06 January 2017 Current Affairs: The Union Government has approved a grant of about Rs 1782 crore to drought-hit Karnataka under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).
The assistance came after the Karnataka Government had asked a central relief of Rs 4702 crore for loss of 2016 Kharif crops due to severe drought in the state.
The government also approved assistance of Rs 209 crore to Uttarakhand, which had been hit by floods in 2013.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the High Level Committee (HLC) presided by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Committee examined the proposal based on the reports of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team that visited the states. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Rajiv Mehrishi, Home Secretary, and senior officers of the Union Ministries of Home Affairs, Finance and Agriculture were present in the meeting.
Karnataka has been facing severe drought from the last six years. The state was hit by the worst drought ever in 40 years in 2016-2017.
National Disaster Relief Fund : The National Disaster Response Fund is defined in Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act). It is described as a fund managed by the Union Government for meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation due to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.
It is constituted to supplement the funds of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF).
The DM Act defines ‘disaster’ as ‘a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man-made causes, or by accident or negligence which results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, or damage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area.'