Parvinder Singh Batth, becomes first Sikh mayor in United Kingdom’s Wokingham Borough Council

Parvinder Singh Batth, an Indian-origin Conservative party councillor was chosen as the mayor of United Kingdom’s Wokingham Borough Council.

With this, he became the first Sikh to hold the Mayor’s position in UK. He succeeds Councillor UllaKarin Clark for this post and will serve till 2016.

Parvinder Singh Batth previously had served as Deputy Mayor of borough of Wokingham in Berkshire in south east England.

He was born in Indian state of Punjab in the farmer’s family. Later he had migrated to United Kingdom.

India ranks 24th in Environmental Democracy Index

India has ranked 24th out of 70 countries in the first Environmental Democracy Index (EDI).

The index was recently released by Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) and Access Initiative.

In the first edition of this index, Lithuania has topped among the 70 countries.

Top ten countries are: Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, United States, South Africa, United Kingdom, Hungary, Bulgaria, Panama and Colombia.

Key facts from EDI report

  • Right to environmental information has been established in the 93 per cent of the assessed countries.
  • However, many nations lag on providing citizens basic environmental information i.e. around 79 per cent of assessed countries have earned only fair or poor ratings for public participation.
  • Nearly half or around 46 per cent of assessed countries do not provide any ambient air quality data online for their capital cities.
  • In 73 per cent of the countries, courts or their judiciary hear environmental cases.
  • Only 14 per cent of the countries assessed have legal mechanisms that help women to access courts in order to obtain redress when their environmental rights are violated.

About Environmental Democracy Index (EDI)

  • EDI evaluates progress of countries in enacting laws in order to promote citizen engagement and accountability, transparency in environmental decision-making.
  • The index evaluates countries based on recognised international standards including 75 legal and 24 practice indicators.