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Agriculture and Budget


Agriculture and Budget

The agriculture sector which employs more than 55% of  India's work force stands at a cross roads. Measures taken by the government during next few years would decide  the shape the agriculture sector would take 


Huge food grains stocks and rising exports of India’s agricultural goods, the union budget presentation for 2013-14 would not have come at a better time for the sector which employs more than half of country’s working class population. 

As finance minister P Chidambaram rose to present the union budget for the year 2013- 14, there was lot of expectation from the arming community. Nothing explains the agriculture sector better than the Economic Survey 2012-13 presented before the parliament just a day before the union budget was announced. The survey observed “Indian agriculture is broadly a story of success. It has done remarkably well in terms of output growth, despite weather and price shocks in the past few years,”.  

The Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) agricultural and allied sector witnessed an average annual growth of 3.6 percent in the gross domestic product (GDP) against a target of 4.0 percent. While it may appear that the performance of the agriculture and allied sector has fallen short of the target, production has improved remarkably, growing twice as fast as population. “India’s agricultural exports are booming at a time when many other leading producers are experiencing difficulties,” the survey which is an annual report card of government’s performance noted.  

Economic Survey India


Economic Survey-An Overview

The Survey calls for staying on the path of indicated fiscal consolidation. This, it says, is critical to sustaining the desirable macroeconomic outcomes not only in terms of higher growth in real GDP and lower inflation, but also in easing the financing of the widening current account deficit (CAD),for which India’s sovereign credit rating is important

Highlights of India Economic Survey 2012-13

-       Economic growth pegged at 6.1-6.7 percent in 2013-14
-       March 2013 inflation estimated at 6.2-6.6 per cent
-       Priority will be to rein in high inflation
-       FDI in retail to pave the way for investment in new technology and marketing of agriculture produce
-       Survey calls for widening of tax base and prioritising expenditure to bridge fiscal deficit 
-       Calls for curbing gold imports to contain current account deficit
-       Aadhaar-based direct cash transfer scheme can help plug leakages  in subsidies
-       With subsidies bill increasing, danger of missing fiscal targets is real in FY13
-       Survey pitches for hike in prices of diesel and LPG to cut subsidy burden.
-       Foreign Exchange reserves remains steady at $295.6 billion at December, 2012-end
-       At present, overall energy deficit is about 8.6 percent and peak short of power is about 9 per cent.
-       Infrastructure bottlenecks affecting industrial sector performance
-       Prospects for world trade as well as of India are still
-       Pitches for further opening of sectors for FDI

Generally seen as anticipating the union budget, the economic survey for 2012-13 tabled in parliament on February 27 on the eve of the central budget 2013-14, expectedly pitched for further reforms, cut in subsidies, definitive action on eliminating barriers to investment and employment generation.  

Cash Vs In-kind


Cash Vs In-kind

However, the message is also that use of technology without sufficient penetration may actually do more damage to the credibility of the technological innovation rather than help streamline delivery of subsidies in a better way
.... A policy initiative in India

Cash transfers are the new mantra for resolving all the problems that plague service delivery in India. However, cash transfers are neither new (scholarships, pensions and even NREGA payments are all cash transfers) nor does the much hyped roll-out of Direct Benefit Transfers through Aadhar in 21 districts involve any scheme which is not already a cash transfer. The debate really is about the future possibility of converting existing in-kind subsidies such as food, fertiliser and fuel into cash. Theoretically, there is nothing wrong in a system of cash subsidy delivery so long as beneficiaries can purchase the equivalent amount of goods and services through the cash. Proponents of cash transfers see this as a magic bullet not because this improves outcomes in terms of the stated purpose of subsidies but because it may cure problems in present service delivery which at present is plagued with serious leakages. Another argument in favour of cash transfers is that current in-kind subsidies are market distorting and the belief that therefore cash transfers may be more efficient.  

Financial Terminology



What are Non Performing Assets? 

Non Performing Assets (NPAs) are the debts for which the bank has not received any interest or principal repayment for an extended period of time. Since no income accrues to the lending institution from these debts, these are classified as NPAs. We can say that NPA refers to loans that are in jeopardy of default. If a loan instalment is not paid to a bank or financial institution for three months continuously, it is considered NPA and the bank records it as NPA in its book of accounts. NPAs create burden on the financial institutions and hence they are often good dictators of the health of a financial institution. 

What is Digital Signature? 

The digital counterpart of the handwritten signature is Digital Signature. Just as a paper document is authenticated with handwritten signature, digital signature authenticates the identity of the owner of the document in the digital world. It gives the assurance about the sender of the  document as also the fact that the document has not been altered. Digital Signature is a kind of stamp which is very difficult to duplicate and forge. The Information Technology Act, 2000 requires the use of Digital Signatures to ensure security and authenticity of all electronically filed documents. Digital Signature certificates (DSC) can be purchased from Certification Agencies (CAs) approved by the Controller of Certifying Authorities. Currently MTNL CA, TCS, IDBRT, Safety crypt (Satyam), Code Solutions, NIC, and e-Mud are the authorised Certification Agencies for individuals in India. The Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs) generally have a validity of one year or two years and are legally admissible in a court of law.

Governance and Public Policy


Governance and Public Policy: Vertical Meeting Horizontal

The good governance comes out from the strong commitment of the government where all commitment is made keeping people as focus

When I started writing this article on Public Policy and Governance, I was a bit puzzled as what to write and what not to write? Many pioneer works have been done in this area, in India and also globally. Almost all shades, of it, over the years, have been explored by various scholars and practitioners. And, my thoughts took me to an old time story written by revered writer Munshi Prem   Chandjee. This story is about a local leader who was very respectable and popular amongst the people. He, all through his life fought for the justice, equality and transparency. The leader had a very pretty and intelligent daughter with whom he used to share all his progressive thoughts and spiritual discourse. She was very impressed with her father and she always considered him as a role model. She had a lot of respect for him. She rather believed that only a person like him can give good governance and do justice to his people. Once, on the eve of a big festival, her father was invited by the local community to be the chief guest and to perform the special pooja in the temple which the community was organising and also requested him to give award and bless the youth who belonged to the same village who had done some commendable work for the society. The leader accepted the invitation and gave his consent to be the part of the special occasion. On the special day, the daughter also accompanied her father to be the part of the celebration. The special pooja was well performed and then for conferring award, the name of the youth was called for the award. The Youth came forward, touched the feet of the leader and got his blessings. His citation was read before everybody that how he helped educating people and fighting against any kind of discrimination, be it caste, class, creed, region, religion, belief etc. He was praised further about how he could bring change amongst them. The leader, in his speech, also had lot of praise for him. He admired him by saying that our country should have youth like him. He could be the role model for the whole society and generations to come. He then in his praise garlanded him and hugged him. The leader’s daughter was carefully listening to each word her father was saying in the praise of the youth and was feeling very happy within. The daughter, while returning home, was engrossed with her father’s speech and constantly thinking about her father. All the scenes were repeatedly flashing before her and reminding her again and again that how her father hugged the youth, knowing well that he comes from the lower caste. She became emotional and hugged her father and whispered in his ears, “Babujee ! I love you.” The father smiled, patted and hugged her. 

Foreign Direct Investment



Q.1. What is the objective of FDI?  

It is the intent and objective of the Government of India to attract and promote foreign direct investment in order to supplement domestic capital, technology and skills, for accelerated economic growth. Foreign Direct Investment, as distinguished from portfolio investment, has the connotation of establishing a 'lasting interest' in an enterprise that is resident in an economy other than that of the investor.  

The Government has put in place a policy framework on Foreign Direct Investment, which is transparent, predictable and easily comprehensible. This framework is embodied in the Circular on Consolidated FDI Policy, which may be updated every year, to capture and keep pace with the regulatory changes, effected in the interregnum. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India makes policy pronouncements on FDI.  

Q. 2. Who can invest in India? 

RTI-A Right to Good Governance


RTI-A Right to Good Governance

RTI act democratized the information and decentralized the power. Power no more remains confined to select few, rather it was made available equally to all the citizens

“That Government Is Best Which Governs Least.” - Henry David Thoreau

Good governance, in modern democracy, means democratization of governance. In participatory democracy people elect their leaders to govern them. But governance is not the monopoly of elected leaders. When governance becomes the privilege of select few or when the people who are governed are kept out of the affairs of governance, it degenerates into misgovernance and becomes a travesty of democracy.  

Good governance is characterized by transparency and accountability and the best way to ensure transparency and accountability in governance is through increased and informed participation of people. People are biggest stakeholder in governance, they have a critical and crucial role to play. So, it is imperative that people must have the right to know about the activities of the government.

In 2005, Indian Parliament passed Right to Information Act [RTI] which gave the common citizen the right to seek information regarding government projects, schemes and other activities. It was a landmark Act which came with the potentiality to change the very idea of governance and the power equation between common people and the government. The act was promulgated with the vision of democratization of governance and empowerment of common people Therefore, Right to Information has been given the status of a fundamental right under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. 

Child Welfare Policies


Child Welfare Policies and Programmes in India

Keeping in view the problems and challenges faced by children, laws have been introduced and various policies and programmes are being implemented, for the welfare of children in India

Every child has right to lead a decent life. The physical, mental and social well being of a child depends upon the family to which she/ he belongs. In the process of socialisation during childhood the family and school are two important institutions which play significant role for integrated development of the child. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child, child means a person male or female who is below 18 years of age. While casting glance over Indian situation, it is found that, around 440 million are children which constitute around 40 percent of country’s population. India has high rate of neo-natal deaths which is around 35 percent in the world. Around 50 percent of child mortality occurs in the country. Keeping in view the problems and challenges faced by the Indian children, laws have been introduced and various policies and programmes are being implemented for the welfare of children in India.  


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