Legislation Against Honour Killing
This Department had sought for the comments/views of the State Governments/Union-territory Administrations on the 242nd Report of the Law Commission titled “Prevention of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances (in the name of Honour and Tradition)”, 2012. Till date, comments/views of 27 States Governments namely, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and all Union territory Administration have been received on the said Report. Responses of remaining State Governments are awaited.
After considering the comments of all the State Governments/Union-territory Administrations and having wider consultation with the stakeholders, a policy decision to enact the legislation on the subject will be taken. In view of the above, it may not be possible to fix any time frame in this regard.
Steps Being Taken to Increase Forest Area
As per India State of Forest Report-2013, the total forest cover in the country is 697,898 square kilometers which is 21.23% of the total geographical area of the country. There is a net increase of 5871 square kilometers in the forest cover of the country as compared with India State of Forest Report-2011. It is also a fact that the density of population has increased in the State of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.
In order to increase the forest and tree cover and improve the quality of existing forest, afforestation in the country is taken up under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes such as National Afforestation Programme (NAP), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), National Bamboo Mission (NBM) and under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), 13th Finance Commission Grant, different State Plan/ Non- Plan Schemes including externally aided projects. National Afforestation Programme (NAP) of the Ministry of Environment & Forests is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Afforestation and tree plantation and eco-restoration of degraded forests and adjoining areas in the country. The Scheme is being implemented through a decentralized mechanism of State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) at State level, Forest Development Agency (FDA) at Forest Division level and Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at Village levels. The Ministry has also released funds to the tune of Rs.4994.55 lakhs and 1265.50 lakhs to the states in the financial year 2012-13 and 2013-14 for preparatory activities for implementation of Green India Mission. The activities undertaken by the State Governments under preparatory phase include institutional strengthening, training, identification of landscapes and preparation of Perspective Plan for implementation of Green India Mission.
National Afforestation Programme is the flagship scheme under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, which being a demand driven scheme, the target are not fixed and afforestation area is sanctioned based on the proposals received from the State Forest Development agencies on the basis of past performance, potential degraded forest land available for eco-restoration and availability of budget under the scheme.
Study of Changes Occurring in Himalayan Region
There is no study reported so far, which supports the fact that many type of instances similar to natural calamities are occurring in the Himalayan region due to global warming. However, for monitoring and prediction of extreme weather events over the Himalayan region, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has established State Meteorological Centres at Srinagar, Shimla, Dehradun, Gangtok, Guwahati and Agartala for forecast of natural calamities like very heavy rainfall, snowfall, thunderstorm, etc. in the Himalayan region. Earth System Science Organization (ESSO-IMD) has established network of various observatories in the region for monitoring the weather and its forecast. IMD has also established a developed 24X7 weather monitoring and forecasting system in the country for providing weather facilities to Defence Personnel by establishing specialized observatories in the border areas of Jammu & Kashmir.
However, the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change in 2009 has launched the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA), which has been conceptualized as a network-based scientific programme designed to assess the drivers and implications of climate change through scientific research, prepare climate change assessments once every two years, develop decision support systems and build capacity towards management of climate change related risks and opportunities.