News: The Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of Three Farm Laws until further Orders.
Summary of the Supreme Court Order:
- Stay on Farm Laws: Implementation of three farm laws namely The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act have stayed.
- The stay on their implementation means the Centre cannot, for the time being, proceed with any executive actions to enforce the laws.
- No Retrospective Action: No farmer must be dispossessed or deprived of his title as a result of any action taken under the laws.
- Committee Formed: The court formed a four-member committee of experts to listen to the grievances of the farmers on the farm laws and the views of the government and make recommendations. The Committee shall be provided with a place at Delhi and Government to bear its expenses and give it secretarial assistance
- Functions of Committee: The representatives of all the farmers’ bodies whether they are holding a protest or not and whether they support or oppose the laws shall participate in the deliberations of the Committee and put forth their viewpoints. The Committee should file the report within 2 months before the Supreme Court.
Further Reading on Farm Laws: https://blog.forumias.com/issue-of-farm-bills/
News: Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE) has launched SATHEE Portal and Standards and Labelling Programme for Air Compressors and Ultra High Definition(UHD) TV during the 30th National Energy Conservation Awards(NECA).
- SAATHEE stands for State-wise Actions on Annual Targets and Headways on Energy Efficiency.
- Purpose: It is a Management Information System (MIS) portal which will facilitate real-time monitoring of the progress of implementation of various Energy Conservation endeavours at State level.
Standards and Labelling Programme for Air Compressors and Ultra High Definition(UHD) TV
- It has been launched on a voluntary basis and the energy consumption standards will be effective from 01st January 2021.
- This initiative is expected to save around 8.41 Billion Units of electricity for Air Compressors and 9.75 Billion Units for UHD TV till 2030.
- Standards and Labelling Programme: It was launched in 2006 by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE).
- Objective: To provide the consumer an informed choice about the energy-saving and thereby the cost-saving potential of the relevant marketed product.
- Targets: The scheme targets display of energy performance labels on high energy end-use equipment & appliances and lays down minimum energy performance standards.
- Appliances covered: Presently, the programme covers around 27 equipment/appliances including 10 for which it is mandatory.
News: Union Minister of Health and family Welfare has inaugurated the 5th National Kayakalp Awards.
- National Kayakalp awards: It was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2015 as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to ensure hygiene, sanitation and cleanliness in Public Health Facilities in India.
- Aim: The award recognises and facilitates those District Hospitals, Sub-divisional hospitals, Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres and Health & Wellness Centres in the public healthcare system who have achieved high levels of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.
- Parameters: The parameters on which the performance of the facility would be judged are as follows: 1) Hospital/Facility Upkeep 2) Sanitation and hygiene 3) Waste Management 4) Infection control 5) Support Services and 6) Hygiene Promotion.
- Assessment: The assessment of these parameters are done sequentially through a three tier system – internal assessment followed by peer assessment and then external assessment.
- Significance: The success of Kayakalp has been internationally applauded during the 72nd World Health Assembly, held on 20-28th May 2019. The success of Kayakalp was also duly recognized in Global Baseline Report 2019 published by WHO, UNICEF and JMP.
- Swachh Swasth Sarvatra: It was instituted by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) & Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) in 2016 under Swachh Bharat Mission.
- Aim: To strengthen Community Health Centres in open defecation free (ODF) blocks across the country along with behavioural change to enable them achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene with the goal of making India free of open defecation.
- Objectives: The Three broad objectives of this scheme are:-
- Enabling Gram Panchayat where Kayakalp awarded PHCs are located to become ODF.
- Strengthening Community Health Centre (CHC) in ODF blocks to achieve higher level of cleanliness to meet Kayakalp standards through a support of Rs 10 Lakh under NHM.
- Build capacity through training in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Of nominees from covered PHC and CHC.
News: Union Environment Minister has released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
What is Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)?
- Management Effectiveness Evaluation(MEE) tool is increasingly being used by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected area management systems.
- It is defined as the assessment of how well National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are being managed—primarily, whether they are protecting their values and achieving the goals and objectives agreed upon.
- Indicators: There are 30 ”Headline Indicators” developed under six elements of MEE framework suitable in Indian context for evaluation. The ratings are assigned in four categories, as Poor – upto 40%; Fair – 41 to 59%; Good – 60 to 74%; Very Good – 75% and above.
- What was the need of this tool? At present, India has a network of 903 protected areas covering about five per cent of the total geographic area of the country. India also has 70% of the global tiger population, 70% of Asiatic lions and more than 60% of leopards global population. Hence, in order to assess the efficacy of protected areas, evaluation of management effectiveness is required.
- The results of the present assessment are encouraging with an overall mean MEE score of 62.01% which is higher than the global mean of 56%.
- Jaldapara national park (West Bengal), Raiganj wildlife sanctuary (West Bengal), Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary (Himachal Pradesh), Tirthan wildlife sanctuary(Himachal Pradesh) and Great Himalayan national park (Himachal Pradesh) have been declared as top five national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
- Turtle Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh was the worst performer in the survey.
Other Initiatives launched:
- MEE of Marine Protected Areas: A new framework for MEE of Marine Protected Areas has been also jointly prepared by Wildlife Institute of India(WII) and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
- Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Indian Zoos(MEE-ZOO): It is a framework which proposes guidelines, criteria and indicators for evaluation of zoos of the country through Management Effectiveness Evaluation Process(MEE-ZOO) in a manner which is discrete, holistic and independent.
- The assessment criteria and indicators look beyond the traditional concepts including issues of animal welfare, husbandry and sustainability of resources and finance.
To read about Protected Areas(PA) Networks: https://blog.forumias.com/all-about-protected-area-networks/
News: According to a Study, the wildlife corridor of the Aravallis in Gurgaon and Faridabad harbours a richer variety of mammals than the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary despite not having as much protection.
- About the Study: The study was conducted under the Worldwide Fund for Nature’s small grants programme and was supported by the non-profit Centre for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR).
- Small Grants Programme: It is an initiative of WWF. It aims to encourage young Indians to respond innovatively and independently to the conservation issues which affect the country by offering eligible individuals a one-time grant of upto INR 400,000 over a maximum period of 2 years for undertaking conservation research/ action research.
Key Takeaways from the study:
- Aravallis: Aravallis in both Faridabad and Gurugram has a larger variety of mammals compared to the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary which is classified as a protected area and enjoys legal protection under the Wild Life (Protection) Act.
- Reason: It can be attributed to the attitude of tolerance to wildlife amongst the local population, general low density of people and “subsistence agricultural practices prevalent in the two districts.
- Significance: The hotspot of wildlife in Aravallis is between Damdama and Mangar Bani and wildlife moves from there to Asola through the Aravalli in Faridabad. This indicates that Asola will survive as long as the Aravalli region of Gurgaon and Faridabad survives.
- Mammals Species: The study has revealed that around 15 species of mammals were recorded in the 200 sq km area that was covered including Gurgaon Aravallis, Mangar Bani, Faridabad Aravallis and Asola Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Among these mammals, two species—the leopard and the honey badger- are classified as endangered under Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act.
- Concerns: Increasing construction is a major threat to the wildlife corridor. Hence, it is imperative to control land-use change and protect the wildlife corridor and habitat from further fragmentation, construction and deforestation.
- Suggestions: Construction of expressways and highways also needs to take into account wildlife in the city such as by constructing underpasses or flyovers that allow at least a portion of the wildlife to cross from one part to the other and prevent complete fragmentation of wildlife populations between Aravallis of Delhi and Haryana.
- Aravallis Range: It is a mountain range in Northwestern India running approximately 692 km starting near Delhi, passing through southern Haryana and Rajasthan and ending in Gujarat. The highest peak is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 metres.
News: Prime Minister of India has addressed the valedictory function of the second National Youth Parliament Festival, 2021.
- National Youth Parliament Festival: It is organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India in collaboration with one of the State Governments.
- But this year, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has decided not to have an anchor state and to go online and let each state bring their talent to the fore.
- Purpose: It is organised to commemorate the birth anniversary of youth icon Swami Vivekananda.
- Objective: To propagate the concept of national integration, spirit of communal harmony, brotherhood, courage and adventure amongst the youth by exhibiting their cultural prowess in a common platform.
- Eligibility: Youth in the age bracket of 18-25 years are invited to participate in the festival.
- Theme: The theme for the festival is “YUVAAH—Utsah Naye Bharat Ka”.
News: The second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ has started.
- Exercise Sea Vigil: The inaugural edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2019. The exercise is being undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
- Coordinated by: It is coordinated by the Indian Navy and involves all the 13 coastal states and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders. It will also include fishing and coastal communities.
- Objective: To provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security.
- Significance: The exercise is a build-up towards the major Theatre-level exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which the Indian Navy conducts every two years. SEA VIGIL and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges including the transition from peace to conflict.