Daily Answer Writing Session - 02_February _2022

Posted by R&D, KingMakers IAS Academy on Feb 2, 2022 10:42:31 PM


GS 3: Agriculture

Question 1: What is Crop diversification? Discuss the Patterns of crop diversification in India and list out the challenges before crop diversification.

Approach: Introduction- Patterns of crop diversification- problems- way forward- conclusion.


●      Crop diversification is intended to give a wider choice in the production of a variety of crops in a given area so as to expand production related activities on various crops and also to lessen risk.

●      Crop diversification in India is generally viewed as a shift from traditionally grown less remunerative crops to more remunerative crops.

Patterns of crop diversification

●      With the advent of modern agricultural technology, especially during the period of the Green Revolution in the late sixties and early seventies, there is a continuous surge for diversified agriculture in terms of crops, primarily on economic considerations.

The crop pattern changes, however, are the outcome of the interactive effect of many factors which can be broadly categorised into the following five groups:

●      Resource related factors covering irrigation, rainfall and soil fertility.

●      Technology related factors covering not only seed, fertiliser, and water technologies but also those related to marketing, storage and processing.

●      Household related factors covering food and fodder self-sufficiency requirements as well as investment capacity.

●      Price related factors covering output and input prices as well as trade policies and other economic policies that affect these prices either directly or indirectly.

●      Institutional and infrastructure related factors covering farm size and tenancy arrangements, research, extension and marketing systems and government regulatory policies.

The major problems and constraints in crop diversification are primarily due to the following reasons with varied degrees of influence:

●      Over 117 m/ha (63 percent) of the cropped area in the country is completely dependent on rainfall.

●      Sub-optimal and over-use of resources like land and water resources, causing a negative impact on the environment and sustainability of agriculture.

●      Inadequate supply of seeds and plants of improved cultivars.

●      Fragmentation of land holding less favouring modernization and mechanisation of agriculture.

●      Poor basic infrastructure like rural roads, power, transport, communications etc.

●      Inadequate post-harvest technologies and inadequate infrastructure for post-harvest handling of perishable horticultural produce.

●      Very weak agro-based industry.

●      Weak research - extension - farmer linkages.

●      Inadequately trained human resources together with persistent and large scale illiteracy amongst farmers.

●      Host of diseases and pests affecting most crop plants.

●      Poor database for horticultural crops.

●      Decreased investments in the agricultural sector over the years.

India, being a vast country of continental dimensions, presents wide variations in agro climatic conditions. Such variations have led to the evolution of regional niches for various crops. Historically, regions were often associated with the crops in which they specialise for various agronomic, climatic, hydro-geological, and even, historical reasons. But, in the aftermath of technological changes encompassing bio-chemical and irrigation technologies, the agronomic niches are undergoing significant changes.

Source: diversification%20in%20India%20is,crops%20to%20 more%20remunerative%20crops.&text=Crop%20 diversification%20and%20also%20the,to%20 drought%20or%20less%20rains.


GS-3: Indian Economy, mobilisation of resources, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Question 2: The Indian ports and shipping industry play a vital role in sustaining growth in the country’s trade and commerce. In this context, what are the challenges faced by the Indian shipping industry and suggest some measures to tackle it.

Approach: Introduction- Shipping industry in India- challenges- way forward.


●      India is the sixteenth-largest maritime country in the world with a coastline of about 7,517 kms.

●      The Indian Government plays an important role in supporting the ports sector.

Shipping industry in India

●      According to the Ministry of Shipping, around 95% of India's trading by volume and 70% by value is done through maritime transport. 

●      India has 12 major and 205 notified minor and intermediate ports.

●      Under the National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala, six new mega ports will be developed in the country.

●      India has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100% under the automatic route for port and harbour construction and maintenance projects.

●      India’s key ports had a capacity of 1,534.91 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in FY20. In FY21, all key ports in India handled 672.60 million tonnes (MT) of cargo traffic.

●      In FY22 (until October 2021), cargo traffic handled by India’s major ports reached 406.98 MT, a 14.59% increase over the same period last year.


●      Equipment incapable of handling large volumes, deficient dredging capabilities, outdated navigational aids and IT systems, lack of proper logistics companies, lack of proper equipment handling training and technical expertise.

●      Port maintenance is a major problem, it is surpassed by overall infrastructure issues.

●      It's difficult for seafaring cargo to be shipped off in time if the cargo has problems reaching the port in the first place. Poor hinterland connectivity, road, and railway problems make it challenging to export goods in a timely manner in India.

●      Years and years of underinvestment have left our country with a bad need for infrastructure across various fields like roads, railways, ports, airports, telecommunications, and electricity.

●      The sizes of vessels are getting bigger owing to the rise in demand for shipping services. While it might sound like an improved trend, many ports in India are still struggling to keep up, and many of these large vessels cannot be called on into most of the ports.

Way forward

●      Several measures were adopted to overcome challenges due to the container shortage, which included an increase in the import of empty containers, improving turnaround times of containers through tracking of dwell times and releasing of abandoned or seized containers and increasing duty free stay of containers.

●      There is an intense need for integration – connecting port authorities, shipping lines, road transports authorities, railways authorities and inland waterways systems.

●      Too many authorities with too many rules are hampering smooth operations. There is a growing need for single document clearance of cargo and this global trend needs to be incorporated in India and requires advancement of technology and integration of relevant regulations bringing in investors to India may have to be independent of the ports entirely.

●      The Indian Maritime Sector is regarded as less competitive and attractive in the Maritime World due to its poor productivity, inefficient process and procedures, less chances for hub status due to inadequate drafts and away from international sea routes, and high freight cost.

●      Indian ports should improve port service quality and intermodal infrastructure, which can efficiently serve the containerized foreign trade from door to door in order to make Indian ports more attractive and cost effective to its customers. 


Topics: UPSC, IAS/IPS/IFS/IRS, Civil Services Examination, UPSC Mains, Mains practice question

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