Paper: GS 3
Subject: Indian Economy
Topic: e-technology in the aid of farmers
e- NAM is an online national agricultural products market platform that will integrate 585 wholesale markets across India.
- The launching of e-platform for marketing of agriculture products is being done with the aim to provide more options to farmers to sell their produce.
- This initiative is part of implementation of the roadmap for doubling income of the farmers by 2022.
What is National Agriculture Market (NAM)?
NAM is an online platform with a physical market or mandi at the backend. NAM is not a parallel marketing structure but rather an instrument to create a national network of physical mandis which can be accessed online.
- It seeks to leverage the physical infrastructure of mandis through an online trading portal, enabling buyers situated even outside the state to participate in trading at the local level.
NAM is said to have the following advantages:
- For the farmers, NAM promises more options for sale. It would increase his access to markets through warehouse based sales and thus obviate the need to transport his produce to the mandi.
- For the local trader in the mandi / market, NAM offers the opportunity to access a larger national market for secondary trading.
- Bulk buyers, processors, exporters etc. benefit from being able to participate directly in trading at the local mandi / market level through the NAM platform, thereby reducing their intermediation costs.
- The gradual integration of all the major mandis in the States into NAM will ensure common procedures for issue of licences, levy of fee and movement of produce. In a period of 5-7 years Union Cabinet expects significant benefits through higher returns to farmers, lower transaction costs to buyers and stable prices and availability to consumers.
- The NAM will also facilitate the emergence of value chains in major agricultural commodities across the country and help to promote scientific storage and movement of agri goods.
Are existing APMCs or mandis capable of handling NAM?
Experts say that infrastructure available for NAM at local markets varies from state to state. The NAM platform is being supported by agriculture ministry, which is bearing maintenance costs for each mandi.
- The integration cost for local mandis and customisation of software, training, etc, will also be paid for by the ministry as a one-time grant of around R30 lakh at the time of accepting the mandi in the national network.
- However, the running costs of the software at the local level, staff costs for quality check, etc, will be met with the transaction fee to be generated through the sale of produce.
- The key reason behind this support is to avoid any upfront investment by the mandi when it integrates into NAM, and enable it to support the running cost through additional generation of revenue.
Generalized System of Preferences(GSP)
Paper: GS 3
Subject: Indian Economy
Topic: Effects of liberalisation on the economy (post 1991 changes), changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
the US government has withdrawn its GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) benefits to India worth $70 million on as many as 50 items mostly from handloom and agriculture sector.
- Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is an umbrella that comprises the bulk of preferential schemes granted by industrialized nations to developing countries.
- It involves reduced Most Favored Nations (MFN)Tariffs or duty-free entry of eligible products exported by beneficiary countries to the markets of donor countries.
- The idea of granting developing countries preferential tariff rates in the markets of industrialized countries was originally presented at the first UNCTAD conference in 1964.
- The GSP was adopted at UNCTAD in New Delhi in 1968 and was instituted in 1971.
- There are currently 13 national GSP schemes notified to the UNCTAD secretariat.
- The following countries grant GSP preferences:
- European Union
- New Zealand
- Russian Federation
- United States of America.
Benefits of Generalized System of Preference
- Economic growth and development in the developing worldby helping beneficiary countries to increase and diversify their trade with the developed nations.
- Employment –Moving GSP imports from the docks to consumers, farmers, and manufacturers supports tens of thousands of jobs in the developed nation.
- Company Competitivenessis boosted by GSP as it reduces costs of imported inputs used by companies to manufacture goods.
- GSP promotes Global valuesby supporting beneficiary countries in affording worker rights to their people, enforcing intellectual property rights, and supporting the rule of law.
GSP for India
- Indian exporters benefit indirectly by way of reduced tariff or duty free entry of eligible Indian products.
- Reduction or removal of import duty on an Indian product makes it more competitive.
- This tariff preference helps new exporters to penetrate a market and established exporters to increase their market share and to improve upon the profit margins.
- It allows India to integrate with global value chains and hence with global markets.
GSP for US
- Cheaper imports of intermediary products from India enable availability of cost-effective and price-competitive inputs to the US downstream industries.
- It also helps the US firms remain domestically and internationally competitive.
Impact of GSP Withdrawal
- The products on which India receives GSP benefits belong to labour intensive sectors such as textile, handloom and agriculture.
- India will lose out on preferential tariff on exports worth of nearly $ 5. 6 billion under the GSP route out of the total exports of $48 bn in 2017-18.
- India could lose US market share to rivals like Vietnam and Bangladesh, which will continue have duty-free access.
National Afforestation Programme
Paper: GS 3
Subject: Environment and Ecology
Topic: Environmental pollution and degradation
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is implementing plantation/afforestation schemes in the forest areas with participatory approach.
- The plantation species under the schemes is selected by the implementing agencies/the members of Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMC) on the basis of their needs, ecological conditions and other local factors in consultation with the Forest Department.
- The native forest species are encouraged for plantation in the forest areas giving importance to trees with multiple uses. MoEF&CC has not issued any specific direction for plantation of fruit bearing trees as it is decided by the JFM Committees considering local conditions and the micro plan of the area.
- The conservation and development of forest primarily involves three strategies – afforestation through natural/artificial regeneration, protection and management.
Anaemia Mukt Bharat
Paper: GS 2
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
It has been launched in the year 2018 as part of Intensified National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI) Program for accelerating the annual rate of decline of anaemia from one to three percentage points.
- The target groups for AMB are Children 6-59 months, 5-9 years, Adolescent Girls & Boys of 10-19 years, Women of Reproductive Age (15-49 years), Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers.