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MBARendezvous.com -India's content lead MBA website has started series of articles to equip MBA aspirants with general awareness with the hope that you would get success in various MBA entrance exams
Following article on”Sustainable Growth” is part of our series on general awareness:
Sustainable growth refers to the inexhaustible growth which is of continuous nature. Sustainable growth entails the concept of sustainable development. Brundtland Commission defined sustainable developments as the process in which needs of present generation are fulfilled without comprising the needs of the future generation. Important thing to note is that needs of neither present generation nor future generation are compromised.
Compliance of environmental standards is the most important tool in achieving sustainability. For a policy, program, project or plan to be sustainable, it has to take into consideration all three dimensions of sustainability such as economic growth, social equity and ecological integrity. The concept of sustainable growth is applicable to almost sectors of the economy but it is more relevant to the agriculture, mining, energy and their impact on environment.
Agriculture has been a way of life and continues to be the single most important livelihood of the masses. Agricultural policy focus in India across decades has been on self-sufficiency and self-reliance in food grains production. Considerable progress has been made on this front. Food grains production rose from 52 million tonnes in 1951-52 to 244.78 million tonnes in 2010-11. However, the current growth rate of agriculture cannot be called as sustainable on any account as its growth rate fluctuate every year ranging from negative to as much as 6 percent per annum depending upon the vagaries of monsoon. In 2011-12, it grew at 3.0 percent per annum, in 2010-11 6.6 percent while it was just 0.2 percent in the preceding year. Growth of agriculture is important not only for agriculture but other sectors also because of its huge backward and forward linkages.
Further the, the techniques of food production also not conducive for the sustainable growth. Major reasons responsible for this are excessive use of chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, flood irrigation, absence of water harvesting, etc are doing irreparable damage to the mother earth resources and put a question mark on the sustainable growth in agriculture.
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides distort the chemical balance soil which is unsuitable for the long term agriculture production. These chemical fertilizers and pesticides also seep with the irrigation water and seeps to the ground water and river water and pollutes them. Excessive extraction of ground water itself is a threat to environment sustainability and in many areas of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, tube -wells have dried and lands have become barren.
This cannot be called as sustainable growth and to follow sustainable growth, exploitation and conservation of resources must go together. While extracting the underground water, refill of the underground water must also be ensured through techniques like rain water harvesting and water savvy irrigation techniques like sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation etc. Moreover, bio fertilizers and bio-pesticides must be increasingly used along with their chemical counterparts to minimize their impact on environment.
The primary goal of sustainable industrial growth is to promote sustainable development at the global, regional, and local levels. Many Indian companies are recognizing the challenge of going global and looking at the implications of sustainable development.
They are promoting the sustainable use of renewable resources and minimal use of non-renewable ones. Though every industry should follow the goal not just of growth but of sustainable growth but it is more relevant for the industries like chemical, mining and energy. To foster sustainable growth of the chemical industry, there is a need for uniform standards in environmental management across the globe.
Every organization should be equipped with tools to monitor measure and evaluate the implications on the environment and risks at its areas of operation. This should be audited regularly by the organizations themselves and then reviewed by certified authorities.
Mining is an activity which utilizes natural resources and plays a crucial role in the economic as well as social development in the country. In enhancing the contribution of mining to sustainable development, actions at required are:
•To apply the precautionary and polluters pay principles making producers financially liable for the environmental effects from process production activity.
•Enhance the participation of local and indigenous communities to play an active stakeholder role in mining development through the life cycles of mines and post mining (after closure) activities. Participation of local community is important for mining sector because in India, the naxal menace is found in the areas which are rich in mineral wealth but constitute bulk of poor population.
•To actively promote eco-design, eco-labeling and other transparent, verifiable and non-misleading consumer information tools.
Though there are environmental standards for emission, effluent, and groundwater contamination in place as well as hazardous and toxic management guidelines. Nevertheless, mining industry still does not comply due to weak law enforcement, lack of monitoring capability and skilled human resources.
Without the growth of energy sector, growth of an economy is unthinkable. Similarly without the sustainable growth of energy sector, sustainable growth of economy cannot be conceived. In India, more than 40 percent of the energy needs of the country are provided by coal which is a non-renewable resource. Apart from this, petroleum products form another bulk for energy consumption.
With the faster growth, depletion of such resources is likely to be faster. In order to follow a sustainable growth path, share of renewable energy like wind, solar, hydro, tidal energy must increase more than that of non-renewable energy. Moreover, quality of public services must be improved so that people prefer public transport to personal transport. It can be done only if such services are efficient, cost effective and tame saving.
The time is running out and effective implementation of sustainable growth techniques is important for future generation to enjoy the fruits of environment friendly sustainable growth. The efforts required are not to be concentrated at one level but they should be followed at every level- local, regional, national and global as well.
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