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Day 76- Ques Ans

The govt has decided redevelop 400 railway stations using the Swiss challenge method. What is this method? What are its advantages? Discuss.

In the era of PPP, many models have been tried and tested for successful implementation and Swiss model is one such innovation. originated in EU, India has adopted it as experiment for developing 400 railway stations. Under Swiss challenge model, any individual or institution, can submit development proposal to government to implement any new or existing project. It can be submit online for public scrutiny. Any individual/institute can provide suggestion on original proposal for modification and improvement. Government will accept best suggestion, will ask original party to match the improve and compete the best alternate proposal. If original party is fail to do so than contract will be award to best alternate proposal.
Before railway contract it was adopted by different states in India. SC accepted it in 2009 as method for award contracts. It has following advantages-
1- It will cover all projects under PPP and also help to cover projects beyond PPP framework.
2- Process of swill model offers best proposal development for a project.
3- when different PPP models like BOP, BOD are in trouble than it can provide one successful alternative.
4- it cuts red tapism and and reduce time line to implement project
5- Allows for innovation and technology implementation
However it is not beyond criticism as
1- Global experiences are not much positive in countries like Australia, South Africa and so on.
2- it can turned to cartelizaton and crony capitalism.
3- Regulatory and judiciary framework need to improve in India for any model like Swiss model.
Swill model need to taste in small projects before implementing and experimenting on large projects. its implementation for 400 railway stations is welcoming on this regard.

What do you understand by nutrient based subsidy (NBS)? Discuss its merits. How keeping urea outside the ambit of NBS has defeated the purpose of promoting balanced fertilizer consumption? Discuss.

Nutrient based subsidy programme for fertilizer was initiated in 2010, under that scheme for all non urea fertilizers, subsidy provided by government is based on total nutrient presence in the fertilizer. It is largely for secondary nutrients like N, P, S and K and micro nutrients which are very important for crop growth and development.
NBS has many benefits as
1- It diversified the fertilizer use can help to maintain NPK ratio in soil.
2- Promotion of complex fertilizers.
3- It will promote micro nutrients fortification so will reduce burden for small farmers to purchase them separately.
4- NBS will reduce subsidy burden and ensure rationality in fertilizer subsidy.
5- Reduce government regulation on fertilizer pricing.
However success of NBS for fertilizer use balance is mot much visible as per expectation as Economic Survey also pointed out because of keeping urea out of NBS preview. It has created few challenges-
1-Government regulation make urea much cheaper
2- Cheap urea access disturbing the NPK ratio in soil also so whole rational to balance fertilizer use get defeated.
3- Urea out of preview of NBS so inefficient urea producing firms are still in competition and causing more pollution compare to advance gas based urea production.
4-Limited access for P & K fertilizers as compare to urea is also one reason for fertilizer dis-balance in soil.There is urgent need to cover urea under NBS so firms will get incentive to promote other fertilizers, improve soil health, increase use of soil health card, and will reduce government fertilizer subsidy burden. 

High minimum support prices (MSPs) induce distortions, some of which ultimately hurt the poor. Examine.

Minimum support price promoted by CACP since evolution of Green Revolution in 1965 and it was one of the prime reason behind success of green revolution.However with passing time it has been realized that MSP is hurting more to poor than delivering good to small farmers; it can understand with following facts
1- Economic survey pointed out that only around 6% farmers getting benefits of MSP and largely big farmers so actual needy farmers out of its coverage.
2- Rise in MSP linked to inflation in past and poor are most vulnerable against inflation.
3- MSP promotes few crops like rice and wheat but production and area of crops like pulse, oil seeds, vegetables, get reduce so
total cost increases and availability get reduces for poor.
4- It creates market distortion and hurts demand supply balance.
5- FCI and other storage are full with MSP supported crops and little space for other crops so no incentive for small farmers to produce vegetable and fruits which need proper post harvest infrastructure.
6- MSP to few crops adversely contributes for poor soil quality in long run; Example soil degradation in Punjab and Haryana.
Farmers in India need MSP support from government for feeding huge population under RTF but its implementation need more rationality. Rather focusing pure on MSP as agriculture solution, need to think for long run solution like land improvement, increasing irrigating, support crop diversity, DBS for MSP under JM for its transparent reach, and so on.

The existing food management and distribution framework in India is faced with many anomalies and challenges. Elucidate. What steps can be taken to address them?

Indian agriculture faces few key management and distribution challenges
1- Few crops like grains are in surplus and many are deficit so we are force to import like pulse and oil seed.
2- Post harvest practices like thrashing and harvesting are not scientific so lose during post harvest is huge specially for fruits and vegetables
3- Storage facilities are insufficient and processing is little scientific; that is the reason that grain get lost up to 7% and fruit, vegetables up to 30%.
4- Transportation facility are really big challenging specially in rural India.
5- Marketing and distributing challenges for food products as middlemen presence and government regulation create market distortion.
6- Food quality parameters are not competitive to global standards.
7 Unpredictability in government policy specially regarding import export policies.
8 External factors like climate change, insect pest, and disease attack, and global prices and policies.
9 Distribution channel is inefficient, non transparent, and corrupt as PDS leakage is up to 49%.
to improved the scenario few key areas need to focus
1- Incentive for crops like oil seeds and pulses to reduce import burden
2- Rationalize the MSP regime for different crops
3- Shanta Kumar committee recommendation on food storage and transportation are worth for consideration.
4- Mega food parks for food processing need to push further
5- DBT in PDS can be a game changer
6- Enam for marketing will reduce Middlemen and government regulation.
7- Focus for climate smart agriculture while keeping an eye on future.
Agriculture need to revive as engine for Indian growth and for that need to focus in food production, processing, and distributing aspects.

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