Ministry of Home Affairs Current Affairs - 2020

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Census 2021 and NPR updation postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

The GoI had planned to conduct Census 2021 in two phases. The first phase was scheduled between April-September 2020 and the second phase was scheduled in February 2021. Also, the updation of NPR has also been postponed due to the spread of Corona Virus.

National Population Register

The NPR updation was scheduled to be conducted along with Census 2021. It is to be conducted by the office of Registrar General of India operating under Ministry of Home Affairs. Assam was the only state that was to be kept out of the NPR process as updation of the register for the state of Assam was done under National Register of Citizens.

Background

The data for NPR was first collected in 2010 along with Census 2011. The data was further updated in 2015 under a door-to-door survey. The NPR collects biometric and demographic data. The Biometric data is to be updated through Aadhar details. This is the first time NPR is collecting biometric data. Earlier in 2010, only demographic details were collected. Later in 2015, the data was updated with Aadhaar, ration card numbers and mobile numbers.

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Budget Allocation to fight Corona: Odisha, Tamil Nadu allocated funds

The US Government recently allocated 100 billion USD to fight Corona Virus. Following the US, UK had announced 400 billion USD to be allocated for Corona Virus.

Ranked the fifth largest economy in the world with a GDP of 2.94 trillion USD, overtaking UK, India is yet to allocate funds for Corona Virus. However, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of working hard to contain the spread of the disease. Also, GoI announced that the Rs 4 lakhs is to be provided to families of the victims affected with Corona Virus.

Justification

The Government of India has still not allocated funds as the fiscal deficits are already high. The Union Budget 2019-20 estimated the fiscal deficit to be Rs 7 lakh crore. Also, this year (2019-20) it is expected that the tax collection is to fall short by Rs 2.5 lakh crore (1.2% of the GDP).

Rather, the Union Government has made the state disaster funds available by notifying COVID-19 virus spread as “disaster”. By law, the State Disaster Response Funds can be used only for notified Disasters under Disaster Management Act, 2005.

State Disaster Response Fund

The fund was constituted under Disaster Management Act, 2005. The fund was constituted based on the recommendation of 13th Finance Commission. Every year, the GoI releases these funds based on the recommendation of the Finance Commission. 75% of the funds are shared by the Centre for the states under General Category. For the states under Special Category, 90% of the funds are contributed by the State.

The Ministry of Home Affairs if the sole head in managing these funds. The National Disaster Response Funds are supplemented when there is shortage in the funds allocated to the states.

Funds Allocated

Odisha became the first state in the country to allocated funds to fight against Corona Virus. The Odisha State government has allocated Rs 200 crores to fight against the deadly disease. The Tamil Nadu Government allocated Rs 60 crores.

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