The Hindu – Editorials a green rap on the knuckles

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La Excellence IAS

My Notes – 01 September 2016

The Hindu – Editorials

A green rap on the knuckles

Bio diversity act – 2002

Institutional structure - The act provides for both centralised as well as decentralised institutional mechanisms for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It has the National Biodiversity Authority at the apex level and Bio diversity Management Committees at the local level, with an intermediate State Biodiversity Board at the state level.

In this many of the functions are held in the hands of biodiversity management committees. These include preparation of people biodiversity registers and conservation, promotion of sustainable use of bio diversity. Among this, people bio diversity registers are the comprehensive records of the bio diversity.

Challenge – Bio diversity act though enacted there is no serious implementation.
EIA – Environmental Impact assessment –

  1. The act mandates impact assessment studies for activities which are likely to have an adverse impact on biodiversity, irrespective of the nature and scale of the proposed project. Today, most projects in ecologically sensitive areas are able to circumvent the EIA process as they are below the threshold limits or are not in the listed category. (For example, the law says that only hydro electric power projects of the size greater than 25MW should undergo EIA studies. So, most of the mini hydro power projects in India are of 24.99MW capacity. So, cumulative impact of these projects in Himalayas is very disastrous.)

  2. Many of the large projects are exempted from the EIA as they are proposed before 2006, the year EIA act was enacted.

Forest conservation act , 1980 – It allows for the legal diversion of the forest land and India is loosing forests at a rate of 333 acres per day.

In this scenario, PBR – people bio diversity registers can be effective tools to counter the false and misleading statements given in forest diversion proposals and EIA reports.

Note – environmental movements

  1. Monpa community in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district had to struggle for three years to prove before the NGT that the riverine area proposed for the construction of a dam is the one of the two wintering sites of the black-necked crane, a protected species held sacred by Buddhists.

  2. tribals in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, are struggling to protect the last remaining chilgoza (pine nut) trees from being lost to a series of hydropower projects. Forest Department records do not mention the significant role the tree species plays in providing livelihood security to people.

Essay note – enacting a law and tolerating its infringement is worse than not enacting a law at all.

Do we need a minimum wage law?

The tripartite committee on fair wages in India appointed in 1948 defines three levels of wages: a living wage, a fair wage and a minimum wage.

Living wage is what a human being needs to get the basic essentials of food, shelter, clothing, protection against ill-health, security for old age, etc. A fair wage is lower than the living wage and takes into account efficiency, from the employer’s perspective. Minimum wage is similar to the fair wage except in two respects: it is even lower, and has a statutory dimension. (Minimum wages are legally guaranteed)

Indian Labour conference in 1957 mandates taking in to account five factors for calculating the minimum wage. They are

  1. Wage must support three consumption units (individuals);

  2. Food requirement of 2,700 calories a day;

  3. Clothing requirement of 72 yards per worker’s family;

  4. Rent for housing area similar to that provided under the subsidised housing scheme.

  5. Fuel, lighting and miscellaneous items of expenditure to constitute 20 per cent of the minimum wage.

In 1991, the Supreme Court called for adding another 25 per cent to the wage yielded by the above calculation in order to take into account children’s education, medical requirements, etc.

Based on the above criteria the minimum wage estimate shall be around 26000rs/month.

In this context, following observations are worth noting.

  1. India still today did not notify the United Nations convention no 131 on minimum wages fixing.

  2. Minimum wages are as low as 4800/month

  3. Contractual workers are paid much Lower than the permanent workers.

So, most of the Government either ignore or undermine the law.
Surrogacy law – India's surrogacy regulation bill 2016 allows for the child less couple married for 5 years to seek a child through surrogacy route from a close family relative.not necessarily related by blood. In this, no money shall be paid to the surrogate form the commissioning parents other than the medical expenses. It prohibits the commercial surrogacy. It disallows homo sexual song, singles, live in relationships, foreigners to have a child through surrogacy. There are many moral dilemmas are involved in this.

  1. Right to procreate - Every Individual has a right to procreate and he/she can choose the whatever method they like to achieve this objective.

  2. Right of women on her body – the women have a fundamental right to personal liberty and it permits her to use their bodies as they please.

  3. Against to the constitution – as per the Indian constitutional structure, if a law seeks to differentiate equal persons, it shall explain the reasons for the same. Surrogacy law do not explain the differences between married and unmarried people eligibility for surrogacy.

  4. Wrong premise – Surrogacy law is based on the wrong premise that payment of money for the surrogacy is wrong and is an exploitation. But, failure to have a legal recognition to surrogacy can worsen the situation further.

Turkeys dangerous move on Syria

Turkeys made an incursions into Syria and declared that it has claimed the town Jarabulas from Islamic state. But the interiors of turkey are Explicit.

  1. It aims to counter the Syrian Kurds who are supported by USA and who are fighting effectively against the Islamic state. Turkey that has largely ignored the ISIS activity on the side of Syrian border..But today, It believes strengthening of Syrian Kurds is dangerous to its sovereignty as they have close links with Kurdistan workers party of Turkey. It may consolidate the demand for Kurdistan.

  2. Advancement of Kurds makes turkey to loose cross border access to Syria and Turkey backed rebels will be in a weaker position in the Syrian civil war.

So, Turkeys plan can worsen the situation further in Syria.
Outwards to Africa

India and Africa have common concerns in health and have many things to give and take. For instance

  1. In both countries communicable diseases are the largest killers and incidence of non communicable diseases is increasing.

  2. Both of them spends less than 1% of GDP on Health care.

  3. They have young demographic profile

  4. Both countries have a rich heritage of traditional medicine.

In this context, India is the capital for Generic medicines in the world and cheap drugs supplied by India are effective in fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa. India is also pioneering research in health care through open drug research. So, an effective coordination is possible between them. India’s look Africa policy can be a game changer if it focuses on knowledge generation and Innovation.

Advance the budget

The plan to advance the Indian budget can have significant benefits to Indian economy. Normally, Last quarter has a huge expenditure and with no capital expenditure during Monsoon session.


Return land to singur farmers – SC – Supreme Court held that Tata’s shall return the land for singur farmers as the proper procedure is not followed by the Government during land acquisition in singur.
Ganga River Dolphins - The Gangetic dolphin lost its eyes in the course of evolution to adapt to the muddy water of rivers. They largely navigate by echo-location or sonar. navigate using sound waves made by clicking sounds through their throat that bounce off targets and return to their large, flat heads with extremely sensitive auditory systems. They also have rods and cones, found in mammal eyes, that help tell light from dark.

They are endangered species.

Army – Army has announced a design Bureau and it can ease the procurement process and also can boost the indigenous research.
Brazil – president Dilma Rousseff is impeached. This has ended leftist workers party rule in Brazil.
Census – census data 2011 shows that Muslims are the least and Jains are the most literate. Among Muslims only 2.76% are educated till graduation level.
India – USA – Secretary of State Mr Kerry held that strategic partnership between U.S. and India is rooted in equal opportunities for all citizens and rule of law. He stressed on the need to respect the right to protest .
Question of the day

enacting a law and tolerating its infringement is worse than not enacting a law at all. This is the case with environment protection laws in India. Discuss.

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