20th April IAS TAPASSU HOSA BELAKU
1) Many small farmers want children to take up salaried jobs: Study
- Case study: (Can be used in essays related to farmers and answering questions on marginal farmers or future of agriculture in India)
- Farmers with one to five acres of irrigated land and up to seven acres of non-irrigated land were interviewed in Koppal, Raichur, Kalaburagi, and Hubballi as part of research spread across Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh by The/Nudge Institute, Centre for Rural Development.
- As many as 89% of the respondents did not want their children to take up farming.
- Small farmers in Karnataka feel that it is better for their children to take up jobs with a regular salary since income from agriculture is low and often crops are damaged due to vagaries of nature
Sources of income:
- With low income from agriculture, farmers are earning their livelihood from three to four sources, including taking additional land on lease or share cropping that had advance rental payment with no compensation benefit to the tenant farmer in case of crop damage
- The other sources of income that the farmers are dependent on are agriculture labour, MNREGA, dairy and livestock, and income from other family members.
- While MNREGA contributes 4% to 12% of income depending on the number of days of work, most farmers preferred it since they considered it an easy task
- The Prime Minister Kisan Yojana, PDS, and other DBT have high reach among farmers.
- Informal loans are from friends and family, moneylenders, other farmers
- On an average based on the data from Kalaburagi, Koppal, and Raichur, a farmer has ₹2.4 lakh of loan in a financial year.
- The research revealed that as many as 67% of farmers had crop loans of whom only 16% were repaying. Most others are not being repaid or only interest being paid in the hope of a loan waiver from the Government.
- As many as 90% of farmers do not get the soil tested. Even if the soil is tested, farmers were not aware of the results or were aware of the deficiencies but not using fertilisers as per recommendations.
Though all bank crop loans are bundled with crop insurance, half of the farmers with bank loans were not aware if they had crop insurance.
While most farmers had a mobile phone, they used it for communication, entertainment and rate inquiry but not necessarily for improving agricultural practices.
2) ‘Nominated members of municipalities cannot vote’
Context: The High Court of Karnataka has upheld the legality of the bar imposed on the nominated members of municipalities from voting in elections to the posts of presidents and vice-presidents of municipalities.
High court opined that “The elected members of the municipal council are chosen by popular vote and carry with them the mandate of the people, whereas, nominated members of the municipal council are appointed as councillors. The elected members and nominated members cannot be said to be belonging to the same class,” (Same has been iterated in constitution of India as well)
Article and section under focus:
Article 243R of the Constitution that deals with composition of municipalities.
Section 11(1) (b) of the Karnataka Municipalities Act, 1964
Both will nominated members of municipality from voting in the elections to the posts of presidents and vice-presidents
243R: Composition of Municipalities
- Save as provided in clause ( 2 ), all the seats in a Municipality shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from the territorial constituencies in the Municipal area and for this purpose each Municipal area shall be divided into territorial constituencies to be known as wards
- The Legislature of a State may, by law, provide
(a) for the representation in a Municipality of
(i) persons having special knowledge or experience in Municipal administration;
(ii) the members of the House of the People and the members of the Legislative Assembly of the State representing constituencies which comprise wholly or partly the Municipal area;
(iii) the members of the Council of States and the members of the Legislative Council of the State registered electors within tile Municipal area;
(iv) the Chairpersons of the Committees constituted under clause ( 5 ) of article 243S: Provided that the persons referred to in paragraph (i) shall not have the right to vote in the meetings of the Municipality;
(b) the manner of election of the Chairperson of a Municipality
But, the case was filed by Lakshmikantha K. and four other nominated members of Malur Town Municipality, Kolar. The petitioners had contended that the above mentioned provision is violative of fundamental right under article 14.
But the high court bench held that, “the right to vote is not a fundamental right and therefore, Article 243R (2) (a) which provides that nominated members shall not have right to vote in the meeting of the Council does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution,”
3) Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar 2022.
Context: Two innovative projects, among other initiatives, of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat have drawn the attention of the Union Ministry of Panchayat Raj which has selected the panchayat for the national-level Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar 2022.
The Union Government selects only one ZP from a State for this award. Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat has made it to the top spot from the State.
Pustaka Goodu: is a book nest opened in public places.
A unique feature of these nests is that they remain open round the clock.
And, books are kept in the open without any locking system and people can read them free at any time of the day.
These nests have general and academic books, novels, magazines and the like.
Launched in May 2021 with 17 units, the panchayat has now opened 250 nests across the district in rural areas. Of these, four nests are in parks, two in public offices and the remaining are in bus stations/stops.
“The purpose of opening these nests is to create a platform for rural people to use their leisure time reading books instead of spending it on mobile phones,”
Of the books, 90% are old ones, either donated by people or collected by the panchayat, and the remaining have been purchased anew
Uttejana: It was launched to offer free bridge courses through the virtual mode for Class X and second year pre-university students accommodated in government hostels in rural areas across the district.
Teachers from reputed private education institutes in the district teach commerce and science subjects to the students. “It is to motivate rural students in their studies,”
In addition, the panchayat has created over 260 nutrition (vegetable) gardens in government schools over the years. The vegetables grown are used in the mid-day meal scheme.
4) Time to set price distortions right:
Article deals with minimisation of prise distortions and enhance production and increase competitiveness
With internal economic liberalisation, openness to international trade and investment, an open free market economy has emerged. Improving the ease of doing business continues to be a major priority. But even more important is the cost of doing business.
Hence this cost of doing should also be cut down to enhance the market for the Indian products abroad.
Author suggests the following reasons for increasing cost of doing business:
Pricing distortion in petrol, diesel:
The exceptionally large revenues that came to the government from the high taxes on petrol and diesel created such a dependency that these have been kept out of GST.
More recently, the central government has been raising taxes on these to raise additional revenues to moderate the fiscal impact from COVID. This has given an inflationary impetus.
But the real adverse impact is on the cost of road transport of goods which makes the cost of logistics about twice that of our competitors.
Electricity pricing distortions:
The railways charge about twice the actual cost for carrying coal to thermal power plants. This distortion adds to the cost of coal for thermal power plants and further increases the price of electricity for the distribution companies. They, in turn, cross subsidise most domestic household consumption by having higher tariffs for industrial users.
This increases the cost of industrial production vis-a-vis competitors in other countries. The consequential loss of competitiveness results in lower manufacturing growth and the creation of fewer jobs.
Land cost: Not only is it difficult to get land for business enterprises, but prices are also higher than they need to be.
As with all reforms, it would need leadership and investment of political capital in generating a consensus and steering change.
Petrol and diesel, therefore, need to come under GST. Even at the highest rate of 28%, the price of petrol would be around ₹60 per litre.
Land use conversion and redevelopment processes need to be made user friendly.
Combined with public provision and upgradation of quality infrastructure this would reduce supply side constraints and lower prices in real terms.
Private investments can create jobs for our young generation.
The sooner we realise this and start grappling with feasible pathways for reducing the cost of doing business and getting a surge in private investment which creates jobs, the better.
5) Tie-up between Indian, foreign varsities simplified
Context: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has simplified the procedure for an Indian higher educational institution to offer programmes in collaboration with foreign universities by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with each other directly if they meet certain eligibility criteria.
an Indian higher education institution that has a National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grading of 3.01 or above, or is among the top 1,000 QS World University or Times Higher Education rankings, or is among the top 100 universities under National Institution Ranking Framework, will be able to tie-up with a foreign education institution which too features among the top 1,000 QS or Times Higher Education rankings.
The previous regulations, known as the University Grants Commission (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2016, which will now stand repealed. It mandated the approval from the UGC compulsory to get tie up with foreign university.
Universities and colleges will no longer be required to seek its permission to do so, if they met the ranking criteria.
Under the 2016 regulations, a foreign and Indian college or university could partner with each other to offer only “twinning” and “joint degree” programmes where Indian students received a degree only from an Indian institute along with a certificate from the foreign institute.
But now, they can offer a third type of programme, that is, a “dual degree” programme, where both the institutes will issue a degree.
These collaborations will be permitted only for the conventional mode of learning and not for distance or online learning.
India have four crore students in Indian higher education institutes but over a period of time, this will increase to 10 crore. While we continue to build new institutes, it is also important to provide high quality education through collaborations with foreign institutes. This will also enhance the employability of the students.
The move would also help attract foreign students to India, which will lead to internationalisation, which is an important parameter for improving global rankings of higher education institutions.
6)WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM)
Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) at Jamnagar in Gujarat
A first of its kind, the GCTM will be a global outpost centre for traditional medicine across the world.
Centre said, “The centre will focus on data, innovation and sustainability and will optimise the use of traditional medicine.”
It aims to go beyond just healing and treatment, as social health, mental health-happiness, environmental health, sympathy, compassion and productivity are all included.
7) President gives assent to Criminal Procedure Bill
President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, which empowers the police to obtain physical and biological samples of convicts and those accused of crimes.
The Act, which replaces the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, was passed by the Lok Sabha on April 4 and the Rajya Sabha on April 6.
Apart from providing legal sanction to police to obtain physical and biological samples of convicts and detainees for investigation in criminal matters, the legislation also empowers a magistrate to order measurements or photographs of a person to be taken to aid the investigation of an offence.
In case of acquittal or discharge of the person, all material must be destroyed.
The Act explained the types of data that may be collected, people from whom such data may be collected and the authority that can authorise such collection.
It also provides for the data to be stored in a central database.
8) IMF cuts India forecast to 8.2% on war
The IMF on Tuesday cut its forecast for India GDP growth in the current fiscal year to 8.2%, a 0.8 percentage point reduction from January, as it downgraded the outlook for global growth citing the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook also projected India’s economy to expand by 6.9% next year, putting it on course to be the fastest growing large economy over the two years.
Reasons for cut in forecast
The IMF said Japan and India were seeing “notable” growth forecast downgrades in the Asia region, partly because of lower net exports and weaker domestic demand, with higher oil prices expected to weigh down consumption and investment.
The global economy was becoming fragmented with countries cutting off ties with Russia, the “rules-based frameworks” were being threatened, and pandemic-induced lockdowns in China were exacerbating supply-chain disruptions.
India was “suffering like many other countries as a consequence of the war and negative terms of trade shock” due to higher food and energy prices weighing down trade balances.
External demand was also softening as the rest of the world’s growth was impacted
- The ‘World Economic Outlook’ report is released by
- World bank
- Asian development bank
- World Economic forum
- Consider the following statements regarding Global Financial Stability Report
- It’s an annual report released by IMF
- Recently released report forecasted the severe shocks due to pandemic as well as wars than the ongoing crisis.
Select the correct statement/ statements:
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 and 2
The report is released biannually, hence the first statement is wrong.