Prelims level : Environment Mains level : GS-III Technology, Economic Development, Bio Diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News:

  • Monsoon rains in India are likely to be “normal” this year, says India Meteorological Department.


  • The Indian agriculture is considered a gamble against monsoon because agricultural activities over almost all parts of India are very much dependent upon the monsoon rainfall.
  • In fact, monsoon is the axis around which the India economy revolves. Hence, monsoon plays very important role in shaping Indian Economy.
  • In this article, we are giving the detrimental effects of Monsoon on Indian Economy.

Impact of Monsoon on the Indian Economy:

  1. Impact on Indian Agriculture: The agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy because more than 60% of Indian population engaged in agriculture, which shares around 5% in the Indian gross domestic product. In India, water is more valuable than gold for the farmers or the one who engaged in agriculture.

In case monsoon is favourable then we have a positive impact or if not favourable then then the prices of the goods increase and the services of other classes of people is diminished. Products of industry do not find a ready market and the supply of raw materials to industries also suffers.

  1. Impact on GDP (Gross Domestic Product): If monsoon fails then it will reduce the percentage points from the overall GDP growth of India. This will also have a detrimental effect on demand in the non-agricultural
  2. Impact on Balance of Trade: The balance of trade is also dependent on the unexpected and inexplicable changes in the monsoon as if the monsoon is favourable, we have a favourable balance of trade and if the monsoon is not favourable, we have a negative balance of The failure of the monsoon affects unfavourably the volumes and the balance of India’s foreign trade. The revenue of the government sharply decline due to the fall in the national income and the government is burdened with extra ordinary expenditures. Hence, we can say state’s revenue and income depends on the monsoon every year.
  3. Impact on the food supply: If monsoon failed, it will hamper the agricultural production, which would stroke on the food
  4. Impact on the hydro-power sector and irrigation facilities: Most of the Indian power project installed on the Perennial If monsoon fails, it would lower the water levels that have detrimental effects on the power generation as well as irrigation facilities.
  5. Impact on rural economy: India’s rural life revolving around agriculture and allied activities in small villages, where the overwhelming majority of the population As per the 2001 census, 72.2% of the population live in about 638,000 villages and the remaining 27.8% lives in more than 5,100 towns and over 380 urban agglomerations. The unseasonable and pre-monsoon rain damaged the crops, especially those areas where monsoon rain is adequate, and then it would hit the farm output and affects the rural demand.

About monsoon:

  • A monsoon is a seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing, or strongest, winds of a region. Monsoons cause wet and dry seasons throughout much of the tropics. Monsoons are most often associated with the Indian Ocean.
  • Monsoons always blow from cold to warm regions. The summer monsoon and the winter monsoon determine the climate for most of India and Southeast Asia.

Summer Monsoon

  • The summer monsoon is associated with heavy rainfall. It usually happens between April and September. As winter ends, warm, moist air from the southwest Indian Ocean blows toward countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The summer monsoon brings a humid climate and torrential rainfall to the sea areas.
  • India and Southeast Asia depend on the summer monsoon.

Winter Monsoon

  • The Indian Oceans winter monsoon, which lasts from October to April, is less well-known than its rainy summer equivalent. The dry winter monsoon blows from the northeast. These winds start in the air above Mongolia and north-western China.
  • Winter monsoons are less powerful than summer monsoons in Southeast Asia, in part because the Himalaya Mountains prevent much of the wind and moisture of the monsoons from reaching the coast. The Himalayas also prevent much of the cool air from reaching places like southern India and Sri Lanka, keeping them warm all year. Winter monsoons are sometimes associated with droughts.

what is EL NINO:

  • It is called El Nino Southern Oscillation. In normal times, when the tropical south Pacific Ocean experiences high pressure, alternatively the tropical Indian ocean experiences low pressure conditions. However, these pressure conditions are sometimes reversed, and results in low pressure in the Pacific and alternatively high pressure in the Indian ocean.
  • This is the periodic change in pressure conditions which is referred to as the Southern Oscillation. These changes in the pressure conditions being developed in the Pacific and Indian oceans are connected with the phenomenon of El Nino. This connected phenomenon is referred to as the El Nino Southern Oscillations or the ENSO.

El Nino Effects

  • El Nino results in the rise of sea surface temperatures It also weakens the trade winds of the affected region
  • In India, Australia, it can bring about drought conditions. This affects the crop productivity largely. It has been also observed certain times, that EL Nino may not bring drought but cause heavy rainfall. In both the cases, it causes heavy damage.
  • However, in some other countries it may result in a complete reversal, i.e., excessive rainfall.

Mitigation of Effects:

  • Keeping a check on the sea surface temperatures.
  • Maintaining sufficient buffer stocks of food grains and ensuring their smooth supply. Ensuring relevant support to the farmer community including economic help.
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