October 23, 2019

Sloppy crop insurance scheme (Is crop insurance scheme losing steam)

Context
In response to an RTI application recently, it has been revealed that during the year 2017-2018 more than 84 lakh farmers pulled their hands behind the crop insurance scheme. Significantly, the number of insured peasants in the first year of the prime minister’s crop insurance scheme started by the Central Government in 2016-17 is 15% of the number of farmers.

Profits to insurance companies
  • Reliance, ICICI, HDFC and IFFCO and other other insurance companies have made profits of about Rs 15,795 crore since the beginning of the scheme.
  • However, this profit can go further because the claims of insurance for Rabi crops of 2017-18 have not yet been received. For the year 2016-17, the same profit was approximately Rs 6,459 crore.
  • 31,25,025 from Rajasthan; Maharashtra from 19,46,992; 14,69,052 from Uttar Pradesh and 2,90,312 farmers from Madhya Pradesh withdrew their hands with this scheme.
Why the plan failed?
  • Referring to the statistics, the activist who filed RTI in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, alleged that this scheme has been started with the objective of making profits to private insurers in the name of farmers. The Indian government could help the farmers without resorting to insurance companies.
  • Although the insurance companies made a profit of several thousand crores in the initial year of the scheme, but that year they had to face losses in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In Tamil Nadu, the total claim paid by insurance companies was approximately 3,35,562 million compared to the gross premium of 1,22,737 lakh.
  • Similarly, companies faced a loss of around Rs 3,012 lakh in Andhra Pradesh.
What is the Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Plan?
  • Taking cognizance of the problems of farmers, the Government of India started an ambitious scheme of Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme in 2016, which aimed to provide help to the farmers in the event of low yields or loss of yield. 
  • PMFBY is a replacement plan instead of the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and the Revised National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and hence it has been exempted from the service tax.
  • Under Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme, premiums are paid to the insurers on fixed rate by the farmers, but for this, the farmers have to register their land first, in return the insurance companies compensate them.
  • Farmers are paid a similar premium of 1.5% for all kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium will be only 5%. The rates of premium paid by the farmers are very low and the remaining premium will be paid by the government so that the full insured amount is provided to the farmers for crop loss in any kind of natural calamities.
  • Not only in standing crop but in addition to crop pre-sowing and harvesting, the risks have also been included. Under this scheme, the loss of local disasters will also be assessed.
Main purpose of the plan
  • Providing insurance coverage and financial assistance to farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crops as a result of natural disasters, pests and diseases.
  • To ensure continuous process of farmers in agriculture, to provide sustainability to their income.
  • Encourage the farmers to adopt innovation and modern practices in agriculture.
  • Ensure the flow of credit in the agricultural sector.

Science and technology

Possible death of 17 million Indian children due to pneumonia by 2030: Pneumonia Can Kill 17 Lakh Indian Children by 2030: Global Study

Why in the discussion?


On November 12, according to a global study released on the occasion of ‘World Pneumonia Day’, more than 17 lakh children in India could go to the mouth of pneumonia due to 2030. This study is based on the analysis of Johns Hopkins University and the United Kingdom’s Global Charity Organization ‘Save the Children’.


Important facts

  • In the study, by the year 2030, around 11 million children below 5 years of age have been declared due to pneumonia worldwide. Despite this disease being healing, a large number of deaths are becoming the cause of death.
  • With the potential death of Nigeria, 17.3 million children, this burden has emerged as the nation with the highest occupation. India is in second place with statistics of 17.1 lakhs. This is followed by the location of Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • This prediction is based on a model ‘The Lives Saved Tool’ (LiST) developed by John Hopkins Researchers.
  • According to this, ‘consolidated action’, which includes vaccination, treatment and nutrition, can be easily avoided, out of 1.1 million deaths, more than 40 lakhs can be avoided.
  • By 2030, total of 41 lakh deaths can be avoided by intervention of these three measures.
  • According to World Bank statistics, pneumonia is considered responsible for 16% of children under 5 years of age, in which 9,20,136 children died in 2015.
  • While it shows that pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated by antibiotic, even then one-third of children suffering from this disease can get antibiotics at the right time.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, in which it can occur in people of all ages, usually by bacteria and viruses. This disease can be prevented by vaccination of children.

Biology and environment

Bannerghatta Park’s Eco-Sensitive Zone Reduced Decrease in Eco-Sensitive Zone

Why in the discussion?

Ministry of Environment and Forests has issued a new notification for Bannerghatta National Park. Under the new notification, the eco-sensitive zone of Banerghatta National Park has been reduced.

key points

  • The first notification for Bannerghatta National Park was released about two and a half years ago, in which the area of ​​268.96 sq km of National Park was declared as Environmental Sensitive Zone or Eco-Sensitive Zones-ESZs.
  • The latest notification reduced the eco-sensitive zone of the park to 169 square km. Has been done.
  • Reduction in the eco-sensitive zone which controls and restricts certain activities that harm the forest, can provide more area for mining and commercial development around the city of Bangalore moving towards rapid urbanization.
  • The area where ESZ has been greatly reduced, there is either being mined or they are potential mining areas. Another area that has benefitted due to the decrease in ESZ is real estate because now the land adjacent to the highways near Bannerghatta National Park has become free from environmental barriers.

What is echo-sensitive zone?

  • Eco-sensitive zones, or ecologically sensitive areas are the notified areas surrounding the Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, a protected area, National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Activities in the eco-sensitive zone are regulated under the Environment (Protection Act) of 1986 and in such areas, polluting industries are not allowed to be used or mined.
  • According to the general principles, the expansion of the eco-sensitive zone is around 10 km in a protected area. May be within the scope of But in the case of sensitive corridors, connectivity and ecologically important segments and natural combination, 10 km More than that can be included in the eco-sensitive zone.
  • The prohibited industries are not allowed to work in these areas, as announced for the eco-sensitive zone around the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
  • These guidelines restrict the activities of commercial mining, commercial use of burnable wood and major hydro projects.
  • Commercial use of natural water resources, such as tree dropping, ground water harvesting, hotels and resorts, etc. are being controlled in these areas.
  • The basic purpose is to control some activities around the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in order to reduce the negative impact of such activities on the nearby sensitive ecosystem of protected areas.

Importance of Environmental Sensitive Areas

  • There are many changes in land landscape during industrialization, urbanization and other development initiatives which can sometimes be the cause of natural calamities like earthquake, floods, landslides and cloud bursts.
  • In order to preserve certain regions / areas with specific plants, animals and terrain, the government has declared them as National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary etc.
  • In addition to the above, to reduce the impact of urbanization and other development activities, adjacent areas of such protected areas have been declared as eco-sensitive zones.
  • National Wildlife Action Plan – NWAP 2017-2031 Protective areas try to keep areas outside the network in order to prevent the separation / destruction of biodiversity segments.
  • The purpose of declaring an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) is to reduce the potential risk by regulating and managing the activities of the protected area and surrounding areas.

Bannerghatta National Park

  • Bannerghatta National Park was established in 1970, near Bangalore, Karnataka, and in 1974 it was declared a National Park.
  • In 2002 a part of the garden became a biological reserve which is called Bannerghatta Biological Garden.
  • It is also a popular tourist destination along with a zoo, a pet corner, an animal rescue center, a butterfly enclosure, an aquarium, a sapling and a safari park.
  • Karnataka Zoo Authority, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore and Ashok Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Bangalore are its Associate Agencies.

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