Yojana Magazine: May 2022

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EMPOWERING DIVYANGJAN
  • Introduction
    • As per the 2011 Census, there are 26.8 million Persons with Disabilities in India.
    • Among which 14.99 million are males and 11.82 million are females with disabilities.
    • The Prime Minister coined the term ―Divyangjan‖ to address persons with disabilities, with a view to change the social attitude towards them and recognise their potential.
  • Background
    • The centre has forecasted its proactive role for Divyangjans-related issues at the forefront of Government initiatives.
    • Prior to May 2012, at the Central Government level, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment through its Disability Bureau was acting as the focal point for handling the matters of persons with disabilities.
    • In order to manage disability in the country, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) was carved out under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
    • India is a party to the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which obliged the government to streamline domestic law, governing the disability sector.
    • Accordingly, the Government has enacted the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 which came into force on 19 April 2017.
    • Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  • Advantages of Disabilities Act, 2016
    • Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 calls for inclusiveness, which broadens the horizon of rights and entitlements of persons with disabilities.
    • The act guarantees equality, protection from cruelty, exploitation and violence, the right to live with family and community, access to justice, accessibility to voting, legal capacity, etc.
    • The act also mandates the Government to take measures to promote health, education, skill development, and employment opportunities for PwDs and to create recreation and cultural activities.
  • Government Intervention
  • Reservation and recruitment
    • Reservation in seats has been increased from 3% to 5% for persons with benchmark disabilities (ic. disability of 40% or more), whereas reservation in the Government/Government-aided higher educational institutions has been increased from 3% to 4% under the said Act.
    • The Department of Personnel and Training the nodal Department on recruitment matters in Central Government establishments issued a circular in January 2018 for the implementation of the provision of reservation in government jobs.
  • Unique Disability Identity Project
    •  
    • With a view to having a uniform and hassle-free mechanism for the certificate of disability and creating a national database for PwDs, the Government launched the Unique Disability Identity (UDID) Project in 2015-16.
    • The first Unique Disability Identity Card was generated in January 2017 in Datia district, Madhya Pradesh.
    • So far, around 70 lakh UDID cards have been generated in 715 districts across India.
  • Accessible India Campaign
    • The Prime Minister launched the Accessible India Campaign in December 2015, which focuses on accessibility in the built-up environment, transportation system, and ICT ecosystem. 
    • Under the Campaign, about 577 State Government buildings and more than 1030 Central Government buildings have been made accessible. 
    • Apart from this International airports, domestic airports, railway stations and buses have been made fully accessible.
    • Around 603 State Government websites and 95 Central Government websites have already been made accessible. 
    • The Ministry has also developed Sugamya Bharat App, a mobile application for crowdsourcing problems related to accessibility.
  • Scholarships Program 
    • In order to encourage students with disabilities to pursue education at all levels, the Government is providing scholarships for Pre-Matric (25,000), Post-Matric (17,000), Higher Class education (300) at reputed professional institutes, M.Phil/PhD courses (200) and for pursuing higher studies overseas (20). 
    • The numbers of post-Matric scholarships and Scholarships for Higher class education for PwDs have been showing incremental growth in the recent past that indicates wide participation of PwDs in higher education.
  • Educational support 
    • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities is also providing free coaching facilities to students with disabilities to enable them to prepare for competitive examinations for Group A, B and C posts and entrance examinations for various professional courses. 
    • The New Education Policy 2020 is in tune with the provisions of the RPwD Act, 2016 and has the ingredients for inclusive education.
  • Participation of PwD in sports 
    • The Government is also working towards promoting the participation of PwD in sports. 
    • The talent among Divyang sportspersons in the country is immense, which is evident from the fact that India won 19 medals including 3 Gold medals in Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. 
    • DEPwD has set up a Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior which is expected to be functional during the current financial year. 
    • The Centre will have state-of-the-art facilities for the training of sportspersons with disability across all major sports.
  • Cultural activities
    • The DEPwD has created a new platform “Divya Kala Shakti” for showcasing the potential of PwDs in performing fine arts.
    • The Department has so far organised two National level programmes in Delhi and two regional-level programmes in Chennai and Itanagar.
    • Though relief to the disabled is a State subject by virtue of Entry 9 of the State List, the Central Government through its schemes and programmes has been supplementing the efforts of the States/UTs in this regard.
  • Way forward
    • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities is continuously working towards strengthening these institutions for capacity development in the rehabilitation sector as well as enhancing the outreach of the array of rehabilitation services.
    • The goal of having a truly inclusive society cannot be achieved through Government initiatives alone without the active participation of all stakeholders including NGOs, PwD associations, academic bodies and civil society organisations will together promote the vision of an Inclusive India.

 

 

HOLISTIC HEALTHCARE 
  • Introduction
    • Holistic health is considered an approach to life that incorporates multidimensional aspects of wellness.
    • These approaches include the use of traditional medical systems, mind-body-spirit interventions, manipulative and body-based approaches, biological therapies and energy therapies.
    • There are many instances and successful integration stories of Ayush which would enable strategic integration into public health at large.
  • Background
    • India has a distinctive and unique traditional medicine base, with each system having its own ancient philosophy, medicinal knowledge, perception, and practices that align with the regional cultures, traditions, and beliefs.
    • The traditional medicine systems in India include Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa, and Homoeopathy which is known as Ayush.
    • All these systems were formulated, practised, and perfected in a continuum much before the advent of modern health science.
    • According to a World Health Organisation report, about 80 percent of the world population uses traditional medicine systems in some or the other way.
  • Traditional medicine in India
    • The holistic patient-centred and individualised approach is the trademark of traditional systems and enables the patient-physician partnership to design or customise treatment and lifestyle advice in order to achieve the highest potential for well-being.
    • The diverse activities ranging from the provision of prophylactic care to the management of disease and the effective implementation and integration of the Ayush system to public healthcare during the pandemic have garnered global attention to Ayush systems. 
  • Integration of Ayush
    • The work on effective integration of Ayush was expedited after the formation of the Ministry of Ayush in 2014.
    • This integration has been realised through coordination and collaboration at various levels of healthcare between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Ayush.
    • This integration was deemed successful in the avenue of Non-Communicable Diseases owing to the fruitful outcomes observed in the patients, with the incorporation of Ayush interventions.
    • The National Ayush Mission (NAM) is an example of such elaborate integration wherein Ayushman Bharat— Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) are being established across the country. 
  • Objective of Ayush
    • The primary objective is to provide cost-effective Ayush services, with universal access through upgrading Ayush Hospitals and Dispensaries.
    • Ayush HWCs are being operationalised to establish a holistic wellness model.
    • The use of Ayush as stand-alone or adjunct therapy in Covid-19 has been highlighted through case reports available in the public domain reflecting the successful management in even severe Covid-19.
  • Way forward
    • The use of traditional medicines has increased and the Traditional Medicinals (TM) industries are growing fast, along with the globalisation of TM products/services which are pervasive. Integration of the knowledge base of modern tools and techniques with applications of Ayush principles can help in its wider acceptance globally.
    • Holistic healthcare architecture is the surest way for effective, economic, and conservative health coverage.

 

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN
  • Introduction
    • India is one of the youngest countries in the world.
    • A major part of India‘s population (around 158 million) consists of children in the age group of 0-6 years.
    • India is home to 472 million children upto the age of 18 years and comprising 39 per cent of the country‟s population.
    • There are roughly 30 million orphaned and abandoned children in India.
    • It is also projected that till 2050, half of the world‘s population growth will come from nine countries including India.
  • Orphaned and abandoned children
    • According to the United Nations Children‟s Fund (UNICEF), India has 29.6 million orphaned and abandoned children.
    • At present millions of children are being denied opportunities to live a life of safety and good health.
    • Adoption rates in India have always been low, but they have been dropping in the past few years.
    • The Government‘s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) statistics show that in 2010, there were 5,693 in-country adoptions, while in 2017-2018, there were only 3,276 in-country adoptions.
    • This fall occurred because out of approximately 30 million children abandoned, only 261,000 are under institutionalised care, accounting for 0.87%. 
  • Adoption in India
    • Adoption laws in India are strict, leading to exceptionally low numbers of adoptions taking place. From March 2019-2020, only 3,351 children were adopted.
    • Data shows that while more than 29,000 prospective parents are willing to adopt, just 2.317 to 3,000 children are available for adoption.
    • This suggests a wide gap between adoptable children and prospective parents, which may increase the length of the whole process.
  • Low levels of adoption
    • The reasons for low levels of adoption in India are manifold.
    • There aren‘t enough children available for adoption because the ratio of abandoned children to children in institutionalised care is lopsided.
    • The District Child Protection Officer is entrusted with the duty to take the street children to a Child Care Institution (CCI), and if their parents aren‘t found, then they should be placed for adoption.
    • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) data shows that there are 5,850 registered CCTs in India.
  • Disability and adaptation
    • In January 2020, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) held a national consensus to discuss the possibility of improving and streamlining the adoption process.
    • Among other points of discussion, it stated that the institution prepared a classification of children with special needs, spanning 14 sub-categories.
    • The categorisation would enable prospective adoptive parents to understand the children‘s needs better and enhance their chances of adoption.
  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
    • The year 2015 saw a moment of transition in the adoption process with the introduction of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) CARA is an autonomous and statutory body of MoWCD under the Government of India.
    • The system acts as a centralised digital database of adoptable children and prospective parents.
    • It functions as the nodal body for the adoption of Indian children.
    • It is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions, CARA Is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, ratified by the Government of India in 2003.
  • Functioning of CARA
    • It primarily deals with the adoption of ―orphaned, abandoned and surrendered‖ children through recognised adoption agencies.
    • In 2018, CARA allowed individuals in a live-in relationship to adopt children from and within India.
    • Although the main focus of the CARA mechanism is to quicken the process of adoption, the waiting period is growing longer.
    • Adoption practices in India are primarily governed by the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA) and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (JJ Act).
    • Both legislations have different provisions and objectives.
    • HAMA is the statute that governs the adoption of and by Hindus.
    • The definition of ‗Hindus‘ here includes Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs.
    • It gives an adoptive child all the rights of a naturally-born child, including the right to inheritance.
  • Stakeholders in Adoption Process
    • 1. Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA): CARA ensures smooth functioning of the adoption process from time to time, issues Adoption Guidelines laying down procedures and processes to be followed by different stakeholders of the adoption programme. 
    • 2. State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA): SARA acts as a nodal body within the State to promote and monitor adoption and non-institutional care in coordination with CARA.
    • 3. Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA): SAA is recognised by the State government under sub-Section 4 of Section 41 of the Act for the purpose of placing children in adoption.
    • 4. Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA): AFAA is recognised as a foreign social or child welfare agency that is authorised by CARA on the recommendation of the concerned Central Authority or Government Department of that country for coordinating all matters relating to adoption of an Indian child by a citizen of that country.
    • 5. District Child Protection Unit (DCPU): DCPU is a unit set up by the State government at district level under Section 61A of the Act.
    • It identifies orphan, abandoned, and surrendered children in the district and gets them declared legally-free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee.
  • The legal framework in India 
    • India has a fairly comprehensive policy and legal framework addressing rights and protection for children, providing opportunities to ensure that all children have equal access to quality protection services. 
    • The core child protection legislation for children is enshrined in four main laws: 
    • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act (2000, amended in 2015) 
    • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (2006) 
    • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (2012) 
    • The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act (1986, amended in 2016) Government Policy 
    • To achieve welfare, development and protection of children, the Union Cabinet has recently approved 3 important Umbrella Schemes to be implemented in mission mode. i.e., Mission Vatsalya, Mission Poshan 2.0, and Mission Shakti. 
    • 1. Mission Vatsalya:
      In this Mission, Children have been recognised by policymakers as one of the supreme national assets. 
  • 1.1 Objective 
    • To secure a healthy and happy childhood for every child in India
    • Supportive and synchronised ecosystem for the development of children 
    • Assist States/UTs in delivering the mandate of the JJ Act 2015 Achieving the SDG goals. The prime objective is to address gaps in State action for women and children and to promote intermenstrual and inter-sectoral convergence to create gender equitable and child-centred legislation, policies, and programmes. 
  • 2. Mission POSHAN 2.0:
    • It is an Integrated Nutrition Support Programme which seeks to address the challenges of malnutrition in children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers through a strategic shift in nutrition content and delivery. 
    • It seeks to optimise the quality and delivery of food under the Supplementary Nutrition Programme. 
    • POSHAN 2.0 will bring three important programmes/schemes under its ambit, viz.. Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls and Poshan Abhiyaan.
  • 3. Mission Shakti:
    • The mission provides lifecycle support for women through integrated care, safety, protection, rehabilitation, and empowerment to unshackle women as they progress through various stages of their life.
    • Mission Shakti has two sub-schemes „Sambal‟ and *Samarthya‟.
    • The Sambal sub-scheme consists of the existing scheme of One Stop Centre (OSC), 181 Women Helplines (WHL), and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP).
    • Besides, a new component of Nari Adalats has been added as women‘s collectives to promote and facilitate alternative dispute resolution and gender justice in society and within families.
    • The ―Samarthya '' sub scheme is for empowerment of Women, consisting of existing schemes of Ujjwala, Swadhar Greh, and Working Women Hostel.
  • 4. PM CARES for Children Scheme:
    • It was launched in May 2021 to support children who have lost both their parents or legal guardians to Covid-19 during the period starting from 11 March 2020.
    • The objective of the Scheme is to ensure comprehensive care and protection of children in a sustained manner, enable their well-being through health insurance, empower them through education, and equip them for self-sufficient existence with financial support.
    • Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri-Jan Yojana (PM-JAY): PM-JAY provides a cover of Rs 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation, across public and private empanelled hospitals in India.
    • The Government strives to ensure well-nourished and happy children and self-reliant women by providing them with an environment which is accessible, affordable, reliable and tree from all forms of discrimination and violence.

BRIDGING ACCESSIBILITY GAP
  • Introduction
    • In step to foster innovation in India, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), the flagship initiative of NITI Aayog, has launched the Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC) program.
    • The programme aims at spurring community Innovation in underserved and unserved areas of the country.
    • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), aims to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country by developing new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy, providing a platform, and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders.
    • ACIC aims to serve as the bridge between the knowledge base existing in communities and the advanced technical ecosystem prevalent in the market base, addressing the needs of society.
  • Atal Community Innovation Centre
    • Atal Innovation Mission‘s initiative, namely, Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC) aims to encourage the spirit of innovation through solution-driven design thinking in serving society.
    • ACIC enables citizens to create cutting-edge innovation by offering supportive infrastructure and opportunity areas spread across the country, with a focus on Tier 2, Tier 3 and underserved/unserved regions of Tier 1 cities, North-East. J&K.
  • Aspirational Districts, Smart Cities, Rural and Tribal Areas.
    • This will boost the development of societal innovations and provide support to technology-driven areas especially by reducing the lab to land distance and creating a space for pre-incubation of ideas/solutions. ACIC and UNDP‟s priorities.
    • ACIC works in tandem to support UNDP‟s priorities which remain anchored in its mission to continue helping the government in eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development in order to tangibly improve the lives of the people.
    • UNDP is supporting greater access to national programmes like AIM/ACIC for vulnerable and marginalised populations, to improve livelihoods, and augment skill-building for women.
  • Aim and focus
    • UNDP focuses on strengthening capabilities and opportunities to reduce poverty and marginalisation in ways that are sustainable from economic, social, and environmental standpoints.
    • UNDP and AIM signed a statement of intent in 2019 with the aim to create an enabling ecosystem to promote youth leadership, innovation, and social entrepreneurship.
    • Both collaborate to spread awareness about different issues pertaining to youth, the future of work, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    • The partnership between ACIC and UNDP envisages creating a fellowship framework for building and supporting aspiring and inspiring community innovators, as part of building a pre-incubation ecosystem in the country.
  • Objectives of ACIC
    • 1. Social innovations
      • Social innovations are new social practices that include the social processes of innovation with the aim of extending and strengthening society.
      • Societal innovation refers to a systemic change in the interaction between the state and society by considering the state to be an equal partner in achieving sustainable changes to society‘s structures or ways of working, and it is approved by the majority of societal stakeholders.
      • ACIC is committed to social innovation by:
      • Offering communities structured modules in design, thinking on how to apply the principles of design in problem-solving, planning, and making prototypes.
      • Enabling every individual to ideate, deploy, and in transforming the nation by tackling the problems faced by the community as a whole.
      • Providing necessary skill sets and toolkits to aspiring community innovators by spreading awareness about SDGs and supporting innovators in driving SDGs at the community level through innovation.
      • Creating an atmosphere where different communities can learn from each other and complement each other‘s indigenous knowledge by removing barriers to exchange and encouraging improvisation as a result of interaction among these communities.
    • 2. Empowerment
      • Nurturing commercial ideas through startups by providing relevant business offerings, access to technical support, mentoring, creating networks of relevant stakeholders, scientific and information repositories, and a generally conducive and supportive environment.
      • Promoting and running an active programme for identification, creation, acceleration, and translation of suitable technological ideas for new venture creation and community development.
      • Running active training programmes in building resource networks. competencies and special expertise in select areas at the interfaces of technology and innovation, business and entrepreneurship, government and policy.
    • 3. Cooperation
      • Building a pre-incubation model and feeder ecosystem at the grassroots level for Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) and Established Incubator Centres (EICs).
      • Mentor India is a strategic nation-building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students and startups across India under the programmes of AIM.
      • Enabling innovation by taking a cluster-based approach to economic development and introducing interventions designed to improve intra-cluster efficiencies.
    • 4. Inclusiveness
      • Offers an opportunity for everyone to innovate, ideate and design impactful solutions, irrespective of their age, gender, and social hierarchy.
      • Creating localised support systems for supporting entrepreneurship and in turn, creating self-employment opportunities.
      • Creating an ecosystem to make finance accessible to people of Aspirational Districts and underserved locations of the country which have neither information nor easy access to finance.
      • Providing a community-oriented approach to innovation by enabling solutions through advanced tinkering.
    • 5. Sustainability
      • Capacity building of communities in evolving technologies and taking their solutions from ideation to prototype and profitable enterprises.
      • Providing a framework to engage local industries to facilitate the offering of innovative solutions in their products, services, and processes.
      • Mobilising resources for running various programmes under ACIC umbrella in Public-Private Partnership model to ensure financial sustainability and participation of central agencies, PSUs, etc.
      • Channelising CSR funds by partnering with private players to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the ecosystem.
      • Aiming for decentralised facilitation with local industrial partners to ensure long-term gains for all stakeholders.
      • Providing a quantum leap towards establishing India for further scaling up the ranking in Global Innovation Index (GI) by tactically spurring improvements in all indicators of GIL. 

SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH
  • Introduction
    • Sustainable economic growth means a rate of growth which can be maintained without creating other significant economic problems, especially for future generations.
    • There is clearly a trade-off between rapid economic growth today, and growth in the future.
    • Climate change is one of the major challenges in the developmental aspect, which negatively impacts every process of growth.
    • Since the countries of South Asia are rapidly growing and particularly vulnerable to changes in climate, any situation has a significant impact on them.
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report
    • According to a new assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), rising temperatures will lead to catastrophic weather extremes also resulting in rising sea levels in the coming years.
    • The report states that human activity is ―unambiguously‖ to blame for more severe climate events such as heatwaves. floods, and droughts.
    • The report emphasises attaining net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
    • As outlined in the Paris Agreement, it was required to keep the global temperature change to 1.5°C.
  • Southeast Asian countries
    • Southeast Asian countries are expected to be among the most hit by climate change.
    • The majority of the region's governments lack carbon reduction policies that will effectively decrease the severity of climate hazards.
    • According to a new study, rising seas are expected to cost Asia‘s largest cities billions of dollars of damage this decade, with the impact magnified by tectonic shifts and the consequences of groundwater removal.
    • The megacities of Delhi, Dhaka, Kolkata, and Mumbai will be the most affected.
    • According to the Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI), Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Bihar are highly vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts, and cyclones.
  • Intervention required
    • India must collaborate with other countries to establish a Global Resilience Reserve Fund, which could function as a form of climate insurance.
    • Sustainable economic growth requires a more robust energy sector.
    • India should work in collaboration with industry associations, domestic banks, specialised energy efficiency agencies, and service companies, to upgrade transmission and distribution systems. and promote clean technology and renewable energy development.
    • India requires its own fair amount of carbon space.
    • India needs to comprehensively address climate change issues including equitable distribution of carbon space, support for mitigation, and adaptation.
    • The Sustainable Transport Initiative encourages governments to invest in low-carbon, safe, and economical public transportation networks.
  • Significance of Climate Fintech
    • Fintechs are the digital financial technology catalysing decarbonisation throughout the world, which provides their consumers with innovative ideas, green financial solutions, and services to help them minimise their carbon footprints.
    • The merging of three areas which include climate, finance, and technology known as sustainable Fintech. Climate Fintech solutions are digital innovations, applications, and platforms that assist organisations and individuals in saving, spending, and investing in environmental-friendly ways.
    • To promote both sustainable finance and Green Fintech, a rising number of initiatives and concrete action plans are being established.
    • The ultimate purpose of Climate Fintech is to redirect financial flows toward decarbonisation.
  • Way forward
    • India is in dire need of policy advocacy and technical guidance to address climate change and vulnerability issues in agriculture, water, and other sensitive sectors.
    • The action plan of India should involve more investments, to raise the share of renewable energy in power generation, electrification of fossil-fuel-dependent businesses, commercial production of green hydrogen, and promotion of electric vehicles in order to fulfil its objectives.
    • The need of the hour is to ensure renewable energy goals.
    • India requires more carbon sinks,‖ or carbon-storing ecosystems such as forests, oceans, and wetlands. 
SAFETY NET FOR FARMERS
  • Introduction
    • Agriculture, with its allied sectors is the largest source of livelihoods in India.
    • Almost 70 percent of India‘s rural households still depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood.
    • Farming in India is dominated by marginal and small farmers which account for nearly 86 percent of all the farmers in the country.
    • The share of agriculture and allied sectors in total GVA (Gross Value Added) of the economy has a long-term trend of 18 per cent which improved to 20.2 per cent (2020-21) and 18.8 percent recently.
  • Finding of National Sample Survey
    • According to the National Sample Survey (77th Round, 2019), 50.2 percent of agri-households in India are in debt and an average household has debt equivalent to 60 percent of its annual income.
    • The annual income of a farm household was Rs 1.23 lakh, and the average debt was Rs 71,100 from July 2018 -June 2019.
    • The survey also showed increasing fragmentation of holdings vis-a-vis an increasing number of small farmers.
    • The average size of household ownership holding has declined from 0.725 hectare in 2003 to 0.592 hectare in 2013, and further to 0.512 hectare in 2019. 
  • Government schemes for farm welfare
    • Since independence, the government has envisioned welfare and social security for labourers and workers engaged in all sectors.
    • The vision included farmers, farm labourers, and agricultural workers across the agriculture and allied sectors.
    • International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines social security as the protection that a society (Government) provides to under-privileged/disadvantaged groups to ensure access to healthcare and to guarantee income security.
  • MGNREGA
    • The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (later renamed as Mahatma Gandhi NREGA) was passed by the Parliament as a legal social security measure that guaranteed the ‗right to work‘.
    • It is an employment programme that guarantees at least 100 days of wage employment in every financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
    • In case of non-offering of work, the beneficiary is eligible for unemployment allowances to be paid by the State as per the provision of MGNREGA, In addition to this, there is a provision for an additional 50 days of unskilled wage employment in a financial year in drought‘ natural calamity-notified rural areas.
    • Over the years, MGNREGA has emerged as a flagship programme which addresses poverty in a holistic manner by overcoming social inequalities and creating a base for sustainable development through asset creation in rural areas.
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana
    • DAY-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAYNRLM) is a unique social security scheme that aims to reduce poverty by enabling poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities.
    • The Mission seeks to alleviate rural poverty by mobilising rural poor women into Self Help Groups (SHGs).
    • Under a sub-component of DAY-NRLM (Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana or MESP), women farmers are being empowered by making systematic investments.
    • The DAY-National Rural Livelihoods Mission aims to mobilise 8-10 crore rural poor households into SHGs in a phased manner and provide them long-term support such that they diversify their livelihoods, and improve their incomes and quality of life. 
  • National Social Assistance Programme
    • The Ministry of Rural Development operates a wide-angle social security scheme to provide financial assistance to the elderly, widows, and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions.
    • It covers urban as well as rural citizens that include a large number of farmers, rural artisans, landless labourers, and their families.
    • The programme is being implemented through defined and structured pension and welfare schemes for target groups.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)
    • The PM-KISAN scheme aims to supplement the financial needs of farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of each crop cycle.
    • Under the Scheme, financial assistance of  Rs 6,000 per annum is provided to all landholding farmer families across the country, subject to certain exclusion criteria related to higher-income strata.
    • The amount is transferred in three monthly instalments of Rs 2,000 each, directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiary farmers identified by the State/Union Territory Governments.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maandhan Yojana
    • The PMKMY scheme aims to provide a social security net for the small and  marginal farmers by way of pension.
    • A minimum fixed pension of Rs 3,000 per month is provided to the eligible small and marginal farmers on attaining the age of 60 years.
    • The Scheme is voluntary and contributory in nature with an entry age of 18 to 40 years.
    • The beneficiary is required to contribute Rs 100 per month at the median entry age of 29 years, whereas the Central Government also contributes an equal amount to the Pension Fund.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
    • The PMFBY is a uniquely designed social security scheme under which financial assistance is provided to farmers in distress due to loss/damage to crops arising out of natural calamities. The Scheme has been able to provide financial assistance to the most vulnerable farmers, as around 85 per cent of the farmers enrolled under it are small and marginal farmers.
  • Efforts by various State Governments
    • In addition to centrally sponsored schemes, various State Governments are also operating social security schemes for farmers to address their specific needs.
    • 1. Maharashtra
      • The Government of Maharashtra has been running the „Gopinath Munde Farmers Accident Insurance Scheme‟ since 2015.
      • The Scheme covers victims (farmers) of accidental death and those who have been left handicapped by an accident.
      • Under the Scheme, animal attacks, Naxal attacks, murder, electric shocks, etc., are also treated as accidents, and victims have compensated accordingly.
    • 2. Gujarat
      • The Government of Gujarat has been implementing the „Farmer‟s Accidental Insurance Scheme‟ since 1996.
      • The Scheme provides insurance coverage to the registered farmers in case of accidental death or permanent disability.
      • The insurance premium (100%) is paid by the State Government: farmers only need to get themselves registered under the unique social security scheme for agricultural workers.
    • 3. Uttar Pradesh and other states
      • The Uttar Pradesh government and other States are also running such accident insurance schemes for farmers.
      • Besides specific schemes, farmers and agricultural workers need a comprehensive social security programme that must cover all the exigencies as enumerated by ILO.
      • These include death, disability, sickness, health, injury, unemployment and various types of accidents.
      • Such programmes need to be implemented with an effective and widespread infrastructure at the grassroots level so that last mile connectivity is ensured.
      • Details and benefits of such schemes must be disseminated through various media to maximise their impact on the social well-being of farmers.
  • Conclusion
    • The centre and the state government in its proactive approach has shifted from production centric to income centric platform in the agriculture sector and the above schemes are being implemented for making farming viable, profitable, sustainable and promotes quality standard of living. 



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