ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Trends in Tubewell Irrigation, 1951-78

Tubewell technology came to India at the turn of the century, but because of numerous constraints, this new groundwater technology diffused extremely slowly in the years before Independence Private tubewell irrigation picked up with the beginning of the first Five-Year Plan, and since then the number of private tubewells has risen steadily, from 3,000 in 1951 to 22,000 in 1961, 540,000 in 1971 and about 175 million in 1978. Area irrigated by tubewells too (both public and private) has in. creased from about 0.25 million hectares in 1961-62 to about five and a half million hectares in 1973-74 Today, tubewells probably account for 30 per cent of the total irrigation facilities of the country, though the percentage varies widely from state to state.

Partial View of Irrigation Problems

tion Facilities', which provides a summary view of the official position on problems encountered in promoting the utilisation of irrigation facilities. He reports a perceptible improvement in the utilisation of major and medium irrigation works since the mid-fifties, when only 60 per cent of the irriga- tion potential created had been utilised. However, he does not analyse how this improvement came about. He expounds on the role of command area development for attaining full utilisation of the irrigation potential, and rightly underscores that investment in command area development can be as expensive as the creation of the irrigation facility itself. This raises the dilemma of equity over space in the short run: maximal benefits from water resources in a few command areas, or lower benefits but over a larger area of the country.

Tubewell Irrigation in the Gangetic Plains

B D Dhawan The Gangetic basin accounted for two thirds of the tubewell irrigation of the country in 1972-73. Together with the Indus basin, the share was 95 per cent of the national tubewell-irrigated area. Within these two basins, covering the vast plains of the north, the development of tubewell irrigation diminishes in force and concentration as one moves from Punjab, Haryana, and west UP in the west to east UP, Bihar and West Bengal in the eastern plains.

lndia s Groundwater Resources

lndia's Groundwater Resources B D Dhawan sly, firm estimates of groundwater potential of India are lacking at present. In appraising resources, it is imperative that a clear distinction be made between stock and flow dimen- ,n the stock viewpoint, groundwater is probably an immense resource in India. But, judged from angle, it is a bountiful resource only in the eastern Gangetic plains. Prudence requires utilisation of groundwater resource at a long-run annual rate of no more than annual accretion to groundwater stock. Excess withdrawal is permissible only in areas prone to waterlogging.

INSAT TV Plan-Questionable Features and Parameters

ISRO's plans for utilising satellite technology for TV broadcasting are of doubtful value in the socio-political conditions of this country. The most serious question arises from the known inadequacy of the geostationary satellite in meeting the manifold requirements of regional diversity of language and culture.

Economics of Groundwater Utilisation-Traditional versus Modern Techniques

Traditional versus Modern Techniques B D Dhawan Given the skewed distribution of land ownership and the small size of the average farm the adverse externalities of tubewell technology cannot be completely avoided in a free enterprise framework, even if the state legislatures pass legislation to control and regulate the use of groundwater.

Utilisation of Ground Water Resources-Public versus Private Tubewells

growth. In the Indo-Gangetic plain and the deltas of the great rivers, India has some of the world's most richly endowed agricultural tracts with unrivalled ground water resources. Significant increase in agricultural production has taken place only in the western portion of the Indo-Gan- getic plain. In this area the bulk of the land is cultivated by owner farmers and sharecropping tenancy is very rare indeed. The new found agricultural prosperity of this area is based on the exploitation of ground water. Currently 80 per cent of the available ground water is tapped in this region to support multiple cropping. But in the eastern portion of the Gan- getic plain and the deltas the exploitation of ground water continues to be poor. In some of these areas the incidence of sharecropping and absentee Iandownership continues to be high. An outmodoel agrarian structure is one of the main limiting factors in the spread of the 'Green Revolution' to these areas.

Satellite TV Revisited

ferences to sources of texts, and classified indexes make it an excellent re- ference work. On April 20, 1973, significantly at Egypt's instance, the Security Council unanimously resolved to ask the Secretary- General to submit "a comprehensive report giving full account of the efforts undertaken" by the UN regarding the .situation in West Asia since June 1967. The Report, submitted on May 18 and reprinted by the Institute, is an impartial survey of the peace efforts during a crucial period; it reveals fully Israel's obstructionist attitude. It is a pity that, awareness of this should have dawned as a result of the Arabs" military effort in October 1973 and not because of this Report.

School Education through Television

November 24, 1973 counter the policies of 'san tzi yi-pao.' The implementation of this policy went through many twists and turns, and one of the major charges levelled against Liu Shao- chi during the Cultural Revolution was that in implementing it, he tried to subvert its intended goals, Instead of countering san tzi yi-pao,' it is suggested that he used it to increase party control over the countryside, which had weakened in the aftermath of the Great Leap Forward. (Cf F Sehur- mann, 1968, op cit, pp 509-531.) Nevertheless, it is argued by Snow (1973, pp 84 and 149) that alter 1964, the Socialist Education Movement succeeded in arresting a drift towards economism and revisionism in the countryside.

Television in India-Retrospect and Prospect

This article attempts a critique of official thinking on television in a historical context. The proposals of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are examined for their design and basic assumptions in the context of the prevailing socio-political constraints.

Economics of Television for India

assuming a depreciation rate of 20 per cent the total cost would be written- off with ID (at the rate of 20 per cent) in seven years as against 12 years under normal depreciation. Thus tax collections which were postponed on account of ID are realised during the eighth to the twelfth years in this case. The interest-free loan in the initial years would be equal to 20 \cr cent of ihe cost of assets qualifying for ID but eventually when the postponed lax revenues are collected iduring the eighth to the twelfth years in the above illustration) the not loan would Jiei reduced. In due course, the a:no n.t of loan would tend to stabilise at a level equivalent to 20 per cent of the investment in plant and machinery and the rale of growth of such investment. The cost to the exchequer, in the form of interest on revenue collections postponed, would also eventually stabilise.


March 3, 1973 in the larger interest of sugar output, cane growers, and consumers. It is also difficult to appreciate Dhawan's suggestion that a nationalised framework alone would help operate a buffer stock policy for sugar. Dhawan argues that excess stocks with the mills were liquidated because the mills were reluctant to bear the cost of maintaining the stocks and that a nationalised set-up might "provide a more conducive environment in which to operate a buffer stock policy". This observation, again, is the result of some misunderstanding of the situation. Admittedly, buffer stocks are stocks in excess of normal stocks. Carnage of such additional , stocks would necessarily involve additional expenditure on interest, insurance, go- down rent, etc. Whether in the joint stock sector or in the nationalised sector, these expenses would be incurred. We are, therefore, unable to appreciate how it is that a nationalised set-up would make any difference to the operation of a buffer stock policy. in fact, both joint stock as well as co-operative sectors of the industry had jointly submitted a scheme to the government for creating a buffer stock during the 1969-70 season and had offered that the industry would maintain these stocks; they had suggested that the additional cost thereon, by way of insurance, interest, etc, be provided in the sugar price. Government, too, had appreciated the need for building up a buffer stock and was favourably inclined to the industry's suggestions. However, nothing tangible emerged due to limitations of finance, and it was government who took the softer option of excessive releases with a view to liquidating the surplus stocks, despite persistent warning by the industry that this was an unrealistic policy. Indeed, it is this short-sighted policy of the government which has primarily caused the prevailing sugar scarcity in the country. Another interesting point made by Dhawan is that a nationalised set-up would provide greater scope for saving bagasse for paper plants. The implication in this, that hitherto such economies have not been effected, is a travesty of the truth. It is more than a decade since, at the instance of government, many sugar factories did embark on initiating fuel economy measures solely to save excess bagasse for paper plants. Not much headway was made, however, because of lack of appropriate development of technology on the part of the paper mills to profitably utilise bagasse for the produc tion of paper as also due to certain fiscal handicaps. Variation in sugar output causes similar variation in bagasse availability, in fact, because of this uncertainty, some of the sugar mills which had obtained licences for manufacture of paper from bagasse had to surrender them. Even when paper mills have used bagasse, demand for it has not been steady and uniform


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