With pollution levels rising in our cities, our society needs more people who are committed to making the world a cleaner and safer place to live.
Keeping this in mind, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change plans to equip approximately 5,60,000 people with green skills, over the next three years.
Announcing the move, Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Environment Minister, said that the total budget allocation for the Environmental Information Systems (ENVIS) in budget 2018-19 is Rs 24 crore—a 33% increase compared to the previous year—and the training courses under the Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) will be funded from this money.
GSDP is an initiative of the Central Government to empower the country’s youth with green skills. The project will be carried out in phases. 80,000 people will be trained during the fiscal year 2018-2019, under various skilling courses, while 1,60,000 will be trained in the fiscal year 2020, and 3,20,000 in the fiscal year 2020-21.
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The first GSDP course was launched last year and was formulated for skilling biodiversity conservationists (basic course) and para-taxonomists (advanced course), for three months each on a pilot basis in 10 districts covering nine bio-geographic regions of the country.
248 people received training under the pilot programme, and now, the government wishes to extend the program to the rest of the country.
Further areas of study have been added, and now, the 35 courses include:
Pollution monitoring for air, water, noise and soil
Effluent treatment plant operation
Water budgeting and auditing
Conservation of river dolphins
Marine taxonomy and coastal biodiversity
Bamboo management and livelihood generation
This drive is just one of the ways that the authorities are tackling the challenge of climate change. An official statement mentions another initiative which aims to plant 1,000 crore saplings over a decade (from 2021-2030). The saplings will be planted across India, under programmes such as Green India Mission, National Afforestation Programme, and along highways and railway tracks.
The government efforts are for a cause—India has 100 cities, that do not meet the nation’s air quality norms. Thus, the government is taking drastic steps to ensure that under the National Clean Air Programme, each city reduces its pollution levels by 25% in the next three years, and 50% in the next five years.
The environment ministry’s plan is exhaustive, and it also includes:
Expanding the monitoring network
Conduct air pollution health impact studies
Set up air information systems
Certify monitoring institutions
Implement air quality forecasting systems
Carrying out source apportionment studies
Implement actions to tackle air pollution
Increased international cooperation in this regard