The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog was established by the government under the umbrella program of Rashtriya Gokul Mission, for Conservation protection and development of cows and their progeny, as was declared in the Union Budget 2019-20. It proposed to set up an authority, Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, for the effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cows with a corpus of Rs 500 crore. Headquartered in Delhi, it functions as an integral part of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission. The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) makes a separate budget allocation for its expenditure.
Why is Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog in the News?
The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog has been in news for the past few months. The Aayog cancelled its “Kamdhenu Gau Vigyan Prachar Prasar Examination ”, also endorsed by University Grants Comission (UGC), after widespread criticism about its promotion of certain claims and scientific facts. Further, the Animal Husbandry Department said that the two-year-old body had “no mandate” to conduct such an examination.
Around the festival of lights (Diwali), Kamdhenu Deepawali 2021 campaign was launched to manufacture and market more than 100 Crore Cow dung-based Deepak lamps and Laxmi-Ganesh Idols.
In this article, we shall be discussing various aspects and significance of the Aayog. Further, this article covers other important aspects, keeping in mind the demands of the preliminary as well as a Main examination of the UPSC IAS Exam.
What was the need for such a framework?
- The government, looking towards the vast potential of the cattle sector, guided by the directive principles of state policy, constituted the apex advisory body Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog.
- Article-48 of the Constitution of India expressly states that “The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”
- As per the 2012 livestock census, the country had a 300 million bovine population, out of this 191 million are cattle(cows) and 108.7 million buffaloes.
- These cattle and buffalo genetic resources constituted 43 breeds of cattle and 16 breeds of buffaloes.
- Among the voting population, 216 million were females and 84 million were males.
- A huge number to the tune of 5.2 million cattle are abandoned.
- India has been the world’s largest milk producer, with 22 percent of global production, as per the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
- A peak milk production of 176.35 MMT during 2017-18, and 198.4 MMT during 2019-20, reflected the vast untapped potential in this sector.
Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog Objectives
- Conservation, protection, and development of cows and their progeny.
- Proper implementation of laws with respect to the prohibition of slaughter and/or cruelty to cows.
- Giving direction to the cattle development programs.
- It is a high-powered permanent body to formulate policy and to provide direction to the implementation of schemes related to cattle to give more emphasis on the livelihood generation of small and marginal farmers.
- Provide enabling environment and develop a policy framework and shape guidelines aimed at achieving the following-
- Sustainable development and genetic up-gradation of genetic resources of cows in India
- Conservation and development of indigenous breeds of cows and improved management of cows of the country.
- Enhanced production and productivity throughout the country, leading to higher farm income and better quality of life for the dairy farmers
- Protection and promotion of the interest of dairy cooperatives, livestock development agencies, and dairy industries in the country.
- Effective implementation of laws for the welfare of the cows and their progenies in the country.
- Proper working of Gaushalas, Gosadans, Pinjrapoles and other organisations/institutes for protection and development of the cows in their progeny.
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Functions of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog
- To advise and guide the central government and state governments on policy matters concerning conservation, protection, development in the welfare of cows and their progeny.
- The actual implementation of the scheme shall be the responsibility of their respective central and state governments
- To help the central government to develop appropriate schemes, programs for sustainable development of cows in the country and to suggest measures for optimum economic utilization of cow wealth.
- To review existing laws, policies and programs (centre and states) that relate to conservation, protection, and development of cows and to suggest measures for their effective implementation and to work for the welfare of the cows, and it’s progeny in the country.
- Promote schemes to encourage the use of organic manure and recommended suitable measures, including incentive schemes for the use of dung or urine of cow in the organic manure by farmers to minimize the use of chemical fertilizers
- To effect coordination and integration among various agencies having a stake in the development of the indigenous cow breeds.
- To make provisions for solutions to the problems related to abandoned cows in the country by providing technical inputs to Gaushalas, Gosadans, Pinjrapoles.
- In the area affected by famine, drought or other natural calamities, guide in setting up cattle camps for those proposed in the affected area and to take steps to prevent migration or smuggling of cows from such affected areas.
- Develop pastures or grazing lands and associate with institutions or other bodies for the purpose of developing pastures and gauchar lands.
- To create awareness about the significance of indigenous breeds of the cow, it’s milk and allied dairy products and the use of draft power.
- To ensure transmission and application of improved technology and management practices at the farmers’ doorstep and the entrepreneurs.
- To create an enabling environment to attract investment for improving infrastructure supporting milk production, processing, value addition, and marketing in the sector.
- To analyze the requirement of human resources in the sector and suggest measures to enhance the availability of skilled manpower.
- Other functions that support the development of cows, their progeny and breeds.
Mandates for Research and Development
- Work in collaboration with any veterinary animal science or agriculture university or department’s organisation of the central government state government engaged in the task of research in the field breeding and rearing of cows organic manure, biogas.
- To collaborate with such of the research projects of the Indian system of medicine conducted by various public or private organisations for conducting research on the biogenic products of the cows for medicinal purposes.
The essence of such a framework to preserve and scientifically promote the indigenous cattle breeds are a necessity of present times, in the face of changing climate scenario, increasing loss-making venture of chemical fertilizer and pesticide dependent agro production. There are plenty of encouraging signs across the country, where progressive farmers, groups, institutions are adopting cow-based agriculture (Bansi Gir Gaushala). Similarly, other farmers were awarded by the Gujarat Government recently for promoting organic and sustainable agriculture practices, with no use of chemicals or fertilizer. They reap profits due to reduction in input cost, a huge improvement in quality of produce, volume, a thereby higher margin of return.
Doubling farmers’ income has been a priority, and scientific farming with knowledge of traditional indigenous methods that stood to drought, flooding, and pest attack has been a quest for decades. Therefore, scientific studies on the viabilities of present implementation must be conducted and promoted, where the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog as a think tank has major roles to play. This will ensure the farmers benefit the most, ensuring food security, nutritional health, and economic development of our country. And, India can truly emerge as the Golden-Lion of the ‘Make in India’ on a global scale.
This article is relevant for the sections of Current Affairs, the Security part of the UPSC Syllabus prescribed for Preliminary and Main Stages of Civil Services Exam.