Kerala, HP, TN top development goal index

Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 as a part of the 2030 agenda. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 as a part of the 2030 agenda. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Himachal, Kerala, TN front-runners in NITI Aayog index on development goals

NITI Aayog has come out with a baseline index for the performance of all states based on various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and found that Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are among the front-runners. While Kerala topped for its superior performance in providing good health, reducing hunger, achieving gender equality and providing quality education, Himachal Pradesh achieved success in providing clean water and sanitation, in reducing inequalities and preserving the mountain ecosystem. Tamil Nadu did well in reducing poverty and providing affordable and clean energy to people.

NITI Aayog unveils comprehensive national strategy for 2022-23

NITI Aayog has come up with a comprehensive national strategy for New India, which defines clear objectives across 41 crucial areas for 2022-23. The report came out with several recommendations for combating water pollution in the country. It has recommended the reduction of wastewater discharge from industrial units into rivers and other water bodies to zero and stringent civil penalties in case of noncompliance to strengthen enforcement of environment-related acts. The new strategy calls for installation of sewage treatment plants of adequate capacity at a suitable location in order to make rivers pollution free and for redesigning the National Water Mission for efficient water resource management. 

Farm loan waivers announced in five states 

Within a few hours of taking the oath, the new chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have announced farm loan waivers, followed by the Odisha and Jharkhand governments joining the list of states doling out sops for farmers. While the MP and Rajasthan governments waived off farm loans of up to Rs two lakh, the Chhattisgarh chief minister completely waived the short-term agriculture loans to the tune of over Rs 6,100 crore of over 16.65 lakh farmers. The Odisha government announced the Rs 10,000-crore scheme for the overall development of farmers in the state and the Jharkhand CM declared the Rs 2,250-crore scheme to help 22.76 lakh medium and marginal farmers of the state double their income by 2022. 

Yamuna rejuvenation: Committee stresses the need to create a sense of ownership among public

The monitoring committee, set up by the National Green Tribunal chairperson Justice A.K. Goel has stressed the need to raise awareness about the importance of the Yamuna river and its floodplain to create a sense of ownership among the people. The committee has also suggested forming a nodal agency that will build awareness by spearheading permissible events and activities for creating public awareness on Yamuna preservation. The committee has highlighted the need to encourage programmes for preventing dung from dairies going into the river.

WII gives way for hydel projects in Arunachal's tiger zone

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has virtually cleared the way for the proposed Etalin and Lower Demwe hydel power projects in Arunachal Pradesh. The two mega projects are proposed in Dibang Valley and Lohit districts, one of India’s most biodiverse landscapes. When asked by the government authorities to conduct an environmental impact assessment study of the projects, WII carried out a study to find how the project’s impact on wildlife can be minimised in one case, while in another instance, WII held a meeting to find a way forward for allowing construction of the dam. As per the environment ministry, however, the WII research for private clients will not be part of the decision-making process.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from December 19 - 26, 2018. Also, read news this week.