Prime Minister chairs first meeting of National Ganga Council
Paper: GS 2
Topic: Government policies and interventions aimed at development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- NMCG is a river cleaning project.
- NMCG is the implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council).
- It was established in 2011as a registered society under Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- It has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee.
- Both of them are headed by Director General (DG), NMCG.
- Executive Committee is authorized to approve projects under mission up to Rs.1000 crore.
- Similar to structure at national level, State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) acts as implementing arm of State Ganga Committees.
- This structure attempts to bring all stakeholders on one platform to take a holistic approach towards the task of Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation.
- The Union Cabinet has recently approved changes allowing the National Mission for Clean Ganga to fine those responsible for polluting the river. Earlier this power was vested solely with the Central Pollution Control Board. The power to fine the polluters is derived from the Environment Protection Act.
- The NMCG now has the status of an Authority and its key focus would be maintaining required ecological flows in the Ganga, abate pollution through planning, financing and execution of programmes including that of –
- Augmentation of Sewerage Infrastructure
- Catchment Area Treatment
- Protection of Floodplains
- Creating Public Awareness
Note: In October 2016, National Ganga Council has replaced National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), 1986.
National Ganga Council Composition
- Prime Minister will be the ex-officio Chairperson for the council
- Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will be the ex-officio Vice-Chairperson.
- The ex-officio members of the council.
- Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change
- Union Minister for Finance
- Union Minister for Urban Development
- Union Minister for Rural Development
- Union Minister for Power, Union Minister for Science and Technology
- Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation
- Union Minister of State for Tourism
- Union Minister for Shipping
- Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog
- Chief Ministers of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal
Secretary to Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will be The Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga will serve as the ex-officio Member Secretary.
The Headquarter of the National Ganga Council shall be at New Delhi or at such other place as it may decide. The council shall have its Secretariat in the National Mission for Clean Ganga. The Central Government in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation shall serve as the nodal Ministry.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND FUNCTIONS
The National Ganga Council will be overall responsible for the superintendence, direction, development and control of River Ganga and the entire River Basin (including financial and administrative matters) for the protection, prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in River Ganga and its rejuvenation to its natural and pristine condition and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water in the River Ganga and for matters connected therewith.
The National Ganga Council may consult experts and expert organizations or institutions in the field of river rejuvenation, river ecology and river management, hydrology, environmental engineering, social mobilization and other relevant fields.
Exercise Mitra Shakti- VII Closing Ceremony
Paper: GS 2
Subject: International Relations
Topic: India and its neighbourhood
Exercise MITRA SHAKTI is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India & Sri Lanka.
The 7th edition of India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise Mitra Shakti– 2019 is scheduled to be conducted in Pune from 01 – 14 December 2019.
- The exercise aims to build and promote positive relations between armies of India and Sri Lanka for counter-insurgency & counter-terrorism operations in the urban and rural environmentunder United Nations
- The joint exercise also aims for incorporating the current dynamics of United Nations peacekeeping operations through practical & comprehensive discussions and tactical exercises.
- The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.
- The exercise will involve practicing tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency /Counter Terrorist environment under UN mandate.
Youth must be made aware of the contributions and grand vision of Sardar Patel – Vice President
Paper: GS 1
Subject: Indian History
Topic: Different stages and important contributors and contributions from various parts of the country in ‘The Freedom Struggle’.
Role in Indian National Movement
- In 1917, Sardar Vallabhbhai was elected as the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha, the Gujarat wing of the Indian National Congress.
- In 1918, he led a massive “No Tax Campaign” that urged the farmers not to pay taxes after the British insisted on tax after the floods in Kaira.
- His effort to bring together the farmers of his area brought him the title of ‘Sardar’.
- He actively supported the non-cooperation Movement launched by Gandhi.
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was among the leaders imprisoned for participating in the famous Salt Satyagraha movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi.
- He led the Satyagraha movement across Gujarat when Gandhi was under imprisonment, upon request from the congress members.
- Sardar Patel was freed in 1931, following an agreement signed between Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India. The treaty was popularly known as the Gandhi-Irwin Pact.
- In the 1942 Quit India Movement, Patel continued his unwavering support to Gandhi when several contemporary leaders criticized the latter’s decision. He continued travelling throughout the country propagating the agenda of the movement in a series of heart-felt speeches.
Contributions to Post-independence India
- After India achieved independence, Patel became the first Home Minister and also the Deputy Prime Minister.
- Patel played a very crucial role in post-independence India by successfully integrating around 562 princely states under the Indian Dominion.
- He was successful in integrating all of them barring Jammu and Kashmir, Junagarh and Hyderabad. The India that we see today was a result of the efforts put in by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- He was the key force in establishing the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service.
- He took personal interest in initiating a restoration endeavour of the Somnath Temple in Saurashtra, Gujarat.
- Patel dealt ruthlessly with the Pakistan’s efforts to invade Kashmir in September 1947.
- He organised multiple refugee camps in Punjab and Delhi, and later in West Bengal.
Influence of Gandhi
- Gandhi had profound effect on Patel’s politics and thoughts.
- He pledged unwavering support to the Mahatma and stood by his principles all through his life.
- While leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru, Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari and Maulana Azad criticized Mahatma Gandhi’s idea that the civil disobedience movement would compel the British to leave the nation, Patel extended his support to Gandhi.
- Despite the unwillingness of the Congress High Command, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel strongly forced the All India Congress Committee to ratify the civil disobedience movement and launch it without delaying further.
- Upon Gandhi’s request he gave up his candidacy for the post of the Prime Minister of India.
Accession of the states
- Junagadh:Junagadh, a state on the southwestern end of Gujarat, the Arabian Sea stood between it and Pakistan, and over 80% of its population professed Hinduism. The Nawab of Junagadh Mahabhat Khan acceded to Pakistan. They announced the accession on August 15 1947, when Pakistan had come into being. When Pakistan confirmed the acceptance of the accession in September, the Government of India expressed outraged that Muhammad Ali Jinnah would accept the accession of Junagadh despite his argument that Hindus and Muslims could not live as one nation. Eventually, Patel ordered the forcible annexation of Junagadh’s three principalities. Junagadh’s court, facing financial collapse and no possibility of resisting Indian forces. A plebiscite convened in December, with approximately 99% of the people choosing India over Pakistan.
- Kashmir:Maharaja Hari Singh, a Hindu, equally hesitant about acceding to India, felt his mostly Muslim subjects would not like joining a Hindu-majority nation — or Pakistan — an eventuality which he would personally prefer to avoid. Patel had feared that the U.N.’s involvement would stall the process and allow Pakistan to reinforce its presence in Kashmir. Additionally, the outcome of a plebiscite remained highly uncertain. In 1957, Kashmir officially integrated into the Union, but with special provisions made for it in the Constitution’s Article 370. The northwestern portion remaining under control of the Pakistan army remains today as Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
- Hyderabad:Hyderabad constituted a state that stretched over 82,000 square miles in the center of India. Without Hyderabad, a large gap would exist in the centre of the united nation envisioned by Indian nationalists and the Indian public. Patel believed that Hyderabad looked to Pakistan for support, and could pose a constant threat to India’s security in the future. Patel argued Hyderabad essential for India’s unity, but he agreed with Lord Mountbatten to refrain from using force. Prime Minister Nehru after some contentious debate, and under Operation Polo, sent the Army to invade Hyderabad. Indian troops fought Hyderabadi troops and Razakars and defeated them.
India, in its present form would not have existed without the vision, tact & pragmatism of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He is truly the Bismarck & the ‘Iron Man’ of modern India. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru truly said that, “History will call Sardar Patel, the builder & consolidator of the new India”.