FEDERALISM/ DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Topic: General Studies 3:
- Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
- Disaster and disaster management.
COVID-19: Centre- State relations
To effectively tide over the crisis created by COVID-19 pandemic there is a need for a robust Centre-State cooperation in sharing of best practices & resources.
Let us have a look at two States which have adopted good measures in their fight against Pandemic:
- Draft policy on dealing with COVID-19 pandemic was ready by January last week showing urgency of preparedness.
- Declaration of COVID-19 as State disaster on February first week itself indicated a comprehensive response to be taken by authorities
- Constitution of State response team and District response team– to ensure inter-ministry coordination, quick response & regular monitoring of the actions taken
- Digital System to maintain data of all people under home quarantine (nearly 1.5 lakh people)
- Everyday press conference by State Health Minister & CM to educate citizens and quell rumours
- Shut down of anganwadis and schools was followed up by dry ration supplies to their homes.
- Utilizing Community kitchens to provide food for the poor
- Suspension of Biometric authentication at PDS shops as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of community transmission.
- Advance payment of social security pensions
- Multi-pronged strategy that involves Technical strategy, Humanitarian approach and Economic assistance
- Setting up of high-tech war rooms to exchange information & monitor the spread of disease
- Tracking the mobile phones of quarantined people through their GPS location and tacking necessary action if they violate the norms
- Corona Watch app – to inform people about places where infected persons had travelled – helps people to avoid such places
- Dedicated Helpline, Telegram group and COVID Awareness and Response centre – to spread awareness, respond to people’s queries and fight the menace of rumours/fake news
- ‘Dasoha line’ (155214) – to handle the demand for food during this crisis
- Construction labourers and migrant workers –One convention centre or wedding hall in every ward will be taken over by District administration to house them & prevent their migration to home towns
- Central government can adopt the best practices followed by some states and scale it up to national level
- Mission mode implementation of relief package announced by Centre
- Setting up sector-specific committees to facilitate prompt responses.
- Centre also needs to enhance the resources of State through measures like
- Releasing all the pending dues owed to the state governments on account of GST compensation.
- Relaxation of FRBM limits
- Assist states in raising finances from markets (by giving sovereign guarantees)
- Sharing bonanza from fall in Crude Oil Prices
- Consult States to ensure that supply chain, spread across multiple states, of essential commodities is not disrupted
- Harvest time – may lead to price fall or wastage due to disruption caused by lockdown – States to be financially supported (agriculture is a State subject)
Connecting the dots:
- Inter-State Council
- Governing Council of NITI Aayog