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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [25th July, 2017]- Day 12

  • July 26, 2017
  • 4
IASbaba's Think Learn and Perform 2017, UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [25th July, 2017]- Day 12

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1. What do you understand by ‘more crop per drop’? Why is it so important for India? What can be the strategies to achieve it? Discuss.

Introduction

More crop per drop is a part of pradhan mantri krishi sinchayi yojana program. It is an important water management technique to increase the agricultural productivity. It is an approach to increase farm productivity by optimum utilization of water. It is a key efficient water management technique adopted to maximize the output from existing land than bringing more area under cultivation.

Main Body

Importance
1. Compared to other countries like china India land acreage under cultivation is more still we lag behind the output obtained.
2. Dependence on monsoon and over utilized ground water has led to shortage of water for irrigation in states like Punjab and southern states.

  1. Can help in bringing food security and eradicating hunger and malnutrition which could help in achieving objectives of sustainable development goals.
  2. Since water is a precious resource to utilize it effectively is important for a country like India since Indian agriculture is depends on monsoon.
  3. Problems arise between states due to the sharing of water hence it is necessary to implement such scheme in practice.
  4. India has become a net exporter of water with high % of cropping area for rice and sugarcane.
  5. With a growing population reaching nearly 1.4 bn by 2030, the World Bank has predicted nearly 25% of India to become water scarce.
  6. India’s water requirements in agriculture are much higher than that of that BRICS nations highlighting the wastage and inefficient use of water.
  7. Fertilizers can also be used through these techniques, leading to protecting the balance of NPK ratio in soil. Our current ration is way more than prescribed.
  8. Excessive use of water has increased soil salinity reducing the yield.

11.Excessive use and older irrigation technology has caused soil erosion and led to waste land creation.

Strategies

1.Advice farmers to plant drought resistant crops paani panchayat, soil health card scheme and micro irrigation.

2.Drought resistant crops, metering, paani panchayat etc can also be looked upon.

3.With government providing schemes PMSBY ,soil health card and acquiring advanced technologies from israel and japan we can expect increase in productivity of agriculture in near future.

  1. Mass promotion of drip and sprinkler irrigation through capital subsidy and free installations as done in Gujarat which boosted local employment also.
  2. Community development and outreach through Ngo’s such as Tarun Bharat Sangh to change mindset of people.
  3. Shift towards low water consuming crops such as millets, pulses with MSP support and procurement to reduce irrigation requirement.
  4. Strengthening ground water extraction legislation to prevent unrestricted depletion.
  5. Focus on drip and sprinkler irrigation to reduce practice of flood irrigation.
  6. Watershed management under the Neeranchal program assisted by World bank.

Conclusion

All these measures will help achieve more crop per drop and make Indian agriculture water efficient. This will also help farmers reduce input costs in log run and help in doubling farmer incomes.

Best answer: Pallavi verma

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2. India’s traditional water harvesting techniques provide a sustainable water management alternative. Do you agree? Critically examine.

Introduction

India has a long history of different water harvesting techniques that provided sound water management to the local needs. Such traditional water harvesting techniques included, Taanka, Jhalara, Talab, Bawari, Kund, Khadin, etc., all of which were mainly used during ancient or medieval India, to ensure year-round water availability for crops.

Main Body

These traditional technique can provide a sustainable alternative to modern technique as:
1. Mission Kakatiya by Telangana government to inter link all tanks and canals to divert flood water is learned from medieval dynasty Kakatiya.

  1. Ancient Sringaverapura Tank in Allahabad is a system to take away Ganga flood water into desilting chamber could be used for drinking water in urban area
  2. Dholavira town of Indus Civilization had built lakes to collect monsoon runoff, inlet channels and intricate drainage system for drinking can be used under Smart Cities planning.
  3. Dams in South India, built during Chola period have made extensive irrigation possibility in Tamil Nadu at the same preserving environment of Cauvery. Valuable lesson of environment impact assessment can be learned.

These traditional techniques provide a sustainable alternative to modern techniques, because

  1. Farm ponds, filled during rainy season, can effectively act supplementary to tubewells and canals, leading to lesser stress on both govt and farmer
  2. These methods are eco-friendly, unlike others which encroach upon the local flora and fauna
  3. Will give a sense of belonging to the farmers, with such local infrastructure and they will work hard to maintain such free of cost initiatives
  4. Climate change is posing a great problem. To cope up with the water scarcity these systems can efficiently save water for future use.
  5. Monsoon in India is seasonal. It leaves less amount of water for use by everyone.
  6. Many regions lie in Rain-shadow zones. Such alternatives can help secure water in the time of need.
  7. In humid areas water percolates down and depletes due to mixing with chemicals. Such systems can ensure pure water availability.

On the other hand, such traditional systems are inefficient in some ways

  1. Such ponds mostly relied on timely rainfalls for regular rejuvenation. But due to increasing pollution and climate change, monsoon schedule has become erratic.
  2. With the increase in incidences of diseases like Dengue, malaria, etc. villagers object to large amount of stagnant uncovered water near their residences
  3. With increasing urbanization and decreasing farm sizes, there are very limited places where such large sustainable infrastructure can be constructed,which limits its coverage.
  4. Such systems have low life cycles and hence re-invigoration has to be done constantly.
  5. During natural calamities such as floods, such systems pose a threat to life as they do not have proper embankments.
  6. High temperatures can easily evaporate water. Hence such systems may not be efficient.
  7. Limited land availability.

Conclusion

India is a country of masses but that doesn’t mean every problem will need massive solution. We have survived test of time which mean we have already obtained solution for different crises. Presently we need traditional and modern technique both are needed to reviewed and implemented in feasible way.

Best answer: Aim_2017

Water conservation is a key element of any strategy that aims to alleviate the water scarcity crisis in India. With rainfall patterns changing almost every year, the Indian government has started looking at means to revive the traditional systems of water harvesting in the country. Such traditional water harvesting techniques include, Taanka, Jhalara, Talab, Bawari, Kund, Khadin, etc., all of which were mainly used during ancient or medieval India, to ensure year-round water availability for crops.

These traditional techniques provide a sustainable alternative to modern techniques, because:
1. Farm ponds, filled during rainy season, can effectively act supplementary to tubewells and canals, leading to lesser stress on both govt and farmer
2. Such water collection places can be easily constructed under MGNREGA, while benefitting both labourers with more work and farmers.
3. These methods are eco-friendly, unlike others which encroach upon the local flora and fauna
4. Will give a sense of belonging to the farmers, with such local infrastructure and they will work hard to maintain such free of cost initiatives
5. Can also be used to install solar cells on such ponds, which will reduce evaporation of water

On the other hand, such traditional systems are inefficient in some ways:
1. In ancient India, water table was quite high and only a few metres of digging was required. Today, water level is much lower, for which tubewells or submersibles are more adequate
2. Such ponds mostly relied on timely rainfalls for regular rejuvenation. But due to increasing pollution and climate change, monsoon schedule has become erratic
3. With the increase in incidences of diseases like Dengue, malaria, etc. villagers object to large amount of stagnant uncovered water near their residences
4. With increasing urbanisation and decreasing farm sizes, there are very limited places where such large sustainable infrastructure can be constructed, which limits its coverage.

On the whole, it can be said that traditional methods can serve as supplementary irrigation initiatives in some places in rural India. Wherever possible, farmers should be encouraged to use such eco-friendly practices, which will both provide the farmers better irrigation facilities and lesser stress on govt to ensure farmer security.


3. Why coarse grains are important? How can coarse grains be integrated into the cropping pattern to ensure maximum benefit? Discuss.

Coarse cereals are a broad sub-group of several short duration warm weather (Kharif) crops such as Jowar (Sorghum), Bajra (Pearl Millet), Maize, Ragi (Finger Millet) etc.

Importance of coarse grains:

Consumers:

  • Rich source of nutrient- thus would help fight hidden hunger (caused due to lack of micro-nutrients in body). Example- Bajra is high in iron content, Ragi in Calcium etc.
  • Being inexpensive, they can provide an accessible source of essential nutrients to poor.

Farmers:

  • Provides additional income to marginal farmers.
  • Acts as insurance in case of crop failures.

Livestock:

  • Can be used as nutrient rich fodder, thereby holds the potential to boost livestock productivity.

Country:

  • Can be used as raw material in food processing industries. Such products can be sold in international market as well adding to our forex reserve.
  • Ensure food security in such regions of the country.

Environment:

  • Coarse cereals can be grown in harsh climate, thereby can bear the ill-effects of climate change being witnessed by Indian agriculture.
  • Is less input intensive. Thus would help reduce the burden on fertile soil and underground water both of which has become a scarce resource in our country. Thus would help in conservation of our resources.

Coarse grains can be integrated in our cropping pattern through following ways:

Cropping methods:

  • Multi-cropping- In the fallow season, coarse grains can be grown
  • Intercropping- Cereal grains can be grown along with input intensive crops like rice and wheat. This would help maintain soil fertility and can provide assured income to farmers in case their main crop fails.

Government policy:

  • Incentives like MSP (Minimum Support Prices) which is currently restricted to non-coarse cereals.
  • Disincentivizing water guzzling crops and promotion of alternative less water intensive crops instead.
  • Increasing share of these crops in National Food Security Mission and In Mid-Day meal scheme.
  • Removing supply-chain inefficiency and marketing bottlenecks for coarse grains.
  • Initial support to farmers for cultivating coarse grains in forms of subsidy
  • Creating robust procurement mechanism for coarse cereals.

Extension services:

  • Research and development is required to develop high yielding variety seeds for coarse grains.
  • The extension services through Krishi Vigyan Kendras must be provided to farmers.

Creating market avenues:

  • Creating market for the coarse grains by change in consumer choice, new food habits through advertisements, awareness campaigns, social media etc.
  • Education and awareness among people about the benefits of nutri-cerelas.
  • Promoting food processing industries that use coarse grains as input.

International cooperation:

  • International cooperation like in pulses to promote their cultivation abroad and import it to India to meet demand if need be.

Government has taken various steps like National Millet Policy coupled with schemes like doubling farmers income by 2020. The initiatives must be implemented effectively keeping in mind the importance of coarse grains in not only ensuring food security but also promoting balanced regional growth and safeguarding farmers’ interest.

Best answer: sweety saini ss

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Best answer: WicConman

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4. Voting rights constitute the bedrock of a democracy. The recent controversy related to EVMs must be cleared by the government to protect voters’ faith in electoral democracy. Substantiate.

If democracy is a contract between people and its government, election is the place where people effectively enforce their contract. The ideals of democracy are realized and preserved through the regular conduct of the elections. Voting rights, and in India’s case- Universal Adult Franchise, thus are bedrock of democracy.

The elections should remain impartial and fair if the democracy is to be realized in true sense. Modern democracies are representative in character. People chose their leaders through regular elections. If the elections are unfair and defrauded with malpractices than the leaders elected would not be true representatives of the people but rather fraudster, criminal or people with heavy pockets.

  • EVM truly revolutionized election process by:
  1. Faster election and counting.
  2. Huge reduction in rejected votes, making voting simple for people.
  3. Efficient process
  4. Environmentally friendly saving lakhs of tree that would have cut for making ballot paper
  5. Higher security- Both capturing and stuffing ballot boxes with votes are now not possible.
  • Recently some parties have alleged that EVMs are designed in a way to favour the ruling party. The Election Commission(EC) has taken the following steps to dispel the rumors:
  1. It threw an open challenge and allowed anyone to demonstrate how EVMs can be hacked.
  2. It talked to the concerned parties to dispel their concerns.
  3. It has started the Voter verifiable paper Audit Trial (VVPAT) so that the votes can confirm their voting before leaving the polling booth.
  • Possible steps to be taken to instill faith of voters in the election process:
  1. Annually call for hackathon of EVM where experts and laymen are allowed to expose hacking possibilities id any.
  2. Keep updating the machine technology and components keeping up with changing technologies.
  3. Take strong action against those purposefully spreading false news on EVM for political purpose. Election Commission should be given powers for the same.
  4. Conduct awareness campaign and inform people about the process behind the scenes done to ensure no manipulation such as random testing of EVMs, random allocation, testing of EVMS before election in front of party representatives etc.

Best Answer: RSP.

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5. Why autonomy is important for universities? Analyse. Also discuss the emerging trends in higher education in India as far as autonomy of Universities is concerned.

Philosopher Immanuel Kant held that autonomy is at the root of human dignity and the source of all morality. In education, excellence in academics, good governance and financial well-being of institutions can be achieved when autonomy is practised with responsibility and accountability.

Lack of Indian universities presence in the Global rankings in QIS rankings with IISc getting 152nd rank has brought the focus back into lack of Autonomy in institutes of higher learning in India.

Autonomy for Higher education is India needs to be mainly dealt in academic, administrative and financial aspects as advocated by the Kanti Biswas committee(2005)  which on being holistic will result in

  • Improved curricula and pedagogy as per global best practices
  • Appointments of Heads (deans, VC) free of political interference based on credentials alone in a fair and transparent manner.
  • Freedom to raise resources so as to put it to better use in R&D, infrastructure and others.
  • Better Industry-academia interface for designing courses as per industry standards
  • Collaborations with Foreign universities would be better to increase cross cultural competency.
  • Better service conditions for staff, increased recruitment and system of meritocracy would be followed.

However fears persist that Autonomy without accountability and proper safeguards in place may lead to lack of adequate representation of disadvantaged societies ( due to higher fee, stricter qualifying norms etc.), decrease in bargaining power of faculties, as the ASHE report 2014 reports that Government grants may be misappropriated and there may be conversion of public good into private enterprise.

Hence the need of the hour is gradual autonomy with adequate safeguards and a proper oversight mechanism

RECENT TRENDS:

The TSR Subramaniam committee (2015) appointed by HRD ministry suggestion of setting up HEFA must be seriously considered though the report was supposedly kept in  the back burner.

Recent proposal of Government to set up institutes of national importance (INI) free from regulatory bodies interference like AICTE, MCI is a welcome step.

The IIM bill 2017 also designates the IIMsvas INIs,  subjected to CAG audit(accountability) and complete autonomy administratively and financially under a board of directors along with freedom to grant degrees is also a step in positive direction.

But continuing interference of Government in appointing Heads with questionable credentials and political affiliations as in cases like JNU, NSD, UoH etc has come in for strong criticism from academic circles and questioned the motive that the real objective of granting  autonomy may still  be a pipedream.

BEST ANSWER : TAVISHI

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BEST ANSWER : LINCOLN

Autonomy for a University will enable it to take independent decision regarding academic, financial and other aspects. Of late there has been growing clamour for granting more autonomy for universities.

Autonomy will enable the university to:

1) Design and implement curriculum of their choice, thus creating different models.

2) Each autonomous university will pursue independent path and be a model for other university to be inspired from

3) Great universities lie Harvard, Cambridge etc. are very independent and this has been a important factor in they being the best in the world.

4) Flexibility in monetising their research and generating revenue.

5) Financial autonomy will enable the university to explore different models to balance revenue generation and affordability.

But we need to ensure that there is larger light accountability and oversight to ensure the larger social goal of education access to education for vulnerable sections are not compromised. Financial autonomy should also be accompanied by accounts verification by a body like CAG.

Trends in higher education autonomy:

1) TSR Subramaniam committee has criticised UGC’s over and under regulation hampering higher education sector.

2) IIM Bill is introduced in Parliament to grant more autonomy for IIMs and make them universities.
3) Higher Education Finance Agency is planned to fund university and give them more autonomy on financial matters.

4) Union government is planning to set up 20 world class universities which will have complete autonomy.

5) Based on NIRF ranking top ranking universities and institutes could be given much more autonomy. This proposal is under consideration.

Granting autonomy for university is need of the day to let them grow and compete with world class ones. Care should be taken to ensure this autonomy is accompanies with accountability.

 

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