Environmental Laws in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 6, 2022, 6:04

The environment has suffered greatly due to the rapid growth of industrialisation and human needs. Thankfully, India's constitutional framework recognises the necessity of environmental protection and conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. Environmental Laws in India place a high value on maintaining an ecological balance in the environment by protecting the country's forests and animals.

Environmental Laws in India Post-Independence

The Indian Constitution, approved in 1950, included no mention of the environment or prevention until a 1976 amendment. Economic development and poverty alleviation were at the forefront of India's post-independence strategy.

Let's take a look at some of India's progressive environmental policies following independence:

  • The Stockholm Declaration of 1972 was the catalyst for the Indian government to shift its focus to environmental conservation.
  • The National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning was established in 1972 and later renamed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in 1985.
  • The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 aims to promote reasonable and modern wildlife management.
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Function of 1974 establishes pollution control boards at the federal and state levels to act as watchdogs for pollution prevention and control.
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981 establishes pollution control boards to combat air pollution.
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 attempts to prevent deforestation and forest area diversion.
  • The Environment Protection Act of 1986, India's environmental legislation, gives the country a singular emphasis to protect the environment and tries to close loopholes in current legislation.
  • The Public Liability Insurance Act of 1991 makes it mandatory to have insurance in place to provide instant assistance to anyone who has been injured when handling a dangerous product.
  • The Biological Diversity Act of 2002 protects endangered species, inhibits biopiracy, and addresses water constraints. It also regulates the use of natural resources to prevent them from being depleted.
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Important Environmental Legislations in India

  • The Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1981: The Air (Prevention and Regulate of Pollution) Act, 1981 was passed by India's Parliament to prevent and control the negative impacts of air pollution in the country. The government passed this Act in 1981 to clean up the air by regulating pollution levels. Power plants, cars, and businesses are not allowed to release specific matter, lead, carbon monoxide, or other harmful compounds beyond a defined threshold, according to the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981.
  • The Environment Protection Law, 1986: The Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 is a foundational piece of environmental legislation that ensures environmental protection and enhancement. The term 'environment' is used here to refer to elements such as air, water, and land and the relationships that exist between them, such as humans, microorganisms, and plants. At a United Nations Conference in 1986, the Environment Protection Act of 1986 was enacted to preserve the human environment.
  • The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010: The National Green Tribunal Act of 2010 ensures the effective and timely resolution of matters involving forest conservation, environmental preservation, and the enforcement of any environmental legal claim. In addition, the Act provides adequate compensation and remedies for losses to individuals and property and related problems. The Act specifies the tribunal's jurisdiction, powers, and processes and the consequences for violations.

The Environmental Laws in India are an essential part of the economy. These laws need to be followed to maintain a balance in the environment and take India to prosperity. You must be aware of these laws as they are essential from an exam's perspective.

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FAQs on Environmental Laws in India

Q.1. What are some of the current Environmental Laws in India?

Some of the Environmental Laws in India are The Environment Protection Act of 1986, The Indian Forest Act of 1927, The Wildlife Protection Act, etc.

Q.2. What does sustainable development entail in the Environmental Laws in India?

As defined by environmental legislation and Environmental Laws in India, sustainable development is a progressive approach to economic planning that aims to promote economic growth while protecting the environment's quality for future generations.

Q.3. When was the National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning established that formulates the Environmental Laws in India?

The National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning which formulates the Environmental Laws in India was established in 1972.

Q.4. What does the Forest Conservation Act stand for under the Environmental Laws in India?

The Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 which is one of the important Environmental Laws in India aims to prevent deforestation and the conversion of forest land.