Down To Earth(November 16-30)


Topics Covered:

  • GS: 2 - Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • GS: 2 - Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Center and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • GS: 2 - Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting  India’s interests.
  • GS: 2 - Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • GS: 2 - Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.


Corporate Tax:

Context: The newly agreed global minimum corporate tax to prevent multinational firms from avoiding the legal cess regime is riddled with clauses to ensure that profits stay with the rich nations.

  • On October 31, the heads of the world’s major economies—the Group of 20 (G20) nations—approved a new global minimum corporate tax.
  • The deal, announced at the G20 summit in Rome, Italy, is “historic” since this is the first time nearly all nations have agreed to such a system. The new regime covers 90 percent of the global economy. Earlier, on October 8, some 136 countries had endorsed the new regime.
  • The deal has two aims: first, to prevent multinationals from paying low taxes (or no tax) by booking their profits in tax havens; and second, to make them pay taxes wherever they operate or conduct business in, even if they do not have physical presence in the country.
  • Under this deal, there are two “pillars” of taxation on corporations.
  • Under Pillar-1, which is estimated to affect the world’s top 100 companies, governments would levy tax on profit margins of above 10 per cent.
  • Pillar-1 provisions empower countries to tax companies where they earn their revenue. Under this, companies’ excess profit—defined as in excess of 10 percent of total revenue—will be taxed at 25 percent.
  • Under Pillar-2, there would be a global minimum tax rate of 15 per cent. Pillar-2 will be applicable to overseas profits of multinational firms with €750 million (US $866 million) in sales globally. Governments have the power to impose any local corporate tax, and if a company pays less than 15 per cent tax, its home country can levy a tax to bring it to the minimum rate.
  • The new deal was a bitterly fought battle over rampant tax evasion by multinational firms. Nations have been competitively adopting low tax regimes to attract investments. This gave rise to what we know as “tax havens”.
  • These are the countries/territories where corporate houses are registered in or operate from. In fact, 90 percent of the world’s top 200 companies have a presence in tax havens.
  • According to current tax laws, companies pay taxes not at the place of economic activities, but at the tax havens where they are registered.
  • Tax Avoidance:
  • Corporate houses pay tax based on the overall performance of the group, not on individual entities under the group to avoid higher tax rates.
  • The International Monetary Fund estimates that the global revenue loss to governments due to this tax avoidance was between $200 billion and $600 billion in 2019.
  • The State of Tax Justice 2020, published by the Tax Justice Network, a UK-based advocacy group, found that “of the $427 billion in tax lost each year globally to tax havens, $245 billion is directly lost to corporate tax abuse by multinational corporations and $182 billion to private tax evasion”.
  • Corporations avoided tax massively by shifting $1.38 trillion worth of profit from the countries where they were generated to tax havens. “Private tax evaders paid less tax than they should have by storing a total of over $10 trillion in financial assets offshore,” says the report.
  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that with the new minimum rate, countries will have $150 billion annually in additional revenues. Countries will get to tax $125 billion of profit due to the provision of taxing wherever companies earn the profits.
  • The Corporate Tax Haven Index 2021, prepared by the Tax Justice Network, says the OECD countries that set the global tax rules were responsible for over two-thirds of global corporate abuse.
  • As details come out, it becomes clear that the deal will barely benefit developing countries and the profits will continue to go to the rich nations. Moreover, the deal applies to a very small part of the corporate profits and is also limited to a few companies. Effectively, the deal targets 100 top companies in the world.
  • The countries would now have 10 years to roll out the tax, starting 2023, instead of the original five years proposed.
  • Experts say the 15 per cent tax rate is not ambitious enough.
  • Earlier this year, UN Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (facti) recommended 20-30 per cent global corporate tax.
  • The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, an international coalition of intergovernmental, civil society and labor organizations, had called for a 25 per cent global minimum tax to be applied.
  • Many developing countries, though signatory to the deal, have expressed concerns about the implementation of these new taxing rules being conditioned upon them removing all unilateral taxes on technology companies.
  • As per international non-profit Oxfam, the new tax regime will affect only 69 multinationals and would only apply on “super profits” above 10 per cent. Oxfam estimates that 52 developing countries would receive 0.025 percent of their collective GDP in additional annual tax revenue from the Pillar-1 proposal.
  • What could have been a historic agreement to end the era of tax havens is rapidly becoming a rich country stitch-up instead. The proposal for a fixed global rate of 15 per cent will overwhelmingly benefit rich countries and increase inequality.
  • The G7 and EU will take home two-thirds of the new cash that it will bring in, while the world’s poorest countries will recover less than 3 per cent, despite being home to more than a third of the world’s population.
  • Many say the OECD-brokered deal has not been inclusive of developing countries’ concerns and the redistribution of tax has not been fair. There is also a growing call for making the tax regime inclusive.

Old Age Pension Scheme:

Context: India is ageing fast. It’s time the government ensured that the old-age pension schemes offer adequate social security to all the elderly poor.


Prelims Point

  • The Article 41 of the Constitution of India requires the government to provide assistance to its citizens in case of old age.
  • Since the provision of social security and old age pension is listed in item 23 and 24 of the Concurrent list of the 7th Schedule, both the Union and state governments are responsible for ensuring that the elderly citizens do not suffer on account of acute poverty and destitution.


  • Traditionally, the institution of joint family used to take care of the elderly when they reached the stage of not being able to work and contribute to the household earnings or participate actively in daily chores.
  • Over time, the joint family system has by and large weakened, even in rural areas. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find a large number of older persons left to fend for themselves.
  • This is a cause of serious concern, as the number of elderly people in the country is growing at a much faster rate than the total population. As per the Census 2011, some 104 million people were at the age of 60 or above.
  • Their number is expected to cross 173 million by 2026, as per the 2013 projection by the Registrar General of India. Another estimate by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), in its report “Social Security for the Elderly in India”, notes that between 2000 and 2050, the overall population of India would grow by 60 per cent, whereas the number of elderly people could swell by 360 per cent.
  • These demographic projections provide compelling reasons to review the financial status of the elderly poor who hardly have recourse to any other means of livelihood.
  • Of the 15,000 respondents interviewed during a survey, two - thirds (65.7 percent) said that they lived alone with their spouses; only 16.34 per cent claimed to be living in joint families.
  • About two-thirds (67 per cent) also reported varying degrees of financial insecurity— they were either dissatisfied or not adequately satisfied with their financial status—and 44 per cent were financially dependent on others.
  • For about 12 percent of the elderly—22.33 per cent from rural areas and 2.39 per cent from urban areas—old-age pension (OAP) was the main source of income.
  • Another such survey by UNFPA, the Institute of Economic Growth, the Institute of Social and Economic Change and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, conducted in seven selected states in 2011, also found that half of the elderly were financially fully dependent on others.
  • To fulfill the obligation, the majority of states and Union Territories have old-age pension (OAP) schemes in place since the 1970s, with Uttar Pradesh being the first one to introduce it in 1957 and Andhra Pradesh and Kerala in 1960.
  • The Center has also introduced the National Old Age Pension Scheme or NOAPS (renamed Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme or IGNOAPS in 2005) as part of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), launched in 1995.
  • Why do the elderly poor fail to benefit from these schemes?:
  • Coverage Gapped:
  • It is difficult to estimate the actual coverage of the elderly poor under OAP schemes of the Center as well as the states, because nsap portal has data only for Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.
  • Around 67 per cent of the elderly are covered under NFSA; by comparison IGNOAPS covers only 21.65 per cent.
  • While the coverage of pension schemes seems adequate in Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha, it is poor in Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
  • Amount Inadequate:
  • Under IGNOAPS, the Union government provides a measly sum of Rs 200 a month to the beneficiaries in the age group of 60-79 (60+) and Rs 500 to those at 80 or above (80+).
  • Data informally collected from various states through personal contacts reveals that the monthly pension amount varies between Rs 200 and Rs 2,000 for the 60+ group (lowest in Nagaland and highest in Goa); for the 80+ group it ranges between Rs 500 (Nagaland) and Rs 2,000 (Goa).
  • Fix the Error:
  • Originally, “destitution” was used as the eligibility criterion for identifying beneficiaries of IGNOAPS. Subsequently, in 2007 it was replaced by the “below-the-poverty line” (BPL) criterion. State governments have increasingly switched over to BPL criterion for their OAPS.
  • According to a working paper of the Asian Development Bank Institute, published in September 2017, two-thirds of the elderly poor continued to be left out (exclusion error) of these schemes and two-fifths of the beneficiaries included were ineligible being non-poor or under-aged (inclusion error).
  • What Should be done?
  • The Ministry of Rural development (MORD), which implements NSAP, and state governments should jointly review the coverage of oaps in other states and expand it wherever required, at least to match nfsa coverage in the absence of a more robust and updated measure of poverty.
  • Raise the total pension to at least Rs 1,000 per month in all states by increasing the Center’s contribution to at least Rs 600. A system of periodic revision of the pension entitlement at least once in three years, factoring in the change in the CPI, should also be put in place.
  • The eligibility norms for these schemes warrant revision and a fresh survey needs to be carried out to identify the elderly poor based on robust proxies of severe deprivation.


  • GS: 3 - 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; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
  • GS: 3 - Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context: Promoted by the government, short-duration varieties now dominate Punjab’s paddy landscape and allow farmers enough time to clear the field without setting them on fire. Why then are straw-burning incidents still on the rise?

  • The old long-term variety used to leave just 10 days for sowing between kharif paddy to rabi wheat. Short-duration varieties, especially PR 126 (the quickest to harvest variety), give a window of over 35 days to farmers, while PR 121 (the most widely cultivated short duration variety) gives around 20 days. The window is now much bigger.
  • The Contradiction:
  • The government’s efforts in the past decade have borne results and the ratio of land under short duration varieties to the total land under paddy has more than doubled—from 32.6 percent in 2012 to 67.7 per cent in 2021.
  • The rise of short-duration varieties should have resulted in a reduction in stubble burning, but the districts where these varieties witnessed a boom have seen a rise in straw straw burning incidents, as per data collected by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on the 11 paddy varieties covered under the minimum support price (MSP) regime.
  • Low Yield to Blame:
  • The primary reason behind the rise of straw-burning in districts that grow short-duration varieties is their low yield, due to which farmers are inclined to cultivate an additional set of crops, such as potato, peas, green lentil, between kharif and rabi.
  • Therefore, despite the big window to shift between kharif and rabi, they set the stubble on fire to maximize the available time.
  • While some farmers resort to straw burning to make up for the losses incurred due to low yield, others do it just to maximize income.
  • A Union agriculture ministry review of “Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi”, which is a Central scheme implemented in 2018-19, also blames rice mills.
  • Delay Planting:
  • The trend in Punjab is to sow early to get time for intermediary crops. Delayed sowing would make farmers cultivate short-duration varieties.
  • PR 121 and PR 124 can be transplanted around June 25, while PR 126 can be transplanted as late as July 5 without affecting their yield.
  • Conclusion:
  • The changing climate conditions have troubled farmers. It takes them time to get used to new varieties, adjust to the sowing cycles and understand the condi-tions for optimum yield. Compared to Pusa 44, which was launched in 1994, these short-duration varieties are still nascent. Once farmers get used to them, the yield will improve and straw burning should go down.

3.   COP 26

  • GS: 2 - Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting  India’s interests.
  • GS: 2 - Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • GS: 2 - Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
  • GS: 3 - Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context: What the Glasgow Climate Pact means for the rapidly warming planet and its people.

  • Agenda 1, Climate Justice, failed at the CoP26.
  • At the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, policymakers agreed on an equitable approach for decarbonisation—rich nations would bear the burden so that poor countries had more time to industrialize and develop.
  • The 1992 deal also stipulated that richer countries would provide funding to protect climate-vulnerable countries from the effects of global warming, and to help them develop new technologies.
  • These promises remain unmet even 30 years later. At cop26, rich countries did not deliver on the commitment to mobilize jointly US $100 billion a year in climate finance immediately and did not specify an upwardly revised amount after 2025.
  • The G77 bloc of countries, which represents about 6 billion people, collectively agreed on a demand for a Glasgow Loss and Damage Facility. But they were silenced as negotiations approached the last day and were urged to accept the crumbs offered by the US, EU and the UK.
  • Civil society and activists were locked out of discussions. Major developed countries who are big polluters did not commit to domestic fossil fuel phase-out, their commitment was only to halt funding fossil fuel projects overseas. India’s net-zero goal of 2070 was criticized even though it is in line with CBDR.
  • Agenda 2, Net Zero Targets, is in some progress.
  • Most major economies have by now announced net-zero targets, either in law, in a policy document, or via a statement. India announced a target of 2070 for the country to achieve net-zero emissions.
  • The private sector was also active in this regard. Financial firms, with combined assets of over $130 trillion, sought to align global assets with the goal to achieve net-zero emissions and made the pledges through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).
  • The concept of net-zero emissions was heavily criticized as meaningless greenwash and the need for short-term emissions cuts (pre-2030 ambition) entered into common parlance.
  • Agenda 3, Coal, is in some progress.
  • At least 29 countries committed to end international public finance for unabated oil, gas and coal by the end of 2022, making COP26 the first climate deal to produce a clear plan to reduce coal consumption.
  • Following India’s last-minute intervention, Parties committed to “phase down”, instead of “phase out” coal-fired power generation.
  • Agenda 4, China, is in Status Quo.
  • China’s President did not attend the summit in person; was called out by US President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama for not showing high enough ambition.
  • Made a “surprising” joint declaration with the US which mentions enhanced climate actions for near-term ambition in 2020s, and reducing methane emissions. The announcement lacks specific commitments and firm deadlines.
  • Announces to “phase down” coal consumption, not “phase out”, that too starting in 2026.
  • Agenda 5, Market Mechanism and nature Based Solution, is also in status quo.
  • The draft text emphasizes the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems, including forests and other terrestrial and marine ecosystems; a deal to end deforestation by 2030 signed by more than 100 countries. But the over-emphasis on net-zero and markets/offsets means that land grabs are likely to continue.
  • Article 6 on carbon markets is adopted completing the Paris Agreement rulebook.
  • Critics say despite safeguards, this deal will allow governments and corporations to greenwash their climate efforts and undermine emissions cuts needed in the short term.
  • Text mentions that grievances by affected communities will be addressed by an independent body, but does not outline indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent.
  • Agenda 6, Climate Finance, is in status Quo.
  • Developed countries wanted to expand donor base and add China; resisted defining climate finance and adding specific language that would communicate an increased contribution over and above $100 billion.
  • The final text expresses “deep regrets” over the failure of developed countries to deliver on their $100 billion promise; asks them to arrange this money urgently and through 2025.
  • Parties commit to a process to agree on long-term climate finance beyond 2025.
  • Agenda 7, Adaption Goal, is in status quo.
  • Created a two-year work programme to assess the progress of the global goal on adaptation.
  • No pledge to deliver 50 percent of climate finance for adaptation; EU, US and Canada resisted increasing adaptation finance.
  • Agenda 8, Loss and Damage, is in status quo.
  • Draft text acknowledges that climate change has already caused and will increasingly cause loss and damage.
  • Does not move beyond reiterating the urgency for scaling up action, including finance, technology transfer and capacity building.
  • Adds provision “that the Santiago network will be supported by a technical assistance facility to provide financial support for technical assistance for the implementation of relevant approaches to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage”.
  • The US and EU are close to the idea of a separate loss and damage fund; only Scotland has committed £ 2 million (US $2.69 million) for loss and damage.

Deal with It:

Context: Except for a few noteworthy deals on deforestation, methane reduction and farming, COP26 was pretty blah.

  • Forest Loss: Halt Reverse
  • In the “first” major outcome of cop26 held at Glasgow, 105 countries accounting for 85 per cent of the planet’s forests signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. The Declaration commits the countries to “halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030”.
  • In another development, 28 countries that represent 75 percent of global trade in key commodities responsible for causing deforestation signed a new Forests, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Statement.
  • The fact statement sets common actions “to deliver sustainable trade and reduce pressure on forests, including support for smallholder farmers and improving the transparency of supply chains.”
  • This involves reducing deforestation in the global supply chain of produce. As a follow up, 30 financial institutions that have an asset worth more than $8.7 trillion also agreed to “eliminate” investment in commodity-driven deforestation.
  • Along with it came the commitment of $19 billion of public and private funds in 2021-25 to make it possible. Of this, $12 billion will be public finance from 12 nations and the rest from 30 financial institutions. This committed fund is for taking up supportive activities in developing countries.
  • As per an estimate by Global Witness, the committed fund for the pledge, both private and public and also from the financial institutions independently, is well below what is required to ensure the Declaration achieves its objective effectively.
  • Methane: A First at CoP
  • Methane—a short-lived climate pollutant— has emerged as the latest target for stopping global warming. A few years ago, it was nowhere in global negotiations on curbing GHG emissions as carbon emission got all the attention.
  • On November 2, cop26 became the first to dedicate an event to it. The same day, 105 countries led by the US and the EU signed the voluntary and non-binding Global Methane Pledge.
  • Under this, countries have promised to cut their methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030. Together, if this level is achieved, it would amount to a 40 per cent cut in the global methane emissions.
  • Compared to the other deals, this pledge has the most immediate impact on reducing global warming.
  • The signatories include 15 major methane emitters such as Brazil, Nigeria and Canada. But the three biggest emitters— China, Russia and India—who contribute 35 percent of global methane emissions, did not sign the pledge.
  • Agriculture: Neglected
  • The “Sustainable Agriculture Policy Action Agenda for the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture and Global Action Agenda for Innovation in Agriculture” (Policy Action Agenda, in short) by 45 Countries has been endorsed.
  • The Policy Action Agenda pledges to “protect natural environments and combat emissions from agriculture.”
  • There were expectations of countries taking effective pledges to bring in transformative changes in the food systems. Instead, consumption as an issue in the agricultural system got a deliberate burial.

Prelims Point

  • Scientists in Uganda have found evidence of a drug-resistant form of malaria, which could potentially render the top treatment available for the disease in the country ineffective.
  • Prominent Space agencies are accelerating efforts to increase knowledge of extraterrestrial objects and strengthen the Earth's planetary defense systems.
  • China on October 25 held its first Planetary Defense Conference to discuss strategies to improve the country's early warning systems, small-body exploration and space-based monitoring mechanisms.
  • Meanwhile, US space agency nasa on November 4 announced the first ever inter-planetary defense mission, "Double Asteroid Redirection Test (dart)" to be launched on November 23, to deliberately collide with a small asteroid and test the results.
  • Cumbre Vieja is a volcano in the island of La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain. It erupted on September 19 this year.
  • Population of North Atlantic right whales, which the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association describes as the world's most endangered large whale species, further decreased by 8 per cent in 2020. Only 366 whales exist currently, US-based North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium said on October 26. The decline of the species is largely due to an increase in fishing activities.
  • Current rate of global greenhouse gas emissions could affect crops as early as 2030, as per a US space agency NASA study. While higher temperatures will lead to favorable conditions to increase wheat yields by 5-10% by 2050 and 17% by 2070, they will also lower maize production by 5-15% and 24%, respectively.
  • The Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal is one of five World Heritage sites that have the highest blue carbon stocks, according to a new assessment by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on October 28. Blue carbon is stored by ocean and coastal ecosystems. UNESCO's assessment says that all World Heritage forests, including Sundarbans, now sequester more carbon than they store.
  • The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued the Central Motor Vehicles (23rd Amendment) Rules, 2021 to revise fees for registration renewal of vehicles more than 15 years old. The revised fee is three to eight times greater than earlier, to encourage phasing out of old polluting vehicles.
  • The Union Ministry of Coal has issued the Mineral Concession (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to specify guidelines for the duration of mine leases and provisions for processing and sale of coal by lessee mine owners.
  • The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homeopathy) has issued Draft Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to specify provisions for import of homeopathic medications in the country.


UPSC Previous Year Mains Questions:

  1. ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)’ is transforming itself into a trade bloc from a military alliance, in present times – Discuss.                                                                                  (GS: 2 - 2020)
  2. What are the main functions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)? Explain different functional commissions attached to it.                                                                         (GS: 2 - 2017)
  3. “The broader aims and objectives of the WTO are to manage and promote international trade in the era of globalization. But the Doha round of negotiations seem doomed due to differences between the developed and the developing countries.” Discuss in the Indian perspective.                           (GS: 2 - 2016)
  4. Some of the International funding agencies have special terms for economic participation stipulating a substantial component of the aid to be used for sourcing equipment from the leading countries. Discuss the merits of such terms and if there exists a strong case not to accept such conditions in the Indian context.                                                                                                                                                     (GS: 2 - 2014)
  5. Enumerate the indirect taxes which have been subsumed in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India. Also, comment on the revenue implications of the GST introduced in India since July 2017.                                                                                                                                                                                   (GS: 3 - 2019)
  6. What is the meaning of the term tax-expenditure? Taking the housing sector as an example, discuss how it influences budgetary policies of the government.                                                                        (GS: 3 - 2013)
  7. What are the major factors responsible for making the rice - wheat system a success? In spite of this success, how has this system become bane in India?                                                (GS: 3 - 2020)
  8. How has the emphasis on certain crops brought about changes in cropping patterns in the recent past? Elaborate the emphasis on millets production and consumption.                                 (GS: 3 - 2018)
  9. How does the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 differ from the existing EIA Notification, 2006?                                                                                                                                     (GS: 3 - 2020)
  10. What are the key features of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by the Government of India?                                                                                                                                                 (GS: 3 - 2020)
  11. ‘Climate Change’ is a global problem. How will India be affected by climate change? How Himalayan and coastal states of India are affected by climate change?                                                     (GS: 3 - 2017)
  12. Should the pursuit of carbon credit and a clean development mechanism set up under UNFCCC be maintained even through there has been a massive slide in the value of carbon credit? Discuss with respect to India’s energy needs for economic growth.                                          (GS: 3 - 2014)

DTE Mains Practice Questions:

  1. How will a UN tax convention where global rules are determined by democracy not plutocracy, can make tax havens a thing of the past?
  2. Promoted by the government, short-duration varieties now dominate Punjab’s paddy landscape and allow farmers enough time to clear the field without setting them on fire. Why then are straw-burning incidents still on the rise?
  3. Coal has fuelled developed nations’ prosperity. Developing nations still need it for economic growth. Discuss.
  4. Climate finance is crucial, but also needs transparency to measure how much and for what; many NDC targets are conditional and so if finance is not provided, it will not be met. Examine.
  5. A few years ago, methane was nowhere in global talks on curbing greenhouse gases. Carbon emission got all the attention. What are the reasons for attention on Methane now?
  6. India is ageing fast. But the Government’s initiative for the old age people is not upto the mark. Analysis of five states shows that the coverage of old-age pension schemes leaves much to be desired. Disparities among states also suggest an urgent need for the Union and state governments to review the coverage in other states and expand it wherever required. Critically analyze.