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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:  Salient features of Indian society

1) Should cow be made national animal. Critically examine pro and against arguments. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Cow has always been an important part of culture in India. The pastoral Rig Vedic Aryan people established the importance of cow that has been continued till date though mythology and stories. The recent debate over protection of cow and violence linked with it has made it an essential point to discuss upon.

History of Cow protectionism:

  • The cow protection movement has been a religious and political movement aiming to protect the cows whose slaughter has been broadly opposed by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. While the opposition to slaughter of animals including cows has ancient roots in Indian religions, the cow protection movement traces to the colonial era British India.
  • The earliest activism is traceable to Sikhs of Punjab who opposed cow slaughter in the 1860s. The movement became popular in the 1880s and thereafter, attracting the support from the Arya Samaj founder Swami Dayananda Saraswati in the late 19th-century, and from Mahatma Gandhi in early 20th-century.
  • The cow protection movement gained broad support among the followers of Indian religions particularly the Hindus, but it was broadly opposed by Muslims. Numerous cow protection-related riots broke out in the 1880s and 1890s in British India. The 1893 and 1894 cow killing riots started on the day of Bakri-id, a Muslim festival where animal sacrifices are a part of the celebration.
  • Cow protection movement and related violence has been one of the sources of religious conflicts in India. Historical records suggest that both Hindus and Muslims have respectively viewed “cow protection” and “cow slaughter” as a religious freedom.

Arguments in favour-

  • Constitutional provision:

Directive principles of state policy mandate to protect the cow by improving its breed. This has a moral as well as scientific meaning. Protection given to the cow will be in line with the DPSPs mentioned in the constitution of India. Prohibition of cow slaughter is part of the Constitution, under Article 48, “Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry”, which reads: “The State shall endeavor to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other mulch and draught cattle.”

  • Component of Ayurveda industry:

Cow milk and ghee has prime importance in Ayurveda industry and thus conservation of Indian breed will has direct positive impact on the Ayurveda industry.

  • Animal breeding improvement:

It has been scientifically found out that the local cow verities are far more stringer and resistant that imported foreign breeds. The conservation of local cow breed is prerequisite for the preservation of existing genetic diversity. It will lead to improvement in dairy industry and breeding since more infrastructures will be developed.

Arguments against:

  • Cows are domesticated animal, so are not covered under WPA1972, so many state govt. have made specific rules on cow slaughter regulation.
  • Banning the cow slaughter will hamper the many labour intensive industries. As India is already suffering from the problem of unemployment, such a step will definitely lead to more unemployment.
  • Many communities have different opinion on cow slaughter which is directly linked to the religious belief and faith. The role of government in this case may hurt the religious feelings of minority communities.
  • India earns a good foreign exchange in beef exports. The ban on cow slaughter may have negative impact on the export component of Indian trade. Leather industry has traditionally been the strongpoint of India in international market.
  • The deliberations on making cow as national animal to be done by purely dispassionate and apolitical attitude involving all the groups and stakeholders is not rationally justified and do not go in spirit of constitution of India.


Making cow as a national animal is just a symbolic gesture. The more important thing is how government and people make efforts to improve overall condition of the cattle in India so that they are more productive. Without improving their condition, just making them as national animal will make no difference to actual issue.


General Studies – 2

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human resources

2) Discuss the significance and potential of Niti Aayog – promoted open-innovation workspaces in high schools. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

About Niti Ayog:

National Institution for Transforming India is a Government of India policy think-tank established by the Narendra Modi government to replace the Planning Commission which followed the top-down model. The stated aim for NITI Aayog’s creation is to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India.The emphasis is on bottom-up approach and makes the country to move towards cooperative federalism.

The NITI Aayog comprises the following:

  • Prime Minister of India as the Chairperson
  • A Governing Council composed of Chief Ministers of all the States and Union territories with Legislatures and lieutenant governor of Andaman and Nicobar.
  • Regional Councils composed of Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region.
  • Full-time organizational framework composed of a Vice-Chairperson, three full-time members, two part-time members (from leading universities, research organizations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity), four ex-officio members of the Union Council of Ministers, a Chief Executive Officer (with the rank of Secretary to the Government of India) who looks after administration, and a secretariat.
  • Experts and specialists in various fields

Open innovation workspaces in high school or ‘Atal tinkering labs’ are a part of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), promoted by NITI Aayog. It provides a platform to the high school students to build an innovative temperament.

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) including Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) is Government of India’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Its objective is to serve as a platform for promotion of world-class Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges, Start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven areas.

The Atal Innovation Mission shall have two core functions:

  1. Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilization, wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs
  2. Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated
  • Atal Tinkering Labs
  • Atal Incubation Centers
  • Scale-up support to Established Incubators.

Significance and potential of Niti Aayog – promoted open-innovation workspaces:

This concept relies on the premise that innovators are not born, but they can be created from the ground-up, by following a systematic approach of design thinking, which is about, defining the problem to be solved, ideating, brainstorming, creating prototypes and testing solutions and finally making changes as per user feedback.

  1. Bottom-up approach- This would ensure that a bottom-up approach is followed, whereby a child’s personality is transformed at an early age to that of an innovator. The intervention at right age will lead to expected quality results in terms of skill in longer terms.
  2. Nurturing Innovators: The scheme would help inculcate an environment whereby children develop an inquisitive approach towards various life processes. Proper tools can lead to a child being able to give shape to his/her ideas. This would lead to growth of brighter future generations.
  3. Human resource Development: This workspace will develop technical skills, the ability to work in teams, develop problem solving attitude, negotiate and resolve conflicts.
  4. This scheme is in synergy with the Make in India program and skill India mission launched by government.
  5. These lab will create a qualitative employment for youth of the society by making that capable of required know how in international market.


Timely implementation and ensuring good mentoring can lead to the success of this project and would definitely ensure that the scheme bores fruits. Innovative idea and environment to convert that idea into reality can make a country a developed one. Understanding this need, the idea of Niti ayog once implanted and executed as planned, shall bear numerous benefits propelling India into new development arena.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human resources

3) The union government is seeking to change the bad situation in higher education sector by establishing 20 world-class “institutions of eminence” around the country. How can India build such institutions? What should be the nature of these institutions? Examine. (200 Words)



India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, next to the United States and China. The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission, which enforces its standards, advises the government, and helps coordinate between the center and the state. Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by 12 autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) .As per the latest 2011 Census; about 8.15% (68 millions) of Indians are graduates. Indian higher education system has expanded at a fast pace by adding nearly 20,000 colleges and more than 8 million students in a decade from 2000-01 to 2010-11.

Considering this huge establishment that already exists, the establishment of new world class institutions needs utmost care and program to make them the institutions of true Education. Following are the ways and means to build such institutions.

  1. Considering the scarcity of funds for higher education percent, pulling the resource provided by corporate social responsibility can fill the viable gap to the large extent. The recently launched Higher education financial agency is the right step in the right direction.
  2. As like a Chinese example India should give a try to merge two large but inefficiently working universities. The compatibility of such institutions must be taken into consideration so that resource and funding can be channelized properly.

Once the institution is set up with above prerequisites it should be of following nature:

  • Maintaining the quality of Education:

To deliver good quality education it is required to encourage participation of students in research and scholar activities rather than pestering them to do business oriented jobs. This can also be further extended to genuine lab to land approach initiative.

  • Self-governing institutions:-

Government should allow self-governing institutions/autonomous institutions for quick decisions making. It is necessary to make them free from shackles as decisions made under government based institutions took lot of time due to presence of various quasi-judicial bodies.

  • Proper regulatory mechanism:

Driven by market opportunities and entrepreneurial zeal, many institutions are taking advantage of the lax regulatory environment to offer ‘degrees’ not approved by Indian authorities, and many institutions are functioning as pseudo non-profit organisations, developing sophisticated financial methods to siphon off the ‘profits’. Such mal practices must be avoided in all educational institutions.

  • Domestic ranking methodology:

The issue of assessing and assuring quality of Indian higher education is a challenge. Instead of aiming for ‘world-class’ universities through rankings, policy framework must improve the processes enable accountability through data collection and reporting on parameters of institutional quality. There is no domestic ranking system for India. However, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) have developed, after wide consultations, 50 indicators, assimilated into seven criteria, as Quality Benchmarks for accreditation of Universities. The Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET), an Inter University Centre (IUC) under the UGC, has reported that there are 150 areas in which research has been undertaken.

  • Development at Grassroots Level:-

The incorporation of good quality of education should be made during primary and secondary level. As in many foreign countries like china and Japan has taught the students at primary level many technological aspects. Higher education will not bear fruit unless quality primary education is provided at primary and secondary level.

  • Managing the role of private players:

The private sector is strong in Indian higher education. This has been partly as a result of the decision by the Government to divert spending to the goal of universalisation of elementary education. Within a decade different state assemblies has passed bills for private universities. There is need of strong regulatory mechanism to monitor role of private players in the humble cause of education.

  • Globally competitive:

India is also the leading source of international students around the world. More than 200,000 Indian students are studying abroad. In order to make it a world destination for education international best practices must be adopted in terms of infrastructure, quality and innovations.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

4) It is said that the Companies Act, 2013, does not realize what it set out to accomplish due to too many rule and regulations. Do you agree? Analyse. (200 Words)



The Companies Act 2013 is an Act of the Parliament of India which regulates incorporation of a company, responsibilities of a company, directors, and dissolution of a company. The Act has replaced The Companies Act, 1956 (in a partial manner) after receiving the assent of the President of India.

Features of companies according to act:

  • Democracy of Shareholders: The CA2013 has introduced new concept of class action suits with a view of making shareholders and other stakeholders, more informed and knowledgeable about their rights.
  • Supremacy of Shareholders: The CA2013 focused and provide major aspect on approvals from shareholders on various significant transactions. The Government has rightly reduced the need for the companies to seek approvals to managerial remuneration and the shareholders have been vested with the power to sanction the limit.
  • Strengthening Women Contributions through Board Room: The CA2013 stipulates appointment of at least one woman Director on the Board of the prescribed class of Companies so as to widen the talent pool enabling big Corporates to benefit from diversified backgrounds with different viewpoints.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: The CA2013 stipulates certain class of Companies to spend a certain amount of money every year on activities/initiatives reflecting Corporate Social Responsibility. There may be difficulties in implementing in the initial years but this measure would help in improving the Under-privileged & backward sections of Society and the Corporate would in fact gain in terms of their reputation and image in the Society.
  • National Company Law Tribunal: The CA2013 introduced National Company Law Tribunal and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal to replace the Company Law Board and Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction. They would relieve the Courts of their burden while simultaneously providing specialized justice.

Companies act has many progressive features as compared to preceding act but lacks in following aspects:

  • The prescriptive set of what is and what is not CSR is grounded in mistrust (based on a variety of delegated explanatory circulars) rather than in trust (as prescribed in the section). This mistrust is best seen in the non-inclusion of research, perhaps because of a fear that commercial research and development activities will be passed off under CSR.
  • Competence could not be created through implementation of rules and regulations. Organisations such as FICCI should focus on whether the law could be modified for the betterment of the society. The tendency to keep up with international laws was not necessary for always.
  • Discrepancies with regard to functioning of independent directors in the Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) rules and the new Act must be addressed.
  • The new Act had strengthened the provisions relating inspections and investigations. It had also provided for severe punishment for violations and non-compliance. However, speedy disposal of cases relating to corporate offences is desirable.


The best way forward is to delete all circulars, general circulars, notifications, FAQs and truncate the schedule to two or three principles. The rest should be left to corporate disclosures, which can be more detailed, as to where the company has chosen to utilize its money and let the company deserve the public accolades or shame based on its choices.


Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

5) It is said that sustained India-Japan cooperation in Africa can match China’s substantial outreach. How can India and Japan go about in realizing this goal? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu


The 2016 India-Japan joint statement underscored the importance of coordinating bilaterally and with other countries for developing better regional economic linkages, connectivity, and facilitating industrial networks employing collective capabilities. Besides exploring prospects for cooperation in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and adjoining regions like Iran and Afghanistan, Indian and Japanese leaders have marked Africa as a priority in this regard.

How can India and Japan match China?

  • While the continent has been included in Tokyo and New Delhi’s bilateral discussions since the institution of India-Japan Dialogue on Africa in 2010, the leadership infused further momentum with the conceptualization of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) in November 2016. The AAGC is an important component of the India-Japan Vision 2025 for Indo-Pacific Region. It further converges with Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure (EPQI) and India’s development cooperation with Africa and Act East Policy.
  • Japan is pushing for collaboration with India to decrease market risks in Africa. Combining India’s experience and understanding of the African market with Japan’s technological know-how and funding capabilities will lead to a ‘“win-win scenario” in realizing Africa’s growth opportunities.
  • While India instituted the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) to further its engagement with Africa, Japan’s Africa outreach is done primarily through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). Tokyo is concentrating on three important areas, in keeping with the focus of Japanese private sectors.
  • Japan’s Africa policy is founded on resource and economic diplomacy, especially the export of infrastructure. India has invested in the continent based on a “model of cooperation… free of conditions prioritizing the needs of the African stakeholders. India’s energy stakes are another important variable shaping New Delhi’s approach toward Africa. Africa’s hydrocarbon sector is of interest in order to fuel the Indian economic engine.
  • Drawing from India and Japan’s respective stakes in the continent, as well as their bilateral and regional ambitions in the Indo-Pacific, Japan and India have paved the way for greater coordination in Africa. Where there is an alignment of interests, India has invested in strengthening relations with likeminded countries. New Delhi is working with Washington and Tokyo to support African development.
  • Indian engagement has focused on education, capacity building, skill and human resources development, and the Pan-African e-network supporting tele-education, tele-medicine, and e-commerce.


Founded on a consultative and inclusive approach, the idea of AAGC is aimed at cultivating value chains, integrating and developing a competitive economic bloc, thereby accelerating Africa and Asia’s development trajectory.


General Studies – 3

Topic:   Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping

6) Discuss critically recent reforms made in the targeted public distribution system. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

PDS in India:

Public distribution system (PDS) is an Indian food security system. Established by the Government of India under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and are managed jointly by state governments in India, it distributes subsidized food and non-food items to India’s poor. This scheme was launched in India on June 1947. Food Corporation of India, a Government-owned corporation, procures and maintains the PDS. In coverage and public expenditure, it is considered to be the most important food security network.

pds in india

The public distribution system of India is not without its defects. With coverage of around 400 million below-poverty-line (BPL) families, a review of the PDS has discovered the following structural shortcomings and disturbances:

  • Growing instances of the consumers receiving inferior quality of food grains in ration shops.
  • Deceitful dealers replace good supplies received from the F.C.I (Food Corporation of India) with inferior stock and sell FCI stock in the black market.
  • Illicit fair price shop owners have been found to create large number of bogus cards to sell food grains in the open market.
  • Many FPS dealers resort to malpractice, illegal diversions of commodities, holding and black marketing due to the minimum salary received by them.
  • Numerous malpractices make safe and nutritious food inaccessible and unaffordable to many poor thus resulting in their food insecurity.
  • Identification of households to be denoted status and distribution to granted PDS services has been highly irregular and diverse in various states. The recent development of Aadhar UIDAI cards has taken up the challenge of solving the problem of identification and distribution of PDs services along with Direct Cash Transfers.
  • Regional allocation and coverage of FPS are unsatisfactory and the core objective of price stabilization of essential commodities has not met.
  • There are no set criteria as to which family is BPL and which is APL .This non-ambiguity gives massive scope for corruption and fallouts in PDS systems because those who are actually meant to be benefitted are not able to taste the fruits of PDS.

The recent reforms in public distribution system has been drawn from National food security act which guarantees 75% and 50% coverage in urban and rural India respectively through Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) schemes.

The act has specifically mentioned about below said PDS reforms:

(a) Doorstep delivery of food grains to the Targeted Public Distribution System outlets

(b) Application of information and communication technology tools including end-to-end computerisation in order to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels, and to prevent diversion

(c) Leveraging “Aadhaar” for unique identification, with biometric information of entitled beneficiaries for proper targeting of benefits under this Act

(d) Full transparency of records

(e) Preference to public institutions or public bodies such as Panchayat, self-help groups, co-operatives, in licensing of fair price shops and management of fair price shops by women or their collectives

(f) Diversification of commodities distributed under the Public Distribution System over a period of time; (g) support to local public distribution models and grains banks

 (h) Introducing schemes, such as cash transfer, food coupons, or other schemes, to the targeted beneficiaries in order to ensure their food grain entitlements specified.

Analysis of Reforms:

  • Digitalisation:

All 36 states and UTs have digitised ration cards now. There is provision wherein Once records and databases have been fixed, one moves to the online allocation of foodgrains, down to the FPS (fair price shop) level.

  • Automation:

Automation of the supply chain management (delivery orders, release orders, truck chalans, gate passes, receipts and issuance of food grains, monitoring of stock positions, payments and SMS alerts when opted for) has done successfully by substantial number of states.

  • End-to-end computerisation of the TPDS:

It is the most difficult step in hierarchy of reforms as it needs collective efforts by various stakeholders in forward and backward supply chain. Many states have initiated the process and progress is remarkable till date.

  • Ensuring food security in remote areas:

Adequate supply of food grains made using multi-modal transport in North Eastern States despite disruption in rail route due to gauge conversion from Lumding to Badarpur. 80,000MT foodgrains moved through roads every month besides creating additional storage of 20,000 MT in the region. Foodgrains also inducted into Tripura via riverine route passing through Bangladesh.

  • Linking consumer protection:

Consumer Protection Bill 2015 that seeks to simplify and strengthen consumer grievance redressal procedure introduced in the Parliament this tear. Setting up of a Central Protection Authority which will have powers to recall products and initiate class suit against defaulting companies, including e-retailers proposed. E-filing and time bound admission of complaints in consumer courts is another important provision made in the Bill.


High level Committee under the chairmanship of Shanta Kumar, MP was constituted to make recommendations on re-structuring of FCI. Based on the recommendations of High Level Committee on restructuring of FCI, several measures have been initiated to improve the functioning of FCI and to bring in cost efficiency in its operations.


Topic:  Agriculture; Biotechnology

7) “GM mustard exposes our double standards when it comes to technology for farmers.” Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


Genetically modified foods or GM foods, also known as genetically engineered foods or bioengineered foods, are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering techniques allow for the introduction of new traits as well as greater control over traits than previous methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.

GM mustard:

  • Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 or DMH-11 is a genetically modified variety of mustard developed by the Delhi University’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants. If approved by the Centre, this will be the second GM crop, after BT Cotton, and the first transgenic food crop to be allowed for cultivation in the country. GM Mustard claims that its introduction will increase yields and help lessen India’s dependence on the rising imports of edible oil.
  • GM mustard can produce the seed: This is fundamentally a technology to make a self-pollinating plant — mustard flowers contain both female and male reproductive organs — amenable to hybridisation and exploit the potential yield gains from crossing genetically diverse parents from even within the same species.
  • To facilitate it, a “Barnase” gene coding for a protein that impairs pollen production is introduced into one of the parents. Barnase-Barstar-Bar (BBB) technology itself, which is a far more robust and viable system for hybrid breeding. It allows for crossing a wider range of Indian and even East European origin mustard lines, to breed for both higher yields as well as disease resistance. Conventional hybridisation techniques such as cytoplasmic male sterility do not permit this level of flexibility, which also explains why CGMCP’s scientists chose BBB.
  • The resultant male-sterile line can then receive pollen from another parent, which has, in turn, been introgressed with a separate “Barstar” gene that blocks the action of the Barnase gene. The progeny from cross-pollination is a hybrid plant having a higher yield than either of the parents and also fertile, that is, capable of producing seed/grain.
  • The above said question raises the serious issue of hypocritical nature the people have about the technology for farmers as compared to technology to other areas of life. There are many issues raised in order to criticize the GM mustard. The analysis is as followed with respect to positive points linked with Gm crop adaptation in agricultural system.
  • Climate change is one the major reason of crops failure. By introducing GM crops in filed damage caused by the change in climate could be protected or minimized effectively.
  • It will positively affect the income of farmers by enhancing the quality & quantity of crops. Thought Gm crops is not panacea for the all the farmers problem.GM can definitely resolve some of the problem of our farming sector. The section of the society which is complete benefitted from technology, must not try to keep farmers away from technology of Gm crops.
  • Gm crop holds huge potential to ensure food security and also reduce the hidden hunger that is one of the problems in national food security.


India is importing nearly four lakh tones of rapeseed/canola oil every year, a lot of it being GM and based on the same Barnase-Barstar technology. This is apart from the 40 lt-plus of imported soya bean oil, which is entirely GM. If imported edible oil can be GM, why should our farmers be stopped from planting mustard that is GM is another dimension of this debate.


Topic:  Energy

8) Discuss the nature and consequences of India’s push towards a low carbon economic transition. (200 Words)



Low carbon trajectory means adopting the ways and means that result in only a relatively small net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A low-carbon economy is an economy based on low carbon power sources that has a minimal output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the biosphere, but specifically refers to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. GHG emissions due to anthropogenic (human) activity are the dominant cause of observed global warming (climate change) since the mid-20th century. Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes around the world, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

Globally implemented low-carbon economies are therefore proposed by those having drawn this conclusion, as a means to avoid catastrophic climate change, and as a precursor to the more advanced, zero-carbon economy.

India’s steps towards low carbon economy: The scope for a low carbon trajectory for India has been explored in two ways broadly

  1. a) Reducing energy demand in different sectors by shifting to more energy-efficient technologies.
  2. b) Increasing the contribution of renewable energy in the energy mix

The nature and consequences can be analysed in following manner

  • Promoting energy efficiency in industry

Industry is the largest single user of energy and there is scope for increasing efficiency in energy use in industry. The Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) initiative, started in 2012, has shown the way.

  • Energy conservation in transport

The transport of passengers and freight is another area which offers potential energy savings. Improved logistics would help by rationalizing the movement of freight and removing inter-state barriers and check posts with long waiting times. The introduction of a well-designed goods and services tax would be a major benefit in this context.

  • Energy use in cities: buildings and urban transport

With growing urbanization, cities will account for a large part of total energy demand in the form of electricity used in buildings for lighting and other appliances, and petrol and diesel used for inner-city transport. There is huge scope for increased energy efficiency in both these areas.

  • Pricing issues for renewable energy

The costs of solar energy have been falling and the latest bids for solar projects have produced solar tariffs that seem comparable to the price of conventional electricity supplied to the grid. However, the supply of solar and wind energy is intermittent, and induction of large-generation capacity from intermittent sources into the system is only possible if the distribution companies contract balancing capacity for the lean period or there is scope for storing the electricity produced during the peak period and using it in the lean period to deliver a pattern of supply which matches the demand profile.

  • Taxation to offset social costs of fossil fuels

The use of fossil fuels produces global warming and also local air pollution because of particulate matter released by thermal power stations and automobile exhausts. Since these costs are borne by society at large and not the energy user, there is a case for imposing taxes on the polluting activity.

  • Energy pricing

Energy prices are critical for promoting energy conservation because even if energy-efficient options exist, they will be adopted only if they are cost-effective. For example, improved pumps and foot valves in irrigation can save energy, but these pumps are more expensive, and farmers have little incentive to use them because electricity for agriculture is either free, or very heavily subsidized. It follows that if we want to promote energy conservation; we should avoid energy subsidies and set prices at a level that covers full economic costs.


Numbers of policy interventions are needed in different areas to combat climate change. Some are in the domain of the central government, while others are in the domain of state governments. Within each government, action often lies with different departments and thus in future the synergetic method has to be adopted to gain results in the field of low carbon development trajectory.