NDRF Current Affairs - 2020

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NDRF: New unit to save heritage structures

The National Disaster Response Force is to establish a specialized unit for heritage structures.


  • The specialized unit is to be established in every battalion of the NDRF.
  • It will help preserve monuments and heritage structures that are damaged and battered by natural disasters.
  • It will also hold the responsibility of rescue and restoration of the structure.

About the Unit

The plan is to form set of personnel in each battalion of NDRF. They will become trained professionals on preserving heritage structures in pre and post disaster scenario.

Strategies of UNESCO: To preserve disaster prone Heritages

UNESCO believes that the Earthquake that occurred in Kathmandu in 2015 and the fire at the Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin are best examples of vulnerability of cultural heritages. In order to preserve them from disasters, the following initiatives were taken by UNESCO

  • In 2002, the Budapest Declaration was signed on World Heritage. According to the Declaration it is the responsibility of the “World Heritage Committee” to make sure the properties under World Heritage List are passed on to generations of the future as their rightful inheritance
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted the “Strategy for Risk Reduction at World Heritage Properties” in 2007. It is being implemented by the World Heritage Committee
  • The “Sendai Framework” includes several references to culture and heritage under its “Disaster Risk Reduction” framework

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SCOJtEx-2019: Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will inaugurate the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue- ‘SCOJtEx-2019’ in New Delhi. The four day exercise will be held from 4-7 November 2019. The joint exercise is being hosted by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

The SCOJtEx will be followed by a meeting between SCO experts and officials of ministries responsible for prevention as well as elimination of emergency situations.

About SCOJtEx-2019

Objective: To rehearse the disaster response mechanism, share knowledge, experience and technology for mutual coordination.

Participant: All the eight SCO member countries will be participating- India, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Representatives from Brazil, Mongolia, South Africa, International Search & Rescue Advisory Group, ASEAN Coordination Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) Centre are invited as observers. Other participants include representatives from embassies of all SCO member nations, heads of state disaster response forces (SDRF) and representatives of other stakeholders.

Key Features:

Focus of Joint Exercise will be to test the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of Inter-governmental interaction for immediate response. The exercise will also provide an opportunity to enhance coordination as well as co-operation involving multi-agency operations in an earthquake scenario.

This simulation exercise will be conducted as per the methodology and guidelines of International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), a network of disaster-prone and disaster-responding countries as well as organizations dedicated to operational field coordination and urban search and rescue (USAR).

During exercise, discussions will be held on role and responsibilities of many organisations and teams, including those involved in emergency medical services, as well as urban search and rescue at both national and international levels.

Discussions will be also held on the role of humanitarian system, emergency response and assessment team, United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), on-site operations coordination centre local emergency management authority and humanitarian civil-military coordination.

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