impart skills to the people (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Skill India).
3. The present government's strategy tries to address poverty as well as employment
generation through schemes like MGRENGA on one hand and Jan Dhan Yojana along

with other flagship schemes such as Make in India, Smart Cities, Deen Dayal
Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, Swachh Bharat, Digital India etc.
Over the years, the functioning of these programmes and their impact on the poor has
attracted a great deal of attention. They have been designed to address different facets of
poverty and their successful implementation require an appropriate policy framework,
adequate funds and an effective delivery mechanism.

6. Explain the concept of jet streams and its impact on climate of a region.
Jet streams are fast flowing (at speeds crossing 160 km/hr), narrow (width of few hundred
kms), meandering shaped (like a river) air currents in the atmosphere of some planets
including Earth and Jupiter.
On Earth, they flow from West to East and are located near tropopause (interface between
troposphere and stratosphere). They form near the breaks in the tropopause, at the transitions
between Polar, Ferrrel and Hadley circulation cells. They are of two types:
1. Polar jets – They flow at altitudes of 9-12 km and 300 – 60O latitude. In Northern
Hemisphere they exist in North America, Europe and Asia and, in Southern Hemisphere
in Antarctica.
2. Subtropical jets- These relatively weaker streams flow at an altitude of 10-16 km and
latitude near 30O
The factors responsible for flow of jet streams are atmospheric heating caused by solar
radiation and Coriolis force caused by planet’s rotation on its axis. Jet streams are created at
convergence region of warm air (of relatively high pressure) and cold air.
Their influence on weather can be substantial. They can drive and direct storms creating
devastating droughts and floods. They influence the path of temperate cyclones and Indian
monsoon pattern. Latitudinal heat balance is maintained due to mass exchange of air. The
northern polar jet stream is the most important for aviation (it can reduce the flight durations
to a good extent) and weather forecasting. Scientists are also harnessing ways to harness the
huge wind energy within these streams in future.

7. Give a detailed analysis of El Nino and it global impact.
El Nino is the warm phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that reduces the impacts
of trade winds across Pacific Ocean and creates warm air to reach towards western coasts of
North and South America.
ENSO is an irregularly periodical variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the
tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, affecting much of the tropics and subtropics. The warming
phase is El Nino (Little Boy) and the cooling phase having just the opposite effects is La-Nina.

During a normal year, trade winds blow across equatorial region from east to west. This causes
warm wet low-pressure air to blow towards Australia and South-East Asian regions. So, warm
air in this region rises and clouds create rain here. Walker circulation then causes cooler and
drier water and air to return to the East (western sides of America). During an El Nino event,
this effect of trade winds is reduced or reversed and, warm air reaches towards western sides
up to Peru, Ecuador, etc. So, this warm air causes heavy rains in these regions and Australia and
South-East Asia remain drier.

Global Impact:
1. El Nino effect causes flooding, heavy rains and storms in some parts of the Earth, while
other parts experience droughts. It also delays monsoons in tropics like in India.

2. Reduction in easterly trade winds limit upwelling of cold nutrient-rich deep water, and
its economic effect on fishing industry can be serious in regions like Peru.
3. It can affect commodity prices and the macroeconomy of different countries. El Nino is
also correlated with changes in the incidents of some epidemic diseases.

8. Analyze how the process of air masses contributes to global heat exchange.
Air Masses are large (covering hundreds of square miles) volumes of air defined by its
temperature and water vapour content. They adapt to the characteristics of surfaces below
them. Therefore, they are classified according to latitude (Equatorial, Thermal or Polar) and
source region (Continental or Marine). Thermal air mass is warm while polar are cold and,
continental air masses are dry while marine is wet. There are five major source regions:
1. Warm tropical and subtropical oceans;
2. The subtropical hot deserts;
3. The relatively cold high latitude oceans;
4. The very cold snow-covered continents in high latitudes;
5. Permanently ice-covered continents in the Arctic and Antarctica.
Accordingly, following types of airmasses are recognised:
1. Maritime tropical (mT);
2. Continental tropical (cT);
3. Maritime polar (mP);
4. Continental polar (cP);
5. Continental arctic (cA).

These air masses move from their source locations to other locations due to pressure
differences on Earth and cause various metrological phenomena. The Arctic or Polar Air mass
that originates in polar regions makes a region cold while, Equatorial Thermal air mass
originating near equatorial regions makes a place warmer. This creates heat exchange across
various latitudes on Earth.
Further, when two air masses of distinct characteristics meet, fronts are created. Cold fronts
which push warm air mass up creates thunderstorm, cumulonimbus clouds, and severe
weather conditions. Warm fronts, on the other hand, is less severe and causes precipitation
and fog.
In this way, air masses having distinct temperature and humid conditions cause heat exchange
across different latitudes of the globe, as they move across them.

9. Explain the concept of fronts and its classification.

Weather Front is a boundary separating two masses of air of different densities. Air masses
have different temperature and humidity depending on their source of origin. So, they can be
cold or warm and dry or wet. It causes most of the meteorological phenomena outside the
tropics like rain, fog, thunderstorms, etc.

1. COLD FRONT: It occurs when a rapidly moving cold air mass runs into slow moving
warm air mass. Colder air mass being denser, remains close to the ground and less
dense warm air mass rises vertically upwards. This results in heavy rains, strong winds
and severe weather conditions associated with formation of cumulonimbus clouds.
2. WARM FRONT: It occurs when a slowly moving warm air mass collides with a slowly
moving cold air mass. Warm air mass being less dense rises vertically upwards. Weather
conditions are less severe than cold front and precipitation and fog occur accompanying
different types of clouds depending on their altitudes.
3. STATIONARY FRONT: It occurs when neither cold nor warm air mass have enough force
to move each other when they meet. Water vapour in the warm front condenses into
rain, snow, fog or clouds.
4. OCCLUDED FRONT: This complex front is formed when warm air mass is caught
between two cold air masses. The cold air mass moves below and warm air mass is cut-
off (occluded) from the ground. Condensation of warm air mass causes rain.

10. Continentality and maritime influence are important factors which

determine climate of region. Discuss and Illustrate.
Climate is the statistics of weather over long periods of time and is measured by variations in
temperature, wind, etc in a region. Several factors affect climate of a region like latitude,
altitude, continentality, ocean currents, etc. Water has higher heat capacity than land which is
the amount of heat required to raise its temperature by 1 O F. So, land heats up and cools down
more quickly than water. Water also keeps the heat trapped over a longer duration. Maritime
climate is influenced by oceanic air patterns. It has cool summers, warm winters and a minimal
change in temperature throughout the year. Continental climate, on the other hand, does not
have the stabilizing influence of a neighbouring large body of water. So, summers are hot,
winters are more severe and temperature changes are more.
San Diego, California located on western coast of USA has maritime influence due to nearby
Pacific Ocean. So, westerlies prevailing here make the climate very pleasant round the year.
Temperature changes are only about 10O F between January and July.
Omaha, Nebraska located in central region of USA has no maritime influence and so,
temperature change is to the extent of 50O F between January and July.
New York, though it also lies on coastal region of USA has lesser maritime influence then San
Diego. This is because it lies on the eastern coast and so, westerlies blowing from West to East
between 30 and 60 degrees latitude have lesser influence of oceanic water here.