Highlights of the Achievements of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
COP 21 AT PARIS: Working Towards Climate Justice:-
- It released “PARAMPARA”, a book on India’s culture and climate-friendly sustainable practices.
- Reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level.
- To achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low-cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund (GCF)
- To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
INITIATIVES TO REDUCE POLLUTION-
- National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) comprise 12 pollutants, out of which, three pollutants namely PM10, SO2 and NO2 are monitored
- Implementation of Bharat Stage IV norms in the 63 selected cities and universalization of BS-IV by 2017
- CPCB has worked out a transparent criteria to classify industries as ‘Red’ ‘Orange’ ‘Green’ and ‘White’ Category to link with ease of doing business and granting of consent including its siting. The criteria evolved are based on pollution potential and resource consumption rather than capital cost.
- Developed Action Plan for Ganga mainstream States to achieve Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) and water conservation for tanneries, distilleries, textiles, sugar and pulp and paper and achieving improved effluent standards for irrigation in respect of pulp and paper and sugar industries.
- An online system for submission and monitoring of Environmental and Forest approvals under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
INITIATIVES TO ENHANCE GREEN COVER:–
- Nagar Vana Udyan Yojana- aims to create at least one city forest in each city with a minimum area of 25 ha. The scheme aims at creation of a City Forest in forest areas within their jurisdiction up to a maximum of 100 ha and minimum area of 20 ha. The objective of the Yojana is to create 200 City Forests in the country
- School Nursery Yojana-aims to build a lasting bond of students with nature.
- Green India Mission (GIM)-aims at increasing the forest/ tree cover by 5 million hectare as well as, increasing the quality of the existing forest cover in another 5 million hectare
- Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)–To ensure expeditious utilisation in transparent and efficient manner, and safety and security of the accumulated amounts and fresh accruals, the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill 2015 has been introduced in the Parliament.
India and INDC can be read from here- Click here
Highlights of Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare during 2015
‘Anubhav’ is a platform for retiring government employees to share their experience of working the Government and for showcasing commendable work done during service. It is envisaged that this would provide satisfaction to the retiring employees and also act as motivator for serving employees. Over time this will build up a wealth of useful suggestions. This would also provide an excellent opportunity to harness the resource of retiring employees for voluntary contribution to nation building post retirement.
Bhavishya is an online tracking system for pension sanction and payment. By keeping track of the progress of each pension case, it introduces transparency and accountability into the system thereby plugging delays. This benefits the retiring employees, pensioners and the administration equally.
Pensioners’ Portal is the one stop solution for all information needs of the pensioners. The Portal also provides for registration of pensioners’ grievances through the Centralized Pension Grievance Registration and Monitoring System (CPENGRAMS)
Eight core Industries for Index of Industrial Production
The Eight Core Industries comprise nearly 38% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP)
- Crude Oil
- Natural Gas
- Refinery Products
These industries have substantial impact as they are intricately linked by forward and backward linkage with the economy , and hence their good performance is quite vital for economic health.
Apex court upholds curbs on serving liquor in Kerala- Exclusive Analysis
Background :-The Kerala Govt. has recently banned liquor in the state with few exemptions (five-star hotels). This was challenged in the court and the court this time sides with the Govt.Recently Bihar also banned liquor , so this verdict gives other states the necessary precedence to enact such laws.
This is an interesting case and to understand it fully we need to browse through various point of views.
Alcohol is both in State list and Union list (State list where the only the state govt can make laws on the subject and union list is where the Union has exclusive right to make laws)
Alcohol as part of Union List the Central govt can make laws pertaining to use of alcohol when it is used as part of medicinal,toilet preparation etc.
Alcohol as part of state list – the state govt has all the right to make laws as long as alcohol is considered as an intoxicating drink .
In this case, the state of Kerala or Bihar has exclusive right to make laws as long as liquor is considered for consumption.
Now as per constitution and Article 47 :-
“Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health”
It is clear from the article that alcohol can be banned and it won’t be violation of any freedom as per the constitution.
Social and Political Aspect:-
Impacts on society and politics:-
- Many tribes across India , enjoy their home-made alcohol for different occasions and Alcohol forms part of their culture and celebration.
- However , in recent times alcoholism has been in the rise and many tribal people fall victim to it. Many loose lives after drinking toxic alcohol- we have came across this mass death emanating from consumption of alcohol form time to time.
- The poor are the most vulnerable section and victims of alcoholism.
- Alcohol , has given rise to many social evils too – prominent being momentary passion for crime and domestic violence.
- Alcohol also used as a political tool in recent times and votes are manipulated through distribution of alcohol.This has a bad impact on democracy and clean politics.
- Underage drinking is also on the rise .
- Next door to Kerala , Tamilnadu -there is an interesting case, where the state govt in fact sells alcohol and has monopoly. This itself is odd, the sheer contrast in functioning 2 neighboring states is startling.
- While Tamilnadu govt keeps it as an economic activity, Kerala govt is trying to ban it as a social evil.
- Of course, without doubt, Alcohol is a revenue earner.
- People will drink irrespective of the ban or not and that’s a truth which we can’t ignore.There will be a huge trade of smuggling and black marketing of alcohol across state borders.Of course the neighboring states like Tamilnadu will benefit from it and so does the smugglers and black marketers.
- We should not make a law/regulation which we can not enforce properly ( Delhi’s odd-even formula for eg) .Hence making this law is wrong in that aspect.
- Though state govt behaves as a”Parent” in this case and though it has all the right to do so , yet it has to give certain degree of liberty to its citizenry.
- The Apex court only looks at the merit of the law and looks at constitution to justify it , however it missed the very essence of this law- can we enforce it ?
- Moreover, exempting the five-star hotels from ban is a rational choice and this should have been the templates where the state govt should have raised the alcohol tax so high that it becomes unaffordable for many.
- The economic route of heavy taxation could have been a good measure than resorting to law .
- In fact , Bihar and Kerala should have asked the center to make the law on their behalf and if we could have achieved a uniform heavy tax across all states then , this law would have been better enforceable and would have served the purpose.
- Moreover, an addict , in absence of one drug resorts to another, hence a reality ground assessment on this should have been done and possible alternative also should have been highly taxed.
- The developed countries operate this way where tobacco is highly priced and thus becomes unaffordable for many , and even if one can afford , one can afford only little.To find the balance of correct economic taxation requires that people should have what they want , yet they should not be able to have it in the high quantity they want as it becomes unaffordable.That way , people will have their alcohol , but will have a little of it , so a perfect check on alcoholism and resorting to any other alternative..
- Also , this law in the hands of enforcers becomes a perfect tool for corruption and we already know where India stand in corruption.It is not only bad people do corruption , it is also the bad laws that give space to corruption.
- To sum up , this is a perfect case of good intention supported by ineffective laws.
Note :- This is an exclusive upsctree analysis.We are open to debate on this if you have any valid arguments, kindly do write in the comment section.We strongly believe in debate, discussions and deliberation.
Safe guarding the decision makers:-
- According to the new rules notified by the DoPT, IAS officers working with the Centre can now be suspended only on the recommendation of the Central Review Committee and with the approval of the minister in charge of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
- States will now have to inform the Centre within 48 hours of suspending any all-India services officer (IAS, PS and IFS) working for them. Copy of the suspension order and reasons for the suspension have to be communicated. Earlier, there was no time limit. Also, now the state cannot keep an officer suspended beyond 30 days if the Centre does not confirm the suspension or if disciplinary proceedings are not initiated. The earlier period was 45 days
- The Central Review Committee will now have the secretary of the DoPT as chairperson and its members will be the DoPT’s establishment officer and the secretary of the ministry where the IAS officer is posted. Previously, the committee was headed by the secretary of the ministry concerned and it was optional to co-opt a DoPT officer.
- The new rules also stipulate that any appeals or memorials against disciplinary action taken by the state government or a central ministry against an all-India service officer must be forwarded to the Centre with the ministry or state’s comments within 30 days of receipt “or the Central government will take a decision on the advance copy of the appeal received by them.“
- These rules are aimed at checking any arbitrary suspension by the governments. These All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Amendment Rules, 2015, replace the rules of 1969.
Analysis :- The buzz word of last year ” policy paralysis” has emanated from the very fact that honest civil servants who have taken a decision with bona-fide intention has been hounded. Due to this many bureaucrats stopped or shied away from decision-making , there by leading to policy paralysis.This is indeed a welcome step to safe guard the decision makers.
- The Department of Commerce’s DAVA (Drug Authentication and Verification Application) project has won the 2015 eASIA Award under Trade Facilitation category as announced by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT) in Tehran, Iran.
- India moves 13 position ahead from 65th to 52nd rank in Tourism & Travel competitive index as per world Economic Forum Report