Call Us Now

+91 9606900005 / 04

For Enquiry

PIB Summaries 31 July 2023


  1. Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023
  2. Empowering India’s Senior Citizens: Accomplishments of AVYAY, SAGE, and SACRED Initiatives

Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023


Recently, the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023 has been passed by the Lok Sabha, and it aims to bring significant changes to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which is a crucial central statute for the conservation of forests in India.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Background on Forest Laws in India
  2. Key Features of the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023
  3. Positive Takeaway from the Forest Amendment Bill
  4. Criticism of the Forest Amendment Bill

Background on Forest Laws in India:

  • The Indian Forest Act, 1927 was enacted to manage timber and other forest resources.
  • It allows state governments to declare their forest land as reserved or protected forests.
  • Land rights in such areas are subject to the provisions of the Act.
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 was introduced to prevent extensive deforestation.
  • It mandates the approval of the central government for any diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes.

Increased pressure on forest land:

  • The Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests (2019) highlighted the rising pressure on forest land due to factors like industrial demands, agriculture, and demand for forest produce.

Restrictions on forest land diversion:

  • The 1980 Act imposes specific limitations on diverting forest land for non-forest purposes.

Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill:

  • This proposed bill seeks to modify the criteria for including and excluding forest land from the Act’s jurisdiction.

Key Features of the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023:

Inclusion of Land under the Act:

  • The Bill includes two categories of land under the purview of the Act:
    • (i) Land declared/notified as a forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 or any other law.
    • (ii) Land not covered in the first category but notified as a forest on or after October 25, 1980, in a government record.

Exemption of Certain Types of Land:

  • Certain types of land are exempted from the provisions of the Act, such as forest land along a rail line or a public road maintained by the government.

Approval Requirement for Assigning Forest Land:

  • The Bill extends the requirement of prior approval from the central government to assign forest land to all entities, including those owned and controlled by the government.
  • Prior approval is subject to terms and conditions prescribed by the central government.

De-reservation and Non-Forest Purposes:

  • The Act restricts the de-reservation of forests or the use of forest land for non-forest purposes.
  • The central government may grant approval to lift such restrictions.
  • Non-forest purposes include using the land for horticultural crops or any purpose other than reafforestation.
  • The Bill adds more activities to the list of exclusions from non-forest purposes, including zoos, safaris, ecotourism facilities, silvicultural operations, and other purposes specified by the central government.

Central Government’s Directions:

  • The central government is empowered to issue directions for the implementation of the Act to any authority or organization recognized by the center, state, or union territory (UT).

Positive Takeaway from the Forest Amendment Bill:

Encouragement of Plantations and Carbon Sink:

  • The amendments specifically encourage the practice of cultivating plantations on non-forest land, which can increase tree cover, act as a carbon sink, and contribute to India’s goal of being ‘net zero’ in emissions by 2070.

Infrastructure Development and Livelihood Opportunities:

  • The amendments remove restrictions on creating infrastructure that aids national security and creates livelihood opportunities for communities living on the periphery of forests.

Criticism of the Forest Amendment Bill:

Dilution of Supreme Court Judgement:

  • Some critics argue that the proposed amendments “dilute” the Supreme Court’s 1996 judgement in the Godavarman case, which extended protection to wide tracts of forests even if they were not recorded as forests.
  • However, the Environment Ministry claims that the provisions in the Bill guard against such situations.

Opposition from Northeastern States:

  • Several Northeastern states have expressed opposition to the Bill, raising concerns that large portions of forest land would be unilaterally taken away for defense purposes.
  • It is important to note that the positive takeaways and criticisms reflect different perspectives on the Forest Amendment Bill.

Empowering India’s Senior Citizens: Accomplishments of AVYAY, SAGE, and SACRED Initiatives


Recently, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment provided valuable insights into the accomplishments of the Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine(SAGE) Portal and Senior Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED) Portal the significant contributions made under the Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana (AVYAY).


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. SAGE Portal: Empowering the Silver Economy
  2. SACRED Portal: Empowering Senior Citizens through Re-Employment
  3. Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana (AVYAY): Holistic Support for Senior Citizens

SAGE Portal: Empowering the Silver Economy

The SAGE (Seniorcare Aging Growth Engine) Portal is an initiative aimed at fostering innovation in elderly care solutions and promoting investment in the “silver economy” segment. The silver economy refers to the system of producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services to meet the needs of older and aging individuals.

Key Features of SAGE Portal:
  • Catalyst for Innovation: The SAGE Portal serves as a catalyst to attract entrepreneurs and start-ups to invest in the silver economy, encouraging the development of innovative solutions for elderly care.
  • One-Stop Access: The portal provides convenient “one-stop access” for stakeholders, including senior citizens and their families, to discover and access a wide range of products and services catering to their specific needs.
  • Government Facilitator: The government plays a crucial role as a facilitator, enabling the elderly to access the products and services offered by identified start-ups through the SAGE Portal.
  • Equity Support for Start-ups: Selected start-ups or start-up ideas in the silver economy space receive equity support of up to Rs. 1 crore per project through the Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI).
  • Government Equity Cap: To promote private sector participation, the government ensures that the total government equity in the supported start-up does not exceed 49%.

SACRED Portal: Empowering Senior Citizens through Re-Employment

The SACRED (Senior Citizens Re-Employment and Deployment) Portal is an initiative aimed at empowering senior citizens by providing them with opportunities for re-employment. The portal is specifically designed to cater to the needs and requirements of citizens aged 60 years and above, focusing on their unique skills and preferences.

Key Features of SACRED Portal:
  • Job Opportunities for Senior Citizens: The SACRED Portal offers job opportunities for senior citizens, enabling them to find suitable work options that align with their preferences and skills.
  • Virtual Matching System: The portal employs a virtual matching system that connects the preferences of senior citizens with private enterprises seeking experienced individuals. This system ensures a more efficient and effective job matching process.
  • Financial Security: Through re-employment opportunities, the SACRED Portal aims to help senior citizens attain financial security, reducing their dependence on external support and fostering greater independence.

Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana (AVYAY): Holistic Support for Senior Citizens

The Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana (AVYAY) is a comprehensive scheme that aims to provide holistic support for senior citizens in India. It addresses various aspects of elderly care and welfare, ensuring a better quality of life for the elderly population.

Components of AVYAY:

Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens (IPSrC):

  • This component provides financial aid to implementing agencies to run and maintain Senior Citizens Homes.
  • These homes offer shelter, food, medical care, and entertainment opportunities for indigent senior citizens.

State Action Plan for Senior Citizens (SAPSrC):

  • States and Union Territories receive grant-in-aid to implement various welfare activities for indigent senior citizens.
  • These activities include creating a pool of trained geriatric caregivers and conducting special cataract drives.

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY):

  • Under this component, eligible senior citizens suffering from age-related disabilities receive assisted living devices.
  • These devices enhance their bodily functions and help them overcome their disabilities.

Elderline – National Helpline for Senior Citizens (NHSC):

  • The Elderline offers a toll-free helpline (14567) to provide free information, guidance, emotional support, and field intervention in cases of abuse.
  • The helpline aims to ensure an improved quality of life for senior citizens by addressing their concerns and needs.

Senior-care Ageing Growth Engine (SAGE):

  • This component aims to encourage youth to think about the problems of the elderly and come up with innovative ideas for elderly care.
  • It promotes these ideas by providing equity support to start-ups in the elderly care sector.
Outcomes of AVYAY:
  • Nearly 1.5 lakh beneficiaries are staying in Senior Citizen homes, receiving essential care and support.
  • Over the last three financial years, a total of Rs. 288.08 crore in grants-in-aid has been released, benefiting 3,63,570 senior citizens.
  • AVYAY has led to an improved quality of life and social integration for indigent elderly individuals.
  • The scheme also promotes an inclusive society that values and respects senior citizens.
  • Additionally, it contributes to economic growth by developing the “silver economy” and generating employment opportunities in the elderly care sector.

May 2024