It is time to influence the 13th Plan
Planning is a massive and time consuming exercise in India, involving multi-agency and multi-stake holder consultations. Changing policies after formulation is not easy and there is no platform or forum for extensive deliberations, after the plan is finalised. All those interested in influencing the policy framework should therefore use the current plan document as the base paper for conferences, workshops, consultations, research and analysis and should start influencing the next plan. Policy discourses conducted without taking note of the Plan document often fails to yield results, argues Shri Suresh Kumar. Read More
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The blog by Sri Suresh Kumarji is rather a caution for all of us. But the mute question is how many of our recommendations were accepted in the past by the Planning Commission? I am sure many of us will agree with the observations of Dr. Mahesh Chander in this regard. To be frank I am not aware about the list of recommendations made by various committees pertaining to Agricultural Extension vis -a -vis the recommendations reached at the final stage in 12th plan. Even assuming that not a single recommendation has been accepted what is the alternative other than suggested by Sri Suresh Kumarji. We need to focus on how to influence the policy. I admit honestly I have no clue on this. I congratulate Sri Suresh Kumarji and AESA for bringing out such an important issue on Policy which need to be taken seriously by all the extension professionals.
Yet another useful piece of information regarding Plan formulation process & how one can participate in it towards to make Agricultural extension more effective. From 10th plan onwards, Livestock technology transfer or Animal husbandry extension was also created as a sub-group within Animal Husbandry & Dairying Group, for a much needed focused attention on livestock extension, which is said to be one of the most neglected aspect of livestock development paradigm. Here it is a point of departure when we segregate animal husbandry extension from agricultural extension, its need especially when we have predominantly crop -livestock mixed farming systems operating in the country. Also, there is a growing need that farming systems need to be made diverse & integrated than specialized and many countries have started moving towards integrated farming systems. Let us assume for the moment, we need separate livestock extension group to discuss specific issues concerning livestock development. Myself being part of the Livestock technology Transfer sub- group during 11th as well as 12th plan, I have not seen, any of the recommendations given being implemented or allocated budget utilized for the purpose. For instance, a meager Rs 15 crore was allocated to livestock extension component, during the 11th plan, that too it was for establishment of private veterinary clinics (Rs10 crore) which in true sense not an extension service activity but should come under the veterinary services, for which there is a separate sub- group. Ironically, only Rs 1000/-was spent out of the allocated Rs 15 crore towards the end of the 11th plan, for the want of the extension programmes under which the money could be spent National Dairy Plan has been launched separately, having extension component independent of the recommendations of the animal husbandry extension sub-group. To cut a long story short, what are the point of convergence when we have agricultural extension and livestock extension sub-groups as well as National Dairy Plan operated by NDDB, discussing extension services in India separately, without having any convergence What is the outcome of these recommendations May be we start thinking, how best we can formulate extension strategies collectively by avoiding discussing in isolation in a compartmentalized way, what is happening currently.
Congratulations for starting 2014 with a thought provoking blog by Suresh Kumarji. I totally agree with his views and approach. But I have a failure experience which worries me very much regarding this process. I am referring to the 11th and 12th Plan working group and sub group reports which have highlighted the need for co-ordinated research projects in Agricultural Extension, which still remains in paper.How can one carry this forward for a successful implementation stage?