1. Biodiversity Management Committees
  2. Ministry of Earth Science: 100 days
  3. IndARC

Biodiversity Management Committees

Topic in news because EPW ran a story about it on 19th April 2014.
Q. Discuss the structure and functions of Biodiversity Management Committees under Biodiversity Act 2002? Evaluate their success in India. (200 words)

  • Biological Diversity Act 2002 mandates all local bodies to setup Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC).
  • Structure: One Chairperson, Six Members: 1/3rd of nominated should be women, SC/ST reservation as per state demography.


  1. Preserve and promote local biodiversity- breeds of birds, animals and plants.
  2. Prepare People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR)- an Electronic database with inputs from locals.
  3. Maintain data medicinal plants/resources used by local Vaidhya (traditional healer).
  4. Advice State & National Biodiversity Boards on matters related to local biodiversity.
  5. Under Nagoya Protocol of Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), they can collect fees for granting access to Biodiversity register to researchers and commercial companies.

Why limited success:

  1. The legal/IPR status of PBR register is in grey area, leading to frivolous litigations.
  2. For example, In Madhya Pradesh, Chindwara BMC filed a case against Coal India, demanding profit sharing on the premise that coal is a biological resource.
  3. In some states, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) have refused to form BMCs fearing erosion of their authority over minor forest produce.
  4. State Forest departments, Forest traders & mining lobby don’t cooperate with BMC for the similar reason.
  5. UNDP and UNEP have allotted separate funding for BMCs but money not utilized given the administrative red-tapes in India.

Given these limited finance, decision making powers and non-cooperation from others, the BMCs are reduced to mere data gathering bodies; and have failed to catalyze Sustainable development in Rural India. (Except a few Cinderella stories and “glorified case studies” Yojana and Kurukshetra)
~230 words

Ministry of Earth Science: 100 days

Earth science ministry has initiated following reforms in the first 100 days of Prime minister Modi.

  • Issued agro-meterological advisory to millions of farmers
  • Setup 1.1 petaflop High Performance Computing system for weather and climate forecasts.
  • Completed the City Weather Forecast projects in 300+cities
Place What
Vaishnodevi heliport Aviation Weather Operating System (AWOS)
Hyderabad International Training Centre in Operational Oceanography
Kerala Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMP)
TN and Andhra Pradesh Shoreline changes maps prepared
Norway IndARC: First Arctic Mooring system off the Norway coast (as we discussed in previous topic.)
USA first Indo-US joint oceanographic expedition in the Bay of Bengal for research on Monsoon


IndARC to monitor Arctic climate cycles, its impact on Monsoon

IndARC to monitor Arctic climate cycles, its impact on Monsoon

  • India’s first underwater moored observatory
  • set up in the Kongsfjorden fjord, in Norway near the North Pole
  • This place is ~1000 kms away from North Pole, its considered a natural laboratory for studying the Arctic climate variability, because it gets climatic signals from both Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.


  1. Realtime data collection on Ocean currents, salinity, temperature etc.
  2. To understand the Arctic climate process .
  3. Because Arctic glacier melting will trigger changes in weather patterns and ocean currents.
  4. Thus, it can affect Indian monsoon system as well.
  5. Designed by:
    1. Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO)
    2. National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR)