Forest and Climate Change Current Affairs - 2020

Budget 2020: Caring Society: Women and Child, Social Welfare, Culture & Tourism, Env & Climate Change

On February 1, 2020, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman presented the Budget 2020 on three main themes. The third theme of the budget is Caring Society. Under this theme, the GoI allocated budget to Women and Child, Social Welfare and Tourism, Environment and Climate Change.

The Budget allocated for the above sections of the society are as follows

Women and Child and Social Welfare

Under the Beti Bachao Beti Padao, the Gross Enrolment ratio of girls is higher than boys. Their enrollment is as follows

  • At Elementary level, girls’ enrollment is 94.32% and boys’ is 89.28%
  • At secondary level, girls’ enrollment is 81.32% as against 78% for boys
  • At higher secondary level, girls’ enrollment is 59.7% as compared to 57.54% for boys.

Poshan Abhiyan

To improve health of children in the age of 0 to 6 years of age, adolescent girls and lactating women, Poshan Abhiyan was introduced. More than 6 lakhs Anganwadi workers are equipped with smart phones to upload the status of nutrition of more than 10 crore house hold.

Task Force appointed

The age of marriage for girls was increased from 15 years to 18 years in 1978. This was done by amending the Sharada act (The Child Marriage Restraint Act), 1929. As India progresses further, wider opportunities open up. Also, there is lowering of maternal mortality rates and improvement of nutritional levels. In order to include women in every aspect of such developments, a task force is to be appointed.

FUND ALLOCATION

The Budget 2020-21 allocated 35,600 crores of rupees for the nutrition related programmes. It also allocates 28,600 crores for programmes of women development.

Manual Scavengers

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has identified suitable technologies for sewerage cleaning. The Ministry is currently working with the urban local bodies for adoption of these technologies. The budget allocates funds to achieve this and also to implement legislative changes. The budget will also allocate funds to support wider acceptance of such technologies.

FUND ALLOCATION

Along with manual scavengers, the other section of the society including scheduled class and OBCs a budget of 85,000 crores has been allocated. For the upliftment of Scheduled Tribes, a budget of 53,700 crores has been allocated. For Senior citizens and Divyangs 9,500 crores has been allocated.

Culture and Tourism

Indian Institute of Heritage and Culture to be established

Under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the GoI proposes to establish an Indian Institute of Heritage and Culture. It shall have the status of a Deemed University to start with. It will include course of museology, archaeology and also includes scientific curriculum of those fields.

5 Archaeological sites to be developed

The GoI has allocated funds to develop 5 archaeological sites with museums. They are Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Dholavira in Gujarat, Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Sivasagar in Assam and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu.

Four more museums are to be renovated. At the historic Old Mint building in Kolkata, a museum on numismatics and trade is to be located.

A tribal Museum at Ranchi, Jharkhand is to be set up.

A Maritime museum to be set up in Lothal, a maritime site of Harappan age. This is to be set up by the Ministry of Shipping.

India’s stand in tourism

India has move up to rank 65 in 2014 to rank 34 in 2019 in the travel and tourism competitive index. The index is prepared by the World Economic Forum. The Foreign Exchange grew 7.4% (between January and November, 2019)

FUND ALLOCATION

For Culture the budget allocated 3,150 crores. For Tourism the GoI allocated 2,500 crores.

ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Closure of old thermal power stations

GoI launched the Global Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure in 2015. It will help in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals.

India submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement on Climate Change signed in 2015. The implementation begins January 1, 2021. In order to succeed the contributions, GoI has decided to close old thermal power stations. The land vacated are to be put to alternative uses.

Clean air in cities

The cities are to be encouraged to take actions against pollution to provide clean air for the citizens. The budget allocated separate funds to achieve this. However, only cities with population above 1 million are included under this. Incentives will be provided to such cities that are coming forward to implement such measures. The measures will be released by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

FUND ALLOCATION

GoI allocated 4,400 crores for environment and climate change.

‘Not all animals migrate by choice’ campaign launched

Ahead of International Day of Biological Diversity (celebrated on 22 May), an awareness campaign was launched by the name of ‘Not all animals migrate by choice’ to be displayed at major airports across India.

Key Highlights about Campaign

  • Objective:
  • To raise awareness on illegal wildlife trade
  • To garner public support for conservation and protection of wildlife, prevention from smuggling and for reduction in demand of wildlife products.
  • It also complements worldwide action taken on illegal trade in wildlife via UN Environment’s global campaign called Wild for Life.
  • Launched By: United Nation (UN) Environment India and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of India. Both WCCB and UN Environment started a comprehensive approach with focus on awareness building towards issue of prevention of illegal trade, smuggling of wildlife (and wildlife products) through exit points.
  • Inauguration: Campaign was inaugurated by Dia Mirza, the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador (and also UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate), in presence of officials from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India (WCCB), UN Environment, UN agencies and GMR Group.
  • Coverage: In collaboration with Airports Authority of India (AAI) and GMR Group, the campaign is set to travel across 22 airports across India over the next year.
  • Need: Illegal wildlife trade drives a species to brink of extinction. With a thriving organized wildlife crime industry, the crime chains are spreading across world and India is also seeing a sharp rise in its illegal trade in wildlife. Thus there is an urgent need for awareness, action and stringent law enforcement to curb illegal wildlife trade which is threatening biodiversity and conservation in wild.
  • Importance: Conservation is natural to India’s ethos. Although, while wildlife faces global threat and India’s flora and fauna’s demand continues to rise in illegal global markets, India’s stringent provisions for protection of wildlife under its Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, and efforts towards creating awareness among public at large would still have to go a long way to help protect our wildlife. Thus, campaign is an important step forward in creating much-needed awareness and regaining public attention on wildlife trafficking which threatens very survival of these species.
  • Species covered: In First Phase of the campaign, Tiger, Star Tortoise, Pangolin and Tokay Gecko are featured. They have been chosen as they are highly endangered because of illegal trading in International markets. Second Phase will see more threatened species.
  1. Tiger is trafficked for its skin, body parts and bones.
  2. Pangolin, is most illegally traded wild mammal on the planet. It is trafficked for its meat and for its scales which are used in traditional medicines.
  3. Star Tortoise is trafficked for pet trade and meat.
  4. Tokay Gecko is trafficked for its use in traditional medicine, mostly into South East Asia (SEA) but mainly Chinese Markets.

About Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)

  • WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by Government of India (GoI) under Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), to combat organized wildlife crime in India.
  • It assists Customs authorities in inspection of consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions laid down in Wild Life Protection Act (WPA), 1972, (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Export-import (EXIM) Policy governing such an item.