Decision Making – The increasing prosperity of the plains people


XAT 2020 Exam Paper – Decision Making – The increasing prosperity of the plains people

Read the situation below and answer the 3 associated questions:
A powerful, intelligent king Vanamali once ruled over an ancient kingdom, Vanarajya. The kingdom was known for its high mountains and sprawling plains, and ninety percent of its land was under forest cover. Trade in forest produce was the mainstay of its economy, supported by subsistence agriculture.
With the increase of population, over time the forest in the plains was cleared for agriculture. The forest in the mountains continued to supply nutrient-enriched water and abundant forest produce to the plains. As a result, agricultural yields were bountiful. The plains prospered as compared to the mountains.

Question 1
The increasing prosperity of the plains people tempted those in the mountains to divert forest land for agriculture. Vanamali was afraid that expansion of agriculture would result in deforestation of the mountains.
Which of the following is the BEST course of action for Vanamali to conserve the mountain forest?

  1. Institute a mechanism that ensures plains people pay royalty, to be transferred to mountain people for maintaining forest cover
  2. Declare a “Mountain Day” when plains people meet and thank mountain people for sustaining their agriculture
  3. Constitute a committee to protect the forest with powers to punish those who fell trees
  4. Urge the elders of the mountains to come up with agricultural practices that ensure no erosion of forest cover
  5. Levy a tax on traded agricultural produce from the plains to cross-subsidize supplies to mountain people

Answer: A

Question 2
Vanamali, afraid of further deforestation, issued a diktat against felling of trees in the mountains. In due course, thanks to the booming agriculture, the king along with plains people began to prosper. However, mountain people became relatively poor, thanks to Vanamali’s diktat.
Which of the following options should mountain people choose to BEST protect their long-term interests?

  1. Sell forest produce exclusively to the neighbouring kingdoms
  2. Seek employment in the plains
  3. Ignore Vanamali’s diktat and divert forest land for agriculture
  4. Charge a premium on forest produce and issue hunting permits
  5. Stop the flow of rivers to the plains

Answer: D

Question 3
The village elders of the mountains had informed Vanamali about the presence of a precious metal in abundance under a large part of the forest. They pleaded with him to repeal his diktat and permit felling of trees for mining.
Vanamali knew that the precious metal would make his kingdom prosper. However, he was worried that mining would reduce the flow of nutrients, water and forest produce to the plains.
Vanamali’s advisor Vanapandit presented the following action plans for his consideration:

  1. Repeal the forest diktat and charge hefty royalty for mining in the mountains
  2. Permit mining in the mountains and enforce rainwater harvesting in the plains
  3. Permit mining in the mountains and begin afforestation in the plains
  4. Continue with the forest diktat in the mountains
  5. Permit limited mining in rotation but maintain the forest diktat in the rest of the mountains Which of the following sequences of action plans, in the DESCENDING order of their ability to contribute to Vanarajya’s sustainable prosperity, will be the MOST appropriate for Vanamali?

  1. 5, 2, 4, 3, 1
  2. 4, 5, 2, 3, 1
  3. 4, 2, 5, 1, 3
  4. 3, 5, 2, 1, 4
  5. 5, 3, 2, 4, 1

Answer: E



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