Socio-Economic Current Affairs - 2020

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PM announces J&K floods ‘National Disaster’, declares additional aid of Rs 1,000 crore

Announcing the Jammu and Kashmir floods as national level disaster, PM Modi declared an extra Rs 1,000 Crore as distinct aid for flood relief and rehabilitation. The state govt is battling worst flood in the last 50 years. The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), Air Force and Army were also pressed into action. 

PM Modi stated that the Rs 1,100 crore which is being made available to the J&K government via the State Disaster Relief Fund would not be sufficient in view of the scale of the tragedy. PM promised additional assistance would be offered, if essential, after an appropriate survey of the condition.

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“Road Traffic Act” to replace Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

A new Road Traffic Act will be brought in the winter session of Parliament this year, which will be at par with international Acts in the Road Sector, this was held by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari. He held that the prevailing Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 has outlasted its usefulness and in the fast changing traffic situation, a holistic Act is desirable. A draft of the recommended Act is already reaching closing stage and it will have characteristics of the best practices of developed nations like USA, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Germany and the UK.

The Minister grieved that every year 1,38,000 people are killed in road accidents, the total social cost of which is estimated to be around Rs 1 Lakh Crore. Additionally, 63 % of the road crash deaths occur on National and State Highways. The major difficulty faced in urban areas in addition to road safety is unparalleled growth of vehicles leading to traffic jamming and increasing road traffic violations.

Due to deficiency of effectual road engineering, faulty DPRs were made leading to rising road accidents and casualties. There is need to fix responsibility at the top level for such large number of accidents. There is also a requirement to lay pressure on execution and education for attaining preferred results on the ground.

The Minister valued the role of Institute of Road Traffic Education regarding capacity building of road traffic management based upon 25 years of their study.

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