Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Current Affairs - 2019
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The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have signed an MoU to collaborate in the area of food and agriculture.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Both ICAR and CSIR will work together on mutually agreed areas of agri-foods, medicinal and aromatic plants, nutraceuticals, precision agriculture, big data analysis, use of artificial intelligence, genetic modifications in cotton, application of sensors in agriculture, post-harvest management and agricultural mechanisation.
- The network of Krishi Vigyan Kendras of ICAR would be utilised for technology demonstration and dissemination.
- The MoU also proposes a joint working committee to deliberate and formulate the collaborative programmes and will meet four times a year.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation headquartered at New Delhi and works under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Earlier known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research is the apex body in India for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is a contemporary R&D organization of the government of India and is known for its cutting edge R&D knowledgebase.
CSIR was established by the Government of India in September of 1942 as an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology. CSIR activities cover a wide spectrum of science and technology from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
Tags: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research • CSIR • Department of Agricultural Research and Education • Department of Science and Technology • ICAR • Imperial Council of Agricultural Research • Indian Council of Agricultural Research • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare • Ministry of Science and Technology • Royal Commission on Agriculture. • Societies Registration Act 1860
Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is planning to launch its own index to rank states on ‘ease of doing agri-business’. It will rank States on basis of reforms in sector as well as their investment in agriculture, increased productivity, reduction of input costs, and risk mitigation measures.
States will be also rated on is their success in reducing the cost of farm inputs by distributing soil health cards and encouraging organic farming and micro-irrigation. Based on performance in this index, Government may reward high performing states (both in absolute and incremental terms) by linking them to allocation of flexi-funds available under various flagship schemes.
Index on Ease of doing agri-business
- It will aim to incentivise states for various reform measures undertaken by them over years and see how efficient they have been in implementing government programmes.
- It will broadly rank states on six major reform parameters related to the farming sector and have a total score of 100. These six parameters include
- Marketing reforms (weightage of 25).
- Reducing cost of inputs (20).
- Governance and land reforms (20).
- Risk mitigation (15).
- Increasing production and productivity (10).
- Investment in agriculture (10).
- The six major identified parameters will be further divided into 2-odd sub-parameters which would be evaluated every year.
- The rankings of states will be evaluated based on performance information furnished by the state governments to verify their accuracy.
- Its parameters are process-oriented, thus it will also incorporate as and when reforms or initiatives are undertaken and same would be incorporated into index with appropriate weights.
- It has wider ambit compared to NITI Aayog’s Agricultural Marketing and Farm Friendly Reforms Index, which ranks states based on their implementation of such reforms.
Why new index?
As agriculture is a State subject, the success of policies and reform initiatives proposed at the Centre is dependent on implementation by the States. Past experience has shown that some states are very progressive in implementing reforms and are taking up initiatives for welfare of farmers. On the other hand, there are many states that have lagged behind, resulting in huge inter-state income disparities. Therefore, to ensure that reforms agenda of government is implemented at desired pace by all states governments, there is need to develop competitive spirit among states through this index.