National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) – Roles & Guidelines | UPSC Notes

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

NDMA or National Disaster Management Authority is the apex body for Disaster Management in India. It is headed by the Prime Minister of India. NDMA is mandated to lay down the policies, plans, and guidelines for Disaster Management. The NDMA was constituted on 27th September 2006, under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and is mandated to lay down the policies, plans, and guidelines for Disaster Management.

The NDMA is an essential topic for the UPSC Exam and is equally relevant from the Current Affairs point of view. The article on NDMA covers all the essential details, such as organizational structure, functions, guides, SDMA, DDMA, and challenges. Students must cover the topic in detail for the upcoming IAS Exam.

What is NDMA?

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the apex body for Disaster Management in India, headed by the Prime Minister. NDMA is established to coordinate the emergency response to the disaster caused by natural or man-made. NDMA focuses on providing relief responses after the disaster and provides support. They plan policies, strategies, and recommendations to respond to disaster situations.

NDMA Notes

The Indian government strives to promote a national resolve to mitigate the damage and destruction caused by natural and man-made disasters through sustained and collective efforts of all Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, and People. NDMA has 5 major divisions, viz. Policy & Plans, Mitigation, Operations & Communications & Information & Technology, Administration and Finance.

Historical Background of NDMA

The Government of India established a high-power committee for recommending plans for Disaster Management to deal with the disaster because disaster management is considered a topmost priority of the government. After the Gujarat earthquake (2001), the government formed a Disaster Management Plan Committee. Tackling the issue was the first step toward disaster management by the government. Disaster management was given importance at all levels, which can be evident from the addition of the disaster management chapter in the tenth five-year plan document. The Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act 2005, after which they established the NDMA led by the PM; State Disaster Management Authorities have a holistic approach towards disaster management, which makes them more concerned about the disaster which happens In India. India is very careful to manage disasters due to earlier consequences in India.

Organizational Structure Of Disaster Management

The Prime Minister is the chairperson of the committee. The cabinet minister is the vice chairperson, along with the 8 ministers of the state as its member. There are frameworks and guidelines used to regulate the committee to prepare to respond and mitigate in the case of an emergency. The Authority is divided into two levels- state and district.

  • State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA): Chief Ministers are in charge of the State Disaster Management Authority. In this role, they are responsible for implementing the plan and preparing for any situation that may arise.
  • District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA): There is a provision for the formation of DDMA under section 25 of the DM Act for each district of the state. District-level authority is responsible for coordinating, planning, and implementing the policy for managing disasters at the district level limited to a certain region.

Function Of The NDMA

  • NDMA has the sole power to approve disaster management plans which will be confined to every level of authority to manage the disaster.
  • National Disaster Management Authority has created various Government Schemes for disaster management to manage disasters effectively.
  • NDMA is responsible for creating all the policies and plans followed by ministers of the state and other departments.
  • They play a very important role in coordinating with the state government to implement the plan and policies.
  • They recommend the provision for mitigation and responsive activities plan by the authority to manage the crisis and restoration. Over time they have built enough ability to deal with crises and different types of disasters.
  • NDMA also provides assistance to foreign countries in case of disasters. In recent times, India has provided support and self-relief to a large number of other nations.

NDMA: Types of Disaster Management

  • Mitigation: It is concerned with detecting the disaster earlier to avoid negative consequences, it is an important stage as if anyone fails at this stage and then all other stages will fail. So the NDMA prioritize it.
  • Preparedness: It is another aspect of disaster management, after detecting the disaster it is important to prepare according to the disaster, with proper expertise and personnel, preparation at this stage help to bring the situation under control.
  • Response: It’s time, to action, at this stage we are all set to implement the activities which are planned in the second stage the implementation is also required with care at all levels because most failure occurs at this stage. National Disaster Management Authority makes sure this process is done properly.
  • Recovery: At this stage finally, after the action, finally NDMA plan to recover after the disaster took place to set things as it was before.

Scope of NDMA

Although every authority faces challenges, there is a way to do better in the future and not repeat the mistake, so some steps can be taken by NDMA to change their situation.

  • NDMA needs to build ways to use disaster management techniques for development purposes, and use another development program for mitigation should be formulated.
  • For more effectiveness of the NDMA, it s very important to implement the warning system, and an early reaction plan should be implemented at the national, state, and local levels.
  • Non-governmental Organizations and CSO is the important organization from the public perspective, so they should include at all disaster management levels.
  • There should be proper adoption and mitigation used to handle the risk. It would make things easier for NDMA.
  • Huge investment is required for better infrastructure and functioning of the department so that that policy could be formulated properly, and initiatives should also be taken to include more organizations to improve disaster response under NDMA.
  • India should learn from other foreign countries how they are managing their infrastructure to manage the disaster; countries like Korea, Japan, and Hongkong have developed the best infrastructure to deal with the crisis.

India’s Efforts in Managing Disaster

The National Disaster Reaction Force (NDRF), the world’s largest rapid response force dedicated to disaster response, has played a key role in mitigating and responding to all kinds of disasters. Although over time, India has become more optimistic about the disaster and has had a holistic approach to dealing with it, India has planned everything in advance and after the disaster to ensure that they do not have to face any problems. India has taken the biggest approach to deal with disaster by establishing a national disaster reaction force, the second largest force to deal with the disaster; this shows how responsible India is towards the disaster and its management. Establishing NDMA was a great move to ensure smooth disaster management in India.

India’s Support For Foreign Countries

India never fails to help others, so in this case, India is always ready to pro-support foreign nations in their bad time to help them in case of serious disaster issues. They also provide disaster relief to countries to cope with difficult times. India provides their support to other nations through waterways or airways, like naval ships and aircraft. Indian also Indian foreign humanitarian assistance bilaterally from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Challenges For NDMA

The Nationa Disaster Management Authority faced huge criticism when it failed to inform the public about the flood and landslides in Uttarakhand in 2012. They provided help with the poor resources they relief distributed making us question their authority. They are also accused many times of having poor planning to manage disasters like floods and landslides, which are common in India.

  • Many of the projects under flood management were delayed. They are also accused so many times that policy is not implemented properly, and most of their project ends in ultimate failure like poor flood management due to failure of institution work.
  • Projects like river management activities and border management works are delayed, which benefits Bihar, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh. It made things difficult for NDMA.
  • Another problem with NDMA is the lack of training, equipment facilities, and living quarters, which is again become a bigger hurdle in the case of disaster management in India.


The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is an essential topic for UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains. To prepare for this topic, one must cover the NCERT Books for UPSC and Environment Notes for UPSC in detail. Covering these will be sufficient. Other than this, special emphasis should be made on Current Affairs too. The Aspirants who are going to appear for the UPSC Exam must refer to the UPSC Syllabus to understand the UPSC Exam Pattern better. Aspirants should also practice Disaster Management Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains and refer to other UPSC Study Materials.

NDMA UPSC Questions

Question: Consider the following statements with respect to National Migrant Information System (NMIS)

  1. It is an online portal that would maintain a central repository on migrant workers.
  2. It was developed by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C

UPSC Notes
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana Project 75
Stockholm Convention Global Warming
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Article 28 of the Indian Constitution
Forest Rights Act 2006 UN Environment Programme
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