- February 28, 2023
APMC mandis to be connected with e-NAM
- The government has just authorised the incorporation of 101 APMC mandis into the electronic platform e-NAM.
- By March 31, the total number of mandis connected to the e-NAM platform is anticipated to reach 1,361.
- The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) launched the Platform of Platforms (PoP) within the e-NAM platform in Bengaluru the previous year.
- The government has previously developed initiatives such as the Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund, the Kisan Rath Mobile App, and the Platform of Platforms (PoP) within the e-NAM portal in order to promote e-NAM and enhance the participation of farmers and merchants.
- These initiatives attempt to enhance price discovery, boost market transparency, and expand farmers’ access to markets for their produce.
What is e-NAM?
- e-NAM (Electronic National Agricultural Market) is an online marketplace in India for agricultural products.
- The Government of India started it in 2016 with the intention of establishing a unified national market for agricultural goods.
- It combines actual markets, such as Agricultural Product Market Committees (APMC) and other market yards, with an electronic platform.
- It allows farmers, merchants, and purchasers to buy and sell agricultural commodities via an internet gateway, giving them access to different markets and buyers across the nation.
- The platform also provides real-time price discovery, quality testing, and transportation services, hence enhancing agricultural market transparency, efficiency, and competition.
What are APMC Mandis?
The Agricultural Produce Market Committee or APMC are physical markets or yards where farmers sell agricultural produce to traders and agencies.
- These mandis are governed by state APMC Acts, which require farmers to sell their produce through licenced dealers and agents.
- These mandis were designed to safeguard farmers from exploitation and to ensure that their food was priced fairly.
Farmers sell their agricultural products to licenced traders and commission agents in Mandis, which are markets or yards.
- There are about 7,000 APMC mandis across India, each serving an unique geographic region or cluster of communities.
Significance of integrating APMCs in e-NAM
- They contribute to market regulation by guaranteeing quality standards, prompt payments, and transactional transparency.
- Enhanced surveillance and oversight of dealers and commission agents
- Real-time price discovery and stable price realisation for producers will be facilitated.
- It will assist in expanding agricultural commerce and market penetration.
Government schemes to promote APMC mandis:
- electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform: It allows farmers to sell their goods online and gain access to a larger market.
- Model APMC Act, 2017: The act aims to liberalize the agricultural market and encourage private investment.
- Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs): It was established by the government to help farmers obtain access to markets and strengthen their bargaining position.
- Agricultural Infrastructure Fund (AIF): It intends to provide financial assistance for
Linking Voter ID to Aadhaar
GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions
- More than 60 percent of India’s 94.5 billion voters have connected their Aadhaar numbers to their voter IDs, the Election Commission (EC) revealed in response to a Right to Information request.
- The Election Laws (Amendment) Act of 2021 was just approved to deduplicate voter rolls by allowing election authorities to obtain Aadhaar numbers from voters.
- Gujarat and Delhi have the lowest proportion of Aadhaar-connected voters, while Tripura has the highest proportion, with 92% of voters having linked their Aadhaar.
- The total number of Aadhaar-linked voters is 56,90,83,010.
- Lakshadweep and Madhya Pradesh are the second and third most populous states, with almost 91 percent and 86 percent of voters, respectively.
- Just 31.5 percent of voters in Gujarat have linked their Aadhaar to their voter ID, which is the lowest rate in the country.
- Less than 34% of Delhi’s registered voters have linked their Aadhaar.
- Both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka fell short of the 71% threshold, although Tamil Nadu and Kerala scored approximately 63% and 61%, respectively.
Need to Link Voter ID with Aadhaar
- Inflated Voter Count: Duplicate voter registrations can lead to exaggerated voter counts, erroneous election outcomes, and undermine the entire purpose of democratic elections.
- Voter Fraud: Voting entries can be exploited by fraudsters to cast multiple votes or impersonate legitimate voters, leading to election fraud and compromising the integrity of the electoral process.
- Resource Drain: Duplicate entries require additional resources to maintain, update, and deduplicate electoral rolls.
- Disenfranchisement: Duplicate entries can potentially result in the disenfranchisement of eligible voters, whose names may be mistakenly erased or identified as duplicates, so denying them the right to vote.
- Lack of Trust: Duplicate voter entries can erode public trust in the electoral process and lead to doubts about the fairness and transparency of the election.
- Legal Challenges: Inaccurate electoral rolls can also lead to legal challenges and disputes, leading to delays in the announcement of election results and uncertainty about the outcome of the election.
Issues Related to Linking Aadhaar with Voter ID
- Attack on Right to Privacy: Although the planned Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 exempts the government from its provisions, the government is now able to exploit the sensitive information it obtains through the Aadhaar-Voter ID link. This connectivity will provide the government with the demographic information related to Aadhaar and linked to the voter database.
- Aadhar not Proof of Citizenship: One of the “most sacred rights” is the ability to vote, which cannot be denied to a person who has an Aadhar card. The preference for Aadhaar for voter identification is perplexing, given that Aadhaar is merely a proof of domicile and not citizenship.
- What more can be done?
- Aadhaar Linking: Aadhaar is a unique identification number issued by the Indian government that can assist reduce duplicate voter registrations and ensure that each voter has a distinct identity.
- Data Analytics: Using data analytics to compare voter lists with other databases such as PAN, driving licence, and passport can assist election officials in identifying and eliminating duplicate entries more quickly.
- Voter Education: It can play a significant role in eliminating duplicate entries by creating awareness among voters about the importance of maintaining accurate voter lists and the consequences of having duplicate entries.
- Regular Updation: Regular updation of voter lists is critical to ensure that the lists remain accurate and up-to-date.
- Technological Solutions: The use of technology such as biometric verification, facial recognition, and machine learning can help automate the process of identifying and eliminating duplicate entries, making the process more efficient and accurate.
- Legal Action: The election authorities can take legal action against individuals found to have created or facilitated duplicate entries, which can act as a deterrent to such activities.
Section 153A: its use and misuse
GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions
- A political party leader was recently arrested under section 153 A of the Indian Penal Code for alleged hate speech.
About Section 153A of the IPC
- · Section 153A of the Indian Criminal Code (IPC) criminalises “creating animosity between various groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, domicile, language, etc. and doing acts detrimental to the maintenance of harmony.”
- This is punishable by up to three years in prison, a fine, or both.
- In the pre-Independence Rangila Rasool case, the Punjab High Court acquitted the Hindu publisher of a tract that disparaged the private life of the Prophet and was accused under Section 153A.
- This provision was not there in the original penal code; it was enacted in 1898.
- During the time of the amendment, encouraging class enmity was a violation of the English law of sedition, but not the Indian law.
- Issue of low conviction:
- According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the conviction rate for Section 153A is extremely low.
- In 2020, there were 1,804 reported cases, six times as many as in 2014.
- The conviction rate in 2020, however, was 20.2%, indicating that the procedure frequently becomes the penalty.
- Safeguards against misuse
- Because the laws are stated broadly, safeguards exist to prevent their exploitation.
- Prior sanction:
- For instance, Sections 153A and 153B demand government approval before beginning prosecution.
- But, this is necessary before the trial begins, not during the preliminary investigation.
- Supreme Court’s guidelines:
- No automatic arrest for sentence of fewer than seven years:
- In its 2014 judgement in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, the Supreme Court established a set of rules to prevent arbitrary arrests.
- According to the rules, for offences carrying a sentence of less than seven years, police cannot automatically arrest a suspect prior to inquiry.
- Proving intent:
- In a judgement from 2021, the Supreme Court stated that the state must prove intent to get a conviction under Section 153A.
India-South East Asia Defence Co-Operation
GS 2 India & Foreign Relations
- The Indian Navy’s Kilo-class conventional submarine, INS Sindhukesari, moored for the first time in Jakarta, Indonesia, recently.
- The primary objective of India’s Look East Policy, which was initiated in 1992, was to reintegrate India economically and culturally with its South East Asian neighbours.
- Increasing trade links have led in an expansion of the partnership into areas of military and security.
- the engagement, which was essentially political and economic in its early phases, had taken on a strategic component by the time of the Act East Policy in 2014.
Types Of Co-Operation
- Defense cooperation with ASEAN nations includes training exchanges, joint exercises, institutional measures, and the provision of defence materiel.
Training Exchanges And Joint Exercises
- India holds joint naval exercises with ASEAN states such as Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia etc.
- India undertakes IND-INDO CORPAT and IND-INDO BILAT with Indonesia.
- India conducts Exercise Table Top with Malaysia.
- India operates IMCOR with Myanmar.
- India carries out SIMBEX with Singapore
India participates in the multilateral exercises listed below.
- Multilateral Exercise by Brunei ADMM+ Exercise
- Exercise Multilateral by Indonesia KOMODO
- India’s Multilateral Exercise MILAN
- India is an active participant in several regional strategic forums like ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting + (ADMM+) and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).
- ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting + (ADMM+) : The ADMM Plus is an annual gathering of the Defense Ministers of ten ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) nations and eight dialogue partner nations, including Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States.
- Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF): It is a channel for track 1.5 diplomacy that focuses on maritime issues of shared concern to ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States.
- Defence Exports
- At least fifty percent of India’s defence exports went to South East Asian countries between 2017 and 2021.
- Recent events such as the $375 million arrangement between India and the Philippines for the sale of Brahmos missiles and the $600,000 sale of a remote-controlled air defence station to Myanmar portray India as a dependable security provider for south east asian states.
Need For ASEAN Co-Operation :
- Maritime Connectivity & Security:
- India is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and ASEAN Countries have borders with india and Indo-Pacific waters. This opens up plenty of opportunities for India and other countries to work on maritime security, trade, and better supply chain networks.
- Checks Chinese Dominance:
- Maritime cooperation in terms of connectivity, safety and security will place india in a better position in the backdrop of China’s advancements in the South China Sea.
- Act East Policy & Indo-Pacific:
- The Indo-Pacific is an integrated region with ASEAN at its centre.
- Both ASEAN and India believe that openness, inclusiveness, rules-based order, freedom of navigation, and peaceful dispute settlement are fundamental to the Indo-Pacific region.
- Market for India’s Defence Exports:
- India’s defense exports have seen 334 percent rise in the past five years and south east asian nations form a major market for our exports
- Internal contradictions:
- The ASEAN countries have their own internal contradictions, and India must be dynamic when dealing with them.
- India’s relations with the Philippines began slowly because to India’s relations with Vietnam, which the Philippines viewed as an aggressor during the Cold War.
- Chinese Influence:
- Despite India’s efforts, south east Asian nations continue to rely largely on China.
- India till now pursued bilateral and multilateral cooperation with asean countries .Indian should explore avenues for forging trilateral cooperation on defence and strategic issues .
National Mobile Monitoring System (NMMS)
GS 2 Governance
- The government has mandated that MGNREGS employees’ attendance be recorded via a smartphone application, National Mobile Monitoring System (NMMS)
- In 2021, the Ministry of Rural Development introduced the National Mobile Monitoring Software (NMMS) App.
- It was intended to increase openness and ensure adequate monitoring of the programmes.
- The NMMS App allows geotagged images and real-time worker attendance at Mahatma Gandhi NREGA construction sites.
- The application facilitates more citizen oversight of the programme.
- Inadequate internet connectivity, limited access to cellphones, and app bugs have hampered the operation of the initiative. Only 25.9% of registered devices have been used to record attendance, according to Ministry of Rural Development statistics.
- 3% of gramme panchayats do not report using NMMS devices.
- Workers are required to purchase a smartphone with their own salary, with no government assistance provided.
GS 3 Conservation Species in News
- Recently, four Chennai police officers were suspended for assisting orangutan traffickers.
- Orangutans are native to the rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia. They are currently restricted to Borneo and Sumatra.
- In the Malay language, orangutan means “man of the forest.”
- Orangutans, the most arboreal of the great apes, spend the majority of their time in trees.
- They have relatively long arms and short legs, and their bodies are covered with reddish-brown hair.
- Bornean and Sumatran orangutans seem and behave somewhat differently.
- While both species have reddish, shaggy fur, the facial hair of Sumatran orangutans is longer.
- Populations and ranges have experienced drastic decreases due to human activity.
- Poaching (for bushmeat and retaliation for devouring crops), habitat damage and deforestation (for palm oil farming and logging), and the illegal pet trade are all threats to wild orangutan populations.
- Declining population & IUCN Status:
- A century ago, there were likely more than 230,000 orangutans in total, but
- The Bornean orangutan is now estimated to number approximately 104,700 based on its updated geographic range and is classified as Endangered, while the Sumatran orangutan is estimated to number approximately 7,500 and is classified as Critically Endangered.
- Tapanuli orangutan: In November of 2017, a third species of orangutan was announced. The Tapanuli orangutan is the most endangered of the great apes, with fewer than 800 individuals left in the wild.
Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) 2023
GS 3 Conservation
- India was one of 190 countries that participated in GBBC 2023 between February 17 and February 20.
- It is an annual event that brings together bird enthusiasts, students, and wildlife enthusiasts to count birds near their homes, workplaces, and schools.
- During the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) 2023, West Bengal reported the highest number of species (489), followed by Uttarakhand (426), Arunachal Pradesh (407), Assam (397), and Karnataka (371). Tamil Nadu and Kerala ranked eighth and ninth, with 349 and 325 species, respectively.
- India’s birds thrive in different urban and rural habitats. India uploaded the second-highest number of checklists after the United States of America and the third-highest number of species of any country, thanks to a tremendous surge in participation across the nation.
- • The GBBC was founded in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society as the first online citizen-science initiative (also known as community science) to collect data on wild birds and display results in near real-time.
- • In 2013, after submitting data into eBird, the largest biodiversity-related citizen research (community science) initiative in the world, the GBBC became a global project.
|Bird Count India