Heat and State: Poor living conditions have exacerbated the effects of heatwaves.

Heat and State: Poor living conditions have exacerbated the effects of heatwaves.


The recent heatwave in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, particularly in the district of Ballia, has led to numerous deaths and raised concerns about the role of poor living conditions in exacerbating the effects of heatwaves. While the local government initially attributed the deaths to the heat, a State-appointed team later expressed doubts and highlighted other factors.


GS-01 (Geophysical phenomena)

GS-02 (Government policies & Interventions)

GS-03 (Climate change, Environmental pollution and degradation)


  • Heatwaves
  • Indian meteorological department (IMD)
  • Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Passive cooling technology

Mains Questions:

  1. Discuss the factors contributing to the high mortality rate during heatwaves. Examine the role of public infrastructure and social security in mitigating the impact of heatwaves. (150 words)
  2. Critically analyse the criterion for declaring a heatwave in India and examine the impacts of heatwaves on various sectors. Discuss the measures that can be taken to mitigate the adverse effects of heatwaves and protect vulnerable populations. (250 words)

Dimensions of the article:

  • What are Heatwaves.
  • Criteria to declare a heatwave.
  • Factors Contributing to High Mortality in Heatwaves.
  • Need for Data Collection and Reporting.

What are Heatwaves?

  • Heatwaves are prolonged periods of excessively hot weather, typically characterized by high temperatures that are significantly above normal for a specific region. These extreme heat events can have severe impacts on human health, ecosystems, agriculture, and infrastructure.