Thursday, December 13, 2012

India and Biodiversity

India is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world. With only 2.4% of the world’s area, India accounts for 7-8% of the world’s recorded plant and animal species. India’s ten biogeographic zones possess an exemplary diversity of ecological habitats like alpine forests, grasslands, wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems, and desert ecosystems.
India has 4 out of 34 global biodiversity hotspots, which is an indicator of high degree of endemism (of species) in India. India’s biodiversity includes wild relatives of agricultural crops and domesticated animals. India has 16 major types and 251 subtypes of forests.

India’s Constitutional and other efforts on Biodiversity

Environment protection is enshrined in the Constitution of India [Article 48A and Article 51A (g). Wide-ranging policies, programmes and projects are in place, which directly or indirectly serve to protect, conserve and sustainably use the country’s biological resources. These include:
  1.  Forest (Conservation) Act
  2. Wildlife (Protection) Act
  3. Biological Diversity Act
  4. National Green Tribunal Act
  5. National Biodiversity Action Plan
  6. National Forest Policy
  7. National Wildlife Action Plan
  8. National Forestry Action Programme
  9. National Environment Policy and
  10. National Action Plan on Climate Change.
Sustainable use of our biodiversity, therefore, has both ecological and economic value. It is with this objective that India has enacted Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and set up a National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) in 2003 with an explicit mandate of promoting conservation of biological resources and associated knowledge as well as facilitating access to them in a sustainable manner.

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, enacted in 2006, is a tool to provide occupational and habitational rights to the people, thus, incentivising conservation and sustainable use of biological resources by providing access to livelihood enhancing resources to people. 

National Biodiversity Action Plan of 2008 developed in consultation with various stakeholders and by taking cognizance of legislative and policy framework is a dynamic matrix for mainstreaming biodiversity concerns in the country. India proudly upholds the tradition of nature conservation Jim Corbett National Park covering an area of 325 sq. Km. came into being as the India’s first and world’s third National Park in 1936. India has currently 4.79% of total geographic area under an elaborate network of protected areas (PAs), which includes 99 National Parks, 513 wildlife sanctuaries, 43 conservation reserves, 4 community reserves and 4 Biodiversity Heritage sites.

Under the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme out of 17 biospheres in India (70,000 sq. km ), seven  are already in UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (World total 503).

India has a National Wetland Conservation Programme covering 125 wetlands including 25 Ramsar sites under the Ramsar Convention. India accounts for about 5% of the world’s- mangroves (including Sunderbans delta the largest mangrove forest in the world) and partners with lUCN’s Mangroves for future programme and has established a National Institute of the Mangrove Research at Kolkata. Coral reefs in India occupy an extent of 2375 sq. km. (including the Andaman Islands, which have rich coral diversity and a National Coral Reef Research Centre at Port Blair).

National Lake Conservation Plan

It covers 42 lakes, which aims at rejuvenation in terms of improvement on water quality and biodiversity.

The objective of the scheme is to restore and conserve the urban and semi-urban lakes of the country degraded due to waste water discharge into the lake and other unique freshwater eco systems, through an integrated ecosystem approach.

Activities covered under NLCP
Prevention of pollution from point sources by intercepting, diverting and treating the pollution loads entering the lake. The interception and diversion works may include sewerage & sewage treatment for the entire lake catchment area.
  1. In situ measures of lake cleaning such as de-silting, de- weeding, bioremediation, aeration, bio-manipulation, nutrient reduction, withdrawal of anoxic hypolimnion, constructed wetland approach or any other successfully tested eco- technologies etc depending upon the site conditions.
  2. Catchment area treatment, which may include afforestation, storm water drainage, and silt traps etc
  3. Strengthening of bund, lake fencing, shoreline development etc.
  4. Lake front eco-development including public interface.
  5. Solid waste management & provision of dhobi ghats is generally not covered under NLCP.
  6. Prevention of pollution from non-point sources by providing low cost sanitation.
  7. Public awareness and public participation.
  8. Capacity     building, training and research in the area of Lake Conservation.
  9. Any other activity depending upon location specific requirements
India has a National River Conservation Plan under implementation in 160 cities covering 34 rivers. NGRBA (National Ganga River Basin Authority) is responsible for conserving and sustainable use of the biodiversity of the river Ganges.

Legislative and Policy Measures for Biodiversity Conservation
India has been a signatory to the Convention since 18th February 1994, and is one of the first countries to have enacted an appropriate comprehensive legislation to achieve the objectives of the convention. As signatory to the CBD, the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, passed on December 11, 2002 came into force on February 5, 2003, followed by the formation of it Rules in 2004.
The Biological Diversity Act of 2002 provides necessary statutory and administrative mechanism at the National, State and Local body levels to realise the objectives of the Act and CBD. A three-tiered system of regulation is envisaged under the Biological Diversity Act, which consists of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) at the apex level, Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) at State level and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) " at local level.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001 and Rules 2003 deal primarily with the protection of plant breeders rights over the new varieties developed. The Act also provides for protection of farmer’s varieties and creation of national gene fund for promoting conservation of local varieties.

The Geographical Indications of Goods Act, 1999 has been enacted to provide for protection of geographical indications of goods referring to a place of origin of that product and the exclusion of unauthorized persons from misusing geographical indications. Till march 2012, 169 goods have been registered.

National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous society established in 2000 for recognising, respecting and rewarding innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge at grassroots, has developed a model for facilitating prior informed consent for local innovators and traditional knowledge holders which provides for NIF mediation.

Protection of Traditional Knowledge
India has possessed a rich traditional knowledge of ways and means practiced to treat diseases afflicting people. This knowledge has generally been passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. A part of this knowledge has been described in ancient classical and other literature, often inaccessible to the common person and even when accessible rarely understood. Documentation of this existing knowledge, available in public domain, on various traditional systems of medicine has become imperative to safeguard the sovereignty of this traditional knowledge and to protect it from being misappropriated in the form of patents on non-original innovations, and which has been a matter of national concern.
India fought successfully for the revocation of turmeric and basmati patents granted by United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and neem patent granted by European Patent Office (EPO). As a sequel to this, in 1999, the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) constituted an inter-disciplinary Task Force, for creating an approach paper on establishing a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL).

Biodiversity Act 2002

The Biodiversity Act address
The Biodiversity Act - 2002 primarily addresses acpess to genetic resources and associated knowledge by foreign individuals, institutions or companies, to ensure equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of these resources and knowledge to the country and the people.

The Biological Diversity Act covers
The Act covers conservation, use of biological resources and associated knowledge occurring in India for commercial or research purposes or for the purposes of bio-survey and bio­utilisation. it provides a framework for access to biological resources and sharing the benefits arising out of such access and use. The Act also includes in its ambit the transfer of research results and application-for intellectual property rights (IPRs) relating to Indian biological resources.

Requirement under the Biological Diversity Act
The Ac covers foreigners, non-resident Indians, body corporate, association or organization that is either not incorporated in India or incorporated in India with non-Indian participation in its share capital or management. These individuals or entities require the approval of the National Biodiversity Authority when they use biological resources and associated knowledge occurring in India for commercial or research purposes or for the purposes of bio-survey or bio-utilisation.
Indians and Indian institutions do not require the approval of the National Biodiversity Authority when they engage in the above - mentioned activities. However, they would need to inform the State Biodiversity Boards prior to undertaking such activities. However, any commercial application related to use of biological resources should be approved by the Authority.

The legislation provides for the following exemptions
  • Exemption to local people and community of the area for free access to use biological resources within India
  • Exemptions to growers and cultivators of biodiversity and to Vaids and Hakims to use biological resources.
  • Exemption through notification of normally traded commodities from the purview of the Act
  • Exemption for collaborative research through government sponsored or government approved institutions subject to overall policy guidelines and approval of the Central Government
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA)
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established in 2003 to implement India’s Biological Diversity Act (2002). The NBA is Autonomous body and that performs facilitative, regulatory and advisory function for Government of India on issue of Conservation, sustainable use of biological resource and fair equitable sharing of benefits of use. The headquarter of NBA is at Chennai.

State Biodiversity Boards (SBB)
All matters relating to access by Indians for commercial purposes will be under the purview of the State Biodiversity Boards (SBB). The Indian industry will be required to provide prior intimation to the concerned SBB about the use of biological resource. The State Board will have the power to restrict any such activity, which violates the objectives of conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits.

Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs)
Institutions of local self government will be required to set up Biodiversity Management Committees in their respective areas for conservation, sustainable use, documentation of biodiversity and chronicling of knowledge relating to biodiversity.
NBA and SBBs are required to consult the concerned BMCs on matters related to use of biological resources and associated knowledge within their jurisdiction.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Committees under the Constituent Assembly

  • Committee on the Rules of procedure - Rajendra Prasad
  • Drafting Committee B.R. Ambedkar
  • Steering Committee Rajendra Prasad
  • Finance and Staff Committee Rajendra Prasad
  • Credential Committee Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer
  • Languages Committee Moturi Satyanarayana
  • House Committee B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya
  • Order of Business Committee K. M. Munshi
  • Ad hoc Committee on the National Flag Rajendra Prasad
  • Committee on the Functions of the Constituent Assembly G. V. Mavalankar
  • States Committee Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities
  • Tribal and Excluded Areas Vallabhbhai Patel
  • Minorities Sub-Committee Harendra Coomar Mookerjee
  • Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee J. B. Kripalani
  • North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam. Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub-Committee Gopinath Bardoloi
  • Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (Other than those in Assam) Sub-Committee A.V. Thakkar
  • Union Powers Committee Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Union Constitution Committee Jawaharlal Nehru



  • Constitution is a legally sanctified document, considering of the basic governing principles of the State and sets out the framework and the principal functions of the organs of the Government of a State.
  • There are various forms of Government prevalent across the world. Constitution of a country gives idea about the basic structure of the political system under which its people are to be governed.
  • The idea of Constitutionalism suggests way and means to work out a governmental form, which exercises power and ensures, at the same time, individual freedom and liberty.
  • Constitutionalism suggests a way for reconciling the power of the State with individual liberty, by prescribing the principles of organizing the State
  • It defines the powers of the main organ of the State, demarcates their responsibilities and regular their relationships with each other and with the people.
  • Constitution serves as the “Fundamental Law” of a country; any other laws made must be in conformity with it, in order to be legally endorsed.

Significance of the Constitution

  • The philosophy embodied in a nation’s Constitution determines the kind of Government present there
  • A Constitution outlines the vision of the State and is its most important document
  • A Constitution ensure certain rights to its citizens as well as defines their duties.
  • A Constitution is an expression of faith and hopes, that people have from the State, and the promises that they wish to make for the future

Is the Constitution static?

  • A Constitution is an extension of the philosophical and organizational frameworks into the future.
  • But a State has to face the challenges of changing social, economic and political conditions in the society
  • All living constitutions provide for procedures for introducing changes in the them by means of amendments. So, the constitution is not static.

Written and unwritten constitutions

  • Constitutions of most countries came into existence as a result of a conscious decision to have such a document. These are the ‘written’ Constitution, which provide institutional arrangements and procedures.
  • But, the laws and institutions of British Constitution have gradually evolved over the centuries. The British Constitution is an ‘unwritten’ Constitution. It comprises the constitutional conventions that act as precedents for the working of institutions and other documents such as the statutes and Acts of Parliament. Here the Parliament is supreme, unlike the ‘written’ Constitution where, the Constitution is supreme.
  • In Britain, any change in the Constitution is possible by means of laws passed by the Parliament. There is no distinction between an ordinary law and a constitutional law. This is an example of the most flexible form of Constitution.

Constitutional Developments

The Indian administrative structure is largely a legacy of the British rule. The various functional aspects such as public services, education system, political set-up, recruitment, training, office procedures, districts administration, local administration, police system, revenue administration, budgeting, auditing, and so on, have their roots in the British rule
The British rule in India can be divided into two phases- the Company rule till 1858 and the Crown’s rule from1858 to 1947.


The landmarks in the development of the Constitution are:


  • 1687: The first Municipal Corporation in India was set up in Madras
  • 1772: Lord Warren Hastings created the office of District Collector.
  • 1829: The office of the Divisional Commissioner was created by Lord William Bentick.
  • 1859: The portfolio system was introduced by Lord Canning.
  • 1860: A system of Budget was introduced.
  • 1870: Lord Mayo’s resolution on financial decentralization visualized the development of local self-government institutions in India.
  • 1872: First census in India was conducted during Lord Mayo's period.
  • 1881: First regular census was conducted during the period of Lord Ripon.
  • 1882: Lord Ripon’s resolution was hailed as the ‘Magna Carta’ of local self government. He is regarded as the ‘Father of local self-government in India’.
  • 1905: The tenure system was introduced by Lord Curzen.
  • 1905: The Railway Board was set up by a resolution of the Government of India.
  • 1921: Public Accounts Committee was created at the Centre
  • 1921: Railway Budget was separated from the General Budget.
  • 1935: Reserve Bank of India was established by an Act of the Central Legislature

Regulating Act of 1773

This was the first step taken by the British Government to control and regulate the affairs of the East India Company in India.
  • It designated the Governor of Bengal as the Governor-General of Bengal
  • The first Governor-General was Lord Warren Hastings
  • It subordinated the Governors of Bombay and Madras to the Governor-General of Bengal
  • The Supreme Court was established at Fort William (Calcutta) as the Apex Court in 1774

Pitt’s India Act of 1784

  • It was introduced to remove the drawbacks of the Regulating Act.
  • Was named after the then British Prime Minister.
  • Placed the Indian affairs under the direct control of the British Government
  • Established a Board of Control over the Court of Directors.

Charter Act of 1833

  • It made the Governor-General of Bengal as the Governor-General of India.
  • First Governor-General of India was Lord William Bentick
  • All civil and military powers were vested in him
  • Governments of Bombay and Madras were deprived of their legislative powers
  • This was the final step towards centralization in the British India.
  • The Act ended the activities of the East India Company as a commercial body.

Charter Act of 1853

  • The legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General’s Council were separated.
  • It introduced a system of open competition as the basis for the recruitment of civil servants of the Company.

Government of India Act of 1858

  • This Act transferred the Government, territories and revenues of India from the East India Company to the British Crown.
  • In other words, the rule of Company was replaced by the rule of the Crown in India.
  • The powers of the British Crown were to be exercised by the Secretary of State for India
  • The Secretary of State was a member of the British Cabinet
  • He was assisted by the Council of India, having 15 members
  • He was vested with complete authority and control over the Indian administration through the Governor-General as his agent
  • He was responsible ultimately to the British Parliament.
  • The Governor-General was made the Viceroy of India.
  • Lord Canning was the first Viceroy of India.

Indian Council Act of 1861

  • It introduced for the first time the repetitive institutions of India
  • It provided that the Governor-General’s Executive Council should have some Indians as the non-official members while transacting the legislative businesses.
  • Initiated the process of decentralisation by restoring the legislative powers to the Bombay and the Madras President
  • It accorded statutory recognition to the portfolio system.

India Council Act of 1892

  • Introduced the principle of elections but in an indirect manner
  • Enlarge the functions of the Legislative Councils and gave them the power of discussing the Budget and addressing questions to the Executive.

Indian Councils Act of 1909

  • This Act is also known as the Morley- Minto Reforms (Lord Morley was the then Secretary of State for India and Lord Minto was the then Governor-General of India).
  • It changed the name of the Central Legislative Council to the Imperial Legislative Council
  • Introduced a system of communal representation for Muslims by accepting the concept of ‘separate electorate’.
  • Lord Minto came to be known as the ‘Father of Communal Electorate’.

Government of India Act of 1909

  • This Act is also known as the Montague- Chelmsford Reforms.
  • Montague was the then Secretary of State and lord Chelmsfordwas the then Governor-General of India.
  • The Central subjects were demarcated and separated fromthose of the Provincial subjects
  • The scheme of dual governance, ‘Dyarchy’, was introduced in the Provincial subjects
  • The Act introduced, for the first time, bicameralism and direct elections in the country
  • The Act also required that the three of the six members of the Governor-General’s Council (other than Commander-in-Chief) were to be Indians.

Government of India Act of 1935

  • The Act provided for the establishment of an All-India Federation consisting of the Provinces and the Princely States as units
  • The Act divided the powers between the Centre and the units in items of three lists, namely the Federal List, the Provincial List and the Concurrent List.
  • The Federal List for the Centre consisted of 59items, the Provincial List for the provinces consisted of 54 items and the Concurrent List for both consisted of 36 items
  • The residuary powers were vested with the Governor-General.
  • The Act abolished the Dyarchy in the Provinces and introduced ‘Provincial Autonomy’.
  • It provided for the adoption of Dyarchy at the Centre.
  • Introduced bicameralism in 6 out of 11 Provinces.
  • These six Provinces were Assam, Bengal, Bombay, Bihar, Madras and the United Province

Indian Independence Act of 1947

  • Till 1947, the Government of India functioned under the provinces of the 1919 Act only. The provisions of 1935 Act relating to Federation and Dyarchy were never implemented.
  • The Executive Council provided by the 1919 Act continued to advice the Governor-General till 1947.
  • It declared India as an Independent and Sovereign State.
  • Established responsible Governments at both the Centre and the Provinces.
  • Designated the Governor-General of India and the provincial Governors as the Constitutional Heads(normal heads).
  • It assigned dual functions (Constituent and Legislative) to the Constituent Assembly and declared this dominion legislature as a sovereign body.

National Symbols

National Flag

  • The National Flag is a horizontal tricolour ofc deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion
  • The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three.
  • In the centre of the white band is a navy-blue wheel which represents the charka.
  • Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.
  • Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.
  • The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constitution Assembly of India on 22 July 1947.
  • Apart from non-statutory instructions issued by the Government from time to time, display of the National Flag is governed by the provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the prevention of Insults of National Honour Act, 1971.
  • The Flag Code of India, 2002 is an attempt to bring together all such laws, conventions, practices and instructions for the guidance and benefit of all concerned.
  • The Flag Code of India, 2002, took effect from 26 January 2002 and suspected the ‘Flag Code- Indias’ as it existed.
  • As per the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, there are no restriction on the display of the National Flag bymembers of general public, private organisations, educational institutions, etc., except to the extent provided in the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and Prevention of Insults of National Honour Act, 1971 and any other law enacted on the subject.

National Emblem

  • The state emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.
  • In the original, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell shaped lotus.
  • Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the Capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).
  • In the state emblem, adopted by the Government of India on 26 January 1950, only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden
    from view.
  • The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of other wheels on extreme right and left.
  • The bell-shaped lotus has been omitted.
  • The words Satyameva Jayate from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.

National Anthem

  • The song “Jana-gana-mana”, composed originally in Bengali by Ravindra Nath Tagore,was adopted in Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on 24th January 1950.
  • It was first sung on 27th December 1911 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.

National Song

  • The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankim Chandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom.
  • It has an equal status with ‘Jana-gana-mana’.
  • The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.

National Calendar

  • The national calendar based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes:
        i) Gazette of India,
        ii) news broadcast by All India Radio,
        iii) calendars issued by the Government of India and
        iv) Government communications addressed to the members of the public.
  • Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar, 1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in leap year.

Flag Code of India, 2002

‘Flag Code-India’ is neither a statute nor a statutory rule or regulation. It is, in reality, a mere consolidation of executive instructions issued by the Government of India from time to time and contains detailed instruction in regard to the shape, size and colour of the National Flag, the correct display, instances of misuse and display on National Days or special occasions.
And now, Flag Code of India, 2002 s an attempt to bring together all such laws, conventions, practices and instructions for the guidance and benefit of all concerned.
For the sake of convenience, Flag Code of India, 2002 has been divided into three parts. Part I of the code contains general description of the National Flag. Part II by members of public, private organizations and educational institutions. Part III of the Code relates to display of the National Flag by Central and State governments and organizations and agencies.
Flag Code of India, 2002 has taken effect from January 26, 2002 by superseding the ‘Flag Code – India’ as it existed.

Flag Conrtoversy- Naveen Jindal case

Prior to 2004, the Flag code of India did not permit flying of the Flag of India on non government institutions. In 2001, a case was filed against Naveen Jindal for flying the Flag of India atop his company building. He said that he was inspired by his American friends displaying their flag during his college days in USA and he believed flying the national flag should be the right of every Indian. He took the case to the Delhi High Court and theSupreme Court of India and won both cases. The Supreme Court ordered the Government of India to set aside a committee to look into this matter. Finally on January 26, 2004 (India’s Republic Day), private citizens were allowed to fly India’s flag inside and atop their buildings and institutions.

The New Flag Code

  • One can hoist the flag only from sunrise to sunset
  • The ratio of width to length of the flag should be 2:3.
  • Don’t print it on a costume, cushion or napkin either.
  • Don’t drape the flag on vehicles.
  • Don’t hoist it upside down. Must not touch the ground.
  • must fly higher than all other flags except that of the UN or other nations.
  • Don’t fly a damaged flag.
  • The amended code came into effect from January 26, 2003.

National animal.

  • The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigiris, is the National Animal
  • The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India.
  • To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973.
  • So far, 29 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project.

National Bird

  • The Indian peacock, Pavo cristatus, the national bird of India, is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck.
  • The male of the species is more colourful than the female, with a glistening blue breast and neck and spectacular bronze-green train of around 200 elongated feathers.
  • The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male and lacks the train.
  • The peacock is widely found in the Indian subcontinent from the south and the east of the Indus river, Jammu and Kashmir, east Assam, south Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula.
  • The peacock is fully protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

National Flower

  • Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera Gaertn) is the national flower of India.
  • It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial.

National Tree

  • Indian fig tree, Ficus bengalensis, whose branches root themselves like new trees over a large area.
  • The roots then give rise to more trunks and branches.
  • Because of this characteristic and its longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is an integral part of the myths and legends of India.
  • Even today, the banyan tree is the focal point of village life and the village council meets under the shade of this tree.

National River

  • The Ganga or Ganges is the longest river of India flowing over 2,510 kms of mountains, valleys and plains.
  • It originates in the snowfields of the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas as the Bhagirathi River.
  • It is later joined by other rivers such as the Alaknanda, Yamuna, Son, Sumti, Kosi and Ghagra.
  • The Ganga river basin is one of the most fertile and densely populated areas of the world and covers an area of 1,000,000 sq. km.

  • There are two dams on the river – one at Haridwar and the other at Farakka.
  • Dolphin is an endangered animal that specifically habitats this rivers.
  • The Ganga is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on earth.
  • Key religious ceremonies are held on the banks of the river at cities such as Varanasi, Haridwar and Allahabad.
  • The Ganga widens out into the Ganges Delta in the Sunderbans swamp of Bangladesh, before it ends its journey by emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

National Fruit

  • A fleshy fruit of the tree Mongifera indica, the mango is one of the important and widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world.
  • Mangoes have been cultivated in India from time immemorial.
  • The poet Kalidasa sang its praises.
  • Alexander savored its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang.
  • Mughal emperor Akbar planted 100,000mango trees in Darbanga, Bihar at a place now known as Lakhi Bagh.

National Game

  • Hockey is the National Game of India.
  • Unmatched excellence and incomparable virtuosity brought India a string of Olympic gold medals.
  • The Golden Era of hockey in India was the period from 1928 – 1956 when India won 6 consecutive gold medals in the Olympics.
  • During the Golden Era, India played 24 Olympic matches, won all 24, scored 178 goals (at an average of 7.43 goals per match) and conceded only 7 goals.
  • The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980Moscow Olympics.

National Pledge

General Pledge

  • India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters.
  • I Love my country. I am proud of its rich and varied culture. I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
  • To my country and my people I pledge my devotion.

National Integration Pledge

I solemnly pledge to work with dedication to preserve and strengthen the freedom and integrity of the nation.
I further affirm that I shall never resort to violence and that all differences and disputes relating to religion, language, region or other political or economic grievances should be settled by peaceful and constitutional means.
It their well being and prosperity alone lies my happiness.

Farming of the Constitution of India

  • The Constitution of India was farmed and adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India.
  • The Constitution Assembly was set up in November 1946 as per the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946.
  • The demand for the Constitution Assembly to draft the Constitution of India was, for the first time, raised by the Congress in 1935.
  • The British Government accepted this demand, for the first time, in the ‘August Offer’ of 1940.
  • The seats were allocated to three communities- Muslims, Sikhs and General-in proportion to their population.
  • There were a total of 389 members in the Constituent Assembly of which 296 were elected by the members of the Provincial Assemblies and the rest were nominated by the Princely States.
  • The Mountbatten Plan of June 3, 1947 announced the partition of the country and a separate Constituent Assembly for the proposed State of Pakistan.
  • Consequently the members of the Constituent Assembly representing those areas which were included in Pakistan. East Bengal, North-West Frontier Province (NWFP),West Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, and Sylhet district of Assam, were no more members of the Constituent Assembly of India.

Three Phases of the Constituent Assembly

i) 1st Phase: As Constituent Assembly under the limitations of Cabinet Mission, Plan from 6th December 1946 to 14th August 1947.
ii) 2nd Phase: As Constituent Assembly, a Sovereign body + Provisional Parliament from 15th August 1947 to 26th November 1949.
iii) 3rd Phase: As a Provisional Parliament from 27th November 1949 to March 1952.
  • North-West Frontier Province and Sylher decided through a referendum to remain with Pakistan.
  • Therefore, the membership of the Constituent Assembly for India was reduced to 299 after partition.
  • Its first meeting was held on 9th December 1946, with Sachidanand Sinha as the interim President.
  • On 11th December 1946, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly.
  • The historic ‘Objective Resolution’ was moved in the Constituent Assembly by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru on 13th December 1946.
  • The first meeting of Constituent Assembly was boycotted by the Muslim League.
  • Shri B. N. Rau was appointed as the Legal Advisor of the Constituent Assembly.
  • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is rightly regarded as the ‘Father of the Constitution of India’.
  • The Constituent Assembly formed 13 important committees for farming the Constitution.
  • The Drafting Committee of 7 members were appointed on 29 August 1947, with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as the Chairman.
  • The first draft of the Constitution was prepared in October 1947 and was published in January 1948.
  • The Draft Constitution of India prepared by the Drafting Committee was submitted to the President of the Assembly on 21 February 1948.
  • As many as 7,635 amendments were proposed and 2473 were actually discussed.
  • The clause-by-clause consideration of the Draft Constitution was taken up between 15 November 1948 and 17 October 1949.
  • On 26 November 1949, the people of India through the Constituent Assembly adopted, enacted and gave to themselves the Constitution of India.
  • The Constitution was finally signed in by the members of the Constituent Assembly on 24 January 1950, which was the last day of the Assembly.
  • The Constitution came into full operation with effect from 26 January 1950.
  • During this period, the Constituent Assembly acted as a ‘Temporary Parliament’ [15 August 1947 – 26 November 1949]
  • The Constitution was approved by the members and was signed in by 284 members of the Constituent Assembly.
  • It is considered to be the lengthiest Constitution in the world.
  • Originally, it had 22 Parts, 395 Articles and 8 Schedules.
  • The Constituent Assembly held 11 sessions.

Drafting Committee of Constituent Assembly

Chairman: Dr. BR Ambedkar
1. N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar
2. Alladi Krishnaswami lyer
3. KM Munshi
4. Mohammed Sadullah
5. BL Mittar (replaced by N Madhav Rao)
6. DP Khaitan (who died in 1948 and was replaced by TT Krihnamachari)
  • The Draft Constitution was considered for 114 days. The Constituent Assembly took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to frame the Constitution.
  • It cost the exchequer Rs. 6.4 crore.
  • The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on July 22, 1947.
  • The National Anthem was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 24, 1950.
  • The Constituent Assembly of India was converted into the provisional Parliament of India on November 26, 1949.
  • The only State having constitution of its own is Jammu & Kashmir.

Committees of the Constituent Assembly

The Constituent Assembly appointed 22 committees to deal with different task of Constitution-making. Out of these, 10 were on procedural affairs and 12 on substantive affairs. The report of these committees formed the basis on which the first draft of the Constitution was prepared. These were as follows:

Committees on Procedural Affairs

1. Steering Committee (Chairman: Dr K M Munshi)
2. Rules of Procedure Committee (Chairman: Dr. Rajendra Prashad)
3. House Committee
4. Hindi Translation Committee
5. Urdu Translation Committee
6. Finance and Staff Committee
7. Press Gallery Committee
8. Committee on the effect of Indian Independence Act of 1947.
9. Orders of Business Committee
10. Credential Committee

Committees of Substantive Affairs

1. Drafting Committee (Chairman: Dr B R Ambedkar)
2. Committee for Negotiating with States (Chairman: Dr Rajendra Prashad)
3. Committee on Chief Commissioners’ Provinces.
4. Union Constitution Committee (Chairman: Jawaharlal Nehru)
5. Provincial Constitution Committee (Chairman: Sardar Patel).
6. Special Committee to Examine the Draft Constitution (Chairman: Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy lyer)
7. Commission on Linguistic Provinces
8. Expert Committee on Financial Provisions
9. Ad-hoc Committee on National Flag
10. Union Powers Committee (Chairman: Jawaharlal Nehru)
11. Ad. hoc Committee on the Supreme Court
12. Committee on Fundamental Rights and Minorities (Chairman: Sardar Patel)

Important members of the Constituent Assembly

Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prashad, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, Gopalaswamy Ayyangar,GobindBallabhPant, AbdurGhaffar Khan, TT Krishnamachari, Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar, H N Kunzru, H S Gour, K V Shah, Masani, Acharya Kripalani, Dr Ambedkar, Dr Radha Krishnan, Dr Jaykar, Liaquat Ali Khan, Khwaja Nazimuddin, Sir Feroze Khan Noor, Suhrawardy, Sir Zafurullah Khan and Dr Sachchidananda Sinha.
  • The first elections to the Parliament were held in 1952.
  • The first amendment to the Constitution was effected in 1951.
  • According to Article 394, provisions relating to the citizenship, elections, provisional Parliament and temporary and temporary and transitional provisions contained in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 came into force on the day of adoption (i.e. c26 November 1949) of the Constitution and the remaining provisions of the Constitution came into being on the day of the commencement (i.e. 26 January 1950) of the Constitution.
  • According to Article 395, the Government of India Act of 1935 and the Indian Independence Act of 1947 got replaced with the commencement of the Constitution of India.
  • January 26 was selected as the date of commencement of the Constitution of India because on this date in 1930, Indian people observed ‘Independence day’, following the resolution of ‘Purna Swaraj’ of the Congress session held in the midnight of December 31, 1929 at Lahore.
  • Constituent Assembly could not be called a sovereign body. It was established by the British government and could be abolished by it. So its authority was limited, and it workedwithin the framework of the Cabinet Mission Plan. These  limitations were nullified by the passing of the Indian Independence Act of 1947.

Different sources of our Constitution

  •  The founding fathers of our Constitution had before them the accumulated experience from the working of all the known constitutions of the world, and were aware of the difficulties faced in the working of those constitutions.
  • Hence, besides incorporating some provisions from the other constitutions, a number of provisions were included to avoid some of the difficulties experienced in the working of these constitutions.
  • This is an important reason for making our Constitution the lengthiest and the most comprehensive of all written constitutions of the world.
  • The most profound influence was exercised by the Government of India Act of 1935. The federal scheme, office of governor, power of federal judiciary, emergency powers etc were drawn from this Act.
  • The British practice influenced the lawmaking procedures, rule of law, system of single citizenship besides, of course, the model of a parliamentary from of government.
  • The US Constitution inspired details on the independence of judiciary, judicial review, fundamental rights, and the removal of Supreme Court and High Court judges.
  • The Irish Constitution was the source of the Directive Principles, method of Presidential elections, and the nomination of members of Rajya Sabha by the President.
  • From the Canadian Constitution was taken the idea of a federation with a strong Centre, and placing residuary powers with the Centre.
  • The Weimar Constitution of Germany was the source of provisions concerning the suspension of fundamental rights during emergency.
  • The idea of a Concurrent List was taken from the Australian Constitution.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Most Earthquake Prone Zones of India

On the basis of the intensities or the destructiveness of the earthquakes a map of India has been published by the Meteorological Department in collaboration of the Indian Standard Institution. The map shows the five seismic zones based on modified Mercalli Scale.
Zone I - Intensity V or below (instrumental, feeble, slight, moderate rather strong)
Zone II - Intensity VI (Strong)
Zone III - Intensity VII (Very Strong)
Zone IV - Intensity VIII (destructive) Zone
V - Intensity more than VIII (disastrous, catastrophic)

Zone I:
Comprises some areas of Punjab and Haryana, plains of Uttar Pradesh, Coastal plains of Maharashtra and Kerala, certain parts of the plains of Bihar and West Bengal, certain areas in Rajasthan and major part of Gujarat except Kutch.
Zone II:
Includes southern Punjab and Haryana, certain parts of the plains of Uttar Pradesh, eastern Rajasthan, coastal areas of Orissa and Tamilnadu. This is the low damage risk zone.
Zone III:
Covers southern and Southeastern parts of Rajasthan, larger parts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand and northern and northwestern part of Orissa.
Zone IV:
Represents areas where there is high damage risk by destructive earthquakes. This zone comprises the State of Jarnmu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, northern part of Punjab and Haryana, Delhi, eastern Uttar Pradesh, tarai and bhabar regions, the Himalayan areas of Uttaranchal, Bihar and Sikkim.
Zone V:
Represents areas of the most destructive and catastrophic earthquakes where there is extremely high damage risk. The following areas fall into this zone: certain parts of Jammu and Kashmir, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Monghyr and Darbhanga districts of Bihar, northern part of India and Kutch region of Gujarat.
This map gives the most generalised picture about the intensities of earthquakes occurring in different zones. There are, it is true, some very strong exceptions. Calcutta earthquake of 1737, which killed about 300,000 people offers as typical example.
As shown in the map of the earthquake prone zones of India, Calcutta is located in a zone where normally there is little chance of very destructive earthquakes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SAARC Social Charter India Country Report 2012


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards Announced

The Government has announced the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards for the year 2012.

            A large number of nominations were received for these awards this year, which were considered by Selection Committee consisting of eminent sportspersons and sports administrators; headed by Col Rajya Vardhan Singh Rathore. Based on the recommendations of the Committee and after due scrutiny, the Government has approved to confer awards upon the following sportspersons. 
A.        Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award - 2012:

Shri Vijay Kumar
Shri Yogeshwar Dutt

B.        Arjuna Awards 2012:

Sl. No.
Ms. Deepika Kumari
Ms. Laishram Bombayla Devi
Ms. Sudha Singh
Ms. Kavita Ramdas Raut
Ms. Ashwani Ponnappa
Mr. Parupalli Kashyap
Mr. Aditya S. Mehta
Billiards & Snooker
Mr. Vikas Krishan
Mr. Yuvraj Singh
Mr. Sardar Singh
Mr. Yashpal Solanki
Mr. Anup Kumar
Mr. Samir Suhag
Ms. Annu Raj Singh
Mr. Omkar Singh
Mr. Joydeep Karmakar
Ms. Deepika Pallikal
Mr. Sandeep Sejwal
Ms. Ng. Sonia Chanu
Mr. Narsingh Yadav
Mr. Rajinder Kumar
Ms. Geeta Phogat
Mr. M. Bimoljit Singh
Mrs. Deepa Mallick
Athletics – Paralympics
Mr. Ramkaran Singh
Athletics – Paralympics

Normally  only one award of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna  is given every year to an individual sportsperson. However, the Scheme provides that this condition can be relaxed in exceptional circumstances viz., winning of an Olympic medal. Like wise for the Arjuna Awards, normally not more than 15 awards are to be given in any calendar year.  However, the Scheme of Arjuna Awards also provides that keeping in view the performance of Indian sportspersons in the Commonwealth, Asian Games and Olympic Games during a particular year, Arjuna Awards exceeding 15 in number may be allowed with proper justification and approval of the Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports.  The Selection Committee noted that 2012 is the Olympic year and India has won 6 medals in the London Olympics, which is country’s best performance in Olympic Games, and recommended that the condition of one award in case of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and 15 awards in case of Arjuna Awards may be relaxed and the number of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award may be increased from 1 (one) to 2 (two) and Arjun Awards may be increased from 15 (fifteen) to 25 (twenty five). 

National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports.  Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular performance in the year under consideration; Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for three consecutive years preceding the year of award.    
Apart from a medal and a citation, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees will receive a cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh each and Arjuna Awardees will receive statuettes, citations and cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


1  USA 46 29 29 104
2  CHINA 38 27 22 87
3  GREAT BRITAIN 29 16 19 64
5  KOREA 13 8 7 28
6  GERMANY 11 19 14 44
7  FRANCE 11 11 12 34
8  ITALY 8 9 11 28
9  HUNGARY 8 4 5 17
10  AUSTRALIA 7 16 12 35
11  JAPAN 7 14 17 38
12  KAZAKHSTAN 7 1 5 13
13  NETHERLANDS 6 6 8 20
14  UKRAINE 6 5 9 20
15  CUBA 5 3 6 14
16  NEW ZEALAND 5 3 5 13
17  IRAN 4 5 3 12
18  JAMAICA 4 4 4 12
19  CZECH REPUBLIC 4 3 3 10
20  DPR KOREA 4 0 2 6
21  SPAIN 3 10 4 17
22  BRAZIL 3 5 8 16
23  BELARUS 3 5 5 13
24  SOUTH AFRICA 3 2 1 6
25  ETHIOPIA 3 1 3 7
26  CROATIA 3 1 2 6
27  ROMANIA 2 5 2 9
28  KENYA 2 4 5 11
29  DENMARK 2 4 3 9
30  AZERBAIJAN 2 2 6 10
31  POLAND 2 2 6 10
32  TURKEY 2 2 1 5
33  SWITZERLAND 2 2 0 4
34  NORWAY 2 1 1 4
35  CANADA 1 5 12 18
36  SWEDEN 1 4 3 8
37  COLOMBIA 1 3 4 8
38  GEORGIA 1 3 3 7
39  MEXICO 1 3 3 7
40  IRELAND 1 1 3 5
41  SLOVENIA 1 1 2 4
42  SERBIA 1 1 2 4
43  LITHUANIA 1 1 2 4
44  ARGENTINA 1 1 2 4
45  TUNISIA 1 1 1 3
46  DOMINICAN REP 1 1 0 2
47  TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 1 0 3 4
48  UZBEKISTAN 1 0 3 4
49  LATVIA 1 0 1 2
50  GRENADA 1 0 0 1
51  VENEZUELA 1 0 0 1
52  ALGERIA 1 0 0 1
53  UGANDA 1 0 0 1
54  BAHAMAS 1 0 0 1
55  INDIA 0 2 4 6
56  MONGOLIA 0 2 3 5
57  THAILAND 0 2 1 3
58  EGYPT 0 2 0 2
59  SLOVAKIA 0 1 3 4
60  ARMENIA 0 1 2 3
61  FINLAND 0 1 2 3
62  BELGIUM 0 1 2 3
63  MALAYSIA 0 1 1 2
64  ESTONIA 0 1 1 2
65  INDONESIA 0 1 1 2
66  CHINESE TAIPEI 0 1 1 2
67  PUERTO RICO 0 1 1 2
68  BULGARIA 0 1 1 2
69  BOTSWANA 0 1 0 1
70  PORTUGAL 0 1 0 1
71  CYPRUS 0 1 0 1
72  MONTENEGRO 0 1 0 1
73  GUATEMALA 0 1 0 1
74  GABON 0 1 0 1
75  REP OF MOLDOVA 0 0 2 2
76  SINGAPORE 0 0 2 2
77  GREECE 0 0 2 2
78  QATAR 0 0 2 2
79  SAUDI ARABIA 0 0 1 1
80  AFGHANISTAN 0 0 1 1
81  HONG KONG 0 0 1 1
82  KUWAIT 0 0 1 1
83  MOROCCO 0 0 1 1
84  TAJIKISTAN 0 0 1 1
85  BAHRAIN 0 0 1 1