Problems of Agrarian and Industrial unrest – UPSC

In this article, You will read Problems of Agrarian and Industrial unrest – UPSC IAS Exam.

Problems of Agrarian Unrest

  • Despite over seventy-three years of planning, there is enough unrest both in the agricultural and the industrial sectors. The agricultural industrial sector unrests are the manifestation of collective disillusionment, discontentment, and frustration of the agricultural and industrial workers all over the country.
  • Thus, the emphasis in the agricultural and industrial unrest is on “collective frustration and disillusionment on common issues of these groups in the society. The main issues may be minimum wages, employment insecurity, social amenities, etc.

Farm suicide:

  • Apart from labour unrest, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the total number of farm suicide since 1995 has reached the figure of 270940 (till 2016- 17). The state with the highest number of suicides is Maharashtra.
  • At least 10,349 people working in the farm sector ended their lives in 2018, accounting for 7.7 percent of the total number of suicides in the country which was 1, 34,516, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
  • According to the report, a vast majority of farmers who committed suicide were men.
  • The majority of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (17,972) followed by Tamil Nadu (13,896), West Bengal (13,255), Madhya Pradesh (11,775), and Karnataka (11,561). Delhi, which is the most-populous UT, has reported the highest number of suicides (2,526) among UTs, followed by Puducherry (500).

Causes of Agrarian Unrest

  • Feeling of Relative Deprivation
  • Foreign invasion, Atrocities and Exploitation
  • Destruction of cottage industries of the farmers
  • Exploitation of the Tribal
  • Coercion exercised to grow commercial crops
  • Increased burden of debt.
Problems of Agrarian and Industrial unrest
  • The number of unemployed persons in the country registered in the Employed Exchange was 4.37 lakh in 1952, which rose to over 42 million in 2011. Out of which about 30 million are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. There is greater unemployment in the agricultural sector than in industrial and tertiary sectors.
  • During the post-independence period, the main agrarian movements that occurred are:-
    • Bhil Movement, Dhulia (1967 – 75)
    • Telangana Movement (1967)
    • New Farmers Movement, Nasik (1980)
    • Bharatiya Kisan Union (UP, Haryana, Punjab) (1986)

Causes of Rural Unemployment

  • Unchecked growth of Population –
    • There is surplus labour in most of the rural families because of population explosion in some of the states of the country. In fact, there is more supply of labour than demand.
  • Seasonal Employment –
    • There is peak labour demand in agriculture at the time of sowing and harvesting, and the rest of the time is a generally a lean period then the agricultural workers are without work.
    • According to one estimate, the Indian cultivators do work for only 180 days and the dependent laborers even less than six months.
  • Small size of Holdings-
    • Agricultural unemployment is also caused due to the small size of holdings which may not absorb the family workers. In general, a cultivator in India remains unemployed for about four to six months in a year.
  • Technological Unemployment –
    • The technology of tractors and other agricultural machinery has increased in the agriculturally developed parts of the country. The tractors and harvesters are a displacement of agricultural workers.
  • Illiteracy and Inadequate Education –
    • The uneducated or semi-educated youth cannot find jobs in the secondary and tertiary sectors.
    • Symbol of low social status, the semi-educated youth considers agricultural activity work below dignity.
  • Dishonest Leadership –
    • Education and awareness have increased in the rural society as a result of which, the rural unskilled and skilled youths who are unemployed become agitated when they notice the poor leadership. Disappointed and disillusioned by this, the frustrated rural youth agitate and protest. This is also an important contributory factor of agricultural unrest.

Agricultural Unrest and Remedial Measures

In many parts of the country, agricultural unrest has taken shape of a serious menace and shaken the administration and the governments.

The Naxalite movement in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and parts of West Bengal has become a serious threat to the administration and governments.

Solutions –

  • The need for awareness about the self-employment in rural areas which can be found as improvements in allied sectors – Farming on modern scientific lines, Small scale industries, Agro – Industries, Forests – based industries, Dairy farming, Poultry farming, Village arts and crafts (Like handmade paper, pottery, leather goods, dying of textiles, carpets, rugs, etc.)
  • Development Initiatives which include infrastructure, technological intervention, policies friendly to farmers can increase the agricultural growth and farmer’s income.
  • Co-operative Farming can be a solution. Consolidation of land holdings also becomes important to raise farmer incomes. Through a land pooling system, farmers can reap benefits both in input procurement and output marketing.
  • The creation of a competitive, stable, and unified national market is needed for farmers to get better prices.

The government of India and the state governments have taken a number of steps to reduce the unrest of agricultural workers.

  • The first measure adopted to contain rural unemployment was the introduction of the Prime Minister’s cash program in 1972-73. In 1980, the “Kam Ke Badle Anaj” Programme was introduced.
  • The IRDP and Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) in April 1989 were very significant to tackle the growing rural unemployment.
  • The Government of Uttar Pradesh has organized the Bhoomi Sainik force to create work and to help landless labourers to lead a life of economic self-sufficiency. Under the scheme, one Sainik gets one acre of land for afforestation. The Adarsh Gram Yojana also provides employment to the rural unemployed.
  • Double the Farmers’ Income by 2022 – This goal is central to promote welfare, reduce agrarian distress and bring parity between incomes of farmers as compared with the non-agricultural professions.
  • In recent years, the Government has taken multiple steps such as PM Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Pm Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), E- NAM (Electronic National Agricultural Market), Neem coated Urea, Fertilizer Subsidy, etc.
  • The Priority Sector Lending (PSL) structure of Banks has been revised upwards every year and made Agriculture a major component of PSL.
  • The 2018 Budget announced MSPs at 50% of the production cost. It also proposed to launch “Operations Green” on the lines of the milk sector’s “Operation Flood”. 2019 budget also announced the PM- KISAN support scheme for farmers owing up to 2 hectares of land.
  • 2020 Budget – Krishi Udan scheme to boost agricultural exports in both international as well as domestic routes, Kisan Rail to be set up in PPP mode for perishable goods, One product for one district, so that focus is given at district level for horticulture to gain momentum, focus on Zero Budget farming, etc.
  • Ryuthu Bandhu Scheme of Telangana and the KALIA Scheme of Odisha are some examples of states that have introduced farm support schemes.

Problems of Industrial Unrest

  • Industrial Unrest means the collective discontentment among all workers in different industries in the country on issues of minimum wages, safety measures, the security of employment, and certain intermural and extramural facilities that is referred to as the problem of “Industrial Unrest”.
  • In other words, it is a collective frustration and disillusionment on common issues of the groups in the society. Industrial unrest, in fact, means conflict between employees and workers in industries.
  • The industrial workers display their protest in the form of strikes, Hartals, Bandh, slow tactics, rallies, and demonstrations. The employers or industrialists show their might by retrenchment, dismissal, lockouts, etc. Industrial unrest causes an industrial recession, a decline in production, and national income.

Causes of Industrial Unrest

  • The upsurge in the birth rate or rapid growth of population and the consequent supply of surplus labour.
  • The hire and fire policy of the industrialists and employers.
  • The cyclical unemployment in industries, which is caused because of ups and downs in trade and business.
  • Large scale migration of the people from rural to urban and industrial areas.
  • Losses incurred by Industries.
  • Slow growth of industries and competition with foreign industries.
  • Lack of welfare and social security.
  • Rising wages and low productivity
  • Liberalisation and Globalisation.

Role of technology in industrial unrest

  • In addition to the above factors, the introduction of new technology also leads to technological unemployment. The automation or other technological changes in industry results in a reduction of manpower necessary to produce a finished product.
  • Throughout the course of economic development, particularly since the industrial revolution man has been forced to adjust to the process of mechanization. The industry has diminished an average man’s economic security. Every advancement in technology leads to the displacement of human labor.
  • Thus, improvements in machine technology, over-production, social emphasis upon monetary success, and the inevitable depression- all these make for crippling disruption in the demand of labor which ultimately leads to industrial unrest.

The Maruti Suzuki India Limited Plant (MSIL) faced a serious labor problem of unrest in July 2012. The company accused 147 workers, some of them under section 302 of IPC of killing the HR manager of the industry.

Remedial Measures

  • The solution to the unrest, however, may not be found unless the growth of the population, the supply of the population, and the supply of labour are checked.
  • The industrial unrest may be reduced appreciably if the great emphasis is put on –
    • Creation of self-employment opportunities.
    • The augmentation of productivity and income levels of the working poor, and
    • The shift in emphasis from the creation of relief type of employment to building up of durable productive assets.

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