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1. As far as disaster management is concerned; it is high time for India to upgrade her strategies from rescue, relief and rehabilitation, to prediction, prevention and mitigation; Comment. 15 marks (250 words)
Although stated in length, the question is very direct. It asks about the need for India to overhaul its methodology of disaster management from the current post disaster restoration mode to the pre-disaster prevention one.
We can bring in some of the examples of international best practices. Anyway the quotes and keywords are most welcome.
Former President of United States of America Mr. Barak Obama had said, “When disaster strikes, it tears the curtain away from the festering problems that we have beneath them.” The quote seems to be true when we see various pitiable scenes in the aftermath of disasters in India. Animals getting washed away in floods, trees and electric poles getting uprooted by cyclonic winds, houses crashing down like the pack of cards in wake of earthquakes, etc, have become a second nature in India.
All these harrowing state of affairs in India after such disasters only indicate that, lack of preparedness is the main culprit behind the huge loss of life and property here. And India’s obsolete strategy of disaster management, which is concerned with the post disaster awakening doesn’t seem to be suitable in the 21st century; where people are even competing with the nature to unleash severe disasters.
India’s current state of disaster management;
It is surprising that, India has only the disaster relief and contingency funds, and she is not yet awoke to the idea of setting up prevention and mitigation funds. Even, the Supreme Court’s directive regarding this was pooh-poohed by the government of the day (no anticipation of situations, due to lack of long term perspective – Follett).
Further, most of the National Disaster Relief Fund and the State Disaster Relief Funds are expended in providing the temporary relief and rehabilitation in India. And as per the UNISDR, 90% of post disaster reconstruction works get destroyed, in India, in the very next strike of the disaster.
And the compensation provided for the loss of shelter accounts to just 10% of the amount required to build a new house.
Politicisation of relief work even worsens the things. As, political parties, regional forces, and the community leaders compete among one another in order to fetch maximum relief funds to their respective bastions (fighting for a small pie – Taylor). Ex: the blame game in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s move, to donate to the relief works of Kerala flood, last year.
National disaster rescue frame operation relies mainly on the police, military and the paramilitary forces for carrying out rescue and relief operation. And there is no attempt to train common people in rescue and relief operations. Further, there is also a significant reduction in the civilians joining the Home Guards, an institute that trains and occupies the civilians in community services.
Lastly, India’s history of disaster management shows how India just wakes up only after the disaster has struck and has caused severe damages. Further, such a negligent mindset of ours has resulted in a very mundane state of affairs that; the concepts like prevention, protection and mitigation of disasters aren’t seemed included in our dictionary.
Ex: NDMA was set up only after Gujarat Earthquake and the Disaster Management Act 2005 only after 2004 Tsunami.
The change that India has to adapt;
J C Pant committee on disaster management highlighted on setting up an institution that deals with the disaster mitigation strategies. Hence, the National Institute of Disaster Management was set up. However, lack of funds and faculties has made NIDM a toothless tiger. So, enough funds and functionaries have to be provided to the institute; and it has to be encouraged to come up with robust vulnerability maps and the Disaster risk atlas of India.
Further, the prediction mechanism of disaster has to be strengthened by instilling state of the art seismic prediction and weather forecasting paraphernalia. So that, the pre-disaster golden time can be extended for carrying out better evacuation works.
Ex: VSAT technology for disaster warning dissemination systems, Area Cyclone Warning Centres embedded with the Artificial intelligence to forecast cyclones, Flood Forecasting Networks with satellite based sensors, etc.
Case Studies: Some of the latest innovations that have been implemented in India include Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), “SATARK” (System for Assessing, Tracking and Alerting Disaster Risk Information based on Dynamic Risk Knowledge), etc.
Along with this, India should take up some of the long term preventive measures, so that the infrastructure, economy, and the people of India develop resistance and resilience towards the oncoming disasters.
Ex: Earthquake resilient constructions, Cyclone resistant shelters, Disaster proof schooling programme, fool proof underground electricity infrastructure, etc.
Disaster Resilience Challenges can be held periodically, to crowd source the disaster resilience inventions and discoveries.
Further, India should, sensitize the common people about the disaster risks present around their locality, educate them about the steps that have to be taken to save the lives and properties, and motivate them to help the community in relief and rehabilitation programs. This can relieve the army and police forces from disaster relief works to a large extent.
Ex: Establishment of Disaster Management Units in every locality, conducting drills, awareness campaigns, and Nukkad Nataks on disaster mitigation, etc.
Lastly, as said by Ian Davis “Disaster mitigation… increases the self reliance of people who are at risk – in other words, it is empowering.” Thus, the prevention and mitigation strategy for disaster not only saves lives and properties to a great extent; but also empowers the people from the grass roots to develop the confidence and courage to fight the risks on their own, rather than relying on the government like passive beneficiaries.
2. Both NPM and NPS have equal contribution to the establishment of Regulatory Commissions in India. Elaborate. 10 marks (150 words)
The question asks to link the concepts of New Public Management, New Public Service and the Regulatory Commissions. Effective analysis with proper linkage carries more weight age.
The question itself provides for linking the contents from both the papers, hence paper compatibility is not so difficult for this answer.
While Borin’s NPM model spoke of facilitation and enabling role of the government; M.E. Sharpe on the other hand postulated the ‘rowing’ than mere ‘steering’ role of it.
Although it seems like, NPM and NPS are contradictory to each other, they both have equal contributions to the intent and philosophy behind setting of regulatory institutions in India.
Or to put it in other words the regulatory institutions in India perform both the steering and the rowing functions.
- Regulatory institutions enable a healthy competition in the market by curbing frauds, monopolies and other anti-market and anti-client practices.
Ex: Competition Commission of India cracking the whip of Google’s attempts to monopolize the market; and SEBI’s action against insider trading, frauds and embezzlement, etc.
- They also ensure safety and security of the clients and their money invested to avail for goods and services. Thus, maintaining performance and client orientation of the market.
Ex: Metrology Department monitoring the weights and measures to avoid the customers being deceived and the Bureau of Indian Standards regulating the quality of various manufactured goods.
- Further, regulatory institutions also perform the initiation and the catalytic roles by helping the enterprises to establish and pursue their business. This is done by formulation of business friendly rules and improving the ease of doing business. Ex: RERA helping the firms in land acquisition, TRAI norms for internet freedom etc.
- Along with the regulatory job; the regulatory institutions also perform some of the development functions, like helping the domestic and small industries to grow up in the market. Ex: NABARD providing funds for Self Help Groups, provision of MUDRA loans etc;
- For the sake of rowing the weaker customers of the market, the regulatory bodies even go to the extent of taking anti-market measures, in India. Ex: Relaxation of patenting norms by CDSCO in order to promote manufacturing of generic medicines. This is aimed at providing Health as a Right rather than a Trade to the citizens of India.
- Lastly, as per the philosophy of NPS which states that, the role of government which is very much essential even in the enterprized world. The regulatory institutions maintain the effective presence of government in the market place. Ex: IRDAI allows both the public and the private entities to work in tandem in the insurance market.
Finally, we can conclude by saying that regulatory bodies are performing meticulous job in striking a balance between the state and the market players. Hence, these bodies are considered as the front liners in ushering in Good Governance in India, i.e. citizens should get the service immaterial of who gives it.
Both 2nd ARC and the erstwhile Planning commission had suggested the regulatory committees, to reconcile both the corporate and societal forces while framing rules and regulations for doing business in India.