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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 January 2020


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


 

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. Who was Tanaaji Malusare? Discuss the significant role played by him in the Battle of Singhagad? (250 words)

Indian Express

Why this question:

A Bollywood movie was released recently based on Subedar Taanaji Malusare. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss details of who was Subedar Taanaji Malusare and his contributions to the battle of Singhagad and its outcomes.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain who Tanaaji Malusare was.

Body:

He was a Maratha military leader and a close aide of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Hailing from the Malusare clan, Taanaji is popularly remembered for the Battle of Singhagad that took place in the year 1670.

In the battle, Taanaji fought against Udaybhan Rathore, a formidable Rajput warrior, who was put in charge of Fort Kandhana (later named Singhagad) by Jai Singh.

Then discuss the significant contributions to Battle of Singhagad.

Highlight the outcomes of the battle.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such warriors in history.

Introduction

Tanaji Malusare is known for his role in the Battle of Sinhagad (1670), which he fought under the Maratha flag against the Mughals, losing his life in the campaign. Tanaji Malusare was a Subedar in the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji and was also one of his good compatriots. He belonged to the Malusare clan and fought various battles alongside Chhatrapati Shivaji.

The original memorial of legendary warrior Tanaji Malusare had been found in the Sinhagad Fort (Lion’s Fort), 36 km from Pune, during the restoration work in 2019.

Body

  • Importance of the Sinhagad fort

Of all the forts surrendered to Jay Singh the most important was doubtless Sinhagad (Kondhana), for it was looked upon as the capital of the western regions and a key in the hands of those who had to govern them. Purandar ranked next to it. That is why Jay Singh had insisted that Sinhagad should be the first to be handed over by Shivaji personally. He who possessed Sinhagad was the master of Poona, was the popular belief.

  • Context of the Battle
    • In 1665, due to the Treaty of Purandar, Shivaji had to give the Kondhana Fort (later called Sinhagad) to the Mughals.
    • Kondhana, located near Pune, was the heaviest fortification and was a strategically placed fort.
    • After the treaty of Purandar, the Rajput, Arab and Pathan troops were to protect the fort on behalf of the Mughals. The most capable commander among them was Uday Bhan Rathore. He was a fort-keeper and was appointed by the Mughal army chief Jai Singh.
    • As part of the treaty, Shivaji had agreed to visit Agra to meet the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, which he did in 1666. Here, Shivaji was placed under house arrest, but was able to make a daring escape back to Maharashtra. Upon his return, Shivaji began to recapture the forts ceded to the Mughals under the treaty.

To retake Kondhana (Sinhagad), the Marathas deputed Tanaji Malusare, a trusted general of Shivaji, and his brother Suryaji.

Role of Tanaaji in Battle of Sinhagad

  • In the early hours of February 4, 1670, Tanaji with around 300 soldiers successfully captured the fort. It was a treacherous task.
  • The fort could not be taken by any other means than by the brave soldiers scaling the walls by means of rope-ladders stealthily walking in and opening the main gates, through which the storming party could rush in.
    • Sinhagad is the only fort not vulnerable to artillery; there is no room where guns could be brought into position for a bombardment of it.
    • All the sides are steep, upon one of which a narrow path now leads to the main gate for communication with the outside world.
  • A large number headed by Suryaji remained concealed near the main gate.
  • Tanaji himself with his selected followers scaled the walls by means of an iguana and opened the gates by putting to the sword the few sentries that came out to oppose him.
  • A sanguinary action ensued in which both sides lost heavily including their leaders Tanaji and Uday Bhan. The fort was captured and a huge bonfire announced the result to Shivaji at Rajgad.
  • Despite the victory, Shivaji was deeply hurt by the loss of his most capable commander and friend and famously said – “Gad ala pan Sinha gela.” (“The fort has come, but the lion is gone.”)

Conclusion

Shivaji, who is known to have grieved Tanaji’s loss heavily, had the fort Kondhana renamed ‘Sinhagad’ in the general’s honour (‘Sinh’ meaning ‘lion’). A bard named Tulsidas was commissioned to write a ‘powada’ (ballad) for Tanaji, and this literary work continues to be popular in Maharashtra.

 

Topic:  Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

2. Lack of a conversation in the mainstream about Women issues, specifically related to health is a sign of sexism and ageism. Analyse. (250 words)

Indian Express

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail the case of UK, wherein According to Wellbeing of Women Survey, 2016, one in four women in the UK considered leaving their jobs due to menopausal symptoms.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the importance of women issues and the significance of having open conversations with respect to the problems of women openly in the society.

Directive:

Analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with current day issues of women that require open debate.

Body:

Take hints from the article and discuss a case study.

Discuss the Indian case as to what are the causes for which women issues have always been in the back seat.

Explain what needs to be done to overcome such challenges.

Discuss the need for innovative solutions to such problems.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

In Beed district, where the daily wage for female farmers is Rs. 250, women are having hysterectomies in their twenties. The news made headlines as “Indian women going womb-less” to boost productivity. It was found that many women were unaware of the impact of removal of uterus at young age but were coerced by families (in some case doctors), so that they would not miss work during menstruation.

This incident highlights that there is hardly any conversation regarding crucial health issues of women in the mainstream.

Body

  • Lack of conversation regarding women issues
    • Menstrual hygiene: Often adolescent girls, especially in rural India are unaware of the various hygiene to be maintained during menstruation. Menstrual cycle and conversation regarding it, is still a major taboo around the country.
      • This prevents sensitization amongst people regarding menstruation. It also often leads to not discussing problems related to menstrual hygiene and other infections regarding the same.
      • Access to sanitary napkins in remote areas is abysmal, leading usage of unsanitary clothes.
    • Access to Contraception: India has the highest number of women, nearly 31 million with an “unmet need” for contraception, according to RAND survey research. This is due to lack of sex education at schools and the understanding of various contraceptions available for use.
      • Family planning is still very low amongst married couples in India. Combined with early marriage, women often are unaware of birth spacing, thus causing serious health complications.
        • Eg: 53.2% of non-pregnant women and 50.4% of pregnant women were found to be anaemic in 2016, as per the NFHS.
      • Reproductive Choices
        • According to UNICEF India and World Bank data, India counts among the highest number of maternal deaths worldwide. India witnesses 45,000 maternal deaths every year, coming to an average of one maternal death every 12 minutes.
        • Unsafe abortions are the third leading cause of maternal deaths in India. Researches have shown that half the pregnancies in India are unintended and about a third result in abortion. Only 22% of abortions are done through public or private health facilities.
        • The silence around unsafe abortion leads to deaths of women and hides important problems that lie at the intersection of these concerns, such as the formidable barriers for adolescent girls to access reproductive health services, including abortion services.
      • Post-Partum issues: After childbirth, many women experience fatigue and discomfort, such as perineal pain and uterine contractions. However, many do not seek medical care as there is low awareness regarding this.
        • Postpartum Depression is also a serious issue in women post child birth. But only a handful of women understand and seek help.
      • Menopausal issues:
        • According to Wellbeing of Women Survey, 2016, one in four women in the UK considered leaving their jobs due to menopausal symptoms. Not surprising, given the extreme physical and psychological shifts women experience during this phase.
        • According to another study by The New York Times, 60 per cent of women are likely to experience menopause-related cognitive impairment.
        • Unfortunately, menopause conversation are nil, even more so in the Indian setting. This prevents women from accessing the healthcare and consultation advice to minimize the drudgery.

The severe lack of conversation on something that affects half the global population at some point in their lives, shows that it is due to a lethal concoction of sexism and ageism. The world, designed by men, for men, is by default programmed to make less of women’s issues, especially that of ageing women.

  • Impact on women
    • The lack of a mainstream dialogue on any of the above issues compounds the problem — it results in women not even recognising the symptoms and thus suffering in silence.
    • Many of these issues often lead to women quitting from labour force or undergoing unscrupulous procedures. India has seen a decrease in the labour force participation rate of women at 23.3% from 27%.
    • Issues such as menopause is being recognised as an emerging health crisis in India, and we will soon have a silent epidemic affecting a reasonably large chunk of our workforce.

Conclusion

 

Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

3. In the recent hearing of Tripura high court that ruled – posting on social media was tantamount to a “fundamental right” applicable to all citizens, including government employees provides a moment of opportunities and obstacles to the government servants, Do you agree? Critically examine the statement.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

In a landmark order, the High Court of Tripura ordered the police to refrain from prosecuting a man who was earlier arrested over a social media post. The Chief Justice in his order broadly remarked that posting on social media was tantamount to a “fundamental right” applicable to all citizens, including government employees.

Key demand of the question:

One must provide for a detailed analysis of the judgment that was passed recently in this regard.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly highlight the observations made in the order.

Body:

Discuss the aspects such followed:

  • Explain first the importance of fundamental rights to citizens, public servants etc.
  • Elaborate as to why it is important to civil servants?
  • Discuss the significance of fundamental rights with respect to the case of social media.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The Chief Justice of Tripura,  in his recent order broadly remarked that posting on social media was tantamount to a “fundamental right” applicable to all citizens, including government employees.

The advent of social media is transforming the way in which people connect with each other and the manner in which information is shared and distributed. Thus it is imperative to ensure freedom of speech and expression is upheld even on these platforms. At the same time, when it comes to civil servants, the conduct rules need a relook aligning to current age of digital world.

Body

Social Media and Rights of Citizens

Recently even Supreme Court made a few critical observations regarding use of the internet and free of speech which essentially occurs over social media.

  • Freedom of speech and expression through the medium of internet is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The restrictions on internet have to follow the principles of proportionality under Article 19(2).
  • Doctrine of proportionality is a principle that is prominently used as a ground for judicial review in cases of administrative action.
  • The doctrine essentially signifies that the punishment should not be disproportionate to the offence committed or the nature and extent of the State’s interference with the exercise of a right must be proportionate to the goal it seeks to achieve.
    • In the Tripura case, police erased Sections 120(B) and 153(A) (Hate speech)of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) from the relevant First Information Report (FIR) to quash the case after the High Court Order.

Civil Servants’ rights and social media

Arguments in favour

  • Social media has the potential to aid public servants in their work – not only for promotional activities, but also as a “grievance redressal” mechanism.
    • Eg: For instance, Former Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj was well known for aiding Indians abroad and home through twitter. The same can be emulated by civil servants.
  • Outreach: Given its characteristics to potentially give “voice to all”, immediate outreach and 24*7 engagement, Social Media offers a unique opportunity to governments (civil servants) to engage with their stakeholders especially citizens in real time to make policy making citizen centric.
    • Eg: Mumbai Traffic Police using memes to generate awareness regarding rules for road safety.
  • Real Time engagement: Social Media releases the shackles of time and place for engagement. They can connect policy makers to stakeholders in real time. In recent Libyan crisis, Ministry of External Affairs used social media platforms such as Twitter to assist in locating and evacuating Indian Citizens from Libya.
  • Managing Perceptions: One of the big challenges for government is to avoid propagation of unverified facts and frivolous misleading rumours with respect to government policies. Leveraging these platforms can help to counter such perceptions and present the facts to enable informed opinion making. Eg: Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Voter awareness etc

Checks and Balances are needed

  • Official and Classified information that has not been made public cannot be disclosed through social media, except with prior authorization.
  • Civil servants must be mindful of liking or expressing support to other posts. It might be interpreted as endorsing of the facts and opinions such posts represent. Political neutrality must be upheld at all times even on social media.
  • The public conduct of any civil servant must uphold the values of the Indian republic and promote the spirit and letter of the Constitution.
  • The distinction between official and personal accounts should be addressed, but the basic Conduct Rules should also be applicable to the latter.
  • A bureaucrat does not cease to represent the government even when he is using his personal account, and should therefore exercise restraint even in that.
  • Under Article 33 Parliament can restrict fundamental rights of members of armed forces, para-military forces, police and intelligence agencies. This is to ensure proper discharge of their duties and maintenance of discipline among them.

Conclusion

The Government must come up with a clear policy on social media for civil servants and employees. At the same time, what constitutes hate speech or criminal offence should be made clear. This requires a reform of the Indian Penal Code. Excessive curtailment of freedom of speech on social media will not bode well for the world’s largest democracy and law makers must ensure that minimum restrictions are placed for necessary reasons only.

 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

4. Investments in the infrastructure sector in different ways can transmit into numerous effects leading to better growth of the Indian economy and inclusive employment generation. Discuss.(250 words)

Financial Express 

Why this question:

The article highlights the significance of investments in the infrastructure sector of the country and in what way it in turn boosts the economy in several different ways.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss from the article relevantly, points that justify significance of investments in infrastructure. Relate in what way it augments the employment generation capacity in the economy.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss what all constitutes infrastructure and how it drives other sectors of the economy.

Body:

Explain that Infrastructure is a crucial driver of economic growth. Infrastructure development not only creates employment but also has the capacity to increase consumption and can give a boost to the economy.

Discuss some gaps that are prevalently being witnessed in the infra sector.

Suggest means and ways to handle such issues.

Discuss the efforts taken by the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of investments and their relevance to the overall growth of the economy.

Introduction

Infrastructure enables trade, powers businesses, connects workers to their jobs, creates opportunities for struggling communities and protects the nation from an increasingly unpredictable natural environment. From private investment in telecommunication systems, broadband networks, freight railroads, energy projects and pipelines, to publicly spending on transportation, water, buildings and parks, infrastructure is the backbone of a healthy economy.

Body

  • Infrastructure investment leading to better growth and employment

The target of $5 Trillion economy can be reached with robust infrastructure in India.

  • Employment Generation: It supports workers, providing millions of jobs each year in construction and maintenance. A Brookings Institution analysis Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveals that 14 million people have jobs in fields directly related to infrastructure.
    • Infrastructure development helps in poverty reduction due to its high employment elasticity leading to huge job creation capabilities.
  • Transport: It has the trickle-down effect as better transportation infrastructure can lead to access to education, health, market and other basic necessities.
    • Eg: Transport is a burning component of post-harvest crop management. Especially for perishables.
    • India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh has only one PHC for 28 villages on average. Having goads transport in these cases is vital for healthcare.
    • Government’s Gram Sadak Yojana and Aajeevika Express can prove to be a game changer for rural economies.
  • Increasing the manufacturing growth as there is better connectivity, easier movement of goods and services, facilitating private investments
  • It reduces the regional and inter-state disparities and leads to a balanced economic growth by regional equality.
  • Ease of Doing Business will be improved especially if products can be transported faster with minimum delay. Eg: Express freight, Inland waterways and hinterland to port connectivity for exports.
  • Infrastructure sector has huge spill-over effects on other sectors of economy. It has money-multiplier effect too.
  • Better quantity and quality of infrastructure can directly raise the productivity of human and physical capital and in turn growth of nation
  • Climate change and disaster resilience: There is a clear need for ensuring that all new and existing infrastructure systems are climate and disaster resilient
  • Government Efforts:
    • With Initiatives such as ‘Housing for All’ and ‘Smart Cities,’ the government is working on reducing the bottlenecks that impede growth in the infrastructure sector.
    • Under UDAY scheme the government has taken steps to improve operational and financial parameters of discoms.
    • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) launched Masala Bonds in May 2017, for raising capital for funding the infrastructure projects in India.
    • National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) with an initial corpus of Rs 40,000 crore.
    • The modernization of Indian Railways has been one of the top priorities of the central government
    • The Bharatmala Pariyojana is unique and unprecedented in terms of its size and design, as is the idea of developing ports as engines of growth under Sagarmala.

In lieu of above benefits, Government recently announced the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) investing nearly Rs. 102 lakh crore in the next five years.

Conclusion

Infrastructure is a key driver of the overall development of Indian economy. It is seen that investments in infrastructure equal to 1% of GDP will result in GDP growth of at least 2% as infrastructure has a “multiplier effect” on economic growth across sectors. The recent headway made in developing transport infrastructure will prove to be the biggest enabler for growth. An efficient infrastructure can provide avenues for employment through trickle-down effect. India’s growth story should no longer be impeded by a lack of infrastructure, and the fruits of this growth should reach everyone in the remotest part of the country.

 

Topic:  Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management. Land reforms in India.

5. Why are food processing industries significant? Discuss the Scope and Significance of Food Processing Industries in India. (250 words)

Comprehensive Indian Geography by Khullar

Why this question:

The question is directly from the static portions of the GS paper III.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the significance of food processing industries, scope and its utility in the country.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define food processing industries.

Body:

Discuss that Major industries constituting the Food processing industry are grains, sugar, edible oils, beverages and dairy products. The key sub-segments of the Food Processing industry in India are: Dairy, Fruits & Vegetables, Poultry & Meat processing, Fisheries, Food retail etc.

Suggest facts that bring out the significance of the industry.

Explain the significance and scope of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with future avenues and opportunities that the Industry has for the Indian economy.

Introduction

Food processing generally includes the basic preparation of foods, the alteration of a food product (usually raw) into another form (as in making preserves from fruit), and preservation and packaging techniques. Food processing typically takes harvested crops or animal products and uses these to produce long shelf-life food products.

It includes the process of value addition to produce products through methods such as preservation, addition of food additives, drying etc. with a view to preserve food substances in an effective manner, enhance their shelf life and quality.

Body

  • Why are food processing industries significant?

The Food Processing Industry (FPI) is of enormous significance as it provides vital linkages and synergies that it promotes between the two pillars of the economy, i.e. agriculture and industry.

  • Employment Opportunities: Food processing industries can absorb a major share of workers from the agriculture sector, who face disguised unemployment. It can lead to better productivity and GDP growth.
  • Prevents Wastage: Nearly one-third of the food that is produced each year goes uneaten, costing the global economy over $940 billion as per report by World Resources Institute (WRI)
    • India is biggest producer of numerous fruits and vegetable. Most of these are perishable and have very low shelf life. This is the major reason for high percentage of wastage. Their shelf life can be increased through food processing.
  • Value Addition: Products such as tomato sauce, roasted nuts, de-hydrated fruits are in high demand.
  • Reduce malnutrition: Processed foods when fortified with vitamins and minerals can reduce the nutritional gap in the population.
  • Boosts Trade and Earns Foreign exchange: It is an important source of foreign exchange. For e.g. Indian Basmati rice is in great demand in Middle Eastern countries.
  • Make in India: Food processing is one of the six superstar sectors under the GoI’s, Make in India initiative and has the potential to transform India as a leading food processing destination of the World.
  • Curbing Food Inflation: Processing increases the shelf life of the food thus keeping supplies in tune with the demand thereby controlling food-inflation.
    • For e.g. Frozen peas/ corn are available throughout the year.
    • Similarly canned onions under Operation Greens can achieve price stability.
  • Doubling of farmers’ income: With contract farming, farmers can get better technological inputs from industries as well. There is income security and proportionate value for produce. They are also protected against price shocks.
  • Crop-diversification: Food processing will require different types of inputs thus creating an incentive for the farmer to grow and diversify crops.
  • Scope and Significance in India
    • Scope of FPI
      • India is the world’s second largest producer of fruits & vegetables after China but hardly 2% of the produce is processed.
      • India is among the top 5 countries in the production of coffee, tobacco, spices, seeds etc. With such a huge raw material base, we can easily become the leading supplier of food items in the world.
      • In spite of a large production base, the level of processing is low (less than 10%). Approximately 2% of fruits and vegetables, 8% marine, 35% milk, 6% poultry are processed. Lack of adequate processable varieties continues to pose a significant challenge to this sector.
      • Economic Survey 2020: During the last 6 years ending 2017-18, Food Processing Industries sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of around 5.06 per cent.
        • Employment: According to the Annual Survey of Industries for 2016-17, the total number of persons engaged in registered food processing sector was 54 lakhs. (whereas unregistered FPOs supports 51.11 lakh workers)
      • Farmer Beneficiaries: The SAMPADA scheme is estimated to benefit about 37 lakh farmers and generate about 5.6 lakh direct/ indirect employment (ES 2020 data).
      • Curbing Distress Migration : Provides employment in rural areas, hence reduces migration from rural to urban. Resolves issues of urbanization.
    • Government Initiatives
      • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is implementing PMKSY (Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana). The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease agri-waste.
        • Mega Food Parks.
        • Integrated Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure.
        • Creation/Expansion of Food Processing/Preservation Capacities.
        • Infrastructure for Agro Processing Clusters.
        • Scheme for Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages.
      • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy: FDI up to 100%, under the automatic route is allowed in food processing industries.
      • Agri Export Zones: To give thrust to export of agro products, new concept of Agri Export Zones was brought in 2001. APEDA has been nominated as the Nodal Agency to coordinate the efforts
        • cluster approach of identifying the potential products;
        • the geographical region in which these products are grown;
        • Adopting an end-to-end approach of integrating the entire process right from the stage of production till it reaches the market (farm to market).

Conclusion

Food processing has a promising future, provided adequate government support is there. Food is the biggest expense for an urban Indian household. About 35 % of the total consumption expenditure of households is generally spent on food. As mentioned, food processing has numerous advantages which are specific to Indian context. It has the capacity to lift millions out of undernutrition. Government has it’s work cut out to develop industry in a way which takes care of small scale industry along with attracting big ticket domestic and foreign investments.

  

Topic:  Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management. Land reforms in India.

6. The agri value chain in India seems to be stuck in the cycle of low returns and low investment. Discuss the causative factors and analyse what needs to be done.(250 words)

Science Direct

Why this question:

The question is based on the problems that are being recurrently witnessed in the agricultural supply chain management in the country.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the issues concerning the Agri value chain and reasons for low returns of it and Suggest solutions to overcome such challenges.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain What is supply chain management in agriculture?

Body:

  • Discuss that in Agribusiness, supply chain management (SCM) implies managing the relationships between the businesses responsible for the efficient production and supply of products from the farm level to the consumers to meet consumers’ requirements reliably in terms of quantity, quality and price
  • Explain what the issue with low returns and low investments is.
  • Discuss what needs to be done? Provide for cases where government has made efforts in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions to plug in the loopholes in the system of agri value chain.

Introduction

The conceptual framework of agricultural value chains includes a sequence of value adding activities, from production to consumption, through processing and marketing. Each segment of a chain has one or more backward and forward linkages. A value chain in agriculture identifies the set of actors and activities that bring a basic agricultural product from production in the field to final consumption, where at each stage value is added to the product.

In South Asian countries, such as India, agricultural value chains are often fragmented; lack investment; and fail to include vulnerable groups and are missing critical linkages of farms and markets.

Body

  • Causative Factors for glut in Agri-Value Chain

In India, agriculture system along with value chain framework has not been conceived as a main strategy to bring more efficiency, productivity and earnings. There has not been enough emphasis on the growth and development of efficient agricultural value chains in India.

  • Access to finance : Most of the Indian agricultural value chain firm‟s focusses on local market and they need more resources and capacity to compete in the external markets.
    • Credit for pre and post-harvest inputs, guarantee and risk for final output have not been made part of overall agriculture and export policies in India.
    • For example, many incentives are given to IT companies and new start-ups, such facilities are not extended to agricultural products exporting firms also.
    • Thus it is preventing forward integration of farmers.
  • Market Acess: The existence of middlemen and agents, absence of data and information about other links in the chain and inability to invest in improving the performance in almost every part of the chain led to inefficiencies.
    • Agricultural value chains are difficult to stabilise in India with a large number of small and marginal farmers.
    • The production, collection, storage and delivery parts of value chains have to be made efficient in order for the small farmers to realise higher returns.
  • Capacity building: Another major challenge is improvement in the production and supply competencies of the small and marginal farmers. To get better remunerative prices or to produce export quality produce, farmers must have adequate knowledge and capacity.
    • Most of the small and marginal farmers do not realise how to produce, store and preserve agricultural products in a modern and more sophisticated era and how to constantly check the quality.
  • Standards and certification: Although, in case of agriculture based exportable products testing and health safety regulations and procedures are now mandatory but infrastructure (testing and certification laboratories at crucial custom ports equipped with trained and enough number of staff members) for these have not been up to mark in India.
  • Export Policy: Exportable agricultural products are not being dealt with clear export promotion policy, which has hindered prospects of these products in overseas markets. Eg: Export restrictions can be made at any time. Minimum export price is imposed.
  • Significance of a robust Agri-value chain
    • Prevent Colossal Wastage of Agriculture Produce “billions of dollars” loss to economy.
    • To ensure that share of Farmer in consumers wallet can increase, which is merely 25-30% as compared to western market where it goes as high as 50-75%.
    • Demand for MSP regime will automatically go away and farmer can expect a rightful price for the produce.
    • To ensure India becomes “Global Hub for Food Industry”
  • Measures needed
    • Ending APMC monopoly: States must implement the Model APMC act and follow the precedent set my Maharashtra in this regard.
    • Creating Market Infrastructure
      • Physical integration: Railroad expansion changed the landscape of agricultural markets in USA.
    • Transport and storage infrastructure for perishables: Transport of perishable commodities in Reefer trucks & freight subsidy would help in better supply and availability of the produce.
    • At present, India’s cold storage capacity is nearly 3.5 cr tonnes, short by 30-40 lakh tonnes, and it needs to be increased.
    • Kisan Rail and Kisan Udan in Budget 2020 are steps In the right direction.
    • Setting up Farmer Producer Organizations and Cooperatives: It would provide better avenues for pooling of resources to small and marginal farmers. It could also act as a direct marketing channel to supply produce from ‘surplus’ regions to high demand states
    • Nation-wide Price Dissemination Mechanism:
      • Forward Market Commission (FMC) has set up e-portal AGMARKNET that displays real time wholesale price of agricultural commodities on e-portal connected with APMC markets, Kisan mandis, Kisan Vikas Kendras (KVKs), State Agricultural Boards etc.
      • Steps must be taken to ensure farmers are benefitted from the scheme.

Conclusion

  • With agriculture employing nearly half the Indian population even today, it is necessary to implement structural reforms to enhance Agri-value chain. To achieve the ambitious target of doubling farmers income by 2022, productivity and efficiency of value chain in agriculture the key. It will also protect the farmers against shocks and provide food security.

  

Topic:  Agriculture, Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

7. What do you understand by Conservation Agriculture? Discuss the key principles of such a practice and elucidate upon its significance.(250 words)

FAO

Why this question:

The question is based on the topic of Conservation Agriculture and its importance.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of Conservation Agriculture in detail and highlight the prospects of such a concept.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

First define What Conservation Agriculture is? – Conservation Agriculture (CA) is a farming system that can prevent losses of arable land while regenerating degraded lands.

Body:

Discuss the aspects of Conservation agriculture.

It promotes maintenance of a permanent soil cover, minimum soil disturbance, and diversification of plant species. It enhances biodiversity and natural biological processes above and below the ground surface, which contribute to increased water and nutrient use efficiency and to improved and sustained crop production.

Explain the basic principles involved in it.

Discuss how CA facilitates good agronomy, such as timely operations, and improves overall land husbandry for rainfed and irrigated production. C

Conclusion:

Conclude with positive note and highlight that CA is a base for sustainable agricultural production intensification.

Introduction

Conservation Agriculture (CA) is defined as a sustainable agriculture production system comprising a set of farming practices adapted to the requirements of crops and local conditions of each region, whose farming and soil management techniques protect the soil from erosion and degradation, improve its quality and biodiversity, and contribute to the preservation of the natural resources, water and air, while optimizing yields.

Body

Agronomic practices included in CA are based on three core principles, which must be fulfilled concomitantly:

  • Minimum soil disturbance.
  • Maintenance of permanent soil covers.
  • Cropping system diversity, crop rotations.

Key Principles of Conservation Agriculture

Conservation Agriculture is based on three main principles adapted to reflect local conditions and needs:

  • Minimum mechanical soil disturbance: Minimum soil disturbance refers to low disturbance no-tillage and direct seeding. The disturbed area must be less than 15 cm wide or less than 25% of the cropped area (whichever is lower). There should be no periodic tillage that disturbs a greater area than the aforementioned limits. Strip tillage is allowed if the disturbed area is less than the set limits.
  • Permanent soil organic cover: Three categories are distinguished: 30-60%, >60-90% and >90% ground cover, measured immediately after the direct seeding operation. Area with less than 30% cover is not considered as CA.
  • Species diversification: Rotation/association should involve at least 3 different crops. However, repetitive wheat, maize, or rice cropping is not an exclusion factor for the purpose of this data collection, but rotation/association is recorded where practiced.

Significance

Conservation Agriculture prevents losses of arable land while regenerating degraded lands. It promotes maintenance of a permanent soil cover, minimum soil disturbance, and diversification of plant species.  It is significant for following reasons:-

  • Enhanced biodiversity: It enhances biodiversity and natural biological processes above and below the ground surface, which contribute to increased water and nutrient use efficiency and to improved and sustained crop production.
  • Carbon sequestration: No till fields act as a sink for CO2 and conservation farming applied on a global scale could provide a major contribution to control air pollution in general and global warming in particular. Farmers applying this practice could eventually be rewarded with carbon credits.
  • Labour savings: Soil tillage is among all farming operations the single most energy consuming and thus, in mechanized agriculture, air-polluting, operation. By not tilling the soil, farmers can save between 30 and 40% of time, labour and, in mechanized agriculture, fossil fuels as compared to conventional cropping.
  • Sustainable: Complemented by other known good practices, including the use of quality seeds, and integrated pest, nutrient, weed and water management, etc., CA is a base for sustainable agricultural production intensification.
  • Mixed Farming possible: It opens increased options for integration of production sectors, such as crop-livestock integration and the integration of trees and pastures into agricultural landscapes.
  • Increased yields: Conservation agriculture is by no means a low output agriculture and allows yields comparable with modern intensive agriculture but in a sustainable way. Yields tend to increase over the years with yield variations decreasing.
  • Reduced costs: For the farmer, conservation farming is mostly attractive because it allows a reduction of the production costs, reduction of time and labour, particularly at times of peak demand such as land preparation and planting and in mechanized systems it reduces the costs of investment and maintenance of machinery in the long term

Conclusion

Today, approximately one-third of the planet’s soils are degraded. In many countries, intensive crop production has depleted soils, to the extent that future production in these areas is jeopardized. Healthy soils are key to developing sustainable crop production systems that are resilient to the effects of climate change. CA facilitates good agronomy, such as timely operations, and improves overall land husbandry for rainfed and irrigated production.