Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
18-April-2012 18:37 IST
NDMA Organizes National Workshop of Secretaries of Disaster Management

The National Workshop of Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries of Disaster Management Department of all States/ UTs on Best Practices in Disaster Management and Role of Science and Technology in Early Warning and Forecasting of Disasters was held in New Delhi today. Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman, NDMA Shri Shashidhar Reddy said that we should stop thinking in terms of incremental increases when it comes to upgrading our observational capabilities. We need to assess our final requirements, set a deadline and start working backward. Special efforts should be made to achieve this. We have excellent technical capability and I am sure that we can find the necessary funds.

Shri Reddy also emphasized upon the need for strengthening the State Remote Sensing Application Centres for providing better Decision Support System at the local levels. The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) should look into the working of the State Centres in the context of local vulnerabilities and make recommendations to bring them on par with the better Centres like in Andhra Pradesh. Shri Reddy wanted them to suggest the kind of infrastructure, equipment and man-power to achieve this so that it can be taken up with the States, which will have to provide necessary funds for this purpose.

Capacity building is also one of the most important subjects. NDMA is in the process of revising the guidelines for National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) which is responsible for training and capacity building in disaster management with focus largely on Training of Trainers. He said the NDMA will seriously consider the suggestions made during this workshop about the setting up State Institute of Disaster Management by the States as done in some States like Uttar Pradesh.

Lauding the role of NDRF, he called upon the States to focus on raising State Disaster Response Force for providing rescue and relief locally and assured all assistance for training. He said that the Government of India has decided to make National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) a stand-alone dedicated force which is not to be deployed for any other duties like law & order and election duties, etc. Shri Reddy wanted the officials to impress upon their State Governments to expedite the process of formation of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) wherever not been done so far and also suggested that SDRF should also remain a dedicated force without being given any other duties like the NDRF. Like the NDRF, SDRF can also be involved in community sensitization which will go a long way in preparing the communities to deal with disasters. Concerted efforts in this direction will have a tremendous impact on Community Based Disaster Preparedness over the next few years.

Shri Reddy also spoke about the role of media and mentioned that media needs to be sensitized on various aspects of disaster management which will go a long way in creating public awareness in appropriate manner.

A key note address was given by Secretary NDMA and Hon’ble Member Shri T. Nanda Kumar in his brief address set the agenda for the workshop. Hon’ble Member Shri K M Singh also gave a presentation on search and rescue equipments and role of NDRF in Disaster Management.

Organised by the National Disaster Management Authority, the Conference was attended by Disaster Management Commissioners and officials from all States and UTs besides Members and Secretary and Officials of NDMA.