Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar today inaugurated the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2022-23 today at NASC, Pusa, New Delhi. Addressing the Conference, he highlighted that as per 4thAdvance Estimates (2021-22), production of food grains in the country is estimated at 3157 lakh tonnes which is higher by 50 lakh tonnes than the production of food grain during 2020-21. Total pulses and oilseeds production during 2021-22 is estimated at record 277 and 377 lakh tonnes respectively.
Tomar said that the Central and State Governments are jointly discharging their responsibilities in the agriculture sector. A lot of work has been done in the country in terms of production, due to which there has been an increase in the production of food grains, pulses and oilseeds. Today, the priority is to tackle and solve the challenges before agriculture.
In this regard, he mentioned the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, under which Rs 1.22 lakh crore has been given to farmers as compensation for the loss of their crops. Shri Tomar said that all the farmers should be brought under the ambit of this scheme. This will especially make small farmers feel secure. He said that the productivity of the soil is decreasing due to the use of chemical fertilizers, hence organic and natural farming is being promoted. Prime Minister Shri Modi’s emphasis is also on natural farming. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the central government is taking forward the agriculture sector. It is also being expanded through Krishi Vigyan Kendras. State governments also need to make more efforts in this direction.
The Minister expressed satisfaction on the success of Mustard Mission during first two years of its implementation. Mustard production has jumped by 29% from 91.24 to 117.46 lakh tonnes in last two years. The productivity saw 10% jump from 1331 to 1458 kg/ha. The area under rapeseed & mustard has increased by 17% from 68.56 in 2019-20 to 80.58 lakh ha in 2021-22. He appreciated the farming community and the State Governments for this commendable achievement. The increased mustard production will help in bridging the gap of imports of palm and sunflower oil. Government is now implementing Special Soybean and Sunflower Missions on the pattern of Mustard Mission.
Tomar said that the Central Government has started work on Digital Agriculture to bridge the gap between the farmers and the Government so that the farmers get the benefits of the government schemes transparently. There is also a need to work together on the digital agriculture mission. He also said that with the efforts of the Prime Minister, the year 2023 will be celebrated as the International Year of Millets. India is going to lead this programme all over the world. The effort of the government is to increase the production and export of millets and increase the income of the farmers. He urged them to work towards promoting the nutritious cereals in the states. On this occasion, the Agriculture Minister released two books.
The National targets for total food grain production has been set at 3280 lakh tonnes for the year 2022-23 in which rabi season will contribute 1648 lakh tonnes. The strategies would be to enhance area through inter-cropping, crop diversification, and productivity enhancement by introducing High Yield Varieties (HYVs), adoption of suitable agronomic practices in low yielding regions, utilizing residual moisture, early sowing and lifesaving irrigation for rabi crops.
The objective of this Conference is to review and assess the crop performance during the preceding crop seasons and fix crop-wise targets for rabi season in consultation with State Governments, ensure supply of critical inputs and facilitate adoption of innovative technologies with a view to enhance production and productivity of the crops. The priority of Government is agro-ecological based crop planning for diversion of land from excess commodities like rice and wheat to deficit commodities like oilseeds and pulses and high value export earning crops. During the 1st National Conference of Chief Secretaries held at Dharamshala in June, 2022, the Prime Minister set the agenda for crop diversification and self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds in consultation with States.
Addressing the Conference, Shri Kailash Chaudhary, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare informed that the Government has taken various initiatives which include e-NAM, FPO and digital agriculture to provide its benefits to the farmers. For promotion of natural farming systems and to protect farmers’ interest in new system of cultivation, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) and other Research & Development institutions will be the knowledge centres to provide technical know-how.
Manoj Ahuja, Secretary Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare informed that the country is maintaining an increasing trend in food grains production since 2015-16. The total food grains production has increased by 25% in last seven years from 251.54 to 315.72 million tonnes. Oilseeds and pulses have followed the same trend. The exports of agricultural products (including marine and plantation products) for the year 2021-22 have crossed USD 50 billion, highest ever achieved for agriculture exports.
Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary (DARE) and DG, ICAR highlighted need for adopting climate resilient practices. He presented global perspective of climate change and adaptation strategies being put in place.
Smt. Arti Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Fertilizers stressed upon the need of timely supply of fertilizers. She shared various steps taken by the Department to ensure timely supply of fertilizers.
Shri Abhilaksh Lekhi, Additional Secretary, DAFW said that there is a need to analysis the strategies of the digital agriculture for current rabi season.
Chhavi Jha, JS (Drought Management) presented details of measures as per Drought Manual that States need to adopt in case of a drought situation. States should come forward to help the farmers in distress and adopt contingency planning for crop production.
Shubha Thakur, JS (Crops & Oilseeds) presented the vision for next five years to make the country self-sufficient in pulses and oilseeds commodities. It is proposed to increase area expansion by 14% and productivity enhancement by 23% to achieve the target of 325 lakh tonnes for pulses by 2025.
Pramod Kumar Meherda, JS (Information Technology) presented a mission mode project will be implemented to bring the benefit of digital technology and hi-tech solutions to all farming community especially to small and marginal farmers in collaboration with the State Governments.
This was followed by an interactive session with Agriculture Production Commissioners and Principal Secretaries of all the States for increasing area coverage, production and productivity during rabi season
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Capt Amarinder Singh to attend BJP core committee meet
Captain Amarinder Singh, a former chief minister of Punjab, will attend the Punjab BJP’s core committee meeting on Monday at the party’s Chandigarh headquarters.
After joining the BJP exactly one week ago, this will be the former Congress leader’s first trip to the party’s headquarters. In the national capital, his daughter Jai Inder Kaur and son Raninder Singh both joined the BJP.
On September 19, Capt. Amarinder Singh combined his party, the Punjab Lok Congress, which he launched after leaving the Congress last year, with the BJP.
On Monday evening, Capt. Amarinder Singh and Ashwani Sharma, the chief of the state BJP, will address a joint press conference.
After the assembly elections in February, this will be the former chief minister’s first appearance in public in the state.
PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi wish Manmohan Singh on his 90th birthday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sent Dr. Manmohan Singh his birthday wishes on his 90th birthday, wishing him a long and healthy life.
“Birthday greetings to former PM Dr Manmohan Singh Ji. Praying for his long and healthy life,” tweeted PM Modi.
Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, sent Dr. Singh birthday greetings as well.
Wishing one of India’s finest statesmen, Dr Manmohan Singh ji a very happy birthday. His humility, dedication and contribution to India’s development, have few parallels. He is an inspiration to me, and to crores of other Indians. I pray for his good health and happiness,” tweeted the Wayanad MP.
Before the partition, Singh was born on September 26, 1932, in the Punjabi village of Gah. He studied at Oxford, Cambridge, and Punjab University.
Today marks the 90th birthday of Dr. Singh, who served as prime minister for two consecutive terms (from 2004 to 2014). He is a well-known economist who is credited with enacting significant reforms in the 1990s.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Ajay Maken to meet Sonia Gandhi today over Rajasthan crisis
Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken, two Congress observers who were in Rajasthan on Sunday to attend the legislature party meeting at the home of the chief minister Ashok Gehlot, are anticipated to meet Sonia Gandhi on Monday afternoon.
With Gehlot expected to run for presidential polls next month, the state is currently dealing with a new crisis. Numerous Gehlot’s supporters resigned on Sunday and handed them to Assembly Speaker CP Joshi as a result of Sachin Pilot’s name being mentioned. The resignation is reportedly from more than 80 MLAs.
The MLAs made clear to the observers their demands, emphasising that the next chief minister should be chosen after October 19, once the party’s presidential elections are over, that the Gehlot successor should be chosen from among the roughly 102 MLAs who supported the party during the 2020 crisis, and that Ashok Gehlot should be kept informed throughout the decision-making process. They were reminding the party of Sachin Pilot’s uprising against Gehlot when he visited to Haryana by bringing up the 2020 dilemma. Later, after guarantees from the senior management, he returned.
Ajay Maken said: “We came for the CLP meeting fixed by the CM at a time and date of his choice. Very strange that MLAs didn’t come for that. We also wanted to follow the procedure of speaking to individual MLAs about what they want so that they can speak freely.”
The condition that no announcement – on the chief minister – should be made before October 19 seems to be conflict of interest as resolution authorises the Congress president to take the decision, and by October 19, Ashok Gehlot would have been the Congress president,” he further said.
Partnerships, technology and behaviour change key for agriculture growth, said Union Agriculture Minister
India has the potential to become “aatmnirbhar” in agriculture and also meet the food requirement of the world, said Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
Speaking during the session, Food for All: From Farm to Fork, during the 3rd edition of LEADS 2022—— a global thought leadership initiative of the industry chamber FICCI, the minister said the country is steadfastly moving ahead in the direction. However, everyone must work together for the goal. “We would like to collaborate. I use this opportunity to invite the international community to join hands with us for the benefit of coming generations,” he said.
He noted that country’s agri exports had crossed the milestone of ₹4 lakh crores. “We are working to increase it further,” he said.
Minister Tomar said that the government is constantly working to make the country “aatmnirbhar”. As a result, Indian agriculture recorded a robust growth of 3.9% despite the pandemic. In addition, the minister reiterated that the government aims to make Indian agriculture internationally competitive by aiding the small farmers in the country. He alluded to several government programmes to reduce farming-related challenges. “Due to increase in investment in basic infrastructures like irrigation system, storage, warehousing, and cold storage, the Indian agriculture is expected to record robust growth in the coming years,” he added.
On occasion, H.E. Mr Damien O’Connor, Hon’ble Minister for Trade & Export Growth; Agriculture; Biosecurity; Land Information & Rural Communities, New Zealand, alluded to the challenge emanating from climate change. “agricultural emissions from livestock are a real challenge for New Zealand and food systems around the world. It contributes 35% to the global greenhouse gas emissions and 48% to New Zealand’s emission profile.”
He also alluded to Global Research Alliance and encouraged Indian parliamentarians “to look at investigating partnering up with a Global Research Alliance” to gather global technologies “in a way that is not seeking to maximise commercial benefit but to maximise the climate change benefit from this collaboration.”
Sanjiv Mehta, President, FICCI and CEO & Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), said achieving food and nutrition security is a multifaceted challenge. “Food systems can play a big role in protecting food security and nutrition if careful attention is paid to targeting the poor, reducing inequalities, including gender inequality and incorporating nutrition goals and actions were relevant.”
Dr Anish Shah, Vice President, FICCI and Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra & Mahindra, said the world will have 10 billion people by 2050. “Today, we do not have enough food to provide for everyone, so we have to do a number of things to feed everyone.” He pointed to three themes that can help address the challenge. The first is partnerships to reduce carbon footprint and improve productivity. Second, adopting technology to transform agriculture and thirdly, inducing behaviour change.
Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder and Group CEO, Olam International, said, the biggest priority is to help decarbonise.
Digital Agriculture Mission to digitalise the farmer: Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Agriculture
Contextual and correct information to anybody associated with agriculture has the potential to unlock a lot of value, said Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, at the Release Ceremony of the FICCI compendium on “Enhancing Farmers’ Income”.
In this regard, Ahuja alluded to the Digital Agriculture Mission, which essentially tries to digitalise the farmer in terms of identity, linking up the farmers’ land and geo-referencing it, and crops grown. “These are some of the basic things we are trying to put in the agristack,” he said. “We have made some headway; hopefully, next year, we should show substantial results,” he added.
Ahuja said, “I’m seeing the benefits information contextualised to the various partners in the agricultural ecosystem can bring”.
On occasion, Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, spoke on backstopping agriculture startups that are coming up with innovative technologies and solutions to enhance farm incomes. In this regard, Mr Kumar alluded to the three C’s— convergence, capacity building, and collectives like (FPOs and cooperatives) as the vital elements.
Elaborating on convergence, Kumar said, “if the government can package the schemes in such a manner that you give more benefits, in a unified manner to the businesses or startups, I think they will be able to sustain their business.” Similarly, on capacity building, he noted, “when we talk about capacity building for farmers or extension workers, it’s not like that. It is for everybody in the ecosystem.” Mr Kumar also alluded to developing climate-resistant crops, reducing carbon footprints using technology, and developing infrastructure.
Elaborating on the compendium, TR Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & Group President, TAFE, noted the need to document the best practices and give them to people so that “people can touch, feel, do and understand the practices.” He added, “small and marginal farmers are going to be one of the greatest strengths of the country. Some of the case studies in the compendium tell how they are changing.”
The FICCI compendium of guidelines presents select case studies, and successful projects and interventions rolled out by various organisations in achieving higher crop connectivity, resource use efficiency, cropping intensity and diversification towards high-value agriculture.
Supreme Court: An Order Is In Given Factual Circumstances; Judgement Lays Down Principles Of Law
The Supreme Court in the case Akil Valibhai Piplodwala observed and has issued a notice on a petition filed by a man seeking a direction that he should not be deported to Pakistan until his claim to be an Indian citizen is decided as per Section 9(2) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
The bench comprising of Justice Surya Kant and the Justice J. B. Pardiwala observed and has also issued status quo in the matter. Thus, the notice on the plea has been issued to the District Superintendent of Police (Godhra), State of Gujarat and the Ministry of Home Affairs, Union of India.
According to the plea, the was born at Godhra, Gujarat in 1962 and had completed his education in India. The petitioner moved to Pakistan in 1976 but in 1983 he returned to India and got married at Godhra to an Indian woman on 2nd March 1984 and had three children from the wedlock. Thus, the petitioner again went away and finally returned to India in 1991 after obtaining all the requisite permits including a residential permit and continued to reside in India with his family.
However, out of fear of getting deported, the petitioner moved a regular civil suit before the Court of Civil Judge praying to declare him a citizen of India under Section5(1)(C) of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 since he was married to an Indian citizen. It is also prayed by him to restrict authorities from deporting him till his application under Section 9(2) of the Act is decided by the Union of India. In 1999, it was held by the Civil Judge that the Court did not have jurisdiction to decide the citizenship of the Petitioner. However, the decree was allowed by the Civil Judge partly to direct that he should not be deported back until his application under the Citizenship Act is decided.
Further, after the period of 4 years, the Union of India preferred a delayed appeal under Section 96 of CrPC against the order of the Civil Judge before the Principal District Judge. On 12.07.2022, the District Judge set aside the decree passed by the Civil Judge.
The petitioner being aggrieved by the order of the District Judge, moved the High Court of Gujarat. On 02.08.2022, the High Court dismissed his appeal holding that no substantial question of law arose.
Senior Advocate IH Sayed, appearing for the petitioner submitted that the High Court disregarded the fact that the Petitioner has been rendered vulnerable to deportation and if he is not protected till his application is adjudicated upon it would be violation of the procedure established by the principle of law.
The present petition was filed through Advocate Taruna Singh Gohil.
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