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Explore popular questions from Sustainable Development for UPSC. This collection covers Sustainable Development previous year UPSC questions hand picked by experienced teachers.

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Q 1. Green house effect is warming due to

A

infra-red rays reaching earth

B

moisture layer in atmosphere

increase in temperature due to increase in carbon dioxide concentration of atmosphere

D

ozone layer of atmosphere.

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Q 2. Sustainable Development Goals and targets are to be achieved by:

A

2020

B

2025

2030

D

2050

Explanation

According to 'Transforming our world Agenda’ countries will have the opportunity to adopt a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years i.e. 2030.

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Q 3. “A Million Voices: The World We Want” is report by:

A

WHO

B

IUCN

C

UNICEF

UN

Explanation

The voices of more than 1 million people all over the world were gathered to produce a United Nations report that reflects their priorities concerning development issues, which will help Member States shape the post-2015 sustainability agenda.

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Q 4. Which among the following is not a target under sustainable development goals?

A

Zero poverty

B

Quality education

Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

D

Decent work and economic growth

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Q 5. Sustainable Development implies:

A

Sustained Development in real GDP

Long lasting development without negatively impacting the environment

C

Full exploitation of natural resources

D

Reduction in unemployment and poverty

Explanation

Brutland Commission in our Common Future, also known as the Brutland Report defined sustainable development as—development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Option (a) and (d) are partially true while option (c) is negative to the concept.

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Q 6. The objective of the Green energy Corridor is to:

A

Create special industrial zones which will be powered by renewable energy.

B

Fund geothermal based energy projects.

Facilitate the flow of renewable energy into the national power grid.

D

none of the above.

Explanation

Facilitates the flow of renewable energy into the national power grid. The aim of the 'green energy corridor' project is to facilitate the flow of renewable energy into the national grid. The 'green energy corridor’ is aimed at synchronizing electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid.

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Q 7. The 12th Five year plan aims at:

A

Greening 5 million ha under Green India Mission.

B

Integrated Ecotourism District Plans covering 10% of all potential Protected Areas (PAs) by 2017.

C

Cleaning all the critically polluted rivers by 2020 and 80% by 2017.

All of the above

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Q 8. National Mission for a Green India’ under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is replacing:

A

National Mission on Combating Desertification

National Afforestation Programme

C

Forest Conservation programme

D

Joint Forest Management programme

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Q 9. The ‘Neeranchal’ initiative is for:

Giving impetus to watershed development in the country

B

Providing safe and clean drinking water

C

Providing water for industries

D

Popularizing drip and sprinkle irrigation

Explanation

It will bring about institutional changes in watershed and rainfed agricultural management practices in India.

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Q 10. Which committee has been constituted to assess ground situation at Cauvery basin?

A

M N Rao Committee

B

KK Paul Committee

GS Jha Committee

D

SK Jha Committee

Explanation

The Union Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted a high-level technical team to visit the river Cauvery basin area in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to assess the ground situation. GS Jha, the Chairman of Central Water Commission (CWC), will head the Cauvery supervisory committee.

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Q 11. Which of the following adjustments would be made to any increase in GDP in order to derive an 'Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare’ (ISEW)?

A

Subtract the monetary value of non-defensive public expenditures

B

Subtract the monetary value of personal consumption

C

Subtract the monetary value of capital formation

Subtract the costs of environmental degradation

Explanation

An increase in GDP is conventionally used as a measure of how much better off we are getting. But it includes expenditures on things w hich are actually related to how much worse off we are getting (such as expenditures on goods to protect ourselves from assault with increasing crime levels e.g. guns), and does not include things such as the costs of the destruction of our natural environment, which everyone would value as part of their overall level of economic welfare. This is included in a measure such as ISEW. So increasing GDP can be consistent with declining ISEW.

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Q 12. Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of the “emissions trading” policy instrument?

A

It involves a mechanism whereby the permits available are initially distributed to producers who are potential emitters of a given pollutant

B

The price mechanism for tradable emissions permits helps to allocate the restricted supply of permits to those who most value them

All producers are required to be equally efficient in reducing emissions of the pollutant

D

The right to pollute can be transferred between different parties at a price determined by the market in tradeable emissions permits

Explanation

The point here is that typically firms will he unequally efficient in reducing emissions, and the trading mechanism will over time create a situation where the least environmentally efficient firms will have to buy permits to cover their excess emissions, and this will give them an incentive to move to less polluting production methods.

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Q 13. Which one of the following characteristics is widely regarded as being an important aspect of sustainable development?

Inter-generational equity

B

Increasing consumption expenditure

C

Intra-generational inequity

D

Increased levels of saving

Explanation

Fairness or equity within and between generations are two key ideas of the notion of sustainable development, so inter-generational equity was the one to select here. The other alternatives are either irrelevant or inimical to the achievement of sustainable development (increased saving might be indirectly relevant, depending on what the saving was used for.)

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Q 14. Why is transport one of the most intractable factors in considering the global environmental problem?

A

Our transport capabilities worldwide have not expanded fast enough for us to cope with the consequences of global warming

Transport demand grows faster than possible technological improvements can reduce the output of greenhouse gases and the depletion of nonrenewable fossil fuel reserves

C

Reducing the growth of the transport sector will hold back economic growth, and hence reduce the resources we have available to deal with the global environmental problem

D

World oil refinery capacity has failed to expand in line with the demand for internal combustion fuels

Explanation

The first and fourth alternatives are clearly ruled out which do not have anything to do with environmental problems, except to make them worse. The second alternative is clearly correct, but the third has just enough of a grain of truth to lead the unwary astray. In fact, this argument is actually put forward in some circles and relates back to some very involved arguments about the relationship between transport and economic development. Apart from the issue of the immediacy of our global environmental problem, vis-a-vis the long term nature of potential gains in economic growth from transport investment, a basic problem for those who support this argument is that research over many years has failed to demonstrate that transport investment reliably produces the economic growth effects claimed for it.

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Q 15. What do we mean when we say "think globally, act locally" in relation to environmental problems?

A

Global environmental problems are essentially issues which need to be solved by international negotiations, and in the interim individuals must take care to protect themselves from any adverse consequences produced for them by these problems

B

Environmental problems have to be thought about at a global level in order to get an accurate idea of the total problem facing us, but these problems are essentially produced by our activities as individuals and firms at a local level, and it is at this level that we must focus our responses

C

Extensive researeh and thinking has been carried out by global level researeh organizations about the causes of environmental problems, which have produced possible strategics and actions which can be applied at a local level

While these problems, as we experience them in relation to sustainability issues, are produced by processes operating at a global level, we all have a role to play in our local context in making individual and collective responses, as communities and companies, which will help ameliorate the effects of these problems

Explanation

While these problems, as we experience them in relation to sustainability issues, are produced by processes operating at a global level, we all have a role to play in our local context in making individual and collective responses, as communities and companies, which will help ameliorate the effects of these problems.

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Q 16. Focusing on reducing carbon production to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is argued to be the wrong variable to focus on because:

A

It is impossible to achieve

The focus should be on carbon consumption

C

It has nothing to do with carbon dioxide emissions

D

The focus should be on carbon elimination

Explanation

In a situation where many countries such as UK after many years have made little progress towards achieving their Kyoto emissions reduction targets, critics are starling to point out that the situation would be much worse if these countries had not managed to get reduce their carbon production by exporting it to countries like China, by de facto exporting jobs. But the effect is illusionary, because we still import back from countries such as China the goods which we might have produced ourselves. Of course, the reason for exporting the jobs in the first place is to lake advantage of low cost production locations. But if we keep consuming as we did before, at a global level nothing is achieved. We need to focus on carbon consumption. Hence the focus should be on carbon consumption' is the correct answer; ‘It is impossible to achieve' is not true, as carbon production can be reduced at an aggregate level: 'It has nothing to do with carbon dioxide emissions’ is simply wrong, as it is very much to do with carbon dioxide emissions; while 'The focus should be on carbon elimination’ is merely a red herring; it does not mean anything.

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Q 17. We have had twenty years of international conferences on what to do about the global environmental crisis, and some commentators say absolutely nothing has been achieved
. This shows that:

A

There is a complete lack of international commitment to positive action

B

It is very difficult to devise appropriate policies

The environmental crisis is only one of the issues that nations negotiate about, and agreement on environmental issues has to be compatible with agreements on other issues, such as trade

D

There is no agreement on the environmental issues facing the global community

Explanation

It would be very difficult to argue that nations generally are not committed to positive action in this area, so ‘There is a complete lack of international commitment to positive action’ is not correct. But of course, 'commitment' is a difficult word, as the outcomes of a conference are not simple yes/no statements, but complex agreements where individual nations, or blocks of nations, have priorities which others find difficult to accede to. Equally, there is no denying that it can be difficult to devise appropriate policies, but there is no doubt that over the years there has been evident progress, so 'It is very difficult to devise appropriate policies' is not correct. Of course, the big problem in reaching international agreement on climate issues is that not only are the issues to be resolved within these conferences highly complex, but the conferences do not take place in isolation from international discussions and debates on other issues, and environmental issues might for a group of nations be a bargaining counter from which concessions on some other entirely unrelated issue can be secured. So ‘The environmental crisis is only one of the issues that nations negotiate about, and agreement on environmental issues has to be compatible with agreements on other issues, such as trade’ is the correct answer here.

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Q 18. Which of the following are the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals?
1. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
2. Reduce inequality within and among countries
3. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

A

1,3

B

2,3

C

1,2

All of the above

Explanation

The goals are to be achieved in 15 years i.e. till 2030. The goals are -
1. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
2. Reduce inequality within and among countries
3. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
4. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
5. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
6. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
7. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
8. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

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Q 19. Which of the following statements is/are correct about IWAI?
1. IWAI is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India.
2. National Waterways 6 is a proposed waterway between Lakhipur and Bhanga of the Barak River
Find the correct answer from the codes:

A

Only 1

B

Only 2

Both

D

None

Explanation

The Inland Waterways Authority of India will execute the National Waterways project in two phases. The first will be completed by 2016-17 and the second by 2018-19. integrating the waterways in the northeast and helping cargo transport through Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.

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Q 20. What is not true about “The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 1992"?
1. The first global environment conference, the UN sought to help Governments rethink economic development and find ways to halt the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources and pollution of the planet.
2. The first global environment conference, the UN sought to help Governments rethink political development and find ways to halt the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources and pollution of the planet.
3. The second global environmental conference, the UN sought to help Governments rethink environmental development and End ways to hall the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources and pollution of the planet.

Only 1

B

Only 2

C

1,2, and 3

D

All are incorrect

Explanation

From 3-14 June 1992. Rio de Janeiro hosted the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The focus of this conference was the state of the global environment and the relationship between economics, science and the environment in a political context. The conference concluded with the Earth Summit, at which leaders of 105 nations gathered to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development. In 1972. Stockholm. Sweden, hosted the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which was attended by 113 delegates and two heads of state. Therefore option (a) is correct in the given context.

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Q 21. Which of the following are correct regarding Sustainable development goals?
1. They were accepted by the governments in COP 21
2. There are total 17 goals present under SDG
3. SDG talks about inequality within country only and nothing about in between the countries
Codes:

A

1,2

B

2,3

2 only

D

All

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Q 22. Which of the following statement(s) is /are correct?
1. The 8 Millennium Development Goals will be replaced by 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
2. These 17 SDGs will be adopted by Member Slates at the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.

A

Only 1

B

Only 2

Both 1 and 2

D

None of the above

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Q 23. Consider the following statements about the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA):
I. The programme aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates through safe pregnancies and safe deliveries
II. The programme provides comprehensive and quality antenatal care to pregnant women on the 9th of every month in government hospitals
III. The programme also involves the doctors from the private sector to provide free services
Which of the above statements are correct?

A

I & II Only

B

II & III Only

C

I & III Only

I, II & III

Explanation

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMS- MA) is a national social movement which shall engage the doctors from the private sector and other stakeholders to deliver free services at government hospitals on 9th of every month. The programme is poised to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in maternal and child healthcare. The programme aims to reduce the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). Maternal Maternity Rate (MMR).

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Q 24. Consider the following statement(s) related to Rio+20, 1992
I. Securing renewed political commitment for inclusive development
II. Assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting previous commitments
III. Addressing new and emerging challenges
What is/are not the objectives of Rio+20, 1992 Conference? Code:

Only I

B

Only II

C

Only I & II

D

I,II, III

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Q 25. Which of the following are the aims of the Basel Convention?
I. The reduction of hazardous waste generation and the promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, wherever the place of disposal;
II. The restriction of trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes except where it is perceived to be in accordance with the principles of environmentally sound management
III. A regulatory system applying to cases where trans-boundary movements are permissible
Codes

A

Only I & II

B

Only I & III

C

Only II & III

All of the above