Disaster Management Act 2005: Features, Objective of Disaster Management Act

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

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 establishes institutional mechanisms, sets guidelines for disaster management planning and implementation, and outlines the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders involved in disaster management efforts.

Disaster Management Act recognizes the importance of a proactive approach towards disaster risk reduction, preparedness, and mitigation measures. It emphasizes the integration of disaster management into development planning processes to ensure sustainable and resilient growth. The Act also focuses on enhancing coordination among various government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the community to effectively respond to disasters and minimize their impact on human lives, infrastructure, and the environment. Check the detail salient features, functions and responsibilities, and the penalties that can be imposed under the NDMA Act 2005 below.

Disaster Management Act 2005

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), focusing 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 the pan-India lockdown after that in 2021 and for essential services uninterrupted flow such as medical oxygen.

Functions and Responsibilities of National Disaster Management Act 2005

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. Following are some of the salient features of the Disaster Management Act 2005:

  • 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 updating.
  • 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.

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

Objectives of Disaster Management Act

The Disaster Management Act aims to provide a comprehensive framework for disaster management in India. It focuses on minimizing the impact of disasters and promoting effective response and recovery measures. The objectives of the Disaster Management Act include:

  • Establishing institutional mechanisms for disaster management at various levels.
  • Enhancing preparedness and capacity building for effective response to disasters.
  • Providing a legal framework for coordination, planning, and implementation of disaster management activities.
  • Promoting a proactive approach towards risk reduction and mitigation measures.
  • Ensuring the integration of disaster management into development planning processes.
  • Facilitating the efficient utilization of resources for effective disaster response and recovery.
  • Strengthening community participation and involvement in disaster management initiatives.
  • Supporting research, training, and awareness programs related to disaster management.
  • Encouraging cooperation and collaboration among different stakeholders involved in disaster management efforts.
  • Enabling a timely and effective response to disasters through the coordination of various agencies and organizations.

Phases of Disaster Management Act

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

How Government Responds to National Disaster Management Act 2005?

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.

Penalties under the Disaster Management Act 2005

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.

Criticism of Disaster Management Act 2005

Disaster Management Act in India has been praised for addressing significant gaps in disaster management. However, it has also faced criticism for certain shortcomings. One notable drawback is the absence of provisions for declaring ‘disaster-prone zones’. This classification could enable states to take more proactive measures to mitigate potential damages in vulnerable areas.

Another criticism of the Act is its narrow definition of disasters as solely sudden occurrences, disregarding progressive disasters like epidemics. Epidemics, such as dengue and tuberculosis, claim numerous lives and cause significant devastation, yet the Act lacks an effective mechanism to combat them.

Moving forward, there is a need for new disaster management guidelines that rectify these deficiencies and ensure the involvement of civil society, private enterprises, and NGOs in building a safer India. It is important that the revised guidelines address the current authorities’ dysfunctions and recognize the valuable role these stakeholders can play in disaster management.

Disaster Management Act 2005 UPSC

The Disaster Management Act 2005 holds great significance in the UPSC Exam as it is an important topic covered under the Governance section of the UPSC syllabus. Understanding the key provisions of this act is crucial for candidates to comprehend the legal framework and policies related to disaster management in India.

Candidates must study the features, functions, responsibilities, and penalties of Disaster Management Act 2005 outlined above for effective exam preparation. A thorough understanding of these aspects will enable candidates to answer questions related to the act confidently and accurately.

Disaster Management Act 2005 UPSC Questions

Experts have compiled UPSC questions on the Disaster Management Act 2005 to support candidates in their exam preparation. By referring to UPSC Previous Year Question Papers and reviewing the provided list of questions, candidates can progress towards achieving their goals effectively.

Question: Under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, who is responsible for coordinating disaster response at the national level? (A) National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), (B) National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), (C) State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), (D) District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA)

Answer: (B) National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

Question: Which ministry is responsible for the implementation of the Disaster Management Act, 2005? (A) Ministry of Home Affairs, (B) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, (C) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, (D) Ministry of Defense

Answer: (A) Ministry of Home Affairs

For UPSC Mains

Question: Discuss the key provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and how it has contributed to the overall disaster management framework in India. (UPSC Mains, 2020)

Question: Critically analyze the effectiveness of the Disaster Management Act 2005 in addressing the challenges and gaps in disaster management in India. Suggest suitable measures to further strengthen the implementation of the Act. (UPSC Mains, 2018)

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