History of MSP

MSP refers ‘Minimum Support Price’, which is a floor price or minimum price for a crop decided by government of India. It was first implemented in 1966-1967 for wheat and rice. Currently it covers 23 crops.

MSP is probable the most trending word for 2021. Amid protest in Delhi, there is lot of debates and news around MSP. There is fear among farmers that the new laws introduced by government of India are aimed at dissolving MSP. Entire farmer protest is around this topic. Everyone is discussing MSP today. But do you know history of MSP and how is it calculated. Here it is-

What is MSP ?
MSP refers to Minimum Support Price, which is a floor price or minimum price for a crop decided by Government of India. It is a safety net provided to farmers to ensure that they get remunerated for their produce. State like Punjab and Haryana are food surplus state. Due to surplus produce, which means increase in supply, prices falls sharply, which led to loss to farmer. So government introduce MSP system to ensure farmers get minimum price for their produce. Government decide minimum price of a crop before its harvest. Even the prices of crop fall , government buy it at MSP. MSP protect crop prices from market fluctuations. While MSP is not enforceable by law.

History of MSP-
Back in 1960’s, India was facing acute shortage of food supply. India had got newly Independence and has already fought two wars. India was mostly dependent on imports for wheat. So Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji introduce policies to make promote Agriculture to make India self sufficient. A series of administrative and technological reforms were carried out, but still the outcome was not up to expectation. It was realised that farming is very vulnerable, because farmer due not get profitable price for their produce and end up selling at losses.
To ensure minimum price for farmer’s output, Prime Minister set up 5 member Food Price Committee in August 1964. The committee was set up under his own secretary LK Jha. The committee include TP Singh (member, Planning Commission), BN Adarkar (Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance), ML Dantwala (Department of Economic Affairs) and SC Chaudhary (Economic and Statistical Consultant, Ministry of Food and Agriculture). Based on recommendation of committee Agriculture Price Commission (APC) and Food Corporation of India was established in January 1965. The report was approved by B Shivaraman, then secretary to Government of India in October 1965. Committee recommended providing minimum price to the farmers and implementing maximum retail price for grains, so to ensure availability of food to poor. The committee recommended price for 1964-65 only. In 1985 Agriculture Price Commission (APC) was renamed as Commission for Agriculture Cost and Pricing (CACP).
Also this system was set up to protect farmers from being tapped in debt cycle of middlemen or Zamindars. After independence India’s agriculture was under stress, due to lack of availability of raw material and capital. So farmers used to borrow money from Zamindars, Landlords and Arhtiyas. At that time there was no proper infrastructure, system and knowledge for farmers, so they sell their produce directly to Arhtiyas, Zamindars or Landlords. But these middlemen pay very less for their produce. Farmers became indebted to middlemen and get tapped in debt trap. Farmers were at mercy of middlemens. But MSP ensures that they would get minimum price for their produce.
Here it is also to be noted that MSP is a administrative decision, it does not have any legal backing. It depends upon governments. So far from 1965 it has been continued.

How is MSP calculated ?
MSP is fixed by ministry of agriculture based on recommendation of Commission for Agriculture Cost and Pricing (CACP). It is statutory body so its recommendations are not binding on government. While calculating cost it consider cost of labour, land, inputs, interest on investment, inflation etc. CACP uses 3 formulas to calculate MSP- A2, A2+FL and C2, prescribed by Swaminathan committee.
A2– It include out- of -pocket expense incurred by farmer. It includes cash expense like labour, seed, manure, fertilizer, electricity, fuel, rent etc for production of crop.
A2+FL- FL refers to Family Labour. It includes unpaid labour of family members in cost of crop production.
C2- It refers to Comprehensive Cost (CC OR C2). In addition to A2+FL, it includes interest on capital invested, rent, interest on owned land and machinery.
In reply to parliament Agriculture Minister Tomar said that government use both A2+FL and C2 while calculating MSP.

MSP had been boon to our country and played important role in making India food sufficient. MSP had commercialized the farming. It had attracted farmers toward commercial farming by providing them price security. But it has been established only in few states like Punjab, Haryana and UP. MSP implementation has its own impact. Environment degradation and reducing water table in Punjab has widely been acknowledged. As every coin has two sides, MSP too have both positive and negative impact. It put a lot of burden on government’s exchequer. Also MSP procurement is dependent on middlemen, commission agents and bureaucrats.

New farm bills of 2020 are aimed at dissolving MSP by allowing farmers to sell their produce outside APMC mandis. Farmer fear that if MSP is not provided, corporates will manipulate prices. This has led to protest around Delhi. Government should come with policies that protect stakeholder’s interests and with proper consultation.

Farm Laws, 2020 Explained

Three farm reform bills were passed by Indian parliament in September. Since its passage it has created a lot controversy in India, especially in northern agriculturally rich state of Punjab and Haryana.

Thousand of Farmers are protesting on border of National Capital, Delhi. Farmers with their families and tractors are marching toward Delhi. Government has invited protesting farmers group for talks. Despite around 9 round of talks, parties have reached no result. Farmers are adamant on demand of repealing these farm laws, while government have agreed to bring amendment to the existing laws but not to repeal laws. This protest is expanding everyday. There has been a lot of debate over this new law. So here is explained the 3 Farm laws.

These three laws are-

  1. Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and facilitation) Act, 2020
  2. Farmer’s (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price assurance and Farm service Act, 2020
  3. Essential Commodities (Amendment Act, 2020)

A Brief Overview

India has been a agrarian economy. Agriculture is primary source of employment for 58% of India’s population and contributes 16% to GDP of the country. It hold an important place in country’s economy and politics. But it has not developed compared to other sectors. Agricultural sector is still dependent on government for procurement and regulations. 86.2% of Indian farmers are marginalized i.e they hold less than 2 hectares of land. These laws are introduced with aim to bring much needed reform in agriculture sector.

Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and facilitation) Act, 2020– This act was introduced with aim to provide greater choice to farmers for selling their produce. Earlier the produce was compulsory to be sold under APMC Act at Mandis set up by state government. This Mandi system was set up to protect farmers from being tapped in debt cycle of middlemen or Zamindars.
After independence India’s agriculture was under stress, due to lack of availability of raw material and capital. So farmers used to borrow money from Zamindars, Landlords and Arhtiyas. At that time there was no proper infrastructure, system and knowledge for farmers, so they sell their produce directly to Arhtiyas, Zamindars or Landlords. But these middlemen pay very less for their produce. Farmers became indebted to middlemen and get tapped in debt trap. Farmers were at mercy of middlemens. The system was very exploitative and became hurdle for growth of agriculture in India.
In 1960’s India fought two wars and was facing food shortage. So to promote agriculture, government introduced MSP (Minimum Support Price) system in 1966 and set up APMC mandis. MSP ensures minimum price for farmer’s produce which would be purchased by government at APMC mandi.
Now since India is food surplus, government introduced this bill to allow farmer to sell outside APMC mandi. Now farmers can sell outside the mandi also. Which means he can sell directly to industries. This will provide farmers freedom of choice for selling his product, thus increasing competition. Famers can sell within state , outside state or even online. This will provide farmer more opportunity to attract better cost for his produce. After the implementation of this bill farmers will not only be the ‘producer’, they will be the traders. This bill promote electronic trading and e-commerce of farmer’s produce. Also bill restrict state government from levying tax , commission fee etc on procurement of farm produce outside APC mandi.
Currently Punjab charges 8.5% and Haryana 6.5% as commission fee on procurement, which is source of revenue for state. This is probably the reason the State governments are concerned about bill.

Farmer’s (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price assurance and Farm service Act, 2020:
This bill introduce a legal framework for contract farming. Under this law now farmers can enter into legal agreement with companies, industries or institution for purchase of the produce at a mentioned price. Contract will include all the terms and condition like price, standard and quality, timing, order size and dispute resolution framework. With this bill government aimed at protecting small farmers from being exploited by wholesalers and corporates, as the farmers will have written agreement with buyers and can sue them if they try to cheat them.


Essential Commodities (Amendment Act, 2020):
Essential commodity act was introduced back in 1955 to prevent hoarding of essential commodities such as food items, petrol, drugs, fertilizer etc. The new amendment has removed oil seeds, cereals, potato and pulses from the list. Thus allowing supermarket or giant retailers to hoard these products. This move will attract corporate in the agriculture market as now they can manipulate prices by changing supply-demand accordingly.

There was widespread discussion to bring change in the agriculture sector. Indian agriculture sector has performed badly when it comes to quality. Also there was very few efforts for research and innovation in agriculture. This reforms will increase competition in market and also improve quality of farm produce. India has seen how well dairy and horticulture has performed even without MSP or government regulation. Since both dairy and farming are rural economic activity, Dairy has performed far better than agriculture. Fruits and vegetables were delisted from APMC act in 2014 by congress government. So far we have reported no reduction in production or quality in fruit and vegetable segment. Also with entry of corporates in Dairy segment, production of milk has increased. Nestle and Danone has actively contributed in increase in production of milk in Punjab especially in Moga district. Similarly these laws will agriculture by increasing competition. Other topic of debate around these laws will be discussed in next blog.

India Pride Project.

India Pride Project (IPP) is a group of art enthusiasts who uses social media to identify stolen religious artefacts from Indian temples and secure their return. Co-founded in 2014 by two Singapore-based art enthusiasts, S. Vijay Kumar and Anuraag Saxena, it now has activists from all over the world.

Dancing Shiva: In 2014, it helped to secure the return of a US$5 million bronze statue of the Hindu god Shiva from the National Gallery of Australia. Named Dancing Shiva, the statue was stolen from a Tamil Nadu temple and trafficked by Subhash Kapoor, a former Manhattan art dealer who was later under the United States federal investigation known as Operation Hidden Idol. When the gallery denied the statue was stolen, IPP used the social media to publicize and compare the images of the stolen idol with the one on gallery’s display. Since the arrest of Kapoor in 2012, United States has returned to India many artefacts recovered under Operation Hidden Idol.

Ms Donna Yates, a lecturer on antiquities trafficking at the University of Glasgow, believes “the grassroots work of the IPP in documenting cases of theft and bringing them to public attention is crucial – and unmatched anywhere in the world.”

Nalanda‘s 12th century Buddha: This six-and-a-half-inch bronze (with traces of silver inlay) of the Buddha seated in the bhumisparsha mudra, was stolen along with 13 other statues 1961 from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) site museum in Nalanda.[5] It was noticed at a at a London auction. Fortunately a photographic record of the statue was saved by Sachindra S. Biswas, a retired director general of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Kumar, is attempting to pursue India’s claim on another Buddha statue, suspected to be from the 1961 theft, currently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the US.

Background


Ancient Indian sculptures, manuscripts, maps and artefacts are stolen and find their way into the international art-markets and are sold off for millions of dollars. The history of India is being illegally smuggled out to private-collectors and museums across the world.

Home most dangerous place for women –UN

In 2017, 50,000 women were killed by partners or family members while 137 women were killed by family members everyday.

The most dangerous place for women is their home, according to the 2018 report on gender related killing of people . Of the 87,000 women killed last year, 50,000 (58%) were killed by partners of family members.

The report was compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and released on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25). It looked at homicide data related to gender violence and focused specifically on intimate partner and family member violence.

The report says that 137 women are killed by family members every day. A third of the women were intentionally murdered by a current of former partner.

Globally, Asia had the highest number of women killed by partners or family members last year, at 20,000, followed by Africa (19,000), the Americas (8,000), Europe (3,000) and Oceania (300). Yet rates were higher in Africa and the Americas, meaning women faced the greatest risk of being killed by partners or family members in these regions.

In Africa, homicides at the hands of a partner or family member accounted for 3.1 victims per 100,000 of the female population and in the Americas, the rate was 1.6 victims per 100,000 of the female population — compared with 0.9 per 100,000 in Asia.

Europe showed the lowest rate of gender-based homicide, with 0.7 victims per 100,000 of the female population.

According to the report, only one out of every five homicides across the globe is perpetrated by an intimate partner or family member. However, women and girls make up the vast majority of those deaths. There is a large disparity in the shares attributable to male and female victims of homicides committed by intimate partners or family members: 36% male versus 64% female victims

Despite steps taken by countries to reduce female homicides, including the adoption of special units and more training in the criminal justice system, the report said there is no sign of a fall in the number of gender-related killings of women and girls worldwide.

On the contrary, the total number of female homicide victims appears to have increased since 2012, when the number of women killed by partners or family members was estimated at 48,000 or 47% of all female homicide victims.

The study stresses that intimate partner/family member killings is not an exhaustive category for female homicides. “Femicide”, defined in 1992 as “the misogynous killing of women by men motivated by hatred, contempt, pleasure, or a sense of ownership over women, rooted in historically unequal power relations between women and men”, is a broader term that can take the form of honor killings or other patriarchal motivated violence.

Consequently, the study has called for a series of measures to combat the broader global problem of femicide, by improving coordination between the police, the criminal justice system and health and social services. It also emphasises the need to identify patterns and motives in the killings to better address them at the root.

The need to include men in the fight against these types of homicides was also highlighted. “In order to prevent and tackle gender-related killing of women and girls, men need to be involved in efforts to combat intimate partner violence/family-related homicide and in changing cultural norms that move away from violent masculinity and gender stereotypes,” it said.

Modi Sarkar 2.0.

As the results of the much anticipated Lok Sabha elections in India unfold themselves , it is clear that Narendra Damodardas Modi is all set to occupy the Prime Minister’s chair of India once again. In this avatar of Modi 2.0, BJP is looking set to get a majority on its own and NDA as a pre poll alliance is expected to beat its 2014 tally! First things first. This is a remarkable feat for an incumbent to not just return but return with a better performance than the 1stterm and so kudos are in order!

As much as the return of Modi as the prime minister was expected to a large extent, the scale and the ease of this victory was not expected till some of the exit polls predicted so. What were we told all this while? “Demonetisation hurt jobs and the poor. GST is still hurting traders. There is agrarian crisis all over. Job creation has hit a historic low. Minority are living under increasing fear. Economy is not growing enough. And since 2014, the Idea of India has been threatened”. And much more. So, in spite of the fact this this government did perform in areas of infrastructure like roads, highways, railways…, asset building in rural areas, reaching electricity to the hinterland,…,… we were told that these were not enough to re-elect Modi again that too with a clear majority.

That being the case, what explains this massive victory? What is behind the making of Modi 2.0? I call it the story of “M”s!

M for Modi: – Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind people on this. People have not voted for BJP or the NDA. They have unequivocally voted for Narendra Modi! States like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan which were lost by BJP are now being swept by them! Modi has been seen as being earnest in his endeavour to fulfil promises he made. So, even if ALL the promises were not kept fully, people are being kind enough to give another chance. Programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Demonetisation, Toilet construction, rural electrification and Ujwala Yojana… are being seen as sincere attempts in improving living conditions in India. Though some of the programmes like Demonetisation faltered, people were willing to forgive and forget!

M for Muscular leadership: I will have to narrate an anecdote here to elaborate this point. A day before polling in Mumbai, my 11 year old daughter’s friend asked my wife as to whom she would vote. My wife asked why she wanted to know that. And her response left me stunned. “Aunty, I hope you will vote for Modi. Because only he can give a fitting response to Pakistan. India in the past never entered Pakistan and hit them. But under Modiji, humne ghuske maara”! This was the impact a strong leader leaves in the minds of the young. Critics may call it mindless belligerence when Modi decided to do a surgical strike and follow it up with an air strike. But people want their leaders to show spine in matters of their country’s defence.

M for Mission mode: This is the difference between Vajpayee/Advani era BJP and Modi/Shah BJP. During NDA-1, after forming the government and running a reasonably good one at that for 6 years, BJP did not do anything to widen their base. But the BJP under Modi/Shah is a different kettle of fish. After having won a decisive mandate in 2014, did they keep quiet? They got into “Mission mode” in North East and then later Bengal and the results are there to see. For BJP, if 2014 was UP story, 2019 is Bengal+UP story! In 2019, when it was facing the spectre of the SP-BSP-RJD gathbandan, BJP activated its “Mission mode” to target 300 on its own! This by targeting areas like Orissa, Bengal and North East.

M for Machinery: This is linked to the above. That is of having a plan and executing the plan through an effective machinery. The party machinery under the leadership of Amit Shah works relentlessly in expanding their base within India. Not just during election time. This also means that BJP will now target states like Telangana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu next probably for 2024!

M for last Mile Delivery: It is one thing to announce programs. It is one thing to have a strategy in the board room. It is another thing to ensure last Mile delivery. Whether it is Jan Dhan Yojana or Ujwala Yojana or otherYojanas, Modi Government’s track record on last mile delivery has certainly made a difference to people. This is what has made BJP and Modi to hold on to their leads even in the face of a combined opposition in states like UP.

M for Marketing: The word “Marketing” is often derided upon as if it is a bad word! As a marketing professional myself, I have resented it often. And I have said that Marketing is not a bad thing at all and is a critical element in a product’s success or failure. In political arena, for a leader or for a party, it is not just enough to perform. But it is important to be “seen as performing”! In that sense, BJPas a party and Modi as a leader are miles ahead in terms of marketing themselves. Some would say that Modi’ssuccess is all about just marketing! I tend to disagree. One should not forget the fundamental mantra that even great marketing cannot save a bad product! One can write a separate blog on BJP’s marketing but turning the Chowkidar Chor hai slogan of Congress on its head as Main bhi Chowkidar campaign in its favour is one example of some great marketing by BJP!

M for Models: One reason for Modi in the 1st place to earn credibility in 2014 was his famed “Gujarat model”. This credibility is important for people to take your promises seriously. And this is the problem with the opposition today. The main opposition party doesn’t have any credible model to point the people to! If today, the Congresspromises “Nyay”, people are reluctant to take it seriously. Because, even in states which are ruled by Congress, they find it difficult to hold on. If Congress has to be taken seriously in future, they need to develop their own “models” which they can positively refer to.

I hear some of you saying that it is all just one “M” which is Modi! No victory is accomplished with one factor. It is usually a combination of factors. I believe that in the making of Modi 2.0, the mantras were the above so many “M”s! Now that Modi 2.0 has been accomplished, it is time to look ahead and focus on the agenda for Modi 2.0. What should that be? Please look for my next post! For now, M for Mangal! -Anand kumar.

History of Fancy Political slogans

#Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan
Perhaps the first post-independence political slogan that caught the popular imagination. Coined in 1965 against the backdrop of war with Pakistan and a food crisis, the slogan got the nation to rally behind the Congress government. Congress retained power in the 1967 polls.

#Garibi Hatao
Congress won the general elections in 1971 on the back of Indira Gandhi’s slogan. Given the party’s socialist predilections, the slogan has been revived every once in a while especially ahead of elections. Rajiv Gandhi and his son Rahul, Sitaram Kesri are among the Congress notables to have used it.

Indira Hatao, Desh Bachao
Jayaprakash Narayan’s famous slogan was the rallying cry for the opposition parties post-Emergency. Major opposition parties came under the umbrella Janata Party to trounce the Congress in the 1977 parliamentary polls.

#Bari Bari Sabki Bari, Abki Bari Atal Bihari
Coined at a Lucknow political rally in 1996, the slogan was used by the BJP to project Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the next prime minister. In it the party succeeded though for a very short term. Vajpayee was PM for only 13 days in 1996.

#Congress ka Haath, Aam Aadmi ke Saath
The Congress campaign that trumped BJP’s India Shining in 2004. Once again India’s Grand Old Party targeted India’s common man to come back to power. It was a variation of an earlier Congress slogan that had “garib ke saath”. The “aam aadmi” was to include India’s growing middle class.

#Maa, Mati, Manush


Not just a political war cry that brought down the Left Front government in West Bengal, the slogan has been used as a title for a book of poems by Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool party magazine goes by the same name, many plays, films and songs have used the slogan.

# Twinkle Twinkle little star

abki baar fir modi sarkar,

Rahul gandhi khaye chocolate baar

Abki baar fir modi sarkar

By bjp in general election

###Chalegi jhadu udhegi dhool
Na rahega panja, na rahega phool.

Used by AAP in 2019 elections

#### NOW in 2019…..

Leher ke baad boonda bandi

Abki baar RAHUL GANDHI

### Kahoo Dil se

Modi phir se

# Ayega to modi hi

# Modi hai to mumkin hai

Kasol:: Mini Israel in India

Why Kasol is known as Mini Israel?

Not only Kasol but many areas such as Kangra, Dharamshala, old Manali, Vashistha are some other places have a good number of Jews footprint from Israel. According to some estimation around 70%, foreign visitors of these place are Israelis. According to the sources the Israelis are moving in groups and rarely mix with others.

“The peaceful valley has become a safe haven for lakhs of Jews who migrate here for many reasons – including karmic cleansing, and an uninterrupted feast of drugs, adventure, and sex,” adds The Mail.

Israel is lying near the sea and mostly a desert and crowded by cities so such Himalayan beauty is rare in Israel. The recent increasing relationship between India and Israel makes them feel India like a second home.

After completing tough and tired military training, they come to India for relaxation and spend some time in peace. For that Himalayas are the best destination.

According to some sources, a decade before Israeli people started visiting the Kasol and then some of them settled here. Now the place becomes the hub of the travelers who are coming here in groups. Israeli people feel safer here because locals villagers are also trying to provide the services according to there need and thus the tourists are contributing a lot to the economy of the local village. As the Kasol becomes the hub of Israeli travelers, the locals are getting employment in the hospitality sector.

Mostly Israelis settled here and working as to provide shelter to the Israeli tourists. Thus more and more Israelis are attracted towards the place and helping in the development of the local economy.

When Trump met Einstein…

If Trump and Einstein met, Trump would say “I have a very, very big brain. The Chinese love my brain. Uncle was a professor at MIT and all that. I always have to give my credentials – liberals always think they’re the smartest person in the room. People say I’m very very smart. Maybe they’re right. Maybe. Maybe. Wharton. Best schools. “

And Einstein would interrupt to say “Going to Wharton doesn’t make you Einstein, Einstein!”

And Trump would shoot back with “Just met Einstein. Very disappointed. NOT SMART.”

Leading Einstein to the question, “Huh?”

Warming to his theme Trump would continue, “There are many fine, fine Jews. Great people. Great Americans and great people of Israel. Israelis. Is that right? Sounds … well ok. Israelis. You want someone to look after your money, hire a Jew. Great people. Great, great people. They say very nice things about me. The Jews love me. But Einstein, he’s the Jewish George Soros. Very bad character. Little Gaga Man, that’s what I call him. Little Gaga Man.”

Pricked, Einstein would draw himself up to the shambolic man-mountain towering in front of him and shout in a quavering voice “Maybe some people who think too highly of themselves are not so clever at all!!”

And mean it to sting.

And then that magical Trumpian moment would occur, as it does so often, and they would fall in love.

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