Economy (English)

Important Landmarks of Indian Economic History- Part 3

Green Revolution

The term “Green Revolution” was first used in a March 8, 1968, speech by the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), William S. Gaud, who noted the spread of the new technologies. After the recommendation of a study team of the Ford Foundation, a technological package programme called the “Green Revolution” was adopted in India to enhance production and productivity of Indian agriculture sector. The technological revolution or package programme started from the Kahrif season of 1966 comprised of use of High Yielding Variety (HYV) of Seeds, Chemical fertilizers and assured irrigation. Both the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation were heavily involved in the spread of the programme. One key leader was Norman Borlaug, the “Father of the Green Revolution”, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. He is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation. The basic approach was the development of high-yielding varieties of cereal grains, expansion of irrigation infrastructure, modernization of management techniques, distribution of hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides to farmers.The credit to introduce Green Revolution in India goes to Dr.M.S. Swaminathan supported by Indian agricultural scientist Vehla Swaminathan Banda, GS Kalkat etc. Dr. M.S Swaminathan later earned the title ‘Father of Green Revolution of India’. It was a technological revolution that transformed the Indian agriculture from subsistence farming to commercial farming, which led to increase in production, productivity, income, and wages in green revolution areas and eventually raised the living standard of farmers and farm labourers. In its first phase the green revolution led to an increase in food grain production, especially in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh. The main development was higher-yielding varieties of wheat, for developing rust resistant strains of wheat. In its second phase, green revolution was extended to rice producing areas in the Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Bihar and West Bengal. In some parts of the countries the green revolution increased the production of millets like jowar and bajra, especially in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, but the improvement was not very remarkable. The Green revolution is now in its third phase in which it is being extended to newer areas like eastern and northeastern states. The green revolution, nevertheless, mostly enhanced production of a few crops like wheat and rice and it could not improve the production of pulses and oilseeds. It was geographically confined to a few areas. It also led to agrarian inequality and in some cases substitution of labour by machines due to rising wages.

Operation flood

Operation Flood, launched in 1970, was a project of India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), which was the world’s biggest dairy development program. It transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the world’s largest milk producer, surpassing the USA in 1998, with about 17 percent of global output in 2010–11. In 30 years it doubled milk available per person, and made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustainable rural employment generator. It was launched to help farmers direct their own development, placing control of the resources they create in their own hands. All this was achieved not merely by mass production, but by production by the masses.

Operation Flood is the program behind “the white revolution.” It created a national milk grid linking producers throughout India with consumers in over 700 towns and cities, reducing seasonal and regional price variations while ensuring that the producer gets a major share of the price consumers pay, by cutting out middlemen. The bedrock of Operation Flood has been village milk producers’ co-operatives, which procure milk and provide inputs and services, making modern management and technology available to members. Operation Flood’s objectives included: (1) Increase milk production (“a flood of milk”), (2) Augment rural incomes and (3) Fair prices for consumers

The Anand pattern experiment at Amul, a single, cooperative dairy, was the engine behind the success of the program. Verghese Kurien, the chairman and founder of Amul, was named the chairman of NDDB by the then Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shastri. Kurien gave the necessary thrust using his professional management skills to the program, and is recognized as its architect.

Technology Mission for pulses and oilseeds

The green revolution failed to make any significant effect on production and productivity of oilseeds and pulses, for which India heavily depended on imports that put huge burden on balance of payments, apart from deficiency of fat and protein among the poor households.

The Technology Mission on Oilseeds was launched by the Central Government in 1986 to increase the production of oilseeds to reduce import and achieve self-sufficiency in edible oils. Subsequently, pulses, oil palm and maize were also brought within the purview of the Mission in 1990-91, 1992 and 1995-96 respectively. In addition, the National Oilseeds and Vegetable Oils Development (NOVOD) Board also supplement the efforts of TMOP by opening of newer areas for non-traditional oilseeds. IT is promoting Tree Borne Oilseeds (TBO)s. The schemes implemented under TMOP are: 1. Oilseeds Production Programme (OPP), 2. National Pulses Development Project (NPDP), 3. Accelerated Maize Development Programme (AMDP), 4. Post Harvest Technology (PHT) and 5. Oil Palm Development Programme (OPDP). Later government decided to have an Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize in order to provide flexibility to the States in implementation based on regionally differentiated approach, to promote crop diversification and to provide focused approach to the programmes, the schemes of Oilseeds Production Programme, Oil Palm Development Programme, National Pulses Development Project and Accelerated Maize Development Programme of Ninth Plan were merged into one Centrally Sponsored Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (IPOPOM) and during the 10th Five Year the scheme was implemented by 14 major growing States for oilseeds and pulses and 15 States for Maize and in 10 States for oil palm.

In 2011 it was planned to implemen the integrated development of 60,000 villages of pulses crops. The2011 budget allocated Rs 300 crores under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for this scheme. This project will supplement the ongoing work on pulses development under the National Food Security Mission. There is also an emphasis on building institutions that would provide market linkage to the grower of pulses. The states of M.P, U.P, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, and Tamilnadu were chosen for this programme. These states together constitute nearly 96% of area where pulses are grown.


National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (or, NREGA), later renamed as the “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act”, (MGNREGA), is an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’. It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

The act was first proposed in 1991 by P.V. Narasimha Rao. In 2006, it was finally accepted in the parliament and commenced implementation in 625 districts of India. Based on this pilot experience, NREGA was scoped up to covered all the districts of India from 1 April 2008. The statute is hailed by the government as “the largest and most ambitious social security and public works programme in the world”. In its World Development Report 2014, the World Bank termed it a “stellar example of rural development”.

The MGNREGA was initiated with the objective of “enhancing livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year, to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work”.Another aim of MGNREGA is to create durable assets (such as roads, canals, ponds, wells). Employment is to be provided within 5 km of an applicant’s residence, and minimum wages are to be paid. If work is not provided within 15 days of applying, applicants are entitled to an unemployment allowance. Thus, employment under MGNREGA is a legal entitlement.

MGNREGA is to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs). The involvement of contractors is banned. Labour-intensive tasks like creating infrastructure for water harvesting, drought relief and flood control are preferred.

National Food Security Mission

National Food Security Mission (NFSM) is a Central Scheme of GOI launched in 2007 for 5 years to increase production and productivity of wheat, rice and pulses on a sustainable basis so as to ensure food security of the country. The aim is to bridge the yield gap in respect of these crops through dissemination of improved technologies and farm management practices. The mission included in its components:  1. Restoring soil fertility and productivity at the individual farm level, 2.Creation of employment opportunities and enhancing farm level economy i.e. farm profits to restore confidence amongst the farmers, 3. Beneficiaries can choose to draw loans from the Banks, in which case subsidy amount prescribed for a particular component for which the loan availed will be released to the Banks. Otherwise it is directly allocated to state government which distributes among them, 4.  Promotion and extension of improved technologies i.e., seed, Integrated Nutrient Management including micronutrients, soil amendments, IPM and resource conservation technologies along with capacity building of farmers, 5.  Subsidies are also given for farm instruments and technologies such as Rotovators, Sprinkler Sets, Multi Crop planters etc., 6.  Farmers and their dependents are eligible for this scheme, 7. Productions of breeder seeds are done under ICAR while certified seeds and pulses are implemented by State and District agencies, 8.  For wheat and rice, these all are done by State Government agencies at district level or state level.

National Manufacturing Policy

Indian Government announced the National Manufacturing Policy in 2012. The policy aims to increase manufacturing sector’s share in India’s GDP from the current 16% to 25% by 2022. The National Manufacturing Policy aims to create 100 million additional jobs in the next decade.

Pradhan Mantri Jana Dhan Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana(PMJDY), Prime Minister’s Peoples’ Wealth Scheme, is a government scheme that aims to expand and make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance and pensions. This financial inclusion campaign was launched by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 28 August 2014. He had announced this scheme on his first Independence Day speech on 15 August 2014. Run by Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, under this scheme 1.5 Crore (15 million) bank accounts were opened on inauguration day. The Guinness Book of World Records recognised this achievement, stating: “The most bank accounts opened in one week as a part of the financial inclusion campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Government of India from August 23 to 29, 2014”. By 7 February 2018, over 31 crore (310 million) bank accounts were opened and over ₹745 billion (US$12 billion) were deposited under the scheme.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana is a government-run health insurance programme for the Indian poor. The scheme aims to provide health insurance coverage to the unrecognised sector workers belonging to the BPL category and their family members shall be beneficiaries under this scheme. It provides for cashless insurance for hospitalisation in public as well as private hospitals. The scheme started enrolling on April 1, 2008 and has been implemented in 25 states of India. A total of 36 million families have been enrolled as of February 2014. Initially, RSBY was a project under the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Now it has been transferred to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from April 1, 2015.

Every “below poverty line” (BPL) family holding a yellow ration card pays ₹30 registration fee to get a biometric-enabled smart card containing their fingerprints and photographs. This enables them to receive inpatient medical care of up to ₹30,000 per family per year in any of the empanelled hospitals. Pre-existing illnesses are covered from day one, for head of household, spouse and up to three dependent children or parents. In the Union Budget for 2012-13, the government made a total allocation of ₹1,096.7 crore (US$170 million) towards RSBY.

Ayushman Bharat

Ayushman Bharat Yojana or National Health Protection Scheme is a program which aims to providing a service to create a healthy, capable and content new India. It has two goals, one, creating a network of health and wellness infrastructure across the nation to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare services, and another is to providing insurance cover to at least 40 per cent of India’s population which is majorly deprived of secondary and tertiary care services. Indu Bhushan has been appointed as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The scheme has two components: upgrading the 150,000 sub-centres (for a 5,000 population level) into wellness clinics that provide 12 sets of services; and providing health security to 40% of India’s population requiring hospitalisation for up to a sum assured of ₹5 lakh per year per family. If implemented as integral components of a strategy to improve the abysmal status of India’s health-care system, these initiatives can help achieve the goals of equity, efficiency and quality.

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