The Government of India had initiated the process of formulating a New Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements of the population with regard to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry. The extant National Policy on Education, modified in required changes to meet the contemporary and futuristic needs of our large youth population. For this, the MHRD initiated an unprecedented collaborative, multi-stakeholder, multi-pronged, bottom- up people-centric, inclusive, participatory consultation process. The extensive consultations undertaken across multiple levels of online, expert and thematic, and from the grassroots ranging from Village, Block, Urban Local bodies, District, State, Zonal and the National level, provided an opportunity to every citizen to engage in this massive exercise. Several in-person and in-depth deliberations across a wide spectrum of stakeholders were held. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, was constituted, which submitted its report in May,
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Western Ghats: Importance The Western Ghats is an extensive region spanning over six States, 44 districts and taluks. It is the home of many endangered plants and animals. The Western Ghats acts as a huge water tank supplying water to six states. Now there are many leakages and there is a water shortage.
All the rivers are running dry now. And wherever there is water, it is highly polluted. The Western Ghats needs high attention in the sustainability aspect of whole India and especially South India. Gadgil Committee Recommendations: Gadgil committee had eminent ecologists and their report too reflected that.
ESZ-1 being of high priority, almost all developmental activities mining, thermal power plants etc were restricted in it. Gadgil Committee report specifies that the present system of governance of the environment should be changed. It asked for a bottom to top approach right from Gram sabhas rather than a top to bottom approach.
It also asked for decentralization and more powers to local authorities. Criticisms of Madhav Gadgil Report The major criticism faced by Gadgil Committee report was that it was more environment-friendly and not in tune with the ground realities. Recommendations were cited as impractical to implement. Gadgil report has asked for a complete eco-sensitive cover for the Western Ghats which hamper different states on energy and development fronts.
There was a criticism against the constitution of a new body called WGEA. States insist that protection can be given under existing laws. Gadgil report is against dams in the Western Ghats, which is a crucial blow on the ailing power sector. Considering the growing energy needs of India, critics argue that this recommendation cannot be taken.
When the Gadgil Committee report was first made public, there were a lot of protests against it from the sand mining and quarrying lobbies in Goa. Many mafias created fear among farmers in Kerala that the Gadgil report is against them, and that they will lose livelihood if its recommendations are implemented. Darker side and Hidden Agenda Ministry of environment and forests kept the Gadgil report in safe custody for eight months with them. It was not available for public discussion as expected by Gadgil committee members.
People asked for a copy, but the ministry said it could not be given. Then the matter is taken to the Delhi high court and only when the court passed an order, the ministry released the report! The court ordered that all the reports should be put on websites. The problem was that most people had not read it. Who bothers to read a page report, that too in English, uh!
So, the mining lobby took advantage of this aspect and misled the people. They convinced the people against the report in their favour. The lobby told the people that the report was against farmers and they would have to leave the area. People got really worried. And it is in this background that another committee was appointed to study Gadgil Report, review and suggest measures for implementation. A complete ban on mining, quarrying and sand mining in ESA. Current mining areas in the ESA should be phased out within the next five years, or at the time of expiry of mining lease, whichever is earlier.
Kasturirangan report on the Western Ghats has made several pro-farmer recommendations, including the exclusion of inhabited regions and plantations from the purview of ecologically sensitive areas ESAs.
The Kasturirangan report had said villages fall under the ESA purview. Criticisms of Kasturirangan committee Report The Kasturirangan panel used remote sensing and aerial survey methods for zonal demarcation of land in the Western Ghats. The usage of such techniques, without examining the ground reality, has caused many errors in the report.
The power is vested with the bureaucrats and forest officials and not with gram sabhas. Under this report, the mining and quarrying lobbies are expected to flourish. When these lobbies and tourism flourish, it will be disastrous for the environment. There will be a water shortage, there will be pollution.
Finally, farmers will have to quit the area. They will not be able to do farming there. Kasturirangan report included ecologically non-sensitive areas under ESA, and left out many ecologically sensitive areas!
Comparison of Gadgil Report and Kasturirangan Report Whenever we study environment, the evergreen topic of debate is between environment and development. It is tough to achieve a perfect balance. The same happened with both these reports.
If Gadgil report laid too much importance to the environment, Kasturirangan report was biased towards development. Kasturi Rangan report was criticized by many as that it provided loopholes for mining, which if allowed would turn detrimental to the environment, in long-term will affect development too. Kasturirangan report got the tag as anti-environmental soon after its release. But this report was tagged anti-development too by many who fear that their livelihood and interests will be affected.
He prescribed that the existing sanctuaries and ESZ-1 would together cover 60 percent of this landscape. The 25 percent lowest priority areas would be marked as ESZ-3 to allow all developmental activities with precautions.
The remaining 15 percent area would become ESZ For example, while no mining would be allowed within ESZ- 1, existing mines could continue in ESZ-2 with a moratorium on new licences. In ESZ-3, new mines could come up. The Kasturirangan panel, on the other hand, adopted the criteria followed by the Western Ghats Development Programme of the Planning Commission and identified talukas as its Western Ghats landscape, which worked out to 1,64, sq km. He marked 37 percent of this stretch as ESA where hazardous industries, thermal plants or mines would not be allowed.
Now, according to the Gadgil report, the ESZ-1 areas add up to approximately 77, sq km 60 percent of 1,29, sq km. That is a reduction of 17, sq km in the top priority segment.
Source : Western Ghats — Tehelka. Another committee to study Kasturi Rangan report! Please, No! Yes, Oommen V Oommen Committee : As people turned violent and started protests, Oommen Chandy, the then Chief Minister of Kerala set up an expert committee the chairman has same first name as CM, did you see that; though he made life of UPSC aspirants difficult by appointing another committee, he made things a little easy by selecting a chairman whose first name is same as his, so that UPSC aspirants can remember: To the notice of all future committees and commissions!
The committee adopted a satellite survey to determine EFL and even plantations and estates were included in it! It also recommended stopping land acquisition proceedings according to the Kasturirangan committee report.
The panel has made several pro-farmer recommendations, including the exclusion of inhabited regions and plantations from the purview of ecologically sensitive areas ESAs.
The state-level panel said a field survey should be held in places that the Madhav Gadgil and Kasturirangan reports have identified as ESAs to demarcate forest land and human settlements. After examining the population density of these areas, human settlements should be exempted from the category of ESAs. It also said farmers should not be stopped from rearing hybrid varieties of milking animals and suggested that the grace period is given to shift to organic farming be extended from five years to 10 years.
The report said forest areas should be fenced to prevent the animals straying into it. Why people turned violent? No, not after the 3rd committee! But even before that! Farmers were worried of Gadgil report, fearing their eviction. They fear the same of Kasturirangan report too. By this time UPSC aspirants should have realised that no report can satisfy all! Though there are many who treat Kasturirangan report as a more practical report, the truth is that Gadgil report was not anti-farmer.
Both of them were different concepts under different laws—the first under forest department and the latter under the district administration and pollution control board. And remember that protests often are not due to love towards the environment, but often because of fear of eviction or loss of livelihood.
Centre issued an office order in November directing immediate implementation of five proposals in the Kasturirangan report. This was the immediate provocation for the agitation. Later, the central government sought the opinion of the five states in implementing the report. Dialogues were still on and the government had asked the state governments to submit their views on the report.
The reports were neither available in the public domain nor the opinion of states was asked. So guess who intervened by this time? The Kasturirangan panel had submitted its report to the Ministry on April 15, Finally it was put in public domain and also disseminated to all stakeholders including the six Western Ghats states including Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu for feedback and comments.
Going with the recommendations of the high-level panel that was headed by Mr. With the central government deciding to implement the Kasturirangan Committee report on the Western Ghats, there were several protests in Kerala.
Even those who opposed the Gadgil Committee report now want it in place of the Kasturirangan Committee report. People now fear that due to illegal mining they would get evicted indirectly.
The high-level panel had recommended that the hill tracts with high population densities be kept out of the ESA ambit. The MoEF recently came out with the order, and according to directions under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, , bars mining in ecologically fragile areas EFA not to be confused with ESA , setting up of thermal plants and restricts buildings to less than 20, sq ft in villages mentioned in the K.
Kasturirangan report of the state. He said the scale of the disaster would have been smaller had the state government and local authorities followed environmental laws.
This statement has again brought the debate — development vs environment — back into the mainstream.
It will be disastrous for the environment. Finally, farmers will have to quit the area. Even those who opposed the Gadgil Committee report now want it in place of the Kasturirangan Committee report. It is against this background that Rediff.
Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel
Topics covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats What to study? For Prelims: Western Ghats- Key geographical and environmental facts.
Gadgil Report and Kasturirangan Report on Western Ghats
The Gadgil Commission report was criticised for being too environment-friendly. The answer to the question of how to manage and conserve the Ghats will not lie in removing these economic options, but in providing better incentives to move them towards greener and more sustainable practices," the HLWG report says. It had suggested three levels of categorization where regulatory measures for protection would be imposed and had recommended the establishment of the Western Ghats Ecology Authority for management of the Ghats. The member Working Group, headed by Planning Commission member Kasturirangan, has environmental experts and other professionals as its members. Natarajan said that the recommendations would be looked into urgently so that action can be taken to address these challenges. Kasturirangan said, "The message of this report is serious, alarming and urgent.
Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats