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State PCS

  • 05 Dec 2022
  • 36 min read

Wassenaar Arrangement


Social Justice

The Future of Food and Agriculture: FAO

For Prelims: FAO, Food Security, SDG, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.

For Mains: The Future of Food and Agriculture: FAO.

Why in News?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) new report, The Future of Food and Agriculture — Drivers and triggers for transformation, the world will witness persistent food insecurity if agrifood systems remain the same.

  • This report aims at inspiring strategic thinking and actions to transform agrifood systems towards a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.

What are the Findings of the Report?

  • Drivers of Agrifood System:
    • There are 18 interconnected socio-economic and environmental forces, called drivers, which interacted and shaped the various activities occurring within agrifood systems, including farming, food processing, and food consumption.
    • Poverty and inequalities, geopolitical instability, scarcity and the degradation of resources, and climate change are some of the key drivers and how they are and their management will determine what the future of food looks like.
  • Concerns over Food Insecurity:
    • The world will witness persistent food insecurity, degrading resources and unsustainable economic growth in the future if agrifood systems remain the same.
    • The world is “tremendously off track” to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including agrifood targets.
      • Many of the SDGs are not on track and will only be achieved if agrifood systems are transformed properly to withstand ongoing global adversity that undermines food security and nutrition due to growing structural inequalities and also regional inequalities.
    • By 2050, there will be 10 billion people in the world to feed and this will be an unprecedented challenge if significant attempts are not made to reverse current trends.
  • Future Scenarios:
    • There will be four future scenarios for agrifood systems that bring diverse outcomes in terms of food security, nutrition and overall sustainability.
      • More of the same, that envisages continuing muddling through by reacting to events and crises.
      • Adjusted future, where some moves towards sustainable agrifood systems occur at a slow, uncertain pace.
      • Race to the bottom, that portrays a world in disarray in the worst version of itself.
      • Trading off for sustainability, where short-term Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is traded off for inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability of agrifood, socioeconomic and environmental systems.

What are the Suggestions?

  • Decision makers need to think beyond short-term needs. A lack of vision, piecemeal approaches and quick fixes will come at a high cost for everyone
  • There is an urgent need to change course so that a more sustainable and resilient future for agrifood systems is created.
  • There is a need to work on Key ‘triggers of transformation’:
    • Improved governance.
    • Critical and informed consumers.
    • Better income and wealth distribution.
  • Innovative technologies and approaches.
  • A comprehensive transformation, however, will come at a cost and will require trade-off of contrasting objectives that governments, policy makers and consumers will have to address and balance, while tackling resistance to the paradigm shift.

What is the Food and Agriculture Organization?

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. The FAO accords the status of ‘Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS)’ to traditional agricultural systems. What is the overall goal of this initiative? (2016)

  1. To provide modern technology, training in modern farming methods and financial support to local communities of identified GIAHS so as to greatly enhance their agricultural productivity.
  2. To identify and safeguard eco-friendly traditional farm practices and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity and knowledge systems of the local communities.
  3. To provide Geographical Indication status to all the varieties of agricultural produce in such identified GIAHS.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

Source: DTE

Social Justice

India’s Progress in Tackling IMR, MMR and Malnutrition

For Prelims: Infant Mortality Rate, Maternal Mortality Rate, Malnutrition, Undernutrition, NFHS 5, Registrar General of India, Poshan Abhiyan, National Health Mission, ICDS Scheme, Anaemia, Hidden Hunger, Initiatives to tackle Malnutrition

For Mains: Challenges to tackling Malnutrition, IMR and MMR and India’s related initiatives

Why in News?

The data presented by the Registrar General of India (RGI) presents a gain in momentum of the pace of decline in India’s maternal and infant mortality rates (MMR and IMR) post-2005.

  • Unfortunately, nutrition is one key area that has remained oblivious to any major progress.

What is the Registrar General of India?

  • Founded in 1961 under the Ministry of Home Affairs, the RGI arranges, conducts and analyses the results of the demographic surveys of India (Census of India and Linguistic Survey of India).
  • The position of Registrar is usually held by a civil servant holding the rank of Joint Secretary.
  • The Office of RGI is primarily responsible for conducting:

What Progress has been Made in Reducing MMRs and IMRs?

  • Declining Trends:
    • According to a special bulletin released by the office of the RGI, India’s MMR was 97 during 2018-2020 compared to 301 during 2001-03.
    • The IMR has also been reduced to 27 (as of 2021) compared to 58 in 2005.
      • The Rural-Urban difference in this context has also been narrowed.
  • Role of NHM and NRHM: As observed, for the last few years the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the National Health Mission (NHM) has been a game changer for the country in terms of mortality reductions for infants and mothers.
    • The NRHM was launched in 2005 to provide accessible and affordable healthcare through a public system of primary health care.
    • NHM was launched by the government of India in 2013 subsuming the National Rural Health Mission (Launched in 2005) and the National Urban Health Mission (Launched in 2013).

What is the Scenario of Tackling Malnutrition?

  • About:
    • Malnutrition is the condition that develops when the body is deprived of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function.
    • Malnutrition occurs in people who are either undernourished or over nourished.
  • Findings of NFHS 5:
    • The 5th National Family Health Survey 2019-21 reports 35.5% of children under 5 are stunted, 19.3% are wasted, and 32.1% are underweight.
      • Meghalaya has the highest number of stunted children (46.5%), followed by Bihar (42.9%).
      • Maharashtra (25.6%) has the highest percentage of wasted children followed by Gujarat (25.1%).
    • Compared with NFHS-4, the prevalence of overweight or obesity has increased in most States/UTs in NFHS-5.
      • At the national level, it increased from 21% to 24% among women and 19% to 23% among men.
    • The incidence of anaemia in under-5 children (from 58.6 to 67%), women (53.1 to 57%) and men (22.7 to 25%) has worsened in all States of India.
  • Inefficiency of Govt. Initiatives:
    • The POSHAN Abhiyaan, though innovative, is still not addressing the institutional decentralised public action challenge yet.
    • The initiatives for nutrition have remained compartmentalised and fragmented; the institutional role of local panchayats and communities with untied financial resources is still lagging.
  • Other Issues:
    • The vicious cycle of poverty, undernutrition, diminished work capacity, low earnings and poverty.
    • Infections like malaria and measles precipitate acute malnutrition and aggravate the existing nutritional deficit.
    • Arbitrariness and inter-state-variation in determining a household's BPL status results in arbitrary identification of hunger.
    • Negligence towards micro-nutrient deficiency (hidden hunger) and inadequate knowledge among mothers regarding nutrition and breast-feeding.

What Initiatives have been launched to Tackle Malnutrition?

  • POSHAN Abhiyaan: The government of India has launched the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) or POSHAN Abhiyaan to ensure a “Malnutrition Free India” by 2022.
  • Anemia Mukt Bharat Abhiyan: Launched in 2018, the mission aims at accelerating the annual rate of decline of anaemia from one to three percentage points.
  • The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013: It aims to ensure food and nutrition security for the most vulnerables through its associated schemes and programmes, making access to food a legal right.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY): Rs.6,000 is transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women for availing better facilities for their delivery.
  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme: It was launched in 1975 and the scheme aims at providing food, preschool education, primary healthcare, immunisation, health check-up and referral services to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.
  • Eat Right India and Fit India Movement are some other initiatives to promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyle.

What Should be the Reorganisation Principles for Nutrition Success?

  • Vesting in grassroot level administration (Gram Panchayat, Gram Sabha and other community organisations), the responsibility of education, health, nutrition, skills and diversified livelihoods.
  • Operationalising village-specific planning process with decentralised financial resources.
  • Assessing (and accordingly increasing) (a) the need for additional caregivers with capacity development to ensure household visits and (b) the intensity of monitoring needed for outcomes in nutrition.
  • Encouraging diversity of local food including millets, served hot.
  • Intensifying behaviour change communication.
  • Institutionalising monthly health days at every Anganwadi centre with community connection and parental involvement.
  • Creating a platform for adolescent girls in every village for empowerment and for diversified livelihoods through skills.


Nutrition as a subject calls for a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach. Technology can at best be a means and monitoring too has to become local. Panchayats and community organisations are the best way forward.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. Which of the following are the objectives of ‘National Nutrition Mission’? (2017)

  1. To create awareness relating to malnutrition among pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  2. To reduce the incidence of anaemia among young children, adolescent girls and women.
  3. To promote the consumption of millets, coarse cereals and unpolished rice.
  4. To promote the consumption of poultry eggs.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1, 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 4 onlyb 
(d) 3 and 4 only

Ans: (a)


Q. Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples. (2021)

Source: IE

Social Issues

Global Report on Health Equity for Disables

For Prelims: WHO, Persons with Disabilities, Chronic Illnesses.

For Mains: Issues Related to Persons with Disability in India, Initiatives to Empowerment of Disables.

Why in News?

Ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December), the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report titled- Global report on health equity for persons with disabilities.

What are the Findings of the Report?

  • Statistics related to Disabilities:
    • Currently, some 1.3 billion people, or one in six, worldwide suffer from major disabilities.
    • Because of the systemic and persistent health inequities, many persons with disabilities face the risk of dying much earlier—even up to 20 years earlier—than persons without disabilities.
    • An estimated 80 % of people with disabilities reside in low- and middle-income countries with limited resources, making it difficult to address these inequities.
  • Risk of Disabilities:
    • They are at a two-fold risk of contracting chronic illnesses like asthma, depression, diabetes, obesity, dental disorders and stroke.
    • Many of the discrepancies in health outcomes cannot be attributed to underlying health conditions but rather to preventable, unfair and unjust circumstances.
  • Some Factors for Inequity in Healthcare:
    • Hostile attitudes of healthcare providers
    • Non-comprehensible health information formats
    • Physical barriers, lack of transportation, or financial constraints that prevent access to a health center.

What are the Recommendations?

  • It is crucial to ensure that people with disabilities participate fully and effectively in all facets of society and to instil inclusion, accessibility and non-discrimination in the medical field.
  • Health systems should be alleviating the challenges that people with disabilities face, not adding to them.
  • Ensuring health equity for persons with disabilities will also have wider benefits and can advance global health priorities in 3 ways:
    • Health equity for all is critical towards achieving universal health coverage;
    • Inclusive public health interventions that are administered equitably across different sectors can contribute to healthier populations; and
    • Advancing health equity for persons with disabilities is a central component in all efforts to protect everyone in health emergencies.
  • Governments, health partners and civil society should ensure all health sector actions are inclusive of persons with disabilities so that they can enjoy their right to the highest standard of health.

What are the Initiatives to Empowerment of Disables?

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. India is home to lakhs of persons with disabilities. What are the benefits available to them under the law? (2011)

  1. Free schooling till the age of 18 years in governmentrun schools.
  2. Preferential allotment of land for setting up business.
  3. Ramps in public buildings.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)


Q. Does the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 ensure effective mechanism for empowerment and inclusion of the intended beneficiaries in the society? Discuss. (2017)

Source: DTE

Social Justice

Report on Forced Displacement: UNDP

For Prelims: UNDP, Internal Displacement, Climate Change.

For Mains: Report on Forcibly Displacement: UNDP.

Why in News?

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report “Turning the tide on internal displacement: A development approach to solutions”, for the first time ever, more than 100 million people were forcibly displaced in 2022, most of them within their own countries.

What are the Findings of the Report?

  • Statistics:
    • At the end of 2021, there were over 59 million people forcibly displaced within their own countries due to conflict, violence, disasters and climate change.
    • Before the war in Ukraine, 6.5 million people are estimated to have been internally displaced.
    • By 2050, climate change may force more than an estimated 216 million people to move within their own countries.
    • Disaster-related internal displacement is even more widespread, with new displacements recorded in over 130 countries and territories in 2021.
    • Around 30% of professional lives became unemployed and 24% were not able to earn money the same way as before. 48% of the internally displaced households earned less money than before displacement.
  • Impact:
    • The internally displaced persons struggle to cover their basic needs, find decent work or have a stable source of income.
      • Female and youth-headed households are more impacted.
    • Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa and parts of the Americas are the mostly affected regions from forced displacement.
    • The direct impact of internal displacement globally is estimated at over USD 21.5 billion in 2021 in the form of the financial cost of providing every internally displaced person with housing, education, health and security, and accounts.
    • Lack of Proper and Commonly Accepted Statistics about displacement has led to a lack of policies for displaced people.
  • Suggestions:
    • Longer-term development action is needed to reverse record levels of internal displacement, with millions more people predicted to be uprooted by climate change.
    • Humanitarian aid alone cannot overcome record levels of internal displacement globally. There is a need to devise new ways to address the consequences of internal displacement through a development approach.
    • Five key pathways to development solutions can be adopted, which are,
      • Strengthening governance institutions
      • Boosting socio-economic integration through access to jobs and services
      • Restoring security
      • Enhancing participation
      • Building social cohesion

What is United Nations Development Program?

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network.
  • UNDP is based on the merging of the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance and the United Nations Special Fund.
  • The UNDP was established in 1965 by the United Nations General Assembly, and became operational in January 1966.
  • It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries.
  • The UNDP Executive Board is made up of representatives from 36 countries around the world who serve on a rotating basis.
  • It is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from member nations.
  • UNDP is central to the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), a network that spans 165 countries and unites the 40 UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies and other bodies working to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • UNDP Publication: Human Development Index.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attracts controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects. (2016)

Source: DTE

Important Facts For Prelims

Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Why in News?

The President of India paid floral tributes to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the First President of India, on his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 3rd December 2022.

Who was Dr. Rajendra Prasad?

  • Birth:
    • Son of Mahadev Sahai, he was born in Zeradei, Siwan, Bihar on 3rd December 1884.
  • Education:
    • He joined the famed Calcutta Presidency College in 1902.
    • In 1915, Prasad appeared in the examination of master's in law from the Department of Law, University of Calcutta, passed the examination and won a gold medal.
    • In 1916, he commenced his legal career in the Patna High Court. He completed his Doctorate in Law from Allahabad University in 1937.
  • Role in Fight for Freedom:
    • Association with Gandhiji:
      • While Gandhiji was on a fact-finding mission in Chamaparan district of Bihar to address grievances of local peasants, he called on Dr. Rajendra Prasad to come to Champaran with volunteers.
        • Gandhiji’s influence greatly altered many of his views, most importantly on caste and untouchability.
      • The Champaran Satyagraha not only brought him closer to Mahatma Gandhi, but also changed the entire course of his life.
      • The Rowlatt Act of 1918 and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919 pushed Rajendra Prasad closer to Gandhiji.
    • Call for Non-cooperation:
    • National College:
      • He gave up his law practice and started a National College near Patna, 1921.
    • Salt Satyagraha:
      • In March 1930, Gandhiji launched the Salt Satyagraha. Under the guidance of Dr. Prasad, a salt Satyagraha was launched in Nakhas Pond, Bihar.
        • Batch after batch of volunteers courted arrest while making salt. He called for more volunteers.
        • Public opinion forced the Government to withdraw the police and allow the volunteers to make salt.
        • He then sold the manufactured salt to raise funds. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
  • Dr. Prasad & Indian National Congress:
    • He officially joined the Indian National Congress in 1911, during its annual session held in Calcutta.
    • He presided over the Bombay session of the Indian National Congress in October 1934.
    • Following the resignation of Subhash Chandra Bose as the President of the Congress in April 1939, He was elected President for the second time.
    • In 1946, he joined the Interim Government of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the Minister of Food & Agriculture and gave the slogan of “Grow More Food”.
  • Dr. Prasad & Constituent Assembly:
    • In July 1946, when the Constituent Assembly was established to frame the Constitution of India, he was elected its President.
    • Committees of Constituent Assembly under the chairmanship of Dr. Prasad includes:
      • Ad hoc Committee on the National flag
      • Committee on the Rules of Procedure
      • Finance and Staff Committee
      • Steering Committee
    • Two and a half years after independence, on 26th January 1950, the Constitution of independent India was ratified and he was elected India's First President.
  • Awards & Recognition:
    • In 1962, after 12 years as President, Dr. Prasad retired, and was subsequently awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian award.
    • Dr. Prasad recorded his life and the decades before independence in manycbooks, which includes:
      • Satyagraha at Champaran
      • India Divided
      • His autobiography “Atmakatha”
      • Mahatma Gandhi and Bihar, Some Reminisences
      • Bapu ke Kadmon Mein
  • Death:
    • Dr. Rajendra Prasad spent the last few months of his life in retirement at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna.
    • He died on 28th February 1963.

Source: TOI

Important Facts For Prelims

J C Bose: A Satyagrahi Scientist

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Culture has organized an international conference on the contributions of J C Bose: A Satyagrahi Scientist” on his 164th birth anniversary.

Who was Jagdish Chandra Bose?

  • About:
    • Born on 30th November, 1858 to Bama Sundari Bose and Bhagawan Chandra, Bengal.
    • He was a Plant Physiologist and physicist who invented the crescograph, a device for measuring the growth of plants. He for the first time demonstrated that plants have feelings.
  • Education:
    • He earned a BSc from University College London, which was connected with the University of London in 1883, and a BA (Natural Sciences Tripos) from the University of Cambridge in 1884.
  • Scientific Contribution:
    • Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose was a biologist, physicist, botanist and an early writer of science fiction.
    • Bose discovered wireless communication and was named the Father of Radio Science by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
    • He was responsible for the expansion of experimental science in India.
    • Bose is considered the father of Bengali science fiction. A crater on the moon has been named in his honour.
    • He founded Bose Institute, a premier research institute of India and also one of its oldest. Established in 1917, the Institute was the first interdisciplinary research centre in Asia. He served as the Director of Bose Institute from its inception until his death.
    • To facilitate his research, he constructed automatic recorders capable of registering extremely slight movements, these instruments produced some striking results, such as quivering of injured plants, which Bose interpreted as a power of feeling in plants.
  • Books:
    • His books include Response in the Living and Non-Living (1902) and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants (1926).
  • Death:
    • He died on 23th November 1937 in Giridih, Bihar.

Source: PIB

Important Facts For Prelims

Indo-French Partnership on Kaziranga Project

Why in News?

India and France are collaborating on Kaziranga Project.

  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD) of France has committed funding of €80.2 million for a 10-year period, between 2014-2024.

What is Kaziranga Project?

  • The Kaziranga project is a part of a larger Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC).
    • The Assam government, with the support of AFD, launched the APFBC in 2012, to restore forest ecosystems, protect wildlife and enhance the livelihood of the forest-dependent communities.
  • The project conceptualised the reforestation of 33,500 hectares of land and the training of 10,000 community members in alternate livelihoods by 2024.

What are Key Facts about Kaziranga National Park?

  • Location:
    • It is located in the State of Assam and covers 42,996 Hectare (ha).
    • It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain.
  • Legal Status:
    • It was declared as a National Park in 1974.
    • It has been declared a tiger reserve since 2007. It has a total tiger reserve area of 1,030 sq km with a core area of 430 sq. km.
  • International Status:
  • Biodiversity:
    • It is the home of the world's most one-horned rhinos.
      • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest density of one-horned rhinos in the world and second highest number of Rhinos in Assam after Kaziranga National Park.
    • Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga are focused on the 'big four' species - Rhino, Elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo.
    • Kaziranga is also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Rivers and Highways:
    • National Highway 37 passes through the park area.
    • The park also has more than 250 seasonal water bodies, besides the Diphlu River running through it.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Consider the following pairs: (2013)

National Park River flowing through the Park
1. Corbett National Park Ganga
2. Kaziranga National Park Manas
3. Silent Valley National Park Kaveri

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3
(d) None

Ans: (d)


  • Jim Corbett National Park: River Ramganga, a tributary of river Ganga is the primary source of water for the park. Tributaries of Ramganga are Khoh, Kolhu and Mandal rivers. Hence, pair 1 is not correctly matched.
  • Kaziranga National Park: It is a park hosting around two-third of total world’s one-horned rhinoceros and is circumscribed by the Brahmaputra River. The Brahmaputra forms the northern and eastern boundaries of it, whereas the Mora Diphlu forms the southern boundary. Other notable rivers within the park are the Diphlu and Mora Dhansiri. Hence, pair 2 is not correctly matched.
  • Silent Valley National Park: Located in Kerala, the park’s entire stretch drains from north to south by River Kuntipuzha. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Hence, pair 3 is not correctly matched.
  • Therefore, option D is the correct answer.

Source: IE

Important Facts For Prelims

Swar Dharohar Festival

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Culture, Government of India in collaboration with “Swar Dharohar Foundation,” inaugurated a three day “Swar Dharohar Festival” under Kalanjali.

  • Under Kalanjali, cultural programmes are being organised at Central Vista every week.

What is the Swar Dharohar Festival?

  • It is a Music, Art & Literature Festival to showcase the iconic art and culture of India and the rich literary Art & Heritage of Indian States.
  • In this program, the upcoming local Artists will perform with Legend Artist on the same platform to showcase their talents.
  • The National as well as Local Poets will exhibit their artistry through Kavi Sammelan.

Source: PIB

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