AIR Spotlight - Disaster Management

AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panelists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in the IAS exam preparation. In this article, the discussion is on Disaster Management.

Context:

Disaster management refers to responding to an emergency. Due to its unique geographical conditions, India is prone to natural disasters. Some of the biggest natural disasters that India has often faced are floods, landslides, earthquakes, droughts, storms, etc. This article gives a brief about Disaster Management.

National Disaster Management Plan

The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) was first published in 2016. The main goal of the plan is to make India more resilient to disasters and drastically reduce the damage caused during and after natural and man-made disasters. The plan was updated in 2018. 

To read more about the National Disaster Management Plan and its objectives, features, etc. check the linked article.

Some of the initiatives in disaster management are discussed below.

Prime Minister’s Ten Point Agenda on DRR (Disaster risk reduction)

  1. All development sectors must imbibe the principles of disaster risk management.
  2. Risk coverage must include all, starting from poor households to SMEs, multinational corporations to nation states.
  3. Women’s leadership and greater involvement should be central to disaster risk management.
  4. Invest in risk mapping globally to improve global understanding of nature and disaster risks.
  5. Leverage technology to enhance the efficiency of disaster risk management efforts.
  6. Develop a network of universities to work on disaster-related issues.
  7. Utilise the opportunities provided by social media and mobile technologies for disaster risk reduction.
  8. Build on local capacity and initiative to enhance disaster risk reduction.
  9. Make use of every opportunity to learn from disasters and, to achieve that, there must be studies on the lessons after every disaster.
  10. Bring about greater cohesion in international response to disasters.

 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR)

  • SFDRR – Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction aims to achieve a substantial reduction in disaster risk and loss of life, livelihoods and health; in the ecological, cultural, social and material heritage of people, communities and companies during the next 15 years. 
  • The framework consists of a series of standards, a comprehensive framework with achievable goals, and a legal basis for disaster risk reduction. 
  • The framework requires sharing of responsibilities among stakeholders, including the private sector,  government and others. 
  • The framework highlights human health and well-being concerns that are common to disaster risk reduction, climate change, and sustainable development.

Patience and a ‘Janata Curfew’ to fight against Covid 19

  • The Indian Prime Minister  had urged Indians across the country to face the coronavirus pandemic with collective determination and patience to ensure that “humanity and India are victorious.” 
  • A self-imposed curfew on the ‘Janata’ on March 22, 2019 was announced.
  • Social distancing was espoused as a key measure to fight the pandemic.
  • Avoid elective surgeries or routine medical check-ups so as not to overload health services. 
  • Require employers to pay workers in full if they have to stay home. 
  • To stay away from rumours. 
  • The Prime Minister also announced the establishment of the COVID19 Working Group under the Minister of Finance to take measures to alleviate some of the economic problems caused by the pandemic.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana

  • The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was announced as part of the first aid package during the COVID19 pandemic. 
  • The program was announced for a  period of three months and it has been extended to November 2021 (initially, the package was for May & June 2021, originally, it was extended to November 2020).
  • The program consisted of 80 crore cardholders. Each household received 5 kg of feed grains (rice or wheat) and 1 kg of legumes (Channa only) free of charge.

Vande Bharat Mission 

  • A total of 3,48,565 citizens had registered with the Indian diplomatic missions across the world for repatriation under the Vande Bharat Mission. 
  • Registered Indians have been brought back by a mix of non-scheduled commercial flights, ships and cross-border bus services from Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. 
  • The return operation only includes those who register to return for “compelling reasons”. 

Conclusion

  • There needs to be a clearer delineation of responsibilities at the national and state level, particularly with regard to responsibility for risk reduction activities. 
  • States should include reduced climate projections in disaster management plans so that future and evolving risks can be taken into account. 

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – Disaster Management:- Download PDF Here

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