AFPOH Project Has Been Recognised As An AgriTech And Tech Startup By MeitY Startup Hub

Association For People of Haryana (AFPOH) is a unique Techno Legal Project that was started by Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) in the year 2007. Subsequently, PTLB started managing many of the Techno Legal Projects of P4LO and AFPOH Project was also taken up by PTLB. In the year 2019, PTLB Projects LLP was registered and it was recognised as a Techno Legal Startup by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Govt of India. Also in 2019 AFPOH has been recognised as an Association of Person (AOP) by Income Tax Department, Govt of India.

Meanwhile, the AFPOH Project was also recognised as an AgriTech and tech startup by MeitY Startup Hub, an initiative of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India. So our AFPOH Project has got twin shots in the arm from both DPIIT and Meity. This has infused a new enthusiasm among the team of AFPOH Project that is ready to take up challenges faced by Indian farmers, rural communities, AgriTech entrepreneurs, etc.

Now we are working upon the next level of development and growth of AFPOH Project. We are planning to use Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Data Analysis, etc for our AFPOH Project. The Techno Legal Center Of Excellence For Internet Of Things (TLCOEIOT) In India would extend its Techno Legal expertise in these and other fields.

We are also looking forward to various collaborations and partnerships for our AFPOH Project. Interested Angel Investors, AgriTech startups, PSUs and Govt Departments, etc are requested to contact us with their proposals in this regard. Let us work together to make Indian agriculture world class and ensure food security and food safety for India.

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AFPOH Projects Got Support Of IoT, Artificial Intelligence And Other Tech

We at AFPOH have been religiously and rigorously working upon our projects in a time bound manner. So far we have out performed all our deadlines and we are tasting small victories and success one after another. In this article I am discussing about two recent enabling and empowerment actions that would make AFPOH project not only unique but a potential tool to empower rural communities, farmers, marginalised segment, etc in India.

The first enabling feature that has been added to AFPOH Project is the support of the exclusive Techno Legal Center Of Excellence For Internet Of Things (TLCOEIOT) In India. With this Internet of Things, Indian Agriculture and rural empowerment would be managed in a Techno Legal manner by AFPOH. The TLCOEIOT would also help AFPOH for areas like Artificial Intelligence, Smart Cities, Machine Learning, Big Data and Data Analysis, Data Security and Cyber Security, Privacy and Data Protection, etc that no other institution is doing as on date.

The second enabling feature is that AFPOH has been made an administrator at the exclusive Techno Legal ICT and Smart Cities Forum of India. This would allow AFPOH to play a pro active role in the use and implementation of ICT for agriculture and other projects of AFPOH rather than being just mere receptor of Techno Legal support from other projects. For the sake of clarification about the objectives and projects of AFPOH, the project is managing many Techno Legal aspects and agriculture, rural empowerment, telelaw, access to justice, resilience for all, disaster risk reduction, water harvesting and management, solar and renewable energy management, etc are just some of the examples. We would discuss about the projects of AFPOH one by one in due course of time.

Some very sensitive and crucial projects are also in pipeline that we cannot discuss or disclose at this stage. But rest assured, we would not let any stakeholder down and soon the most extensive and effective Techno Legal exercise to make Indian agriculture and rural communities empowered would start. We would cut through all rhetoric and lies and would deliver only what is true and is required.

We are also open to collaboration, partnerships, associations, etc with national and international stakeholders. Startups, companies, govt institutions, govt departments, PDUs, etc are most welcome to have partnership with us so that collectively we can make a big change.

We have pushed AFPOH project ahead of its turn under our New India Model because India is facing some serious man made and natural threats. For instance, we have a water crisis and emergency and the same must be tackled on priority. Similarly, we have a situation where farmers are committing suicide and are dying due to hunger because the policies and implementation of existing schemes are not proper. There is a complete lack of political will to tackle this situation and in these circumstances AFPOH was given an out of turn promotion so that these grave dangers can be mitigated, if not eliminated in the short term. In the long term ,we would eliminate all these vices with proper support of Central and State Governments.

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Data Mismatch Denies Farmers In UP PM Kisan Scheme Funds

In a digital economy data is the power and government cannot take data creation and its management issues lightly. In India we have Digital India project that is a technology driven project and is dependent upon robust data creation and data management practices. However, till May 2019 data related issues are creating trouble for Indian government.

The latest to this series is revelation that 1.5 lakh farmers in Uttar Pradesh (UP) are yet to get PM Kisan Scheme Funds. UP Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Sahi said funds under PM KISAN scheme could not be transferred to about 1.5 lakh farmers owing to “data mismatch”, which he said will be corrected soon.

According to the Minister the UP government has sent data of 1.56 crore farmers to the Centre, of which 1.11 crore farmers have already got the first instalment of the Kisan Samman Nidhi. In the country, nearly three crore farmers have got the first instalment. UP’s share of partnership in this scheme stands at 38 per cent according to the Minister.

The PM-KISAN scheme also aims to supplement financial needs of small and marginal farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of each crop cycle.

Farmers all over India are protesting for one reason or other. For instance, recently farmers in Haryana have blockaded the National Highway (NH) 73 for non payment of enhanced compensation by BJP government for the acquisition of their lands by Congress government in 2013. Similarly, farmers in MP have complained that Congress government had promised to waive farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh ahead of the Assembly elections. Now after being elected, the government has failed to fulfill its promise.

Farmers have other problems too. For instance water shortage has become a crisis now and a comprehensive Techno Legal Water Policy of India 2019 is urgently needed. Similarly, Digital Village project of Modi government is also lacking actual implementation and skills shortage. To resolve problems of farmers and rural communities, PTLB has launched a TeleLaw Project that would become a voice for marginalised people of India and ensure Access to Justice (A2J) for them.

We would update our readers about this issue soon.

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Digital Village Project Of Modi Government Is Very Promising If Actually Implemented

Digital India project of Narendra Modi Government is yet to take off as right now it is just on books and is part of political rhetoric only. Actual Digital India implementation is still missing even in May 2019. However, the objectives and components of Digital India are very promising and can make India a Global Leader for Digital Economy. What is required is removal of bureaucratic hurdles and development of political will to actually implement various projects under Digital India.

One of such projects is Digital Village project. We are not talking about the political jargon that is often found in the media where a village is adopted and declared as a digital village. We all know the condition of such adopted digital villages in India. They are in ruin and they have nothing digital about them. This has happened as Indian Government was more interested in browny points that actual growth and devekopment of India. For the past 5 years, Modi Government has failed on all fronts of economic development.

Let ByGones BeGone and let us focus upon coming 5 years that can be used by Modi Government to transform India into a Digital Economy. We at AFPOH are very much interested in rural empowerment, farmers’ empowerment and empowerment of rural communities. Thus, when we read about Digital Village project of Modi Government, we were excited to hear about it.

We were excited because it is not just a political jargon but it has elements that if actually implmented can make Digital Village a wonderful project. For instance, Digital Village initiative would utilise broadband connectivity provided through BharatNet for providing health and financial services, skill development programmes and education to villagers across the country. BharatNet is an existing infrastructure and so is common service centres (CSCs) that would provide low-cost WiFi connectivity to all villagers to facilitate a service delivery ecosystem. To start with, the Government hopes to provide services in over 700 villages—one in each district of the country—within the first three years, before extending it across the country. So Government’s proposal makes some sense as it is not a political rhetoric.

Now the only concern pertains to actual implementation of Digital Village project. The first key offering under the project would be a platform for different educational courses through collaboration with the National Institute for Electronics and IT (NIELIT) and Tally Solutions, leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provider. In health services, the focus would be on providing primary care to citizens and cattle in the villages. In primary care services, patients can avail doctors’ advice on non-emergency medical problems that do not require doctor’s location visit through tele-consultation, where the consultation would take place through video conferencing. Government is also looking forward to arrange a system through which the villagers can avail the consultation of an expert veterinarian from the centralised location for their cattle. Under skill services to be imparted across the villages under Digital Village platform, common service centres would primarily focus on skills pertaining to automotive service technician, handset repair engineering, field technician for home appliances and electrical technician. As far as the financial services are concerned, the idea will be to provide access to useful and affordable financial products and services to each individual of the villages by creating awareness through the financial awareness inclusion programme. While Government would try and deliver these services, it would also look at more eco- friendly and sustainable energy resources such as powering streetlights through solar panels. So the implementation plan for Digital Village is good, at least on paper and till now.

This a a very ambitious and expertise oriented project and AFPOH is committed to extend its Techno Legal expertise for Digital Village project. We wish all the best to Modi Government in this regard and we are optimistic that Digital Village project would be a big hit.

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Kamal Nath Government Has Failed To Fulfill Its Loan Waiver Promise So Far

It is a common trend among Indian politicians to first make false election promises and then conveniently forget about them after being elected. Not a single political party of India has fulfilled its promises and commitments made to farmers so far. This has resulted in commission of suicide by farmers on the one hand and mass agitation and violence on the other hand.

For instance, Madhya Pradesh’s Congress government had promised to waive farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh ahead of the Assembly elections. As they have been elected now they have no urgency and desire to fulfill its commitments. As a result farmers in the state are holding a three-day protest to press the Kamal Nath government to fulfill its loan waiver promise. Milk and vegetable supplies in Madhya Pradesh are likely to be affected due to this.

Update 30-05-2019: MP Govt has decided to form a State-level committee to sort out farmers’ issues and farmers have called off the strike.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) state chief Anil Yadav said the promise was yet to be fulfilled, as many farmers were still getting notices from banks threatening to declare them defaulters. The farmers are also asking for implementation of the Swaminathan panel recommendations and minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.

Protesters said supplies were disrupted in Dewas, Dhar, Ujjain and Rajgarh on the first day of the stir on Wednesday. State Agriculture Minister Sachin Yadav met the protesting farmers on Tuesday evening, but failed to pursuade them to end the demonstration. BKU leaders insisted that they wanted to meet the Chief Minister to discuss their demands.

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Farmers Under The Banner Of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Haryana Blockaded The National Highway (NH) 73

Farmers have been neglected for decades by multiple political parties and governments. They have been stressed to the extent of committing suicides. The position of farmers is still grim in May 2019. So why farmers are tormented so much by all political parties from time to time?

The single explanation for this question is the “exploitation tendency” of political parties and those close to them. Instead of supporting farmers finacially and technologically, political parties and those having close connections to them have been exploiting farmers for decades.

Take the example of defaulting sugar factories in Maharashtra. Of the total 180-odd defaulting sugar factories in Maharashtra, 77 are owned by BJP leaders, 53 are under the possession of NCP leaders, 43 by Congress leaders and the rest fall under the ownership of people close to Shiv Sena. Be it in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra, sugarcane farmers across the country are yet to receive a huge amount from the mills. So far, the mill owners owe around Rs 24,000 crore to the sugarcane farmers.

Take another erxample of Haryana. it is only now that the Haryana government has released Rs 350 crore to help cooperative sugar mills pay the arrears of sugarcane farmers for the crushing season 2018-19. The sugar mills may pay the outstanding dues to the farmers in the next week but there is no gurantee that this may happen.

If the objective of government, PSUs and people well connected with political parties is to take from instead of giving to the farmers, their exploitation would continue. We must strive to give farmers a good sum for their products and services but we are actually taking away their products and services without any money. If this is not enough, government in some cases take away the land itself levaing the farmer no means to survive.

For instance, in 2013, the then Congress government, under Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s leadership, had acquired 427 acres of land in 28 villages of the district for construction of a by-pass on the outskirts of the city, which connects NH-73 highway from Panchkula to Roorkee. The farmers had challenged the land acquisition price and went to the court. On December 16 last year, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal intervened into the matter and asked the administration to provide a compensation of Rs 42.5 lakh per acre. Since then, farmers have been protesting for the pending amount while the district administration is not paying heed to their demands.

In a protest, farmers under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Haryana blockaded the National Highway (NH) 73, on Monday, near Kail village in Yamunanagar district. They had given 11 days time to authorities to deposit the pending amount in the farmers’ account or they would gather on June 6 and start an indefinite agitation. But the farmers have lifted the dharna after a meeting with the administration.

 

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A Comprehensive Techno Legal Water Policy Of India 2019 Is Urgently Needed

In today’s meeting of members of Association For People Of Haryana (AFPOH) we discussed about contemporary problems and future potentials of argiculture in India. What we realised from the discussion is that agricultural productivity is continuously becoming affected by multiple factors. We discussed all these factors one by one and also explored supplementary activities that can support and strengthen agriculture in India.

However, one thing caused great cause of concern among the members. It is the lack of water for agriculture pruposes and the reducing level of ground water all over India. Members also discussed that not only decreasing water levels but even the quality of water is not good for agriculture purposes. The most important component of agriculture is in severe scarcity and farmers have limited options in this regard.

So how India has reached to this dangerous situation? May be we over exploited the natural resources like water or may be our policies in this regard are not workable. We explored various possibilities to improve the situation and come to the conclusion that urgent action is needed in this regard before it is too late. Clearly we need a new and better Water Policy of India 2019 so that water crisis can be managed before it gets out of the hand.

We discussed various traditional and contemporary solutions for water crisis of India. What emerged from this discussion is the need to formulate a Comprehensive Techno Legal Water Policy of India 2019. This is the right time to take help of AgTech Startups and other Startups. We at PTLB Projects are also eager to provide Techno Legal solutions for this water crisis of India and would use the TeleLaw Project of PTLB to get best results for farmers and rural communities.

However, we may face two problems in this regard. First, Indian Government may not be very receptive to this idea as for the past 5 years it has adopted super conservative approach. Risk taking and taking bold steps is need of the hour and Indian Government has to move out of its conservative shell. Second, even if Government decides to act there is still the implementation problem. Bureaucratic hurdles, lack of performance analysis and missing accountability for non performing individuals/organisation would make this entire exercise futile.

Nevertheless, PTLB Projects has already starting working upon the Comprehensive Techno Legal Water Policy of India 2019. We would appreciate if the Indian Government supports us in this regard and make this aspect part of its 100 days agenda. If Government is involved at the very first stage, we can incorporate the concerns and suggestions of Indian Government too. That is why an open and healthy discussion between indian Government and PTLB Projects/AFPOH is absolutely required.

According to Praveen Dalal, founding member of AFPOH, agricultural reforms in India need direct involvement and financial help of Indian Government. Incentives and taxation benefits must be given to farmers and Startups helping farmers in India. The Income Tax Act, 1961 also needs some fine tunning keeping in mind the support we have to extend to agriculture community in India opined Praveen Dalal.

Technology should be used to get best results out of water management practices and for getting best agricultural productivity. Soil testing, water testing, providing best quality seeds and organic fertilizers, etc are some of the aspects that can be part of the Techno Legal Water Policy. We intend to work upon this policy on priority basis and if Indian Government is able to extend its expertise and guidance, that would be a great help.

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