SC forms Panel to frame Emergency Plan to prevent extinction of Indian birds

Taking serious note of alarming extinction of two Indian birds namely Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican, the Supreme Court of India has constituted a High Powered Committee to urgently frame and implement an Emergency Response Plan for protection of these species, considering the approaching monsoon and breeding season.

Both the birds are protected under Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972 but despite being accorded highest level of protection under national law, birds face threat of imminent extinction.

Key Highlights

Apex court constituted 3 Member Panel comprising of-

  • Deepak Apte-Director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
  • Asad R Rahmani– former Director of BNHS and member of governing body of Wetlands International South Asia
  • Dhananjai Mohan– Chief Conservator of Forests of Uttarakhand.

SC has also sought responses from Centre as well as concerned state governments where these two species of birds are prominently found.

Petition: A plea of wildlife activists contended that over last 50 years population of Great Indian Bustard has recorded a decline of more than 82%. It fell from an estimated 1260 in 1969, to 100-150 in 2018. Over the past few decades, the population of Lesser Florican (also known as likh or kharmore) has seen a sharp decline of 80%, from 3530 individuals recorded in 1999, to less than 700 in 2018.

Reasons given in plea: for threats faced by two endangered birds includes- Mortality by collision with infrastructure (particularly powerlines and wind turbines), hunting, depletion of grasslands, development of mines and human habitation in and around their habitats and ingestion of pesticides.

Emergency Response Plan: Under it, the wildlife activists have suggested certain steps that could be taken. Such as-

  • Urgent dismantling and undergrounding of powerlines and wind turbines
  • Immediate embargo on any upcoming wind, solar power projects, and powerlines in and around critical habitats

Other immediate steps includes-

  • Installation of diverters on powerlines in semi-critical habitats of birds
  • Urgent installation of predator-proof fencing in critical habitats to protect breeding grounds of both the species from invasive human activities as well as predators
  • Implementation of dog population control program

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskars for 2018 announced

Sangeet Natak Akademi, National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, has announced 2018 Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskars for artistes artistes below 40 years of age.

Key Highlights

The Sangeet Natak Akademi’s General Council at its meeting held on 26 June 2019 at Guwahati, Assam unanimously selected 32 (Including one joint Awards) Indian artists who have made a mark as young talents in their respective fields of performing arts for Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2018.

The artists are selected for Yuva Puraskar 2018 in field of-

  • Music: 8 recipients
  • Dance: 8 recipients
  • Theatre: 7 recipients
  • Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre and Puppetry- 8 recipients

About Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar

The award was instituted in 2006, in memory of Ustad Bismillah Khan.

It is conferred upon young artists below 40 years of age for their talent in fields of music, dance and drama.

Yuva Puraskar will be presented at a special ceremony, by Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Objective: behind conferring award is to identify and encourage outstanding young talents in diverse fields of performing arts. The award gives them national recognition early in their life, so that they may work with greater commitment and dedication in their chosen fields.

Prize: Award carries money of Rs.25000.

About Sangeet Natak Akademi

The National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama is the apex body of performing arts in India. It was set up by Indian education ministry on 31 May 1952 and became functional the following year (in 1953).

Parent organization: Union Ministry of Culture

Function: To preserve and promote vast cultural heritage of India expressed in music, dance and drama.

It also works with governments and art academies in states and territories of India.

Month: Categories: Awards & Honours

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