Geography Civil Services Paper 2 Section- A, Questions 3,4_ Solutions
Q3. (a) Discuss the recent changes brought about in institutional frameworks of agriculture in India. Evaluate its impact on the agrarian economy of the country.
In September 2020, the Indian government introduced three ordinances aimed at reforming the agricultural sector in India. These ordinances were later passed into laws in September 2020, which have since led to significant changes in the institutional frameworks of agriculture in India.
The three laws are:
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 allows farmers to sell their produce outside the mandi (government-regulated market) system. This act aims to promote barrier-free trade of agricultural produce across states and Union Territories and encourages the development of private markets. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 allows farmers to enter into contracts with agribusiness firms, processors, and exporters. This act aims to provide a framework for contract farming and improve the price assurance to farmers. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 removes the stockholding limits on agricultural commodities, except in times of war, famine, or extraordinary price rise.
Proponents of these laws argue that they will bring about significant benefits for farmers. The laws aim to reduce intermediaries' role, which would help farmers get better prices for their produce. Additionally, the laws are expected to encourage investment in the sector and help farmers access modern technology and better inputs.
However, the laws have also sparked significant protests, mainly from farmers in Punjab and Haryana, who fear that the new laws will eliminate the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism. MSP is a government-regulated price for crops that farmers are guaranteed to receive. The farmers also worry that the new laws will lead to the exploitation of small farmers by big agribusinesses.
The impact of the new laws on the agrarian economy of India is still unfolding. While the laws aim to bring about significant changes in the institutional frameworks of agriculture in India, their implementation and impact will depend on various factors. For example, private markets' development and expansion would require significant investment and infrastructure development. Additionally, the implementation of contract farming provisions will depend on the farmers' ability to negotiate fair contracts with agribusiness firms.
In conclusion, the recent changes brought about in the institutional frameworks of agriculture in India through the introduction of new laws have sparked significant protests and debates. The impact of the laws on the agrarian economy of India is yet to be seen, but their implementation and effectiveness will depend on various factors, including infrastructure development, investment, and the farmers' ability to negotiate fair contracts.
b. Discuss the continuing disputes on water sharing between the riparian states of North-West India.
The issue of water sharing between the riparian states of North-West India has been a longstanding and contentious one. The main rivers involved in this issue are the Indus, the Jhelum, and the Chenab, which flow from India into Pakistan. The sharing of water from these rivers is regulated by the Indus Waters Treaty, which was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960. However, disputes over water sharing continue to be a source of tension between the two countries, as well as among the Indian states that share these rivers.
The dispute between the Indian states over water sharing has its roots in the 1947 partition of the country, which divided the Punjab region between India and Pakistan. The division of the region resulted in the creation of multiple states, including Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan in India, and Punjab and Sindh in Pakistan. The issue of water sharing arises because the rivers flow from India into Pakistan, and the Indian states depend on these rivers for their water needs.
The dispute between the Indian states has primarily been over the sharing of the waters of the Ravi and the Beas rivers, which are tributaries of the Indus. In 1981, the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act was passed by the Indian government, which unilaterally terminated water-sharing agreements between the states. This move was met with opposition from the other states, particularly Haryana, which argued that it was unfair and deprived them of their share of water.
The issue of water sharing has been further complicated by factors such as the increasing demand for water due to population growth, urbanization, and the expansion of agriculture. The changing climate and the depletion of groundwater resources have also added to the pressure on the rivers.
Efforts to resolve the water-sharing dispute have been ongoing, but progress has been slow. The dispute has been referred to various tribunals and commissions over the years, and agreements have been reached on occasions, but disputes continue to arise. One of the major obstacles to a resolution is the political dimension of the issue, with each state keen to protect its own interests and unwilling to compromise.
In conclusion, the dispute over water sharing between the riparian states of North-West India is a complex and long-standing issue. The problem is further complicated by the larger geopolitical context, with the involvement of Pakistan in the issue. The dispute highlights the need for a more coordinated and sustainable approach to water management in the region, one that takes into account the needs of all stakeholders, including the environment.
c. Soils of India, are clear reflections of the structure and process. Comment.
India's soils are a reflection of the country's geology, climate, and topography, as well as the agricultural practices and land-use patterns that have shaped them over time. The soils of India are diverse and can be broadly classified into six categories, namely alluvial, black, red, laterite, forest, and desert soils. Each soil type has distinct physical, chemical, and biological characteristics that determine its suitability for different uses, such as agriculture, forestry, and grazing.
The alluvial soils are the most widespread and productive soils in India, found mainly in the river valleys and deltas. These soils are formed by the deposition of sediment carried by rivers and are characterized by high fertility and moisture retention capacity. The black soils, also known as regur, are found in the Deccan Plateau and are formed from weathered volcanic rocks. These soils are known for their high clay content, excellent water retention capacity, and high fertility.
The red soils are found in the eastern and southern parts of the country and are formed from weathered crystalline rocks. These soils are generally poor in nutrients and require careful management to maintain fertility. The laterite soils are found in the western and eastern parts of the country and are characterized by their high iron and aluminum content. These soils are generally acidic and low in fertility.
The forest soils are found in the forested regions of the country and are formed from organic matter and mineral material. These soils are generally acidic and low in fertility but are suitable for forest growth. The desert soils are found in the arid regions of the country and are characterized by their high salt content and low fertility.
The soils of India are shaped by various natural and human-induced processes. Natural processes such as weathering, erosion, and sedimentation shape the physical and chemical properties of the soils. Human-induced processes such as land-use changes, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers and pesticides also influence soil properties and fertility.
In conclusion, the soils of India are a reflection of the country's geological, climatic, and topographic conditions, as well as the agricultural practices and land-use patterns that have shaped them over time. The different soil types in India are a testament to the country's diverse landscape and offer a range of opportunities and challenges for agricultural and other land-use activities. Understanding the structure and processes that shape India's soils is crucial for sustainable soil management and agricultural productivity in the country.