Disaster Management Act 2005: Phases and Salient Features of NDMA Act | UPSC

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : December 25th, 2022

Disaster Management Act, 2005 stands firm in reducing dangers, determining the severity of the hazard, promptly undertaking necessary actions, and providing rehabilitation and relief to the injured. The National Disaster Management Act was authorized on 26th December 2005. The act assures the smooth management of forthcoming disasters, helping implement maximum steps for people's safety.

Disaster Management Act 2005, or the NDMA Act 2005 is a very important topic for both the UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains. The article on the Disaster Management Act covers all its essential parts, such as its salient features, functions and responsibilities, and the penalties that can be imposed under the NDMA Act 2005, to name a few. 

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Disaster Management Act 2005

The Disaster Management Act 2005 was passed by the Government of India on 23 December 2005, and authorized on 26th December 2005, for the effective management of disasters and other related matters. The NDMA Act 2005 contains 11 chapters and 79 sections.

The Indian Government has a strong resolve to work relentlessly on the National Disaster Management Act (NDMA), focussing on the necessities of the citizens and strategizing plans for fulfilling the demands of the countrymen. Further, their main motive is to stick to the reframed policies and ensure the reduction of any disaster damage. The Ministry of Home Affairs works with the National Disaster Management Authority.

The NDMA Act 2005 came into the discussion on the onset of COVID-19 and pan-India lockdown after that in 2021 and for essential services uninterrupted flow such as medical oxygen.

National Disaster Management Act 2005: Functions and Responsibilities

The Prime Minister is the chief of the Disaster Management Authority. His foremost duty is to cater to upcoming policies in the disaster field.

The primary functions and responsibilities under the National Disaster Management Act 2005 are:

  • Implementation and collaboration to execute Disaster Management Policies
  • Organizing funds for the reduction
  • Providing assurance and regular help to the majorly stricken countries
  • Work on the policies of disaster management
  • Working on the approval of plans by the Department of the Government following the National Plan
  • Working on necessary measures for disaster prevention, mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with threatening disaster situations or disasters
  • Establishing broad policies and guidelines in accordance with the National Institute of Disaster Management.

Salient Features of the Disaster Management Act 2005

Disasters are inevitable. It is bound to happen. However, it is important for the government to reduce its risk and reframe policies for a healthy and safe environment, such as Disaster Management Act 2005.

The salient features of the Disaster Management Act 2005 are:

  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA): NDMA is authorized to make policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management. The Prime Minister of India is the Chairperson, and NDMA will have no more than nine members, including a Vice-Chairperson. The tenure of all the members is of 5 years.
  • State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA): It is responsible for carving out the disaster plan for the respective state. The Chairperson is Chief Minister, and the Chief Minister appoints eight members.
  • District Disaster Management (DDMA): Chairperson of DDMA will be the collector District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner of the district.
  • National Executive Committee: It comprises Secretary level officers of the government representing various ministries such as Finance, Home, Health, Power, and agricultural ministries. It is responsible for preparing National Disaster Management Plan for the whole country and ensuring its annual review and updation.
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF): It is tasked with responding to a disaster and is headed by a Director-General appointed by the Central government.

☛ Know: District Disaster Management Authority is headed by?

Disaster Management Policy

The Disaster Management Policy, under the National Disaster Management Act 2005, follows some necessary guidelines and works with perseverance to reach optimized goals, such as:

  • Community-based disaster management, including integration of policy, plans, and execution at the last mile
  • Capacity building in all related areas
  • Compilation of previous initiatives and best practices
  • Cooperation with national, regional, and international agencies
  • Compliance and coordination are required to create a cross-sectoral synergy

Phases of Disaster Management

Disaster Management undergoes four phases according to the NDMA Act:

  • Mitigation: Mitigation ensures proper precautions and proactive measures before a disaster occurs
  • Preparedness: Preparedness refers to hosting emergency training sessions before the occurrence of the disaster
  • Response: It is the reaction to the disaster phase. The response can be both short-term and long-term effects
  • Recovery: The stage of recovery is sustaining and prioritization of individual necessities

National Disaster Management Act 2005: How Government Responds?

The Disaster Management Act 2005 empowers the Central government powers to make quick policy decisions and impose restrictions on managing a disaster. The Disaster Management Act enables the government to declare action plans in the country and disaster-struck areas to reduce risk impacts concerning the disaster.

  • The NDMA Act 2005 covers all-natural and man-made disasters that persist beyond the coping capacity of a community.
  • It also empowers the government to act against anyone not following government orders and regulations.
  • Under the laws, the authorities at the national and state levels are certified to deal with any disaster, including a biological one.
  • The authorities are empowered to act against any government official or director of a company for non-compliance with the order.
  • The law also enables the authorities to detain a person without a warrant and a jail term of one year for the first offence.
  • It also facilitates the authorities to develop national and state-level mitigation plans for effective implementation.

NDMA Act 2005: Penalties 

The penalties imposed under the Disaster Management Act 2005 are:

  • Any person, citizen, or public servant, can be penalized for non-compliance with government orders.
  • The prescribed jail term is one year for the first offence and two years.
  • The Act enables the officials notifying as nodal officers (often district magistrates) to summon anyone to perform disaster mitigation and relief duties.
  • Under this Act, the departmental head could be held responsible for any dereliction of duty by the personnel, e.g., for uninterrupted transport of medical oxygen, the district magistrates, deputy commissioners and senior superintendent of police or superintendents of police or deputy commissioners of police are held accountable.
  • A complaint against any official can be raised under this Act to the Chairpersons of national, state, or district disaster management authorities.

Disaster Management Act 2005 UPSC

The Disaster Management Act 2005 UPSC is an important topic for the upcoming UPSC Exam. Questions from the NDMA Act 2005 have been asked in UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains.  and analyze the UPSC Exam Pattern to get an idea of the questions asked in the UPSC CSE.

Disaster Management Act 2005 UPSC Questions

The topic is well covered under the UPSC GS Paper 3 Syllabus of the IAS Exam. One should practice UPSC Previous Year Question Papers.

Question: Consider the following statements regarding National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

  1. It is a statutory body created under Disaster Management Act, 2005
  2. It works directly under the Prime Minister's Office
  3. It comes to the rescue during situations of natural disasters only

Which of the statement(s) is/ are true?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 2 and 3 only

Answer: Option B

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Disaster Management Act 2005 FAQs

  • The Disaster Management Act of 2005 is a law that addresses things that are related to or incidental to disaster management. The NDMA Act of 2005 is steadfast in its efforts to lessen risks, assess the seriousness of hazards, take timely corrective action, and offer rehabilitation and relief to the affected.

  • The National Disaster Management Act 2005 was passed on 23 December 2005. It contains 11 chapters and 79 sections.

  • The four phases of the Disaster Management Act are:

    • Mitigation
    • Preparedness
    • Response
    • Recovery
  • The Home Minister of India inaugurated the National Institute of Disaster Management on August 14, 2004. Its headquarters are in New Delhi.

  • The National Authority establishes disaster management policies, strategies, and guidelines to guarantee a prompt and efficient response to the crisis. The Disaster Management Act 2005 gives the Central government the authority to decide on policies quickly and place limitations on managing a disaster.

  • The aims of the National Disaster Management Act 2005 are:

    • Avoiding negativity from hazards
    • Providing help and assurances to the victims
    • Working consistently on effective recovery
  • The following are some of the key elements of the Disaster Management Act of 2005: 

    • Disaster prevention and disaster threat reduction.
    • Reduction in the likelihood, severity, or effects of any tragedy.
    • Developing one's capacity, including knowledge management and research.
    • A state of readiness for any crisis.

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