THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 31 October 2020 The wrong link(Indian Express)

The wrong link(Indian Express)

Mains Paper 2: Governance 
Prelims level: Minimum Support Prices
Mains level: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their implementation


  • The recently enacted farm bills have triggered debate on the desirability of the MSP regime. It is a strange outcome.

MSP remains untouched:

  • The bills do not facilitate a policy to do away with Minimum Support Prices (MSPs).
  • All it does is allow free entry to agents who wish to set up markets—whether they be private individuals, producer collectives or cooperatives.
  • This means that the Food Corporation of India (FCI)and other associated agencies can procure in the traditional mandis, or in a new market established under this law—or in their own backyard.
  • So, the argument that if the mandis cease to exist, the procurement will also cease is, in fact, flawed.
  • But the staunchdefenders of the bills, instead of making this point and stopping at that, are questioning the MSP regime in the same breath.

Importance of MSPs:

  • The RBI's annual report of 2017-18 analyses the impact of MSP-based procurement on the food prices. It conclusively shows that MSP is a leading factor influencing the output prices of the farm produce in the entire country.
  • The issue of MSP is all the more important for rain-fed agriculturists.
  • Being deprived of irrigation, they don’t derive benefit from subsidies on electricity and fertiliser as their use is limited.
  • So, at the moment, the only state-support these farmers (primarily cotton and pulse producers) have is that of MSPs. This, though far from adequate, is crucial.


  • Above all, the debate on whom and how the state should support is an issue that should be addressed independent of the farm acts. Presenting these acts as an alternative to MSPs will not persuade farmers. And they cannot be blamed for that.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Sample Registration System (SRS) Statistical Report (2018), consider the following statements:
1. Fertility is likely to continue to decline and it is estimated that replacement TFR of 2.1 would soon be, if not already, reached for India as a whole.
2. The SRS reports show that sex ratio at birth in India, measured as the number of females per 1,000 males, declined marginally from 906 in 2011 to 899 in 2018.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: C

Mains Questions:

Q.1) Give a brief analysis of the problems and challenges associated with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime in India.