Education, training and information

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Fig 78. ‘Queen of balsams’, a new variety of balsam developed at Tropical Botanical Garden Research Institute, Thiruvanantapuram

The Centre has also re-designed the Website of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

DNA fingerprinting and genetic diversity evaluation of six species of the genus Agaricus were done and the fingerprint profile using different primers was analysed. The distance between each species was established. Isozyme analysis of these six species using Esterase, Peroxidase, Malate Dehydrogenase and Superoxide dismutase was also undertaken.

“TBGRI model for benefit sharing” with Kani tribes based on the technology transfer of “Jeevani”, received the Equator Initiative Award 2002 at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, in recognition of the outstanding achievements in the conservation of biodiversity and reduction of poverty in the equatorial belt.

As lead / coordinating centre for Niligiri and Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserves, the Institute has been engaged in the development of a comprehensive database on both these Biosphere Reserves. A compendium on the Nilgiri Biosphere has been published.

Fifty Six field trips were conducted to different forest types, resulting in the collection of 7700 specimens for herbarium and documentation. A total of 900 specimens were critically studied, their identity determined and incorporated with the existing collection in the herbarium.

Centre of Excellence in Environmental Economics

The Ministry recognized the Madras School for Economics (MSE), Chennai as a Centre of Excellence in the area of Environmental Economics for a period of five years from April 1, 2002. The Ministry has agreed to collaborate with the Centre in the following subject areas

– Development of Economic Instruments,

– Trade and Environment,

– Cost Benefit Analysis,

– Applied aspects of Environmental Economics of the Ministry’s policy decision making and

– Development and maintenance of website on issues related to Environmental Economics.

Under the Scheme of Centre of Excellence studies so far entrusted to MSE include

Study on Eco-Taxes,

– Trade and Environment – Study on Leather Industry, and

– Study on Fly ash utilisation by Brick manufacturers.

MSE had also organised a three day training programme in Cost Benefit Analysis. During the financial year 2003-04, an amount of Rs. 22.79 lakhs was released to MSE for various activities.

Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Bangalore

The Centre of Excellence on Medicinal Plants & Traditional Knowledge was establilshed in October 2002 at Foundation for Revtalisation of Local Health Tradition. It continued its work on six major projects, which were initiated in 2002-03. The Steering committee, which scrutinizes the work progress of the Centre and approves the annual plans with detailed project activities and the estimated budget costs, met under the Chairpersonship of Additional Secretary of Ministry on 23.1.2004. A brief outline of the progress on different projects undertaken by the Center of Excellence is given below:

Bio cultural Repository of Herbarium & Raw Drugs

During the year, 225 additional medicinal plant species have been added to the Herbarium along with digitized photographs. 1500 Herbarium records have also been digitized in order to contribute to the development of a National Herbarium of the medicinal plants of the country. Seventy five raw drug samples have been accessed from primary sources for the raw drug repository. Cultural information from Sanskrit medical texts has also been collated for selected species.

Developing of Educational Materials

During the year, a database on plants used in Siddha medicine, using “visual-basic”& “MS-access” in which bilingual fonts are used to display Tamil & English data together, has been created. A Homeopathic medicinal plants database has also been initiated & information on 75 out of the 490 plants used in homeopathy has been computerized in the form of a database. ACD-ROM on traded medicinal plants of India has been developed with information on plant morphology, distribution, trade & propagation. A co-curricular education material on the medicinal plants, which form a part of the medicinal curriculum of Ayurveda has been initiated. This will provide information on 370 species covering fields like pharmacognosy, botany & traditional knowledge.

Training to Village Botanist

Seventy Village botanists from Karnataka & Maharashtra were trained in identification of medicinal plants, bio-cultural documentation & vegetation monitoring. A standard curriculum in para-taxomomy is also being developed for this purpose.

Ethno-Medicinal Garden & Nursery

An Ethno-Medicinal garden & nursery has been established in the FRLHT campus. 529 species have been planted, including 35 Red Listed plants.

Genetic Diversity Studies

A molecular biology laboratory has been established & started operating procedures have been developed for DNA extraction, isolation & finger printing.

Developing GIS system

A GIS has been developed and utilised for eco-distribution mapping of medicinal plant species of conservation concern.

Environmental Information

Information is a vital tool for any decision making process more so for environmental management. The Environment Information division in the Ministry co-ordinates the Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Scheme, the National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) Program and the NGO cell.

The Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance (EMCBTA) Project – ENVIS Sub-component funded by the World Bank is also implemented by ENVIS.

The division maintains the Ministry’s web site at, the sustainable development gateway website at launched under the Sustainable Development Network Programme (SDNP) supported by UNDP, IDRC, Canada which concluded in December 2001 and the new website which was launched for networking of ENVIS Centres & Nodes on 5th June, 2003, World Environment Day by His Excellency the Vice President of India.

The division also publishes ‘Paryavaran Abstract’, an abstracting journal, a quarterly Newsletter “ENVIRO NEWS” and the Annual Report of the Ministry.

Environmental Information System (ENVIS)

Envisronmental Information System (ENVIS) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests was initiated in December 1982, as a plan program and envisages setting up of a comprehensive network of repositories of information in institutions & organisations called ENVIS Centres for collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information on varying subject areas of Environment. The focal point of ENVIS, located in the Ministry coordinates the activities of all the 25 Centres, set up on specific subject areas related to environment. A list of ENVIS Centres along with subject-areas, web-sites address, contact & e-mail addresses is given in Annexure-II. Fig.-79 depicts the establishment of ENVIS Centre from 1980 -2002.

Fig 79. Spread of establishment of ENVIS Centres

During the year the focal point and the ENVIS centers focused on the development of home page and e-news letters which were accomplished and laid stress on the strengthening of the databases

Major activities of the ENVIS focal point and the ENVIS Centres during the year are as follows:

ENVIS Focal Point

– The ENVIS focal point responded 266 to queries and the ENVIS Centres over 14,700 Queries. A histogram showing the number of queries processed and responded to by the ENVIS Network and ENVIS Focal Point during the last five years are given in Figure 80 and 81. Efforts were made by the network to provide substantive information as far as possible. In cases, where the information was not readily available, the network provided “Referral Service” to the users. The major subject areas on which the queries were responded to pertain to laws, waste management, CRZ, environmental education and awareness, air and water pollution, wetlands, etc.

Fig. 80. Number of queries responded to by ENVIS network

Fig 81. Number of queries responded to by ENVIS Focal Point

The Ministry’s website (Fig. 82), developed by the ENVIS Focal Point was updated regularly during the year. Information has been arranged under the heads; Current Events, Data Bank, Clearances, Legislations, Parliament Q & As, ENVIS, Citizen Information, NGO Directory, GEF Cell, Funding Schemes, Treaties / Conventions / Declarations etc Details regarding various Divisions, Subordinate Offices, Autonomous Institutions and Public Sector Undertakings and also publications of the Ministry namely: Enviro News, Paryavaran Abstracts, Annual Report, State of Environment Reports, etc. are available on the website. The website records approximately 5.5 lakh hits every month. Fig. 83 depicts hits during the month of March, 2004, Fig. 84 depicts hits for the last three months and Fig. 85 hits country-wise for March 2003.

Directory: report -> 0304
report -> Celebration of english language week
report -> The major objectives of this project as laid out in the proposal are
report -> The convention on the rights of the child submitted to committee on the rights of the child
report -> Programme Performed for National Environmental Awarness Campaign 2001-02 Youth Unit of Voluntary Action
report -> Kendriya vidyalaya no. 1, Jipmer campus, pondicherry. A report on observance of vigilance week 2013 from 28. 10. 2013- 04. 11. 2013 activities organized during vigilance awareness week-2013
report -> Chapter 1 Ombubsman overview
report -> Texas success initiative report
report -> Learning Unit 7 – Essay Structure Reading Material
0304 -> Administration, civil construction, plan coordination and budget
0304 -> Conservation of natural resources including forestry and wildlife

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