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In this article, we will discuss the Kurukshetra magazine. This magazine is important for the Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) and Economic and Social Issues (ESI) sections of the NABARD Grade A syllabus. It is important because ARD and ESI topics are always assessed from the point of view of Rural Development.
The Kurukshetra magazine is issued by the Ministry of Rural Development. In this article, we are going to discuss the March 2021 issue as it was released after this year’s Union/ Federal budget. You can learn more about the Union Budget 2021-22 here. Kurukshetra magazine is a monthly publication that presents the government’s perspective on various issues and what is the action plan of the government. It is published both in English and Hindi.
Budget for farmers 2021
- SVAMITVA: SVAMITVA is a Centre scheme that was launched on National Panchayat Day, April 24, 2020, and is now re-launched for the whole country this year. Through this scheme, the Government issues property cards to landowners. This will allow them to derive benefits from government schemes such as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (launched in December 2018). The scheme will be implemented in phases. The first phase is between 2020-24 during which the government aims to cover 6.62 lakh villages.
- Operation Greens (TOP to TOTAL): The scheme will be extended to 22 perishable items (such as vegetables) for which infrastructural development will be undertaken.
- 1000 mandis will be integrated with Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) this year. eNAM is a cross-country scheme, launched in April 2016, to link mandis to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) board and establish a unified market for agricultural supplies.
- Earlier, Kisan Credit Card Yojana benefits were aimed at crop production only. Now, the agricultural credit target has been increased to ₹ 16.5 lakh crore rupees to ensure credit flows to Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries farming.
- Rural Infrastructure Development Fund has been enhanced to ₹40,000 Cr. from ₹ 29,848 Cr.
- The budget for the micro-irrigation Fund has been doubled to ₹ 10,000 Cr.
Budget Allocations across Agriculture and Allied Ministries
|MINISTRY/ DEPARTMENT||2020-21 Budgetary Estimate (₹ in Cr.)||2020-21 Revised Estimate|
(₹ in Cr.)
(₹ in Cr.)
|Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare||1,42,762||1,24,520||1,31,531|
|Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’ Welfare||1,34,400||1,16.758||1,23,018|
|Department of Agriculture Research & Education||8,363||7762||8,514|
|Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying||4,114||3,557||4,323|
|Department of Fisheries||825||910||1221|
|Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying||3,289||2,646||3,102|
|Ministry of Food Processing Industries||1,233||1,247||1309|
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer welfare has two departments within it. The budget is split between the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’ Welfare and Department of Agriculture Research & Education. Similarly, the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying is divided between the Department of Fisheries and Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
Candidates must make note as to the funding for which ministry/department has been increased or decreased. Understanding the allocation of funds helps us to know how the government is spending on its different schemes.
Healthy People Healthy Nation
This section covers the grants the government has made in the health sector. In a time of a pandemic such as this, the importance of the health sector has become manifold.
- The health and well-being union budget has been raised by 137%. The budget has been raised from ₹ 94,452 Cr to ₹ 2,23,046 Cr.
- The COVID Suraksha Mission: ₹ 900 Cr have been allotted to the development and testing of indigenous vaccines. It is a part of the ongoing Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission.
- ₹ 35000 Cr have been provisioned for COVID-19 vaccines
- Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM JAY): Approximately ₹10.74 Cr have been assigned to this scheme to cover hospitalization-related expenses for the poorest families. There is a budget of ₹ 5 lakh per family.
- Mission Poshan 2.0: Poshan Abhiyan and Supplementary Nutrition Programme have been merged to strengthen nutritional content delivery, outreach and outcome. The scheme will also cover programs like Child Development Services, Angandbadi services, Poshan Abhiyan, Scheme for Adolescent Girls and National Creche Scheme.
- Atma Nirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana: To ensure the participation of skilled and semi-skilled women both from rural and urban areas in the health sector.
- Mission Vatsalya that provides Child Protection and Child Welfare services have been allotted ₹ 900 Cr.
- ₹ 3109 Cr have been granted to Mission Shakti for the protection and empowerment of women. The mission has two main components
- SAMBHAL: Mahila Police Volunteer, women’s helpline, widow’s home and such.
- SAMARTHYA: (for capacity development) Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Creche, PM Matru Vandana Yojana and such
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: To provide LPG connections to one crore more women beneficiaries.
- Jal Jeevan Mission Urban: To provide tap water supply to 4378 urban local bodies. The Mission also aims to ensure liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities. The schemes will be implemented over 5 years for which ₹ 2,87,000 Cr have been outlaid.
Roads and Highways Infrastructure
- ₹ 1,18,101 Cr granted to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. This is the highest allotment for this budget.
Bharatmala Pariyojana: This is a centrally-sponsored Road and Highways undertaking. The total investment to build 83,677 km long new highways stands at ₹5.35 lakh crore. This is the single largest spending for a government road construction scheme.
Recapitalization of Public Sector Banks (PSBs)
- The government has proposed an allotment of ₹ 20,000 Cr to further strengthen the financial capacity of PSBs.
Deposit Insurance: Government has raised the deposit insurance to ₹. 5 lakh from ₹. 1 lakh for bank customers.
Major Announcements for Agriculture and Allied Sector under the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.
|Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund||Financing for funding agriculture infrastructure projects at farmgateand aggregation points and for financially viable post harvestmanagement infrastructure|
|Rs 10000 crore scheme for Formalisation of Micro FoodEnterprise||Supporting two lakh MFEs who need technical upgradation to attainFSSAI food standards, build brands and support marketing|
|Rs 20000 crore for fishermen through Pradhan MantriMatsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)||Focuses on integrated, sustainable and inclusive development ofmarine and inland from fisheries by developing infrastructure such asfishing harbours, cold chain, markets etc|
|National Animal Disease Control Programme||It target Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis by ensuring100% vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population|
|Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development fundRs 15,000 crores||It is to support provide private investment in Dairy processing, enablevalue addition and improved cattle feed infrastructure|
|From TOP to Total||Operation Greens run by Ministry of Food Processing Industries tocover tomatoes onions and potatoes to all fruits and vegetables|
The highest allotment of ₹ 1 lakh Cr has been made for the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. This fund will be used in infrastructure projects at farmgate and infrastructure points. Operation Greens which only covered tomatoes, onions and potatoes (TOP) will now cover all fruit and vegetables.
Major Scheme-Based Allocations of Outlay (₹ in Cr)
|Schemebased allocations (From Rural Development Perspective)||Budgetestimates2020-21||Budget estimates2021-22|
|1||Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program||61500||73000|
|2||Crop Insurance Scheme||15695||16000|
|3||Interest subsidy for short term credit to farmers||21175||19468|
|4||Rastriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA)||858||661|
|5||Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM)||700||776|
|6||Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana||19500||15000|
|7||Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)||27500||27500|
|8||Jal Jeevan MissionNational Rural Drinking Water Mission||11500||50011|
|9||Swachh Bharat MissionGramin||9994||9994|
|10||Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PMKISAN)||75000||65000|
|12||Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana||11127||11588|
|13||Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana||1081||700|
|14||DeenDayal Upadhayaye Gram Jyoti Yojana ||4500||3600|
|15||Recapitaization of Regional Rural Banks||200||1200|
This table illustrates the various financial allotments to the different welfare schemes run by the government. This budgetary division also reflects the government’s focus. The higher the allotment, the more the focus of the government. Similarly, you can compare the previous year’s allocation to understand the government’s focus on executing particular schemes.
As we can see, the highest allotment of ₹ 73000 Cr has been given to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program (MGNREGA) this year. Understandably, candidates cannot remember all the schemes and all their financial awards, which is why candidates must remember the first couple of highest allocations and the lowest allocation for the year. Also, candidates must make note of the budgetary allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi as it is an important government program. Candidates must also make a note of the allocations that have either increased or decreased.
As we learnt in this article, the Kurukshetra magazine is a very important touchstone in many ways. It not only keeps you up-to-date about the government’s activities and programs but also helps you understand how budgeting works. As an aspiring government employee, it will bode you well to keep tabs on the activities and spending of the government. If you feel you can learn better through audiovisual or multimedia-based instruction, subscribe to our YouTube Channel for preparation YouTube videos. You can find the YouTube video for this article here.
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