- India and neighbours: Conserving Dolphins
- Honey Mission for Self-Employment for Migrant Workers
- Prime Ministers Awards for Excellence in Public Administration
- CSS Schemes in Cantonment Areas
Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology
Why in news?
In a webinar organised by Inland Fisheries Society of India, ICAR, NMCG etc., experts from India – Bangladesh – Nepal and Myanmar come together for enhancing conservation of river Dolphins in the region pavingway for regional cooperation.
- River Dolphins a unique species found mainly in rivers of Asia and South America are vanishing rapidly.
- Gangetic Dolphin, the national aquatic animal of India has been declared endangered by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- This webinar was organised to discuss the future strategy to conserve and revive these Dolphins with regional cooperation.
- Sunderban delta is a unique ecological space where Gangetic as well as Irrawaddy Dolphin are present, spread over India as well as Bangladesh.
- While working on rejuvenation of river Ganga, continuous efforts in the Namami Gange programme to bring Dolphin Conservation to national attention has resulted in the announcement of “Project Dolphin” by the Prime Minister.
- The most important thing to focus on now is community participation along with scientific interventions.
- Namami Gange has given importance to biodiversity and ecological improvement along with pollution abatement and projects have been taken up for improvement of fisheries with CIFRI and for biodiversity conservation with Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
- Under this framework, this is a first of its kind occasion where the fishery sector is leading the Dolphin Conservation discourse.
Fishermen and Dolphins
- Fishery conservation efforts under Namami Gange through CIFRI would improve prey base in Dolphin habitat leading to enhanced Dolphin population.
- Livelihood improvement of fishermen to help them join conservation efforts.
- Coordinated approach needed for synergising transboundary efforts and to develop a regional program.
- Small habitats in North East Rivers need special study for local propagation or translocation.
- Dolphin education for students, community engagement and improving overall awareness.
- Latest under water acoustic methodology to be applied for Dolphin census.
- E-flow assessment and implementation from biodiversity point of view.
Other Steps taken to protect Dolphins
- Setting up of the Conservation Action Plan for the Gangetic Dolphin (2010-2020), which has identified threats to Gangetic dolphins and impact of river traffic, irrigation canals and depletion of prey-base on dolphin populations.
- Gangetic dolphins have been included in Schedule -I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which means they have the highest degree of protection against hunting.
- They are also one among the 21 species identified under the centrally sponsored scheme, “Development of Wildlife Habitat”.
Threats to Gangetic river dolphin
- Pollution: It faces a number of threats such as dumping of single-use plastics in water bodies, industrial pollution, and fishing.
- Restrictive Flow of Water: The increase in the number of barrages and dams is also affecting their growth as such structures impede the flow of water.
- Poaching: Dolphins are also poached for their flesh, fat, and oil, which is used as a prey to catch fish, as an ointment and as a supposed aphrodisiac.
- Shipping & Dredging: It is also called a blind dolphin because it doesn’t have an eye lens and uses echolocation to navigate and hunt.
Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has created local employment for migrant workers through its flagship “Honey Mission” program.
- Minister of State for MSME distributed 700 bee boxes to 70 migrant workers of Uttar Pradesh providing them with livelihood opportunity under Honey Mission.
- The Honey Mission was launched by KVIC in 2017 which aimed at creating employment for the Adivasis, farmers, unemployed youth, and women by roping them in beekeeping while also increasing India’s honey production.
- Western Uttar Pradesh has been chosen as one of the most favourable markets for honey production as the entire region has an abundance of flora that also includes a variety of crops.
- KVIC acts liaison as an income-generating tool for the beekeepers and beekeeping.
- KVIC ensures better food and medicine with the value of honey production and other hive products and supports cross-pollination that pays the way for agriculture crops.
- KVIC would provide loans for setting up processing units, packaging units and labelling units for honey.
- The significance of the mission lies in the fact that Production of healthy honey and wax, and bee-keeping would open many job opportunities for unemployed youths and also for aspiring young entrepreneurs.
National Bee Board (NBB)
The Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmer’s Welfare established the National Bee Board (NBB) in the year 2000.
Though the main motto of the board is to improve pollination and crop productivity through beekeeping, it attributes the following:
- Research and Development of honey processing units
- To sketch schemes and establish training through research institutions
- Production of quality honey: The innovation of Phyto-Sanitary standards in terms of Bee-Product quality
- Migration of honeybee colonies: Enabling the longer and safe migration of honeybees
- Creating awareness and organising training: Research and training on the disease-prone and its medication.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)
- The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body formed in 1957 by the Government of India, under ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
- It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India
- Aim of KVIC is: plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
For the year 2020, the scheme for Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration has been comprehensively restructured to recognize the contribution of civil servants in strengthening of:
- Inclusive Development through Credit Flow to the Priority Sector
- Promoting people’s movements – “Jan Bhagidari” through Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban and Gramin) in the District
- Improving Service Delivery and Redressal of Public Grievances
- The scope of the awards has been expanded to identify areas of overall outcome-oriented performance in the districts across sectors.
- The contribution of District Collectors would be recognized for implementation of Inclusive Credit Flow to the Priority Sector, promoting people’s movements through Jan Bhagidari and Improving Service Delivery and Redressal of Public Grievances.
- Further the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration seek to recognize the efforts of District level officials in Namami Gange Program.
- The award for the Aspirational Districts Program has been revamped to reward the District having the best overall progress under the Scheme following 2 years of implementation.
- The Innovations category has traditionally received the highest number of nominations. The scheme has been broad based to recognize Innovations at National/ State / District level in 3 separate categories.
Background: Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration
- Government of India has instituted a scheme, “Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration” – to acknowledge, recognize and reward the extraordinary and innovative work done by Districts/ organizations of the Central and State Governments.
- The awards are given every year for Excellence in implementing identified Priority Programmes of Government of India and extraordinary and innovative work done by the Organizations of Central/ State Governments/ Districts in public governance.
- Two awards shall also be given to Organizations of Central/ State Governments / Districts for Innovations in environment conservation, disaster management, water conservation, energy, education and health, women and child centric initiatives etc., of which one shall be given for innovations by Aspirational districts, under the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP).
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
Ministry of Defence and Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE) organised a webinar to improve implementation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) in 62 cantonments around the country.
- This webinar was an important step towards seamless delivery of benefits of various centrally sponsored schemes and in improving the overall wellbeing of approximately 21 lakh residents in the cantonments.
- It was organised with the objective to have better understanding of the implementation mechanism and funding of various Centrally Sponsored Schemes and to prepare a roadmap for extending the benefits of these to the residents of cantonment areas.
- In India Cantonment areas were (and are) primarily meant to accommodate the military population and their installations.
- In terms of Entry 3 of Union List (Schedule VII) of the Constitution of India, Urban Self Governance of the Cantonments and the Housing Accommodation therein is the subject matter of the Union of India.
- There are 62 Cantonments in the country which have been notified under the Cantonments Act, 1924 (succeeded by the Cantonments Act, 2006).
- The overall municipal administration of the notified Cantonments is the function of the Cantonment Boards which are democratic bodies.
- Cantonments are different from the Military Stations in that the Military Stations are purely meant for the use and accommodation of the armed forces and these are established under an executive order whereas the Cantonments are areas which comprise of both military and civil population.
- Kanpur Cantonment is the largest cantonment in India, both by area and population.