Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam: Paper - II (General Studies – I) - 30 January 2019

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-II: General Studies - I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

Q. “In spite of adverse environmental impact, coal-mining is still inevitable for development.” Discuss. (250 words)

Model Answer


  • Introduction
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion


Environment refers to the total planetary inheritance and the totality of all resources. Coal mining leads to emission of methane (Green house gas), explosion,  fire, topographical alteration, lose of wildlife, mine subsidence, flooding due to failed slurry dams,    runoff of water causing contamination of water bodies and harm caused to marine life,  flyash,  noise pollution and radiation due to traces of radioactive elements present in the coalmine. Despite such ill-impacts coal is difficult to be replaced effectively.


Development is synonymous to industrial growth, practically.   India is 4th largest consumer of power and 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases, in the world.

Current energy mix of India

Power is required in the development of a country and its human resources. Coal is utilized for thermal power generation (2/3rd approx. of total), despite commitments made under UNFCCC Paris agreement (COP21), INDCs target and the underlying targets of renewable energy generation target of 175 GW by 2022, the renewable energy generation is expensive, infrastructure intensive and thus not really making any significant headways. Moreover, India is endowed with large reserves of coal in Chotanagpur region and Neyveli, Tamil Nadu.

Coal is vastly utilized in metallurgy such as steel production therefore it  becomes on important  factor in setting up of steel industries near the coal field site (Weber’s industrial coactions theory). Steel, in turn, is vital for infrastructure development which is the foundation of economic growth and develop mat. Besides, coal-mining is the important source of employment for locals and source of revenue to the government.


India has recently overtaken France, to become 6th largest economy and it is eyeing for a faster growth rate. Make-in-India is aiming to push the manufacturing in India. India aspires to become a super-power by expanding its economy. International Solar Alliance (ISA) and embarking on the path to achieve INDCs target is appreciable however, it increases the unavoidability of Coal and its mining for achieving higher growth and developments.

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