Exercise : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 118
Q1 : Why do you think there are so few cases of private water supply in the world?
There are very few cases of private water supply in the world because water is an essential amenity; water supply is a public facility that every government must provide to all citizens of a State. In cases where water supply was placed in the hands of private companies, the prices of water rose, making it unaffordable to the masses. This resulted in riots, protests and violent demonstrations in countries like Bolivia. Hence, it has been deemed best that the government must handle water supply services.
Q2 : Do you think water in Chennai is available to and affordable by all? Discuss.
Water in Chennai is not available to and affordable by all. Availability of a good, regular water supply is proportionate to the level of income one earns, in this city. Senior government officials in areas like Anna Nagar can get a whole water tanker arranged for themselves; most areas like Mylapore get water once in two days; in Madipakkam, people buy bottled water for drinking purposes but the situation is the worst in slums. Here, water supply runs for barely an hour everyday from a single tap serving over thirty families for all their water needs.
Q3 : How is the sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai affecting the local people? Do you think local people can object to such exploitation of ground water? Can the government do anything in this regard?
The sale of water by farmers to water dealers in Chennai has affected the local people drastically. This water is taken away from agricultural use and drinking water supply for the locals. Water that was free or affordable is now too expensive for the poor to buy. Local people can object to such exploitation of ground water because water is an essential amenity that should be provided free or at basic costs to all. The government must disallow private companies from buying and supplying water since this is a public facility- a function of the state governments.
Q4 : Why are most of the private hospitals and private schools located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas?
Most private hospitals and private schools are located in major cities and not in towns or rural areas because being private enterprises, they are expensive. The wealthy and elite live in more urban and capitalized areas like metropolitans or big cities where business booms are aplenty; these capitalist forms of wealth are missing in towns or rural areas where agriculture is a more dominant but less profiting form of employment.
Q5 : Do you think the distribution of public facilities in our country is adequate and fair? Give an example of your own to explain.
The distribution of public facilities in our country is inadequate and largely unfair. For example, urban areas are provided with and consume more electricity than villages or townships. Most metropolitan cities consume vast amounts of power for market-places, multiplexes and air-conditioning while villages and towns bear huge power-cuts even in summer so much so that there is no electricity available to them for domestic purposes too. This is a gaping gap in the distribution of just one of the public facilities provided by the government.
Q6 : Take some of the public facilities in your area, such as water, electricity, etc. Is there scope to improve these? What in your opinion should be done? Complete the table.
|Is it available?||How can it be improved?|
Attempt this question on your own.
Q7 : Are the above public facilities shared equally by all the people in your area? Elaborate.
Attempt this question on your own.
Q8 : Data on some of the public facilities are collected as part of the Census. Discuss with your teacher when and how the census is conducted.
Discuss with your teacher and attempt this question on your own.
Q9 : Private educational institutions – schools, colleges, universities, technical and vocational training institutes are coming up in our country in a big way. On the other hand, educational institutes run by the government are becoming relatively less important. What do you think would be the impact of this? Discuss.
Private educational institutions- schools, colleges, universities, technical and vocational training institutes are coming up in our country in a big way. On the other hand, educational institutes run by the government are becoming relatively less important. This will have a multifarious impact on India, in the long run. Private institutions charge high fees and seem to serve the elite more than the poor. This is one of the banes of capitalism that privatization entails. If people stop using educational facilities provided by the government, the latter will soon become redundant. Poor people cannot afford to educate their children in private institutions; consequently, this trend will only serve to heighten the gap between the rich and the poor.
It cannot be denied that private institutions offer a wider range of better facilities than the government does. Hence, in the global economy, India’s position is strengthening on account of amplified privatization, especially in the educational sector. Nevertheless, an ideal situation would be one where these facilities are provided “equally” to all, by the government because that would be truly representative of a democratic nation based on ideals of freedom and equality.