The MoEF, known as the Ministry of Environment and Forests has been renamed as the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
The name change is indicative of the strong commitment and the acceptance of climate change as a real challenge in India’s progress. MoEF has been the chief negotiating agency for India in international conferences related to climate change.
As per various studies in the past, organisations including the IPCC, (the apex body that carries out research and publications in the field of climate change) have voiced arguments indicating adverse effects of climate change on India’s growth pattern. It has indirect linkages with agricultural production, rising sea levels and the overall well being of humans.
With the new BJP government leading India now, the MoEF is also expected to follow its leader’s mantra of ‘limited government, maximum governance’ and the ministry is expected to have a major role in policy making rather than interfering its nose in every aspect as it did earlier.
While the intentions of the previous regime were noble with regard to protection of the environment, very often one got the feeling that the ministers stalled projects and took drastic decisions in order to play to the gallery rather than there being any rational logic behind them. Many such decisions had to be reversed and the ministry also changed hands due to some ministers being perceived as over jealous.
With the new government appointing Prakash Javedkar as minister in charge, it is to early to say what direction he will take. Let’s wait and watch.