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All India Radio (AIR) : India’s Commitment to Environment Protection

  • IASbaba
  • October 27, 2018
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All India Radio
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India’s Commitment to Environment Protection

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Search 3rd October, 2018 Spotlight here: http://www.newsonair.com/Audio-Archive-Search.aspx

TOPIC:  General Studies 3

  • Environment protection and conservation

(Note: Ensure that you go through the hyperlinked articles for a better understanding and a quick revision of all the schemes and issues in question.)

The world needs to shift to a paradigm of environmental philosophy that is anchored in environmental consciousness rather than merely government regulations. India can be at the forefront of change.

Three things will determine how we as a society can bring a positive change:

Internal consciousness

Mahatma Gandhi propounded the Doctrine of Trusteeship, which places the onus on us, the present generation, to ensure that our coming generations inherit a clean planet. He called for sustainable consumption so that the world does not face a resource crunch.

Public awareness

We need to talk, write, debate, discuss and deliberate as much as possible on questions relating to the environment. At the same time, it is vital to encourage research and innovation on subjects relating to the environment. This is when more people will know about the pressing challenges of our times and ways to mitigate them.

In 1991, the Supreme Court directed the Central government and all State governments to provide compulsory environmental education to all students in schools and colleges. This directive was reiterated in 2003 (M.C Mehta v. Union of India). Corporate organisations, research and education institutes, NGOs and foundations have committed themselves to educating people about climate change and providing the know-how for mitigation, adaptation and resilience building.

Proactiveness

Under Swachh Bharat Mission, which is directly linked to a sustainable future, over 85 million households now have access to toilets for the first time. Over 400 million Indians no longer have to defecate in the open. Sanitation coverage is up from 39 per cent to 95 per cent. These are landmark efforts in the quest of reducing the strain on our natural surroundings.

We also witness proactiveness in the success of the Ujjwala Yojana, which has significantly reduced indoor air pollution due to unhealthy cooking practices that were causing respiratory diseases. Till date, over five crore Ujjwala connections have been distributed, thus ensuring a better and cleaner life for the women and their families.

The Namami Gange Mission is changing the historical wrong done to our rivers. Emphasis is being given to proper treatment of sewage.

At the core of our urban development initiatives such as AMRUT and the Smart Cities Mission is the need to balance urban growth with environmental care.

The over 13 crore soil health cards distributed to farmers are helping them make informed decisions that will boost their productivity and improve the health of our land, which helps the coming generations.

There has been integration of the objectives of Skill India in the environment sector and launched schemes including the Green Skill Development Programme for skilling about 7 million youth in environment, forestry, wildlife and climate change sectors by 2021.

The Ujala Yojana has led to the distribution of nearly 31 crore LED bulbs. The costs of LED bulbs have reduced and so have the electricity bills and the C emissions.

India remained at the forefront of the COP-21 negotiations in Paris in 2015.

In March 2018, world leaders of several countries converged in New Delhi to mark the start of the International Solar Alliance, an endeavour to harness the rich potential of solar energy and bring together all nations that are blessed with solar power.

While the world is talking about climate change, the call for climate justice has also reverberated from India. Climate justice is about safeguarding the rights and interests of the poor and marginalised sections of society, who are often the biggest sufferers from the menace of climate change.

Conclusion:

Given the startling forecasts about the impact of climate change, it is the need of the hour to educate and equip both rural and urban communities to build resilience against natural disasters, adapt to environmental changes, and manage potential risk.

Also read: Link 1

Connecting the Dots:

  1. Is ratifying Paris climate agreement beneficial to India? Critically examine.
  2. India’s efforts at addressing climate change and the wider issues of environmental governance, has been far from convincing. Critically examine.

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