Editorial 1 : Need for climate-smart agriculture in India


  • The two most important issues facing humanity in the 21st century are climate change and food insecurity. The world’s southern continents are reportedly experiencing severe drought due to climate change, which negatively impacts agricultural production and farmers’ livelihoods.

Impacts of climate change on food systems:

  • Both population expansion and dietary changes are contributing to an increase in the demand for food. As a result of climate change, traditional farming practices are becoming less productive. Farmers are taking a variety of adaptation measures to reduce the negative effects of climate change.
  • The need for a holistic strategy is driven by climate change’s dual challenges of adaptation and mitigation, and the pressing need for agricultural production to rise by 60% by 2050 in order to fulfill food demand.

A viable option

  • As a viable option, climate­ smart agriculture (CSA) provides a holistic framework.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in 2019: “Climate­ smart agriculture is an approach for transforming food and agriculture systems to support sustainable development and safeguard food security under climate change.

CSA comprises three pillars or objectives:

  1. Sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes
  2. Adapt and build resilience to climate change
  3. Reduce/remove GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions, where possible.

Dimensions of climate­-smart practices include water­-smart, weather­-smart, energy­-smart, and carbon-smart practices. They improve productivity, deal with land degradation, and improve soil health.

Future impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity :

  • In India, crop yield decline owing to climate change (between 2010 and 2039) could be as high as 9%. In order to combat climate change and sustainably boost agricultural output and revenue, a radical reform of the agriculture industry is required.
  • United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) aim to end hunger and enhance environmental management; CSA’s foundation is in achieving these goals through sustainable agriculture and rural development.
  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) emphasises the role of climate resilient agriculture in India’s adaptation measures.
  • Programmes such as the Soil Health Card Scheme (SHC) use precision nutrient management to optimise agricultural methods. The concept of precision farming is still somewhat novel in India.

Advantages of climate smart agriculture (CSA):

  • CSA promotes crop diversification, increases water efficiency, and integrates drought resistant crop types, all of which help lessen the disruptive effects of climate change.
  • The importance of CSA lies in its ability to increase agricultural output while maintaining ecological stability, which is essential for long term food security and sustainable resource usage in a warming planet.
  • By reducing exposure to climate related dangers and shocks, CSA increases resilience in the face of long term stressors like shorter seasons and erratic weather patterns.
  • CSA also helps raise the economic autonomy of farmers. CSA causes a dramatic change in farming communities’ economic and social structure by distributing information about and providing access to climate resilient methods.
  • As the climate changes, farmers, significantly those already disadvantaged, can gain enormously from adopting climate­smart techniques. The increasing popularity of CSA is a promising indicator for the future of biodiversity conservation.
  • CSA’s ecosystem based approach and different crop varieties help cropland and wild regions coexist together. This collaborative effort helps to safeguard native plant species, keep pollinator populations stable, and mitigate the effects of habitat degradation.

Agriculture and climate change:

  • CSA aids in enhancing farmland carbon storage. The Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels by reducing GHG emissions is tied directly to the success of the CSA.
  • Agroforestry and carbon sequestration are two examples of CSA measures that could help India meet its international obligations and contribute to the global fight against climate change.

A unique juncture

  • The majority of Indian farmers are small or marginal. Therefore, CSA can play a significant role in helping them increase their profits.
  • National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change, National Innovation on Climate Resilient Agriculture, Soil Health Mission, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Biotech­KISAN, and Climate Smart Village are a few examples of government initiatives in India focusing on CSA.
  • Various public and private sector entities such as farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and NGOs are also working towards the adoption of CSA.


  • CSA has the potential to assure food security, empower farmers, and protect our delicate ecosystems by merging innovation, resilience, and sustainability. In the face of a changing climate, the path of CSA stands out as a source of inspiration and transformation for a world working to ensure a sustainable future.

Editorial 2 : No vote for veto


  • In a parliamentary democracy, Governors do not have a unilateral veto over Bills passed by the legislature. This is the crux of the Supreme Court’s ruling in a case arising from Punjab after Governor Banwarilal Purohit withheld assent to some Bills passed by the State Assembly on the pretext that these were adopted in an illegal session of the House.

Constitutional provision:

The Court’s reading of the scheme of Article 200, which deals with grant of assent to Bills, is in line with the core tenet of parliamentary democracy: that an elected regime responsible to the legislature runs the State’s affairs.

Article 200 reads: “When a Bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly of a State or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, has been passed by both Houses of the Legislature of the State, it shall be presented to the Governor and the Governor shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent therefrom or that he reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President.”However, the Article has a caveat: it says that the Governor “may, as soon as possible” return Bills other than money Bills, with a message requesting that the House reconsider it in parts or in whole. But once the Legislative House reconsiders the Bill and sends it to the Governor once again, the Governor “shall not withhold assent therefrom”.
  • The Supreme Court (SC) has now read the power to withhold assent and the proviso in conjuction, holding that whenever the Governor withholds assent, he has to send the Bill back to the legislature for reconsideration. This effectively means that the Governor either grants assents in the first in­ stance or will be compelled to do so after the Bill’s second passage.
  • The Court has done well to point out that Governors, in a system that requires them to function mainly on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, cannot withhold action on Bills and must act as soon as possible.
  • This is a clear reprimand administered to Governors who believe they can endlessly delay action on Cabinet or legislative proposals because of the absence of a prescribed time frame.

Present case and way forward:

  • Mr. Purohit’s stand that the particular session of the Assembly was illegal — because an adjourned House was reconvened by the Speaker on his own — has been rejected. The Court has ruled that the earlier session had only been adjourned and not prorogued.
  • The verdict should not give any further scope for controversy over the role played by Governors in the law­making process that culminates with their granting assent to Bills, and must end the tussle between elected regimes and the Centre’s appointees.
  • There is still some residual scope for controversy if, as a result of Governors being divested of the power to reject Bills unilaterally, they start referring Bills they disapprove of to the President. Such an eventuality should not be allowed to arise.

Relevant judicial verdicts and commissions:

  • The landmark case of Shamsher Singh v State of Punjab, decided in 1974 by a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, established that a Governor is required to exercise their formal constitutional powers solely upon and in accordance with the aid and advice of their ministers, except in some exceptional circumstances. These exceptions pertain to the removal of a government that no longer holds a majority, as well as the decision to invite a party to assume governance
  • The 1983 Sarkaria Commission on Center-state relations put forth several modifications aimed at augmenting the responsibilities and influence of Governors. There is a suggestion that Governors ought to possess a non-partisan and impartial disposition, while also maintaining a fixed tenure to uphold stability and continuity.
  • The 2010 Punchhi Commission proposed that the appointment of governors should involve consultation with the Chief Minister of the respective state, and that governors should be granted enhanced responsibilities in domains such as tribal welfare, regional development, and the promotion of cooperative federalism such as tribal welfare, regional development, and promoting cooperative federalism.


  • Most court verdicts as well as commissions have recommended governor’s position as a neutral one between Center and states, without having any extraordinary or parallel legislative powers to that of the state legislature. This is also essential for cooperative federalism.