IASCLUB Synopsis : 04 September 2019

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1.What do you understand by agricultural diversification? Explain with examples.    (GS Paper-1, Geography) (150 words)

Structure of the Answer 

·         Explain agricultural diversification

·         Mention division of agricultural diversification like horizontal and vertical etc.

·         Give examples to illustrate

Reference– NCERT

Model Answer:

In the agricultural context, diversification can be regarded as the re-allocation of some of a farm’s productive resources, such as land, capital, farm equipment and labour to other products and, particularly in richer countries, to non-farming activities such as restaurants and shops. Factors leading to decisions to diversify are many, but include: reducing risk, responding to changing consumer demands or changing government policy, responding to external shocks and, more recently, as a consequence of climate change.

Agricultural diversification is a wide-ranging process. In a general sense, diversification of agriculture may mean:

  1. i) Diversification between agriculture and allied activities like animal husbandry, fishing, etc.; and/or
  2. ii) Diversification in cropping pattern.

The second category may be sub-divided into:

  1. a) Diversification between food crops and non-food crops;
  2. b) Diversification between cereals and non-cereal food crops;
  3. c) Diversification between traditional crops and horticulture; and
  4. d) Diversification between low productivity or low value crops to high value crops.

Alternatively, crop diversification can be divided into two categories:

  1. i) Horizontal Diversification; and
  2. ii) Vertical Diversification.
  3. i) Horizontal Diversification

The commonly understood mechanism is the addition of more crops to the existing cropping systems (i.e. multiple cropping), which is in a way broadening the base of the system. This method of diversification has special significance under smallholder production systems and has proved beneficial to production increases due to increased cropping intensities.

  1. ii) Vertical Diversification

The other type is vertical crop diversification, which reflects the extent and stage of industrialization of the crop production. Practicing of enterprises like agroforestry, dry-land horticulture, medicinal and aromatic plants and other economic shrubs and livestock come under this. Note that crop diversification takes into account the economic returns from different crops. In light of this, it is different from the concept of multiple cropping. Both types of diversification (i.e. multiple cropping or horizontal diversification and agri-business or vertical diversification) will be essential to improve crop yields and income generation at local, regional and national levels.

2.What was a major change of historical significance that had taken place before the enactment of National Forest Policy, 1988? Which two major clauses had been included in our directive principles in this regard? Briefly highlight the objectives of National Forest Policy, 1988. (GS Paper-2, Polity) (150 words)

Structure of the Answer

·         Mention the change that had taken place during 1980s

·         Write down the clauses included in DPSP

·         Point out the objective of NFP 1988

Reference- NCERT

Model Answer:

During the intervening period of the enactment of first NFP and 1980s, there had been far reaching changes affecting adversely the environmental stability and ecological balance in India. Also, one of the major changes that had taken place was the enactment of 42nd amendment of the Indian Constitution in 1976 which once again brought forestry under the ‘Concurrent List’.

Besides restoring the national character of maintaining and developing forests, the amendment (vide entry 48 A) required the state to protect and improve the environment by safeguarding forests and wildlife. Further, by another clause (viz. entry 51 A) the amendment mandated all citizens to protect and improve the natural environment including wildlife.

In the light of these developments, the NFP of 1988 in its objectives laid emphasis on:

  • Protection of existing forests and forest land;
  • Increasing forest and vegetation cover on hill slopes, catchments of rivers/ lakes/reservoirs/ocean shores and semi-arid, arid and desert tracts;
  • Discourage diversion of good and productive agricultural land to forestry;
  • Encourage planting of trees alongside roads, railway lines, rivers/streams/ canals, and other unutilized land under institutional and private ownership; and
  • Raising green belts in urban and industrial areas.

3.Agriculture once known as the backbone of Indian Economy is at present at its worst due to opening up its doors to foreign agricultural products for the Indian market under globalization and liberalization policies? Do you think so? What is needed to be done?   (GS Paper-3, Economy) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer

·         Start your answer with introduction about Agriculture after Independence.

·         Then deal Agriculture after 1991.

·         Then deal in your answer –measures which specifically affected the rural areas.

·         Then briefly discuss the steps taken by India and what more needs to be done

·         Question is dynamic, deal with all point with arguments.

Reference– NCERT/ Current Affairs

 Model Answer:

After Independence India adhered to socialist policies. Attempts were made to liberalize economy in 1966 and 1985.Till today Agriculture remains a sensitive issue in India with almost 70% of its population still directly dependent on it. Indian agriculture, unlike big capital based European agriculture, revolves around numerous small farmers, who earn their livelihoods from cultivating small plots of land, and with limited access to resources like water, seed and fertilizer. Until June 1991, India followed a very restrictive economic policy characterized by exclusion of the private sector from many important industries. India faced liquidity crisis in 1991.

The economic liberalization ushered in June 1991 changed the scenario very substantially. The government had undertaken wide ranging measures to promote exports even prior to 1991, but even then the coverage of imports by export earnings was quite low. This significant change in the trade balance position seems to have been realized on account of various export promotion measures, which the government has undertaken recently. The biggest input for farmers is seeds.

Before liberalization, farmers across the country had access to seeds from state government institutions and the seed market was well regulated, with liberalization India’s seed market opens to global agribusiness.

This hit farmers and unregulated market, seed prices shot up and fake seeds made appearance in a big way.

This also happens in fertilizers and pesticide market and it effects agriculture in India. The effects of trade liberalization on selected commodities namely rice, maize, rapeseed-mustard and chickpea at the national level and farm level. Liberalization and its resulted government policies had direct and indirect effects upon agriculture. The most significant related to the efforts at reducing subsidies which affected both agricultural producers and consumers, and the reduction of public expenditure which would have benefited cultivation.

Thus, both food and fertilizer subsidies were sought to be reduced over this period. However, both of these strategies, which involved raising the prices for consumers of both food and 10 fertilizers, had undesirable and even counter-productive effects, leading to the paradoxical results of reducing consumption and simultaneously increasing subsidies.

The biggest problem Indian agriculture faces today and the number one cause of farmer suicides is debt. Forcing farmers into a debt trap are soaring input costs, the plummeting price of produce and a lack of proper credit facilities, which makes farmers turn to private moneylenders who charge exorbitant rates of interest.

The policies of the central government since the beginning of the 1990s have had direct and indirect effects on farmers’ welfare. The economic reforms did not include any specific package specifically designed for agriculture. Rather, the presumption was that freeing agricultural markets and liberalizing external trade in agricultural commodities would provide price incentives leading to enhanced investment and output in that sector, while broader trade liberalization would shift inter-sectoral terms of trade in favour of agriculture.

However, there were changes in patterns of government spending and financial measures which also necessarily affected the conditions of cultivation. In particular, fiscal policies of reducing expenditure on certain areas especially rural spending, trade liberalization, financial liberalization and privatization of important areas of economic activity and service provision had adverse impact on cultivation and rural living conditions.

The neo-liberal economic reform strategy involved the following measures which specifically affected the rural areas:

  • Actual declines in Central government revenue expenditure on rural development, cuts in particular subsidies such as on fertilizer in real terms, and an the overall decline in per capita government expenditure on rural areas.
  • Reduction in public investment in agriculture, including in research and extension.
  • Very substantial declines in public infrastructure and energy investments that affect the rural areas, including in irrigation.
  • Reduced spread and rising prices of the public distribution system for food. This had a substantial adverse effect on rural household food consumption in most parts of the country.
  • Financial liberalization measures, including redefining priority sector lending by banks, which effectively reduced the availability of rural credit, and thus made farm investment more expensive and more difficult, especially for smaller farmers.
  • Liberalization and removal of restrictions on internal trade in agricultural commodities, across states within India.
  • Liberalization of external trade, first through lifting restrictions on exports of agricultural goods, and then by shifting from quantitative restrictions to tariffs on imports of agricultural commodities.

A range of primary imports was decreases and thrown open to private agents. Import tariffs were very substantially lowered over the decade. Exports of important cultivated items, including wheat and rice, were freed from controls and subsequent measures were directed towards promoting the exports of raw and processed agricultural goods.

 Initiative:-

  • Enhance institutional credit to farmers;
  • Promotion of scientific warehousing infrastructure including cold storages and cold chains in the country for increasing shelf life of agricultural produce;
  • Improved access to irrigation through Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichayee Yojana;
  • Provision of Price Stabilisation Fund to mitigate price volatality in agricultural produce;
  • Mission mode scheme for Soil Health Card;
  • Setting up of Agri-tech Infrastructure fund for making farming competitive and profitable;
  • Provide institutional finance to joint farming groups of “Bhoomi Heen Kisan” through NABARD;
  • Development of indigenous cattle breeds and promoting inland fisheries and other non-farm activities to supplement the income of farmers.

4.What is the difference between ethics and morality?   (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (150 words)

Structure of the Answer

·         Introduction on origin of ethics and morality

·         Differentiate between ethics and morality

·         Give examples to illustrate

Reference: Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

Model Answer:

Ethics and morality both are used synonymously in some philosophical texts, but there is a clear distinction between them. Historically, the term ‘ethics’ comes from Greek ethos which means the customs, habits and mores of people. ‘Morality’ is derived from Latin mos, moris which denotes basically the same.

Morality

  • Morality means the customs, the special do-s and don’t-s that are shared and widely accepted as standard in a society or community of people — accepted as a basis of life that doesn’t have to be rationally questioned.
  • It is more general and prescriptive based on customs and traditions.
  • It is more concerned with the results of wrong action, when done.
  • Thrust is on judgment and punishment, in the name of God or by laws.
  • In case of conflict between the two, morality is given top priority, because the damage is more. It is more common and basic.
  • Example: Character flaw, corruption, extortion, and crime.

Ethics

  • Ethics on the other hand is the philosophical reflection upon these rules and ways of living together, the customs and habits of individuals, groups or mankind as such.
  • In ancient Greek philosophy the question was to find how to act well and rightly and what personal/individual qualities are necessary to be able to do this.
  • Ethics therefore encompasses the whole range of human action including personal preconditions
  • It is more specific and descriptive.
  • It is more concerned with the results of a right action, when not done.
  • Thrust is on influence, education, training through codes, guidelines, and correction.
  • It is more relevant today, because of complex interactions in the modern society.
  • Example: Notions or beliefs about manners, tastes, customs, and towards laws.

Thus morality is a subset of ethics.

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