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Fact Box: Environmental Performance Index (EPI)

Delhi placed lowest in pollution survey

India’s national capital Delhi has been ranked last in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) evolved by the Planning Commission which makes it worst performer in the country when it comes to all key environmental parameters. The city-state has slipped to 32nd in 2012 from 26th position in 2011. Delhi scored 0.4246 compared to 0.7696 achieved by top ranker, Andhra Pradesh.

Environmental Performance Index

  • Started by Planning Commission
  • Objective: To measure of environmental well-being of states. 
    Analysis of data supplied by 35 states and union territories.
  • Reflects states’ performance on 16 Green Indicators under 5 categories

5 Categories:

  1. Air Pollution (nitrogen and sulfur oxides, respiratory SPM)
  2. Forest (total forest area, increase/decrease in forest cover, afforestation efforts)
  3. Water Quality (domestic waste water, surface water quality, ground water extraction)
  4. Waste management (municipal solid waste, biomedical and hazardous waste handling capacity)
  5. Climate change preparation (use of renewable sources of energy, mini hydro, electricity intensity of state GDP, disaster preparedness, energy efficiency)

Who are the Best Performers?

  • Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in the same order of ranking.

How to look at scores?

  • A score of one means the state is characterized by cleaner environment, sticks to environmental standards, implements all necessary legislations, has institutional mechanisms and is making efforts for conservation of natural resources.

How would these results help?

The results of the analysis are yet to be adopted formally by the Planning Commission and will be shared with National Development Council. If approved, additional weightage may be given to states based on EPI, while allocating resources to states. This may call for amendment to the Gagdil formula for allocation of central funds. The states not doing better on green issues could thus be motivated to improve.

What is Gagdil Formula?

The Gadgil formula was given by D.R. Gadgil, the social scientist and the first critic of Indian Planning. It was evolved in 1969 for determining the allocation of central assistance for state plans in India. Gadgil formula was adopted for distribution of plan assistance during Fourth and Fifth Five Year Plans.

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Kamal Nath appointed as new ex-officio chairman of Planning Commission

image Prime Minister’s office has re-constituted the Planning Commission by appointing parliamentary affairs and urban development minister Kamal Nath as the new ex-officio member of the Plan panel in place of rural development minister Jairam Ramesh.

Other ex-officio members are:

  • Finance Minister P Chidambaram
  • Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar
  • Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde
  • Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad
  • Chemicals and fertilisers minister M K Alagiri
  • Communications minister Kapil Sibal
  • Law minister Ashwani Kumar
  • HRD minister M M Pallam Raju
  • Minister of state for planning Rajeev Shukla

National Development Council (NDC) will be headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Council is the supreme policy-making body in the country. Besides central ministers, the Commission’s members include all Chief Ministers and regular members.

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Planning Commission cuts growth target to 8% in 12th Plan

The Planning Commission has opined to cut the growth rate target for the 12th Five Year Plan to 8%, from 8.2% at the meeting of the National Development Council (NDC).

It is for the second time that the Plan panel has slashed the growth projection for the 12th plan (2012-17).

After initially estimating the growth rate at 9% in its Approach Paper, it lowered the target to 8.2% in September 2012 in view of global economic worries and persistent sluggishness in domestic growth.

The average annual growth rate was 7.9% in the 11th Five Year Plan.

For the current fiscal, which would be the first year of the 12th Plan, the growth rate has been estimated at 5.7-5.9%, which would be the lowest in the last decade.

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