AIR Spotlight - 20 years of Good Governance: Clean India, Clean Climate

AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panelists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in the IAS exam preparation. In this article, the discussion is on the initiatives of the government with respect to cleanliness and climate action.

Context:

In the series of 20 years of good governance, the article analyzes the efforts and initiatives by the Central Government in the direction of Climate Change.

Initiatives towards Climate Change:

  • In 2009, Shri Narendra Modi as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat established the first-ever full-fledged Climate Change Department at the sub-national level.
  • Greek-American Political Scientist William J. Antholis wrote that Climate Change is a global issue and that Shri Modi has been working on this issue for a long time.

Green Biography:

  • Prime Minister Modi has also authored a book named “Convenient Action – Continuity for Change”. The book offers a rich insight and perspective on the efforts of the Government of India towards mitigating the menace of climate change and towards improving our environment.
  • This book is also known as the Green Biography of Shri Modi. 
  • The book outlines the Prime Minister’s thoughts on climate ethics and climate justice. 
  • Shri Modi has been emphasizing climate justice for several years now, stating that it is our responsibility to care for a world and a generation that we will not see and securing them from natural disasters as well as the ill-effects of environmental degradation. 
  • In the book, Shri Modi talks at length about India’s efforts to transform itself into a low-carbon economy. 
  • The Prime Minister has emphasized the importance of collectively working together to achieve our desire for a clean and green India. 
  • Building on a model of a positive partnership between people, businesses, the scientific community, government, and NGOs, Mr. Modi’s proposal calls for delivering clean energy and prosperity through site-dependent initiatives and scaling up efforts to make the rapid transformation. 

Nature and India:

  • Living in harmony with Nature has been an integral part of Indian culture. 
  • In India, rivers are worshipped as “Mata” or mother, and trees are worshipped as various forms of Gods. All these things are related to environmental protection and efforts are made in this direction. 
  • For the people of India, environmental conservation is not a new concept. Historically, the protection of nature and wildlife was an ardent article of faith, reflected in the daily lives of people, enshrined in myths, folklore, religion, arts, and culture. 
  • Some of the fundamental principles of ecology – the interrelationship and interdependence of all life – were conceptualized in the Indian ethos and reflected in the ancient scriptural text, the Isopanishad, over 2000 years ago. 
  • It says, ‘This universe is the creation of the Supreme Power meant for the benefit of all his creation. Each individual life-form must, therefore, learn to enjoy its benefits by forming a part of the system in close relation with other species. Let not any one species encroach upon the other’s rights.’
  • Reflecting this approach, Shri Modi says that there is a direct relationship between climate, calamity, and culture.

Initiatives taken:

There are significant initiatives taken by the government for Climate Change:

Swachh Bharat Mission: 

  • The government launched the ambitious ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (Clean India Mission) on 2nd October 2014. 
  • The ‘Abhiyan’ was launched on the occasion of Mahatama Gandhi’s 145th birth anniversary.

Climate Justice: 

  • A rapidly growing economy that depends significantly on its natural resource base and predominantly climate-sensitive sectors, India’s inspirational efforts to chart out an ecologically sustainable growth model in the face of climate change could yield valuable lessons for other developing nations. 
  • The Government of India, through its National Action Plan on Climate Change and national missions, reiterates its commitment to devising impactful strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation, energy efficiency, and natural resource conservation, while safeguarding the interests of vulnerable sections of its population.

International Solar Alliance:

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization working to create a global market system to tap the benefits of solar power and promote clean energy applications. 
  • It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Former President François Hollande of France.
  • The ISA aims to pave the way for future solar generation, storage, and technologies for Member countries’ needs by mobilizing over USD 1000 billion by 2030.

Renewable energy:

  • India is known as the third-largest renewable energy producer in the world.
  • India has announced a target of achieving 450 GW Renewable Energy by 2030, and out of this, we have already achieved 100 GW ahead of time.

National Hydrogen Mission:

  • The Modi government is focusing on meeting its climate targets and towards this end, the government announced the National Hydrogen Mission.

Champion of the Earth:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded with the UN’s highest environmental honour, bestowed upon five other individuals and organizations, for his leadership of the International Solar Alliance and pledge to eliminate single-use plastic in India by 2022.

Conclusion:

India is giving equal emphasis to Environmental Security as to National Security. Be it biodiversity or land neutrality, climate change or waste recycling, or organic farming, India is progressing in all these sectors.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

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