Wildlife Institute of India
#GS3 #Environmen #Biodiversity
A recommendation by the Finance Ministry to divest the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) of its status as an autonomous body of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF) has triggered anxiety among scientists at the organization.
What is the concern?
- A letter by the WII Director to the Environment Ministry says that the directive was “unviable” and would affect the institution’s ability to be seen as an “unbiased opinion generator” that both government and public sector units consulted for assessing the impact of development projects on wildlife.
- The institute has an annual expenditure of ₹34 crore that was sourced from the Environment Ministry. It generated only ₹3.5 crore from consultancy and advisory services, which went towards paying pensions to employees appointed before 2004.
Why does the Finance Ministry want to do away with its autonomous status?
- The Finance Ministry moves follow a review by its Expenditure Department of 194 autonomous bodies across 18 Ministries. Of them, 109 bodies must be merged into 26, and government must “disengage” from 23, one of which is the WII.
What is proposed?
- In the case of WII, the government will cut funding to the institute by 25% every year, and it could become a ‘Deemed University’ engaged in teaching and research. The Central government could continue to access WII advisory and training services as a “client.”
- Along with the WII, other autonomous bodies that have been recommended to be disengaged are the Indian Institute of Forest Management, and the Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute.
- Other Environment Ministry organizations, such as the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History will be subsumed within the activities of the Environment Ministry. Some organizations, such as the Society of Integrated Coastal Management and the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, will be merged.
About Wildlife Institute of India
- Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is an internationally acclaimed Institution, which offers training programs, academic courses, and advisory in wildlife research and management.
- WII carries out wildlife research in areas of study like Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Forensics, Spatial Modelling, Ecodevelopment, Habitat Ecology and Climate Change.
- It was established in 1982.
- It is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change, Government of India.
- The institute is based in Dehradun.