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PIB Summaries 31 August 2023

CONTENTS

  1. Regional Rural Banks
  2. India’s 6th Minor Irrigation Census

Regional Rural Banks


Context:

Union Finance Minister recently emphasised regional rural banks (RRBs) to upgrade their digital capability and increase penetration under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.

Relevance:

GS II: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)?
  2. Functions of RRBs
  3. Issues Related to RRBs

What are Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)?

Set up on the recommendations of Narasimhan Committee on Financial Inclusion in 1976.

  • Can only operate in the areas specified by GOI.
  • Objective of providing credit to the agricultural and rural regions.
  • Financial strength and expertise of commercial banks and Grassroot problem awareness of cooperative societies.
  • CRR and SLR limits apply
  • CAR — 9%
  • Not allowed to borrow under the MSF window.

Shareholding:

  • Union: 50%
  • State: 15%
  • Sponsor bank: 35%.
Functions of RRBs:
  • To provide safety to the savings of customers
  • To create credit and increase the supply of money
  • To encourage public confidence in the financial system
  • To mobilize the savings of public
  • To increase its network so as to reach every segment of the society
  • To provide financial services to all customers irrespective of their level of income
  • To bring in social equity by providing financial services to every stratum of society.

Issues Related to RRBs

  • Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are operating at a higher cost than scheduled commercial banks, and many of their branches are losing money as a result of a lack of business.
  • They primarily provide government programmes like Direct Benefit Transfer in rural areas. Currently, only 19 RRBs have access to online banking, and only 37 have mobile banking licences.
  • Only RRBs that maintain a minimum statutory capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) of more than 10% are permitted under current legislation to offer internet banking.

India’s 6th Minor Irrigation Census


Context:

The Ministry of Jal Shakti has published the 6th census of minor irrigation schemes, covering the reference year 2017-18. This census follows five previous ones conducted in various years, with the latest being in 2013-14. The new census provides insights into the current state of irrigation practices in India.

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Findings of the Report: Insights from the 6th MI Census
  2. Leading States in MI Schemes
  3. Minor Irrigation Schemes: Enhancing Agricultural Water Supply

Key Findings of the Report: Insights from the 6th MI Census

Distribution of MI Schemes

  • A total of 23.14 million minor irrigation (MI) schemes documented in India.
  • Groundwater (GW) schemes constitute 94.8%, while Surface Water (SW) schemes make up 5.2%.

Types of MI Schemes

  • Dug-wells occupy the largest portion of MI schemes.
  • Ranking: Dug-wells, shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, deep tube-wells.

Growth and Comparison

  • Compared to the prior census, the 6th MI census indicates an increase of around 1.42 million MI schemes.
  • Groundwater schemes experience a 6.9% rise, while Surface Water schemes increase by 1.2%.
Leading States in MI Schemes
  • Uttar Pradesh takes the lead in total MI schemes.
  • Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu follow closely.
  • Maharashtra excels in dug-wells, surface flow, and surface lift schemes.
  • State leaders in different types: Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Punjab for shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, and deep tube-wells, respectively.

Regional Distribution of SW Schemes

  • Top states with SW schemes: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, Jharkhand.
Ownership and Financing
  • About 96.6% of MI schemes are under private ownership.
  • Groundwater schemes: 98.3% under private entities; SW schemes: 64.2% under private ownership.
  • Single-source financing for 60.2% of schemes, with significant contributions from farmers’ personal savings (79.5%).
  • 39.8% of schemes rely on multiple sources of financing.

Inclusion of Gender Data

  • First-time collection of gender data for MI scheme owners.
  • 18.1% of individually owned schemes are owned by women.

Minor Irrigation Schemes: Enhancing Agricultural Water Supply

  • A minor irrigation scheme pertains to an irrigation initiative that employs either surface water or groundwater for irrigating a cultivable command area (CCA) of up to 2,000 hectares.
  • The Cultivable Command Area (CCA) refers to land suitable for cultivation that can be effectively irrigated by a specific scheme.
Classification and Components
  • Minor irrigation schemes are categorized into two primary types and six sub-categories.
  • Ground Water (GW) Schemes: Encompass dugwells, shallow tube wells, medium tube wells, and deep tube wells.
  • Surface Water (SW) Schemes: Include surface flow and surface lift schemes.
Purpose and Benefits
  • These schemes play a crucial role in providing farmers with controlled and timely irrigation, which is essential for the successful cultivation of modern high-yielding seed varieties.
  • Characteristics: Labor-intensive, relatively short implementation period, and requiring reasonable investment for setup.

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