The Hindu Editorial Analysis 4th July 2019

The Hindu Editorial Analysis 4th July 2019


OpEd 1 :- A scheme for farmers that has not reached most farmers :- 

Context :-

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan), has a long way to go in terms of both its implementation and scope of coverage.

PM-KISAN :-

PM-Kisan offers ₹6,000 a year per household in three instalments. The scheme’s original objective, to “supplement financial needs” of the country’s Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) and to “augment” farm incomes, has now been broadened to include all categories of agricultural landowners. This expansion would benefit an additional 10% of rural landed households.

Problems Facing :-
  • Not linked to land size :-The cash transfer is not linked to the size of the farmer’s land, unlike Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu scheme, under which farmers receive ₹8,000 per annum for every acre owned. While landless tenants have been left out in both the schemes, the link with land size makes the support provided by the Telangana scheme more substantial.
    PM-Kisan also falls short of Odisha’s Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, which includes even poor rural households that do not own land.
  • Instalment have not reached :-Though the first quarterly instalment, for the December 2018-March 2019 period, was to be provided in the last financial year, the benefits of PM-Kisan have not reached farmers in most parts of the country. 
  • Less Beneficiaries :-
    There are 125 million farming households owning small and marginal holdings of land in the country, who constitute the scheme’s original intended beneficiaries. However, at present, the list of beneficiaries includes only 32% (40.27 million) of these households.

Structural Issues :-
  • Cash transfers will cease to be effective if the state withdraws from its other long-term budgetary commitments in agricultural markets and areas of infrastructure such as irrigation.  
  • Further, the scheme recognises only landowners as farmers. Tenants, who constitute 13.7% of farm households and incur the additional input cost of land rent, don’t stand to gain anything if no part of the cultivated land is owned. Hence, there is a strong case to include landless tenants and other poor families.
  • Moreover, though the scheme is conceptualised to supplement agricultural inputs, it ceases to be so without the necessary link with scale of production (farm size) built into it. It becomes, in effect, an income supplement to landowning households. 

Conclusion :- For the scheme to be effective, PM-Kisan needs to be uniformly implemented across regions. 

OpEd 2 :- Teachers & Quota :-

The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019, passed by the Parliament replaces an ordinance promulgated in March.

Objective :- 
Its main object is to restore the system of treating an institution or a university as a single unit to apply the reservation roster, and thus help fill 7,000 teaching vacancies.

Background :-

  • 2017 judgment of the Allahabad High Court striking down University Grants Commission regulations that treated the institution as the unit for determining the roster, and directing that each department be the relevant unit. 
  • In short, reservation should be department-wise, and not institution-wise, the court ruled. 
  • The Supreme Court rejected the Centre’s appeal against the order. But the narrower basis for applying quotas would mean fewer aspirants from OBC and SC/ST sections would be recruited as assistant professors. 
  • In the interest of social justice, it had to restore the system of having a wider pool of posts in which the quotas of 27% for OBC, 15% for SC and 7.5% ST could be effectively applied. 
From this perspective, the Bill provides welcome relief for aspirants from the disadvantaged sections of society.

Benefits :-

According to the UGC’s annual report for 2017-18, nearly two-thirds of assistant professors in Central universities are from the general category. Their representation would go up further, as the present Bill also applies the 10% quota for the economically weak among those outside the reservation loop.


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