• Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, virtually inaugurated the “5th World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM)” on November 24, 2021.

Key Points

  • While inaugurating the conference, minister noted that, Indian Armed Forces have demonstrated time and again that they care for and stand by India’s partners when they need without distinguishing between natural or man-made disasters.
  • He reiterated India’s vision for the Indian Ocean, summarized by the concept of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).

SAGAR comprises of both distinct and inter-related elements like:

  1. Deepening economic & security cooperation among littoral states
  2. Enhancing capacities to safeguard land & maritime territories
  3. Working towards sustainable regional development & Blue Economy
  4. Promoting collective action for dealing with non-traditional threats such as piracy, terrorism and natural disasters.
  • He also appreciated the Armed Forces for being first responders in region for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
  • He highlighted, India’s unique position in the IOR along with the capability of Armed forces, enables it to contribute significantly during HADR situations.

India’s assistance in IOR

  • One of the notable HADR missions in IOR that India undertook in recent years was “Operation Rahat” in Yemen in 2015.
  • In this operation, India rescued and evacuated over 6700 persons, comprising of more than 1940 citizens from 40 other countries. India also provided assistance during 2016 cyclone in Sri Lanka, 2019 earthquake in Indonesia, flooding & landslides in Madagascar in January 2020 and Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.
  • India also responded promptly during Oil Spill in Mauritius in August 2020 as well as Oil tanker fire in September 2020 in Sri Lanka.

5th World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM)

  • This conference is being organised at IIT Delhi, in between November 24-27, 2021. It is being organized under the theme of “Technology, Finance and Capacity for Building Resilience to Disasters in the context of COVID-19”.
  • The conference is an initiative of Disaster Management Initiatives & Convergence Society (DMICS).

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