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MGPE-014: Gandhi, Ecology and Sustainable Development

MGPE-014: Gandhi, Ecology and Sustainable Development

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for MGPE-014 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Gandhi, Ecology and Sustainable Development, you have come to the right place. MGPE-014 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in MGPS, PGDGPS courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MGPE-014/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MGPE-014

Assignment Name: Gandhi: Ecology and Sustainable Development

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer five questions in all, selecting at least two questions from each section. Each question is to be answered in about 500 words. Each question carries 20 marks.




Q1) What is meant by deep ecology? Explain its meaning and significance.

Ans) It is important to comprehend what deep ecology is, how important it is, and how it affects our way of life. The student should keep this in mind to prevent confusion. In regard to the definition of the term deep ecology, it should be mentioned that deep ecology is a modern ecological philosophy that acknowledges the intrinsic value of all living things in addition to their practical value. The concept places a strong emphasis on the interdependence of all life, including that of humans and other species, as well as the value of the ecosystem and natural processes. The environmental, ecological, and green movements can build on this movement's foundation, and a new framework for environmental ethics has been promoted. The Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, who did not believe in the relative ranking of beings or that humans had more claims to life than other beings, is credited with coining the term "deep ecology."


According to him, everyone has a natural, equal right to life. No one creature or species has the right to demand a certain set of rights to life while depriving or denying them to others. In their writings on Deep Ecology, Bill Devall, and George Sessions advanced similar ideas. They examine the evolving tendencies of a rising deep ecological consciousness that goes beyond anthropocentrism, holding the belief that everything is interconnected. In their cited work, Devall and Sessions explained the fundamentals of deep ecology. They advance the viewpoints of deep ecology proponents who contend that humans do not have unrestricted access to the planet to engage in resource overexploitation.


The eight-tier platform, as it is known, is listed as follows:

  1. The survival and development of both human and nonhuman life on earth are worthwhile goals in and of themselves. These values are unrelated to how valuable the nonhuman world is to humans.

  2. Richness and diversity of living forms are values in and of themselves as well as factors in the attainment of these values.

  3. Except in order to meet essential human needs, humans have no right to destroy this richness and diversity.

  4. A significant decline in the human population is compatible with the thriving of human existence and cultures. This reduction is necessary for nonhuman life to flourish.

  5. The current level of human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and things are quickly getting worse.

  6. Therefore, policies need to be modified. Basic economic, technological, and ideological structures are impacted by these initiatives. The outcome will be a significant departure from the current situation.

  7. The fundamental ideological shift is toward valuing life quality rather than upholding an ever-higher standard of living. A thorough understanding of the distinction between huge and great will emerge.

  8. Those who agree with the aforementioned ideas are required, directly or indirectly, to make an effort to make the required adjustments.


Q2) Discuss various approaches to development and its relationship with environment.

Ans) Regardless of whether it takes a capitalist or socialist stance on modernization, natural resources are not seen as a constraint on economic expansion. The dominant ideology was technological triumphalism, which was made evident through large-scale initiatives to harness nature and build infrastructure. Due to the high expenditures of such expansive infrastructure projects, it was decided to separate development from nature by establishing boundaries around specific, pure areas and banning all commercial and other human activities.


Neo-liberalism replaced modernization by the 1980s, nevertheless. This led to a shift in how people approached the environment. Neo-classical environmental economics and neo-liberalism go hand in hand, turning environmental goods into commodities subject to market price systems. The goods of nature, such as the air and water, the landscape, etc., are viewed as services that nature offers and are further viewed as a type of natural capital that can be increased or decreased, resulting in the continued development of physical or financial capital. Environmental economics emphasises that natural resources are overused because there are insufficient price mechanisms that reflect their scarcity.


The monetarisation of environmental commodities was a key factor in the mainstreaming of environmental concerns into development theory. Environmental economics, on the other hand, solely addresses total demand and how it is distributed in terms of purchasing power. The necessity for fair ownership distribution of natural wealth is highlighted by the unequal distribution of purchasing power within and across nations. Therefore, to be effective, environmental economics must take into account institutional access to and use of natural resources as well as property rights.


It's interesting to note that much of the criticism to the current neo-liberal development drive has found support in the environment. This has frequently manifested as alternative environmental thinking. The communitarian viewpoint is one of the viewpoints, emphasising the knowledge, social support, and coherence of local communities. The usefulness of local institutions in controlling the use of natural resources, the facilitation of women's roles as resource users and managers, and the benefits of small-scale, owner-operated production systems are some of the issues that are emphasised.


This viewpoint is able to put the poor at the centre of the development debate by claiming that the poorest people should benefit the most from sustainable development. Based on the entitlement theory of rights, emphasis has been placed on local ownership and the rights of underrepresented groups over local resources. It is asserted that such a strategy significantly contributes to global resource conservation. A campaign for the rights of indigenous peoples and others who reside in rain forests supports this viewpoint. The preservation of common lands and other natural resources, such as land, water, forests, grazing lands, etc., is a skill that local people are highly skilled at. This expertise has now been widely disseminated through anthological and development field research.


Local communities are essential to the protection of biodiversity because they have significant knowledge about the diversity of species. This supports post-modern critiques of universalistic solutions in favour of various realities that are socially produced. Additionally, it supports the idea that indigenous standards and viewpoints on resource conservation should be seen as equally valid to those resulting from scientific research. People who have been marginalised by mainstream development have been argued for greater economic and political rights over the exploitation of natural resources using political economy analysis.


Q3) Critically examine Gandhi’s approach to development.

Ans) By repeatedly considering these ideas, one gradually comes to the conclusion that man's inability to reach the level of understanding and accountability required by his new power role in the world is the root cause of the current global crisis, in which everything in the human system appears to be out of balance with everything else in particular. Both the issue and any potential remedy are inside to man, not external to him. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi advocated for this.


Building an independent society is the aim of Gandhian development. Every community ought to be self-sufficient. Gandhi, as part of his broader role in the Indian independence movement, worked to find solutions to India's great poverty, technological lag, and socioeconomic problems throughout his life. Gandhi's support for Swadeshi and non-cooperation was based on the ideas of financial independence. Gandhi aimed to criticise European-made garments and other imported goods, seeing them not only as a reminder of British colonialism but also as the cause of India's widespread unemployment and extreme poverty.


Gandhi promoted Indian-made products including khadi garments made at home in an effort to advance peaceful civil resistance and national self-sufficiency. Gandhi's concept of trusteeship was a novel means of balancing the social and psychological needs to care for the underprivileged with the psychological need for incentive or reward for skills and entrepreneurship. In the beginning, Gandhi's concept of trusteeship, which was a pragmatic defence of property against industrial capitalists, resounded with such obscurantism.


Gandhi was certain that "Rural development" was the key to save the Indian economy. Agriculture, which is the integration of both farm and non-farm activities in the village economy, is a prerequisite for rural development. He never acknowledged the fundamental incompatibility between economic and human growth. He then considered using Sarvodaya to combine and create harmony between the two. The Sarvodaya plan lays the groundwork for a country aspiring to socialism's goals to build its economic structure. Sarvodaya refers to everyone's overall welfare. In the Gandhian Sarvodaya model, truth and nonviolence are key tenets.


According to Gandhi, nature has organised things so that there will be an eco-system equilibrium and that everyone receives enough of what they need to live a good life. He urged people to live simply and abstain from sexual activity for the benefit of humanity. The Gandhian model is predicated on the change of Man and society in their entirety. The Gandhian philosophy essentially seeks to bring the individual and the social order together. Gandhi's philosophy may be described as the "Unity of Existence."


Decentralization, which ensures public participation, was supported by the Gandhian model. Gandhi advocated a decentralised strategy that enhances the feedback loop and promotes self-direction and self-correction. It promotes human values and gramme swaraj. It places a focus on collective production but not on mass production. It places a focus on technological advancements that require manual labour, small-scale village and cottage industries, handicrafts, charkha, and the utilisation of renewable energy, as well as ecological balance.





Write a short note on each part of the question in about 250 words:


Q1) (a) Religious Sources and Environmental Values

Ans) While much has been debated and discussed on the role of governmental, nongovernmental, judicial, and other agencies, inadequate attention has been paid to the role and responsibility of the citizens towards environmental values and behaviour. Some of the environmental threats include excessive emission levels, heavy usage of the energy consuming gadgets, littering one's surroundings, sustainable consumption levels, increased domestic waste including e-waste, dumping of harmful and hazardous medical waste.


The materialistic consumption is now being calculated as the measuring standard of human development, leaving behind the basic issues of health care, sanitation, and hygiene, which are much more crucial to human health. Most importantly, the environmental values are being inadequately inculcated in the present times and generation.


Environmental ethics and values are closely related to our behaviour towards the conservation of our nature or natural environment. Values, as Bharucha notes, lead to a process of decision making which leads to action. For value education in relation to the environment, this process is learned through an understanding and appreciation of nature's oneness and the importance of its conservation. It is an intellectual code of behaviour that regulates man's relationship with nature. It cannot be imposed by law but has to be articulated, systematized, codified, and brought to the doorsteps of each and every individual.


India has had a distinct civilisation and culture that was very much in consonance with natural habitat. Nature was revered with utmost devotion and the civilisation was known for its cultural and spiritual heritage in protecting its environment. These factors constituted an important element in sustaining the natural wealth but have been constantly neglected by the mankind. The western concept/ perception that nature and environment exist for the service of humanity have slowly crept into our society, promoting the values of unsustainable consumption and acquisitive materialism.


Q1) (b) Gandhian concept of humankind

Ans) Communism and capitalism were left in the wake of the industrial revolution. While both of these philosophies have quite different ends in mind, they nevertheless share the same concerns regarding advanced technology, environmental harm, nuclear weapons races, and the concentration of economic and political power. Descartes, Newton, and Darwinism have all had a significant influence on how people interpret the world. Darwin belonged to a generation that supported "the survival of the fittest" and thought that Christian, scientific civilization was superior to all others.


For many indigenous tribes and natives around the world, hearing this phrase amounted to receiving the death penalty because it seemed to imply that because they had not contributed to the advancement of modern science, they were destined by natural law to be supplanted by more vibrant and modern cultures. Greek physicists also believed that matter was composed of passive, inherently dead atoms that were under the influence of spiritually derived exterior forces.


The dualism between matter and spirit, body, and mind was born out of such beliefs. Newton maintained such a mechanistic view, and the mechanistic Newtonian model of the universe dominated all scientific thought until the end of the nineteenth century. The Western anthropometrism, or human-centredness, which holds that humans are at the centre of everything and that they should manage nature and the environment, was added to these viewpoints.


Q2) (a) Gandhian views on human ecology

Ans) In the same way as social psychology is a general field that forms the foundation of the social sciences, human ecology is a perspective, a methodology, and a body of knowledge necessary for the scientific study of social life.


Humans, as opposed to plants and animals, largely create their own environment. They have relatively strong loco motional abilities, which makes them less dependent on their immediate environment. They are also influenced by their ability to communicate symbolically, rational behaviour, and the possession of sophisticated technology and culture. The difference between the community and society was a major topic of discussion in the early human ecology literature.


While the later prioritised communication, consensus, shared norms, values, conscious social control, and collective action, the former focused on symbiotic relationships, geographical and temporal aspects, physical structure, competition, and the division of labour. Unfortunately, people commonly mistake these two idealised, typical characteristics of human social life for actualities. Planning has expanded to include the economic and social designing or redesigning of the society, and as a result, human ecology has found an even more significant position in it than it did when it was primarily focused on physical planning.


Planning attempts to integrate communal life logically and make the most use of available resources. The human ecologist's ability to learn about the distribution, segregation, and succession of population, the spheres of influence of social institutions, and the interrelationships between the physical, technological, economic, political, and cultural facets of community life has proven to be essential.


Q2) (b) Gandhian thoughts on environmental movements in India

Ans) Gandhi was not a modern-day environmentalist. He did not develop a green philosophy or compose any poems about nature, but he is frequently referred to as an "apostle of applied human ecology." Although Gandhi lived at a time when environmental issues were not as pressing, renowned environmental writers like Ramachandra Guha still regard him as an early environmentalist. His writings contain a variety of ideas on nature. His maxim, "Nature has enough to meet everyone's needs, but not to gratify anyone's greed," became the guiding principle of contemporary environmentalism.


Gandhi's most famous comment demonstrates his care for the environment and the natural world. Gandhi addressed concerns about the environment and its impacts long before any international conferences, such as the Stockholm Conference in 1972 or the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Gandhi served as an inspiration for other significant environmental campaigns, including the Narmada Bachao Andolan, led by Baba Amte and Medha Patkar, and the Chipko movement, led by Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Sunder Lal Bahuguna. Gandhi's speeches, writings, and instructions to the workforce all demonstrated his concern for the environment, urbanisation, and automation.


Gandhi forewarned the world about the issues with extensive industrialization that we are currently facing, long before any modern environmentalist. Gandhi predicted that mechanisation would cause environmental degradation in addition to industrialization, rapid urbanisation, and unemployment. His ground-breaking book, Hind Swaraj, published a century ago in 1909, forewarned of the threats to the globe and environmental degradation that the world is currently confronting. Because Gandhi placed greater emphasis on mass production than on production by the masses, his ideas are much more applicable when it comes to achieving sustainable growth and development.

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