Friday, 22 January 2016

Remote Sensing Changing face from Satellite to UAV - in all sectors Power, Infra, Agri so..on..

Eye in the sky: Drones to monitor power projects

Ground inspections are passé for the Indian power sector which is set to deploy drones to cut costs and improve efficiency. Heralding a technological leap in power transmission, the companies, especially state-owned Power Grid, would now use drones for monitoring project development in critical areas.

Senior officials in power ministry said Power Grid got approval from a committee comprising the ministries of defence, home affairs, power and allied departments. While Power Grid confirmed the development, it did not share details.

Government officials said among private companies Sterlite Grid has also applied for using drones to monitor its projects. Sterlite is the largest private operator of independent power transmission systems in the country.

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which can be remotely controlled or can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans. While advanced flying robots used in defence can do various things, the drones to be used by power sector would be simpler ones with cameras to capture photos and record videos.

Power transmission companies, which usually have to build infrastructure in inaccessible areas, have applied for drones to reduce their maintenance cost. Sector experts said that with increasing thrust on delivering transmission projects on time, developers are increasingly deploying aerial technologies.

The power ministry has initiated an incentive scheme for transmission projects which get commissioned ahead of schedule. The government in July 2015 issued an order that transmission projects won under tariff-based competitive bidding (TBCB) and those awarded to Power Grid for system strengthening would start getting transmission charge from the date of commercial operations, even if it is ahead of the schedule.

Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) is likely to use drones for its project in difficult terrains, said an executive. “The company is likely to experiment drones at two-three sites for now, mostly in hilly areas and in the north-east,” he said adding that drones are cheaper and more efficient than hiring helicopters for aerial monitoring.

A typical transmission tower is 100 meter-tall above the ground. Sector executives said drones would be used to capture work progress at construction sites and facilitate speedy response during emergency.

Many inaccessible areas are covered under the national grid. For instance, Sterlite Grid has tied up with US-based Burns & McDonnell to implement a transmission line between Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir with the help of heli-crane. It is in discussions with a US-based aviation company to use heli-crane for a transmission project in India for the first time.

Drones are catching up in other infrastructure sectors as well. National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) recently signed MoU with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) under Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and North East Centre for Technology Application and Research (NECTAR), Department of Science and Technology for use of spatial technology for monitoring and managing highways across India. NECTAR uses UAVs for acquiring aerial images for infrastructure planning. This technology will be useful in monitoring construction progress, road asset management, feasibility and project report preparation, assessment, etc.

After being used extensively in movie shoots, drones caught the fancy of other sectors when a restaurant in the US used them for pizza delivery.

An e-commerce giant has sought the government’s permission to use them for product deliveries. Nowadays, drones are being used not only by private metrological agencies and forest and agricultural research bodies, but also in grand Indian weddings.

Courtesy: business-standard


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Other information NCIS, Comparison between NAIS Vs MNAIS Vs NCIS

Compiled information from different sources regarding NCIS

In a bid to address the rural distress that is driving farmers to suicide, the NDA government on Wednesday announced a new Rs 17,600-crore crop insurance scheme to cover loss of crops due to natural calamities like drought at a very low premium payout by farmers. The scheme will be rolled out from the coming kharif season starting June.
The move is also to be seen in the backdrop of the drubbings the BJP suffered in the recent elections in Bihar and elsewhere, which clearly pointed to a growing disillusionment in the rural India about the central government.
According to the government data, as many as 207 districts in nine states have been hit by drought. As much as 90 lakh hectare of land had been affected due to drought and the affected states had sought relief of over Rs 25,000 crore from the central government, a recent IANS report said. Also 302 districts in the country had received 20 percent less rain, which, though is not categorised as drought, will affect the farmers in these areas.
Announcing the sop, prime minister Narendra Modi described the scheme wherein the Centre will provide Rs 8,800 crore annually to make up for almost all of the premium for the crop insured, as a move "that will transform the lives of the farmers in a big way".
Here are the key facts about the new scheme:
Salient features:
Under the scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the state will also provide a matching contribution while farmers will pay only only 2 per cent of the premium fixed by the insurance company for kharif foodgrains/ oilseeds crops and 1.5 per cent for rabi foodgrains/ oilseeds crops. The premium will be 5 per cent for horticultural and commercial crops for both seasons.
"This new crop insurance scheme will have lowest premium for farmers in the history of Independent India," said Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
There will be no provision of capping the premium rate so as to ensure farmers get a higher claim against the full sum insured. At least 25 per cent of the likely claim will be settled directly on farmers' bank
According to the government, farmers will get a higher claim for the full sum
insured unlike the existing schemes such as National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).
The new scheme will cover yield loss of standing crops, prevented sowing/ planting risk, post harvest losses and localised risks, including inundation.
At present, loanee farmers are mandated to take crop insurance cover. The new scheme is open to all farmers irrespective of whether they are loanees or not.
There will be one insurance company for the entire state, farm-level
assessment of loss for localised risks and post-harvest loss. And private insurance companies, along with the Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd, will implement the scheme.
The government has also said the state governments have to make required changes in the law to bring in even the tenant farmers under the derisking fold.
The difference from the earlier schemes:
The government has elaborated how the new scheme is different in simple table:

“This is certainly the best for the farmer till date as it provides for localized events and removes the cap,” a report in the Mint newspaper quotes T. Haque, director, Council for Social Development, as saying.
Apart from this, another major aspect of the scheme is the indented use of technology. The government will use remote sensing and smartphone and other modern technologies for accurate and quicker crop yield estimations.
The challenges:
As is evident from the government's table above, this is not the first time the government has launched a scheme. Earlier in 1985 the government had launched a Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme (CCIS) 1985. It ran until 1999. In 1997-98, the government again launched Experimental Crop Insurance Scheme, which closed in one year. In 1999, the government launched National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS).
However, the coverage of these schemes has been too low due to lack of awareness among the farmers. According to media reports, the coverage as of now stands at just 23 percent. The government is aiming at 50 percent coverage with the new scheme. This is going to be the biggest challenge for the government.
Secondly, crop insurance sector is bogged down by frauds. According to an earlier report in The Economic Times, bank officials, insurance officials and farmers are hand in gloves to siphon off insurance money. How is the new scheme going to address this?

Cabinet okays new crop insurance scheme -
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new crop insurance scheme that aims to reduce the premium burden on farmers and ensure early settlement of claim for the full sum insured.

The premium charged in the new scheme will be up to 2% of the sum insured for food crops and oilseeds and up to 5% of the sum for horticultural and cotton crops under the scheme. At present, premiums charged in crop insurance schemes go up to 25% of the sum insured.

The government proposes to implement this scheme from the next kharif season starting this June.

The Centre plans to cover 50% farmers through the scheme in next 2-3 years as against the current coverage of 23%.

Besides lower premium, the ministry has proposed there will not be a cap on the premium and reduction of the sum insured, 25% of the likely claim will be settled directly on farmers account, there will be one insurance company for the entire state, and farm level assessment of loss for localised risks and post harvest loss.

The ministry has proposed that private insurance companies along with Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited (AIC) will implement the scheme. It has recommended that all claim liability will be on insurer and the government would give upfront premium subsidy.

The new crop insurance scheme has been proposed to replace the existing National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).

Under NAIS, launched in 1999 and being implemented in 14 states by government insurance company AIC, the premium burden on farmers is up to 3.5% for foodgrains and oilseeds crops while actuarial rates for horticultural crops and cotton apply. However, all the claims liability is on the government.

Whereas, under MNAIS, launched in 2013 but implemented in only six states, the premium burden on farmers varies between 2 and 15% but the actuarial premium goes up to 57% depending on the risky crops and areas. But due to capping of the premium, the sum insured gets reduced and as a result farmers are getting lower claim amount.

The ministry has also implemented a Weather-based Crop Insurance Scheme since 2013 in 12 states.

Last year, only 27% of the crop area was insured under these three crop insurance schemes, which cost Rs 3,150 crore to the national exchequer.

Modi woos rural India with new crop insurance scheme

The cabinet has cleared the launch of the country's first major crop damage insurance scheme from the next fiscal year, a move that would further strain government finances but help Prime Minister Narendra Modi to woo rural voters ahead of key elections.
Stung by criticism of ignoring the concerns of rural India where over two-thirds of the country's 1.25 billion people live, the government on Wednesday fielded as many as three cabinet ministers to underline the importance of the scheme whose budget will more than double in three years.
Modi is trying to placate rural voters after the impact of unseasonal rains and two straight years of drought on agriculture dented his popularity and contributed to a humiliating loss for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in elections late last year in the largely rural state of Bihar.
Further elections are due in the states of West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam this year.
"It is a historic day," Modi tweeted after the scheme was announced by the ministers of agriculture, home and parliamentary affairs. "I believe the prime minister's crop insurance scheme, inspired by the well-being of farmers, will bring about a huge change in the lives of farmers."
Several debt-laden farmers committed suicide last year, and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has said that delays in clearing payouts for crop losses were the "biggest reason for destroying farm families".
The government would now ensure faster settlements by increasing the use of technology, including smartphones to capture crop data. It would also reduce premiums to be paid by farmers to 2 percent for summer-sown crops and 1.5 percent for winter crops.
The current premium share for farmers can go as high as 40 percent, which is one of the main reasons that only about a tenth of India's estimated 263 million cultivators opt for crop insurance.
New Delhi will more than double the budget for the crop insurance scheme to 77.50 billion rupees ($1.16 billion) in the fiscal year beginning April 2018.

New Crop Insurance Scheme - NCIS - Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana - PMFBY - Using Technology

Complete Info: Blue color indicates important points to be noted:

Crop Insurance and Agriculture Insurance in India
National crop insurance scheme (India)
The objectives of the scheme are as under: -
  1. To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
  2. To encourage the farmers to adopt progressive farming practices high value in-puts and higher technology in Agriculture.
  3. To help stabilize farm incomes, particularly in disaster years.
 Crop Insurance in India
Salient features of the scheme: -
1.     Crops covered:-
The crops in the following broad groups in respect of which i) the past yield data based on Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) is available for adequate number of years, and ii) requisite number of CCEs are conducted for estimating the yield during the proposed season:
a. Food crops (Cereals, Millets & Pulses)
b. Oilseeds
c. Sugarcane, Cotton & Potato (Annual Commercial/annual Horticultural crops)
Other annual Commercial/annual Horticultural crops subject to availability of past Yield data will be covered in a period of three years. However, the crops which will be covered next year will have to be spelt before the close of preceding year.
2.     States and areas to be covered:
The Scheme extends to all States and Union Territories. The States/Uts opting for the Scheme would be required to take up all the crops identified for coverage in a given year.
Exit clause: The States/Union Territories once opting for the Scheme, will have to continue for a minimum period of three years.
3.     Farmers to be covered:
All farmers including sharecroppers, tenant farmers growing the notified crops in the notified areas are eligible for coverage.
The Scheme covers following groups of farmers:
a. On a compulsory basis: All farmers growing notified crops and availing Seasonal Agricultural Operations (SAO) loans from Financial Institutions i.e. Loanee Farmers.
b. On a voluntary basis: All other farmers growing notified crops (i.e., Non-Loanee farmers) who opt for the Scheme.
4. Risks covered & exclusions:
Comprehensive risk insurance will be provided to cover yield losses due to non-preventable risks, viz.:
i) Natural Fire and Lightning
ii) Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Torando etc.
iii) Flood, Inundation and Landslide
iv) Drought, Dry spells
v) Pests/Diseases etc.
Losses arising out of war & nucler risks, malicious damage & other preventable risks shall be excluded.
5. Sum insured /limit of coverage:
The Sum Insured (SI) may extend to the value of the threshold yield of the insured crop at the option of the insured farmers. However, a farmer may also insure his crop beyond value of threshold yield level upto 150% of average yield of notified area on payment of premium at commercial rates.
In case of Loanee farmers the Sum Insured would be atleast equal to the amount of crop loan advanced.
Further, in case of Loanee farmers, the Insurance Charges shall be an additionality to the Scale of Finance for the purpose of obtaining loan.
In matters of Crop Loan disbursement procedures, guidelines of RBI/NABARD shall be binding.
6. Premium Rates:
Premium rate
Bajra & Oilseeds
3.5% of SI or Actuarial
rate, which ever is less

Other crops (cereals, other millets & pulses)
2.5% of SI or Actuarial
rate, which ever is less
1.5% of SI or Actuarial
rate, which ever is less

Other crops (other cereals, millets, pulses & oilseeds)
2.0% of SI or Actuarial
rate, which ever is less
Kharif & Rabi
Annual Commercial annual Horticultural crops
Actuarial rates
Transition to the actuarial regime in case of cereals, millets, pulses & oilseeds would be made in a period of five years. The actuarial rates shall be applied at District/Region/State level at the option of the State Govt./UT.
7. Premium subsidy:
50% subsidy in premium is allowed in respect of Small & Marginal farmers to be shared equally by the Govt. of India and State/UT Govt. The premium subsidy will be phased out on sunset basis in a period of three to five years subject to review of financial results and the response of farmers at the end of the first year of the implementation of the Scheme.
The definition of Small and Marginal farmer would be as follows:
Small Farmer: A Cultivator with a land holding of 2 hectares (5 acres) or less, as defined in the land ceiling legislation of the concerned State/UT.
Marginal Farmer: A Cultivator with a land holding of 1 hectare or less (2.5 acres).
8. Sharing of risk:
Risk will be shared by IA and the Govt. in the following proportion.
Food crops & Oilseeds: Till, complete transition to Actuarial regime in a period of five years takes place, claims beyond 100% of premium will be bone by the Govt. Therefore, all normal claims, i.e. claims upto 150% of premium will be met by IA and claims beyond 150% shall be paid out of Corpus Fund for a period of three years. After this period of three years claims upto 200% will be met by IA and above this ceiling out of the Corpus Fund.
Annual Commercial crops/annual Horticultural crops: Implementing Agency shall bear all normal losses, i.e claims upto150% of premium in the first three years and 200% of premium thereafter subject to satisfactory claims experience. The claims beyond 150% of premium in the fist three years and 200% of premium thereafter shall be paid out of Corpus Fund. However, the period of three years stipulated for this purpose will be reviewed on the basis of financial results after the fist year of implementation and the period will be extended to five years if considered necessary.
To meet Catastrophic losses, a Corpus Fund shall be created will contributions from the Govt. of India and State Govt./UT in 50:50 basis. A portion of Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) will be used for contribution to the Corpus Fund.
9. Area approach and unit of insurance:
The Scheme would operate on the basis of ‘Area Approach’ i.e., Defined Areas for each notified crop for widespread calamities and on an individual basis for localised calamities such as hailstorm, landslide, cyclone and flood. The Defined Area (i.e., unit area of insurance) may be a Gram Panchayat, Mandal, Hobli, Circle, Phirka, Block, Taluka etc. to be decided by the State/UT Govt. However, each participating State/UT Govt. will be required to reach the level of Gram Panchayat as the unit in a maximum period of three years.
Individual based assessment in case of localised calamities, would be implemented in limited areas on experimental basis, initally and shall be extended in the light of operational experience gained. The District Revenue administration will assist Implementing Agency in assessing the extent of loss.
10. Seasonality discipline
a) The board seasonality discipline followed for Loanee farmers will be as under:
Loaning period
April to September
October to Next March
Cut-off date for receipt
of declarations
Cut-off date for receipt
of yield data
The broad cut-off dates for receipt of proposals in respect of Non-loanee farmers will be as under:
a. Kharif season: 31st July
b. Rabi season: 31st December
However, seasonality discipline may be modified, if and where necessary in consultation with State/UT and the Govt. of India.
11. Estimation of crop yield:
The State /UT Govt. will plan and conduct the requisite number of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) for all notified crops in the notified insurance units in order to assess the crop yield.
The state/UT Govt. will maintain single series of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) and resultant yield estimates, both for Crop Production estimates and Crop Insurance.
Crop Cutting Experiments (CCE) shall be undertaken per unit area/per crop. On a sliding scale, as indicated below:
Unit Area
Minimum number of
C.C.E.s required to be done
Mandal/Phirka/any other smaller unit area comprising 8-10 villages
Gram Panchayat comprising 4-5 villages
A Technical Advisory Committee (T.A.C.) comprising representatives from N.S.S.O., Ministry of Agriculture (G.O.I.) and IA shall be constituted to decide the sample size of CCEs and all other technical matters.
12. Levels of Indemnity & Threshold Yield:
Three levels of Indemnity, viz., 90%, 80% & 60% is corresponding to Low Risk. Medium Risk & High Risk areas shall be available for all crops (cereals, millets, pulses & oilseeds and annual commercial/ annual horticultural crops) based on Coefficient of Variation (C.V.) in yield of past 10 years’ data. However, the insured farmers of unit area may opt for higher level of indemnity on payment of additional premium based on actuarial rates.
The Threshold yield (TY) or Guaranteed yield for a crop in an Insurance Unit shall be the moving average based on past three years average yield in case of Rice & Wheat and five years average yield in case of Other crops, multiplied by the level of indemnity.
13. Nature of Coverage and Indemnity:
If the ‘Actual Yield’ (AY) per hectare of the insured crop for the defined area [on the basis of requisite number of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs)] in the insured season, falls short of the specified ‘Threshold Yield’ (TY), all the insured farmers growing that crop in the defined area are deemed to have suffered shortfall in their yield. The Scheme seeks to provide coverage against sucbcontigency.
‘Indemnity’ shall be calculated as per the following formula:
Shortfall in Yield
---------------------- x Sum Insured for the farmer
Threshold yield
{Shortfall = "Threshold Yield – Actual Yield’ for the Defined Area}
13A. Indemnity in case of localised risks:
Loss assessment and modified indemnity procedures in case of occurrence of localised perils, such as hailstorm, landslide, cyclone and flood where settlement of claims will be on individual basis, shall be formulated by IA in coordination with State/UT Govt.
The loss assessment of localised risks on individual basis will be experimented in limited areas, initially and shall be extended in the light of operational experience gained. The District Revenue administration will assist IA in assessing the extent of loss.
14. Procedure for approval & settlement of claims:
Once the yield data is received from the State/UT Govt. as per the prescribed cut-off dates, claims will be worked out and settled by IA.
The claim cheques along with claim partiuclars will be released to the individual Nodal Banks. The Bank at the grass root level, in turn, shall credit the accounts of the individual farmers and display the particulars of beneficiaries on their notice board.
In the context of localised phenomenon, viz., hailstorm, landslide, cyclone and flood, the IA shall evolve a procedure to estimate such losses at individual farmer level in consultation with DAC/State/UT. Settlement of such claims will be on individual basis between IA and insured.
15. Financial support towards administration & operating (A & O) expenses:
The A & O expenses would be shared equally by the Central Govt. & respective State Government on sunset basis [100% in 1st year, 80% in 2nd year, 60% in 3rd year, 40% in 4th year, 20% in 5th year and ‘zero’ thereafter.]
16. Corpus fund:
To meet Catastrophic losses, a Corpus Fund shall be created with contributions from the Govt. of India and State/UT. On 50:50 basis. A portion of Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) shall be used for contribution to the Corpus Fund.
The Corpus Fund shall be managed by Implementing Agency (IA).
17. Reinsurance cover:
Efforts will be made by IA to obtain appropriate reinsurance cover for the proposed RKBY in the international Reinsurance market.
18. Management of the scheme, monitoring and review:
In respect of Loanee farmers, the Bank shall collect the premium along with the Declarations and send it to IA within the prescribed time limits. However, in areas where IA has requisite infrastructure, a non-loanee farmer will have option to send premium along with Declaration, directly to IA within the time limits.
Selection of the Banks will be on the basis of Service Area Approach (SAA) of RBI or at the option of the Banks (Where co-operative banks have good network). The Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Statistics, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Department of Co-operation, Revenue Department of the State Government will be actively involved in smooth implementation of the Scheme.
The Scheme will be implemented in accordance with the operational modalities as worked out by IA in consultation with Dept. of Agriculture & Co-operation.
During each crop season, the agricultural situation will be closely monitored in the implementing State/UT. The State / UT Department of Agriculture and district administration shall set up a District Level Monitoring Committee (DLMC), who will provide fortnightly reports of Agricultural situation with details of area sown, seasonal weather conditions, pest incidence, stage of crop failure {if any} etc.
The operation of the Scheme will be reviewed annually, and modifications as may be required would be introduced. Periodic Appraisal Reports on the Scheme would be prepared by Ministry of Agriculture, the Government of India/Implementing Agency.
19. Implementing Agency (IA):
An exclusive Organization would be set up in due course, for implementation of RKBY. Until such time as the new set up is created, the ‘GIC of India’ will continue to function as the Implementing Agency.
20. Benefits expected from scheme:
The scheme is expected to:
1. Be a critical instrument of development in the field of crop production, providing financial support to the farmers in the event of crop failure.
2. Encourage farmers to adopt progressive farming practices and higher technology in Agriculture.
3. Help in maintaining flow of agricultural credit.
4. Provide significant benefits not merely to the insured farmers, but to the entire community directly and indirectly through spillover and multiplier entire community directly and indirectly through spillover and multiplier effects in terms of maintaining production & employment, generation or market fees, taxes etc. And net accretion to economic growth.

5. Streamline loss assessment procedures and help in building up huge and accurate statistical base for crop production.

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