Q.1) Ignoring the gender gap in agriculture has huge economic dimensions. Discuss the poor status of women in Indian agricultural sector. (150 words)

Why this question?

  • Recent farm laws have ignited the debate on women in agriculture. Women are barely in a position as empowered agents who can either understand or negotiate (written) agreements with traders and corporate entities who are seeking to enter into agreements with the farmers to purchase their produce or for other services. 

Introduction: Mention the gender divide in the agricultural sector and provide some data.


Ignoring women in agriculture:

  • The India Human Development Survey reports that 83% of agricultural land in the country is inherited by male members of the family and less than 2% by their female counterparts. 
  • Excluded from the definition of farmers: The govt. labels them as ‘cultivators’ or ‘agricultural labourers’ but not ‘farmers’. 

Denied rights

  • They have unequal access to rights over land, water and forests. 
  • There is gendered access to support systems such as storage facilities, transportation costs, and cash for new investments or for paying off old dues or for other services related to agricultural credit. 
  • There is also gendered access to inputs and markets. 

Conclusion: Summarize with the way forward

Q.2) Discuss the grave challenge of rising NPAs in India’ banking sector which has been hit by the Coronavirus crisis. Suggest a way forward to address this challenge. (250 words)

Why this question?

  • The Union Budget for 2021-22, which is now just four weeks away, would be critical for banks on two fronts — in what it does to revive demand and investments, and how much money it can promise to set aside for recapitalising public sector banks in the coming year.

Introduction: Mention the significance of a robust banking sector in an economy.


  • Data about NPA crisis
  • Coronavirus crisis impact on banking sector
  • Govt. initiatives
  • Concerns

Way forward:

  • Recapitalisation, Reform and then privatization
  • Governance reforms: 
  • Changing PSBs’ business strategy

Conclusion: Summarize the discussion