Mains Q & A 31 January 2023

Mains Q & A 31 January 2023

Q1. Although China’s hypersonic missile test was not as surprising as Sputnik, it still has the potential to start a nuclear arms race between nuclear-armed states similar to the one that preceded Sputnik, which is not encouraging for the global and regional strategic stability. Comment (250 Words)

Paper & Topic: GS III  Science and Technology

Model Answer:


In August, China carried out a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide test in which the craft circled the globe before rushing toward its objective. A “Sputnik moment,” a Cold War allusion to the Soviet Union’s unexpected launch of the first artificial satellite into orbit in 1957, has been connected to China’s testing of hypersonic missiles. There have been reports of surprise at Beijing’s missile development.


A “Sputnik moment” caused by the Chinese test has consequences:

The Chinese nuclear tests could spur nuclear powers to update their arsenals and add new, potentially unstable capabilities in a competitive race.

The weapon could conceivably fly over the South Pole and provide a big threat to the US military because the missile defence systems of the US military are concentrated on the northern polar route.

In the current period of insufficient arms control measures, the Chinese test of a hypersonic missile system will ignite a heated weapons race both internationally and regionally.

The Chinese launch may put pressure on the US to progress its hypersonic programme and update its missile defence systems.

After the US, China, and Russia, India was the fourth country in the world to develop and test such technology in September when it tested a homegrown hypersonic missile.

Repercussions for India:

Given the recent history of India and China’s bilateral relations, the rest of the world and India must constantly observe China’s actions.

Because the attack system would operate at these speeds, defence systems would need to be built quickly.

These capabilities might put our terrestrial and space assets in peril.

India’s future is as follows:

India has to advance its hypersonic missile development more quickly.

A similarly effective missile defence system should be seriously considered by India.

Due to Chinese advancements in stealth technology, New Delhi will also need to create effective countermeasures.

A regional arms race could result from this, which is not very encouraging for preserving peace in the area.

Q2. Describe the steps done since 1991 to reform the “fertiliser sector” in order to reduce the rising cost of subsidies. What additional areas does India need to work on to accomplish the goals of the fertiliser policy? (250 Words)

Paper & Topic: GS III  Indian Agriculture

Model Answer:


In India, agriculture is the main industry and more than 50% of people are employed in the primary sector. India spends around 0.5% of its total GDP on subsidies, with fertiliser receiving the majority of these funds. Only 35% of all fertiliser subsidies go to small or poor farmers.


Changes made to the “fertiliser sector” in an effort to control the expansion of the subsidy bill:

According to the Economic Survey of 1991-1992, the price of fertiliser was essentially constant between July 1981 and July 1991.

The Union Budget of July 1991 led to a 40% increase in the average price of fertilisers. However, beginning in August of the same year, this was reduced to 30%, and small and marginal farmers were exempt from the price increase.

In addition, the Economic Survey noted that fertiliser subsidies were remained substantial and needed additional reduction despite this 30% increase.

Due to opposition to boosting fertiliser costs, the increase in the price of urea over the pre-reform price was scaled back to 17% in 1992.

The fertiliser subsidy recently raised, and this boost only lasted three years.

From 66,468 crore in 2017–18, the anticipated fertiliser subsidy in the Union Budget for 2021–22 is 79,530 crore.

To alleviate the impact of the price increase on farmers, the government absorbs the majority of the increase through higher fertiliser subsidies. Financially speaking, this will probably be quite difficult.

Other typical issues:

Fertilizers are too expensive for small farmers to pay.

Due to a low yield and extensive fertiliser use, they become indebted.

Salinization of the soil in agriculture is brought on by things like crop yield, soil fertility, and overuse.

It will contaminate the water, eutrophize the soil, and maybe have an effect on marine life.

Political: Control of MRPMRP and urea transportation by the government. Importing is limited to three PSUs.

Subsidy information: Unbalanced nature: 70% of all fertiliser subsidies go to urea.

the misuse of NPK.

Inefficient companies that charge more for urea obtain more subsidies, which encourages inefficiency.

They are black-marketed from agriculture to industry due to their large industrial use, which makes it more challenging for small farmers to obtain fertilisers.


Increasing the number of PSUs that can import fertiliser by decanalizing imports.

In order to allow for price rationalisation of urea in relation to non-nitrogenous fertilisers and crop pricing, urea must be included in the NBS model.

Not just potash and phosphorus-based fertilisation should be subject to market-controlled MRP.

To protect organisations involved in unlawful selling and hoarding, even fertiliser subsidies should follow the JAM trinity.

Ineffective enterprises should be avoided if you want the government to spend less on subsidies.

We need to be self-sufficient and not rely on fertiliser imports. As a result, we will be able to stay out of the vagaries of exceedingly unstable worldwide prices.

There should be a movement toward the use of non-chemical fertilisers in addition to pushing for price and subsidy parity between chemical, organic, and biofertilizers.

India should focus on improving fertiliser efficiency through need-based application rather than applying fertiliser evenly over the field. The newly developed Nano urea by IFFCO exhibits good outcomes in reducing urea usage.

It is necessary to advance and scale up inventions to produce alternative fertilisers.


Urea should be included in NBS along with P and K, according to Economic Survey 2018. Since farmers make up more than 50% of the population in India, it is critical to successfully implement policies to make sure they benefit them. By 2021, this will contribute to a doubling of farmer income.

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