The Environmental Information System acronymed as ENVIS was implemented by the Ministry by end of 6th Five Year Plan as a Plan Scheme for environmental information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination to policy planners, decision makers, scientists and environmentalists, researchers, academicians and other stakeholders.
ENVIS is a decentralized computerized network database system consisting of the focal point located in the Ministry and a chain of network partners, known as ENVIS Centres located in the potential organizations/institutions throughout the country.
In order to develop ENVIS network as a comprehensive distributed environmental information network system, the ambit of ENVIS was extended to cover all the States/UTs of the country. Necessary guidelines and policies were provided to revise the earlier EFC of the scheme and the new concept for covering the State Government departments were completed through a revised SFC.
Presently, the ENVIS network consist of 76 ENVIS centres apart from the focal point, out of which, 29 ENVIS Centres are on State Government Departments dealing with the Status of Environment and related issues of the concerned State Government and the remaining 47 have been set up on various environmental disciplines covering from air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, biodiversity, solid waste management, ecology and ecosystems, environmental education, NGOs, media and even environmental parliament, coastal ecosystem, clean technology, etc.
The broad objectives of ENVIS are:
o to build up a repository and dissemination centre in Environmental Science and Engineering;
o to gear up the modern technologies of acquisition, processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information of environmental nature; and
o to support and promote research, development and innovation in environmental information technology.
o to provide national environmental information service relevant to present needs and capable of development to meet the future needs of the users, originators, processors and disseminators of information;
o to build up storage, retrieval and dissemination capabilities with the ultimate objectives of disseminating information speedily to the users;
o to promote, national and international cooperation and liaison for exchange of environment related information;
o to promote, support and assist education and personnel training programmes designed to enhance environmental information processing and utilisation capabilities;
o to promote exchange of information amongst developing countries.
Classification of ENVIS Centres located throughout the country
Both the Focal Point and ENVIS Centres in their assigned subject-areas are developing the requisite databases on identified parameters in order to disseminate information concerning their subject-areas to the user concerned. Besides, the Centres are also developing their resources of information in the form of books, periodicals, dissertation, thesis and various other such documentary information package to collate the necessary information in their assigned subject-areas to develop the database and to disseminate it.
In order to disseminate information online almost all the ENVIS Centres have developed their interactive databases in their assigned subject-areas for requisite dissemination. The system as a whole, responds to more than 15000 such queries in a particular year. Besides, each ENVIS Centre also publishes newsletters, journals, abstracts, state of art reports, etc., as printed information package for dissemination as and when required to all concerned.
The ENVIS Focal Point has also developed a comprehensive interactive website for online coordination with all its network partners as well as dissemination of information to the users whenever required. In order to assist the State ENVIS Centres to produce the State of Environment report, the focal point of ENVIS has developed a comprehensive database with GIS interface known as Indian State Level Basic Environmental Information Database (ISBEID) on 23 modules in various subject areas of environment and its associated fields which are quite relevant to the State ENVIS Centres. The Focal Point also publishes a quarterly newsletter known as “ENVIRO NEWS” of the Ministry disseminating information on policies amendment of rules and acts, international treaties and conventions, environmental clearances, etc. undertaken by the Ministry from time to time. A quarterly journal known as “Paryavaran Abstracts” reporting environmental research in Indian context is also published by the Focal Point of ENVIS. The Ministry’s website has also been developed by ENVIS Focal Point and updated regularly to disseminate online information to all concerned. The Information and Facilitation Counter set up by the Ministry as per the directives of DOPT is also coordinated by ENVIS Focal Point.
The Library of the Ministry which is one of the scientific libraries in the field of environment and having more than 250 national and international journals is also coordinated by the ENVIS for its development, resource management and creation of information resources.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
The functioning of the entire ENVIS network is monitored by regional workshops, national workshops and through a Scientific Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary (E&F) to evaluate and to provide necessary mid-term corrections and guidelines to ENVIS and its network partners to meet the objectives.
Criteria for selection of ENVIS Centres
o Publication of “Annual Report”
o Publication of “ENVIRO NEWS”