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Ques 1: How do government certifications like the ISI certification help the consumer?
Ans: When a product has the ISI mark the consumer can be certain that the product is of good quality and it is safe. Hall mark certification assures the consumer of the purity of gold they buy.
ISO certification assures the consumer that a company has a good Quality Management System.
Consumers might be put to risk by the poor quality of products such as electrical appliances, food, medicines if the government had not set up the Bureau of Indian Standards.
Ques 2: How can the government ensure social justice?
Ans: Through making, enforcing and upholding certain laws, the government can control the activities of individuals or private companies so as to ensure social justice.
Ques 3: Write a brief note on the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Ans: Union Carbide was an American Company which had a factory in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, which produced pesticides. At midnight on 2nd December, 1984, methyl-isocyanides – a highly poisonous gas – started leaking from the factory plant.
Within three days, more than 8,000 people were dead. Hundreds of thousands were maimed. Most of those exposed to the poison gas came from poor, working-class families.
There are nearly 50,000 people today who are too sick to work. Among those who survived, many developed severe respiratory disorders, eye problems and other disorders. Children developed peculiar abnormalities.
The Bhopal disaster is frequently cited as the world’s worst industrial disaster.
Ques 4: What were the reasons for the Bhopal tragedy?
Ans: The Union Carbide tank’s alarms had not worked for 4 years. The steam boiler, intended to clean the pipes, was out of action and water sprays designed to “knock down” gas leaks were poorly designed. No action plans had been established to cope with incidents of this magnitude. The local authorities were not informed of the quantities or dangers of chemicals used and manufactured at the factory. These were the reasons for the Bhopal tragedy.
Ques 5: What are the reasons for the sharp differences in safety standards between the 2 Union carbide factories in the USA and India?
Ans: India has a high rate of unemployment and due to this workers are willing to work in unsafe conditions. One worker can easily replace another due to over population. Ignorance and the vulnerability of Indian workers is also another reason why the safety standards in the Indian factory were very much lower than the factory in USA.
Ques 6: In what way was the Government responsible for the Bhopal tragedy?
Ans: Safety laws were lax in India and these weak safety laws were not enforced.
Government officials refused to recognise the plant as hazardous and allowed it to come up in a populated locality. Though there was some objection regarding the safety violation, the government allowed the factory to start production as it was providing jobs for the local people.
The government did not take the initiative to ask the Union Carbide Company to shift to cleaner technology or safer procedures. Government inspectors continued to approve the procedures in the plant, even when there were repeated incidents of poisonous gas leaks. So the government has to bear certain responsibility for the tragedy.