The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha said the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) conducts mock and table top exercises at regular intervals in collaboration with other organisations, authorities engaged in the rescue operations for various disasters like floods, landslides, earthquakes, chemical and industrial disasters.
In a written reply, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai informed the Upper House that the government with its continuous efforts has significantly improved its preparedness to deal with natural calamities.
“As mandated by the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the National Policy on Disaster Management had been issued with the vision to build a safe and disaster resilient India by developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster oriented and technology driven strategy through a culture of prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response, the Minister said.
He also informed that the first National Disaster Management Plan was issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in 2016 and it was revised after review in 2019.
NDMA has issued guidelines to be followed by different Ministries, Departments of the Central and state governments for integrating preparedness, mitigation measures and capacity building initiatives in their respective plans and projects.
Since its inception, NDMA has issued various guidelines for management of hazard specific disaster on various thematic and cross-cutting issues, including floods, Rai added.
The Minister said with an aim to provide specialised response in any disaster or disaster situation, the Union government has also established a premium institute — NDRF Academy at Nagpur — to impart training to NDRF personnel and other stakeholders.
Training to personnel engaged in rescue operations is a continuous process. Such personnel are provided regular training for capacity building and operational preparedness while the NDRF personnel are regularly trained for upgrading their skills for effectively responding to all types of disasters, natural as well as manmade, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergencies.
NDRF personnel are also nominated to participate in various international events such as training courses, seminars, workshops etc., which are aimed at updating their skills about best practices in disaster management, knowledge of sophisticated equipment and techniques being adopted globally.
NDRF is relentlessly engaged in “community capacity building and public awareness and preparedness programme” of the State Disaster Response Force, State Police, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Fire services, National Cadet Corps, non-governmental organisations, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, students, volunteers and other stakeholders, the Minister added.