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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [26th July, 2017]- Day 13

  • July 27, 2017
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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 [26th July, 2017]- Day 13

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1. What are the logistical constraints in India’s agricultural marketing system? Discuss. Also suggest ways to reform it.

Introduction

A large section of India population being dependent on agriculture activities, directly or indirectly, it is highly imperative that infrastructure in the sector be updated regularly. Logistics form a vital component of marketing of all such agricultural produce. But India is facing the following constraints along this road.

Main Body

Logistical constraints in India’s agricultural marketing system

  1. No last mile connectivity: no Pakka roads in villages to bring agri produced to cities and markets and mandis.
  2. Nousage of Train or waterways for cheap easy and fast transport.
  3. APMC: compulsion to sale in APMC market which is dominated by local political leaders and they also work in cartels and purchase in very low price.As per a report only 25% of the retail cost of sale is received by producer farmer.
  4. Uneven reach of procurement system of government across the entire country, with Northern region being dominant.
  5. Unavailability of cold storage facilities at several mandis.
  6. Long marketing channels, with multiple intermediaries, adding to the woes of the producers of perishable agri goods.
  7. Slow pace of distributing grains to PDS outlets in different parts of country, which leads to large volume of rotting grains in storehouses.
  8. Variation in Market Fees/Market Charges due to different provisions in state APMCs.
  9. Inadequate infrastructure for storage erstwhile The Planning Commission has recently estimated the gap between agri-warehousing supply and demand at 35 mn MT
    Lack of integration of spot markets with commodity exchange.

Ways to reform the agro-marketing logistics        

  1. SAMPADA scheme for agri processing and marketing which expected to boost cold storages and value addition in agri food chain by creating Mega Food Parks.
  2. Large scale opening of food irradiation centers by BARC to help farmers increase shelf life of produce eg. In Lasalgaon, Maharashtra for onions.
  3. Reform in APMC laws through Model APMC act circulated by NITI AAyog is expected to reform the traditional mandi’s.
  4. Allowing private entrepreneurs to enter the agri logistics sector to create effective linkages between the farm gate and ultimate consumer eg. ITC E-Choupal.
  5. Speedup implementation of PMGSY for last mile connectivity.
  6. Government or private investments in cold storage supply chain with updated technology to increase the shelf life.
  7. Supply demand match through eNAM. and better price for the produced.
  8. Use of waterways for cheap and quick transport.
  9. Recommendations of Shanta Kumar committee, which suggest inclusion of private players in food distribution should be acted upon, along with others.
  10. Innovative solutions like eFarm, can provide a bypass to long chain of intermediaries by directly connecting buyers and sellers of agricultural produce.
  11. Reducing information asymmetry among farmers of different states, by awareness of correct price of their crops.
  12. Leveraging the ICT for empowering the farmers and farmers groups.
  13. Promoting Future contracts and ‘negotiable warehouse receipts’ in agriculture.

Conclusion

Such steps will curb the inflation by both, preventing spoilage suffered by perishable items and also, increasing the bargaining power of farmers. As agriculture provides the largest share of employment statistics, while having proportionately smaller share in GDP, such reforms in logistics in marketing system can improve farmer security and agriculture health in the country.

Best Answer: yNa

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2. ICT can play an empowering role in farmers’ life. Do you agree? Substantiate with the help of suitable examples.

Introduction

Information and Communication Technology(ICT) is revolutionizing the world of today and has the potential to provide far reaching benefits to every section of the society. It can play an important role in empowering the farmer’s life.

Main body

Information accessibility is a large constraint for Indian farmers. They are not properly connected with institutional information system that can facilitate them with required information. Here role of IT becomes important, as-

  1. Price information- ICT can be used effectively to communicate daily prices to farmers and he can decide when to sell the produce. Even weekly trends also can be communicated to him Via SMS etc.
  2. Agriculture technology and practices- Farmers can be made more ware of new technologies and better practices to improve yield. Kisan channel etc can be used to do the same.
  3. Weather information- Regularly communicating this information can help farmer to asses steps need to be taken to protect the farms or even level of rain fall can decide the time of sowing seeds etc.
  4. Satellite tech and drones can be used to constantly monitor farms for pest attacks and other diseases. This information can be communicated to farmers soon to nip the trouble in the bud and prevent crop loss.
  5. Cultivation of crops – can be improved technologies such as automation, decision support system and agriculture robots. E-Krishi Samvad enables farmers to directly approach ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) with their problems for effective solutions.
  6. Better Supply chain management can be achieved by reducing wastage through tracking food from farm to table via ICT
  7. Electronic Commodity exchange can bring farmers in touch with profitable customers and help build sustainable partnerships to improve farming productivity.
  8. Connecting to agri universities- Farmer can constantly communicate with researchers and experts in agri universities to help them with their troubles and enabling faster trouble shooting. Kisan helplines can be used for this.
  9. Financing of agriculture- by knowing about public welfare schemes, MSP prices, insurance schemes, subsidies, compensations farmers can easily access govt benefits through online wallet system.

Examples

  1. Kissan Call centers : They have been instrumental in sharing knowledge of use of seeds, fertilizers, soil maintenance, etc. which has proved to be productive.
  2. Kissan Vikas Kendras : It acts as a link between the scientific community and farmers demonstrating new technology at district level. ‘Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav’ scheme is such an example.
  3. Community service centers (CSCs) : They can provide internet access and information on changing activities in agricultural scenario.
  4. Resource mapping : Satellites can be used to identify potential zones of fisheries. A GPS enabled app can provide information.

5.m-Kisan : An SMS portal which provides essential information on farming practices.

  1. Smart apps : Such as ‘Pusa app’, ‘Kisan suvidha’ etc. can be helpful in future predictions and analysis.
  2. Dairy sector : e-Pashudhan haat is a portal which deals with bovine sale.
  3. Disaster related information : ‘Bhuvan app’ is one such tool to provide information on damage through disasters.

Conclusion

Government should provide infrastructure and aid(subsidies) to the farmers in order to increase their outreach to ICT. It holds a promise to bring massive restructuring of India’s farming crisis and change the life of farmers.

Best Answer: Bhawana

Information accessibility is a large constraint for Indian farmers. They are not properly connected with institutional information system that can facilitate them with required information. Here role of IT becomes important, as-

  1. Farming stage- knowledge about new trends, market demand, competition with foreign market, weather changes, potential psychological variations come handy before deciding time, amount and input for production.
  2. Marketing stage- information of competitive prevailing prices, nearest markets, potential buyers and search of new profitable markets with their distance make selling more productive.
  3. Identification and tracking- techniques like GPS and remote sensing for vehicle tracking and RFID for animal tracking can be used for security.
  4. Methodological changes- by knowing about international best practices of mixed farming, multiple cropping, organic farming, irrigation system farmers can diversify their agriculture and can ensure income security.
  5. Financing of agriculture- by knowing about public welfare schemes, MSP prices, insurance schemes, subsidies, compensations farmers can easily access govt benefits through online wallet system.

In last two years many IT initiatives have been undertaken to provide real time information to the farmers. Major among them are Kishan Suvidha, PUSA Krishi and E-nam (electronic national agriculture market) web portal. Farmers should be given incentives to use them and government should explore new areas of use of IT in agriculture.


3. Why having a unified national agricultural market is important for India? Analyse.

Introduction:
With nearly 58 per cent of its people continuing to depend upon agriculture for their livelihood, the critical role of the sector cannot be gain said.  The sector is exposed to the current weaknesses of the agricultural marketing system.  The annual income of a farmer depends upon both yield and the price that his produce fetches.  While the Government has rolled out large number of programmes to improve yield levels on a sustainable basis, it is time we recognise the need for creating a competitive market structure in the country that will generate marketing efficiency.  Only when the market is integrated over space and time, can market efficiency be realised.

Issues with present agricultural market:

  • Agriculture market is currently fragmented across more than 4000 mandis due to APMC system.
  • Originally meant to protect against distress sale APMC has created systemic distortions like
    -Poor price realization for farmers-estimates suggest farmers get only 30-35%of final price.
    -APMC provisions are restrictive, since first sale is allowed only in mandi.
    -Burdensome regulations-mandi licenses, multiple fees etc encourages intermediary monopoly over produce
  • Food inflation-due to fragmented market and mismatch in demand and supply.
  • Poor price discovery-large intra and interstate variations in prices send mixed signals to farmers as well as consumers and ultimately lead to unwanted bumper harvests or food inflation.
  • Small farmers are unable to take produce to mandi and end up selling at low prices to local aggregator constituting distress sale.
  • Benefits of creating unified national market:
  • Benefits to farmers:-
  • Will save the cost of intermediation because of elimination of intermediaries and will allow better price discovery.
  • Farmers can access buyers from across states so can get best price for their products.
    Reduced transportation cost.All the above will insure better income to Indian farmers.
  • Benefits to consumers:-

Stable food Prices, reduced inflation and better-quality produce.

Benefits to traders:

Lower transaction cost and lesser entry barriers.

  • Improved sustainability:

Reduced crop wastage

Cropping pattern can be thus be done on the basis of agro-ecological zonation rather than following the market prices.

  • Much easier for government and SEBI to control commodities market and discharge its regulatory duties.

Way forward:

  • Campaigns to raise awareness about these initiatives among farmers is necessary as Indian farmers are resilient to change.
  • Use of GST window for agriculture marketing.
  • Modernizing mandis under APMC through use of technology.
  • The process of standardization and quality assessment must be put in place at market to ensure fair trade.
  • The logistical road blocks like connectivity, storage chains etc, needs to be fixed along with unifying market.
  • Providing extension services to educate and train farmers to increase production quality so that the small farmers are not left out owing to poor quality of their produce.

Conclusion:

Establishing unified agriculture market is critical to goal of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 which calls for growth rate of at least 10% in agriculture. Speedy integration would require support of state govts as agriculture is state subject. We have already seen state level unification of market in Maharashtra, Karnataka etc. Rashtriya e-Market Services Limited (ReMS), a joint venture of Karnataka Government and NCDEX Spot Exchange Limited (NSPOT) has been formed for modernizing more than 300 APMC regulated market yards into a single online marketplace for the state, and enhancing the efficiency of regulated markets in the state. One country one market for agriculture produce is an idea whose time has come and needs to be implemented at the earliest.

Best answer: PD

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Best answer: Pranoti

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4. Success of women athletes like Sakshi Malik or P V Sindhu in sports show that the tradition reasoning of women being ‘weak’ due to their physiology are no longer uneatable.

  • Current status of women in India
  1. Political-about 12% women are Members of Parliament.
  2. Secondary education: women participation in secondary education is less than 50%.
  3. Administrative-less than 20% women in management roles.14% women are IAS
  4. Economic-Low labour force participation (33%) and only handful own property, As per NSS 2011-12, the Worker Population Ratio for females is higher in rural areas (24.8%) than urban areas (14.7%).
  5. Average wage: the average wage/ salary received per day by regular wage/ Salaried Employees of age 15-59 years for females (rural: Rs.201.56, urban:Rs.366.15) is lower than that of males (rural:Rs.322.28, urban:Rs.469.87) in both rural and urban areas and the gap is more in rural areas.
  • The success of women sportswoman can be used as effective mechanism to communicate in patriarchal societies that a girl child in no way is a burden and will even achieve greater heights than their male counterparts.
  • These successes will inspire more girls to take up sports professionally. In this they need support of sports administration to provide to class facilities and that of society by stop seeing women taking up sports in bad light.
  • Parents who are/were associated with sports, tend to encourage their children to lead a active lifestyle, this increases their overall productivity, and has greater health benefits.
  • What needs to be done:
  1. Political participation:
  2. Increasing the political participation, right from grassroot levels, the recent steps taken by many states to reserve 50% of seats for women should be replicated at the national level, if the societal mindset does not allow more reservation to women, then it should be extended as a legal right.
  3. Care must be taken that; these elected women do not merely become proxies for their husbands but act as independent thinking public representatives.
  4. Economy:
  5. Steps must be taken to take women away from the so called “pink collar jobs” and integrated into technical and professional fields. Women participation in manufacturing is abysmally low, studies have shown that manufacturing units that employ higher female employees have more productivity and less attrition and absence.
  6. Steps must be taken to reduce the pay gap between the genders, promotions and pay structures must be designed based on objective criteria rather than genders.
  7. Sports:
  8. Girls should be encouraged to take up sports as profession, both individual and team sports give an independent identity to these girls, which is dependent on their achievement and not on society given labels.
  9. Parents who are/were associated with sports, tend to encourage their children to lead an active lifestyle, this increases their overall productivity, and has greater health benefits.
  10. Family: Families must be education on the benefits of raising the children in a gender-neutral environment, where children’s temperament and social outlook are developed based on mutual respect and equality rather than on stereotypes and dominance.

Best Answer: Lincoln.

Recent success of Indian Women cricket teams and success of women athletes in olympics, who performed better than their male counterparts are truly inspirational. These success can lead the change in gender discourse in India.

1) Success of women athletes like Sakshi Malik or P V Sindhu in sports show that the tradition reasoning of women being ‘weak’ due to their physiology are no longer uneatable.

2) The success of women sportswoman can be used as effective mechanism to communicate in patriarchal societies that a girl child in no way is a burden and will even achieve greater heights than their male counterparts. They will be true brand ambassadors of Beti Bachao Bet Padao.

3) These success will inspire more girls to take up sports professionally. In this they need support of sports administration to provide to class facilities and that of society by stop seeing women taking up sports in bad light.

4) Success of Phogat sisters are said to have inspired many young girls from Haryana to take up wrestling and have had some effect in changing the attitude towards girl child in some parts of Haryana.

The recent statistics show that sex ratio at birth for fast few months in Haryana has shown a very positive improvement. The success of measures like Beti Bachao Beti padao needs true role models who can change how society views women. The success of Indian women in sports in recent time can be a catalyst for such a change.


5. Discuss the reasons behind ongoing crisis in Nagaland. Why does North-East remain a theatre of political crisis even after seventy years of Independence? Analyse.

SYNOPSIS:

Nagaland has been a land of discontent and discord ever since its inception. The ongoing crisis is one such example

REASONS OF THE CRISIS:

Nagaland hasn’t had an urban body election since 2011 ,the state Government in March announced elections along with provision of reserving 33% of seats to Women under Article 243(T),but soon the Tribal groups protested as it is against Naga customary laws and Nagaland under 371A is subject to special provisions and the reservation is void and demanded the resignation of CM Mr.Zeilang  of NPF which was acceded to in order to stop rioting,

Mr.Liezietsu was sworn in as interim CM, but Mr.Zeilang along with defectors claimed stake for the post of CM thus mandating a floor test which was stayed by Guwhati High Court.

The crisis of this sort is not new to the North Eastern states which have been under political  turmoil since Independence causing instability and under development

The reasons can be analysed as under

1.Historical: The north eastern region has been integrated into the Indian union based on the boundaries demarcated by British which led to improper division of tribal groups amongst states causing a great deal of resentment leading to calls of Separatism affecting integrity and sovereignty of India.

2.Geographical:   Relative isolation from mainland ( due to chicken neck corridor), dense forests and inhabitable terrain has led to under development which in turn along with ethnic identity issue led to insurgency with many groups in Manipur, Nagaland , Mizoram waging proxy  wars against the union.

  1. PoliticoAdministrative: With successive governments willing to accommodate various tribal groups led to fragmentation of territorial councils rendering them ineffective and corrupted (mismanagement of funds) and clamour for more such councils across North East.
  2. Miscast Ethnicity: Today ethnic identity of tribal groups is a mere chimera to gain political brownie points and a tool to flee away migrants and people from mainland resulting in lack of development and industry.
  3. Porous borders have also contributed to influx of drugs, arms and migrants making an already troubled region more meddlesome.

6.Lack of Understanding and empathy from the leaders in Delhi to solve the crisis have led to severe inhumane imposition of laws such as AFSPA leading to further alienation amongst people.

Today the simmering North east requires the healing touch of development to be expedited by both political and bureaucratic will and active participation of citizenry across the spectrum.

BEST ANSWER: PRIYANKA

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