As easy as this topic may look, it isn’t. Such topics are dangerous as there is not much to discuss. You will run out of points very soon. You can say it’s true as there are other things to worry about in India and it’s false as we don’t want to be left behind. After all, the ultimate aim is to make a global impact. Such discussions are evaluated more on the dynamics within the group.
The Key here is again, being assertive and how well you use statistics, considering you know some. Give examples. Use as much facts and figures and names of satellites, missions, scientists etc. as possible. See GD Tips.
The mars mission has put India on limelight and this topic has been raised nationally in all media debates. Read the points below and be prepared.
POINTS IN FAVOUR:
- All round national development : For a country to be developed wholly, it has to grow at rapid pace in all fields and we can’t hold the progress in one field (space mission) and wait that we first solve basic problem of education, health, illiteracy, poverty and then spent our resources on space mission.
- Where is the wastage? : Indian economy is approximately 1.9 trillion dollars. Indians food security bill passed this session of parliament is of 19 billion dollars per annum. The recently announced statue of unity being built in Gujarat is worth 200 million dollars. The international space launch market annually is around 10 billion dollars and the recently launched Mangalyaan mission costs only 70 million dollars.
- Improve communications infrastructure: It is because of these space missions that we are advancing in mobile communication which has well connected our villages with towns. Now mobile has reached even the remotest of the villages. Farmers because of that know the prices in offing at towns, without being depending on the middlemen. Television & Media Networks, Tele-Medicine, Tele-Education, Internet, GPS are other few fruitful products of space research in the country.
- Meteorological Development : We can forecast weather and natural disturbances on time and can stave-off any chances to be affected by any impending natural calamity. The best example is the recently seen Cyclone Phailin in Odhisa where about 900,000 people were evacuated — a huge number by any yardstick — much before cyclone Phailin lashed the Odisha coast on the night of October 12 2013. a similar-strength storm in the same spot, in 1999, had killed over 10,000 people. So, money spent on space missions are helping to reduce the loss due to natural disaster also.
- Helps tackle terrorism : Space missions give us an edge over the anti-social elements like terrorists. The geostationary satellites help in keeping constant vigil and boost defence communications as well.
- New resources in the finding: The rate at which natural resources are being consumed today, we must always be optimist about finding some new alternatives from the yet undiscovered space horizon. Such missions are a viable way of securing the future of human race.
- Just for competition? : Its not justifiable that we need to advance in space technology just because China and US are advancing. Rather space exploration should be a combined global approach as all the benefits mentioned above affect the whole of humanity.
- Objective of missions : Funding the money for Mars and moon missions just to study surface properties and structure of that planetary body or other areas where some other agencies like NASA have already researched upon is of no help. It’s just like following the crowd. As NASA doing it we will also do it. That’s wastage of money.
- Not really cheap : India’s Mars mission may be cheap by American (or Chinese) standards, at just $74m, but India’s overall space programme costs roughly $1 billion a year. Meanwhile, spending on public health, at about 1.2% of GDP, is dismally low.
- Money versus Returns : The amount of money being spent on space research by the developed nations is in the billions and it has achieved extraordinarily little except for a bit of improved technology which would probably have come about anyway by other means. Should we, as a developing nation continue to be over optimistic about the findings of these missions as so far the findings about Mars are disappointing if nothing else.
- Focus on Earth first : Corruption, Poverty, Unemployment, Population growth, Depletion of forests and natural resources, Pollution etc. need to be tackled first or at least brought to a break even point before investing so much on Space Exploration.
- As with everything else, we need to prioritize, we can spend money on space missions, if we think that these will help people and common man in a huge way and help in the development of the country. But, spending money on the space missions, neglecting the bare needs of the people is not at all good.
- The investment being made in such missions is significantly less than the total fiscal budget of the government and only a small fraction of the amounts squandered by unscrupulous politicians in various scams and scandals. By juxtaposing such a high return yielding mission with contentious issues like overwhelming poverty, these self-styled critics are not only trying to disparage the efforts of the Indian scientists who have dedicated themselves to the service of India, but are also discouraging the emerging and the future generation of scientists from undertaking research and development projects at indigenous levels.
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