Daily Current Affairs for 11th May 2020

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Norms issued for restart of industrial units

Syllabus Linkages:

General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Sub-topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies, Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Why in news:

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a series of guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after the lockdown period. Certain economic activities have already been allowed on gradual lifting of restrictions in some zones.

What are those norms?

  • Instructions have been issued for safekeeping of hazardous and flammable materials.
  • Guidelines also pertain to chemical disasters, management of chemical (terrorism) disasters, and strengthening of safety and security for transport of petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) tankers.
  • The State governments have been told to ensure, through the district officials concerned, that the off-site disaster management plan of the respective major accident hazard (MAH) units are up to date.
  • While restarting the unit, consider the first week as the trial or test run period; ensure all safety protocols; and try not to achieve high production targets.
  • employees should be sensitised to the need for identifying abnormalities such as strange sounds or smell, exposed wires, vibrations, leaks, smoke, abnormal wobbling, irregular grinding or other potentially hazardous signs.
  • All lockout and tagout procedures should be in place on a daily basis (not applicable for units running 24 hours).

All About NDMA:

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is an agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs whose primary purpose is to coordinate the response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response.

  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the apex statutory body for disaster management in India.
  • The NDMA was formally constituted on 27thSeptember 2006, in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with Prime Minister as its Chairperson and nine other members, and one such member to be designated as Vice-Chairperson.
  • Mandate: Its primary purpose is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response. It is also the apex body to lay down policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters.
  • Vision: To build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, proactive, technology driven and sustainable development strategy that involves all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation.

Evolution of NDMA

  • In recognition of the importance of Disaster Management as a national priority, the Government of India set up a High-Powered Committee (HPC) in August 1999 and a National Committee after the Gujarat earthquake (2001), 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.
  • On 23 December 2005, the Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of 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.

Functions and Responsibilities of NDMA

  • Approve the National Disaster Plan
  • Lay down policies on disaster management
  • Approve plans prepared by Ministries or Departments of the Central Government in accordance with National Plan
  • Lay down guidelines to be followed by State Authorities in drawing up State Plan
  • Lay down guidelines to be followed by different Ministries or Departments of Central Government for purpose of integrating measures for disaster prevention or mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects
  • Coordinate enforcement and implementation of disaster management policy and plan
  • Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation
  • Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as determined by Central Government
  • Take such other measures for prevention of disasters or mitigation or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with threatening disaster situation or disaster as it may consider necessary
  • Lay down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of National Institute of Disaster Management

Institutional Framework for Disaster Management in India

  • The Disaster Management Act, 2005 has provided the legal and institutional framework for disaster management in India at the national, state and district levels.
  • In the federal polity of India, the primary responsibility of Disaster management vests with the state government.
    • The central government lays down the plans, policies and guidelines and provides technical, financial and logistical support while the district administration carries out most of the operations in collaboration with central and state level agencies.

National Executive Committee (NEC)

  • A National Executive Committee is constituted under Section 8 of DM Act, 2005 to assist the National Authority in the performance of its functions.
  • Union Home secretary is its ex-officio chairperson.
  • NEC has been given the responsibility to act as the coordinating and monitoring body for disaster management,to prepare a National Plan, monitor the implementation of National Policy etc.

National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM)

NIDM has the mandate of human resource development and capacity building for disaster management within the broad policies and guidelines laid down by the NDMA.

National Disaster response force (NDRF)

  • NDRF is the specialized force for disaster response which works under the overall supervision and control of NDMA.

State level Institutions

  • State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA)
  • Headed by Chief Ministerof the respective state, SDMA lays down the policies and plans for disaster management in the state.
  • It is responsible to coordinate the implementation of the state Plan, recommend provision of funds for mitigation and preparedness measures and review the developmental plans of the different departments of the state to ensure integration of prevention, preparedness and mitigation measures.
  • State Executive Committee (SEC)- Headed by the Chief Secretary of the state,SEC has the responsibility for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the National Policy, the National Plan and the State Plan as provided under the DM Act.

District level Institutions

District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA)

  • Section 25 of the DM Act provides for constitution of DDMA for every district of a state.
  • The District Magistrate/ District Collector/Deputy Commissioner heads the Authorityas Chairperson besides an elected representative of the local authority as Co-Chairperson except in the tribal areas where the Chief Executive Member of the District Council of Autonomous District is designated as Co-Chairperson.
  • Further in district, where Zila Parishad exists, its Chairperson shall be the Co-Chairperson of DDMA.
  • The District Authority is responsible for planning, coordination and implementation of disaster management and to take such measures for disaster management as provided in the guidelines.

The District Authority also has the power to examine the construction in any area in the district to enforce the safety standards and to arrange for relief measures and respond to the disaster at the district level.

Tying up with Todas to keep the virus at bay

General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

Sub-Topic: salient aspects of Art Forms, Social empowerment

Why in news

More than a hundred women and indigenous Toda artisans from the Nilgiris are producing thousands of stylish, embroidered masks for local residents, police, and sanitary workers.


  • The cloth masks, are embroidered with intricate Toda designs.
  • It is sold for around Rs. 225 each.
  • Growing popularity among people.

Why it is important?

  • It is providing jobs to tribal people.
  • Enchancing skill sets.
  • Boost to SHG, MSME sectors.

Toda Tribe

  • Toda, pastoral tribe of the Nīlgiri Hills of southern India.
  • Numbering only about 800 in the early 1960s, they were rapidly increasing in population because of improved health facilities.
  • The Toda language is Dravidian but is the most aberrant of that linguistic stock.
  • The Toda live in settlements of from three to seven small thatched houses scattered over the pasture slopes; built on a wooden framework, the typical house has an arched roof in the shape of a half barrel.
  • The Toda traditionally trade dairy products, as well as cane and bamboo articles, with the other Nīlgiri peoples, receiving Baḍaga grain and cloth and Kota tools and pottery in exchange.
  • Kurumba jungle people play music for Toda funerals and supply various forest products.
  • Toda religion centres on the all-important buffalo. Ritual must be performed for almost every dairy activity, from milking and giving the herds salt to churning butter and shifting pastures seasonally.
  • There are ceremonies for the ordination of dairymen-priests, for rebuilding dairies, and for rethatching funerary temples.
  • These rites and the complex funeral rituals are the major occasions of social intercourse, when intricate poetic songs alluding to the buffalo cult are composed and chanted.

Toda language 

  • The Toda language is a member of the Dravidian family.
  • The language is typologically aberrant and phonologically difficult.
  • Linguists have classified Toda (along with its neighbour Kota) as a member of the southern subgroup of the historical family proto-South-Dravidian.
  • It split off from South Dravidian, after Kannada and Telugu, but before Malayalam.
  • In modern linguistic terms, the aberration of Toda results from a disproportionately high number of syntactic and morphological rules, of both early and recent derivation, which are not found in the other South Dravidian languages.

Toda Embroidery

  • The Toda Embroidery, also locally known as “pukhoor”, is an art work among the Toda pastoral people of Nilgiris, in Tamil Nadu, made exclusively by their women.
  • The embroidery, which has a fine finish, appears like a woven clothbut is made with use of red and black threads with a white cotton cloth background.
  • Both sides of the embroidered fabric are usable and the Toda people are proud of this heritage. Both men and women adorn themselves with the embroidered cloaks and shawls.
  • This handicraft product is listed as a geographically tagged productand is protected under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act (GI Act) 1999 of the Government of India.
  • It was registered by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks under the title Toda Embroidery”.


  • The local terms used to describe the embroidery work are ‘kuty’ or ‘awtty’ meaning “stitching” and ‘kutyvoy’ meaning the embroidered piece.
  • The materials used in this work are roughly woven white cloth, woolen black and red threads with use occasionally of blue threads and manufactured needles.
  • The designs developed relate to nature and the daily cycle of life.
  • The fabric used is coarse bleached half white cotton cloth with bands; the woven bands on the fabric consist of two bands, one in red and one band in black, spaced at six inches.
  • Embroidery is limited to the space within the bands and is done by using a single stitch darning needle.
  • It is not done within an embroidery frame but is done by counting the warp and weft on the fabric which has uniform structure by the reverse stitch method.
  • To bring out a rich texture in the embroidered fabric, during the process of needle stitching, a small amount of tuft is deliberately allowed to bulge.
  • Geometric pattern is achieved by counting the warp and weft in the cloth used for embroidery.
  • Though their favorite study is related floral landscape, the patterns used in Toda embroidery do not cover many floral motifs but generally cover celestial bodies (like Sun and Moon), reptiles, animals, and horns of buffaloes, made in crimson and black colours.
  • Rabbit ears are a constant depiction on the boundary of the embroidered cloth.
  • Another common design in the form of black triangles in a box design is done in honour of their first priest.
  • Women who do embroidery consider their work as a “tribute to Nature”.
  • A dead body is always wrapped in an embroidered fabric with traditional designs and then buried. However, coloured stripes are used in fabrics of daily use.

As a traditional garment, it is worn by both men and women at all ceremonial occasions and also at funerals.

Nepal to beef up border security

Syllabus Linkages:

General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Sub-topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

Why in news:

Nepal will increase the number of security outposts and deploy more armed personnel in the border with India. Kathmandu expects India to avoid any unilateral measures in the Kalapani region and remain committed to the ‘fixed border’ principle as agreed during the past official talks.

Kalapani historical aspects of conflict:

  • In 1816, the East India Company and Nepal signed the Treaty of Sagauli under the conclusion of the Anglo-Nepalese War and Nepalese territories including Darjeeling were handed over to the British East India Company as concessions.
  • The treaty defined river Mahakali as the western border of Nepal. 
  • Several tributariesof River Mahakali merge at Kalapani.
  • India claimsthat the river begins in Kalapani as this is where all its tributaries merge, But Nepal claims that the river begins from Lipulekh Pass, the origin of most of its tributaries.
  • Nepal has laid claim to all areas east of the Lipu Gad— the rivulet that joins the river Kali on its border.

  • According to Nepal, the Kalapani area was included in the Census of Nepal until 58 years ago.
  • According to some sources, the late Nepalese King Mahendra had “handed over the territory” to India in 1962in the wake of the India-China war.
  • Nepal has claimed that India had occupied an additional 62 sq km land, However, a map of 1879 shows Kalapani as part of British Indiaand India on its part has presented administrative and tax records dating back to 1830s to back its claims.
  • Nepal has also raised concern over Lipulekh Pass,which has been made a trading tri-junction route between India and China, reportedly without Nepal’s consent, since 2015, However the Indian side claims that Lipulekh pass has been referred to as a border trading point since 1954.

Importance of Kalapani:

  • The 35-square kilometre region plays a strategic role in this tug-of-war. Kalapani is a trijunction meeting point of India, Tibet and Nepal borders. Since 1962, it has been manned by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
  • Lipulekh Pass in Kalapani serves as an important vantage point for India to keep an eye on Chinese movements.
  • India’s surveillance of Chinese movementsis aided by the height of the Lipulekh pass.

Way Ahead:

India should maintain a policy of keeping away from the internal affairs of Nepal, while at the same time, in the spirit of friendship, India should guide the nation towards a more inclusive democracy.

  • Since the free movement of people is permitted across the border, Nepal enjoys immense strategic relevance from India’s national security point of view, as terrorists often use Nepal to enter India. Therefore, stable and friendly relations with Nepal is one of pre-requisites which India can’t afford to overlook.

The existing bilateral treaties between India and Nepal have not taken the shifting of Himalayan rivers into consideration. A primary reason for this is the lack of an approach where ecological concerns and needs of rivers are often dismissed. Therefore, India and Nepal should try to resolve the boundary dispute by taking into account all shared environmental characteristics.

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