Yojana Jan 2014- Summary

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1. The “Need”, Costs and Alternatives to the Food Security Bill 

Hunger

Food Security bill is based on the fact that it is necessary to reduce hunger problem in India. Though sources for measuring hunger are ambiguous & are mentioned below:

Sr. No. Source  Description
1 Traditional Hunger question in household survey  It use has been stopped now as very few people (i.e. less than 2 per cent of total sample) responded that they were “hungry”
2 Calorie Consumption

If consumption of calories falls below a certain “minimum” level, the individual can be presumed to be hungry.

Calorie consumption is a problematic indicator of hunger for several reasons – it varies by age, sex, work load, height, weight, political ideology, etc.

3 Weight for height indicator (used to get information on malnourishment for children below age of 5)  It is the best method for now & it is used universally.

Intellectual origins of the Food Security Bill

Following is the way in which it started:

1. The government at start involved itself at all levels of production of food grains, procurement & distribution.

2. Then government wanted more domestic food grain production to make its number one anti-poverty program a success.

3. So, fertilizer was offered at subsidized price.

4. The new technology needed water. So irrigation facilities were provided for free.

5. But to use irrigation, power was needed which was also provided free.

6. All this has added up to possible the most corrupt anti-poverty program in the world.

Reasons for the need of food security bill

1. To eliminate hunger

2. Substantial number of Indians are poor and they need food to reduce their poverty.

3. To eliminate malnourishment in the Indian children who according to one report are the worst affected.

2. CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS, LAWS AND TRIBES

“Original” Characteristics of “Original” tribes

  • They were in social isolation from historic times
  • Autonomy of governance over the territory they inhabited

What changed their original position

  • Colonial rule that brought tribes and non-tribes into one single political and administrative structure by means of war, conquest and annexation.
  • New and uniform civil and criminal laws as well as setting up of administrative structures that were alien to tribal tradition and ethos.

Provision for the tribes in the constitution

  • General Provision (provisions that are enjoyed by any citizen of India for e.g. fundamental rights)
  • Special Provisions (they are mentioned below) :
Sr. No.  Article Description
1 Article 342  Provisions for statutory recognition 
2 Article 330 & 332 Proportionate representation in Parliament and state legislatures
3 Article 19(5)  Restriction on the right of the ordinary citizen to move freely or settle in particular areas or acquire property in them
4 Article 29 Conservation of one’s language, dialects and culture 
5 Article 14(4) (protective discrimination)  State can make provision that enables the state to make provision for reservation in general 
6  Article 16 (4) (protective discrimination)  State can make provision for reservation in jobs and appointments in favor of tribal communities
7 Article 46 Educational and economic interest of the weaker sections of society, including tribes, is especially promoted
8 Article 244 and Article 244 (a) Empowers the state to bring the area inhabited by the tribes under special treatment of administration.

Reasons for failure to protect the interests of Tribes

  • There are various counter measures available in the constitution which renders the special provisions for tribes useless.
  • Extensions of reservation to candidates form the category are not automatic. (e.g. Article 335 stipulates that the claims of the SC & ST can be taken into consideration, consistent with maintenance of efficiency of administration in making appointments to services and posts.
  • Though such rights have been given to tribes, they can avail of them only as members of the tribal community.

Solutions to the problem

There is a need for making provisions for economic and social rights for the tribes not only through legislation or constitutional provision but also through effective legal, administrative, infrastructure and financial support.

Post-independence

  • All states with tribal population enacted legislation, not only for prevention of alienation of lands from tribes to non tribes, but also for its restoration.
  • In some states, acts have even been amended with a view to protecting the interest of non-tribes.

Two important laws

The following laws reinforced the constitutional provisions for protection of the tribals:

  • One was the Provisions of the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas), Act, 1996 – The act empowers the scheduled tribes to safeguard and preserve the traditions and custom of the people, their cultural identity, community resources and customary mode of dispute resolution through the Gram Sabha.
  • Second is the “The Scheduled Tribe and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act, 2006 – The act is aimed at undoing the age old injustice done to tribals by restoring and recognizing their pre-existing rights.

About tribal culture

Article 19(5) of the Constitution states that a cultural or linguistic minority has the right to conserve its language and culture.

  • The state cannot, by law, enforce upon them any other culture or language.
  • While the state may not have enforced any language or culture on them, neither has it taken any positive steps worth the name towards meeting this provision of the Constitution.

3. Islamic Banking

  • Islam has the rule that interest should not be charged on money lent.
  • Islamic banking is based on this principle.
  • Such banks give loans to people but interest is not charged on them.
  • Instead the risk or profit is shared.
  • It is considered a form of a socially responsible investment.

4. Open Source Software

  • Open Source Software (OSS) is a software that can be freely used, changed and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone.
  • Open Source Software is made by many people and distributed under licenses that comply with that definition.
  • Open Source Software is a computer software in which the copyright holder allows the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone with a license.
  • The objective of open source software is to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community for the good of the community.
  • This method provides economic and strategic advantages, according to its advocates.

5. Climate Change and State Preparedness

Factors that affect climate:

  • Incident solar radiation
  • Variation in latitude
  • Closeness to large water bodies (distribution of land and water)
  • Mountain barriers
  • Ocean temperatures and currents
  • Altitude – higher altitude is colder
  • Land cover with vegetation and forests
  • Atmospheric pressure

Three main features of climate change:

  • Deviation from mean magnitudes
  • Phase difference from periodicity
  • Altered frequency of occurrences

Various uncertainties regarding climate change

  • How climate change will vary regionally, is a grey area
  • Uncertain impact of climate change on different sectors
  • Possible surprising consequences from unanticipated effects (e.g. volcanoes)

What states should do for the climate change problems & tackling vulnerability

  • States should adopt bottom-up approach, planning from below (not the top-bottom approach) in order to have realistic and specific measures suitable to local and regional requirements
  • Capacity-building (developing the technical skills and institutional capabilities in developing countries ) is to be accorded high priority for all stakeholders for pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter seasons for agriculture sector.
  • Designing of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in India should take into account four essential aspects: social well-being(through alleviation of poverty, by generating additional employment, removal of social dispensaries and basic amenities for improvement in quality of life), economic well-being (additional investment consistent with the needs of the people), environmental well-being (resource sustainability, biodiversity friendliness, reduction in pollution level, better sanitation) and technological well-being (transfer of ecologically safe technology, energy efficient projects, etc.)
  • Though India is committed to the promotion of REDD+ (Reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation) through Green India Mission, Joint Forest Management Committee, Forest dwellers Right Act, Community Forest Management, but in practice local communities are exploited by forest officials in the name of REDD+ or forest/wild life conservation. Hence, there is a need for full transparency in adaptation measures by making the local people fully aware of the ground realities about vulnerability and they should be fully involved in mitigation efforts by giving due weight age to their indigenous knowledge systems, collective experiences and well-informed choices.
  • The very development paradigm of neo-liberalism (that protects the interests of the corporate more than that of people) should be substituted by an alternative paradigm of people-oriented development that should focus on peoples participation, political decentralization, social equity, economic visibility, technological affordability, ecological sustainability and cultural acceptability to the local people in general and the poor people in particular.
  • The Indian government, private sector, NGOs and CSOs should collectively mobilize the citizens, international NGOs, multilateral agencies at different levels in different ways so that the developed countries must bear the costs of adaptation of climate change in developing countries for historical wrongs committed by the former.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that climate is a major long term problem that requires a long term solution. Hence, all the stake holders should try to take not only short term (immediate) measures but also, medium term and long term measures by mainstreaming it in all kinds of development initiatives at all levels in a transparent way.

Practice Questions
Q1
Q.no:-1/5