Directions (Q. No. 1-5) Read the given passage and answer the questions.
The* Public Distribution System (PDS) was set-up in India originally as a rationing system to cope with the food shortages during the Second World War period. From 1965, it expanded into a universal system for delivering cheap food grain such as wheat and rice and certain other essential commodities such as sugar, edible oil and kerosene. While the major objectives of the PDS has been to act as a welfare measure to provide these goods at prices that are relatively lower than the market, it has also acted as a countervailing force to prevent speculation in prices by profit-oriented private traders.
Since, the PDS constitutes a major outlet for the sale of grain procured by the procurement agencies, it is an important link in the support system provided to farmers by the government. Over the years, the buffer stocks maintained by the PDS have served to ensure price stability and self-sufficiency of food even in years of severe draught, and thereby helped to maintain the economic sovereignty of the country.