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Since Independence, the agriculture sector has remained the main source of national income and occupation in India. In 1947, 72 percent of the total working population was engaged in the agricultural sector, but still, a majority of India’s poor (some 770 million people or about 70 percent) inhabit the rural areas.
Though due to the high growth rates of the industrial and services sectors, the share of agricultural share in India’s economy has progressively declined to less than 15 percent, yet its importance in the country’s economic and social development can’t be denied.
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On the road to self-sufficiency
The Green revolution of the 1960s witnessed a drastic increase in total agricultural production, particularly wheat and rice. The second phase of the Green Revolution further boosted it in the 1980s, which was accelerated further by the liberalization policy of the late 1990s.
However, the results of the Green revolution were not uniform over the entire country. It particularly resulted in enhanced cultivation and production of wheat and rice in the northern states, and other cash crops such as cotton and onion in the western and southern states. But it neglected the cultivation of pulses and other cereals.
Though India is considered to be a global agricultural powerhouse, yet the sector suffers from serious maladies. According to a World Bank report of 2010, India is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices, and has the world’s largest cattle herd (buffaloes), as well as the largest area under wheat, rice, and cotton. It is the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, cotton, sugarcane, farmed fish, sheep and goat meat, fruit, vegetables, and tea. But in spite of this, the Indian farmer remains poor, though he contributes a lot to the economy.
As per experts’ opinion, the factors which contribute to the poor performance of the Indian agricultural sector are multi-dimensional, such as poor access to reliable and timely market information to the farmers, absence of supply and demand forecasting, poorly structured and inefficient supply chains, inadequate cold storage facilities and shortage of proper food processing units, large intermediation between the farmers and the consumers, besides regional disparities are some of the major causes of the losses for the farmers.
The World Bank report lists that one of the biggest issues facing the agricultural sector in India is low yield: India’s farm yield is 30-50 percent lower than that of developed nations. Average farm size, poor infrastructure, low use of farm technologies and better farming techniques, decrease in soil fertility due to over-fertilization, and sustained pesticide use, are leading contributors to low agricultural productivity.
Thus, measures to increase productivity will need increasing yields, diversification to higher-value crops, and developing value chains to reduce marketing costs.
The sharp rise in food-grain production during India’s Green revolution of the 1970s enabled the country to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains and stave off the threat of famine. Agricultural intensification in the 1970s to 1980s saw an increased demand for rural labor that raised rural wages and, together with declining food prices, reduced rural poverty. However agricultural growth in the 1990s and 2000s slowed down, averaging about 3.5 percent per annum, and cereal yields have increased by only 1.4 percent per annum in the 2000s. The slowdown in agricultural growth has become a major cause for concern. India’s rice yields are one-third of China’s and about half of those in Vietnam and Indonesia. The same is true for most other agricultural commodities.
Reforming the sector
What we need is a pragmatic, realistic, and holistic approach to be adopted by the policymakers to address the maladies faced by the Indian agriculturists. Besides resolving the regional disparities in crop patterns, the government also needs to promote cultivation and change in the eating habits of the populace. One route to this could be propagating the inclusion of millets and other high nutritious cereals, in the eating habits of the populace. This besides increasing the earning potential of the farmers in the drought-prone or less irrigated areas will also result in making better use of the cultivable area across the country.
Further action in this regard could be taken by the government by supporting and collaborating with international institutions like the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), which are engaged in popularising the cultivation and use of highly nutritious crops like millet and sorghum.
ICRISAT, as per its mandate strives to be the change catalyst through a partnership approach to help rural communities develop their own solutions and engages with them to bring the vision to reality. Its inclusive approach ensures the participation of women and youth, a must in finding sustainable and profitable solutions, besides contributing to several of the UN SDGs.
As ICRISAT’s research area focuses on the drylands, it has an extra specialization on crops that survive in these harsh climates, such as Chickpea and Groundnut, besides Nutri-cereals like Sorghum, Pearl millet, and Finger millet. Most of these crops besides being highly nutritious are also good for the planet as they have a low water footprint, lowers the carbon footprint, are good for the soils, use fewer chemicals, etc. Further, they are good for the small farmer as they survive in the harshest climates, have multiple uses, have the potential to significantly increase yield, and cater to an untapped usage and demand.
Last month, the UN General Assembly unanimously declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the resolution for which was sponsored by India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi while endorsing this announcement expressed gratitude to all the nations, which initiated and co-sponsored this resolution. In a tweet, he said that India is honored to be at the forefront of popularising millets, whose consumption furthers nutrition, food security, and the welfare of farmers.
Both the cultivation and usage of these cereals and grain legumes could be achieved by focused efforts initially to popularise these smart foods to bring them into mainstream food habits. The strategy adopted to achieve this should involve and ensure that small farmers and rural communities benefit by receiving on-farm support, connecting farmers to value chains, linking smart food with health activities on the ground, and advocacy for policy support, research, and development.
Policymakers will thus need to initiate and accomplish policy actions and public programs to shift the agricultural sector away from the existing policy and institutional regime that appears to be no longer viable and build a solid foundation for a much more productive, internationally competitive, and diversified agricultural sector in the country. In addition, we’ll have to promote increased cultivation of those crops, which besides being nutritious and profitable are also able to counter the environmental challenges. (IANS/JC)
“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo DaVinci
International Civil Aviation Day is observed on December 7th to recognize the flying industry’s impact on modern society. In 1994, as part of ICAO’s (International Civil Aviation Organization) 50th-anniversary celebrations, the first International Civil Aviation Day was observed, and in 1996, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 7th as International Civil Aviation Day.
Aviation has revolutionized tourism and business forever, not to mention the cultural linkages that have been made possible. The purpose of this day is to emphasize the significance of civil aviation in social and economic development, as well as to highlight the unique role played by the International Civil Aviation Organization in assisting nations in cooperating and bringing a truly global transit network to reality. With the adoption of Agenda 2030 by the United Nations, a vow to reduce pollution with the eventual aim of a new era in global sustainable development, the role of aviation remains just as essential.
International Civil Aviation Day is observed on December 7th to recognise the flying industry’s impact on modern society. | Photo by Cédric Dhaenens on Unsplash
The theme of International Civil Aviation Day is changed every five years. For the whole four-year gap, one theme is continued. From 2020 until 2023, “Advancing Innovation For Global Aviation Development” is the theme. This theme will place a greater emphasis on innovation in all aspects of air transportation, with the organization supporting ideas through a more proactive and dynamic assistance strategy.
HOW IS IT CELEBRATED?
The International Civil Aviation Organization conducts a variety of activities and events throughout the day, including seminars, training sessions, and news announcements on international civil aviation topics. Governments, organizations, businesses, and even individuals support the ICAO.
Telling an aviation worker how much you appreciate them is one of the most obvious and heartfelt ways to express your gratitude. | Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash
HOW TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION DAY?
- Thank a civil aviation worker: Telling an aviation worker how much you appreciate them is one of the most obvious and heartfelt ways to express your gratitude. Give an aviation worker a thank you and a pat on the back this December 7th, or you can show your appreciation for them by uploading posters on various social media handles.
- Get involved: There are various ways to become engaged with the ICAO if you’re enthusiastic about helping countries flourish socially and economically with the help of aviation. Organize meetings, events, and gatherings to discuss how we can work together to ensure no country is left behind.
(Keywords: civil aviation worker, United Nations, International Civil Aviation Organization, flying, International Civil Aviation Day)
By- Harris Scott
Business owners hardly have time to look into all aspects of a business operation, and accounting is one aspect. While small business owners might invest some time handling accounting services, it is indeed a big waste for owners of major enterprises. Regardless of the size of the business, your organization needs someone to look after the ledger.
Hiring an Accountant for your Firm - Things to Consider
When seeking out an accounting service, you have to opt for a professional with the level of experience you need. Here are things to consider when choosing an accountant.
- Neat and organized
Incomplete data entries and loopholes in the ledger are significant factors in slowing down the accounting process. If your accountant is not focusing on the job, chances are he will overlook important details. Such a discrepancy in the ledger book can mislead everything to a messy dead end. You never know that today’s entry would play a significant role in saving your company when people from taxation show up at your doorway. That is why only reputed accounting services can have an excellent eye for detail. Such a company focuses on the financial and success of your business.
- Handy in computer software
As per Aron Govil, the reliability of accounting has nothing to do with a high profile in computer science, but modern businesses hugely rely on technology to keep up with the latest trends. For example, if your competitor uses technology to manage the financial subject, you cannot stick to the traditional paper register. When the accountant on a computer gets efficient and accurate results quickly, the one with paper may lag due to continuous error. Even if he is not making any errors, the automatic calculation will consistently be faster than manual counting. You must look for such accounting services that can easily integrate various software on your accounting operations and utilize them seamlessly.
- Temporary or permanent accountant
An organization with a couple of accountants cannot take care of every financial detail. They might work with their trustworthy accountant for a long time, but a new business strategy could force them to reshuffle their positions. In this situation, they might need more accounts instead of an accountant. Looking into the type of business trait, you should decide on a service that suits your requirements. Well, it depends upon the business you are running and your budget; you need to figure out whether you need to hire a part-time accounting service or a full-time accounting agency. Along with the budget, your accounting operations also contribute to making these decisions; if you have a good amount of substantial accounting actions to take care of, then you must have a permanent accounting service.
Most businesses usually have accountants, but not all invest in accounting because they work with experts. As per Aron Govil, find an accounting service provider if you still cannot afford that facility. Hiring the right accounting agency is the most crucial aspect, as you will be putting financial responsibilities over the shoulder of professionals. So, try to find the best and most trustworthy accounting experts for your business. You can consider looking for them online by going through the reviews and their websites.
(Disclaimer: This is article is sponsored and includes some commercial links.)
Since the 7th of December 1949, the Armed Forces Flag Day has been observed in India, annually. This one day is dedicated towards collection of funds from the citizens of India for the welfare of the ‘Indian Armed Forces personnel’. It has become a tradition to pay respect to the people who have served in the army, Navy and Airforce, on this day.
“The idea behind observing a Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return collect donations.” The color-scheme of the flag is very similar to the ones used by fellow Commonwealth members like Cyprus, Kenya and Nigeria. The Flag Day signifies that it is the responsibility of the citizens of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country.
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A need for such a day was realized by the Government after India gained Independence from the British rule. In order to manage the welfare of its defence personnel, the Defence Minister of India and a committee together decided to recognize 7th December as the Flag Day. This decision was taken on the 28th of August 1949.
The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the day saying that,
“A few weeks ago, I visited Indo-China and saw our officers and men attached to the International Commission there. It gave me a thrill to see their smart bearing and the good work they were doing in that distant land. What pleased me still more was their general popularity with the people there. By their efficiency as well as their friendliness, they enhanced the reputation of India. Among them were people from all parts of India. They observed no provincial or other differences amongst themselves. I am sure my countrymen will be pleased to learn of them and would like to indicate their appreciation of these young men who serve our country both here and elsewhere so well. A way to indicate that appreciation is to contribute to the Flag Day Fund.”
A need for such a day was realized by the Government after India gained Independence from the British rule.Unsplash
The fund is collected through official and non-official means with the help of voluntary organizations. The Kendriya Sainik Board, which is under the Ministry of Defence, arranges for the collection of the fund.
The Defence Ministry of India decided to integrate all the related welfare funds into a single unit called the Armed Forces Flag Day fund. The funds that were integrated are:
- Amalgamated Special Fund for War Bereaved, War Disabled and other ex-Servicemen/Serving Personnel
- Flag Day Fund
- St Dunstan's (India) and Kendriya Sainik Board Fund
- Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen's Welfare Fund
The Flag Day signifies that it is the responsibility of the citizens of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country.Unsplash
Problems have to be resolved by and welfare of the ex-servicemen and dependents are mostly settled by the States and the Union Territories, although it was to be a shared responsibility between the Union Government, the State Governments and the governments of the Union Territories. In order to help the Central Government in carrying out this process, there are 32 Rajya Sainik Boards and 392 Zila Sainik Boards. The Kendriya Sainik Board, the Rajya Sainik Board and the Zila Sainik Board are all responsible for the policy formulation and implementation of resettlement and welfare schemes for ex-servicemen, widows and their dependents residing in their respective States or Union Territories or Districts.(Keywords : armed, forces, flag, india, independance, donation, citizen, army, navy, airforce, tradition, respect, government, state, center, union territory, district, funds.)
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