Q) How do you think the pattern of Indian monsoon has changed in the past decade? Discuss its impact on various facets of our lives.

Why this Question?

Important part of GS paper- I.

Key demand of the Question 

Changing monsoon pattern in India and its impact.


Discuss- back up the answer by carefully selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of the given context and finally arrive at a conclusion.


Start by defining currency swap arrangement.


In the first part, categorically highlight the changing pattern of Indian monsoon in the last decade. 

In the next part, discuss how it has impacted lives.


Conclude by giving a brief of the importance of monsoon in India. 

For Model Answer

Monsoon marks the seasonal reversal of easterly winds blowing from the northeast during cooler months and reverse direction to blow from the southwest during the warmer months of the year. Indian monsoon is the most prominent of the world’s monsoon systems, which primarily affects India and its surrounding water bodies. 

Changing pattern of monsoon

  • Indian monsoon is considered a ‘textbook phenomenon’ clearly defined which has not changed much in the preceding century.
  • The average rainfall has remained within the 10% of the long term average.
  • However, this process has hit an erratic front, with floods in the northwest and the northeast and rainfall deficit in the southern part of the nation.
  • Rainfall extremes have increased threefold over the last few years and now extend over all of central India – from Gujarat to Odisha.
  • Onset of monsoon has been delayed every year since 2002 and it also lasts for a shorter duration, compressing the Indian monsoon.
  • The interspersed breaks in the monsoon have increased resulting in larger drier periods in the monsoon itself.
  • Rainfall intensity, duration, frequency and spatial distribution have significantly undergone change in the past decade or two.

Implications of changing Indian monsoon

  • Shifting monsoon patterns of the country has resulted in acute water shortage in the nation, with drying up of wells and rivers.
  • Major Indian reservoirs runs 10% lower than their normal at any given point of time in the year
  • There has been economic loss across agriculture and industry sectors caused by water shortage.
  • Cycles of droughts and floods have become more common in many parts of India.
  • Water shortage may fuel interstate tensions in India, ex- Cauvery river dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; Krishna river dispute among Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana;
  • Variation in monsoon has also resulted in the incidence of vector borne diseases such as malaria, dengue.

Indian monsoon plays a vital role in India’s attempt to achieve food security. About 64 % Indian population depend on agriculture for their livelihood, which is based on the southwest monsoon. The population in India is continuously increasing and to ensure food (including water) security to the population, a large part of the monsoon water which is currently unutilized should be held at suitable locations for irrigation and power generation purposes. Therefore, we need to invest more resources in better prediction of Monsoon forecasts in order to achieve reliability and sustainability.