Ministry of Environment and Forests Current Affairs - 2020

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Government  forms new ‘Jal Shakti’ Ministry

The Centre has created a new Ministry called ‘Jal Shakti’ by merger of Ministries of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation along with Drinking Water and Sanitation. The move will bring all aspects of water management and regulation under one department.

About Jal Ministry

  • Background: In first Modi government (2014-2019) the project to clean Ganga was moved from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to Ministry of Water Resources. Later, with a greater push and larger monetary allocation, the Namami Gange project was launched in June 2014. During the 17th Lok Sabha election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to create an integrated ministry to deal with water related isuues.
  • Minister: The Jal ministry will be headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while Ram Lal Kataria will be the minister of state.
  • Ambit:
    • As promised in BJP’s vision document in run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the ‘Nal se Jal’ scheme to provide piped drinking water to every household will be a component of government’s Jal Jivan Mission.
    • The ministry will roll out government’s ambitious plans to provide piped water connections to every household in India by 2024.
    • It will also address international and inter-states water disputes and the Namami Gange project which is the flagship initiative to clean the River Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries.
    • The Jal Ministry’s priority will be to provide clean drinking water to everyone.

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Government bans Sale of Cattle for Slaughter

The Ministry of Environment and Forests have come up with new regulations that bans the sale of cattle for slaughter. The central regulation for cow protection has been notified at the backdrop of rising cases of violence against cow traders by Hindu vigilante groups. The rules have been notified under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960. Slaughter of cows are banned in most parts of the country except parts of the north-east India and Kerala. The new rules will be implemented in the next three months.

Salient Highlights

Across India, the cattle trade is permitted only among farm land owners. Cattle can be only sold to a person possessing documents that he is an agriculturist.

As per the new regulations, cattle bought cannot be resold within six months. 

Young and unfit animals cannot be traded.

Animal markets cannot be set up within 50 km of an international border and 25 km of a state border. Transporting cattle outside of the country will require special approval of the state government nominee.

All animal markets has to run with the approval of district animal market committee to be headed by a magistrate. The committee will also have two representatives from government-approved animal welfare groups.

The new regulations prescribes around 30 norms for animal welfare in markets like that of water, fans, bedding, ramps, non-slippery flooring, veterinary facility and separate enclosure for sick animals etc.

The owner of the animal has to bear the cost of its upkeep in a shelter. In case, the owner is unable to pay, the cost would be recovered as land arrears. The state government will specify the costs every year on April 1.


The new regulations says that cattle bought cannot be resold for six months. This provision will hurt the business of cattle traders.

The new rules have introduced a lot of paperwork for cattle traders who are predominantly illiterate and poor. For example, a trader has to submit five copies of proof of sale at the local revenue office, the local veterinary doctor in the district of the purchaser, animal market committee, apart from one each for seller and buyer.

It is feared that the new rules will introduce inspector raj as it mandates veterinary inspector to certify proper loading and unloading of animals. He can also mark any animal unfit for sale.

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