Rajya Sabha Current Affairs - 2019
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The Environment and Forests Ministry introduced in the Rajya Sabha major amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 that seek heavier penalties to check wildlife-related crimes and aim to make Indian laws consistent with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna (CITES).
Salient features of the Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2013:
- The amended legislation aims to ban the use of animal traps except under certain conditions.
- It also looks forward to engage gram sabhas and gram panchayats in management of protected areas, and to grant hunting rights to hunter-gatherer Scheduled Tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Hunting in national parks and sanctuaries or the alteration of their boundaries should be punished with 5 to 7 years in jail and fine of Rs 5 to 25 lakh as compared to the previous 3 to 7 years in jail and Rs 10,000 fine.
- The punishment would be 7 years in prison and Rs 30 lakh fine for repeat offenders compared to the previous 3 to 7 years of imprisonment and Rs 25,000 fine now.
- The amendments are strict against crimes related to sale, purchase and transfer of animals, their parts or products listed in various schedules.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took oath as member of Rajya Sabha after being re-elected from Assam. Singh was recently elected a member of Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) from Assam for the fifth consecutive term. The election to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam had taken place on May 30, 2013 and Congress had won both the seats.