Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Granted Drone Use Permission | UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Granted Drone Use Permission: Current Affairs 

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Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Granted Drone Use Permission

Relevance: Economy

Context: The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has granted conditional exemption for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) usage to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoAFW)

 

Whats the News?

  • The permission allows drone deployment by the MoAFW for remote sensing data collection in agricultural areas of 100 districts of the country, for Gram Panchayat level yield estimation, under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
  • The exemption shall be valid from the one year from the date of issue of the permission letter or until the operationalisation of the Digital Sky Platform, whichever is earlier. However, this exemption shall be valid only if all conditions and limitations are strictly adhered to.

About Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS):

  • It is an unmanned aircraft which is piloted from a remote pilot station.
  • It helps in providing real-time data.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

  • Launch Year: 2016
  • Objective:
  • To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
  • To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
  • To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
  • To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.

 

  • Features:
  • There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
  • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
  • The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
  • There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
  • Earlier, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping was done to limit Government outgo on the premium subsidy. This capping has now been removed and farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
  • The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
  • PMFBY is a replacement scheme of NAIS / MNAIS.
  • There will be exemption from Service Tax liability of all the services involved in the implementation of the scheme. It is estimated that the new scheme will ensure about 75-80 per cent of subsidy for the farmers in insurance premium.
  • To address the demand of farmers, the scheme has been made voluntary for all farmers from Kharif 2020. 

 


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