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Daily Current Affairs

15-February-2024- Top News of the Day

1. Economic Realities Clash with Political Narratives: Rural Optimism Dips, Farmer Protests Escalate Ahead of Elections

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of knowing the key economic indicators such as Minimum Support Prices (MSP), consumer sentiment, and the overall economic situation in rural India.
Context:
  • As the Lok Sabha elections draw nearer, the divergence in narratives propagated by the government and the opposition becomes increasingly pronounced.
  • A recent release of the government’s “whitepaper” on the Indian economy underscores this divide, seeking to establish the superiority of the BJP’s governance from 2014-24 compared to the Congress’ tenure from 2004-14.
  • Examining specific issues can shed light on the accuracy of these competing narratives.
More about the news: Demand for a Law on MSP:
  • The renewed demand for a legal guarantee of Minimum Support Prices (MSP) by farmers, amidst ongoing protests, highlights a key economic issue.
  • Analysis of MSP trends, particularly in wheat prices, reveals a pattern of increases aligned with election cycles.
  • However, MSPs offer only a partial view of India’s farm economy, necessitating consideration of additional factors such as incomes and inflation levels.
Low Optimism in Rural India:
  • Consumer sentiment surveys provide insights into rural optimism, which has seen a significant decline, particularly in January 2024.
  • CMIE’s research notes a sharp fall in the Index of Consumer Sentiments (ICS), primarily driven by rural perceptions of economic conditions.
  • Factors such as stagnating commodity prices and reduced profits contribute to this decline, marking a departure from pre-COVID levels of optimism.
Indian Consumer Sentiments:
  • The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) consumer confidence survey offers further insights into household perceptions of the economic situation.
  • The Current Situation Index (CSI) reflects a consistent trend of pessimism, persisting throughout the government’s second term.
  • Notably, consumer sentiment experienced a sudden surge in optimism in March 2019, preceding the Lok Sabha elections, but has remained largely pessimistic since June 2017.
Conclusion:
  • The evolving economic landscape, as reflected in consumer sentiments and farmer protests, holds significant implications for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
  • The government’s economic performance and its ability to address rural distress will likely be central issues in electoral discourse.
  • Whether consumer sentiment shifts towards optimism in the lead-up to the elections remains uncertain, highlighting the dynamic interplay between economic realities and political narratives.
Practice Question:  Discuss the challenges posed by agrarian distress, rural economic stagnation, and declining consumer sentiment, and assess their impact. Propose measures to address these challenges and foster inclusive growth and sustainable development in India’s rural and agricultural sectors. (250 words/15 m)

2. PM Modi Inaugurates First Hindu Temple in UAE, Symbolizing Cultural Unity and Bilateral Relations

Topic: GS1 – Indian Culture – Architecture
GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral Relations
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of the construction and inauguration of the BAPS Swaminarayan temple in Abu Dhabi, highlighting the significance of Hindu culture and its global outreach.
Context:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BAPS Swaminarayan temple in Abu Dhabi, marking the first Hindu temple built in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • The temple, constructed by the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a denomination of the Swaminarayan sampradaya, is part of a network of 1,550 temples worldwide, including prominent ones like the Akshardham temples in New Delhi and Gandhinagar, and Swaminarayan temples in various international cities.
More about the news:  Cultural and Community Significance:
  • The UAE, home to a significant Indian diaspora of nearly 3.3 million people, hosts around 150 to 200 BAPS Swaminarayan devotee families.
  • The temple’s establishment reflects the need for a significant place of worship for the local Indian community, with its construction envisioned by the tenth spiritual guru of the sect, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, as a symbol of unity bringing together countries, communities, and cultures.
Symbolism and Bilateral Relations:
  • Constructed using the traditional Nagara style, the temple features seven shikharas representing the seven Emirates of the UAE and symbolizes harmony and peace.
  • Its architecture signifies the strong bilateral relationship between India and the UAE, as emphasized by Prime Minister Modi during the inauguration ceremony.
Architectural Features:
  • The temple, built at a cost of Rs 700 crore, boasts impressive architectural elements, including Italian marble interiors, a ‘Wall of Harmony’ with inscriptions in 30 different languages, and bells paying homage to Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
  • Spread across 13.5 acres, the complex includes amenities such as assembly halls, classrooms, and a community center.
Diverse Depictions and Cultural Representations:
  • Deities from various regions of India are featured in the temple, along with depictions of rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati.
  • Additionally, murals portraying stories from Indian and global civilizations adorn the temple, reflecting a diverse array of cultural narratives.
Conclusion:
  • The inauguration of the BAPS Swaminarayan temple in Abu Dhabi marks a significant cultural and diplomatic milestone, showcasing the convergence of religious devotion, architectural splendor, and intercultural dialogue in fostering harmony and unity across nations.
About BAPS ORGANISATION
BAPS Full Form:
  • Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).
  • The organisation is named after Bhagwan Swaminarayan, a religious leader who lived in the late 1700s.
  • It is a socio-spiritual Hindu faith with its roots in the vedas and was pioneered by Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830) in the late 18th century and established in 1907 by Shastriji Maharaj (1865-1951).
  • BAPS claims to run over 3,850 centres across the world and 1,100 temples.
Akshardham Temples:
  • The Akshardham temples in Delhi and Gujarat are run by BAPS.
  • The organisation is behind the Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, which is also the world’s largest Hindu temple outside of India.
  • Akshardham Mahamandir, located 99 kilometres south of New York City, is in an area of 185 acres in New Jersey and stands at 191 feet high.
PYQ: How will you explain that medieval Indian temple sculptures represent the social life of those days? (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2022) (150 words/10 m)
Practice Question:  Critically analyze the significance of the inauguration of the BAPS Swaminarayan temple in Abu Dhabi, considering its implications for Indian diaspora, cultural diplomacy, and bilateral relations between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the construction of religious landmarks abroad and their impact on India’s international image and diplomacy. (250 words/15 m)

3. Chinese Nationals Occupy Model Border Villages Along India's Northeastern Borders, Heightening Security Concern

Topic: GS3 – Internal Security – Security challenges and their management in border areas
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding of India’s relations with neighboring countries, particularly with China, and the implications of border disputes on national security and diplomatic strategies.
Context:
  • Chinese nationals have reportedly begun occupying several model “Xiaokang” border defense villages built by China along India’s northeastern borders since 2019.
  • These villages, constructed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), serve as a manifestation of China’s territorial claims in the region and are considered dual-use infrastructure for civilian and military purposes.
  • While the exact nature of these villages remains unclear, their occupation by Chinese nationals has raised concerns for Indian military officials.
More about the news: Expansion of Chinese Infrastructure:
  • China has been constructing such villages for over five years along India’s borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region, including Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Recent reports indicate that Chinese nationals are now moving into these villages, although it’s uncertain whether they are civilians or military personnel.
  • Moreover, China has been rapidly developing infrastructure along the LAC, including areas like the Siang valley of Arunachal Pradesh, in addition to enhancing connectivity through passes, roads, bridges, and border villages.
  • This expansion also extends to Bhutanese territory.
Indian Countermeasures and Infrastructure Development:
  • India has responded by stepping up its border infrastructure development efforts.
  • Under the Vibrant Villages program, India plans to modernize 663 border villages in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Specifically in Arunachal Pradesh, villages in the eastern part of the state and the Tawang region have been identified for development.
  • Additionally, several major highways are under construction, including the Trans-Arunachal Highway, Frontier Highway, and East-West Industrial Corridor Highway, aimed at improving connectivity in the region.
Challenges and Future Prospects:
  • While India is making progress in infrastructure development, the terrain’s difficulty and unpredictable weather pose challenges and may prolong construction timelines.
  • Nonetheless, efforts are underway to enhance connectivity to passes, establish lateral connectivity between valleys, and construct helipads and landing grounds across Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Despite these challenges, India remains committed to bolstering its border infrastructure to ensure territorial integrity and enhance security along the northeastern borders.
What is the Vibrant Villages Programme?
About:
  • It is a Centrally sponsored scheme, announced in the Union Budget 2022-23 (to 2025-26) for development of villages on the northern border, thus improving the quality of life of people living in identified border villages.
  • It will cover the border areas of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh.
  • It will cover 2,963 villages with 663 of them to be covered in the first phase.
  • Vibrant Village Action Plans will be created by the district adminstration with the help of Gram Panchayats.
  • There will not be overlap with Border Area Development Programme.
Objective:
  • The scheme aids to identify and develop the economic drivers based on local, natural, human and other resources of the border villages on the northern border;
  • Development of growth centres on ‘hub and spoke model’ through promotion of social entrepreneurship, empowerment of youth and women through skill development and entrepreneurship;
  • Leveraging the tourism potential through promotion of local, cultural, traditional knowledge and heritage;
  • Development of sustainable eco-agri businesses on the concept of ‘one village-one product’ through community-based organisations, cooperatives, NGOs.
Practice Question:  Analyze the challenges and opportunities associated with India’s efforts to bolster its border infrastructure and ensure territorial integrity in the northeastern region. (150 words/10 m)

4. Wheat MSP exceeds farmers’ ‘production cost plus 50%’ demand: Data

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture – MSP
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding MSP calculations, agricultural production dynamics, and government interventions in the agricultural sector.
Context:
  • Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, two major states in India, are set to provide farmers with a wheat price higher than their long-standing demand of C2 plus 50 percent.
  • Together, these states contribute to nearly 35 percent of India’s wheat production and account for over 70 percent of total procurement for the central pool in the rabi marketing season of 2023-24.
More about the news: Discrepancy in MSP Calculation:
  • Data from the Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) indicates that the MSP for wheat, set at Rs 2,275 per quintal for the 2024-25 Rabi Marketing Season by the Centre, exceeds the C2 plus 50 percent demanded by farmers where C2 is the cost of production and is equal to the “paid out cost plus imputed value of family labour plus rental value of owned land and interest on fixed capital”.
  • However, the CACP recommends MSP based on the A2+FL formula, which includes only paid-out costs incurred by farmers and is lower compared to C2.
Higher Returns for Punjab Farmers:
  • According to the CACP report, the C2 cost of production of wheat in Punjab stands at Rs 1,503 per quintal.
  • In comparison, farmers will receive an MSP of Rs 2,275 per quintal, resulting in a return of Rs 772 per quintal or 51.36 percent over the C2 cost.
  • Similar trends are observed for paddy, with Punjab farmers experiencing returns of 49 percent over the C2 cost and 152 percent over the A2+FL cost.
Reasons for Higher Returns:
  • Punjab’s higher return is attributed to its higher yield, with projected yields for paddy and wheat exceeding the national average.
  • For instance, the projected wheat yield in Punjab for the 2023-24 Rabi Marketing Season is 49.98 quintal per hectare, the highest among all states.
National and State-Level Production:
  • Punjab contributes 15 percent of the country’s total wheat production and ranks third after Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The state’s substantial agricultural output underscores the significance of its MSP policies in influencing national agricultural dynamics.
Conclusion:
  • The increase in MSP for wheat and paddy in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh signifies a departure from farmers’ longstanding demands and reflects the government’s efforts to address agricultural concerns.
  • However, discrepancies in MSP calculation methods and varying returns across states underscore the complexity of agricultural pricing policies and the need for further dialogue and reform.
What are the Key Challenges in Legalising MSP?
Financial Burden:
  • Procuring crops at MSP requires substantial financial resources, and sustaining such procurement operations may strain government finances.
  • Balancing the budgetary allocation for MSP with other essential expenditures such as infrastructure development, social welfare programs, and defense spending poses a challenge.
  • Legal MSP cannot work if not supported by demand and supply side factors.
Disincentive for Investment:
  • MSP legalization may discourage private investment in agriculture, particularly in crops covered under MSP.
  • Private players may hesitate to invest in sectors where government intervention in pricing is prevalent, limiting innovation and modernization efforts.
Exacerbate Water Scarcity:
  • MSP-supported crops like paddy and sugarcane are water-intensive, leading to overexploitation of water resources in regions where they are cultivated extensively.
  • Legalising MSP may exacerbate water scarcity issues by promoting the cultivation of water-intensive crops, further distorting cropping patterns.
Neglect of Non-MSP Crops:
  • Legalising MSP may result in the neglect of non-MSP crops, leading to decreased cultivation of nutritious food crops, pulses, and oilseeds.
  • This can have negative implications for food security, dietary diversity, and nutritional outcomes, particularly among vulnerable populations.
Reduced Export Competitiveness:
  • Legalizing MSP may lead to higher procurement prices for MSP-supported crops, making them less competitive in the international market.
  • Elevated domestic prices could result in reduced export competitiveness, especially for crops with high MSP rates.
Trade Disputes:
  • Legalizing MSP may lead to trade disputes with importing countries, especially if the government provides subsidies or other forms of support to maintain MSP prices.
  • Such disputes can result in retaliatory measures, tariffs, or trade barriers, affecting export volumes and market access. With a legally guaranteed higher MSP, India will face stiffer opposition at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
PYQ: What do you mean by Minimum Support Price (MSP)? How will MSP rescue the farmers from the low income trap? (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2018)
Practice Question:  Discuss the implications of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) calculations and agricultural policies on farmers in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, as highlighted in recent reports from the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). (250 words/15 m)

5. INSAT-3DS: India Set to Revolutionize Weather Forecasting with Enhanced Satellite Data

Topic: GS3 – Science & Technology – Achievements of Indian S&T; Indigenization of technology This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding the role of satellite technology in weather forecasting and disaster response.
Context:
  • Weather forecasters and scientists monitoring extreme climate events in India will soon benefit from enhanced satellite data and high-resolution images provided by the upcoming launch of INSAT-3DS from Sriharikota on February 17.
  • This satellite, funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, is poised to revolutionize the tracking of cyclones, monsoons, thunderstorms, and other natural disasters, facilitating more accurate predictions and timely responses.
More about the news: Key Features of INSAT-3DS:
  • Weighing 2,274 kilograms, INSAT-3DS will offer improved capabilities for observing the atmosphere, land, and oceans.
  • It represents the latest addition to the Third Generation Meteorological Satellite series, operating from the geostationary orbit.
  • This satellite builds upon the success of predecessors like INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR, which have been instrumental in providing vital meteorological data since their launch in 2003 and 2016, respectively.
Impact on Weather Monitoring:
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has relied on INSAT data for operational meteorology since 2003.
  • The introduction of satellite-based products has significantly enhanced forecast accuracy, atmospheric and oceanic monitoring, and overall meteorological services.
  • These improvements have played a crucial role in minimizing damage to property, saving lives, and protecting livelihoods from the impacts of extreme weather events.
Payloads and Capabilities:
  • INSAT-3DS is equipped with four payloads, including an Imager, a Sounder, a Data Relay Transponder, and a Satellite-Aided Search and Rescue Transponder.
  • The multi-spectral imager will capture images of the Earth across six wavelength bands, facilitating the visualization of color-dependent atmospheric parameters such as water vapor.
  • Meanwhile, the sounder will provide vertical profiles of the atmosphere, offering valuable insights into temperature and humidity levels.
Conclusion:
  • The launch of INSAT-3DS marks a significant milestone in India’s efforts to enhance weather monitoring and disaster management capabilities.
  • By leveraging advanced satellite technology, weather forecasters will have access to more precise data and imagery, empowering them to make informed decisions and mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events on communities across the country.
PYQ: What do you understand by ‘Standard Positioning Systems’ and ‘Protection Positioning Systems’ in the GPS era? Discuss the advantages India perceives from its ambitious IRNSS programme employing just seven satellites. (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2015).
Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of the INSAT-3DS satellite launch for weather monitoring and disaster management in India, and its implications for the country’s meteorological capabilities. (150 words/10 m)

6. Centre uses British-era Act to block Internet in Punjab

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Issues arising out of their design & implementation. Relevant for UPSC: Highlights government’s use of emergency powers, impact on civil liberties, and governance issues, crucial for understanding Indian polity.
Context
●       The Indian government, using a British-era law, suspended mobile Internet in Punjab ahead of a planned farmer protest march to Delhi, citing public emergency and safety concerns.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Punjab farmer groups planned a protest march to Delhi, prompting the Union government to suspend mobile Internet in certain districts using a British-era law.
  • It’s the first time such orders were issued outside the national capital, and a departure from the usual practice where state governments issue such orders.
  • The Union Home Ministry invoked the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Rules, 2017, citing public emergency and safety, impacting 20 police stations in seven Punjab districts.
  • The provision was first used in 2019 during CAA protests in Delhi and later during the farmers’ agitation in 2020-21.
Internet Shutdowns in India
Internet as a Right:
  • Supreme Court Ruling: Declared access to the internet a fundamental right in 2017, essential for freedom of expression and other rights.
  • Digital Inclusion: Seen as crucial for education, healthcare, economic opportunity, and participation in a digital society.
Recent Bans:
  • Temporary Restrictions: Imposed in sensitive situations like protests, exams, or communal violence to maintain law and order.
  • Content Blocking: Specific websites/apps blocked for allegedly spreading misinformation, hate speech, or inciting violence.
Concerns:
  • Vagueness in Guidelines: Lack of clear criteria for imposing bans can lead to arbitrary decisions and misuse of power.
  • Chilling Effect: Fear of bans may lead to self-censorship and hinder free expression.
  • Impact on Businesses: Can cause economic losses for online businesses and stifle innovation.
Way Forward:
  • Transparent Procedures: Establish clear guidelines and transparent processes for imposing bans with judicial oversight.
  • Graduated Response: Consider less restrictive measures like content filtering before resorting to complete bans.
  • Promote Digital Literacy: Educate citizens about responsible online behavior and critical thinking skills.
  • Multi-stakeholder Dialogue: Involve all stakeholders – government, civil society, tech companies – in finding solutions that balance security with free expression.
Practice Question:  In light of the recent suspension of mobile Internet in Punjab under emergency powers, analyze the implications on civil liberties and governance in India. (150 words/10 m)

7. PM inaugurates Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu stone temple

Topic: GS2 – International relations – Bilateral relations Relevant for UPSC: Reflects diplomatic ties, cultural exchanges, and India’s soft power; explores global unity and communal harmony.
Context
  • Prime Minister Modi inaugurated Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu stone temple, highlighting cultural ties, thanking UAE leadership, and promoting global unity and communal harmony.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu stone temple, thanking UAE President Sheikh Mohammad Zayed Al Nahyan for making it a reality.
  • Built by BAPS on a 27-acre site at a cost of ₹700 crore, the temple symbolizes shared human heritage.
  • PM Modi expressed hope that the BAPS Mandir would promote communal harmony and global unity.
  • The inauguration was attended by UAE Tolerance Minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and spiritual leaders from various faiths.
  • He described the event as a new golden chapter in human history, adding cultural richness to the UAE’s identity.
  • The temple is expected to strengthen the bond between India and the UAE, winning the hearts of Indians living in the Gulf nation and across India.
  • The PM emphasised the importance of the temple as a symbol of unity, peace, and shared values among diverse communities worldwide.

8. Scientists seek more protections for ‘living fossil’

Topic: GS3 – Environment and Ecology – Conservations Crucial for UPSC: American horseshoe crab endangerment involves biodiversity, conservation challenges And potential impact on ecosystems.
Context
  • Environmental groups petition the U.S. government to grant endangered species protection for the American horseshoe crab, citing population decline due to commercial harvests, habitat loss, and climate change.
 Population Decline and Threats:
  • The American horseshoe crab, a “living fossil,” is under threat from commercial harvests for bait and biomedical use, as well as habitat loss and climate change.
  • Populations have declined significantly, with spawning numbers down two-thirds since 1990 in the Delaware Bay estuary, their historical stronghold.
  • Egg densities have fallen over 80% in the past four decades, affecting other marine species dependent on them, such as the rufa red knot, a migratory shorebird.
Ancient Creatures at Risk:
  • Horseshoe crabs are not true crabs but marine arthropods related to spiders and scorpions. Fossils of their ancestors date back 450 million years, making them among the oldest living creatures on Earth.
  • The petition, led by 23 conservation groups, aims to protect these ancient creatures from further decline.
Human Activities as Threats:
  • Pharmaceutical companies harvest horseshoe crabs for their blue-colored blood, containing a clotting agent crucial for testing drugs and medical devices for bacterial endotoxins.
  • Biomedical industry regulations permit the extraction of a portion of a horseshoe crab’s blood, but 10-15% of harvested animals die during this process.
  • Habitat loss results from oceanfront development, dredging, pollution, coastal erosion, and sea-level rise linked to global warming caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions.
Call for Endangered Species Listing:
  • The petition urges the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to declare the American horseshoe crab an endangered species, which would prohibit harm or killing without a special permit.
  • Critical habitat designation, especially during spawning season, is sought to further protect the species from multiple threats.

9. ‘MSP guarantee across crops can raise income and demand’

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture – MSP UPSC Relevance: MSP guarantee for all crops addresses agrarian challenges, impacts rural economy, and aligns with agricultural reforms, vital for examination.
Context
  • CRISIL suggests guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops in India, estimating a ₹21,000 crore cost for Marketing Year 2023, aiming to boost farm incomes and consumption demand.
 Additional information on this news:
  • CRISIL advocates guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops to boost farm incomes and stimulate consumption demand in India.
  • The estimated “real cost” of this MSP guarantee is ₹21,000 crore for Marketing Year (MY) 2023.
  • Currently, MSP-based procurement is limited to a few states, but CRISIL predicts benefits reaching other regions.
  • Analysis focuses on 16 of the 23 crops with announced MSPs, representing over 90% of India’s farm output.
  • CRISIL emphasizes the potential for cash support to farmers during price downturns and the freedom to choose crops.
  • Meaningful procurement mainly occurs in paddy and wheat, constituting 60% of India’s crop produce.
  • Limited procurement in crops like mustard may see a shift if MSP is guaranteed for all crops.
Minimum Support Price
What is it?
  • Government-declared price: Guaranteed minimum price at which the government procures certain agricultural produce from farmers.
  • Objective: Aims to protect farmers from price fluctuations and ensure remunerative income.
Current Issues:
  • Limited coverage: Only a few crops covered, excluding many important ones like fruits & vegetables.
  • Inadequate procurement: Government often falls short of its procurement targets, leaving farmers vulnerable.
  • Market distortion: Can create artificial price floors, impacting market equilibrium and consumer affordability.
  • Fiscal burden: High procurement costs strain government finances, limiting funds for other investments.
  • Alternative income avenues: Limited focus on promoting alternative income sources for farmers beyond production.
Way Forward:
  • Expand coverage: Include more crops under MSP to provide wider protection to farmers.
  • Improve procurement efficiency: Strengthen infrastructure and streamline processes to ensure effective procurement.
  • Market-oriented MSP: Shift towards flexible MSP based on market demand and cost of production.
  • Direct income support: Explore alternatives like direct income support schemes to supplement incomes.
  • Promote alternate income sources: Invest in skill development, value addition, and agri-marketing to diversify income streams.
  • Stakeholder dialogue: Encourage open dialogue between farmers, government, and market players to find sustainable solutions.
PYQ: What do you mean by Minimum Support Price (MSP)? How will MSP rescue the farmers from the low income trap? (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2018)
Practice Question:  In the context of Indian agriculture, analyze the potential impact of guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops on farm incomes and economic dynamics. (250 words/15 m)

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