INTRODUCTION AND THE YEAR UNDER REVIEW
Role and Organisation
In the administrative structure of Central Government for the planning, promotion,
coordination and overseeing the implementation of the environmental and forestry
programmes, the Ministry of Environment and Forests is the nodal agency in the Govt. The
Ministry is also the nodal agency within the country for the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and looks
after the follow-up of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
(UNCED) including Agenda 21.
The mandates of the Ministry are conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife,
prevention and control of pollution, afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas and
protection of environment. These tasks are being fulfilled through environmental impact
assessment, eco-regeneration, assistance to organisations implementing environmental and
forestry programmes; promotion of environmental and forestry programmes; promotion of
environmental and forestry research, extension, education and training to augment the
requisite manpower, dissemination of environmental information, international cooperation
and creation of environmental awareness among all sectors of the country s population.
The aforesaid objectives are well supported by legislative and regulatory measures which are
aimed at the preservation and protection of environment. Some of them are the Air
(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Water (Prevention and Control of
Pollution) Act, 1974, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 the Public Liability Insurance
Act, 1991, the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 the National Environment Appellate
Authority Act, 1997, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
Besides the legislative measures, a National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on
Environment and Development, 1992, National Forest Policy, 1988 and a Policy statement on
Abatement of Pollution, 1992 have been evolved.
The Ministry is in the process of formulation of a National Action Plan on Conservation of
Biodiversity and National Environment Policy. The Organisational structure of the Ministry
indicating various divisions, associated and autonomous offices/ agencies is given in
Allocation of Business
- Environment and Ecology, including environment in coastal waters, in mangroves and coral
reefs but excluding marine environment on the high seas.
- Botanical Survey of India and Botanical Gardens.
- Zoological Survey of India.
- National Museum of Natural History (NMNH).
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977.
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- The Indian Forest Act, 1927.
- The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
- The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
- Biosphere Reserve Programme
- National Forest Policy and Forestry Development in the country, including Social Forestry.
- Forest Policy and all matters relating to forests and forest administration in so far as the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are concerned.
- Indian Forest Services
- Wildlife preservation and protection of wild birds and animals.
- Central Zoo Authority
- Fundamental research, including coordination thereof and higher education in forestry.
- Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.
- National Assistance to Forestry Development Schemes.
- Central Ganga Authority
- The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997
- Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute, Bangalore
- Forest Survey of India, Dehradun
- National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board.
- Desert and Desertification.
An overview of the activities of the Ministry and its associated offices/organisations during
Survey of Natural Resources
- Seventynine exploration tours were undertaken by various circles and units of the Botanical
Survey of India (BSI) in different priority areas of the country during which about 25,000
specimens have been collected and about 11,791 of them were identified.
- 1075 plants belonging to 230 species from wild were introduced to preserve the germplasm.
- 24 species of threatened and endangered plants were conserved and multiplied.
- Seeds of 56 species of economic and medicinal importance were preserved in the seed bank.
- An All India Coordinated Project on Taxonomy has been initiated.
- A total of 68 surveys covering different ecosystems in various states of the country were
conducted by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).
- The National Zoological Collections were further enriched by the addition of 10,595
identified examples belonging to 834 species.
- During the year detailed taxanomic studies resulted in the discovery of two genera and 26
species new to science.
- A total of 3,409 examples (10 species) of Chaetogantha were identified out of the material
obtained during the cruises of Sagar Sampada
- Three volumes under the Fauna of India series and one volume each of Records of ZSI and
Fauna of Mahanadi were published.
- Undertaken a pilot project of Global Environment Facility on the biodiversity of coral reef
associated fauna in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Action are being initiated for publication of the State of Forest Report, 1999 the seventh in
the series of biennial reports by the Forest Survey of India.
Conservation of Natural Resources including Forestry and Wildlife
- During the year the 10th Biosphere Reserve has been set up at Dehang-Debang area of
Wetlands, Mangroves and Coral Reefs
- During the year an amount of Rs.140 lakhs has been released to the State Governments for
the management action plans of Pongdam in Himachal Pradesh, Wullar in Kashmir, Loktak
in Manipur, Rudrasagar in Tripura and Kolleru in Andhra Pradesh.
- One more wetland has been identified for conservation viz Rudrasagar from Tripura
increasing the list to twenty wetlands for intensive conservation and management in the
- Wetland Strategy has been drafted.
- A review workshop and a meeting of the reconstituted National Committee on Conservation
and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reef were held during September 1998. The
Committee has recommended the establishment of a Network of Mangrove Information and
data base centres along the East and West Coasts of India and Indian Coral Reef Monitoring
Network (ICRMN). A PDF-B Project on strengthening of Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
with financial assistance from UNDP/GEF is being implemented.
- The National Policy and Action Strategy for Biodiversity has been finalised.
- The legislation on bio-diversity is under finalisation.
- The report to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity highlighting the
measures undertaken for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity was released on 29th
December 1998 on the occasion of International Day for Bio-diversity.
- The Ministry participated in two international meetings, held to discuss the Thematic
Programme Networking on the six areas identified for regional cooperation amongst Asian
- India has been identified as the focal point for Thematic Programme Area-2 on agroforestry
and soil conservation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.
- During 1998, 854 proposals from various States and UT Governments were processed under
the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, out of which 365 were given stage II approval and 346
were given stage I approval and 143 were rejected on merit.
- All other schemes aimed at the conservation and management of the forests of the country
- Revised guidelines have been used under Forest (Conservation) Act for proposals for
- An expert committee for development of a long term strategy on forest conservation vis-…-vis
mining activities was constituted.
- A high level committee has been constituted on Jhudpi Jungle .
- A Joint Forest Management monitoring cell.has been created to assess the impact of JFM
Programme in the Ministry on the protection and development of forests.
- The network of protected areas now comprises 84 National Parks and 447 Wildlife
Sanctuaries covering about 1.50 lakh sq. km. Area of the country
- One meeting of the Indian Board for Wildlife was held during the year.
- Financial assistance was provided to 28 National Parks and 107 Sanctuaries in 23 states for
development of National Parks and Sanctuaries.
- Award in the name of Amrita Devi Vishnoi has been instituted for showing valour and
courage in protection of wildlife
- During the year two new tiger reserves were created in Karnataka and Mahrashtra
- An amount of Rs. 893.13 lakhs was provided upto Dec,1998 as Central assistance for
development and maintenance of the Project Tiger areas.
- An amount of Rs. 4.50 crores was allocated to the elephant range states to provide for habitat
management, management of man-elephant conflicts etc.
- A technical workshop to formulate collection plan of endangered species in Southern Indian
Zoos was organised in Chennai.
Environmental Impact Assessment
- A total of 250 projects were appraised for environmental and site clearance during the year,
out of which, 80 were cleared 88 were either rejected or exempted and the rest are pending.
- Coastal Zone Authorities have been set up both at National and State/Union Territory levels
to take measures for protecting and improving the quality of coastal environment and
preventing, abating and controlling environmental pollution in coastal areas.
- The Ministry has constituted a committee to identify areas adversely affected due to mining
and to commission specific studies for the development of action plans for environmental
protection vis-…-vis mining activities.
- A committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Director General of
Hydrocarbons, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to formulate guidelines for
management of wastes emanating during offshore drilling.
- A draft Notification was issued in September 1998, notifying Pachmarhi region in Madhya
Pradesh as an eco-sensitive zone with the intention of regulating industrial mining and
tourism activities in the area and to conserve the natural and man-made heritage.
Prevention and Control of Pollution
- Steps were taken to control pollution from 17 categories of highly polluting industries. Out of
a total of 1551 industries identified in 1991, now only 155 units are not having adequate
facilities to comply with the standards.
- 24 critically polluted areas have been identified and Action Plans have been prepared for 22
areas and are being implemented by CPCB/SPCBs.
- River basin-wise surveys conducted to identify the polluted streteches and their sources. 14
major rivers are included under the River Action Programme.
- Environmental guidelines for siting and operation of industries were brought out.
- Public hearing has been made mandatory for all projects requiring environmental clearance.
- Environmental audit in the form of environmental statement has been made mandatory for all
the polluting industries.
- To promote pollution prevention in small scale industries, 15 waste minimisation circles have
been set up in various parts of the country and about 100 such more circles are being
established for adoption of clean technology, better work practice and energy conservation
- Environmental Epidemiological Studies have been initiated in different parts of the country to
find out impact of pollution on human health and suggest mitigative measures.
- For control of pollution from automobiles, stricter emission standards, introduction of
unleaded petrol in major cities, installation of catalytic converters, introduction of low sulfur
fuels and improvement in the fuel quality have been undertaken;
- Preparation of zoning atlas for siting of industries based on environmental considerations in
various districts of the country has been taken up. So far 19 such districts have been covered.
- A scheme for setting up of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP) in cluster of small
industrial units has been taken up. About 7 CETP projects have been approved which are at
various stages of implementation.
- A Network of Ambient Air (290) and Water (480) Quality Monitoring Stations has been set
up throughout the country.
- Effluent and Emission Standards have been notified under the Environment (Protection) Act,
1986 for about 40 categories of industries. Besides, standards for ambient air and water
quality have also been notified.
- Fiscal incentives are provided for installation of pollution control equipment and also for
shifting of industries from congested areas. These include depreciation allowance at 100%,
investment allowance, custom and excise duty exemptions for pollution control/monitoring
equipments. Excise duty exemptions on utilisation of fly ash, phospho-gypsum etc. are also
- The White Paper on status of pollution in Delhi with a Action Plan for its control prepared
earlier for Delhi is being implemented. The respective state governments of Maharashtra,
Tamil Nadu and West Bengal had been advised to prepare similar Action Plans for Mumbai,
Chennai and Calcutta respectively. Out of these, Mumbai Action Plan has been prepared and
the authority to implement the Action Plan is being constituted. The Action Plan for Chennai
- Six Environment Authorities have been constituted under the EPA, including the National
Environment Appellate Authority.
- Emphasis is being laid on the collection and treatment of wastewater before its disposal on
land or on surface waters. For this purpose, a sewage treatment plant with proper collection
and conveyance system is being promoted.
- Promotion of waste minimisation techniques to conserve raw material by recovering solvents
is encouraged which also leads to reduction of pollution at source.
- Vehicular pollution being the main reason for air pollution in the major cities, stricter
emission standards for automobiles fuel quality standards etc. have been notified. Use of
clean fuel such as CNG and Propane is being promoted specially for plying of commercial
vehicles in the major cities.
- Noise pollution control is being given due importance specialy in metropolitan cities to deal
with the problem of traffic noise, industrial noise, noise generated through loudspeakers,
bursting of crackers, DG sets etc.
- Inventorisation (quality and characteristics) of hazardous wastes is being taken up to develop
a common facility for disposal of hazardous wastes and chemicals at pre-determined sites.
- Implementation of monitoring of Bio-medical Wastes (Handling & Management) Rules,
1998 for providing necessary facilities for safe disposal of bio-medical wastes generated by
hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.
Hazardous Substances Management
- Draft ammendments to the Chemical Accident (emergency, planing, preparedness and
response) Rules, 1996 have been notified.
- Final notification banning import of Waste Asbestos has been gazetted.
- The draft for the revision of Rules for manufactures, import, export and storage of Hazardous
Micro-organisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989 has been vetted by the
Law Ministry and is in the process of being notified.
- The Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 have been notified.
- The Ministry has issued draft Recycled Plastics Usage Rules, 1998 inviting suggestions and
- Fourth edition of the Red Data book containing details to be performed during emergency,
names, addresses etc. of the experts has been published and circulated.
- A National Poison Information Centre has been set up by the Ministry in the Department of
Phamacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi for dissemination
information in the treatment and management of poisoning due to chemicals and other
- Three institutions viz. FICCI, HRD Foundation, New Delhi and Disaster Management
Institute, Bhopal have been financially assisted for conducting training programms on
emergency preparedness and accident prevention.
- Final Act of the UN-Sponsored Convention on the Prior-Informed Conscent Procedure for
certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides on international trade has been adopted at the
conference of Planipotentiaries at Rottardam, Netherlands during 10-11, Sept, 1998.
Regeneration and Development
National River Conservation Directorate
- Out of the 261 schemes of pollution abatement sanctioned under Ganga Action Plan (GAP)
Phase-I, 254 schemes have been completed upto 30.9.1998.
- A capacity to treat 728 mld of sewage has been commissioned as against the target of 873 mld.
- The National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) covers 141 towns located along 22 inter-state
rivers in 14 States. The total cost of the schemes is Rs. 2014.39 crores.
- To improve implementation of GAP in Bihar, directions were issued on June 11, 1998
through the Centre Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to the State Pollution Control Board,
Bihar to initiate action against the dafaulting Government Departments/Local Bodies under
the Water Act, 1974.
- A Standing Committee of the National River Conservation Authority (NRCA) has been
constituted under the Chairmanship of Minister (E&F) to enable more frequent review of the
progress of river cleaning programme.
- A Project Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Shir K.C. Sivaramakrishnan,
Member NRCA has been constituted to advise on issues such as speedy implementation of
the programme, proper operation and maintenance of assets improving resource recovery
from sewage treatment and enhancing public participation in the programme.
- Chief Minister of the three GAP State have been requested to constitute review committees
under them with Members of Parliament, MLAs of the concerned towns along with
Chairmen/Mayors of local bodies to review the progress of the Action Plan on regular basis.
- The Standing Committee of NRCA has decided that assets being created under the River
Action Plans would be handed over to the local bodies after completion and that the
construction agency may continue to maintain the assets on contract basis till such time as
the local body acquires the necessary technical expertise for this purpose. The construction
agency may maintain the assets under the supervision of the local body who may be
financially assisted by the State Government.
- A committee of NGOs is being constituted for suggesting improvement in the programme.
- Guidelines for better public participation in River Action Plans were issued to concerned state
National Afforestation and Eco-development Board
- Seed Development Scheme was revised to add Pasture seeds of grasser and legumes in
addition to tree species.
- Financial assistance of Rs. 5.87 crores has been provided to State Forest Departmentsfor
purpose of raising 50 trees in every village under the Swarn Jayanti Kunj Scheme.
- The four Eco-Task Forces of ex-servicemen funded by NAEB continued to work on
afforestation, pasture development, soil and water conservation and other restorative works in
their areas of deployment.
- The seven Regional Centres of the NAEB located in Universities and other national level
Institutions continued to assist the Board in implementing the various schemes throughout the
country. These Centres also carried out problem-specific studies, evaluated the programmes
- The Guidelines of the scheme for financial assistance to Non Governmental Organisations
(NGO s) and Voluntary Agencies (VAs) for afforestation and tree planting activities have
been revised to provide for improved cost-norms and simplified procedures.
- Under the three major research schemes viz., Man and Biosphere Programme, Environment
Research Programme and the Action-oriented Research, Demonstration and Extension
Programmes on Eastern and Western Ghats, a total no. of 45 new projects were sanctioned,
45 projects were completed and 112 projects were serviced and monitored for their progress
during the year.
- Under the Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project funded
by the World Bank on Advisory Committee has been constituted to guide and monitor the
activities of a sub component on Environment Research.
- Ethnobotanical investigations in tribal areas under All India Coordinated Research Project on
Ethnobiology (AICRPE) revealed that the tribals have specific knowledge about use of over
10,000 wild plant species which includes 8000 medicinal plant, 4000 ediblle species etc.
- A delegation leld by the Minister (E&F) participated in the 4th Conference of Parties (COP) to
the Framework Convention on climate change (FCCC), held during November, 1998 at
Buenos. Aires, Argentina.
- India participated in the fourteenth session of the Inter Governmental Panel on the Climate
Change (IPCC) held during October 1998 at Vienna.
- The G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) continued
with its various projects and activities aimed at sustainable development of the Himalayan
- The GBPIHED has utilized the strengths of Geographical Information System (GIS) and
Remote Sensing Technology for the assessment of bioidversity, analysis and land use, land
cover changes and resources management.
- An inventory of Indian Himalayan medicinal plants prepared by GBPIHED has resulted in
identification of 1748 species belonging to angiosperms (1685 opp), gymnosperm (12 spp)
and pteridophytes (51 spp).
- Large scale propagation or selected plant using conventional and biotehnological techniques
continued in GBPIHED and in vitro protocols have been established for tea, malu, maggar,
ringal, butter tree and some medicinal plants.
Research under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP)
- The stretch-wise research projects undertaken for bio-conservation and bio-monitoring the
river Ganga using indicator species approach were completed during the year.
- The Central Pollution Control Board in collaboration with the State Pollution Control Boards
of the coastal States has initiated surveys and studies to assess the actual pollution load in the
26 medium and minor rivers in the States of Goa, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala, Orissa dnd
Karnataka, Similar proposals from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are likely to be taken up
- The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun continued to
coordinate, direct and oversee the research activities of the 11 research institutes/centres
under its administrative control.
- The thrust area of forestry research is on increasing productivity through genetic and
silvicultural improvement, treatment of waste land, conservation of forest ecosystems, wood
substitutes, tribal development and social forestry.
- A modified ACA technology for preservative treatment of Eucalyptus hybrid was developed
through treatment at elevated temperature. This resulted into reduction of treatment time
from 7 days to just 4 hours.
- A protocol for mass clonal multiplication of superior phenotypes of Eucalyptus tereticornis
via Micropropagation was developed.
- About 1200 wood samples were examined and identified received from various Govt.
departments, Public undertakings, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)/Police Deptts.
- Seed collection, extraction and germination procedure were standardized for commercially
important forestry medicinal plants namely, Feronia elephantum, Terminalia spp. and
- 4000 rhizomes of bamboo (Dendrocalamus stictus) and 2000 plants of neem, babool,
shisham and mulberry along with 300 fruit yielding tree species were distributed amongst
- Parthenium weeds were successfully controlled in experiments using extracts of Eucalyptus
bark and leaves. Spraying of the extracts resulted in immediate wilting and blackening of the
- Protocols have been developed for 3 species viz., Acacia nilotica, Prosopis cineraria and
Dalbergia sissoo for seed viability by TTC method.
- Collection and ex-situ conservation of 35 ethnomedicinal plants has been made and
demonstrated to the people.
- Clonal propagation of neem through tissue culture has been successfully achieved and the
plants so raised have already been planted out in the field.
- The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun continued to conduct research on the
ecological, biological, socio-economic and managerial aspects of wildlife conservation in
various parts of country.
- Initiated collaborative project with US Forest Service on Management of Forests in India for
biological diversity and forest productivity - a new perspective.
- Initiated a project on Ecology of the Asiatic Wild dog (Cuon alpinus) in Central India in
collaboration with Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.
- The Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) continued with its
research and extension activities relating to different aspects of ornithology and natural
history during the year.
National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS)
- A Standing Committee on Bioresources and Environment (SC-B) constituted by the Planning
Commission advises the Ministry on the methods of using remote sensing technology for
optimal use and management of natural resources of the country.
- During the year 6 projects have been sanctioned and the progress of 23 ongoing projects have
Education, Training and Information
Forestry Education, Training and Extension
- The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun continued to
organise, direct and manage the activities related to forestry education, extension and
- During the year, 28 candidates were awarded doctorate degree.
- Seventeen tested technologies developed by ICFRE have been prioritised on the basis of
clients demand for extension.
- Financial assistance of Rs. 110 lakhs has been extended to various universities to strengthen
education in forestry discipline.
- The Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA) continued to impart in-service
professional training to IFS probationers. The Academy has so far trained 1793 IFS
probationers and 231 foreign trainees.
- The IGNFA commemorated India s 50 year of Independence by organising two-day
workshop on 25th and 26th May 1998 in which senior forest officer upto the 1970 batch
- The diploma of Associate of IGNFA (AIGNFA) have been revived.
- The convocation of IGNFA was held on 30.5.1998, after a lapse of 11 years.
- The Directorate of Forest Education, Dehradun continued to control, co-ordinate and manage
all the regular training courses of the State Forest Service and the Forest Range Officers of
- The India Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPIRTI), Bangalore continued
with its training in saw milling and plywood.
- The Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal continued with its activities in
education, training, research and consultancy related to forest management.
- The Management Development Programme (MDP) of IIFM continued to impart training to
serving forestry personnel from various State Forest Department (SFDs) as well as officials
from NGOs and other departments.
- During the year four new consultancy assignments were undertaken by IIFM.
Wildlife Education and Training
- The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun continued to conduct the regular degree and
diploma courses, long and short term training courses, workshops, seminars etc., on various
aspect of wildlife conservation and management.
- The WII organized one week capsule course in Wildlife Management during September 21-
- The WII conducted two short orientation courses (two weeks each) in Wildlife Tourism and
Conservation during October-November, 1998.
- A training workshop on the Application of Geographic Information System (GIS) and
Remote Sensing in Wildlife Conservation was organized by WII during 1st - 10th May, 1998.
Non-formal Environment Education, Awareness and Training
- A major initiative has been taken by the Ministry to review ad expand the existing
components of environment education at all levels of formal education i.e. secondary, senior
secondary and tertiry levels.
- The Minster (E&F) has written to all the Chief Ministers urging them to introduce
environment education as a compulsory subject in the school curriculum from the next
academic session. Copies of this Paper have also been forwarded to all the vice-chancellors,
proponent NGOs working in the field of environment and eminent educationists of the
- The National Environment Awareness Campaign 1998 focussed on the theme, keep our
water resources clean . Twenty seven Regional Resources Agencies (RRAs) assisted the
Ministry in conducting this campaign.
- During the year 1998-99, 1600 Eco-clubs have been set up in different parts of the country.
- White paper on National Environment Education Policy is being prepared by the Ministry.
Centres of Excellence
- The Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad and the CPR Environment
Education Centre (CPREEC) Chenai continued to organise activities aimed at creating
environmental awareness among all sections of the society, especially students and teachers.
- The CEE and CPREEC brought out a number of environmental educational resource
materials for different target groups during the year.
- The Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Bangalore continued to conduct research in front
line areas of basic and applied ecology with special reference to the Western Ghats.
- During the year CES has carried out 21 projects in the broad areas of Biodiversity of India,
Ecology and Conservation Biology, Animal Behaviour, Mathematical Ecology and
- The Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems (CEMDE) Delhi
pursued research on the ecological rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems.
- The CEMDE has developed a bio-pesticide of microbial origin in controlling termites
infestation to combat major biotic stress for forest tress and crops particularly in semi-arid
- The CEMDE is in the process of patenting bio-molecule (chemical) isolated from leguminous
- The CEMDE has also developed a simple, cost effective, low-input technology for the
prevention of dust blow as well as for the mobilisation of toxic elements.
- During the year the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore
completed various ongoing research projects and initiated several new ones.
- The Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), Thiruvananthapuram has been
designated as a Centre of Excellence for conservation and sustainable utilisation of tropical
- TBGRI has initiated work on economic evaluation of biodiversity, conservation and re-
introduction of certain rare and endangered species.
- The Centre of Mining Environment (CME), Dhanbad carried out extensive investigations on
the environmental engineering characterisation of fly ash.
- The CME has developed an EIA methodology for open cast mining projects.
National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)
- The NMNH continued to promote non-formal environmental education and create
conservation awareness among the people through various in-house and out-reach activities.
- A Tableau on the theme of Save the Environment was prepared by NMNH for participation
in the Republic Day celebration, 1999 on behalf of the Ministry.
- The NMNH and its Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH), Mysore participated in
the 6th World Wilderness Congress from 24th to 29th October, 1998, at Bangalore.
- Director, NMNH participated in the Triennial of the International Council of Museum at
Melboune, Australia from 10-16 October, 1998 and was also elected as the Vice President of
the International Committee of Natural History Museums (COM-NatHist) for the next three
- The NMNH and its RMNH, Bhopal participated in the 2nd World Science Centre Congress at
the Science City, Calcutta from 11-16 January, 1999
Fellowship and Awards
- The Pitamber Pant National Environmental Fellowship Award 1998 has been given to Dr.
U.C. Mishra, Director, Health, Safety and Environment Group, Bhaba Atomic Research
Centre, (BARC) Mumbai.
- The B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship Award, for Biodivesity for the year 1998 has
been awarded to Dr. Shashi Kant, Department of Bio-Sciences, University of Jammu, Jammu.
- One new Environmental Information System (ENVIS) centre in the field of electronic media
and communication has been set up at the Centre for Media Studies (CMS), New Delhi. The
ENVIS network thus consists of 25 network partners now.
- The ENVIS network responded to a total number of 12,756 queries during the year, of which
11,660 were national and 1096 were international.
- Home page developed by ENVIS could be browsed through Internet at URL :
- ENVIS, since October 98 has started publishing the ENVIRO NEWS newsletter of the
Ministry on monthly basis, with the main objective of disseminating information to all
concerned on various important policies, new rules/legislations, important notifications and
other important decisions taken by the Ministry from time to time.
- The Sustainable Development Networking Program (SDNP) Secretariat has started
functioning in the Ministry during the year and the personnel required to man the secretariat
for performing the activities of SDNP has been recruited.
- A website for SDNP is being developed for accessing information by a wide cross section of
- ENVIS associated itself in publishing various publications of the Ministry.
- All the ENVIS Centres continued their activities related to collection, collation, storage,
retrieval and dissemination of information in their respective subject areas.
Legislation and Institutional Support
- The Ministry is currently preparing a comprehensive National Policy on Environment. A
White Paper will be published first to be followed by the National Environment Policy.
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977 is being amended again so
as to enhance the water cess rates thereby augmenting the resources of Pollution Control
- A National Steering Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary (E&F) has been set up
to review the progress of India : Environment Management Capacity Building Technical
- A Programme Management Board (PMB) has been constituted to recommend, implement
and manage Programme Support Document under UNDP Country cooperative Framework-I.
So far, 15 projects have been approved out of which 5 have reached implementation stage.
- The first ever Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly meet, hosted by India was held
at the Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi 1-3 April 1998.
- On September 8, 1998, an MOU with Federal Republic of Germany was signed during the
visit of President of India to Germany for the field of Environment Protection.
- Bilateral cooperation programmes and follow up of MOUs/Joint Statement of Intent have
been signed with Brazil, China, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, USA and Vietnam.
- Minister (E&F) participated in the Athens Summit 98 held in Greece from 11-13
September, 98 and delivered a speech on Environment and Development : The Indian
- Minister (E&F) also had bilateral discussion with the Kenyan Minister for Environmental
Conservation in May 1998 who envinced interest in sharing of expertise through the wealth
of the existing institutions.
- A meeting with North-Eastern (NE) States and External Funding Agencies was held on
30.11.98 to disseminate information regarding procedure for funding from external Agencies.
Representatives of NE States, World Bank, UNDP, JICA, WHO, FAO, ICEF, DFID, UK and
officers of this Ministry attended this meeting.
- Minister (E&F) led Indian delegation in the several international meet/conventions viz, the
sixth session of Commission on Sustainable Development, (CSD), in New York, the special
session of the Governing Council of UNEP, in Nairobi, the 7th Governing Council meeting of
South Asian Environment Cooperation Programme (SACEP), etc.
- A delegation led by the Minister (E&F) participated in the Tenth Meeting of Parties to the
Montreal Protocol, held during November, 1998 at Cairo, Egypt.
- A bi-monthly newsletter on ozone issues is being published by the Ozone Cell of the Ministry
to disseminate information on ODS phase out to industry and others.
- An international children s painting competition was organized and the best entries were
awarded by the Minister of State (E&F) on the occasion of International Ozone Day
celebration on 16.9.98. Three best paintings were sent to UNEP-IE Ozone Action
Programme for participation in the international competition in Paris. Mr. Maharshi
Bhupender Jesalpur of Ahmedabad bagged the special merit award on the International
competition for his planning.
- UNEP-IE Ozone Action Programme, Paris held its first South-Asia ODS officers Network
Meeting in Delhi.
- Custom/excise duty exemption continued to be provided for ODS phaseout projects.
- Detailed guidelines and procedure were finalized to implement Government notifications to
grant benefit of duty exemption for new investments with non-ODS technologies.
- Draft Rules on ODS phaseout under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 have been
notified for public suggestions/comments.
Administration, Plan Co-ordination and Budget
- Under IFS cadre management, cadre review revising the strength and composition of the
Sikkim cadre was carried out during the year and the necessary notification has been issued
by the Department of Personnel and Training on 29th January and 14th October respectively.
- Six offices under the Ministry were inspected during the year to ensure effective
implementation of the Official Language Policy.
- Seventeen employees were nominated for Hindi typing stenography, Probodh, Praveen and
Pragya courses under the Hindi teaching schemes.
- The Minsiter (E&F) convened a series of meeting with Hon ble Member of Parliament
belonging to different segments of society which is unprecedented in nature.
Civil Construction Unit (CCU)
- The CCU of the Ministry has taken up 96 major works so far with a total estimated cost of
Rs. 152.12 crores.
Plan Co-ordination and Budget
- The budget allocation of the Ministry for 98-99 was Rs. 704.09 crores against Rs. 543.7
crores for 97-98.
- The total outlay for the Ministry for 1999-2000 is Rs. 700.00 crores.