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Environmental Institutions/Environmental Legislations

Environmental Institutional BodiesEnvironmental Legislations

Environmental Institutions

1. Ministry of Environment & Forests:
• The Ministry of Environment & Forests is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government, for the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of Environmental and Forestry programmes.
• The Ministry is also the Nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
• The principal activities undertaken by Ministry of Environment & Forests consist of
a) Conservation & survey of flora, fauna, forests and Wildlife,
b) Prevention & control of pollution,
c) Afforestation & regeneration of degraded areas,
d) Protection of environment in the framework of legislations,
e) Welfare of animals.
• The main tools utilized for this include Environmental surveys, impact assessment, control of pollution, regeneration programmes, support to organizations, research to solve solutions and training to augment the requisite manpower, collection and dissemination of environmental information and creation of environmental awareness among all sectors of the country’s population.
2. Central Pollution Control Board:
• The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), is statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
• CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
• It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
• Principal functions of the CPCB, as spelt out in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, to
(i) Promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and
(ii) Improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
• In India, states do not pursue independent environmental policy of their own but adopt the policies formulated at the national level subject to such variations as may be necessary to suit to the local conditions. The central government has also been issuing guidelines to the states on various environmental matters.
3. Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL)
• National Board for Wild Life is a “Statutory Organization” constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
• Primary function of the Board is to promote the conservation and development of wildlife and forests.
• It has power to review all wildlife-related matters and approve projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.
• No alternation of boundaries in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries can be done without approval of the NBWL.
4. National Green Tribunal
• The National Green Tribunal has been established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.
• It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
• The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of Natural Justice.
• The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.
• The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
5. National Tiger Conservation Authority
• The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it under the said Act.
6. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
• The Government of India constituted a statutory body, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau in 2007, by amending the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, a special Act to protect the wildlife in the country.
• The bureau would complement the efforts of the state governments, primary enforcers of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and other enforcement agencies of the country.
7. Genetic Engineering Approval Committee
• It functions under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
• It is the apex body to accord environmental approval of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production.
• It is also mandated with approving the release of genetically engineered organisms and products into the environment, including experimental field trials.
8. Central Zoo Authority
• The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA) is the body of the government of India responsible for oversight of zoos.
• It is an affiliate member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
• The Central Zoo Authority has been constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act.
• The main objective of the authority is to complement the national effort in conservation of wild life.
• Every zoo in the country is required to obtain recognition from the Authority for its operation.
9. National Afforestation And Eco-Development Board
• The National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB) is responsible for promoting afforestation,tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country, with special attention to the degraded forest areas and lands adjoining the forest areas, national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas as well as the ecologically fragile areas like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, Western Ghats, etc.
• It evolve mechanisms for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands through systematic planning and implementation, in a cost effective manner.
• It restore fuelwood, fodder, timber and other forest produce on the degraded forest and adjoining lands in order to meet the demands for these items.
• It sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new and proper technologies for the regeneration and development of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;
10. Wildlife Institute Of India
• The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change, Government of India.
• WII carries out wildlife research in areas of study like Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Forensics, Spatial Modeling, Eco-development, Habitat Ecology and Climate Change. WII has a research facility which includes Forensics, Remote Sensing and GIS, Laboratory, Herbarium, and an Electronic Library.
11. Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority
• Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has been created by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
• It creates Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
• The CAMPA Bill has established a Permanent National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India. It also allows states to establish State Compensatory Afforestation Funds. The National Fund will be under the central government, and managed by a National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). The central government will appoint a State CAMPA in each state. The State CAMPA will be responsible for the management of the State Fund.
12. Zoological Survey of India
• The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) was established to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in the region.
• The activities of the ZSI are coordinated by the Conservation and Survey Division under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.
• Primary objectives are: Exploring, Surveying, Inventorying and Monitoring of faunal diversity in various states, selected ecosystems and protected areas of India; Taxonomic studies of the faunal components collected; Status survey of Threatened and Endemic species; Preparation of Red Data Book, Fauna of India and Fauna of States.
• Secondary objectives are: GIS and Remote Sensing studies on recorded animal diversity as well as on threatened species; Chromosomal Mapping and DNA Barcoding.
13. Botanical survey of India
• The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is the apex research organization under the MOEF for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country.
• The prime objectives of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is to undertake intensive floristic surveys and collect accurate and detailed information on the occurrence, distribution, ecology and economic utility of plants in the country.
14. Forest Survey of India
• Forest Survey of India (FSI) is engaged in the assessment of the country’s forest resources on a regular interval.
• It is involved in forest cover assessment of the country on biennial basis by interpretation of satellite data on a two-year cycle and presents the information in the form of ‘India State of Forest Report’.
• It also form inventory of forests and Trees Outside Forests (TOF) in both urban and rural areas.
15. Animal Welfare Board of India
• The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) scheme relates to provision of assistance for the following type of activities:
a) Financial assistance to animal welfare organizations for maintaining the stray animals in distress and for their treatment (financial assistance based on the number of animals kept for their fodder, water, minor treatment etc).
b) Human education programmes for the welfare of animals are implemented by the AWBI. Capital expenditure at the Board’s headquarters i.e. expenditure on non-recurring items such as purchase of assets/equipments.
c) Expenditure on a variety of other animal welfare activities such as rescue of cattle from illegal smuggling and transportation, rehabilitation of rescued circus animals, lab animals, inspections, legal expenses in connection with court cases pertaining to animal welfare, mobile clinics is also incurred.
1. IPCC:
• The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.
• The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
• IPCC assessments provide a scientific basis for governments at all levels to develop climaterelated policies, and they underlie negotiations at the UN Climate Conference – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
2. WMO:
• The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 191 Member States and Territories.
• WMO provides a framework for international cooperation in the development of meteorology and operational hydrology and their practical application.
3. UNEP:
• The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
• UNEP work encompasses: Assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends; Developing international and national environmental instruments and Strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment.
4. SCAR:
• The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is an inter-disciplinary committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU).
• SCAR is charged with initiating, developing and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region (including the Southern Ocean), and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system.
5. Global Environment Facility:
• It unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
• The GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
• The GEF also serves as financial mechanism for the following conventions:
a) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
b) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
c) UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
d) Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
e) Minamata Convention on Mercury
6. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources:
• It is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
• It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, lobbying and education.
7. World Nature Organization:
• The organization is focused on promoting activities, technologies, economies, and renewable energies which are regarded to be environment friendly; and reducing the impact of climate change.
8. World Wide Fund for Nature:
• It is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of humanity’s footprint on the environment.

Early Muslim Invasions/Delhi Sultanate-Administration

Early Muslim InvasionsDelhi Sultanate - Administration and Society

Early Muslim Invasions

The Arab Conquest of Sind
• By the 8th Century AD, the Arabs had acquired a core position from Spain to India, connecting the trade of Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.
• During the early years of the 8th Century, the Umayyads reached the height of their power and created the largest ever-Mulsim state that existed.
• Arabs were also attracted by the wealth of India.
• However, the reason for the invasion of Sindh was to avenge the plunder of Arab Ships by pirates of Debol. King Dahir refused to punish the pirates.
• Hajjaj the governor of Iraq despatched an army under Muhammad Bin Qasim.
• At Rawar, in AD 712 Muhammad Bin Qasim attacked Dahir who was defeated. Dahir was caught and killed.
• Muhammad Bin Qasim now proceeded forward and within a short span he conquered various important places in Sind including Brahmanabad.
• Muhammad Bin Qasim conquered the major portion of Sind up to the lower Punjab.
• Many Arabs settled down in Sind and established relations with the local population. The Arab influence continued for a long period with pockets of Muslim influence established in various parts of Sind.
Mahmud of Ghazni
• In all Mahmud Ghazni invaded India 17 times during AD 1000-1026.
• Mahmud Ghazni was Son of Sabuktigin, the founder of Ghazni dynasty & Turkish slave commander.
• Mahmud himself claimed descent from the Iranian legendary king Afrasiyab.
• He was the first Muslim ruler to penetrate deep into India.
• He led 17 expeditions in all into India from A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1027. The initial raids were directed against the Hindusahi rulers who at the time held Peshawar and the Punjab.
• The chief motive of Mahmud invasions in India was the desire to secure its wealth.
• On the north-western frontier of India there were three principal kingdoms.
• The Brahmana dynasty of the Shahiyas ruled over a wide territory, extending from Kashmir to Multan and from Lambhan to Sarhind.
• To the south of it lay the Shia kingdom of Multan, and the principality of Mansura where the Arab dynasty held authority.
• Mahmud attacks on India were an attempt to fulfil his ambition to make Ghazni the formidable power in the politics of Central Asia.
• Mahmud’s raids into India were only to acquire the famous wealth of India which would help him to consolidate his vast rule in Central Asia.
• The Ghaznavids had their control on parts of Punjab and Sind which continued till AD 1135.
• Firddausi, who wrote Shah Nama in which he glorified the ancient Iranian heroes, was the poet laureate of Mahmud.
• Alberuni, who wrote ‘Kitabul-Hind or An Enquiry Into India’ had accompanied him to India along with his corps of army.

• The Ghaznavid conquest of the Punjab and Multan completely changed the political situation in north India.
• Mahmud’s invasions exposed the weak defence of Indian kingdoms and opened possibility of attacks in future by the Turks.
Muhammad Ghori
• Towards the middle of the twelfth century two new powers rose to prominence – the Khwarizmi empire based in Iran and the Ghurid empire based in Ghur in north-west Afghanistan.
• The power of the Ghurids increased under Sultan Alauddin who earned the title of ‘Jahansoz’ or the ‘world burner’. He ravaged Ghazni and burnt it to the ground.
• In A.D. 1173, Shahabuddin Muhammad also known as Muizzuddin Muhammad bin Sam (called Muhammed Ghori) ascended the throne of Ghazni.
• Muhammad Ghori conquered Multan and Uchh from Karmatia rulers in A.D. 1175.
• In A.D. 1178, he tried to penetrate into Gujarat but was defeated and completely routed by the Chalukya ruler of Gujarat, Mularaja II, near Mount Abu.
• After that Muhammad Ghuri attacked Punjab using Khybar pass. Peshawar was occupied in A.D. 1179-80. By A.D.1182, the whole of Sind was subdued.
• Next he captured Lahore, deposed Khusru Malik, the Ghaznavid prince, and annexed Punjab to his dominions.
• With Lahore as the base, he first thoroughly consolidated his position in the Punjab.
• Muhammad Ghori’s possession of Punjab and his attempt to advance into the Gangetic Doab brought him into direct conflict with the Rajput ruler Prithivaraja Chauhan.
• The conflict started with claims of Bhatinda.
• In the first battle fought at Tarain in AD 1191, Ghori’s army was routed and he narrowly escaped death.
• Prithviraj conquered Bhatinda but he made no efforts to garrison it effectively. This gave Ghori an opportunity to re-assemble his forces and make preparations for another advance into India.
• The Second Battle of Tarain (AD 1192) is regarded as one of the turning points in Indian History. The Indian forces were more in number but Turkish forces were well organised with swift moving cavalry and the bulky Indian forces were no match against the superior organisation, skill and speed of the Turkish cavalry.
• The Turkish cavalry was using two superior techniques.
– The first was the horse shoe which gave their horses a long life and protected their hooves.
– The second was, the use of iron stirrup which gave a good hold to the horse rider and a better striking power in the battle.
• Prithviraj tried to escape but was captured near Sarsuti.
• After Tarain, Ghori returned to Ghazni, leaving the affairs of India in the hand of his trusted slave general Qutbuddin Aibak.
• In AD 1194 Muhammad Ghori again returned to India. and gave a crushing defeat to Jai Chand at Chandwar near Kanauj.
• Thus the battle of Tarain and Chandwar laid the foundations of Turkish rule in Northern India.
• On his way to Ghazni, Muhammad Ghuri was killed while encamping at Dhamyak on the Indus.
• His general Qutbud-din Aibak declared himself Sultan at Delhi in A.D. 1206.
• The political achievements of Muhammad Ghori in India were long lasting than those of Mahmud of Ghazni. While Mahmud Ghazni was mainly interested in plundering Muhammad Ghori wanted to establish his political control.

Polar Remotely Operated Vehicle

Polar Remotely Operated Vehicle

National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) under the aegis of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India has developed a Mini work class Polar Remotely Operated Vehicle (PROVe) for polar studies. PROVe is an unmanned, free swimming underwater vehicle.
• It is capable of probing the sea bed under normal temperature and is capable of exploring up to 200 meters deep in inhospitable and tough regions like the ice clad Antarctica
• The polar vehicle is remotely operated by scientists from the ship and has inbuilt thrusters allowing it for 360 degree movement
• It will help the researchers to study and find out details about dissolved oxygen in sea bottom, salinity and the quantity of sunlight hitting the bottom of the sea
• This will help the scientists to understand the biological activities that take place inside the sea
• PROVe will also help in easy predictions of monsoon and reading the patterns
Recently National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), for the first time, used the indigenously-developed Remotely Operated Vehicle (PROVe), to map the coral reefs in Andaman & Nicobar Islands (North Bay and Chidiyatapu) and that the ROV can be used for this purpose efficiently.
The ROV can effectively map 4-6 of coral reefs in a day, whereas the same job takes about a week for a Scuba diver. The images of corals recorded by the ROV are useful to study the biodiversity of coral reefs and their evolution. The underwater visuals have shown the coral debris and boulders caused by the 2004 Tsunami, at the same time, also capturingsome locations where the rejuvenation of the colonies of branching corals, stony coral, brain corals was observed. The water temperature ranged between 31oC at surface and 30.5oC at 1 m water depth. It further decreases in deeper waters as recorded by the ROV based sensor.
The radiometer attached on the ROV provided the spectral signatures of different types of corals in Andaman. The spectral signatures of the corals are valuable in developing algorithms to map the coral reefs using sensing techniques, especially the satellite remote sensing.

Cluster Munitions

Cluster Munitions

• “Cluster munition” means a conventional munition that is designed to disperse or release explosive submunitions each weighing less than 20 kilograms, and includes those explosive submunitions.
• A cluster munition is a form of air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapon that releases or ejects smaller submunitions.
• Commonly, this is a cluster bomb that ejects explosive bomblets that are designed to kill personnel and destroy vehicles.
• Other cluster munitions are designed to destroy runways or electric power transmission lines, disperse chemical or biological weapons, or to scatter land mines.
• Some submunition-based weapons can disperse non-munitions, such as leaflets.
Convention on Cluster Munitions:
• The Convention on Cluster Munitions was concluded by the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions at Dublin on 30 May 2008.
• The Convention entered into force and became binding international law upon ratifying states on 1 August 2010.
• It bans the stockpiling, use and transfer of virtually all existing cluster bombs and provides for the clearing up of unexploded munitions.
• It had been signed by 108 countries, of which 38 had ratified it by the affected date, but many of the world’s major military powers including the United States, Russia, Brazil and China are not signatories to the treaty.
Countries that ratify the convention will be obliged “never under any circumstances to”:
• Use cluster munitions;
• Develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions;
• Assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.
It also includes several positive obligations to ensure no further use and to redress past harm caused by the weapons.
Under the terms of the Convention, a number of responsibilities have been entrusted to the Secretary-General of the UN, including:
– Collection and dissemination of transparency reports by and to the States parties;
– Facilitation of clarification of compliance;
– Convening of the Meetings of States Parties.
• The convention addresses the humanitarian consequences and unacceptable harm caused to civilians by cluster munitions, through a categorical prohibition and a framework for action.
• The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is an international civil society movement campaigning against the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions.
• The CMC, formed in November 2003, is a network of civil society organizations, including NGOs, faith-based groups and professional organizations.

Sodium Vapour Lamp and CFL

Sodium Vapour Lamp and CFL

Sodium Vapour Lamp
• A sodium-vapor lamp is a gas-discharge lamp that uses sodium in an excited state to produce light at a characteristic wavelength near 589 nm.
• They are some of the most efficient lamps in the world. They have an efficiency of up to 190 lumens per watt compared to an incandescent street lamp which has between 15 and 19 lumens per watt.
There are two varieties of such lamps:
– Low-pressure sodium lamps: They are highly efficient electrical light sources, but their yellow light restricts applications to outdoor lighting such as street lamps.
– Low-pressure sodium lamps only give monochromatic yellow light and so inhibit color vision at night
– High-pressure sodium lamps produce a broader spectrum of light than the low-pressure lamps, but they still have poorer color rendering than other types of lamps.
• Sodium lighting has the highest efficiency of all lighting.
How it works?
• The tube is made of borosilicate glass to withstand pressure and temperature and contains some sodium metal, neon and argon.
• When the lamp is switched on, the sodium vaporises and an arc is established.
• Low pressure sodium lamps:
– Outdoor lighting, security lighting, long tunnel lighting (the light seems to give less fatigue in tunnel driving than white lights flashing by at close proximity).
• High Pressure sodium lamps:
– Outdoor lighting, municipal lighting, home yard lighting, high bay lighting
• Good efficiency (lumens per watt).
• Smaller size than LPS or fluorescent, the HPS fits into many fixture types.
• Can be retrofitted into older Mercury Vapor fixtures.
• Better bulb life than LPS lamps.
CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp)
• CFL, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent light bulb;
• Some types fit into light fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs.
• The lamps use a tube which is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb, and compact electronic ballast in the base of the lamp.
• CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer.
There are two types of CFLs:
• Non-integrated ballast CFL: It is the type of CFL technology that we typically call a “plug-in.”
This means you will purchase the ballast separate from the lamp and the ballast will be configured in the fixture. This is similar to linear fluorescents but is far smaller than linear ballast.
• Integrated or self-ballasted CFL: These are created to replace incandescent and halogen lamps.
Literally, take out the incandescent or halogen bulb and put in a CFL bulb in the same socket.
In order for these CFLs to work in a regular medium base screw socket, a ballast has to be integrated into the CFL.
How it works?
• In a CFL, an electric current is driven through a tube containing argon and a small amount of mercury vapor. This generates invisible ultraviolet light that excites a fluorescent coating (called phosphor) on the inside of the tube, which then emits visible light.
• Efficiency.
• Savings.
• Pollution reduction.
• High quality light.
• Versatility


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