Focus: GS II- Education, Prelims

Why in news?

QS Quacquarelli Symonds, global higher education analysts has released the 18th edition of the world’s International University rankings.

Key Points:
  • Three Indian Universities have achieved top-200 positions in QS World University Rankings 2022. IISc Bengaluru ranked number 1 in the world for research.
  • IIT Bombay secured 177th position , IIT Delhi  secured 185th rank  and  IISc Bengaluru  secured 186th position in universities rankings. 
How are universities ranked in QS World Rankings?

The methodology used six indicators to determine the institutions’ rankings — academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), faculty-student ratio (20%), citations per faculty (20%), proportion of international students (5%) and proportion of international faculty (5%).


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 Kharif crops for marketing season 2021-22.

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.

Extra info:

Cropping seasons:
No 2. 3. Cropping Season Rabi Kharif Zaid Time Period Sown: October- December Harvested: April- June Sown: June-July Harvested: September- October Sown and harvested: March July (between Rabi and Kharif) Crops Wheat, barley, peas, gram, mustard etc. Rice, maize, jowar, bajra, tur, moong, urad, cotton, jute, groundnut, soybean etc. Seasonal fruits, vegetables, fodder crops etc. Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh Assam, West Bengal, coastal regions of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra Most of the northern and northwestern states


Focus: Security challenges, Prelims

Why in news?

The 31st edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy is being conducted from 09 – 11 June 2021.

Key points:
  • Naval Exercise: India and Thailand have been carrying out CORPAT along their International Maritime Boundary Line twice a year since 2005.
  • Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel and His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Krabi, anOffshore Patrol Vessel, along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies are participating in the CORPAT.
  • To keep part of the Indian Ocean safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade.
  • CORPAT builds up understanding and interoperability between navies and facilitates institution of measures to prevent and suppress unlawful activities like Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.
  • It further helps enhance the operational synergy by exchange of information for prevention of smuggling, illegal immigration and for conduct of SAR operations at sea.

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