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PIB 2nd February 2021


  1. World Wetlands Day: India’s first CWCM
  2. National Mental Health Survey (NMHS)



On the occasion of the World Wetlands Day on 2nd February 2020, the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change announced the establishment of India’s first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM).


GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Conservation of Environment, Conventions regarding conservation of ecology)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are wetlands?
  2. Importance of Wetlands
  3. Wetland disturbances
  4. World Wetlands Day
  5. What is a Ramsar Site?
  6. Ramsar Convention
  7. Ramsar Sites in India which were in the news recently

What are wetlands?

  • A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail.
  • The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil.
  • The main wetland types are swamp, marsh, bog, and fen; sub-types include mangrove forest, carr, pocosin, floodplains, mire, vernal pool, sink, and many others.
  • The largest wetlands include the Amazon River basin, the West Siberian Plain, the Pantanal in South America, and the Sundarbans in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta.

Importance of Wetlands

Wetlands play a number of functions such as:

  1. Water storage (flood control)
  2. Groundwater replenishment
  3. Shoreline stabilisation and storm protection
  4. Water purification
  5. Reservoirs of biodiversity
  6. Pollination
  7. Wetland products
  8. Cultural values
  9. Recreation and tourism
  10. Climate change mitigation and adaptation

Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life.

Wetland disturbances

Wetlands, the functions and services they provide as well as their flora and fauna, can be affected by several types of disturbances – the predominant ones include the following:

  1. Enrichment/eutrophication
  2. Organic loading and reduced dissolved oxygen
  3. Contaminant toxicity
  4. Acidification
  5. Salinization
  6. Sedimentation
  7. Altered solar input (turbidity/shade)
  8. Vegetation removal
  9. Thermal alteration
  10. Dehydration/aridification
  11. Inundation/flooding
  12. Habitat fragmentation
  13. Other human presence

Human Activities that affect Wetlands:

  1. Drainage
  2. Development
  3. Over-grazing
  4. Mining
  5. Unsustainable water use

Wetlands have historically been the victim of large draining efforts for real estate development, or flooding for use as recreational lakes or hydropower generation.

World Wetlands Day

  • World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on the 2nd of February as it marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar (Popularly known as Ramsar Convention).
  • The theme for World Wetlands Day 2020 is ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’.
  • This day serves to recognize the influence and positive production that Wetlands have had on the world and in terms brings communities together for the benefit of Mother Nature.

What is a Ramsar Site?

  • A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Ramsar sites are recorded on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance.
  • The Ramsar Classification System for Wetland Type is a wetland classification developed within the Ramsar Convention intended as a means for fast identification of the main types of wetlands for the purposes of the Convention.
  • The countries with most sites are the United Kingdom with 175 and Mexico with 142.
  • The country with the greatest area of listed wetlands is Bolivia.

Ramsar Convention

  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
  • It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.
  • The 2nd of February each year is World Wetlands Day, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands.
  • The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
  • Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) to administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives.

Ramsar Sites in India which were in the new recently

Ladakh’s Tso Kar Wetland Complex

  • India had added Tso Kar Wetland Complex in Ladakh as its 42nd Ramsar site (which is Highest in South Asia), which is a second one in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh (Tso Moriri or Lake Moriri the first one).
  • The Tso Kar or Tsho kar, known for its size and depth, is a fluctuating Salt Lake situated in the Rupshu Plateau and valley in the southern part of Ladakh in India.
  • The primary source of lakes is glacial meltwater.
Salt lake

Lonar Lake

  • Lonar Lake, also known as Lonar crater is a saline, soda lake, located at Lonar in Buldhana district, Maharashtra.
  • Lonar Lake is famous as the world’s Largest Basaltic Impact Crater.
  • It is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument.
  • Lonar Lake was created by an asteroid collision with earth impact during the Pleistocene Epoch.
  • It is one of the four known, hyper-velocity, impact craters in basaltic rock anywhere on Earth.
  • The other three basaltic impact structures are in southern Brazil.

Soor Sarovar Lake

  • Soor Sarovar Lake is also known as Keetham lake situated within the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, which was declared as a bird sanctuary in the year 1991.
  • This lake is situated alongside river Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

Ramsar Sites in India updated as of: February 2021 with 42 sites.

Ashtamudi WetlandKerala
Beas Conservation ReservePunjab
Bhitarkanika MangrovesOdisha
Bhoj WetlandsMadhya Pradesh
Chandra TaalHimachal Pradesh
Chilika LakeOdisha
Deepor BeelAssam
East Kolkata WetlandsWest Bengal
Harike WetlandsPunjab
Hokera WetlandJammu & Kashmir
Kanjli WetlandPunjab
Keoladeo National ParkRajasthan
Keshopur-Miani Community ReservePunjab
Kolleru lakeAndhra Pradesh
Loktak lakeManipur
Nalsarovar Bird sanctuaryGujarat
Nandur MadhameshwarMaharashtra
Nangal Wildlife SanctuaryPunjab
Nawabganj Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Parvati Agra Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu
Pong Dam lakeHimachal Pradesh
Renuka lakeHimachal Pradesh
Ropar WetlandPunjab
Rudrasagar LakeTripura
Saman Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Samaspur Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Sambhar lake Rajasthan
Sandi Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Sarsai Nawar JheelUttar Pradesh
Sasthamkotta lakeKerala
Surinsar- Mansar lakesJammu & Kashmir
TsomoririJammu & Kashmir
Upper Ganga riverUttar Pradesh
Vembanad Kol WetlandKerala
Wular lakeJammu & Kashmir
Sunderban WetlandWest Bengal
Asan Conservation ReserveUttarakhand
Kabartal WetlandBihar
Lonar LakeMaharashtra
Soor Sarovar LakeUttar Pradesh
Tso Kar Wetland ComplexLadakh
27th October Current Affairs - Legacy IAS Academy

-Source: PIB



  • The Government conducted the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) of India through the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in 2016 as per which the prevalence of mental disorders in adults over the age of 18 years is more than 10%.
  • The District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) component of the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) has been sanctioned for implementation in almost 700 districts for which support is provided to States/UTs through the National Health Mission.


GS-II: Social Justice (Government Schemes and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is being done for the betterment of people with Mental Health Disorders?
  2. Initiatives regarding Mental Health post Covid-19
  3. Mental Health Care Act 2017

What is being done for the betterment of people with Mental Health Disorders?

  • Facilities made available under DMHP at the Community Health Centre (CHC) and Primary Health Centre (PHC) levels, inter-alia, include outpatient services, assessment, counselling/ psycho-social interventions, continuing care and support to persons with severe mental disorders, drugs, outreach services, ambulance services etc.
  • In addition to above services there is a provision of 10 bedded in-patient facility at the District level.
  • The District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) has been extended to almost 700 districts of the country, under which, enhanced financial assistance is being provided to the districts for detection, management and treatment of mental disorders/ illness and additional components like suicide prevention services, work place stress management, life skills training and counselling in schools and colleges, etc.

Initiatives regarding Mental Health post Covid-19

The Government has not conducted any study to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of the population. However, realizing the impact that COVID-19 may have on the mental health of the people, the Government has taken a number of initiatives to provide psychosocial support during COVID-19.

  • Setting up of a 24/7 helpline to provide psychosocial support, by mental health professionals, to the entire affected population, divided into different target groups viz children, adult, elderly, women and healthcare workers.
  • Issuance of guidelines/ advisories on management of mental health issues, catering to different segments of the society.
  • Advocacy through various media platforms in the form of creative and audio-visual materials on managing stress and anxiety, and promoting an environment of support and care for all.
  • Issuance of detailed guidelines by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru- “Mental Health in the times of COVID-19 Pandemic – Guidance for General Medical and Specialized Mental Health Care Settings”.
  • Online capacity building of health workers by NIMHANS in providing psychosocial support and training through (iGOT)-Diksha platform.

Mental Health Care Act 2017

  • The Mental Health Care Act 2017, was described in its opening paragraph as “An Act to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
  • It states that mental illness be determined “in accordance with nationally and internationally accepted medical standards (including the latest edition of the International Classification of Disease of the World Health Organization) as may be notified by the Central Government.”
  • This Act superseded the previously existing Mental Health Act, 1987.
  • The act effectively decriminalized attempted suicide which was punishable under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • Additionally, the Act asserts that no person or authority shall classify an individual as a person with mental illness unless in directly in relation with treatment of the illness.
  • The act envisages the establishment of Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Health Authority.
  • The act also outlines the procedure and process for admission, treatment, and subsequent discharge of mentally ill persons.
  • The Act states that “Every person will have the right to access mental healthcare services. Such services should be of good quality, convenient, affordable, and accessible.”
  • This act further seeks to protect such persons from inhuman treatment, to gain access to free legal services and their medical records, and have the right to complain in the event of deficiencies in provisions
  • Patient can state on how to be treated or not to be treated for the illness during a mental health situation.

-Source: PIB

February 2024