Q. Consider the following statements regarding Desertification and Land degradation Atlas of India:
1. It has been released by Space Application Centre under ISRO
2. According to atlas India is on track to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 and 2

Answer: A

Statement 2 is incorrect: Against the claim made by government, the report highlights that degradation and desertification has rather increased 

About Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India: 

  • ISRO (Space Application Centre) released the Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India which highlighted that India is not on track to achieve its national commitment of land degradation neutrality against the claim made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi 

Findings of the report: 

  • 97.85 million hectares (mha) of India’s total geographical area underwent land degradation during 2018-19, which is 29.7 per cent of the country’s overall land area 
  • In 2003-05, the degraded land area was 94.53 mha, which increased to 96.40 mha in 2011-13 
  • Besides land degradation, desertification has also increased. 83.69 mha underwent desertification in 2018-19, compared to 81.48 mha in 2003-2005 and 82.64 mha in 2011-13 
  • Most of the degradation and desertification is contributed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana 
  • India witnessed an increase in the level of desertification in 28 of 31 states and Union territories between 2011-13 and 2018-19 
  • However, land degradation and desertification were declining in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana in 2018-2019