When is a species considered critically endangered?
Critically endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List to wild species. There are five quantitative criteria to determine whether a taxon is threatened. A taxon is critically endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of the following criteria:
Critically Endangered Animal Species of India
The Critically Endangered list includes 10 mammals, 15 birds, 6 reptiles, 19 species of amphibians, 14 fishes etc.
Critically Endangered Mammals
Critically Endangered Birds
According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of birds, the information contained in the IUCN Red list version 2013.2 indicates that 15 species of birds from India are critically endangered.
Great Indian Bustard
White backed Vulture
Critically endangered birds in India under a different classification can be grouped as:
Extra note : In the lower risk categories, the agency included 14 bird species as Endangered and 51 as vulnerable ones. In the latest list, two birds – the River Lapwing and River Tern – that were listed as species of least concern have been registered as near threatened. A third bird, the long-tailed duck, which has been sighted in India on a few occasions, has moved from ‘least concern’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the red list.
Critically Endangered Reptiles
Critically Endangered Amphibians
Critically Endangered Fishes
Critically Endangered Corals
Critically Endangered Spiders
Following area the Characteristics of National Park
1.Reserve area of land, owned by the government.2. Area is protected from human exploitation, industrialization and pollution.3. No cutting, Grazing allowed, Outside Species Allowed4. It came under the category called “Protected Areas”. The Protected Areas are declared under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.5. Conservation of ‘wild nature’ for posterity and as a symbol of national pride.6. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and its World Commission on Protected Areas, has defined its Category II type of protected areas.
National Parks in India
Buxa Tiger Reserve
Jaldapara NPIndian rhinoceros
Neora Valley NP
Jim Corbett NP
Nanda Devi NPUNESCO
Govind Pashu Vihar
Valley of Flowers NPUNESCO
Bison (Rajbari) NP
Clouded Leopard NP
Mahavir HV NP
Mrugavani National Park
Kasu B. Reddy NP
Mudumalai National Park
Indra Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
Mukurthi National Park
Gulf of Mannar Marine NP
Guindy National Park
Desert National Parkbird
Sariska Tiger Reserve
Mount Abu Wildlife S.
Mukundra Hills NP
Keoladeo National ParkUNESCO
Simlipal National ParkTiger
Bhitarkanika NPMangroves, saltwater crocodile, white crocodile
Ntangki National Park
Murlen National Park
Phawngpui Blue Mt NP
Balphakram National ParkWild water buffalo, red panda, elephant
Nokrek National ParkUNESCO
Sirohi National Park
Keibul Lamjao National ParkOnly floating park world
Sanjay Gandhi NPAsiatic Lion
Kanha National Park
Pench National Park
Kuno National ParkAsiatic Lion
Panna National Park
Satpura National Park
Sanjay National Park
Bandhavgarh N. Park
Madhav National Park
Van Vihar National Park
Mandla Plant Fossils NP
Periyar National Park
Silent Valley NP
Mathikettan Shola NP
Anamudi Shola NP
Pambadum Shola NP
Anshi National ParkIndian hornbill, tiger,
Betla National Parktiger
Hemis National ParkLargest
Salim Ali NP
Pin Valley NP
Great Himalayan NPUNESCO
Gir Forest NPAsiatic lion
Marine NPGulf of Kutch
Blackbuck NP, Velavadar
Vansda National Park
Mollem National Park
Guru Ghasidas NP
Indravati NPbuffalo, tiger
Kanger Ghati NP
Valmiki National Park
Manas National ParkUNESCO
Dibru-Saikhowa NPFeral horse
Nameri National Park
Orang National Park
Sri Venkateswara NP
Rajiv Gandhi NP
Campbell Bay NP
A & N
Mahatma Gandhi Marine NP
Rani Jhansi Marine NP
Mount Harriet NP
Saddle Peak NP
Middle Button Is. NP
North Button Is. NP
South Button Is.NPsmallest,dolphin
Following is the Criteria for designation of Biosphere reserves
The Indian government has established 18 biosphere reserves in India,(categories roughly corresponding to IUCN Category V Protected areas), which protect larger areas of natural habitat (than a National Park or Animal Sanctuary), and often include one or more National Parks or preserves, along with buffer zones that are open to some economic uses.
Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life. Animals are protected and saved here.
Following 11 of the eighteen biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list.
TN, Kerala, Kar.
Gulf of Mannar BR
Nanda Devi BR
Great Nicobar BR
Kerala and TN
List of Ramsar Sites in India
Wildlife comprises animals, birds, and insects living in forests.
With large regional variations in physiography, climate and edaphic types. Indian forests offer a wide range of habitat types, which is responsible for a large variety of wild life in India.
The one-horned rhinoceros, India’s second largest mammal was once found throughout the Indo-Gangetic Plain as far west as Rajasthan. The number of this mammal has drastically decreased and now there are less than 1,500 rhinoceros in India, confined to the restricted locations in Assam and West Bengal.
Rhinoceros are protected in Kaziranga and Manas sanctuaries of Assam and the Jaldapara sanctuary of West Bengal.
The wild buffalo is found in Assam and in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.
The gain or the Indian bison is one of the largest existing bovine and is found in the forests of Central India.
There are about 3,000 tigers in India mainly found in the forests of eastern Himalayan foothills and in parts of the peninsular India.
The number of Cheetahs had fallen to less than two hundred until successful breeding programme in the Gir sanctuary in Gujarat resulted in some recovery.
The arboreal clouded leopard is found in northern Assam while the Black Panther is widely distributed predator.
Brown, Black and Sloth Bear are found at high altitudes in the northwestern and central Himalayas.
Yak, the ox of snows is largely found in Ladakh and is tamed to be used as a draught animal.
Stag or barasingha is found in Assam and Madhya Pradesh.
The Munjac or barking deer are found extensively in the lower wooded slopes of the Himalayas and in the forests of southern India.
The kastura or the musk deer, much sought after for its musk pod, live in the birch woods in the higher forests of the Himalayas.
1936, the first National Park in India was created and named as Hailey National Park now called jim corbett (Uttarakhand).
Thamin is a pretty deer found in Manipur.
India is extremely rich in bird life. There are about 2,000 species of birds in India.
Although most of the bird has their origin in India, a number of them have their source in other areas. Some birds such as ducks, cranes, swallows, ant flycatchers migrate from central Asia to the wetlands of Bharatpur every winter Recently, some migratory birds have been seen near Mathura.
Wildlife sanctuaries of India are classified as IUCN Category IV protected areas. Between 1936 and 2016, 543 wildlife sanctuaries were established in the country that cover 118,918 km2 (45,914 sq mi) as of 2017.
Among these, the 50 tiger reserves are governed by Project Tiger, and are of special significance for the conservation of the Bengal tiger.
Ghana Bird San.
Ghatprabha Bird San.
Kutree Game Sanc.
Manas Tigar Sanc.
Melapattu Bird Sanc.
Nal Sarovar Bird San.
Palamau Tiger San.
Ranganthittoo Bird San.
Ranthambhor Tiger San.
Similipal Tiger Sanc.
Sultanpur Lake Bird San.
Sunderbans Tiger San.
5. Bonn Convention
6. Vienna Convention
7. Montreal Protocol
8. Kyoto Protocol
9. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
10. Rio Summit
12. Basel Convention
13. Cartagena Protocol
15. Nagoya Protocol
18. Kigali Agreement
19. Minamata Convention
20. Rotterdam Convention
IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 Member organisations and the input of more than 18,000 experts. This diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
IUCN protected area management categories classify protected areas according to their management objectives. The categories are recognised by international bodies such as the United Nations and by many national governments as the global standard for defining and recording protected areas and as such are increasingly being incorporated into government legislation.
Ia Strict Nature Reserve: Category Ia are strictly protected areas set aside to protect biodiversity and also possibly geological/geomorphical features, where human visitation, use and impacts are strictly controlled and limited to ensure protection of the conservation values. Such protected areas can serve as indispensable reference areas for scientific research and monitoring
Ib Wilderness Area: Category Ib protected areas are usually large unmodified or slightly modified areas, retaining their natural character and influence without permanent or significant human habitation, which are protected and managed so as to preserve their natural condition.
II National Park: Category II protected areas are large natural or near natural areas set aside to protect large-scale ecological processes, along with the complement of species and ecosystems characteristic of the area, which also provide a foundation for environmentally and culturally compatible, spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational, and visitor opportunities.
III Natural Monument or Feature: Category III protected areas are set aside to protect a specific natural monument, which can be a landform, sea mount, submarine cavern, geological feature such as a cave or even a living feature such as an ancient grove. They are generally quite small protected areas and often have high visitor value.
IV Habitat/Species Management Area: Category IV protected areas aim to protect particular species or habitats and management reflects this priority. Many Category IV protected areas will need regular, active interventions to address the requirements of particular species or to maintain habitats, but this is not a requirement of the category.
V Protected Landscape/ Seascape: A protected area where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character with significant, ecological, biological, cultural and scenic value: and where safeguarding the integrity of this interaction is vital to protecting and sustaining the area and its associated nature conservation and other values.
VI Protected area with sustainable use of natural resources: Category VI protected areas conserve ecosystems and habitats together with associated cultural values and traditional natural resource management systems. They are generally large, with most of the area in a natural condition, where a proportion is under sustainable natural resource management and where low-level non-industrial use of natural resources compatible with nature conservation is seen as one of the main aims of the area.
There are 50 tiger reserves in India which are governed by Project Tiger which is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). India is home to 70 percent of tigers in the world. In 2006, there were 1,411 tigers which increased to 1,706 in 2010 and 2,226 in 2014.The total number of wild tigers has risen to 3,890 in 2016 according to World Wildlife Fund and Global Tiger Forum.
By the year 2012, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, there were estimated only 1,411 tigers in existence in India. The 2010 National Tiger Assessment estimated the total population of tigers in India at 1,706. As per Ministry of Environment and Forests, the tiger population in India stood at 2,226 in 2014 with an increase of 30.5% since the 2010 estimate.
The reserves were categorized into four major categories. Karnataka has the highest number of tigers in the age group of 1.5 years with more than 408 big cats. Other states with significant populations included Uttarakhand (340), Madhya Pradesh (308), Tamil Nadu (229), Maharashtra (190), Assam (167), Kerala (136) and Uttar Pradesh (117).
A reserved forest (also called reserve forest) or a protected forest in India are terms denoting forests accorded a certain degree of protection.
The term was first introduced in the Indian Forest Act, 1927 in British India, to refer to certain forests granted protection under the British crown in British India, but not associated suzerainties.
After Indian independence, the Government of India retained the status of the existing reserved and protected forests, as well as incorporating new reserved and protected forests.
A large number of forests which came under the jurisdiction of the Government of India during the political integration of India were initially granted such protection.
The first Reserve Forest of India was Satpura National Park. Land rights to forests declared to be Reserved forests or Protected forests are typically acquired (if not already owned) and owned by the Government of India.
Unlike national parks of India or wildlife sanctuaries of India, reserved forests and protected forests are declared by the respective state governments. At present, reserved forests and protected forests differ in one important way: Rights to all activities like hunting, grazing, etc. in reserved forests are banned unless specific orders are issued otherwise. In protected areas, rights to activities like hunting and grazing are sometimes given to communities living on the fringes of the forest, who sustain their livelihood partially or wholly from forest resources or products.
Conservation reserves and community reserves of India
Conservation reserves and community reserves in India are terms denoting protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India. Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities, and community areas if part of the lands are privately owned. Administration of such reserves would be through local people and local agencies like the gram panchayat, as in the case of communal forests.
Community reserves are the first instances of private land being accorded protection under the Indian legislature. It opens up the possibility of communally owned for-profit wildlife resorts, and also causes privately held areas under non-profit organizations like land trusts to be given protection.
These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2003 the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. These categories were added because of reduced protection in and around existing or proposed protected areas due to private ownership of land, and land use. A case in point was the Melghat Tiger Reserve where a large area was left unprotected due to private ownership.
Amendments to the Wild life protection act in 2003, provided a mechanism for recognition and legal backing to the community initiated efforts in wildlife protection. It provides a flexible system to achieve wildlife conservation without compromising community needs. Tiruvidaimarudur Conservation Reserve, declared on February 14, 2005, is the First Conservation Reserve to be established in the country. It is an effort of a village community who wanted to protect the birds nesting in their village.
These categories roughly correspond to IUCN Category V (conservation reserves) and VI (community reserves) protected areas.
Tiruppadaimarathur conservation reserve near Thirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, declared in 2005, is the first Conservation Reserve in the country.
In 2012, Rajasthan government in India declared “Jawai Bandh forests” as a conservation reserve forest. Jawai Bandh forest is situated in Pali district and it is in close proximity of Kumbalgarh. Sanctuary.keshopur chamb gurdaspur (Punjab) conservation reserve India’s first community reserve. Keshopur chamb,Gurdaspur (Punjab) is India’s first community reserve.
Private protected areas of India
Private protected areas of India refer to protected areas inside India whose land rights are owned by an individual or a corporation / organization, and where the habitat and resident species are offered some kind of protection from exploitative activities like hunting, logging, etc. The Government of India did not provide any legal or physical protection to such entities, but in an important amendment introduced by the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002, has agreed to protect communally owned areas of ecological value.
In pre-British India, and erstwhile British India and associated suzerainties, large tracts of wilderness were under private ownership, typically under the ownership of the royal families of the suzerainties. Animals and habitat in these tracts were protected by royal decree and royal forces. Later, after the advent of the British, these lands were protected by personal guards of the royal families.
However, these lands were usually used as hunting grounds for the maharajahs and other noble families, so while the animals and habitat were accorded protection from external entities, hunting for sport by the owners of the land was commonly practised. Even so, some of such hunting was done on a sustainable basis, and some wildlife like the Asiatic cheetah were trained to hunt in such hunting grounds.
After independence, the political integration of India caused most of the royal families to lose their ownership rights to these lands, and these were converted into reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Some of India’s most famous protected areas had their origins in privately owned protected lands. Some of these are listed below.
From the Northern princely states
Dachigam National Park – Once the private hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Kashmir Hari Singh, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1951 after the accession of Kashmir, and was designated a national park in 1981.
From the Western princely states
Gir National Park – These were the private hunting grounds of the Nawab of Junagadh, who by royal decree banned the hunting of the increasingly rare Asiatic lion in 1900. It was only in 1966 that the region was protected as the Gir Forest Area, and the region received national park status in 1975.
Ranthambhore National Park – The area around the Ranthambhore Fort were the private hunting grounds of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur. After integration with India, the Government of India declared the region Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955, making it a Project Tiger reserve in 1973, and a national park in 1980
Keoladeo National Park – These were the private hunting grounds of Maharaja Brijendra Singh of Bharatpur. Upon joining the Union of India, the maharaja kept his hunting privileges at the grounds until 1971, when it was declared a wildlife sanctuary. It was upgraded to the status of a national park in 1982.
Sariska National Park – Sariska was the private hunting grounds of Maharaja Jai Singh of Alwar. It was given the status of a reserved forest in 1955 and became a wildlife sanctuary in 1958, before becoming a national park in 1992.
Darrah National Park – These were the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Kota, and were declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 after the merger of Kota with India, and combined with two other sanctuaries a national park in 2004.
From the Central princely states
Bandhavgarh National Park – The area around the overgrown Bandhavgarh Fort were the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Rewa. After the union of Rewa with India, the maharaja still retained hunting rights to the area until 1968, when the Maharaja handed over the hunting grounds (with the exception of the fort) to be declared a national park. A special permit is still required to visit the fort.
Madhav National Park – The area around Shivpuri were the private hunting grounds of the Scindia royal family of Gwalior. Upon accession to India, the grounds were designated to be Madhya Bharat National Park (1959), later being renamed to Shivpuri National Park and finally to Madhav National Park.
From the Southern princely states
Periyar National Park – The region around the Periyar lake was fashioned as a private game sanctuary by the maharaja of Travancore to stop the encroachment of tea plantations. Founded as Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary in 1934, it was consolidated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1950 after the political integration of India, and designated as a national park in 1982.
Bandipur National Park – These were private hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mysore. In 1930, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV declared Bandipur a game reserve of 80 km2, and in 1941 expanded it to 800 km2, reinventing it as Venugopala Wildlife Park. After the Kingdom of Mysore joined India, the park was made a Project Tiger reserve in 1973, and a national park in 1985.
Rajiv Gandhi National Park – Nagarhole (as it was called initially) and its surrounding regions were the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mysore. After the merger of Mysore with India, Nagarhole first became a wildlife sanctuary in 1955, and later became a national park in 1988.
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park – This region was the private hunting ground of the Nizam of Hyderabad. After the annexure of Hyderabad in 1956, it was wildlife sanctuary in 1975, and a national park in 1994.
From the Eastern princely states
Simlipal National Park – Initially a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Mayurbhanj. After the merger of Mayurbhanj with India in 1949, it became a reserved forest in 1956. It then became a tiger reserve (1973), wildlife sanctuary (1979), national park (1980) and finally a biosphere reserve (1994).
Manas National Park – The area was initially the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar and the Raja of Gauripur. It was declared a protected area – Manas Sanctuary, as early as 1928, but the hunting rights of the royal families were not revoked. The sanctuary finally turned fully protected when it became a tiger reserve in 1973, and a national park in 1990.
However, royal families were allowed to keep personal land holdings below a certain threshold area, and hence some small scale privately held protected areas still exist in India.
The biggest non-profit private organization which acquires wilderness tracts for development into private protected areas, the Nature Conservancy – does not operate in India, but has shown interest in expanding its operations to the country.
The World Land Trust, another non-profit organization, in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India has funded two significant privately owned protected land holdings in India. The purpose of the holdings are to provide migration corridors to herds of Indian elephants,and the corresponding project is called the Wild Lands Corridor. The two corridors are:
The Siju-Rewak corridor in the Garo Hills in the state of Meghalaya, for connection between the Siju Wildlife Sanctuary and the Rewak Reserved Forest. This is one of only four forded corridors across the Simsang River, which bisects the Garo Hills. This region also contains large omnivores and carnivores like the Bengal tiger, clouded leopard and the Himalayan black bear.
The Tirunelli-Kudrakote corridor in the state of Kerala between the Tirunelli Reserved Forest and the Kudrakote Reserved Forest acts as a migration corridor for India’s largest extant elephant population. The region is part of the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot which is home to the Nilgiri tahr, Salim Ali’s fruit bat and 13 endemic bird species including the Malabar parakeet. The trust is in the process of reallocation of villages in the corridor, and is planning to register the corridor as a reserved forest once reallocation is complete, so that standard government protection is obtained.
The introduction of the protected area category community reserves under the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 has introduced legislation for providing government protection to community held lands, which could be used for obtaining state protection in non-profit privately held lands of ecological value.
Conservation Areas in India refer to well-demarcated large geographical entities with an established conservation plan, and were part of a joint Indo-US project on “landscape management and protection”. The project ran from 1996 to 2002. These areas are home to many Conservation reliant species.
Four Conservation Areas were selected for this project:
Annamalai Conservation Area in Tamil Nadu
Garo Hills Conservation Area in Meghalaya
Satpura Conservation Area in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
Terai Conservation Area in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand
The primary goal was to develop experience in “landscape protection” – protection of large geographical entities as a whole, only parts of which may be under federal control and protection. Each of the conservation areas contained fully protected areas like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, managed resources like reserved forests and communal forests, as well as privately held land. The size of the selected regions constituted more than one forest division, and in one case was spread over two states
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] The minimum land area recommended for forest cover to maintain proper ecological balance in India is : (a)25% (b)33%  (c)43% (d)53%Ans.(b)For proper ecological balance 33% of forest land is recommended, but in India we have only 20.14% of forest coverage. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] The first marine sanctuary in India, within its bounds coral reefs, mollusca, dolphins, tortoises and various kinds of sea birds, has been established in: (a)Sundarbans (b)Chilka Lake (c)Gulf of Kutch (d)LakshadweepAns.(c)Gulf of Kutch in 1980, 270 km from Obha to Sadiya. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] The sea coast of which one of the following states has become famous as a nesting place for the giant Olive Ridley turtles from South America? (a)Goa (b)Gujarat (c)Orissa (d)Tamil NaduAns.(c)The sea coast of Orissa is famous as a nesting place for giant olive Ridley turtles from South America. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Match List I (National Park/Sanctuary) with List II (State) and select the correct answer using the codes given below: List-IList-II A Kanger Ghati National 1.Chhattisgarh Park B.Nagerhole National2.Haryana Park C.Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary3.Himachal Pradesh D.Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary4.Karnataka Codes : (a)A-3; B-2; C-1; D-4 (b)A-1; B-4; C-3; D-2 (c)A-3; B-4; C-1; D-2 (d)A-1; B-2; C-3; D-4Ans.(b)National Park/ Sanctuary A.Kanger Ghati National Park-Chhattisgarh B.Nagerhole National Park-Karnataka C.Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary-Himachal Pradesh D.Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary-Haryana [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Match List-I (Biosphere Reserve) with List-II (States) and select the correct answer using the codes given below: List-IList-II A.Similipal1.Sikkim B.Dehong Deband2.Uttaranchal C.Nokrek3.Arunachal Pradesh D.Kanchenjunga4.Orissa 5.Meghalaya Codes: (a)A-1; B-3; C-5; D-4 (b)A-4; B-5; C -2; D-1 (c)A-1; B-5; C-2; D-4 (d)A-4; B-3; C-5; D-1Ans.(d)Similipal biosphere reserve is in Orissa. Dehong Deband biosphere reserve is in Arunachal Pradesh, Nokrek biosphere reserve is in Meghalaya and Kanchenjunga biosphere reserve is situated in Sikkim.[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Amongst the following Indian States which one has the minimum total forest cover? (a) Sikkim(b)Goa (c)Haryana (d)KeralaAns.(c)Haryana has 6.83% of area is forest cover area of the total land coverage, whereas Sikkim has 36%, 38.5% in Goa and 28.9% of Kerala has forest area of their total land mass. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements: 1.The forest cover in India constitutes around 20% of its geographical area. Out of the total forest cover, dense forest constitutes around 40%. 2.The National Forestry Action Programme aims at bringing one third of the area of India under tree forest cover. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 only (c)both 1 and 2 (d)Neither 1 nor 2Ans.(b)Out of the total forest cover, dense forest constitute around 2.54%; very dense forest and 8.77% are moderately dense forest. National Forestry Action Programme aims a long term plan to achieve the target of 33% forest cover. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one of the following is not a Biosphere reserve? (a)Agasthyamali (b)Nallamalai (c)Nilgiri (d)Panchmarhi110.(b)Nallamalai is not a biosphere reserve. It is hill of Eastern ghats which stretches over Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Guntur and Kadapa districts of the state of Andhra Pradesh. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements: 1.Silent Valley National Park in the Nallamalai range. 2.Pathrakkadavu Hydroelectric project is proposed to be built near the Silent Valley National Park. 3.The Kunthi river originates in Silent Valley’s rainforests. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 and 3 (b)2 only (c)2 and 3 (d)1, 2 and 3Ans.(c)Silent Valley National Park is situated in Nilgiri Hills of Western Ghats. The park is bound by Attappadi reserved forest to the east and vested forest of Palaghat division and Nilamber division to the south-west respectively. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists: List-I (National ParkList-II (State) /Wildlife Sanctuary) A.Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary1.Orissa B.Kangerghat National Park2.Assam C.Orang Sanctuary3.Chhattisgarh D.Ushkothi Wildlife 4.Goa Sanctuary 5. Tripura Codes : (a)A-2; B-1; C-5; D-3 (b)A-4; B-3; C-2; D-1 (c)A-2; B-3; C-5; D-1 (d)A-4; B-1; C-2; D-3Ans.(b)National Park/ Wildlife Sanctuary Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary- Goa Kangerghat National Park- Chhattisgarh Orang Sanctuary- Assam Ushkothi Wildlife Sanctuary- Orissa. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Match List-I (National Park/Wildlife Sanctuary) with List-I) (Nearby Town) and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists: List-I List-II (National Park/(Nearby Town) Wildlife Sanctuary) A.Chandra Prabha1.Jaipur B.Karera2.Jhansi C.Jaisamand3.Agra D.Nahargarh4.Varanasi 5.Udaipur Codes : (a)A-4; B-4; C-1; D-1 (b)A-5; B-2; C-3; D-1 (c)A-4; B-2; C-5; D-1 (d)A-5; B-1; C-3; D-2Ans.(c) [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one of the following is also known as Top Slip?  (a)Ismlipal National Park (b)Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (c)Manjira Wildlife Sanctuary (d)Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park129.(d)Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is known as top slip. It is a part of Western Ghats is located above 300 metres from the sea level on the Anamalai mountain ranges. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one of the following is located in the Bastar region?  (a)Bandhavgarh National Park (b)Dandeli Sanctuary (c)Rajaji National Park (d)Indravati National ParkAns.(d)Indravati National Park is located in the Bastar region. The park is situated at the distance of 97.4 km Bastar. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements: 1.In India, Red Panda is naturally found in the Western Himalayas only. 2.In India, Slow Loris lives in the dense forests of the North East. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 only (c)Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2141.(b)Red Panda is found in mountains of Nepal, north-eastern India, China, Bhutan and Slow Loris lives in dense forest of north-east, dense forest of Assam. Red Panda is found in Eastern Himalayas, China, Bhuan and slow loris in the dense forest of north-east Assam. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Out of all the biosphere reserves in India, four have been recognized on the World Network by UNESCO. Which one of the following is not one of them? (a)Gulf of Mannar (b)Kanchenjunga (c)Nanda Devi (d)SunderbansAns.(b) 149.(b)Omkareshwar Project is associated with Narmada river. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements: 1.Salt-water crocodile is found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 2.Shrew and Tapir are found in the Western Ghats of the Malabar region. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 only (c)Both 1 and 2 (d)Neither 1 nor 2
Ans.(c)Salt water crocodile was common and found throughout the Andaman and Nicobar Islands living in the mangrove habitats. Shrew and Tapir are found in western ghats of the Malabar region. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one among the following has the maximum number of National Parks? (a)Andaman and Nicobar Islands (b)Arunachal Pradesh (c)Assam (d)MeghalayaAns.(a)Andaman and Nicobar has 9 national parks; Assam has 6, Arunachal Pradesh and Maghalaya both have 2 each.[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following regions: 1.Eastern Himalayas 2.Eastern Mediterranean region 3.North-Western Australia Which of the above is/are Biodiversity Hotspot(s)? (a)1 only (b)1 and 2 only (c)2 and 3 only (d)1, 2 and 3Ans.(b)Eastern Himalayas and Eastern Mediterranean region are Biodiversity hotspots. South west part of Australia has hotspots. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] In India, which one of the following states has the largest inland saline wetland? (a)Gujarat (b)Haryana (c)Madhya Pradesh (d)RajasthanAns (d)Rajasthan has the largest inland saline wetland, area of Sambhan Salt lake. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements: 1.The boundaries of a National Park are defined by legislation. 2.A Biosphere Reserve is declared to conserve a few specific species of flora and fauna. 3.In a Wildlife Sanctuary, limited biotic interference is permitted. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 and 3 only (c)1 and 3 only (d)1, 2 and 3Ans.(c)The fix boundary of a National Park is described in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The legislation states the actual area of the National Park which is notified by the state government. A biosphere reserve conserves an ecosystem and not just few specific species of plants and animals. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following pairs: Protected area Well-known for 1.Bhiterkanika, Odisha……Salt Water Crocodile 2.Desert National Park,……Great Indian RajasthanBustard 3.Eravikulam, Kerala……Hoolak Gibbon Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched? (a)1 only (b)1 and 2 only (c)2 only (d)1, 2 and 3Ans.(b)Hoolak found in North eastern reigon of India. It covers 38% of the forest area. Hoolak Gibbon is found in North Eastern region of India. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] A particular State in India has the following characteristics :[2012 – I] 1. It is located on the same latitude which passes through northern Rajasthan. 2.It has over 80% of its area under forest cover. 3.Over 12% of forest cover constitutes Protected Area Network in this State. Which one among the following States has all the above characteristics? (a)Arunachal Pradesh (b)Assam (c)Himachal Pradesh (d)Uttarakhand192.(a)Arunanchal Pradesh [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] With reference to the wetlands of India, consider the following statements :[2012 – I] 1. The country’s total geographical area under the category of wetlands is recorded more in Gujarat as compared to other States. 2.In India, the total geographical area of coastal wetlands is larger than that of inland wetlands. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?1 only(b)2 only (c)Both 1 and 2(d) Neither 1 nor 2 Ans.(a)The countries total geographical area under the category of wetlands is more in Gujarat as compared to other states. India has 60% of in land wetland out of total wetland. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following pairs:[2013 – I] National ParkRiver flowing through the Park 1.Corbett National Park:Ganga 2.Kaziranga National Park:Manas 3.Silent Valley: National Park:Kaveri Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched? (a)1 and 2(b) 3 only (c)1 and 3 (d)None of theseAns.(d)Through Corbett National Park Ramganga flows(not Ganga) which is a tributary of Ganges. Through Silent Valley National Park river Bhavani flows which is a tributary of Kaveri. Kaziranga and Manas are both national parks. [/tippy][tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following pairs :[2014 – I] WetlandsConfluence of rivers 1.Harike Wetlands :Confluence of Beas and Satluj/Sutlej 2.Keoladeo Ghana :Confluence of National Park Banas and Chambal 3.Kolleru Lake:Confluence of Musi and Krishna Which of the above pairs is/ are correctly matched? (a)1 only (b)2 and 3 only (c)1 and 3 only (d)1, 2 and 3Ans.(a)Harike Wetlands is at Confluence of Beas and Satluj/Sutlej. The Keoladeo National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur is at the confluence of two rivers, the Gambhir and Banganga. Kolleru Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in India located in state of Andhra Pradesh. Kolleru is located between Krishna and Godavari delta. [/tippy]
1. Possessing a tremendous diversity of climate and physiographic, India has a great variety of fauna. What important steps are being taken to preserve the main species of Indian Fauna? Have these efforts been successful? 2. What are biosphere reserves? Explain its significance.  3. Account for the varied environmental problems resulting from the wide ‘spread deforestation in both Aravallis and Himalayan regions. 4. What is biodiversity? Why should it be preserved? 5. Where do Mangroves occur in India? Describe their main characteristics. 6. Why has there been opposition from 4th North-Eastern States to the Supreme Court ban on all activities inside forests 7. What are mangroves arid in what way are they useful to us. 
Observed Changes in Climate and
Weather Events in India
There are some observed changes in climate parameters in India. India’s Initial National Communication,
2004 (NATCOM i) to UNFCCC has consolidated some of these. Some highlights from NATCOM I and others are listed here. No firm link between the documented changes described below and warming due to anthropogenic climate change has yet been established.
At the national level, increase of — 0.4° C has been observed in surface air temperatures over the past century. A warming trend has been observed along the west coast, in central India, the interior peninsula, and north-eastern India. However, cooling trends have been observed in north-west India and parts of south India.
While the observed monsoon rainfall at the all-India level does not show any significant trend, regional monsoon variations have been recorded. A trend of increasing monsoon seasonal rainfall has been found along the west coast, northern Andhra Pradesh, and north-western India (+10% to +12% of the normal over the last loo years) while a trend of decreasing monsoon seasonal rainfall has been observed over eastern Madhya Pradesh, north-eastern India, and some parts of Gujarat and Kerala (—6% to —8% of the normal over the last 100 years).
Instrument records over the past 130 years do not indicate any marked long-term trend in the frequencies of large-scale droughts and floods. Trends are however observed in multi-decadal periods of more
frequent droughts, followed by less severe droughts.
There has been an overall increasing trend in severe storm incidence along the coast at the rate of 0.011
events per year. While the states of West Bengal and Gujarat have reported increasing trends, a decline
has been observed in Orissa. Goswami et al, by analysing a daily rainfall data set, have shown in
(i)A rising trend in the frequency of heavy rain events, and (ii) a significant decrease in the frequency of
moderate events over central India from 1951 to 2000.
Using the records of coastal tide gauges in the north Indian Ocean for more than 40 years, Unnikrishnan
and Shankar have estimated, that sea level rise was between 1.06-1.75 mm per year. These rates are con
sistent with 1-2 mm per year global sea level rise estimates of IPCC.
• Impacts on Himalayan Glaciers
The Himalayas possess one of the largest resources of snow and ice and its glaciers form a source of water
for the perennial rivers such as the Indus, the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra. Glacial melt may impact their
long-term lean-season flows, with adverse impacts on the economy in terms of water availability and hydropower generation.
Some modelling and other studies have projected the following changes due to increase in atmospheric GHG concentrations arising from increased global anthropogenic emissions:
The National Action plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was released on 30th June, 2008 to state India’s contribution towards combating climate change. The plan outlines Eight National Missions running through 2017. The Ministries involved submitted detailed plans to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change in December 2008.
The NAPCC consists of several targets on climate change issues and addresses the urgent and critical concerns of the country through a directional shift in the development pathway. It outlines measures on climate change related adaptation and mitigation while simultaneously advancing development. The Missions form the core of the Plan, representing multi-pronged, long termed and integrated strategies for achieving goals in the context of climate change.
Adaptation, in the context of climate change, comprises the measures taken to minimize the adverse
impacts of climate change, e.g. relocating the communities living close to the seashore, for instance, to
cope with the rising sea level or switching to crops that can withstand higher temperatures.
Mitigation comprises measures to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change in the first place, e.g. by switching to renewable sources of energy such as solar energy or wind energy, or
nuclear energy instead of burning fossil fuel in thermal power stations.
Current government expenditure in India on adaptation to climate variability, exceeds 2.6% of the GDP, with agriculture, water resources, health and sanitation, forests, coastal zone infrastructure and extreme weather events, being specific areas of concern.
Some Existing Adaptation related Programmes
The present programmes address measures such as development of arid-land crops and pest management, as well as capacity building of extension work ers and NGOs to support better vulnerability reducing practices.
The current programmes seek to minimize the adverse effects of drought on production of crops and livestock, and on productivity of land, water and human resources, so as to ultimately lead to drought proofing of the affected areas. They also aim to promote overall economic development and improve the socioeconomic conditions of the resource poor and disadvantaged sections inhabitIng the programme areas.
India has a strong and rapidly growing afforestation programme. The aflorestation process was accelerated by the enactment of the Forest Conservation Act of 1980, which aimed at stopping the clearing and degradation of forests through a strict, centralized control of the rights to use forest land and mandatory requirements of compensatory afforestation in case of any diversion of forest and for any non.forestry purpose. In addition an aggressive afforestation and sustainable forest management programme resulted in annual reforestation of 1.78 mh during 1985.1997. and is currently 1.1 mha annually. Due to this, the carbon stocks In Indian forest have increased over the last 20 years to 9 -10 gigatons of carbon (GtC) during 1986 to 2005.
The National Water Policy (2002) stresses that nonconventional methods for utili,ation of water,
including inter—basin transfers, artificial recharge of groundwater, and desalination of brackish or sea
water, as well as traditional water conservation practices like rainwater harvesting, induding roof-top
rainwater harvesting, should be practised to increase the utilizable water resources. Many states now have mandatory water harvesting programmes in several cities.
In coastal regions, restrictions have been imposed in the area between 200m and 500m of the KU (high tide line) while special restrictions have been imposed in the area up to 200m to protect the sensitive coastal ecosystems and prevent their exploitation. This, simultaneously, addresses the concerns of the coastal population and their livelihood. Some specific measures taken in this regard include construction of coastal protection infrastructure and cyclone shelters, as well as plantation of coastal forests and mangroves.
The prime objective of these programmes is the surveillance and control of vector borne diseases such as Malaria, Kala—azar, Japanese Encephalitis, Filaria and Dengue. Programmes also provide for emergency medical relief in the case of natural calamities, and to train and develop human resources for these tasks.
Two risk-financing programmes support adaptation to climate impacts. The Crop Insurance Scheme supports the insurance of farmers against climate risks, and the Credit Support Mechanism facilitates the extension of credit to farmers, especially for crop failure due to climate variability.
The National Disaster Management programme provides grants-in-aid to victims of weather related disasters, and manages disaster relief operations. It also supports proactive disaster prevention programmes, including dissemination of information and training of disaster-management staff.
The Eight Missions of NAPCC
I. National Solar Mission
The ultimate objective is to make solar energy competitive with fossil-based energy options. By increasing the share of solar energy in the total energy mix, it aims to empower people at the grass roots level. Another aspect of this Mission is to launch an R&D programme facilitating international co-operation to enable the creation of affordable, more convenient solar energy systems and to promote innovations for sustained, long-term storage and use of solar power.
II. National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
The Energy Conservation Act of 2001 provides a legal mandate for the implementation of energy efficiency measures through the mechanisms of The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in the designated agencies in the country. A number of schemes and programmes have been initiated which aim to save about 10,000 MW by the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan in 2012.
III. National Mission on Sustainable Habitats
This Mission was launched to make habitats sustainable through improvements in energy efficiency in buildings, management of solid waste and a modal shift to public transport. It aims to promote energy efficiency as an integral component of urban planning and urban renewal through its initiatives.
IV. National Water Mission
By 2050, India is likely to be water scarce. Thus, the Mission aims at conserving water, minimising wastage, and ensuring more equitable distribution and management of water resources. It also aims to optimize water use efficiency by 20% by developing a framework of regulatory mechanisms. It calls for strategies to accommodate fluctuations in rainfall and river flows by enhancing water storage methods, rain water harvesting and more efficient irrigation systems like drip irrigation.
V. National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem
The Himalayan eco-system is vital to preserving the ecological security of India. Increases in temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, drought and melting of glaciers are obvious threats. The Mission calls for empowering local communities especially Panchayats to play a greater role in managing ecological resources. It also reaffirms the measures mentioned in the National Environment Policy, 2006.
VI. National Mission for a Green India
The Mission aims at enhancing ecosystem services such as carbon sinks. It builds on the Prime Minister’s Green India Campaign for afforestation and increasing land area under forest cover from 23% to 33%. It is to be implemented through Joint Forest Management Committees under the respective State Departments of Forests. It also strives to effectively implement the Protected Area System under the National Biodiversity Conservation Act, 2001.
VII. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
The Mission aims to make Indian agriculture more resilient to climate change by identifying new varieties of crops (example: thermally resistant crops) and alternative cropping patterns. This is to be supported by a comprehensive network of traditional knowledge, practical systems, information technology and biotechnology. It makes suggestions for safeguarding farmers from climate change like introducing new credit and insurance mechanisms and greater access to information.
VIII. National Mission on Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change
The aim is to work with the global community in research and technology development by collaboration through different mechanisms. It also has its own research agenda supported by climate change related institutions and a Climate Research Fund. It also encourages initiatives from the private sector for developing innovative technologies for mitigation and adaptation.
• By 2030, 40 per cent of cumulative power generation capacity installed should be nonfossil fuel based. The strategies to achieve this are given in the chapter on Energy Supply and Demand.• Access to low cost finance especially through the Green Climate Fund should be encouraged.• Review all eight national missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change in the light of new scientific information and technological advances.• New national missions on wind energy, waste-to-energy and coastal areas should be developed.• The National Water Mission should be re-designed for efficient water resource management. Similarly, the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture should be redesigned to increase agricultural productivity and contribute significantly to achieving the vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022-23.• Projects under state action plans on climate change that have been endorsed by the National Steering Committee on Climate Change need to be implemented.• Use the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change and other global funds for strengthening resilience against climate change in sectors like agriculture, forestry, infrastructure and others.• Scientific and analytical capacity for climate change related assessments should be strengthened.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the apex statutory body for disaster management in India.The NDMA was formally constituted on 27th September 2006, in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with Prime Minister as its Chairperson and nine other members, and one such member to be designated as Vice-Chairperson.Mandate: Its primary purpose is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response. It is also the apex body to lay down policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters.Vision: To build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, proactive, technology driven and sustainable development strategy that involves all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation.
Disasters can be classified into the following categories:
Water and Climate Disaster: Flood, hail storms, cloudburst, cyclones, heat waves, cold waves, droughts, hurricanes.Geological Disaster: Landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoesBiological Disaster: Viral epidemics, pest attacks, cattle epidemic and locust plaguesIndustrial Disaster: Chemical and industrial accidents, mine shaft fires, oil spills,Nuclear Disasters: Nuclear core meltdowns, radiation poisoningMan-made disasters: Urban and forest fires, oil spill, the collapse of huge building structures
Flood prone areas in India
Causes for frequent flooding in India.
Man made Reasons:
Climate change has played an important role in causing large-scale floods across central India, including the Mumbai floods of 2006 and 2017. During 1901-2015, there has been a three-fold rise in widespread extreme rainfall events, across central and northern India – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam and parts of Western Ghats – Goa, north Karnataka and South Kerala.The rising number of extreme rain events are attributed to an increase in the fluctuations of the monsoon westerly winds, due to increased warming in the Arabian Sea. This results in occasional surges of moisture transport from the Arabian Sea to the subcontinent, resulting in heavy rains lasting for 2–3 days, and spread over a region large enough to cause floods.
Major flooding in India.
Launched in 1954, different methods of flood protection structural as well as non-structural have been adopted in different states depending upon the nature of the problem and local conditions.
Structural measures include storage reservoirs, flood embankments, drainage channels, anti-erosion works, channel improvement works, detention basins etc. and non-structural measures include flood forecasting, flood plain zoning, flood proofing, disaster preparedness etc.
Since then more than 35,000 km of embankments has been constructed and more than 39,000 km of drainage channels improved which could absorb and regulate peak floods when necessary.
IMD defines Drought as situation occurring in any area when mean annual rainfall is less than 75% of the normal rainfall.
Drought can be classified into three types according to National commission on agriculture in India. They are agricultural, hydrological and meteorological drought.
1.Meteorological drought: a condition when there is substantial decrease from usual precipitation over an area.
2. Hydrological drought: a condition when there is depletion of subsurface and surface water resources due to prolonged meteorological drought.
3.Agricultural drought: a condition when rainfall and soil moisture is deficient to support healthy growth of crop.
Distribution of drought in India
The distribution of drought in India can be classified under three heads
1. Conditions of extreme drought: It includes 12% of total drought prone areas i.e Gujarat, western Uttar Pradesh, north-west Madhya Pradesh, western Rajasthan.
2. Conditions of severe drought: It covers 42% of total drought prone area i.e leeward side of Maidan plateau, Rayalaseema and Telengana regions of Andhra Pradesh and Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra.
3. Conditions of moderate drought: It prevails over 46% of total drought prone area i.e Orissa, central-north Madhya Pradesh, Chhotanagpur, Jammu and Kashmir and central- east Tamil Nadu.
The Drought-Prone Areas Programme:The programme was launched as an integrated area development programme in 1973 as a centrally sponsored programme. The programme is taken up as a long-term measure to restore ecological balance by conserving, developing and harnessing land, water, livestock and human resources.
In meteorology, the term cyclone can be defined as the rapid inward circulation of air masses about a low pressure centre which is circling counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern.
We can also further describe tropical cyclones based on their wind speeds. Cyclones are categorized according to wind speeds and the damage they cause. Category 1: Wind speeds between 90 and 125 kilometres per hour, some noticeable damage to houses and trees. Category 2: Wind speeds between 125 and 164 kilometers per hour, damage to houses and significant damage to crops and trees. Category 3: Wind speeds between 165 and 224 kilometres per hour, structural damage to houses, extensive damage to crops and uprooted trees, upturned vehicles and destruction of buildings. Category 4: Wind speeds between 225 and 279 kilometers per hour, power failure and much damage to cities and villages. Category 5: Wind speeds over 280 kilometres per hour, widespread damage.
India is highly vulnerable to natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, drought, cyclones and landslides. According to the meteorological department, there are 13 coastal states and Union Territories in India are Cyclone prone region. Four states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu-and one UT Puducherry on the east coast and Gujarat on the west coast are more vulnerable.
The India Meteorological Department is the nodal agency in india is responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology. A cyclone in the Bay of Bengal is predicted by the Area Cyclone Warning Centres (ACWC) and in the Arabian Sea is predicted by the Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC). Both ACWC and CWC sent their report to the coordinating centre, i.e., National Cyclone Warning Centre (NCWC).
The National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NRCMP)
The Government of India has initiated the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) with a view to address cyclone risks in the country. The overall objective of the Project is to undertake suitable structural and non-structural measures to mitigate the effects of cyclones in the coastal states and UTs of India
Project objectivesThe Project development objective of the NCRMP is to reduce vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclone and other hydro meteorological hazards through;1. Improved early warning dissemination systems2. Enhanced capacity of local communities to respond to disasters3. Improved access to emergency shelter, evacuation, and protection against wind storms, flooding and storm surge in high areas4. Strengthening DRM capacity at central, state and local levels in order to enable mainstreaming of risk mitigation measures into the overall development agenda.
Cyclone prone states identified by the projectThe Project has identified 13 cyclone prone States and Union Territories (UTs), with varying levels of vulnerability. These States/UT have further been classified into two categories, based on the frequency of occurrence of cyclone,size of population and the existing institutional mechanism for disaster management. These categories are:• Category I: Higher vulnerability States i.e. Andhra Pradesh,Gujarat,Odisha,Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.• Category II: Lower vulnerability States i.e Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Pondicherry, Lakshadweep,Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Thunderstorms and tornadoes are severe local storms. They are of short duration, occurring over a small area but are violent.Thunderstorm is a storm with thunder and lightning and typically also heavy rain or hail.Thunderstorms mostly occur on ground where the temperature is high. Thunderstorms are less frequent on water bodies due to low temperature.
EARTHQUAKE ZONES IN INDIA
Each zone indicates the effects of an earthquake at a particular place based on the observations of the affected areas and can also be described using a descriptive scale like Modified Mercalli intensity scale or the Medvedev–Sponheuer–Karnik scale.
Zone 5 covers the areas with the highest risks zone that suffers earthquakes of intensity MSK IX or greater. The IS code assigns zone factor of 0.36 for Zone 5. Structural designers use this factor for earthquake resistant design of structures in Zone 5. The zone factor of 0.36 is indicative of effective (zero period) level earthquake in this zone. It is referred to as the Very High Damage Risk Zone. The region of Kashmir, the Western and Central Himalayas, North and Middle Bihar, the North-East Indian region, the Rann of Kutch and the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands fall in this zone.
Generally, the areas having trap rock or basaltic rock are prone to earthquakes.
This zone is called the High Damage Risk Zone and covers areas liable to MSK VIII. The IS code assigns zone factor of 0.24 for Zone 4 Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, the parts of Indo-Gangetic plains (North Punjab, Chandigarh, Western Uttar Pradesh, Terai, North Bengal, Sundarbans) and the capital of the country Delhi fall in Zone 4. In Maharashtra, the Patan area (Koynanagar) is also in zone no-4. In Bihar the northern part of the state like Raxaul, Near the border of India and Nepal, is also in zone no-4.
This zone is classified as Moderate Damage Risk Zone which is liable to MSK VII. and also 7.8 The IS code assigns zone factor of 0.16 for Zone 3.
This region is liable to MSK VI or less and is classified as the Low Damage Risk Zone. The IS code assigns zone factor of 0.10 (maximum horizontal acceleration that can be experienced by a structure in this zone is 10% of gravitational acceleration) for Zone 2.
Since the current division of India into earthquake hazard zones does not use Zone 1, no area of India is classed as Zone 1.
2015 India/Nepal Earthquake
April 2015 Nepal earthquake was the worst natural disaster of Nepal and major aftershock were also reported from neighboring Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi. Operation Maitri was the name of rescue and relief operation from India to help Nepal.
2011 Sikkim Earthquake
2011 Sikkim Earthquake was occurred near the border of Nepal and Sikkim, also the earthquake was felt across northeastern India with a moment magnitude of 6.9.
2005 Kashmir Earthquake
2005 Kashmir Earthquake was considered as the deadliest earthquake to hit South Asia with a registered moment magnitude of 7.6.
2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake
2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and tsunami was one of the most devastating natural disaster in India and also deadliest natural disasters in recorded history of 14 countries.
2001 Bhuj Earthquake
2001 Bhuj Earthquake also known as Gujarat earthquake occurred on 26 January 2001 on the Republic Day of India at 08:46 AM IST. The earthquake with a registered moment magnitude of 7.7 destroyed nearly 400,000 homes and damaged millions of structures.
1999 Chamoli Earthquake
1999 Chamoli Earthquake was the strongest earthquake to hit the foothills of the Himalayas and state of Uttarakhand.
1997 Jabalpur Earthquake
1997 Jabalpur Earthquake occurred near Koshamghat village and Jabalpur and Mandla were the worst affected districts.
1993 Latur Earthquake
1993 Latur Earthquake primarily affected the districts of Latur in Maharashtra state of Western India.
1991 Uttarkashi Earthquake
1991 Uttarkashi Earthquake in the Gharwal regions of Uttarakhand .
1941 Andaman Islands Earthquake
1941 Andaman Islands Earthquake primarily struck the Andaman Islands and also near by Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand. Andaman Islands are part of the earthquake, cyclones, tsunamis, floods and home to the only active Volcano in India.
1975 Kinnaur Earthquake
1975 Kinnaur earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 causing extensive damage in Himachal Pradesh with epicentre in Kinnaur district.
1967 Koynanagar Earthquake
1967 Koynanagar earthquake in Maharashtra occurred near the site of Koyna dam and damaged in Koyana Nagar Township.
1956 Anjar Earthquake
1956 Anjar Earthquake in town of Anjar in Kutch caused maximum damage in Anjar along with largely destroyed houses in Bhuj, Kera and Bhachau.
Tsunami waves traveled up to a depth of 3 km from the coast killing more than 10,000 people and affected more than lakh of houses. In India, the worst affected were the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Deep Ocean Assessment and Reporting System (DOARS) was set up in the Indian Ocean post-2004.The Indian government plans to set up a network with Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand etc.A National Tsunami Early Warning Centre, which can detect earthquakes of more than 6 magnitude in the Indian Ocean, was inaugurated in 2007 in India.Set up by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, the tsunami warning system would take 10-30 minutes to analyse the seismic data following an earthquake.
A landslide is the gravitational movement of a mass of rock, or mass of earth or debris, downwards on a slope. It generally occurs when a hilly slope becomes unstable due to natural reasons such as groundwater pressure acting to destabilize the slope, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, erosion, etc.
The major areas affected by landslides in India are divided mainly in following regions as landslide-prone areas in India. These are based on landslide hazard zonation:
The Western Himalayas (in states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir)The Eastern & North-eastern Himalayas (in states of West Bengal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh)The Naga-Arakkan Mountain belt (in states of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura)The Western Ghats region including Nilgiris (in states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu)The Plateau margins of the Peninsular India and Meghalaya plateau in North-east India.
India has witnessed widespread illnesses and virus outbreaks in parts of the country, including the SARS outbreak between 2002 and 2004. However, statistics show that they were nowhere as widespread as the COVID-19 that has now reached almost every part of the country and almost every country in the world.
What is an Epidemic?
1915-1926 — Encephalitis lethargica
1918-1920 — Spanish flu
1961–1975 — Cholera pandemic
1974 — Smallpox epidemic
1994 — Plague in Surat
2002-2004 — SARS
2014-2015 — Swine flu outbreak
2018 — Nipah virus outbreak
2020 – COVID-19
What is corona virusCorona viruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered corona virus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Assertion (A) : The frequency of floods in north Indian plains has increased during the last couple of decades. Reason (R) : There has been a reduction in the depth of river valleys due to deposition of silt.  (a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A (b)Both A and R are true but R is not a correct explanation of A (c)A is true but R is false (d)A is false but R is trueAns.(a)Siltation is the process of deposition of silt on the river bed through rain water, by which the depth of the river reduces. The flood water crosses the river embankment, by which flood occurs in most part of north India. [/tippy]
1. What do you understand by Environmental Pollution’? Mention the various kinds of pollution and their effects on the human health in 1ndia. 2. Write a note on causes of droughts in India.  3. How has the Indian State tackled the trade-off between environment and development? 4. Blue Revolution has definite advantages for India but it is not free from environmental impacts. Discuss.  5. The diminishing population of Vultures. Comment.  6. The recent cyclone on the east coast of India was called ‘Phalin. How are the tropical cyclones named across the world? Elaborated  7. Major cities of India are becoming more vulnerable to Flood conditions. Discuss.