Important Institutions: NDMA

Important Institutions: NDMA

The supreme statutory body for disaster management in India is the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Important Institutions: NDMA

  • The supreme statutory body for disaster management in India is the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
  • According to the Disaster Management Act of 2005, the NDMA was formally established on September 27, 2006, with the prime minister as its chairman and nine other members, one of whom would serve as vice-chairperson.
  • The organization's main goals are to build capacity in disaster resilience and crisis response, as well as to coordinate the response to natural and man-made disasters. In order to ensure efficient and prompt response to disasters, the apex body is also responsible for establishing policies, plans, and guidelines for disaster management.
  • The goal is to create a more secure and disaster-resilient India through a comprehensive, proactive, technology-driven, and sustainable development strategy that involves all key players and promotes a culture of preparedness, prevention, and mitigation.

What caused the NDMA to evolve?

  • The Government of India established a High-Powered Committee (HPC) in August 1999, and a National Committee following the Gujarat earthquake (2001) in recognition of the significance of Disaster Management as a national priority for the purpose of making recommendations on the creation of Disaster Management plans and suggesting efficient mitigation mechanisms.
  • For the first time, a comprehensive chapter on disaster management was included in the Tenth Five-Year Plan document. The financial arrangements for disaster management were to be reviewed by the Twelfth Finance Commission.
  • The Disaster Management Act was enacted by the Indian government on December 23, 2005. It called for the establishment of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs), led by the respective Chief Ministers, to lead and carry out an all-encompassing and integrated approach to disaster management in India.

Purposes and Duties of NDMA 

  • Endorsing the national disaster plan
  • Set up guidelines for disaster management
  • Give your approval to any plans created by central government departments or ministries that follow the National Plan.
  • Specify the procedures that State Authorities must follow when creating State Plans.
  • Specify the procedures that various Ministries or Departments of the Central Government must follow in order to incorporate disaster mitigation or prevention measures into their development strategies and initiatives.
  • The policy and plan for disaster management should be coordinated in enforcement and implementation.
  • Encourage the provision of money for mitigation.
  • As determined by the central government, offer this assistance to other nations that have experienced significant disasters.
  • Take whatever additional precautions it deems necessary for disaster mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster prevention, and disaster response.
  • Set broad principles and rules for how the National Institute of Disaster Management should operate.

Indian Disaster Management Institutional Framework

  • The State Government in question is in charge of managing disasters in the first instance.
  • But the National Policy on Disaster Management creates a supportive environment for all, including the Center, States, and Districts.
  • In accordance with and as required by the Disaster Management Act of 2005, the National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009, has been developed. It offers a plan/framework for dealing with disasters holistically.
  • The Disaster Management Authority has been established at the national, state, and district levels in accordance with the Act's provisions.
  • Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Secretaries was established to support the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in carrying out its duties.
  • A State Disaster Management Authority has been established at the state level, headed by the state's chief minister with assistance from a state executive committee.
  • District Disaster Management Authorities have been established at the district level.
  • In order to ensure a prompt and effective response to disasters and long-term disaster risk reduction, it lays out the policies, plans, and guidelines for disaster management.
  • Furthermore, India has ratified the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), which establishes goals for disaster management.

State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA)

  • The SDMA, which is presided over by the Chief Minister of the relevant state, establishes the state's policies and plans for disaster management.
  • In addition to reviewing the development plans of the various state departments to ensure that prevention, preparedness, and mitigation measures are integrated, it is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the state plan and recommending the provision of funds for mitigation and preparedness measures.
  • In accordance with the DM Act, the State Executive Committee (SEC), which is led by the state's chief secretary, is in charge of coordinating and overseeing the implementation of the National Policy, the National Plan, and the State Plan.

District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA)

  • Every district of a state may establish DDMA under Section 25 of the DM Act.
  • Except in tribal areas, where the Chief Executive Member of the District Council of Autonomous District is designated as Co-Chairperson, the Authority is led by the District Magistrate, District Collector, or Deputy Commissioner in addition to a locally elected official serving as Co-Chairperson.
  • Furthermore, the co-chairperson of DDMA will be the chairperson of the district's Zila Parishad.
  • Planning, coordinating, and implementing disaster management is the District Authority's responsibility, as is taking the appropriate steps for disaster management as specified in the regulations.
  • In order to enforce safety standards, plan for relief efforts, and handle disaster response at the district level, the District Authority also has the Authority to inspect construction in any district area.

India's Efforts in Managing Disaster

    • Establishment of National Disaster Reaction Force (NDRF):
      • India deliberately created disaster management (DM) as a comprehensive strategy, incorporating disaster preparedness, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction (DRR) into plans and policies rather than just responding to disasters after they occur.
      • With the creation of its National Disaster Reaction Force (NDRF), the largest rapid reaction force devoted to disaster response, India has increased its ability to prevent and respond to all types of disasters.
  • Indian Disaster Relief Role Abroad:
    • India is a new donor that has helped other nations significantly with both foreign development assistance and disaster relief.
    • With the primary use of naval ships or aircraft, India's foreign humanitarian assistance has increasingly included its military resources.
    • Many of the recipient nations have been in South and Southeast Asia, in keeping with its "Neighborhood First" diplomatic stance.
      • India has provided bilateral foreign humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and other countries over the past 20 years.

Contribution to Regional Preparedness for Disasters:

  • India participates in regional disaster preparedness and capacity-building initiatives as part of its neighborhood development efforts.
  • As part of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), India has hosted DM Exercises that allow the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to show counterparts from partner states the methods developed to handle various disasters.
  • India's first responders have interacted with those from nations in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as a result of other NDRF and Indian Armed Forces exercises.

Disaster Management Related to Climate Change:

  • Globally, the last two decades have seen a large number of climate-related disasters, with floods being the most frequent and storms being the second-deadliest type of disaster (behind earthquakes).
  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals (2015–2030), and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, all of which make it clear how DRR, climate change adaptation (CCA), and sustainable development are related, have all been adopted by India.
  • India takes part in a number of multilateral organizations that deal with these and other problems that are better handled by international cooperation.

Challenges and Weaknesses

  • During the 2013 Uttarakhand Flooding, when the NDMA failed to promptly alert the public to flash floods and landslides, concerns were raised about its performance. Similarly inadequate was the response to the disaster relief effort. The NDMA's poor planning, which resulted in unfinished projects for flood and landslide mitigation, was blamed by experts.
  • The completion of projects under the flood management programs was delayed, according to a CAG report. The document noted that the projects had not been undertaken in an integrated fashion and blamed NDMA for institutional shortcomings.
  • According to this argument, there have been significant delays in finishing river management projects and work on border area projects that were intended to be long-term fixes for Assam, north Bihar, and eastern Uttar Pradesh's flooding issues.
  • For the institutions, the devastation caused by the floods in Chennai in 2015 and Kerala in 2018 served as a wake-up call regarding their preparedness for disaster situations.
  • The 2015 Chennai floods were described as a "man-made disaster" in the CAG report, and the Tamil Nadu government was held accountable.
  • To handle the crisis situation effectively, the NDRF personnel lacks the necessary training, tools, infrastructure, and housing.
  • Misuse of Funds: To respond to disasters, the government established the National Disaster Response Fund and the State Disaster Response Fund.
  • The results of the audit show that some states misappropriated money for expenses that weren't authorized for disaster management.
  • The release of funds was delayed significantly in a few instances. Additionally, some States lost a lot of interest because they failed to invest the money. This demonstrates the financial indiscipline in state money management.

Steps taken

  • To inform and direct the creation and execution of disaster management and development plans across sectors and macro-level policy guidelines are required.
  • The urgent need is to create a culture of mitigation and readiness.
  • Specific developmental plans for the prevention and mitigation of disasters should be developed, along with operational guidelines for incorporating disaster management practices into development.
  • At the district, state, and federal levels, effective early warning systems and response plans should be implemented.
  • At all stages of disaster management, the community, NGOs, CSOs, and the media should be involved.
  • Adaptation and mitigation strategies should be used to manage climate risk.
  • In order to build infrastructure that is resilient to disasters, a dynamic policy is needed. To improve their capacity to handle disasters, ISRO, NRSA, IMD, and other institutions must work together to provide technological solutions.
  • The world's best practices:To effectively deal with typhoons and other disasters, nations like Hong Kong, China, Japan, and Korea have built strong infrastructures over the years.