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New Delhi, March 18, 2010
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired the 5th meeting of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) here today when a proposal for a separate lion conservation project and the idea of a separate cadre for wildlife veterinary officers, among other topics, were discussed.
According to official sources, the meeting is also understood to have discussed population control of spotted deer, delisting of corals from schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and the accidental deaths of wild elephants when they are hit by trains passing through national parks and sanctuaries.
The sources said the meeting was also due to consider convening of a park managers' congress, instituting awards for the best managed protected areas and restriction of central funding to protected areas directly under the wildlife wing and managed by trained officers.
The idea of a separate scheme for conservation of lions, on the lines of Project Tiger, has been suggested by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whose state is home to the Asiatic lions.
The Prime Minister is the chairman of the NBWL. It has 45 members, including Minister of Environment & Forests Jairam Ramesh. There are 15 non-official members. Four of the non-official members are also part of the 12-member Standing Committee of NBWL.
Among others, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) President Karan Singh and Mr T K A Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, attended the meeting.