Mains Question for UPSC Aspirants

Mains Question for UPSC Aspirants

05 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : Q. How nutritional deficiency needs to be tackled? Discuss with ongoing initiatives and suggested improvements.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with presenting some data about the malnutrition status of India. 
  • Discuss some ongoing initiatives associated with Nutritional deficiency such as POSHAN Abhiyaan,  Mid-Day Meal Scheme etc.
  • Suggest some measures to improve Nutritional deficiency.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion.

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It is disconcerting that even after seven decades of Independence, India is afflicted by public health issues such as child malnutrition (35.5% stunted, 67.1% anaemic) attributing to 68.2% of under-five child mortality.
Poor nutrition not only adversely impacts health and survival but also leads to diminished learning capacity, and poor school performance. And in adulthood, it means reduced earnings and increased risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Ongoing initiatives and Nutritional deficiency:
POSHAN Abhiyaan and Nutritional deficiencies:
  • The Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition or POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission (NNM) has the objective of reducing malnutrition in women, children and adolescent girls.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child (MWCD) is the nodal Ministry implementing the NNM. The programme through the targets will strive to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight babies.
  • It will create synergy, ensure better monitoring, issue alerts for timely action, and encourage States/UTs to perform, guide and supervise the line Ministries and States/UTs to achieve the targeted goals. POSHAN Abhiyaan (now referred as POSHAN 2.0) rightly places a special emphasis on selected high impact essential nutrition interventions, combined with nutrition-sensitive interventions, which indirectly impact mother, infant and young child nutrition, such as improving coverage of maternal-child health services, enhancing women empowerment, availability, and access to improved water, sanitation, and hygiene and enhancing homestead food production for a diversified diet.
Child undernutrition and practice of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF):
  • Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 2019-21, as compared to NFHS-4 2015-16, reveals that the country has not progressed well in terms of direct nutrition interventions.
  • India has 20% to 30% undernutrition even in the first six months of life when exclusive breastfeeding is the only nourishment required. Despite a policy on infant and young child feeding, and a ban on sale of commercial milk for infant feeding, there has only been a marginal improvement in the practice of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF). Child undernutrition in the first three months remains high.
  • Creating awareness on EBF, promoting the technique of appropriate holding, latching and manually emptying the breast are crucial for the optimal transfer of breast milk to a baby.
  • Recent evidence from the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), IIT Mumbai team indicates that well-planned breastfeeding counselling given to pregnant women during antenatal checkup prior to delivery and in follow up frequent home visits makes a significant difference. The daily weight gain of a baby was noted to average 30 to 35 grams per day and underweight prevalence rate reduced by almost two thirds.
Protein Deficiency and Mid-Day Meal Scheme:
  • Pulses are a major contributor to address protein hunger. The Mid-Day Meal Scheme aims to enhance the nutrition of school children by providing a balanced diet in schools.
Micronutrient Deficiency and Sub-Mission on Nutri-Cereals (Millets):
  • The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing a Sub-Mission on Nutri-Cereals (Millets) under National Food Security Mission (NFSM). The Millets are a rich source of Protein, Fibre, Minerals, Iron, Calcium and have a low glycemic index.
Suggested improvements:
Awareness at the right time with the right tools and techniques: Need to create an awareness at the right time with the right tools and techniques regarding special care in the first 1,000 days deserves very high priority. We must act now and invest finances and energy in a mission mode.
  • Overhauling POSHAN 2.0 flows: There is a pressing need to revisit the system spearheading POSHAN 2.0 and overhaul it to remove any flaws in its implementation.
  • Revisiting Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS): There is a need to revisit the nodal system for nutrition programme existing since 1975, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) under the Ministry of Women and Child and examine whether it is the right system for reaching mother-child in the first 1000 days of life.
  • Nutrition orientation of Public Distribution (PDS): There is also a need to explore whether there is an alternative way to distribute the ICDS supplied supplementary nutrition as Take- Home Ration packets through the Public Distribution (PDS).
  • Empowering the anganwadi workers: free the anganwadi workers of the ICDS to undertake timely counselling on appropriate maternal and child feeding practices.
  • Develop integrated system: There is a need to systematically review the status and develop and test a new system that would combine the human resource of ICDS and health from village to the district and State levels. This would address the mismatch that exists on focussing on delivery of services in the first 1000 days of life for preventing child undernutrition by having an effective accountable system.
It is time to think out of the box and overcome systemic flaws and our dependence on the antiquated system of the 1970s that is slowing down the processes. Moreover, mass media or TV shows could organise discourses on care in the first 1,000 days to reach mothers outside the public health system.
Governance can be termed ‘good’ only when it banishes hunger and starvation.
The poor must also be valued like the rest of the population since attaching less value to their lives is one unstated reason why their nutritional needs are not taken care of as they should be.
The dream of a New India cannot be built on a large population of children and mothers deprived of nutritional sufficiency.

Source: The Hindu

05 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Q. What is the rationale behind recent wheat and food products export bans? How does it affect inflation globally and within the domestic economy?

Decode the Question:
  • Start with the recent developments world wide that have an impact on food supply. 
  • Discuss the rationale behind recent export bans by taking the case of India’s wheat ban.
  • Discuss the relationship of these export bans with inflation.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion by citing negative impacts of such bans.

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The double whammy of the Russian war on Ukraine and changing climate poses a serious threat of food insecurity to several countries in Asia and Africa. The UN’s World Food Programme estimates that about 44 million people in 38 countries are already at ‘emergency levels of hunger’. Amidst rising global food prices, a number of countries have banned export of agricultural commodities.
As of May 29, 2022, 18 countries (excluding Russia and Ukraine) have imposed bans on exports of various commodities like wheat, pasta, corn, chicken and vegetable oils.
India has banned the export of wheat to check the potential rise in prices in the face of low procurement and there are reports suggesting that the government is mulling a ban on rice exports to tame inflation.

Rationale behind recent export bans:
  • Food security: soaring global wheat prices have put pressure on food security, not only in India, but also in neighbouring and vulnerable nations.
  • Buffer stock: Because of the sharp rise in global prices, some farmers were selling to traders and not to the government. This got the government worried about its buffer stock of almost 20 million tonnes -- depleted by the pandemic -- needed for handouts to millions of poor families and to avert any possible famine.
  • Taming Inflation: The rising inflation also prompted this step. The WholeSale Price Index (WPI) in India has moved up from 2.26 per cent at the start of 2022 to 14.55 now. Retail inflation, too, hit an eight-year high of 7.79 per cent in April, driven by rising food and fuel prices.
  • Decrease in Production: India put this ban in the wake of an extraordinary heat wave that had severely damaged the domestic wheat harvest.
Export ban and Inflation:
By doing so, the government's idea is to tame inflation in India. This export ban is a pre-emptive step and may prevent local wheat prices from rising substantially. However, in May, the consumer price index (CPI) inflation was 7.04 per cent (YoY).
The cereals group as a whole contributed only 6.6 per cent to this inflation. Within that, wheat, other than through PDS, contributed just 3.11 per cent and non-PDS rice contributed 1.59 per cent. So, by imposing a ban on wheat and rice exports, India can’t tame its inflation as more than 95 percent of CPI inflation is due to other items.
The Ukraine-Russia war has led to a slump in wheat production from a region known as the world’s bread basket. Russia and Ukraine together account for 25% of the world’s wheat exports.
It has led to a hike in prices of wheat and supply side glitches.
India is the world’s second largest wheat producer and one of its biggest consumers.
When the government decided to ban wheat exports in the face of climbing prices, there were many protests from the international community. In Asia, except for Australia and India, most other economies depend on imported wheat for domestic consumption and are at risk from higher wheat prices globally, even if they do not directly import from India.
Same is the case of Sugar. Similarly, Indonesia’s palm oil export ban has a significant impact on India’s economy.  Prices of edible oil hiked in India. It poses challenges to curtail inflation.
The recently concluded WTO ministerial meeting as well as the G-7 meet expressed concerns about food security in vulnerable nations. Abrupt export bans inflict high costs on poorer nations, and many millions fall below the poverty line as a result of such actions by a few.
If India wants to be a globally responsible player, it should avoid sudden and abrupt bans and, if need be, filter them through transparent export taxes to recover its large subsidies on power and fertilisers.

04 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Q. In the context of decarbonizing the economy, discuss the importance of the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.

Decode the Question:
  • In Introduction,  recent developments regarding decarbonizing the economy should be discussed. 
  • Discuss the importance of the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion. 

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During the Global Mobility Summit held in September 2018, Prime Minister had outlined a vision for the future of mobility in India based on the 7 C’s: Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge mobility.
Mobility has the potential to drive our economy forward and positively impact the lives of citizens, both in urban and rural areas. With recent climate change, India has made various efforts to decarbonize its the economy. The country is strengthening its policies for climate action and emerging as a global leader, whether by keeping energy transition as one of the four high priority agendas in the Union Budget 2022 or setting ambitious targets at the 26th Conference of Parties to decarbonise the economy.
National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage is the framework for a Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP), aimed at localising the production of electric vehicles (EV) and its components within the country is an important mission.
Importance of the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage:
  • Promotion to Electric vehicles in India: The Mission will provide mobility solutions that will bring in significant benefits to the Electric vehicle industry, economy and country. The Mission will recommend and drive the strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes for Electric Vehicles, EV Components and Batteries.
  • Solution to Air Pollution in Cities: This mission will help in improving air quality in cities.
  • Reducing oil import dependence: It will help in reducing India’s oil import dependence and enhance the uptake of renewable energy and storage solutions.
  • Development of domestic manufacturing ecosystem: The Mission will lay down the strategy and roadmap which will enable India to leverage upon its size and scale to develop a competitive domestic manufacturing ecosystem for electric mobility.
  • Improve quality of life: It will deliver societal and environmental benefits that will improve quality of life for citizens.
  • Employment generation: It will also provide employment opportunities through ‘Make-in-India’ across a range of skills.
The Indian off-grid energy storage market is expected to expand exponentially as the country aims to fulfil 50 per cent of its energy demands from renewable sources by 2030, resulting in high demand for storage batteries.
India wants to further increase the demand for storage batteries. Hence, it plans to have electric vehicle (EV) sales penetration of 30 per cent for private vehicles, 70 per cent for commercial vehicles, 40 per cent for buses and 80 per cent for two and three-wheelers by 2030.
In achieving such ambitious targets, the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage can play a vital role.

02 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Q. Problem in poverty reduction is also due to the lack of its measurement data. Discuss some approaches to measure poverty in India.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with defining poverty and parameters used to measure poverty. 
  • Discuss the lack of measurement data and poverty reduction relation.
  • Discuss  various committees and approaches for poverty measurement in India.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion.

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Poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.
Since poverty has many facets, social scientists look at it through a variety of indicators. Usually, the indicators used relate to the levels of income and consumption. But now poverty is looked at through other social indicators like illiteracy level, lack of general resistance due to malnutrition, lack of access to healthcare, lack of job opportunities, lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation etc.
Analysis of poverty based on social exclusion and vulnerability is now becoming very common.
Lower-income countries are too often disadvantaged due to a lack of institutions, decision-making autonomy, and financial resources, all of which hold back their effective implementation and effectiveness of data systems and governance frameworks.
These are no proxies for poverty since their linkages with nutritional indicators are considered tenuous and these can be explained in terms of intra-household distribution, poor dietary habits, improper water/sanitation facilities, etc.
The computation becomes far more challenging in the absence of data on consumption expenditure as is the case in India and several developing countries. Intending to provide inputs for policy making, researchers have evolved ingenious methods of estimating the data, using past datasets and those that have not been designed to get robust expenditure estimates.
So, the problem in poverty reduction is also due to the lack of its measurement data.

Some approaches to measure poverty in India:
India has a long history of studies on measurement of poverty. Dadabhai Naoroji’ in his book ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India,’ made the earliest estimate of poverty line at 1867-68 prices (Rs.16 to Rs.35 per capita per year) based on the cost of a subsistence diet for the emigrant coolies during their voyage living in a state of quietude.
The erstwhile Planning Commission was the nodal agency in India for estimation of poverty. Based on the methodology suggested by the Expert Groups/Committees set up by the Planning Commission from time to time, India has undertaken periodic assessments of the incidence of poverty since the 1960s.

A. Poverty Line Estimation
  • Working Group (1962):  A nine-member working group set up by the Planning Commission proposed the poverty line at Rs 20 per capita per month in the early Sixties, loosely ensuring the adequacy of minimum requirements.
  • Study by VM Dandekar and N Rath (1971): They went into detail about minimum calorie needs, based on the average consumption pattern. They made the first systematic assessment of poverty in India, based on National Sample Survey (NSS) data.
  • Alagh Committee (1979): It determined a poverty line based on a minimum daily requirement of 2400 and 2100 calories for an adult in Rural and Urban areas respectively.
  • Lakdawala Expert Group (1993): It did not redefine the poverty line and retained the separate rural and urban poverty lines recommended by the Alagh Committee at the national level based on minimum nutritional requirements. However, it disaggregated them into state-specific poverty lines in order to reflect the inter-state price differentials.
  • Tendulkar Expert Group (2009): The Tendulkar Committee formally announced delinking of nutritional norms from poverty in 2010.
  • Rangrajan Committee (2014): It recommended separate consumption baskets for rural and urban areas which include food items that ensure recommended calorie, protein & fat intake and non-food items like clothing, education, health, housing and transport. This committee raised the daily per capita expenditure to Rs 47 for urban and Rs 32 for rural from Rs 32 and Rs 26 respectively at 2011-12 prices.
B. Use of Consumption Expenditure Surveys
  • Incidence of poverty is estimated by the Planning Commission on the basis of the large sample surveys on household consumer expenditure conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) on a quinquennial basis.
  • The NSSO regularly conducts surveys on household consumer expenditure, in which households are asked about their consumption of the last 30 days and is taken as the representative of general consumption. This was considered a much better data to estimate the incidence of poverty at national and sub-national levels by adjusting for inter-state and inter-region differences in price changes over time.
There are two critical issues in the discourse on poverty in India. One relates to poverty measurement. Second relates to effective poverty elimination.
  • Poverty measures compare people in a society, in order to assess the extent of unacceptable disadvantages that exist. Yet any poverty measure is itself imperfect. Imperfections stem primarily from two factors: data limitations and the diversity of human lives being assessed more so in a vast country like India.
  • Poverty lines have to be recalibrated depending on changes in income, consumption patterns and prices. In India, poverty measurement has repeatedly led to contentious debates on the poverty line.
  • Despite these shortcomings, conceptually having a poverty line and related poverty estimates help to concentrate the public policy discourse around an agreed set of numbers as well as to track the progress in combating poverty.

02 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question :
Q. Discuss the significance of defence reforms in the context of the recently rolled out Agnipath initiative and defence modernization.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with the need for defence reforms by citing current developments and controversies.
  • Discuss the recent major defence reforms .
  • Discuss the significance of defence reforms in the context of the recently rolled out Agnipath initiative and defence modernization.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion by mentioning the recommendations/suggestions of previous defence committees/task forces.

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Given the key geostrategic challenges, emanating from the threat of two-front war (against China and Pakistan combinedly), India faces the complex threats and challenges spanning the full spectrum of conflict from nuclear to sub-conventional.
In such a scenario, India needs to carry out much-needed defence reforms. Defence reforms are tricky.
With entrenched interests and bureaucratic rivalries, most nations struggle to bring in fundamental changes to their national security apparatus. India is no exception.
The recent debate on the “Agnipath” scheme which aimed at strengthening national security and also for providing an opportunity to the youth to serve in the armed forces, underscores the challenge that India faces as it seeks to rationalise its military assets to emerge as a more efficient fighting machine.

Major Defence Reforms:
The Indian Government ushered in a range of reforms, including by appointing India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and creating the department of military affairs (DMA).
It gave a major push for indigenisation with a list of 101 defence items for which there is to be an import embargo. Encouraging greater private sector participation has resulted in a visible shift in India’s profile as a defence exporter.
The government also undertook corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board. Other reforms have ranged from energising defence research and development to the speedier enhancement of border infrastructure and opening up the gates of the Indian armed forces for women more substantively. Recently, Agnipath Scheme has sought to rationalise its military assets to emerge as a more efficient fighting machine.

Significance of Defence reforms:
  • Streamlining of structures and processes: The silo-driven approach to defence planning has resulted in the lack of an integrated view. The three services, as well as the civilian and defence agencies, are often seen to be working at cross purposes. The CDS and Agnipath Schemes seems streamlining of structures and processes of defence forces.
  • Integrated Theatre Commands (ITCs):  A key step that the CDS has to undertake is encouraging the establishment of Integrated Theatre Commands (ITCs), which are essentially joint combatant commands. Commanders of ITCs can bring about efficiency if they have operational and some budgetary control over the forces under their command. One of the most vital changes that may come about, though, would be how the three arms of the Indian military operate with one another, not as individual services, but as the armed forces of the Union.
  • Decrease the average age profile of armed forces personnel: the “Agnipath” scheme is expected to decrease the average age profile of armed forces personnel from the current 32 years to 24-26 years over a period of time.
  • Help in modernising the mass versus machine ratios: All major world militaries — the U.S., France, China, Russia and others — have undertaken reforms to modernise the mass versus machine ratios, which is a key pillar of modern warfare. The “Agnipath” scheme will be a step in this direction.
  • “Future-ready” Force: A youthful armed forces will allow them to be easily trained for new technologies. The “Agnipath” scheme will be a step in this direction.
  • Reduce the defence budget: The armed forces’ growing pension bill has been a major concern for the Defence Ministry. Total budget allocation for defence for 2022-23 is ₹5.25 lakh crore, of which revenue allocation is ₹2.33 lakh crore, capital allocation is ₹1.52 lakh crore, and defence pensions add up to ₹1.19 lakh crore. Agnipath scheme is a way out to reduce the defence budget.
  • Higher skilled workforce: the skills and experience acquired during the four-year service,  Agniveers will get employment in various fields.
  • Employment Opportunities: opportunities for youth to serve in the armed forces will increase after the “Agnipath'' scheme. In the coming years, recruitment of Agniveers will be around triple of the current recruitment in the armed forces.
  • Excellence in Mobilisation:  The undertaking of mobilisation cannot be considered as a peaceful act. On the contrary, it represents the most decisive act of war. Recent Indo-China conflict arose the question of early mobilisation and younger armed forces can be the solution for this. Agnipath scheme seems a good step.
Coupled with the rise of transnational non-state actors, the nature of conflict and warfare was also evolving rapidly.
  • Kargil Review Committee (KRC) recommended, stating, “the Army must be young and fit at all times. In 2000, a Group of Ministers (GOM) endorsed the KRC’s recommendation stating that, “in order to ensure that the armed forces are at their fighting best at all times, there is a need to ensure a younger profile of the services.”. 
  • The Naresh Chandra Task Force on National Security set up by the UPA government in 2011 also addressed this issue.  Thus, the Agniveer recruitment reform must be contextualised in the backdrop of the larger canvas of defence reforms that include the appointment of a CDS, a reorganisation of the armed forces into theatre commands to promote jointness and synergy.
  • The future of warfare entails a lighter human footprint, but soldiers equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, supported by cutting-edge technology to fight a war in a highly informationised environment.
  • This recruitment reform would help in right sizing the armed forces provided it gets dovetailed into the imperatives of fifth generation warfare. “All India, all class” recruitment to the services may lead to the erosion of the loyalty that a soldier has for his regiment. Doubts about training and permanent job status questions should be dealt with greater caution for better implementation of Agnipath scheme.
Source: Indian Express    ORF    The Hindu

01 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Q. Digitisation and outsourcing in higher education have its own set of challenges. Examine if the pre-pandemic approach needs full replacement in higher education.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with explaining ‘hire education’ trends in higher education.
  • Discuss the challenges associated with digitisation and outsourcing in higher education.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion.

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Higher education policy planners and regulators are busy giving shape to the digital university, which was announced in the 2022-23 Union Budget.
Though still on the drawing board, the digital university is expected to offer any number, kind, and type of course without limits on intake, in a hybrid or ‘physical plus digital’ mode. It proclaims to provide equitable access to quality higher education and employability-enhancing skill development programmes to all. Technology-enabled and mediated digital learning is projected as the future of higher education. Such learning is supposed to end face-to-face formal education.
Two years of COVID-19-compelled online education seems to have convinced them that in future, education, particularly higher education, will transform into a virtual space. Higher education in India is getting metamorphosed into ‘hire education’. In the process, higher education is now getting delivered by for-profit entities, in contravention of the long-held belief that education at all levels must be provided on a not-for-profit basis.
  • Employment challenges: Going by the evidence, employers across the world are generally negatively disposed towards online education. Most recruiters prefer to hire those who have graduated in face-to-face mode.
  • Quality Education:  The quality of higher education is inversely proportional to the intensity of regulation, designing and developing an efficient and effective regulatory mechanism often proves more challenging than imagined.
  • Economical and cost-effective paradox: The open and distance mode of learning is often considered as economical and cost-effective, but it is not completely true. To be effective, they not only require massive capital investment in infrastructure, but also demand significantly higher recurring expenses on content development and their continuous updating and upgradation.
  • No substitute for teachers: It would be a blunder to regard technology-mediated teaching-learning as an alternative to face-to-face education. Technology can supplement and not substitute teachers. No world-class universities, including those with a high degree of technology integration in their teaching and learning processes, are planning to cut down their faculty cost or their number any time soon. On the contrary, they envision hiring more of them to attain greater excellence.
  • Complacent Nature: This can also allow for all parties involved to become complacent if the online course is not fully structured or interactive.
  • No way of gauging body language with students: When teaching in an online environment another potential weakness is there is no way of gauging body language with students.
  • Lack of Practical exposure: Teaching of subjects like chemistry where practical knowledge is important and laboratory work is essential can not be taught effectively on digital devices.
Digital delivery and technology integration in education may undoubtedly serve a useful purpose. Higher education must indeed embrace and keep pace with the advancements in technology. Technology can be effectively leveraged as a quality-enhancement tool.
Higher education is a lot more than borrowing content and delivering them online or outsourcing content. This would render India a consumer of knowledge. India must be focussed on exploiting our full potential to emerge as a producer of knowledge and providers of the global workforce.
Source: The Hindu

01 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Q. Low female labour force participation is the result of structural factors. Discuss. How can this be tackled with careful drafting policies for the gig economy and start-up ecosystem in India?

Decode the Question:
  • Start with explaining India’s demographic dividend position.
  • Discuss the structural issues responsible for low female labour force participation.
  • Discuss the ingredients required for better policy development for the gig economy and start-up ecosystem in India to deal with low female labour force participation .
  • Conclude it by the recent NITI Aayog report on the gig economy.

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By 2025, it is estimated that 70 per cent of Indians will be of working age. This ‘demographic dividend’ could give India an edge over the developed countries where a larger segment of the population would by then be past retirement.
However, this demographic dividend can easily turn into a demographic disaster if a majority of the working age population remains unemployable due to a lack of skills. India has one of the youngest populations globally, and women comprise a significant number of them.
Youth participation in the workforce is vital for economic growth and development as they are equipped with new-age skills, adapt to new changes and present a new perspective. However, if nearly half the youth population is excluded from the workforce, then economic growth is compromised, trapping women at the bottom of the economy.
Female labour force participation rate (FLFPR) in India has been one of the lowest among the emerging economies and has been falling over time. This has resulted in a decrease in the ratio of working females to the population of females in the working age group.
NITI Aayog said in a report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’ female labour force participation in India has remained low, oscillating between 16 per cent to 23 per cent in the last few years. Structural barriers like access to education and lack of skilling have hindered participation of the female workforce in the country’s labour force.
Low participation of women in the labour force in India is attributed to the lack of employment opportunities, rising education levels and household incomes, and problems in measurement, such as under-reporting of women’s work.
Religion and social perceptions of women and the presence of young children in the household all influence the likelihood of India’s women to participate in the labour market. Structural characteristics in the labour market have played a more important role than changes in the underlying characteristics of the female working-age population in influencing participation rates.
These structural barriers, such as norms that inhibit women’s labour market options, in conjunction with a consistent decline in agricultural employment, are likely to be key factors in explaining the long-term stagnation in female participation rates.  Therefore, it is right to say that low female labour force participation is the result of structural factors.

‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’ report of NITI Aayog
According to the report, the expected expansion of India’s gig workforce by 2029-30 from 77 lakh in 2020–21 is to 2.35 crore. India requires a framework that balances the flexibility offered by platforms while also ensuring social security of workers.
The consequent platformisation of work has given rise to a new classification of labour — platform labour — falling outside of the purview of the traditional dichotomy of formal and informal labour. In an attempt to increase participation of women in the gig economy, the NITI Aayog has proposed fiscal incentives like tax breaks or startup grants for companies with about one-third of their workforce as women.

Ingredients of Better Policy:
  • Fiscal incentives:  such as tax-breaks or startup grants may be provided for businesses that provide livelihood opportunities where women constitute a substantial portion (say, 30%) of their workers. 
  • Platformisation of work and incentivising platforms: platform companies offer flexibility and choice of labour to all workers in general, and women in particular, empowering them to monetise their idle assets when and where they want — a benefit missing in traditional employment sectors — making them an attractive opportunity for women.
  • Higher share of women managers and supervisors: businesses have a higher share of women managers and supervisors in the organisation to ensure that communication to workers does not perpetuate gender stereotypes.
  • Better infrastructure and work design: To encourage more women, platforms may develop better infrastructure and work design.
  • Enhance skill development: Empowerment of women, which can to an extent be addressed by integrating life skills coaching into skilling programs, and interfacing with their families and communities to change backward mindsets - are critical aspects of helping women reach their potential.
  • Asset ownership: Ownership of assets have huge implications on the lives of women.
  • Access to digital skills and technology: The gender skill gap is vast, especially for digital skills as women continue to work in more stereotypically ‘feminised’ sectors such as beauty, retail etc. and men continue to work in mechanised, technologically advanced sectors. The lack of digital skills prevents women from entering the rapidly advancing workforce.
  • Gender sensitisation and accessibility awareness programmes: undertaking gender sensitisation and accessibility awareness programmes for workers and their families can improve female labour participation.
  • Formal credit for women: Niti Aayog added that access to institutional credit could be enhanced through financial products specifically designed for platform workers and those interested to set-up their own platforms. Special emphasis may be placed on access to formal credit for women.
The participation of women in the country’s workforce has been woefully inadequate, and this needs to change for India to reap its demographic dividend. Capacitating our women is also the key to generational social transformation.
Empowerment of women is a critical part of a nation’s development and it is a balanced equation of her education, health, employability and decision-making power. Availability of agency and removal of constraints faced by women is imperative for sustainable and equitable development of both the community as well as the nation.
India needs to adopt a gendered lens in education and skilling programs to overcome the challenges of an underrepresented section of youth in the workforce, as well as support women in securing and retaining jobs. Introducing a ‘Platform India initiative’ on the lines of the ‘Startup India initiative’ can help in improving the female workforce.

29 Jun 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question :
Q. MSMEs hold the potential not only to increase economic benefits but also the environmental merits as well. How can Climate finance aid in this context?

Decode the Question:
  • Start the introduction by highlighting the role of MSMEs in India.
  • Discuss the economic potential of MSME.
  • Discuss the role of MSME in environmental issues.
  • Discuss the role of Climate finance for MSME.
  • Conclude with a balanced way forward.

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The Micro, Small and Medium Scale (MSME) sector in India enjoys a distinct position in view of their contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.
The emphasis on MSME has always been an integral part of India’s industrial strategy. Development of MSME prevents migration of rural population to urban areas in search of employment and contributes to other socio-economic aspects, such as reduction in income inequalities, dispersed development of industries and linkage with other sectors of the economy.

Economic Potential of MSME:
  • GDP contributions: MSME sector contributes around 30 per cent to India’s gross domestic product. Small industries in India account for 95 per cent of the industrial units in the country.
  • Employment: MSME are the second largest employers of human resources, after agriculture. This is a boon for a labour surplus country like India. The MSME sector employs around 120 million people.
  • Entrepreneurship: MSME provides ample opportunity for entrepreneurship.
  • Exports: In terms of exports, they are an integral part of the supply chain and contribute about 40% of the overall exports.
  • Rural development: MSMEs are intertwined with the rural economy as well, as more than half of the MSMEs operate in rural India.
Environmental Merits of MSME:
  • This sector generates around 110 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. To attain net zero carbon emissions by 2070, India needs to gradually phase out the use of coal, increase investment in renewable energy sources, stop deforestation and speed up the transition to electric vehicles.
  • The CSTEP report also highlighted that the sector used 13 per cent (81 million tonnes) of the total coal / lignite, seven per cent (8.5 million tonnes) of petroleum products and eight per cent (3.3 billion cubic metres) of the natural gas supplied in India in 2015-16. The MSME sector needs a push to adopt new technologies that quickly minimise its carbon footprints and make it less vulnerable to climate change and risk. The sector can achieve this transformation with the aid of climate finance.
Need of Climate financing:
  • The MSME sector in India faces a huge credit gap. Climate finance is money paid by developed countries to developing countries to help them pay for emissions reduction measures and adaptation. Climate finance will open doors and enable the transfer of technology and expertise from developed to developing nations, which require these resources and capacity to combat climate change at the rate that the world currently demands.
Way forward
The Indian government needs to work on strategies and try to bring finance to MSMEs so that the sector can decarbonise.
Climate finance should be routed to the MSME sector. The sector needs to be connected with a more formal financial credit system, which will enable them to achieve climate finance and bridge the huge credit gap.
Promotion of MSME and rural industrialisation has been considered by the Government of India as a powerful instrument for realising the twin objectives of ‘accelerated industrial growth and creating additional productive employment potential in rural and backward areas.’

References: Down To Earth

10 May 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Critically discuss the trends in productivity of food crops during the last 5 years as per the latest report of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare).

(GS Mains; Paper 3)
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26 Apr 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY    
Question : ‘Development of Infrastructure is a key driver for speedy economic development.’ Discuss in the context of Indian experience. 

(GS Mains; Paper 3)
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23 Apr 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY       
Question : What is meant by international debt crisis? Explain the factors responsible for the international debt crisis in the recent past citing proper examples.

(GS Mains; Paper 3)
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31 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : State the objectives of public distribution system in India. How far the system has achieved these objectives ? How India’s public distribution system can be improved further?

(GS Mains; Paper 3)
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27 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : In light of the Russia-Ukraine war, being the world’s second largest producer of wheat in short-term the entire world is banking on India for supply of wheat. Critically analyze the emerging situation. 
To fill the huge gaps in global stocks is it a likely opportunity for Indian agri-exports?

(GS Mains; Paper 3)

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26 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY          
Question : What is your opinion about two major budget announcements pertaining to the issuance of sovereign green bonds and a central bank digital currency? While expediting the process, what kind of challenges government and RBI can face?

(GS Mains; Paper 3)
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24 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY       
Question : India achieved a key milestone in the country's Aatmanirbhar Bharat journey by surpassing its merchandise export target of $400 billion set for FY 2022. Critically examine the factor that helped us achieve this feat.

(GS Mains; Paper 3)
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19 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : What do you mean by Economic Integration? Discuss India’s role on regional integration both within the region and between South Asia and its neighbours.

(GS Mains; Paper - 3)
Indian Economy: Economic Developments
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04 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Post-Covid, in India soaring prices of commodities has impacted the inflation curve. Now, with Russia-Ukraine conflict supply chain disruptions and soaring energy prices can have ramification on India’s fiscal policy. Discuss in detail.

(GS Mains; Paper 3)
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01 Mar 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : Discuss in detail how the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) is able to utilise India's strong science, technology and research talent base to develop new capabilities in defence innovation.

(GS Mains; Paper 3)
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08 Feb 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : What do you mean by Fiscal Consolidation? Discuss the steps, if any, taken by the Government of India in this direction in the recent past.

(GS Mains; Paper 3)  
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04 Feb 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY       
Question : Do you agree that Land Reforms in India are improving incentive structure in agriculture? Explain the reasons. 

(GS Mains; Paper 3 - Indian Economy)  
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26 Jan 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY       
Question : Discuss the success of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) model in the development of economic infrastructure projects with reference to airports, roads and railway sectors in India.   
Why they have taken a hit in social infrastructure such as water supply, solid waste management, health, and education?


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09 Jan 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) is helping develop the infrastructure to harness pilgrimage and heritage tourism destinations. Comment and substantiate your answer with some major projects undertaken in recent years.

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04 Jan 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : What is the chief objective of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)? It seems that the performance of the scheme has been deficient, necessitating urgent need to revisit the design and implementation of this scheme especially in the light of COVID pandemic, which has resulted in economic shocks. Elaborate. 
Give your suggestions to improve maternal health and nutrition in a pragmatic manner.


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03 Jan 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : What are the social cost of unregulated virtual gaming, which is also called the "opium of the mind"? How can the children be prevented from its ill effects?  It is also said that regulating the virtual gaming will provide economic opportunities. How? Elaborate.


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30 Dec 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY       
Question : Why Should one Obtain Geographical Indication Protection? What are the advantages of getting GI tag for any product and how they are awarded in India? Give examples of some products , which have been awarded GI tag recently.


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27 Dec 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : What do you understand by Forex Reserves? Explain all its components. Also, discuss the purpose of maintaining Forex reserves.


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21 Dec 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY        
Question : What do the LEADS and LPI indicate? How the insights from govt’s LEADS initiative along with the World Bank’s LPI can help identify reforms to improve the logistics sector? Elaborate.

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07 Dec 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY    
Question : INR (Indian National Rupee) Foreign Exchange derivatives are one of the most heavily-traded forex contracts globally. In this background, why is it important to hedge currency risks? What are the recommendation of the task force set up by The RBI to address concerns arising out of offshore rupee trading?

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04 Dec 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : Discuss the working of investment multiplier. Cite some recent initiatives of the government of India in this regard.

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12 Nov 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY    
Question : Define and distinguish between inclusive economic growth and the economic development.

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04 Nov 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : Differentiate between foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio investment by foreign institutional investors (FII). Discuss the factors that determine foreign direct investment inflows in a developing country, like India.

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30 Oct 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Women play a decisive role in ensuring Food Security and Preserving local Agro-Biodiversity. Do you agree with this statement? Elaborate your answer with the efforts made by the government in ‘Gender Mainstreaming in Agriculture’.


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26 Oct 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : Discuss the various economic and socio-cultural forces that are driving increasing feminization of Agripreneurship in India.


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09 Oct 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question : Why the proposed Bad Bank- an idea that has been extensively discussed and debated- is important for the Indian economy? What does the Global Experience say about Bad Banks?

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08 Oct 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question : What do you mean by Silver Economy. What are the challenges and perspectives for building the ecosystem for elderly population ?

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22 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question : Although the central and federal governments in India have enthusiastically been encouraging organic farming but the latest Lankan food crisis and the Bihar farmers’ agitation against fertilizer shortages show the perils of organic farming. Comment.

(Agriculture; GS Mains Paper 3)
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Organic farming is a type of farming method constantly being employed for centuries. Organic farming is based on the fact that farming is carried out without using synthetic agricultural chemicals.
It is evident that Central and State governments in India have been promoting organic farming in full swing for the last decade through several schemes like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF)
There are lots of positive of Organic farming like it protect the health of Soil, provide better nutrition and a healthy working environment around farms, provides resistance to pests and diseases, and fertilizers are made naturally to reduce the burden of import and saves forex also.
But along with the benefits, there are some challenges that cannot be ignored. Like for example, several studies have proven that yield of agricultural products is low in organic farming, and organic farming is vulnerable to several pests, diseases and droughts that is why it may cause a food crisis as the Srilankan government is facing.
It’s pertinent to mention that the Sri Lankan food crisis is due to Only Organic Policy of the Sri Lankan government. Because of this policy government banned the import of fertilizer and this resulted in the shortage of essential food items.
This incident of Sri Lanka and farmers’ agitation in Bihar on the issue of shortage of fertilizer portrays that fertilizer is an essential ingredient of agriculture. As far as fertilizers’ importance is concerned, it can't be ignored that after the green revolution it helped in huge productivity and made India self-sufficient in producing several crops.
However, there is no doubt that the overuse of fertilizer destroys the health of the soil and forces the Indian government to rationalise its use and at the same time look for sustainable agriculture practices like organic farming and zero budget natural farming. Hence, the government started promoting organic farming. However, the government, on the one hand, promoted organic farming, and on the other hand, continuously maintained the support on fertilizer to sustain productivity.
Hence today, promoting organic farming is as much important as maintaining agricultural productivity and resistance of crops to sustain the food security and Atmanirbhar Bharat. Srilankan food crisis and farmers protest in Bihar underscores the importance of fertilizer in Agriculture. A miscalculated move to go fully organic or rampant uses of fertilizers will always have their perils.

15 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question : What do you mean by Import-Substitution Industrialisation (ISI) policies? Do you think that the ISI policies adopted by  India to meet the  goal of “Make in India for the World” have been a success as it is  widely believed?  Substantiate your answer.

(GS Mains; Paper-3)
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13 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question : Differentiate between crop combination and crop diversification. How do they help in increasing the agricultural productivity?
Enumerate the steps taken by the government to encourage the above practices.

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Low level of agriculture productivity is a serious problem in India. One of the reason behind this problem is high number of small farm land holdings. The majority of land holdings in India — 86 percent — are small and marginal. In that context crop combination and crop diversification present a good solution for increasing farm productivity
Difference between crop combination and crop diversification
Crop combination is a practice of growing two or more different crop at the same time on same farm land. For example wheat and mustard. Crop diversification on the other hand is a practice of producing multiple crop on same farm land in a particular year. For example rice in monsoon session, less water intensive crops in summer session and oil pulses or millets in winter session.
Crop combination focus over efficient use of resources like water, fertilizer etc. and minimizing wastage of resources. Focus of Crop diversification on the other hand, is overprotecting the soil fertility and promoting crops that are suitable to one particular agro-climatic region.
Increasing Agriculture Productivity through Crop Diversification and Crop Combination
Number of crop will increase within a session through the use of these practices. Farmers will be able to produce more on the same piece of land. In turn, this will help small and marginal farmers to reduce their dependence from single crop. These practices will help in reducing depends over chemical fertilizers and saving farmers input investment in producing same crop. For example, pulses production will increase the presence of nitrogen in soil thus reducing its artificial use for the next crop. Less risk of price fluctuations is another added benefit that crop diversification will ensure, better economic return for frames on each agriculture session. 
As they can produce more variety of crops to sell into the market. Protection against climate change induced risks is another added benefit of crop diversification. Farm waste management and reduction in overall production of agriculture induced pollutant material can be achieve by these practices. Soil fertility will increase with the practice of crop diversification and crop combination.
Steps taken by the government
  1. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana: Program run by the Ministry of Agriculture to promote the process of diversity in crop production. The focus of this scheme is more on those areas where mono-culture (Single crop) farm practice is high.
  2. Crops Diversification Program (CDP) for replacing paddy crop with less water consuming alternative crops to save water and protect the soil in the state of Punjab.
  3. Increasing Minimum support price (MSP) on other not so produces agricultural items. For example millets
  4. Including new cereals into the Nation food security program and distributing through the PDSs mechanism.
Challenges that need to address
Although, crop combination and crop diversification can increase agriculture productivity they also face certain implementation challenges.
Information asymmetry: Farmers do not have the necessary information about the right practice and method to use. 
MSP regime: MSP prices determine the crop choices for the majority of farmers. Many prefer only those crops that give them assured high returns like rice and wheat. 
Low Investment capacity: The majority of Indian farmers are small and marginal farmers, which restricts their ability to invest in farmland.
Procurement of Wheat and Rice (Paddy) by the government at MSP: Large scale procurement of the wheat and rice has encouraged the farmers to adopt monocropping – paddy in Kharif season and wheat in Rabi season.
Overcoming above mention challenges with the adoption of crop diversification and crop combination will have benefits beyond just increasing farm productivity. Crop diversification and crop combination will also help in achieving food security for India and work for the elimination of hunger. Achieving sustainability in agriculture is another goal that India can achieve through the widespread adoption of crop diversification and crop combination.
The goal of doubling farmers’ income become a reality with the adoption of these practices. These practices will ensure that India achieves Food security through greater food produces. At the same time challenge of lack of nutritious food can also be dealt with.

12 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question : Contrary to expectations of inflation being transitory, it has remained close to the upper limit of the band of 2-6% inflation targeting framework set by Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). If inflation remains elevated, what more steps MPC should take to bring it back in the band. Discuss.

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04 Sep 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question : Both agriculture and exports highlight the advantages of a diversified economy and diversified markets, in riding out a domestic downturn. Comment.

(GS Mains Paper 3)
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19 Aug 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question :

In view of India’s heavy dependence on imports for edible oils, efforts are on for increasing the domestic production of edible oils. How government’s newly launched initiative National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) can prove to be a game-changer?


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India is one of the major oilseeds grower and importer of edible oils. India's palm oil imports are almost 60% of its total vegetable oil imports. The domestic consumption of edible oils has increased substantially and has touched the level of 18.90 million tonnes in 2011-12 and is likely to increase further. A substantial portion of our requirement of edible oil is met through import of palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia. It is, therefore, necessary to exploit domestic resources to maximize production to ensure edible oil security for the country 
To proceed further towards production of Palm Oil, Government announced a National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), with an investment of over Rs 11,000 crore over a five-year period.
NMEO-OP proposed to have an additional 6.5 lakh hectares for palm oil by 2025-26.It will involve raising the area under oil palm cultivation to 10 lakh hectares by 2025-26 and 16.7 lakh hectares by 2029-30. Oil palm farmers will be provided financial assistance and will get remuneration under a price and viability formula. The Viability Formula is a Minimum Support Price-type mechanism and the government will fix this at 14.3% of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) price. It will eventually go up to 15.3%. Special assistance will be given to replant old gardens for their rejuvenation.
The emphasis of the scheme will also be in India’s North-Eastern (NE) states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands due to the conducive weather conditions in the regions. To attract industry to the NE and Andaman regions, a provision of Rs 5 crore of 5 mt/hr (million tonne per hectare) with pro-rata increase for higher capacity will be given.
Oil Palm is comparatively a new crop in India and is the highest vegetable oil yielding perennial crop. With quality planting materials, irrigation and proper management, there is potential of achieving 20-30 MT Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) per ha after attaining the age of 5 years. Therefore, National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), can play be crucial towards achieving Atmanirbhar Bharat in Oil seed production 

18 Aug 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY        
Question :

What are Oil and Recapitalisation Bonds? What are their impacts on the fiscal health of the Indian Economy. How will it effect the investments in the Economy?



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Recapitalisation Bonds is a government bond that is an instrument that can be termed as a new capital to improve the balance sheet of the public sector companies that are undergoing credit crunch. 
Recapitalisation bonds is a broader term that could be for oil, food, fertilizers, PSU Banks etc. With these Bonds government raise money from the market with a promise to repay the face value of the maturity date and a periodic interest.
In recent days, rise in petroleum prices and share of government taxes has come in picture as government has defended the higher excise as some of the oil-bonds are maturing in recent month and following years.
Be it oil subsidy when India had Administered Price Mechanism (APM) system in place in oil sector or food/fertilizer subsidy or the much talked about accumulation of non-performing assets (NPAs) for financial companies, particularly Public Sector Banks, instead of taking refinancing risks that would have had a major bearing on fiscal deficit the government retorted to issuing Recapitalization Bonds. 
What is the need?
Government being the biggest shareholder in public sector oil marketing companies, public sector banks, food and fertilizer companies fulfils the responsibility of infusing capital by using different instruments. 
By issuing long dated special securities as compensation in lieu of cash subsidies that could impact government’s overall debt/GDP ratio, Recapitalization Bond is one such instrument that is a preferred option to mitigate credit rating risks in short-term, these longer dated recapitalization bonds, staggered over 10-15 years’ maturity makes refinancing risks lower.
Though, these securities may carry a marginally higher coupon over the yield of the dated securities of comparable maturity, but this is an attractive route that it does not add to the fiscal deficit, but the government is liable to pay the interest and face value of the bonds on maturity.
Recapitalisation Bonds – The Method
To ease out the credit crunch, government issues recapitalization bonds that such companies subscribe as in investment. The money realized by the government through these bond sales, goes back to these companies as capital thus strengthening their balance-sheets. The money raised by the government for subscribing recap bonds from banks and financial institutions is free from becoming a bad loan as it comes with sovereign guarantee. 
Impact on the fiscal health of Indian Economy
Being cash neutral transection, such bonds have limited immediate impact on fiscal deficit; fiscal deficit is impacted only by the interest cost on the bonds that the government pays every year. On the other hand, this shore up their capital reserves and enhance credit flow into the economy.
Since it is a long-term debt, it provides time to banks, oil-marketing companies, fertilizer companies to improve their balance-sheets by increasing their credit and private investment. The positive aspect is as the financial stability returns, the government, then, can retire the debt from the proceeds by selling the equities purchased earlier, once companies’ situation gets better.
How will it affect the investments in the Economy?
The banking sector is an industry and a section of the economy devoted to the holding of financial assets for others and investing those financial assets as a leveraged way to create more wealth. 
This process in the economy brings about a chain effect as a strong financial infrastructure is a catalytic agent that affects the growth. With country’s stable fiscal and robust growth, the liquidity in the system fuels private sector capital expenditure and contribute in financial stability and sustain economic growth.  

03 Aug 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question :
Inflation in India is on the rise; so is the case on global front. Is this really a cause of worry for Central Banks at present. If so, in India's context discuss the measures take by the RBI. 

GS Mains Paper 3

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30 Jul 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question :

“The three farm laws are only a part of the far wider set of economic reforms that will be needed to stabilize Indian agriculture. The guiding principle for these reforms must be to create conditions that allow farm households to maximize their income while minimizing the overall level of risk in Indian agriculture.” Critically Analyse.

[GS Mains Paper III]



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27 Jul 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question :

“The mere growth in a sector doesn’t translate to benefits for workers.”

In the light of this statement analyse in detail how it may not be prudent to rely on Sectoral growth as a measure of economic welfare. [GS Mains Paper III]

Hint: Indian Express

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26 Jul 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question :

Analyse the disruptive impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the food security and livelihoods of the poor and marginalised. [GS Mains Paper III]


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22 Jul 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question :

“Man cannot live by the Internet alone”. In the context of this statement discuss the significance of agriculture and rural economy in India.

[GS Mains Paper III]


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19 Jul 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question :

In the context of all embracing development in India, discuss the importance of the inclusive growth and also highlight the initiatives taken by the government to ensure multidimensional inclusive growth.

[GS Mains Paper III]


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14 Jul 2021 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY 
Question :

Highlight the significance of the Public Distribution System in India and also discuss the challenges associated with respect to the implementation of the ' One Nation One Ration Card' initiative.

[GS Mains Paper III]


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Question : ‘The key economic indicators show that the Indian agriculture sector has enough resilience.’ In the light of this statement discuss how agriculture can help in reviving the rural economy. [GS Mains Paper III]

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Question : Bitcoin has been in news recently, explain the relevant technology behind it. Implementing this technology comes with its own challenges. Discuss?

Hint:  A-Cube IAS YouTube Channel 
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Bitcoin is type of cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is a subset of virtual currencies, and is decentralised, and protected by cryptography. Other are: Ethereum, Cardano, Solana etc.  Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin use codes to encrypt
A virtual currency is a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded and functions as
(a) a medium of exchange, and/ or
(b) a unit of account, and/or
(c) a store of value, but, unlike fiat currency like the rupee, it is not legal tender and does not have the backing of a government. 
The technology behind all virtual currencies is Distributed Ledger Technologies, DLT
DLT refers to technologies that involve the use of independent computers (also referred to as nodes) to record, share, and synchronise transactions in their respective electronic ledgers. Keeping such distributed ledgers obviates the need for keeping the data centralised, as is done in a traditional ledger. 
Blockchain is a specific kind of DLT that came to prominence after Bitcoin is the technology behind Bitcoin. 

Challenges for Blockchain adoption in India
There are challenges facing widespread adoption and implementation: 
  • Awareness about blockchain is very limited and shrouded by the disrepute of the unregulated cryptocurrency market. 
  • Blockchain is considered as a complete technology that will replace existing technologies. This misunderstanding has also been a hindrance in its adoption. People need to comprehend that blockchain is a tech component that will be integrated with the current system to enable business applications and new approaches. 
  • Lack of regulation and a specific regulatory body to bring in standardisation and approval for mainstream implementation of Blockchain is another complication.
  • Another complexity is in the integration of the current technology with the blockchain and data security during the early stage development.
  • Indian blockchain start-ups raise their funds through ICO (initial coin offering) rather than through the traditional funding process. The ban on cryptocurrencies has adversely affected them, and now start-ups are moving outside India to raise funding.
  • Regulation and widespread awareness through purposeful research into blockchain will only be the way forward to remove these complications.

Question : [GS Paper III]

“The best way to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1991 reforms is to consider what we can learn from them in dealing with the current crisis”. Illustrate.

Hint: The Hindu
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Question :
“Development is about transforming the lives of people, not just transforming economies.” Substantiate this argument in the context of India. [GS Paper III]

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Question : There is an urgent need to strengthen the public distribution system and the MGNREGS in order to tackle rural economic distress. Discuss.

(GS MAINS; Paper 3)
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The impact of COVID-19 causes several states are under lockdown. This results in severe implications for the livelihoods of those in the informal sector. A survey conducted by Right to Food campaign and the Centre for Equity Studies published a ‘Hunger Watch’ reported that 27% of the had no income; 40% respondents had nutritional quality degraded to worse”; and 46% had to skip one meal at least once. The plight of migrant worker is no less than rural poor as most of them are without work and are short of food and cash and require immediate support 
 In this context, there is an urgent need to strengthen the public distribution system (PDS) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The government should expand PDS coverage immediately and include all eligible households under the schemes. A robust PDS system can address the problem of Food and nutritional security. The government should expand PDS coverage immediately and include all eligible households under the scheme National Food Security Act. The steps taken by the government in regards to food security require strong PDS to discharge it hence need to strengthen it 
As migrant workers across the country return to their villages, rural India’s dependence on NREGA wages for survival is expected to increase manifold. To address the problem of migrate worker, Government had allocated ₹73,000 crore for 2021-22 for MGNREGS and notified an annual increment of about 4% in wages. Along with this, boost up in agriculture easy credit, infrastructure etc will address the issue unemployment and have the potential to increase the agriculture produce 
The COVID -19 causes a large population of India to face hunger and a cash crunch. The situation is only becoming direr as the pandemic continues to rage on. Therefore, the Union government should prioritise food and work for all and start making policy reforms right away to strengthen MGNREGA and PDS.