1. Consider the following statements:

1) Green infrastructure refers to natural or semi-natural ecosystems that provide water resource management by introducing the natural water cycle into urban environments.

2) Green infrastructure provides effective measures to manage urban flooding, water supply and quantity regulation, at the same time generating multiple environmental benefits.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2


What is Green Infrastructure?

●        Green infrastructure (GI) refers to natural or semi-natural ecosystems that provide water resource management by introducing the natural water cycle into urban environments. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

●        It provides effective measures to manage urban flooding, water supply and quantity regulation, at the same time generating multiple environmental benefits. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●    GI aims to recreate a naturally-oriented water cycle while contributing to the amenity of the city by bringing water management and GI together. This is achieved by combining and protecting the hydrological and ecological values of the urban landscape while providing resilient and adaptive measures to deal with floods, generating a multitude of environmental, ecological, sociocultural and economic benefits.

●    GI favours a holistic approach and aims for interdisciplinary cooperation in water management, urban design, and landscape planning.

●    The key water management issues that can be addressed by utilizing GI are water supply and quality regulation, and moderation of extreme events.

What is water-sensitive urban planning and designing?

●    Water Sensitive Design and Planning (WSUDP) is an approach that integrates and optimizes the use of available water sources and completes the water cycle by incorporating the following in planning and designing.

●    Protecting local water bodies (lakes, ponds and wetlands) for supplementary water sources

●    Storm-water management at public places, including open areas in cities through elements of landscape design (e.g. vegetated swales and buffer strips, bio-retention systems)

●    Recycling and reusing wastewater naturally (low cost/low energy) and not treating it as a liability

●    Increasing water-conservation approaches at various scales (buildings/ campus)-i.e. by adopting water-efficient fixtures, xeriscaping landscape (i.e. planting native species) and using water-efficient irrigation methods- thereby minimizing load on the municipal supply system and groundwater sources. On-site water conservation with rainwater harvesting (RWH) is also important to reduce water scarcity.

●    Adding value to the social and ecological aspects of areas by planning and designing the built environment in accordance with community needs and water issues

●    Connecting the urban water cycle by collaborating with practitioners of different disciplines to bring different perspectives and expertise

●    Associating upcoming policies, regulations and approvals with WSUDP

Source: https://cdn.cseindia.org/userfiles/DTE-November1-15-2021.pdf

2. Consider the following statements regarding Global Fuel Economy Initiative:

1) It aims to ensure that the world’s vehicle fleet is as clean and efficient as possible in response to global concerns about clean air and climate change.

2) It has a target of improving the average fuel economy of light duty vehicles by 2030 for new vehicles.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2


In NEWS: Target to halve global fuel consumption by 2030 is stalling: IEA report

●    The global goal to halve the fuel consumption of new light-duty vehicles by 2030 from 2005 levels is stalling, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) update.

●    The average rated fuel consumption of new light-duty vehicles fell by only 0.9 per cent between 2017 and 2019, according to GFEI 2021. This is far smaller than the 1.8 per cent annual average reduction between 2010 and 2015.

About The Global Fuel Economy Initiative

●        The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) was established to ensure that the world’s vehicle fleet is as clean and efficient as possible in response to global concerns about clean air and climate change. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

●    The Global Fuel Economy Initiative is a collaboration between UN Environment, the International Energy Agency, the University of California at Davis, the International Council on Clean Transportation, the International Transport Forum and the FIA Foundation.

●        GFEI is about accelerating the rapid transition to the most efficient, zero emission vehicles globally – saving money, energy and tackling climate change. This means securing real improvements in fuel economy, and the maximum deployment of low carbon technologies in vehicles across the world. The initiative has a target of improving average fuel economy of light duty vehicles by 2030 for new vehicles (compared with a 2005 baseline), and includes electric and hybrid technology. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●    The GFEI partners recognize the importance of supporting government actions and policies that bring the transportation sector into compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement. GFEI’s analysis shows that continued improvements in vehicle efficiency plus the aggressive introduction of electric vehicles (EVs), combined with decarbonisation of the electric grid, can achieve a 55-70% reduction in fleetwide CO2 emissions by 2050 for road vehicles.

●    GFEI has also expanded its focus to include Heavy Duty Vehicles, and has set the aim of a 35 per cent improvement by 2035 (based on a 2005 baseline), and 80 per cent by 2050.

●    GFEI has also set new targets for two- and three- wheelers and buses. For 2/3 wheelers these are to cut per km CO2 emissions by 80% by 2035 and 95% by 2050. For urban transit buses, the targets are to cut per km emissions by 65% by 2035 and 95% by 2050.

●    Decarbonizing the electricity grid is crucial to meet emissions targets for the global vehicle fleet.

●    In addition, GFEI has a goal of increasing the number of countries that are committed to working with us to secure these fuel economy improvements.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/pollution/target-to-halve-global-fuel-consumption-by-2030-is-stalling-iea-report-80098

3. Which of the following concepts are used to calculate the Gross National Happiness Index?

1) Good governance

2) Sustainable socio-economic development

3) Cultural preservation

4) Environmental conservation

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  2, 3 and 4 only

b) 1, 2 and 3 only

c)  2 and 4 only

d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4


In NEWS: What Bhutan got right about happiness, and what other countries can learn?

●    Bhutan, a small, landlocked mountainous least developed country (LDC) in South Asia is next in line to graduate from the LDC category in 2023. It is best known for its philosophy of promoting Gross National Happiness over Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

●    Despite, or perhaps because of, this outlook, the country has experienced impressive growth in the past four decades.

●    It has recorded an average growth in annual GDP of 7.5% since the early 1980s and poverty levels have declined from 36% in 2007 to 10% in 2019.

●    Bhutan has also made considerable improvements on environmental, social and governance indicators in the past two decades.
The UNDP Human Development Report 2020, which ranks Bhutan highest amongst its LDC peers on overall human development, recognizes Bhutan as a country with a total forest area of 72.5%.

●    Owing to low carbon emissions, a high level of carbon sequestration and exports of hydroelectricity, Bhutan is the only carbon-negative country in the world.

Gross National Happiness:

●        The World Happiness Report 2021 has been released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

●        Finland was once again crowned as the world’s happiest country, for the fourth consecutive year.

●        The Nordic nation is followed by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Norway.

●        India has been ranked 139 out of 149 countries in the list of UN World Happiness Report 2021.

●        Gross National Happiness (GNH), sometimes called Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH), is a philosophy that guides the government of Bhutan.

●        The phrase ‘gross national happiness’ was first coined by the 4th King of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in 1972 when he declared, “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product.”

●        The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing.

●        It includes an index which is used to measure the collective happiness and well-being of a population.

●        The GNH Index includes both traditional areas of socio-economic concern such as living standards, health and education and less traditional aspects of culture and psychological well being.

●        The four pillars have been further classified into nine domains in order to create widespread understanding of GNH and to reflect the holistic range of GNH values.

●        The Gross National Happiness Index is a single number index developed from the 33 indicators categorised under nine domains.

●        The Centre for Bhutan Studies constructed the GNH Index using a robust multidimensional methodology known as the Alkire-Foster method.

The concept of GNH has often been explained by its four pillars;

●    good governance,

●    sustainable socio-economic development,

●    cultural preservation, and

●    Environmental conservation. Hence option (d) is correct.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/economy/amp/what-bhutan-got-right-about-happiness-and-what-other-countries-can-learn-80085

4. Consider the following statements:

1) In India, the current estimates of poverty are based upon the recommendations of Suresh Tendulkar committee.

2) The Suresh Tendulkar committee recommended that the government add basic requirements of minimum amount of calories and education.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only


In NEWS: Explain Speaking: A brief history of India’s poverty levels

●        In 2009, the report on poverty estimation, chaired by Late Prof Suresh Tendulkar, stated: “Fundamentally, the concept of poverty is associated with socially perceived deprivation with respect to basic human needs”.

●        The Tendulkar committee’s estimation method is the last officially recognised method for arriving at poverty numbers in India.

What is a poverty line?

●        Poverty line — a level of income or consumption expenditure that divides the population between the poor and non-poor.

●        It helps policymakers in figuring out what percentage of the population is poor relative to the rest.

●        Again, in a relatively poor country such as India — our per capita income is roughly one-fifth of China’s and one-thirtieth of US’ — the income or consumption levels chosen as the cut-off point for poverty (also called the poverty line) are often quite similar to “starvation” levels (or lines).

The purpose behind choosing a poverty line is two-fold.

●        To accurately design policies for the poor.

●        To assess the success or failure of government policies over time.

Suresh Tendulkar Committee:

●        In 2005, the Suresh Tendulkar committee was constituted by the Planning Commission.

●        The current estimates of poverty are based upon the recommendations of this committeeHence, statement (1) is correct.

●        In the past, poverty lines were essentially about the amount of money required to meet a certain minimum amount of calories.

●        But during the Suresh Tendulkar Committee, it was assumed that the government would take care of two other basic requirements — healthcare and education. It strongly recommended target nutritional outcomes i.e. instead of calories; intake nutrition support should be counted. Hence, statement (2) is incorrect.

●        It suggested that a uniform Poverty Basket Line be used for rural and urban regions.

●        It recommended a change in the way prices are adjusted and demanded for an explicit provision in the Poverty Basket Line to account for private expenditure in health and education.

●        Tendulkar adopted the cost of living as the basis for identifying poverty.

The Tendulkar panel stipulated a benchmark daily per capita expenditure of Rs. 27 and Rs. 33 in rural and urban areas, respectively, and arrived at a cut-off of about 22% of the population below poverty line.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explainspeaking-a-brief-history-of-indias-poverty-levels-7612086/

5. Consider the following statements regarding Network for Greening the Financial System:

1) It is a group of central banks and supervisors willing to share best practices and contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector.

2) The Reserve Bank of India is a member of this group.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2


In NEWS: RBI to support India’s climate finance effort

●        The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday published its ‘Statement of Commitment to Support Greening India’s Financial System – NGFS’ to contribute to the global response required to meet the climate goals.

●        The RBI broadly supports the NGFS [Network for Greening the Financial System] declaration.

●        RBI commend the co-ordination efforts of NGFS in defining, promoting, and contributing to the development of best practices in climate finance through sharing experiences and best practices for climate risk management in the financial sector

Network for Greening the Financial System:

●        The Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) is a group of Central Banks and Supervisors willing, on a voluntary basis, to exchange experiences, share best practices, contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector, and to mobilize mainstream finance to support the transition toward a sustainable economy. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

●        Its purpose is to define and promote best practices to be implemented within and outside of the Membership of the NGFS and to conduct or commission analytical work on green finance.

●        Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has joined the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) as a Member in April,2021. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●        RBI expects to benefit from the membership of NGFS by learning from and contributing to global efforts on Green Finance which has assumed significance in the context of climate change.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/rbi-to-support-indias-climate-finance-effort/article37329716.ece

6. With reference to Turmeric, consider the following statements:

1) It requires a temperature range of 20-35°C with an annual rainfall of 1500 mm or more.

2) It can be grown in well-drained sandy or clay loam soils with a pH range of 4.5-7.5 with good organic status.

3) It is used as condiments, dye, drugs and cosmetics.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  3 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3


In NEWS: Hero Herb: Why we need to focus more on turmeric

●        The pandemic years have witnessed a boom in the production and export of the humble underground stem called turmeric, along with a renewal of interest among the scientific community in the spice’s therapeutic qualities, especially against COVID-19.

●        India produces 78 per cent of the world’s turmeric, as per a reply given by the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar in the Rajya Sabha

●        The pandemic has given a boost to the crop, with the production witnessing a rise of 23 per cent—from 957,130 tonnes in 2018-19 to 1,178,750 tonnes in 2019-20—in the first year of the pandemic.


●        Turmeric (Curcuma longa) (Family: Zingiberaceae) is used as condiment, dye, drug and cosmetic in addition to its use in religious ceremoniesHence, statement (3) is correct.

●        India is a leading producer and exporter of turmeric in the world

●        Turmeric can be grown in diverse tropical conditions from sea level to 1500 m above sea level.

●        It requires a temperature range of 20-35 C with an annual rainfall of 1500 mmHence, statement (1) is correct.

●        It can be grown in well-drained sandy or clay loam soils with a pH range of 4.5-7.5 with good organic status. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●        A number of cultivars are available in the country and are known mostly by the name of the locality where they are cultivated.

●        Some of the popular cultivars are Duggirala, Tekkurpet, Sugandham, Amalapuram, Erode local, Salem, Alleppey, Muvattupuzha and Lakdong.

●        The land is prepared with the receipt of early monsoon showers.

●        In Kerala and other West Coast areas where the rainfall begins early, the crop can be planted during April-May with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/food/hero-herb-why-we-need-to-focus-more-on-turmeric-79780

7. Which of the following states in India is the highest turmeric-producing state in 2020-21?

a)  Assam

b) Telangana

c)  Jammu and Kashmir

d) Punjab

Answer: (b) Telangana


In NEWS: Hero Herb: Why we need to focus more on turmeric

Hence option (b) is correct.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/food/hero-herb-why-we-need-to-focus-more-on-turmeric-79780

8. Consider the following statements regarding the Principles for Responsible Banking:

1) It was created in 2019 through a partnership between thirty founding banks and the United Nations.

2) It consists of six principles designed to bring purpose, vision and ambition to sustainable finance.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2


In NEWS: Global banks’ new decarbonisation initiative at COP26 is a step backwards

●        Over 450 of the world’s banks have committed to a new initiative at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference which is designed to decarbonise their investments

●        In 2019, the UN General Assembly exuberantly launched its principles of responsible banking (PRBs) with similar goals in mind.

●        The banks that signed up agreed, among other things, to “work with their clients to encourage sustainable practices” and to “align their business strategy” to the UN sustainable development goals and the Paris climate agreement.

●        When signatories to the PRBs are lending money, they are supposed to carry out environmental impact assessments and to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of projects.

●        This is not a minor issue considering that such work is beyond the traditional competencies of banks and will significantly affect their operational costs.

●        Signatories are also supposed to ensure that loans go to projects that are carbon neutral.

Principles for Responsible Banking:

●        The Principles for Responsible Banking are a unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks’ strategy and practice align with the vision society has set out for its future in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

●        The framework consists of 6 Principles designed to bring purpose, vision and ambition to sustainable finance and created in 2019 through a partnership between founding banks and the United NationsHence, statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is correct.

●        Signatory banks commit to embedding these 6 principles across all business areas, at the strategic, portfolio and transactional levels.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/global-banks-new-decarbonisation-initiative-at-cop26-is-a-step-backwards-121110900209_1.html

9. Vienna Classification (VCL) is related to which of the following international organisations?

a)  World Intellectual Property Organisation

b) World Meteorological Organization

c)  World Trade Organization

d) International Fund for Agricultural Development

Answer: (a) World Intellectual Property Organisation


In NEWS: India moves to patent the over century-old logos of Darjeeling’s ‘Toy Train’

●        More than two decades after the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, India has finally registered the logos of the iconic ‘Toy Train’ internationally as its intellectual property.

●        The use of these logos anywhere in the world will now require written permission from India and the payment of a fee.

●        The DHR, which started operations in 1880, more than 140 years ago, has two logos, both of which have been patented

●        The Railway Ministry in Delhi and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway office in Kurseong, West Bengal, initiated the process of registering the logo with the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

●        The claim was then sent to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), a specialised agency of the United Nations based in Geneva, Switzerland, in accordance with the procedure laid down in WIPO’s Vienna Classification (VCL). Hence option (a) is correct

●        There is a six-month window to register any counter-claims, following which the Indian government’s claim will receive international approval.

About WIPO’s Vienna Classification (VCL).

●        The Vienna Classification (VCL), established by the Vienna Agreement (1973), is an international classification of the figurative elements of marks. The Vienna Classification is regularly revised.

●        The purpose of the Classification is essentially to facilitate trademark anticipation searches and obviate substantial reclassification work when documents are exchanged at the international level.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-moves-to-patent-the-over-century-old-logos-of-darjeelings-toy-train-7610681/

10. With reference to furnace oil, consider the following statements:

1) It is a product of oil refineries.

2) Some industries use it to generate power.

3) Its use causes sulphur emissions into the environment.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3


●        Fuel oil (also known as heavy oil, marine fuel, bunker, furnace oil, or gasoil) is a fraction obtained from petroleum distillation. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

●        Diesel-based power plants may use Diesel, Furnace Oil, Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (LSFO) or Low Sulfur Heavy Stock (LSHS). The Basin Bridge Diesel Generator Power Plant (DGPP) in Tamil Nadu was one such example. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●        The oxides of sulphur (SOx; SO2 + SO3) emissions are a direct result of the sulphur content of the fuel oil. During the combustion process this fuel-bound sulphur is rapidly oxidised to sulphur dioxide (SO2). A small fraction of the SO2, some 3-5% may be further oxidised to sulphur trioxide (SO3) within the combustion chamber and exhaust duct. Hence, statement (3) is correct.