EnglishRead the following passage carefully:With a population of 1.39 billion, India is the world’s second most populous country. It is the seventh largest country in the world with an area of 3.288 million sq. kms. The country is home to vast agro-ecological diversity. India is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses and jute, and ranks as the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruit and cotton. It is also one of the leading producers of spices, fish, poultry, livestock and plantation crops. Worth $ 3.46 trillion, India is the world’s fifth largest economy.India’s climate varies from humid and dry tropical in the south to temperate alpine in the northern reaches and has a great diversity of ecosystems. Four out of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots and 15 WWF global 200 eco-regions fall fully or partly within India. Having only 2.4 percent of the world’s land area, India harbours around eight percent of all recorded species, including over 45,000 plant and 91,000 animal species.Agriculture, with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihoods in India. 70 percent of its rural households still depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood, with 82 percent of farmers being small and marginal. Diversification of agricultural livelihoods through agri-allied sectors such as animal husbandry, forestry and fisheries has enhanced livelihood opportunities, strengthened resilience and led to considerable increase in labour force participation in the sector.However, India still has many growing concerns. As the Indian economy has diversified and grown, agriculture’s contribution to GDP has steadily declined. While achieving food sufficiency in production, India still accounts for a quarter of the world’s hungry people and is home to over 190 million undernourished people. Incidence of poverty is now pegged at nearly 30 percent. As per the Global Nutrition Report, India ranks 114th out of 132 countries on under-5 stunting and 120th out of 130 countries on under-5 wasting and 170th out of 185 countries on prevalence of anaemia. Anaemia continues to affect 50 percent of women including pregnant women and 60 percent of children in the country.While agriculture in India has achieved grain self-sufficiency, the production is resource intensive, cereal centric and regionally biased. The resource intensive ways of Indian agriculture raise serious sustainability issues too. Increasing stress on water resources of the country would definitely need a realignment and rethinking of policies. Desertification and land degradation also pose major threats to agriculture in the country.The social aspects around agriculture have also been witnessing changing trends. The increased feminisation of agriculture is mainly due to increasing rural-urban migration by men, rise of women-headed households and growth in the production of cash crops which are labour intensive in nature. Women perform significant tasks, both in farm as well as non-farm activities. Their participation in the sector is increasing but their work is treated as an extension of their household work, and adds a dual burden of domestic responsibilities.India also needs to improve its management of agricultural practices on multiple fronts. Improvements in agriculture performance has weak linkage in improving nutrition. The agriculture sector can still improve nutrition through multiple ways: increasing incomes of farming households, diversifying production of crops, empowering women, strengthening agricultural diversity and productivity, and designing careful price and subsidy policies that should encourage the production and consumption of nutrient rich crops.Attempt the following questions based on the passage:The term ‘global biodiversity hotspots’ [second paragraph] mean

Read the following passage carefully:

With a population of 1.39 billion, India is the world's second most populous country. It is the seventh largest country in the world with an area of 3.288 million sq. kms. The country is home to vast agro-ecological diversity. India is the world's largest producer of milk, pulses and jute, and ranks as the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruit and cotton. It is also one of the leading producers of spices, fish, poultry, livestock and plantation crops. Worth $ 3.46 trillion, India is the world's fifth largest economy.

India's climate varies from humid and dry tropical in the south to temperate alpine in the northern reaches and has a great diversity of ecosystems. Four out of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots and 15 WWF global 200 eco-regions fall fully or partly within India. Having only 2.4 percent of the world's land area, India harbours around eight percent of all recorded species, including over 45,000 plant and 91,000 animal species.

Agriculture, with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihoods in India. 70 percent of its rural households still depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood, with 82 percent of farmers being small and marginal. Diversification of agricultural livelihoods through agri-allied sectors such as animal husbandry, forestry and fisheries has enhanced livelihood opportunities, strengthened resilience and led to considerable increase in labour force participation in the sector.

However, India still has many growing concerns. As the Indian economy has diversified and grown, agriculture's contribution to GDP has steadily declined. While achieving food sufficiency in production, India still accounts for a quarter of the world’s hungry people and is home to over 190 million undernourished people. Incidence of poverty is now pegged at nearly 30 percent. As per the Global Nutrition Report, India ranks 114th out of 132 countries on under-5 stunting and 120th out of 130 countries on under-5 wasting and 170th out of 185 countries on prevalence of anaemia. Anaemia continues to affect 50 percent of women including pregnant women and 60 percent of children in the country.

While agriculture in India has achieved grain self-sufficiency, the production is resource intensive, cereal centric and regionally biased. The resource intensive ways of Indian agriculture raise serious sustainability issues too. Increasing stress on water resources of the country would definitely need a realignment and rethinking of policies. Desertification and land degradation also pose major threats to agriculture in the country.

The social aspects around agriculture have also been witnessing changing trends. The increased feminisation of agriculture is mainly due to increasing rural-urban migration by men, rise of women-headed households and growth in the production of cash crops which are labour intensive in nature. Women perform significant tasks, both in farm as well as non-farm activities. Their participation in the sector is increasing but their work is treated as an extension of their household work, and adds a dual burden of domestic responsibilities.

India also needs to improve its management of agricultural practices on multiple fronts. Improvements in agriculture performance has weak linkage in improving nutrition. The agriculture sector can still improve nutrition through multiple ways: increasing incomes of farming households, diversifying production of crops, empowering women, strengthening agricultural diversity and productivity, and designing careful price and subsidy policies that should encourage the production and consumption of nutrient rich crops.

Attempt the following questions based on the passage:

The term ‘global biodiversity hotspots’ [second paragraph] mean

  1. A

    regions across the world that are both rich with life and at high risk for destruction.

  2. B

    regions across the world that are at risk due to rise in global temperature.

  3. C

    ecosystems that are homogenous and lack in diversity.

  4. D

    hot and humid biogeographic regions across the world.

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    Solution:

    Option 1 is correct. Global diversity hotspots are regions across the world that are both rich in wildlife and at high risk for species destruction. Norman Myers introduced the hotspots concept. To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must meet two strict criteria:

    • It must have at least 1,500 vascular plants as endemics — which is to say, it must have a high percentage of plant life found nowhere else on the planet. A hotspot, in other words, is irreplaceable.

    • It must have 30% or less of its original natural vegetation. In other words, it must be threatened.
    Options 2, 3 and 4 contain incorrect definitions of global biodiversity hotspots.

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