[Mains Answerkey] GS1-Geography-2013 (part 3/3): Shale Gas policy, Atomic raw material, Sugar mills, textile decentralization, sample answers with explaination for Resource distribution & location of industries

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  1. GSM-1 Geography Answerkey Part 3 of 3
  2. [Energy 1] Shale Gas: Why not priority? (10m)
  3. [Energy 2] Atomic Energy (10m)
  4. [Location factors 1] Sugar mills southwards (5m)
  5. [Location factor 2] Textile Mills Decentralization (5m)
    1. Answer #1: Decentralized in terms of Geography
    2. Answer #2: Decentralized in terms of Process

GSM-1 Geography Answerkey Part 3 of 3

We are solving the geography questions from UPSC Civil Service Mains Examination that was held in December 2013. Total three parts in this article series:

  1. Physical geography (3Qs) click me
  2. Climate, environment, disaster (4Q) click me
  3. Energy and Industrial location (4Qs) done You’re HERE.
ENERGYIt is said the India has substantial reserves of shale oil and gas, which can feed the needs of country for quarter century. However, tapping of the resources doesn’t appear to be high on the agenda. Discuss critically the availability and issues involved.10currentIndia
ENERGYWith growing scarcity of fossil fuels, the atomic energy is gaining more and more significance in India. Discuss the availability of raw material required for the generation of atomic energy in India and in the world.10theoryIndia + World
LOCATIONDo you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in the Southern states of India ? Discuss with justification.5theoryIndia
LOCATIONAnalyse the factors for highly decentralized cotton textile industry in India5theoryIndia
total marks out of 70 in Geography303/4th theory3/4th India

Those who did not appear in UPSC Civil Service Mains 2013 exam, my advice is you first write above questions at home. Then check them with sample answers given below. Otherwise, merely reading the following article won’t help you master the answer writing skills.

GS1: Syllabus topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent).

[Energy 1] Shale Gas: Why not priority? (10m)

Q. It is said that India has substantial reserves of shale oil and gas, which can feed the needs of the country. However, tapping of resourced does not appear to be high on the agenda. Discuss critically the availability and issues involved. (10 marks | 200 words)

Source:

  • Since this is about current “policy”, those standard reference books are silent on it.
  • When shale gas oil discovery in US hit the news lines, many articles published in news-papers in euphoria (2012 era).
  • But then, The Energy resource Institute (TERI) published a document named “Look before you leap” -a policy brief on Shale gas exploration in July 2013.

Consequently, Hindu started publishing commentaries in July-September 2013:

  1. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/shale-gas-policy-a-game-changer-or-spoiler/article4924493.ece
  2. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/can-shale-power-india/article5142302.ece
  3. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/shale-gas-low-potential-high-risk/article5129236.ece?ref=relatedNews

Anyways, let’s first understand theory then we compress the answer

Explanation

What is Shale gas?

  1. Natural gas trapped within shale formations.
  2. Like Coalbed methane (locked in coal seams), Shale gas is locked in rock formation.
  3. Colourless, odourless, lighter than air.

What are the benefits of Shale gas?

  • Gas based powerplants are cheaper than coal based thermal powerplants.
  • Cleaner than coal-  generates 50% less Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Cheaper + clean = better than Nuclear and solar energy, which are quite expensive.
  • Can heat homes and industrial boilers, can run buses and lorries. (experimental basis)
  • Petrochemical industry can convert it into plastics, fertiliser and other useful stuff.
  • Gas power stations are relatively cheap to build, beating nuclear power hands down in terms of capital costs, and in most cases they are also less expensive than renewables.

Distribution in India:

Cambay Basin, Assam-Arakan, Gondwana, Krishna-Godavari basin, Kaveri basin and the Indo-Gangetic plain.

Problems/ Issues involved?

While Shale gas offers a cheaper and cleaner fuel compared to coal and crude oil, but “All is not well”.

#1: WATER AVAILABILITY

  • To extract shale gas, companies employ “fracking” or “hydraulic fracturing” process.
  • They inject a mixture of water, chemicals and sands into the well at very high pressure. This creates numerous cracks in the shale rocks and thus entrapped gas is released.
  • After this process is over, Water is pumped back but it has many chemical residues and dissolved solid that pose grave environmental danger to soil fertility and aquifers. Obviously, it has to be treated before being released. But that’d raise the cost of production.
  • Given the massive amount of water necessary in fracking, it cannot be met through rainwater harvesting alone and if we utilize ground water, it may create scarcity of water for drinking and irrigation.

#2: LAND AVAILABILITY

  • Shale gas drilling requires way bigger sized land than natural gas or coal bed methane. Minimum 80-160 acres necessary but present shale gas policy is silent over the issue of Land acquisition and rehabilitation of people.

#3: GUAR GUM AVAILABILITY

  • Guar gum is used in the “fracking” process, to improve the viscosity of water.
  • However, given the boom in US shale industry, the prices of guar gum have skyrocketed. When accounted into production cost, the shale gas doesn’t appear that cheap compared to coal bed methane, which is both cheap, available at shallow depths and doesn’t require massive amount of water or land for extraction.

#4: SHALE GAS AVAILABILITY ITSELF

gascubic feet
USA Shale gas80-90 trillion
India Shale gas65 trillion
India coal bed methane (CBM)450 trillion
  • Given this moderate availability of shale gas, at present we are better off extracting CBM.
  • in future, when CBM is exhausted and there is new technology available to extract Shale gas with less water and land requirements, we should probe further into shale gas
  • Therefore, given above issues, Shalegas extraction doesn’t appear high on the agenda.

~480 words. Have to compress

Sample Answer: Shale Gas

Q. It is said that India has substantial reserves of shale oil and gas, which can feed the needs of the country. However, tapping of resourced does not appear to be high on the agenda. Discuss critically the availability and issues involved. (10 marks | 200 words)

Shale gas is a natural gas trapped within shale formations. It’s cleaner than coal and cheaper than nuclear and solar energy. We’ve potential reserves in Cambay, Krishna, Godavari, Kaveri and Indo-Gangetic basins, but challenges are many-

Geography Mains Answer Shale Gas extraction

#1:Water

  • Shale gas is extracted through “fracking” or “hydraulic fracturing” process, that requires millions of gallons of water.
  • After process is over, water is pumped back but it’s full of carcinogenic chemical and residues that pose grave thread to environment. Its treatment would raise cost of production.
  • Given the scarcity of water even for drinking and irrigation, its diversion for fracking would create further socio-economic problems.

#2: Land

  • Its Drilling requires more land than natural gas or coal bed methane. Minimum 80-160 acres necessary for each well. But Land acquisition and rehabilitation of people will be difficult, particularly in those fertile river basins of North and South India.

#3: Shale gas vs. CBM availability

  • Compared to Coal bed methane (CBM), our shale gas reserves are moderate. CBM is cheap, available at shallow depths and doesn’t require massive amount of water or land for extraction.

#4: Guar Gum prices

  • Guar gum is used in “fracking” process, to improve viscosity of water.
  • However, given the boom in US shale industry, guar gum prices have skyrocketed.

When all these factors are accounted in cost:Benfit, Shale gas doesn’t appear that cheap- environmentally OR economically under the present circumstances, hence not in the high priority policy agenda.

~240 words.

[Energy 2] Atomic Energy (10m)

Q. With growing scarcity of fossil fuels, the atomic energy is gaining more and more significance in India. Discuss the availability of raw material required for the generation of atomic energy in India and world. (10 marks | 200 words)

Similar questions in past exams:

  • (Geo Optional 1998) Bring out the present day position of exploitation and processing of nuclear minerals in India.
  • (GS Mains 1989) Name the minerals used in generating nuclear energy and the places where they are found in India.

Sources

  1. Spectrum, Geography Page 462 (Abroad), 620 (India)
  2. Surender Singh, Geography (TMH) Ch.8: Economic activities, Page 8.79 [Both India and Abroad]
  3. DR D.R. Khullar, India A Comprehensive Geography Ch.26 Energy resources, Page 692 (only India)
  4. TMH GS Manual Page 128 under Indian Geography (only India)
  5. India Yearbook Ch.25 on Sci-Tech. for theory + Indian locations.

I’ve deliberately ignore plutonium, lithium etc. because then one would need to even mention their “location”. It’s hard enough even to recall uranium and thorium locations in real life exam hall.

Answer key points

Indian Nuclear power program has three stage, first stage requires Uranium, second stage- creates plutonium from Uranium and third stage requires thorium. Therefore, among all the radioactive elements- uranium and Thorium are the most critical for generation of Nuclear Energy.

Uranium

  • Andhra: Tummalapalle in Kadapa District, one of the largest uranium reserves in the world.
  • Jharkhand: Hazaribaug, Jadugauda, Singhbhum.
  • UP: Saharanpur
  • Rajasthan: Udaipur, Jaipur
  • Uranium Corporation of India has also initiated projects to exploit this mineral from Lambapur Andhra and Domiasiat in Meghalaya. Efforts are made to explore sources in Andhra Pradesh (Tumalapalle) and Karnataka (Gogi) as well.
  • Worldwide the leading producers are Australia (Port Darwin, Rum Jungle), Canada (Lake Great Bear), Russia (South of Urals), Kazakhstan, Namibia, Niger and Uzbekistan.

Thorium

  • As compared to uranium, the geographical distribution of thorium is much more restrictive.
  • Largest deposits found in Malabar coast of Kerala. Sufficient to generate 3.5 lakh MW energy for 300 years.
  • USA (Florida, Idaho) and South Africa (Coastal areas) are among other important regions for Thorium.

~170 words.

moving to next category of questions.
(GS1) Syllabus Topic: factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

[Location factors 1] Sugar mills southwards (5m)

Q. Do you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in southern states of India? Discuss with justification (5 marks | 100 words)

Question has been asked in Geography optional in 1997 and 2009. (Albeit, did not ask why southern shift)

Sources

  1. Spectrum, Geography Geography, Ch. on industries: page 734
  2. Surender Singh, Geography (TMH) Singh: ch.15 on Geography of India, economic aspects page 15.49
  3. D. R. D.R. Khullar, India A Comprehensive Geography chap 24: Major Crops –sugar cane
  4. Mrunal’s Geography series (although hardly anything on North vs South: http://mrunal.org/2013/07/geography-location-factors-sugar-tea-coffee-rubber-and-cocoa-for-upsc-general-studies-mains-paper-1.html#257Explanation

Explanation

Sugar mills have be located close to sugarcane plantation, because

  1. sucrose content declines with time
  2. sugar accounts for only ~10% of the bulky sugarcane and therefore it is prohibitively expensive to transport sugarcane over long-distance in its original form.
  3. Mills have to open year around as their furnaces take time to heat up.
Traditional areas of sugarcane plantationNew areas of sugar cane plantation:
UP, Bihar – ie. Northern plainsKaveri basin, centre and south Maharashtra.
Poor irrigation facility and flooding condition.
  • Though southern areas do not receive rainfall around 150 cm,
  • but entire Kaveri basin has irrigation facility -> suitable for sugarcane plantation
face fog, chill and frost during winters and ‘loo’ in summer.
  • uniform temperature year around- due to proximity to equator.
Low sugar content in sugar cane
  • coastal tropical weather, moderating effect of ocean = higher yield and sugar content
crushing season shorter (Nov-feb)
  • longer (Oct-June)
mills have to be closed during winter time = not profitable in sugar industry
  • can work all around year.
problems of labour unions (And mafia elements)
  • Migrant laborers from Odisha, Bengal available.
Land locked areas, weak transportation facilities.
  • ports @Chennai and kochi. Large export market in South-east countries
  • Increasing disease proneness of sugarcane in the northern region has also contributed to southward shift in Sugarbelt.
  • Rattoning technology developed by Research insti. @Coimbatore(TN). This research institute was established here due to best climatic condition for the sugarcane cultivation.

~240 WORDS, HAVE TO COMPRESS

Sample Answer: Sugarmills why moving southwards

Q. Do you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in southern states of India? Discuss with justification (5 marks | 100 words)

Geography Mains Answer Sugarmills in India

In recent years, Sugar cultivation started shifting towards southern regions because:

  1. UP And Bihar face fog, loo, frost and flood like conditions, While Southern States have Uniform temperature and irrigation facilities throughout the year.
  2. Coastal tropical condition and moderating effect of Ocean leads to higher sugar yields, longer crushing season – enabling mills to work throughout the year.
  3. Increasing disease proneness of sugarcane in the traditional sugar belt in northern region.

Sugar mills have be to setup near cultivation areas because (i) bulky & weight-losing nature of raw material (ii) Sucrose content rapidly declines with time. Therefore, as sugar cultivation belt started moving southwards, the mills followed them.

Addition “pull” factors are (i) Labourers less unionized than Northern Counterparts (ii) Proximity to Ports at Chennai and Kochi creates additional opportunities for export.

~130 words

[Location factor 2] Textile Mills Decentralization (5m)

Q. Analyse the factors for the highly decentralised cotton textile industry in India. [5m | 100 words]

Question has been asked in Geography optional 1979, 1982, 1985, 1996, 1999 and 2000.

Two possible answers:

Answer #1: Decentralized in terms of Geography

Sources:

Explanation

  • Traditionally Maharashtra and Gujarat were the main areas for cotton cultivation & textile industries.
  • But Cotton as a raw material=lightweight, non-perishable.
  • Cotton to yarn/textile =hardly any weightloss.
  • Therefore, proximity to raw material site=not essential, doesn’t offer great cost-saving in transportation, unlike sugar, cement or steel industry.
  • With expansion of irrigation facility across India, the cotton growing area has also expanded.
  • Result=other factors become more important in industrial location viz.
    1. nearness to market
    2. nearness to waterbody (for dyeing, bleaching)
    3. Energy to run powerlooms and textile machines
    4. cheap labour supply
    5. availability of capital/finance

Gradually industry shifted towards small towns and cities, with growth of handlooms and power loom industry. This industry require little capital and labour compared to mills. They can be set up easily wherever raw material can be transported- be it Jaipur, Jodhpur, Indore or Amritsar.

Compress

Q. 23 (b) Analyse the factors for the highly decentralised cotton textile industry in India. [5m | 100 words]

  • Traditionally, cotton industry in India is largely concentrated in cotton growing areas of peninsula, Like Gujarat, Maharastra and Tamil Nadu.
  • These areas had advantages of proximity of market, capital facility, cheap labour and proximity to port facility.
  • But cotton is lightweight, non-perishable material, there is hardly any weightloss during production.
  • As a result, proximity to raw material becomes non-critical factor in location. Production can be carried out anywhere with cheap labour, energy and water supply is available for dyeing.
  • Gradually industry shifted towards small towns and cities – be it Jaipur, Jodhpur, Indore or Amritsar.

~95 words.

Answer #2: Decentralized in terms of Process

As per http://pib.nic.in/feature/feyr2000/fjan2000/f210120001.html , “decentralised” means, handloom and power loom sector within textile.

Geography of India, R.C.Tiwari chapter 20: Textile industries; one sub- topic named “competition from decentralised sector” (pg no.611, 5th edition, Prayag Pustak Bhawan) which also suggest same meaning from above.

So, relying upon above sources, question demands to know “why handloom and power loom industry exists in India?”

Q. Analyse the factors for the highly decentralised cotton textile industry in India. [5m | 100 words]

Handloom industry:

  • Historic reasons: India has been hub of handloom textile since ancient times- families pursing this profession for many generations.
  • Govt. Incentives: Handloom industry considered highly labor-intensive, beneficial to village economy and women empowerment. Therefore government aids them with measures such as Integrated Village Handloom Development scheme and National Silk Yarn Scheme.

Power loom industry:

  • Economic Reasons: Less Capital-intensive, requires small machinery, can be setup even at household level.
  • Govt. Incentives: Given their role in employment generation, government aids them under TUFS (Technology Up gradation Fund Scheme), Power loom Service Centres, Workers Insurance Scheme and variety of export incentives.

~100 words.

THE END of Geography answerkey under GS1. Remaining will be published soon.

Credits:

  1. Inputs: Rajtanil and Chandradeo
  2. Diagrams: Rajtanil

Visit Mrunal.org/Geography for more, especially world geography.

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Environment by ShankarIAS
  3. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  4. Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Hindi | English)
  5. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  6. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  7. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  8. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  10. School Atlas
  11. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha


So far 21 Comments posted

  1. Deepika

    Thanks for your inclusive immense eefforts

  2. Aashi

    loved the hand drawn maps!! appreciate your help!

  3. sunaina

    plz suggest books for history..pls any1…for gs….deepika aashi

  4. Sudhir

    sir did you draw the maps for our understanding or did you intend to put them as a part of the answers? please clarify

  5. saumitra pandey

    great , sir plz upload ans for polity gs II paper

  6. himanshi

    Sir…but what about other remaining questions of paper. How to deal with them too.

  7. mrithyunjaya b u

    sir please explain the analysis of sociology, polity, public administraction and international relation

  8. ankit

    sir pls suggest books for geography for mains ………
    i have covered ncert …………………… is there need for any other book for geography???

    1. ashif

      same here i also covered ncert . is there need for any other book for geography in mains gs???plz rply…..

  9. रवि कुमार

    धन्यवाद महोदय!

    1. vijayapriya

      thank u sir

  10. Arpit Rathi

    mrunal bhai ,pls let me know the books of geography for exclusive gs-1 main,actually this list is combined list .Pls help .Thanks

  11. chaitanya

    thank you for sharing this material sir please suggest any economy book for prelims

  12. sandip pathak

    Mrunal Sir,
    I could not find the question related to cotton textile in optional paper (2000).

  13. rajbeer singh

    sir thank you very much.
    please upload answer key for the other general studies paper with suggested books.
    thank you.

  14. Anupam

    Mrunal sir,

    you are requested to write details answer like this to the Geography Mains optional also.

    Thanks

  15. rasika

    sir wanna jus thnk u fr ur grt support…thnx alot n ..god bless u …n help u in all ur dreams…

  16. bharat

    I am very appreciate you sir for your immence effort.

  17. himanshu malhotra

    sir i am not able to find a gòod article on coalbed methane.
    can you please help me for it?

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