- State PSC
Disasters are unstoppable natural and anthropogenic impacts which can be mitigated by suitable management options. India is seventh largest country in the world and is highly prone to natural and anthropogenic disasters. India share 135.79 million sq. km (2.4%) of world surface while its population is 16.7% of the world population. The geological and geographical setup of the country makes it highly susceptible to disasters. In the north and north eastern part-one of the youngest mountain chain – The Himalaya is highly prone to earthquakes, landslides and avalanches. Indo-Gangetic plain is prone to floods as well as drought. North-western part is prone to drought and desertification while coastal regions are prone to tsunamis and cyclones. In other words, the country is susceptible to all types of disasters i.e. earthquakes, droughts, floods, cyclones, tsunamis, landslides, avalanches, desertification, forest fires and industrial, vehicle accidents, (road, rail, air). In the world, 90% disasters occur in developing countries. In India, 70% area is drought prone, 60% earthquake prone, 12% flood prone and 8% cyclone prone. These percentage figures show that there is need of trained manpower that can assist at the time of disaster as well as in planning of schemes, monitoring and management of disasters. In the present context of changing technological scenario, there is urgent need of trained manpower for the industry as well as government/private organizations.
Types of Disasters
There are basically two types of disasters – natural and anthropogenic. Natural disasters are due to nature like earthquake, landslides, drought, floods, tsunami and cyclone while anthropogenic disasters are due to human activities like road, rail, air and industrial accidents. Earthquake results due to internal forces of the earth and their adjustments. India is divided into five seismological zones based on the proneness to earthquakes. Zone five represents the highest proneness to the earthquakes. The areas vulnerable to earthquake are generally located in Himalayan and sub-Himalayan regions, Kutch and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In addition to major earthquakes like Uttarkashi (1991), Latur (1993) and Jabalpur (1997), large number of moderate and minor earthquakes has occurred in different parts of the country. Landslides come due to the movement of rock masses due to gravity, friction, earthquakes, rainfall and man made jerking motion. The hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, North Bengal, Sikkim and the North-Eastern States are prone to landslides.
Drought results due to low rainfall. Drought is mainly of three types-meteorological, hydrological and agricultural. In the country 16 per cent area is drought prone. The major droughts in the twentieth century were-1941, 1951, 1979, 1982 and 1987. The northwestern part of the country is highly drought prone area.
Heavy rainfall in short duration results in floods especially in clay soil, depressed areas and less outlet flow. India is the second most flood affected country where it is common during the monsoon season. Severe floods occur almost every year causing loss of life, damage to property, health problems and mortality of people. The National Flood Commission Report (1980) identified 40 million hectares of flood prone area in the country. The most flood prone areas in the country are in the Ganga, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Tapti, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery river basins.
Tsunami comes due to earthquakes in the oceans. Cyclones are the results of temperature and pressure differences in the oceans. On average 5 to 6 tropical cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea every year.
West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu along eastern coast in the Bay of Bengal and Gujarat and Maharashtra along the western coast in Arabian Sea states are vulnerable to cyclones and tsunami.
Forest fires occur in rain forests or deciduous broad-leaf forests. Coniferous and evergreen broadleaf forests in hot and dry regions often suited for spread of forest fires. Burning forest fires are hazardous to environment, agricultural land, animals and insects. The anthropogenic disasters happen due to human mistakes like road, rail, air and industrial accidents.
Role of Disaster Management Personnel
Trained manpower is necessary to deal with the situation before, during and after the disasters. The trained manpower helps in quick rehabilitation of the the disaster affected people, understands their psychological conditions and helps in their post disaster settlement. In the planning and policy making, trained and experienced personnel are highly required to give better suggestions.
In the country, Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal agency which monitors and manages the disasters. Other ministries/departments like agriculture, chemical, civil aviation, railways, road transport, environment and forest, health and atomic energy are responsible for their respective areas.
Education in Disaster Management
Trained manpower is the first requirement for mitigation, monitoring and management of disasters. There are number of universities and institutes offering certificate, Post Graduate Diploma, Master’s and Research degree. The basic requirement for certificate and bachelor course is 10+2 and for P.G. diploma and Master’s Degree, bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.Sc./B.Com.) with 55% marks. For Ph.D. degree, Master degree with 55% marks is required. However, the entrance qualifications vary from university to university. The course in disaster management is suitable to all subjects students but for sociology, social work, economics, public administration, psychology, geography, geology, meteorology and agriculture students, it is most suitable. These subject persons can use the basic knowledge of their particular subjects in disaster management. Follow</ing universities/institutes are offering courses in disaster management:
(The list is indicative only)
Higher Study – Ph.D and Post-Doctoral Research
There are number of universities and institutes conducting research programmes/facilitating in disaster management in the country like Centre of Excellence of Disaster Management in Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee; Department of Earthquake Engineering in Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee; Centre of Earthquake Engineering in Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi; Centre of Disaster Management, Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi; Department of Geography, Punjab University; Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi; SAARC Disaster Management Centre, New Delhi; India Meteorology Department, Lodhi Road, New Delhi; Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi; Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS) Division, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi; Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi; National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai; National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad; National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad; Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun; Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad; State Remote Sensing Applications Centers are universities/institutes/organizations having facilities for research. The fellowship varies from Rs.12000/- plus HRA to Rs. 23,000/-plus HRA depending on the qualification and experience of the candidate. In foreign countries, there is good number of fellowships available for Ph.D. degree and Post-Doctoral research. After completing the research, there is good scope of employment in universities, institutes, NGOs, policy and planning organizations within country and abroad.
There are good employment opportunities in disaster management in government as well as in private organizations. The work profile varies like teaching, research, consultancy, documentation, training organizer, field training and mock driller expert. Names of some organizations having likely employment opportunities are as follows:
(This list is indicative only)
Thus, in disaster management, there are good jobs opportunities.
The author is Assistant Scientist (Geology/Geophy-sics), Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC), Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of Haryana, CCS Haryana Agricultural University Campus, Hisar-125004, Haryana, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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