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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 10 August 2023


Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 10 August 2023


Contents

  1. Promoting Sustainable Agriculture with Seed Technology
  2. A Deeper Look at Recent Riots: Dynamics and Implications

Promoting Sustainable Agriculture with Seed Technology


Context:

  • Despite India’s notable achievements in establishing food security through increasing foodgrain production, there is still a sizable gap in supply when it comes to vegetables, coarse cereals, pulses, and oilseeds.
  • This gap causes malnutrition problems, particularly among the disadvantaged population, emphasising the need for better agricultural practises. Putting a focus on the value of high-quality seeds and utilising modern technology.

Relevance: 

GS Paper 3 – Agriculture

Mains Question

Describe the development of the seed industry in India and the role it plays in achieving sustainable agriculture. Emphasise how the sector has changed as a result of technology improvements and governmental backing. (150 Words)


The Development of the Seed Industry in India:

  • The National Seeds Corporation’s founding in the 1960s set the groundwork for India’s seed sector, which was later strengthened by benevolent regulations and policies. A change to a technology-driven seed industry was signalled by significant turning points like the Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers Rights Act, 2001, and the release of Bt cotton hybrids.
  • This transition was crucial in boosting agricultural output and addressing climate change problems.

Threats from climate change mitigation:

Indian agriculture, which is mostly supported by smallholder farmers, faces tremendous challenges from climate change, resource depletion, and natural disasters. India must effectively utilise available technology, including traditional agricultural knowledge, in order to advance towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those related to agriculture and nutrition.

The Possibilities of Millets

• The adaptability and nutrient-richness of millets make them a viable crop for sustainable agriculture. India, the world’s largest millet producer, has the capacity to maximise the potential of this crop by generating better variety, quality-assured seeds.

• By enhancing seed supply and quality through the use of applied technologies, crops can flourish in a variety of environments and under a variety of stresses.

Enhancing Quality and Performance with Seed Technology

Seed technology has advanced to include genetic modification, priming, film coating, biological seed treatments, and more. In addition to improving seed quality, these technologies also give seeds the ability to survive a variety of biotic and abiotic challenges.

Seed technology helps to increase germination rates and seedling growth by adding pest control measures through film coating and other cutting-edge approaches.

Sustainability and cost factors:

  • Although the cost of seeds only makes up a small portion of all production costs, they have a significant impact on yield and profitability. Improved varieties’ quality-assured seeds can produce advantages of up to 15-20% over their genetic potential. The transition away from farm-saved seeds and towards quality-assured seeds shows that farmers have realised the advantages.
  • Sustainable seed technologies, supported by public and private sector research and development initiatives, can further improve planting value and crop performance.

Public and private sector collaboration:

  • The development of sustainable seed technologies relies heavily on the collaboration between the public and private sectors. Among the new technologies include genetic engineering, priming, film coating, and the addition of AI-responsive sensors and materials.
  • The inclusion of bio-stimulants in the Fertiliser (Inorganic, Organic, or Mixed) (Control) Amendment Order, 2021, as an example of regulatory support, sets the way for a more widespread adoption of seed improvement techniques.

Regulatory Mechanisms: Building a Future:

  • Regulations that are supportive of these advances are essential for their success. Important first steps include including coated/pelleted seed in the Certified Seed (CS) category and developing criteria for seeds’ AI-based reactions under particular circumstances. Such actions can greatly lessen the environmental impact of pesticide load, dust-off, and other factors.
  • To assure the quality of seedlings and planting materials, the integration of seed technology into conventional agriculture necessitates strong regulatory procedures. Initiatives like the Government of India’s proposed Clean Green Mission offer a framework for regulating and promoting sustainable seed technologies. India can take use of the benefits of cutting-edge seed technologies to enhance sustainable agriculture by integrating scientific validation with favourable regulatory frameworks.

Conclusion

Utilising the promise of cutting-edge seed technology is essential for bridging the yield gap, ensuring food security, and tackling hunger. India can pioneer sustainable agriculture by utilising genetic advancements, cutting-edge therapies, and regulatory support. The country can strengthen its agricultural resilience, empower farmers, and guarantee a prosperous and secure future for its people by concentrating on improving seed quality and performance.


A Deeper Look at Recent Riots: Dynamics and Implications


Context-

The recent escalation in violence in the Nuh district and Gurgaon, Haryana, has brought attention to the ongoing problem of Hindu-Muslim confrontations in India and also revealed a new dimension in terms of its character, effects, and underlying causes. Although the region’s economic difficulties are frequently mentioned, it is easier to think of this violence as the result of conflicting identities within a polarised political environment. This essay explores the complex nature of the riots, taking into account elements including the historical setting, government response, communalism, and ideological influences.

Relevance: 

GS Paper 1 – Society – communalism

Mains Question

Examine the recent escalation of violence in the context of political polarisation and communalism in Nuh and Gurgaon, Haryana. Analyse the government’s response, prevailing ideologies, and related debates. (250 Words)


Describe communalism.

A commitment to one’s own community is referred to as communalism. It is viewed as an unhealthy connection to one’s own faith in Indian popular discourse.

Competing Identities and Polarisation:

  • The violence in Gurgaon and Nuh district is revealed to be a result of the assertion of competing identities within a polarised political climate.
  • The historical institutionalised riot system (IRS), as described by academic Paul Brass, gives a framework for understanding the spontaneity and extent of the violence in the context of a polity that provides diverse patronage to non-state actors.

State Response and Ideological goal:

The Haryana and Punjab Court’s observation that the state’s response to the riots amounted to “ethnic cleansing” serves as a stark illustration of the ideological goal behind it. This answer highlights how deeply polarised politics have permeated different spheres of the state and society, fueling an increase in violence.

The Debate about Prayers and Its Consequences

  • The issue over prayer and its implications provides important insights into the dynamics of intergroup conflict. While some of the charges of public discomfort are true, other religious processions also cause a similar amount of trouble.
  • In the past, compromise and respect between parties have lessened these problems. However, the growing intolerance in our society today raises questions about the just society and brotherhood that are enshrined in our constitution.

Indian communalism’s development

This evolution has been greatly influenced by a number of significant events and regulations:

  • “Divide and Rule” Policy: In order to maintain power, the British colonial authorities used a strategy known as “divide and rule,” which involved purposefully stoking tensions between various communities. They fostered the seeds of communalism by putting communities against one another, which resulted in hostilities and conflicts.
  • The Bengal Partition (1905): Community tensions were heightened by the British decision to divide Bengal in 1905 along religious lines. This action exacerbated religious identities and tensions by creating a province with a majority of Muslims in the east and a province with a majority of Hindus in the west.
  • Community Prize (1932): Based on the demographic ratios of various marginalised populations, the British government introduced the Communal Award in 1932, allocating legislative assembly seats. Although it sought to alleviate socioeconomic injustices, it unintentionally strengthened local identities and divisions.
  • Appeasement Policies: The British government’s appeasement policies, which favoured some communities for political reasons, fueled communalism. Feelings of exclusion and unfair treatment were caused by this selective treatment among distinct groups.

Factors Fueling Community Violence

  • Divisive politicians that take advantage of religious and cultural differences to further their own agendas are frequently to blame for communal violence.
  • Economic inequalities leave communities susceptible to manipulation, including uneven development, poverty, and unemployment.
  • Historical precedent, wherein previous riots serve as a breeding ground for subsequent confrontations, and appeasement politics also play important roles. Additionally, tensions among the Muslim community are exacerbated by isolation, economic disadvantage, and increasing Hindu-Muslim economic rivalry.
  • The tense environment is exacerbated by administrative flaws, psychological issues such a lack of intercommunity trust, and the media’s involvement in spreading sensationalism.

Actions to Combat Communalism

  • Comprehensive action is needed to reduce racial violence. These include compensation to dissuade violence and judicial reform for quick trials. Diverse groups can be represented in law enforcement through increasing representation of minorities and improved human rights education.
    • Specialised investigation teams and police units with riot management training can help with quick action.
    • It is vital to have a focus on value-oriented education in schools that supports world peace, secularism, and humanism.
    • Systems for early warning that are based on effective programmes like Malaysia’s Mesra can help keep an eye on tensions.
    • Promoting civil society participation, putting minority welfare programmes into place, and proactive work by groups like the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) can promote harmony and reduce intergroup disputes.
    • Legislative action, such as passing the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control, and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, 2005, may also be used to foster peace and reduce intercommunal conflict.

Conclusion:

In a divisive political environment, the recent riots in Nuh and Gurgaon indicate a troubling tendency of targeting minorities. The complex nature of the problem is highlighted by the interaction of conflicting identities, state action, ideological influences, and communal dynamics. Violence remains a real possibility as long as true secular interventions are not made. To stop the recurrence of such sad incidents, a comprehensive strategy that addresses both intercommunal tensions and the underlying economic difficulties is essential.


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