PIB Analysis : 7th, 8th and 9th February

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Formula for fixing MSP for Paddy and Wheat
  2. Policy Measures to Double the Income of Farmers and Farm Labourers
  3. Oil Seeds Production
  4. National Policy on Rare Diseases
  5. Ease of Living Index and Municipal Performance Index
  6. Global Gender Gap Index
  7. Guru Ravidas
  8. Facts for Prelims

1 . Formula for fixing MSP for Paddy and Wheat


Background

  • Government fixes minimum support prices (MSPs) of 22 mandated crops including paddy, wheat, for every agricultural year and fair & remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane on the basis of recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP), after considering the views of State Governments and Central Ministries/Departments concerned & other relevant factors.
  • In addition, MSP for Toria and De-Husked coconut is also fixed on the basis of MSPs of Rapeseed & Mustard and Copra respectively. 
  • While recommending MSPs, CACP considers important factors like cost of production, overall demand-supply conditions, domestic and international prices, inter-crop price parity, terms of trade between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, the likely effect on the rest of the economy, besides ensuring rational utilization of  land, water and other production resources and a minimum of 50 percent as the margin over cost of production in case of MSPs and reasonable margins over cost of production in case of FRP.
  • CACP considers both A2+FL and C2 costs while recommending MSPs. CACP reckons only A2+FL cost for return. However, C2 costs are used by CACP primarily as benchmark reference costs (opportunity costs) to see if the MSPs recommended by them at least cover these costs in some of the major producing States.
  • The Union Budget for 2018-19 had announced the pre-determined principle to keep MSP at levels of one and half times of the cost of production. Accordingly, Government has increased the MSPs for all mandated Kharif, Rabi and other commercial crops with a return of atleast 50 per cent of cost of production for the agricultural year 2018-19. During 2019-20 also, Government has increased the MSP of all mandated kharif and rabi crops in line with the principle of fixing the MSP with a return of atleast 50 per cent of the cost of production.

A2, A2+FL and C2

  • A2 costs cover all paid-out expenses, both in cash and kind, incurred by farmers on seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, hired labour, fuel and irrigation, among others.
  • A2+FL covers actual paid-out costs plus an imputed value of unpaid family labour.
  • C2 costs are more comprehensive, accounting for the rentals and interest forgone on owned land and fixed capital assets respectively, on top  ..

2 . Policy Measures to Double the Income of Farmers and Farm Labourers


List of various interventions and schemes launched for the benefit of farmers.

  • With a view to provide income support to all farmers’ families across the country, to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs, the Central Government started a new Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). The scheme aims to provide a payment of Rs. 6000/- per year, in three 4-monthly installments of Rs. 2000/- to the farmers families, subject to certain exclusions relating to higher income groups. 
  • Further with a view to provide social security net for Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF) as they have minimal or no savings to provide for old age and to support them in the event of consequent loss of livelihood, the Government has decided to implement another new Central Sector Scheme i.e. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY)for providing old age pension to these farmers. Under this Scheme, a minimum fixed pension of Rs. 3000/- will be provided to the eligible small and marginal farmers, subject to certain exclusion clauses, on attaining the age of 60 years. 
  • With a view to provide better insurance coverage to crops for risk mitigation, a crop insurance scheme namely Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) was launched from Kharif 2016 season. This scheme provides insurance cover for all stages of the crop cycle including post-harvest risks in specified instances, with low premium contribution by farmers.
  • Giving a major boost for the farmer’s income, the Government has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSPs) for all Kharif & Rabi crops for 2018-19 season at a level of at least 150 percent of the cost of production.
  • Implementation of flagship scheme of distribution of Soil Health Cards to farmers so that the use of fertilizers can be rationalized.
  • “Per drop more crop” initiative under which drip/sprinkler irrigation is being encouraged for optimal utilization of water, reducing cost of inputs and increasing productivity.
  • “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)” for promoting organic farming.
  • Launch of e-NAM initiative to provide farmers an electronic transparent and competitive online trading platform.
  • Under “Har Medh Par Ped”, agro forestry is being promoted for additional income. With the amendment of Indian Forest Act, 1927, Bamboo has been removed from the definition of trees. A restructured National Bamboo Mission has been launched in the year 2018 to promote bamboo plantation on non forest government as well as private land and emphasis on value addition, product development and  markets.
  • Giving a major boost to the pro-farmer initiatives, the Government has approved a new Umbrella Scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)’. The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018. This is an unprecedented step taken by Govt. of India to protect the farmers’ income which is expected to go a long way towards the welfare of farmers.
  • Bee keeping has been promoted under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) to increase the productivity of crops through pollination and increase the honey production as an additional source of income of farmers.
  • To ensure flow of adequate credit, Government sets annual target for the flow of credit to the agriculture sector, Banks have been consistently surpassing the annual target. The agriculture credit flow target has been set at Rs. 13.50 lakh crore for the F.Y.2019-20 and Rs.15.00 lakh crore for F.Y. 2020-21.
  • Extending the reach of institutional credit to more and more farmers is priority area of the Government and to achieve this goal, the Government provides interest subvention of 2% on short-term crop loans up to Rs.3.00 lakh. Presently, loan is available to farmers at an interest rate of 4% per annum on prompt repayment.
  • Further, under Interest Subvention Scheme 2018-19, in order to provide relief to the farmers on occurrence of natural calamities, the interest subvention of 2% shall continue to be available to banks for the first year on the restructured amount. In order to discourage distress sale by farmers and to encourage them to store their produce in warehouses against negotiable receipts, the benefit of interest subvention will be available to small and marginal farmers having Kisan Credit Card for a further period of upto six months post harvest on the same rate as available to crop loan.
  • The Government has extended the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to the farmers practicing animal husbandry and fisheries related activities.  All processing fee, inspection, ledger folio charges and all other services charges have been waived off for fresh renewal of KCC. Collateral fee loan limit for short term agri-credit has been raised from Rs.1.00 lakh to Rs.1.60 lakh.  KCC will be issued within 14 days from the receipt of completed application.

3 . Oil Seeds Production


Background

  • Country needs 25 million tonnes of edible oils to meet its requirement at current consumption level of 19 kg per person per year. Out of the total requirement, 10.50 million tonnes is produced domestically from primary (Soybean, Rapeseed & Mustard, Groundnut, Sunflower, Safflower & Niger) and secondary sources (Oil palm, Coconut, Rice Bran, Cotton seeds & Tree Borne Oilseeds) and remaining 60%, is met through import. The oilseed production of the country has been growing impressively.
  • Despite this, there exists a gap between the demand and supply of oilseeds, which has necessitated sizeable quantities of imports.

Challenges

  • The major challenges in oilseed production is largely rain-fed conditions (70% area), high seed cost (Groundnut and Soybean), small holding with limited resources, low seed replacement rate and low productivity.

Govt Intervention

  • To increase domestic availability and reduce import dependency, a National Mission on Edible Oils (NMEO) is proposed for next five years (2020-21 to 2024-25).
  • NMEO covering three Sub-Missions to increase production of oilseeds and edible oils from
    • Primary Sources (Annual Crops, Plantation Crops and Edible TBOs)
    • Secondary Sources (Rice bran oil and Cotton seed oil)
    • Consumer Awareness for maintaining edible oil consumption constant at 19.00 kg per person per annum.
  • The proposed mission will aim to increase production from 30.88 to 47.80 million tonnes of oilseeds which will produce 7.00 to 11.00 million tonnes of edible oils from Primary Sources by 2024-25.
  • Similarly edible oils from secondary sources will be doubled from 3.50 to 7.00 million tonnes.

Action points to increase Production

The following action point will be initiated for increasing production and productivity of oilseeds and promotion of Secondary Sources of Edible oils:

  • Increasing seed replacement rate and varietal replacement rate
  • Promotion of oilseed in rice fallow/ potato areas
  • Promotion of oilseeds through intercropping
  • Extending oilseed cultivation in nontraditional area
  • Targeting 100 low productivity districts
  • Crop diversification in different reasons
  • Promotion of community based oil extraction unit
  • Value addition and promotion of export
  • Promotion of rice bran and cotton seed oil
  • Consumer awareness for judicious consumption of oils for good health

The above strategies will deliberate the following output by the end of 2024-25:

  • Oilseed production will be increased from 30.88 to 47.80 million tonnes
  • Productivity will be increase from 1263 to 1587 kg per ha
  • Reduction in import dependence from 60% to 45%
  • Edible oil production will be 18.00 million tonne from 10.50 million tonnes.

4 . National Policy on Rare Diseases


Background

  • A draft National Policy for Rare Diseases has been finalized. The draft policy provides for lowering the incidence of rare diseases based on an integrated preventive strategy encompassing awareness generation and screening programmes and, within the constraints on resources and competing health care priorities, enable access to affordable health care to patients of rare diseases which are amenable to one-time treatment.
  • The draft policy has noted that number of persons suffering from diseases considered rare globally, is lacking in India and accordingly provides that for the purpose of the policy the term rare diseases shall construe three goup of disorders identified and categorised by experts based on their clinical experience. Considering the limited data available on rare diseases, and in the light of competing health priorities, the focus of the dradt policy is on prevention of rare diseases as a priority for all the three groups of rare diseases identified by experts.

List of identified rare diseases covered for treatment under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi

Group 1: Disorders amenable to one time curative treatment:

  • Disorders amenable to treatment with Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT)
    • Such Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs) for which Enzyme replacement Therapy (ERT) is presently not available and severe form of Mucopolysaccharoidosis (MPS) type I within first 2 years of age.
    • Adrenoleukodystrophy (early stages), before the onset of hard neurological signs.
    • Immune deficiency disorders like Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), Chronic Granulomatous disease, Wiskot Aldrich Syndrome,etc
    • Osteopetrosis
    • Fanconi Anemia
    • Others if any to be decided on case to case basis by a technical committee
  • Disorders amenable to organ transplantation
    • Liver Transplantation -Metabolic Liver diseases:
      • Tyrosinemia,
      • Glycogen storage disorders (GSD) I, III and IV due to poor metabolic control, multiple liver adenomas, or high risk for Hepatocellualr carcinoma or evidence of substantial cirrhosis or liver dysfunction or progressive liver failure,
      • MSUD (Maple Syrup Urine Disease),
      • Urea cycle disorders,
      • Organic acidemias
    • Renal Transplantation-
      • Fabry’s disease
      • Autosomal recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD),
      • Autosomal dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) etc
  • Patients requiring combined liver and kidney transplants can also be considered if the same ceiling of funds is maintained. ( Rarely Methyl Malonic aciduria may require combined liver & Kidney transplant) etc

Group 2: Diseases requiring long term / lifelong treatment having relatively lower cost of treatment and benefit has been documented in literature and annual or more frequent surveillance is required:

  • Disorders managed with special dietary formulae or Food for special medical purposes (FSMP)
    • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
    • Non-PKU hyperphenylalaninemia conditions
    • Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)
    • Tyrosinemia type 1 and 2
    • Homocystinuria
    • Urea Cycle Enzyme defects
    • Glutaric Aciduria type 1 and 2
    • Methyl Malonic Acidemia
    • Propionic Acidemia
    • Isovaleric Acidemia
    • Leucine sensitive hypoglycemia
    • Galactosemia
    • Glucose galactose malabsorbtion
    • Severe Food protein allergy
  • Disorders that are amenable to other forms of therapy (hormone/ specific drugs)
    • NTBC for Tyrosinemia Type 1
    • Osteogenesis Imperfecta – Bisphosphonates therapy
    • Growth Hormone therapy for proven GH deficiency , Prader Willi Syndrome and Turner syndrome, others (to be decided on case to case basis by technical committee)
    • Cystic Fibrosis- Pancreatic enzyme supplement
    • Primary Immune deficiency disorders -Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG) replacement eg. X-linked agammablobulinemia etc.
    • Sodium Benzoate, arginine, ,citrulline ,phenylacetate (Urea Cycle disorders), carbaglu, Megavitamin therapy (Organic acidemias, mitochondrial disorders)
    • Others – Hemin (Panhematin) for Acute intermittent Porphyria, High dose Hydroxocobalamin injections (30mg/ml formulation – not available in India and hence expensive if imported)
    • Others (if any) to be decided on case-to-case basis, by a technical committee.

Group 3:  Diseases for which definitive treatment is available but challenges are to make optimal patient selection for benefit, very high cost and lifelong therapy.

  • 3a) Based on the literature sufficient evidence for good long-term outcomes exists for the following disorders
    • Gaucher Disease (Type I & III {without significant neurological impairment})
    • Hurler Syndrome [Mucopolysaccharisosis (MPS) Type I] (attenuated forms)
    • Hunter syndrome (MPS II) (attenuated form)
    • Pompe Disease diagnosed early (Both infantile & late onset)
    • Fabry Disease diagnosed before significant end organ damage.
    • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
    • MPS IVA
    • MPS VI
  • 3b) For the following disorders for which the cost of treatment is very high and either long term follow up literature is awaited or has been done on small number   of patients
    • Wolman Disease
    • Hypophosphatasia
    • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
    • Cystic Fibrosis
    • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

5 . Ease of Living Index and Municipal Performance Index 2019


Context : To help assess the progress made in cities through various initiatives and empower them to use evidence to plan, implement & monitor their performance, two Assessment Frameworks, viz. Ease of LivingIndex (EoLI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2019 have been launched by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.

About Ease of Living Index and Municipal Peformance Index

  • Both these indices are designed to assess quality of life of citizens in 100 Smart Cities and 14 other Million Plus Cities.

Municipal Performance Index

  • With the Municipal Performance Index 2019, the Ministry has sought to assess the performance of municipalities based on five enablersnamely Service, Finance, Planning, Technology and Governance which have been further divided into 20 sectors which will be evaluated across 100 indicators.
  • This will help Municipalities in better planning and management, filling the gaps in city administration, and improving the liveability of cities for its citizens.

Ease of Living Index

  • Ease of Living Index is aimed at providing a holistic view of Indian cities – beginning from the services provided by local bodies, the effectiveness of the administration, the outcomes generated through these services in terms of the liveability within cities and, finally, the citizen perception of these outcomes.
  • The key objectives of the Ease of Living Index are four-folds, viz.
    • Generate information to guide evidence-based policy making
    • Catalyse action to achieve broader developmental outcomes including the SDG’
    • Assess and compare the outcomes achieved from various urban policies and schemes
    • Obtain the perception of citizens about their view of the services provided by the city administration.
    • EoLI 2019 will facilitate the assessment of ease of living of citizens across three pillars: Quality of Life, Economic Ability and Sustainability which are further divided into 14 categories across 50 indicators.

Citizen Perception Survey

  • For the first time, as part of the Ease of Living Index Assessment, a Citizen Perception Survey is being conducted on behalf of the Ministry (which carries 30% of the marks of the Ease of Living Index).
  • This is a very important component of the assessment exercise as it will help in directly capturing perception of citizens with respect to quality of life in their cities. This survey, which is being administered both online and offline, has commencedfrom 1st February 2020 and will continue till 29th February 2020.
  • The offline version involving face-to-face interviews will commence on the 1st of February and will run parallel to the on-line versions. The same is being promoted through bulk SMS push as well as extensive coverage in social media.

6 . Global Gender Gap Index


Context : Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) published by the World Economic Forum in 2018 ranks 149 countries on their status of gender equality through various parameters. On this index, India ranked 108th on its performance on gender equality. In the Global Gender Gap Index 2020, the number of countries increased to 153 in which India’s ranking was 112th. India’s score has moved from 0.665 in 2018 to 0.668 in 2020.

Initiatives Undertaken by Govt

Government of India has given utmost priority to end the gender based inequities, reducing disparity between men and women, improving socio-economic status of women and increasing their participation in various fields. Some of the major initiatives takenby Government of India to ensure that women gain equal rights, opportunities and access to resources are:

  1. Constitutional Provisions – Articles such as Article 14, Article 15 (3), Article 39A, and Article 42 make special provisions for rights of women to ensure gender equality.
  2. Legislative Provisions – Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Act (PCPNDT), 1994; Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013; Equal Remuneration Act, 1976; Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Amended in 2017) aimed at mandating women’s rights.
  3. Schemes/Programmes –

Economic Participation & Opportunity: Various programmes/Schemes that are intended towards women development and empowerment are:

  • BetiBachaoBetiPadhao (BBBP) ensures the protection, survival and education of the girl child.
  • Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) aims to empower rural women with opportunities for skill development and employment.
  • Working Women Hostel (WWH) ensures the safety and security for working women.
  • Mahila Police Volunteers(MPV)envisages engagement of Mahila Police Volunteers in States/UTs who act as a link between police and community and facilitates women in distress.
  • RashtriyaMahilaKosh (RMK) is an apex micro-finance organization that provides micro-credit at concessional terms to poor women for various livelihood and income generating activities.
  • The National Crèche Scheme ensures that women take up gainful employment through providing a safe, secure and stimulating environment to the children.
  • Pradhan MantriMatruVandnaYojnaaims  to provide maternity benefit  to  pregnant and lactating mothers.
  • Pradhan MantriAwaasYojana aims to provide housing under the name of the woman also.
  • DeenDayalUpadhyay National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) focuses on creating opportunities for women in skill development, leading to market based employment.
  • Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana empowers women and protects their health by providing LPG cylinder free of cost.
  • Pradhan MantriSukanyaSamriddhiYojna- Under this scheme girls have been economically empowered by opening their bank accounts.
  • Female Entrepreneurship: To promote female entrepreneurship, the Government has initiated schemes like Stand Up India and Mahila e-Haat (online marketing platform to support women entrepreneurs/ SHGs/NGOs). Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) provides access to institutional finance to micro/small business.

Educational Attainment

  • Several steps and initiatives have also been taken up in school education system such as National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 and flagship programme like SamagraShiksha  and the subsequent Right to Education Act (RTE).
  • Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalayas (KGBVs) have been opened in Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs). Gender sensitisation is also done which includes gender sensitization module- part of in-service training, construction of toilets for girls, construction of residential quarters for female teachers and curriculum reforms.

Political Participation

  • Also, to bring women in the mainstream of political leadership at the grass root level, government has reserved 33% of the seats in Panchayati Raj Institutions for women.Capacity Building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) programme by Ministry of Women and Child is conducted with a view to empower women to participate effectively in the governance processes.

7 . Guru Ravidas


About Guru Ravidas

  • Guru Ravidas was a North Indian mystic poet-sant of the bhakti movement during the 14th to 16th century CE He was a poet-saint, social reformer and a spiritual figure.
  • He belonged to an untouchable caste and suffered a lot of atrocities as a result however , the saint chose to focus on spiritual pursuits and also penned several devotional songs which made a huge impact in the Bhakti movement during the 14th to 16th century CE.
  • He is considered as the founder of 21st-century Ravidassia religion, by a group who previously were associated with Sikhism
  • Ravidas’ devotional songs were included in the Sikh Scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib
  • Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on Magh Purnima, which is the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Magha.

Guru Ravidas Teachings

  • Guru Ravidas spoke against the caste divisions and spoke of removing them to promote unity.
  • The Adi Granth of Sikhs, in addition to the Panchvani are the two of the oldest documented sources of the literary works of Guru Ravidas.
  • His teachings resonated with the people, leading to a religion being born called the Ravidassia religion, or Ravidassia Dharam based on his teachings.
  • He taught about the omnipresence of God and said that a human soul is a particle of God and hence Ravidas rejected the idea that people considered lower caste cannot meet God. he said in his teachings that the only way to meet God was to free the mind from the duality.

8 . Facts for Prelims


Sakhi Centres

  • One Stop Centre(OSC) scheme, popularly known as Sakhi Centres, is being implemented across the country since 1st April 2015. As on date, 680 OSCs have been set up across 35 States/UTs.
  • As per the OSC Scheme, OSCs are required to facilitate women affected by violence with a range of integrated services under one roof including police facilitation, medical aid, legal aid and legal counselling, psycho-social counseling and temporary shelter, and are to be located within 2 kms radius of the hospitals or medical facilities.

SARAS

  • Coal India’s flagship subsidiary NCL has set up a centre named “Science and Applied Research Alliance and Support”(SARAS) to promote Innovation, Research & Development and skill development along with improving company’s operational efficiency and utilize resources at optimum level.
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