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1. We need a multi-pronged strategy to help both resource-poor farmers and the educated better-off ones. Critically examine. (GS 3) Indian Express Yes:-
  • To prepare farmers for adversities and make farming an interesting occupation for the communities.
  • To make the young farmers gain self employment especially when India is facing the problem of creating jobs by getting them involved into effective farming.
  • The shrinking size of the average land holding of an Indian farmer has held back agricultural productivity
  • Technological assistance so that they involve themselves not just in farming but into diverse activities like food processing etc.. So farm waivers only do half the job so there is a need for sustainable price discovery.
  • It is because of lack of proper communication with the water about the kind of crops they need to cultivate in rain fed regions water crisis in Maharashtra occured due to excess sugarcane cultivation.
  • Lack of storage and transportation facilities leads to a situation where a significant proportion of the agricultural produce is spoiled before it reaches the market.
  • Use of excessive groundwater- In Punjab, with drastic overdrawing, the water table has been falling by 2.6 feet annually since 2000.
However India is constantly working on the strategy to improve the lives of the farmers by doubling the incomes of farmers by 2022,implementation of government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sanchai yojana, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima yojana .Apart from these the following initiatives need to be made. What can be done ?
  • Only 44 per cent of our cropland is irrigated — this needs priority expansion.
  • Instead of diesel and electricity subsidies, which encourage excessive pumping, india  must strictly regulate extraction  conserve water use by techniques like drip irrigation, expand rainwater harvesting, etc.
  • A second strategic need is for institutional innovation, especially promoting cooperation in production and linking farmers to higher value chains.
  • Pooling land, labour and capital can help small farmers expand farm size, enjoy scale economies, share risks, improve input access, upscale technology and enlarge the skill pool small owners can thus become medium-sized producers.
  • Technology can play an important role in addressing this issue
  • Encouraging private players to contribute in creating better storage and transportation facilities
  • Educating farmers about better post-harvesting technologies
  • Locally-specific farm mechanisation to improve storage
  • Standardising farm operations and ensuring better transport facilities for food and food products
  • Encouraging consumers to eat what is produced locally
  • Crop insurance should be provided to cover all crops and all farmers in case of crop failure due to monsoons or any foreseen reasons. This has worked especially well for Kerala’s women farmers under Kudumbashree.
  • Lack of access to information. Majority of farmers are relying on traditional methods of farming and get very less support from government agriculture department.
2. The Union Cabinet recently approved the introduction of a new Bill to resolve bankruptcy cases affecting financial sector entities, including banks and insurance companies. Critically examine. The Hindu Introduction:
  • In the light of stress on the banking system in the recent years a bill called financial resolution and deposit insurance bill 2017 has been introduced recently.
  • Objectives of the bill are:-
    • To protect the stability and resilience of the financial system
    • To protect public funds
    • To keep obligations of consumers up to a reasonable limit
Advantages of the bill are:
  • The Bill seeks to decrease the time and costs involved in resolving distressed financial entities and complements the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 for the insolvency resolution of non-financial entities, according to an official statement.
    • Once implemented, this Bill together with the Code will provide a comprehensive resolution framework for the economy.
  • It aims to limit the use of public money to bail out distressed firms during a financial crisis.
  • Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017, when enacted, will have a provision for the setting up of a Resolution Corporation, and would also see the repealing or amendment of several resolution-related provisions in Acts pertaining to the particular sectors
  • . The passage of the Act will also lead to the repealing of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961 in order to transfer the deposit insurance powers and responsibilities to the Resolution Corporation.
  • This Bill is similar to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. Both of these are about issues that can arise when companies go bankrupt or insolvent, except that this Bill deals only with the companies that are in the financial sector. The insolvency code Act deals with companies in all other sectors.
  • The FRDI will provide a comprehensive resolution framework to deal with bankruptcy situations in financial sector entities such as banks and insurance companies.
  • According to the finance ministry, FRDI Bill, 2017 seeks to protect customers of financial service providers in times of financial distress.
  • It also aims to inculcate discipline among financial service providers in the event of financial crises, by limiting the use of public money to bail out distressed entities.
  • The Bill would help in maintaining financial stability in the economy by ensuring adequate preventive measures, while at the same time providing the necessary instruments for dealing with crisis events.
  • The Bill aims to strengthen and streamline the current framework of deposit insurance for the benefit of retail depositors.
  • This will help in maintaining financial stability of the economy by ensuring adequate preventive measures and at the same time provide necessary instruments to deal with an event of crisis.
However some of the concerns still remain :
  • Unlike in the west,there is no shuttering of banks in India .Rather the regulator and government work together to nudge or force a tottering bank to merge with another lender perhaps prompting some to question whether India needs a resolution corporation.
  • There need to be changes incorporated in other laws as well to make it effective like Nationalisation act,SBI act,LIC act.
  • Defining the type or size of entities to be covered pose a challenge too.
  • Also how will government deal with a troubled state owned bank once resolution mechanism is in place is a concern too.
Therefore a resolution mechanism for financial firms can certainly complement the insolvency law. 3. India needs to negotiate the world of big data technology with adequate safeguards. What needs to be done in this regard? (GS 3) The Hindu Problems with the big data technology:
  • One major problem with collecting and storing such vast amounts of data overseas is the ability of owners of such data stores to violate the privacy of people.
    • Even if the primary collectors of data may not engage in this behaviour, foreign governments or rogue multinationals could clandestinely access these vast pools of personal data in order to affect policies of a nation.
  • The other major problem is the potential drain of economic wealth of a nation.
    • Currently, the corporations collecting such vast amounts of data are all based in developed countries, mostly in the U.S.
  • Most emerging economies, including India, have neither the knowledge nor the favourable environment for businesses that collect data on such a vast scale.
What needs to be done?
  • By providing appropriate subsidies such as cheap power and real estate, and cheap network bandwidth to those data centres, one would encourage our industries to be able to build and retain data within Indian boundaries.
  • In the short term, India should also create a policy framework that encourages overseas multinationals such as Google and Amazon to build large data centres in India and to retain the bulk of raw data collected in India within Indian national geographical boundaries.
  • Moreover, India should also build research and development activities in Big Data Science and data centre technology at  academic and research institutions that allow for better understanding of the way in which BDT can be limited to reduce the risk of deductive disclosure at an individual level.
  • This will require developing software and training for individuals on how to protect their privacy and for organisations and government officials to put in place strict firewalls, data backup and secure erasure procedures.
  • In the West, already a number of start-ups are developing   technology that enables users to control who gets access to the data about their behaviour patterns in the digital world.
  • The government has approved the “Digital India” Plan that aims to connect 2.5 lakh villages to the Internet by 2019 and to bring Wi-Fi access to 2.5 lakh schools, all universities and public places in major cities and major tourist centres. This is indeed a very desirable policy step.
  • Global multinational companies must also be encouraged to open more data centres and they must also be required to keep it hidden within Indian frontiers.
  • A data protection policy needs to be framed by the government