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National Conference on Disaster Management

A brief report on two-day confeence in occasion of the National Day for Disaster Reduction, jointly organisedby NCDM and CSDMS.

In occasion of the National Day for Disaster Reduction, a two-day conference, accompanied by an exhibition was held at Nehru Memorial Museum, Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi on 11-12 October this year. The theme was ‘Community Participation and Public Awareness’. The conference was sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India and jointly organised by National Centre for Disaster Management (NCDM) and Centre for Spatial Database Management and Solutions (CSDMS). The conference and exhibition were inaugurated by Shri Nitish Kumar, Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture, India.

On 11th October, National Day for Disaster Reduction (NDDR), the film ‘The Disaster That Was…’, directed by Mahesh Bhatt, was screened before the Inaugeral Session in the auditorium. The welcome address was delivered by Shri M. C. Gupta, Director, Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA). After the lightening of lamp by the Chief Guest Shri Nitish Kumar, Shri Bhagat Singh, Additional Secretary and Central Relief Commissioner, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation gave the overview of NDDR. The Keynote Address was delivered by Shri Bhaskar Barua, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and Presidential Address by Shri Sripad Y. Naik, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Agriculture. After the Inaugural Address by the Chief Guest and Vote of Thanks by Shri Anil Sinha, Joint Secretary and Additional Central Relief Commissioner, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, the exhibition was inaugurated by the Chief Guest. A number of government organisations, NGOs and private companies exhibit their initiatives of successfully combating disasters.

Bhagat Singh, Additional Secretary and Central Relief Commissioner, DAC, Bhaskar Barua, Secretary, DAC, Anil Sinha, Joint Secretary and Additional Central Relief Commissioner, DAC and Prof. V. K. Sharma, NCDM visited the exhibition On the first day, there was only one technical session on ‘Community Participation and Public Awareness’, chaired by Anil Sinha, Ministry of Agriculture and co-chaired by Pradeep Sahni, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). In keynote address, Subir Dutta, Special Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, gave the broad overview of disasters and their impact on the country’s economy. V. K. Sharma, Director, NCDM, presented his paper on ‘Community Participation and Public Awareness for Disaster Reduction’. C. K. Pathak, CARE India, S. C. Gupta, Indian Red Cross Society, P. R. Bose, DCE, N. K. Jain, Director, Joint Assistance Centre (JAC) and Manu Gupta, SEEDS presented their papers. The concluding remarks were made by A. K. Sinha. The theme of the second technical session held on the second day was ‘Role of IT in Disaster Management’, chaired by K. V. Venkatachari, ISRO and co-chaired by Michael Shiromany, Ministry of Agriculture. The papers were presented by Ajay Lavakare, RMSI, K. V. Venkatachari (ISRO), M. Moni, NIC, Ramesh Wahi, ESRI and Lion Ajoy from Lions Club. In the third session of the conference on the second day, chaired by S. K. Chaudhary and co-chaired by T. N. Gupta, BMTPC. R. K. Bhandari, CSIR delivered the Keynote Address. V. K. Sharma shared his experiences on cyclone of Orissa. The other papers were presented by L. C. Gupta, NCDM, Jai Bhagwan, CRRI and Saswati Paik, CSDMS. After the technical sessions, panel discussion was chaired by R. L. Kelkar. S. K. Chaudhary, Michael Shiromany (MoA), Ajay Kanchan as NGO representative, Pardeep Sahni (IGNOU), R. B. Singh (Delhi University) and Ravi Gupta (CSDMS) participated in the discussion. More points were added by A. S. Arya, Emeritus Professor, Roorkee University.

The Valedictory Session was chaired by Bhaskar Barua, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. Bhagat Singh, Anil Kumar Sinha and A. S. Arya appreciated the initiatives taken by the government and non-government sectors to create more awareness about the community preparedness to combat disasters. Bhaskar Barua formally released the book ‘Disasters to Development: Hudco’s Initiatives’. V. K. Sharma narrated the recommendations of the conference and with the Vote of Thanks by Ravi Gupta, the conference came to an end.