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12-Oct -2023

1. Women and youth agri-preneurs need support to foster just and resilient agri-food systems.

Topic: GS3 – Food security


  • Gender inequality in agri-food systems is a significant global challenge, with women often being less food secure than men.
  • Challenges faced by women and youth agri-preneurs include limited access to finance, limited land ownership, informal and unpaid work, and limited opportunities to voice their needs.
  • An international gender conference titled “From research to impact: Towards just and resilient agri-food systems” was held at ICAR-NASC Pusa.

Challenges faced by women and youth agri-preneurs:

  • Finance: Limited access to funding and loans.
  • Land Ownership: Restricted land ownership hinders agricultural opportunities.
  • Informal Work: Engaging in unpaid and informal agricultural tasks.
  • Voice: Limited opportunities to express needs and concerns.
  • Loan Access: Difficulty securing loans, especially without prior success.
  • Capacity-Building: The need for skill development and training.
  • Persistence: Overcoming challenges requires determination and patience.
  • Gender Disparities: Unequal treatment and opportunities for women in agriculture.

Way Forward:

  • Financial Inclusion: Promote financial literacy and establish microfinance programs to facilitate easier access to capital for women and youth agri-preneurs.
  • Land Reform: Advocate for policies that promote land ownership rights for women and youth in agriculture.
  • Formalization: Encourage the formal recognition and compensation for informal and unpaid agricultural labor.
  • Empowerment: Create platforms for women and youth agri-preneurs to voice their needs and participate in decision-making processes.
  • Mentorship and Training: Develop mentorship programs and training initiatives to build skills and confidence among agri-preneurs.
  • Support Networks: Establish support networks and associations for agri-preneurs to share experiences and resources.
  • Promote Resilience: Encourage persistence and patience as key qualities for success in agri-entrepreneurship.
  • Policy Reforms: Advocate for gender-sensitive policies that address gender disparities in agriculture.
  • Data Inclusion: Ensure that data collection and analysis include the experiences and contributions of women and youth in agriculture.

Question:  Discuss the key challenges faced by women and youth agri-preneurs in the agricultural sector and propose policy measures to empower and support their participation in building resilient agri-food systems.


2. Cabinet approves royalty rates for mining of three critical and strategic minerals- Lithium, Niobium and Rare Earth Elements

Topic: GS3 – mineral exploration


  • The Union Cabinet approved amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, to specify royalty rates for Lithium, Niobium, and Rare Earth Elements (REEs).
  • The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2023, was recently passed, delisting six minerals, including Lithium and Niobium, from the list of atomic minerals, allowing concessions to the private sector through auctions.
  • Mining leases and licenses for 24 critical and strategic minerals, including Lithium, Niobium, and REEs (excluding Uranium and Thorium), will be auctioned by the Central Government.

What are strategic minerals:

Strategic minerals, also known as critical minerals or strategic resources, are natural resources that hold significant importance due to their crucial role in various industrial, technological, and defense applications.

Significance of strategic minerals:

  • National Security: Strategic minerals are vital for defense and military technologies, ensuring a country’s national security and preparedness.
  • Economic Growth: They drive economic development by supporting advanced manufacturing, high-tech industries, and job creation.
  • Technological Advancements: Strategic minerals underpin cutting-edge technologies, such as electronics, renewable energy, and aerospace, fostering innovation.
  • Supply Chain Stability: Access to these minerals from domestic sources reduces supply chain vulnerabilities and dependence on foreign suppliers.
  • Environmental Solutions: Some strategic minerals are essential for clean energy technologies and environmental protection, contributing to sustainability and climate change mitigation.

Question:  Examine the role of strategic minerals in shaping a nation’s economic and technological landscape, and assess the strategies a country can employ to secure a reliable supply of these critical resources.


3. Cabinet approves establishment of an autonomous body Mera Yuva Bharat.

Topic: GS3 – mineral exploration

  • MY Bharat Launch: Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) to be launched on October 31, 2023, on National Unity Day.
  • Objective: Establishment of an autonomous body to promote youth development and youth-led development through technology, empowering young individuals in the age group of 15-29 years.
  • Youth Empowerment: MY Bharat aims to shift youth from passive recipients to active drivers of development by fostering leadership, innovation, and alignment with community needs.
  • Government Platform: MY Bharat is envisioned as a whole-of-Government platform for youth development, providing resources, opportunities, and efficient convergence of existing programs.
  • Connectivity: MY Bharat seeks to create a centralized youth database and enhance two-way communication between the youth and government initiatives, bridging the gap between aspirations and community needs.
  • Vision 2047: In the context of India’s 75 years of independence, MY Bharat is designed to unite rural, urban, and rurban youth to achieve the goals of Vision 2047.
  • Technology-led: Recognizing the need for contemporary technology-driven engagement with today’s youth, MY Bharat focuses on a “phygital” ecosystem to empower youth for community transformation.
  • Community Catalysts: Youth under MY Bharat become “Yuva Setu,” connecting the government with citizens and contributing to nation-building.
  • Amrit Bharat: MY Bharat’s platform is aligned with the concept of building an “Amrit Bharat” by 2047.
  • Phygital Ecosystem: The platform integrates physical and digital elements, leveraging technology to engage millions of young people and promote community activities.


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