All that was discussed in the House through the day
The Union government did not have any plans to impose a ban on the use of diesel and petrol cars throughout India in the near future, Union Minister of Road Transport And Highways Nitin Gadkari told the Lok Sabha February 11, 2021.
Thirty-three automobile manufacturers had registered 98 electric vehicle models (e2W-32, e3W-50 and e-4W-16) under the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicle in India (FAME) scheme as on February 8, 2021, he said in his statement.
He further stated that presently, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on electric vehicles was five per cent and a proposal for further reduction of GST on electric vehicles was not under consideration.
But the department of heavy industry, under the second phase of FAME, was providing incentive to the purchasers of electric vehicles in the form of an upfront reduction in the purchase price of the vehicles, Gadkari said.
Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat denied in the Lok Sabha that the government had signed an agreement with the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research for the development of a sludge management framework in India.
He said need-based desludging in specific reaches of rivers / drains / conveyance channels was being carried out by state governments according to priority. The conventional method used for desludging the rivers, conveyance channels / drains was by using mechanical dredging. The dredged sludge / material was later deposited at designated locations according to environment laws.
Shekhawat stated this in response to a question on the current methods adopted by the nodal agencies in the country to deal with the sludge accumulating in rivers.
Eviction of tribals
Those from Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers had not been evicted due to rejection of claims under the Scheduled Tribe and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh Saruta told the Rajya Sabha.
But 1,745 Scheduled Tribe claims had been rejected in the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka and were facing eviction due to rejection as of December 31, 2020, she said.
According to the information available in Census 2011, the total population of the Wancho tribe in Arunachal Pradesh was 56,886, Renuka Singh Saruta told the Rajya Sabha.
She was asked whether the Wancho script was on the verge of extinction. Saruta said the Wanchos did not have a script of their own as their tongue had been used in oral form for centuries. But in recent decades or years, educated Wanchos had developed a script that was yet to be brought into popular usage.
There had been a decline in the number of beneficiaries of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme between 2014 and 2020, according to data presented by Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani in the Rajya Sabha.
In 2014, the number of total beneficiaries including children, pregnant and lactating mothers was 104,508,817. But in 2020, this reduced to 85,505,148.
Gender and migration
The Government of India had launched an initiative called SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) to conduct a skill mapping exercise of those migrants who had returned to India under the Vande Bharat Mission (VBM).
Minister of State in the Union Ministry of External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the government had initiated a number of steps for gender-sensitive migration, including generation of country-wise gender disaggregated data of emigrants on the eMigrate portal, creating awareness among female migrants through workshops and developing resource material for Pre-Departure Orientation Training.
Women in Parliament
Union Minister of Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad was asked in the Rajya Sabha as to whether the government had any proposal to provide reservation to women in the Indian Parliament.
He replied that gender justice was an important commitment of the government. The issue needed careful consideration on the basis of the consensus among all political parties before a Bill for amendment in the Constitution could be brought before Parliament.
Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani denied in the Rajya Sabha that the procurement of foodgrains from farmers had been hampered due to non-availability of jute / jute bags on time.
She said the government, after assessing the availability of jute bags, allowed dilution in 100 per cent mandatory packaging of foodgrains, considering the shortfall in the supply of jute bags.
Recycling of e-waste
The government was aware that recycling of e-waste was carried out in the informal sector, which was illegal and a criminal offence, Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Rajya Sabha.
He added that the Central Pollution Control Board had, from time to time, advised state pollution control boards (SPCB) and pollution control committees (PCC) to carry out regular drives for checking e-Waste processing in the informal sector and reports were obtained on a quarterly basis.
Seventeen SPCBs / PCCs had started the drive during 2020-2021 (till the second quarter). Of these, 12 had reported that no activities were found during this period.
These included Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and West Bengal. Five others had taken action against the offenders.
Prasad also said under a specific training manual (available at www.greene.gov.in) had been developed for the informal sector under the Awareness Programme on Environmental Hazards of E-Waste. This included e-waste workers.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.