New Delhi: Around 560,000 people will be taught “green skills” such as pollution monitoring, wildlife management and mangrove conservation during the next three years, the environment ministry said on Tuesday.
“The total budget allocation for the Environmental Information Systems (ENVIS) in budget 2018-19 is Rs24 crore, which marks a 33% increase compared to 2017-18, out of which the training courses under Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) will be funded,” environment minister Harsh Vardhan said, announcing the move.
GSDP is a recent initiative of the central government for skilling the country’s youth. An estimated 80,000 people will be trained during fiscal year 2018-19 under various skilling courses, while 160,000 will be trained in fiscal year 2020 and 320,000 in fiscal year 2020-21.
“A total of 5 lakh 60 thousand people will be imparted training between 2018-19 and 2020-21,” Vardhan said.
The first GSDP course 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. It was launched last year.
After a successful pilot under which 248 people received training, the government is now expanding the programme to an all-India level.
The programme will also include more green skills now. The government has identified 35 courses including pollution monitoring (air/water/noise/soil), effluent treatment plant operation, waste management, forest management, water budgeting and auditing, conservation of river dolphins, wildlife management, marine taxonomy and coastal biodiversity, mangroves conservation, bamboo management and livelihood generation.
The environment minister also pointed out that an initiative has been drawn up to tackle climate change challenges.
“The plan envisages planting 1,000 crore saplings over a period of 10 years, from 2021 to 2030,” according to an official statement.
The saplings will be planted in different parts of the country under programmes such as Green India Mission, National Afforestation Programme and along highways and railway tracks.
Vardhan highlighted the government’s efforts to tackle air pollution in 100 cities that do not meet India’s air quality norms in the next three years.
He said it was proposed that each of the cities would reduce pollution levels by 35% in the next three years and 50% in the next five years under the National Clean Air Programme.
The environment ministry said the programme will include expanding the monitoring network, conducting air pollution health impact studies, setting up air information systems, certification of monitoring institutions, air quality forecasting systems, carrying out source apportionment studies, support for strict implementation of actions for tackling air pollution, and increased international cooperation.