This article includes the details of working group reports related to water, agriculture and environment by the Government of India
The Twelfth Five Year Plan of the Government of India commences during the year 2012-13. This plan has been developed following the recommendations of a number of Working Groups covering 26 different areas. All the reports, as well as the composition of the working groups and steering committees are available online on the Planning Commission website .
The working group reports relevant to water, agriculture and environment have been downloaded and attached in this article. A short description of the salient points of each of the attached reports is also presented.
The Twelfth Plan encourages traditional water harvesting systems like the Beris of Rajasthan
1. Agriculture: This topic is further subdivided into 12 working groups. These twelve reports have been downloaded
Disadvantaged farmers, including women
The working group defines disadvantaged farmers as agricultural workers, owner cultivators and tenants/sharecroppers involved in farming, fishery and livestock/poultry farming who face economic, social, or ecological disadvantage. The several recommendations include a collective approach in agriculture, allotment of land, greater inputs in terms of awareness, education and infrastructure support, integrated approaches for credit delivery, training, risk mitigation through insurance and market linkages.
Animal husbandry & dairying
The report identifies access to capital, provision of insurance, livestock extension, access to organised markets, degrading pastures, fodder deficit and conservation of indigenous breeds as the primary challenges facing this sector. It recognises the importance of small ruminants as a source of livelihood to the landless. It recommends improvement of breeds, provision of quality fodder and health care, a mission on pig production in the NE region, conservation of indigenous breeds, extension of immunization programme, and other measures to combat these challenges.
Natural resource management and rain-fed farming
The report suggests means to support hitherto neglected rain-fed agriculture with suitable agricultural policy mechanisms, research and extension systems and credit and market support.It details mechanisms to strengthen local production systems, improve rainfall use efficiency, tap agronomic and management innovations, strengthen livestock systems, and invest in local institutional capacities.It argues for a National Program on Rain-fed Farming, which is elaborated upon in the report.
Outreach of institutional finance, cooperatives and risk management
This report examines the estimation and provision of institutional credit for agriculture, the ability of cooperatives to participate in enhanced credit dispensation, the status and role of agricultural risk management programmes and an assessment of MFIs as a delivery mechanism for agricultural credit.
Performance of agriculture sector and policy initiatives
The working group recognises the need for policies adapted to new demand patterns, retail mechanisms, technologies, institutional innovations and globalization. Its recommendations include financial incentives for farm mechanization and development of a national statistical database.
Horticulture and plantation crops
The report projects an average growth rate of 6.5% for the 12th plan period. A mix of changes in strategy and resource utilisation, schemes of horticulture development, development of reliable horticulture nurseries, technology solutions at all stages of production, harvest and marketing, improved cargo handling, risk mitigation, and sector reforms are recommended to achieve this goal.
The goals and instruments of decentralised planning in the agriculture sector as set out in the Eleventh Five Year plan are discussed. Measures to improve the implementation of C-DAP and state agriculture plans are suggested. The report also emphasises a regional strategy based on agro-climatic zones.
Agricultural marketing infrastructure, secondary agriculture and policy required for internal and external trade
This report aims to enable the more efficient marketing of produce so as to benefit farmers, reduce waste, and improve efficiency. The recommendations presented include alternative marketing models, innovations and institutional support, improving efficiency and reducing transaction costs, reducing wastage, utilisation of residue and biomass, and changes to internal and external trade policy.
Agricultural research and education
The research strategy proposed by the working group includes accelerating technology flow and strengthening extension and outreach programmes.It identifies several mechanisms to increase the adoption and spread of new technologies, proposes initiatives to enhance technology development, identifies areas with research potential and outlines policy recommendations for implementation.
The report of the working group pertaining to 'Development and management of fisheries and aquaculture' is downloaded. It acknowledges that uncontrolled fishing has led to an over exploitation of marine resources. It recommends focusing on freshwater aquaculture, fisheries in saline and waterlogged areas, improving landing and berthing facilities, uplifting economic conditions of fishing communities, improving the database, strengthening the National Fisheries Development Board as some of the measures required to meet the 6% growth rate projected for the Twelfth Plan Period
Outreach of institutional finance, cooperatives and risk management
2. Environment and forests
This section has 6 working groups and six sub-groups under the working groups. All available reports have been downloaded.
Forests and sustainable management of natural resources
Forestry, including watershed interventions in forest areas and improving biomass in forests, is instrumental in increasing land productivity and improving the incomes of landless people. In order to meet these overarching goals, the working group recommends an array of strategies and thrust areas including measures to combat desertification, rehabilitation of degraded areas, green belt development for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, training and capacity building, strengthening financial and institutional mechanisms, and using technology for monitoring and improving forests.
Wildlife ecotourism and animal welfare
The working group divides this issue into the three broad themes of wildlife management, ecotourism and livelihoods, and animal welfare. Fragmentation of land is seen as a primary threat to wildlife management initiatives. The need for improving working conditions of field staff, involving local communities, encouraging innovation and technological advances are encouraged.
International cooperation and law
Transboundary issues with other countries in the sub-continent, and the country's position regarding various international instruments are delineated in this report. It recommends setting up of new institutional mechanisms for international cooperation studies,strengthening existing institutions like FSI, IGNFA and ICFRE, funding to NGOS to work on policy issues related to international instruments, capacity building of forest officers, and strengthening cooperation at international and regional levels on forest issues.
Fodder and pasture management
This report aims at developing fodder resources and pasture including developing high yielding fodder species and rehabilitating degraded grazing lands. Its recommendations for implementation include the formulation of a national policy on pasture development, mapping of ecologically sensitive grasslands and development of rehabilitation models, productivity enhancement of degraded forests, development of fodder blocks in forest fringe villages, creation of fodder banks, development of seed banks, and promotion of agro-forestry initiatives.
NTFP and their sustainable management
Non-timber forest products contribute 20-40% of the annual income of forest dwellers, and provide them with subsistence during the lean seasons. The working group recommends resource management, improving marketing opportunities, capacity building, expediting research and development, and formulating a national level comprehensive body to safeguard existing resources, and increase their livelihood potential.
Strategies to meet the challenges faced by the forestry and wildlife sector, and to ensure the ecological security of the country are detailed in the report. These strategies address finances, participatory management, urban forestry, afforestation, capacity building, and regulation among others.
Forestry institutional & technology management
Increasing the productivity and hence the economic contribution of forests in order to enhance GDP growth is the goal of this report.It recommends greater functional and financial autonomy for ICFRE and its institutes, strengthening of forestry research, synergising JFMs with other Panchayati Raj institutions, establishing a mechanism for forest resource management with a central node at FSI, and motivating forestry personnel with suitable incentives.
The report of the subgroup on environment considers the current status of the national environment policy and various schemes and programmes. Its recommendations for the Twelfth Plan address the issues of air pollution and management, water pollution, solid waste management, environment impact assessment, pollution abatement strategies, environmental education, environmental economics, and international cooperation.
The working group assesses the vulnerability of agriculture, water resources, forests and other natural ecosystems, coastal areas, health, and economies to climate change. It recommends the integration of NAPCC into central sector plans, as well as making other sector-specific recommendations including for coastal areas, infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry and climate change assessment.
3. Housing and urban development
The report pertaining to environmental sustainability of Indian cities has been attached. In addition to these, there are seven other reports by the working groups and one by the steering committee. The recommendations of the working group on environmental sustainability of Indian cities are centered around the key themes of land use,water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, energy efficiency, and air quality management. Goals pertaining to these themes have been established, the existing status analysed, and attainability of the goals indicated.
4. Power and energy
The report titled 'power' has been attached. The capacity addition during the 11th plan is reviewed.A demand projection of 1403 BU till the end of the 12th plan, and of 1993 BU till the end of the 13th Plan has been estimated. A capacity addition of 63,781 Mw, 9,204 MW and 2,800 MW for thermal, hydro, and nuclear power has been estimated for the 12th plan period. In addition, coal demand and availability, retirement of old plants, increasing efficiency of existing plants, renewable energy, peaking and reserve plants, supercritical thermal units, transmission grids,transmission of renewable energy, exchange of power with neighbouring countries, system operation, the implementation of 'reliability standards', ancillary services such as voltage support, and rural electrification are some of the issues dealt with.
5. Water resources
This section has 8 working groups, each of which have created a report. All the reports are attached, in addition, the steering committee also has a report on water and sanitation which has been attached.
Rural domestic water and sanitation
The report encourages efforts to achieve full population coverage in all habitations, with an aim of covering at least 55% of rural households with access to piped water supply with a minimum of 55lpcd. Building capacity of local communities, attention to water quality, increased participation, ensuring sustainability of source through appropriate interventions, cost recovery to ensure sustainability of systems, convergence with TSC, provision of sanitation facilities in educational institutions and promoting hygiene education are some of the recommendations in this report.
Urban and industrial water supply and sanitation
The report begins by acknowledging that urban and industrial India impact the availability of water and discharge of waste, with its resultant health implications. It lays down guidelines for the quantum of water supplied, and access to drinking water. Distribution losses, waste disposal, sewage treatment are recognised as challenges, and interventions recommended to meet them.
Water governance: The following reports are presented:
Approach paper to model bill for State Water Regulatory System Act
The approach paper discusses the contents of the Model Water Regulatory System Bill, the rationale for various features of the Bill, and procedures for operationalisation of the Bill.
Background and rationale of the draft model bill for the conservation, protection and regulation of groundwater, 2011
Groundwater is extensively used in the country with 84% of addition to the net irrigated areas is due to groundwater, and most households and industries relying on it for water supply. This has resulted in over abstraction of our groundwater resources. In an attempt to curtail this misuse, and to ensure the sustainability of this common pool resource, this bill has been drafted. Its goals are regulation of the over extraction of groundwater, promoting community based groundwater management, promoting conservation and recharge, preventing contamination, and protecting areas of land crucial for groundwater recharge.
Draft model bill for the conservation, protection and regulation of groundwater
This presents the text of the draft groundwater bill, the background and rationale of which are discussed earlier
Draft national water framework act
This report explains the rationale for and nature and scope of a national water law. The text of the draft national water framework act is then presented.
Major and medium irrigation and command area development
The report identifies implementation strategies that lead to cost and time overruns as a chief cause of concern for major and medium irrigation projects. The working group recommends reclamation of waterlogged areas, state adoption of the participatory irrigation management act, and various institutional reforms aimed at improving utilization of existing facilities,improving water use efficiencies, and completing ongoing projects in time.
Minor irrigation and watershed management
The working group brings attention to the policy neglect of rain-fed areas with the attendant challenges met with in these areas. It recommends continuing and expanding the Integrated Watershed Management Programme with some modifications, recommends the restoration of traditional irrigation systems, data collection, enhancing water use efficiency and strengthening of the NRAA among other measures.
Sustainable groundwater management
The report recommends use of field estimations at the micro-watershed level with validation at a regional level for recharge estimation. Strengthening of data elements through project based studies, assessment of groundwater both in terms of quality and of quantity, aquifer mapping, a comprehensive plan for participatory groundwater management, creation of state-level institutions to manage groundwater, strengthening of the present groundwater monitoring network and the constitution of a system at the apex level to ensure groundwater governance are among the recommendations of this report.
Water database development and management
This report reviews the present system of collection and dissemination of water-related data. Agro-meteorological data, water resources potential ,water utilisation, water consumption, irrigation are some of the data sets that are reviewed by the working group.It recommends the constitution of a steering committee, initiating institutional arrangements, and training personnel. Developing procedures to ensure collection of data, initiating sample surveys, and commissioning research organisations to collate and analyse the data collected are among the recommendations.
Flood management and region specific issues
The report begins with an overview of the constitutional provisions about flood management and the structural and non-structural measures of flood management presently undertaken in India.Other region-specific issues are also discussed. The report recommends a range of techno-cratic interventions including modernisation of the flood forecasting network , an automatic reservoir release information system, construction of reservoirs, a basin integrated flood management approach and use of new construction materials.
Download the reports below: