- NCMC reconvenes to oversee Preparedness for Amphan
- Star rating of Garbage Free Cities
- Lower rate of EPF subscription with EPFO notified
- Indian Railways Produces High Horse Power Locomotive
NCMC RECONVENES TO OVERSEE PREPAREDNESS FOR AMPHAN
Focus: GS-III Disaster Management, Prelims
Why in news?
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) held a meeting to review the preparedness of States and Central Ministries/Agencies to deal with the Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’.
Expected impact of Amphan
- India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated that the Super Cyclone is expected to impact the West Bengal coast by the afternoon/evening of 20th May.
- Very high wind speeds ranging up to 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph are expected, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges of 4-5 metres in the coastal districts of the State.
- The damage potential of the cyclone is expected to be higher than that of Cyclone ‘Bulbul’, which hit the West Bengal Coast on 9th November 2019.
What is done is preparedness against Amphan
- Evacuation of people from the low-lying areas is being carried out.
- All actions have been taken to stock food grains, drinking water and other essential supplies.
- Teams for maintenance and restoration of Power and Telecom services have also been positioned.
- Teams for road clearance and other restoration work were advised by NCMC to be kept ready.
- 36 teams of NDRF are currently deployed in both Odisha and West Bengal.
National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC)
- A National Crisis Management Committee is a committee set up by the Government of India headed by Cabinet Secretary.
- NCMC was set up for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations in the wake of a natural calamities.
- It deals with major crisis which have serious or national ramifications.
- At the national level, Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) are the key committees involved in the top-level decision-making with respect to Disaster Management.
- The NCMC Oversees the Command, Control and Coordination of the disaster response, and gives directions as necessary to the Crisis Management Groups (CMG).
Composition of the NCMC:
- Cabinet Secretary- Chairman
- Secretary to Prime Minister Member
- Secretary (MHA) Member
- Secretary (MCD) Member
- Director (IB) Member
- Secretary (R&AW) Member
- Secretary (Agri & Coopn.) Co-opted Member
- An officer of Cabinet Secretariat. Convenor
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
- National Disaster Management Authority, abbreviated as NDMA, is an apex Body of Government of India which was established through the Disaster Management Act enacted by the Government of India on 23 December 2005.
- Hence, NDMA is a Statutory body.
- NDMA is responsible for framing policies, laying down guidelines and best-practices for coordinating with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to ensure a holistic and distributed approach to disaster management.
- It is headed by the Prime Minister of India and can have up to nine other members. Since 2014, there have been four other members.
- The tenure of the members of the NDMA shall be five years.
- The phrase disaster management is to be understood to mean ‘a continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, coordinating and implementing measures, which are necessary or expedient for prevention of danger or threat of any disaster, mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or severity of its consequences, capacity building, preparedness to deal with any disaster, prompt response, assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster, evacuation, rescue, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction’.
Prime Minister is chairperson of:
1. National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC)
2. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
Select the correct option from codes given below:
a) 1 Only
b) 2 Only
c) Both 1 & 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: b) 2 only.
National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) headed by the Cabinet Secretary. The Prime Minister is the ex-officio chairperson of NDMA.
Consider the following statements about National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC):
1. It is the apex body to handle emergency situations and implement relief measures during a natural calamity
2. The Prime Minister of India is the chairman of this body.
Which of the statement(s) is/ are true?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: a) 1 only.
A National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) has been constituted in the Cabinet Secretariat. Cabinet Secretary is the chairman of this body. The purpose of this body is effective implementation of relief measures in the wake of a natural calamity.
STAR RATING OF GARBAGE FREE CITIES
Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims
Why in news?
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and announced the results of Star rating of garbage free cities for the assessment year 2019-2020.
- A total of six cities have been certified as 5-Star, 65 cities as 3-Star and 70 cities as 1-Star.
- While announcing the results of the Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities, revised protocol for the Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities was also launched.
Star Rating of Garbage free Cities
- The Star Rating Protocol was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in January 2018 to institutionalize a mechanism for cities to achieve Garbage Free status, and to motivate cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness.
- The star rating conditions have been designed in a way as to enable cities to gradually evolve into a model (7-star) city, with progressive improvements in their overall cleanliness.
- The protocol, with increasing levels of stringency with increasing star rating, will also be aspirational in nature, feeding cities’ ambitions and dreams of becoming an ideal city for its residents.
- The star rating conditions are based on 25 key parameters across the solid waste management spectrum and has been designed to both help cities assess their progress while encouraging them to move towards a better rating thereby improving their cities’ overall cleanliness and aesthetics.
LOWER RATE OF EPF SUBSCRIPTION WITH EPFO NOTIFIED
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy, Prelims
Why in news?
The reduction in statutory rate of contributions from 12% to 10% for wage months May, 2020, June, 2020 and July, 2020 for all class of establishments covered under the EPF & MP Act, 1952 was announced on 13th May 2020.
The above reduction of rate of contribution is not applicable to establishments like Central and State Public Sector enterprises or any other establishment owned or controlled by or under control of the Central Govt. or State Govt.
The reduced rate is also not applicable for PMGKY beneficiaries.
How will this reduction help?
As a result of reduction in statutory rate of contributions from 12% to 10%, the employee shall have a higher take home pay due to reduction in deduction from his pay on account of EPF contributions and employer shall also have his liability reduced by 2% of wages of his employees.
What is Employee Provident Fund (EPF)?
- If you are a salaried employee in India, you would know that every month a certain amount of money is deducted from your salary as PF (provident fund).
- Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement savings scheme that the government of India has mandated for all salaried employees.
- EPF is the main scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
- The funds deducted from your salary as PF goes to your PF account, which is maintained by the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
- All organizations in India that have more than 20 employees, as per law, is mandated to register with EPFO.
- In simple words, it is a savings platform provided by the government to help the employees build a corpus for post-retirement life.
Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)
- EPFO is a Statutory Body, formed by the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
- EPFO is under Union Ministry of Labour & Employment.
- The EPFO has the dual role of being the enforcement agency to oversee the implementation of the EPF & MP Act and as a service provider for the covered beneficiaries throughout the country.
- EPFO assists the Central Board in administering a compulsory contributory Provident Fund Scheme, a Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India.
- It is also the nodal agency for implementing Bilateral Social Security Agreements with other countries on a reciprocal basis.
- The schemes cover Indian workers as well as International workers (for countries with which bilateral agreements have been signed.
- The EPFO’s apex decision making body is the Central Boad of Trustees (CBT).
INDIAN RAILWAYS PRODUCES HIGH HORSE POWER LOCOMOTIVE
Focus: GS-III Industry and Infrastructure, Prelims
Why in news?
The First 12000 HP made in India Locomotive, manufactured by Madhepura Electric Loco Factory situated in Bihar, was put into operation by Indian Railways.
- It is the first time, high horse power locomotive has been operationalised on broad gauge track in the world.
- Proud moment for Indian Railways, as it became 6th country in the world to join the elite club of producing high horse power locomotive indigenously.
- The locomotive has been produced under Make in India programme.
Details and Advantages of the Project
- The loco is named WAG12 and is a state of art IGBT based, 3 phase drive, 9000 KW (12000 horse power) electric locomotive.
- Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. (MELPL) will manufacture 800 State of the Art 12000 HP Electric Freight Locomotives in 11 years and being one of the most power full electric locomotive in the world will increase the speed of freight trains and will allow faster, safer and heavier freight trains to move across the country, thus reducing congestion in traffic.
- It will also lead to considerable savings in energy consumption through re-generative braking.
- The project will create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country.
- As part of CSR initiative skill centres are being set up in Madhepura to impart training to local people.