IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 7th October, 2016
General Studies 2
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
General Studies 3
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
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
Partnership approach to double the farm income
In an unprecedented initiative, the government has set an ambitious target of doubling farmers’ income. However, this needs a new redefined approach of fortifying partnerships amongst stakeholders to make this target a reality.
To boost the agricultural sector, the government has set goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
To achieve it, it has unveiled various strategies like focus on irrigation for quality inputs, investments in warehousing and cold chains, promotion of food processing and crop insurance schemes, among others.
However, the basic need is to transform the agriculture sector from production-driven system to a demand-driven food value chain.
Making the transformation possible
For such transformational impact, there will have to be new approaches, innovations, and increasing alignment and collaboration with all stakeholders in the food system.
Integrated value chains that connect farm to plate, competitive markets that provide better prices to farmers and an enabling environment that supports innovation and action will be required.
However, this will require collaboration between all the stakeholders government, private sector or civil society. None of them can work solitarily as newer realities like climate change and increasing pressure on land and water resources will have to be tackled by forging partnerships and consensus.
So, there should be combining of competencies of diverse organizations and stakeholders to create better alignment through partnership platforms which can generate much greater impact.
It includes leveraging of greater investments, development of new innovative collaboration models that combine knowledge and resources of diverse stakeholders and sharing of best practices, risks and mutual accountability for results.
Role model States
Such partnerships are being developed in states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
These state-level platforms bring together government + private sector + farmer organizations + society to create a shared vision and jointly develop solutions for integrated value chain projects that will provide more opportunities for farmers.
Currently, more than 20 organizations are engaged in these state partnerships ranging across the value chain from input companies to processors and retailers and from global multinational corporations to local small and medium enterprises and farmer producer organizations.
Maharashtra initiated this partnership model in 2012 under GoI’s public-private partnership for integrated agriculture development (PPPIAD) This programme aimed at developing an integrated value chain for specific crops.
It has been observed that within three years, this initiative had reached half-a-million farmers and improved farmer income ranging from 10-30%. Now, the goal of reaching 2.5 million farmers by 2020 has been set.
In Andhra Pradesh, there was a launch of a partnership platform which focused on achieving double-digit inclusive agriculture growth in the state.
The state has identified 25 growth sectors covering agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, and fisheries.
Within few months, more than $175 million in private sector commitments to support several value chain projects has been mobilized.
Here, the government launched the public-private partnership for integrated horticulture development (PPPIHD) in December 2015.
It was to improve horticulture value chains through value addition, technology and marketing solutions.
It has been less than a year, yet five projects are already underway led by both global and local private sector companies.
Thus, each state level partnerships follows a unique model but they share similar guiding principles which have been developed and validated by countries around the world. These principles are:
Alignment with the state’s goals and priorities for the sector.
Market-driven with projects led by the private sector and rooted in viable business models
Multi-stakeholders with open and inclusive engagement that includes all relevant stakeholders
Holistic, integrating full value chains that benefit all actors in the food system
Globally supported by an international network providing solidarity, connection and resources.
These state level partnerships hold great potential for application in other states of India too. Also, many other states have indicated interest in launching similar initiatives.
The key to such strong partnership lies in strong leadership and co-creation with the
Government setting the vision and enabling policy framework.
The private sector helping to deliver on that vision through scalable, inclusive market-based activity.
Key stakeholders such as farmer organizations, civil society and international organizations combining their resources and expertise.
Such strong leadership from multiple stakeholders can create the conditions needed for unlocking the entrepreneurship capability of small farmers and ultimately boosting their income.
Hence, for a bigger picture to transform the agriculture sector, the agriculture sector needs to move from a production-driven system to a demand-driven food value chain that increasingly connects the consumer to the producers.
Connecting the dots:
Doubling the farmers’ income is a goal whose onus lies on collaborative approach between its stakeholders. Examine
Farmers have to increase their scope of income and not only rely on farm produce. Do you think it is possible? Discuss.
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
Farewell to NAM
In news: In a significant move, Indian PM did not attend 17th Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit which was held in Venezuela recently.
The only other time when an Indian Prime Minister stayed home was in 1979, when the historic Havana summit took place. Prime Minister Charan Singh’s absence, however, had nothing to do with NAM; this time, the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a political message. His absence was deliberate as he did not find NAM to be important enough.
Flawed assumptions about NAM
Non-alignment has not been in the vocabulary of Prime Minister Modi.
He has been on a quest for selective alignmentsto suit his needs for India’s development and security.
His advisers have now begun to rationalise India’s distancing from NAM. One argument is that NAM did not have any binding principles and that it was a marriage of convenience (arranged for practical, financial, or political reasons) among disparate countries.
Right from the beginning, the word ‘non-alignment’ conveyed the wrong notion that it was not aligning with the power blocs and that the be-all and end-all of non-alignment was to remain unaligned.
But the essence of non-alignment was freedom of judgment and action and it remained valid, whether there was one bloc or two.
Seen in that context, non-military alliances can also be within the ambit of non-alignment, which was subsequently characterised as ‘strategic autonomy’. In other words, India does not have to denounce non-alignment to follow its present foreign policy.
Why NAM is failing?
The traditional foreign policy approach of non-alignment was a central component of Indian identity in global politics.
However, since independence, India has been in pursuit of strategic autonomy. It has led to semi-alliances shaped under the cover of non-alignment and regional dynamics.
NAM countries did not come to our help on any of the critical occasions when India needed solidarity, such as the Chinese aggression in 1962 or the Bangladesh war in 1971.
Even in the latest struggle against terror, NAM has not come to assist India in any way.
But the whole philosophy of NAM is that it remains united on larger global issues, even if does not side with a member on a specific issue.
India itself has followed this approach, whenever the members had problems with others either inside or outside the movement.
NAM positions have always been the reflection of the lowest common denominator in any given situation.
Does NAM has no ideal/ideology?
That NAM has no ideal or ideology as a glue is a wrong assumption. Though the criteria for NAM membership are general, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism and anti-racism were essential attributes of NAM countries.
There was a consensus on nuclear disarmament also till India broke ranks by keeping out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The diversity reflected in both Singapore and Cuba being NAM members has been its strength. Therefore, Egypt signing the Camp David Accords with Israel in 1978 or India signing the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union in 1971 did not result in any disruption of membership.
Benefits of NAM
The golden age in India’s foreign policy was in the first 15 years after Independence, when NAM provided a constituency for India because of our non-violent victory over the British and the leadership it provided to the newly independent countries.
India led the NAM effort to resolve the Iran-Iraq dispute.
As expected, political issues continued to engage NAM and we benefitted from its activism occasionally.
In fact, it was through NAM that we operated to counter the efforts to expand the UN Security Council by including just Germany and Japan as permanent members. NAM submitted its own proposal and ensured that no quick fix was permitted.
NAM is particularly important in elections at the UN, including the possible identification of new permanent members of the Security Council.
No NAM country may agree to isolate Pakistan, but the NAM forum will be an effective instrument to project our anti-terrorist sentiments.
India’s current foreign policy- a shift from past
Why such shift?
India seeks to balancethe benefits and risks of an increasingly assertive neighbour (China) and a network of alliances with like-minded countries.
China’s rise and assertiveness as a regional and global power and the simultaneous rise of middle powers in the region mean that this balancing act is increasing in both complexity and importance, simultaneously.
China’s growth presents great opportunities for positive engagement, but territorial disputes and a forward policyin the region raise concerns for India, particularly in the Indian Ocean and with Pakistan.
Forward policy= a foreign policy doctrine applicable to territorial disputes where emphasis is placed on securing control of disputed areas by invasion and annexation or creating a buffer state.
The region itself is riddled with rivalries; a desire to balance China may push states together, while other issues divide them. The same applies on the global level as noted by the unpredictability in Sino-US relations.
The decision to say farewell to NAM is very much in keeping with the new transactional nature of the foreign policy we are developing. NAM was a part of our larger vision for the world, but today it is seen as inconsequential to our present preoccupations. This transformation will not be lost on the world community.
Connecting the dots:
Is a shift in India’s foreign policy approach with respect to non-alignment significant? Critically analyse
India’s non-alignment policy gave it an independent foreign policy. With multi-alignment, India’s strategic and autonomous foreign policy faces threat. Do you agree? Examine.
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