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Day 11- Ques Ans

As an observant civil services aspirant, you must have followed the politics behind certain government initiatives, most prominent of them being the Smart City Project. Isn’t it unfortunate that politics sneaks into well intention programmes also? Why can’t political parties adopt a reasoned and collaborative stance on such issues? Examine.

Government programme initiated by any political party in power has shadow of its ideology. It is expected also as it is part of their election promises to common mass. However it is unnecessary many times to pull down any good initiative of past government or politicize initiative like smart city selection or Swach Bharat Mission because it needs cooperation at all level. Project like smart city need to be handling professionally beyond political gains because

  • It is a symbol of healthy cooperative federalism and competitive federalism which is core of Indian democratic values
  • Such projects demand selection purely based on its merit to ensure its acceptance by people and other stakeholders who are active stakeholders, political interfere harms such cause.
  • There is certain guideline professionally designed for such projects which accepted and presented by government itself. Political interfere suppress professional management and demoralize bureaucrats and exports.
  • Political sneaking becomes many times a sole reason for poor implementation of many well intention recommendations presented by expert committees formed by government itself. It harms public at large. Shanta Kumar committee suggestion to improve FCI and Food security act is one example of it.

Political parties may have their political compulsions like winning elections, satisfying state level leaders and so on which do not allow them to have collaborative approach. But for India as a nation it is not good in long run and national level initiatives like smart city, Swach Bharat, Housing for all, and so on need acceptance from all side. Constructive criticism must be accepted but narrow gains should not be allowed to dilute the real cause.

 

Food processing industry can become a driver of growth in the North East. Do you agree? Examine. Also assess the sustainability aspect of this industry in this region.

North East regional agriculture marketing cooperation has conducted a recent study and highlighted huge potential of food processing in seven sister states of North East India. Here potential lies because

  • Climatic condition of North east provides good rainfall, optimum temperature, and sufficient sunlight for growth of maximum crops.
  • Food processing unit requires raw material for that North east region has natural resources like forest products, land and climate for cultivation of fruits and vegetables, traditional dishes with unique flavor, and human resource which can be trained.
  • Act East policy is in active mode so for that also Industries need to be setup in the region. Marketing potential for nearby countries from here is added advantage for food process industry.
  • Organic produce is the biggest advantage for North East and Sikkim can lead other states by example. Food processing with organic products has huge potential.
  • Special state category also ensures lot of Union support which is indirect but big boost for industries to get setup here.

However food processing industry development and sustainability has few challenges also

  • Hilly Terrain and poor soil quality in many places do not suit for many commercial crops
  • Skilled human resource will be a big challenge in initial phase of project establishment.
  • Connectivity in North East states is a challenge for transportation. Similarly finding investor for storage, mechanization, and other post harvesting practices may be difficult in long run.
  • Political understanding and ease of doing business will also affect the whole process as agriculture is state subject so use of technology in agriculture and improving farming practices will be a challenge for states.
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