FAQ’s

HOME > FAQ’s

At Durban, the second commitment period for developed country parties under the Kyoto Protocol was established. Several institutional mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund, Technology mechanism, and the Adaptation Committee which had been agreed at Cancun were operationalised at Durban. The Durban conference also adopted the guidelines for transparency arrangements which will result in the first biennial reports/updates of mitigation actions of developed and developing countries to be furnished in 2014 and the IAR and ICA of such actions to take place in 2015. The Durban Conference also agreed to launch a process under the Durban Platform to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention by 2015 and implement it from 2020.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

At Durban, the second commitment period for developed country parties under the Kyoto Protocol was established. Several institutional mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund, Technology mechanism, and the Adaptation Committee which had been agreed at Cancun were operationalised at Durban. The Durban conference also adopted the guidelines for transparency arrangements which will result in the first biennial reports/updates of mitigation actions of developed and developing countries to be furnished in 2014 and the IAR and ICA of such actions to take place in 2015. The Durban Conference also agreed to launch a process under the Durban Platform to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention by 2015 and implement it from 2020.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

At Durban, the second commitment period for developed country parties under the Kyoto Protocol was established. Several institutional mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund, Technology mechanism, and the Adaptation Committee which had been agreed at Cancun were operationalised at Durban. The Durban conference also adopted the guidelines for transparency arrangements which will result in the first biennial reports/updates of mitigation actions of developed and developing countries to be furnished in 2014 and the IAR and ICA of such actions to take place in 2015. The Durban Conference also agreed to launch a process under the Durban Platform to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention by 2015 and implement it from 2020.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Durban decisions are significant because they have restored faith in the multilateral process. The decisions have also preserved the Kyoto protocol even while discussions on the future arrangements beyond 2020 are underway.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

India’s position on the negotiating issues is guided by the principles of the Convention. Even while advancing its voluntary efforts in order to demonstrate its adherence to the objectives of the Convention, India’s position remains firmly rooted in these principles.

At Copenhagen, India had agreed to indicate the domestic mitigation goals and also to the transparency arrangements. At Cancun, this was formalized and India went along-with the relevant decisions. At Durban, this was further advanced through an agreement on guidelines for ICA and ICR and India agreed to it.

The new development at Durban consists of launching a process for post 2020 arrangements. While agreeing to this process, India made it clear that the principles of equity and CBDR remained the guiding principles. Last hours of the Durban Conference and the final language on options for the legal form agreed in Durban are clearly indicative of the fact that India’s views on the question of legal form of the outcomes prevailed.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

India was never in favour of an outcome that would mandate legally binding emission cuts for developing countries without clarifying the stance of developed countries on their mandatory obligations under a legally binding regime. It was precisely for this reason that India introduced the option of ‘legal outcome’, which EU supported by SIDS wanted to be dropped.

India stuck to its stand and made a counter proposal for inserting an option of ‘agreed outcome with legal force’ which found acceptance by all. This ensured that vital elements of India’s position including the stand on equity and legally binding agreement were not compromised. The legal effect of “legal outcome” and “agreed outcome with legal force” is same.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

At the Durban Conference, the world recognised India for its spirited defense of the interests of developing countries. India insisted that the global regime for climate change must be based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility. India ensured that developing countries are not bound by any commitments to reduce their emissions and that the objectives of social and economic development and poverty eradication are not compromised in any way, whether upto 2020 or in the post 2020 arrangements that are to be negotiated and finalized by 2015.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

The legal shape of post 2020 arrangements cannot be pre-judged. The arrangement may include a variety of options including aspirational CoP decisions, binding CoP decisions, setting up of institutions and bodies covering various aspects of Bali Action Plan and Cancun Agreements with differing degrees of bindingness under the provisions of domestic and international law under the UNFCCC.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

For the timeframe till 2020, our domestic goal has already been announced under the Copenhagen Accord and Cancun agreements. The goal is 20-25{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} reduction of emission intensity of GDP in comparison with 2005 level. This is a voluntary goal and does not need any further revision till 2020. The goal is to be achieved through a sustainable development strategy including promotion of energy efficiency in several sectors of industry, and solar and other forms of renewable energy. This is to be achieved depending on the financial outlays and technology support available from domestic and international sources. There is, therefore, no immediate impact on economy and industry because of Durban decisions.

The Durban decisions deal basically with the nature of arrangements after 2020. As the outcomes of Durban Platform have to be reached under the Convention and the legal form of such outcomes are yet to be negotiated and agreed, there are no legally mandated emissions reduction obligations for Indian industry. India’s goals for post 2020 period will be decided in due course by the Central Government after consulting various stakeholders, including the civil society and the industry.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

India expects a legally binding agreement to deliver on all four aspects of the Bali Action Plan in an equally binding manner – mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology. The agreement should ensure ambitious outcomes on all these issues and not only on mitigation.

Mitigation is, no doubt, a key concern because the obligation of both Kyoto and Non- Kyoto Parties has to be captured in the Agreement. But, a balanced outcome must be anchored in the principles of the Convention, particularly the principles of equity and CBDR, and should ensure that the developed country Parties provide finance and technology to enable ambitious mitigation and adaptation actions to be taken by developing countries.

A legally binding agreement can include a mix of CoP decisions as well as protocols. Some of the decisions could be aspirational, while some of them could be binding. There could be protocols or other implementing agreements that would facilitate creation of bodies and institutions that would be needed to implement the decisions with differing degrees of binding-ness.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

The biggest gain at Durban was the establishment of the second commitment period of developed country parties under the Kyoto Protocol. Besides, several institutional mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund, Technology Mechanism, and Adaptation Committee which had been agreed at Cancun were operationalised at Durban. The Durban conference also adopted the guidelines for transparency arrangements which will result in the first biennial reports/updates of mitigation actions of developed and developing countries to be furnished in 2014 and the IAR and ICA of such actions to take place in 2015.

India was able to ensure that emissions and economic growth of developing countries is not inhibited by any legal constraint or limits until 2020 or thereafter. While there was no loss as such at Durban, the challenge in future is to ensure that the principle of equity and CBDR provided under the Convention remain the bedrock of the post 2020 arrangements.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

The Durban platform decision states that the negotiations on post 2020 arrangements should result in a protocol or legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force. A protocol or legal instrument refers to an instrument or agreement that has to be ratified by the Parties. Kyoto Protocol is one such agreement. However, agreed outcomes with legal force need not have the legal form of a protocol or a legal instrument. “Agreed outcome with legal force” gives flexibility to the developing countries to choose an appropriate form of outcomes that protects their interests.

For the legal form to be determined there has to be, first, an agreement on substance. Second, the agreements can have legal force even without the legal form of a protocol or instrument. The arrangements following the negotiations can be implemented either under the international law/agreement or under domestic and national legal provisions.

Moreover, a Legally Binding Agreement may include a mix of CoP decisions as well as protocols. Some of the decisions could be aspirational, while some of them could be binding. There could be protocols or other implementing agreements that would facilitate creation of bodies and institutions that would be needed to implement the decisions with differing degrees of binding-ness. A final decision on this will depend on the nature of the agreements reached following the negotiations. Hence the form cannot be prejudged at the start of the negotiations, the decision on this should come towards the end of the process.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

There is no reference anywhere in the decision on Durban Platform to symmetry of obligations by the Parties, even if the post 2020 arrangements have to apply to all Parties. This may have been the intention of some of the parties. But, the formulation as agreed does not disclose that a single outcome will be based on symmetry of obligations or commitments.

Since the post 2020 arrangements have to be evolved under the Convention, they will need to respect the principles of the Convention and there will be space for differential obligations. Even the Kyoto Protocol which is an existing legally binding agreement recognizes the difference in obligations.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

As the Durban platform decision clearly says that the outcomes will be under the convention, both in the last para of the preamble and para 2 of the text; the principles of equity and CBDR will continue to apply. The Convention is built on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility. Negotiation on the post 2020 arrangements will have to respect these principles even if there is no explicit reference or repetition of these principles in the text of the decision.
The principle of equity will become increasingly important because the arrangements will apply to all parties. Details will be finalized during negotiations.
The agreed phrase under the Convention is the strongest possible legal language which not only encompasses principles of ‘equity’ and ‘CBDR’ but covers also commitments of AI under Article 4.2 & 4.3 and the first priority of NAI being social and economic development and poverty eradication under Article 4.7.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Agreement on Durban Platform is part of the mutual assurances exchanged between the Kyoto parties and the developing countries. Some Kyoto Protocol parties, particularly the EU, wanted consent of developing countries to a post 2020 roadmap in return for their agreeing to the second commitment period. Developing countries including India have kept their part of the bargain in Durban. India agreed to negotiate on the post 2020 arrangements in exchange for EU agreeing to the second commitment period under the KP. India also agreed to the transparency guidelines that were agreed in Cancun. India, thus, walked the extra mile.
Kyoto protocol parties should now fulfill their part of the bargain. They should bolster confidence in the promises made by them in order to strengthen the multilateral process. EU must ensure that all its members ratify the amendments to KP within the time frame agreed at Durban. The EU members must finalize their own country-wise and ambitious targets and convert them into actual emission limits through legal amendments to KP in Qatar in 2012. Further, they should not seek parallelism between the Durban Platform and the second commitment period, as an after thought.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Even as the parties reached home from Durban, Canada announced its decision to renounce its commitments to Kyoto targets. India is disappointed by Canada’s announcement on opting out of Kyoto Protocol. Such actions by parties damage the confidence in the effectiveness of the legally binding agreements and may even have an adverse impact on the process of the proposed post 2020 arrangements under the Durban Platform.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Post 2020 arrangements must, inter alia, address the issues of equity, unilateral trade and technology related IPRs sufficiently and adequately.
India would like the post 2020 arrangements to resemble Kyoto type arrangements. Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries have binding emission cuts in absolute terms which have to be fulfilled at economy wide level and there is a compliance regime for verifying and enforcing the achievement of targets. These are matters which will be negotiated multilaterally and a suitable system will need to be agreed.

However, for developing countries, the responsibilities/obligations in a post 2020 arrangement will clearly need to be built on the principle of equity and CBDR. Irrespective of the legal form of the final arrangements, the developing country targets under such arrangements cannot be binding until the principle of differentiation based on equity is defined and the conditions implicit in such definition of equity are met. The principle of equity will need to be elaborated through negotiations.

Till 2020 and beyond, the developing country targets under these arrangements will be determined on the basis of voluntary choice and with a guarantee that there will be no punitive consequences of shortfall in these domestic targets even if they are inscribed in an international document. There will be mutually agreed arrangements for verification (international consultation and analysis) of the domestic goals but the objective of such arrangements will be only to increase transparency and build confidence in mutuall actions.

It is for this reason that the post 2020 arrangements must include not only binding emission reduction commitments for developed countries but also assurance that there will be no unilateral measures taken by any country in the name of climate change. Besides, the post 2020 arrangements must include commitments of developed countries in quantified and specific terms to provide financing and technology support to developing countries. Further, the arrangements should provide for a facilitative regime that ensures access to IPRs and transfer of climate friendly technologies. The arrangements may take the shape of a protocol or legal instrument, provided above conditions are met.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

The decision on Durban Platform clearly mentions in last para of its preamble and decides in Para 2 of its text paper that a process will be launched to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention. This is the strongest possible indication that the principles of equity and CBDR will be applied while designing the appropriate legal form of outcomes.

Moreover, the preamble to the decision on Durban Platform notes the decisions of CoP 17 and CMP 7 on various issues. The CoP 17 decisions regarding the LCA matters recognize the principles of equity and CBDR in various sections, particularly, in the sections relating to the ‘shared vision’ (Para 4 of LCA outcome) and ‘review’ (Para 160 of LCA outcome).

Moreover, the ToRs for the post 2020 arrangements are yet to be finalized. These principles will be articulated while finalizing the arrangements, as the arrangements have to be created in accordance with the mandate of the Convention.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

India’s three issues were a matter of intense discussion and negotiation. These issues have been brought back to the table after having fallen off in Cancun. CoP President in her statement recognized the importance of the issues. LCA decision on shared vision includes a decision to have a workshop on the issue of equitable access to sustainable development in June 2012 for a report to CoP 18. Besides, SBSTA was requested by the CoP President in her statement to the plenary to consider the matter as part of work on SBSTA agenda items and report to CoP. Most significantly all three issues raised by India are still a part of the negotiating text (CRP 39) of the LCA that will be negotiated till Qatar. Decisions on the issues will be taken after discussion at COP 18 in Doha, Qatar.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Equity is a matter of principle that is recognized in the Convention. Its actual significance lies in the fact that the human beings have certain inalienable rights, particularly in regards to the global commons like atmosphere. The definitions of equity can differ but the principle cannot be ignored.
Since the line of differentiation as established under the Convention may be sought to be blurred in any post 2020 arrangement that may also apply to all with varying degree of bindingness, it is important to recognize equity appropriately in formulating this post 2020 dispensation.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

The Convention already recognizes the vulnerability of specific group of countries under its Article 8. The vulnerabilities are recognized for the purposes of adaptation. Beyond CBDR, there is no such distinction amongst countries in terms of mitigation actions. Moreover, several SIDS countries have much larger per capita emission and higher per capita incomes than most of the vulnerable communities in India. India has large coastal communities, islands that are equally if not more vulnerable to climate change than the SIDS. India has a large populace of poor whose poverty can and needs to be eradicated in the next two decades as the foremost priority.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

While there was a common approach on many issues like Technology in G77 & China, there was a basic concordance among the BASIC countries, as evidenced by their Beijing communiqu? of November 2011 and the conduct of negotiations at Durban. A large number of developing countries e.g. China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia clearly voiced their opposition to a single instrument and supported India’s stand. While SIDS and some of the LDCs spoke in favour of legally binding option, most of the LDCs and middle income countries supported India’s stand on equity. The wide support which India enjoyed for its three Agenda items, including equity from 27th November, day preceding the CoP, till 9th December, 2011 when CoP Agenda was adopted, is another indication.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

BASIC countries have a coordinated approach to climate change. Naturally, BASIC countries have different national circumstances and development levels; yet their vision on how to address climate change and the question of differentiation and responsibility is convergent.
Durban was notable because the BASIC countries made their first joint statement in the plenary of the Durban conference. This made a great impact and led to positive conclusions. It was because of the BASIC unity that all three options on the legal outcomes could be retained in the decisions on Durban Platform. BASIC countries have held their first meeting after Durban in Delhi in February, 2012 and have reiterated their coordinated stand on Durban decisions.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

The appropriate nature of a binding agreement should be decided after the content of the arrangements are agreed. While there is no objection to a legally binding agreement that applies to Parties in accordance with the principles of the Convention, the matter need not be pre-judged. A prior decision on the legal form does not help because it cannot guarantee that major developed country parties will ratify the agreement just because it is legally binding and applies to all Parties. A compliance procedure is necessary for meeting the commitments by developed country Parties. Experience with the existing procedures under the KP is not quite encouraging. Article 18 of the KP providing for compliance has never been effectively put into practice. Post 2020 arrangements will need to be designed keeping this reality in view.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Although KP has provisions for “compliance and consequence”, in practice the implementation has been rather unsatisfactory. The post 2020 arrangements may have similar provisions for “consequence and compliance” but all the developed country parties need first to be willing to take comparable and binding commitments under the new rules as currently applicable to KP Parties. Developing countries need not have a compliance regime even though the new treaty or Arrangement could apply to all Parties. This is because the targets of developing countries will need to continue to be voluntary and be subject to the some mechanisms like ICA which is non-intrusive and non- punitive.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

By agreeing to a legally binding agreement without knowing its scope, nature and content, India and developing countries are likely to lose much more than gain. A legally binding agreement must not only ensure ambitious mitigation by developed countries but also have specific and realizable gains in terms of finance and technology, assurances against unilateral actions and facilitate access to technology-related intellectual property rights (IPRs). There are no indications available that this is going to happen in the near future.

A legally binding agreement without these assurances will lead into a trap of binding commitments where no corresponding benefits occur either to the developing country concerned or for the global community as a whole. This will leave the possibility open to the developed countries to renounce their commitments, when a suitable opportunity arises, on the ground of lack of ratification of the instrument by their political authorities or lack of ambition. The conduct of some of the developed country parties under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol provides a strong evidence of this possibility.

It is presumptuous to believe that India’s willingness to get into a legally binding agreement will automatically ensure an agreement on equitable arrangements for the post 2020 period. India fought hard at Durban to get the option of ‘agreed outcome with legal force’ inserted in the Durban Platform document precisely in order to secure an agreement on the principles and the substance before an agreement is reached on the form of outcomes. An essential pre-condition for a successful legally binding agreement is for the principle of equity and CBDR to be clearly spelt out in its structure.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

India’s stand on climate change is guided by the consideration of the equity and CBDR which cannot be neglected in any arrangement. The issue is that of burden sharing. There can be no shifting of the burden of mitigation actions in the name of climate change. India’s position is that all climate actions should be taken on the basis of equity along with CBDR.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Global warming is caused by the stock of carbon dioxide accumulated since last 100-150 years. Annual emissions of carbon dioxide add to this stock. Hence major emitters are those nations and groups of nations which have contributed to the stock. India’s share of stock is small about 5{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004}. A few Developed countries or groups still have major share of the stock. India is a large country with a small carbon foot print. Its per capita emissions are 1.5 tonns compared to over 12 tonnes per capita average in developed countries. It is not a major emitter but rather a major economy. Other developed countries that have much smaller population, higher levels of income and living standards still continue to increase their emissions when they should actually be reducing it. India’s emissions are bound to grow because it is a developing country and it has large unmet energy needs. Some further facts and details about emissions of India and the impact of climate change on India may be seen at:- India’s GHG emissions Profile, Economic Survey of India 2011-12, Climate Change and India: A 4×4 Assessment

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

India has announced a domestic mitigation target of 20-25{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} emission intensity reduction by 2020 in comparison with 2005 level. Considering the low energy intensity of our GDP, further potential for reduction is limited. Planning Commission of India has been conducting a study of various sectors and their potential as part of the study on low carbon or sustainable growth strategy. Under aggressive mitigation scenario, the costs of mitigation can be quite high and there may not be financial resources available to reach these aggressive targets. This aspect would also need be considered in any post 2020 arrangement.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

The strategy for this purpose will be a part of the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the post 2020 arrangements. The question of absolute versus relative cuts and the peaking of emissions are linked to the national policy of sustainable development.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Developing countries already suffer from hugely adverse effects of adaptation to climate change. India in addition already has a sizable climate variability due to monsoons. This compels them to devote substantial part of their GDP to meeting this challenge. All mitigation of GHG emissions, unless resulting as co-benefit from sustainable development processes, will cast net additional economic burden on developing countries. Most mitigation of GHG emissions in developing countries leads to diversion of resources, earmarked for development, to meeting a global environmental problem for which such countries are not responsible.

Notably, mitigation actions taken by India will not lead to reduction in impact of climate change on India, as climate change is caused by accumulated emissions since 1850. India has contributed very little to these emissions, and even now emits just 4{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} of the global emissions with 17{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} of the world’s population. Emissions from any point in the world has equal effect on the global climate, and even if India were to completely reduce its emissions to zero by going back to the stone age, it would hardly make any difference to the impacts of climate change on India (or anywhere else).

Amongst many of the likely implications of the committed and uncompensated mitigation actions are the following :
Withdrawal from use of coal for power generation: At present, coal accounts for c. 70{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} of India’s power generation. Since coal is the most intensive source of GHG emissions, and also India’s major energy resource, expansion of India’s power generation will be seriously affected, because other energy sources, e.g. hydel, wind and natural gas are much smaller than coal resources, and expansion of nuclear power significantly will take many decades. In addition, coal miners will become unemployed.

Price of power will increase and output will fall: Shifts from coal to other energy sources will result in increase in power tariffs to all users, including the small and marginal farmers for irrigation, and rural households.

Expansion of the railways network will be affected: Indian railways are mostly run by diesel and electricity. Since power generation from coal will be affected, and because diesel use also gives rise to GHG emissions, expansion, and even continuing operations of Indian railways will be affected.

Production of fertilizers will decrease: Fertilizers are largely produced using petroleum, natural gas, and electricity. Since all three sources involve emissions of GHGs, and accordingly, their use would have to be reduced, there would be fall in fertilizer output and consequent increase in price.

Prices of all goods, especially of food, will increase: Since the production of almost all goods involves use of energy, shortage of energy will lead to increase in costs of manufacture. I particular, food costs will increase because of reduced power and diesel for irrigation, and more costly fertilizer.

Increase in unemployment: Reduced energy use will lead to fall in industrial and agricultural output, and consequently, reduced employment.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

India played an important role in securing an agreement on the establishment of GCF. The Transitional Committee which designed the GCF had Dr. Y.V. Reddy, Ex – Governor, RBI, as India’s nominee. India is happy that the Fund will now become operational. However, the challenge now is to secure initial capital for its operations from the developed countries, in a timely manner and in sufficient quantum.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

The two sectors are not covered in the Durban decisions. India is opposed to any sectoral approach to mitigation actions, particularly the international unilateral measures that are not based on CBDR.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

India is opposed to inclusion of mitigation actions in the agriculture sector without applying the principle of differentiation. This will affect the livelihoods of farmers. India has excluded agriculture sector from its emission intensity goals through voluntary and supported efforts. India will ensure that the decisions on agriculture sector at COP 18 in Doha, Qatar are aimed at improving adaptation efforts in this sector.

Category: CLIMATE CHANGE

Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is a planning tool to integrate the environmental concerns into developmental process right at the initial stage of planning and suggest necessary mitigation measures. EIA essentially refers to the assessment of environmental impacts likely to arise from a project.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change is the nodal Ministry for notifying the EIA Notification under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 (EPA) gives power to the Central Government to take all measures that it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing and controlling abating environmental pollution. To meet this objective, the Central Government can restrict areas in which any industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards [Section 3 (2)(v)]

EIA Notification first time came into existence on 27th January, 1994 requiring prior environmental clearance for 29 categories of projects/processes listed there under. It was subsequently made applicable to 32 categories.

EIA Notification, 1994 required projects to obtain environmental clearance based on investment criteria (originally it was Rs. 50 crores, which was enhanced to Rs. 100 crores), except for mining project, where the lease area and nature of mineral were the criteria for applicability of the Notification.

Review of EIA Notification, 1994 was undertaken based on recommendations of a project by World Bank as well as by Govindrajan Committee on Disinvestment.

The present EIA Notification was issued on 14th September, 2006.

All new projects or activities listed in the Schedule to this notification; expansion and modernization of existing projects or activities listed in the Schedule to this notification with addition of capacity beyond the limits specified for the concerned sector, that is, projects or activities which cross the threshold limits given in the Schedule, after expansion or modernization; any change in product – mix in an existing manufacturing unit included in Schedule beyond the specified range.

The objectives of EIA Notification, 2006 inter alia include: (i) to formulate a transparent, decentralized and efficient regulatory mechanism to integrate environmental concerns into developmental process with a view to facilitating sustainable development. (ii) to ensure incorporation of necessary environmental safeguards at planning stage in the project cycle, so as to ensure minimal impact on different components of environment. (iii) to ensure involvement of stakeholders in public consultation process through public hearing and to ascertain the views of the public on the proposed project or activity.

The salient features of EIA Notification, 2006 inter alia include: (i) The EIA Notification, 2006 has categorized the projects into two categories namely; Category ‘A’ and Category ‘B’ based on their impact potential.

(ii) Category ‘A’ projects will be appraised at the Central level while Category ‘B’ project at the State level.

(iii) State level Environment Impact Assessment Authorities and Committees (SEIAAs and SEACs) have been constituted for the purpose of appraisal of Category ‘B’ projects.

(iv) The stage of scoping for prescribing terms of reference by the Regulatory Agency for the EIA studies has been incorporated in accordance with the International practice. It is expected to improve the quality of EIA thereby improving the quality of decision making and minimizing the delays.

(v) The public consultation process has been made more structured. It has two components i.e. comments through correspondence and by public hearing at site. Provision to videograph the proceedings of the public hearing has been made.

(vi) NOCs from other regulatory agencies such as SPCB etc. are not a pre-requisite for considering application for environmental clearance.

The environmental clearance process comprises of four stages, namely, Stage (1) Screening; Stage (2) Scoping; Stage (3) Public Consultation and Stage (4) Appraisal.

Screening refers scrutiny of category ‘B’ projects seeking prior environmental clearance made in Form-1 by the concerned State Level Expert Appraisal Committee for determining whether or not the project requires further environmental studies for preparation of EIA for its appraisal depending upon the nature and location specificity of the project.

Scoping refers to the process by which the EAC in the case of Category ‘A’ projects or activities, and SEAC in the case of Category ‘B1’ projects or activities determine detailed and comprehensive TORs addressing all the relevant environmental concerns for the preparation of EIA report.

Public Consultation refers to the process by which the concerns of local affected persons and others who have plausible stake in the environmental impacts of the project or activity are ascertained.

Appraisal means the detailed scrutiny by the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee of the application and other documents submitted by the applicant for grant of environmental clearance.

The EAC is a multi disciplinary sectoral appraisal committee comprising of various subject matter experts for appraisal of sector specific projects. The EAC is the recommendatory body. Based on the recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee, environmental clearance is accorded or rejected to the project by MoEF&CC.

The timelines prescribed in the Notification for various stages of EC are: 60 days specified for prescribing the TORs; 45 days for public consultation; 60 days for appraisal; and 45 days thereafter for communicating the decision to project proponent.

In all cases applications seeking prior environmental clearance are to be made in the prescribed Form 1 and Form 1A (if applicable) as provided in the EIA Notification, 2006, along with the pre-feasibility project report. There is also a copy. In the case of construction projects or activities (item 8 of the schedule), in addition to Form 1 and Supplementary Form 1A, a copy of the conceptual plan is to be provided in place of the pre-feasibility project report.

The MoEF&CC has mandated online submission of applications for Terms of Reference(TORs) and Environment Clearance (EC) w.e.f. 1st July, 2014, with the objective to increase transparency in system and reduce delays.

In this mode of submission of application, the proponent will get registered with the Ministry and will be provided with a unique number for further correspondence. The time period in receiving the application by post and human interface will be avoided. The moment the application is accepted by the Ministry, the same will be posted on the website and will be put in the public domain. In addition, for each step of environmental clearance process, the status of project would be regularly updated and the proponent would be able see the status of his project on line.

The sector specific manuals are guiding tools for the project proponents to prepare proper Environmental Impact Assessment Reports addressing all the related issues. These manuals are available on the Ministry’s Website.

The projects attracting both EIA Notification, 2006 and CRZ Notification, 2011, need not undergo two separate appraisal processes and do not require two separate clearances. Such projects will require only environmental clearance under the EIA Notification that will be considered based on the recommendations of the concerned State Coastal Zone Management Authority.

Project Proponent is required to submit a half yearly compliance report, twice in a year i.e. 1st June and 1st December, to MoEF/SEIAA and Regional offices of MoEF in hard and soft copies for monitoring of the project both during construction and operation phases. The Regional Offices of the Ministry monitor the compliance of environmental clearance conditions of various projects located in their jurisdiction.

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, Cess Act, 1977, – Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rules there under Public Liability Insurance Act, 1981, National Environmental Tribunal Act, 1995 National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997

State Boards are implementing following programmes Pollution control in 17 categories of highly polluting industries Pollution control from industries discharging waste water into rivers and lakes Inventorization of pollution industries in the State and ensuring their compliance to the Pollution control norms Restoration of environmental quality in critically polluted areas Monitoring of water and ambient air quality in the States Hazardous waste Bio-medical and Management of Municipal Solid Wastes

Major initiatives taken to control vehicular pollution include the following Emission Standards for Tractors : Emission norms for tractors were notified on 8.9.1999 under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules is effective from 1.10.1999. India 2000 Emission Norms akin to Euro-I Norms: Emission norms known as India 2000 akin to Euro I norms was notified on 28.8.1997 under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules is effective from 1.4.2000 for the entire country, required major modifications in the engine designs.

It is estimated that 75{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} to 80{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} of water pollution by volume is caused by domestic sewage. The major industries causing water pollution include: distilleries, sugar, textile, electroplating, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, pulp & paper mills, tanneries, dyes and dye intermediates, petro-chemicals, steel plants etc. Non-point sources such as fertilizer and pesticide run-offs in rural areas also cause pollution. Only 60{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} of chemical fertilizers are utilized in soils and the balance is leached into soil polluting the ground water. Excess phosphate run-off leads to eutrophication in lakes and water bodies.

The Central Pollution Control Board in consultation with State Pollution Control Boards has identified 24 areas in the country as critically polluted areas. These are: Bhadravati (Karnataka), Chembur (Maharashtra), Digboi (Assam), Govindgarh (Punjab), Greater Cochin (Kerala), Kala-Amb (Himachal Pradesh), Parwanoo (Himachal Pradesh), Korba (Madhya Pradesh), Manali (Tamil Nadu), North Arcot (Tamil Nadu), Pali (Rajasthan), Talcher (Orissa), Vapi (Gujarat), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Dhanbad (Bihar), Durgapur (West Bengal), Howrah (West Bengal), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Nagda- Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh), Najafgarh Drain (Delhi), Patancheru Bollaram (Andhra Pradesh), Singrauli (Uttar Pradesh), Ankleshwar (Gujarat), Tarapur (Maharashtra).

Yes Sir, India has prepared pollution abatement strategy which include the legal framework and the Environment Authorities.

In addition to Pollution Control Boards, 6 Environmental Authorities have been constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, including the National Environment Appellate Authority. These are : The Central Ground Water Authority – Aqua Culture Authority Dahanu Taluka Environment (Protection) Authority Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for National Capital Region of Delhi Loss of Ecology (Prevention and Payment of Compensation) Authority for State of Tamil Nadu. National Environment Appellate Authority,1997 .

Ambient standards in respect of noise for different categories of areas (residential, commercial, industrial) and silence zones have been notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Noise limits have been prescribed for automobiles, domestic appliances and construction equipment at the manufacturing stage. Standards have been evolved and notified for the gen sets, fire crackers and coal mines. Regulatory agencies have been directed to enforce the standards for control and regulate noise pollution.

The following steps are taken: Establishment of Ambient Air Quality Monitoring throughout India Notification of Ambient Air Quality Standards under Environment (Protection) Act. Notification of vehicular emission norms for year 1990-91,1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 Improving fuel quality by phasing out lead from gasoline, reducing diesel sulphur, reducing gasoline benzene, and etc. Introduction of alternate fuelled vehicles like CNG/LPG. Improvement of public transport system. Phasing out of grossly polluting commercial vehicles. Public awareness & campaigns.

Impacts of the steps taken in Delhi: All regulatory pollutants show a decreasing trend in concentrations in Delhi. CO decreased to 3069 ug/m3 in 2000-2001 from 5450 ug/m3 in 1998. NO2 decreased from 75 ug/m3 in 1996 to 59 ug/m3 in 2000. Lead which is harmful especially for children, decreased remarkably due to phasing out of lead from gasoline. Another critical pollutant RSPM also shows a decreasing trend in Delhi.

The Govt. of India has enacted noise standards for fire-crackers vide G.S.R.682(E), dated 5th October, 1999, in an effort to control noise pollution due to fire crackers Recently in March 2001, Central Pollution Control Board in association with National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Delhi initiated a study on measurement of noise levels of fire-crackers available in the market. The study indicates that 95{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004} of the fire-crackers samples exceed the prescribed noise limits. Consequently, CPCB issued notice under Section 5, of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to the Department of Explosives, Nagpur, to take immediate steps to control manufacturing of fire-crackers exceeding the prescribed limits. All the State Pollution Control Boards/Committees were also requested to initiate steps to control sale of fire-crackers exceeding the notified limits, in consultation with their respective local administrations.

The Govt. of India has enacted Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 vide S.O.123(E), dated 14th February, 2000. The Rule deals with provisions to control noise pollution due to loud-speakers and public address system, as given below : Restriction on the use of loud speakers/utility address system : A loud speaker or a public address system shall not be used except after obtaining written permission from the authority. A loud speaker or a public address system shall not be used at night (between 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.) except in closed premises for communication within e.g. auditoria, conference rooms, community halls and banquet halls.

The Central Pollution Control Board, in association with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, had developed systems for control of noise pollution from diesel generator sets as well as from petrol/kerosene generator sets. Based on this, the noise standards for diesel and petrol/kerosene generator sets have been developed and notified.

Ambient noise standards were notified in 1989, which formed the basis for State Pollution Control Boards to initiate action against violating sources. The vehicular noise standards, notified in 1990, are being implemented by Ministry of Science and Technology, to reduce traffic noise. These standards have been made more stringent vide a notification in September 2000 and will be effective from January, 2003. Noise standards for diesel genset were prescribed in Dec. 1998. Govt. has been pursuing with State Pollution Control Boards, generator manufacturing and major users, for implementation of these standards. Presently these standards are being revised (the MoEF is in the process of issuing notification) making it mandatory for all generator manufacturers to provide acoustic enclosure at the manufacturing stage itself. This will have a major impact on noise from DG sets. Noise standards for fire-crackers were developed in October, 1999. Central Pollution Control Board had carried out a compliance testing of the fire crackers available in the market and also taken up with the Department of Explosives for compliance with these standards. Noise standards for petrol and kerosene generator sets were notified in September, 2000, and will be effective from September, 2002. The sale of these gensets will be prohibited if not certified by the testing agencies, identified for the purpose. The Noise Rules, 2000, regulates noise due to Public Address System/ Loud speakers and also prescribed procedures for noise complaint handling. Central Pollution Control Board has taken up a study on aircraft noise monitoring in Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. This will be followed by development of guidelines/ standards for aircraft noise.

The Central and State Pollution Control Boards were set up for enforcement of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Over the years, the Boards have been assigned additional responsibilities which include the following : • Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977. • Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 • Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rules made there under • Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules1989. • Manufacture, storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989 • Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998 • Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000. • Plastics wastes Rules, 1999 o Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, 1991 • Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991

Functions of Central Pollution Control Board :

Advise the Central Government on matters relating to pollution; Coordinate the activities of the State Boards; Provide Technical assistance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigations and research relating to control of pollution; Plan and organize training of personnel; Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data, prepare manuals and code of conduct. To lay down standards; To plan nation wide programme for pollution control.

Functions of the State Pollution Control Boards:

To advise the State Government on matter relating to pollution and on siting of industries To plan programme for pollution control; To collect and disseminate information; To carry our inspection; To lay down effluent and emission standards; To issue consent to industries and other activities for compliance of prescribed emission and effluent standards.

Aluminium Smelter Caustic Soda Cement Copper Smelter Distilleries Dyes & Dye Intermediates Fertiliser Integrated Iron & Steel Tanneries Pesticides Petrochemicals Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Pulp & Paper Oil Refineries Sugar Thermal Power Plants Zinc Smelter

The inventorization of the Post-91 large and medium industries of 17 categories have been completed. A total of 587 such industries have been identified and out of these, 561 units are presently operating. Although, it was mandatory for these units to have been allowed only if they had the requisite pollution control facilities, there latest compliance status is being verified.

A programme for pollution control through concerted efforts in polluted areas was started in 1989. The programme involves identification of the polluted areas, intensive surveys of these areas for identification of polluting sources, preparation of action plans for control of these polluting sources, and implementation of the action points by the concerned responsible agencies/industries.

24 Problem Areas have been identified for priority action in the country. Out of these 24 areas, the action plans have been implemented in respect of 16 namely, Bhadravati, Chembur, Digboi, Gobindgarh, Greater-Cochin, Kala-Amb, Manali, Nagda-Ratlam, North-Arcot, Pali, Parwanoo, Patancheru-Bollaram, Talcher, Vapi, Vishakhapatnam and Ankleshwar, and are under implementation in the remaining 8, namely Dhanbad, Durgapur, Howrah, Jodhpur, Korba, Najafgarh Drain Basin Delhi, Singrauli, and Tarapur There are total of 152 large and medium polluting industries located in these areas, out of which 17 are closed and all the remaining 134 industries have provided the requisite pollution control facilities.

The industrial pollution control programmes which incorporate the concept of sustainable development are : Environmental auditing and submission of the annual environmental statements by the industries Conducting of EIA studies before establishment of new polluting industries Change over to clean technologies for example mercury cell to membrane cells in chloralkali plants. Zoning Atlas of Siting Industries; and Eco-labeling of environment-friendly products.

The steps taken by the various categories of the industries for reduction in the generation of the pollutants are as follows: Commissioning of the stand-by power supply systems by chlor-alkali plants reduce mercury emission due to power failures Introduction of blending system for coal homogenisation in cement plants to ensure stable operation of the ESPs Conversion of single hood to the double hood system in copper smelters to reduce the fugitive emissions Biomethanation of the effluents in distillerie Solar evaporation ponds in small-scale water polluting units not having CETPs in the proximity Conversion of the open hearth furnaces (OHF) to the basic oxygen furnaces (BOF) and introduction of the dry system (instead of wet) for the quenching of the hot coke in iron & steel plants Commissioning of chemical recovery plants (CRPs) by pulp & paper industries; and Change over the DCDA production method by sulphuric acid.

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, Cess Act, 1977, Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rules thereunder Public Liability Insurance Act, 1981, National Environmental Tribunal Act, 1995 National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997

With the assistance of the World Bank, following three environmental projects have been undertaken to strengthen monitoring and enforcement capability of selected Pollution Control Boards/ Committees and to perform specific studies to prevent environmental degradation. Industrial Pollution Project (IPC)- Signed in 1991 and completed in 1999; Industrial Pollution Prevention Project (IPP)- Signed in 1994 and its implementation is in progress; Environmental Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project (EMCBTA)- Signed in 1997 and its implementation is in progress.

Besides Central Pollution Control Board and its zonal offices, following 22 State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees have been covered under the projects. These are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharahstra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

SPCBs are getting only marginal/ nominal financial assistance from State Governments. In some of the State Pollution Control Boards, State Governments are not providing budgetary grants. State Pollution Control Boards are dependent on consent and authorization fee and cess reimbursements which they get out of cess collections.

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) provides financial assistance to State pollution Control Boards on specific projects relating to prevention and control of pollution. Ministry provides financial assistance on following programmes: Specific projects for abatement of pollution Hazardous waste management Management of municipal solid waste Strengthening of Pollution Control Boards (for laboratory upgradation)

State Pollution Control Boards have framed rules as per approval of State Governments. More or less, procedure and rules followed by State Pollution Control Boards are similar.

The Central and State Pollution Control Boards were set up for enforce ment of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Over the years, the Boards have been assigned additional responsibilities which include the following : Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977. Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rules made thereunder Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules1989. Manufacture, storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989 Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998 Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000. Plastics wastes Rules, 1999 o Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, 1991 Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991

The Central Pollution Control Board is fully funded by the Central Ministry of Environment & Forests. The State Pollution Control Boards receive funds from the concerned State Governments and from the Central Ministry of Environment & Forests through reimbursement of Water Cess (upto 80{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004}) collected by the respective State Boards. In addition, the State Boards receive fees for processing for applications from the industries for issuing consent in regard to discharge of effluent and emissions.

The programmes covering direct control of effluents/ emissions, and hazardous wastes from the industries taken up are as follows: Industrial Pollution Control along the river Ganga, Pollution Control in 17 Categories of major polluting industries, Industrial pollution control along the rivers and lakes, Pollution Control in Problem Areas, and Surprise inspection of polluting industries

This application relates to Environmental release of Genetically Engineered Mustard (Brassica juncea) hybrid DMH-11 and use of parental events (Varuna bn3.6 and EH2 modbs2.99) for development of new generation hybrids

Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP), University of Delhi, South Campus, New Delhi has developed this Barnase-Barstar technology

Yes, this project received financial support from Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)

Mustard flowers contain both male and female organs and the crop is pre-dominantly self-pollinating. Therefore, a pollination control mechanism is required to disallow self-pollination and encourage cross-pollination for hybrid seed production. For this, one of the two parental lines of a hybrid has to be made male sterile so that it receives pollen from the other parent to set seed. Seeds harvested from the male sterile line are hybrid seeds which can be provided to the farmers, who can reap the benefit of higher productivity of the hybrids.

Male sterile lines can be developed by using cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) through conventional breeding or by genetic engineering using transgenes. A number of CMS systems have been tested in mustard. However, CMS/ restorer systems have been found to be inadequate for large scale hybrid seed production with high purity. CMS systems are either unstable or their restoration to fertility is inadequate. A more versatile hybrid seed production system is based on the use of transgenes – barnaseandbarstar as explained below.

A novel way to developing male sterile (MS) lines through genetic engineering was developed by scientists in Belgium in early 1990s through the use of two genes – barnase and barstar from soil bacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. In nature, bacterium excretes a defense protein called Barnase (a type of ribonuclease) which degrades the RNA of competing bacteria in an ecological niche. To protect itself from Barnase, the bacterium produces another protein called Barstar which tightly binds with Barnase and renders it ineffective. Bacterial genes can only express in plants if these are expressed under plant promoters. Both Barnase and Barstar encoding genes were expressed under a tapetum specific promoter. Tapetum is a layer of cells in the male organs called anthers present in the flower. Tapetum produces metabolites which are essential for the development of mature pollen. In the barnasegene containing lines, the tapetum tissue ablates (dies)as a consequence developing pollen degenerate, providing MS lines. The other parental line, called restorer of fertility (RF) line, contains barstargene that also expresses in the tapetum cells. The MS line receives pollen from the RF line through wind pollination or bee pollination, resulting in the production of hybrid seed that has both the barnase and the barstar genes. When hybrids are grown by the farmer these are fully fertile. Thus the MS/ RF system ensures that the MS line will only produce hybrid seeds by outcrossing with RF lines thereby providing an efficient system of pollination control for production of hybrid seed. The system hereafter is referred to as barnase-barstar system.

Issues of concern include the capability of the GE Plant to escape and potentially introduce the engineered genes into wild populations; the persistence of the gene after the GE Plant has been harvested; the susceptibility of non-target organisms (e.g. insects which are not pests) to the gene product; the stability of the gene; the reduction in the spectrum of other plants including loss of biodiversity; and increased use of chemicals in agriculture.

The following safety studies were done for GM Mustard and they were as per prescribed guidelines developed by Government of India from time to time

Category

Tests Done

Relevant Guidelines

Molecular characterization ·      Gene sequences, constructs and molecular characterization

·      Expression studies of the three inserted genes – bar, barnaseand barstar

·      Cloning, expression, purification and production of three expressed proteins

·   Recombinant DNA Safety Guidelines, 1990

 

·   Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants, 2008 prepared by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

 

Food safety

Studies

·      Equivalence of the Bar, Barnase and Barstar recombinant proteins produced in bacteria with that expressed in GE plants

·      Bioinformatics analysis of the three proteins

·      Pepsin digestibility of the three proteins

·      Heat stability of the three proteins

·      Acute oral toxicity of the three proteins in mice

·      Sub-chronic toxicity of leaves and seeds containing the three proteins in rats

·      Compositional analysis

 

·   Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants, 2008 prepared by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

 

Environmental

safety studies

·           Research & Development Phase including primary field trials 2004-2007.

·           BRLI trials for two growing seasons (2010-11, 2011-12)

·           BRLII trials for one growing season (2014-15)

·           Weediness potential and aggressiveness parameters

·           Impact on soil microflora during BRLI and BRLII trials

·           Crossability and pollen flow studies

·           Pollination behavior, pollen morphology and physiology

·   Revised Guidelines for Research in Transgenic Plants, 1998 (DBT)

 

·   Guidelines for the monitoring of Confined Field Trials of Regulated, Genetically Engineered (GE) Plants, 2008 (DBT & MoEF&CC)

Detection

Protocols

· Protocol for testing at a level of detection (LOD) of 0.01{b9cca8aede1995d450ecbb7cabdd9c806c66ba8f7afe5985dcdbcb8cb5055004}

· Development of ELISA kits for Bar, Barnase and Barstar

·      Tests and Detection methods developed

Yes, the following Public Sector Institutions were engaged in conducting safety studies related to this technology

  • ICAR-Directorate of Rapeseed Mustard Research (DRMR), Bharatpur was engaged for conduct and monitoring of confined field trials (CFTs) and generation of data related to environmental safety studies
  • ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad was engaged for undertaking all food safety related studies
  • CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh was engaged in conduct of soil micro flora studies.

Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods. GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.

GM crops available on the international market today have been designed using one of the following basic traits: resistance to insect damage; resistance to viral infections; and tolerance towards certain herbicides. GM crops for hybrid seed production for heterosis breeding (e.g. rapeseed/canola) and with higher nutrient content (e.g. soybeans increased oleic acid) have been also studied recently.

The transgenes would not get transferred to humans or animals through consumption of GE mustard. So far, there is no evidence suggesting that the transgenes could be transferred to humans or animals through consumption of GE food.

The regulatory agencies assessed thoroughly the dossier and evaluated critically the safety data on toxicity and allerginicity in humans and animals and found that the introduced proteins do not have any toxicity.

The seeds of this GE mustard are as safe for consumption as other conventionally grown mustard varieties in India.

This GE mustard leaves are as safe for consumption as other conventionally grown mustard varieties in India.

Medicinal products containing mustard oil or leaf from this hybrid have been assessed to be as safe as other conventional mustard varieties.

The introduced Barnase and Barstar proteins of the GE mustard are expressed in specific tissue (anther) and are not found in other parts of the plant. Bar protein expressed in leaves but is rapidly degraded during cooking. Also, the expressed proteins show rapid digestion in the human gut in the in vitro tests. Moreover there has been more than a decade of history of safe use of these three proteins hence it can be concluded that these proteins would not alter anyone’s genome after consumption of this GE mustard.

The compositional analysis of this GE mustard shows that all the biochemical/nutritional components of GE mustard are similar to that of conventionally grown mustard varieties (varuna and RL1359). Therefore, GE mustard is not expected to have a change in the taste.

The compositional analysis of GE mustard reveal that Glucosinolates content (responsible for pungency) in this GE mustard is similar to commercially grown variety in India (Varuna and RL1359). So, this GE mustard is not expected to have a change in the taste.

The genes responsible for male sterility-fertility restorer technology are specific to plant cells only and have no selectivity to human reproductive cells. Moreover, in the 90-day sub-chronic feeding studies conducted with edible plant parts (leaf and seed) no toxic effects were observed on reproductive organs of rats.

In compositional analysis, this GE mustard is found to be a substantially equivalent to commercially cultivated mustard variety Varuna and RL1359. Hence, GE mustard would be as nutritious as the conventionally grown varieties in India.

The introduced proteins are expressed in low to negligible level in the edible parts (leaf and seed) of this GE mustard. Hence, this GE mustard is as nutritious as other conventional varieties.

This GE mustard is as nutritious as the conventionally grown varieties in India. Therefore, it is not anticipated to have any effect on milk production, if cattle consume this GE mustard as feed.

In compositional analysis, this GE mustard is found to be substantially equivalent to commercially cultivated mustard varieties (Varuna and RL1359). Hence, this GE mustard will have same nutritional value. Therefore, milk produced by cows after the consumption of this GE mustard, if any, will not changes in terms of colour and nutritional value.

Oil from this GE Mustard contained no new proteins. Therefore, this GE mustard oil is as safe as the conventional mustard oil from the non-transgenic mustard variety.

Mustard crop have been cultivated for a long time in India. Pollen characteristics of this GE mustard have been assessed and found to have no abnormal characters as compared to conventionally grown varieties.

Composition of oil from this GE mustard is similar to oil derived from conventional mustard variety and therefore, the oil derived from this GE mustard is as safe as the oil from conventional varieties. Hence, people allergic to traditional mustard oil should exercise similar caution to this GE mustard.

The three introduced proteins (Barnase, Barstar and Bar) are expressed in very less amount in the plant and are found to be non-toxic in the acute as well as sub-chronic toxicity studies in rats and mice. Based on the Global reports of history of safe use and other reported scientific literature, it is assessed to be safe for animal grazing on it.

All the three introduced proteins as well as studies using edible plant parts did not show any adverse effects. Moreover, seed and meal from transgenic canola having same barnase-barstar system is being fed to animals in various countries and no adverse effects have been reported so far. Thus, this GE mustard cake is assessed as safe for feeding animals

The assessment for the effect of this GE mustard on microbial population has revealed no adverse effect on soil microorganisms. Also, the three introduced proteins have been found to be easily digested by the simulated gastric fluid. Therefore, based on the history of safe use of these proteins in other countries, it can be concluded that this GE mustard would not alter gut microbial flora in human and animals.

The Barnase, barstar and bar proteins are produced by naturally occurring soil microorganism. There are no such evidence of leachates of these protein in ground water. Further, it has to be noted that these proteins are not stable for a long period and gets degraded after release in the soil.

This GE mustard is as safe as non-GE mustard. It won’t cause Dropsy or any other diseases.

The introduced proteins are independent of the nectar production traits and therefore are not expected to influence nectar quality and quantity.

The honey bee studies have revealed that this GE mustard does not affect the number of honey bees visiting GE mustard plants as compared to non-GE mustard plants.

GE mustard requires no additional care for growth and cultivation as compared to any other conventional mustard.

Leave a Reply

Mustard is grown as a Rabi crop in India. All the agronomic practices are same as it is in the conventional mustard.

No herbicide is required or recommended for cultivation of GE hybrid Mustard.

GE mustard has no additional requirement of irrigation and fertilizer for growth and cultivation as compared to any other conventional mustard.

This GE mustard has no insecticidal proteins, hence would behave similar to conventionally grown mustard.

The introduced proteins in this GE mustard has no role in colour determination, hence would be similar to conventionally grown mustard.

Leave a Reply

GE mustard has no additional requirement for growth and cultivation as compared to any other conventional mustard. Hence, it can be grown domestically with similar cultivation practices.

The hybrid GE mustard with Barnase-Barstar technology will lead to production of fully fertile flowers.

The hybrid GE mustard with Barnase-Barstar technology will lead to production of fully fertile seeds in the farmer’s field.

This GE mustard hybrid is developed using Barnase-Barstar technology and do not has the terminator technology.