Are natural disasters man-made?

Over the last few months, since onset of monsoon in India, we have been confronted with the news of frequent floods, torrential rains and landslides costing us hundreds of lives and hundreds of thousands of rupees as economic damage to public and private properties. We have witnessed several floods, cloudburst and landslides in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand followed by torrential rains in North Eastern states over a span of three to four months.

While the increased rainfall has been attributed to warming of Arctic, anthropogenic activities have contributed to the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Experts believe that scale of natural disasters we see today, not just in India but across the world, are definitely man-made. Years of haphazard planning and construction has compounded the tragedy manifold. Development has viewed as growth in infrastructure and economic prospects only. Such a narrow view leaves environment and society out of the purview of development. It is such narrow development that leaves certain sections of society more prone to climate change risks and vulnerable to calamities.

Urban planning without an outlook for sustainability such as constructions on floodplains, encroaching of water bodies, removing paleochannels and destruction of natural drainage systems have changed the landscape of several places drastically. Certain selected cities in India have become the population hubs far exceeding the carrying capacity of these areas. This exacerbates the extent of loss and damage wreaked by hazards in these areas.

In a developing country like India, urbanization is an expected process but the agencies in charge of these towns and cities have not updates themselves to the changing demography. This can be mainly attributed to the lack of awareness and underestimation of risk due to lack of availability of updated and sufficient data. Data sets are often pretty old and do not directly provide sufficient information about the future. This is particularly true in the Himalayan regions where the

surveys and data available are scanty and outdated compared to the ever-changing geography of the region. Further, even in areas under constant monitoring and analysis by excellent institutions, there exists a disconnect between decision makers, stakeholders and specialized experts in the concerned area/ field.

This stresses on the need for collective action to build stronger systems from the bottom up. Awareness needs to be generated among the authorities against quick fix solutions while encouraging long term risk assessments, vulnerability assessments for infrastructural developments, better understanding of socio-economic driver of vulnerability during urban planning and adoption of sustainable development goals at every phase possible. The benefits of such actions and stronger systems have been seen in the way Mumbai, with its own Disaster Management Agency and engagement with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, performed much better during this monsoon season compared to Delhi which is seeing recurrent floods.

Daily Mains Answer Writing Practice

India was affected by natural disasters even before the framing of climate change as a catalyst. Explain how the frequency and intensity of hazards have increased in recent times?


Assam-based oncologist Ravi Kannan wins 2023 Ramon Magsaysay award
  • Surgical oncologist R. Ravi Kannan, Director of the Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC) in Assam, is one of the Ramon Magsaysay award winners for 2023.
  • He is credited with revolutionising cancer treatment in Assam through people-centric and pro-poor healthcare. · The citation on the website of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation says that under Dr. Kannan’s leadership, the CCHRC became a full-fledged comprehensive cancer hospital and research centre. From having limited facilities, the hospital now has 28 departments covering oncology, pathology, radiology, microbiology, epidemiology, tumour registry, and palliative care.
  • Dr. Kannan is also a recipient of the Padma Shri award. · The Ramon Magsaysay Award, often called the ‘Nobel Prize of Asia’, is a notable accolade that represents exceptional spirit and influential leadership.

probe finds

sparse plasma

on moon

  • RAMBHA – LP has completed the first in situ measurements of the surface-bound lunar plasma environment over the south polar region. · The Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere-Langmuir Probe (RAMBHA-LP) is a device used for characterising plasma. · It is named after American chemist Irving Langmuir, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on surface chemistry.
ONDC a pivotal

force set to

enhance digital


  • a pivotal force enhancing India’s digital commerce sector
  • projected to touch $350 billion by 2030 by Deloitte India · The ONDC framework, building on India’s Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), presents an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to connect and transact seamlessly
  • India’s forthcoming growth phaseshifts empowerment to consumers and SMEs, aligning with ONDC’s mission of illuminating Bharat.
  • On the agriculture front, through ONDC farmers could gain direct access to buyers while Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs) can establish direct connections with potential clients, bypassing intermediaries.
  • At present, e-commerce represents just about 4.3% of retail commerce in India.
After India,


Malaysia and


protest China’s


  • The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and India voiced opposition to China’s new standard map for 2023 · The map showed within China’s borders all of the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin, as well as the entire South China Sea.
  • It complicates the existing negotiations regarding territorial dispute with these states.
  • The drawing of territorial lines must be in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982).
Gabon General Brice Oligui Nguema to be sworn in as President after his military coup overthrew the 55-year old Bongo dynasty.

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