31st October – Stubble Burning

Stubble Burning Stubble burning refers to the practice of farmers setting fire to plant debris that remain in farms after harvest. Background – Before the 1980s, farmers used to till the remaining debris back into the soil after harvesting the crops manually. The origin of stubble burning can be traced to the advent of the …

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29th October – Co-firing of coal plants

Ready to swap? Worldwide, pressure is mounting to close coal-fired power plants that are old, inefficient and spew more carbon emissions. Yet, in June this year when the Punjab government decided to dismantle its 43-year-old Guru Nanak Dev (GND) thermal plant at Bathinda and sell the land, it raised quite a few eyebrows, expectedly. What …

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27th October – SVAMITVA Scheme

SVAMITVA Scheme In a historic move set to transform rural India and empower millions of Indians, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has launched the physical distribution of Property Cards under the SVAMITVA Scheme. What is ‘SVAMITVA Scheme’? SVAMITVA is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, which was launched by the Prime …

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24th October – Promotion of nutri-cereals

Promotion of nutri-cereals During the recent speech on ‘World Food Day’, Prime Minister made focus on the production of millets, also now known as “nutri-cereals”. Giving examples of nutri-cereals like jowar, bajra and ragi, PM Modi also shared how the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has endorsed India’s call for declaring 2023 as the “International …

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19th October – Taxing agricultural income

Taxing agricultural income In a white paper on black money released in May 2012, the Central Board of Direct Taxes admitted that: Giving credit to agricultural income for income-tax purposes without verification of claim allows an avenue for bringing black money into the financial system as agricultural income. In 2014, the Tax Administration Reforms Commission …

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13th October – Minimum Support Price (MSP)

MSP in the age of surplus MSP (Minimum Support Prices) regime was the creation of the era of scarcity in the mid-1960s. Indian agriculture has, since then, turned the corner from scarcity to surplus. The policy instruments of dealing with shortages are different from those dealing with surpluses. In a surplus economy, unless we allow …

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Priority Sector Lending

3rd September – Priority Sector Lending Certificates

Priority Sector Lending Certificates The RBI had listed out ‘priority’ sectors that banks such as agriculture, housing, education and micro-small enterprises to which the banks must compulsorily lend to in the form of loans. It is called ‘priority sector lending’. But this method has often been criticised for meddling too much in the workings of …

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GM Crops

31st July – GM Crops

Cotton controversy – A clear view on GM Crops India’s cotton growers are keen to buy ‘illegal’ herbicide-tolerant Bt cotton seed varieties at black market rates, much to the dismay of the organised seed industry and the anti-GM groups who fear its environmental effects. An increased demand – A moratorium was imposed in 2009 on …

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20th July – Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan Lately, the Prime Minister launched a new package of Rs 50,000 crore—the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan (GKRA). It aims at creating livelihood opportunities for the returned migrants, and while doing so it is expected to create durable infrastructure in rural areas. How will it be implemented? The GKRA would …

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Free power for farmers

5th June – Free power for farmers

Time to discontinue free power for farmers The Union Government is attempting to do away with the much-abused scheme of free power for farmers by prescribing that it should be replaced with the direct benefits transfer (DBT) as a condition to allow States to increase their borrowing limit. What is planned? For the first time …

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