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PIB – 09 September 2021





Focus: GS III- Agriculture

 Why in News?

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Rabi crops for marketing season 2022-23.

 About MSP

  • The MSP is the rate at which the government buys grains from farmers.
  • Reason behind the idea of MSP is to counter price volatility of agricultural commodities due to the factors like variation in their supply, lack of market integration and information asymmetry.
 The Centre currently fixes MSPs for 23 farm commodities
  • 7 cereals (paddy, wheat, maize, bajra, jowar, ragi and barley),
  • 5 pulses (chana, arhar/tur, urad, moong and masur),
  • 7 oilseeds (rapeseed-mustard, groundnut, soyabean, sunflower, sesamum, safflower and nigerseed) and
  • 4 commercial crops (cotton, sugarcane, copra and raw jute).
Factors taken into consideration for fixing MSP include
  • Demand and supply
  • Cost of production (A2 + FL method)
  • Price trends in the market, both domestic and international
  • Inter-crop price parity
  • Terms of trade between agriculture and non-agriculture
  • A minimum of 50% as the margin over cost of production  and
  • Likely implications of MSP on consumers of that product

Procurement: The Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal central agency of the Government of India, along with other State Agencies undertakes procurement of crops.

Fixation Of MSP

The MSP is fixed on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the Union government takes a final decision on the level of MSPs and other recommendations made by the CACP.

 Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP)
  • The CACP is an attached office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • The CACP recommends the MSPs of the notified Kharif and Rabi crops to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
  • It was formed in 1965.
  • It is a statutory body.
  • It also motivates cultivators and farmers to adopt the latest technology.
  • Its suggestions are not binding on the Government.
National Commission on Farmers: Swaminathan Committee
  • The main aim of the committee was to come up with a sustainable farming system, make farm commodities cost-competitive and more profitable.
  • It, in 2006, recommended that MSPs must be at least 50% more than the cost of production.
 It talked about the cost of farming at three levels:
  • A2: All the types of cash expenditure to generate the crop like seeds, manure, chemicals, labour costs, fuel costs and irrigation costs.
  • A2+FL: It includes A2 plus an imputed value of unpaid family labour.
  • C2: Under C2, the estimated land rent and the cost of interest on the money taken for farming are added to A2 and FL.
Cropping seasons:



Focus: GS II- India and its neighbourhood

Why in News?

Ministry of Culture pointed out that Enhanced air connectivity is a critical success factor for PM’s Act East Policy.

Key points:

India Act East Policy was unveiled by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit in 2014 held in Myanmar. Act East Policy is the successor of Look East Policy.

 Look East Policy
  • In order to recover from the loss of the strategic partner -USSR (end of the Cold war 1991), India sought to build up a relationship with the USA and allies of the USA in Southeast Asia.
  • In this pursuit, former Prime minister of India P V Narasimha Rao launched Look East policy in 1992, to give a strategic push to India’s engagement with South-East Asia region.

 Act East Policy’ of India – Objectives

The Objective of ‘Act East Policy’ is to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop a strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels thereby providing enhanced connectivity to the States of North Eastern Region including Arunachal Pradesh with other countries in our neighbourhood.

 How Act East is different from Look East policy?
  • Look East policy focused on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries + Economic Integration.
    • The time when India launched Look East Policy in 1992, India’s trade with ASEAN was $2 billion. After signing the Free Trade Agreement in 2010 with ASEAN, the trade has grown to $72 billion (2017-18).
    • India is also an active participant in several regional forums like the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) etc.
  • Act East Policy focused on ASEAN countries + Economic Integration + East Asian countries + Security cooperation.
    • Prime minister of India highlighted 4C’s of Act East Policy.
      • Culture
      • Commerce
      • Connectivity
      • Capacity building
    • Security is an important dimension of India’s Act East Policy.
    • In the context of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, securing freedom of navigation and India’s own role in the Indian Ocean is a key feature of Act East Policy.
    • In pursuance of this, India has been engaged under the narrative of Indo-pacific and informal grouping called Quad.



Focus: GS II- Welfare Schemes

Why in News?

Ministry of Electronics, Minister of State for Electronics & IT, graced today the ‘Launch Program of PMGDISHA Drive & Announcement of 100% Digital Literacy of all digital villages’ under AzadiKaAmritMahotsav.

  • Under the campaign, a three day certification drive for rural citizens especially women and disadvantaged communities will be conducted from September 8th to 10th. From September 11th to 13th September, a certification  drive for PMGDISHA scheme will be conducted in a similar manner.
  • Apart from this Common Service Center (CSC) also proposed to make all the Digital Villages 100 percent Digital Literate. 

About Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan (PMGDISHA)

  • The Government of India introduced its flagship Digital Literacy Programme, “Pradhan MantriGramin Digital SakshartaAbhiyan (PMGDISHA)” in February, 2017.
  • The Scheme envisages to make six crore persons in rural areas, across States/UTs, digitally literate, reaching to around 40% of rural households by covering one member from every household where there is no digitally literate person.
  • Eligibility: The Scheme is applicable only for rural areas of the country. A household is defined as a unit comprising of Head of family, spouse, children and parents. All such households where none of the family member is digitally literate will be considered as eligible household under the Scheme.
 Objective of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan
  • The main objective of this programme is to make about six crore persons in rural areas, across States/UTs, digitally literate.
  • It was launched with the aim of bridging the digital divide and specifically targeting the rural population.
  • By this Programme, the person can learn how to operate computers and other internet services. After Completion of training the citizen can operate computer or digital access devices (like tablets, smartphones etc.), send and receive e-mails, browse the Internet, access Government services, search for information, undertake digital payment, etc.

July 2024