The Hindu Newspaper Analysis – 01 February 2021

Resolve Farm Dispute

  • This article is in the backdrop of the 72nd Republic Day and the farmers’ protest/violence/rally that happened in Delhi and this points out the widening trust deficit between the Govt and the farmers.
  • The farm laws have been contentious due to several aspects like MSP, APMC among others. The problem is not just related to the farmers of one state but farmers from across the country are suffering from the same.
  • This shows how the farming community is angry against the politico-economic conditions of the agricultural reforms. The farmers also worry that the corporates will also take over the farming sector. All in all, the farmers believe that the state’s support for agriculture will reduce and vanish over time.
  • The state’s role here is important and the role played by it matters, let us learn what the state has done, could do, and will do in this regard:
    • The state has to and had to instill trust in the farmers regarding the farm laws which is the most basic issue.
    • The intervention of the Supreme court and the steps taken are not able to calm the scenario down and are adding to the growth of the issue.
    • The author believes that these farm laws are ill thought legislations and needed wider consultation.
    • The timing when the laws were bought it was not right as there was an economic issue and the health scenario had collapsed.
    • The laws looked like they were imposed on the people or the farmers.
    • There was no deliberation or consultation.
  • The budget session, according to the author is a good time for the author to change the contentious clauses in the bill or even repeal it. The session gives space and time for the Govt to make changes or even make space for Parliamentary scrutiny of the bills.
  • Hence, the author says that the Govt has made good use of this session and provide solutions to this problem in the right way.

Dams and Reservoirs

  • India is a home many dams and reservoirs and ranks third in terms of construction of large dams.
  • These dams and reservoirs provide us with food and water security but these are facing threats like:
    • Ageing
    • Siltation
  • 1100 out 5200 constructed dams are 50 years old and by the time we reach 2050 this will reach 4400 which means 80% of the nation’s dams will be become almost obsolete.
  • We have several dams as examples like KRS or Krishna raja Sagar dam in Karnataka which was built in 1931 and is now 90 years old, another is the Mettur dam that was built in 1934 and is over 85 years old now also these dams are built on the Cauvery river basin that is water deficient.
  • Studies have pointed that there are flaws in the design of these dams which lead to siltation among others. For instance, the Bhakra Nangal Dam is 139.86% more silted than what is assumed and it will become obsolete in another 47 years which was assumed to be 88 years. This is also the case with dams like Hirakud, Maithon and Ghod Dams.
  • The problem of siltation is also a big one as soil tends to replace water in the reservoirs and when it does, it will choke the supply of water to the irrigated areas which will reduce the amount of net sown area. Then this will the farmers overly dependent on rainwater or groundwater and this will reduce the income of farmers as there is a deficiency in the both.
  • This will also affect the crop yields, the insurance that the farmers get and the credit they could receive. We need to note that this will aggravate the climate change scenario and will lead to natural disasters like floods which we recently saw in Kerala.
  • Hence, this is humongous issue that we are not paying attention to and make sure we need to work on it in the right by engaging various stakeholders in this regard.

Healthcare system building

  • We have seen how the loopholes in our healthcare system were exposed due to pandemic but we are also aware that as time passes will forget that such a problem even existed and this will also not receive attention from the Govt.
  • The healthcare system in India there is so many issues that clearly point out that it will take time for us to reach SDG 3 which talks about Good healthcare and wellbeing for all.
  • The problems in healthcare can be assessed by taking into consideration these parameters in the above picture. We can understand that various states are performing differently and this related to their performance in the indicators.
  • There is a disparity in performance between north and south states as we can see above how various states have done.
    • In the infant mortality rate, which deaths of infant per 1000 live births we can see that Madhya Pradesh is at 48 while Kerala is at 7,
    • In the Maternal mortality rate, which is the death of mothers while giving birth, we see that in MP it is 173 but in Kerala, it is at 42.
    • This can be attributed to the percent of deliveries done by untrained professionals which are as high as 19% in Bihar and less than 1% in Kerala.
  • Likewise, we can see that the total fertility rate that could be related to population control is 1.7 in Kerala which is equal to nations like China, Japan, or Germany but the average of the other states is as bad as a poor country in the world. This tends to pull down the average of India in general.
  • The southern states have performed relatively better for reasons like
    • Good leadership
    • Creating awareness among people
    • District administration reaching the grassroots
  • Health is a state subject and the role has to play by the states and seek right cooperation with the center in this regard,
  • An action group can be created that could focus well on this issue and bring out solutions, also we need to invest more in human capital and not on FDI which will benefit the rich than the poor.
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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      Dr. RS Aggarwal
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