Think Learn & Perform (TLP): GS Mains Synopsis [Day 31]

  • October 1, 2015
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Think and Learn-2015, TLP Mains 2015, UPSC, UPSC Mains- Think and Learn-2015
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TLP: GS Mains Synopsis [Day 31]


Q.1) What are the components and functions of NDMA? Discuss the structural and functional bottlenecks of NDMA’s work in the past few years.


The Top Answer for this question is written by – Ranjeeth

Ans) As per the Disaster Management(DM) Act 2005, National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA) was formed is the apex body for Disaster Management in the country under the chairmanship of PM.


->Policy&Planning,Mitigation,Administration,Operation&Communication,Capacity Building are the components for day to day work of the Authority.

->SDMA&SDRF,DDMA,NIDM supplement the NDMA with NDRF under direct control of agency.


->Approve a National Plan for Disaster Management

->Lay down policies and guidelines for State plans,Government agencies and NIDM

->Coordinate implementation of policy and plans for Disaster Management

->Provide support to other countries as determined by Indian Government.

After 9 years of working still the functioning of NDMA has not been to its potential and criticized to a level of scrapping the organisation.Bottlenecks for effective functioning of NDMA are –


1)No direct control over SDMA and NDMA with NDRF reporting to Home Ministry.

2)Lack of effective integrated coordination mechanism with IMD,CWC.

3)Non availability of a Robust Decision Approval System.


1)Guidelines formulated by NDMA not implemented by other agencies

2)Poor planning and implementation with more dropped projects adds.

3)No proper directions to work dus to long time vacancies from top posts to expert members.

4)Non functioning of sub agencies and expert level committies.Even the apex body-National Executive Committee has not met since 2008.

The CAG in its 2013 report pointed out the poor performance and management of NDMA and termed the NDMA as ‘ineffective’.But still the role of NDMA at the time of a disaster is not explained crystal clear and that subjects the agency to more critizations.

Recent appointments with PM’s direction to make the agency effective might help to solve issues but needs more support to make the agency effective in DIsaster Mitigation and Management.

Q.2) Write a short note on Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.


The Top Answer for this question is written by – Ravi

Ans) Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is the first major agreement of the post 2015 development agenda adopted by the Third UN World Conference which consists of four priorities for actions to achieve seven broad global targets.

It not only reemphasizes the principles of Good Governance that State has a primary role in reducing the disaster risk and gearing up all sections of society in disaster management but also emphasizes that other stakeholders like private sectors to be involved in response preparedness.

Four priorities for Action :

1)Understanding the risk

2)Strengthening governance to manage Disaster risk

3) Investing for resilience from disaster risk

4) Enhancing Disaster preparedness for rehabilitation and reconstruction


Global Targets include reducing mortality, economic and infrastructural loss,damage due to disaster and international cooperation to developing countries.

India has declared to implement the framework where it includes integrated and inclusive institutional measures to work towards

1) Preventing vulnerability to disasters

2) Increased preparedness for response and recovery

3) Strengthen resilience

India has also proposed to Private sector to involve as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility to play a big role in disaster preparedness and mitigation planning. The framework will benefit India in acquiring resilient technology and emergency response plans for its nuclear energy facilities from developed nations like US and earthquake and Tsunami resistant designs from Japan.

Q.3) What is a disaster? Examine the aspect of ‘National Calamity’ and the reason for it being in news.


The Top Answer for this question is written by – SK

Ans) Disaster – A disaster is a natural hazard that causes great loss to human life and economy. It could be man-made or natural. It may include mishap, catastrophe, calamity or any grave occurrence.

National Calamity – The Disaster Management act do not define anything as “National Calamity.” But the idea was developed when Tenth Finance Commission recommended setting up of a national fund for “calamity of rare severity.” Central govt is supposed to fund the state for rehabilitation purposes, when such calamities of rare severity occurred. This has been modified as “national calamity” over time.

The National Calamity was recently in news because of Hudhud cyclone that hit the eastern coastal states in 2014. There was a demand to declare the calamity as national calamity.

If it were declared, then the central govt has to fully fund the state for rehabilitation. This can be done by imposing surcharges on corporate tax and income tax to fill the gaps in National Disaster Response Fund. Citizens are expected to oblige the measures of govt to raise funds, since it is their Fundamental Duty to render service to the nation when called upon to do so.

Hence, there is a need to insert “national calamity” provision into Disaster Management act, so that there can be a guaranteed assistance to states in times of severe natural calamities.

Q.4) Catastrophe during disasters increases manifold due to constraints of insurance in developing countries. Critically examine the statement and suggest a way forward.


The Top Answer for this question is written by –

Ans) It is often said, true catastrophe of a disaster is not immediate. It lies painfully in months of rebuilding one’s broken house, a ravaged farm or paying huge medical bills that ensue. A lack of insurance, especially in developing countries is found to be the common denominator in most disaster related losses.

To illustrate, the J and K floods in 2014 caused a cumulative loss of over 40,000 crore. With little insurance support, it pushed thousands of people into years of poverty. In a way for them, catastrophe spiraled many times.

But, without overstating the case for insurance, lack of right policy and planning, rapid response in operations and communications and overall poor mitigation strategies are still the main culprit in magnifying disaster related losses. The golden rule of “prevention is better than cure” truly applies in this case. Insurance can at best transfer the incidence of losses from people to the government or private firms,


Way Forward:

  • Diversification into specialized cells for the NDMA and SDMA to improve response times
  • Stringent steps for approvals of new constructions and strengthening of existing building codes
  • Promoting disaster insurance through current financial inclusion programs. Eg subsidizing premium in PM Suraksha Bima Yojana
  • Special focus on covering agri-losses due to disasters via NABARD

Q.5) Write short notes on –

  1. a) Ham Radio

The Top Answer for this question is written by – Manpreet Kaur Mankoo


Ans) Ham radio is a reliable, effective two way communicating mode that can be used across the globe (even in space) wirelessly and inexpensively.

It can be of great benefit during emergencies and communication blackouts. It played a significant role during the Quit India Movement. It has also been used voluntarily for downloading, decoding and issuing weather satellite signals on internet.

It was recently used by Indian hams to connect with hams in Nepal during the Nepal earthquake.

However, involved policies and lengthy procedures hinder the growth of ham radio that needs to be made online for hastening the license process.


  1. b) Social Media during disasters

The Top Answer for this question is written by – Santhosh Venkatesh

Ans) – Social media during disasters can serve as a complete communication tool where users send information, receive feedback and respond to it.

– During Kashmir floods Army and Twitter used an Automated Sensor Observation Service (SOS) by channelizing SOS information received in twitter feeds.

– Hence they can improve relief and rescue operations and be used by Disaster response personnel and government.

– But certain challenges such as Classifying huge data, misinformation and self regulating Nature of Social media need to be addressed.


  1. c) Role of Discretion and Judgement during disasters


The Top Answer for this question is written by – Abhishek V

Ans) Since disaster strike with little or no time for preparing, swift judgement and decisions taken on discretion of local authority are a very important factor in mitigating the damage done by disaster. Given the difference evacuation and no-evacuation; availability of transport; decision to call aid can made within small time, district collector is given authority to mobilize the response machinery, financial power to draw money and call for military aid in case of disaster.

Much life toll was prevented during Hudhud cyclone due to swift judgement of local authorities. Efforts should be made for capacity building and power delegation for panchayats as well.


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