NCERT Textbook - Environment and Sustainable Development Commerce Notes | EduRev

Economics Class 12

UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Environment and Sustainable Development Commerce Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


162 INDIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 After studying this chapter, the learners will
? understand the concept of environment
 analyse the causes and effects of ‘environmental degradation’ and ‘resource
depletion’
 understand the nature of environmental challenges facing India
 relate environmental issues to the larger context of sustainable
development.
ENVIRONMENT AND
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
9
Page 2


162 INDIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 After studying this chapter, the learners will
? understand the concept of environment
 analyse the causes and effects of ‘environmental degradation’ and ‘resource
depletion’
 understand the nature of environmental challenges facing India
 relate environmental issues to the larger context of sustainable
development.
ENVIRONMENT AND
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
9
163 ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
9.1 INTRODUCTION
In the earlier chapters we have
discussed the main economic issues
faced by the Indian economy. The
economic development that we have
achieved so far has come at a very heavy
price—at the cost of environmental
quality. As we step into an era of
globalisation that promises higher
economic growth, we have to bear in
mind the adverse consequences of the
past development path on our
environment and consciously choose a
path of sustainable development. To
understand the unsustainable path of
development that we have taken and
the challenges of sustainable
development, we have to first
understand the significance and
contribution of environment to
economic development. With this in
mind, this chapter is divided into three
sections. The first part deals with the
functions and role of environment. The
second section discusses the state of
India’s environment and the third
section deals with steps and strategies
to achieve sustainable development.
9.2  ENVIRONMENT — DEFINITION AND
FUNCTIONS
Environment is defined as the total
planetary inheritance and the totality
of all resources. It includes all the biotic
and abiotic factors that influence each
other. While all living elements—the
birds, animals and plants, forests,
fisheries etc.—are biotic elements,
abiotic elements include air, water, land
etc. Rocks and sunlight are all
examples of abiotic elements of the
environment. A study of the environment
then calls for a study of the inter-
relationship between these biotic and
abiotic components of the environment.
Functions of the Environment: The
environment performs four vital
functions (i) it supplies resources:
resources here include both renewable
and non-renewable resources.
Renewable resources are those which
can be used without the possibility of
the resource becoming depleted or
exhausted. That is, a continuous
supply of the resource remains
available. Examples of renewable
resources are the trees in the forests and
the fishes in the ocean. Non-renewable
resources, on the other hand, are those
which get exhausted with extraction
and use,  for example, fossil fuel (ii) it
assimilates waste (iii) it sustains life by
providing genetic and bio diversity and
(iv) it also provides aesthetic services
like scenery etc.
The environment is able to perform
these functions without any interruption
as long as the demand on these
The environment, left to itself, can continue to support life for millions of
years. The single most unstable and potentially disruptive element in the
scheme is the human species. Human beings, with modern technology, have
the capacity to bring about, intentionally or unintentionally, far-reaching
and irreversible changes in the enviornment.
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