Study notes on Environment Protection Provisions in India

By Ashwani Tyagi|Updated : July 18th, 2021


'People and Environment' is one the important unit in UGC NET Paper 1 Syllabus. The diversity and dynamic aspect of this unit makes it tough for exam preparation. BYJU'S Exam Prep is providing Study notes on different topics to make your preparation easier. Now, read these important Environment protection provisions in India. And make your self ready to crack the exam. 

Environment Protection Provisions in India

Constitutional Provision

  • Environment and Wildlife protection is under Concurrent List of the Constitution.
  • With the help of Fundamental right (Part III), Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV) and Fundamental Duties (IV A), most of the environmental regulations and enactments have been exercised.
  • Article 21, 14 and 19 of the Indian Constitution have been used to assure the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment. Supreme Court first time directed this in Dehradun Quarrying case of 1988.
  • Article 48A of the DPSP states that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Even Articles 47 (improving the public health and standard of living) and Article 48 (organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry) directs about the healthy environment in an implicit manner.
  • Under the Fundamental Duties, Clause (g) to Article 51Aof the Indian constitution clearly states that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.


Acts and Legislation

  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972-Fundamentally to protect the wildlife of the country.
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974 -Amendment in 1988. To prevent and control water pollution.
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act of 1977- To levy cess on industrial bodies for augmenting the central water board’s resources for curbing the water pollution.
  • Forest Conservation Act of 1980- First Forest Act was formulated in 1927. Deliberated by The Forest Advisory Committee under MoEF&CC.
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981- Amended in 1987. This act is for prevention and abatement of air pollution with the help of State boards.
  • Environment Protection Act, 1986- After the Bhopal Gas tragedy, GoI enacted it as Umbrella legislation. It is formulated under article 253 of the constitution.
  • Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Act in 1991- It governs the human and industrial activities close to the coastline areas. Framed under EPA 1986 and later modified in 2011 and 2018.
  • The National Environment Appellate Authorities (NEAA) Act, 1997-Provides for the establishment of an appellate authority for hearing the appeals regarding the restriction of industrial areas.
  • Recycled Plastics Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999- Amended in 2003. Under the EPA 1986 to regulate the manufacture, sale and use and recycling of plastic bags.
  • The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000- Amended in 2014. (under the jurisdiction of EPA, 1986), which is to regulate the emission of ozone-depleting substances in line with the Montreal Protocol.
  • The Environment (Siting for Industrial Projects) Rules, 1999- Provisions related to the precautionary measures for industrial projects’ site selection so as not to create any environmental hazard.
  • The Energy Conservation Act of 2001- Legislation intended to promote efficient use of energy in India.
  • Biological Diversity Act, 2002- To implement the provisions of CBD and to protect the genetic resources from unlawful uses.
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006- It defines the rights of the tribes and forest dwellers in line with the 73rd amendment of the constitution which empowers the Gram Sabhas to govern community forests. The Critical Wildlife Habitats (CWH) has been envisaged under FRA. Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal agency.
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006- With this amendment, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been established for controlling the crime against endangered species.
  • The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010- To solve the cases of environmental damages.
  • Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010- Prohibits a range of activities in wetland areas under the Ramsar Convention of 1972. Amended in 2017.
  • E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011- Notified by the ministry of Environment Forests & Climate Change, these rules recognise the producers’ liability for recycling and reducing e-waste in the country.
  • The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2010- It enacts rule to limit and control the noise pollution by directing the standard levels to adhere.
  • Agricultural Biosecurity Bill, 2013- It aims to protect all aspects of plant, animal and marine flora and fauna under a statutory body.
  • National Policy on Biofuels 2018- For safer, a cleaner environment, GoI has initiated it in 2009 with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy as the nodal agency to use bio-waste for fuel generation in a phase-wise manner.


  • Apart from these Acts/legislations, various rules like Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, The Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008, The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, Solid waste management rules (2016) have been implemented.

Environmental Projects

Project Tiger- It was launched for the conservation of Indian Tiger under the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Project Elephant 1992- To provide technical (habitat-related) and financial support to 13 elephant inhabiting states in India.

Project One-Horned Rhino Vision 2020- With the help of Assam Forest Department and Bodo council for increasing rhino population to 3000 by 2020 and to distribute them over 7 protected areas for conservation. Supported by WWF.

Project Snow Leopard- Launched in 2009 to protect its habitat with the help of local communities and technical support because of the high-altitude ecosystem where it inhabits.

Project Sea turtle - Launched in 1999. With the help of the Ministry of Environment and UNDP and currently implemented by Wildlife Institute of India, this aims to protect the sites of Oliver Ridley Turtles in all coastal states of India, especially Odisha.  

 Project Crocodile- Started in 1975 with the help of FAO, UNDF and GoI for rearing and breeding of crocodiles. Crocodile conservation and breeding centre, Hyderabad is involved in this.

Project Hangal - State government with the support of IUCN and WWF are involved for the protection of this animal in J&K since 1970. Later the project was renamed as “Save Kashmir’s Red Deer Hanguls” in 2009.

Project Ganges River Dolphin- WWF-India has recognised this national aquatic animal as special concern. The project involves creating Dolphins’ population database, locating possible habitats and creating community awareness to protect it.

Hope you all now have a better understanding of environmental protection provisions in India. If you have any other questions, please comment.

Thank you!

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Ashwani TyagiAshwani TyagiMember since Jun 2020
UGC NET Qualified 3 times (history)
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