Struggle of Assam from South Asian Climate change Migration and conflict - Daily Current Affair Article for UPSC, IAS, Civil Services and State PCS Examinations


  • Assam has been constantly struggling problems like NRC , floods, separatism, identity crisis. Somewhere the background of these problems are from South Asian problems.

Introduction :-

  • South Asia is one of the most affected region by climate change. High temperatures, intense weather, rising sea levels, increasing cyclonic activity in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, as well as flooding of the region's complex river systems along with poverty are the main problems of the region. Complex environmental problems coupled with high population density levels pose human and natural challenges. India and Bangladesh, in particular, will be most affected by the intensity of climate change impacts.

South Asian problems and Assam

  • South Asia is one of the most prone areas of climate change. The consequences of climate change will change the situation and weaken livelihoods in many areas. And extreme seasonal events and worsening conditions are likely to force many people to leave their homes temporarily or even permanently to another village, city, region or country.
  • Uncertainty about the specific implications of climate change and migration on security and stability is now becoming the main problem. The UN Secretary- General's 2009 report itself underlined that "unsuccessful adaptation of the local population as non-coordinated survival strategies will generate involuntary migration, competition with other communities or groups on limited resources, and governance crises in the local area"
  • The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center recently reported that Bangladesh is "already under pressure from growing demands for food and parallel problems arising from overfishing and contamination of agricultural land and water resources." Climate variability and anticipated global climate change affect this issue in particular.
  • It is also true that climate change will increase poverty , social tensions, leading to internal instability and conflict and providing additional reasons for migrating parts of the global population. Climate change will increase resource conflicts within and within countries, increase migration pressure on hundreds of millions of people, increase the number of humanitarian disasters, disrupt economies around the world and threaten military preparedness.
  • Earlier disasters also outlined the seriousness of the problems for the region. The September 2012 floods displaced millions of people in the northeastern state of Assam, while in 2009 Cyclone Aila displaced 2.3 million people in India and about 850,000 in Bangladesh.
  • Some time ago in Assam, there have been violent agitations and protests over problems like citizenship amendment, NRC. The recent floods in Assam have affected about 1.5 million people.
  • With this, mutual rivalry in the countries here is extremely problematic. Lakhs of refugees from Bangladesh were causing resource crisis in many regions including Assam. In this context, there was a long movement to bring NRC in Assam, in which there was loss of people and wealth.
  • Mainly "climate change, migration and conflict" is the main problem of South Asia. There is also a direct correlation between climate change, migration and conflict. The Indian border state Assam is also a place where all three factors converge.

Convergence of three factors in Assam: -

  • Assam is situated in the North-East region of India, which is connected to India by a land bridge called Siliguri Corridor. The states of the Northeast region are collectively called Seven Sisters and their cultures and traditions are more and more influenced by the borders of India as well as Southeast Asia. The consequences of climate change on both sides of the border, current political issues with migration, and Assam struggling with conflict in the region have to face climate change, migration and conflict collectively.
  • In addition to social, political, economic and demographic factors, deteriorating environmental conditions have further exacerbated the problem. Sudden and slow- onset climate change events can increase migration to both India and Bangladesh. Recent events in India and Bangladesh such as sudden onset events such as floods, cyclones, and storm surges can displace millions of residents in no time. Slow-start events — such as changes in rainfall, rising sea levels, and land degradation — can have detrimental effects on key economic sectors — such as agriculture, fisheries, and tourism that would not be appropriate for economic opportunity.
  • The internal and temporary displacement of the people of this region will probably be responsible for environmental changes and migration in the event of erosion. People can live in a new place for a few days, weeks, or months, or years before trying to settle in their home towns and cities. Rural-to-urban migration has occurred throughout India and Bangladesh and may be more demanding if climate change threatens rural areas, especially the agricultural sector.
  • No reliable numbers exist on Bangladeshi emigration. But any change in the current migration pattern from Bangladesh to India can have security consequences, especially in Assam. In the 1980s, a group called the All Assam Students' Union started a movement for the deportation of all alleged unauthorized Bangladeshi immigrants, stating that immigrants could affect their economy, security and political system as well as their local demographic structure Were staying. It is known as the Assam Movement and lasted until 1985, causing 7,000 deaths.
  • In addition, there are ethnic conflicts due to regional diversity there.
  • The conflict in Assam caused uproar across the country, highlighting the issue of unauthorized immigrants, which regularly becomes an issue during elections in Assam. In assessing the security challenges of climate change, Assam provides an example of several factors coming together in a complex way. Climate change will emphasize the prevailing migration patterns locally and internationally in Bangladesh. Efforts to solve these problems

Global effort: -

  • The world has been made aware of the problems of climate change on a global scale by the Government of India. Even after being a developing country, India is following the Paris Treaty in the world interest. But there are many countries including America which are opposing these climate treaties and getting separated from the treaty which will be a problem for everyone. Undoubtedly India will have to play its important role on this matter.

International effort: -

  • India is a member of the organizations of these regions, SAARC and BIMSTEC. A mechanism for disaster management has been established by SAARC in the area. India has helped the monsoon affected countries in this region by launching Project Weather. Along with this, talks are continuing with Bangladesh on refugee issues.

Regional Efforts: -

  • The NRC plan by the government will protect the interests of the local citizens of Assam. Which will increase the chances of survival by reducing resource crisis. However the Hon'ble Supreme Court had to intervene in its application.

Conclusions: -

  • Undoubtedly, this is a formidable problem in which SAARC inaction in diagnosis, the ambition of many countries including America and governance deficit are becoming important challenges. India's efforts for peace and development in the region are also commendable, but they are not enough. There is a need to work on many other fronts right now.

General Studies Paper 2 & 3

  • Governance International Relations and Environment and Ecology, Disaster Management

Mains Question:-

  • The South Asian crisis of climate change, migration and conflict has affected Assam the most. How these problems should be solved? Discuss?