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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some latest new reforms for implementing MGNREGA


- government  came out with a set of reforms that include payment of unemployment allowance if a legally entitled worker is not given the promised job on time.

-include solutions to reducing delay in payments to workers, providing requisite number of days of work as per demand, improving quality of assets created under MGNREGA and their relevance to the livelihood of the poor and ensuring full wages stipulated under the programme.

-"if you are not provided work within 15 days of your applying for work, you will be provided unemployment allowance," the reform note says that in case the states "fail to provide work within 15 days", workers who applied for work "must be paid unemployment allowance".

-these reforms could be implemented in 2000 of the poorest blocks of the country, especially those with high concentration of SC/ST population,"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WADA


 -It was set up on November 10, 1999 in Lausanne, Switzerland, as a result of what was called the "Declaration of Lausanne"
- It is an independent foundation created through a collective initiative led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
-It is to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sport.
-Initially funded by the International Olympic Committee, WADA now receives half of its budgetary requirements from them, with the other half coming from various governments throughout the world.

What is  "Whereabouts clause"?
For every Sportsperson  to select one hour per day, seven days a week to be available for no-notice drugs tests.

Whereabouts controversy.
Indian cricket players have refused so sign up to the anti-doping code over security and privacy issues with WADA's "whereabouts" rule.The International Cricket Council (ICC) has formed an International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP) working group in a bid to resolve the issues surrounding the Indian board (BCCI) and its compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Justice Mukul Mudgal committee::Action Taken in Recent Incidents of Doping


With a view to investigate the recent incidents of doping, including use of food supplements allegedly claimed to contain banned substances, Government has appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal, retired Chief Justice of the High Court of Punjab & Haryana as a one member Committee with the following terms:-

i)To determine the facts and circumstances leading to large scale recent incidents of alleged doping in Athletics discipline.

ii)To examine reasons for such large scale prevalence of doping and modus operandi involved, including availability of the prohibited substances in and around training camps/competitions.

iii)to enquire into the role of agencies involved, if any.

iv)To suggest remedial measures to improve the protocols of dope testing and its integrity and promotion so that such lapses, if any, do not happen in future. v) Any other issues.

The Report of the Committee is still awaited.

Action as appropriate would be taken by the Government, on receipt of the Report of the Committee.

Schemes for Increasing per Capita Forest Cover in the Country


The per capita forest cover of India is 0.06 hectare while the global per capita forest cover is 0.6 hectare. To increase the per capita forest coverage in the country, the Ministry of Environment & Forests is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Afforestation Programme (NAP) for regeneration of degraded forests and adjoining areas in the country. The scheme is implemented through a decentralized mechanism of State Forest Department Agency (SFDA) at State level, Forest Department Agency (FDA) at Forest Division level and Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at village level. The choice of species to be planted under NAP Scheme is decided by JFMCs, based on local preferences, suitability of land and agro climatic conditions.  Seven models of Afforestation have been recognized under the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) and teak could be one of the species.

Besides NAP, the following steps have been taken to promote afforestation / tree planting in the country which will help to increase the per capita forest coverage in the country:

·  1)Two new Eco-Task Force (ETF) Battalions have been operationalised by the Ministry for eco restoration of degraded areas in Assam, in addition to supporting the existing four ETF battalions in the country. An amount of Rs. 31.91 Crores has been released during the 2010-11.

· 2)XIIIth Finance Commission has recommended Rs. 5000 crore for five years starting from 2010-11 for activities including conservation and development of forests.

·  3)Additional Central assistance of Rs. 81.66 Crores has been released to the    States during 2009-10 for Restoration and Regeneration of Forest Cover.

·  4)Tree planting is also an approved activity under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Youth Employability Skill Project


The Government of India has initiated a pilot project namely Youth Employability Skill (YES) Project with the focus on providing specific employable skills to unemployed youth in all the States in the North Eastern Region. The objective is to enhance the employability of youth by running a variety of employable skills based training courses through recognized Vocational Training Providers (VTPs). The skill training would be provided by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through its partner agency. A Training programme of three months duration in Rural Retail Sales & Marketing with Information Technology and Personality Development has already been started in July, 2011 in Manipur. During the current financial year i.e. 2011-12, a sum of Rs.3.00 crore has been sanctioned for the implementation of the scheme

Lok Adalats

  ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution ) system has been an integral part of our historical past. The concept of Lok Adalat (Peoples' Court) is an innovative Indian contribution to the world jurisprudence. The institution of Lok Adalat in India, as the very name suggests, means, People's Court."Lok"
stands for "people" and the term "Adalat" means court. India has a long tradition and history of such methods being practiced in the society at grass roots level.

In ancient times the disputes were used to be referred to “panchayat” which were established at village level. Panchayat’s used to resolve the dispute through arbitration. It has proved to be a very effective alternative to litigation.
                                 This very concept of settlement of dispute through mediation,negotiation or through arbitral process known as decision of "Nyaya-Panchayat" is conceptualized and institutionalized in the philosophy of Lok Adalat. It involves people who are directly or indirectly affected by dispute resolution.
                         The evolution of movement called Lok Adalat was a part of the strategy to relieve heavy burden on the Courts with pending cases and to give relief to the litigants who were in a queue to get justice.
                      The advent of Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 gave a statutory status to Lok Adalats, pursuant to the constitutional mandate in Article 39-A of the Constitution of India. It contains various provisions for settlement of disputes through Lok Adalat. It is an Act to constitute legal services authorities to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and to organize Lok Adalats to secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on a basis of equal
opportunity.
               There is a Central Authority called the "National Legal Services Authority". Its patron is the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India. Its Executive Chairman is the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
                   So far as the State Legal Services Authorities are concerned, it is headed by a Patron-in-Chief who is none other than the Hon'ble Chief Justice ofthe High Court. In almost all the State Authorities, except perhaps one or two, a sitting Judge of the High Court functions as the Executive Chairman.
     
                                             Jurisdiction of Lok Adalat
                                       
A Lok Adalat shall have jurisdiction to determine and to arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties to a dispute in respect of:

(i) any case pending before; or
(ii) any matter which is falling within the jurisdiction of, and is not brought before, any court for which the Lok Adalat is organised.
               The Lok Adalat can compromise and settle even criminal cases, which
are compoundable under the relevant laws.


  Organisation of Lok Adalat
                                   
               The State Authority and District Authority, Supreme Court LegalServices Committee, High Court Legal Services Committee and Taluk Legal Services Committee (mentioned in Section 19 of the Act) can organize Lok Adalats at such intervals and places as may be deemed fit.

- Every Lok Adalat so organized shall consist of:

(a) Serving or retired judicial officers,
(b) other persons, as may be specified.

The experience and qualification of “other persons” in a Lok Adalat conducted
by Supreme Court Legal Services Committee shall be prescribed by the Central
Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. At present, Rule 13
of the National Legal Services Authorities Rules, 1995 prescribes suchexperience and qualifications as:
(a) A member of the legal profession; or
(b) A person of repute who is specially interested in the implementation of the
Legal Services Schemes and Programmes; or
© An eminent social worker who is engaged in the upliftment of weaker sections
of people, including Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, women, children,
rural and urban labour.
The experience and qualification of “other persons” mentioned in clause (b) shall
be prescribed by the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of
High Court.
Cognizance of Pending Cases & Determination
                                       
A. On Application:
(I) When all the parties to the case agree for referring the case to Lok Adalat, or
(ii) When one of the party to the case makes an application to court, praying to refer the case to Lok Adalat and the court is prima facie satisfied that there are
chances for settlement
B. Suo Moto: Where the court is satisfied that the matter is an appropriate one
to be taken cognizance of, by the Lok Adalat.
Then, the court shall refer the case to the Lok Adalat, after giving a reasonable
opportunity for hearing to all the parties.
Further, the Authority or Committee organising Lok Adalat may, on application
from any party to a dispute, refer the said dispute to Lok Adalat, after giving a
reasonable opportunity for hearing to all the parties.
-Lok Adalat shall proceed to dispose of a case refereed to it expeditiously.
- Shall be guided by principles of law, justice, equity and fair play.
- Shall yearn to reach a settlement or compromise between parties.
- When no compromise or settlement is accomplished, the case is to be
returned to the court which referred it. Then the case will proceed in the court
from the stage immediately before the reference.
                                 
 Passing of the Award
                                       
-Every award of Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decree of a civil court.
-Every award shall be signed by all the parties to the dispute and the panel
constituting the Lok Adalat.
-Every award shall form part of the judicial records.
-Every award shall be categorical and lucid.
-Every award shall be in the regional language or in English.
-A certified copy of the award will be given free of cost, to all the parties.
-Every award made by Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties to
the dispute, and no appeal shall lie to any court against the award.
-If a pending case is settled at Lok Adalat, any court fee already paid will be
refunded as provided by the Court Fees Act, 1870.


Powers of Lok Adalat
                                       
(1) The Lok Adalat shall have the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil
Procedure, 1908, while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters:---
(a)Power to summon and enforce the attendance of any witness and to examine
him/her on oath.
(b)Power to enforce the discovery and production of any document.
(c)Power to receive evidence on affidavits,
(d)Power for requisitioning of any public record or document or copy thereof or
from any court.
(e)Such other matters as may be prescribed.
(2)Every Lok Adalat shall have the power to specify its own procedure for the
determination of any dispute coming before it.
(3)All proceedings before a Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be judicial
proceedings within the meaning of Sections 193, 219 and 228 of IPC
(4)Every Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a Civil Court for the purpose of Sec
195 and Chapter XXVI of Cr.P.C.                                       Permanent Lok Adalat
(Hereinafter mentioned as ‘PLA’ - Chapter VI A of the Act)
-Chapter VI A was newly added by Amendment Act, 2002, introducing the
concept of Permanent Lok Adalat.
-The Central or State Authorities may establish by notification, Permanent Lok
Adalats at any place, for determining issues in connection to Public Utility
Services.
-Public Utility Services include:
(1) Transport service,
(2) Postal, telegraph or telephone services,
(3) Supply of power, light and water to public,
(4) System of public conservancy or sanitation,
(5) Insurance services and such other services as notified by the Central or
State Governments.
-PLAs have the same powers that are vested on the Lok Adalats, mentioned
under Section 22(1) of the Act.

 Organisational Structure of Permanent Lok Adalat
                               
Chairman--
A person who is or has been a district Judge or Additional District Judge or has
held judicial office higher in rank than that of a District Judge, shall be the
Chairman.
Members---
Two other persons having adequate experience in Public Utility Service to be
nominated by Central Government on the recommendation of Central Authority
and by the State Government on the recommendation of the State Authority.        

Cognizance of Pending Cases by Permanent Lok Adalat
                                     
1. Any party to a dispute can apply to PLA for settlement of a dispute in respect
of a public utility service, which is not pending before any court.
2. PLA does not have jurisdiction to entertain disputes involving offences which
are not compoundable.
3. PLA does not have jurisdiction to entertain a matter where the value of the
property involved exceeds ten lakhs, which limit can be enhanced as provided
for.
4. Once, an application is preferred to PLA for determination of a dispute, no
party to such application can invoke the jurisdiction of any court in the same
dispute.
Procedure by Permanent Lok Adalat for Determination
                                       
Where the PLA receives an application for determination of a dispute,
1.The PLA should direct each party to file before it a written statement stating
therein, all the facts and the nature of the dispute, points or issues and the
grounds in support or opposition. PLA may require the parties to file additional
statements at any stage.
2.The party may also file any document or such other evidence, in proof of such
facts and grounds urged.
3.The copy of the written statement and the documents or such other evidence
filed has to be sent to the other parties to the application.
4.When the statement and additional statement and reply if any are filed, PLA
shall conduct conciliation process between parties to the application, as it thinks
fit, considering the circumstances of the dispute.
5.PLA should assist the parties in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement,
in an independent and impartial manner. Every party is duty bound to co-operate
in good faith, in the conciliation process.
6.If after the conciliation process, the PLA is of an opinion that there exists
elements of settlement in such proceedings, which may be acceptable to the
parties, PLA may formulate the terms of a possible settlement of the dispute andgive it for the consideration of the parties. If the parties are agreeable to the
same, they shall sign the same and PLA shall pass an award in terms of the
settlement agreement.
7.If the parties are not agreeable to the settlement formulated, if the dispute is
not an offence, then the PLA should decide the dispute on merits.
8.PLA shall, while conducting conciliation proceedings or deciding a dispute on
merit, shall be guided by the principle of natural justice, objectivity, fair play,
equity and other principles of justice.
9.The PLA, when deciding a dispute on merit, shall not be bound by the Code of
Civil Procedure, 1908 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
10.Every award made by the PLA shall be by the majority of the persons
constituting the PLA.
11.The award rendered by PLA shall be deemed to be a decree of a civil court
and shall be final. The PLA may transmit the award to the court having local
jurisdiction for execution.

Right to Legal Aid


Right to Legal Aid:
It is the duty of the State to see that the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity for all its citizens. It musttherefore arrange to provide free legal aid to those who can not access justice due to economic and other disabilities...(Art.39 A of the Constitution of India)Under this concept the State has provided categories of persons who are entitled for legal services under this Act.
Entitlement to Legal Services
Following persons are entitled for free legal aid under the Act:----
(i) A member of scheduled caste or schedule tribes;
(ii) A person whose annual income is not more than Rs.50,000/-
for cases before Supreme Court and Rs. 25,000/- in other courts;
(iii) A person victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar;(iv)Disabled, including mentally disabled;
(v) A woman or child;
(vi) A victim of mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocities,
flood, drought, earth quake, industrial disaster and other cases of
undeserved want;
(vii) An industrial workman;
(viii) A person in custody including protective custody;
(ix) A person facing charge which might result in his imprisonment;
(x) A person unable to engage a lawyer and secure legal services on account of reasons such as poverty and indigence.

In  (Khatri II Vs. State of Bihar, (1981) 1SCC; 1981 SCC (Cri) 228; 1981 Cri. LJ 470)   it has been held that the Constitutional duty to provide legal aid arises from the time the accused is produced before the Magistrate for the first time and continues whenever he is produced for remand. In  (Madav Hayavadanrao Hoskot Vs. State of Maharastra (1978)3 SCC 544)it has been held that a person entitled to appeal against his/her sentence has the right to ask for a counsel, to prepare and argue the appeal.
               Section 304 of Criminal Procedure Code also provides that if the accused does not have sufficient means to engage a lawyer, the court must provide one for the defense of the accused at the expense of the state.
          Beside this The Magistrates and sessions judges must inform every accused who appears before them and who is not represented by a lawyer on account of his poverty or indigence that he is entitled to free legal services at the cost of the State.
In (Suk Das Vs.Union Territory ofArunachal Pradesh (1986) 2 SCC 401;1986 SCC (Cri) 166) it has been held that failure to provide legal aid to an indigent accused, unless it was refused, would vitiate the trial. It might even result in setting aside a conviction and sentence.

When can Legal services be rejected---

(i)If the applicant has adequate means to access justice; or
(ii) he does not fulfill the eligibility criteria; or
(iii) he has no merits in his application requiring legal action.

When can the legal services be withdrawn---

The legal services committee can withdraw the services if,
- the aid is obtained through misrepresentation or fraud;
-any material change occurs in the circumstances of the aided person;
-there is misconduct, misbehavior or negligence on the part of the aided person;  
-the aided person does not cooperate with the allotted advocate;
-the aided persons appoints another legal practitioner;
-the aided person dies, except in civil cases;
-the proceedings amount to misusing the process of law or of legal service.

Cases for which legal aid is not available ---

-Cases in respect of defamation, malicious prosecution, contempt of court,
perjury etc.
-Proceedings relating to election;
-Cases where the fine imposed is not more than Rs.50/-;
-Economic offences and offences against social laws;

Cases where the person seeking legal aid is not directly concerned with the
proceedings and whose interests will not be affected, if not represented properly.
Whom to approach for free legal aid---

The person who needs free legal aid can approach the Legal Services Authority
at any level- national, state, district or taluq. The request can be made to:
the Senior Civil judge nominated as the chairperson of the Mandal/Taluq Legal
Services Authority; the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority at the district level;
the Secretary, High Court Legal Services Committee at the state level;
the Secretary, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee at the higher level;
the member secretary of the state legal services authority;
the magistrate before whom s/he is produced;
or the custodial authorities, if under detention.

How to Approach?

- A written application can be made to the concerned authority
– Where the person cannot read or write, the legal services authority will
record his/her statement along with thumb impression. Such a statement
is treated as an application.
– The person who claims legal aid has to file an affidavit of his income.
Steps involved in the process: The eligibility criteria and the merits of the
case are examined. If the application for legal aid is rejected, reasons shall
be duly recorded and also informed to the applicant.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nuclear Disarmament:India's role in this context


India has been consistent in its efforts at campaigning for a world free of nuclear weapons. From 1945 onwards, the country has expressed abhorrence for these weapons of mass destruction and presented several proposals and resolutions in the UN General Assembly on universal nuclear disarmament.

One of the most prominent and comprehensive approaches aimed at achieving this was presented in 1988 by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi – the Action Plan for a Nuclear Weapons Free and Non violent World Order. It encapsulated a broad based, three phase schedule over a period of 22 years for reaching a world free of nuclear weapons by 2010. However, the world then was still mired in Cold War politics, and the Action Plan was ignored. Disappointed, and with increasing intelligence reports on the advances being steadily made in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme with Chinese help, India finally conducted its own nuclear tests in 1998 to safeguard itself against the possibility of nuclear blackmail and coercion.

Despite being engaged in operationalizing a credible deterrent since then, India’s aspiration for a nuclear weapon free world hasn’t dimmed. And, in fact, there’s no contradiction in these two positions since while the security threats of the moment require India to maintain a credible nuclear arsenal, it believes that the long-term security interests of the country can be best found in the universal elimination of these weapons.

This aspiration motivated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in October 2010 to set up an informal group of experts (of which I had the privilege to be a member) to consider how best the ideas contained in the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan of 1988 could be carried forward now. The group held a series of meetings and detailed consultations with several government officials who had participated in the drafting exercise of the Action Plan in 1988, as well as several international specialists, to try to gauge the international pulse on nuclear disarmament. Finally, on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi’s birth, on August 20 this year, the group presented its report to Singh.

The report makes the case for India to proactively pursue efforts at universal nuclear disarmament since the present conditions are far more favourable than in 1988, when the major players had extremely inflexible positions. Under President Barack Obama, the United States appears far more accepting of the need for disarmament, especially in view of the increasing dangers of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. And the US lead on this issue could galvanise other capitals too. Under this scenario, India has the opportunity to bilaterally engage with the United States on the issue, along with other major players, with all of whom New Delhi has a strategic partnership today.

The report suggests a seven point roadmap that includes the following specific steps: a statement of commitment by all nuclear armed states on eliminating their nuclear arsenal as part of a universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable global process; work on reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in the security doctrines of nuclear-armed states; reducing the dangers of accidental use of weapons through de-alerting; negotiating a global agreement on no-first use; negotiating a treaty incorporating negative security assurances; negotiating a convention banning the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; and, finally a Nuclear Weapons Convention banning the production, stockpiling and possession of nuclear weapons.

Besides recommending that India must assume a high-profile role in advocating universal nuclear disarmament, the report hopes to start a debate on the subject. As is amply evident in the history of failed attempts at disarmament since 1945, unless countries seriously engage in discussions on the issue, we will never be able to find the ground for possible convergences. Therefore, there’s a critical need for India to bring disarmament to the agenda of all its bilateral strategic partnership dialogues to explore possible actions.

Lastly, it must also be noted that the creation of a world without nuclear weapons must essentially be built on the basis of certain fundamental principles that promise an inclusive approach and security for all nations. The Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan had identified these principles as universality, non-discrimination, verifiability, simultaneous collateral measures to enhance confidence and security, acceptance and tolerance, and an approach that is time-bound but flexible. The relevance of these principles is timeless, and only those measures that are based on these can hope to succeed. A collective search must begin now as the danger of the continued existence of nuclear weapons in national arsenals is growing by the minute.
                                                                                                                                                                   

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monsoon Diseases


During rainy season some want to enjoy watching the weather from the comfort of their homes eating their favourite ‘pakoras’ and sipping a hot cup of ‘chai’, while others want to go out and enjoy the rains. Though following a scorching summer the rain ushers in new lease of life, it sometimes brings with it some deadly diseases.

Following are the most common diseases, their symptoms and some suggestions to prevent them during the rainy season.

Malaria 

•This is the most dangerous disease in India with a very high number of deaths credited to it. The disease is spread by Female Anopheles mosquito. A large number of cases are reported during the rainy season as water logging provides conducive conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

•Fever at regular intervals, bouts of shivering, muscle pain and weakness are the general symptoms of Maleria.

• Since this disease is spread by mosquitoes the best prevention is to keep the surroundings clean and mosquito-free. Make sure that water does not stagnate in your area as mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Use DDT in the drains near your home. Use of mosquito repellents and nets is highly recommended. Do not ignore any symptoms of malaria and consult your doctor immediately if you feel any sign of the disease.


Cholera 

•Cholera is caused by contaminated food and water. Also poor hygienic conditions help the spread of the disease. It normally spreads in places with poor sanitation facilities.

•Severe diarrhea with watery stools is the most common symptom of Cholera. There could also be vomiting with immediate water loss and muscle cramps.

•Keep the drinking water clean and boil it before using. Maintain personal hygiene and good sanitation. It is advisable to get vaccinated as it gives immunity for almost six months.

•Oral rehydration should be given immediately for patients suffering from Cholera.

Typhoid 

•Typhoid is another highly infectious disease that spreads during the monsoon season and it is also caused by contaminated food and water.

•The most common symptom of this disease is prolonged fever. Severe pain in abdomen and headache can also be the symptoms.

•This is a highly communicable disease so the patient should be isolated from the rest of the family. Advance vaccination may also help prevent it. High intake of fluid is advised to patients to prevent dehydration. Since this disease has a tendency of relapsing precautions should continue even after apparent recovery.

Hepatitis A 

•Hepatitis A is generally caused by flies. It can also spread by coming in direct contact with the patient.

•The symptoms are similar to those of flu including high fever along with headache, pain in joints and vomiting.

•The most important prevention of this disease is vaccination. This vaccine is available at all the government and private hospitals. Complete bed rest and a high calorie diet is advised to the patient.

Common Cold 

•Common cold is the most common disease that spreads easily during rainy season. • Constant sneezing, sore throat and fever are the common symptoms of the disease. • The easy way to prevent common cold is to avoid catching it. But if at all it catches you, treat yourself with a glass of hot turmeric milk. Gargles with warm water give relief to your sore throat. If things don’t improve you may like to see a doctor.

Dugong : Non-Violent Underwater Giants



Marine mammals form a fascinating group of animals including whales, dolphins, seals and the dugong, also known as the sea cow. Being mammals, they are more closely related to elephants, leopards, bats and hares than they are to sharks and other fish. There are some 120 species of marine mammal to be found in the world, and a fourth of these may be found in India and adjacent countries.Dugongs are one of the ancient living creatures underwater and are most interesting aquatic mammals. Perfect non- violent underwater giant do not injure any living creature. Because of their grass-eating habit, they are known as sea cow. The size, average four meter-long, does not matter and this mammal surf on waters every 15 minutes like Gangetic Dolphins and whales, for breathing. Unlike whale and dolphins, dugongs release breathing sounds like musical notes, hence were named Sirenades. Also unlike seals, they never come up on the land. Nature has lost Sea-Cows to poachers.

Dugong Conservation in India
Three areas of the Indian coast have remnant populations of Dugongs: the Gulf of Kutch, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay, and the Andaman and Nicobar waters. However, these populations are threatened by mechanized fishing and illegal hunting, pollution and destruction of coral reefs and sea grass beds.In October 2010, a ‘Task Force for the Conservation of Dugongs’ was constituted, with the agenda to look into the entire range of issues related to their conservation, and towards the implementation of the UNEP/CMS Dugong Memorandum of Understanding in India.