- COVER STORY: Steering the Corporate Social Responsibility towards Rural Development: Revisiting the History and Scope of Private Sector in Public Works
- Hon’ble Union Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Visits NIRDPR
- NIRDPR Facilitates Bihar Administrative Officers’ Training-cum-Study Tour in Telangana
- Training Programme on Role of SBCC in Rural & Human Development’ for SIRDs
- NIRDPR Observes International Yoga Day
- Workshop on Integrating SDGs into Rural Development Agenda: Water, Sanitation Services in Village Development Plan
- Implementation of Prime Minister Fasal Bhima Yojana (PMFBY) in India: An Assessment
- Training Programme on District Specific ODF+ and JJM SBCC Planning and Implementation for Karnataka
- CDC Organises Library Talks on Identifying Cloned and Predatory journals
- TOLIC-2 Conducts Hindi Workshop at Institute of Cooperative Management
- NIRDPR Delhi Branch Organises Hindi Workshop
- Hindi Workshop at NIRDPR
- ToT Programme on Agri-Nutri Garden, Uncultivated Crops, Forgotten Foods & Traditional Recipes
Steering the Corporate Social Responsibility towards Rural Development: Revisiting the History and Scope of Private Sector in Public Works
CSR in India: In retrospect
The developmental challenges posed by the pandemic, poverty, unemployment, and climatic change have re-emphasised the need for strong policy and intensive action based on evidence. The government sector also faces a challenge as the need for action is in a multitude of areas, and the access to necessary expertise and technology is limited. The private enterprises, in this context, have a tremendous potential to expand the opportunities and assist the government sector through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives that are largely implemented through Civil Societies and NGOs, inter alia policymakers, business leaders, CSR practitioners, civil society and the research and education community.
Although the focus on ‘CSR’ for developmental work has strengthened after 2013, India is not new to CSR. The work of private sector for public welfare may be traced back to India’s pre-independence era when individual businessmen and business houses, motivated by the spirit of patriotism, actively took part in the struggle for freedom. The spirit of private enterprises serving the country continued after independence in the form of corporate philanthropy. Over the decades, many corporate houses have contributed immensely to developing their areas of operations and sectors of interest, such as the development of Jamshedpur by Tata, social sector development by Azim Premji, among others.
CSR has evolved from pure philanthropy into a formal and mandatory part of private sector work. The formalisation started with the liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1991. As civil society became stronger and more consistent, the demand for funds for non-government work increased. CSR also emerged as a strategic undertaking by companies shifting the form of donations by setting up domestic and foreign charities, funding agencies and foundations. The strengthening of CSR was followed by several initiatives to formalise and regulate it, such as a 2009 publication of the Voluntary Guidelines for CSR, and a 2010 report on the Companies Bill by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. The National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business (NVGs) (MoCA, 2011) mainstreamed the idea of Business Responsibilities.
The new CSR regime
The culmination of these regulating mechanisms was seen in 2013, with the introduction of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a statutory obligation under Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013. Once any company gains a net worth of INR 500 crore or more, or turnover of INR 1000 crore or more, or a net profit of INR 5 crore or more, it must pursue CSR work. The regulation (starting 1st April 2014) requires the companies to constitute a CSR Committee to formulate and recommend the CSR Policy. This Policy indicates the activities to be undertaken and recommends the amount of expenditure to the Board of the company. CSR was further regulated in 2020, with the Central Government’s ‘National Unspent Corporate Social Responsibility Fund’, where the unspent CSR amount of the financial year will be transferred by the company. The Amendment Act of 2020 also introduced penal provisions for non-compliance in reporting, utilisation, and transfer of the unspent CSR amount.
The results of these regulations and mandates have been visible in India’s CSR landscape. In a short span of 5 years (2014-19), absolute CSR spending increased by 85 per cent in India. Popular initiatives emerged, such as the Piramal Foundation supporting healthcare and livelihood through the network of CSOs/NGOs; the Gates Foundation supporting a huge social sector and public health, saving and supporting children, etc.
Challenges ahead or opportunities?
A glance at the distribution of CSR-funded work reveals a few issues in the CSR landscape. Although in absolute value, CSR spending increased from Rs. 10,066 crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 18,653 crore in 2018-19, this was mainly due to the increase in the number of companies entering CSR. When the per-company spending is looked at, there is a decline in CSR spending over the years. As per CSR data (MoCA) 2018-19, around 87 per cent of firms contributed below Rs. 2 crore in terms of CSR.
In terms of engagement of the private sector, though contributing to 79 per cent of the CSR expenditure, mainly the top 5 per cent large corporates account for it. Apart from corporate engagement, several questions remain unanswered. Is the choice of sectors and regions targeted by CSR evidence based? Is the monitoring framework of CSR robust?
There is limited evidence as to how much of the huge spending went to the vulnerable rural communities and needed sectors. Evidence shows that one-third of the CSR spending went to education – i.e., building schools, renewal of classrooms, etc., followed by health and rural infrastructure, and environment. But only six per cent went to poverty eradication. An NIRDPR workshop held on 24.06.2022 with non-government and government stakeholders of CSR pointed out that the funders mainly prefer projects with some tangible outputs such as physical infrastructure, or classroom-based skill training programmes. As a result, there is a visible absence of CSR from the meta-structural issues of development such as gender-based inequalities, social inequality, etc.
There is also a notable regional inequity. Almost entire CSR funds in India are spent in a few large States/UTs, such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. Central, East and Northeastern regions of India receive less than two per cent. In fact, the hilly States of Northeast received just 0.5 per cent of CSR funds between 2015 and 2019. Data shows that the industrialised States that contribute to CSR are the ones also receiving it. Even when CSR companies are advised to balance remote area development with local area development, companies prefer operating in their location.
Evidence shows that approximately 34 per cent of the CSR amount is being spent directly by companies, and around 43 per cent of CSR fund is spent through Implementing Agencies. However, there is no robust monitoring and evaluation framework for CSR implementation. Few companies don’t keep a full record of their beneficiaries. There are few tools of evaluation, however, a robust critical tool is missing for evaluating CSR.
Companies also find it difficult to reach remote locations or new sectors as local implementing agencies often fail to showcase their work and mobilise CSR funds resulting in a few large players dominating the CSR landscape. In the absence of usable robust frameworks and tools to help identify and monitor remote and varied sectors, companies end up with selective and repetitive projects in a few sectors.
How can private sector engage in government work?
The major stakeholders of CSR are not only NGOs but also the investors or the Corporates. Capacity building of the corporate functionaries who manage CSR, therefore, is an equal if not more important part of the CSR strengthening. Capacity needs to be built for bringing CSR equity. Smaller NGOs require the capacity for mobilising funds, managing reputation, documenting, and processing local knowledge in a consumable manner for policy-level functionaries. Material and capacity-building programmes for these NGOs may also be funded by CSR for the holistic development of CSR funding ecosystem.
Areas that emerge as potential CSR development areas are:
1) Funding independent developmental projects
There is evidence of independent developmental projects funded by CSR improving the lives of people and communities. CSR-funded hospitals, schools, pukka roads, and community toilets are major examples of this. These may be diversified by CSR convergence with rural development goals. Even within intangible structural and social issues, the requirement for tangible physical infrastructure remains inseparable. CSR should identify these tangible supports within structural issues and diversify in these areas such as support centres and shelters for victims of domestic violence, helplines against violence, rehabilitation of child marriage survivors and facilitation of social justice-related events, etc.
2) Funding the intensive capacity building requirements of government institutions and stakeholders
Apart from the independent skill and livelihood training programmes that are held with CSR, funders may also join hands with the ministries and departments at various levels of government in skilling and training the functionaries. Government training programmes usually occur at central locations or within training institutes. These can be intensely supplemented with on-site training funded by CSR.
3) Funding the evidence-based research on what works for development
In the current CSR landscape, evaluation studies limit the performance evaluation of the CSR project. There is a lack of extensive funding for research and knowledge creation. Few foundations, such as Azim Premji, Gates Foundation, etc., have established the huge potential of CSR in research and scientific development. There is a huge scope for CSR to fund in-depth independent research and action research for bringing out scientific evidence on what works for rural development in India.
4) Matching up with government: with the programme
CSR can supplement the government’s work by completing impactful projects in remote areas and districts, improving the regional coverage by inclusion of more localities and habitats in a project, taking up complementary work such as last mile connectivity of road construction, etc. CSR funders may take up projects in rural areas that align with rural development work, such as setting up and delivering social assistance programmes, rural health services, water and sanitation initiatives, watershed development, and work which is not material-intensive through man-days from public work programmes such as MGNREGA.
5) Matching up with government: within the programme
Apart from independent projects that complement the government, we should also start deliberating on the frameworks for CSR to supplement the government’s work. No matter the scale, government projects and programmes will always be limited by norms, strict budgetary items, and rigid nature of fund disbursement. These rigidities, although required from a transparent and good governance perspective, often create gaps in programme performance. For example, non-provision of travelling allowances to trainees who are required to travel results in many potential trainees dropping out, or the minimum tender quotation results in the selection of a quotation which becomes non-viable with the slightest change in the prices or wage rate. CSR can step into providing backup or support to ensure the completion of government works. However, relevant policy needs to be formed before this can happen.
To summarise, the scope of private sector investment in public welfare is unlimited. With the mandatory CSR expenditure and evaluation, the CSR companies must strengthen their capacity to evaluate impactful projects and find meaningful collaborations and passionate implementing partners rather than operating in familiar circles. The CSR strengthening should also be held up at the policy level by building an operational framework for public-private collaborations within and with the government programmes.
Dr. Ruchira Bhattacharya,
Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Private Partnership and People’s Action,
Hon’ble Union Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Visits NIRDPR
Shri Giriraj Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Government of India, visited the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad, from 30th June to 1st July 2022.
On the first day of his visit, the Hon’ble Minister inaugurated the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin model house constructed at Rural Technology Park (RTP) on the NIRDPR campus and explained the various features of the model house, different sustainable housing technologies used in the construction and cost effectiveness without sacrificing the quality and standards of the pucca house. The Hon’ble Minister also explained about the 2 kW Roof-Top Solar unit connected on-grid with net metering, installed as part of this house, for meeting the lighting and cooking requirements of a family. This house also showcases the amenities that can be provided under the convergence of various schemes, including piped drinking water under Jal Jeevan Mission, Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting under Jal Sakthi Abhiyan, and soak pit under Swachh Bharat Mission.
Shri Giriraj Singh further visited the Compressed Mud Block Production unit at RTP and interacted with the production team, with regard to the process involved, quality and cost of production. He insisted on using more fly-ash in making the bricks, which is environment-friendly and cost-effective. The Hon’ble Minister asked the NIRDPR team to explore various options of blending fly-ash in various ratios with mud, in order to bring down the cost and make it affordable for the common man.
Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR gave a detailed presentation on the various activities of NIRDPR in the Rural Development & Panchayati Raj domain, including the support being extended in building the capacities of Panchayats across the country. During his interaction with the faculty of NIRDPR, the Minister suggested to work on the ways to train and guide the Panchayats to generate revenue locally and become self-sustainable in the long run.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between NIRDPR and NSIC (National Small Industries Corporation), MSME, in the presence of the Minister. The scope of this MoU is to provide skill development training programs and support innovations and designing among the unemployed youth and SHGs in the MSME sector.
Later, Minister visited two stalls set up to showcase the publications of the Institute and another one by the Telangana State government on organic pesticides. On 1st July 2022, he addressed the gathering at Vikas auditorium and exhorted the officers to be in touch with the public consistently and update themselves about the ground realities. He also interacted with the Bihar Administrative Service officers, who were finishing a six-day programme and distributed them certificates.
The Hon’ble Minister also released the following four books on the occasion:
- Compendium of Best practices in Rural Development
- The Child Rights Training Manual (Hindi)
- Training Material for Certificate Course on Internal Audit – Vol. I & II- (Hindi)
- Status of Social Audits in India 2021 (online)
Shri Shashi Bhushan, ICAS, DDG (i/c), NIRDPR proposed the vote of thanks.
NIRDPR Facilitates Bihar Administrative Officers’ Training Cum Study Tour in Telangana
National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Hyderabad facilitated a six-day training-cum-study tour of 21 Officers of Bihar Administrative Service (BAS), from the Bihar Institute of Public Administration & Rural Development (BIPARD) to Telangana State from 27th June to 2nd July 2022. These officials are currently posted as Senior Deputy Collectors in various districts of Bihar. During the programme, they were imparted knowledge on best practices and innovations in the field of rural governance, municipal administration, revenue management, e-governance, etc.
Shri N. N. Sinha, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, GoI delivered the inaugural address. He shared the multidimensional nature of development and stressed looking beyond mere growth. Further, he spoke about India’s development philosophy as enshrined in the Directive Principles of State Policies of the Constitution and twelve five-year plans of India. He also shared various rights-based legislation, such as MGNREGA, RTI, NFSA, RTE, etc., and urged the young officers to work towards effective implementation of these legislations. Shri Sinha also highlighted the role of different forms of institutions and organisations, such as SHGs, PRIs, NGOs and FPOs and the role of information technology in development. As Bihar faces various developmental challenges, the Secretary of Rural Development exhorted the officers to work towards ensuring rule of law, promoting entrepreneurship, addressing public health challenges and preventing wastage of public money.
Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR addressed the participants. He oriented the participants on the competencies of a civil servant, including ethics, ethos, equity and efficiency.
The Bihar Administrative Service officers interacted with Shri Somesh Kumar, IAS, Chief Secretary, Telangana, Shri Arvind Kumar, Special Chief Secretary Municipal and Urban Administration, Shri Sandeep Kumar Sultania, Principal Secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Dr. N. Satyanarayana, Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration and various other officials from the State. They also interacted with academicians of ASCI, NISG and NIRDPR and visited Gangadevipalli Gram Panchayat in Warangal district as a part of their field visit. The programme was coordinated by Dr. M.V. Ravibabu, Associate Professor and Course Director, CGARD, NIRDPR.
Shri Giriraj Singh, Honourable Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, during his visit to NIRDPR, addressed and interacted with officers after the training programme. The Hon’ble Minister asked the officers about their learnings from this exposure and training programme. Later, he distributed course completion certificates to the officers. Shri Shashi Bhushan, ICAS, Deputy Director General (DDG) i/c, NIRDPR proposed a vote of thanks.
Training on Role of SBCC in Rural & Human Development for SIRDs
A two-day training programme on the ‘Role of SBCC in Rural & Human Development’ for SIRDs was organised by the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR)- Communication Resource Unit (CRU) in collaboration with UNICEF and Envisions Institute of Development at NIRDPR, Hyderabad, on 23rd and 24th June, 2022. This training programme was attended by 25 faculty members from thirteen SIRDS, i.e., Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The main objective of the training programme was to enhance the knowledge and understanding of SIRD faculty on SBCC approaches, process and tools, and thereby guide the SIRDs in integrating SBCC into their respective training approach and methodology.
While delivering the welcome address, Dr. N. V. Madhuri, Head, CRU highlighted the importance of Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) in human development programming. Linking SIRD’s role in developing capacities of programme managers, she described the SIRDs as the incubators for SBCC and reminded the participants of their role in being catalysts for social and behaviour change and community engagement in rural and human development. She added that it is important to link SBCC for rural development with a special focus on women and children, and advised them to actively participate in this two-day training programme as it has been designed as an interactive workshop.
Ms. Seema Kumar, Social and Behaviour Change Specialist, UNICEF, Hyderabad, addressed the participants and requested the participants to become the focal points for SBCC and champion the SBCC in their respective States. She further added that the state representatives, after completing this two-day workshop, should be in a position to integrate SBCC in at least 5-7 of their programmes in the current year’s training schedules itself.
On the first day of the training, participants were oriented on the process of behaviour change, various models of behaviour change – health belief, theory of planned behaviour, stages of change, social learning theory, and diffusion of innovations. A functioning model of the behaviour change process was also discussed. They were also oriented on the concept of SBCC, socio-ecological model, and other approaches and tools for SBC.
In the later sessions, participants were familiarised on what are the barriers & facilitators to behaviour change. They understood various social constructs through a pattern of behaviour. They further looked at gender-aware programming and ways to integrate gender transformative approaches in the realm of SIRDs.
During the sessions, the theoretical concepts related to behaviour change processes were broken down into simpler ways for understanding using several participatory activities/games. Participants demonstrated great enthusiasm during the group activities.
On the second day of training, the sessions looked at various government schemes aimed at rural and human development, which have incorporated SBCC as a major component of the scheme design and implementation process. SBCC component of the POSHAN Abhiyaan scheme was discussed in detail.
The training programme also focused on showcasing various case studies and innovations in the sectors of WASH, Health and Nutrition, where SBCC interventions played a significant role in facilitating behavioural change.
Towards the end of the training, participants explored different ways in which SBCC could be integrated/mainstreamed at the SIRD level in terms of capacity development and programmatic planning.
Various sessions in the training programme were facilitated by Dr. N. V. Madhuri, Head, CRU, NIRDPR, Dr. J. Vanishree, Assistant Professor, CGSD, NIRDPR, Ms. Varsha Chanda, CEO, Envision Institute of Development (EID); Prof. Nisar Ahmad, Executive Director, EID; Shri Subba Reddy, C4D Consultant UNICEF; Ms. A. Shruti, CRU-SBCC Coordinator (Planning & Coordination), NIRDPR and Ms. K. Sreeja, CRU-SBCC Coordinator (Training & Knowledge Management), NIRDPR.
Many of the participants provided their insightful input on training and expressed confidence in incorporating SBCC into their regular training programmes.
“It is my pleasure to attend a two-day training programme on ‘Role of SBCC in Rural & Human Development’ for faculty members of SIRDs held on 23rd and 24th, June 2022. This training strengthened our capacity on process, approaches and tools for Social and Behaviour Change. It will support SIRDs in integrating the SBCC while implementing various ongoing capacity-building of development plans for generating demand from communities and ensuring people’s participation towards effective implementation.” – Shri Sankuli Biswal from SIRD & PR, Odisha
“The training programme was excellent, and topics were well covered with focus on the SBCC processes, tools and methods. Now we are confident to incorporate SBCC into our training.” – Shri Vinod from Kerala Institute of Local Administration
NIRDPR Observes International Yoga Day
National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad observed International Yoga Day on 21st June 2022. Shri. G. Anil, Yoga Instructor, led a special yoga session comprising breathing techniques, stretching postures, and meditation conducted at the Sports Complex of the Institute.
A session on stress handling, morning meditation and science of happiness was taken by
Mrs. Vaishali Venkatnarayan, Senior volunteer faculty of Art of Living. Later in the day, Dr. Sai Krishna, Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, Sri Sri Holistic Hospital, Hyderabad, and a faculty of Art of Living, delivered a lecture on the traditional healthcare system and yoga. A short meditation was also conducted by Dr. Sai Krishna during his lecture. Participants, women representatives of PRIs, women SHG members, PGDRDM students, staff of NIRDPR and trainees took part in the session.
Workshop on Integrating SDGs into Rural Development Agenda: Water, Sanitation Services in Village Development Plan
Reduction of poverty in all dimensions is a key goal of rural development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an effective structured framework to identify the broad areas, along with specific objectives/targets to achieve the broad areas to focus on. To achieve the SDGs and the targets within the goals, it is necessary that the functionaries working at different levels of rural development understand the SDG concept thoroughly, identify the indicators to target and monitor and are capacitated to invest and work on the predictors that improve the target SDG indicators. With the objective of building the capacity for localising sustainable development goals in rural development, a workshop was organised on ‘Integrating Sustainable Development Goals into Rural Development Agenda: Water, Sanitation Services in Village Development Plans’ on 11th July, 2022 by the Centre for CSR, PPP, PA and Research Consultancy at NIRDPR, Delhi Branch. The workshop was sponsored by the TSPRI project of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India.
The workshop focussed on the pertinent issues in water security and sanitation in India and the process of writing a proposal on these issues. The main objectives of the workshop were to make the participants enable to understand the following points:
- To understand the current state of water access and challenges to water security in rural areas;
- Identify capacity/skill and resource gaps that may empower the CSOs to mitigate the WASH challenges;
- Identify potential subjects for CSR proposals for village development actions to improve water security and relevant CSR sources for networking on water security and WASH improvement in selected regions.
Dr. Ramesh Sakthivel, Associate Prof and Head, CSR, PPP, PA, NIRDPR, Hyderabad began the programme with a welcome remark. In the first session, Dr. R. Ramesh, Associate Professor and Head CRI, NIRDPR, presented the evidence and method of writing a proposal for funding for Water Security and WASH. His session was followed by Ms. Niti Saxena and Ms. Anjali Godyal from SM Sehgal Foundation, who demonstrated the methods of preparing a CSR proposal on WASH conditions.
The workshop was attended by 18 representatives of NGOs/Government sectors from six States, namely Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.
Implementation of Prime Minister Fasal Bhima Yojana (PMFBY) in India: An Assessment
The agriculture sector is a key contributor to economic growth and is critical for food security in India. The agriculture sector and its allied activities are the primary sources of livelihood for about 58 per cent of the workforce in the country. The effects of climate change play an important role in climate-sensitive agriculture sector and its allied activities. A range of adaptation strategies has been implemented to improve agriculture management in India.
Agriculture insurance is recognised as one of the important instruments across the world as part of safety net schemes for farmers to deal with the impacts of extreme and unseasonal weather due to climate change. This article discusses briefly the importance of agriculture sector in India and the different agriculture/crop insurance schemes, which are being implemented to enhance the risk management practices to help the farmers to sustain the changing climatic scenarios. The article particularly focuses on assessment of the implementation of the Prime Minister Fasal Bhima Yojana (PMFBY) scheme, majorly focusing on indicators such as coverage of the scheme in terms of area covered and the amount insured.
Importance of Agriculture Sector in India
According to the 38th round of National Sample Survey (NSS) and Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) – 2018-19 report, the agricultural sector’s contribution to employment declined from 81 per cent in 1983 to 58 per cent in 2018. However, the economy in India is largely dependent on the agriculture sector and its allied activities, which are considered the common occupations among the rural communities across the country. Though there has been a remarkable decline to less than 15 per cent in the total share of agriculture in the Indian economy, the country still depends on agricultural productivity to meet the demands of fast-growing population.
As per the Economic Survey Report 2020, agriculture is critical to the country’s food security. The report emphasised the importance of sustainable agricultural practices to support small and marginal farmers, who constitute 87 per cent of India’s peasants. Agriculture in India has been the major source of supply of raw materials to various important industries of the country. The cotton and jute textiles, sugar, vanaspati, edible oil plantation industries and agro-based cottage industries are depended on agriculture sector for raw materials. About 50 per cent of income generated in the manufacturing sector comes from all these agro-based industries in India. Moreover, agriculture can provide a market for industrial products to increase the level of agricultural income, which may lead to expansion of the market for industrial products.
Brief History of Agricultural Insurance in India
In India, agricultural production and farm incomes are frequently affected by natural disasters such as drought, floods, cyclone, storm, landslide, earthquake, etc., and the outbreak of epidemics and man-made disasters such as fire, sale of spurious seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, price crashes, etc. All these events severely affect farmers through loss in production and farm income, and are beyond the control of farmers. In recent times, mechanisms like contract farming and futures trading have been established in order to provide some relief to the farming community against price fluctuations directly or indirectly. But, the percentage of farmers covered under these mechanisms is minimal. Policymakers all over the world considered agricultural insurance as an important mechanism to effectively address the risks in agriculture sector.
In India, the concept of crop insurance originated in 1915, the Mysore State first introduced the rain insurance scheme. In the post-independence period, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India introduced a crop insurance programme for cotton growers in Gujarat during the FY 1971-72. The same programme was experimented in other States like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. In 1979, a pilot crop insurance scheme was introduced in many States, but the participation was voluntary, which had a large coverage providing insurance to nearly 6.27 lakh farmers in 13 States. The Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme (CCIS) was the first nationwide Crop Insurance Scheme in India which was linked to short-term credit and was based on the ‘homogenous area approach’ and implemented during 1985-99.
The National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) was implemented during 1999-2016 with an objective to protect the farmers against the crop losses suffered on account of natural calamities, such as drought, flood, hailstorm, cyclone, pests and diseases. The NAIS was implemented by the Agriculture Insurance Company (AIC) of India Ltd. Under the scheme, all the farmers, both loanee and non-loanee, irrespective of their size of holding and all crops were covered. The NIAS was revamped with Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and was implemented on a pilot basis in 50 districts across the country from the rabi season during 2010-11 to 2016. In the FY 2007-08, Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) was launched in 20 States and implemented by the AIC of India along with some private companies with the aim to settle the claims within the shortest possible time. In 2009, the Coconut Palm Insurance Scheme (CPIS) was introduced on a pilot basis in the selected areas of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha and Tamil Nadu, which is being administered by the Coconut Development Board (CDB). Later on, it was extended to West Bengal. Under the CPIS, 50 per cent of the premium is contributed by the Government of India, 25 per cent by the State Government concerned and the remaining 25 per cent by the farmer.
A flagship scheme of the Government of India, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), came into operation on 1st April, 2016. The government has introduced yield-based PMFBY and weather index-based Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) from kharif 2016 to provide financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage due to natural calamities/adverse weather conditions, to stabilise the income of farmers. The PMFBY is a government-sponsored crop insurance scheme that integrates multiple stakeholders on a single platform.
Implementation of PMFBY in India
The PMFBY was formulated in line with One Nation – One Scheme theme by replacing earlier two schemes of NAIS and MNAIS. PMFBY is an improvement over the previous two schemes and is designed to reduce the burden of crop insurance on farmers. Under the scheme, State governments have the authority to decide whether they want to implement PMFBY, WBCIS or both in their respective States. The Scheme aims to provide a comprehensive insurance cover against failure of the crop, thus helping in stabilising the income of the farmers. The Scheme is being implemented through a multi-agency framework by selected insurance companies under the overall guidance and control of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India. The selection of Implementing Agency (IA) is done by the State Government concerned in coordination with various other agencies such as financial institutions like Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks, Regional Rural Banks and their regulatory bodies, Government Departments, viz. Agriculture, Cooperation, Horticulture, Statistics, Revenue, Information/Science & Technology, Panchayati Raj, etc. Under the scheme, all the farmers growing notified crops in a notified area during the season and having an insurable interest in the crop, are eligible. The enrollment under the scheme is compulsory for the farmers in the notified area who possess a Crop Loan account/KCC account (called as Loanee Farmers) to whom credit limit is sanctioned/renewed for the notified crop during the crop season. The scheme covers all the food crops, oil seeds crops and annual commercial and horticultural crops for which past yield data is available, and requisite number of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) are being conducted under the General Crop Estimation Survey (GCES).
Present Status of PMFBY in India
At present, the all-India status of PMFBY is analysed based on the data published by Government of India on the dashboard of the PMFBY website. The data is analysed with three major indicators, viz. number of farmers insured, area insured (in hectares), and sum-amount insured under the scheme both the rabi and kharif seasons from 2016 to 2019. As per the data presented in Figure 1, the number of farmers insured under the scheme during the kharif season was in declining trend when compared to the data from 2016 to 2019. The number of farmers insured under the scheme during the rabi season declined during the year 2017 and increased during the year 2018, but during the year 2019, it decreased drastically.
The data pertaining to the area (in thousand hectares) covered under the scheme is presented in Figure 1. The data reveals that during the kharif season the area insured increased in 2019 and decreased year-by-year with a decreasing trend in the last two years. The data pertaining to the rabi season has a negative trend with a slight increase in 2020 and with a drastic decrease during 2019.
The data pertaining to the sum amount (in lakhs of Indian Rupees) indicator is presented in Figure 2. The data shows that during the kharif season, the sum amount insured under the scheme was increased in 2019, but it is decreased year-by-year after 2019, with a decreasing trend in the last two years. Whereas the sum amount insured during the rabi season is in decreasing trend from 2018 to 2021.
The all-India data shows that the number of States/UTs implemented the scheme is in decreasing trend during both the seasons in the specified period. The all-India data with respect to the coverage of the scheme, especially in terms of States implemented, coverage of farmers and crops, and the area insured, reveals that PMFBY scheme has failed to attract the farmers to register under the scheme. It is observed that the main reasons for poor response from the farmers to register under the scheme includes less number of notified crops that are covered under the insurance, problem with yield estimation, delay in claims settlements and rejecting the claims by the insurance companies without valid reasons, etc.
The following are some of the issues in the implementation of the scheme:
- There are gaps in capturing the data on level and range of crop losses at village level. Due to non-utilisation of technologies like smartphones, there is scope for corruption in the implementation of the scheme, especially during the assessment of losses.
- It is observed that the major portion of the insurance coverage utilised by the loanee farmers. The percentage of non-loanee farmers availing insurance remained minimal and coverage of sharecropper and tenant farmers are not covered under the scheme.
- There are poor infrastructure facilities with the stakeholders of the scheme for proper implementation of the scheme. It is observed that most of the farmers are not aware of the scheme in the villages as there have been no concerted efforts made by the stakeholders to create awareness among the farmers on PMFBY.
Based on the issues in the implementation of the scheme, the following are some of the measures which can be considered by government for the effective implementation of the scheme:
- The governments may consider covering all the important crops under the scheme.
- Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and farmer organisations in the villages need to be involved at different stages of scheme implementation. The services of community-based organisations (CBOs) at the village level can be utilised during the implementation of the scheme.
- In order to cover all sections of the farmer community, group insurance may be promoted for the benefit of the small, women and tenant farmers.
- The extensive use of technology shall be encouraged to great extent for the effective implementation of the scheme. Technologies such as smartphones can be used to capture and upload the data of crops from sowing to harvesting and assessment of crop loss to ensure credibility of data.
- The governments shall take appropriate steps to issue notifications prior to sowing in order to implement the scheme appropriately.
- Government may take necessary steps to settle the claims within two months from the date of submission of claims.
- The role of private insurance companies should be minimised in the implementation of the scheme, and the responsibility may be accorded to the public-funded institutions such as agriculture cooperative societies and nationalised banks by making necessary changes in the guidelines for the effective implementation of the scheme.
Dr. Venkatamallu Thadaboina
Centre for Research & Training Coordination and Networking
Training Programme on District Specific ODF+ and JJM SBCC Planning and Implementation for Karnataka
The Communication Resource Unit (CRU) of National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), in collaboration with UNICEF, organised a two-day training programme on District-Specific Open Defecation Free+ (ODF+) and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) Social Behaviour Change Communication planning and implementation for Karnataka on 28th and 29th June 2022 at NIRDPR, Hyderabad. The training was attended by 28 district-level IEC officers under SBM and DPMs under JJM of Karnataka. The main aim of the training programme was to empower the district officers with knowledge of the SBCC planning process and provide guidance on identifying barriers/bottlenecks, prioritising desired behaviours, identifying the target audience, messaging, and the communication materials required for the SBCC activities.
At the outset, Dr. N. V. Madhuri, Head, CRU welcomed the participants and briefly touched upon the background of the training programme. She highlighted the role of SBCC in IEC campaigns and interventions in addressing behavioural challenges and improving outcomes at the grassroots level. She also emphasised that communication action in the WASH sector is crucial for improving toilet access and hand washing behaviour, food hygiene, and safe water practices at households, schools, workplaces, markets, transport stations, and other areas where people gather in large numbers will significantly reduce the spread of disease.
On the first day of the training programme, participants were given an overview of WASH Issues; SBM-II & JJM communication priorities, barriers, expectations and messages for specific target groups; Gender Inclusive messaging in WASH; barriers identification and prioritisation.
On the second day of training programme, the course team oriented the participants about desirable WASH behaviours and Development of District-specific costed IEC implementation plans, following which all the participants prepared a district-specific implementation plan based on their Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) and budgetary allocations with the support of course team for their respective districts.
Plan preparation by participants
As part of this session and group exercise, participants gained a better understanding of WASH challenges as well as the factors that inhibit behaviour change at the grassroots level.
Various sessions in the training programme were facilitated by Dr. N. V. Madhuri, Head, CRU, NIRDPR, Dr. J. Vanishree, Assistant Professor, CGSD, NIRDPR, Dr. R. Ramesh, Head, CRI, NIRDPR, Shri Kulandai Raj, Consultant, UNICEF, Shri Kalachari, Consultant, UNICEF, Shri Subba Reddy, C4D Consultant UNICEF, Ms. A. Shruti, CRU-SBCC Coordinator (Planning & Coordination), and Ms. K. Sreeja, CRU-SBCC Coordinator (Training & Knowledge Management), CRU, NIRDPR. At the end of the training programme, all the participants shared their feedback.
“This training was enlightening, and inspiring and provided an opportunity to reflect upon the changes required in the current approach of interventions. He added that the Content and presentation by the resource persons were excellent, ensuring that the subject matter is relevant.” – Shri Umesh, District Project Manager of JJM Hassan district
“The training is beneficial for us to create right awareness to the community, and it gives us access to pertinent information from experienced resource persons. We are expecting continuous training support from NIRDPR.” – Ms. Roopa G, IEC Consultant, Davanagere district
“Experienced Resource Persons expanded our knowledge about WASH challenges & communication barriers. This training programme provided us enough opportunities to interact with the Resource Persons during their sessions while group exercise gave us insights into the real challenges faced by all the districts. We are going back to the same work with a refreshed and renewed approach.” – Mr. Shivakumar, IEC Consultant, Yadagiri
CDC Organises Library Talk on Identifying Cloned Journals and Predatory Journals
The Centre for Development Documentation and Communication, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, organised an online library talk titled ‘How to Catch Cloned/Predatory journals in Academics’ by Dr. Sumit Narula, Deputy Dean Research (Research and Citations), Amity University Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior and Head of the Institution in Amity School of Communication. Dr. Sumit holds a Doctorate in Electronic Media and Conflict Resolution from Punjab University, Chandigarh.
The speaker was introduced to the audience by Ms. Anupama Khera, Documentation Officer, CDC, NIRDPR. Dr. Sumit began with the difference between Cloned journals and Predatory journals.
“Cloned journals mirror the authentic journal’s home page, exploit their ISSN number, and they are more likely to accept submissions from the authors. They also issue fake emails calling for papers. Fake journals cite themselves as open access journals and lure the authors to pay for publication. The original publishers, who ask for payment, even issue vouchers. Predatory journals are called write-only publishing or deceptive publishing, which is done for money. They do not check the quality and legitimacy of the content. They publish the content in 24 to 48 hours, one can get a fully plagiarised article and publish it without any complications,” he said.
“Few authors knowingly publish with predatory journals to get publications added to their portfolios. This could be due to the problems in research. The onus of checking for publication in a predatory journal lies with the institution. Predatory journals also create wrong impact factors,” Dr. Sumit pointed out, adding that mostly new scholars from developing countries are targeted by such journals.
“According to a study, 60 per cent of the papers published in predatory journals do not get citations in the coming five years. Citations play a key role in the prominence of the research, whereas such articles just get added to the number of publications,” he said.
Dr. Sumit further spoke about the two content acquirers ‘Elsevier’ and ‘Web of Science’, its specifications and how they increase the authenticity of the content.
TOLIC-2 Conducts Hindi Workshop at Institute of Cooperative Management
A Hindi workshop was organised under the aegis of Town Official Language Implementation Committee-2 at Institute of Cooperative Management (ICM), Rajendranagar, on 13th June, 2022. The workshop was organised with the permission of Shri H. S. K. Tangirala, Director, ICM. On this occasion, Dr. C. V. Ratnavati, Director, IIMR, Chairman, Shri Jaishankar Prasad Tiwari, Assistant Director and In-charge (H.T.S) and Mr. Kamaluddin, Assistant Director (Official Language) were present.
Smt. Anita Pandey, Member Secretary, TOLIC-2, Assistant Director (OL), NIRDPR presented the outline of the workshop, which began with the lighting of the lamp by the guests. Shri H. S. K. Tangirala, Director, ICM welcomed everyone and presented complete information about ICM. He said that the institute has been trying to do maximum work as per the guidelines of the Department of Official Language, as the workshop was organised under TOLIC-2 as part of this initiative.
Dr. C. V. Ratnavati, Chairperson expressed her pleasure to chair this workshop organised by TOLIC-2.
“The government is determined to promote the official language (Hindi) and is committed to getting most of the work done in Hindi,” she said, besides giving information about Millet Institute, the use of millet and its role in reducing the risk of diabetes and other diseases.
Dr. Kamaluddin, Assistant Director, Hindi Teaching Scheme, conducted a session. He discussed in detail the difficulties faced by the non-Hindi speaking people while working in Hindi medium.
At the end of the workshop session, Shri Jai Shankar Prasad Tiwari, Assistant Director and In-charge, Hindi Teaching Scheme, whose retirement was due in June 2022, was honoured with a shawl and a memento. He also expressed his views on this occasion.
About 55 participants from different offices attended the workshop, and all appreciated the initiative. The Official Language section staff of NIRDPR and ICM worked in coordination to conduct the workshop. Smt. V. Annapurna, Hindi Translator, NIRDPR compered the workshop and Smt. Nazia proposed the vote of thanks.
NIRDPR Delhi Branch Organises Hindi Workshop
The NIRDPR, Delhi branch organised a Hindi workshop on 10th June, 2022. Shri Prem Singh, Joint Director (Retd.), Rajbhasha Vibhag, Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI was the guest speaker.
Shri Prem Singh delivered a lecture on ‘Motivation and encouragement to work in Official Language Hindi.’ Speaking about the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language, he said the committee used to visit all the ministries and departments to check the progressive use of Hindi. He said that efforts are being made in the field of progressive use of Hindi in the NIRDPR, Delhi branch.
Shri Prem Singh spoke about the expression of language and how language is a medium of expression through which a person can express self and contact people every day.
He said that there are several levels of language, such as biological language, improvisational language, and academic language. The objective of the workshop was to motivate the officers/employees to use Hindi in their day-to-day official work. Shri Prem Singh apprised that there are many benefits of learning more languages. By learning other languages, we can learn about the literature, art and culture of many countries. Learning a language also increases employment opportunities.
The language of our official work should be simple and easy so that readers can understand it easily and avoid using difficult words. Everything needed for daily tasks is available online. The speaker explained in detail the different types of words and sentences related to the progressive use of Hindi language. In total, 18 participants took part in the Hindi workshop and discussed the wider usage of Hindi language during the lecture. Shri Chiranji Lal Kataria, Assistant Director (Marketing), who coordinated the session, proposed vote of thanks.
Hindi Workshop at NIRDPR
A Hindi workshop was organised at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj on 13th June, 2022 under the theme ‘Noting and Drafting.’
On this occasion, Shri Jaishankar Prasad Tiwari, Assistant Director and In-charge, Hindi Teaching Scheme, Secunderabad and Dr. Kamaluddin, Asst. Director, HTS were present. Smt. Anita Pandey, Assistant Director (OL), NIRDPR presented the outline of the workshop and welcomed the participants.
The session was handled by Dr. Kamaluddin, Assistant Director, Hindi Teaching Scheme. Shri Kamaluddin cleared the doubts in simple language and explained the lecture in nine steps. He gave detailed information about the types of noting, method of adaptation transliteration, and simple use of Hindi phrases in present, past and future tenses. The workshop benefited all the participants.
At the end of the workshop, Shri Jaishankar Prasad Tiwari, Assistant Director, Hindi Teaching Scheme, was honoured by the participants with a shawl and a memento since his retirement was due in the month of June, 2022.
Participants from Guwahati and Delhi centres also participated online, along with those from the Hyderabad centre. Shri E. Ramesh, Senior Hindi Translator compered the workshop and proposed the vote of thanks. Other employees of the Official Language Section extended their support.
ToT Programme on Agri-Nutri Garden, Uncultivated Crops, Forgotten Foods & Traditional Recipes
A ToT programme on Agri-Nutri Garden, uncultivated crops, forgotten foods & traditional recipes was conducted jointly by NRLM-RC and NMMU, DAY-NRLM during 28th -29th June 2022 at NIRDPR, Hyderabad. Dr. Ch. Radhika Rani, Director, NRLM-RC, NIRDPR inaugurated the session.
After the inauguration and formal introduction to the participants, expectation mapping was conducted, followed by the pre-test. During the two-day training, in-depth discussions were made on malnutrition & its implication, hidden hunger, sensitization on malnutrition, importance of agri-nutri garden, nutritional and medicinal value of fruits and vegetables, role of ANG in dietary diversity, visualisation of Agri-Nutri Gardens, components of ANG, grounding of ANG, sustainability of ANG (in terms of Seed production, storage and conservation & through linkages with government schemes, like mid-day meal, Anganwadi, etc.). The session on uncultivated crops, forgotten foods and recipes of forgotten foods was handled by the Resource Persons through the PPTs, interactive lecture, videos, brainstorming and demonstration, etc.
Participants actively took part in the demonstration session. As part of the demonstration, participants went around the campus of NIRDPR in search of plants with medicinal and nutritional values. They were also asked to carry back the leaves to the training hall. In the training hall, the medicinal and nutritional value of each plant leaf was explained by Ms. B. Salome, the resource person. Moringa is very rich in nutrition, vitamin & fibre and the resource person demonstrated the recipes with moringa leaf by cooking them during the training programme. The related materials/ingredients and utensils were also arranged during the training programme.
Dr. Hymavathi, Retd. Professor & Head, Food & Nutrition Dept., Dr. Akshaya Kumar Panda, MSSRF, Jeypore, Koraput, and Ms. B. Salome were the resource persons in the training programme.
A representative of the Ministry of Rural Development, Dr. Monika Chauhan, National Programme Manager, NMMU, MoRD, GoI was also present during the training programme from 28th -29th June, 2022. At the end of the training programme, feedback from the candidates was taken through the Training Management Portal of NIRDPR followed by the post-test.
A total of thirty-seven (37) participants working at Block, District and State levels took part in the training programme. The participants were from eleven States, namely Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, J&K, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Telangana.
The participants shared the need for such training programmes in their States. During the valedictory session, Dr. Ch. Radhika Rani, Director, NRLM-RC, NIRDPR, requested the feedback of the trainees and directed the team to plan similar training programmes in their States. The programme was coordinated by Livelihoods Team, NRLM-RC, NIRDPR.