SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Government today institutionalized Awards to recognize outstanding work done by Forest Personnel, Village Forest Committee(s), Educational Institutions and Gram Panchayats rendering Meritorious Service.
The awards would be given on the World Forestry Day (21 March) every year at UT level.
In this regard, Forest, Ecology and Environment Department issued an order stating that the objective of the award is to recognize outstanding work done by Forest Field Staff and to encourage and promote competence and dedication among forest personnel.
According to the order, while mentioning the eligibility of the Award, 20 Forest officials working as Forest Rangers, Foresters and Forest Guards in the Forest Department will be honoured with this award every year (2 Forest Rangers, 6 Foresters and 12 Forest Guards).
The award shall consist of a citation and a medallion along with a cash award of Rs 25,000 to be given to each recipient and will also be noted in the Annual Performance Report of the official.
While giving the selection criteria, the order stated that the awards will be given for meritorious service and achievement of the individual field personnel in the area of Forest Protection and anti-smuggling operations, afforestation and plantation work, working plan, training and demarcation works.
While innovative ideas and practices will be recognized, emphasis will be on the outcomes and contributions made by the individual in the course of discharge of his duties, it added.
Enumerating about the selection procedure, it said that the recommendations for the award will be made by a selection committee comprising of the Additional PCCF (Central) as Chairperson while CCF Jammu, CCF Kashmir, CCF Planning & Project as members.
The department has also institutionalized an award for outstanding performance in Plantation/Afforestation.
Giving further details about the award, it said that the objective of the award is to encourage peoples’ participation in tree planting and afforestation through Village Forest Committees, Gram Panchayats and educational institutions.
Cash award of Rs 10,000 for the best educational institution at district level (one for each district) and cash award of Rs.20,000 for the best Gram Panchayat at district level (one for every district) will be given for outstanding performance in Plantation/Afforestation.
“These awards will be given each year in the District level function on the World Forestry Day on 21st March. The DFO stationed at District headquarters will act as nodal officer and organize the function at district headquarters,” it stated.
The plantation and afforestation activities should have been carried out continuously over a period of 3 years, including the year of the award (Financial Year) by any nominee or applicant, and the working of all these 3 years and the results achieved will be evaluated separately for each nominee in the process of selection.
(1) Nominations can be made in School/College/Educational Institution by the Headmaster or the Principal of the School/College or by the Head of the Institution, directly to the Range Officer having jurisdiction.
(2) The Range Officer will evaluate the Institution’s work in relation to tree plantation over a period of at least 3 years ending 30 September of the year of nomination based on the criteria prescribed and submit the evaluation sheets to the concerned DFO by 31 October.
b) For Gram Panchayat:
(1) In case of Gram Panchayats, nomination may be made by the Sarpanch/Executive Officer of the Gram Panchayat directly to the Range Officer having jurisdiction.
(2) The Range Officer will evaluate the Gram Panchayat’s work in relation to tree plantation over a period of at least 3 years, ending 30 September of the year of nomination based on the criteria prescribed and submit the evaluation sheets to the concerned DFO by 31st October. Registered Non-Government Organizations or Voluntary Organizations may facilitate filing nominations in respect of Gram Panchayats.
According to the scheme of awards so notified, the applications/nominations in the prescribed form in case of both Institutions and Gram Panchayats of all Divisions will be received by the concerned Divisional Forest Officer (Territorial) by 31st October.
The verification/scrutiny and selection of the best Gram Panchayat/Educational Institutions in the district within the jurisdiction of the Division will be carried out by the concerned Divisional Forest Officer on the basis of objective and uniform criteria for evaluation of the plantation/afforestation work.
On the basis of such evaluation, district-wise names of two candidates adjudged best from each category along with evaluation records will be sent by the DFO to the CCF by 30th November.
A Committee under the Chairmanship of the CCF and members comprising of the Conservators of Forests, concerned DFOs and the representatives of the concerned Deputy Commissioners will decide the district-wise award winners by the end of 31st January. The decision of the CCF will be final.
Another award to be given during the Wildlife Week (October) at UT Level Award for Wildlife Conservation.
The order said that in order to encourage vital contribution for the conservation of wildlife in the State and for the promotion of awareness of the issues involved in this regard, the “State Award for Wildlife Conservation” will be given every year at District level during the celebration of Wildlife Week.
The UT Level Award for Wildlife Conservation shall consist of a certificate with cash award of Rs 25,000 to be given in each District.
No Award, however, will be declared, if in any year, eligible candidates/institutions are not available.
Any individual or an institution operating in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and engaged in wildlife and biodiversity conservation, research and education is eligible for the award.
In order to come under the purview of consideration for the award, an individual/institution should have created an appreciable and measurable impact in any of the following areas:
a) Wildlife management and conservation including control of poaching, wildlife animal depredation and extension.
b) Biodiversity conservation.
c) Eco-development planning and implementation.
4. Evaluation and Selection: Nominations shall be received at the office of the Wildlife Warden and shall be evaluated by the Evaluation Committee for submission to the UT Level Committee which shall make the final recommendations.
The Evaluation Committees shall consist of Regional Wildlife Warden as Chairman while as Deputy Commissioner (or his Representative) and Wildlife Wardens as Members
It added that the UT Level Selection Committee shall judge the nominations received as per given criteria and recommend the nominations for selection. The UT Level Committee shall be comprised of the Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K, as Chairman while as Additional PCCF (Central) as member and CCF, Ecotourism as Convener.
The final decision on the nominations from the Evaluation Committee will be taken by the Selection Committee. The recipient of the UT Level award will be decided by the UT Government on the recommendation of the Selection Committee, the order said and added that if suitable candidates/institutions are not available in any category, no award may be declared for the specified category for the respective year.