Indian – Climate Change UPSC NOTE

 Health vulnerability faced by India's population due to climate change 

  • More than half of India’s population, living in 344 districts, face high or very high health vulnerability induced by climate change. 

  • People are increasingly being exposed to the effects of climate change, such as prolonged summers, heavy and unpredictable rains, floods and droughts, and rising sea levels and melting glaciers

  • They fall ill more often, face a greater risk of future ailments, lose livelihoods, get pushed into poverty, and are forced to migrate

  • People fight and try to adapt to these changes and prepare themselves better for future events.

  • Vulnerability is a vector produced out of the dynamics between exposure and sensitivity on the one hand and people’s ability to adapt or fight on the other.

  • The same exposure may not have the same health consequences for everyone. 

  • People who are exposed to higher green cover, have better living conditions, education, secured work, better social safety nets and resilient health systems would be able to adapt to the changes and mitigate the consequences better. 

  • People who live on the margins, whose livelihoods are not secured, and who have to pay when someone in the family falls ill will be more vulnerable to these changes.

  • Though there are certain universal aspects of climate change, the nature of exposure is diverse and localised — within a State, different regions or districts have different levels of exposure

  • While there must be certain universal strategies, adaptation and mitigation efforts and strategies must be localised.

  • We draw on the vulnerability assessment framework introduced by the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to measure district-level exposures, sensitivities, adaptive capacities (ACs) and health vulnerabilities. 

  • We carried out our analysis for all 640 districts of India (Census 2011) and used 50 indicators — 14 for exposure, 20 for sensitivity, and 16 for ACs — from 8 national data sources to construct separate indices for each of the three vulnerability components.

Study Findings

  • The findings suggest that 298 districts have high or very high levels of exposure

  • These districts house around 52% of India’s population

  • Almost 30% of India’s population living in 184 districts are faced with very high and high sensitivity

  • Around 153 districts, where a fifth of India’s population lives, have moderate and low AC.

  • The study also helps us identify the underlying causes of vulnerability which is essential in formulating appropriate multi-sectoral policy responses. 

  • Increasing public expenditure on health could have a significant impact on reducing out-of-pocket expenditure. 

  • Results suggest that poorly developed primary healthcare remains a major factor for high vulnerability in some districts which report high infant mortality rates and poor child health indicators

  • Robust primary healthcare has shown promise in effectively addressing preventable causes of mortality and morbidity in many States such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu


  • Tractable policy action needs a robust, dynamic data system. 

  • Our current health system data architecture is weak and incomplete. 

  • Institutions with access to data do not often collaborate or share data in public

  • People within the system hardly trust the data they themselves generate and rarely put the data to use. 

  • There is limited compliance from the private sector and a lack of appreciation within policy institutions for evidence-based policymaking.

  • The climate crisis calls for a radical rethinking of the developmental paradigm. 

  • None of this can be achieved if institutions of local self-governance are not engaged with the climate and health agenda. 



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Indian – Climate Change UPSC NOTE
Indian – Climate Change UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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