Citizens' Issues
Nearly 70 percent of Indian farms are very small, census shows
As much as 67 percent of India's farmland is held by the marginal farmers with holdings below one hectare, against less than 1 percent in large holdings of 10 hectares and above, the latest Agriculture Census shows.
 
"The average size of the holding has been estimated as 1.15 hectare. The average size of these holdings has shown a steady declining trend over various Agriculture Censuses since 1970-71," an official statement said on Wednesday.
 
Nonetheless, the percentage of area that was actually operated under larger holdings was more than 10 times the actual land held at 10.59 percent, while for marginal farmers it was three times lower at 22.50 percent.
 
This clearly shows the stress that marginal farmers undergo in India.
 
Another cause for concern is that in 2010-11, the proportion of net irrigated area to net area sown was 45.70 percent, which shows that for half the country's farmland irrigation is yet to reach farmers, who rely entirely on rains for their crops.
 
Among the sources of irrigation, tube-wells was main source followed by canals.
 
While the cropped area in India is estimated at 193.76 million hectares, nine states accounted for 78 percent of it -- Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and West Bengal.
 
Out of the total 64.57 million hectare net irrigated area, 48.16 percent is accounted for by small and marginal holdings, 43.77 percent by semi-medium and Medium holdings and 8.07 percent by large holdings, the census shows.
 
Agriculture Census in India is conducted at five-yearly intervals for collection of information about structural aspects of farm holdings in the country. The basic unit for data is the area under operational holding. 
 
The Agriculture Census data is collected in three phases - first on primary subjects like the numbers and area of operational holdings, followed by a detailed one based on samples from 20 percent of villages on tenancy, land use, irrigation and finally on pattern of input use.
 
The concept of agricultural operational holdings does not include those holdings which are not operating any agricultural land and are engaged exclusively in subjects such as livestock, poultry and fishing. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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TRAI seeks comments on differential pricing of data services
Indian telecom watchdog TRAI on Wednesday said that differential pricing of data services by various operators might potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff and sought comments/opinion from stakeholders.
 
In a consultation paper, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said some service providers were offering differential data tariff, either free or discounted, on certain contents of particular websites, applications or platforms.
 
"The objective of offering such schemes is claimed to be the desire of various service/content/platform providers to enable consumers, especially the poor, to access certain content on the Internet free of charge," the sector regulator said.
 
It said potentially, both positive and negative effects arise from an economic and regulatory perspective where reduced rates are tied to specific content.
 
"On the one hand, it appears to make overall Internet access more affordable by reducing costs of certain types of content. On the other hand, several negative effects might ensue. Differential tariffs result in classification of subscribers based on the content they want to access. This may potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff," it added.
 
The consultation paper sought comments from industry stakeholders on whether the telecom service providers should be allowed to have differential pricing for data usage for accessing different websites, applications or platforms.
 
It also asked if differential pricing for data usage was permitted and the measures to be adopted to ensure that the principles of non-discrimination, transparency, affordable Internet access, competition and market entry and innovation were addressed.
 
Finally, it sought opinion on whether there were alternate methods, technologies or business models, other than differentiated tariff plans, available to achieve the objective of providing free Internet access to consumers.
 
The stakeholders could give their comments by December 30 and counter-comments by January 7, 2016.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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'Single woman driving car to be exempted from new traffic rule'
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that in the proposed scheme of things to limit cars with odd and even numbers on alternate days, any car carrying a patient or being driven by single women would be exempted.
 
Speaking after meeting union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Kejriwal said he received a positive response from the central government over the Delhi government's traffic controlling scheme.
 
"He (Rajnath Singh) said the central government and Delhi Police will cooperate," Kejriwal told reporters after the meeting.
 
Stating that the discussions included the point that certain exemptions would be required, he said: "If there is a patient in a car, it will be exempted, if a single woman is driving, it will also be exempted. If there is an emergency... he (Rajnath Singh) flagged out some issues and we said we will sort it. The response was positive."
 
Kejriwal said he also discussed about the Delhi government's plan to put CCTV cameras across the city.
 
"We said we want CCTVs in whole of Delhi, but for that we need help of Delhi Police because the feed will go to Delhi Police... we need police cooperation."
 
"We said there is nothing in the tussle (between Delhi Police and government), we must sit together and chart a course," he said.
 
On Tuesday, Delhi PWD Minister met union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari who assured him support.
 
Meanwhile, the Delhi Dialogue Commission held a day-long consultation with over a dozen providers to enable and expand ride-sharing, carpooling, and shuttle services for the citizens of Delhi.
 
A review meeting on the road rationing is slated on Thursday which will be chaired by Kejriwal.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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