1. Land reforms are important because not only they increase agricultural efficiency but also ensure social equity. Discuss.
Land reforms refers to a wide variety of specific programmes and measures to bring about more effective control and use of land for the benefit of the community as a whole.
The main objective of the land reforms programme is to do away with the existing inequalities in the system of landholding and to increase the agricultural productivity. The Five Year Plans aimed to remove the impediments for increase in agricultural production and elimination of exploitation and social injustice within the agrarian system so as to achieve equality and providing opportunities for all sections of the rural society.
The reforms can be majorly grouped into four categories:
All states passed the laws to abolish intermediaries, with varying provisions for resumption for self-cultivation.
Ceiling laws were established.
All laws provided heritable rights to the tenants. Eviction is possible only if tenants violates the conditions of the agreement or if the landowner wants the land back for self-cultivation.
Redistribution of land led to Land consolidation.
IMPACT ON AGRICULTURAL EFFICIENCY:
Abolition of zamindari led to land being with the tiller who with better realization of land, inputs and focus increased agricultural productivity
Land consolidation stopped fragmentation, gave the marginal farmers access to credit resources, mechanisation and led to cooperative farming in many areas
Similarly Tenancy reforms gave the security of tenure to the farmers and stopped forceful eviction, tenant had equal rights on the land which led him to plan better for farm seasons and led to better cropping patterns across the country. The reforms also coincided with the Green revolution across the country led to manifold increase in productivity.
Land ceiling acts across states led to redistribution of surplus land due to which many landless got land and were able to involve themselves in sustainable agricultural practices which increased land productivity
IMPACT ON SOCIAL EQUITY:
Land ceiling led to realisation of socialistic objectives of the directive principles enshrined in the constitution like Article 36 (prevention of concentration of wealth) and article 39( redistribution of resources)
A report by CDS (centre for developing societies) in states of West Bengal and Odisha shows that social standing of many marginalised caste farmers improved considerably and were able to participate in panchayat meetings in the village due to recognition of them as land holders.
Land consolidation led to increased power of bargaining and resulted in collectivism which led to social and ultimately political consolidation which raised the social status of intermediate castes like Reddy’s(AP), Jats (West UP) and Vokkaligas(Karnataka).
Tenancy reforms and abolition of zamindari system ended social oppression of the depressed classes and led to increase in stature of the erstwhile tenants leading to a more egalitarian society
Similarly the new age land reforms like Digitisation and issue of pattas for reclamation of wasteland(banjar) for socially disadvantaged classes like SC/ST, Single women have continued the process of realisation of the objective of socio- economic equality enshrined in the tenets of the Constitution.
2. What are technology missions? Discuss their significance for the agricultural sector with the help of suitable examples.
Technology Mission generally implies that projects have clearly defined objectives, scopes, and implementation timelines. They have measurable outcomes and service levels with the help of technology advancements in particular assigned sector. For the first time in 1987,Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sam Pitroda for decided these missions, they would focus on five critical areas which include drinking water, immunizations, literacy, oil seeds and telecommunications.
These missions are funded jointly by Centre and State Govt. and other allied institutions. These missions aim at,
Improving production, productivity and quality of goods through various interventions during input, growth, harvest and post-harvest stages.
Developing infrastructure for processing and value addition to agricultural produce.
Creating employment in the rural economy
Reducing wastage of cereals, vegetable & fruits, etc. and ensuring food security.
In agriculture, technology missions are important since there is a need,
1) To increase productivity: productivity is extremely low due to lack of irrigation facilities, quality of seeds, fertilizers.
2) For more efficiency as we are facing acute shortage of land, water, increased subsidy burden and reduced soil quality.
3) To increase effectiveness of crops in line with the cropping pattern and not follow cereal-led agricultural growth.
4) To experience equitable growth since more than 55% are engaged in agriculture.
5) To build necessary forward and backward linkages for agriculture.
3. For the rural economy, animal rearing can become a cushion in times of distress. Don you agree? Substantiate.
Mixed farming is one which crop production is combined with the rearing of livestock. The live stock enterprises are complementary to crop production; so as to provide a balance and productive system of farming.
In mixed farming cow and buffaloes are included with crop production. If farmers are rearing cows, buffaloes, sheep goat, and fisheries with crop cultivation this type of farming is called diversified farming.
Livestock contributed 16% to the income of small farm households as against an average of 14% for all rural households. India has vast livestock resources. Livestock sector contributes 4.11% GDP and 25.6% of total Agriculture GDP.
Source of Sustainable income:
Livestock rearing, particularly in the rain-fed regions of the country, is also emerging as a key risk mitigation strategy for the poorest. It is a key livelihood and risk mitigation strategy for small and marginal farmers, particularly across the rain-fed regions of India
Rural poverty is less in states where livestock contributes more to farm incomes. As livestock is less prone to global warming and climate change, it can be considered more reliable than rain fed agriculture
When average land holdings have depleted to dangerously low levels – 80% of the farmers are small (1-2 hectares) and marginal (less than 1 hectare, these alone make 62%) farmers – animal rearing can provide alternative sources of livelihood. Productivity on such small holdings is very low
Livestock rearing has contributed significantly to the empowerment of women and an increasing role in decision making at both the household and village level.
Livestock provides livelihood to two-third of rural community.
Availability of quality nutrients through feed and fodder.
Disease Diagnosis, health and hygiene maintenance of livestock is affecting the production potential
Complicated management practices: It requires advanced management practices in terms of farm infra, techniques etc.
Sound cropping scheme: as crops should be chosen which can give year-round harvest.
Good cattle in suitable number, as smaller numbers will make it uneconomical.
Transport facility: good access to markets both for purchasing inputs as well as selling the produce and products is required as most of these items are perishable in nature.
Marketing facilities: Efficient market facilities are necessary for fair price discovery, otherwise these facilities will not be remunerative to the farmers.
4. GST is definitely a landmark reform, but it is not the magic pill that cures all economic woes of India. Analyse.
Goods and Services Tax(GST) is an indirect tax which subsumes all other such taxes like VAT, service tax, octroi etc.
GST is definitely a landmark reform
It is so because of following reasons:
The transparency in the process will reduce tax evasion and thus help improve tax-GDP ratio thereby increasing public revenue.
Improves overall governance as compliance will improve.
GST will help improve ease of doing business, by brinign in one nation one tax, GST could be seen as a game changer for logistics sector.
Increase in revenue for government will result into more public expenditure on social goods like providing universal health care to all and on education etc.
Not a magic pill that cures all economic woes:
Banking sector is saddled with rising non-performing assets this in turn has hurt their lending capacity and thus less credit for private sector for investment.
Poor infrastructure- structural constraints like connectivity issues, power sector etc remains.
Jobless growth continues as per various reports. This puts India’s demographic dividend at risk. The window for this dividend is small and if not utilised effectively it can convert into demographic disaster.
Poor agricultural sector growth has in recent times resulted into farmers distress with suicides and agitations by famers on rise.
Manufacturing sector is still lagging behind as shown by IIP data.
Automation is another emerging challenge for which our economy hasn’t been geared with.
The economic problems of India are further aggravated by continuing economic slowdown and following steps must be taken:
GST itself has issues like multiple tax slabs, exemption of certain goods from its ambit etc., this needs to resolved by the GST council at the earliest.
Labour sector reforms are log undue and must be brought in as early as possible. Same is the issue with land sector acquisition law. State governments must be encouraged to take the necessary steps in this regard.
Effective implementation of Skill India mission and Make in India plan.
Effective implementation of ambitious schemes in agricultural sector like PMFBY, PMKSY etc.
Indian leadership has done a great job in introducing GST. It was the result of cooperative federalism. The centre and states must come together to ensure that Indian economic development is boosted.
5. Deep tentacles of corruption and mis-governance have consumed the medical regulatory regime in India. Do you agree? What are the associated issues? Examine.
Death of children in Gorakhpur hospital is an example of prevailing medical condition in India. MCI the statutory and accreditation body for Medicine is firmly placed in corruption and mis-governance which is the primary reason for present medical emergency.
Corruption is involved in:
Appointment: Of doctor in government hospitals.
Approval: Approval for medical college.
Authorities: Medical council members’ appointment.
Treatment: Patients have to shell out even in government hospitals for most of the things.
Mis-governance in form like:
Punishment: No process for pulling up negligence.
Lack of Standard operating procedure: From general ward to ICU.
Vacancy: At all levels.
Politics: Recommendations over merits.
Colleges: Owned by politicians so no actions taken for maladministration.
Pharma-doctor nexus: Prescribing particular brand of medicines.
Political-doctor nexus: Postings depends on political inclinations.
Nepotism: Only Doctors children can become doctors’ mindset.
Government-private practice: Government doctors having private clinics.
Counterfeited Medicines: Fake and low quality medicines.
Fake doctors: Practice without having proper degree.
Money: Overmedication and unwanted tests requirement to squeeze money.
Accountability: Lack of accountability due to different regulators from Chemical ministry to health ministry and autonomous institutes.
Root cause for all this problem is in first step i.e. joining of medicine. Due to lack of seats and management quota, lakhs and crores of rupees are shelled which becomes an investment and they need to take out the money invested. This is a cycle which has no end unless the root cause is prevented. Public investment is need of hour for effective solution.