On 1st June 2016, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) to provide framework and direction to government agencies so that they can involve their efforts to make nation disaster-resilient and reduce the loss of lives. This is the first ever national plan prepared in the country and for the country. On this occasion, Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Rajnath Singh, Senior Officers of PM Office and Ministry of Home Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority were present.

In this plan, a new chapter of strengthening disaster risk governance has been included. The section comprising generalized responsibility matrix has summarized the theme of  Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance and the roles of specific agencies of State and Central departments. The six thematic areas covered in matrix that has specified the actions to be taken by the State and Central Regions to strengthen disaster risk governance, are as follows:

  • Work with Elected Representatives
  • Mainstream and Integrate DRR and Institutional Strengthening
  • Capacity Development
  • Promote Participatory Approaches
  • Grievance Redress Mechanism
  • Promote Quality Standards, Awards, and Certifications for Disaster Risk Management

The government of India has created a multi-tiered institutional system. The three bodies set up by the government will facilitate the paradigm shift from the hitherto relief-centric approach to a more proactive, holistic and integrated approach in order to strengthen the disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation. These bodies include:

  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) which is headed by the Prime Minister.
  • State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) commanded by the Chief Ministers of the States
  • District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs) guided by the District Collectors and co-chaired by the Chairpersons of the local bodies.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

It is an international treaty approved by United Nation Member States in March 2015 at the world conference on disaster risk reduction. It is the agreement to the Hyogo Framework for Action, which had been considered as the most encompassing international plan for disaster risk reduction.

This is considered as a non-binding agreement and it was adopted within the context of post-2015 development agenda. Along with this, the other two major international agreements were followed: Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030 in September and the UNCOP21 Climate Change Agreement. These three agreements have followed the common theme to combat the climate changes in various regions of the world.

The four priority theme outlined by the UN’s Sendai Framework includes:

  • Investment in Disaster Risk Reduction through Structural and Nonstructural Measures & Disaster Preparedness
  • Improvement in Disaster Risk Governance
  • Understanding Disaster Risk
  • Early Warning and Building Back Better in the aftermath of a Disaster

The Salient Features of National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP):

  1. This plan has instigated short term and long term goals which will be completed within the time frame of five, ten and fifteen years.
  2. With the regional approach, this first ever national plan will be beneficial for disaster management and development planning.
  3. It will maximize the ability of the nation to cope up with disaster situations.
  4. It will provide prevention, response, mitigation and recovery to the nation.
  5. This plan has taken the global trends in disaster management into account and co-operated with the approach of Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction 2015-2030 (agreement under the UN to which India is a signatory).
  6. In a scalable manner, NDMP can be executed in various phases of disaster management.
  7. The consideration of technological modes and capabilities to improve the situation of natural hazards and prevention has increased our limits. Now, we can closely measure and monitor the hazards like cyclones.
  8. All major sectors will be emphasized for communication, information, communication activities to prepare communities to cope with disasters.
  9. The national disaster management plan will provide vertical and horizontal integration among all the Government agencies and departments.
  10. This national plan will provide the overall direction to set the goals for various departments to develop their own disaster management schemes including separate response programs and standard operating procedures.
  11. It will also determine the major activities including medical care, information, search and rescue operation, evacuation, fuel, transportation in order to serve a checklist for government agencies to provide an immediate response.
  12. The first ever plan has incorporated the provision for strengthening the disaster risk governance and laid down the six thematic areas.
  13. It has also defined the roles and responsibilities of various government sectors including Urban Local Body (ULB) to Panchayat Level in a matrix format.
  14. The three major landmarks that have a significant impact on disaster management are included: Sustainable development goals, Paris agreement on climate change under the UNFCCC and Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction.
  15. This plan has been executed under section 11 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 according to which the guidelines for the preparation of state-level disaster management plan must be followed along with the central level.

Contributor: Sunpreet Kaur