a syndrome of ecosystem, response to the addition of artificial or natural substances such as nitrates and
phosphates through fertilizer, sewage, etc that fertilize the aquatic ecosystem.
The growth of green algae which we see in the lake surface layer is the physical identification of an
Some algae and blue-green bacteria thrive on the excess ions and a population explosion covers
almost entire surface layer is known as algal bloom.
Nitrogen testing is a technique to find the optimum amount of fertilizer required for crop
plants. It will reduce the amount of nitrogen lost to the surrounding area.
HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS
- Algae or phytoplankton are microscopic organisms that can be found naturally in coastal waters.
- They are major producers of oxygen and food for many of the animals that live in these waters.
- Algal blooms can be any color, but the most common ones are red or brown.
- Most algal blooms are not harmful but some produce toxins and do affect fish, birds, marine
mammals and humans.
Use of algae
Most species of algae or phytoplankton serve as the energy producers at the base of the food web, without which higher life on this planet would not exist.
Why Red Tide is a misnomer?
“Red Tide” is a common name for such a phenomenon where certain phytoplankton species contain pigments and “bloom” such that the human eye perceives the water to be discoloured.
Blooms can appear greenish, brown, and even reddish orange depending upon the type of organism, the type of water, and the concentration of the organisms.
The term “red tide” is thus a misnomer because blooms are not always red, they are not associated with tides, they are usually not harmful, and some species can be harmful or dangerous at low cell concentrations that do not discolour the water.
What are the causes of these blooms?
Two common causes are nutrient enrichment and warm waters.
WET LAND ECOSYSTEM
Areas of marsh, fen, peatland/water, whether natural (or) artificial, permanent (or) temporary with water that is static (or) flowing, fresh, brackish (or) salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed 6 mtrs.
1. Inland wetlanda)Natural- Lakes / Ponds, Ox-bow Lakes, Waterlogged, Swamp/marsh
b) Manmade- Reservoirs Tank, Ash pond
2. Costal WetlandA) Natural- Coral reef, Tidal flat, Mangroves, Salt marsh, Estuary, Lagoon, Creek,
b)-manmade -• Salt pans, Aquculture
Functions of Wetlands-
Habitat to aquatic flora and fauna, birds
Filtration of sediments and nutrients from surface water,
Nutrients recycling, Water purification
Ground water recharging, Buffer shorelines against erosion,
Genetic reservoir for various species of plants(rice)
the National Lake Conservation Programme (NLCP) considers lakes as standing water bodies which have a minimum water depth of 3 m, generally cover a water spread of more than ten hectares, and have no or very little aquatic vegetation.
Wetlands (generally less than 3 m deep over most of their area) are usually rich in nutrients (derived from surroundings and their sediments) and have .abundant growth of aquatic macrophytes
Wetlands occupy 18.4% of the country’s area of which 70% are under paddy cultivation.
Inland wetlands >Costal Wetlands
National Wetlands Conservation Programme (NWCP)
NWCP was implemented in the year 1985-86.
Under the programme, 115 wetlands have been identified by the Ministry which require
urgent conservation and management interventions.
Conservation of wetlands to prevent their further degradation and ensuring their wise use for the benefit of local communities and overall conservation of biodiversity.
to lay down policy guidelines for conservation and management of wetlands in the country.
to provide financial assistance for undertaking intensive conservation measures in the identified wetlands
The Central Government is responsible for overall coordination of wetland conservation programmes and initiatives at the international and national levels. It also provides guidelines, financial & technical assistance to state govt.
State Governments/UT Administration are responsible for management of wetlands
and implementation of the NWCP for ensuring their wise-use
Criteria for Identification of Wetlands of National Importance
Criteria for identification of wetlands of national importance under NWCP are same as
those prescribed under the ‘Ramsar Convention on Wetlands’ and are as given below:
1. Sites containing representative, rare or unique wetland types
example of a natural or near-natural wetland type’ found within the appropriate biogeographic region.
2. Criteria based on species and ecological communities
If it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species; or threatened ecological communities.
If it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular biogeographic region.
If it supports plant and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles, or provides refuge during adverse conditions.
3. Specific criteria based on water birds
If it regularly supports 20,000 or more water birds.
If it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbirds.
4. Specific criteria based on fish
If it supports a significant proportion of indigenous fish subspecies, species or families, life-history stages, species interactions and/or populations that are representative of wetland benefits and/or values and thereby contributes to global biological diversity.
If it is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend.
Specific criteria based on water/life and culture
If it is an important source of food and water resource, increased possibilities for recreation
and eco-tourism, improved scenic values, educational opportunities, conservation of cultural heritage (historic or religious sites)
located where river meets the sea.
the most productive water bodies in the world
The complete salinity range from 0-35 ppt is seen from the head (river end) to the mouth (sea
end) of an estuary
Coastal lakes which have their connection with the sea through small openings are better
known as lagoons or backwaters
acting as a natural water filter
grouped into four geomorphic categories based on the physical processes responsible for their formation:
1) rising sea level; (2) movement of sand and sandbars; (3) glacial processes; and (4)
India Estuarine Ecosystem
The Country has 14 major, 44 medium and 162 minor rivers drains into the sea through various estuaries.
Major estuaries occur in the Bay of Bengal.
Most of the India’s major estuaries occur on the east coast. In contrast, the estuaries on the
west coast are smaller.
are the characteristic littoral plant formation of tropical and subtropical sheltered coastlines.
are trees and bushes growing below the high water level of spring tides which exhibits remarkable capacity for salt water tolerance.
basically evergreen land plants
growing on sheltered shores, typically on tidal flats, deltas, estuaries, bays, creeks and the barrier islands.
require high solar radiation and have the ability to absorb fresh water from saline/ brackish
produces pneumatophores (blind roots) to overcome respiration problem in the anaerobic soil
Leaves are thick and contain salt secreting glands.
exhibit viviparity mode of reproduction. i.e. SeedS germinate in the tree itself (before falling to the ground). This is an adaptative medianiSintoovercome the problem of germination in Saline water.
crystals of salt on the back of the leaves; others block absorption of salt at their roots
The mangroves of Sundarbans are the largest
single block of tidal holophytic mangroves of the world.
famous for the Royal Bengal Tiger and crocodiles.
The mangroves of Bhitarkanika (Orissa), which is the second largest in the Indian sub continent, harbour high concentration of typical mangrove species and high genetic diversity
have (additional) special roots such as prop roots, pneumatophores which help to impede
water flow and thereby enhance the deposition of sediment in areas (where it is already
occurring), stabilize the coastal shores, provide breeding ground for fishes.
protects coastal lands from tsunami, hurricanes:and floods
release oxygen back to the atmosphere, along with a little methane gas
Coral is actually a living animal.
has a symbiotic relationship (each gives something to the other and gets something back in return) With ‘zooxanthellae’ microscopic algae which live on coral [i.e. instead of living on the sea floor, the algae lives up on the coral which is closer to the ocean surface and so that the algae gets lots of light.
The tissues of corals themselves are actually not the beautiful colors of the coral reef, but are instead clear (white). The corals receive their coloration from the zooxanthellae living within their tissues.
There are two types of corals: hard corals and soft corals, such as sea fans and gorgonians. Only hard corals
The builders of coral reefs are tiny animals called polyps. As these polyps thrive, grew, then die, they leave their limestone (calcium carbonate) skeletons behind. The limestone is colonized by new polyps.
found in tropical and sub-tropical water, there are also deep water corals in colder regions
The United Nations Environment Programme reports that there are more coldwater coral reefs worldwide than tropical reefs.
There are only about 6 different coral species associated in building with these reefs. The largest cold-water coral reef is the Rost ‘Reef off Norway
occur in shallow tropical areas where the sea water is clean, clear and warm.
one of the most productive and complex coastal ecosystems with high biological diversity
classified depending on their locations into fringing, patch, barrier and atoll.
The fringing reefs are contiguous with the shore and they are the most common – by occurring reef form, found in Andamans.
Patch reefs are isolated and discontinuous patches, lying shoreward of offshore reef structures as seen in the Palk bay, Gulf of Mannar and Gulf of Katchchh.
Barrier reefs are linear offshore reef structures that run parallel to coastlines and arise from submerged shelf platforms. The water body between the reef and the shore is termed as lagoon. Barrier reefs are seen in Nicobar and Lakshadweep.
Atolls are circular or semi-circular reefs that arise from subsiding sea floor platforms as coral reef building keeps ahead of subsidence. The examples are the atolls of Lakshadweep and Nicobar.
Among the four major reef areas of India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are found to be very rich in species diversity followed by the Lakshadweep Islands, the Gulf of Mannar and finally the Gulf of Kachchh.
Bleaching, or the paling of coral colour occurs; when (i) the densities of zooxanthellae decline and (ii) the concentration of photosynthetic pigments within the zooxanthellae fall.
Ecological causes of coral bleaching
Temperature (Major Cause)
Sub aerial Exposure-Sudden exposure of reef flat corals to the atmosphere during events such as extreme low tides, ENSO-related sea level drops or tectonic uplift can potentially induce bleaching.
Fresh Water Dilution
Inorganic Nutrients(e.g. ammonia and nitrate)
Xenobiotics -Zooxanthellae loss occurs during exposure of coral to elevated
concentrations of various chemical contaminants, such as Cu, herbicides and oil.
KEY INITIATIVES TO PROTECT MARINE AND COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS
1. Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMAPS)
Being implemented from 1991. Assesses the health of coastal waters and facilitates management of pollution-related issues
Programme was restructured and modified in 2000-2001 to include pollution monitoring; liaison, regulation and legislation; and consultancy services.
2.Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ)
Launched in 1995. Investigates the effects of global change on the coastal zone
Aims to develop, on a scientific basis, the integrated management of coastal
3. Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM)
Launched in 1998
Aims at integrated management of coastal and marine areas.
Model plans for Chennai, Goa and Gulf of Kutch being prepared
4. Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM)
Launched in 2010
Major national initiative to protect coastal ecosystems
A professional body with experts in various aspects of coastal science and management
5. Institutions for Coastal Management
The Notification on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 1991 (as amended from time to time) aims at protecting coastal stretches in India.
India has created institutional mechanisms such as National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA) and State Coastal Zone Management Authority (SCZMA) for enforcement and monitoring of the CRZ Notification.
These authorities have been delegated powers under Section 5 of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 to take various measures for protecting and improving the quality-of the coastal environment and preventing, abating
and controlling environmental pollution in coastal areas.
defined as ‘an addition or excessive addition of certain materials to the physical environment (water, air and lands), making it less fit or unfit for life’.
Pollutants are the materials or factors, which cause adverse effect on the natural quality of any component of the environment.
1. According to the form in which they persist after release into the environment.
Primary pollutants: These persist in the form in which they are added to the
environment e.g. DDT, plastic.
Secondary Pollutants: These are formed by interaction among the primary pollutants.
For example, peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) is formed by the interaction of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons.
2. According to their existence in nature.
Quantitative Pollutants: These occur in nature and become pollutant when their concentration reaches beyond a threshold level. E.g. carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide.
Qualitative Pollutants: These do not occur in nature and are man-made. E.g. fungicides, herbicides, DDT etc.
3. According to their nature of disposal.
Biodegradable Pollutants: Waste products, which are degraded by microbial action. E.g. sewage.
Non-biodegradable Pollutants: Pollutants, which are not decomposed by microbial action. E.g. plastics, glass, DDT, salts of heavy metals, radioactive substances etc
4. According to origin
aggravated because of four developments:
Increasing traffic, growing cities, rapid economic development, and industrialization
contamination of air by the discharge of harmful substances
Major air pollutants and their sources
1. Carbon monoxide (CO)
It is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of carbonbased fuels including petrol, diesel, and wood.
It is also produced from the combustion of natural and synthetic products such as cigarettes.
It lowers the amount of oxygen that enters our blood. It can slow our reflexes and make us confused and sleepy.
2. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
principle greenhouse gas
3. Chloroflorocarbons (CFC)
gases that are released mainly fromair-conditioning systems and refrigeration.
When released into the air, CFCs rise to the stratosphere, where they come in contact
with few other gases, which lead to a reduction of the ozone layer that protects the earth
from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
present in petrol, diesel, lead batteries, paints, hair dye products, etc.
affects children in particular.
cause nervous system damage and digestive problems and, in some cases, cause cancer.
occurs naturally in the upper layers of the atmosphere.
at-the ground level, it is a pollutant with highly toxic effects.
Vehicles and industries are the major source of ground-level ozone emissions.
Ozone makes our eyes itch, burn, and water. It lowers our resistance to cold and
6. Nitrogen oxide (Nox)
causes smog and acid rain. It is produced from burning fuels including petrol, diesel, and coal.
Nitrogen oxide can make children susceptible to respiratory diseases in winters.
7. Suspended particulate matter (SPM)
consists of solids in the air in the form of smoke, dust, and vapour that can remain suspended for extended periods
The finer of these particles when breathed in can lodge in our lungs and cause lung
damage and respiratory problems.
8. Sulphur dioxide (S02)
a gas produced from burning coal, mainly in thermal power plants.
Some industrial processes, such as production of paper and smelting of metals, produce sulphur dioxide.
a major contributor to smog and acid rain.
Sulphur dioxide can lead to lung diseases
a combination of the words fog and smoke. Smog is a condition of fog that had soot or
smoke in it.
interaction of sunlight with certain chemicals in the atmosphere.
primary components of photochemical smog is ozone.
Ozone is formed through a complex reaction involving hydrocarbons, nitrogen
oxides, and sunlight. It is formed when pollutants released from gasoline, dieselpowered vehicles and oil-based solvents react with heat and sunlight
from biofuels, the four most serious pollutants are particulates, carbon monoxide, polycyclic organic matter, and formaldehyde
i) Volatile organic compounds
The main indoor sources are perfumes, hair sprays, furniture polish, glues, air
fresheners, moth repellents, wood preservatives, and other products.
ii) Biological pollutants
It includes pollen from plants, mite, and hair from pets, fungi, parasites, and some bacteria.
Mainly from carpets, particle boards, and insulation foam. It causes irritation to the eyes and nose and allergies.
It is a gas that is emitted naturally by the soil. Due to modern houses having poor ventilation, it is confined inside the house and causes lung cancers.
Ash is produced whenever combustion of solid material takes place.
1. Aluminium silicate (in.large amounts)
2. silicon dioxide (Si02) and
3. Calcium oxide (Ca0).
Fly ash particles are oxide rich and consist of silica, alumina, oxides of iron, calcium, and
magnesium and toxic heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cobalt, and coppers
Policy measures of MoEF:
The Ministry of Environment and Forests vide its notification in 2009, has made it
mandatory to use Fly Ash based products in all construction projects, road embankment
works and low lying land filling works within 100 kms radius of
Thermal Power Station.
To use Fly Ash in mine filling activities within 50 kms radius of Thermal Power Stations.
Arresters: These are used to separate particulate matters from contaminated air.
Scrubbers: These are used to clean air for both dusts and gases by passing it through a dry or wet packing material.
(1) National Air Quality Monitoring Programme
In India, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has been executing a nationwide programme of ambient air quality monitoring known as National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP).
The National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) is undertaken in India
(i) to determine status and trends of ambient air quality;
(ii) to ascertain the compliance of NAAQS;
(iii) to identify non-attainment cities;
(iv) to understand the natural process of cleaning in the atmosphere; and
(v) to undertake preventive and corrective measures.
Annual average concentration of SOx levels are within the prescribed National Ambient
Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were notified in the year 1982, duly
revised in 1994 based on health criteria and land uses.
The NAAQS have been revisited and revised in November 2009 for 12 pollutants, which include. sulphur
dioxide (S02), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter having size less than 10 micron (PM10),particulate matter having size less than 2.5micron (PM2.5), ozone, lead, carbon monoxide (CO), arsenic, nickel, benzene, ammonia, and. Benzopyrene.
Addition of certain substances to the water such as organic, inorganic, biological, radiological, heat, which degrades the quality of water so that it becomes unfit for use.
Putrescibility is the process of decomposition of organic matter present in water by microorganisms using oxygen.
Water having DO (dissolved oxygen) content below 8.0 mg/L may be considered as contaminated. Water having DO content below. 4.0 mg/L is considered to be highly polluted.
Water pollution by organic wastes is measured in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand-(BOD). BOD is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by bacteria in decomposing the organic wastes present in water.
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is a slightly better mode used to measure
pollution load in water. It is the measure of oxygen equivalent of the
requirement of oxidation of total organic matter (i.e. biodegradable and nonbiodegradable) present in water.
A cripling deformity called Minamata disease due to consumption of fish captured
from mercury contaminated Minamata Bay.
Water contaminated with cadmium can cause itai itai disease also called ouch-ouch disease (a painful disease of bones and joints) and cancer of lungs and liver.
The compounds of lead cause anaemia, headache, loss of muscle power and bluish line around the gum
Excess nitrate in drinking water reacts with hemoglobin to form non-functional met haemoglobin, and impairs oxygen transport. This condition is called methaemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome.
Over exploitation of ground water may lead to leaching of arsenic from soil and rock sources and contaminate ground water. Chronic exposure to arsenic causes black foot disease. It also causes diarrhoea,-peripheral neuritis, hyperkerotosis and also lung and skin cancer.
Industrial waste includes chemicals such as mercury, lead, copper, zinc, cadmium, cynides, thiocynates, chromates, acids, alkalies, organic substances etc
Four R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Sound is measured in decibels (dB). An increase of about 10 dB is approximately double the increase in loudness.
A person’s hearing can be damaged if exposed to noise levels over 75 dB over a prolonged period of time.
The World Health Organization recommends that the sound level indoors should be less than 30 dB.
Ambient Noise Level Monitoring – Noise Pollution (Control and Regulation) Rules, 2000 define ambient noise levels for various areas as followsA. Industrial Area—75DB to 70Db (Day time-6am to 10pm and night time 10pm to 6am ..75 is day time and 70 is night time) B. Commercial Area–65 to 55
C. Residential Area–55 to 45
D. Silence Zone– 50 to 40
The Government of India on Mar 2011 launched a Real time Ambient Noise Monitoring Network.
Under this network, in phase- I, five Remote Noise Monitoring Terminals each have
been installed in different noise zones in seven metros (Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata,
Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Lucknow).
In Phase II another 35 monitoring stations will be installed in the same seven cities.
Phase III will cover installing 90 stations in 18 other cities.
Phase-III cities are Kanpur, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Jaipur, Indore, Bhopal, Ludhiana, Guwahati, Dehradun, Thiruvananthpuram, Bhubaneswar,
Patna, Gandhinagar, Ranchi, Amritsar and Raipur.
Silence Zone is an area comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions, courts, religious places or any other t area declared as such by a
RADIO ACTIVE POLLUTION
Non-ionising radiations affect only those components which absorb them and have low penetrability. They include short-wave radiations such as ultraviolet rays, which forms a part of solar radiation. Sunburns is due to these radiation
Ionising radiations have high penetration power & cause breakage of macro molecules
They include X-rays, cosmic rays and atomic radiations -(radiations emitted by
Alpha particles, can be blocked by a piece of paper and human skin.
Beta particles can penetrate through skin, while can be blocked by some pieces of glass
Gamma rays can penetrate easily to human skin and damage cells on its way through,
reaching far, and can only be blocked by a very thick, strong, massive piece of concrete
radium-224, uranium-238, thorium-232, potassium-40, carbon-14, etc.
The nuclear arms use uranium-235 and plutonium-239 for fission and
hydrogen or lithium as fusion material
The radio nuclides with long half-time are the chief source of environmental
E — WASTE (in news)
E-waste is not hazardous if it is stocked in safe storage or recycled by scientific methods or transported from one place to the other in parts or in totality in the formal sector. The e-waste can be considered hazardous if recycled by primitive methods
Survey was carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) during 2005
In India, among top ten cities; Mumbai ranks first in generating e-waste followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat and Nagpur.
the discarded (abandoned or considered waste-like) materials
does not include solid or dissolved materials in domestic sewage, or solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows or industrial discharges
Conventional plastics have been associated with reproductive problems in both humans
Dioxin (highly carcinogenic and toxic) by-product of the manufacturing process is one of
the chemicals believed to be passed on through breast milk to the nursing infant.
Burning of plastics, especially PVC releases this dioxin and also furan into the
Pyrolysis-It is a process of combustion in absence of oxygen or the material burnt under
controlled atmosphere of oxygen. It is an alternative to incineration. The gas and liquid thus
obtained can be used as fuels.
Waste Minimization Circles (WMC)
helps Small and Medium Industrial Clusters in waste minimization in their industrial
assisted by the World Bank with the Ministry of Environment and Forests acting as
the nodal ministry.
being implemented with the assistance of National Productivity Council (NPC), NewDelhi.
aims to realise the objectives of the Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution (1992), which
states that the government should educate citizens about environmental risks, the economic and health dangers of resource degradation and the real economic cost of natural resources.
the use of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) to degrade the environmental contaminants
into less toxic forms.
is use of plants to remove contaminants from soil and water .
a water remediation technique that involves the uptake of contaminants by plant roots.
used to reduce contamination in natural wetlands and estuary areas.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Notification on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of developmental projects 1994 under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 making EIA mandatory for 29 categories of developmental projects. One more item was added to the list in January, 2000. environmental impact assessment statutory for 30 activities
Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006 has categorized the developmental
projects in two categories, i.e., Category A and Category B
Ministry of Environment & Forests
‘Category A’ projects are appraised at national level by expert appraisal committee
India has constituted the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) to decentralize the environmental clearance process
The objective of EIA is to foresee and address potential environmental problems/concerns at an early stage of project planning and design.
The EIA notification establishes four stages for obtaining Environmental Clearance.
2. Scoping and consideration of alternatives Baseline data collection
3. Impact prediction
4. Assessment of alternatives, delineation of mitigation measures and environmental
5. Public hearing
6. Environment Management Plan Decision making
7. Monitoring the clearance conditions
Screening- It is only for Categories B
Screening Criteria are based upon:
• Scales of investment; • Type of development; and,
• Location of development
B1 Categories project require Environmental Impact Assessment while B2 category projects are exempted
State Level Expert Appraisal Committee determine about project categories.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION:
established by the Central Government in 2005.
constituted through an Official Gazette Notification under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (2005).
not a constitutional body.
a high-powered independent body which inter alia looks into the complaints made to it and decide the appeals.
entertains complaints and appeals pertaining to offices, financial institutions, public sector undertakings, etc., under the Central Government and the Union Territories.
consists of a Chief Information Commissioner and not more than ten Information Commissioners.
appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister.
should be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.
should not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory.
should not hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession.
Tenure and Service Conditions
hold office for a term of 5 years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
not eligible for reappointment.
President can remove the Chief Information Commissioner or any Information Commissioner from the office
under the following circumstances :
if he is adjudged an insolvent;or
convicted of an offence which (in the opinion of the President) involves a moral turpitude; or
engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
he is (in the opinion of the President) unfit to continue in office due to infirmity of mind or body; or
acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his official functions.
the President can also remove the Chief Information Commissioner or any Information Commissioner on the
ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
the President has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for an enquiry.
If the Supreme Court, after the enquiry, upholds the cause of removal and advises so, then the President can
The salary, allowances and other service conditions of the Chief Information Commissioner are similar to
those of the Chief Election Commissioner and that of the Information Commissioner are similar to those of an
But, they cannot be varied to his disadvantage during service.
Powers and Functions:
1. It is the duty of the Commission to receive and inquire into a complaint from anyperson:
(a) who has not been able to submit an information request because of non-appointment of a Public
(b) who has been refused information that was requested;
(c) who has not received response to his information request within the specified time limits;
(d) who thinks the fees charged are unreasonable;
(e) who thinks information given is incomplete, misleading or false;and
(f) any other matter relating to obtaining information.
2. The Commission can order inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds (suo-moto power).
3. While inquiring, the Commission has the powers of a civil court in respect of the following matters:
(a) summoning and enforcing attendance of persons and compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce documents or things;
(b) requiring the discovery and inspection ofdocuments;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavit;
(d) requisitioning any public record from any court or office; issuing summons for examination of
witnesses or documents; and
(e) any other matter which may be prescribed.
4. During the inquiry of a complaint, the Commission may examine any record which is under the control of
the public authority and no such record may be withheld from it on any grounds. In other words, all public
records must be given to the Commission during inquiry for examination.
5. The Commission has the power to secure compliance of its decisions from the public authority. This
(a) providing access to information in a particularform;
(b) directing the public authority to appoint a Public Information Officer where noneexists;
(c) publishing information or categories of information;
(d) making necessary changes to the practices relating to management, maintenance and destruction of
(e) enhancing training provision for officials on the right toinformation;
(f) seeking an annual report from the public authority on compliance with this Act;
(g) requiring the public authority to compensate for any loss or other detriment suffered by the
(h) imposing penalties under this Act; and
(i) rejecting the application.
6. The Commission submits an annual report to the Central Government on the implementation of the
provisions of this Act. The Central Government places this report before each House of Parliament.
When a public authority does not conform to the provisions of this Act, the Commission may recommend (to
the authority) steps which ought to be taken for promoting such conformity.
STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION
The Right to Information Act of 2005 provides for the creation of not only the Central Information
Commission but also a State Information Commission at the state level.
all the states have constituted the State Information Commissions through Official Gazette
The State Information Commission is a high-powered independent body which interalia looks into the
complaints made to it and decide the appeals.
It entertains complaints and appeals pertaining to offices, financial institutions, public sector undertakings,
etc., under the concerned state government.
The Commission consists of a State Chief Information Commissioner and not more than ten State Information
appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Chief Minister as
Chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and a State Cabinet Minister nominated
by the Chief Minister.
They should be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and
technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.
should not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory.
should not hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or
pursuing any profession.
Tenure and Service Conditions-Same as like CIC
Powers and Functions-Same as like CIC
CENTRAL VIGILANCE COMMISSION
main agency for preventing corruption in the Central government.
established in 1964 by an executive resolution of the Central government.
establishment was recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1962–64).
originally the CVC was neither a constitutional body nor a statutory body.
In September 2003, the Parliament enacted a law conferring statutory status on the CVC.
In 2004, the Government of India authorised the CVC as the ―Designated Agency‖ to receive written
complaints for disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office and recommend appropriate action.
conceived to be the apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all
vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government
organisations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
a multi-member body consisting of a Central Vigilance Commissioner (chairperson) and not more than
two vigilance commissioners.
appointed by the president by warrant under his hand and seal on the recommendation of a three-member
committee consisting of the prime minister as its head, the Union minister of home affairs and the Leader
of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
hold office for a term of four years or until they attain the age of sixty five years, whichever is earlier.
After their tenure, they are not eligible for further employment under the Central or a state government.
The president can remove the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any vigilance commissioner from the office under
the following circumstances:
(a) adjudged an insolvent; or convicted of an offence which (in the opinion of the Central government)
involves a moral turpitude; or
(b) engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
(c) he is (in the opinion of the president), unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body; or
(d) acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his official functions.
the president can also remove the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any vigilance commissioner on the
ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
the president has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for an enquiry.
If the Supreme Court, after the enquiry, upholds the cause of removal and advises so, then the president can
He is deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour, if he (a) is concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by the Central government, or (b) participates in any way in the profit of such contract or agreement
or in any benefit or emolument arising therefrom otherwise than as a member and in common with the other
members of an incorporatedcompany
The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of the Central Vigilance Commissioner are similar to
those of the Chairman of UPSC and that of the vigilance commissioner are similar to those of a member of
UPSC. But they cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
conducts its proceedings at its headquarters (New Delhi).
vested with the power to regulate its own procedure.
has all the powers of a civil court and its proceedings have a judicial character.
call for information or report from the Central government or its authorities so as to enable it to exercise
general supervision over the vigilance and anti-corruption work in them.
on receipt of the report of the inquiry undertaken by any agency on a reference made by it, advises the
Central government or its authorities as to the further course of action.
The Central government or its authorities shall consider the advice of the CVC and take appropriate action.
where the Central government or any of its authorities does not agree with the advice of the CVC, it shall
communicate the reasons (to be recorded in writing) to the CVC.
has to present annually to the President a report on its performance.
The President places this report before each House of Parliament.
All ministries/departments in the Union Government have a Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) who heads the
Vigilance Division of the organisation concerned, assisting and advising the Secretary or Head of Office in all
matters pertaining to vigilance.
provides a link between his organisation and the Central Vigilance Commission on the one hand and his
organisation and the Central Bureau of Investigation on the other.
Vigilance functions performed by the CVO include
(i) Collecting intelligence about corrupt practices of the employees of hisorganisation
(ii) Investigating verifiable allegations reported to him
(iii) Processing investigation reports for further consideration of the disciplinary authority concerned
Referring matters to the Central Vigilance Commission for advice wherever necessary
CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Establishment of CBI
set up in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
transferred to the Ministry of Personnel and now it enjoys the status of an attached office.
The Special Police Establishment (which looked into vigilance cases) setup in 1941 was also merged with
The establishment of the CBI was recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption
not a statutory body. It derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
the main investigating agency of the Central Government.
plays an important role in the prevention of corruption and maintaining integrity in administration.
provides assistance to the Central Vigilance Commission.
Motto, Mission and Vision of CBI
Motto: Industry, Impartiality and Integrity
Mission: To uphold the Constitution of India and law of the land through in-depth investigation and successful
prosecution of offences; to provide leadership and direction to police forces and to act as the nodal agency for
enhancing inter-state and international cooperation in law enforcement
Vision: Based on its motto, mission and the need to develop professionalism, transparency, adaptability to
change and use of science and technology in its working, the CBI will focus on
1. Combating corruption in public life, curbing economic and violent crimes through meticulous
investigation and prosecution
2. Evolving effective systems and procedures for successful investigation and prosecution of cases in various
3. Helping fight cyber and high technologycrime Creating a healthy work environment that encourages teambuilding, free communication and mutual trust
4. Supporting state police organisations and law enforcement agencies in
national and international cooperation, particularly relating to enquiries and investigation ofcases
5. Playing a lead role in the war against national and transnational organised crime
6. Upholding human rights, protecting the environment, arts, antiques and heritage of our civilisation.
7. Developing a scientific temper, humanismand the spirit of inquiry and reform
8. Striving for excellence and professionalism in all spheres of functioning so that the organisation rises to
high levels of endeavor and achievement.
The functions of CBI are:
(i) Investigating cases of corruption, bribery and misconduct of Central governmentemployees
(ii) Investigating cases relating to infringement of fiscal and economic laws, that is, breach of laws concerning
export and import control, customs and central excise, income tax, foreign exchange regulations and so on.
However, such cases are taken up either in consultation with or at the request of the department
(iii) Investigating serious crimes, having national and international ramifications, committed by organised gangs
of professional criminals
(iv) Coordinating the activities of the anti-corruption agencies and the various state police forces
(v) Taking up, on the request of a state government, any case of public importance for investigation
(vi) Maintaining crime statistics and disseminating criminal information.
The CBI is a multidisciplinary investigation agency of the Government of India and undertakes investigation
of corruption-related cases, economic offences and cases of conventional crime.
It normally confines its activities in the anti-corruption field to offences committed by the employees of the
Central Government and Union Territories and their public sector undertakings.
It takes up investigation of conventional crimes like murder, kidnapping, rape etc., on reference from the
state governments or when directed by the Supreme Court/High Courts.
The CBI acts as the ―National Central Bureau‖ of Interpol in India.
The Interpol Wing of the CBI coordinates requests for investigation-related activities originating from Indian
law enforcement agencies and the member countries of the Interpol.
LOKPAL AND LOKYUKTAS
The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) of India (1966–1970) recommended the setting up of two
special authorities designated as ‗Lokpal‘ and ‗lokayukta‘ for the redressal of citizens‘ grievances.
set up on the pattern of the institution of Ombudsman in Scandinavian countries and the parliamentary
commissioner for investigation in New Zealand.
deal with complaints against ministers and secretaries at Central and state levels, and the lokayukta (one at
the Centre and one in every state) would deal with complaints againstother specified higher officials.
The ARC kept the judiciary outside the purview of Lokpal and lokayukta asin New Zealand. But, in Sweden
the judiciary is within the purview ofOmbudsman.
According to the ARC, the Lokpal would be appointed by the president after consultation with the chief
justice of India, the Speaker of Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the RajyaSabha.
The ARC also recommended that the institutions of Lokpal and lokayukta should have the following features:
1. demonstratively independent and impartial.
2. investigations and proceedings should be conducted in private and should be informal in character.
3. appointment should be, as far as possible, non-political.
4. status should compare with the highest judicial functionaries in the country.
5. deal with matters in the discretionary field involving acts of injustice, corruption or favouritism.
6. proceedings should not be subject to judicial interference.
7. should have the maximum latitude and powers in obtaining information relevant to their duties.
8. should not look forward to any benefit or pecuniary advantage from the executive government.
the institution of lokayukta was established first in Maharashtra in 1971.
Although Odisha had passed the Act in this regard in 1970, it came into force only in 1983. Till now (2013), 18
states and 1 Union Territory (Delhi) have established the institution of Lokyuktas.
The states which have not created the institution of Lokayuktas are Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir,
Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal.
The various aspects of the institution of lokayukta are:
not same in all the states.
Some States like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have created the lokayukta as
well as upalokayukta, while some others like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have created only
still other states like Punjab and Orissa that have designated officials as Lokpal.
This pattern was not suggested by the ARC in thestates.
appointed by the governor of the state.
While appointing, the governor in most of the states consults (a) the chief justice of the state high court, and
(b) the leader of Opposition in the state legislative assembly.
Judicial qualifications are prescribed for the lokayukta in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh,
Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka and Assam.
But no specific qualifications are prescribed in the states of Bihar, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
In most of the states, the term of office fixed for lokayukta is of 5 years duration or 65 years of age,
whichever is earlier.
not eligible for reappointment for a second term.
There is no uniformity regarding the jurisdiction of lokayukta in all the states. The following points can be noted
(a) The chief minister is included within the jurisdiction of lokayukta in the states of Himachal Pradesh,
Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, while he is excluded from the purview of lokayukta in the
states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Orissa.
(b) Ministers and higher civil servants are included in the purview of lokayukta in almost all the states.
Maharashtra has also included former ministers and civil servants.
(c) Members of state legislatures are included in the purview of lokayukta in the States of Andhra Pradesh,
Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Assam.
(d) The authorities of the local bodies, corporations, companies and societies are included in the jurisdiction
of the lokayukta in most of thestates.
In most of the states, the lokayukta can initiate investigations either on the basis of a complaint received from
the citizen against unfair administrative action or suo moto.
But he does not enjoy the power to start investigations on his own initiative (suo moto) in the States of Uttar
Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Assam.
Scope of Cases Covered
The lokayukta can consider the cases of ‗grievances‘ as well as ‗allegations‘ in the States of Maharashtra,
Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Karnataka.
But, in Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the job of lokayuktas is confined to
investigating allegations (corruption) and not grievances (maladministration).
1. presents, annually, to the governor of the state a consolidated report on his performance.
2. The governor places this report along with an explanatory memorandum before the state legislature. The
lokayukta is responsible to the state legislature.
3. takes the help of the state investigating agencies for conducting inquiries.
4. can call for relevant files and documents from the state government departments.
The recommendations made by the lokayukta are only advisory and not binding on the state government.