India, US collaborate in disaster management

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Wednesday, 21 January 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: A $16 million, five-year government to government effort was launched today that expands cooperation between the U.S. and India in disaster management science, technology and systems. Representatives of the Government of India and the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, welcomed the opportunity to work as partners to mitigate the devastating effects of disasters.

The GOI has started a program for expanding and revitalizing its disaster management systems at the national, state and local levels. The project approach - which pairs U.S. government experts with Indian counterparts to share methods, tactics and technology - signals yet another important milestone in the cooperative relationship that has evolved between the two democracies.

Major components of the Project include Capacity Building with collaboration to institutionalize the Incident Command System to professionalise the response; establish Emergency Operations Centers at all levels and impart Search & Rescue training. The second major Project component is the Early Warning System for weather-related events such as floods, cyclones or droughts. The third component will include innovative Disaster Initiatives for establishing a sustainable system for improved disaster management at all levels. This project will provide for stronger national support for local emergencies through preventive planning and targeted community preparedness in high-risk districts of the country, which is an ongoing initiative by the Government of India and United Nations Development Program.

The effort establishes new working relationships between the GOI and a number of U.S. partners, including the U.S. Forest Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Project was launched today by Mr. N Gopalaswami, Union Home Secretary to coincide with the start of a new training program for incident command systems being offered by the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie where new recruits to the Civil Service are trained. Incident command protocols are a key part of the cutting-edge disaster response technology.

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