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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 7th September 2021

  • IASbaba
  • September 7, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Karnataka’s ASER report

Part of: Prelims and GS – II – Education 

Context The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which was drawn up in March 2021 in only Karnataka this year, found a huge drop in learning levels in both reading and numeracy, especially for primary classes. 

  • For the current report, Pratham surveyed 18,385 children between the age of five and 16 from 13,365 households across 24 districts. This was done earlier this year, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic set in.

Major findings of the report

  • The report stated that there was a slight shift in enrolment from private to government schools across all age groups.
  • The survey reported nearly a year of ‘learning loss’ among students across the State.
  • The decline in foundational skills is visible throughout the elementary grades, among students enrolled in government and as well as private schools.
  • It found that 56.8% of class I students surveyed could not read letters
    • In comparison, the 2018 report stated that 40% of class I students were unable to read letters. This is a drop of over 16 percentage points.
  • 66% of the class VIII students were able to read a standard II text, compared to 70% in 2018.
  • The study noted that only 9.8% of the class III students were able to read a standard II level text. In 2018, however, 19.2% of the students in the same category were able to read a class II level text. 
    • There is a similar drop in learning level in reading skills in class V as well as class VIII.
  • The decline in learning levels is steeper in the arithmetic skills of the students. 
  • Nearly half, 42.6% of students in class I, were unable to recognise numbers one to nine. 

What is ASER? 

  • ASER stands for Annual Status of Education Report. 
  • It is the largest citizen-led survey in India facilitated by Pratham NGO
  • This is an annual survey, conducted every year since 2005,  that aims to provide reliable estimates of children’s enrolment and basic learning levels for each district and state in India. 
  • It is also the only annual source of information on children’s learning outcomes available in India today
  • ASER is a household-based rather than school-based survey.
  • This design enables all children to be included – those who have never been to school or have dropped out, as well as those who are in government schools, private schools, religious schools or anywhere else.

Indian PM to attend BRICS, SCO, Quad meets in September

Part of: Prelims and GS – II – International Relations 

Context  Indian Prime Minister shall be attending important meetings of BRICS, SCO and Quad this September. 

BRICS SCO QUAD
Full form Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa  Shanghai Cooperation Organisation  Quadrilateral Security Dialogue 
Countries Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa  China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan Uzbekistan  USA, Japan, Australia and India 
Location/Headquarter  Shanghai, China Chaoyang District, Beijing 
Mandate/Aims/Objectives  It seeks to deepen, broaden and intensify cooperation within the grouping and among the individual countries for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development. It was established as a multilateral association to ensure security and maintain stability across the vast Eurasian region, join forces to counteract emerging challenges and threats, and enhance trade, as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation The main aim is to enable a regional security architecture for the maintenance of a rules- based order. It seeks to contain a ‘rising China’ and work against its predatory trade and economic policies

Poshan Jagrukta Abhiyan organised under POSHAN Maah

Part of: Prelims and GS – II – Health; Policies and interventions 

Context Poshan Jagrukta Abhiyaan (nutrition awareness campaign) programmes were recently organised by the Union Ministry for Women and Child Development and Union Ministry for Minority Affairs for women from minority communities. 

  • During the day-long programme, the ministers interacted with Women belonging to Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Parsi, Jain and Sikh communities and from poor and backward areas 
  • These programmes were organised under “Poshan Maah”. 

About POSHAN Abhiyaan

  • POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan is Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers. 
  • Launched by the Indian Prime Minister on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March, 2018. 
  • The Abhiyaan seeks to address the issue of malnutrition in mission-mode.
  • Mission Poshan 2.0 (Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0) has been announced in the Budget 2021-2022 as an integrated nutrition support programme. 
  • Objectives: To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes, with a focus on developing practices that nurture health, wellness and immunity to disease and malnutrition.

About POSHAN Maah 2021

  • As India celebrates the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in 2021,
  • POSHAN Maah 2021 is being observed in a thematic fashion.
  • Objective: To ensure speedy and intensive outreach  
  • The entire month of September 2021 has been subdivided into weekly themes, for focused and assimilated approach towards improving holistic nutrition. 
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has planned a series of activities throughout the month in tandem with states and union territories

Initiatives to ensure good health and well-being of girls and women:


GST Appellate Tribunal

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- III –  Economy 

Context The Supreme Court has warned that the government has no option but to constitute the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Appellate Tribunal.

  • The GST tribunal has not been constituted even four years after the central GST law was passed in 2016.
  • Section 109 of the GST Act mandates the constitution of the Tribunal

What is GST Appellate Tribunal?

  • The GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) is the second appeal forum under GST for any dissatisfactory order passed by the First Appellate Authorities.
  • The National Appellate Tribunal is also the first common forum to resolve disputes between the centre and the states.
  • Being a common forum, it is the duty of the GSTAT to ensure uniformity in the redressal of disputes arising under GST.
  • It holds the same powers as the court and is deemed Civil Court for trying a case.

Constitution of the GST Appellate Tribunal

  • National Bench: The National Appellate Tribunal is situated in New Delhi, constitutes a National President (Head) along with 2 Technical Members (1 from Centre and State each)
  • Regional Benches: On the recommendations of the GST Council, the government can constitute (by notification) Regional Benches, as required.
    • As of now, there are 3 Regional Benches (situated in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad) in India.
  • State Bench and Area Bench

What is the Goods and Services Tax (GST)? 

  • The GST is a value-added tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption.
  • It was launched on 1st July 2017.
  • It subsumed almost all domestic indirect taxes under one head.
  • The GST is paid by consumers, but it is remitted to the government by the businesses selling the goods and services.
  • GST is levied at four rates – 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. 
  • The GST to be levied by the Centre is called Central GST (CGST) and that to be levied by the States is called State GST (SGST).
  • Import of goods or services would be treated as inter-state supplies and would be subject to Integrated Goods & Services Tax (IGST) in addition to the applicable customs duties.

IUCN updates the Red list of species

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- III –  Environment 

Context International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has updated the Red list of species at the World Conservation Congress in Marseille, France held on September 4, 2021.

Key updates:

  • The 30% of the species (38,543) that it assessed (138,374) face the threat of extinction.
  • Some 902 species are officially extinct.
  • Some 80 species are extinct in the wild, 8,404 are critically endangered, 14,647 are endangered, 15,492 are vulnerable and 8,127 are near threatened. 
  • Four of the seven most commercially fished tuna species have shown signs of recovery.
  • The world’s largest living lizard, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), has been moved from vulnerable to endangered.
    • The species is endemic to Indonesia and occurs only in the World Heritage-listed Komodo National Park and neighbouring Flores.
  • 37% of the world’s shark and ray species were threatened with extinction. 

About IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

  • It was established in 1964, by the IUCN and has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species.
  • The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. 
  • It uses a set of quantitative criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species. 
  • It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.
  • It is used by government agencies, wildlife departments, conservation-related NGOs, natural resource planners, educational organisations, students, and the business community.
  • The Index is available for five groups: birds, mammals, amphibians, corals and cycads.


e-ILP platform launched in Manipur

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- III –  Security 

Context Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh recently launched electronic Inner Line Permit (ILP) counters 

Key takeaways 

  • Imphal, Jiribam and Mao Centers have been inaugurated.
  • Under the portal, a person from outside the state can apply online for ILP and get the permit from issuing centres after onsite verification. 
  • The e-ILP tracking system has been developed to mend the loopholes in the procedures adopted to issue the permit and its tracking system.
  • It has a comprehensive dashboard system that would actively show information such as number of people entering the state on a particular date and time and graphical break-up based presentation of people visiting through different entry gates.
  • The system is also enabled with automated generation of a defaulted list of people who have overstayed beyond the permitted number of days as per the permit.
  • The ILP system came into effect in Manipur on January 1, 2020.

What is Inner Line Permit system?

  • ILP is an official travel document issued to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. 
  • It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state. 
  • Currently, Protected Areas are located in the following States:
    • Whole of Arunachal Pradesh
    • Parts of Himachal Pradesh
    • Parts of Jammu & Kashmir
    • Whole of Manipur
    • Whole of Mizoram
    • Whole of Nagaland
    • Parts of Rajasthan
    • Whole of Sikkim (partly in Protected Area and partly in Restricted Area)
    • Parts of Uttarakhand
  • Any person is entitled to renew his permit every six months if he is not a native in these states despite the fact that he/she is a long-term resident.
  • It also regulates the movement to certain areas located near the international borders of India.
  • It is issued by the concerned states coming under the protection of ILP.

(News from PIB)


President of India Presents Colour to Indian Naval Aviation

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Defence

In News: The President of India presented Colour to Indian Naval Aviation, a recognition of its exceptional service rendered to the Nation, in peace and war.

About Presidents colour:

  • The President’s Colour is the highest honour bestowed on a military unit in recognition of its exceptional service to the nation. 
  • The Indian Navy was the first amongst the Indian Armed Forces to be awarded the President’s Colour on 27 May 1951 by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India. 

About Indian Naval Aviation:

  • Indian Naval Aviation came into being with acquisition of the first Sea land aircraft on 13 Jan 1951 and commissioning of INS Garuda, the first Naval Air Station, on 11 May 1953. 
  • Arrival of the armed Firefly aircraft in 1958 added an offensive punch, and the naval aviation steadily expanded its inventory to become an integral part of a formidable Navy. 
  • Today, Indian Naval Aviation boasts of nine air stations and three naval air enclaves along the Indian coastline and the in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 
  • Over the past seven decades, it has transformed into a modern, technologically advanced and highly potent force with more than 250 aircraft comprising Carrier-borne fighters, maritime reconnaissance aircraft, helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). 
  • The Fleet Air Arm can support naval operations in all three dimensions and will remain the first responder for maritime surveillance and HADR in the Indian Ocean Region.

Recent strides by Indian Naval Aviation

  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations: Provided relief to fellow citizens like the rescue operations off Mumbai during Cyclone Tauktae in May 2021 and crucial assistance to several neighbouring countries and nations in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Furthered India’s diplomatic engagements: The Indian Navy has invested significant effort in meeting all regional commitments and furthering India’s diplomatic engagements with friends and partners in the Indo-Pacific. With missions like Operation ‘Samudra Setu’ and ‘Mission Sagar’, the Navy was a key instrument of India’s COVID outreach, delivering assistance and support to India’s maritime neighbours and partners in the Indian Ocean Region. 
  • Indigenization efforts: The Indian Navy has actively taken up indigenisation which is well reflected in its current and future acquisition plans. With resounding progress in aviation technology, naval aircraft are being installed with modern, state of the art indigenous, weapons, sensors and Data Link suites. The recent inductions of Advanced Light Helicopters as well as Dornier and Chetak aircrafts manufactured indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited highlight the march towards ‘Atma-nirbharta’ in defence sector.
  • The prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the time of crisis, has underscored India’s vision of being the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ and ‘First Responder’ in the Indian Ocean Region

News Source: PIB


AUSINDEX

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Security

In News: Indian Navy Task Group is participating in the 4th edition of AUSINDEX by Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

About AUSINDEX

  • Commenced in 2015 as a bilateral IN-RAN maritime exercise, AUSINDEX has grown in complexity over the years 
    • The 3rd edition of the exercise, held in 2019 in the Bay of Bengal, included anti-submarine drills for the first time.
  • The exercise will provide an opportunity for both Navies to further bolster inter-operability, gain from best practices and develop a common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations.
  • The conduct of this exercise despite COVID restrictions is also a testimony of existing synergy between the participating Navies.
  • This exercise is aligned with the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ between the two nations and aims to further consolidate shared commitment to regional and global security challenges promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. 
  • This edition of AUSINDEX includes complex surface, sub-surface and air operations between ships, submarines, helicopters and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the participating Navies.
  • The participating Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt are the latest indigenously designed and built Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and Anti-Submarine Corvette respectively. 

News Source: PIB


Unlocking Huge Potential of Mineral Exploration

Part of: GS-3: Infrastructure: Energy

In News: The Geological Survey of India has delineated 100 geologically potential mineral blocks for auction. 

  • Handing over of these 100 Reports to the State Governments will ensure continuous supply of minerals in the country and more revenue to the State Governments by bringing more number of mineral blocks under auction.

The MMDR Amendment Act, 2021

  • The MMDR Amendment Act, 2015 ushered in transparency in the allocation of mineral concessions in terms of Prospecting License and Mining Lease. 
  • In this continuous endeavour, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, has been further liberalized in March 2021. 
  • The recent amendment is expected to increase employment and investment in the mining sector, increase the revenue to the States, increase production and time bound operationalization of mines, maintain continuity in mining operations after change of lessee, increase the pace of exploration and auction of mineral resources.

News Source: PIB


(Mains Focus)


INTERNATIONAL/ SECURITY

  • GS-2: Policies and politics of developed and developing countries 

Foreign Policy Doctrine of Biden

Context: The Afghanistan war has formally ended. Its end has led to a new foreign policy doctrine for the US. In his recent speech US President Biden laid out the principal components of the doctrine.

What are the criticisms of Biden Afghan Policy?

  • When Biden decided to withdraw US military from Afghanistan, he did it abruptly without providing preparing the Afghan Military and Afghan Government.
  • The frustration was about how the military withdrawal was executed, not about the withdrawal per se.
  • Critics argue that US had the option of keeping a small force in Afghanistan and maintaining air support for the Afghan National Army. It would have at least kept the stand-off going, and not handed a victory to the Taliban. 
  • Also, the Afghanistan intervention was a NATO-supported military enterprise. It is not clear that Biden consulted European allies before deciding to withdraw. Biden’s unilateral withdrawal doesn’t sit well with his support for multilateralism.
  • Thousands of Afghan allies were left behind in a situation all too vulnerable to the Taliban’s aggression. This is bound to create great uneasiness in Taiwan and Japan.
  • Taiwan’s security functions under an American umbrella. Given the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its tiredness with war, there are doubts in Taiwan whether US will provide firm support to it in the face of Chinese aggression.

What are the key Components of the new Doctrine?

  • Containing China and Russia will be the focus of US foreign policy under him. 
  • Cyber security is a new mode of warfare and must be given prime attention. 
  • America’s counter-terrorism project will not be pursued via soldiers on the ground. Instead, “over the horizon” capabilities, meaning satellites and unmanned drones, will be the predominant instruments. 
  • External military deployment will not have the purpose of Nation-making or democracy-building. It at all it is deployed, it will have clear and achievable goals strictly limited to security, not extending to larger politics. 
    • Security will not include counter-insurgency, meaning long-term military involvement in a civil war. 
  • Democracy and human rights will continue to be key drivers of foreign policy, but economic tools and diplomacy will be the main methods for achieving such goals. Countries cannot be forced to be free & democratic via military means.

How is the doctrine different from that of previous President Donal Trump?

  • For Donald Trump, bringing the US military back home, withdrawal from alliances and unilateralism were important goals.
  • The Present President Biden would strengthen alliances, but bring the armed force back from areas where they have ceased to serve “vital national interest”.
  • This implies that American military deployment in Japan and South Korea will continue, for these are aimed at balancing China.

Connecting the dots:


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment. 

Analysis of Q1 Growth Data

Context: Recently, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation released the GDP (gross domestic product) and GVA (gross value added) data for the first quarter of the Financial Year 2021-22.

  • The government used the Year-on-Year (Y-o-Y) comparison method — which showed that the GDP grew by 20% in Q1 this year as against the Q1 last year — to claim that India was witnessing a V-shaped recovery.
  • Critics however, showed the economy contracted by 17% in Q1 this year as against Q4 (January, February and March) of the last financial year (2020-21) — to claim that the economy was fast losing momentum.
Engines of Demand 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) 17,83,905 18,89,008 20,24,421 14,94,524 17,83,611
Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) 3,63,763 3,93,709 3,92,585 4,42,618 4,21,471
Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) 9,89,620 10,82,670 12,33,178 6,58,465 10,22,335
Net Exports —1,44,175 — 1,22,238 — 1,70,515 34,071 — 62084

 

Total GDP* (an L-shaped recovery) 31,62,537 33,59,162 35,66,708 26,95,421 32,38,020
GDP for a V-shaped recovery 31,62,537 33,59,162 35,66,708 26,95,421 40,07,553

Table 1: GDP (at 2011-12 Prices) in Q1 (April-June) of 2021-22 falls back to levels last seen in 2018 (In Rs Crore) 

Analysis of the government Claim

  • Table 1 shows that private consumption demand — the biggest driver of India’s GDP (accounting for more than 55% of all GDP) — is almost exactly back to where it was in 2017-18.
  • However, the reduction in government spending pulled down the overall economic growth rate in Q1.
  • If the government continues to believe that India has already staged a V-shaped recovery, it may not spend more, therefore creating a drag on future growth.
  • Essentially, a V-shaped recovery means the economy quickly reverts to the trend of absolute GDP. Refer the graph given below.

  • So if India’s GDP was growing at 6% before the pandemic and we assume that it would have grown at 6% in 2020-21 and 2021-22 without the Covid disruption, then the Q1 GDP should have been Rs 40,07,553.
  • In reality, it is only Rs 32,38,020. In other words, the actual GDP was in Q1 is 24% lower the expected trend level if it was V-shaped recovery. Assuming 7% (year-on-year) growth, it is estimated that Q1 data would take another 3 years to achieve the levels so as to claim V-shaped recovery.
  • The reality — a Q1 GDP of Rs 32,38,020 — points more towards an “L-shaped” recovery instead of a “V-shaped” one.

The story is equally worrisome when one looks at the GVA data.

Industry 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 4,04,433 4,27,177 4,49,390 4,65,280 4,86,292
Mining & Quarrying 95,928 88,634 82,914 68,680 81,444
Manufacturing 5,03,682 5,61,875 5,67,516 3,63,448 5,43,821
Electricity, Gas, Water Supply & Other Utility Services 67,876 74,998 79,654 71,800 82,042
Construction 2,42,588 2,49,913 2,60,099 1,31,439 2,21,256
Trade, Hotels, Transport, Communication & Services related to Broadcasting 5,63,038 6,09,330 6,64,311 3,45,099 4,63,525
Financial, Real Estate & Professional Services 7,28,068 7,57,850 8,02,241 7,61,791 7,89,929
Public Administration, Defence & Other Services* 3,57,203 3,87,589 3,99,148 3,58,373 3,79,205
Total GVA

(L-shaped Recovery)

29,62,815 31,57,366 33,05,273 25,65,909 30,47,516
GVA for a V-shaped recovery 29,62,815 31,57,366 33,05,273 25,65,909 36,44,063

Table 2: GVA (at 2011-12 Prices) in Q1 of 2021-22 (in Rs Crore) 

  • For some sectors that create the most jobs in India — such as Construction and Trade, Hotels, Transport, Communication & Services etc. — the picture is much depressing as the GVA levels have fallen back to 2017-18.
  • Again, even if GVA grows by 7% (Y-o-Y) from here on, it will take another three years just to cross the level that marks a V-shape recovery this year.

What is the point of this analysis?

  • The point of this analysis is to correct the misconception about the shape and form of the economic recovery so that the government can make smarter policy choices going forward.
  • For instance, if there is a consensus that India suffers from weak consumer demand (as shown by the Private Final Consumption Expenditure (or PFCE) component in the GDP data table), then the government can boosting its spending through a cut in GST rates or taxes on petroleum products or providing tax relief. 
    • Increased money with people increases demand and boosts economic growth.
  • Government should not make the mistake which it committed in 2020, when the economy was experiencing slowdown (India’s annual growth fell sharply from over 8% in 2016-17 to just about 4% in 2019-20.)
    • The reason for the slowdown was weak demand (Private consumption). Instead of boosting people’s purchasing power by cutting taxes, government announced Corporate Tax cuts to boost supply. This did not help in revival of economy. 
    • Wrong analysis of situation & wrong solution is the mistake which the government should not commit this time.

Connecting the dots:


(AIR Spotlight)


Spotlight Sep 6: Discussion on Initiatives for Doubling the Farmer’s Income.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBE2ia0YifY

AGRICULTURE/ GOVERNANCE

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-3: Agriculture and allied activities

Initiatives for Doubling the Farmer’s Income

Context: Huge distress has hit the Agricultural sector due to environmental impacts, policy paralysis, debt trap etc. has led to large amount of farmer suicides across the country particularly in the Deccan plateau. 

Brief Background

  • Past strategy for development of the agriculture sector in India has focused primarily on raising agricultural output and improving food security. 
  • The net result has been a 45 per cent increase in per person food production, which has made India not only food self-sufficient at aggregate level, but also a net food exporting country.
  • The strategy did not explicitly recognise the need to raise farmers’ income and did not mention any direct measure to promote farmers welfare. The net result has been that farmers income remained low, which is evident from the incidence of poverty among farm households.
  • Indian agriculture suffers from low productivity, low quality awareness and rising imports.

Issues

  • Majority of Farmers are marginal: 70% of India’s farmers have small and marginal land holdings, operating below one hectare. 
  • Unrewarding livelihood: On an average, smaller holdings lose money as their household costs are higher than their earnings. According to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the average income of farmers owning up to two hectares is Rs 5,240 a month
  • Subsistence Farming: The smallest farms are afloat since they don’t pay for labour, relying entirely on the family, and they consume much of what is produced.
  • Irregular Income: Farming is a seasonal affair, not a full-time job

Doubling Farmer’s Income by 2022

The vision of doubling agricultural income can’t be achieved only through farm activities. It requires an integrated approach that clubs livestock rearing, other non-farm activities and the cooperative model into the income package of farmers.

Doubling farmers’ incomes include three themes:

A. Enabling digital financing and insurance payouts by facilitating consolidated information, credit scoring models, and yield forecasting models using satellite and weather data. Example: Digital applications are making crop insurance system faster and more accurate.

  • Central government launched a Kisan pilot programme in 2015 to see if satellite and drone-based imaging and other geospatial technology could produce timely and accurate crop-yield data. Study is also being conducted to evaluate a remote sensing based index for index-based insurance
  • Pilot study carried out in rice and cotton fields in four districts during the kharif season in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. It was also conducted during the 2015–16 rabi season in eight districts in the same states to assess crop yields of rice, wheat, and sorghum

B. Introducing precision agriculture using data analytics, with an integrated agricultural data platform across all existing and new data sources (such as the 158.7 million Soil Health Cards dispatched). Based on pilots, this initiative could raise farm productivity by 15 to 20 percent. Example: Real-time agricultural data can help to increase yields and decrease costs.

  • Soil Health Card: Ministry of Agriculture launched soil health card in 2015, the scheme tests soil samples to encourage judicious use of inputs such as fertilizer
  • mKisan: Ministry of Agriculture launched mKisan in 2013 to increase the information available to farmers on crucial aspects of farming such as weather & soil health
  • mKRISHI: mKRISHI is a technology platform for Indian farmers. Tata Consultancy Services designed it to enable farmers in remote areas to access real-time agricultural information, best practices, and market and weather information
  • MyAgriGuru (Mahindra): The app connects experts and farmers and enables exchange of ideas and information to create an empowering agriculture ecosystem in the country

C. Implementing online agricultural marketplaceslinked to a unified, nationwide market with a set of institutional market facilitators and common assaying and grading standards. Such e-marketplaces could cover 40 to 60 percent of agricultural produce sold in India, leading to 15 percent farmers’ price gains, as demonstrated by pilots. 

Together, these changes could add $50 billion to $70 billion of economic value in 2025. 

Example: Technology is bringing transparency to India’s agricultural markets

  • eNam: Ministry of Agriculture in 2015 launched eNam, the electronic National Agriculture Market, to connect the 7,000 APMC mandis across India to promote transparency in agricultural markets
  • Buyer Seller Platform: Ministry of Agriculture launched Buyer Seller platform / mKisan for farmers to receive local buyer prices over SMS. It connects farmers with buyers (farmer producer organisations, exporters, traders, and processors).

The Way Forward

  • Most of the development initiatives and policies for agriculture are implemented by the States. States invest much more than the outlay by the Centre on many development activities, like irrigation. Progress of various reforms related to market and land lease are also State subjects. Therefore, it is essential to mobilise States and UTs to own and achieve the goal of doubling farmers’ income. 
  • Technology adoption has proved that it has potential to improve agricultural efficiency by improving farmers knowledge, access to credit, and agriculture output in many ways. Hence, technology adoption can help the farm product to reach from “local to global” market in an efficient way. 
  • To convert the image of  Indian “Peasant farmer” in to an “Entrepreneur farmer”, we need to address – low usage of farm equipments, mechanise the industry and bridge the lack of literacy and digital literacy.

Must Read: 

Can you answer these questions now?

  1. How feasible is the target to achieve the motive of doubling farmer’s income by 2022? Discuss.
  2. What are the steps that the government has taken in the last few years towards this objective?

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note:

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1 The world’s largest living lizard, the Komodo dragon is endemic to Which of the following countries? 

  1. India 
  2. Bhutan 
  3. Indonesia 
  4. Australia 

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding Inner Line Permit:

  1. Any person is entitled to renew his permit every one year if he is not a native in these states despite the fact that he/she is a long-term resident.
  2. It also regulates the movement to certain areas located near the international borders of India.
  3. It is issued by Ministry of Home Affairs 

Select the correct statements:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only 
  4. 1, 2 and 3  

Q.3 Consider the following statements on President’s Color

  1. The President’s Colour is the highest honour bestowed on a military unit in recognition of its exceptional service to the nation. 
  2. The Indian Air Force was the first amongst the Indian Armed Forces to be awarded the President’s Colour on 27 May 1951 by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India. 

Which of the above statement(s) is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 Only 
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWERS FOR 6th Sept 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 D
2 A
3 B

Must Read

On Federalism and Consultations:

The Hindu

On Taliban and China:

The Hindu

On India’s Digital Infrastructure:

Livemint

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