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PIB Summaries 17 August 2023


  1. World Elephant Day
  2. BOCW Scheme

 World Elephant Day 2023


Recently, on the occasion of World Elephant Day, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment highlighted various initiatives and accomplishments in India’s elephant conservation journey.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. World Elephant Day
  2. Key Highlights of Elephants

World Elephant Day

  • World Elephant Day, commemorated worldwide on August 12, serves as a dedicated occasion to raise awareness regarding the critical challenges elephants face and advocate for their protection and conservation.
  • This day sheds light on various issues impacting elephants, including habitat loss, ivory poaching, human-elephant conflicts, and the pressing need for intensified conservation efforts.
Campaign Inception:
  • The World Elephant Day campaign was launched in 2012 with the purpose of drawing attention to the dire situations faced by African and Asian elephants.
  • Its primary goal is to foster a sustainable environment where animals are not exploited but are cared for.
Founders and Initiators:
  • The initiative was initiated by Canadian filmmakers Michael Clark and Patricia Sims, in collaboration with the Thailand-based Elephant Reintroduction Foundation.
  • Patricia Sims went on to establish the World Elephant Society in 2012, which has played a significant role in generating awareness about the threats elephants encounter and the urgent global need to safeguard them.
  • The campaign aims to create a platform for highlighting the plight of elephants and advocating for their well-being.
  • It strives to encourage global efforts for elephant conservation, ensuring their survival in the face of challenges.
  • World Elephant Day stands as a testament to the collective efforts of individuals, organizations, and communities worldwide, united in their commitment to safeguarding these majestic creatures from threats and ensuring a brighter future for them.

Key Highlights of Elephants: Biodiversity and Conservation

  • The elephant holds the distinction of being India’s Natural Heritage Animal.
  • Elephants are recognized as “Keystone Species” due to their pivotal role in maintaining forest ecosystem balance and health.

Intelligence and Brain Size:

  • Elephants are known for their remarkable intelligence, possessing the largest brain size among all land animals.

Ecological Impact:

  • Elephants are significant grazers and browsers, consuming substantial amounts of vegetation daily and dispersing seeds as they move.
  • They influence the vegetation structure of landscapes, particularly in Asian environments.
  • In forests, elephants create open areas by clearing trees, allowing sunlight to reach new seedlings and aiding natural forest regeneration.
  • Elephants also dig for water, contributing to water access for various species.

Elephants in India:

  • India hosts the largest number of wild Asian Elephants, estimated at around 29,964 according to the 2017 Project Elephant census.
  • This accounts for roughly 60% of the global Asian Elephant population.
  • Karnataka leads with the highest elephant population, followed by Assam and Kerala.
Conservation Status:

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species

  • African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis): Critically Endangered
  • African Savanna Elephant (Loxodonta africana): Endangered
  • Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus): Endangered
International Conservation Frameworks:

Convention on the Migratory Species (CMS):

  • African Forest Elephant: Appendix II
  • Asian Elephant: Appendix I

Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):

  • African Savanna Elephant: Appendix II
  • Asian Elephant: Appendix I

BOCW Scheme


Recently, the Minister of Labour and Employment provided valuable insights into the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 during a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.


GS II: Government schemes

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996: Overview and Recent Developments
  2. Recent Enhancements in Registration Process
Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996: Overview and Recent Developments

Act’s Purpose and Significance:

  • The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 (BOCW Act), is a crucial legislation aimed at protecting the rights and interests of workers within the construction sector.
Key Provisions of the BOCW Act:
  • Establishment of State Welfare Boards: These boards administer welfare funds and offer benefits like accident insurance, medical assistance, education, housing, pension, etc., to registered construction workers.
  • Regulation of Work Conditions: The Act governs work hours, overtime wages, prohibition of employment for specific individuals, and provisions for amenities such as drinking water, latrines, accommodation, etc.
  • Safety Measures: Safety committees, safety officers, and health rules are mandated for ensuring the safety and well-being of building workers.
  • Cess Collection: The Act permits the collection of a 1-2% construction cost cess by the Central government.
  • Eligibility for Registration: Workers aged 18 to 60, engaged in construction work for at least 90 days in the previous year, can register as beneficiaries with State Welfare Boards.
Implementation of Welfare Schemes:
  • State Welfare Boards manage welfare schemes, including life and disability coverage, health support, maternity assistance, transit housing, and skill development for workers.
  • These initiatives uplift the livelihoods and welfare of workers contributing to the construction sector.

Recent Enhancements in Registration Process:

  • Unique Identification Number: A unique identification number streamlines worker identification.
  • Local Competent Officers: Appointment of officers at local levels simplifies the registration process.
  • Self-Certification: Self-certification allows accurate information submission without physical presence.
  • Facilitation Centers and Camps: Dedicated centers and camps ease the registration process for workers.

April 2024