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SYNOPSIS [17th February,2022] Day 18: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. What are the challenges associated with targeting for distributing government initiatives? Explain with the help of suitable examples.
Candidates need to write about the basic challenges and problems associated with targeting the government scheme beneficiaries also explain it with the suitable examples.
Government schemes aim at welfare of people via distribution of benefits. However, most times the benefits do not reach the intended beneficiaries rendering the schemes ineffective.
- Ghost Cards: Another indicator of inaccurate classification of beneficiaries is the existence of ghost cards in several states. “Ghost cards” are cards made in the name of non-existent people.
- Double Counting Error: Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have issued a large number of excess ration cards over the number of households. If the overall APL-BPL break-up of the ration cards in circulation is assumed, it is possible to arrive at estimates of leakages of BPL quota of grains through this mode of corruption.
- Unreliable SECC: Most of the government initiatives depend on either land records which are often patchy or on a dated database based on 2011 numbers: the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC).
- For the PMJDY payment, BPL and non-BPL households record similar receipt transfers. For example, nearly half of poor women are unlikely to receive PMJDY transfers.
- Overstating in survey: Respondents had a vested interest to overstate the extent of their deprivation in order to be identified as beneficiaries of welfare schemes.
- For example Data from round-3 of the DCVTS-3 report, suggests that 21 per cent of farm households received transfers through PM-KISAN. However, 42 per cent of such households belonged to the wealthiest.
- Politicization and patronage: Tendency of politicians to abuse targeted programs by converting them into instruments of patronage.
- Social exclusion: Targeted programs create tensions between those who are excluded. For example lack of disabled friendly infrastructure, social discrimination, does not help in assimilating the disabled community with the mainstream society.
Technology-based evidence based reforms is needed for effective targeting of the social schemes. It can be further strengthened by the increased public participation through social audits and participation of SHGs, Cooperatives and NGOs in ensuring the transparency at ground level.
2. The food processing industry has immense potential to generate employment and be a driver of regional growth. Comment.
Students are expected to write about the FPI. And then comment the employment potential in the FPI also how it will help regional growth.
Food Processing includes process under which any raw product of agriculture, dairy, animal husbandry, meat, poultry or fishing is transformed through a process (involving employees, power, machines or money) in such a way that its original physical properties undergo a change and the transformed product has commercial value and is suitable for human and animal consumption.
- India’s food processing sector continues to grow in response to changing demographics:
- Over 16 % of the total workforce in the organised sector and 32 % in the unorganised manufacturing sector are employed in the food processing industries. The industry employs nearly 15 million people directly and 37 million indirectly.
- India is one of the top rankers in the production of bananas, guavas, ginger, papaya etc although processing levels in the country remain limited, which indicates an extensive opportunity in the food processing sector.
- By 2024, food processing sector is expected to employ 9 million people in India and expected to generate about 8,000 direct and 80,000 indirect jobs as per ASSOCHAM.
- Farm related employment in agricultural sector (Allied activities like dairying), self-employment opportunities particularly to women, development and management of infrastructural facilities like storage and processing centres, transportation network, research and innovation to add value to the product and others.
- Government of India has come out with SAMPADA scheme to give boost to Food Processing Industry in the country. Thus the policymakers have identified food processing as a key sector in encouraging labour movement from agriculture to manufacturing.
- Women can be given training in the area of processing and can go for value addition through mango pulp processing, guava products processing such as guava leather, guava nectar and various carbonated and fresh fruits beverages.
- Food processing will require different types of inputs thus creating an incentive for the farmer to grow and diversify crops.
- It is an important source of foreign exchange. For e.g. Indian Basmati rice is in great demand in Middle Eastern countries.
- Food Processing being a labour intensive industry will provide localized employment opportunities and thus will reduce the push factor in source regions of migration.
- Processing increases the shelf life of the food thus keeping supplies in tune with the demand thereby controlling food-inflation. For e.g. Frozen Safal peas are available throughout the year.
Food processing has numerous advantages which are specific to Indian context. It has capacity to lift millions out of poverty and malnutrition with employment opportunities. Government should develop industry in a way keeping in mind the interests of small scale industry along with attracting big ticket domestic and foreign investments.
3. Food security is a much broader concept than only the access and availability of food. Comment. Do you think the current government measures address the issue of food security in a broader sense of the definition.
Candidates need to comment on how the food security is a much broader concept than only the access and availability of food. Also give your thoughts on how far the current government measures address the issue of food security in a broader sense of the definition.
Every year over 10 million people die of hunger and hunger related diseases. Nearly six million of these are children under the age of five; that is one child’s death approximately every six seconds. Understanding how this still occurs amid the ever-increasing social enlightenment of the 21st century—and under the auspices of a vigilant global developmental community—is one of the key challenges of our time.
Food security is a much broader concept than only the access and availability of
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations suggests, that food security is the product of food availability, food access, stability of supplies and biological utilisation.
- Considering the dimension of availability; food is provided through one of two means—domestic production and/or imports. This requires thought and consideration to be given to the physical availability of food at farms and in local markets.
- Food access entails ensuring people have adequate access, both physical and economic to food through growing it; purchasing it; being gifted it; bartering or trading for it etc.
- Food security is a much broader concept than only the access and availability of food. It also includes stability of supplies and biological utilisation.
- When talking of stability, although not a new idea, the realisation that food security can be lost as well as gained is of increasing concern within the food security debate. As a result, the notion of risk management is gaining much credibility as a tool in the fight against hunger.
- Consumed food must have a positive nutritional impact on people. It entails cooking, storage and hygiene practices, individuals’ health, water and sanitations, feeding and sharing practices within the household.
- The notion of biological utilisation is simply the ability of a person to optimally or at least effectively, absorb the food they eat. In turn research has shown that this ability is closely related to a person’s health status which, in turn is also predicated on important non-food inputs.
The current government measures to address the issue of food security includes:
- The government has created an electronic national agriculture market (eNAM) to connect all regulated wholesale produce markets through a pan-India trading portal.
- The introduction of mid-day meals at schools is a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme which covers all school children studying in Classes I-VIII of Government, Government-Aided Schools.
- Integrated Schemes on Oilseeds, Pulses, Palm oil and Maize (ISOPOM).
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
- Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
- National Food Security Mission.
- With such measures, the current government measures do address the issue of food security in a broader sense of the definition to a certain extent.
Understanding and promoting food security is as much about coming to grips with its nemesis—food insecurity. India needs to adopt a policy that brings together diverse issues such as inequality, food diversity, indigenous rights and environmental justice to ensure sustainable food security.