Legal Reasoning on Environmental Law: Sustainable development, as defined by the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development, aims to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. However, this perspective often leans towards an anthropocentric bias, prioritizing human interests and viewing non-human species as valuable only for their utility to humans. In contrast, eco-centrism takes a nature-centered approach, recognizing humans as part of nature and attributing intrinsic value to non-human entities.
In the context of India, the Constitution not only safeguards human rights but also places an obligation on individuals to protect and preserve species from extinction. The doctrine of ‘public trust‘ underscores the government’s role as a trustee of common properties such as rivers, seashores, forests, and air, holding them for the benefit of the public and emphasizing the importance of maintaining natural resources for the well-being of all, including flora and fauna.
Previous Year Questions of Legal Reasoning on Environmental and Constitutional Law
Questions: What did Ms. G, the environmental science student, create a butterfly garden for, and what stages of butterfly development is she interested in observing and studying in her garden?
(A) Ms. G is creating a butterfly garden because she’s passionate about learning more in her academic pursuits.
(B) Ms. G’s focus on cultivating a butterfly garden is driven by her commitment to preserving the environment.
(C) Ms. G is devoted to providing a welcoming habitat for butterflies through her approach to cultivating the butterfly garden, showing an eco-friendly perspective.
(D) Ms. G’s interest in understanding the various stages of butterfly development is at the heart of her eco-friendly approach to cultivating the butterfly garden.
Questions: Which of the following statements is correct?
(A) Achieving sustainable development involves different perspectives, with anthropocentrism and eco-centrism representing distinct approaches.
(B) Anthropocentrism places emphasis on advancing the well-being of humans.
(C) Eco-centrism, on the other hand, seeks to balance and promote the interests of both humans and the broader environment.
(D) When it comes to safeguarding the environment and pursuing sustainable development, anthropocentrism and eco-centrism offer diverse strategies.
Questions: What makes anthropocentrism and eco-centrism different from each other?
(A) The inherent value placed on humans and non-humans.
(B) The inherent value placed on living things and non-living things.
(C) The relationship between human society and environment.
(D) The relationship between non-humans and environment.
Questions: What does the Indian Constitution say about the basic right to life, and which statement accurately reflects this fundamental right?
(A) We have a responsibility to safeguard and cherish non-human life.
(B) Non-human beings also have a duty to ensure the right to life for humans.
(C) We can make the most of non-human resources, respecting their value and importance.
(D) Non-human entities have the right to benefit from human resources in a way that enhances their well-being.
Questions: Which of the following statements doesn’t align with the idea of the ‘public trust’ doctrine?
(A) It’s not necessary for individuals to own forests privately.
(B) The government holds forests in a trusted role, looking out for everyone’s best interests.
(C) The government has a responsibility to take care of forests because they provide economic benefits.
(D) The government is obligated to preserve forests for the well-being of both humans and other living beings.