SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [25th January 2018]- Day 44

  • IASbaba
  • January 28, 2018
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2018: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [25th January 2018]- Day 44


1. Critically examine the potential of Aadhar based Direct Benefit Transfer of agricultural subsidies in India?


  • Introduction
  • Potential of Aadhar based Direct Benefit Transfer of agricultural subsidies
  • What more needs to be done?
  • Conclusion


Aadhar based direct benefit transfer(DBT) of agricultural subsidies is direct transfer of benefits in monetary term to beneficiaries’ account.


  • More inclusive, better targeting- DBT results into less of leakages as it reduces corruption.
  • Transparency
  • Judicious use of resources- Providing subsidised fertilizers, seeds etc resulted into its misuse of these scarce resources, thereby resulting into sustainable agriculture.
  • Effective implementation of schemes like PMFBY.
  • Price deficiency payment- Gap between announced MSP and actual price of agricultural produce can be covered by transferring the amount through DBT.
  • Bringing rich farmers into tax net would be possible with DBT.
  • Rationalising of government expenditure- the reduced leakages in the system means spending of

Way ahead:

Given its potential, effective implementation of DBT can be assured by taking following steps-

  • Avoiding authentication errors- Reports of biometric system not working, duplicity of aadhaar etc must be sorted out.
  • Financial inclusion yet to be achieved- while PMJDY has resulted into record-break opening of accounts, actual usage of these accounts for financial transaction remains poor.
  • Taking into account inflation.


The introduction of DBT based transfer of subsidies through usgae of JAM trinity can be transformational for agricutural sector if the system is made robust.

Best answer: Shiv



2. High minimum support prices (MSPs) induce distortions, some of which ultimately hurt the poor. Examine.


  • Introduction: Define what MSP is and presently how many items are included under it.
  • Body: In body, the answer should contain possible effect of High MSP and also how it might affect poor. Also include recommendations.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


Minimum Support Price criticized by world body as form of market intervention is a scheme by government of India where government procures crops from farmers at a price irrespective of market price. It is very important part of India’s agricultural policy. Presently 26 crops are covered under it.

Additional Info:

  • Cereals (7) – paddy, wheat, barley, jowar, bajra, maize and ragi
  • Pulses (5) – gram, arhar/tur, moong, urad and lentil
  • Oilseeds (8) – groundnut, rapeseed/mustard, toria, soyabean, sunflower seed, sesamum, safflower seed and nigerseed
  • Copra
  • De-husked coconut
  • Raw cotton
  • Raw jute
  • Sugarcane (Fair and remunerative price)
  • Virginia flu cured (VFC) tobacco


How High MSP induces distortions and it will hurt poor:

  • Inflation: Sudden increase or decrease ultimately hurt poor.
  • Nonfood crop: High MSP for nonfood crop might decrease growth of food crop which will lead to shortage of supply which will in turn lead to high prices.
  • Micro-nutrition/mal-nutrition: Wheat and Rice are given much concentration leading to less supply of other crops like pulses, millets etc. which leads to micro-nutrition deficiencies which leads to problem for poor.
  • Spoilage: High MSP leads to high procurement as government as to procure irrespective of storage capacity leading to spoilage which leads to short supply.
  • Awareness: Only 33%of farmers are aware of MSP and rest depend on local APMC yards where returns on investment is low.
  • Against local conditions: Due to MSP, crops are grown which are not suitable for local climatic conditions leading to disturbance of habitat, inefficient harvest all leading to excess input and less output.
  • High Input: To achieve high output excess amount of fertilizers and other inputs are used leading to increase in input cost but returns turn out to be less than average.


  • Swaminathan committee report implementation.
  • Shanta kumar committee report implementation.
  • DBT: Replace MSP with DBT of difference amount directly to farmers.
  • Subsidy: Removal of subsidy to Fertilizers Company.
  • Awareness: of MSP.
  • Insurance

Note: Questions asks about poor not poor farmers. So include about both. For better understanding some points are explained in detail. But in exam just a line or two is enough for all points.


International institutes are critical about India’s market intervention schemes like MSP, Subsidies to agriculture among others. In order to encourage competitiveness of Indian agricultural product and farming community, we should move away from subsidy regime to capacity building programs.

Connecting the dots:

  • Shanta kumar committee report.
  • Swaminathan committee report.

Best Answer: Akash



3.Livestock wealth is central to rural economy In India. Discuss the importance of livestock as a means of sustainable rural development. Also discuss the salient features of the National Livestock Mission.


  • Introduction: Give small intro about livestock and its relation to rural economy
  • Body: In body, the answer should contain importance of livestock in sustainable rural development and salient features of National Livestock mission.
  • Conclusion: 2-3 line conclusion.


Livestock refers to farm animals like cattle’s and poultry which are considered as asset that substitutes along with agricultural activity for sustainable rural economy.


They are considered very important due to following reasons:

  • Alternative source of income: Sales.
  • Alternate food options: Meat.
  • Cheap proteins: Milk and Egg.
  • Fiber: In case of sheep and goats.
  • Manure: Cheap manure for agriculture.
  • Field works: Tiling.
  • Travel: Carts.
  • Entertainment: Races, fights etc.
  • Protection: Dogs.
  • Credit: By pledging.

Salient features of National Livestock mission:

  • Sustainable growth and development of livestock sector, including poultry
  • Increasing availability of fodder and feed to substantially reduce the demand –supply gap through measures which include more area coverage under quality fodder seeds, technology promotion, extension, post – harvest management and processing in consonance with diverse agro -climatic condition.
  • Accelerating production of quality fodder and fodder seeds through effective seed production chain (Nucleus – Breeder –Foundation – Certified-Truthfully labelled, etc.) with active involvement of farmers and in collaboration with the dairy / farmers cooperatives, seed corporations, and private sector enterprises.
  • Establishing convergence and synergy among ongoing Plan programmes and stakeholders for sustainable livestock development.
  • Promoting applied research in prioritized areas of concern in animal nutrition and livestock production.
  • Capacity building of state functionaries and livestock owners through strengthened extension machinery to provide quality extension service to farmers.
  • Promoting skill based training and dissemination of technologies for reducing cost of production, and improving production of livestock sector
  • Promoting initiatives for conservation and genetic upgradation of indigenous breeds of livestock (except bovines which are being covered under another scheme of the Ministry) in collaboration with farmers / farmers’ groups / cooperatives, etc.
  • Encouraging formation of groups of farmers and cooperatives / producers’ companies of small and marginal farmers / livestock owners.
  • Promoting innovative pilot projects and mainstreaming of successful pilots relating to livestock sector.
  • Providing infrastructure and linkage for marketing, processing and value addition, as forward linkage for the farmer’s enterprises.
  • Promoting risk management measures including livestock insurance for farmers.
  • Promoting activities to control and prevent animal diseases, environmental pollution, promoting efforts towards food safety and quality, and supply of quality hides and skins through timely recovery of carcasses.
  • Encouraging community participation on sustainable practices related to animal husbandry, involvement of community in breed conservation and creation of resource map for the states.

Note: Explanations are required to each point. 8-10 points are enough in exam.  


As Indian agriculture is dependable on monsoon which is very erratic due to various geographical phenomena ‘National Livestock mission’ along with other four sub missions help in sustainable rural growth and development.

Connecting the dots:

  • National action plan on climate change.
  • Sustainable development.

Best Answer: Ali



Q4. The existing food management and distribution framework in India is faced with many anomalies and challenges. Elucidate. What steps can be taken to address them?


  • It is a two part question
  • Food management and distribution includes the entire set of activities from farm to fork, so use diverse points in elucidating the various challenges
  • Lastly, give 5-6 short but authentic (already in progress) solutions


India is world’s leading producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses, rice and wheat. Yet malnutrition is a common phenomenon in India. 60% of children in India are underweight and malnourished 200 million sleep hungry. The paradox can be attributed to the weak food management and distribution framework in India. Poor Transportation System, Inefficient chain of traders, Absence of sheltered storage and cold storage facilities, Poor Food packaging are said to be the main reasons why Food Distribution in India is so poor. Various challenges include:

Note – the detailed explanation below is only for your understanding. You are not required to write so much under each point

Poor Transport Infrastructure

Despite having the second largest road network, only 2% of it covered by highways which handles 40% of the inter-state cargo. Secondly, last-mile connectivity at village level is still not 100%. Railway network is limited in its scope of providing end to end connectivity. Trucks are stopped at every state border which leads to delay and increasing cost of transportation. All of this combined results in farmers not able to get their produce to the market quickly.

Unorganized Logistics

In India, only 6% of the logistics is organized. High dependence on manual labour and low technological presence impacts the supply chain lead time. Multiple middlemen in the supply chain lead to artificial price increase without any value addition.

Lack of Cold Storage and Adequate Warehouses

Farm to fork cold storage supply chain is still a pipe dream in India. It results in high wastage of perishables such as fruits, fisheries etc. Even for foodgrains such as wheat and rice procured by the FCI as part of the MSP program, adequate sheltered and scientific storage is unavailable leading to rotting of foodgrains due to improper packaging and storage. As per estimates, 20% of foodgrain is wasted due to lack of pest control mechanisms in FCI and other state-controlled warehouses.

Fragmented Agriculture Marketing

Agriculture is a state subject, hence each state has its own APMC framework. These APMCs are beset with corruption, red-tapism, monopoly of middlemen, and unfair price discovery for farmers among other problems. There is multiplicity of taxes and payments are often delayed to farmers by traders.

Possible Steps to Address the Problem

  1. 3rd party logistics – promote companies specializing in advanced logistics
  2. Warehousing with PPP mode – to ease of off burden on FCI
  3. FCI Reforms as per Shanta Kumar Committee Report
  4. Focus on Food Processing – SAMPADA Scheme, Mega Food Parks
  5. Agriculture Market Reforms – E-National Agriculture Market
  6. Strengthening of infrastructure and connectivity – PM Gram Sadak Yojana
  7. Build Cold Supply Chain from Farm-to-Fork – 100% FDI in logistics


With India set to become the world’s most populated country in the next decade, ensuring food security for its poor and hungry is of utmost importance. As land and other resources (water etc.) are limited, improving the efficiencies in the food management and supply chain is the way to go forward.

Best Answer: None

Q.5) Dairy farming is a source of income and nutrition to a large number of Indian families. What are the typical features of the dairy sector in India? What are the problems being faced by the sector? Also, suggest a roadmap for improving the performance of the dairy sector.


Dairy farming is a class of agriculture for long-term production of milk, which is processed either on the farm or at a dairy plant, either of which may be called a dairy, for eventual sale of a dairy product.

The country’s rapidly increasing population coupled with higher incomes means more and more Indians want to consume protein and nutrition. And because a large percentage of India’s citizens are vegetarian, many of them look to dairy products to meet that need. Milk-based paneer, ghee, yogurt and sauces are all staples of daily life.

Today, India’s demand for milk is estimated at 155 million metric tons per year. Within eight years, that’s projected to grow an additional 50 percent. The most environmentally, socially and economically sustainable solution to meeting this massive need will be to help India’s small dairy farmers get more milk from every cow.

Typical features of the dairy sector in India:

  • India has world’s highest livestock population, and first in the total buffalo population in the world with 105.3 million buffaloes.
  • India has second largest poultry market in the world with production of 63 billion eggs and 649 million ton poultry meat.
  • About 20.5 million people depend upon livestock for their livelihood and it contributes 16% to the income of small farm households as against an average of 14% for all rural households.
  • Dairy farming provides livelihood to two-third of rural community. It also provides employment to about 8.8% of the population in India. India has vast livestock resources.
  • Dairy farming sector contributes 4.11% GDP and 25.6% of total Agriculture GDP.

Problems faced by the dairy farmers:

  • Shortage of feed/fodder: Shortage of green fodder and feed concentrate is the root cause of poor performance of dairy sector in general as the genetic milk production potential of crossbred cow could not be exploited fully in absence of proper nutrition.
  • Lack of Marketing Facilities: Due to lack of marketing facilities and extension services, there is poor perception of the farmers towards commercial dairy enterprise as an alternative to other occupation. Insufficient Veterinary Services.
  • Due to Lack of proper veterinary extension system: there is poor perception to the farmers towards dairy enterprise as a viable alternative to crop husbandry.
  • Middleman eat all the profits: Unorganized fragmented market for milk and milk products involved a chain of middleman who reaps the actual benefit depriving the producers from their due share.

Suggestions to improve dairy farming:

  • Cost effective and nutritionally balanced feed for animals.
  • Reproductive efficiency of the herd with sound heifer management.
  • Captive and entrepreneurial marketing acumen of milk and milk product
  • ‘Optimum usage of technology’ available for herd management and genetics, the key is optimum and one should not get too much obsessive on these.


Livestock farming, especially dairy farming is an occupation next to agriculture serving as a source of livelihood and a tool for economic growth. This occupation has been a part of our lives since ages and holds promise for a successful business viewing its enhanced potential. The dairy animals play an important role in agriculture and economy and have potential to enhance economy by 200% through milk and their value added products.

Best Answer: Delhi gaschamber


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