NDMA, Aapada Mitra

NDMA, Aapada Mitra

NDMA(National Disaster Management Authority)-Aapada Mitra

The article is based on the Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution. It talks about how the Government Scheme-Aapada Mitra affects NDMA(National Disaster Management Authority)

Prelims: NDMA

Mains: GS III and GS IV: Government Schemes, case study, Essay

why in the news:

  • NDMA celebrated its foundation day on 18th September
  • The theme for this year’s Foundation Day was “Volunteerism in Disaster Management”.
    The government is working on a program to build teams of disaster management volunteers (Aapada Mitra) in 350 districts of the country.

About NDMA

  • NDMA stands for National Disaster Management Authority.
  • It is an apex statutory body for disaster management in India.
  • It was formally set on 27th September 2006, under the Disaster Management Act, of 2005.
  • The Chairperson of the body is Prime Minister and he is assisted by nine other members, one of these 9 members will be the Vice-chairperson.
  • What is Disaster Management Act?
    The Disaster Management Act, 2005 The Act was sanctioned on 26th December 2005.
    It came into effect in the repercussions of the 2004 tsunami when our nation lost thousands of lives.
    It was approved by the government for efficient management of disasters, including preparation of mitigation strategies, capacity-building and related matters.


  • The primary role of this body is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster bouncebackability and crisis response.
  • It is also the supreme body to set down policies, plans, and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure a timely and effective response to disasters.

The aim

  • Is to form a safer and disaster-resilient India through a holistic, proactive, technology-driven, and sustainable development strategy that includes all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness, and mitigation.


  • The government of India set up a High-Powered Committee (HPC) in August 1999 and a National committee after the Gujarat earthquake (2001), for making recommendations on the preparation of Disaster management plans and suggesting effective mitigation mechanisms, to identify the importance of Disaster Management as a national priority
  • There was a complete detailed chapter on Disaster management in the 10th 5-year Plan document.
  • The 12th finance commission was also mandated to evaluate the financial arrangement for disaster management.
  • The Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act, which anticipates the creation of a National Disaster Management Authority, with the Prime minister as the head and In state, the respective CM as the head of state disaster management authorities SDMAs, to initiate and execute a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.

Functions of NDMA

  • Set up the policies on disaster management.
  • Approve the National Plan.
  • Approve plans prepared by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India in accordance with the National Plan.
  • Set up the guidelines supposed to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plan.
  • Set up the guidelines supposed to be followed by the different Ministries of Departments of the Government of India for the Purpose of integrating the measures for the prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects.
  • Coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plans for disaster management.
  • Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation.
  • Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government.
  • Take other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with threatening disaster situations or disasters as it may consider necessary.
  • Set up broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of the National
    Institute of Disaster Management.

Pic: National Disaster Management Authority

Aapada Mitra Schemes

It is a Central Sector Scheme that was launched in May 2016.
(the central sector schemes are

1. These schemes are funded and implemented by the union government.

2. Usually they are schemes related to the subjects over which the union government has jurisdiction as per Schedule VII)
The scheme was implemented by the National Disaster Management Authority through this scheme, individuals will be identified as suitable individuals in disaster-prone regions who can be trained to be first responders in times of disaster.

To come up with the community volunteers with the skills that they would need to respond to their community’s immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster in the way capacitating them to undertake basic relief and rescue tasks during emergency situations such as floods, flash-floods and urban flooding.

Why these schemes
Commonly when disaster happens, volunteers from the affected community are the first ones to act.

When any disaster happens, no matter how fast the government machinery may be, the help from outside of the community will rich the affected people will take some time, and this time lag is very important in saving lives and livelihood.

The impact of volunteers in disaster response can be tremendous, as the extent of damage – in terms of economic and human loss – is greatly influenced by the initial response to a disaster.

Hence, there is a very necessary need to train these volunteers in certain basic skills in disaster management so that they can be able to respond in an informed and immediate manner along with assisting the concerned agencies in rescue and relief operations.

The drawbacks of NDMA
During the Uttarakhand Floods of 2013, the participation of the National Disaster Management Authority was negligible when it was unable to alert timely people of flash floods and landslides have been questioned. The post-disaster relief response was also insufficient.
The higher authority has blamed the National Disaster Management Authority’s poor planning of the unfinished flood and landslide prevention measures.

The completion of projects under the flood management programs has also been delayed, according to a CAG study.
It stated that the measure was not executed in a coordinated manner and blamed the National Disaster Management Authority for poor flood management due to institutional failings.

It has affirmed that there had been a notable delay in the execution of river management activities and works relating to border area projects, which were aimed to provide long-term solutions to Assam’s, north Bihar’s, and eastern Uttar Pradesh’s flood concerns.

The destruction caused due to the Kerala floods in 2018 and the Chennai floods in 2015 disclosed the inefficiency of institutions in terms of disaster preparedness. The NDRF’s personnel don’t have the necessary training, equipment, facilities, and living quarters to effectively deal with the problem.
Missing using the finds: To deal with disasters, the government established the National Disaster Response Fund and the State Disaster Response Fund.

Way Forward
At each level of disaster management, the community, NGOs, CSOs, and the media should participate

At the local, state, and national levels, robust early warning systems and fruitful reaction plans should be executed.
Adaptation and mitigation should be used to handle climate risk management.

Through sufficient research investment, a dynamic policy is crucial to construct disaster-resilient infrastructure. ISRO, NRSA, IMD, and other organizations must work together to develop technical solutions to improve disaster response capabilities.
India should take note of best practices from countries throughout the world.


  • The Indian Express (First responders for disaster management to be set up in 350 districts: Amit Shah)
  • The Indian Express (UPSC Essentials: One word a day – NDMA, the statutory body)

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