Between 2014-15 and December 27, 2017, Maharashtra and Karnataka received the largest allocations under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for management of various disasters, including floods. This emerges from state-wise figures presented by the Home Ministry in Rajya Sabha in January this year. The Centre releases funds from the NDRF when the requirement, as assessed, cannot be met through the SDRF (State Disaster Relief Fund, with a 3:1 funding share between Centre and state).
Kerala, currently in the grip of devastating floods, will come under consideration for NDRF funds with the disaster having been declared as being of severe nature. In 2017-18, it had received Rs 133 crore (until December 27) under NDRF. The figures presented in Rajya Sabha showed over Rs 29,000 crore allocated to various states since 2014-15. Out of this, Maharashtra (three allocations) and Karnataka (four) received over Rs 5,000 crore each. While all states received varying amounts of funding under SDRF, at least nine — Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Punjab, Sikkim and Tripura —received none under NDRF during the period covered by the tabled figures.
This Word Means: Haj
How the pilgrimage is performed, stage by stage
ON MONDAY, over 2 million pilgrims spent the night in the valley of Mount Arafat, for a day of prayer that marks the pinnacle of Haj. The second of five days in the pilgrimage, this is called the Day of Haj. Many scholars describe four parts of Haj as essential — Ihram, standing in Arafat, Tawaf, and Sa’i — and some other actions as obligatory, such as stoning of three pillars in the right order, and shaving or cutting one’s hair. On the first day, pilgrims put on Ihram (prescribed white garments) and declare their intention to perform Haj, then perform the Tawaf (walking around the Ka’aba in Mecca) and Sa’i (running between the hills of Safa and Marwah) before leaving for Mina, where they stay overnight. On the second day, they go to Arafat, spending the day in prayer and travelling at night to Muzdalifah, where they collect pebbles for a later ritual. On the third day, they are back in Mina where they throw these pebbles at the largest of three pillars symbolising Satan and return to Mecca, where they perform the Tawaf around the Ka’aba (and also the Sa’i, if not performed earlier). They return to Mecca the same day, where they perform an animal sacrifice. On the fourth and fifth days, the pilgrims throw stones at all three pillars in Mina. On the last day, they return to Mecca, perform Tawaf around the Ka’aba and drink water from the Well of Zamzam, completing the pilgrimage.