Monday, 29 December 2014

Stoner by John Williams

I confess that I had not heard of the American novelist John Williams till I  purchased and read this extra ordinary novel , Stoner.William Stoner is the name of the protagonist, and the book derives its name from that.This book was published in 1965 and sold moderately.It was in 2013  that it became a bestseller ,and its rights have since  been sold in 21 countries.
                      It is a novel which indicates that literature might be the best  way to understand life.It reinforces the very value of reading and study.Many readers  may find the life of Stoner sad.In some  ways , I also felt this way .But the  author had a different view.In an interview , he said,"I think , he had a very good life.He had a better life than most people do., certainly.He was doing what he wanted to do,he had some feeling for what he was doing,he had some sense of the importance of the job he was doing . . .The important  thing in the novel to me is Stoner's sense of a job . . .a job in the good and honourable sense of the word.His job  gave him a particular kind of identity and made him what he was.
               Life is good ,if we have a good job .Stoner had a hands on job of  a teacher in a university.He was very good at it , and enjoyed his job .The "world outside" was not  ready to let him do it , because of jealousies,power politics within the organisation , social  and other  factors.But Stoner  went ahead with his job , with honesty , dedication , professional integrity and without compromise.He had to fore go promotions , and at times face  inconvenient situations , but he held on .This is one central idea which has made this book a bestseller in our times.I recommend you to read this book .It will enrich your mind.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow

I just finished reading this very warm and  touching book second time, and I enjoyed it immensely.With 61 chapters and 207 pages,it is the story of  the   life   of Randy Pausch,a  Computer Science  Professor of Carnegie Mellon , in the last few months of his life  before he  died of pancreatic  cancer.It is the story of events and  feelings of an intelligent , pure, decent ,loving and honest  human being who died at the age of 47 , and left behind  three young children and a wife, whom he loved dearly.The book was published in 2008, and became an instant bestseller.
              The Last Lecture is about life more than death,the story of a man trying to die as decently as he lived.   The key- line in the book is;"If you lead your life the right way,the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you"Pausch  repeatedly says that one should have fun in every thing one does .Go after your childhood dreams and help others to achieve theirs.It tells about his dedication to give back to community.
After reading this book this time, I asked myself(Is asking like this a conceit?)  :"What will be the topic ,if I were asked to give the  last lecture?What do I consider the most important lesson in my life , so far?"It is good to have a clear picture of what you have learnt in life , and share it with others.
                His dream of meeting Captain Kirk(Or at least , William Shatner) reminded me about  the memories of The Star Trek and all connected  associations  . 
                                            Disney gave Pausch a boost in his final months.The publisher Hyperion,that paid a multi-million advance on Pausch's book is owned by Disney.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The man who loved books too much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

The full title of this book is long:The man who loved books too much:The true story of a thief , a detective, and a world of literary obsessions.The man is John Gilkey , who steals rare books worth thousand of dollars because he loves to collect the rare books.The detective is  Ken Sanders, who is actually a seller of rare books but devotes a lot of his time to catch a thief like Gilkey successfully.Bartlett takes us to the worlds of literary obsessions of book thief , book seller  and the writer herself.It is a story of real crime.When in the process of  writing about  real crime  you possess information and confession  about a real crime and plans about a future crime , what is your ethical conduct?Is it to inform the police , or is it to  protect the source?
                                Since the book takes you into the world of books all the time , while reading it , you tend to fall in love with books all over again.At least , I did.I am talking about the printed books, not the on line editions.Every printed book has a life of its own , a biography .Who gave you the book,or when and where you bought it,when you read it , when you read it a second time ,did you read it fast or in slow instalments , where have you stored it after reading, how do you catalogue your books, and so on.Do your possessions represent who you are?What emotional needs are your collections fulfilling?Are our collections more for ourselves , or are they more to impress others?Are you passionate and possessive about your books?What is your relationship to your books?Is it same for every books , or do you have different relationship with each book?Where does the love and reverence  for books convert into  obsession   like bibliophilia or bibliomania?Where do I stand  and how close I am, as a book lover , to the thin boundary line that separates reverence from obsession .
                  I end this with a quote from the book(Page 254):"As I thought about Gilkey's and Sanders's stories, and those of other collectors and thieves I encountered, they merged in my mind into a collection of their own, the larger story of which is a testament to the passion for books--their content and histories, their leathery , papery,smooth , musty,warped,foxed , torn , engraved and inscribed bodies.This passion I share with them all."

Friday, 28 November 2014

The Journey to the East by Herman Hesse

The novel, written by Herman Hesse in 1932 is  certainly about a spiritual journey.The protagonist is invited on an expedition with the League.The League is a secret society whose members include Paul Klee , Mozart, Pythagoras,Don Quixote,Plato , Baudelaire and other famous characters.The East was the Home of Light,where they hoped to find  the spiritual renewal.The League is a mystical structure,representing the spiritual community through which one gains happiness.
                    One day , the protagonist loses vision as also faith in the League and in his fellow brothers.This happens when a  servant called Leo disappears .Leo is the central character in the book.Leo is a servant who later turns out to be the President of the League.Leo  describes the Law of Service:"He who wishes to live long  must serve, but he who wishes to rule does not live long" After a conversation with Leo about "the law of service" ,the protagonist says his words"left me with a feeling  that this Leo knew all kinds of things ,that he perhaps knew more than us ,who were ostensibly his employers".
                           Time passes and the protagonist  finds out about Leo:"We already have a Leo.Andreas Leo,69a,Seilergraben."This is the "proper Leo but Leo apparently does not remember the protagonist..The latter becomes so frustrated by this that he writes a long letter to Leo.The upshot of this is that  he is taken to the League and finds out that Leo is in fact  the President.
                         The East is a metaphor, not Asia:"We not only wandered through space, but also through Time.We moved towards the East , but we also travelled into the Middle Ages and the Golden Age.
               Leo , the servant is the real leader , and he binds the League with his  service , humility and devotion .The moment he disappears, the  group disintegrates.Hesse  introduced the concept of servant leadership through the character of Leo, which Greenleaf  later developed and enlarged , and wrote many books on  servant leadership. Willingness and ability to serve others   and to  remain humble , define  the essence of true leadership. Just to  understand this single important  truth, you must read this multi-layered book of  93 pages.I will read this book  at least once more.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Life Less Lived by Saumya Misra

A Life Less Lived  marks Saumya's(Saumya Misra ,Lucknow ,India) debut as a  novelist.It is interesting ,imaginative and full of suspense .I could read its  185 pages in four sittings.Written in  in an autobiographical style,it is the story of a young girl ,who has a remarkable humaneness and emotional maturity to understand and trust an old vagabond on one hand , and  to be a remarkably dependable friend of  another young girl on the other hand.
                  The  novel  describes a rainbow of relationships , in a  traditional rural context of Uttar Pradesh (India) , marked by  fights and killings  based on caste and history.It also conveys the hold of family  in contemporary rural and suburban India.The modern values of the protagonist Panna   do not recognize the boundaries of caste and village.Above all , love  and truth  are eternal  and know no barriers of caste, region  and long separation.
               I like  author's style of writing  and also the fact that she has chosen to have short chapters.(67 chapters  and 185 pages gives an average of 2.8 pages per chapter).There is a thread of innocence , idealism, honesty and trust   throughout .There are no loose ends in the story , everything is well knit , leaving  virtually nothing to imagination .The dominant  role that the writer has chosen to give to destiny in the story, resulting in a happy family reunion ,despite all odds, is  typically an Indian value.I quote a few impressive lines from the novel.
 "You have made me see how harsh can a life be.How thankful we should be for even small mercies."(Page 146).
"What happened was destiny"(Page 161)
"Betrayal is not something we can take lightly or overlook easily(Page 174).
"After all,theirs was a much less lived a life than many and we wanted them to live the remaining years as completely and fully as they can"(Page 180).
                        A Life Less Lived  reminds us to live life fully , with zest,energy  and enthusiasm.If we meet someone  who  has less lived a life, we  may lend him or her   help ,support , and trust if we can.Without being a spoiler , let me ask you to go ahead and read  this short first novel.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Book of Clouds by Chloe Aridjis

This novel of 209 pages is essentially a book of meditation by Chloe Aridjis.Some of the key things and words are :Clouds, fog, Fall of 155 Kms long  Berlin Wall,Hitler,Berlin city,imagination,loneliness and so on .
"It is never about just one event,but rather a whole sequence of much smaller events, all those loaded seconds and minutes and hours that lead towards a decisive moment" And you begin your journey to back home, with two suitcases and a box of books.
                       I like this book for letting me realise that not every thing is knowable,though it is important to live such things without knowing.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

International Event Quanta ,2014 inaugurated on November15,2014(Saturday) in Lucknow

Today(November 15 , 2014,Saturday) , I inaugurated international event  called Quanta , 2014 at City Montessori School , Lucknow.Eleven countries sent their teams to participate in this competition on Science , Mathematics,Electronics and Mental ability.Today's inaugural had some fascinating musical events  presented by Chowk branch of CMS.I was impressed.
                                         Quanta was the first international event of CMS, organized in 1995 , and now CMS organizes 30 international events.Quanta ,therefore , occupies a special position in the history of CMS and Lucknow.This event has maintained a high level of standard and excellence.This year , a special Robot Race is being organized as a highlight..
                                    Science does three things for us:
1.Science and scientific temper help us to fight continuously against prejudices based on caste , religion , gender , race , language , region or nationality.
Marcus Aurelius , the Roman Emperor and philosopher of 2nd century, said:"Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life."Science gives us the opportunity to broaden our mind .
Events like Quanta help us to break the barriers raised by our prejudices , through the promotion of science , and in turn promotes peace , unity and development in the world.
2.Science promotes connectivity and connectedness through mobile phones,internet and civil aviation 3.Science promotes collaboration and  transformation.
These three things done by science  help to promote world peace and unity of mankind.
                   But what promotes science itself?Albert Einstein said:"Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist.They are wrong.It is the character."It is the building of character,of values , of integrity which makes a good scientist.A good school,therefore supports character formation  as well as scientific temper, and this in turn leads to world peace and unity.I am happy that events like Quanta , are the right steps in this direction .
                        Max Planck  was the originator of Quantum Theory.(He won Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.).In 1900,he said that electromagnetic energy (including light)exists in discrete packets or quanta.Energy gets absorbed and released in quanta ,and not as continuous wave.This event derives its name from this concept of bundles of energy.I wish and hope that this 4 day Quanta ,2014 will charge and electrify the minds of youth with millions of bundles of creative energy,which will pave the way for world unity ,peace and progress.I remember this poem ,Ek Naujawan ke naam(To a young man ) by the noted Pakistani  poet ,Allama Iqbal.
         "You donot have to make your nest on the dome of Queen's palace.You are an Eagle.Choose to  reside on the rocks of  mountains;"

Monday, 3 November 2014

Climate change Authority is born in Uttar Pradesh(November3,2014 ,Monday)

November3,2014was a red letter  for Uttar Pradesh.The Cabinet of the state government took the momentous decision of constituting Climate Change Authority.It was my privilege, as the Principal Secretary, Environment of UP,  to present this proposal for the approval of the cabinet.
                   The Authority as constituted  , is a society under the Societies Registration Act.It has  an Apex Committee at the top , headed by the Chief Minister of UP.There will be four experts nominated by the state government on this Apex committee,two on climate change mitigation , and two on climate change adaptation .Two NGOs , working in the field of climate  change ,will also find a place on this Apex  committee.
                        There is  a governing body headed by the Chief secretary of the state,with  senior civil servants and Heads of Departments , working in the departments having relevance in the field of climate change.There will be an Executive committee , headed by the Director of environment of UP.
                      Climate changes cause floods,droughts ,cyclones etc.,with increasing frequency and intensity, causing enormous hardships to farmers,especially the small and marginal farmers.We need to reduce and check global warming by large scale greening, having more and more solar/wind/nuclear energy, improving energy efficiency and increased use of organic fertilizers.We need to work in a coordinated manner to mitigate the effects of climate change through technology , information , flood protection , agro met advisory services and creation of appropriate infrastructure.Climate change Authority will do all these things .It will also obtain national and international support and resources .It will build capacities of the government departments , NGOs and the society.
The secretariat of the Climate Change Authority will be in the Directorate of Environment of UP .It has been approved to have a corpus of Rs 20 crores .
                    I congratulate  all those who have made it possible.It is a praiseworthy step, and I hope , it will go a long way to  achieve the purpose for which it has been set up.
Lucknow:The Uttar Pradesh government today decided to constitute a climate change authority, besides approving state bio-diversity policy and setting up of modern schools.The decision was taken during a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.(Economic Times, November3 ,2014).                       

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Written originally in Italian and translated into English by  William Weaver, this book of fiction  is about fictional cities that Marco Polo conjures up and tells the Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan.But gradually it becomes clear and Calvino tells the readers through Marco Polo that he was actually describing only one city :Venice.
                      I must confess that it is one of those works  , which make a clear impression on our minds that it  is a great book that one has read , but which needs to be read again , to be fully understood.It also taught me how to look at and understand a city , in all its perspectives which are too many and complex.
             I quote a few  lines from this immortal  classic:
1."With cities,it is as with dreams.Everything imaginable can be dreamed,but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or ,its reverse, a fear.Cities ,like dreams, are made of desires and fears,even if the thread of their discourse is secret,their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful,and everything conceals something else.(Page 44).
2."Why do you speak to me of stones?It is only the arch that matters to me.Polo answers:"Without stones , there is no arch."(Page 82).
3."The inferno of the living is not something that will be:if there is one,it is what is already here,the inferno where we live everyday,that we form by being together.There are two ways to escape suffering it.The first is easy for many:accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it.The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension:seek and learn to recognize who and what,in the midst of inferno,are not inferno,then make them endure,give them space.(Final paragraph).
                       I recommend you to read these 148 pages of subtle and beautiful meditation.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (Agromet Advisory Services);October30,2014 ,Thursday

The venue was Met Centre ,Lucknow ,located  near Amausi airport ,Lucknow.On October 30,2014 (Thursday),I chaired a state level  review meeting in Agromet Advisory Services , organised by Met Centre ,Lucknow.Dr KK Singh c from  Agromet Division,IMD , new Delhi .Prof Padmakar Tripathy  from Agriculture University,Faizabad andSri J P Gupta ,In charge , Lucknow Met Centre  shared the dais.
  Agromet advisory services play an important role in agriculture.Started in April , 2007 , it was meant to help the farmers to adapt to changes in the weather and climate , and for better and more efficient management of inputs.We need focus on the following aspects:
1.To create information generation(agricultural and meteorological) mechanism.
2.To create dissemination,extension  and communication mechanism (for farmers)
3.Capacity building ,effective training , education on all aspects of agromet.
4.To develop linkages between District Agriculture Officers and AMFU's for effective dissemination at district , block and village levels.
5.To organize seminars by AFMUs to create awareness among farmers about advisory services.
6.To use Common Service Centres of IT ,to provide agromet services.
7.To make agromet advisory services more user oriented in
a)pesticide and fertiliser applications.
b)irrigation applications.
c)sowing operations.
d)Timely harvesting.
8.To use more GIS and remote sensing techniques in preparation of agromet services.
9.To establish agromet data centre.
10.There are 130 AMFUs in the country and out of these,seven are in UP
There is a need for more AFMUs.
11.There is also a need to extend agromet advisory services to district level , block level and village level .

Agromet advisory services involve agriculture,metreolgy,extension and communication .Communication needs to be improved through IT,internet ,SMS and social networking .There is an ungent need to bring agromet services into the mainstream of our agriculture development schemes and plans.
              It was a very pleasant and  useful experience for me , as Agriculture Production Commissioner of UP , to be a part of these deliberations.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Training Workshop of Potato farmers of UP at Kannauj by Experts from Netherlands(October 27,2014)

On October27,2014(Monday),University of agriculture and technology , Kanpur  , Department of Horticulture and Food Processing ,Government of UP,in association with Netherlands Food Technology Centre(NAFTC)  organized  the inaugural session of  two days training workshop for the Potato farmers of UP.Sri Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of UP was the chief guest for the inaugural session ..Two cabinet ministers of UP , one minister of state  were also present.Prof(Dr.) Anton Haverkort of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands and Mr. Marijn Leijien , Director Naftc were the guests of honour.I was present as Agriculture Production Commissioner of UP .The Vice Chancellor of University of agriculture and technology , Kanpur, Prof Munna Singh   was the chief organizer .DG , UP Council of Agriculture Research , Prof Rajendra Kumar  was also present , along with a galaxy of  experts , senior officers , media persons and  a large number of farmers.The session was truly  impressive and very unique.
                                    India  is the second largest producer of potatoes , after China.China produces 23.3% of global production while India produces 12.2%  and Russian Federation produces 8%.(Figures differ from year to year , and sin some years , India has been at third place).UP is the biggest producer of potatoes in India, producing about 39% of India's production.The area under potatoes in UP is 5.70 Lac hectares,the production is 120 lakh tons and the storage capacity is 120 lakh Metric Tons.But ,India and UP lag behind in productivity of potatoes..While productivity of potatoes in Netherlands is 46.3 MT per hectare,it is 44.8 MT/hectare in Germany .In india , productivity is 22.76 MT per hectare.The productivity in India is less than half of productivity  in Netherlands.
                            A memorandum of understanding(MOU) was signed between University of Agriculture and technology , and NAFTC on September20,2014.The broad areas of cooperation include:
1Technology transfer.
2.Yield enhancement.
3.Seed production and certification.
4.Variety development.
5.Infrastructure Up gradation .
6.Training and capacity building of farmers.
    Other areas of cooperation for future will be:
1.Energy efficient storage.
2.Processing and investment in processing.
In this direction,two significant policy decisions were UP Potato Development Policy ,2013 and UP Food Processing Industry Policy ,2012.
         In this two day training programme, 300 potato  farmers of 11 districts of 3 divisions of Kanpur,Agra and Aligarh are participating.There are about 20  scientists of University of Agriculture and technology ,who are also participating.The four objectives of the programme are:
1.Pre-sowing preparation.
2.Management of storage diseases.
3.Information about latest seed varieties.
4.Field training of farmers in village Niwazipur.
                        In my administrative experience of 34 years , this was the first occasion when a world renowned expert from a famous university was  training the   potato farmers of Uttar Pradesh directly.Breaking the barriers of language , race and nationality,Uttar Pradesh government took the bold step of spreading the latest  knowledge ,science and technology to the poor  farmers.This made all of us feel proud.I requested the farmers to raise their doubts and questions before the experts and satisfy themselves .We provided translators who translated the talk in Hindi.
                     I witnessed the transformation taking place before my eyes.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Conference on Mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation in Development Policies and Practices(October20,2014)in Lucknow

I attended this conference on Disaster Risk reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in development policies and practices , as  chief guest .The conference  was organised on October20,2014(Monday) in Lucknow by UP State Disaster Management Authority in association with Unicef,National Institute of Disaster Management,Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group,ISET,All india Disaster Mitigation Institute.The dignatories on the dias included Ms. Nilofar Porzande, Dr. Anil K Gupta,Sri Mihir Bhatt, DR Shiraz  Wajih,Smt Leena Johri  ,and Sri Suresh Chandra, Principal Secretary (Revenue),UP.Here below is what I spoke.:
                     Imagine that you are in front of a  marginal farmer.He depends on rain for irrigation.And the rainfall is deficient in June and July.He waits for rains.Met department gives a weekly bulletin saying that rain deficit is likely  in certain districts.But the farmer is not sure.One day,it rains, and the farmer sows his paddy crop.But then it stops raining.There is a drought.The state government notifies the district as drought affected.A memorandum for Government of India is prepared for assistance.A team comes from Government of India and wants complete data for each district in detail.Banks wait for state government notification for rescheduling  crop loans.Insurance companies wait for post harvest yield data , to settle insurance claims.The department of agriculture advises the farmer to sow oilseed crop like Toria.But the farmer has no money.But this is our system .We give him advice , ideas and techniques , but no timely resources.How do we reduce risk reduction from drought ,for this farmer How do we make our development plans and programmes sustainable and having reduced disaster risk? .
                              What is mainstreaming?It is integration of DRR and CCA into the development planning,policies and practices.But in addition ,we need to see whether DRR and CCA can be integrated.We are all familiar with Disaster Risk Reduction.But we need to understand  the climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.Even if greenhouse gases emissions is dramatically  decreased,climate change adaptation will still be needed.There is a difference in the risks caused by disasters and the risks caused by climate change.The climate change  risks differ in intensity , frequency and have no previous experience.There are some common areas between DRR and CCA .These are risk assessment,flood management and building code enforcement.The non-overlap areas include Earthquakes for DRR  ,and agriculture and trade policy initiatives for CCA.But still ,there is a case for integration between DRR and CCA. We need legislation for mainstreaming.Section 39 of National Disaster Management Act2005 is the legal provision for mainstreaming of DRR.But there are no such legal provisions for climate change mitigation or adaptation.   
                        Mainstreaming of CCA has additional difficulties;
1.NO data is available.
2.No international guidance is available.
3.There are additional risks like raising heights of sea defences.
4.Huge funds requirement.
Departments which need to pay attention to mainstreaming are Agriculture,Water Resources,Health,Education,Land use ,Rural Development,Energy , Housing and habitat development.
Mainstreaming is required not only for government departments but also for all stakeholders like  Private sector,NGOs,Universities,International Agencies, International financial Institutions , and community.
      In UP , we have seven missions on climate change .We have Strategic Knowledge Mission ,Solar,Energy Efficiency Mission ,Green UP, Sustainable Habitat Mission ,Water Mission , and Agriculture Mission  .In all seven missions on climate change.We have prepared climate change action plan,which will , to some extent help in mainstreaming of CCA.We are in the process of creating a climate change authority.But these are just initial steps.          
                                           There are barriers  and challenges to mainstreaming.These are:
1.A culture of working in silos.
2.Bureaucratic organisational processes.
3.Lack of capacity and knowledge in departments.
4.High staff turnover.
5.Ineffective procedures for retaining organisational memory.
6.Mainstreaming fatigue.Any addition to current work load is perceived as negative.
7.Formal mechanisms for linking DRR and CCA  and development are rudimentary.
                Two main steps in mainstreaming are:
1.Awareness Raising.This includes vulnerability damage assessment, and budgetary impact on disasters.
2.Creating an enabling environment .This includes DRR and CCA stategy formulation,Legislation.building institutional arrangements and capacity through political leadership,combined legislation, single ministerial responsibility ,intragovernmental horizontal and vertical integration.
     We are at the initial stages on mainstreaming , but as AL Gore said in The Inconvenient Truth:
1.Global climate crisis is real and near.We must not deny it.
2.It is a long battle.We must not feel helpless.
Mainstreaming adds value to our efforts.Let us make more and continuous efforts for mainstreaming,both by creating awareness and by creating enabling environment.
                     Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group has created a   pioneering  and important document on mainstreaming of DRR , CCA and development at district level.We need to create a similar document at state level.My compliments to UP State Disaster Management Authority and all other organisers for organising such a wonderful conference.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Conference on Rabi Crops in Lucknow(October10,2014,Friday)

Today (October10,2014,Friday),I chaired a session on Strategy for increasing production and productivity of Rabi crops in Uttar Pradesh.It was organized by Director of agriculture , UP in Krishi Bhawan in Lucknow , with Minister of  state for agriculture , UP , Sri R K Singh as chief guest.A large number of farmers, from all over the state  attended the conference , as also almost all the officers of agriculture department from all  the districts  UP.The  farmers were very vocal on the issues like inadequate supply of Potato seeds , late  running of canals and insufficient supply of electricity in rural areas.The session was very thought provoking , and kept my adrenaline levels high.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Closure Ceremony of Wildlife Week,2014(October7,2014;Tuesday) in Lucknow , India

It was a very pleasant event , organized by the Forest department of UP, India in Lucknow.
The  Chief Minister of UP , Sri Akhilesh Yadav was  in chair, accompanied with Cabinet Minister Sri Rajendra Chaudhari, Minister of State for Wildlife , Dr S P Yadav , and Minister of State for Forests and Youth Welfare , Sri Kidwai  The event was held in Lucknow at Official Residence of the CM .I was present there as Principal Secretary , Forests and Environment, UP.The CM  flagged off and dedicated the environment friendly Toy Train in Kanpur Zoo , through Video broadcasting,from Lucknow.There was a thunderous applause , both in the Hall at Lucknow and at Zoo in Kanpur.
                     Kanpur Zoo was conceived in 1971 but the citizens  had to wait for 43 years to witness the setting up of toy train in the Zoo.This train is a green train.The original alignment envisaged the felling of 600 trees , but the alignment was changed in such a way that not even a single tree was felled.The train is battery operated and is pollution free.Built at a cost of 12.18 crore rupees by UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam ,it has a capacity to seat 84 persons , and has a track length of 2.18 Kms.
                        Today, wildlife population is declining at a fast rate.Between 1970  and 2010,the wildlife population of the world declined by 52%.On the other hand , human population has increased by 75% from 400 crores to 700 crores.This indicates a severe and growing ecological imbalance.We need to stop this trend.On this day , each one of us should  resolve that from now on , we shall endeavour everyday  to work for conservation of wild animals.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Inauguration of Wildlife Week ,2014(October1 to October 7,2014)

On October1,2014(Wednesday), the forest department of government of Uttar Pradesh  began the celebration of Wlidlife Week  .The event was held in Lucknow .The Keynote  speaker was Dr Sejal Bora from WWF , India .The two Ministers of state ,UP,Dr S P Yadav  and Sri Kidwai , were the Chairman and Chief guest respectively.I was present as Principal Secretary , Forests and Environment ,UP. The audience  comprised forest officials , NGOs, Students and media persons.Here is briefly , what I spoke.:
 Wildlife is an international resource and has environmental and economic consequences.Further there is a balance of species in each Eco-system.Both the absolute numbers as well as the balance needs to be maintained in a sustainable manner.But wildlife population is sadly declining .For example , there were about 100 thousand tigers in the world in 1900 , and in about 100 years , their number has declined to mere 3000.(3%).The wildlife population is declining.Between 1970 and 2010,the world wildlife populations fell by 52%, overall.Not only that ,rate of population decline is increasing every year(WWF,Geneva).This is a matter of grave concern.
                          Seven factors have been identified as threats to wildlife.These are:
1.Exploitation through hunting , fishing and poaching:37%
2.Habitat degradation, fragmentation: ......................   :31.4%
3.Habitat loss , destruction          ..                           ...  .13.4%
4.Climate change     . ...................................................  7.1%
5.Invasive Species .. .................................................... ..5.1%
6. Pollution . . .                                         .................... ..4.0%
7 .Diseases  . ... .............................................................. 2.0%
                                                     Total . .. .. ..................100%
Ecological footprints or consumption and wastage of resources , country wise as a percentage of global footprints are as below:
2.USA :13.7%
3.India: 7.1%
4.Russia :3.7%
5.Brazil :3.7%
6.Rest of the world:52.8%
 We need to have  multipronged strategy ,to ensure conservation of wild animals:
1.Develop sustainably ,in harmony with nature.
2.Enforce Wildlife Protection Act,1972.
3.Adopt sound wildlife management of reserves,sanctuaries and National Parks.
4.Have special projects like Project Tiger, Project Elephant , related to endangered species.
5.We need to protect our wetlands.
6.To control global trade in wildlife ,we have signed Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species(CITES).We need to enforce its provisions.We need to enforce anti-poaching measures.
7.We need to develop awareness through Eco-tourism and other events.We need to implement Eco-tourism policy.We need to upgrade  green infrastructure in places which are important from Eco-tourism viewpoint.
8.We need to financially assist the families whose members were killed or wounded by wild animals.We need to also assist them if their crops are damaged by wild animals.The idea is to make them less hostile towards wild animals.
9.We need to prevent illicit felling of trees from forests.
10.We need to regulate indiscriminate exploitation of ground water.
11.We must control pollution.
12.We need to employ scientific methods and technology in conducting census of wild animals.
13.We need to identify, study and catalogues all animal species.
14.To track and capture wild animals which stray into human settlements,we need to use more and more equipment and technology , and train officials in their use.
15.Scientific and modern  management of Zoos and safaris as per internationally accepted management practices.
16.We need to train and orient our forest officials and also the community in wildlife conservation.
                              In Uttar Pradesh , state government  initiated action on most of these  points.We have declared Pilibhit as a Tiger Reserve, which to my mind , is an important decision of international importance.The financial assistance in Uttar Pradesh, given to families , whose member is wounded or killed by wild animals , or whose crop is damaged , is the highest in India.
        Let us take a pledge to conserve  wildlife on this planet.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Becoming a youth leader in the field of environment and sustaining the leadership

I was invited to talk with 45 shortlisted environment youth leaders , from different districts of Uttar Pradesh (India) on September21,2014(Sunday).Please find below a gist of what I spoke:
                                            The process of becoming a leader has three assumptions:
1.A person with a vision can achieve great things.
2.People can be  motivated by and will follow a person who has a passion, who inspires them , and injects them with energy and enthusiasm.
3.Teams can work and give results.
Have a vision , a dream .Share it with your group.Convert it into a shared vision  by incorporating suggestions of the other members of group.Finalize and communicate the shared vision to every one.
Have passion and dedication , a sense of belonging for the cause.Live the change you want to see.Make it a part of your daily life.Work together as a team.Practise three things:
3.Collaboration .
These are three ways of team building in the order of increasing intensity.
                       I believe in the five disciplines  listed by Peter Senge:
1.Personal Mastery/ Discipline.
2.Mental Models /Paradigms.
3.Building Shared Vision .
4.Team learning/team building.
5.Systems Thinking.

In addition , you need to have ethical and moral standards, positive attitudes,decisiveness and sticking  to decisions, focus, selling /marketing, communicating, listening,humility, connectedness with followers, ability to resolve conflicts , ability to manage change and value continuous improvements. Some of the other personal qualities you need are social awareness.You should have the ability to cope with shocks and rebuffs.You should be able to innovate.You need to have flexibility. 
                       Youth leadership has three issues and challenges:
1.Youth versus adult leadership.
2.Leadership with out authority.
3.Sustainability of youth leadership.

         How to sustain the youth leadership journey into adulthood?
1.Keep connected with the experts in the field of environment.
2.Join good organizations which support youth leadership.
3.Teachers must act as mentors.
4.Be the change you want to see.
5.Branding of the Award/programme by the Promoters.
6.Measure the outcomes of the programme.
7.Track development over time.
How to go about your project?
1.Examine your context.
2.Assess your resources and needs.
3.Focus on quality over quantity.
4.Identify goals and outcomes.
5.Create awareness.
Persist , Sustain.Never under-estimate your self.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Youth Environment Leader Summit

Today(September 20,2014;Saturday) I attended the inaugural session of 5 day long workshop  called Yuva Paryavaran Leader Summit , as chief guest.The workshop was organised jointly by  CEE(Centre for Environment Education, an NGO of repute) and UPPCB(UP Pollution Control Board).The audience were potential  youth leaders on environment ,aged between 13 years and 17 years and there teachers.These young boys and girls , 45 in number ,had been selected from all over Uttar Pradesh as environment leaders.They were young , energetic , full of zeal , enthusiasm and dynamism .What I spoke to them , is as below:
                      This workshop is not just a programme on environment education .It is to build and provide leadership  skills and qualities among the selected students and teachers , with a view to create sustainable development and clean ,green environment in our state.In Latin , to educate means to lead.We want to build a cadre  of students who will not only work towards environment conservation now , but will provide leadership 15 years from now ,that is in  the year 2029.(When the youngest among you will be 28 years and the oldest will be 32 years.)
                    I congratulate  all the 45 students present here , and also their teachers and parents.You have been selected after three rounds of tests , beginning with Quiz Test , Essay and Project Action Plan and interview.This summit workshop is the fourth round.The fifth round will be the implementation of Action Project.The state government appreciates the fact that you  have been shortlisted at the state level.After the fifth round , we hope to select 10 best Paryavaran leaders, 5 best teachers and 5 best supporter schools.
                                         We call this workshop a summit.Summit is the mountain , the pinnacle , the top.It is the most important  stage in the development of leadership for environment.It is an opportunity to delve deep into the state of environment and ,the role students can play  as Paryavaran leaders.You will be helped to work on Action Project.You will get guidance from experts.Your group will generate innovative ideas.
                                         The role of teachers is crucial.Best teachers are also the best students.We need teachers who volunteer to create youth leaders for environment.I am sure they will never lag behind.The same is true of school managements.
                                        A lot of research has been  done in the university of Michigan, on the benefits of student participation in community issues.Becoming volunteers in community issues benefits students the most, apart from benefiting community, schools and agencies like UPPCB and the CEE.Here are the findings of research done at Michigan University:
1.It motivates and increases educational competence.It improves performance in examinations and results in higher grades.
2.It enhances self esteem , self efficacy and improves mental health.It decreases mental depression and stress.
3.It improves inter personal skills and social networks.
4.It inculcates the values of treating each other with kindness, care and help.
5.It increases communication skills.
6.!5 years from participation, students are more likely to be  engaged in community organization and to vote.
7.It increases problem solving skills and critical thinking skills.
8.It helps building low trust individuals into  a high trust ones.
9.It increases understanding of what community and life is all about.
10.It gives opportunity to share experiences.
11.Participants learn about effect of policies on community and environment.
12It gives exposure to diversity, multi culturalism and different ways of thinking.
13.It teaches taking responsibilities for decision making.
14.It offers new directions , new perspectives and positive life choices.
                        Action projects could relate to energy conservation ,greening , water conservation, sanitation , waste management,dying river systems, plastics, reducing pollution,improving environment.These projects will build public opinion and sensitise local community and develop green social networks.
                        We wish and hope that after this summit , you will be the change agents, leaders for green action and ambassadors for nature and environment .We have confidence that you will truly be the leaders for Sustainable Development.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Agriculture policies , research and Education

The 22nd meeting of Regional Committee IV ( , involving the states of  Uttar Pradesh,Bihar and Jharkhand ,) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR)  was inaugurated in Lucknow on September5,2014 (Friday) in Lucknow.Agriculture Minister of Bihar , Sri  Narendra Singh was the chief guest .Secretary , Department of Agriculture Research and Education(DARE)  and Director General , ICAR,Dr. Ayappan chaired the inaugural session .I  represented  Uttar Pradesh as Agriculture Production Commissioner of the state.It was attended by eminent agriculture scientists, Vice Chancellors of  Agriculture Universities,Director General  , UP Council of Agriculture Research , Principal Secretary of Agriculture,UP and many senior government officials from the three states.The session was useful and informative.It made us think about the need for more efficiency , speed and innovation in policies and research related to agriculture.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Launch of National Green Corps Scheme in Uttar Pradesh;August 29,2014(Saturday)

Today (August 29,2014;Saturday), at a  very well organized  and vibrant event  at City  Montessori School, Gomti Nagar auditorium , I launched (restarted) National Green Corps Scheme  as  Principal secretary (Forests and Environment,UP .The  event was organized by Directorate  of Environment ,UP  in association with UP Pollution Control Board.Directorate of Environment has been declared as State Nodal Agency and CEE,( Centre for Environment Education) is State Resource Agency for for National Green Corps(NGC) Scheme in UP.Here is what I spoke there as chief guest:
              National Green Corps Scheme has been launched today in UP , after a gap of about 7 years, in all the districts of UP.Each of the 75 districts will select 150 schools ,which will form Eco Clubs of students.Each Eco Club will have 30-50 students.In all we will reach 11500 schools and about 5 lac students and 11500 school teachers.We already have got funds from Government of India and these are available with Director, Environment.Special Secretary , Secondary education  will be Nodal Officer on behalf of Secondary Education Department.District Inspector of Schools will be Nodal Officer at the district level.The next is to select 150 secondary  schools in each district.These schools will be from any of the Boards . . .UP Board, CBSE or ICSE.There will be regular review and monitoring.The best Eco Club,the best school , and the best district will be selected and recognized.
                                     Four objectives of NGC are:
1.Education and awareness.
2.Outdoor visits and demonstrations.
3.Instilling a spirit of inquiry.
4.Active environment preservation steps.
Every selected school will create one Eco Club to meet these objectives.There will be one teacher in charge for each Eco Club.Gender ratio should be maintained in Eco Clubs in co-educational schools.This ratio should be maintained in the district as a whole , in each district.District committee (DIMC) will select Master trainers and send them for training at state level , to the directorate of environment.The training of teachers will be organized at the district level by DIMC.Funds of Rs 2500 per Eco Club  will be sent by the director Environment into the accounts of schools through RTGS online.Resource material will be provided through the districts to the schools.
                    Dr. Nina S. Roberts of San Francisco  University  published on 17th April ,2009 a research paper on the impact of NGC in many states and indicated very encouraging results.She said that environment degradation  involves economic as well as  cultural  issues.By education , we can make an impact on our attitudes as well as behaviour.
                    Important stakeholders of Eco Clubs are:
1.Department of Environment.
2.Department of Secondary Education.
3.Principals and Managers of schools.
6.State Resource Agency.
                      Our stress is on qualitative outcomes.This requires:
1.Commitment leaders at state level as well as district level.
2.High quality training of teachers and officials.
3.Regular meetings of Eco Clubs.
4.Good quality and timely supply of resource material.
5.Involvement of parents.
6.Coordination between  schools, education department,CEE and Environment department.
7.Managers and Principals to make teachers in charge less loaded with work.
8.Publicity of Eco Clubs at local level.
                    VISION of National Green Corps is to create a mass movement for environment and ecology and against pollution and wastage.It is to create a Green Brigade in each school, in green uniform and with green Band.Such a Green Brigade can participate in Republic Day Parade.It has also been decided that we shall develop a separate website(not only a webpage as at present) and facebook account for UP National Green Corps.
                 Funding of NGC is inadequate in many ways:
1.Rs 2500 per Eco club is inadequate.This needs to be revised to Rs. Ten thousand.
2.Government of India gives funds for 250 schools per district.There is a need to cover all the schools.
3.Corporates also should contribute through corporate social responsibility funds, to supplement the resources contributed by the government.
I quote the following from GOI  literature:
"Preserving our planet for prosperity is a mammoth task and no single individual, group, organization or state can make it happen.Micro and macro level conservation efforts are on throughout the Globe, yet degradation  continues apace.Mass movements like National Green Corps are necessary to arrest this trend."
I appeal all of you to make this movement of National Green Corps a success.


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Environment and climate change:The human factor(August 23,2014, Saturday)

Today , on 23rd August ,2014(Saturday), I inaugurated the  seminar/event on Environment and climate change:the human factor, organized by Swayam Siddha(A reputed NGO  based in Lucknow),Directorate of Environment ,Government of U.P.,State bank of India  and IRITIM , Lucknow.The venue was Indian Railways Institute of Transport Management, Lucknow.Dr. H N Dutta,DY. Director(former), national Physical Laboratory, and Sri K. Sekar , CGM, SBI , Local Head Office ,UP were the two Guests of Honour, while I was the Chief Guest as Agriculture Production  Commissioner, and Principal Secretary, Environment and forests , Government of UP.Dr. R K Sardana , Director of Environment , UP gave a vote of thanks.Here is the text of what I said there:
  I started with a quote by Cecil Rhode, a British statesman.He migrated from Britain  to South Africa  for health reasons.In South Africa, he made a vast fortune in gold and diamond  mining.He used a part of his fortune to endow the famous Rhode Scholarship programme.Lewis Mitchell, who was at Rhode's bedside in his cottage near Cape Town, heard the dying man murmur:"So little done , so much to do."
                      IPCC,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was constituted in 1988.Al Gore and R K Pachauri were awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for spreading awareness about climate change.United Nations framework on Climate change was adopted and Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1992 by about 130 countries.Now more than 150 countries are signatories.The idea is to reduce Green House gases emission.GHG emission (Carbon dioxide,Methane , Nitrous Oxide) contributes directly in increasing the warming of the Earth's surface.UP is the highest emitting state of India and contributes nearly 14% of national greenhouse gases.Three highest emitting districts are Sonbhadra,Rae Bareli and Gautam Budh nagar.Most of these emissions are due to presence of thermal power plants , industries, increasing population , deforestation and felling of trees,increasing number of vehicles, inadequate disposal of waste of all kinds like municipal waste, sewerage, biomedical waste and industrial waste.
            On one hand , climate change impacts on environment, forests, energy , biodiversity and human life.On the ther hand, our present development and life style  contributes to climate change .We have to find ways to mitigate the impact of climate change.
                 We need to prepare a State Action Plan for Climate Change(SAPCC).It shall have seven missions as below:
1.State Strategic Knowledge Mission:We need to create a UP State Climate Change Authority,with a corpus of Rs 20 crores or so .
We also need to introduce climate change as a subject at primary and high school levels.
2.State Solar Mission:
We need to promote three things:a)Solar light systems. b)Solar pumps  for irrigation. c)Solar power plants of 1MW or more.
3.State Mission for enhanced energy efficiency:
a)Energy audit of all government buildings and installation of APFC(Automatic Power Factor Corrector.)
b).Use of LED light.
c).Use of star rated fans , air conditioners.pumps and motors.
d).Procurement of vehicles on the basis of cost and emission norms.
e).Timers to switch off lights , when not in use.
f).Energy conservation building code(ECBC) be made mandatory for new government and commercial buildings.
g).Replace existing transformers by compact secondary sub-stations.(CSS.)
4.Mission for Green India,Green UP.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.The next best time is now(A Chinese Proverb)
a).Green belt plantation.
b).Plantation within degraded forests and moderately dense forests.
c).Social forestry.
d).Agro forestry.
e).Decreasing dependence on fuel wood and encouraging solar stoves in the villages.
5.State Mission on Sustainable  habitat.
a).green belts in planned townships.
b).Building bye-laws be amended so as to encourage energy efficiency.
c).Installation of Sewerage treatment plants.
d).Municipal solid waste management.
e)Local public transport infrastructure.
f)Four- laning of state highways.
6.Mission on water
a)Quality of drinking water free from Arsenic  and Lead  and other impurities.
b)Lake development authority needs to be created.
c)Promote water efficiency through drip and sprinkler system.
d).Diversify  into water efficiency crops.
e)Reduce subsidy in water pricing.
f)Use existing irrigation capacity more efficiently.
7.Mission on agriculture
a)Promotion of green and organic manures.
b)Crop residue management  with modern farm machinery like Laser Leveller, Rotavator,Seed trills , etc.
c) Diversify into dairy farming and poultry farming.
d)Cultivation of pulses , oilseeds, vegetables and fruits.
e)Promotion  and encouragement of agricultural research  to develop Climate Resilient  Agriculture.
                    So little done , so much to do.The agenda seems so big.No single person can achieve it .The community has to join in this cause of mitigation of the effects of climate change.
                  I compliment Swayam Siddha and its founder Dr. Shikha Tripathi for dedication , discipline , hard work and honesty ,in organizing this event.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Launch of Prakriti Bus for education on Biodiversity

It was a crisp and smart event today(August 2,2014;Saturday).A specially designed bus on biodiversity was launched by the chief guest, Prof. Abhishek Mishra, Minister of State for Vocational Education and Skill development , Uttar Pradesh, in Indira Gandhi Pratishthan , Lucknow (U.P.).Dr. Sharad Gaur came from CEE, Delhi .I joined as Chairman, UP State Biodiversity Board  as well as Principal Secretary , Forests and Environment,U.P. The event was organized jointly by U.P. State Biodiversity Board, Lucknow University and CEE(Centre for Environment Education, North.)
           What follows is the summary of what I spoke:The landslide event which took place recently, in village Malin near Pune resulted in the death of 63 persons so far(, and the figure may go up).A major reason behind this tragedy , according to Geological Survey of India, is deforestation and large scale felling of trees.This one example is enough to indicate why we should conserve our biodiversity and ecology.
                        There are 17 threats to biodiversity:
1.Habitat loss and fragmentation.
2.Over exploitation of natural resources.
4.Illicit tree felling.
5.Climate change and global warming.
7.Growth of human population.
8.Hunting and illegal trade.
9.Invasive Alien Species.
10.Lack of efficient protection to threatened species.
11.Oil spills.
12.Coastal/agricultural development.
13.Land diversion.
15.Fuel wood removal.
17.Forest fires.
                     National  biodiversity targets for India , among other things, say that by 2020,a significant proportion of India's population , especially the youth , should be made aware of the values of biodiversity, and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
                         Prakriti bus is a bus for biodiversity education .It is a unique model of education and awareness.It has an exhibition on biodiversity as well as trained communicators to explain.The key thrust areas of the bus include biodiversity of U.P.,bio-geographic zones of U.P., status of protected areas, flagship schemes, climate change and its relation to biodiversity.Audience targets include:
1.School children.
3.General public.
It is free of cost to the audience.
The bus will cover eight districts :
6. Sitapur.
7. Rae Bareli.
8. Hardoi.
It includes both rural and urban areas of these districts.The idea is to have the widest possible outreach in these eight districts.U.P. is a big state , and if this experiment proves successful, we shall replicate it in other parts of the state.
              It is the start of an innovative idea, full of potential for enrichment and scalability.Its salient features are:
2. Interactivity.
3. Fun-filled,with games and puzzles.
4. Visual effects.
5. Take away pamphlets and brochures.
6. Trained communicators and volunteers.
7.Evaluation of level of awareness.
There is a scope to  improve content , design and communication strategy.There  must be continuous feed back.
We must consult all the stakeholders in this project.They are:
1.U.P. State biodiversity Board.
2.  CEE.
3. Lucknow University.
4.Forest Department.
5.Environment Department.
6.Education Department.
8.Other NGO's engaged in environment.
9.Other  universities.
10. Teachers.
11. Managements of schools and colleges.
12. Students.
              I congratulated  U.P. Biodiversity Board, University of Lucknow and Centre of Environment Education , Lucknow for this outstanding joint initiative.The chief guest gave a very good and motivating speech in the end.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Workshop on Tiger conservation : Celebration of the advent of International Tiger Day:July 26,2014(Saturday)

Today (July26,2014;Saturday), we celebrated the advent of International Tiger Day by holding a workshop on  tiger conservation .International Tiger Day  is on 29th July . Minister of State for Zoological Parks , U.P. was the chief guest.The Keynote speaker was Sri Ravi Singh,SG and CEO , WWF , India. There were  other eminent speakers like Ms. Prerna Bindra,Dr. Dipankar Ghosh(WWF India),Mr Samir Sinha, Dr. Diwakar Chapagaine ,who  made informative presentations  during the technical session.What I spoke as Principal Secretary (Forests and Environment,U.P.) is  as follows.
                                             In 2010, during the Tiger Summit , held in Saint Petersberg,tiger range countries took two important decisions:
1.In every country ,  29th July every year  be celebrated as International Tiger day , to create an  awareness about  tigers .
2.Goal of doubling tiger population by 2022, be fixed.
The population of tigers in 1900 was 100,000 but it dwindled to about 3000 by 2010.This is about 3% of the level of 1900.Tiger has become a threatened species.
                                           Wild  Tigers are found in 14 countries of Asia, and nowhere else in the world.The largest number of wild tigers is in India.The country wise tiger population is as below:
1.India :1706
2.Malaysia :500
3.Bangla Desh:440
6.Thai land:200
14.South Korea:Not available
             Tiger is the national animal of  five countries:
3.Bangla Desh
5.South Korea
Why tiger numbers have come down so drastically?
Three reasons are attributed:
1.Habitat destruction.
2.Habitat fragmentation.
3.Poaching .
I wondered if Darwin's principle was also at play, which says that it is not the strongest who survive .It is the fittest , who have the ability to adapt to the changes , survive.(Later on , experts informed that tiger is a highly adaptable animal.)
                   Tiger has found an eminent place in myths , legends, literature , arts and culture of many countries including India.For instance:
1.Goddess Durga rides on a tiger.
2.Tiger is one of the animals  displayed on the Pashupati Seal of the Indus Valley Civilization .
3.William Blake wrote the classical poem 'The Tyger".
4.Yann Martel wrote the book" Life of Pi", which has also been made into a movie.
5.Aravind Adiga wrote the best seller and Booker Prize winner book "The White Tiger".He used the metaphor of tiger to describe a modern Indian hero,Balram Halwai, who has risen out of poverty and under development.
        In U.P., Dudhwa was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1958.It was notified as a national park in 1977,largely due to the efforts of Billi Arjan Singh, a conservationist of U.P. .It was declared a tiger reserve in 1987.Dudhwa Tiger reserve covers Dudhwa National park,Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary and Katarnia Ghat wildlife sanctuary.
                 In 2012,Amangarh,with an area of 80.6 Sq Kms,was declared second Tiger reserve.
                     On 26th February,2014,U.P. Cabinet approved the proposal to declare Pilibhit as third Tiger Reserve of U.P., with an area of 3000Sq. Kms.Pilibhit Tiger reserve is thus far bigger than even Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
                     There are six areas to work ,for conservation of tigers.These are:
1.Protection of habitat.
2.Fighting wildlife crimes.
3.Building capacity for  management.
4.Reducing demand for tiger meat/bones/teeth and claws.
5.Engaging local communities,especially in human - tiger conflict.
6Drawing on the expertise of global conservation community in technology and innovation.
               What is needed is a coordinated  action of:
2.International agencies.
3.civil Society.
4.Private sector.
         U.P. Tiger Conservation Society has been doing good work in creating awareness, building capacities and adopting innovative measures like promoting technology  for tiger conservation.I congratulate National Tiger Conservation Society, WWF,WTI , WCT and all individuals who are working towards tiger conservation .

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Ground Water Week ,2014 in Lucknow,U.P.

Today (July22,2014;Tuesday),we  organized the event marking the  conclusion of  Ground Water Week in Uttar Pradesh.The event was  graced by  Minister, Minor Irrigation and Ground Water department  of U.P.,Dr J S Samra, Chief Executive Officer,National Rainfed Area Authority,Planning Commission ,New Delhi and Keynote Speaker was  Jal Purush  ,Rajendra Singh.I chaired the session as Agriculture Production Commissioner of U.P.
                         Ground water is used for three purposes.
1.For agriculture.
2.For industry.
3.For drinking water needs.
All the three needs are important , and we need to consume ground water.But the supply of ground water is limited  and we need to use it judiciously.Due to over exploitation , there is a steady depletion of ground water in 630 blocks out of 820 blocks in U.P. There were only 20 over exploited /critical blocks in the year 2000 in U.P. and now this number is 108.The ground water table is falling down at the rate of 91 cms annually in Meerrut , 79 cms in Ghaziabad , 76 cms in Gautam budh Nagar and 70 cms in Lucknow.This is quite alarming.There is an urgent need to arrest and reverse this trend.
                           The one way is to change the cropping pattern from Sugar cane , Paddy  in the western parts of UP to eastern UP.There is hardly any scope  to reduce the requirements of industry and consumption for drinking purposes.This requires community participation in conserving ground water.
                             There is also a need  to have more public investment in ground water as compared to investment in canals and surface water.Planting trees is also a good method to help ground water recharge .Rain water harvesting in urban areas is another effective method for ground water recharge and we must enforce and encourage it .There is a need to  provide adequate manpower with expertise in ground water department , and to build their capacities.
                            A concern was also expressed about  the pollution of ground water and presence of impurities like Arsenic , Lead, Florides and alkalinity.We have to work to provide clean and pure drinking water to our citizens.
                Let us all take some time out to do our bit to  conserve the quantity of ground water and to improve it quality

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Plant a tree

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the second best time is today." Chinese Proverb . . .

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Celebrating Van Mahotsav (July 1,2014 ;Tuesday).The great Indian festival of plantation

Today(July1,2014;Tuesday) ,we celebrated Van Mahotsav in Lucknow.The Chief Minister of U.P.  was the  chief guest. Many senior ministers , officials ,media persons and other dignitaries attended the event.On behalf of Forest Department I welcomed the chief guest and other guests.

My speech: 
Today is the first day of week long(July 1 to 7)celebration of Van Mahotsava. Today is the day to remember the importance of trees in our life. Today is the day to take a step forward in mitigating global warming and climate change. Trees give us oxygen. Trees raise the level of ground water. Trees conserve and preserve biodiversity, ecology and environment. Therefore today is the day when every citizen should resolve that she or he will plant at least one sapling in this year. In U.P this year the program for plantation of trees actually started on June 5, 2014 on the occasion of World Environment Day when the Chief Minister of UP and Jal Purush Shri. Rajendra Singh planted saplings in village Rausa, block Haseran in Kaunnauj. Till today 1,12,500 saplings have been planted in 450 acres in that village and the project has been completed. 
                   Also, today 82232 saplings are being planted in 530 locations of the state to mark the celebrations. In addition Forest department of U.P. has decided to do a large scale celebration on every day of this week in selected districts where plantations will be done in at least a 100 acres in the presence of a well known dignitary. These districts are Etawah, Mainpuri, Badayun, Kanpur Dehat, Lalitpur, Baharaich, Rampur and Sidharthnagar.

The Chief Minister has been continuously emphasizing on e-governance and use of Information and Technology. Inspired by his emphasis, Forest Department of UP has taken certain innovative steps in the area of application of Information and Technology. The three projects which are being dedicated to the public by the chief guest today are as below;
  1. An on line portal on Wild life of UP.(
  2. Forest e-library created on the website of UP Forest Department.
  3. A short film on the state bird Sarus.
Weather it was plantation in1000 acres in Babina or eco restoration project in 1000 acres in Fischer Forest, Etawah, or notification of Tiger Reserve in Pilibhit, or creation of Lion Safari in Etawah, the Chief Minister ,through his soft spoken and persevering leadership has brought about a fundamental change in the working of Forest Department. He has inspired us to touch new heights, for this I express  gratitude to the Chief Minister on behalf of Forest department and extend a warm welcome to him. I also welcome honoured guests, officials and media persons. I have a hope that the celebration will go a long way in participation of people in large numbers ,in making the state of UP greener and cleaner.