8

EDUCATION, TRAINING AND INFORMATION

[Forestry education, training and extension, Wildlife education, training and extension, National Museum of Natural History, Fellowships and Awards, Environmental Education, Awareness and Training, Centers of Excellence, Environmental Information System]


Index


Forestry Education, Training and Extension

Introduction

Education basically consists of two main concepts, namely principles and practice. Education and training helps to broaden the horizon of the management practitioners and facilitates the movement of services in consonance with scientific principles. Forestry education is of paramount importance and should be extremely comprehensive and practical, embracing all the facets of the numerous problems that a forester has to face, tackle and deal with, both inside as well as outside the forest. Forestry education and training in India began in the early part of this century for scientific requirements, especially in natural sciences and surveys. The present system of forestry education and training is well tailored to produce skilled forest managers so as to manage, protect and conserve the forests in consonance with the National Forest Policy, 1988 and the National Forestry Action Programme, 1999.

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Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun

The forestry education, extension and training programmes are co-ordinated by the Directorate of Education under the ICFRE, Dehradun.

The major function of the Directorate is to arrange:

To strengthen the infrastructure for forestry faculties in the Universities imparting forestry training at Graduate / Post Graduate levels, financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 104.94 lakhs was provided to various universities, imparting forestry education and research in the country.

M.Sc. Forestry curriculum was prepared and circulated to all Indian Universities for implementation. The Human Resource Development plan is also being finalised by the Directorate.

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Forest Research Institute (FRI)

The FRI Deemed University is actively engaged in running Post Graduate Diploma and Degree courses in following six disciplines:

In addition, the University has also undertaken Doctoral and Post Doctoral Research programmes in various disciplines of forestry at different instititutes of ICFRE. The Council has been funding these research programmes by providing research fellowships to research scholars and monthly stipends to students. 40 persons were provisionally awarded Ph. D. degree during the year 2000-2001.

Post Graduate Diploma Course on Plantation Technology – I Semester, Post Graduate Diploma Course on Pulp and Paper Technology and Post Graduate Diploma in Biodiversity Conservation were imparted. In addition, the Statistical Division is also imparting Statistical Education to students in various streams of the University.

Forestry Extension

The Directorate of Extension has the mandate to disseminate research findings and technologies developed by ICFRE, to provide Extension Support to State Forest Departments, Non-Government Organisations, etc. The Division collaborates with other Organisations to establish linkages with different user groups with an aim to motivating and educating the people on the role of forests through conservarion, development, management of community land, public forest, the need for increasing the forest productivity and the scientific use of forest products. The following are the activities undertaken by the ICFRE and its institutes during the year.

Extension Support Fund (ESF)

Twenty three extension proposal, worth Rs. 1.72 crores have been sanctioned by the Directorate of Extension to demonstrate different technologies in the field through reputed and organized research institutes in the country. Fifteen films on different aspects of forests have so far been developed by the Directorate and their VHS copies are available on sale at National Forest Library Information Centre, FRI, Dehra Dum.

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Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA), Dehradun

The Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy established in May, 1987 is a premier institution imparting Professional Training to the Probationers of the Indian Forest Service (IFS). It has so far trained 2302 IFS Probationers and 323 Foreign Trainees from neighbouring countries till 2001.

Currently, 22,25 and 22 IFS Probationers are undergoing training in the Academy belonging to 1999, 2000 and 2001 batches of IFS respectively. The number of women officers is one, seven, and nine in the above three batches respectively.

IGNFA organized 5th Senior Foresters’ Workshop in April, 2001. The issues deliberated upon included IFS Cadre Management and constraints, forest boundary consolidation, human settlements in protected areas and biodiversity legislation. 14 IFS officers of 1976 batch, eminent forestry experts, local officers and IFS Officers trainees attended the Workshop. The deliberations have been published and distributed in the form of proceedings by the Academy.

The convocation for the 1997 course was held during the year and 32 IFS probationers including four women officers were awarded Diploma.

Three compulsory training Courses for IFS officers, sponsored by the Ministry were organised in the Academy. These are :

The Academy conducted two Professional Skill Upgradation Courses and 42 officers’ promoted form State Forest Service of different State Cadres were trained under this programme.

The following 10 in-service training courses under the Forestry and Training Programme were also organised by the Academy. A total 257 officers participated in these courses.

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Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun

The FSI imparts training to forestry personnel working at various levels in order to keep them abreast with recent advancement in the application of remote sensing, forest inventory, data processing and GIS in forestry.

During the year the FSI organized nine short courses for imparting training to forestry personnel to keep them abreast with the recent advancements in application of remote sensing and GIS technology in forestry. These are an follows:-

During the year, Seventy Forest Officers comprising of Chief Conservator of Forests, Conservator of Forests, Dy. Conservator of Forests, State Forest Service Officers and Forest Range Officer attended different courses.

Index

Directorate of Forest Education, Dehradun

The Directorate of Forest Education now functions directly under the Ministry to cater to the training needs of SFS Officer and Forest Rangers of State / Union Territories in the country.

The forestry training institute under the administrative control of the Directorate of Forest Education are

State Forest Service College, Dehradun (Uttaranchal)

State Forest Service College, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)

State Forest Service College, Burnihat (Assam/Meghalaya)

Eastern Forest Rangers College,Kurseong (West Bengal)

Details of activities undertaken by the Directorate during the year are:

Refresher Courses

In order to update the knowledge of forestry professional working all over the country the Directorate conducts various courses, General Refresher courses, Theme Base courses and Computer Application courses of two weeks duration each for the officers of rank of Divisional Forest Officer and Assistant Conservator of Forests. The list of in-service courses conducted during the year each for two week’s duration is as follows:

Other Activities

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Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPIRTI), Bangalore

The Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPIRTI) continues to play its role in training manpower required by wood based industries.

Training and extension activities

The Institute has state of the art training centre in Mechanical Wood Industries Technology (MWIT) to offer several short-term courses for the industry personnel for enhancing their skills and professional competence. The activities performed by the Institute during the year are as follows:

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Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal

The Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) provides training in management and related subjects to officers from the IFS, State Forest Departments, Forest Development Corporation and forest based industries with a view to inculcating professionalism in forestry management.

The Institute has two educational programmes viz. Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management (PGDFM) and Post Master’s Course in Natural Resource Management.

PGDFM

The two year programme leading to the award of the Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management (PGDFM) was started in July 1988. The course has been recognized and equated as a corresponding Master’s Degree of an Indian University by the Association of Indian Universities. So far, 12 batches consisting of 322 students have passed out and the 13th batch (2000-2002) consisting of 39 students (two students from SAARC countries) is undergoing training at IIFM, Bhopal.

Post Master Course in Natural Resource Management

This course is specially designed for developing professional skills of resources managers, practicing professionals and others involved for efficient and effective resource management, and is of 12 months duration. 8th batch (2001-2002) consisting of nine participants will be completing the course in May, 2002.

Training

Management Development Programme (MDP)

Management Development Programme is another important activity of this Institute. Apart from imparting training to serving forestry personnel from various State Forest Departments, it also served the training needs of NGOs and officials from other development departments. A total of 155 such programmes and 40 workshops and 25 seminars on various aspects of forestry management have been conducted so far.

Consultancy

During the year the Institute has undertaken the following nine consultancy assignments as follows :

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Wildlife Education and Training

Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun

One of the main mandates of the WII, an autonomous institute of the Ministry is to impart training to government and non-government personnel, to carry out research and training activities and advice on matters of conservation and management of wildlife resources. The details of training and educational programmes conducted by the Institute are as follows:

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National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), New Delhi

The NMNH, an organization of the Ministry continued its diverse activities to promote non-formal environmental education and conservation awareness among people through various in-house and outreach activities . It has various exhibit galleries, a Bio-Science Computer Room, a Discovery Room and an Activity Room for promoting environmental awareness among different target groups.

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Fig 76. A Tableau of the Ministry during Republic Day Parade Ceremony, 2002

Educational Activities

Special in-house as well as outreach oriented programmes are regularly organized and conducted by the NMNH throughout the year for the benefit of school children, college students, teachers and general public. Some of these programmes organized during the year are as follows:

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Fig 78. Participants of Summer programme in Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary organised by RMNH, Mysore

Regional Museum of Natural History, Mysore

During the year, the museum conducted various programmes as follows:

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Fig 79. Teachers at a Workshop on Low Cost Teaching Aids at RMNH, Bhopal

Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhopal

The Regional Museum was involved in professional development in the field of museology and also organized various activities to cater to the needs of heterogenous visitors.

A large number of educational programmes in collaboration with various NGOs were undertaken:

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Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhubaneswar

Other Activities

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Fellowships and Awards

Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP)

The IGPP, instituted by the Ministry in grateful and reverential memory of the services of late Smt. Indira Gandhi, for the protection of environment, is bestowed to an individual and to an organization since 1991 in recognition to their outstanding contribution in the field of environmental protection and creating environmental awareness. The award carries Rs. 1,00,000/- in cash, a silver lotus trophy, a scroll and a citation. The award upto the year 1997 were given to the respective awardees and the same for 1998 and 1999 have been finalized. Nominations for the awards for the years 2000 and 2001 have been invited.

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Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Award (IPVM)

The IPVM instituted in 1986 by the Ministry is awarded annually to give recognition to the pioneering and exceptional contributions of individuals, public organizations in the filed of afforestation and wastelands development. The awards are given under eight categories, namely, (1) individuals, (2) Panchayat/Gram Sabha/Village level institutions, (3) educational institutions, (4) voluntary agencies including Mahila Mandals, Yuvak Mandals, etc., (5) government agencies (district level and below), (6) corporate sector, (7) government servants (individuals) and (8) Municipalities/Municipal Corporations/Cantonment Boards.

The award carries a cash component of Rs. 50,000/-, a medallion, a scroll and a citation. Awards up to 1998 have been presented so far and the same for 1999 and 2000 are being processed.

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Mahavriksha Puraskar

The Mahavriksha Puraskar was instituted by the Ministry in 1993-94 to give recognition to individuals/organizations for preserving and protecting trees of the notified species. Each award consists of a cash prize of Rs. 25,000/-. A plaque and a citation. Awards upto 1998 have been presented and the same for 1999 and 2000 are being processed.

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Pitambar Pant National Environment Fellowship Award

The fellowship is in recognition of significantly important research and development contributions and is also intended to encourage talented individuals to devote themselves to R &D pursuits in the field of environmental sciences.

The revised provisions for the Fellowships Award are Rs. 26,000/- p.m. and allowances or last pay drawn and allowances whichever in higher for in service candidates who opt the award on a whole time basis. In case of retired persons/ pensioners or if the awardee desires to work on part time basis, the fellowship amount will be Rs. 10,000/- p.m. over and above the retirement benefits/pension/normal salary as the case may be. In either case the fellowship amount will be tax-free as per the existing income-tax rules/guidelines.

The Pitambar Plant National Environment Fellowship Award for 2000 has been conferred on Dr. A.D. Bhide, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur. Dr. Bhide will work on "An integrated method for recycling of municipal solid waste".

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B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship Award for Bio-diversity

The fellowship is in recognition of significantly important research and development contributions and is also intended to encourage talented individuals to devote themselves to R & D pursuits in the field of bio-diversity.

The revised provisions for the Fellowship Award are Rs. 26,000/- p.m. and allowances or last pay drawn and allowances which ever in higher for in service candidates who opt the award on a whole time basis. In case of retired persons/pensioners or if the awardee desires to work on part time basis, the fellowship amount will be Rs. 10,000/- p.m. over and above the retirement benefits/pensions/normal salary as the case may be. In either case the fellowship amount will be tax-free as per the existing income-tax rules/guidelines.

The B.P.Pal National Environment Fellowship Award for 2000 has been conferred on Dr. Pramod Tandon, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. Dr. Tandon will work on ‘Propagation, multiplication and replenishment of threatened endangered and endemic plants on Northeast India.’

The B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship Award for 2001 has been conferred on Dr. R.K. Kohli, Punjab University, Chandigarh. Dr. Kohli will work on ‘Impact of invasive species on structure and composition of natural vegetation of Himachal Pradesh’.

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Dr. Salim Ali and Dr. Sankhala Fellowship

In order to give recognition to the eminent officers and field workers for exemplary work in the field of wildlife conservation and research, the Ministry has instituted, Dr. Salim Ali Wildlife Fellowship Award for research work on avian fauna and Dr. Kailash Sankhala National Wildlife Fellowship Award for research work on mammals.

Shri K. Thulsi Rao, Assistant Conservator of Forest, Andhra Pradesh has been selected for Dr. Salim Ali Wildlife Fellowship Award for 1999 and Shri Ranjan Kumar Das, Divisonal Forest Officer, Assam has been selected for Dr. Kailash Sankhala National Wildlife Fellowship Award for 2000.

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Rajiv Gandhi National Wildlife Conservation Award

This award has been instituted by the Ministry for significant contribution in the field of wildlife both in individual and instuitional category in recognition of having made outstanding contribution in protection and conservation of wildlife in the country. Two awards of Rs. 1,00,00/- each in cash, along with medallions and citations are given to education and research institutions and organization; Forest and wildlife officers/research scholars or scientists/wild life conservationists.

Late Shri S. Deb Roy and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, were given the award for the year 2000 under individual and institutional category respectively.

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Amrita Devi Wildlife Protection Award

The Ministry has instituted a National Award know as "Amrita Devi Wildlife Protection Award", for the individuals/communities for showing valour and courage for protection of wildlife. It carries a cash award of Rs. One lakh. The Award will be given to an individual/institution pertaining to rural communities involved in wildlife protection.

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Cash Award

Shri Ganga Ram Bishnoi, a resident of Chirai Village, Distt. Jodhpur, Rajasthan was shot dead, while protecting a Chinkara from the poachers. In recognition to his great sacrifice, Ministry has given a cash award of Rs. 50,000/- to the window of Shri Ganga Ram Bishnoi. His name has also been nominated for award of the Shaurya Chakra which has been accepted by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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Environmental Education, Awareness and Training

Formal Environmental Education

The Ministry interacts actively with the University Grants Commission (UGC), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for introducing and expanding environmental concepts, themes, issues etc. in the curricula of schools and colleges. The two Centre of Excellences, on Environmental Education of the Ministry are also involved in the activities of the UGC, NCERT and MHRD related to formal environmental education.

The study on the " Status of Infusion of Environmental Concepts in the School Curricula and the Effectiveness of its Delivery" undertaken by Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER), Pune under the "Environment Education (EE) in School System" sub-component of the World Bank assisted Environment Management Capacity Building Project was completed. Based on the recommendations of the study, pilot implementation of this project has been taken up in eight selected states namely Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa, Punjab and Uttaranchal under the phase II. During pilot implementation, textbooks of science, social science and languages for Standards VI to VIII would be modified to strengthen infusion of environment contents as recommended in the study report. The modified textbooks would be used during the next academic session (2002-2003) in 100 schools in each of the eight States. The concerned teachers would also be trained to improve their skills in teaching the environmental contents of the modified textbooks.

The Ministry has also taken other initiatives to introduce/enhance the environment content in Business and Management Education and to develop a frame-work for environmental appreciation courses for those who are interested in learning about the environment. For the purpose of introducing/enhancing environmental content in Business/Management Education, the Ministry has already set-up an Expert Committee to look into the content of the existing courses and to work out a plan of action for introducing the requisite changes. Similarly, consultations are already underway with IGNOU for developing a framework for environmental appreciation courses.

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Non-formal Environment Education and Awarness

Environmental Education, Awarness and Training plays a significant role in encouraging and enhancing people’s participation in activities aimed at conservation, protection and management of the environment, essential for achieving sustainable development. The Ministry, therefore, accords priority to the promotion of non-formal environment education and creation of awareness among all sections of the society through diverse activities using traditional and modern media of communication. Some of the major activities undertaken in this regard during the year are as follows :

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National Environment Awarness Campaign (NEAC) 2001-02

The NEAC started in 1986 for creating environmental awareness at all levels of the society, was continued during the year with the main theme as ‘Sustainable Development". A workshop was organized to streamline the activities of NEAC and on its recommendations, an action oriented component was introduced from this year into the NEAC. The following themes for action component were considered for financial grants :

Twenty-eight organizations located in different parts of the country were designated as Regional Resource Agencies (RRAs) for assisting the Ministry in conducting this Campaign. These RRAs were also responsible for physically monitoring and evaluating the activities conducted by various participating organizations under NEAC in their areas of jurisdiction.

Nearly 11,100 proposals were received from NGOs, schools, colleges, universities, research institutions, women and youth organizations etc. form all over the country. Out of these, about 5,875 organisations were provided financial assistance for organizing awareness creating activities such as padayatras, rallies, public meetings, exhibitions, folk dances, street theatres, eassy/debate, painting/poster competitions for school children, seminars, workshops, training courses, etc., and for preparation and distribution of environmental education resource materials and for following these with action oriented activities. Diverse target groups ranging from students/youths/teachers to tribal, rural population, professionals, etc. were covered under the campaign.

With a view to assessing the effectiveness and impact of the NEAC, an evaluation of this programme was undertaken during the year through three independent Institutions namely, the Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad, CPR Environmental Education Centre, Chennai and the Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi. Final reports from all the three organizations were received by the Ministry and based on the recommendations, the programme was modified to include action component.

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National Green Corps (Eco-clubs)

To impart environmental education and to encourage and mobilize participation of school children in various environmental conservation activities in their localities, the Ministry has been providing financial assistance for setting up of Eco-clubs in schools. These clubs are established in schools and each club has 30-50 members taken form among the students of Class VI to X.

The Ministry has decided to intensify the Eco Clubs programme to increase coverage and activity with the intention of mobilizing youth for environmental action. The student members of the Eco-clubs constitute the National Green Corps (NGC) . As per the Coimbatore Charter of January, 2001 the Ministry intensified the programme during the year. The programme aims to establish Eco clubs in at least 100 schools in each district of the country thereby covering around 55,000 schools.

The above programme addresses various issues concerning protection and improvement of environment, e.g. solid waste management, pollution control, afforestation, maintenance of parks and open spaces, dissemination of information and creation of awareness.

The State and Union Territory Governments have been assigned the responsibility of identifying schools, teachers and Nodal Agencies. The Nodal Agencies are responsible for implementing, supervising and monitoring the programme.

The response of State Governments to the programme has been very enthusiastic. Despite being the first year of implementation, all the States and Union Territories initiated measures to implement the programme. Till February 2002 Eco-clubs were established in 45,700 schools spread over 27 States and UTs. There are proposals from seven more States and UTs for establishing Eco-clubs in 13,700 schools. During the current year emphasis was laid on conducting training courses to Master Trainers and In-charge teachers. More than 700 Master Trainers and 40,000 In-charge teachers were trained during the current year. So far Rs. 4.05 crores were spent on implementing the programme.

The Central Government is providing financial assistance to the State Nodal Agencies for organizing training for Master Trainers and in-charge teachers and for printing and distribution of locally relevant resource material. Besides, an annual financial assistance of Rs. 1000/- per Eco club is also given by the Ministry. A set of resource material in the form of books, posters, booklets etc. is also provided to each Eco-club by the Ministry. Prominent Non-governmental Organisations working in the area of Environment Education are associated as Resource Agencies to assist the State Nodal Agencies in implementing the programme. It has also been decided to extend the programme to colleges.

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Launching of Mass Awareness Campaign

The Mass Awareness Campaign was launched with the following objectives :

The following themes have also been identified for the campaign :

Besides using the print and the electronic media, performing arts like folk songs, street threatre etc. participation of general public through quiz/debate competitions etc. would also be ensured in this Campaign. A high-powered Media Committee has been constituted in the Ministry to work out a strategy for running this campaign. Two professional agencies have been empanelled for launching a focused campaign on the above mentioned themes.

To encourage individual and private organizations to produce documentaries and films on the subjects related to environment, conservation and wildlife, the Ministry decided to support a film festival on the theme on environment and wildlife named "Vatavaran-2002" being organised by the Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi. The Ministry is also actively exploring the possibilities of telecasting with the Ministry’s support environment related television programmes on Doordarshan and other private channels.

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Fig 80. Participants analyzing the various water quality parameters at the Balasava Lake under GLOBE Programme

Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)

The GLOBE, which is an international Science and Education Programme with stress on hands-on participatory approach, was started in India during the year. This programme, which unites students, teachers and scientists all over the world, is aimed at school children. The students of GLOBE schools are required to collect data about various basic environmental parameters under the supervision of a GLOBE trained teacher and use it for explaining hypoythesis as well as to enhance their scientific understanding of the earth. This data is also used by the scientists in their research work. The GLOBE also provides an opportunity to the students to interact not only with the GLOBE scientists but also with the students from GLOBE schools in other parts of the world. So far about 100 schools spread over different parts of the country have joined this programme. The teachers of these schools have also been trained in various GLOBE protocols. An officer of the Ministry also attended the Sixth Annual GLOBE Conference for Country Coordinators held in USA during July, 2001. An International training workshop for trainers was successfully organized at New Delhi during January, 2002. The participants at this workshop, which included representatives from Nepal and Thailand besides India, were trained in Basic and Advanced GLOBE Protocols by a training team from GLOBE Headquarters in USA.

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Seminars/Symposia/Workshops/Conferences

The objective of the scheme is to provide a common forum to professionals for sharing upto date knowledge on various technical issues related to environment and to create environmental awareness about specific issues. Under this scheme financial assistance is provided to universities/Academic Institutions/Non-governmental Organisations for organising seminars/symposia/conferences/ workshops on environment related issues. During the year, about 41 proposals were supported for financial assistance under this scheme.

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Library

The Library of the Ministry acts as a document repository for dissemination of information in the field of environment and its associated areas. It has a collection of over 24,000 books including technical reports. Besides, the library also receives more than 100 national/international journals covering diverse areas of environment to provide timely access to relevant and comprehensive information to the users.

Apart from the technical books, journals, proceedings etc. the Library also procured a wide range of general books both in Hindi and English during the year, for the use of the officials of the Ministry and its associated offices. The Library continued to provide reference/referral services to scientists, technologists, policy planners, decision makers, scholars, students, NGOs and other national and international users.

In order to provide on line access to the users, the library records were computerized. The renovation work of the library was also completed during the year.

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Centres of Excellence

Seven Centres of Excellence as detailed below have been set up so far by the Ministry with a view to strengthening awareness, research and training in priority areas of environmental science and management.

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Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), Ahmedabad

The CEE strengthened and widened its scope and programmes for creating environmental awareness across the country. The activities undertaken by the centre during the year are as follows :

EE in Schools

Under the world bank assisted ‘Enviornmental Education in School System’ sub component project, CEE is actively participating as a consultant. In the first phase of the project an exhaustive content analysis of text books of all the states was carried out under a study contracted to the Bhartiya Vidyapeeth Institute for Environment Education and Research. In Phase II of the project eight states have been selected for pilot implementation.

CEE is the Resource Agency for the National Green Corps (NGC) programme for 15 states and two UTs. CEE has been working to support the training being organized by the nodal agencies for training master-trainers and teachers. Resource material developed by CEE has also been distributed. As a coordinating Agency for implementing the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) programme in 50 schools in the country. CEE has organized workshops in different schools of Delhi, Guwahati, Lucknow, Ahmedabad etc. for conducting the programme in the schools.

‘Elephantasy’, a children’s book, and a set of posters focusing on elephant conservation were brought out under a project supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

As a nodal agency for the Environment Orientation to School Education (EOSE) scheme of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), CEE facilitated 37 projects by NGOs to develop locale specific programmes and materials.

EE for Colleges and Youth

The Centre under the Samvardhan Project in partnership with Field Studies Council, UK carried out training sessions for teachers, students and villagers; developing educational promotional material; infusion of environmental subjects in the existing curriculum, and micro project implementation in 15 adopted villages. Booklets on Organic Farming and Participatory Rural Appraisal, a set of stickers and one exhibition on Gujarat’s environment were also developed.

CEE’s CYWEN (Club of Youth Working for Environment) in involved in developing a youth version of the State of Environment Report for UNEP. It organized several exhibitions; puppet shows and is actively involved in volunteering activities in the Science City coming up in Ahmedabad.

EE through Interpretation

At the request of the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation to develop an education and interpretation programme for the V.O.C. Mini Park (Coimbatore Zoo), the Centre developed signages for animal enclosures, booklets and training programme for the zookeepers. CEE is also developing a comprehensive education and interpretation programme for the Chilika Development Authority. Prototypes of various exhibits and different types of mechanical models were developed, and a touch screen kiosk is also being planned for the interpretation centre as an educational tool. Publications, exhibit and signages were also developed for the Madhav National Park, M.P. and the National Zoological Park, Delhi.

EE in the Urban Context

CEE has initiated major programmes in hospital waste management. In Delhi, under the Healthcare Establishment Waste Management & Education Programme (HEWMEP), training and orientation programmes were conducted for several big hospitals for segregation of waste. In a WHO supported project on ‘Preparation of national kit of educational material and training, manual on biomedical waste management’, booklets, posters, flip charts, stickers etc. are being developed for the programme.

EE for Natural Resource Management

Under the UP Forestry Eco-development Project, CEE setup field offices at Corbet in Uttaranchal and Kaimur in Uttar Pradesh to implement the programme.

CEE is also implementing ‘Jalsankalp’, a Netherlands assisted project in 28 villages of Talaja and Ghogha Blocks of Bhavnagar District in Gujarat under the Ghogha Regional Water Supply and Sanitation Project. The Project aims to construct water supply system in these villages through people’s involvement and participation.

The centre has also assisted the Ministry (NRCD) to prepare the Public Participation Schemes under the Yamuna Action Plan.

EE for Industries

Under an MoU with the Cleaner Production Centre of the Naroda Industrial Estate, Gujarat, CEE has been undertaking capacity building tasks for cleaner production assessment and other preventive environmental management approaches in the Naroda Industrial estate.

Reaching out to Decision Makers

As part of the Environment and Development Book Series project supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the drafts of the following books were received.

Meanwhile, considerable inputs were received in the ongoing debates of the website www.envirodebate.org.

CEE is coordinating the ‘Education, Awareness and Training’ Thematic Working Group of the National Bio-diversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) project supported by the Ministry and UNDP. A draft copy of the strategy and action plan for Education, Awarness and Training was prepared and was circulated widely for comments.

EE through experiencing Nature

Sundarvan Nature Discovery Centre which facilitates direct experience of nature continued to attract visitors in large numbers during the period. Several nature education camps, snake shows etc were conducted. Breeding also took place of several snakes, tortoises and porcupines at Sundarvan, Ahmedabad.

UNDP GEF/CCF Small Grants Programme

CEE is the National Host Institution (NHI) for the UNDP GEF/CCF Small Grants Programme (SGP). During the period, the Centre helped NGOs to develop and implement innovative programmes in the areas of biodiversity, land and water management.

Training

A six month training programme in Librarianship and Documentation is organized by CEE for post-graduates in Library or Information Sciences through practical training in its library and other exposures.

Ten short duration training modules for in-service professionals were also organized under TALEEM. These included programmes for health related issues for NGOs involved in earthquake rehabilitation and Red Cross volunteers and training programmes for forest officers.

The sixth Certificate Course on Environmental Education was completed. The programme was attended by professionals from China, Tanzania, Cambodia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India.

Other Activities

India’s Preparations for WSSD

At the directives of the Ministry the CEE has undertaken to develop a publication documenting learnings and experiences from a wide variety of initatives taken towards sustainable development in India for the forthcoming World Sumit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) at Johannesbag.

After the massive earthquake on January 26 in Gujarat, CEE has also been involved in many earthquake rehabilitation activities. A series of training programmes were organized for NGOs involved in health and shelter rehabilitation in the quake effected areas. As part of the sustained programmes, the centre is working in over 40 villages of Surendrangar, Kutchch and Rajkot with the prime objective to restore and improve livelihoods and natural resource management through people-oriented and community driven approaches.

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C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai

The C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, established in 1989 as a centre of Excellence for Environmental Education trains a wide cross-section of people in environmental protection and conservation. The emphasis is on teachers, who, by integrating it in the school curriculum, educate a vast number of children. Other important targets included NGOs, women, panchayat members. Various activities undertaken by the centre during the year are as follows :

Environmental Education

Teachers and NGO trainers in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamilnadu, and UTs of Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands were trained in integrating environmental education in the school curriculum. During the year, four districts were selected in each of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu for holistic environmental education in the formal and non-formal sectors. Apart from teachers and NGOs, women participated in eco-development in the non-formal sector. The Centre’s video-van travelled to the same districts as well as to coastal cities of Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Pondicherry and conducted environmental awareness programmes for students in the day time and for villagers at night, to support the environmental education efforts.

Biodiversity Conservation Education

To emphasize the importance of conserving biodiversity, students and teachers from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu living around national parks and sanctuaries were taken to their local sanctuaries and national parks to study their importance.

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Conservation Education

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the most important ecological site of Southern India. The Centre has established a network of NGOs in the states covering the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve to monitor environmentally degrading activities. Teachers, students, NGOs, Panchayat members and councilors and forest guards have been actively involved in the Centre’s environmental education programmes. The gene pool of medicinal plants established by the Centre at Thambatty is used as a demonstration plot to educate local farmer and tribals in herbal farming. Smokeless chulhas and vegetable and fruit seeds and sapling were distributed to tribals in villages accompanied by training of tribal youth in horticulture and other income generation activities based on their traditional crafts and skills. A festival of tribal arts was held in Udhagamandalam.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Conservation Education

The centre has been actively involved in conducting workshops for teachers on environmental protection and conservation activities in the ecologically fragile area Andaman and Nicobar Islands. An exhibition on "Island Ecology and Sustainable Development" was also put up during the Annual Island Tourism Festival.

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Fig 81. Students’ campaign to protest against the use of plastic bags

Women and Eco-development

Women and eco-development programmes were organized in four districts in each of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu. The programmes included health and nutrition, water conservation methods, domestic smokeless chulha making, vermicomposting, nursery raising, establishing herbal and kitchen gardens. Seeds and saplings were also distributed.

Restoration of Sacred Groves

The centre continued the successful conservation of the ecological heritage through the restoration of sacred groves and several sites were taken up for restoration at the request of the local people. The operations were extended to the state of Karnataka and plantation was successfully completed at three sacred grove sites in Mysore and Mandhya districts.

Clean Mamalla-Green Mamalla

The centre took up an intensive environmental education project at Mamallapuram a World Heritage site near Chennai and conducted several workshops on clean Mamalla-Green Mamalla for different target groups like hoteliers, women, elected members of the panchayat, sanitary workers and NGOs. A campaign against plastics and garbage dumping was also initiated. Students were motivated to clean and green Mamallapuram. The centre planted several tree saplings in the street and in available areas. Signboards with various environmental messages and dustbins were installed at important locations. The local women were given training in making paper bags to improve their income and as an alternative to plastics. Smokeless chulhas were installed in two schools as part of the noon-meal scheme.

Multimedia Environmental Education Centre (MEEC)

The Centre in collaboration with British Council, Chennai has setup a Multimedia Environmental Education Centre (MEEC). The MEEC aims to enhance the students’ knowledge of environment and environmental issues. A week long training programme for local Master Trainers by Mr. Adam Adamou, Environmental Education Consultant, Leicestar, United Kingdom, was organized in Chennai. Workshops for Principals of schools, were conducted for delivery of material, content management, material transformation (authoring tools for textbook writers) and multimedia methodology.

Kids for Tigers

The Centre in collaboration with Sanctuary Asia maganzine, implemented a programme on Kids for Tigers for school students in Chennai. Workshops with slideshows were organized for school teachers to motivate the students to take the initiative to save the tiger from extinction.

National Green Corps

The Centre has been appointed as the Resource Agency for implementing the National Green Corps in the Southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Goa and Tamilnadu and Union Territories of Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands. Certain publications of the centre were selected as Resource material for the eco-clubs and translated into the regional languages of the concerned States/UTs for distribution.

Exhibitions

The Centre put up three new exhibitions during the year :

Panels and models of earlier exhibitions conducted by the centre were also sent to several interested schools for display in their annual exhibitions.

Research and Surveys

At the request of the local people, environmental quality assessment of Mamallapuram was carried out by surveying the water, soil, ambient air quality and noise levels. A detailed water analysis of the Thamirabarani river in Tirunelveli district, water and soil quality of I I T. Chennai, and ambient air quality and noise levels survey at Hyderabad were also carried out. Several water testing and soil testing kits were manufactured and supplied to various NGOs, colleges, etc.

An exhaustive survey of Sacred Tanks of South India was completed in the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and published.

Generation and Production of Resource Materials

Four issues of the quarterly newsletter ECONEWS and one issue of the Indian Journal of Environmental Education were brought out by the Centre. Many of the earlier publications were also translated and printed in other regional languages.

The following publications were also brought out during the year:

International Workshops

The Centre in collaboration with UNESCO, organized a Sub-regional workshop for "Developing Self-learning Materials, Modules and Curriculum on Water Conservation at School Level".

In collaboration with Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC), Singapore, a workshop on "Management of Environmental Information Resources" for broadcasting journalists was also organized by the centre. The participants from the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sir Lanka attended the Workshop.

Under the South Asian Environmental Education Action Plan, of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Bangkok, the Centre has taken up "Environmental Education for Water Resources Management in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve".

Awards

The Centre received the First Prize for the exhibition on "Endemic Fruits of Nilgris" at the Annual Fruit Show at Sim’s Park, Coonoor and the Second Prize for the exhibition on "Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve" at the Flower Show at the Botanical Gardens, Ooty.

The first C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre Award for Environmental Education was given to Shri. R.Sankara Narayana, Headmaster, Zilla Parishad High School, Kotapalli, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh on World Environment Day.

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Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

The Centre for Ecological Sciences combines basic ecological research, applied environmental problems and extensions work, with particular reference to the Western Ghats. During the year, the Centre carried out 25 projects in the broad areas of Biodiversity of India, Ecology and Conservation Biology, Animal Behaviour, Mathematical Ecology and Evolution and Conservation Genetics and Molecular Ecology, Climate Variability, Change in Environment and Human Ecology, Eco-development and Energy and Environment. Highlights of prime works carried out during the year are as follows :

A study of Eco-morphological adaptations in freshwater fish species of river systems of Northern Karnataka

A study of the ecomorphology of some fishes found in the rivers of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka was conducted to understand how their morphological characteristics have been used as adaptations of these species to specific habitat conditions as well as feeding preferences. Eighteen of the most abundantly distributed species belonging to river systems in northern Karnataka were chosen. This study demonstrated that there is a high and significant correlation of relative body size to relative head depth. Species existing in lower parts of the water columns seem to have wider bodies and lower depths. Fish species with these morphological features are found to be usually bottom feeders. Species which feed on the stream bottom do not have very big eyes, and they rely more on sensory cues for locating food and also warning against predators. Fishes have developed specialized barbels that act as sensory organs which can detect food as well as predators in their vicinity quite well.

Signals produced by plants to attract long-distance pollinators and improve fruit set

Animal-pollinated plants, unlike animals, communicate and potential mates through the sensory systems of pollen vectors. Being immobile, plants are constrained to exchange gametes with near or far mates based on their ability to attract pollinators from varied distances. For visual signals, high contrast against the background increases pollinators attraction due to increase in detectability. Contrast, and thereby, also the maximum distance at which the signal can be detected, is affected by the size, shape, colour, degree of dissection of the signal as well as the angle subtended by the signal in the pollinator’s visual field. Experimental evidence revealed a dual display strategy in Mussaenda frondosa (Rubiaceae) in which flowers constitute the attraction units for shorter-ranging butterfly species while large, white, ultraviolet-absorbing, non-dissected, accessory persistent bracts serve as long-distance high-contrast visual signals to specifically attract long-distance gamete-exchangers in the form of far-ranging birdwing butterflies. Producing secondary sexual structures is a vital strategy for this plant which produces very few open flowers daily and occurs in very low densities. Fruit set was enhanced by bract presence and reduced in the absence of bracts.

The short-term effects of fire on grasshopper species abundance and diversity

The short-term effects of fire on grasshopper species abundance and diversity were examined in a semi-urban landscape in Southern India over a sever-month period. Twelve plots were sampled, six burned and six unburned (which served as controls). Grasshopper species richness and abundance were estimated using the standard sweep-netting technique. In addition, the vegetation in the plots was characterized in terms of grass and forb biomass, and plant species richness. Burned areas had a higher abundance but lower species richness of grasshoppers than unburned areas. Of a total of twelve grasshopper species, six were found to occur exclusively in unburned areas. Analysis of the vegetation reveled that fire had no effect on the total plant biomass per unit area. Fire was, however, found to significantly decrease the proportion of forb biomass (compared to grass) . Plant species richness was significantly lower in burned areas compared to unburned ones. Grasshopper species richness and composition were not, however, significantly correlated with plant species richness and composition. This indicates that the lower species richness of grasshoppers in burned areas is either due to direct effects of fire (such as the destruction of eggs or larvae) or indirect effects (such as change in relative forb biomass) on the vegetation.

Docile Sitters and Active Fighters in Paper Wasps- A Tale of Two Queens

Ropalidia marginata and Ropalidia cyathiformis are sympatric, primitively eusocial paper wasps widely distributed in peninsular India. The two species, especially their queens were compared in an effort to begin to understand the role of the power of queens over their workers, in social organization and evolution. Queens of R.marginata have lower levels of activity, rates of interactions and dominance behaviour, compared to queens of R.cyathiformis. For the same variables, R.marginata queens are either indistinguishable from or have lower values compared to their workers, while R.cyathiformis queens have higher values compared to their workers. R.marginata queens never occupy the top rank while R.cyathiformis queens are always at the top of the behavioural dominance hierarchies of their colonies. R. marginata queens thus do not appear to use dominance behaviour to suppress reproduction by their workers, while R.cyathiformis queens appear to do so. These different mechanisms used by the two queens to regulate worker reproduction, give them different powers over their workers, because R.marginata queens are completely successful in suppressing reproduction by their nestmates while in R.cyathiformis colonies, other individuals also sometimes lay eggs. There is also some evidence that the different powers of the queens results in different mechanisms of regulation of worker foraging in the two species- decentralized, self-regulation in R.marginata and relatively more centralized regulation by the queen in R.cyathiformis. Thus it shows that the power of the queens over their workers can have important consequences for social organization and evolution.

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Centre for Mining Environment (CME), Dhanbad

During the year, a state-of-the-art microbiology laboratory with the following facilities have been established at the Centre for Mining Environment, Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad :

Various academic Human Resource Development and R&D activities carried out by the Centre during the year are as follows:

Academic Activities

The Center continued the three-semester M.Tech programme in Environmental Science & Engineering and provided environmental management inputs in the following academic programmes of ISM:

With a view to integrate environmental management with mining practices, inputs have been provided in the following post-graduate academic programmes of ISM:

M.Tech (Opencast Mining)

M.Tech (Mine Planning and Design)

M.Tech (Fuel Engg.)

Human Resource Development

The Centre continued to conduct extensive human resource development activities as follows:

Research and Development

The following R&D activities were carried out by the Centre.

Other Activities

The Centre continued to function as the Executing Agency of the two activities namely, Institutional Strengthening and Training of the Mining Sub-component of the World Bank Assisted Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project of the Ministry.

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Fig 82. Large egret (Casmerodius albus) in its habitat

Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore

The Centre was set up in 1991-92 as a Centre of Excellence by the Ministry to design and conduct research in ornithology and all aspects of biodiversity and to disseminate knowledge on the subject. The important achievements include sound scientific recommendations for the conservation of the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Pipit, Grey headed Bulbul, Andaman Teal, Narcondam Hornbill and Nicobar Megapode.

EIA Studies

The following EIA studies were conducted by SACON:

Extension Activities

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Fig 83. Limestone quarry at Bhatti used as a control site

Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystem, Delhi

The Centre has been working on the ecosystem functioning with respect to maintenance of biodiversity in protected areas, ecological restoration of degraded lands and valuation of ecosystem services. The major findings are summarized below:

Biodiversity of the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve

Assessment of diversity at the community level and understanding of key ecological processes such as gap dynamics and mutualistic interactions (notably plant-mycorrhizal associations; plants and pollinators, and plants and seed dispersal agents) that regulate biodiversity not only enable to conserve biodiversity but also provide action plans for its sustainable utilization. The Centre has been undertaking research studies on plant community patterns, gap dynamics and plant-mycorrhizal association during the last one decade. The significant research findings are as follows: (i) As many as 50 community types have been delimited and mapped. (ii) The distribution pattern and biology of some of the rare and endangered endemic species suggest that the seed dispersal agents and pollinators are critical in the maintenance of biodiversity. (iii) Endomycorrhizal associations not only determine the successional trends but are also involved in the composition of climax communities; removal of these canopy species by logging fail to regenerate the forests due to loss of endomycorrhizal populations. (iv) Studies on gap dynamics suggest that light within the treefall gaps control the ecosystem processes leading to the ecosystem redevelopment; the canopy architecture, gap size and slope factor determine the light gradients both vertically and horizontally; natural gaps lead to the regeneration of forests, whereas man-made gaps failed to regenerate forests due to disruption in light habitats within the logged areas.

Ecological Restoration of Degraded Lands

Open cast mining is widely used for extraction of mineral resources from earth and renders thousand of forest lands into barren lands which cannot support life. Limestone mined area in Mussoorie Himalayan ranges had resulted in loss of topsoil, exposure of bare rocks, barren cut slopes, float areas covered with gravel, and overburden dumps devoid of any green cover. This habitat did not have any soil cover nor organic matter. Using the restoration technology developed by the Centre, which involved the use of grasses, legumes and other climax species, along with a consortium of mircrobes, the site has been successfully rehabilitated. After 15 years, the Bhatta site harbours a 3-storeyed sub-tropical evergreen forest containing almost all the species of climax community, whereas the control site is still devoid of any vegetation and composed of barren rocks.

Valuation of Ecosystem Services

Economic valuation of ecosystem services is becoming increasingly important because of its potential application as a decision making tool for planners and policy makers. The economic values, which are attributed to ecosystem services, can provide economic justification for the use of investible funds for the conservation of threatened ecosystem. Wetland ecosystems along the Yamuna river corridor in the Delhi region are the most threatened ecosystem in Delhi. Twenty five kilometers stretch of Yamuna river corridor from Wazirabad to Okhla barrage is under immense anthropogenic pressure due to rapid urbanization. To highlight the economic contribution of the wetlands society, economic valuation of the ecosystem services provided by the wetlands to the along the Yamuna river corridor in the Delhi region was carried out. It was found that this small stretch of riparian zone provides ecosystems services equivalent to about 14.23 crores per annum. This value is a lower benchmark value because it is difficult to capture the whole spectrum and absolute magnitude of ecosystem services provided by the wetlands in economic terms. The economic value of the services provided by these wetlands suggest that they are highly productive natural resource, and therefore their conservation should be prioritized.

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Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), Thiruvanathapuram

The TBGRI designated as a Centre of Excellence in ex-situ conservation and sustainable utilization of tropical plant biodiversity by the Ministry is actively engaged in developing conservation strategies focusing both in-situ and ex-situ methods, characterization of plant resources by using R&D tools for sustainable utilization. The activities carried out by the institute during the year are as follows:

Ex-situ conservation

In-situ conservation

Fifteen rare, endangered and threatened medicinal plants are identified from Agasthyamalai, Kulamavu and Wayanad Medicinal plants conservation areas for practicing in-situ conservation . The study includes population structure, vegetative and reproductive dynamics, standardization of multiplication techniques, seed biological studies, restoration and monitoring etc. So far, 6000 saplings were produced and reintroduced in the original habitat for establishing viable population in the long run.

R&D projects

The Institute operated 22 externally funded R&D projects on ex-situ conservation and evaluation of wild plant genetic resources. The important results reveal the following:

Extension activities

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Grants-in-Aid to Professional Societies

Financial assistance is provided under the scheme to professional societies and appropriate institutions, museums and science centres for developing activities and projects in the field of environment as well as to develop exhibition galleries and educational programmes relevant to ecology, environment and wildlife. Revised guidelines of the scheme were framed and wideling circulated to all concerned.

During the year, various proposals, received from several organizations in the country were considered and suitable financial assistance was provided to those organizations for their proposals conforming to the objectives of the scheme.

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Income Tax Exemption under Section 35 CCB of the Income Tax Act, 1961

Ministry continued to recommend to the Central Board of Direct Taxes for income tax exemption under Section 35 CCB of the Income Tax Act, 1961 for the programmes related to the conservation of natural resources or of afforestation undertaken by Associations or Institutions.

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Financial Assistance for Publications

Ministry continued to provide one time grant to professional societies, voluntary organizations, institutions etc. for printing of publications aimed at promoting environmental education and awareness.

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Environmental Information

Environmental Information System (ENVIS)

During the year, the Focal Point of ENVIS and all its network partners located throughout the country continued their activities in information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination to all concerned. The focal point of ENVIS, located in the Ministry coordinates the activities of all the Centres, known as ENVIS Centres, set up on various environmental related subject-specific areas. A list of ENVIS Centres along with their respective subject-areas is given in Annexure-II. The focal point as well as its network partners laid emphasis on the development of their respective information databases, strengthening of information resource repositories and development of homepages etc. Major activities of the ENVIS focal point and ENVIS Centres carried out during the year are as follows:

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Focal Point

In the last Second Monitoring Committee Meeting held on 21-02-2002 the following 21 Thrust Areas have been identified by the Committee for setting up EMCB-ENVIS Nodes through out the country under the project

Global Environmental Issues (like climate change, ozone depletion, green-house gas effect, etc.)

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Activities of the ENVIS Centres

All the ENVIS Centres as partners of ENVIS network also continued their activities relating to collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information on the specific subject areas allocated to them during the year. Besides strengthening the databases and responding to various national and international queries in their specific subject areas, the ENVIS Centres gave priorities in developing their home-pages and websites with an ultimate objective of disseminating relevant information in their specific subject areas to the users through internet connectivity. Highlights of some of the major activities of these ENVIS Centres carried out during the year are as follows:

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