Q.1) Forest as a resource gives innumerable benefits to mankind , therefore prudent steps must be taken to protect the same. Discuss. 250 words

Why this Question:

Food and Agriculture Organisation has come up with its Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 ( FRA 2020)


Can start by giving a basic definition like forest are large areas of land with trees.


  • Economic resources: Fuel, wood
  • Environment benefits: Regulates the environment and maintains biodiversity , C02 Absorption etc.
  • Oxygen for Humans
  • Aesthetic Beauty
  • Flood prevention etc..

Threats: ( Little focus on this is required before jumping to conservation efforts)

  • Industrialisation
  • Urbanisation
  • Forest fires
  • Cleared for agriculture
  • Population rise
  • Rising frequency of disasters etc..

Conservation: ( For better presentation divide in into 3 levels)

  • Individual/Community level : Understanding the value and focusing on eco friendly production and consumption 
  • National level : CAMPA Fund, National Forest Policy, Environment protection act
  • International Level: Sustainable Development Goals , Paris Commitments ( Like India has committed to create 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon sink by 2030)


Sustainable Development is need of the hour and without prudent forest conservation it can’t be achieved. 


Q.2) Distress of poor migrants is greater than relief announced by the government. Analyze the statement in the context of Aatmanirbhar Bharat package launched by the government of India recently. (15marks - 150words)

Why this question? - Union Finance Ministry announced the 2nd Tranche of measures to ameliorate the hardships faced specifically by migrant labourers under the Self-Reliant India Movement or Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Intro - One can start with data on Migrants in India and how vulnerable they are especially during situations like COVID-19 pandemic.

Body - Then highlight govt.’s initiative - Aatmanirbhar Bharat - as a step to ameliorate their sufferings. Salient features of the package and issues that remain unresolved.

Way ahead - Rather short term measures migrants in India need substantive support.


Q.3) The Prime Minister of India recently gave a call for the need to be self-sufficient. However the country faces multiple hurdles on the path towards achieving self-sufficiency. Discuss (250 words)

Why this question?

Prime Minister recently brought up the importance of local manufacturing and consumption of locally produced goods, stating that Indians needed to become “vocal for local”.


Reference to unprecedented threat of COVID-19 pandemic


  • Meaning of self-sufficiency
    •  Improving efficiency, competing with the world, and helping the world.
  • Importance of achieving the goal of self-sufficiency 
  • Non-possibility of protectionism in India
    • Trade deficit scenario
  • Scenario of India’s industries
    • Sectors heavily dependent on imports
    • Sectors partially dependent on imports
  • Divergence from swadeshi and import substitution policies
  • Probability of raising import tariffs by India
  • Issues with scaling up production in import-dependent sectors of India


Suggest a way ahead for solving the concerned issues related to self-efficiency.


Q.4) Define marine pollution. Also, discuss the issues involved ,various measures which have been taken to prevent marine pollution and suggest way ahead.

Why this question: 

  • Asia and the Pacific produces nearly half of global plastic by volume, of which it consumes 38%.
  • In less than a century, climate change and unsustainable resource management have degraded ecosystems and diminished biodiversity.


Define marine pollution and state some facts related to it


Issues related it:

Lack of coordination

Lack of data

Measure taken:

Hong Kong International Convention 


Suggest some way ahead:

  • Work with countries to harmonise ocean data and provide a space for regular dialogue: Trans-boundary ocean management and linking ocean data call for close cooperation among countries in the region.
  • Harnessing ocean statistics through strong national statistical systems will serve as a compass guiding countries to monitor trends, devise timely responses and clear blind spots.
  • Translating international agreements and standards into national action is also key. We must fully equip countries and all ocean custodians to localise global agreements into tangible results. 


Q.5) Critically analyse the performance of Public Distribution System (PDS) in India and subsequent PDS reforms. 

Why this question?

  • A new Central Sector Scheme on "Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)" was launched by the Department of Food and Public Distribution mainly for the implementation of National Portability for the beneficiaries to lift the foodgrains from any FPS in the country.


  • Briefly introduce the salient features of PDS.


  • Mention PDS reforms carried out by the govt.
  • Aadhar Based Biometric Authentication (ABBA) - AADHAR seeding
  • Digitization
  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT scheme) 
  • The 2015 Targeted PDS (TDPS) order 
  • Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) scheme
  • 'One Nation One Ration Card' system

Concerns with the PDS

  • Corruption: The most common and rampant form of irregularity in PDS is katauti – fraudulence by a dealer, wherein beneficiaries receive less than their sanctioned allowance.
  • People left out of PDS Coverage
  • No update of PDS coverage:
  • The costs of food subsidy 
  • Depressing food prices
  • Digital exclusion, Aadhar vs. right to food


  • Provide a way forward: 
    • Recommendations by the central vigilance committee led by D. P. Wadhwa
    • The Shanta Kumar committee recommendations
    • Improving FCI
    • Checking digital exclusion