PM releases National Disaster Management Plan
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). This is the first ever national plan prepared in the country.
It aims to make India disaster resilient and significantly reduce the loss of lives and assets. The plan is based on the four priority themes of the “Sendai Framework,” namely: understanding disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures) and disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
Salient Features of the Plan
The plan covers all phases of disaster management: prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.
It provides for horizontal and vertical integration among all the agencies and departments of the Government.
The plan also spells out the roles and responsibilities of all levels of Government right up to Panchayat and Urban Local Body level in a matrix format.
The plan has a regional approach, which will be beneficial not only for disaster management but also for development planning.
It is designed in such a way that it can be implemented in a scalable manner in all phases of disaster management.
It also identifies major activities such as early warning, information dissemination, medical care, fuel, transportation, search and rescue, evacuation, etc. to serve as a checklist for agencies responding to a disaster. It also provides a generalized framework for recovery and offers flexibility to assess a situation and build back better.
To prepare communities to cope with disasters, it emphasizes on a greater need for Information, Education and Communication activities.
Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 outlines seven clear targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks:
(i) Understanding disaster risk;
(ii) Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
(iii) Investing in disaster reduction for resilience and;
(iv) Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
It aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years.
The Framework was adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, on March 18, 2015.
Cabinet approves setting up of India Post Payments Bank
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for setting up the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) as a Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts, with 100% Government of India (GOI) equity.
The total expenditure involved in this project is Rs 800 Crore. All citizens, especially 40% of the country’s population that is outside the ambit of formal banking in the country will benefit from this project. The project will be rolled out in the entire country in a phased manner.
The IPPB will obtain banking licence from RBI by March 2017 and by September 2017, its services will be available across the country through 650 payments bank branches, linked post offices and alternative channels riding on modern technology including mobiles, ATMs, PoS/ m-PoS devices etc and simple digital payments.
The proposal will further the cause of financial inclusion by providing basic banking, payments and remittance services and facilitate financial services like insurance, mutual funds, pensions and access to credit in tie-up with third party financial providers with special focus on rural areas and the unbanked and under-banked segments.
It will generate new employment opportunities for skilled banking professionals and will generate opportunities for propagating financial literacy across the country. It will create the largest bank in the world in terms of accessibility and in time, will encourage the move towards a less cash economy.
Setting-up of the IPPB to further financial inclusion was one of the budgetary announcements during 2015-16. The Department of Posts had obtained the “in-principle approval” of the RBI in September 2015 to set up the India Post Payments Bank. The India Post Payments Bank will leverage the Department’s network, reach, and resources to make simple, low-cost, quality financial services easily accessible to customers all over the country.
MoU between USA and India to enhance cooperation in wildlife conservation
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between United States of America and India to enhance cooperation in the field of wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking. With the approval, India will benefit from the expertise of the US Institutions in the field of wildlife conservation and management of wildlife areas and in combating illegal trade of wildlife and their derivatives.
India and the United States of America are endowed with rich biodiversity and natural heritage and have established a network of Protected Areas in their respective territories. As there is scope for both the countries to share professional expertise to address priority wildlife conservation concerns, the MoU would provide a convenient platform for collaboration. The MoU seeks cooperation between the two countries in the following areas:
a. Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics: Useful in species conservation efforts and better scientific evidence collection in wild life crimes leading to better enforcement.
b. Natural World Heritage Conservation: Facilitating the institutional capacity of the existing UNESCO Category -2 – centre at Wildlife Institute of India.
Nature Interpretation and Conservation Awareness: Use of information technology in strengthening interface of forest managers with the people for sensitising people, especially the youth and children in understanding complex issues of conservation of biological diversity.