With reference to the subsidies in India, which among the following is / are non-merit subsidies?
1. Food subsidy
2. Fertilizer subsidy
3. Subsidy on elementary education
4. Subsidy on rural infrastructure development
Choose the correct option from the codes given below:

Answer: [A] Only 1 & 2

Merit and Non-Merit Subsidies
Merit subsidy is for sectors like elementary education, research, forestry, environment, information etc. where the benefits are reaped by the society as a whole. Non-merit subsidy is directed towards specific groups of population, such as subsidy on food, fertilizer, petroleum, electricity etc.

At present, the bulk of the subsidy expenditure in India is on non-merit subsidy.

The merit subsidies are as follows:

Elementary education, primary health centres, prevention and control of diseases, social welfare and nutrition, soil and water conservation, and ecology and environment; Sports and youth services, family welfare, urban development, forestry, agricultural research and education, other agricultural programmes, special programmes for rural development, land reforms, other rural development programmes, special programmes for north-eastern areas, flood control and drainage, non-conventional energy, village and small industries, ports and light houses, roads and bridges, inland water transport, atomic energy research, space research, oceanographic research, other scientific research, census surveys and statistics, meteorology.

All other subsidies are non-merit subsidies.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module