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Q.1) It has been three decades since the Government of India had enunciated a National Forest Policy. Forest being a dynamic resource, what are the immediate alterations to be made in the policy for the betterment of the ecosystem? (GS – 2 )

Introduction:

  • The new draft Forest Policy re-emphasises production forestry, raising many ecological and social concerns.

From forest policy of pre & post independence to new draft forest policy 2018: changes undergone:

  • Pre & Post independence: Forest policy in colonial India focussed on maximising products and revenues for the state through the imperial forest department as sole owner, protector and manager of the forest estate.
  • In post independent India forests were seen as sources of raw material for industry and local communities were simply treated as labour.
  • Forest policy 1988: It recognised the multiple roles of forests and prioritised environmental stability over revenue maximisation.
  • It also acknowledged that the needs of forest-dependent communities must be the first on forest produce.
  • Equally important, the policy emphasised people’s involvement in protecting and regenerating forests, thus formally recognising the limitations of state-managed forestry.
  • Joint Forest Management: Joint forest management (JFM) was initiated in the 1990s to implement the concept of people’s involvement.
  • But it failed as foresters created thousands of village forest committees but severely limited their autonomy and jurisdictions.
  • Donor money was spent on plantations but activities were stopped once funds ran out. Instead a meaningful devolution of powers was required.
  • Forest Rights Act 2006: It created a historic opportunity for such devolution.
  • Its community forest resource provisions gave communities rights to both access and manage forests.
  • The FRA democratised the forest diversion process by requiring community concurrence for forest diversion once community forest rights are recognised.
  • The Adivasis of Niyamgiri in Odisha exercised this provision to prevent bauxite mining in their sacred hill tracts\
  • New draft forest policy 2018:It talks of production forestry & plantations s new thrust area.
  • The practice of forestry with object of producing maximum quantity of timber, fuel wood and other forest produce is called Production Forestry.
  • Forest Development Corporations will now enter into public-private partnerships (PPPs) to bring corporate investment into forest lands.
  • In the past production forestry has led to destruction of diversity, dried up streams and undermined local livelihoods.
  • PPPs will entail more such destruction, with even the profits ending up in corporate hands.

Q.2) As estimated, 76 million people in India do not have access to safe drinking water. In this context, how floodplains of rivers can provide a new source of water and also a sigh of relief for farmers? (GS – 3)

Introduction:

  • Floodplains are a local, non-polluting, perennial and non-invasive source of water for urban centres.
  • Floodplains of rivers can provide a new source of water.
  • Palla floodplain scheme which was launched by the Delhi Jal Board in 2016 is a tangible realisation of this idea.
  • The scheme (on a 25 km stretch of the Yamuna) is currently running at half its potential and providing water to about one million people in the city — of a daily requirement of 150 litres per person.

Use of floodplains as source of water:

  • Floodplains can be used as aquifer: Conservation and use of floodplain can be a self-sustaining aquifer.
  • Conserve and use scheme: A socio-economic-environmental scheme, can provide water to urban centres along rivers,
  • It can also engage farmers by providing them an assured income and restore rivers to a healthy condition.
  • Income for farmers: Farmers on either side of the river can be provided an assured and steady income
  • Farmers can grow food forests: Farmers can grow a food forest, fruit orchards or nut trees but not water-intensive crops on this land.
  • It would guarantee not only a good farming income but also great earnings from the water for the farmers without taking the ownership of the land away from them
  • No Need of subsidies:  The capital cost for building such a scheme would be minimal (a few hundred crores.
  • The revenue generated would be able to pay for the costs and for farmers’ income without any subsidy
  • Prevention of erosion: Ecologically, a water sanctuary would prevent erosion, heal the river ecosystem, and restore the ecological balance in floodplains
  • Rivers can be refilled when water levels decrease in them: Even after withdrawal, floodplains would have enough water to slowly release back into the river in a lean season

Q.3) Write short notes on:

Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)

Introduction:

  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body.
  • It is administered under the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.

Function:

  • It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children.
  • It primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies

Significance:

  • It is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • It is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.

Long-Term Capital Gain or Loss (LTCG) Tax in Economy

  • A long-term capital gain or loss is a gain or loss from a qualifying investment owned for longer than 12 months before it was sold.
  • The amount of an asset sale that counts toward a capital gain or loss is the difference between the sale value and the purchase value, or simply, the amount of money the investor gained or lost when he sold the asset.
  • Long-term capital gains are assigned a lower tax rate than short-term capital gains in the United States.
  • When taxpayers file their returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they report the net total of their long-term capital gains earned in the tax year.
  • For example, if someone has a long-term gain of $50,000 and a long-term loss of $40,000 in a calendar year, he reports $10,000 as a capital gain. However, short-term capital gains are treated differently when calculating net capital gains.
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