January 2019
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

[op-ed snap] Taxed through trade policies, farmers need stable income policy

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economic Development| Agriculture| Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basic knowledge of the recent efforts by government to raise farmer’s income.

Mains level: The news-card analyses how the farmers in India are implicitly taxed through restrictive marketing and trade policies, in a brief manner.


Context

  • Many experts have observed that the farmers in India are implicitly taxed through restrictive marketing and trade policies. They, however, need a stable income policy.

Higher minimum support prices (MSPs) not a solution

  • The attempt to woo farmers by announcing higher minimum support prices (MSPs) based on 50 per cent margin over paid out costs plus imputed value of family labour (cost A2+FL) has fallen flat as market prices of most of those commodities remain 20 to 30 per cent below MSPs.
  • Procurement by government agencies has been limited, as they already have overflowing stocks that they cannot offload without incurring massive losses.
  • The meagre budgetary provisions under the PM’s AASHA scheme to lift market prices have, therefore, failed to erase farmers’ gloom.
  • In any case, the MSP policy cannot reach more than 20 per cent of peasantry even with augmented procurement of pulses and oilseeds, and, therefore, cannot be a solution to farmers’ distress.

Loan waiver not a viable decision either

  • The loan waiver, which the Congress president is promising, will also not benefit more than 30 per cent of the peasantry, who have access to institutional credit.
  • Already, the bill from loan waivers announced by some state governments is touching about Rs 1.8 trillion (lakh crore).
  • The policy of zero-interest on loans too is riddled with loopholes, leading to massive diversion of funds out of agriculture.

State governments innovating new ways

  • Many state governments are trying to innovate with new ways of reaching the largest number of farmers.
  • Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu scheme, which gives Rs 4,000/acre to land-owning farmers for two seasons in a year, is costing the state exchequer roughly Rs 12,000 crore per annum.
  • It appears to have reached more than 90 per cent farmers, and yielded political dividends.
  • However, many experts have criticised it saying that it is pro-big farmers and neglects tenants.
  • The KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme of Odisha attempts to respond to this criticism and accordingly promises to include not only land-owning farmers (up to 5 acres) but also tenants and agri-labourers.
  • While land-owning small and marginal farmers, 30.17 lakh in number, accounting for 92 per cent of farming households in Odisha, will get Rs 5,000/family for five seasons, the tenants and agri-labourers (estimated to be 10 lakh in number) who have no land records will get one-time payment of Rs 12,500/family, and vulnerable families (another 10 lakh) will get one-time payment of Rs 10,000/family.
  • With some support for life insurance and interest-free loans up to Rs 50,000, the scheme is likely to cost about Rs 10,180 crore over three years.
  • There is the major challenge of identifying who is a tenant and who is an agri-labourer, as tenancy is not legally allowed in Odisha. So, no legal records exist.

Implications

  • It is important to track and evaluate the performance of these two schemes (Rythu Bandhu and KALIA) as they have not only important budgetary implications but are also a pointer towards a new policy innovation.
  • West Bengal and Jharkhand are also moving in this direction, and media reports suggest that Centre too is contemplating a variant of a similar scheme.
  • If it does so, it would indicate a tectonic shift in policy from promising higher MSPs or loan waivers to direct income/investment support to farmers.
  • This shift will be better for the country as it is more predictable and less market distorting.

Concerns raised over such schemes

  • Macroeconomists and investors are worried about how much such schemes will cost.
  • Will it be fiscally sustainable and what impact will it have on investments in due course.
  • Is India not becoming a welfare state even before generating enough wealth?
  • The experts however view that these efforts are not “doles” but atonement for not reforming agriculture sector, especially its marketing and trade policies, which remain highly distorted, restrictive and pro-consumer, often at the cost of farmers.

Indian farmers have been “implicitly taxed” through restrictive marketing and trade policies

  • One of the key findings of a mega ICRIER-OECD study on agricultural policies in India (2018) is that the producer support estimate (PSE) for India was minus (-) 14 per cent of gross farm receipts, on an average for the years 2000-01 to 2016-17.
  • This implies that Indian farmers have been “implicitly taxed” through restrictive marketing and trade policies that have an in-built consumer bias of controlling agri-prices.
  • If one calculates the sum involved in this “implicit taxation”, it amounts to Rs 2.65 trillion (lakh crore) per annum, at 2017-18 prices, for 2000-01 to 2016-17.
  • Cumulatively for 17 years, this comes to roughly Rs 45 trillion at 2017-18 prices.
  • No country in the world has taxed its farmers so heavily during this period.
  • This is nothing short of plundering of farmers’ incomes.

 Conclusion

  • Until India reforms its agri-marketing laws and frees agri-markets, it is time to atone through a structured and stable income policy for farmers for at least the next five years.
Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Produce

[op-ed snap] This is not the future we want

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basic knowledge of the NITI Aayog recently released ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’.

Mains level: The news-card analyses many environment and livelihood related contradictions in NITI Aayog’s strategy for 2022, in a brief manner.


Context

  • NITI Aayog recently released the ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’ document in 2018.
  • The strategy aims to achieve a ‘New India’ by 2022, when the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence.

About the Plan

  • The NITI Aayog’s‘Strategy for New India @ 75’ document has many progressive objectives.
  • It follows the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Inclusion, sustainability, participation, gender equality and other important issues find mention.
  • However, NITI Aayog’s strategy for 2022 is replete with environmental and livelihood related contradictions.

Positive directions vis-à-vis the environment

The strategy has many positive directions vis-à-vis the environment, such as:

  • A major focus on renewable energy.
  • Organic farming (with the zero budget natural farming model developed by Maharashtrian farmer Subhash Palekar being singled out for national application).
  • Increasing forest cover.
  • Reducing pollution and waste.
  • A chapter titled ‘Sustainable environment’ states: “The objective is to maintain a clean, green and healthy environment with peoples’ participation to support higher and inclusive economic growth through sustainable utilization of available natural resources.”
  • It focuses on air pollution, solid waste management, water pollution, and forestry.

Limitations: Many missing issues

  • However, it is puzzling why these above mentioned four issues are singled out from amongst the much larger number of environmental issues India faces.
  • Some other issues do find mention elsewhere, such as arresting land degradation and soil erosion, and water conservation.
  • But many are missing, such as the urgent need to conserve a range of non-forest ecosystems.
  • Since colonial times, forests have remained predominant in the minds of decision-makers, as indicated by the fact that India still has only a Forest Department and no dedicated entity for grassland, marine and coastal, wetland, mountain, and desert conservation.
  • The increasing presence of toxic chemicals around us finds no mention.
  • Most importantly, the absence of an integrated, comprehensive view on how ecological issues can be integrated into all sectors indicates that this is still not core to the mindset of our planners.

Current form of Economic growth is un-sustainable

  • There is total absence of an understanding in the document that the current form and goal of economic growth is inherently unsustainable.
  • For more than three decades, governments have been promising that with environmental safeguards, growth can be made sustainable.
  • There is no indication that this is anywhere near achievable, much less achieved.
  • In 2008, the Confederation of Indian Industry indicated that India was already using twice of what its natural resources could sustain, and that more than half its biocapacity had already been eroded.

Contradictions in the document: Few Alarming features

(a) Proposal of doubling of the extent of mining

  • One of the biggest ecological and social disasters in India is mining, especially the large-scale open-cast type.
  • NITI Aayog ignores this when it proposes a doubling of the extent of mining.
  • The only concession is the suggestion to bring in “cutting-edge” technology to “limit environmental damage” but that will not solve the fundamental need to deforest areas.

(b) Tourism

  • Another major sector with horrendous environmental impacts is tourism, as witnessed by virtually all our groaning hill stations and the ruin that areas like Ladakh, Kutch and the island regions are facing.
  • Yet, NITI Aayog recommends doubling the number of domestic tourist visits to over 3,200 million from 1,614 million in 2016.

(c) Mega river valley projects

  • The document also urges prompt completion of a host of mega river valley projects that have proved to be ecological nightmares, including Pancheshwar in the fragile Himalaya, the Ken-Betwa link in Madhya Pradesh, and dozens in the Northeast that are going to choke up rivers and are being pushed ahead despite strong local opposition.

(d) Farming

  • While mentioning of organic farming, there is no clear direction to phase out chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • The objective of sustainable farming is undermined by the mention of the following: “Phase out old varieties of seeds and replace them with hybrid and improved seeds”.
  • This is the kind of Green Revolution approach that has caused huge loss of agricultural biodiversity and resilience amongst small farmers.
  • There is also no focus on dryland farming though most farmers are engaged in this.
  • There is positive mention of organic farming models for replication, but nothing on the amazing work of dryland farmers (such as the Dalit women of the Deccan Development Society in Telangana) showing productive, sustainable, biodiverse agriculture with millets and women as the fulcrum.

(d) Single-window clearance of infrastructure projects

  • One of the most alarming features of the document is its stress on rapid, single-window clearance of infrastructure and other projects.
  • Any decent ecological assessment of a project needs a year of study (over all seasons), so the 180 days limit it suggests will mean short-cuts.
  • This rush also means compromising on crucial processes of social assessment, public hearings, and participatory decision-making, as already seen in the last few years.
  • There is nothing on the need to seek consent from local communities, though this is mandated under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, and the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996.

Way Forward

  • Governments in the last few years have a dismal record of safeguarding the environment and the livelihoods of Adivasis and other communities.
  • They have found ways to bypass constitutional and policy safeguards these vulnerable sections are supposed to enjoy.
  • Without a strong, unambiguous commitment to upholding these protections, and putting communities at the centre of decision-making, India @ 75 is going to be an even more unequal, unjust, and conflict-ridden society than India @ 50.
  • This is not the future we want.Instead, we can learn from the many alternative initiatives for food, water, energy, housing, education and health existing across India, which show the way to more just and sustainable livelihoods and ways of living.
NITI Aayog’s Assessment

[op-ed snap] Fabrication and falsification

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Social Justice|Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out oftheir design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basic knowledge of MGNREGA.

Mains level: The news-card analyses the gross violation in the implementation of MGNREGA.


Context

  • A recent study have found that data manipulation in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is leading to gross violations in its implementation.

Background

  • At present, crores of people in India are struggling to navigate a host of vulnerabilities to eke out a living.
  • A lack of dignified employment, non-payment of adequate wages on time and insufficient food mean that a poor family remain in a dicey situation and staring at starvation.

Issue

  • In recent years, there have been at least 74 reported starvation deaths, with 60 cases having occurred in the last two years across parts of India; a lot of them have been in Jharkhand.
  • Based on a directive by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, the Jharkhand government issued a report on 18 deaths.
  • Hastily produced and in insensitive language, the report concludes that none of these deaths was due to starvation or connected to MGNREGA — a lazy, convenient denial of any correlation.
  • If implemented the proper way, MGNREGA, among other measures, can go a long way in improving the life and the livelihoods of poor.
  • The governments in the State and Centre are demonstrating alarming indifference in this matter and is covering up realities by curating information to suit its false narrative.
  • Such curation starts from suppressing information at the source, to deliberately manipulating and obfuscating data to perpetrate falsehoods.

How the manipulation of information is leading to Ethical and Legal violations?

  • The MGNREGA is a demand-driven programme, i.e., work must be provided within 15 days of demanding work failing which the Centre must pay an unemployment allowance (UA).
  • A UA report is generated but rarely implemented.
  • Numerous ground reports across the country suggest that because of a funds crunch, field functionaries do not even enter the work demanded by labourers in the MGNREGA Management Information System (MIS).
  • This is information suppression at the source.
  • Lack of offline alternatives to capture work demand from labourers means that data on the MIS are being treated as the gospel truth.
  • Even this under-registered demand is being dishonoured by the government.
  • Although work demand data (in person days) and employment-generated data are available at a panchayat level, aggregate data at the national level are only presented for employment generated.
  • Thus, under-registered national demand is captured but intentionally not reported.
  • By doing this, the Central government is trying to hide its violation of the extent of under-provision of work.

Key findings of the study

  • To estimate the extent of under-provision,work demand and employment generated for over 5,700 panchayats across 20 States (for 2017-18 and the first three quarters of 2018-19) was analysed.
  • It was found that this year, the employment generated was about 33% lower than the registered work demand, and last year, about 30% lower.
  • If this large-sample trend holds true for the country, then a conservative minimal allocation required this year is about ₹85,000 crore.
  • After 99% of the original allocation got exhausted earlier this month, 250 Members of Parliament and citizens wrote to the Prime Minister, following which the Centre’s revised allocation now stands at a paltry ₹61,084 crore.
  • Despite this revision, 16 States still show a negative balance which shows the continued lack of funds.
  • Further, the Centre’s oft-repeated claims of the “highest ever allocation” are dubious and meaningless because if the allocation does not honour work demand, as is the case here, it is a violation of the Act.

Government’s manipulation of data causing more problem

  • Contrary to the Central government’s claims of there being more than 90% payments on time, the study found of more than 9 million transactions that only 21% payments were made on time in 2016-17.The trend continued in 2017-18.
  • Further, the Central government alone was causing an average delay of over 50 days in the disbursement of wages to labourers.
  • The mandate is to pay wages within 15 days else workers are entitled to a delay compensation.
  • While this delay by the Central government (called stage 2 delays) is captured in the system, it is intentionally suppressed to avoid paying delay compensation which is another violation of the Act.

A case of insensitivity

  • The Union Ministry of Finance in Aug,2017 acknowledged the accuracy of the study’s findings and stated that delays in payments were directly linked to lack of “[un]availability of funds”.
  • This glaring lacuna was argued in the Supreme Court in a recent PIL (Swaraj Abhiyan vs. Union of India) where the judgement categorically stated: “The wages due to the worker in terms of Stage 2 above must be transferred immediately and the payment made to the worker forthwith failing which the prescribed compensation would have to be paid.
  • The Central Government cannot be seen to shy away from its responsibility… The State Governments and Union Territory Administrations may be at fault, but that does not absolve the Central Government of its duty”.
  • In court, the Central government, agreed to calculate Stage 2 delays, and pay compensation, but the judgement (dated May 18, 2018) has still not been implemented.
  • This not only reflects contempt of court by the Central government but is also an insensitive assault on people and a deliberate hiding of the truth.
  • In the process, countless lives are getting silently buried in fabricated statistics.

Way Forward

  • Such falsification and a manipulation of information by the government is increasing starvation and agrarian distress in India, and isleading to a gross violation of the MGNREG Act.
MGNREGA Scheme

Explained: The search for a Lokpal

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act

Mains level: Read the attached story


Context

  1. For decades, India has made efforts to appoint an anti-corruption ombudsman.
  2. Last week, the Supreme Court “requested” a search committee to suggest by February-end a panel of names for appointment of the country’s first Lokpal.
  3. A look at how these efforts have unfolded, from Bills in 1970s to an Act in 2013, followed by a search committee and an SC deadline

Background

  1. Amid repeated demands for an ombudsman, many attempts were made at legislation, with Lokpal Bills introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2008, but none of these was passed.
  2. It was four decades after the introduction of the first Bill that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was enacted in December 2013.
  3. This was the fallout of a public movement for a Jan Lokpal Bill, initiated by activist of India Against Corruption movement.
  4. Under pressure at a time when it was facing several allegations of corruption, the then UPA government brought the Bill and it was passed after several hurdles.

Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act

  1. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 was notified on January 1, 2014.
  2. It provides for establishing a body to be called the Lokpal and headed by a Chairperson, who is or has been a Chief Justice of India, or is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court, or an eminent person who fulfils eligibility criteria as specified.
  3. Of its other members, not exceeding eight, 50% are to be judicial members, provided that not less than 50% of the members belong to the SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, and women.

Various Provisions

  1. Inquiry Wing: Lokpal will have an “Inquiry Wing, headed by the Director of Inquiry, for the purpose of conducting preliminary inquiry into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  2. Prosecution Wing: It will also have a “Prosecution Wing headed by the Director of Prosecution for the purpose of prosecution of public servants in relation to any complaint by the Lokpal under this Act”.
  3. For states, the Act says: Every State shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta for the State, if not so established, constituted or appointed, by a law made by the State within a period of one year from the date of commencement of this Act.

Jurisdiction of Lokpal

  1. The Lokpal Act covers a wide range of public servants — from the Prime Minister, ministers and MP, to groups A, B, C and D officers of the central government.
  2. These are to deal with complaints against public servants; the chairperson and members of the Lokpal too come under the definition of “public servant”.

Taking PM under purview

  1. Lokpal shall inquire or cause an inquiry to be conducted into any matter involved in, or arising from, or connected with, any allegation of corruption made in a complaint” in respect of the PM, the Act says.
  2. However, it does not allow a Lokpal inquiry if the allegation against the PM relates to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space.
  3. Also, complaints against the Pm are not to be probed unless the full Lokpal bench considers the initiation of inquiry and at least 2/3rds of the members approve it.
  4. Such an inquiry against the PM (if conducted) is to be held in camera.
  5. If the Lokpal comes to the conclusion that the complaint deserves to be dismissed, the records of the inquiry are not to be published or made available to anyone.

Undue delay for implementation

  1. Once the Bill was passed, applications were invited on January 17, 2014 for filling up the post of Chairperson and eight posts of members.
  2. The same day, the search committee rules were notified, but appointments to the committee were not made. Lok Sabha elections followed, and a new government was formed in May 2014.
  3. The same year, the NGO Common Cause filed a petition in the Supreme Court, and later a contempt petition, over the delay.

What next

  1. Once the search committee submits its recommendation for the Lokpal and its members, a selection committee will consider those names and forward them to the President for his consideration.
  2. The selection committee is chaired by the PM, and its members are the Lok Sabha Speaker, LoP in LS, the CJI or a Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him, and an eminent jurist as nominated by the President.
  3. Under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, a Lokayukta is to be appointed in every state within one year of the passing of the Act, but several states are yet to appoint such an institution.
Corruption Challenges – Lokpal, POCA, etc

ISRO to launch satellite to help MHA in securing borders

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Role of external state & non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Satellite technology and its prospects in securing Borders


News

  • A satellite will be launched by the ISRO exclusively for the Home Ministry to help it strengthen its frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh among others.

Securing Borders

  1. The move is part of recommendations made by a task force on the use of space technology in improving border management which have been accepted by Home Minister.
  2. To execute the project in a time bound manner, a short, medium and long-term plan has been proposed for implementation in five years in close coordination with the ISRO and the Defence Ministry.
  3. Major recommendations of the report are to build capacity in border guarding forces to use space resources for security, operational planning and border infrastructure development.
  4. In short term, immediate needs of border guarding forces will be met by procurement of high resolution imagery and the hiring of bandwidth for communications.
  5. In mid-term, one satellite is being launched by the ISRO for exclusive use of the MHA.

Ground Network using space technology

  1. The MHA will develop ground segment and network infrastructure to share satellite resources by user agencies, develop a central archival facility for storing various imagery resources and dissemination of the same to user agencies.
  2. Deployment of the CAPF in remote areas will be also coordinated by satellite communications.
  3. IRNSS-based GPS will provide navigation facilities for operational parties in high altitude, remote and difficult borders and LWE areas.
  4. The Border Security Force has been designated as lead agency for implementation of ground segment and network infrastructure, including the establishment of the archival facility.
  5. Island development, border security, communication and navigation, Geographic Information System (GIS) and operations planning system, and border infrastructure development are the areas identified for use of space technology.

A Special Task Force

  1. The MHA has created a task force to identify areas for use of space technology in improving border management.
  2. The task force headed by Joint Secretary (Border Management), having members from the BSF, the Department of Space and BM division of the Home Ministry.

Way Forward

  1. India shares land borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.
  2. This project will strengthen island and border security and facilitate development of infrastructure in border/island areas.
ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Methanol-blending in petrol reduces carbon dioxide emission: ARAI study

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: Controlling vehicular pollution


News

Govt to support research on methanol blending

  1. Methanol (M-15) blended with petrol and used in the existing BS-IV standard cars reduces carbon dioxide emission, a study conducted by Pune-based group.
  2. M-15 is a mixture of 15% Methanol with Gasoline.
  3. According to the ARAI, the study evaluated emissions in real-world conditions and used 15 per cent M-15 blend in vehicles and tested them for 3,000 km.
  4. The finding has been submitted Transport Ministry to support further research on methanol blending as the government aims to increase fuel blending to 20 per cent by 2030.

Why such move?

  1. India imports ₹7 lakh crore worth of crude oil every year.
  2. Using alternative fuels, we can divert ₹2 lakh crore for farmers to boost agriculture.

Fuel replacement plan and its benefits

  1. Adopting methanol in this scale would bring down pollution in the country by more than 40 per cent.
  2. By adopting methanol, India can have its own indigenous fuel at the cost of approximately ₹19 per litre, at least 30 per cent cheaper than any available fuel.
  3. According to NITI Aayog, at least 20 per cent diesel consumption can be reduced in the next 5-7 years and will result in a savings of ₹26,000 crore annually.
  4. Also, ₹6,000 crore can be saved annually from reduced bill in LPG in the next three years itself.
  5. Methanol blending with petrol will further reduce the fuel bill by at least ₹5,000 crore annually in the next three years.
Air Pollution

[pib] World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: World Integrated Medicine Forum

Mains level: Functions of the forum


News

World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019

  1. Union Ministry for AYUSH will inaugurate the 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on the ‘Regulation of Homeopathic Medical Products; Advancing global collaboration’.
  2. The organizers of the forum are the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, under the Ministry of AYUSH.
  3. International drug regulators dealing with homeopathic/traditional medicines from various countries are expected to participate.

Aims and Objectives

  1. The regulation of homeopathic medicinal products is highly variable worldwide, ranging at a national level from highly advanced to none whatsoever.
  2. There is a tension between different regulatory needs: on the one hand there is a need for standardization, harmonization and reducing complexity;
  3. On the other hand there is need for a pluralistic regulatory system, which respects the specific characteristics of homeopathy as a holistic, patient-centred medical system.
  4. The forum will explore and illustrate the potential benefits and pitfalls of bi-lateral/multilateral collaboration and advance global cooperation on a synergistic basis.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

[pib] National Museum of Indian Cinema

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NMIC

Mains level: Role of Indian Cinema in making India a soft power


News

  • Hon’ble PM Modi has inaugurated the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai.

National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC)

  1. The state-of-the-art Museum aims to take its visitors through an absorbing journey of over a century of Indian cinema in a story telling mode with the help of visuals, graphics, artifacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia expositions.
  2. The creation of the Museum has been guided by the Museum Advisory Committee headed by Shri Shyam Benegal.
  3. The Museum is housed in two buildings – the New Museum Building and the 19th century historic palace Gulshan Mahal – in the Films Division campus in Mumbai.

New Museum Building has four Exhibition Halls which encapsulate:

  1. Gandhi & Cinema: It not only depicts the movies made on the life Mahatma Gandhi but also showcases the deep impact his life had on cinema.
  2. Children’s Film Studio:  it gives visitors, particularly children, an opportunity to explore the science, technology and art behind filmmaking.
  3. Technology, creativity & Indian cinema: it showcases the creative use of technology by Indian film makers over the years to produce cinematographic impact on the silver screen.
  4. Cinema across India: it showcases the charismatic kaleidoscopic presence of the vibrant cinematographic culture across India.

Gulshan Mahal

  1. It is an ASI Grade-II Heritage Structure which has been restored as part of the NMIC project.
  2. The displays present here showcase the journey of over a hundred years of Indian cinema.
  3. It is divided into 9 sections viz. The Origin of Cinema, Cinema comes to India, Indian Silent Film, Advent of Sound, The Studio Era, The impact of World War II, Creative Resonance, New Wave and Beyond and Regional Cinema.

Importance of Indian Cinema

  1. The Indian Cinema has a big role in enhancing India’s soft power, its  credibility and building the Brand India across the world.
  2. Through Cinema important social issues such as sanitation, women empowerment, sports etc are now reaching to people.
  3. Cinema plays an important role in nation Building and strengthens the feeling of Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat.
  4. The film Industry has a huge potential of contributing in the growth of Tourism in the country.

Various measures for Film Industry

  1. Government is working to provide facility of ‘Ease of Filming’ by putting in place a Single Window Clearance system, for Film Shooting approvals in different parts of the country.
  2. It is also working on amending Cinematograph Act 1952 to check the problem of Film Piracy.