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  • Public Distribution System – Agriculture Notes – For W.B.C.S. Examination.
    Posted on February 28th, 2020 in Agriculture
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    Public Distribution System – Agriculture Notes – For W.B.C.S. Examination.

    পাবলিক ডিস্ট্রিবিউশন সিস্টেম – কৃষি নোট – WBCS পরীক্ষা।

    Agriculture as an optional subject is useful from numerous points of view. A decent hold over the subject helps you massively in taking care of the geography, economics, social issues in General Studies as the learning comes conveniently. Indeed, even essay paper, there is absolutely no less than one subject from Agriculture. Any W.B.C.S. aspirants who have scholarly foundation in Agriculture, Life Sciences, Botany, and other related fields can choose this subject as their optional. Paper I of agriculture is generic in nature where Paper- II is technical. Candidates with no prior knowledge of agriculture or Biology should not opt this subject as their optional for W.B.C.S. Mains Exam.Continue Reading Public Distribution System – Agriculture Notes – For W.B.C.S. Examination.

    • The Public distribution system (PDS) is an Indian food Security System established under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution.
    • PDS evolved as a system of management of scarcity through distribution of food grains at affordable prices.
    • PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments.
      • The Central Government, through Food Corporation of India (FCI), has assumed the responsibility for procurement, storage, transportation and bulk allocation of food grains to the State Governments.
      • The operational responsibilities including allocation within the State, identification of eligible families, issue of Ration Cards and supervision of the functioning of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) etc., rest with the State Governments.
    • Under the PDS, presently the commodities namely wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene are being allocated to the States/UTs for distribution. Some States/UTs also distribute additional items of mass consumption through the PDS outlets such as pulses, edible oils, iodized salt, spices, etc.

    Evolution of PDS in India

    • PDS was introduced around World War II as a war-time rationing measure. Before the 1960s, distribution through PDS was generally dependant on imports of food grains.
    • It was expanded in the 1960s as a response to the food shortages of the time; subsequently, the government set up the Agriculture Prices Commission and the FCI to improve domestic procurement and storage of food grains for PDS.
    • By the 1970s, PDS had evolved into a universal scheme for the distribution of subsidised food
    • Till 1992, PDS was a general entitlement scheme for all consumers without any specific target.
    • The Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) was launched in June, 1992 with a view to strengthen and streamline the PDS as well as to improve its reach in the far-flung, hilly, remote and inaccessible areas where a substantial section of the underprivileged classes lives.
    • In June, 1997, the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with a focus on the poor.
      • Under TPDS, beneficiaries were divided into two categories: Households below the poverty line or BPL; and Households above the poverty line or APL.
    • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY): AAY was a step in the direction of making TPDS aim at reducing hunger among the poorest segments of the BPL population.
      • A National Sample Survey exercise pointed towards the fact that about 5% of the total population in the country sleeps without two square meals a day. In order to make TPDS more focused and targeted towards this category of population, the “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 for one crore poorest of the poor families.
    • In September 2013, Parliament enacted the National Food Security Act, 2013. The Act relies largely on the existing TPDS to deliver food grains as legal entitlements to poor households. This marks a shift by making the right to food a justiciable right.

    How PDS system functions?

    • The Central and State Governments share responsibilities in order to provide food grains to the identified beneficiaries.
    • The centre procures food grains from farmers at a minimum support price (MSP) and sells it to states at central issue prices. It is responsible for transporting the grains to godowns in each state.
    • States bear the responsibility of transporting food grains from these godowns to each fair price shop (ration shop), where the beneficiary buys the food grains at the lower central issue price. Many states further subsidise the price of food grains before selling it to beneficiaries.To view Agricultire Syllabus , CLICK HERE.
    • The Public distribution system (PDS) is an Indian food Security System established under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution.
    • PDS evolved as a system of management of scarcity through distribution of food grains at affordable prices.
    • PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments.
      • The Central Government, through Food Corporation of India (FCI), has assumed the responsibility for procurement, storage, transportation and bulk allocation of food grains to the State Governments.
      • The operational responsibilities including allocation within the State, identification of eligible families, issue of Ration Cards and supervision of the functioning of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) etc., rest with the State Governments.
    • Under the PDS, presently the commodities namely wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene are being allocated to the States/UTs for distribution. Some States/UTs also distribute additional items of mass consumption through the PDS outlets such as pulses, edible oils, iodized salt, spices, etc.
    • PDS was introduced around World War II as a war-time rationing measure. Before the 1960s, distribution through PDS was generally dependant on imports of food grains.
    • It was expanded in the 1960s as a response to the food shortages of the time; subsequently, the government set up the Agriculture Prices Commission and the FCI to improve domestic procurement and storage of food grains for PDS.
    • By the 1970s, PDS had evolved into a universal scheme for the distribution of subsidised food
    • Till 1992, PDS was a general entitlement scheme for all consumers without any specific target.
    • The Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) was launched in June, 1992 with a view to strengthen and streamline the PDS as well as to improve its reach in the far-flung, hilly, remote and inaccessible areas where a substantial section of the underprivileged classes lives.
    • In June, 1997, the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with a focus on the poor.
      • Under TPDS, beneficiaries were divided into two categories: Households below the poverty line or BPL; and Households above the poverty line or APL.
    • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY): AAY was a step in the direction of making TPDS aim at reducing hunger among the poorest segments of the BPL population.
      • A National Sample Survey exercise pointed towards the fact that about 5% of the total population in the country sleeps without two square meals a day. In order to make TPDS more focused and targeted towards this category of population, the “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 for one crore poorest of the poor families.
    • In September 2013, Parliament enacted the National Food Security Act, 2013. The Act relies largely on the existing TPDS to deliver food grains as legal entitlements to poor households. This marks a shift by making the right to food a justiciable right.

    How PDS system functions?

    • The Central and State Governments share responsibilities in order to provide food grains to the identified beneficiaries.
    • The centre procures food grains from farmers at a minimum support price (MSP) and sells it to states at central issue prices. It is responsible for transporting the grains to godowns in each state.
    • States bear the responsibility of transporting food grains from these godowns to each fair price shop (ration shop), where the beneficiary buys the food grains at the lower central issue price. Many states further subsidise the price of food grains before selling it to beneficiaries.
    Importance of PDS
    • It helps in ensuring Food and Nutritional Security of the nation.
    • It has helped in stabilising food prices and making food available to the poor at affordable prices.
    • It maintains the buffer stock of food grains in the warehouse so that the flow of food remain active even during the period of less agricultural food production.
    • It has helped in redistribution of grains by supplying food from surplus regions of the country to deficient regions.
    • The system of minimum support price and procurement has contributed to the increase in food grain production.
    • Identification of beneficiaries: Studies have shown that targeting mechanisms such as TPDS are prone to large inclusion and exclusion errors. This implies that entitled beneficiaries are not getting food grains while those that are ineligible are getting undue benefits.
      • According to the estimation of an expert group set up in 2009, PDS suffers from nearly 61% error of exclusion and 25% inclusion of beneficiaries, i.e. the misclassification of the poor as non-poor and vice versa.
    • Leakage of food grains: (Transportation leakages + Black Marketing by FPS owners) TPDS suffers from large leakages of food grains during transportation to and from ration shops into the open market. In an evaluation of TPDS, the erstwhile Planning Commission found 36% leakage of PDS rice and wheat at the all-India level.
    • Issue with procurement: Open-ended Procurement i.e., all incoming grains accepted even if buffer stock is filled, creates a shortage in the open market.
    • Issues with storage: A performance audit by the CAG has revealed a serious shortfall in the government’s storage capacity.
      • Given the increasing procurement and incidents of rotting food grains, the lack of adequate covered storage is bound to be a cause for concern.
    • The provision of minimum support price (MSP) has encouraged farmers to divert land from production of coarse grains that are consumed by the poor, to rice and wheat and thus, discourages crop diversification.
    • Environmental issues: The over-emphasis on attaining self-sufficiency and a surplus in food grains, which are water-intensive, has been found to be environmentally unsustainable.
      • Procuring states such as Punjab and Haryana are under environmental stress, including rapid groundwater depletion, deteriorating soil and water conditions from overuse of fertilisers.
      • It was found that due to cultivation of rice in north-west India, the water table went down by 33 cm per year during 2002-08.

     

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