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The Hindu Editorial

25-November-2023

1. Need for climate-smart agriculture in India

Topic: GS3 – Indian agriculture and climate change.

Challenges in Agriculture Due to Climate Change:

  • Climate change poses significant challenges to agriculture, with heat waves, floods, droughts, and cyclones affecting lives and livelihoods.
  • Southern continents are experiencing severe droughts impacting agricultural production and farmers’ livelihoods.

Factors Contributing to Increased Food Demand:

  • Population expansion and dietary changes contribute to an increased demand for food.
  • Environmental effects exacerbate the difficulty faced by traditional farming practices.

Impact on Agricultural Productivity in India:

  • Climate change is projected to cause a crop yield decline of up to 9% in India between 2010 and 2039.

Importance of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA):

  • CSA provides a holistic framework for transforming food and agriculture systems to support sustainable development.
  • Three pillars of CSA include increasing productivity, adapting to climate change, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Dimensions of Climate-Smart Practices:

  • Climate-smart practices include water-smart, weather-smart, energy-smart, and carbon-smart approaches.
  • These practices aim to improve productivity, address land degradation, and enhance soil health.

Global Recognition of CSA:

  • CSA is globally recognized for minimizing and adapting to climate change effects on agriculture.
  • Community-supported agriculture efforts worldwide focus on creating resilient and environmentally friendly agricultural systems.

Benefits of CSA Implementation:

  • CSA promotes crop diversification, water efficiency, and integration of drought-resistant crops.
  • It increases resilience to climate-related risks and enhances economic autonomy for farmers.
  • CSA aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing the end of hunger and improved environmental management.

Role in Biodiversity Conservation:

  • CSA’s ecosystem-based approach helps cropland and wild regions coexist, contributing to biodiversity conservation.
  • It safeguards native plant species, stabilizes pollinator populations, and mitigates habitat degradation.

Reducing GHG Emissions and Carbon Storage:

  • CSA plays a crucial role in lowering GHG emissions, with the agricultural sector contributing 17% to emissions in 2018.
  • It aids in enhancing farmland carbon storage, aligning with global goals to limit global warming.

Government Initiatives in India:

  • Government initiatives in India, such as the Soil Health Card Scheme and National Action Plan on Climate Change, focus on climate-resilient agriculture.
  • Various programs like the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana promote CSA.

Unique Opportunity for India:

  • India, with a large population of small and marginal farmers, stands at a unique juncture to adopt CSA.
  • CSA adoption is essential for increasing farmer profits, ensuring food security, and protecting ecosystems.

Government and Private Sector Involvement:

  • Government initiatives and public-private partnerships, including farmer-producer organizations and NGOs, work towards CSA adoption.
  • Capacity-building programs and practical CSA tools are essential for localized responses to climate change.

Conclusion:

  • CSA stands out as a source of inspiration and transformation in ensuring a sustainable future amidst the challenges of climate change.
  • The path of CSA assures food security, empowers farmers, and protects ecosystems through innovation, resilience, and sustainability.

Question: How does Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) contribute to sustainable development, food security, and climate resilience in the context of challenges faced by traditional farming practices? Discuss with reference to India’s initiatives and the global significance of CSA.

2. No vote for veto

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity.

Context:

  • The Supreme Court has made a commendable decision by regarding the power of Governors to veto legislation.

Governors in a parliamentary democracy:

  • They do not have a unilateral veto over Bills passed by the legislature.
  • The Supreme Court emphasized this principle in a case related to Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s withholding of assent to certain Bills in Punjab.

Reading of Article 200:

  • The Supreme Court interpreted Article 200, which deals with the grant of assent to Bills, in line with the core tenet of parliamentary democracy.
  • The elected regime responsible to the legislature runs the State’s affairs.

Options for Governors:

  • Assenting to Bills is a routine function.
  • Withholding assent or reserving a Bill for the President’s consideration has been controversial.
  • A proviso in Article 200 allows the Governor to return the Bill to the House for reconsideration, but withholding assent after the Bill’s second passage is not permissible.

Power to withhold assent and the proviso:

  • The Supreme Court clarified that when the Governor withholds assent, the Bill must be sent back to the legislature for reconsideration.
  • This implies that the Governor either grants assent initially or will be compelled to do so after the Bill’s second passage.

Governors’ role and responsibilities:

  • Governors, functioning on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, cannot indefinitely delay action on Bills.
  • They must act as soon as possible, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
  • Governor Purohit’s argument that the session was illegal was rejected.
  • The Court ruled that the earlier session had only been adjourned, not prorogued.

Preventing controversies:

  • The verdict aims to avoid controversies over the role of Governors in the law-making process.
  • It seeks to end the tussle between elected regimes and the Centre’s appointees.

Residual scope for controversy:

  • There might be a residual scope for controversy if Governors, deprived of the power to unilaterally reject Bills, start referring disapproved Bills to the President.
  • Efforts should be made to prevent such a situation from arising.

Question: Discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling on Governors’ powers in a parliamentary democracy, emphasizing its significance in upholding the principles of legislative functioning and the accountability of constitutional authorities.

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