National Disaster Management Authority
On 23 December 2005, the Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers, to spearhead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.
The Government of India (GOI), in recognition of the importance of Disaster Management as a national priority, set up a High-Powered Committee (HPC) in August 1999 and a National Committee after the Gujarat earthquake, for making recommendations on the preparation of Disaster Management plans and suggesting effective mitigation mechanisms. The Tenth Five-Year Plan document also had, for the first time, a detailed chapter on Disaster Management. The Twelfth Finance Commission was also mandated to review the financial arrangements for Disaster Management.
The NDMA which was initially established on 30 May 2005 by an executive order, was constituted under the Disaster Management Act, on 27 September 2006.
The NDMA is responsible for “laying down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management” and to ensure “timely and effective response to disaster”. Under section 6 of the Act it is responsible for laying “down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plans”. The vice chairman has a rank of cabinet minister and other members have rank of union minister for state.
For further reference: http://www.ndma.gov.in/en/about-ndma/roles-responsibilities.html
The NDMA may have no more than nine members including a Vice-Chairperson.
Sources: PIB, THE HINDU, WIKI, www.ndma.gov.in.
Bagore-ki-Haveli is a haveli in Udaipur in Rajasthan state in India.
Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, built it in the eighteenth century. It was handed over to the West Zone Cultural Centre (under the Ministry of Culture) in 1986 in a dilapidated condition, but was slowly and carefully restored to its original glory.
The palace has over a hundred rooms, with displays of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors are Haveli work. It also preserves an example of Mewar painting on the walls of the Queen’s Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are examples of glasswork.
This school of painting is one of the most important schools of Indian miniature painting of the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a school in the Rajasthani style and was developed in the Hindu principality of Mewar in Rajasthan state.
Most of these paintings are ascribed with date and place of origin.
The drawing is bold and the colours are bright and contrasting. The text of the painting is written in black on the top against the yellow ground.
The earliest-dated examples come from a ragamala (musical modes) series painted in 1605 at Chawand, an early capital of the state. This expressive and vigorous style continued with some variations through 1680, after which time Mughal influence became more apparent. One of the outstanding painters of the early phase was the artist Sahibdin.
Most of these paintings were concerned with portraiture and the life of the ruler, though religious themes continued to be popular.
Sources: http://www.britannica.com/, ccrtindia.org, Wiki.
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
NPPA is an organization of the Government of India which was established to fix/ revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995.
The organization is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers.
It also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.
For further reference: http://www.nppaindia.nic.in/index1.html.
Sources: PIB, www.nppaindia.nic.in.
Clean Ganga Fund
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister gave its approval for establishment of the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF).
“Clean Ganga Fund (CGF)” will be set up with voluntary contributions from residents of the country and Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) / Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and others to harness their enthusiasm to contribute towards the conservation of the river Ganga.
- The Fund will have the objective of contributing to the national effort of cleaning of the river Ganga.
- Domestic donors to the Fund shall be eligible for tax benefits as applicable in the case of the Swachh Bharat Kosh.
- The Fund would be managed by a Trust to be headed by Finance Minister.
- The secretariat of the Trust will be set up in Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation under the Mission Director, Clean Ganga.
Features of CGF:
- CGF will explore the possibility of setting up daughter funds in other jurisdictions/countries of high donor interest such as USA, UK, Singapore, UAE, etc. to enable tax benefits to donors in their respective jurisdictions.
- CGF will be catalytic in nature and will identify and fund specific projects which could be pilot projects, R&D projects, innovative projects or other focused projects. The Fund will define specific and measurable objectives to form the basis for planning, funding, and evaluation.
- CGF will be subject to such audit as required by law as well as audit by any agency determined by Government.
For further reference: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx.
SWAYAM is an online platform of the Ministry of HRD through which online programmes/courses will be offered to students in India.
SWAYAM platform server will be based in India and US universities will be invited to offer post-graduate academic programs with certification on the SWAYAM platform
Each American University will share courses created by its top educators. The cooperation programme will be integrated to strengthen the National Mission on Education through the use of ICT (NMEICT) in India.
Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) programme
This programme aims at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs to engage with the institutes of higher education in India to augment the country
s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reforms, and further strengthen Indias scientific and technological capabilities.
The proposed India-US Cooperation will be beneficial for adoption of newer methods of pedagogy; infuse creativity and innovation driven learning and professional rigour at a relatively lower cost; boosting research in cutting edge technologies and to build stronger academic networks between both countries.
The US faculty would undertake teaching at Indian Universities, networked research initiatives in topics of mutual interest and development of international entrepreneurship programmes by making the curriculum more industry oriented for better employability.
The proposal envisages the creation of a channel for US academics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to spend part of their time teaching in academic and research institutions across India.
Thirty Metre Telescope Project
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister gave its approval for India`s participation in the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) Project at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA at a total cost of Rs. 1299.8 crores from 2014-23.
About Thirty Metre Telescope Project:
The TMT will be constructed at a cost of US$ 1.47 billion by an international consortium consisting of institutions from the USA, Canada, Japan, India and China.
The TMT will enable scientists to study fainter objects far away from us in the Universe, which gives information about early stages of the evolution of the Universe. It will also give finer details of not-so-far-away objects such as undiscovered planets and other objects in the Solar System and planets around other stars.
It will be one the largest optical infrared telescopes to come up in the next decade.
How is it beneficial to India?
With its contributions, India will be a 10 percent partner in the project and 70 percent of its contributions will be “in kind”. This will translate into 25 to 30 observing nights on the telescope for Indian scientists per year.
This will enable Indian scientists to access a state-of-the-art telescope to answer some of the most fundamental questions in modern science. Indian institutions and industry will acquire or gain access to sophisticated technologies of relevance to the country. India will also become a founding member of an important international scientific project.
This partnership will also enhance India’s technological capabilities in high-technology areas such as primary mirror segment figuring and polishing, mirror support system and edge sensor assembly and testing, software for observatory controls, data analysis pipelines, adaptive optics techniques etc.
Sources: PIB, www.tmt.org.
Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will grow to roughly three times the size of California under a memorandum that U.S. President Barack Obama signed.
The expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will cover 490,000 square miles, making it the largest marine preserve in the world. The move puts the remote waters surrounding a collection of islands off—limits to drilling and most fishing in a bid to protect fragile underwater life.
About Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument:
It is a group of unorganized, mostly unincorporated United States Pacific Island territories managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior.
These remote islands are the most widespread collection of marine- and terrestrial-life protected areas on the planet under a single country’s jurisdiction. They protect many endemic species including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation not found elsewhere.
The Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument was proclaimed a national monument on January 6, 2009.
U.S. federal law prohibits resource destruction or extraction, waste dumping, and commercial fishing in the monument areas.
Research, free passage, and recreation are allowed.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, www.fws.gov.