Anil Madhav Dave
MoS (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
TO DO, OR WHAT else to do? This complicated phrase describes the situation Anil Madhav Dave has found himself in ever since the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)—an apex body in his ministry to regulate the manufacture and use of genetically engineered organisms in the country—gave its go-ahead for the commercial production of GM Mustard.
His party’s ideological parent, the RSS is vehemently opposed to it, and so are his
party’s chief ministers. The fight between his bureaucrats and the Sangh’s ideologues has caught Dave (who is himself a former pracharak) in the crossfire. However, he has some respite—the issue is also pending at the Supreme Court.
Dave is also working to reduce the time taken for environmental approvals to be granted. His predecessor Prakash Javadekar brought down the average waiting period for approvals to 190 days from 600 days during the UPA regime. Dave’s task is reduce that to 100 days.
Dave was appointed as MoS with independent charge in July last year, after Javadekar was elevated to cabinet minister. An activist and expert in river conservation, Dave is determined to reduce the environmental costs affecting urban
life as well. At a discussion on amendments to the Montreal Protocol at Kigali in Rwanda, Dave made a commitment that India would not permit the use of HFC 23 greenhouse gas, which is used as a refrigerant in air conditioners and refrigerators. Besides that, Dave has mostly toed the line drawn by Javadekar. In January this year, at a lunch for 40 expert members of various appraisal committees working all over the country, he described his five-point programme: Zero corruption; no holding up of development projects; facilitating the ‘ease of doing business’; a wariness of NGOs funded by foreign interests, and shape up or ship out.