Q.1) What is nanotechnology ? discuss the significance of Nanotechnology in agriculture.

Why this question:

  • Minister for Science & Technology, Health & Family Welfare and Earth Sciences and Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Rural Development & Panchayati Raj released the ‘Guidelines for Evaluation of Nano-based Agri-input and food products in India’

Intro: define nanotechnology


  • Mention the significance of Nanotechnology in agriculture.
  • Discuss the measures which the government has taken to reap the benefits of Nanotechnology in agriculture.


  • Conclude with doubling farmers income and contribution of nano technology in it.


Q.2) What is permanent commission? Discuss the SC judgement in this regard and its implications.

Why in news:

  •  The Supreme Court allowed a one-month extension to the government to implement its February 17 judgment to grant permanent commission/command posts to eligible women officers in the armed forces.


  • Define Permanent commission.


Supreme Court observations in its Judgement 

  • Equal physiologically: Women officers of the Indian Army have brought laurels to the force.Keeping their track record in mind their service to the nation can never be denied and it is beyond reproach.
  • The SC ordered the implementation of the 2010 judgement of Delhi HC within 3 months and also asked the Government to adhere its own policy of Feb 2019.
  • Everyone serving in the Army is an equal citizen: To cast aspersion on the abilities of women on the ground of gender is an affront.
  • It is disrespecting not only their dignity as women but the dignity of the members of the Indian Army  men and women both as they both serve as equal citizens in a common mission.
  • Demolished gender stereotypes: Women officers in the Army are not adjuncts to a male dominated establishment.
  • Violation of Equality under law: The Supreme Court also dismissed the government's stand that only women officers with less than 14 years of service ought to be considered for permanent commission, and those with over 20 years service should be pensioned immediately.


Conclude with significance of this judgement.


Q.3) China’s rising nuclear arsenal might impair the Indian fortunes. Comment 10 marks (150 words)

Why this question:

The growing tensions along LAC (Line of Actual Control) calls for New Delhi to keep an eye on Chinese Nuclear arsenal.


The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said that China’s nuclear arsenal increased to 320 warheads in 2020, up by 30 in comparison to 2019.


Concerns for India:

  • China will not retreat from the Indian Territory
  • India will be coerced to take back Economic restrictions
  • Threat to civilian and military life across border
  • High mobility and greater range of chinese nuclear weapons can hit key indian cities

Way Ahead:

  •  The conventional escalation between Chinese and Indian forces along the LAC must factor in the role of nuclear weapons and their impact on military operations executed by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. 
  • India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) needs to be on a heightened state of alert to ward off Chinese nuclear threats and brinkmanship.
  • New Delhi must reassess its nuclear doctrine and strengthen efforts to attain robust triadic capability for deterrence.


Q.4) India’s foreign and security policy needs to focus on rising tensions in the South China Sea, as India has a stake in the region. Discuss (15 marks - 250 words)

Why this question? - The Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea(SCS) is a cause of worry not only for the littoral countries, but also for others and leading to chorus of protest from all quarters.

Intro - A brief about the SCS and its geo-political importance.

Body - 

  1. Rising tensions in the region and response from littoral countries and others.
  2. India’s stakes in the region and role India has to play and challenges it faces.

Way ahead - How to deal with above challenges and ensure peace and stability in the SCS.

Conclusion - India, a fulcrum of the region between the Suez and Shanghai, between West and East Asia, and between the Mediterranean and the SCS has to invest in the peace and stability of the SCS. 


Q.5) Given the nature of the threat of the pandemic it may be pertinent to review the fiscal responsibility laws (FRL) of states. Comment (15 marks - 250 words)

Why this question?

A lack of funds for states can have profound human consequences. 


Mention that State governments are at the frontline of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.


  • Current fiscal position of states
    • Combined spending by states is now much more than spending by the central government
    • Higher borrowing costs for states
    • Recent auction of state development loans etc
  • Unprecedented threat of COVID-19 and need of extra finances
  • Need of reviewing fiscal responsibility laws (FRL) of states 
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Bringing them at par with Union government


Mention that revised rules for debt as a target variable along with fiscal deficit can be a good option.