Q.1) Discuss the significance of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project for Indian railways and the country as a whole. (15 Marks - 250 Words)

Why this question? - Recently, the Prime Minister of India inaugurated the New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and flagged off the world’s first 1.5-km-long electrified double stack long haul container train.

Intro - A brief about DFC project


  • Salient features
  • Importance
  • Challenges

Way ahead - How to overcome these challenges

Conclusion - Summarize based on above discussion.


Q.2) The rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as the measures adopted to contain its spread have put many families at risk by impacting their food supply and their ability to access critical services for health and nutrition. Discuss. Also suggest the way forward to deal with nutrition crisis triggered by the pandemic. (250 words)

Why this question?

  • The government’s three top committees on nutrition responsible for providing policy directions, monitoring the implementation of various schemes and reviewing the nutritional status of various States and Union Territories have failed to meet even once since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Introduction: Briefly discuss the malnutrition issue. The secondary impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are aggravating the challenges faced by many families, especially in terms of access to affordable and nutritious food.


Impact of pandemic on nutrition: Provide data about the impact

  • UNICEF warned that 6.7 million additional children under five could suffer from wasting and there could be nearly 10,000 more under-five deaths a month globally as a result of the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. 
  • The recent National Family Health Survey-5 data shows that even before COVID-19, 16 out of 22 States surveyed had witnessed worsening levels of wasting among under five children and 13 showed a surge in stunting among children.

Way forward:

  • Maximise maternal, infant and young child nutrition actions
  • Protect functioning food supply chains & strengthen food security
  • Manage cases of acute malnutrition
  • Accelerate micronutrient supplementation and fortification activities
  • Strengthen school feeding and nutrition
  • Establish nutrition surveillance

Conclusion: Summarize the discussion.