Recently, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has advised to amend the National Disaster Management Act (NDMA), 2005 after the COVID period.
The committee, in its report, had recommended that the NDMA, 2005 should be amended to effectively manage situations like the COVID-19 pandemic in future.
The Committee has analyzed that even though NDMA has helped us respond in a timely manner during the pandemic, it is not fully empowered to deal with possible global/local pandemic outbreaks in future.
- The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMA), 2019 should be amended. The NDMA is a guideline to help government agencies deal with any unforeseen national disasters (including chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear attacks).
- The National Disaster Management Plan has been prepared under the provisions of NDMA.
- The old Epidemic Act, 1897 should be re-reviewed, updated and amended to respond to the challenges posed by future epidemic outbreaks.
- Health sector spending should increase the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) to help strengthen infrastructure and build an effective public health infrastructure.
- Should incorporate experiences learned during the COVID-19 outbreak, including standard operating procedures, lockdown and public health management.
- Following the worldwide spread of COVID-19, the pandemic was declared a “notified tragedy” by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Also, NDMA was implemented for its control.
The legislative objective of NDMA is to make provisions for effective management of disaster. The National Disaster Management Authority, established under the Act, is the nodal central body for coordination for disaster management, headed by the Prime Minister. Similarly, disaster management authorities have also been established at the state, district and local levels.
Source – The Hindu