Multi-Agency Exercise ‘Pralay Sahayam’

Why in news?

A multi-agency exercise was conducted on the banks of Hussain Sagar Lake as the final event of ‘Pralay Sahayam’ in Hyderabad.

Key Highlights of the Excercise

  • The event demonstrated efforts of all central and state agencies, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the Armed Forces towards jointly tackling an urban flooding scenario in Hyderabad.
  • For the purpose of the exercise, Hussain Sagar Lake was transformed into urban colonies partly submerged under water, post heavy showers in the city.
  • The Indian Air Force and the Army Aviation employed the Mi-17 helicopters, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak Helicopter for aerial evacuation, demonstrating special skills in hovering and winching.
  • Special Forces such as the Army Commandos and Marine Commandos from the Indian Navy carried out a highly synchronized Search and Rescue operation in the flooded colonies.
  • The exercise brought out the role and function of the State Emergency Operations in coordinating conduct of the joint operations.
  • The significance of early warning systems of agencies like Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) was emphasized.
  • Indian vendors showcased state-of-the-art disaster management equipment and related wares. NGOs such as Plan India, Care India, Sphere India, etc., also participated, bringing out their capabilities, organization and operational strategies.

Note 4 aspiring Civil Servant’s :

1. Make a note of NGO’s mentioned above . Use them in your answers to have a edge factor .

2. Make a note of position of “Hussain Sagar”, map based questions can be asked . River Musi passes through Hussain sagar.

Analysis (for Mains)

Disaster Management System in INDIA


  • India has been traditionally vulnerable to natural disasters on account of its unique geo-climatic conditions. Floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes and landslides have been recurrent phenomena.


Why we need to think on development Perspective?

  • Five Year Plan documents have, historically, not included consideration of issues relating to the management and mitigation of natural disasters. The traditional perception has been limited to the idea of “calamity relief”, which is seen essentially as a non-plan item of expenditure.
  • Two disasters, the Orissa Cyclone and the Gujarat Earthquake, are cases in point. With the kind of economic losses and developmental setbacks that the country has been suffering year after year, the development process needs to be sensitive towards disaster prevention and mitigation aspects.

Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Measures Information and Research Network:

Disaster prevention is intrinsically linked to preventive planning. Some of the important steps in this regard are:

  1. Introduction of  vulnerability analysis and objective risk assessment.
  2. Building a robust and sound information database –  Database of the land use, demography, infrastructure . Current information on climate, weather and man-made structures is crucial in planning, warning and assessment of disasters.
  3. State-of-the art technologies available worldwide need to be made available in India for up-gradation of the disaster management system.
  4.  Dedicated research activities should be encouraged, in all frontier areas related to disasters like biological, space applications, information technology & nuclear radiation for a continuous flow of high quality basic information .
  5. Establishing linkages between all knowledge based institutions – A National Disaster Knowledge Network,  must be developed as the network of networks to cover natural, manmade and biological disasters in all their varied dimensions.




  • The institutional and policy mechanisms for carrying out response, relief and rehabilitation have been well-established since Independence.
  • These mechanisms have proved to be robust and effective insofar as response, relief and rehabilitation are concerned.

Various Resources under Disaster Management in India

  • The Ministries/Departments/Organizations concerned with the primary and secondary functions relating to the management of disasters include:
  1. India Meteorological Department,
  2. Central Water Commission,
  3. Ministry of Home Affairs,
  4. Ministry of Defence,
  5. Ministry of Finance,
  6. Ministry of Rural Development,
  7. Ministry of Urban Development,
  8. Department of Communications,
  9. Ministry of Health,
  10. Ministry of Water Resources,
  11. Ministry of Petroleum,
  12. Department of Agriculture & Cooperation.
  13. Ministry of Power, Department of Civil Supplies,
  14. Ministry of Railways,
  15. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,
  16. Planning Commission,
  17. Cabinet Secretariat,
  18. Department of Surface Transport,
  19. Ministry of Social Justice,
  20. Department of Women and Child Development,
  21. Ministry of Environment and Forest,
  22. Department of Food.
  • Each Ministry/Department/Organization nominates their nodal officer to the Crisis Management Group chaired by Central Relief Commissioner.
  • The nodal officer is responsible for preparing sectoral Action Plan/Emergency Support Function Plan for managing disasters.

Source: PIB and ISDR.

Question based on the topic

Whether India has mainstreamed disaster risk reduction in its development policies at all levels if yes explain how?

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