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All-India Environment Service : The Tribune India
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All-India Environment Service : The Tribune India

After a PIL claiming destruction of environment, forests, and executive apathy which had led to environmental protection measures mostly arising from judicial intervention, the Supreme Court questioned the government about its willingness and ability to create an all India service for environment. The court recounted the recommendations of the TSR Subramanian Committee, which had been rejected by a parliamentary standing committee on the ground that a dedicated all-India service may lead to multiplicity of institutions and won’t serve the desired purpose.

The SC highlighted the need to adapt the bureaucracy in policy-making to climate change. The question of sustainability and minimising the impact of man-made disasters has been raised by the progress of development. This must be accompanied by the protection of human rights and the maximization of natural resources for public benefit. All this shows the importance of ecology and environment in decision-making. The country has an Indian Forest Service. However, contrary to the Subramanian panel recommendations, a variety of agencies have been established to deal with environmental issues. While it is possible to create a new service, it might be wise to expand the scope and authority of the existing service. In order to implement plans that have been designated nodal authorities, coordination is necessary among the many agencies. They should have the power and resources to enforce the rules.

The country’s response to environmental issues has mostly been reactive, with action being taken only when a problem arises. This has led to destruction and death, but it is not impossible to see that there has been some progress in minimizing damage, as seen in Odisha, which has seen a decrease of cyclone-related deaths. An active approach to environmental issues is necessary. This includes harnessing resources, ensuring sustainability, creating awareness, and establishing an early warning system to minimize risks.

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