Committees Current Affairs - 2020

M B Lal Committee

The recent massive fire at the Baghjan Oil field, Assam had caused serious environmental damages and led to migration of 1000s of people in the region. More than 1,610 families are now lodged in 4 relief camps.

The Government of India has taken several measures to address the issues of such oil field fires. In 2009. GoI constituted the M B Lal Committee following the fire accident at the IOCL terminal in Jaipur.

M B Lal Committee

The Committee had made 118 recommendations in regards to the safety guidelines to be followed by the oil companies while installing oil wells. According to the Ministry of Petroleum, 94% of recommendations made by the committee have been implemented.

Emergency Response Centres

The Emergency Response Centres were the major recommendation of the committee. The Centres were to handle major oil fires in the fastest ways as possible. It would take 3 to 4 years to construct an ERC. The ERCs were to be set up by 2014. However, the recommendation is still pending in several regions.

Fire Incidents

According to the information from the Oil Industry Safety Directorate, around eight accidents took place in oil and gas installations between April and June, 2020.

GoI set up Science-Technology Empowered Committee to speed up COVID-19 solutions

The Government of India has constituted a Science and Technology Empowered Committee to make speedy decisions on research and development of COVID-19.


The Committee is to be chaired by Niti Aayog member Vinod Paul and K Vijay Raghavan. Mr Raghavan is the principal scientific advisor to GoI. The committee will coordinate with scientists, science agencies , regulatory bodies and industries.

What is the plan?

The Committee has consented the institutes operating under Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Atomic Energy, CSIR, DRDO and IIScs to prepare their labs towards research and testing of COVID-19. The research of testing methodologies are to be stratified by the institutes based on the priorities set by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).

Steps taken so far

The medical institutes operating directly under the Central government have taken up the following researches

  • Repurposing of drugs
  • Manufacturing ventilators and test kits
  • Models to predict medical equipment requirements, mathematical models to track the disease spread in the country.