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NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.

General Studies – 1

Topic:  –  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times ; and also- The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

1) Revivalism and reformism were natural corollaries of the newly emerging idea of nationalism in colonial India. Discuss. (250 Words)



Why this question

Indian nationalism was deeply nurtured by the literature of the times, which focussed on revivalism and reformism. India’s struggle for independence is a very important topic as far as UPSC mains is concerned. This topic is related to GS-1 syllabus-  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times ; and also- The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to discuss in length, the revivalist and reformist literature that emerged during colonial era. Then we have to discuss, how this literature was a natural corollary of newly emerged nationalism.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to look into the details, highlight key works of such literature, important contributors and discuss how this literature was related to the rise of nationalism.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- introduce your answer by mentioning some of the earliest contributors of the reformist movement in colonial India.

Body- Elaborate your answer by highlighting and briefly discussing the prominent  revivalist and revisionist movements and their contributors. Also, discuss individually, how these movements and their contributors found their source in the newly emerging idea of nationalism.

Conclusion- In the conclusion you can cite how nationalism in many ways was nurtured by such revivalist and reformist movements and their contributors.



  • In the 19th century, the idea of national identity emerged from literature, and most Indian writings turned into the voice of enlightment. This paved the way for India to understand the real, factual position of nationalism by the time it reached the threshold of the 20th century.

How both revivalism and reformism are natural corollaries of the emerging idea of nationalism :-

  • By the end of the nineteenth century revivalists were dominant and their aim was not to oppose the advancement initiated by reformists but to create changes in Hindu society changes as radical as those of social reformers but based in Indian ideals.
  • In the early 20th century clear cut distinction could be made between the major revivalist movements and social reform movements in terms of objectives that they both set for Indian society’s advancement. But both revivalists and reformers had reached an essential accord on social questions, similarity of views was present too.
  • Both the groups despite the sharpest of surface disagreements ,the only real dispute between reformers and revivalists was over the authorities from which they derived their inspiration
    • The reformist movements responded with the time and scientific temper of the modern era.
    • Revivalist movements believed that the western thinking and missionary propaganda would ruin Indian culture and ethos, and thus there was a need to protect the religion. They were also influenced by the rich cultural heritage of India brought to light by the western scholars.
  • Both these movements wanted to change the status quoin the society wherein several deformities had crept in. All of them, in some way or other, attacked on inhuman practices such as sati, female infanticide, child marriage etc. along with superstitions, complex rituals and so on.
    • The reformers attempted to improve the status of girls and women in society. They all emphasised the need for female education.
    • The reform movements fostered feelings of self-respect, self-reliance and patriotism among the Indians
  • While the reformist movements strived to change the fundamental system and structures of the society through gradual changes within the existing institutions; revivalist movements tended to revive former customs or practices and thus take the society back to the glorious past.
  • Literature’s role:-
    • Patriotic writings proliferated almost spontaneously in different languages, as the resistance of a community against foreign rule. Rangalal in Bengali, Mirza Ghalib in Urdu and Bharatendu Harishchandra in Hindi expressed themselves as the patriotic voice of that era. This voice was on the one hand was against colonial rule and on the other for the glorification of India.
    • The birth of the novel is associated with the social reform-oriented movement of the 19th century. This new genre, borrowed from the West, is characterized by a spirit of revolt, right from its adoption into the Indian system.
      • Many novels like  Pratap Mudaliyar Charitram (1879),Sri Ranga Raja Charitra (1872) etc were written with didactic intentions and to re-examine evil social customs and practices like untouchability, caste distinctions, denial of remarriage of widows, etc.


  • It is true that the idea of a modern state took root in Indian society because of India’s contact with western ideas, but Indian writers like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and others made use of this newly acquired concept of nationalism to attack colonial rule, and in the process created their own brand of nationalism, rooted in the soil. This shows both revivalism and reformism were natural corollaries.

General Studies-2

Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

2) Critically analyse the recent SC judgement over the issue of CJI being the master of the roster, with alone power to constitute benches. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

The Hindu

The Economic Times

Why this question

Ranging from resolution of impeaching the CJI to the press conference by four advocates of SC, the office of CJI has been going through a lot of controversies. The recent SC judgement will have significant impact on India’s judiciary confirming the unlimited power of CJI in allocation of cases. The question is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following headings; Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

And also ; Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to examine in length the SC judgement over the issue of CJI being the master of the roster. It wants us to present arguments in favour of the judgement and arguments against the judgement.

Directive word

Critically analyze- We have to see both sides of the judgement and then form an opinion on the issue. However, the opinion should reflect the constitutional and related judicial provisions.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- you can introduce your answer by directly stating the SC judgement.

Body- Divide the body of the answer into two parts. In one part discuss the constitutional provisions, judicial precedent and  wisdom of the judgement. In other part, present arguments against the judgement.

Conclusion- you can conclude your answer by presenting your opinion on the issue and also cite related scheme in other countries.


  • There have been many controversies in the recent months about the role and powers of CJI but Supreme court passed a judgement recently declared the Chief Justice of India an “institution in himself” with “exclusive prerogative” to constitute Benches and allocate cases.

Points in favour of the judgement:-

  • With respect to the administration of the court the chief justice is the “first among equals”. The chief justice
    • decides when a case may be listed for hearing
    • Also decides which judges will hear it.
  • The authority is entrusted to the Chief Justice because such an entrustment of functions is necessary for the efficient transaction of the administrative and judicial work of the court. 
  • There is no constitutional foundation on the basis of which the suggestion that senior judges being part of constitution benches can be accepted
    • This would intrude into the exclusive duty and authority of the Chief Justice to constitute benches and to allocate cases to them. 
  • To suggest that one judge is more capable of deciding particular cases or that certain categories of cases should be assigned only to the senior-most among the judges of the Supreme Court has no foundation in principle or precedent.
  • 1998 Supreme court judgement held that the Chief Justice of a high court was the master of the court roster and said that it applied to the top court as well.


  • Anomolies found recently:-
    • According to experts, Iin the issue related to present CJI assignment of certain particularly sensitive cases to benches is without reference to established normsand precedents.
    • Benches are generally constituted by the Chief Justice considering the previous orders and it is rare to exclude from reconstituted benches the Judges who had heard the matter earlier and are still available.
    • There appears to be a pattern in distribution of such cases. Matters involving Constitutional Authorities and certain issues relevant to political spectrum are being marked to certain Benches.
  • In Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association v Union of India, the Second Judges Appointment Case:-
    • The Court has decided that opinion of the Chief Justice of India in appointments and transfers is not merely his individual opinion but an opinion formed collectively at the Apex level in the Judiciary
    • It has laid down that the Chief Justice must consult senior Judges, thus paving way for the Collegium system.
  • Choice of determining benches:-
    • In US Supreme court the Chief justice has no choice in the question of which judges to hear the case because all the 9 judges sit together to hear cases.
    • Similarly in UK 12 judges often sit in the panels of five (or more) so chief justice choice is constrained which is not the case in India where benches are sat predominantly in benches of two.
  • Allocation of cases, if not made transparent, would lead to suspicion.
    • More internal conflict in the court as the four Supreme court judges had publicly showed the apprehensions that cases were allotted to preferred Benches earlier.
  • Such concentration of power in the hands of one person violates the foundations of Supreme court as “a court of equals”. The Chief Justice of India is only one among equals, with the power to judiciously exercise an important role of constituting benches.
  • Indisciplined exercise of this authority can lead to a complete subversion of democracy.
  • Collective decision-making was the bedrock that ushered in the collegium system in 1993. It laid the foundation of consultative procedures for appointment of judges. When appointments are a collective function, the allocation of important cases must be done collectively or at least in consultation with senior judges of the Supreme Court.

Way forward:-

  • Based on international experiences Supreme court can consider the following options:
    • A just and fair roster must be one that is divided subject-wise among judges according to their experience and expertise in those subjects must be decided.
    • Politically sensitive matters should be before the five senior judges of the Supreme Court. Among them, the allocation of individual cases must be by random computer allocation not by the individual decision of any human.
    • For other cases as well, if there is more than one judge dealing with a particular subject then cases belonging to that subject should be randomly allocated among the various judges to whom that subject has been allocated.


General Studies – 3

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

3) Cryptocurrencies are hailed as the future of digital currency. In light of the government’s aim to go cashless, discuss whether a Central Bank Digital Currency would help India achieve this aim? (250 Words) 




Why this question

One of the biggest event last year was the meteoric rise in Bitcoin’s value which led to Bitcoin becoming a household discussion in India. The statement issued by Finance Minister regarding cryptos and RBI’s continued stand against cryptos, Bitcoin regulation and the possibility of a CBDC are issues always in news and hence, important for UPSC.

Key demand of the question

The central discussion in this question will revolve around the idea whether cryptocurrencies are the most optimum way to achieve the government’s aim of going cashless. We have to do an assessment of past, present and future as well as learn from global experiments to figure out whether a CBDR is the way forward.

Directive word

Discuss – Here all aspects related to the possibility of a future CBDC for India needs to be discussed.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Talk about the growing acceptability of Bitcoins, changing technological scenario etc to establish that countries across the world are toying with the idea of a government issued cryptocurrency.


  1. Discuss about the idea of CBDR
    1. Why is RBI toying with this idea
    2. Global experience
  2. Talk about India’s readiness for CBDR
    1. Legal issues
    2. Awareness / literacy
    3. Digital Infra readiness etc
  3. Talk about the problems of CBDR as a digital currency
    1. Here quote extensively from Ecuador’s experiment
  4. Present your view on whether India would benefit from adopting CBDC
    1. Discuss the impact on society (inequality issue etc), economy, polity etc

Conclusion : Mention your view whether Bitcoins are the future of digital currencies across the world in general and India in particular. Mention a short way forward such as govt and RBI should make its stand clear to end confusion.



  • Reserve Bank of India’s statement on developmental and regulatory policies, which accompanied the monetary policy statement recently said that an in-house group in the central bank will come up with suggestions on the desirability and feasibility of introducing central bank digital currency. This step takes RBI into an area which has triggered debate within many central banks and shows that crypto currencies are the currencies for the future.

Central bank digital currency and India’s readiness:-

  • CBDC is not a well-defined term. However, it is envisioned by most to be a new form of central bank money. That is, a central bank liability, denominated in an existing unit of account, which serves both as a medium of exchange and a store of value.
  • CBDC is a digital form of central bank money that is different from balances in traditional reserve or settlement accounts

It could help India go cashless:-

  • With the spread of formal banking services, primarily on account of advances in communications technology, soon many Indians will be able to transact almost all the time without using cash, if they so choose
  • Availability:-
  • Currently, access to digital central bank money is limited to central bank operating hours, traditionally less than 24 hours a day and usually five days a week.8 CBDCs could be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week
  • CBDC could also reinforce the resilience of a country’s retail payment systems.:-
    • Should payments in private sector infrastructures be disrupted due to technical problems or because a bank providing credit transfers was under stress, households and businesses could still make digital payments via CBDC, something especially important if cash had (largely) disappeared.
    • CBDC could reduce the concentration of liquidity and credit risk in payment systems
  • RBI cites three factors:
    • Rapid changes in the landscape of the payments industry,
    • Emergence of private digital tokens
    • The rising costs of managing fiat paper/metallic money.
  • Banknotes allow anonymous transactions so a reduced use or elimination of banknotes would help fight illegal activities. 



  • The elimination of cash is currently not feasible. Not everyone has a bank account, a credit/debit card, or access to electronic payment systems via a smart phone or computers. People cannot be forced to have or use these tools.
  • CBDC can exacerbate risks in a banking system struggling to remain credible:-
    • Commercial banks reliance on customer deposits may become less stable, as deposits could more easily take flight to the central bank in times of stress.
    • The introduction of a CBDC would raise fundamental issues that go far beyond payment systems and monetary policy transmission and implementation. A general purpose CBDC could give rise to higher instability of commercial bank deposit funding.
    • In case of any crisis, people might shift deposits towards the central bank leading to the collapse of the entire financial system. This makes the scope of e-currency much wider from monetary policy to financial regulation.
  • Bank for International Settlements (BIS) suggested that state-backed crypto might destabilize commercial banks customer deposits, negatively impacting the efficiency of financial intermediation.
  • Different implications for payment systems, monetary policy transmission as well as the structure and stability of the financial system.
  • Introducing a CBDC could result in a wider presence of central banks in financial systems:-
    • This, in turn, could mean a greater role for central banks in allocating economic resources, which could entail overall economic losses should such entities be less efficient than the private sector in allocating resources.
    • It could move central banks into uncharted territory and could also lead to greater political interference.
  • If RBI will look at this decentralized digital currency as  a substitute for cash i.e.,it will not bear interest and will serve as an instrument to make retail payments then CBDC of this kind do not have many takers.
    • Even Denmark’s central bank is disinclined to switch to this system though the Danish society is one of the most digitalized in the world.
  • International example:-
    • Ecuador’s CBDC:-
      • Under the project, only the central bank could issue electronic dollars and the state-owned mobile phone company (CNT) could facilitate mobile transactions.
      • An individual could open bank accounts at the central bank, and it was expected that by 2015 around 500,000 accounts will be opened. However there were fewer than 5,000 accounts, making the entire scheme unprofitable.
    • Central banks would also have to take account of AML/CFT concerns and requirements if they were to issue CBDC. Issuing a CBDC that does not adequately comply with these and other supervisory and tax regimes would not be advisable
    • Cyber-security is currently one of the most important operational challenges for central bank systems and the financial industry more generally. Cyber-threats, such as malware, and fraud are risks for nearly every payment, clearing and settlement system. They pose, however, a particular challenge for a general purpose CBDC, which is open to many participants and points of attack.
    • India’s digital literacy is still largely less and cash is predominantly used for transactions.
    • Depending on design, central banks’ seigniorage income could also be affected . Relatedly, if CBDC was interest bearing, the central bank would be directly exposed to stakeholders that might at times exert pressures to raise interest rates
    • Prohibiting banks from offering any services to entities dealing with virtual currencies, RBI joins the chorus of other central banks which have either banned or warned against virtual currencies. It is ironic to see central banks banning the very ideas which led to the development of the CBDC idea in the first place.

Way forward:-

  • Any steps towards the possible launch of a CBDC should be subject to careful and thorough consideration. Further research on the possible effects on interest rates, the structure of intermediation, financial stability and financial supervision is warranted.
  • The effects on movements in exchange rates and other asset prices remain largely unknown and also deserve further exploration.
  • More generally, central banks and other authorities should continue their broad monitoring of digital innovations, keep reviewing how their own operations could be affected and continue to engage with each other closely.
  • Besides consequences for financial stability, effects on the efficiency of financial intermediation need to be carefully considered
  • Robust mitigation methods of cyber-risk would therefore be a prerequisite for CBDC issuance.

Topic: Environmental pollution; Paper-2 – bilateral, global agreements

4) The maritime industry poses significant emission threats and there is an urgent need for a global consensus on  industry specific emission reduction targets. Critically analyse. (250 Words)




Why this question

IMO is trying to secure a shipping industry specific emission targets, in the wake of the report of one of its recently commissioned study. Some countries have called for reduction by 50% and some even higher. However, the proposals are being opposed by emerging economies including India. Thus it is an important issue and is related to GS-2 syllabus and GS-3 topics – Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora and Environmental pollution respectively.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to examine the role of shipping industry in global GHG emissions and, what imminent threats it poses. It also wants us to discuss impediments faced in reaching such agreement, and counter interests if any. Based on the examination, we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Directive word

Critically analyse- The key here is to analyse both sides of the issue. Why such an agreement is important and also what are the issues involved which inhibiting reaching such an agreement.

We have to present our personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- in the introduction, mention the contribution of shipping industry towards global GHG emissions and the IMO’s endeavour to secure an agreement.

Body- Divide the body into two parts. In one part, discuss the threats posed by shipping industry emissions, and also present arguments which highlight the concerns of main supporting countries and need of such agreement.  In the other part, discuss the concerns of developing economies with special focus on India.

Conclusion- you can conclude the answer by presenting your opinion along with a few suggestions.


Background :-

  • As the engine of global trade, the shipping industry is instrumental in daily lives. 90% of the world’s goods are transported by ship, and seaborne trade supports the economies of developed and developing nations alike but this sector has been detrimental to environment.
  • Recently the strategy embraced by a committee of the International Maritime Organization would lower emissions from container ships, oil tankers, bulk carriers and other vessels by at least 50 percent by the year 2050 vs where they stood in 2008. 

How maritime industry poses significant emission threats:-

  • Maritime industry accounts for 2-3% of global greenhouse gases, but its emissions are projected to increase by as much as 250% by 2050 without intervention.
  • The industry is also a large emitter accounting for around 2.4% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, equivalent to Germany.
  • Shipping in recent years has been responsible for about 800 million tons annually of carbon dioxide emissions
  • Ships, by burning heavy fuel oil, create not only carbon dioxide emissions but also significant emissions of black carbon, or soot. Black carbon is a short-lived but powerful climate-change driver.
  • Fuel consumption is increasing. Total shipping fuel consumption increased from 291 to 298 million tonnes (+2.4%) from 2013 to 2015.
  • Shipping GHG emissions are increasing despite improvements in operational efficiency for many ship classes. Increasing emissions are being driven by rising demand for shipping and the associated consumption of fossil fuels.
  • Noise pollution caused by shipping and other human enterprises has increased in recent history.

Urgent need for  global consensus on industry specific emission reduction targets :-

  • Failure to commit to full decarbonisation by mid-century will create serious investment uncertainty for the industry.
  • Pollution from ships is a major concern, but one that has been largely overlooked in recent years.
  • Despite its major role in polluting the planet, shipping was not accounted for in the Paris agreement on climate change. 
  • Low lying island states like Marshall islands, pacific islands etc are threatened by rise of sea level so reducing GHG of shipping sector is important for the survival of these states.
  • Tremendous investment has been made in recent years in a range of new fuel and technology solutions to help shipping mitigate its environmental impact. Currently the industry burns a range of heavy fuel oils and residual oil products left over from hydrocarbon cracking in refineries. These fuels are extremely carbon intensive and so one of shipping’s main priorities is to pioneer alternative, low and zero carbon fuels to help manage its decarbonisation pathway.
  • Since the sector has major international components it is not the responsibility of any single country to regulate as part of a domestic climate-change strategy.

Why emerging or developing countries are opposing :-

  • Major emerging economies are resistant to the idea of a cap on emissions, preferring to focus on cutting emissions relative to each tonne of cargo shipped. With volumes of seaborne trade set to rise, that approach would not guarantee emissions cuts in absolute terms.
  • China, India, Brazil and six other countries say a greenhouse gas emissions cap would be fundamentally unfit for the sector because as long as world trade is growing, shipping will grow too. This responsive characteristic of shipping makes it impossible to determine its peak emissions in the same way that a country could do
  • They argue that it would be unproductive to have two complex and interrelated negotiations occurring in parallel.
  • They are concerned that discussions would lead to an absolute target that could constrain economic growth
  • There is a confusion on how responsibilities would be divided between developed and developing countries.
  • For shipping to decarbonize, current fuel oils would have to be replaced by biofuels or, perhaps  ultimately, hydrogen or batteries. But such innovations so far are being tested only in smaller ships, rather than the largest vessels
  • Also exports, food security complicated by regulating maritime emissions are some other issues.

Way forward:-

  • Focus should be on rules for gathering fuel consumption data from ships. It is the first part of an agreed “three-step approach” that could ultimately in five years or more lead to energy efficiency regulations.


  • Absolute reductions in ship emissions will require concerted action to improve the energy efficiency of shipping and to develop and deploy alternative fuel and propulsion concepts

Topic Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints 

5) What do you understand by Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF). Discuss its economic and environmental benefits vis a vis conventional farming practices.  (250 Words)



Down to Earth


Why this question

ZBNF has been quite successful in some southern states and is totally environment and budget friendly. In such times of agriculture distress, any issue related to agriculture becomes doubly important as far as UPSC exam is concerned (SIGH). The issue is related to GS-3 syllabus; Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints;

Key demand of the question

The question demands us to explain what is ZBNF, how is it different from conventional farming and what are its benefits.

Directive word

What- we have to simply explain the meaning of the term ZBNF and describe it briefly.

Discuss- We have to write in detail about the benefits of ZBNF.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- You can directly introduce your answer by defining the term ZBNF.

Body- Divide the body into two parts. In one part, discuss ZBNF by further explaining it. In the other discuss in points about how ZBNF is different from conventional farming and what economic and ecological benefits it provides vis a vis conventional farming.

Conclusion- you can mention the need to try ZBNF in other parts of the country and highlight government’s efforts to promote ZBNF, and what further could be done.


  • The neoliberalization of the Indian economy led to a deep agrarian crisis that is making small scale farming an unviable vocation. Privatized seeds, inputs, and markets are inaccessible and expensive for peasants.
  • Indian farmers increasingly find themselves in a vicious cycle of debt, because of the high production costs, high interest rates for credit, the volatile market prices of crops, the rising costs of fossil fuel based inputs, and private seeds. Under these circumstances Zero budget natural farming can be an effective alternative.
  • Over 25 lakh farmers in different parts of the country, including Kerala, have adopted the zero budget farming technology.


Zero budget natural farming :-

  • ‘Zero Budget’ means without using any credit, and without spending any money on purchased inputs. ‘Natural farming’ means farming with Nature and without 
  • It is considered ‘zero budget’ because the costs of the main crop are offset by the income that farmers earn from intercrops during the agricultural season

The four-wheels of zero budget natural farming

  • water vapour condensation for better soil moisture
  • Seed treatment with cow dung and urine based formulations
  • Mulching
  • Ensure soil fertility through cow dung and cow urine based concoctions

Economic benefits over conventional farming practices:-

  • Low input cost:-
    • Agriculture in its prevailing form requires farmers to rely heavily on inorganic external chemical inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides.Zero budget’ farming promises to end a reliance on loans and drastically cut production costs, ending the debt cycle for desperate farmers
  • Higher yield:-
    • Besides reduced input cost, farmers practising ZBNF gets higher yields. In AP Yields of five crops (paddy, groundnut, black gram, maize and chillies) have increased by 8-32 per cent for ZBNF farmers.
    • Farmers are able to get five quintals of red gram under ZBNF compared to three quintals under non-ZBNF.
    • Farmers use bio fertilizers and that make the soil fertile, thus giving higher yields.
  • It has the ability to solve the food and farm crisis in the country by cutting the cost of production and doubling productivity and production
  • Net income raised:-
    • There will be increase in net income for farmers and will improve the cash flow of poor and vulnerable farmers, and may enhance their ability to deal with economic shock
    • Crop cutting experiments from 2016 and 2017 indicate that ZBNF farmers in AP earn better net incomes and can raise their disposable incomes. Farmers vulnerable to economic shocks have an important safety net against short-term shocks.
  • Food and nutritional security:-
    • As a result of increased crop yields, ZBNF farmers may be able to improve food and nutritional security for their families.
    • The practice of intercropping growing multiple crops in proximity to each other  is encouraged under ZBNF as it ensures vulnerable communities access to a suite of nutritional sources and income generating crops throughout the year
  • In the long-run, due to the use of local inputs, the project is likely to contribute to maintaining the genetic diversity of seeds and crops.

Environmental benefits:-


  • it is free from health hazards, as no chemical or organic materials are used for farming
  • Prevailing agricultural practices such as mono-cropping decrease soil moisture content, causing tremendous stress on water resources . Zero budget natural farming requires only 10 per cent water and 10 per cent electricity than what is required under chemical and organic farming.
  • It utilises only natural resources as inputs. It also increases the fertility of the soil.
  • Fertilisers and pesticides have been shown to have adverse impacts on farmers as well as consumers. Farmers are exposed to contaminants when applying chemical inputs to their crops. By replacing such external inputs with locally made natural concoctions, inoculums, and decoctions, the project could help in reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases
  • ZBNF can help prevent over-extraction of groundwater, enable aquifer recharge, and eventually contribute to increasing water table levels.
  • ZBNF might help farmers build resilience against extreme climate events by improving the fertility and strength of the soil.
    • ZBNF farmers have shown that crop losses due to droughts, floods and other extreme events have been lower than in non-ZBNF farms.
  • By reducing the need for irrigation and eliminating external chemical inputs, ZBNF could reduce the material footprint per capita and material footprint per unit of value added in agriculture.
    • Wide-scale adoption of ZBNF would help reduce the release of harmful chemicals to the air, water and soil.
  • Zero budget natural farming eliminates chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and would help reduce ocean acidification and marine pollution from land-based activities. It might help to reduce the leaching of nitrogen and phosphorous from the soil into groundwater or surface water, and eventually into rivers and oceans.
    • High concentration of ammonium nitrate in fertilisers, and hazardous chemical pollutants from pesticides which run-off into rivers and oceans can severely impact aquatic life. The use of natural concoctions in ZBNF will help to reduce the contamination and degradation of rivers and oceans
  • By eliminating the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, ZBNF will vastly reduce the need for, and use of energy along their value chain.
  • By restoring the quality of soil and water-related ecosystems, it decouples agricultural productivity and growth from ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. This decoupling of growth and resource-use provides a sustainable livelihood to farmers and allied value chain actors
  • Globally, as few as 30 crops constitute 90 per cent of the calorie intake of people. ZBNF may improve the potential of crops to adapt to and be produced for evolving climatic conditions.

Way forward:-

  • Policy support needed in the following areas:
    • There are no other official policies to promote ZBNF.
    • A particular challenge is marketing. Many farmers sell their natural produce as if were chemically grown, to private traders or at government wholesale yards, with no price differential. Other farmers rely on their own local marketing networks, such as to some organic shops and individual customers, but policy support in this area is crucial.
  • The agriculture ministry plans to offer cash incentives to farmers who take up ‘yogik’ farming, ‘gou mata kheti’ and ‘rishi krishi’is right step in promoting Zero budget natural farming in India.


  • The implementation of this project at scale will impact a multitude of stakeholders, and also help India progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) to facilitate the post-2015 development agenda.

General Studies – 4


Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion

6) Public outrage over crimes against women have a very short memory which represents a lack of empathy. This apathy is why crimes against women continue unabated. Discuss. (150 Words)

The Indian Express

Why this question

Crimes against women are quite usual in Indian society. Past experience suggests that public memory in case of crimes against women is very short. Recent SC Court judgment in Rajesh  Sharma and ors vs State of UP has diluted Section 498A which means that even legal safeguards for crimes against women are under threat. In this background, this case should strike the collective conscience of our society and make us ask pertinent questions for improving women safety.

Key demand of the question

The question basically demands us to address the reason why despite momentary uproar in cases of crimes against women, such crimes continue unabated. In our discussion, we have to bring out the reasons why attitude of society towards women continues to be dismissive, why laws are unable to provide adequate safety to women, the lacuna in laws etc. We also need to address the question of public morality and collective consciousness, whether they are by design transitory in nature and whether they are strong determinant of ethics.

Directive word

Discuss – We need to bring out the various facets of the discussion as highlighted above

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Present the sorry state of affairs when it comes to crimes against women.

Body : First part

  1. Discuss the nature of public morality and collective consciousness
  2. Discuss whether they are transitory by their very nature or represent a lack of empathy

Second part:

  1. Answer whether its only public apathy which is responsible for crimes against women. Here bring out the various reasons behind such crimes
  2. Bring out the fact that the reason behind public apathy is rooted in various systemic factors like patriarchy which needs to be addressed first

Bring out the fact that women constitute half of society, and society can’t progress until women do. Hence its necessary for such events to strike at the heart of society’s conscience such that people clamour for change.



Violence in general is a coercive mechanism to assert one’s will over another, in order to prove or feel a sense of power. As many as 39 crimes against women were reported every hour in India, up from 21 in 2007, according to Crime in India 2016 report by National Crime Records Bureau. Added to this the recent ghastic incident like Kathua rape case show that daughters of India are abused in magnanimous proportions.


Violence against women has to be seen in the context of the Indian society in transition which has committed itself to the values of equality and justice, but which is unable to make the dominant socio-economic segments and the male population relinquish their traditionally held rights and power over the weaker segments and women.


 In many spheres of life, such as marriage customs, occupations, norms of everyday social behaviour, there is a cultural lag, and even a backlash when the hitherto powerless groups seek to demand their newly available rights. Violence thus becomes both a symptom and a cause of social tensions.


After some cases due to media exposure  public outrage is visible as in the form of candle march after the Nirbhaya case in 2012 and after that government tries to bring in reforms so the protest dissipates. People due to their jobs and employment tend to neglect the issue after some days. The issues with women safety still largely remain unaddressed.


Lack of empathy is visible as most often woman victim is held responsible for the crime that took place on her , women  so easily discarded of as bad character and loose morals if she stays outside  late at night  etc.


The most crucial and terrible aspect of crimes against  women is the fact that the attack  especially sexual assault seems to be directed against the female species as a whole, and not against individual women or even women of a sexually active age. The showing of power of dominance is visible when lower caste women and even children are abused.


Patriarchal ideology  that governs social structure in Indian society is mainly responsible for the violence perpetrated against women. There is a well-known saying in India “ You have nowhere to go to complain against the rain or the husband.” Premised upon male dominance, Indian society  compels women to subordination, subservience, and dependence on men in all spheres of life.


There are various reasons why the existing legal structures do not provide adequate protection to women. In cases of sexual crimes, the onus of proof is on the victim rather than on the accused (as is the case in other types of crime); the accused tends to be given the benefit of the doubt on the principle that a man is innocent until proven guilty; and the rate of conviction is low in rape cases partly because the civil rights of the accused are protected. For instance in the recent SC Court judgment in Rajesh  Sharma vs State of UP SC has diluted Section 498A which means that even legal safeguards for crimes against women are under threat.


Women constitute almost half of the world’s population and for a society to make some genuine progress women’s role is very important as well. Hence crimes against women need effective laws, people should have a sense of responsibility and crisis of conscience should be overcome by playing a larger role of ensuring safety of omen in the society.