Kurukshetra March 2019: Perspectives in Rural Development (Part-2) (Download PDF)


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Maternal Nutrition in India – Policies & Programmes: Maternal under nutrition is significant risk factor for stunting & underweight among children. Inadequate nutrient intake, early & multiple pregnancies, poverty & gender inequality all contribute to poor maternal nutrition.

  • National Nutrition Strategy envisages Kuposhan Mukt Bharat – linked to Swachh Bharat & Swasth Bharat focusing on improving healthcare & nutrition of most vulnerable & critical age groups including mothers & children thru direct & nutrition sensitive interventions.
  • NNM ensures convergence w/various programmes like Anganwadi Services, PMMVY, SAG of MWCD Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), NHM, SBM, PDS, Dept. Food & Public Distribution, MGNREGS) & Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.
  • ICDS & NHM are 2 largest platforms that address maternal nutrition. NHM positions itself to alleviate supply side challenges by addressing infrastructural & service delivery issues.
  • JSY is flagship intervention of conditional cash transfer to incentivize facility-based deliveries.

Maternal Anaemia

  • At least half of all women in India are anaemic, regardless of age, residence or pregnancy status w/little or no change.
  • 50 % pregnant & 58 % breastfeeding women are anaemic.
  • India 1st launched nationwide program for prevention of anaemia among pregnant women in 4th 5 year plan.
  • Initiative is attempt to oversee interventions addressing Iron deficiency anaemia systematically across all life stages.
  • Anaemia Mukt Bharat Campaign is planned to strengthen evidence based strategies w/Target-setting, Strengthening procurement & supply chain mgmt. , Intensive behavior change communication & robust monitoring & review.
  • Materials developed under Anaemia Mukt Bharat strategy like communication resource material, survey data, targets, state & dist. -wise denominators & state & dist. -wise quarterly progress reports are available on Anaemia Mukt Bharat portal.

Improving diet of pregnant women at home & Supplemental Food

  • Under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), subsidized staple food under targeted public distribution system (TPDS) is provided to 50 % of urban & 75 % of rural population.
  • Intake of micronutrients remains inadequate; abt 26 % households consumed less than 50 % RDA of iron, while 80 % consumed less than 50 % RDA of vitamin A.
  • In addition to food thru TPDS, supplemental food is provided to pregnant women on weekly basis as THR or HCM at Anganwadi Centres part of ICDS scheme.
  • Key reasons for poor coverage & consumption were:

o Intra-household distribution of THR. Many women reported sharing THR w/other family members.

o Poor quality of THR is cited by many women in reports. Beneficiaries reported THR varied in tastes & quality.

o Inadequate access to AWC services by poor families due to workload & distance has affected uptake of THR.

  • Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) pays Rs. 1400 to women for institutional delivery, & pay Rs. 600 to ASHA for each woman they bring to health facility for delivery.

Addressing Social Determinants

Age at Marriage

  • Adolescent girls carry disproportionate amount of low BMI burden in India due to gender norms that leads to differential care practices.
  • According to NFHS-4,14.7 % women had married before age 15; 40.1 % had married by age of 18 & 59 % married before reaching age 21.

Age at first birth

  • Family planning services till lately emphasized societal benefits of family planning rather than individual/family benefits.
  • Govt. policy & cultural factors are some imp. reasons why majority of couples rely on permanent rather than temporary contraceptive methods.

Addressing Gender Bias thru Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

  • BBBP is introduced to address issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR).
  • Objective is to celebrate girl child & enable her education.

Connectivity: Transforming Rural India

  • Infrastructure – Backbone of any nation’s development & quality of life.
  • Digital India Programme – Aims to transform India into digitally empowered society & knowledge economy by leveraging IT as growth engine of new India.
  • Common Service Centres (CSCs) act as access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India. They are poised to touch over 2.50 lakh Gram Panchayats & 700 Digital villages to be established.
  • DigiGaon or Digital Village is conceptualised as connected village where citizens can avail various e-Services of Central & State Govt. & pvt. players in rural & remote villages in country.
  • DigiGaons are projected to be change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship & building rural capacities & livelihoods thru community participation & collective action.
  • Digital villages are equipped w/solar lighting facility in their community centre, LED assembly unit, sanitary napkin unit & Wi-fi choupal.
  • Postal dept. has got payment bank license & w/collaboration b/w (CSC SPV) CSC-Special Purpose Vehicle & postal dept. all CSC across country shall be able to provide banking services to citizens.
  • One of focus areas of DIP is to promote digital Literacy.
  • CSCs across county can play critical role in taking digital literacy to remotest corners of country.
  • Quality & affordable healthcare is one of emerging needs for citizens in rural areas.
  • CSCs will provide diagnostic services & promote sale of generic drugs thru collaboration w/Ministry of Health- by setting up of Jan Aushadhi Stores.
  • NHA & CSC have signed MoU to provide information & eligibility validation services to beneficiaries, especially in remote areas.
  • CSC will be provided access to Beneficiaries Identification System (BIS), which helps in confirming application from entitled beneficiaries using SECC & RSBY database.
  • Validation of entitled beneficiary thru BIS will ensure timely information upto last mile, facilitating benefits under Ayushman Bharat.
  • Rural electrification is backbone of rural economy & basic input for rapid rural development.
  • Viable & reliable electricity services result in increased productivity in agriculture & labour, improvement in delivery of health & education, access to communications, improved lighting after sunset, facilitating use of time & energy-saving mills, motors & pumps & increasing public safety thru outdoor lighting.
  • Under Saubhagya Yojana free electricity connection is provided to households.
  • Under Saubhagya, free electricity connections to all households in rural areas & poor families in urban areas are being provided.
  • Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) is designed as its nodal agency for Saubhagya scheme.
  • PMGSY aims at providing all-weather road connectivity to eligible unconnected habitations in rural areas of country.
  • BPO movement is slowly making inroads to smaller towns to create employment opportunities & promote IT-ITeS industry & aims to secure balanced regional growth. Under this scheme, 45,840 seats are allocated to 163 companies, resulting in setting up of 240 units distributed across 110 locations of 20 states & 2 UTs.

Initiatives to Empower Rural Youth

  • Biggest strength of Indian economy is its favourable demographic composition.
  • India, 2nd most populous country w/1.35 billion population is largest young nation having 877 million working age population, population b/w 15 - 64 years as % of total population.
  • According to IMF, India can improve upto 2 % annual growth rate.
  • Growth potential thru demographic dividend depends upon shifting labour force from agriculture.
  • Kaushal Bharat program includes various programs like Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, National Policy for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship 2015, Skill Loan Scheme & National Skill Development Mission.

Various Initiatives


  • Motto of MUDRA is ‘funding the unfunded’ by extending financial support, including refinancing to micro segment of Indian economy.
  • Scheme seeks to enhance employability & self-employability of youth in India, in addition to protecting non-banking financial companies lending to small business in country.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

  • Aimed at improving vocational skills or youth.
  • Objective is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing better livelihood.

Start Up India

  • Aims at fostering favourable environment for startups in view of boosting economic growth & bringing abt job creation.
  • Campaign is centred on action plan w/3 pillars:
  • Simplification & Handholding
  • Funding support & incentives
  • Industry-academia partnership & incubation
  • Start Up India hub is created as single contact point for start-up foundations in India, which will help entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge & access financial aid.
  • Patent protection, which is imp. to incentivize innovations, will be ensured thru fast-track system for patent examination at lower costs.

Make in India

  • It is leading initiative for industrial development & has profound implification for manufacturing sector job creation.
  • It has potential to shift agricultural labour to manufacturing thru investments in labour-intensive manufacturing including thru MSMEs which contribute more than 40 % to country’s GDP.
  • Investments like TCL’s manufacturing unit in Tirupati, or smartphone manufacturing plant in NCR have possible direct & indirect impacts on job creation.
  • Cluster development initiatives like mega textile units in UP have higher job creation potential for rural youth due to their labour intensive nature & relatively lower skill requirements.


  • This program provides min. number of days of employment to rural people including youth.

DeenDayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana (DDU-GKY)

  • Funds are disbursed thru digital voucher directly into qualified applicant’s bank account.
  • It seeks to reposition rural India as resource that can support needs of global manufacturing industry.

Self-Employment & Talent Utilisation (SETU)

  • It is techno-financial, incubation & facilitation programme to support all aspects of start-up business & other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas.

Self-employment in Horticulture

  • It provides funds up to 10 lakhs for starting-up horticulture farms.
  • Scheme has enhanced horticulture production, improved nutritional security & income support to farm households & others has established convergence & synergy among multiple on-going & planned programmes for horticulture development.

National Rural Livelihood Mission (NLRM) /Aajeevika

  • It skills rural youth & provides them jobs/regular monthly wages at or above min. wage rates.
  • Aimed at promoting rural livelihoods.
  • Aajeevika Skills involve few distinct steps like awareness building abt opportunities, identifying rural youth for, mobilising who are interested, counselling of youth & parents, selection based on aptitude & imparting knowledge industry linked skills to improve their employability.

SampoornaGrameen Rozgar Yojana

  • Provides additional wage employment in rural areas & thereby provides food security & improve nutritional levels.

Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)

  • It was introduced to assist poor families living below poverty line in rural areas for taking up self-employment.
  • Scheme helps users in providing information & guidelines for setting up Haats, credit related issues, etc.

Steps for Small & Medium Enterprises

  • MSMEs have great role to play for ‘Make in India’ to succeed as 1/3rd of Indian MSMEs are engaged in manufacturing activities & they contribute abt half of manufacturing output.
  • In October, 2017, Ministry of MSMEs set up online portal aimed at monitoring cases of delayed payments to SMEs & enforcing provisions under MSMED Act, 2006 – MSME Samadhaan.
  • Mandatory online census of MSMEs in India is taking place, following launch of web based MSME Databank.
  • Amended Technology Up gradation Fund Scheme introduced w/provision of 1 time capital subsidy for eligible benchmarked machinery.
  • Scheme of Solar Charkha Mission proposes to harness non-conventional solar energy to further employment generation.

Agricultural Sustainability under Resource Scarcity

  • Abt 70 % of India’s arable land is drought prone, 12 % is flood prone & 8 % is cyclone prone.
  • Agriculture resource use in particular use of electricity, groundwater & chemical fertilisers is major policy concern.
  • Agriculture dominates India’s freshwater use, accounting for 70 % of total consumption according to some estimates.
  • States like Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab & Telangana have consumption of 237,231,221 & 227 kg/ha. India’s average fertilizer consumption is relatively low.
  • Groundwater depletion leads to drilling of deeper wells to access water, again increasing demand for electricity.

Way Forward

  • Case for ‘new paradigm’ for agricultural development, aimed at getting ‘more from less’ more productivity from less resources. It points out need to ‘economize on use of water’ in agriculture.
  • ‘Per Drop, More Crop’-for promoting farming thru optimum utilization of water.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana aims to provide nationwide access to irrigation & improving water use efficiency.
  • Vision to double farmer’s income has evoked strong response.
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture – make agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative & climate resilient by promoting location specific integrated farming systems.
  • National Mission on Agriculture Extension & Technology – restructure & strengthen agricultural extension to enable delivery of appropriate technology & improved agronomic practices to farmers.
  • PMKSY aims to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at field level.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana aims to support agricultural sustainability by way of providing financial support to farmers suffering crop loss or damage arising out of unforeseen events.
  • e-NAM is pan India electronic trading portal which networks existing APMC mandis to create unified national market for agricultural commodities.
  • There is need to reorient & align policies that affect land use, crop choices, fertiliser use, irrigation practices & energy inputs to complement each other towards common goals of sustainability & growth.

Rural Electrification – Freedom from Darkness

  • Expansion of electricity services & rural electrification are vital to both economic & social development of India.
  • Under Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana 2 cr. & 47 lakh home are provided electricity connection.
  • India is world’s third largest producer & consumer of power.
  • By April, 2018 all of country’s 5,97,464 census villages are electrified.
  • Under Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana for Rural Electrification, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana scheme for village electrification & providing electricity distribution infrastructure in rural areas is subsumed.
  • Rural Electrification Corporation was made Nodal Agency for implementation of DDUGJU.
  • Under DDUGJY-RE 921 projects to electrify 1,21,225 un-electrified villages & provide free electricity connections to 397.45 lakh BPL rural households.
  • To take electricity to ‘all households’, Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or Saubhagya scheme was launched.
  • PMSBHGJ is to ensure electrification of all willing households.
  • Total outlay of project is Rs. 16,320 cr. while Goss Budgetary Support (GBS) is Rs. 12,320 cr.

Let’s light up Nation

  • Saubhagya web-portal has feature on village electrification camps & in line w/that DISCOM will organize camps in villages/cluster of villages for facilitating on-the-spot filling up of application forms & to complete requisite documentation to expedite release of electricity connections to households.

Farm Technologies to Counter Climate Change

  • Climate change will have economic impact on agriculture including changes in farm profitability, prices, supply, demand & trade.
  • Magnitude & geographical distribution of such climate-induced chages may affect ability to expand food production globally by 70 % to feed around 9 billion mouths in 2050.
  • To keep global warming possibly below 1.5℃ & mitigate adverse effects of climate change, agriculture like all other sectors will have to contribute to manage greenhouse gas emissions as mandated under KYOTO Protocol.

Greenhouse Gases Emissions

  • Emissions of CO2, CH4 & N2O are linked w/agricultural intensification.
  • Majority of agricultural GHG emissions occurs at primary production stage & is generated thru production & use of agricultural inputs, farm machinery, soil disturbance, residue mgmt. & irrigation & rising population of livestock.

Global Warming Impacts on Agricultural Productivity in India

  • Climate changes affects agriculture in number of ways, including changes in average temp. , rainfall, & climate extremes; changes in pests & diseases; changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide & ground-level ozone concentrations; changes in nutritional quality of some foods & changes in sea level.
  • Yields for cereals, pulses & potatoes have increased over recent years in India, half of those are recorded in Western Europe & North America.
  • Over past 25 years, changes in temp. of 1℃ or more are observed in northern India during rabi cropping seasons.
  • Studies at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi show that every rise in 1℃ has potential to reduce wheat production by 4 - 5 million ton in country.
  • Kharif crops will be affected more by rainfall variability, while rabi crops will be impacted more by min. temp.
  • Legumes are going to be benefitted because of elevated level of atmospheric CO2.

Mitigation & Adaptation Technologies

Mitigation Strategies

  • Soil Management
  • Techniques like crop rotation aid in conservation efforts, but communities continue to face hazards associated w/soil.
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Carbon sequestration is process involved in carbon capture & long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  • It is proposed as way to slow atmospheric & marine accumulation of greenhouse gases, which are released by burning fossil fuels.
  • Soil organic matter is key element responsive to global warming. It improves & stabilizes soil structure so that soils can absorb higher amounts of water, thus leading to significant reductions in surface run-off & soil erosion. It improves water absorption capacity of soil during extended droughts.

Crop Residue Management

  • Govt. is encouraging farmers by way of providing subsidies on purchase of machines like happy seeder, straw baler, rotavator, paddy straw chopper/mulcher, gyro rake, straw reaper, shredder, etc. , as custom hiring centres or village level farm machinery banks.

Conservation Agriculture (CA)

  • CA-based production systems moderates effect of high temp. & increased irrigation water productivity by 66 - 100 % compared to traditional production systems.

Minimum Tillage

  • While intensive soil tillage reduces soil organic matter thru aerobic mineralization, low tillage & maintenance of permanent soil cover (thru crops, crop residues or cover crops & introduction of diversified crop rotations) increase soil organic matter.

Nutrient Management

  • 4R principle:

o Right Nutrient

o Right Quantity

o Right Time

o Right Method

  • To achieve goal of higher nutrient use efficiency, site-specific demand-driven balanced use of nutrients based on soil tests would be essential & ineviatble.

Integrated Nutrient Management

  • Sea weeds like Sagarika – to boost crop growth & mitigate weather adversities.
  • Biogas slurry – to enhance NUE & minimize environmental problems.
  • Water Management
  • Energy Management
  • Reforestation
  • It is natural or intentional restocking of existing forests & woodlands that are depleted, thru deforestation.

Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change

  • Early Warming & Information Systems (EWIS)
  • Selection of Suitable Crops & Crop Cultivars
  • Preference to Less Water & Less Nutrient Demanding Crops
  • Selection of Crops & Cultivars Tolerant to Abiotic & Biotic Stresses
  • Crop Diversification
  • Change in Cropping Pattern & Calendar of Planting
  • Mixed Cropping/Intercropping
  • Integrated Cropping Systems
  • Integration of Agriculture w/Traditional Knowledge
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • To achieve goal of IPM, use of nutrients like K & B should be promoted because these help in arresting adverse impact of abiotic & biotic stresses, & impart drought resistance.
  • Summer ploughing, green manuring, use of biopesticides etc. should constitute key components of IPM.
  • Integrated Farming Systems
  • Integration of agriculture w/livestock, poultry, fishery, bee keeping etc. is known as IFS.

- Published/Last Modified on: April 3, 2019


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