• In order to ensure future increases in agriculture output and double the farmers’ income by 2022, focus should be on higher agriculture productivity especially in view of the limitation on expanding crop area.
  • Doubling the farmers income by 2022 is possible by leveraging technology-especially for high yielding and resistant variety seeds and efficient utilization of water for irrigation, adapt latest IT to increase resilience to nature by phasing sowing, watering and harvesting among others.
  • In order to increase the price benefits to the farmers, it is necessary that the farmers are provided timely market information and developing software applications, both computer and mobile based, that link farmers to consumers.
  • There is need to revisit the incentive structure of farming, to focus to reduce wastages and enhance earnings as well as to improve marketing of farm produce.
  • For efficient implementation of the National Agriculture Market, there is need to integrate the more than 550 regulated Mandis in the country by 2017 for which the States need to reform the APMC Act.

Some suggestions

  1. announcement of awards for those who do new technological innovations in agriculture sector.
  2. cold chain provision for horticulture and minor vegetables
  3. higher allocation in Budget for agriculture in the Budget as 52% of India’s population is based on agriculture and allied sector.
  4.  it should be made mandatory for Agriculture Universities to start Agriculture Marketing Research Department
  5. banks should be directed to implement scheme of differential rate of interest to agriculture sector




Why recently in news?

  • UP train accident à Indore Patna Express derails – more than 130 deaths — Worst train accident in six years.
  • A reason behind the high casualties in the recent train accident is that the Indore-Patna Express had ICF coaches, which are known for piling up in case of accidents.

ICF coaches vs LHB coaches

  • Currently, around 55,000 of ICF coaches of varying ages are in circulation whereas the number of LHB coaches is just about 5,000-8,000.
  • One of the shortcomings of these coaches is that the design is not meant for speeds above 80-90 kmph, unlike the LHB coaches, which are designed for speeds upwards of 120 kmph.
  • Unlike the ICF coaches, LHBs are especially designed to not pile up in case of accidents.
  • We need to switch over to LHB [Linke Holfmann Bush] coaches. LHB coaches do not pile up unlike the earlier coaches.
  • The design of the ICF coaches is of the 1950s’ vintage. The coaches get their name from the Integral Coach Factory at Perambur in Chennai, where they are built.
  • At present, Integral Coach Factory [ICF] designed coaches are widely used in most of the trains.
  • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had promised in the 2015-16 Budget that all trains would eventually have LHB coaches and that the ICF coaches would be phased out.
  • Premium trains such as the Rajdhanis and Shatabdis are made up with the modern Linke Hoffman Busch (LHB) which are immune to such disaster.

Anil Kakodkar panel on Railway safety

  • In 2012, the panel suggested to replace old ICF designed coaches to LHB coaches.
  • Kakodkar panel also suggested that ICF coaches are a serious safety risk and its manufacturing must be stopped immediately.
  • The panel had proposed funds to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore for complete switching over to LHB production in five years.

Role of ultrasonic flaw detection devices

  • The Railway Board has decided to increase the usage of ultrasonic flaw detection devices which are capable of data logging, saving and transferring scan to computers with the aim of improving the quality of rails and welds on tracks.
  • The Railway board also decided to go for integrated planning of maintenance schedules which at present is done by different departments such as civil engineering, signal and telecom and electrical at different times which has resulted in delays and disruption of traffic.
  • New coaches will be fitted with a coupler which will have anticlimbing features and old ICF coaches will be retrofitted with this couplers.

Reasons for train accident

  • Poor track maintenance including lack of proper fittings and ballast on the rail lines caused fractures
  • Rail tracks have deteriorated as the Railways is running more and heavier trains to raise higher revenues.

Thanks to

Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2017

According to UPSC’s calendar, The Civil Services Preliminary examination will be held on June 18, 2017. It is after the gap of three years, that the UPSC will be conducting the Prelims exam in June, rather than August. The preliminary examination for 2016, 2015 and 2014 was held during the month of August. For your understanding you can have a look at the 2016 syllabus as in all probability the syllabus for 2017 IAS Prelims exam will remain the same.

Exam 2016 Notification by UPSC