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 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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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 IGNFA has trained 1793 IFS Probationers and 231 Foreign Trainees from neighbouring countries so far.

Currently 39, 55 and 33 IFS Probationers are undergoing training in the Academy belonging to 1996, 1997 and 1998 courses, respectively. There are two Foreign Trainees from Bhutan in the 1998 course. The number of woman officers is 4, 6 and 5 in the three courses respectively. The 1996 course IFS Probationers have come back for Advance Phase from OJT in their States and 1997 and 1998 Courses are undergoing Professional Training.

The Academy commemorated India s 50th year of independence by organising a two-day workshop on 25th and 26th May, 1998 in which senior forest officers up to the 1970 batch participated. The workshop was attended by 41 participants from 16 states. Many technical issues including new initiatives in the training of foresters were deliberated upon and the proceedings of the workshop was printed and circulated widely.

The diploma of Associate of IGNFA (AIGNFA) as per Government order no F. No. 3-35/86- RT dated 21.01.1998 of MOEF was revived to be given to all IFS officers and Foreign Trainees who have successfully completed the Professional training in IGNFA, since the Academy came into being. Accordingly 746 diploma have been sent to the officers who have successfully completed their training.

The convocation after a lapse of 11 years was held for 1995 course on 30.05.1998. The diploma and awards were given to 39 IFS Probationers including 6 women officers and three Foreign Trainees from Bhutan. Late Shri D. H. Kulkarni memorial gold medal for the best performance in Working Plan Exercise was instituted from this year and was awarded to Shri Yashvir Singh of Maharashtra cadre.

The following Compulsory Training Courses for in service IFS officers, sponsored by the Ministry were held in the Academy.

The Academy conducted 5 Skill Upgradation Courses and 127 officers promoted from State Forest Service (SFS) of different State cadres were trained under this programme, thus updating the backlog in the cadre.

A national level expert consultation on Wood Energy in Curricula of Forestry Training and Education in India was organised in collaboration with Regional Wood Energy Development Programme of FAO/ RAP and Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, in the Academy from 15.12.1998 to 18.12.1998. The syllabi for all the levels of forestry training institutions and academic institutions conducting B.Sc. or M.Sc. Forestry course were deliberated on the issue of incorporating wood energy.

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Directorate of Forest Education (DFE), Dehradun

The DFE was part of the FRI Colleges, Dehradun and remained responsible for professional and technical level training/education in the country. After the reorganisation of FRI & Colleges and creation of an autonomous (ICFRE, this Directorate was de-linked in 1991 and functions directly under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The Directorate is responsible for controlling, coordinating and managing all the regular training course of S. F. S and Forest Range Officers in the country. This Directorate also organises short term special refresher/ Computer Application in Forestry Courses and Bio- diversity Conservation , Sustainable Rural Development and Participatory Forestry Management Courses for in service officers.

The following colleges are under the administrative control of this Directorate

SFS College, Dehradun (Uttar Pradesh).

SFS College, Comibatore (Tamilnadu).

SFS College, Burnihat (Assam).

Eastern Forest Rangers College, Kurseong, (West Bengal).

In addition, the five State run Forest Rangers Colleges i.e. (1) Forestry Training Institute, Haldwani (U.P) (2) Forest Ranger College, Balaghat (M.P) , (3) Forest Rangers College, Angul (Orissa), (4) Gujrat Forest Rangers College, Rajpipla (Gujarat) and (5) North Eastern Forest Rangers College, Jalukbari (Assam) are also technically (admission, curriculum and examinations)controlled by this Directorate.

In two years Diploma Course, 20 Officers passed out from S.F.S College Dehradun/Coimbatore and 21 under training. 63 Range Officers have completed the two years Certificate Course and passed out from the various Forest Rangers Colleges and 227 are undergoing training.

The three SFS Colleges had conducted seven in-service Refresher Course each of two weeks duration. The average number of participants in each course ranged between 13 to 15. One course each on Sustainable Rural Development, Bio-diversity Conservation and Participatory Forestry Management of two week duration was also organised at S. F. S College, Dehradun and 9 to 11 officers participated in these courses.

Computer Laboratories have been established at SFS College Dehradun and Coimbatore. Eight course on Computer Application in Forestry each of three-week duration, were organised in these two colleges for in-service SFS officers. Till date 29 officers have been trained in three courses.

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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 in 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 has well stocked library, which provides referral services to industry and scientific community apart from the Institute s staff and students.

The following are the activities related to education and training carried out by the Institute during the year.

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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 IFS. 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 follow :

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Other Activities

In order to support the above activities the IIFM has the following facilities :

Computer Centre :- IIFM is one of the few institutions in India to be equipped with a full fledged and state of the art Geographical Information System (GIS). The centre has HP 9000/735 workstations, Pentium PC s, AO sized Digitizer, AO Sized Drum Plotter, ARC/INFO, ERDAS IMAGINE and RDBMS software. A Local Area Network Connects computers around the campus providing 24 hours computing support. Rich software resources are available to students which amongst other things, include statistical software, OR software, project management and compilers. Unrestricted Internet Browsing and email facilities are also available to all students through the IIFM VSAT.

Library : The library has a collection of 22958 books and subscribes to 215 journals and magazines.

Hostel and Mess : Functional and convenient accommodation to post graduate students, MRM participants and MDP participants is provided within the campus. The campus hostel can accommodate 80 persons at a time. A spacious dinning hall attached with modern kitchen equipemnts provides boarding facilities to the students.

Construction of guest faculty suites with 12 double bedded rooms is in progress and is likely to be ready by March 1999.

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Wildlife Education and Training

Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun

Wildlife Institute of India (WII), was established in 1982 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation and subsequently brought to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). The main mandate of this Institute is to impart training to government and non- government personel, to carry out research and training activities and advise on matters of conservation and management of wildlife resources. In April 1986, the WII became an autonomous Institute of the Ministry, with a 35 member WII Society headed by the Union Minister of Environment and Forests, Government of India, as its apex body.

(Details of WII s research activities are given in Chapter 7)

During the year the following regular long term and short term training courses, workshops, seminars and courses were organised by the WII :

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Other Activities

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Library and Documentation Centre

During the year, 965 books including reports, thesis/ dissertation, monograph etc. 225 reprints, 500 newspaper clippings from national newspapers and magazines, 15 periodicals were added to the library collection which already has 17,000 books including reports, thesis dissertation, monograph etc. about 7630 reprints, 6000 newspapers clippings 314 periodicals.

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Computer and GIS Facility

During 1998- 99 the computer facility of the Institute was further strengthened by the procurement of new hardware/ software from WII Grants- in aid and ENVIS projects. The computer centre conducted training courses on the use of computers and various software packages for officer trainees of Wildlife Management Courses, faculty, researchers and staff of the institute.

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Internet Connectivity at WII

The institute established a leased line Internet connectivity with VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd) through microwave link at 64 Kbps bandwidth. A CISCO 2514 router was procured and installed to provide Internet services to all nodes (100 plus) on LAN. The institute has installed its own Pentium based web server and mail server operating under Windows NT. Internet software packages Netscape Suitespot for servers and Netscape Communicator for nodes is being used. All faculty and technical staff have been allotted with individual email account. The URL of WII website is http://www.wii.gov.in . Information of the activities of the institute is regularly updated on the web server. The institute s newsletter and ENVIS bulletin are also available on the Internet.

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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 and its basic function is to promote non-formal environmental educaion 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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Participants drawing posters in Nature Painting Competetion organised on the occasion of "EARTH DAY"

Temporary Exhibitions

The Museum organised, co-ordinated and participated in the following temporary exhibitions during the year :

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Maharshi Bhupendra Jesalpura, winner of 'Merit Award' in the International Painting Competetion on "Protecting the Ozone Layer"

Educational Activities

Special inhouse and outreach activities oriented programmes were organised and conducted by the NMNH for the benefit of school children, college students, teachers and general public. The following are some of them organised during the year :

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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 co-operation 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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Participants of Quick Quiz a programme for family groups organised at the Regional Museum of Natural History, Mysore

Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH), Mysore

During the year RMNH, Mysore touched the record number of collaborative programmes with other State Government Organisations and NGOs. This year the museum witnessed the highest number of visitors i.e., one lakh eighty thousand.RMNH, Mysore also conducted the following programme during the year.

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Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH), Bhopal

During the year the RMNH Bhopal conducted the following programmes :

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Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH), Bhubaneshwar

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 is being established.

The RMNH will portray the natural wealth of the eastern region of the country and will promote non- formal environmental education and awareness among the 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, a silver trophy, a scroll and a citation. The award has been presented till 1993, and awards for 94-97 being finalised.

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Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards (IPVM)

The Annual Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Awards (IPVM) were instituted in 1986 to give recognition to the pioneering and exceptional contributions of individuals/ organisations in the field of afforestation and wastelands development. Since 1993, twelve awards are given under eight 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) Corporate Sector, (g) Government Servants (individuals) and (h) Municipalities/Municipal Corporations/Cantonment Boards. Each award carries a cash component of Rs. 50, 000/-, a medallion, a scroll, and a citation. The awards for 1994 and 1995 have been announced and selection of awardees for the year 1996 and 1997 awards has been completed.

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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. A roster 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 the year 1994, 1995 and 1996 have been finalised and announced. Selection for 1997 awards has been finalised.

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Zile ki Sabse Hari Panchyat

With a view to motivate the Gram Pachayts to undertake afforestation activities from the funds available under the Rural Employment Generation Schemes, an Award has been instituted by the Ministry. 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 awareded 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

In honour of the late Shri Pitambar pant, a former member of the Planning Commission and chairman of the National Committee on Environmental Planning and Co-ordination, Government of India instituted the Pitambar Pant National Environment FellowshipAward in the year 1978.

The Pitambar Pant Award for the year 1998 has been given to Dr. U. C. Mishra, Director, health, Safety and Environment Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. His scientific contributions are in the field of environmental sciences, radiation protection and nuclear safety. During the tenure of the fellowship, Dr. Mishra will prepare a book on Environmental Impact Assessment Methodologies for Developing Countries

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B.P. Pal National Environmental Fellowship Award for Bio diversity

In honour of late Prof. B. P. Pal FRS, former Director- General of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research and Chairman of National Committee on Environmental Planning and Co-ordination, Department of Science, & Technology; the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India Instituted the B.P Pal National Environment fellowship Award for Biodiversity in the year 1995.

Dr. Shashi Kant, Deptt. of Biosciences, University of Jammu has been conferred the Award for the year 1998. Dr. Shashi Kant s scientific contributions are mainly in the area of Plant Biodiversity of north West Himalayas. As a B.P. Pal Fellow, Dr. Kant will pursue a study on Biodiversity and ecoconservation of Ladakh (J&K).

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Environment Education, Awareness and Training

Formal Environment Education

The Ministry of Environment & 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 Environment Education of the Ministry are also fully involved in the activities of the UGC, MHRD and NCERT related to formal environment education.

A major initiative has been taken by the Ministry to review and expand the existing components of environment education at all levels of formal education i.e. secondary, senior secondary and tertiary levels. In this connection, a meeting was held on 3rd July 1998 under the Chairmanship of Minister (E&F) which was attended by Secretary, Department of Education, MHRD; Chairperson, UGC; Director, NCERT; Vice-chancellor, Delhi University (DU) and other eminent educationists and environmentalists. Based on the discussions of this meeting and subsequent interaction with the MHRD, the NCERT and the UGC, a discussion paper on strengthening of environment education was prepared. This was presented by the Minister for Environment & Forests at the State Education Ministers Conference convened by the MHRD during 22nd 24th October 1998. This paper which also includes introduction of environment education as a separate and compulsory subject in the educational curricula, was adopted by the conference. Subsequent to this, Minister (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, prominent NGOs working in the field of environment and eminent educationists of the country.

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Non-formal Environment Education and Awareness

Environment Education, Awareness and Training play 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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Organisations of Seminar by BSIEA during NEAC 1998

National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC), 1998-99

The National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC), started in 1986 for creating environment awareness at all levels of the society, was continued during the year. The theme for NEAC this year was : Keep our water resources clean . Twenty seven organizations 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 organizations, these RRAs are also responsible for physically monitoring and evaluating the activities conducted by various organizations under NEAC in their areas of jurisdiction.

Nearly 8,800 proposals were received from NGOs, schools, colleges, universities, research institutions, women and youth organizations, army units, State Government Departments, etc., from all over the country. Out of this 3974 organizations were provided financial assistance for organizing 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 environment education resource materials. Diverse target groups ranging from students/youth/ teachers to tribal, rural population, professionals, etc., were covered under the campaign.

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Eco-Clubs

To impart environment 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. During 1998-99, 1600 eco clubs have been set up in different parts of the country.

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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.

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White Paper on National Environment Policy on Education

An action plan on environment education consisting of a mix of activities and approaches, incentives and compulsory measures covering diverse target groups was prepared during the year for inclusion in the draft white paper on National Environment Policy being prepared by the Ministry.

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Seminars/Symposia/Workshops/Conferences

The objective of this scheme is to provide a common forum to professionals for sharing up-to-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 Organizations for organizing seminars/symposia/conferences/workshops on environment related issues. During the year 58 proposals were supported for financial assistance under this scheme.

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Library

Set up in 1982, the Library of the Ministry acts as a document repository for dissemination of information in the field of environment and its associated areas. It has a collection of over 21,000 books including conference/seminar/workshop proceedings etc., covering different areas of environment and sustainable development. Besides this, it also has over 3000 scientific and technical reports. The Library receives more than 100 national/international journals covering diverse areas of environment. Scholars from various institutions in Delhi made use of the Library during this year. Automation of the Library is being done by using UNESCO s CDS/ISIS package to expedite the retrieval of information. Apart form the technical books, journals, proceedings, etc., the Library also procured a wide range of general books and magazines during the year both in Hindi and English for the use of the officials of the Ministry and its associated offices. The Library continued to provide reference/referral services to scientists, technocrats, policy planners, decision makers, scholars, students, NGOs, academicians, Research and Development institutions, universities, public sector undertakings and other users both national and international.

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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, film and audio-visuals and shares these with State Governments, egos 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 seven centres of Excellence have been set up so far by the Ministry with a view to strengthening awareness, research and training in priority area of environmental Science and Management.

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Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad

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 are as follows :

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Training

Training in Environment Education (TEE): TEE is an eight-month international residential certificate course in EE conducted each year with participants from India and other developing countries of the commonwealth. The programme seeks to create a cadre, particularly of those associated with NGOs, who can contribute effectively towards meeting local and regional needs for EE.

The following programmes were designed and organized :

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CEE-Library and Documentation Centre

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Students at the exhibition on "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" organised by C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre

C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai

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, and to spread the message of conservation of the environment through education in both the formal and non-formal sectors.

The Centre has been conducting a variety of programmes to spread awareness and interest among all sections of the public, by organizing training programmes, workshops, courses, surveys, exhibitions, and by raising awareness through action. The purpose of these efforts is to create a multiplier effect, so that the message of conservation can reach a larger audience.

Since its inception, the Centre has been working in the rural and tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Orissa. Special emphasis has been laid on the fragile ecologies of the Andamans and the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

During the year, the important activities carried out by centre are as follows :

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Seminars/Workshop Organised

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Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Banglore

The CES established as a Centre of Excellence by the Ministry continued its tradition of combining basic Ecological Research, applied environmental problems and extension program, with particular reference to the Western Ghats. During the year, CES carried out 21 projects in the broad areas of biodiversity of India, ecology & conservation biology, animal behaviour, mathematical ecology & evolution, conservation genetics and molecular ecology, climate variability, change in environment and human ecology, eco-development, energy & environment.

Major works carried out during the year are as follows :

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Measuring Diversity Macrolichens: A Case Study From Garhwal Himalaya

13 families with 15 genera and 85 species belonging to 3211 colonies of macrolichens were recorded in 12 transects of 50m X 10m sampled from a mosaic of macrohabitats along the altitude gradient of 1300m - 3700m in Chopta-Tunganath (~500 sq. km.) of Garhwal Himalaya. Woody microhabitats turned out richer than the rock and soil substrates for the species of macrolichens. Amongst the macrohabitats, middle altitude (2500-2800m) Quercus forest was richest followed with high altitude (2900-3200m) Rhododendron-Pine forest, higher altitude grasslands (3300-3700m) and then the lower elevation (1500m) Quercus forest for the species and genera. Species, genus and family level, alpha and beta diversities were found significantly positively correlated. It is suggest that higher taxonomic ranks such as genera and families may be used as surrogates for the cost-time effective long-term periodic monitoring and assessment of species diversity of macrolichens.

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Modelling Impact of Monsoon Variability on Rainfeed Groundnut

Variability of climate and particularly rainfall has a large direct impact on the growth, development and yield of rainfed groundnut. There is also an indirect impact via triggering of pests/diseases which lead to a decrease in yield. A model which simulates reasonably realistically the total impact of climate variability is required for tailoring the cropping patterns and management practices to the climate variability of the region. This is being validated by collection of data from farmers fields on management practices, soil moisture and plant parameters in the Kharif season of 1998.

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Vegetation Dynamics in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

Research in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve continued with monitoring of vegetation change in permanent plots set up at Mudumalai. For the second consecutive year there was no fire in the 50 hectare plot, with the result that sapling recruitment substantially exceeded overall mortality of the plants for the first time since the plot was established in 1988. Common species such as Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Tectona grandis and Cassia fistula recruited strongly, while several of the rarer species too did well. Woody plant species diversity was broadly correlated positively with rainfall but interestingly diversity of the low rainfall dry thorn forest was seen to be almost equal to that of the moist deciduous forest. Dry deciduous forest had the lowest diversity.

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Elephant Population Dynamics

A model of elephant population dynamics was developed to simulate the relative role of natural mortality and deaths due to ivory poaching in Southern India. The model was applied to the Periyar elephant population for a 20-year period 1974-94. A collaborative study with Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology on the genetics of elephant populations showed that levels of genetic variation are higher in the Northeastern Indian population as compared to Southern India.

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Land Availability and Biomass Production Potential in India

The availability of land for biomass, potential productivies and the cost of production of biomass are critical issues in the assessment of biomass production of energy especially for a developing country such as India., The population of India is expected to be 1.44 billion by the year 2030. Through increase in cropping intensity, expanding irrigation areas, improved water management and fertilizer application and high-yielding varities of crop, productivity can be increased without increase in cropped area to meet the projected requirement of 267 Mt by 2030.

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Climate Change Mitigation in the Forestry Sectors of Developing Countries

Climate change could be mitigated through energy-efficiency and fossil fuel substitution options in the energy sector and through management of forests of carbon conservation, expansion and fossil fuel substitution in the forestry sector. Studies of these options in several developing countries have estimated a significant potential for reducing future carbon emissions. These studies also show that a sizable subset of the options identified for each country are cost-effective and produce benefits such that they merit implementation even without regard for their carbon emissions-reduction benefits. A review of studies on mitigation potential, cost and barriers are carried out.

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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 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 are as follow areas.

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Other Activities of CME

The CME continued to offer the regular 3 semester M. Tech programme for engineering graduates.

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Centre for Environment Management of Degraded Ecosystems (CEMDE), New Delhi.

The CEMDE functioning at the University of Delhi, South Campus successfully developed a mosaic of grass land and Acacia woodland comprising of 50 grass species and 50 Wood species respectively. A total of 50 microbes belonging to different functional groups have been used to promote eco- system re-development.

During the year, the Centre has developed a Bio-Pesticides of microbial origin in controlling Termites, infestation to combat major biotic stress for forest trees and crops particularly in semi-arid regions. A bio-molecule (chemicles) from the roots of Leguminous plant has also been isolated and purified. The Centre is in the process of filling a patent for this chemical compound which has also clinical applications.

The Centre 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. The technology involves the use of consortium of microbes and fungi and lignocellulose waste.

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Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), Thiruvananthapuram

The TBGRI has been designated as a Centre of Excellence by the Ministry for conservation and sustainable utilisation of tropical plant diversity. During the year, the Centre has undertaken the following activities :

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Environmental Information

Environmental Information System (ENVIS)

The ENVIS network at present consists of 25 nodes, known as ENVIS centers located throughout the country on various subject specific areas and continued its activities in information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination to its users during the year. The Focal Point of ENVIS is located in the Ministry and co-ordinates the various activities of all the ENVIS Centres. A list of ENVIS Centres along with their subject areas is given in Annexure-II. The Focal Point as well as its networking partners laid emphasis on the development of its information base by creating comprehensive databases and strengthening information resource repository in the concerned subject areas. 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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Number of queries responded by ENVIS network

Activities of the ENVIS Centres

During the year all the ENVIS centres continued their activities related to collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information on the subject areas allotted to them. Besides strengthening the databases and responding to various national and international queries relating to their subject areas, the ENVIS Centres carried out a variety of activities with the ultimate objective of disseminating the relevant information to the user groups. Highlights of some of the activities of these ENVIS Centres are given below :

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