Saturday, October 13, 2012

 Rajasthan: It is currently the largest State of India covering nearly 10.4 per cent of total geographical area of the country. The state is spread over an area of 342239.74 sq. km and situated between 23° 3' and 30° 12' North Latitiude and 69° 30' and 78° 17' East Longitude Rajasthan is divided into 33 districts (and has 10 agro-climatic zones.), 188 Subdivision, 241 Tehsils, 237 panchayat Samitis and 41353 villages. It has a population of 56.5 million, out of which 43.2 million lives in villages.

Community: The population of Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste is 17.29% and 12.44% respectively against the national average of 16.33 and 8.01%. The sex ratio of Rajasthan is 921 as against 933 in India and has a population density of 200 person / sq. km.  The Bhils are largely concentrated in the area around Chittorgarh, Udaipur and Dungarpur in the south corner of the state constituting a formidable 39 percent of the state's tribal population. Regarded as warriors with fine inherent guerilla tactics, their archery skills find mention in the Hindu epics of Mahabharata and the Ramayana. With improved communication and rapid growth in the economy, the Bhil's of living is slowly changing from their original hunting and gathering existence to one near the mainstream. After the Bhils the Meenas are the second largest tribal group and the most widely spread throughout eastern Rajasthan. Most Meenas are cultivators and worship Lord Shiva. Another nomadic community is Rabari or Raika, of which there are two groups - Camel breeders (Marus) and the sheep breeders (Chakias). The Gurjars in the eastern part of the Rajasthan including Jaipur, Alwar, Bharatpur and Kota region dominate.At the Census 2011, Rajasthan had a literacy rate of 67.06% (80.51% male and 52.66% female).  Rajasthan's literacy rate is below the national average of 74.04% and its female literacy rate is the lowest in the country[1]

 Economy of the state: Present economic growth rate of Rajasthan is 4.3%[2]. Per capita income in Rajasthan is 768USD. Rajasthan’s growth rates in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) compare favourably with the national averages, although there has been some slippage over time. In the 1980s Rajasthan had the highest GSDP growth rates in the country, while in the 1990s, partly due to higher decadal growth rates in population, its rank has dropped to fourth place.

Status of agriculture: Agriculture in Rajasthan is primarily rainfed covering country’s 13.27 per cent of available land. Groundwater is getting depleted as well as polluted. In general, every third year is a drought year. The average rainfall of the State is 575 mm, out of which about 532 mm precipitation occurs in the rainy season i.e. June to September. The average rainfall of eastern Rajasthan is about 704 mm and that of western Rajasthan is about 310 mm which reflects a vast variation.[3]

Nearly 65 percent of its population (56.5 million) is dependent on agriculture. The class-size distribution of landholdings is highly skewed: 50 percent of total numbers of landholdings are marginal or small, measuring less than two hectares in size. These cover only 10 percent of total area under cultivation. The poor quality of land and the scarcity of water resources for irrigation are additional constraints even for holdings that are larger in size. Thus, land inequality is compounded by ecological fragility.

The economy of state is mostly depended on agriculture. 22.5 percent of state’s GDP comes from agriculture. Recognized as the largest state of India, Rajasthan has cultivated area of almost 20 million hectares but due to some unavoidable circumstances on 20% of the total cultivated area is irrigated.

70% of the agriculture land have only single crop in a year. In terms productivity and input cost on an average rabi production (gram) is 450 kgs per bigha, where as in kharif the average production is 450 kgs (soyabean) per bigha. And the input cost on an average is 70 % of the total income from the agriculture. In terms of inputs in agriculture, synthetic fertilisers mainly UREA and DAP are being used by 99.6% of the farmers.  Usage of urea and DAP has lead to increase the input cost and in recent scenario usage of hybrid seeds and has add an increase in the input cost, where as the productivity remains same. On an average there is increase in inputs (amount of input) by 10-12% every year and the increase in input cost by 25-30%. Low productivity of agriculture and the dimension of ecological risk make food security and subsistence the primary concern of farmers. Horticulture faces an impasse due to repeated market failures owing to lack of information and absence of co-operative action. Given the high levels of ecological stress upon land, water and forests in the State, compounded by the problem of encroachment by the more powerful interest groups, community response has often taken the shape of protest movements for control over land, water and forest.

Status of Entitlements (NREGA)
In terms of entitlements related to Livelihood NREGA is the main one. And the status of NREGA in Rajasthan[4] is as ( in 2012-12):

  • In total 3.70 million ( out of how many?)  people have received work under MGNREGA in the year 2012-12
  • 17.89% of SC households have received work
  • 25.4% of ST household have received work
  • 69.74% of the women have received work
  • Only 9% of HHs availed 100 days of work in 2012.
  • 10% of households submit written application for the work

In terms of social audit  in the year 2012-13 only 31 social audit has been taken place and officially reported and only in 2 districts out of 33 districts in the state[5]. Overall the status and accessibility of NREGA in the state is decreasing in last 3 years ( the no. of working days has reduced from 65 days to 36 days in a year 2012) and the key reasons behind this are: delay in payment ( average payment days is about 80-90 days) , less number of banks to facilitate the payment for the workers in rural area

[1] Rajasthan Hunman Development Report 2008 and Census report 2011
[3] Rajasthan Draft agriculture policy  2011
[4] Source: ( upaded information based on 2012-13 NREGA work)


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