Agriculture Ministry renamed by Prime Minister Modi

Agriculture fields in Uttarakhand (Source: India Water Portal Flickr Photos)
Agriculture fields in Uttarakhand (Source: India Water Portal Flickr Photos)

This I-Day new name given to the Agriculture Ministry and the Swachh Vidyalaya mission accomplished 

On August 15, 2015, the Prime Minister announced that the Agriculture Ministry will be renamed as the Ministry for ‘Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare’. The new name has been suggested with an emphasis on the welfare of farmers for the overall growth of the agriculture sector. Per the Government, the target of toilets in every school has been acheived. However, this could also be a manipulation of data by the Government desperate to meet the deadline. 

Rajasthan and Haryana Governments all set to revive the Saraswati river

To revive the mythical Saraswati river, the Rajasthan Government has appointed the Rajasthan River Basin and Water Resources Planning Authority whose primary aim is to search for the river along with various other river-related issues. The Haryana Government has also promised to revive the invisible river by spending Rs 50 crore of public money. The State has already constituted the Haryana Saraswati Heritage Development Board to do field work in this regard. 

Green Signal to Athirappilly hydel project in Kerala

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) has approved the proposed 163 MW Athirappilly hydel project across the Chalakudy river. The project that was entrapped in political controversies and opposition from environmental activists, has received a green signal after a decade from when it was proposed by the Kerala State Electricity Board. The EAC has given the project a go-ahead after observing that no tribal families are present in the submergence area and damage to flora and fauna is also mitigable.

Environment Minstry rejects plan to tackle Panchganga pollution

It has been confirmed that the Rs 108 crore action plan to curb pollution in the Panchganga river in Kolhapur has been rejected by the Environment Ministry. The Kolhapur Zilla Parishad had sought funds under the National River Conservation Plan which does not cover rural areas. The project was turned down earlier this year, but the Zilla Parishad did not reveal its rejection, fearing strong reactions from activists and the Bombay High Court which is hearing petitions against pollution to the river. 

Two km area around the Pulicat Bird Sanctuary is now protected

The Centre has notified a 2 km area around the Pulicat Bird Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ). The Bird Sanctuary is a part of the Pulicat Lake which is India’s second largest brackish water lake. Now, in the two notified area, no industrial activity of any kind will be allowed. Moreover, coastal aquaculture practices, fishing by trawlers in an untraditional manner are some of the activities that have been banned in the protected area. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 11 - 17, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.