lay down two important case laws constituting this principle in India

“The principle of sustainable development states to strike a balance between the economic and technological advancement on one hand and maintain the quality of environment on the other hand and maintain the quality of environment on the other hand”. Discuss and lay down two important case laws constituting this principle in India


As the 20th century draws to a close, the technological landscape is changing. Some countries like USA, Russia, China, Germany, is now technologically powerful nations. The end of the Cold War has heightened the importance of commercial technologies in maintaining both economic and military security. New technologies depend increasingly on scientific and engineering knowledge; this interdependence strengthens the reciprocal links between understanding and capability. Globalization is a term which has been used to describe and explain many worldwide phenomena. It has been given positive connotations by those who advocate greater economic integration across national borders, while it has been fiercely criticized by those who perceive it as a threat to social cohesion and as the advancement of unfettered capitalism, which undermines the Welfare State1.

In the United States, technology development and adoption occur through a complex system that encompasses many individuals and organizations. Researchers in academic, government, and industrial laboratories create new knowledge on which many advanced technologies are based. Colleges and universities educate new generations of scientists and engineers who will put that knowledge to work. Private companies invest financial and human resources in developing new technologies and adapting existing technologies to meet perceived needs.Private firms have the primary responsibility for the development and adoption of technology in this country, but federal and state governments play an important role in enhancing civilian technology development and adoption through their economic, regulatory, and trade policies, their support for research and development, and their own procurement of technology. The word “technology” encompasses essentially three meanings: tools and instruments to enhance human ability to shape nature and solve problems (such as a hammer and nail), knowledge of how to create things or how to solve problems (such as to brew beer or to make an atomic bomb), and culture (our understanding of the world, our value systems). Historically, the emergence of human civilization has been closely connected to the development of tools for hunting, agriculture, irrigation and water management, and navigation. In the second meaning, knowledge, technology becomes reflexive in that understanding of how to make and use tools and instruments becomes encoded and transmissible as technological knowledge and know-how.

Related to this second meaning of technology is the development of modern scientific knowledge, based on empirical observations, hypotheses, and generalizations on the natural laws concerning the behavior of materials and the living environment. In this section we develop three visions for a possible sustainable society in which technology plays a significant role. These visions are not based on technological forecasting, but take into account the possibilities that modern and future technologies offer if they are steered in the “right” direction. The “right direction” is of course not clear a priori. Its elements will be a “good life” and “well-being” for all, now and in the future; sustaining the Earth’s ecosystem

Effects of technology in 21st century

Thanks to technological innovations and greater economic liberalization, entrepreneurs, especially multinational corporations, have taken full advantage of more open markets to spread production processes all over the world (WTO, 1999, Annual Report)2. The opening up of economic opportunities allows the movement of foreign capital, technology and management, largely from transnational corporations (TNCs), to host country entrepreneurs and corporations. As national economies open, mergers between businesses from different countries and purchases or investment in equity of businesses in one country by owners from other countries are becoming more common. Although TNCs are not new economic actors, what has dramatically changed is the way they operate around the world and their increased level of economic power. According to the Commission on Global Governance, the number of TNCs is presently estimated at 37,000 worldwide (Commission on Global Governance Report, 1995)3.

The government’s economic and regulatory policies have an especially broad influence on technology development and adoption. For example, government policies help to determine levels of investment in the economy, which in turn drives productivity, economic growth, and job creation. Public and private investment in research and development leads to new products and processes that can spur productivity and investment in new facilities and equipment gives companies an opportunity to incorporate more-productive technologies into their operations.

Public and private investment in research and development leads to new products and processes that can spur productivity and investment in new facilities and equipment gives companies an opportunity to incorporate more-productive technologies into their operations. World, as it has been rightly said is “converging” and “accelerating” which may allude to the fact that the world is growing shorter (shrinking) day by day. 4Technological advancements have shown a substantial growth concerned with each and every field whether it be the communication systems, astronomy, semiconductor devices, automobiles, and electronic devices of daily usage, bioelectronics devices, building and architectural design techniques or the computers.

Advancements in technology have refurbished almost everything for instance development of the radio wave communication systems which is further extended to mobile communications and the GPS, the semiconductor devices that drastically reduced the bulk of the aborigine (primitive) Vacuum tubes and could fit 100’s of gigabytes into one’s pocket, the fast and “intelligent” supercomputers, calculators and other similar high-end devices being used extensively in the field of research, the techniques to build superstructures such as the PETRONAS Towers that houses hundreds of storey, the satellite systems deployed for the global communications, the optoelectronics, CT scans, MRI’s that have been installed to detect myriad diseases in the inaccessible parts of the body, all of this can be attributed to the advancements in the technology over the years. However, the spread of technology and new technological solutions has been much rapid during last few years as compared to the past.

The advancements are also accompanied by the reduction in the time, effort and cost for production of any material ranging from the microchips to the state of art automobiles or from the sophisticated devices to the mega structures coupled with ease in design and development. These advancements not only provide a stimulus for the betterment of the living standards but also exhilarate new ideas and vistas and act as a motivating factor for further enhancements. Needless to add that these advancements also invigorate economic development as the effective use of technology reduces the material production cost and the overhead charges which generate savings in the economy and thus lead to national development

A Climate that Promotes Technological Innovation Should Be Maintained

The most-important role of government in technology development and adoption is maintaining an environment conducive to private-sector innovation and investment. Many policies affect that environment, including policies on taxes, trade, investment, patents, product liability, environmental and consumer protection, international arms control, and human resources. Those policies have multiple and sometimes competing aims. By explicitly recognizing the effects of public policies on technology development and adoption, government could better integrate its pursuit of technological, economic, and social objectives.

The government’s economic and regulatory policies have an especially broad influence on technology development and adoption. For example, government policies help to determine levels of investment in the economy, which in turn drives productivity, economic growth, and job creation. Public and private investment in research and development leads to new products and processes that can spur productivity and investment in new facilities and equipment gives companies an opportunity to incorporate more-productive technologies into their operations.

Private investment is closely related to the level of public and private saving in the economy, and today the levels of both saving and investment is severely inadequate. As a percentage of gross domestic products (GDP)5, public and private saving has been below 3% since 1990, compared with norms of 8-10% among other industrial countries (20% in Japan). Half the saving shortfall in this country is a result of the need to fund the federal budget deficit. The other half results from a low and declining rate of private saving by households and companies. The resulting low level of investment will not sustain a growth in productivity sufficient to meet Americans’ legitimate expectations for an improving standard of living.

In some cases, government has a compelling rationale for directly enhancing the development and adoption of technologies. For example, federal and state agencies pursue a number of public missions that depend heavily on technological advances, such as safeguarding public health, ensuring national security, and protecting the environment. In the past, technologies developed with public funds to meet those government missions often have had important commercial applications. For example, federal R&D6 funding and procurement contributed substantially to the development of such high-technology products as airframes and aircraft engines, a wide range of pharmaceuticals and biomedical devices, satellites, semiconductors, computers, biotechnology, and nuclear power.

In select cases, the government also has a rationale for supporting the development of commercial technologies beyond those explicitly linked to federal agency missions. For example, there is a role for government in facilitation of the development of “path-breaking technologies”—those with the potential to create major new industries or transform existing industries and thereby yield high returns to society as a whole but whose development poses risks too high to attract sufficient private-sector investment. Examples of past and present path-breaking technologies are nuclear medicine, biotechnology, semiconductors, aircraft engines, and communication satellites. Similarly, government has a role in facilitating the development of “infrastructural technologies”—those that enhance the performance of a broad spectrum of firms in the near to intermediate term but do not offer sufficient private returns. Examples of these technologies are the development of engineering methods, compilation and validation of technical data, measurement tools, and the refinement of manufacturing processes.

Identifying technologies that meet those criteria is difficult and requires a combined public-private effort. To sustain public support for technology development, government needs to develop criteria and mechanisms for evaluation, feedback, and institutional learning so that successes and failures can be identified and better understood. Government must be prepared to discard programs that do not work and reallocate resources to programs that do. Government R&D efforts also should avoid competition with commercial firms; government can then work more effectively with market forces and the private sector to leverage national strengths in science and technology to the enhancement of US productivity and economic growth.

Judiciary and the Environmental Protection Laws in India

It is interesting to note that natural resources had been stored virtually untouched in the Earth for millions of years. But since the start of the industrial revolution vast amounts of these resources had been exploited within a period of just a couple of hundred of years at unimaginable rates, with all the waste from this exploitation going straight in the environment (air, water, land) and seriously damaging its natural processes. Although pollution had been known to exist for a very long time (at least since people started using fire thousands of years ago), it had seen the growth of truly global proportions only since the onset of the industrial revolution during the 19th century.

Environmental degradation in India has been caused by a variety of social, economic, institutional and technological factors. Rapidly growing population, urbanization and industrial activities have all resulted in considerable deterioration in the quality and sustainability of the environment. The basic tenet that underlies this deep reverence for nature is the belief that life is a singular, continuous and uniform phenomenon and even a small change in one part of the eco-system is likely to reverberate throughout. Air is like God, Water is father and Earth is the mother. It is through the harmonious interaction of all these three vital ingredients that the whole universe is being sustained). The ancient Greeks, on the same reasoning, revered the Earth as Gaia, the Earth Goddess.

The importance of Judiciary in a democratic setup for protection of life and personal rights can hardly be overestimated. India has a highly developed judicial system with the Supreme Court having plenary powers to make any order for doing complete justice in any cause or matter and a mandate in the Constitution, to all authorities, Civil and Judicial, in the territory of India to act in aide of the Supreme Court. The scope of Writ Jurisdiction of the High Courts is wiser than traditionally understood and the judiciary is separate and independent of the executive to ensure impartiality in administration of justice. The judiciary has a central role to play in this thriving democracy and shuns arbitrary executive action. The higher judiciary has been empowered to pronounce upon the legislative competence of the lawmaking bodies and the validity of a legal provision. The range of judicial review recognized in the higher judiciary in India is the widest and most extensive known to any democratic set up in the world. Liberty and Equality have well survived and thrived in India due to the pro-active role played by the Indian judiciary. In considering the role of the judiciary in environmental governance, there are two issues that need to be considered. The first is the role the judiciary in the interpretation of environmental law and in law making and the second is the capability of jurists to effectively interpret the increasingly cross-linked issues brought to their attention.

Sri Ram Food and Fertilizer Case

In that case9, a major leakage of Oileum Gas affected a large number of persons, both amongst the workmen and public. The Supreme Court held that where an enterprise is engaged in a hazardous or inherently dangerous activity and harm results to any one on account of an accident in the operation of such hazardous and inherently dangerous activity resulting in the escape of toxic gas the enterprise is strictly and absolutely liable to compensate all those who are affected by the accident and such a liability is not subject to any exception

Dehradun Valley Case

In that case, carrying haphazard and dangerous limestone quarrying in the Mussorie Hill range of the Himalaya, mines blasting out the hills with dynamite, extracting limestone from thousands of acres had upset the hydrological system of the valley. The Supreme Court ordered the closing of limestone quarrying in the hills and observed18: This would undoubtedly cause hardship to them, but it is a price that has to be paid for protecting and safeguarding the right of the people to live in healthy environment with minimal disturbance of ecological balance


Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment on individual, organizational or governmental levels, for the benefit of the natural environment and humans. Due to the pressures of population and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized, and governments have begun placing restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation. Since the 1960’s, activity of environmental movements has created awareness of the various environmental. There is no agreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity, and protection measures are occasionally criticized. Academic institutions now offer courses, such as environmental studies, environmental management and environmental engineering, that teach the history and methods of environment protection. Protection of the environment is needed due to various human activities. Waste production, air pollution, and loss of biodiversity (resulting from the introduction of invasive species and species extinction) are some of the issues related to environmental protection.


1. Cable, Vincent (1995). RetrievedMarch,9 2013“What Future for the State”, in Deadalus, March 22

2. World Trade Organization (1999). RetrievedMarch,9 2013 Annual Report, Geneva

3. Commission on Global Governance Report (1995), RetrievedMarch,9 2013. Our Global Neighborhood, Oxford University Press

4. Tue Jun 01, 2010 RetrievedMarch,9 2013 Technological Advancements And Their Effects

5. The global positioning system, National Academy of Science, 1996

6. (n.d.). Retrieved March,9 2013

7. (n.d.). Retrieved March,9 2013

8. (n.d.).RetrievedMarch,92013


10. (n.d.). Retrieved March,9 2013

11. (n.d.). Retrieved March,9 2013

12. (n.d.). Retrieved March,9 2013<href=”#ixzz2N893xnEg”>Environmental protection laws in india | Law

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