From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Deemed Forests
Mains level : Forest management in India
- It has been 23 years since the Supreme Court asked all states in the country to identify deemed forests, but their status in several states is still unclear.
- The SC, in a Dec 12, 1996 judgement, had broadened the definition of forest to include not just land classified as forest under forest or revenue departments, but also those that are forests according to the definition of a forest.
- It had then also asked states to form committees to identify forests, irrespective of the nature of land ownership or whether they are notified, recognised or classified in a time-bound manner.
- There are forests that are notified either with the forest department or revenue department.
- Then there are those areas that are like forests but are neither recorded, nor notified. The Supreme Court had ordered that the states identify and classify these as deemed forests.
- Deemed forests are already a legal category of forests in some states and they are not defined according to the dictionary definition.