Contents:


1.  Cabinet approves Non-operation of MPLADS for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22)
2. Advisory regarding containing and management of COVID-19 in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
3. Central Zoo Authority advises zoos in India to remain on high alert 

Cabinet approves Non-operation of MPLADS for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22)

Why in news?

Cabinet approves non-operation of MPLADS for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22) for managing Covid-19

Details:

As a part of Government’s continued efforts to contain spread of COVID 19, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modihas decided not to operate Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22).

Background:

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme

Established:

MPLADS is an ongoing Central Sector Scheme which was launched in 1993-94.  The Scheme enables the Members of Parliament to recommend works for creation of durable community assets based on locally felt needs to be taken up in their constituencies in the area of national priorities namely drinking water, education, public health, sanitation, roads etc.

Nodal Ministry:

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

Features

  1. The annual MPLADS fund entitlement per MP constituency is Rs. 5 crore.
  2. MPs are to recommend every year, works costing at least 15 per cent of the MPLADS entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 per cent for areas inhabited by S.T. population.
  3. In order to encourage trusts and societies for the betterment of tribal people, a ceiling of Rs. 75 lakh is stipulated for building assets by trusts and societies subject to conditions prescribed in the scheme guidelines.
  4. Lok Sabha Members can recommend works within their Constituencies and Elected Members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works within the State of Election (with select exceptions).
  5. Nominated Members of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the country.
  6. All works to meet locally felt infrastructure and development needs, with an emphasis on creation of durable assets in the constituency are permissible under MPLADS as prescribed in the scheme guidelines.
  7. Expenditure on specified items of non durable nature are also permitted as listed in the guidelines.

Release of Funds:

  • Funds are released in the form of grants in-aid directly to the district authorities.
  • The funds released under the scheme are non-lapsable.
  • The liability of funds not released in a particular year is carried forward to the subsequent years, subject to eligibility.

Execution of works:

The MPs have a recommendatory role under the scheme. They recommend their choice of works to the concerned district authorities who implement these works by following the established procedures of the concerned state government.

The district authority is empowered to examine the eligibility of works sanction funds and select the implementing agencies, prioritise works, supervise overall execution, and monitor the scheme at the ground level.


Advisory regarding containing and management of COVID-19 in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.

Why in news?

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued an advisory regarding containing and management of COVID-19 in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves as it is felt that there are possibilities of spread of the virus amongst animals in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves and also transmission of the virus from humans to animals and vice-versa.

Details:

The advisory has asked the Chief Wildlife Wardens of all States/UTs to:

  • Take immediate preventive measures to stop the transmission and spread of the virus from humans to animals and vice versa, in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
  • Reduce the human-wildlife interface.
  • Restrict the movement of people to National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
  • Constitute a Task Force/Rapid Action Force with field managers, veterinary doctors, frontline staff, to manage the situation as quickly as possible.
  • Create a ‘round the clock’ reporting mechanism with a Nodal Officer for swift management of any cases noticed.
  • Set up essential services for emergency treatment of animals and their safe release back to their natural habitats, as and when required.
  • Enhance disease surveillance, mapping and monitoring system through coordinated effort amongst various Departments.

Extra: Read about Wildlife Act-1972


Central Zoo Authority advises zoos in India to remain on high alert 

Why in news?

The United States (USA) Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories, in a statement dated 5th April, 2020, has confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in a Tiger housed in the Bronx Zoo, New York.

Taking cognizance of the same, the Central Zoo Authority under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has advised Zoos in the country to remain on highest alertness

Details:

The advisory stated that Mammals like carnivores especially cat, ferret and primates to be carefully monitored and fortnightly samples of suspect cases to be sent to the designated animal health institutes to initiate COVID-19 testing while following all bio-containment and safety measures required to handle this high risk pathogen as per the national / ICMR guidelines:

  1. National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal, MP
  2. National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE), Hisar, Haryana.
  3. Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic (CADRAD), Indian Veterinary Research Institute, (IVRI), Izatnagar, Bareilly, UP.

Background:

Central Zoo Authority

  • Central Zoo Authority is a statutory body whose main objective is to enforce minimum standards and norms for upkeep and health care of animals in India zoos.
  • Zoos are regulated as per the provisions of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and are guided by the National Zoo Policy, 1992. The Wild Life Protection was amended in 1991 to establish the Central Zoo Authority.
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