UPSC Critical Reading

Cooking with biomass and coal in India is now recognized to cause major health problems, with women and children in poor populations facing the greatest risk. There are more than 10 lakh premature deaths each year from household air pollution due to polluting cooking fuels with another 1.5 lakh due to their contribution to general outdoor air pollution in the country. Although the fraction of the Indian population using clean cooking fuels, such as LPG, natural gas and electricity, is slowly rising, the number using polluting solid fuels as their primary cooking fuel has remained static for nearly 30 years at about 70 crore.

Which of the following is the most crucial and logical inference that can be made from the above passage?

  1. Rural people are giving up the use of polluting solid fuels due to their increasing awareness of health hazards.
  2. Subsidizing the use of clean cooking fuels will solve the problem of India's indoor air pollution.
  3. India should increase its import of natural gas and produce more electricity.
  4. Access to cooking gas can reduce premature deaths in poor households.

Answer

The correct option is D.