Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 approved by Lok Sabha
The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 is approved by the Lok Sabha. The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 already protects a number of species, but the proposed legislation would also implement CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Rajya Sabha still needs to pass the Bill, though.
Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: Key points:
Development and the environment are accorded equal weight by the government. The number of protected areas in the nation has risen from 693 to 987 over the past eight years, including 52 tiger reserves.
According to Bhupender Yadav, the Union Environment Minister, the government operates under the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam principle and strives to improve both humankind and all other animal species.
The Union Environment Minister has also urged people to avoid purchasing upscale goods derived from animals from threatened or endangered species.
Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: Changes that are being Proposed:
To comply with the international treaty Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a specific chapter has reportedly been inserted.
The proposed bill includes revisions for improved management of protected areas as well as justifications for certain approved activities like livestock movement or grazing as well as legitimate local community usage of drinking water until they receive a better relocation strategy.
The Act now includes six schedules for specifically protected animals (four), plants (one), and vermin species (one). Small creatures that spread disease and contaminate food are referred to as vermin.
In the proposed Bill, there are just four schedules overall because:
limiting the number of schedules for animals with special protections to two (one for greater protection level),
deletes the vermin species schedule, and
adds a new schedule for specimens classified in the CITES Appendices (scheduled specimens).
About the Wild Life (Protection) Bill:
The Bill calls for the central government to appoint a Management Authority, which issues permits for the export or import of specimens, and a Scientific Authority, which would provide guidance on issues pertaining to the influence on the survival of the specimens being traded.
According to the Bill, anyone who trades a scheduled specimen must inform the Management Authority of all relevant information.
The Bill also forbids anyone from changing or removing the specimen’s identification mark.
The Management Authority must issue a registration certificate to anyone in possession of live scheduled animal specimens.
The Bill gives the government the authority to alert a conservation reserve, an area near to sanctuaries, or national parks to safeguard the flora and fauna, as well as to provide stronger control and regulation of wildlife sanctuaries.
Additionally, it allows for the voluntary surrender of any confined animals or animal products by any person, with no payment given in exchange; instead, the commodities become the property of the state government.
Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: Provisions Relating to Foreign Species that are Invasive:
The central government may control or forbid the importation, trade, possession, or spread of invasive alien species, according to the Bill.
The term invasive alien species refers to plant or animal species that are not native to India but may have a negative influence on wildlife or its environment if they are introduced.
In this situation, the central government may give an official permission to confiscate and get rid of the invasive species.
Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: Penalty Increase:
The proposed Bill has doubled the fine for infractions. The whole fine was raised from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000.
The fine for breaking the rules pertaining to specially protected species has doubled from Rs 10,000 to at least Rs 25,000.
Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021: FAQs:
Ques: What is wildlife Protection Amendment bill 2021?
Ans: The legislation aims to conserve more species under the law and control international trade in wild animal and plant specimens in a way that does not jeopardise the existence of the species. The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 already protects a number of species, but the proposed legislation would also implement CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Ques: When was the Wild Life Protection Act amended?
Ans: The Bill includes 50 suggested changes to the Act. The Bill attempts to implement CITES, which was adopted in 1979 after being signed into law in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 1973, to allow governments to exchange plant and animal specimens with one another without endangering the existence of the species.
Ques: Has Wildlife Protection Act passed in India?
Ans: The 1972 Wild Life (Protection) Act. A law to protect wild animals, birds, and plants, as well as matters related to, incidental to, or connected to them, in order to safeguard the nation’s ecological and environmental security.
Ques: How many wildlife sanctuaries are there in India?
Ans: In India, there are currently 565 wildlife sanctuaries, which occupy 122560.85 sq km, or 3.73 percent, of the nation’s total land area (National Wildlife Database, May. 2022). In the Protected Area Network Report, 218 additional sanctuaries totaling 16,829 sq km are suggested.
India’s Trade Deficit At Record High: 31 billion Dollar
India’s trade deficit widened to a record $31.02 billion in July, as imports of goods surged despite curbs and merchandise exports contracted for the first time in 20 months.
July merchandise exports declined by 0.76% from a year ago to $37.24 billion, while imports grew 44% to $66.26 billion during the month because of high commodity prices and a weak rupee, data released by the ministry of commerce and industry showed on Tuesday.
What Is Trade Deficit:
Trade deficit is said to take place when the imports done by a country exceed that of the exports done by a country in a fiscal year.
Why It Is Bad:
The widening deficit is likely to exert pressure on rupee, which has been appreciating against the dollar in the past few days after touching a lifetime low of 80.16 two weeks ago. However, cooling commodity and energy prices on fears of a recession may temper any sharp depreciation of the rupee.
While imports are expected to moderate on the back of easing commodity prices, a recession in the US and European markets may hurt exports, economists said.
Barring 2019-20, when global trade collapsed under the impact of the Covid pandemic, India’s trade deficit has been gradually falling due to an increase in Indian exports. In 2021-22, India’s exports touched a record $418 billion.
However, the current year is proving to be a challenging one for India’s exports. Commerce Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, while briefing reporters on Tuesday, said the country’s trade deficit surged in July as elevated commodity prices and the depreciating rupee inflated its import bill.
India-US Armies to hold mega military exercise “Yudh Abhyas” in Uttarakhand’s Auli
The Indian Army and the US Army will conduct the 18th edition of the fortnight-long mega military exercise “Yudh Abhyas” from October 14 to 31, 2022, at Auli in Uttarakhand. The exercise is aimed at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the two armies. The previous edition of the exercise took place in Alaska, the US, in October 2021.
About the exercise:
The exercise is aimed at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the armies of India and the US.
The “Yudh Abhyas” exercise is taking place in the backdrop of India’s lingering border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
The Indo-US defence ties have been on an upswing for the past few years.
In June 2016, the US designated India a “Major Defence Partner”.
Defence history of two countries:
The two countries have also inked key defence and security pacts over the past few years, including the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 that allows their militaries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies as well as provides for deeper cooperation.
The two sides also signed the COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018 which provides for interoperability between the two militaries and provides for the sale of high-end technology from the US to India.
In October 2020, India and the US sealed the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) to further boost bilateral defence ties.
The pact provides for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries.
Ministry for Commerce & Industry: India recognising over 75000 startups so far
Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal has announced that India has achieved a landmark milestone, wherein 75000 startups have been recognized in the country. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has recognized more than 75,000 startups- a milestone which coincides with the 75th year of independence.
About the Startup India program:
Startup India program which was primarily set up to provide an enabling environment for the startups has today evolved into the launchpad for them.
From providing funding to tax incentives, from support on intellectual property rights to eased public procurement, from enabling regulatory reforms to access to international fests and events, the Startup India program has become synonymous with sustainable economic growth.
Out of the total recognized startups, around 12% cater to IT services, 9% to Healthcare and Life Sciences, 7% to education, 5% to professional and commercial services and 5% to agriculture.
An impressive, 7.46 lakh jobs have been created by the Indian startup ecosystem, so far, which has been a 110% yearly increase over the last 6 years.
The fact that about 49% of our startups are from Tier II & Tier III today is a validation of the tremendous potential of our country’s youth.
Goa Police and blockchain network 5ire agree to work to build smart policing
In order to digitise its operations, Goa Police declared that it had inked an agreement (MoU) with Level-1 blockchain network 5ire. S.P. Crime, Nidhin Valsan, IPS, and Pratik Gauri, the founder and CEO of 5ire, signed the MoU on behalf of the Goa Police. Goa would become the first police state in India to totally abandon paper with the signing of this MoU.
With the implementation of a smart policing solution to increase openness and efficiency in policing, the MoU would establish a public-private collaboration between 5ire and the Goa Police.
It will make processes more efficient and give stakeholders a more accurate picture of all events. The digitization and digitalization of offline systems would also be aided by the MoU.
In accordance with a press release, 5ire‘s blockchain-based smart policing solutions can accurately record all official operations, giving police access to documents and evidence that will aid in assisting citizens.
Furthermore, the Goa Police can use blockchain technology to streamline processes, make them online, and more environmentally friendly.
5ire, the 105th unicorn in India and the 20th of this year, raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion valuation in Series A funding last month from the UK-based conglomerate SRAM & MRAM Group.
Founded in August 2021 by businessmen of Indian descent Pratik Gauri and Prateek Dwivedi and web3 investor Vilma Mattila, the venture reached a $1 billion value in just 11 months, making it one of the fastest Indian startups to do so. Notably, 5ire is also collaborating with the Muzaffarnagar Police in Uttar Pradesh to create a smart predictive police system and get FIRs and employee information on the blockchain.
IFS officer Shweta Singh appointed as Director of PMO
According to a Personnel Ministry, 2008 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Shweta Singh was appointed as a director in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved Singh’s appointment for a period of three years from the date of her joining.
The ACC has cancelled the appointment of Aniket Govind Mandavgane, a 2009-batch IFS officer, as the Deputy Secretary in the PMO. Mandavgane was on July 18 appointed as the Deputy Secretary.
What is PMO?
The Prime Minister’s Office consists of the immediate staff of the Prime Minister of India, as well as multiple levels of support staff reporting to the Prime Minister. The PMO is headed by the Principal Secretary, currently Pramod Kumar Misra.