8

EDUCATION, TRAINING AND INFORMATION


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Forestry Education, Training and Extension

Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE)

The ICFRE, Dehradun, an autonomous organisation of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, organises and manages research, education and extension in the field of forestry. Details of ICFRE s activities relating to forestry research are given in Chapter 7. Major activities relating to forestry education, extension and training undertaken by the Council and its institutes are given below :-

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In Service Training of Indian Forest Service Officers

In-service training courses of one week, two week and three week duration have been organised for the Indian Forest Service Officers in the premier Institutions of the country on various forestry related disciplines and applications of modern techniques in forestry. The main thrust of these courses is on Computer Application in Forestry, Wildlife Management, Participatory Forest Management, Project Identification, Formulation, Monitoring and Appraisal, Forest Tribal Inerface, Forestry in Rural Development, Financial Management in Forestry Sector Management in Government, etc. In the year 1997-98, about 1500 IFS Officers have been trained in these courses.

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Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA), Dehradun

The IGNFA was established in May, 1987, as a successor institute to the erstwhile Indian Forest College. It is a premier institution imparting in-service professional training to the Indian Forest Service probationers. The main objectives behind the training are to impart professional knowledge of forestry, managerial skills and to help the probationers imbibe the fundamental ethos of the All India Services.

The Academy has so far trained 1757 IFS probationers and 228 foreign trainees from neighbouring countries. Currently, there are three batches of IFS probationers undergoing training. There are 39 probationers in the 1995-98 course comprising of 6 lady probationers and three foreign trainees. There are 39 probationers in 1996-99 course and 55 probationers in 1997-2000 course. The probationers of the 1995-98 course have returned back to the Academy in December, 1997 for the advanced phase of training after the eight months on- the-job training in their respective state cadres. Details of other activities of the Academy during the year are as follows :-

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Directorate of Forest Education (DFE), Dehradun

The Directorate of Forest Education, delinked in 1991 from the Forest Research Institute and Colleges, Dehradun, now functions directly under the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Directorate is responsible for controlling, coordinating and managing all the regular training courses of the State Forest Service (SFS) and Forest Range Officers in the country. It also organises short-term special Refresher Courses and other courses related to Computer Application in Forestry, Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Rural Development for in-service officers. The State Forest Service Colleges located at Dehradun (Uttar Pradesh). Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), and Burnihat (Assam) and the Eastern Forest Rangers College, Kurseong (West Bengal), are under the administrative control of this Directorate. The five State-run Forest Rangers Colleges i.e. (1) Forestry Training Institute, Haldwani (U.P.), (2) Forest Rangers College, Balaghat (M.P.), (3) Forest Rangers College, Angul (Orissa), (4) Gujarat Forest Rangers College, Rajpipla (Gujarat); and (5) North Eastern Rangers College, Jalukbari (Assam) are also controlled by this Directorate, with respect to admission, curricula and examination.

Details of various courses and training programmes organised by the Directorate and its colleges during the year are as follows :-

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

The IPIRTI, Bangalore was added as an autonomous organisation of this Ministry on its transfer from the Ministry of Industry, Government of India on 1.5.1990. It is recognised internationally as a centre of expertise in the mechanical wood industries technology sector and is equipped with modern facilities for research and training in saw milling and plywood. The Institute conducts research to enlarge service life of wood and wood products, economise wood utilisation by reducing wastage in conversion as well as application. (Details of the research activities of IPIRTI are given in Chapter 7.) It hasa well stocked library which provides referral services to industry and scientific community apart from the Institute s staff and students.

Highlights of the activities related to education and training carried out by the Institute during the year are as follows :-

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Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal

The IIFM, Bhopal was established in 1982 and is an autonomous organisation under this Ministry. Its objectives are to provide training in management and related subjects to officers from the Indian Forest Service, Forest Departments, Forest Development Corporations and Forest Related Industries with a view to inculcating professionalism in forestry management.

The activities of the IIFM fall under four realms viz. education, training, research and consultancy related to forest management. Highlight of the activities carried out during the year are as follows :-

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Wildlife Education and Training

Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun

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Established in 1982 under the erstwhile Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, the WII is now an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Environment of Forests. The main mandates of this Institute are to impart training to government and non-government personnel, carry out research and advise on matters relating to the conservation and management of the wildlife resources of the country. Highlights of the Institutes activities relating to wildlife education and training during the year, are given below :- (Details of WII s research activities are given in Chapter 7).

During the year the following regular long and short term training courses, workshop/seminar etc were organized by the WII.

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Other activities

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Library and Documentation Centre

During the year, 1315 books, 750 reprints and 100 newspaper clippings were added to Institutes library stock of about 20,000 books/ monographs, about 7500 reprints and 5000 news paper clippings. About 350 national and international journals and periodicals are received regularly at WII. A separate children s section consisting of about 300 books has been established for creating nature awareness among children. Apart from the lending and reference service, the library and documentation centre also provides referral service, current content service, bibliographical service, retrospective searching, press clipping services, indexing and abstracting service, document delivery and CD-ROM searching.

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Environment Education, Awareness and Training

Formal Environmental Education

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

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Non-formal Environmental Education and Awareness

Environmental Education, Awareness 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 for 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.

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National Environmental Awareness Campaign (NEAC) 1997-98

The National Environmental Awareness Campaign (NEAC), started in 1986 for creating environmental awareness at all levels of the society, was continued during the year. The themes for NEAC this year were: 1. Pollution Prevention and Control 2. Conservation and Plantation of Trees for Environmental Protection . Twenty eight organisations located in different parts of the country have been designated as Regional Resource Agencies (RRAs) for assisting the Ministry in conducting this campaign. Besides helping the Ministry in selecting participating organisations, these RRAs are also responsible for physically monitoring and evaluating the activities conducted by various organisations under NEAC in their areas of jurisdiction.

A large number of NGOs, schools, colleges, universities, research institutions, women and youth organisations, army units, State Government Departments etc., from all over the country were provided financial assistance for organising awareness creating activities such as padayatras, rallies, public meetings, exhibitions, folk dances, street theatres, essay/debate, painting/poster competitions for school children, seminars,workshops, training courses etc. and for preparation and distribution of environmental education resource materials. Diverse target groups ranging from students/youth/teachers to tribals, rural population, professionals, etc., were covered under the campaign.

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Eco-Clubs

To impart environmental education and to encourage and mobilise participation of school children in various environmental conservation activities in their localities, the Ministry provides financial assistance for setting up of Eco-clubs in schools. These clubs are established in Govt. recognised schools and each club has 20-50 members taken from among the students of Class VI to X. A group of 20-50 Eco-clubs in one or more geographically contiguous districts are serviced by a coordinating agency which may be an educational institution, a NGO or a professional body. More than 4700 clubs have been funded so far.

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Paryavaran Vahinis

The Paryavaran Vahini scheme was launched by the Ministry during 1992-93 to create environmental awareness and to encourage involvement of people through active participation as well as to report illegal acts pertaining to forests, wildlife, pollution and environmental degradation. One Paryavaran Vahini is constituted for each district especially identified for this purpose. The selection of the districts is made on the basis of high incidence of pollution, density of tribal population and forest cover. Till now, 194 districts have been selected for this purpose and so far, Vahinis have been constituted in 144 districts. Each Paryavaran Vahini has about 20 members which can go up to 100. The membership is restricted in the initial stages and may be increased upto 100 with the progress of the scheme.

A token grant of Rs. 200/- p.m. is given to the members of the Vahini to partially reimburse expenditure incurred by him/her for attending monthly meetings and other tasks of the Vahini. The funds for distribution of grants to members of Paryavaran Vahinis are provided by the Ministry periodically to the District Collectors.

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Seminars/Symposia/Workshops/Conferences

The objective of this 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 91 proposals were supported for financial assistance.

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Films on Environment related areas

Recognising the role of electronic media in spreading the message of environmental conservation and creation of environmental awareness, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has been extending financial assistance to film producers for production of films on various aspects of environment, forests and wildlife. Some of these films are telecast by Doordarshan through National Network as well as through Regional Kendras from time to time. Other TV Networks are also being encouraged to telecast thefilms supported by the Ministry. A total of 84 films have been produced so far, out of which, 53 have been forwarded to TV Networks for telecast purpose. The list of films produced during the year are given in Table - 18.

Table - 18

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S.No.   Title                   Format & duration       Language        Subject area
                                of the Film
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1.      Badlaav                 Betacam                 Hindi           Industrial water pollution and role of 
                                25 mts.                                 community in its management.

2.      Ek nadi ki kahani       Betacam                 Hindi           Indian rivers and their problems and 
                                25 mts.                                 solutions.

3.      Ganga mool main         Betacam                 Hindi           Water pollution in river Ganga.
        pradushan               26 mts. 21 sec.

4.      The greening of         U-matic high band       English         Role of the corporate world
        management              27 mts. 51 sec.                         in abatement of Industrial pollution.

5.      Aam Mahua ki            U-matic high band       Hindi           Importance of plants and the need to
        Shadi                   25 mts.                                 protect them.

6.      Abhiyan                 U-matic high band       Hindi           Creation of awareness among the masses 
                                21 mts.                                 about environment friendly product.

7.      Lethal impact           Betacam                 Hindi           Air, water and noise pollution and their
                                23 mts.                                 impact on health of human beings.

8.      Bio-degradable          Betacam                 English         Bio-degradable objects.
        objects                 4 mts.

9.      Golden garbage          Betacam                 English         Solid waste management in the city of 
        of Calcutta             25 minutes                              Calcutta
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Communication and Awareness Programmes of NAEB

New technologies and methodologies of participatory management, eco-development and regeneration of degraded forests are being progressively developed. In order to share such experiences and technologies widely, NAEB documents these developments and information in the form of publications, films and audio-visuals and shares these with State Governments, NGOs and all concerned. The Board has commissioned/produced 13 films so far and has brought out a number of publications for the purpose of dissemination.

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Centres of Excellence

The following five Centres of Excellence 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.

During the year the following Centres have also been supported under this scheme:

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Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad

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The CEE Ahmedabad was set up in 1984 to develop programmes and materials to promote environment education and awareness through out the country. Besides the main Centre at Ahmedabad, regional offices of the CEE are functioning at Lucknow, Bangalore, Guwahati and Pune. A Delhi Desk of CEE has also started functioning from January 1997. Highlights of the activities conducted by CEE and its regional offices during the year 1997-98 are as follows:-

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C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai

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The C.P.R.Environmental Education Centre was established in 1989 to increase consciousness and knowledge about the environment and the major environmental problems facing India today.

The Centre conducts a variety of programmes to spread awareness and interest among all sections of the public, by organising training programmes, workshops, courses, surveys, exhibitions, and by raising awareness through action. Since inception, the Centre has been working in the rural and tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karanataka, Kerala and Orissa. Special emphasis has been laid on the fragile ecologies of the Andamans and the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

The important activities carried out by the Centre during the year are as follows:

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Centre for Ecolocial Sciences (CES), Bangalore

Established at the Indian Institute of Science during the year 1983, this Centre conducts research in front line areas of basic and applied ecology and participates in ecology related extension programmes of the Western Ghats. During the year the Centre worked on 19 research projects, pertaining to the following seven broad themes.

Development of a computer simulation model to estimate the quantities of ivory harvested from killed elephants, development of methodologies for use of satellite imagery to assess vegetation diversity, assessment of technologies and policies for mitigation of climate change in the forestry sector, exploring the link between climate variability and agricultural productivity in the case of rainfed groundnut crop and exploration of the mechanism of division of labour in an insect society, are some of the major highlights of the work of the centre during the current year.

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Centre of Mining Environment (CME), Dhanbad

The CME was established by the Ministry in 1987 at the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. Since 1994, the expenditure of the Centre relating to salary etc., of the faculty and staff is being met by the UGC, while the expenditure on Research and Development activities of the Centre is being met by the Ministry. A Monitoring Committee functioning under the chairmanship of Secretary (E&F) oversees and guides the research work of the Centre.

The Centre's R & D activities during the year, focussed on the following areas.

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Other activities of CME

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

This Centre, linked to the Bombay Natural History Society was established in 1990 with the major objectives of conducting research and extension activities relating to various aspects of ornithology and natural history. A permananet building for the Centre is under construction and other infrastructural facilities are also expected to be in place shortly. During the year, SACON completed a number of ongoing research projects and has also initiated several new projects.

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Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems (CEMDE), Delhi

The Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems functioning at the Department of Environmental Biology, Delhi University, has been supported through a one- time grant to pursue research on the ecological rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems. The Centre will focus on developing low input, cost effective restoration technologies which not only require no after care, but also generate employment among the rural poor, especially women. The mined areas of Mussoorie Hills have been ecologically rehabilitated successfully using this technology which uses native grasses, legumes and other local species together with their rhizospheric and rhizoplane microbial communities as the biological inputs.

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Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), Thiruvananthapuram

The TBGRI has been designated as a Centre of Excellence for conservation and sustainable utilisation of tropical plant diversity. The thrust areas on which the centre will focus upon are:-

During the year the Centre has undertaken the following activities :

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National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), New Delhi

The National Museum of Natural History is a subordinate office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Its basic function is to promote non-formal environmental education and create environmental/conservation awareness among the people through various in-house and out-reach activities. It has various exhibit galleries, a Bio-Science Computer Room, an Activity Room and a Mobile Museum which are used for promoting environmental awareness among different target groups.

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Exhibit Galleries

The NMNH has four major galleries namely - Introduction to Natural History, Introduction to Ecology - Nature s Network, Conservation and Cell - the basic Unit of Life . A computer based interactive multi-media exhibit also forms part of the gallery on Cell .

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Temporary Exhibitions

The Museum coordinated and participated in the following temporary exhibitions:

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Educational Activities

During the year several special inhouse and outreach activity oriented programmes were organised and conducted by the NMNH for the benefit of school children, college students, teachers and general public. Major ones are :-

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Collaboration with Universities

The NMNH continued its academic collaboration with the Delhi University and assisted the Department of Environmental Biology, Delhi University (South Campus) by conducting lectures and practical classes on Systematics and Evolutionary Biology and by organising slide presentations, film shows, field study visits and guidance in project work for the students of M.Sc. (Environmental Biology).

The NMNH also extended its cooperation to the National Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology (a deemed University), New Delhi in the teaching of Museology and orienting its students on various aspects of Museology.

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Professional Enrichment, Participation in Seminars/Workshops etc.

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Regional Museum of Natural History, Mysore

Besides the regular in-house educational activities connected with its permanent galleries, the RMNH, Mysore conducted the following programmes also during the year:-

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Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhopal

The Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhopal was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Environment and Forests on 29th September, 1997. The main objective of this museum is propagation of environmental and conservation education and creation of awareness among masses through its exhibits and education and extension activities in the Central Indian region of the country. The main attraction of the museum is a life-size model of a dinosaur, Triceratops, in the central courtyard of the building, shown along with the fossil excavation site.

A Discovery Centre with hands-on materials and participatory exhibits on nature along with a multimedia computer facility provides an opportunity for young minds to learn about Nature and Environment. Facilities for organising temporary exhibitions and regular films shows are available within the building of the museum.

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Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhubaneshwar

Construction of the first phase of the building of the RMNH at Bhubaneshwar is nearing completion. A site office has been established there. Networking with other institutions engaged in formal as well as non-formal environmental education has already been initiated. This Museum will portray the natural wealth of the Eastern region of the country and will promote non-formal environmental education and awareness among masses of this region.

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Fellowship and Awards

Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP)

The IGPP was instituted in 1987 by the Ministry and is now awarded to an individual and to an organisation every year for significant contributions in the field of environment. The Puraskar consists of a cash component of Rs. 1.00 lakh in cash, a silver trophy, a scroll and a citation. The award has been presented till 1993, and awards for 94, 95 and 96 are being finalised. Nominations for the award for 1997 have been received.

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Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards (IPVM)

The annual Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra awards (IPVM) were instituted in 1986 to recognise pioneering and exceptional contributions of individuals/organisations in the field of afforestation and wastelands development. Since 1993, twelve awards are given under six categories, viz, (a) individuals, (b) Panchayat/Gram Sabha/Village Level Institutions, (c) Educational Institutions, (d) Voluntary agencies including Mahila Mandals, Yuvak Mandals etc., (e) Government Agencies (district level and below), and (f) Corporates Sector. Each award carries a cash component of Rs. 50,000/- a medallion, a scroll, and a citation. Awards upto 1993 have already been presented. The Awards for 1994 and 1995 have been announced. Selection of awardees for 1996 is in process.

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Mahavriksha Puraskar

The Mahavriksha Puraskar was instituted in 1993-94 to give recognition to individuals/organisations for preserving and protecting trees of the notified species. Aroster of notified trees species, valid for five years, has been prepared. Each award consists of a cash prize of Rs. 25,000/-, a plaque and a citation. Awards for 1994 and 1995 have been finalised and announced. Selection for 1996 awards is in process.

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Zile ki Sabse Hari Panchyat

With a view to motivate the Gram Panchayts to undertake afforestation activities from the funds available under the Rural Employment Generation Schemes, an Award has been instituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Under this programme, the afforestation efforts of the Gram Panchyats will be evaluated after 4 years in every district, and the best performing Gram Panchyat will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh for being the "Zile Ki Sabse Hari Panchyat".

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Pitambar Pant National Environment Fellowship Award

The objective of this award is to encourage research and recognise excellence in the field of environmental science. The fellowship is awarded annually, and the Award for the year 1997 has been awarded to Dr. (Mrs.) Archana Sharma, Department of Botany, University of Calcutta, Calcutta. Dr. (Mrs.) Sharma will work on the project A comprehensive treatise on the protective action of specific edible plant parts as compared with their principal components against metal genotoxicants present in the environment including complex workplace mixtures .

This award carries a monthly fellowship of Rs. 4,000/- for two years, a contingent grant of Rs. 18,000/- per year and other facilities.

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

Recognising the importance of developing and strengthening the available expertise in the subject of Biodiversity, the Government of India had instituted a National Fellowship in 1995 in the area of Biodiversity named after the eminent Scientist late Dr. B.P. Pal.

The fellowship is in recognition of significantly important research and development contributions and is also intended to encourage talented individuals to devote themselves whole time to R&D pursuits in the field of Biodiversity for the duration of the fellowship. The fellowship is awarded annually and for a period of two years.

The award for the year 1997 has been conferred on Shri S.John Joseph, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Madras. Shri Joseph will work on Socio-Economic Problems of villages depending on the Bio-mass resources of Sirumalai Hill Forest resulting in degradation .

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Paryavaran Aur Van Mantralaya Vishisht Vaigyanik Puraskar

This award was instituted in 1991-92, as an incentive to Group A Scientists of the Ministry including its Associated formations, and is awarded annually to two scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the objectives of the Ministry. Each award carries a cash component of Rs 20,000/-. Selection of awardees for 1997 have been made.

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Environmental Information

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Environmental Information System (ENVIS)

The ENVIS network with its 24 nodes continued its activities in information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination to its users during the year. The ENVIS nodes, known as ENVIS centres in 24 subject specific areas and the Focal Point in the Ministry constitute the ENVIS network. A list of such ENVIS centres along with their subject areas is given in Annexure-II. The Focal Point of ENVIS and its network partners laid emphasis on the development of its information-base by creating comprehensive data-bases and strengthening information resource repository in theconcerned subject area. Major activities of the ENVIS Focal Point and its various centres during the year are as follows:

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Focal Point

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Atmosphere                                        160
Lithosphere                                        52
Terrestrial                                       191
Fresh water                                       333
Ocean and coastal areas                           131
Environmental development                        2175
Human settlements                                1223
Agriculture                                       261
Industry                                          767
Transportation                                     99
Energy                                            338
Chemical and biochemical process                  245
Pollution and wastes                             1101
Human health                                      177
Disaster                                           23
Monitoring and environmental data                 291
Environmental law and institutions                208
Environmental awareness                          2452
Others                                             75
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Total                                           10302
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Activities of the ENVIS Centres

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