Indian Environmental Services

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 28, 2023, 13:03

The Supreme Court has recently asked the government to form a dedicated Indian Environmental Services at the central level. The establishment of IES was a recommendation of the committee headed by TSR Subramanian, the former Cabinet Secretary.

Indian Environmental Services - Goals and Objectives

The committee was formed in 2014 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under his chairmanship to review laws and regulations concerning the environment in the nation and to get them in line with the requirements.

India faces a serious problem of cleanliness, though some programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan have recently seen success to some extent. However, bigger issues like behavioural change and waste disposal don't see much impact.

Looking at the chaos around the nation with piling waste in rural and urban areas, uncontrolled water pollution, and contamination of the air we breathe among other things, the time for forming an All-India Service like the Indian Environmental Services for the environment is already overdue.

Indian Environmental Services - Function and Purpose

The All-Indian Environmental Services consists of three civil services with members appointed by the Union government though they are liable to serve under both the centre and the state. Arguments were passed in the Supreme Court in favour of creating a new All India Service for the environment.

The need for a dedicated service like the Indian Environmental Services comes from the current shortage of trained personnel in administration, policy formulation, and implementation of policies under state and central government.

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Indian Environmental Services - Common Threats Facing the Indian Environment

The country faces concerns from constant environmental degradation, climate change, ecological imbalance, water scarcity, and others. Indian citizens face problems like pollution of the environment, water, and air and poor waste disposal.

One of the major reasons is the flaw in the existing system lying in the enforcement capabilities of institutions at different levels. It was also noted that there was a lack of solid coordination among institutions and ministries about the integration of environmental policies.

Though the country has a strong legislative framework and environmental policy, the problem is associated with the weak implementation of the rules and acts.

Indian Environmental Services Significance

The formation of the new Indian Environmental Services would help overcome the problems associated with coordination and policy implementation for environmental protection.

It will bring about a change in the current administrative structure where government servants don't find time to spare for environmental causes. There is also a need to set up an academy to train officers in law enforcement. Pollution Control Boards can also be merged with the All-India Service to boost their power.

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FAQs on Indian Environmental Services

Q1) When was the Subramanian committee set up and what does it have to do with the Indian Environmental Services?

This committee was formed in 2014 for reviewing the laws and procedures regarding the country's environment. The committee submitted its recommendations suggesting the formation of the Indian Environmental Services.

Q2) What are the top five environmental problems facing India and what do they have to do with the Indian Environmental Services?

Poor waste management 2. Falling underground water levels 3. Soil degradation 4. Air pollution 5. Water pollution. These are some of the core issues the newly formed Indian Environmental Services will be tapped to deal with.

Q3) How is the Indian Environmental Services unique?

The members of Indian Environmental Services will be appointed by the central government though they will serve under state cadres.

Q4) Who has recommended the formation of Indian Environmental Services?

A high-level committee formed by TSR Subramaniam advised on creating dedicated all Indian Environmental Services.

Q5) How would the Indian Environmental Services spearhead reforms in environmental protections?

Under the Indian Environmental Services, all existing environmental protection and pollution control boards will be merged into the new body, which will function directly under the Government of India, providing it with wide reach and influence to bring change.