03 March 2020: PIB Summary & Analysis

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March 3rd, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Decrease in Agricultural Holdings
2. Crop Diversification Programme (CDP)
3. Cultivation of GM Crops
4. Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)
5. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
6. Debt Ridden Farmers
7. Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Pariyojana
8. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)
9. World Hearing Day
10. Ayushman Bharat
11. Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)
12. Biomethanation of rice straw to solve stubble burning

1. Decrease in Agricultural Holdings

Details:

  • The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare conducts agriculture census every five years to collect data on structural characteristics of the agricultural sector including the size of agriculture land holdings in the country.
  • As per the latest information available from the Agriculture Census, the average size of operational holdings has decreased as follows:
1970-71 2.28 hectares
1980-81 1.84 hectares
1995-96 1.41 hectares
2015-16 1.08 hectares
  • Considering the declining trends observed in the size of agricultural holdings in the past and the prospective increase in population over time, the fragmentation of holdings is likely to continue and the average size of operational holdings is expected to further decrease in the country.
  • In order to make small holdings more viable and to assist augmentation of farm incomes, the Government has taken several measures including adoption of modern technologies and practices like multiple cropping, intercropping and integrated farming systems.
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is conducting research programmes to develop location-specific varieties and technologies for enhancing the production and productivity of farm holdings.
  • Support is also provided to farmers (including small and marginal farmers) through initiatives and programmes of the Government such as:
  • Except in the years of adverse weather, rainfall, temperature conditions, natural calamities, etc., the production and productivity (per hectare production) of agriculture crops in the country has been generally increasing.
  • Thus, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that fragmentation of land holdings has resulted in an adverse impact on agricultural production/yield.

Interest Subvention Scheme

  • The Interest Subvention Scheme for farmers provides short term credit to farmers at subsidised interest rates.
  • The scheme started in 2006-07.
  • The scheme is implemented by NABARD and the RBI.
  • The interest subvention will be given to Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Private Sector Banks, Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) on use of own funds and to NABARD for refinance to RRBs and Cooperative Banks.

Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)

To know more about MIDH, check PIB dated Dec 10, 2019.

National Food Security Mission (NFSM)

  • NFSM is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2007.
  • The aim of the mission was to increase the production of rice, wheat and pulses by a certain amount through area expansion and productivity enhancement; restoring soil fertility and productivity; creating employment opportunities; and enhancing farm level economy.

Also read: National Food Security Act, 2013

You can read about Neem Coated Urea on PIB dated 16th June 2019 under the headline, ‘Neem coated urea’.

Context:

The above information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in the Lok Sabha.


2. Crop Diversification Programme (CDP)

Context:

The Department of Agriculture is implementing a Crop Diversification Programme for replacing paddy crop with less water consuming alternative crops to save water and protect the soil in the state of Punjab.

About CDP:

  • It is a sub-scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
  • It is being implemented in the Original Green Revolution States to divert the area of paddy crop to alternate crops and in tobacco-growing states to encourage tobacco farmers to shift to alternate crops/cropping system.
  • Under CDP for replacing paddy crop, assistance is provided for four major interventions:
    • Alternate crop demonstrations
    • Farm mechanization & value addition
    • Site-specific activities
    • Contingency for awareness, training, monitoring, etc.
  • However, for replacing tobacco crop, tobacco-growing states have been given the flexibility to take suitable activities/interventions for growing alternative agricultural/horticultural crops.

3. Cultivation of GM Crops

Details:

  • Area, production and productivity of Bt. cotton have increased steadily since its introduction in India, barring minor fluctuation in few years.
  • cotton is the only GM crop approved by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) in 2002 for commercial cultivation in the country.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change informed that they have received feedback from multiple stakeholders for and against the release of GM brinjal and GM mustard.

To read more on Genetically Modified Crops, click on the linked article.

Context:

The above information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in the Lok Sabha.


4. Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)

Details:

The scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce.

For more on the scheme, check PIB dated Sep 12, 2018 under the headline, ‘PM-AASHA’.

Also read the following related articles:

Context:

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare mentioned the scheme in the Lok Sabha.


5. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

Details:

More on the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).

Context:

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare mentioned the scheme in the Lok Sabha.


6. Debt Ridden Farmers

Details:

  • As per the NSSO Report, about 52 percent of the agricultural households in India were estimated to be indebted.
  • The average per capita income is Rs.77,112/- against the average amount of outstanding loan per agricultural household is Rs.47,000/- (approx. values).
  • To reduce the debt burden of farmers and increase the availability of institutional credit to rural areas, the Government has taken the following major initiatives:
    • Kisan Credit Card (KCC): More on this on PIB dated 11 Feb 2020.
    • Interest subvention scheme: This scheme has been discussed above.
    • Collateral fee loan limit for short term agri-credit has been raised from Rs.1.00 lakh to Rs.1.60 lakh.
    • NABARD finances Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) of ‘Bhoomi Heen Kisan’ for augmenting the flow of credit to tenant/landless farmers, extending collateral-free loans to them and building natural trust and confidence between banks and JLG members.

Context:

The above information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in the Lok Sabha.

Also read: Farm Loan Waiver


7. Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Pariyojana

Context:

Janaushadhi week is being celebrated across the country from 1st March to 7th March 2020.

Details:

For details on the Pradhan Mantri Janaushadhi Pariyojana, check the linked article.


8. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)

Context:

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has taken several initiatives to achieve the vision of being a facilitator of world-class governance of corporates and the mission of easing compliance, balancing the interest of stakeholders and achieving excellence in service delivery.

The following initiatives have been taken by the MCA:

  1. Ease of Doing Business: In order to facilitate Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in India and to improve India’s ranking, the Ministry has strengthened effective enforcement of Companies Act 2013, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, Competition Act 2002, Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2008 and other allied Acts.
  2. MCA-21: It is an end-to-end holistic e-Governance project which has been running successfully and has enabled the Ministry to achieve very high standards of service delivery, besides providing the Government with a comprehensive National Corporate Information Database. MCA21 system is also integrated with the registration of EPFO, ESIC, GST, PAN and TAN at the time of incorporation of companies.
  3. “RUN”: It is a web service facility called “Reserve Unique Name” (RUN) for name reservation for companies & LLPs which dispenses with the need for filing a detailed six-page application form, (erstwhile e-form INC-1) and replaces it with a simple web service wherein only three fields are required to be filed after login.
  4. Central Registration Center (CRC): A Central Registration Centre is been set up at Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), Manesar for processing applications for name reservation and incorporation of companies & Limited Liability Partnership (LLPs), within 1-2 days as opposed to an average of at least 15 days earlier.
  5. SPICe and SPICe+: The Ministry introduced an Integrated Incorporation Form – a Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically (SPICe) which extends over 8 different services from three Ministries in a single form. For more on SPICe+, check PIB dated Feb 24, 2020.

9. World Hearing Day

Context:

The Union Health Minister chairs multi-stakeholder consultation on prevention and control of deafness.

Details:

  • World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.
  • The theme of the campaign for 2020 is “Hearing for Life. Don’t let hearing loss limit you”.
  • The Government of India has started the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) with a focus on early identification, diagnosis and treatment of ear problems responsible for hearing loss and deafness.
    • About NPPCD:
    • The program is being implemented in 558 districts.
    • As per WHO estimates in India, there are approximately 63 million people, who are suffering from significant auditory impairment; this places the estimated prevalence at 6.3% in Indian population.
    • As per NSSO survey, currently, there are 291 persons per one lakh population who are suffering from severe to profound hearing loss (NSSO, 2001).
    • A large percentage of children between the ages of 0 to 14 years are also suffering from significant auditory impairment.
    • Hence, NPPCD was launched with a purpose of early identification, diagnosis and treatment of ear problems responsible for hearing loss and deafness in them.
    • With such a large number of hearing-impaired young Indians, it amounts to a severe loss of productivity, both physical and economic.
    • An even larger percentage of the population suffers from milder degrees of hearing loss and unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss.
    • This programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with the technical support of the Directorate General of Health Services.
    • The program was initiated in 2006.
    • Objectives of NPPCD:
      • To prevent avoidable hearing loss on account of disease or injury.
      • Early identification, diagnosis and treatment of ear problems responsible for hearing loss and deafness.
      • To medically rehabilitate persons of all age groups, suffering with deafness.
      • To strengthen the existing inter-sectoral linkages for continuity of the rehabilitation programme, for persons with deafness.
      • To develop institutional capacity for ear care services by providing support for equipment, material and training personnel.

10. Ayushman Bharat

Context:

Distribution of Ayushman Bharat Cards.

For more on the Aryushman Bharat Scheme, click on the linked article.


11. Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)

About CAT:

To know more about Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), click on the linked article.

Context:

Union Minister inaugurates the Administrative Block of CAT, Principal Bench in New Delhi.


12. Biomethanation of rice straw to solve stubble burning

The following steps are being taken to solve the problem of stubble burning:

  • In an all India coordinated project, efforts are on to produce bio-gas for kitchen use and quality manure for fields using bio-methanation of rice straw by anaerobic digestion Six domestic level paddy straw-based bio-gas plants have been installed in Punjab for field trials and further study is in progress.
  • R&D project has been supported on refinement and demonstration of an integrated process technology for conversion of crop residues into ethanol and methane for use as transport fuels.
  • A major focus on agriculture waste/stubble management (waste to wealth), alternative to burning has been taken up under waste management technologies programme and proposals are being considered.

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