Aftershocks of the Green Revolution in Northwest India

Photo: Prasad

The Ghaggar River basin along the Punjab-Haryana border has shown the greatest decline in groundwater levels since the 1970s.

Abstract: Post-Green Revolution, India has witnessed a dramatic increase in wheat and rice production from 50 to 203 million tonnes between 1950 and 2000. This transformation has come about, in part, through the expansion of groundwater irrigation in northwestern India. However, large-scale groundwater pumping has aggravated waterlogging, salinisation, pollution and caused a steep decline in water tables. Improved water use efficiency, crop diversification and better regulations are needed to arrest the over-exploitation of groundwater across the region.

The authors are  Professors, Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; Project Scientist, National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee; and Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, respectively. The article should be cited as Sinha R., S.K. Joshi  and S. Kumar, 2019. Aftershocks of the Green Revolution in Northwest India, Geography and You, 19(24): 12-19

Term Power

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Anthropogenic activities mean human activities which affect nature. These activities cause changes in nature which would not have been possible without human influence.

Bio-fortification is the process by which nutrient levels in crops is improved during plant growth rather than during processing of the crops.

Family food basket is a term for a set of food items used by a population which is sufficient to adequately cover the energy requirements of each member of the family.

Food deficit is defined as the intensity of food deprivation in a country. Intensity of food deprivation is the number of people whose dietary intake falls short of the minimum requirement.

The Green Revolution is an umbrella term for a number of successful agricultural experiments in the 1960’s that drastically improved agricultural production, especially in developing countries.

Groundwater is water that seeps into the ground and accumulates underneath. Groundwater depletion is the result of long-term water-level declines caused by sustained and unrestrained groundwater pumping.

A landrace is an agricultural plant species that has been grown in a specific local environment over a long period of time and has adapted to the environmental conditions of the area of cultivation.

The term micronutrient is used to describe vitamins and minerals as opposed to macronutrients which include proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The human body requires smaller amounts of micronutrients relative to macronutrients.

Stunting is the impaired growth and development of children mostly due to poor nutrition. 38 per cent of Indian children younger than 5 years of age are stunted.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all people by 2030.

Wasting, or low weight for height, is a result of malnutrition. It is a strong predicator for mortality among children under the age of 5. 20 per cent of Indian children under 5 years of age suffer from wasting due to acute undernutrition.