On March 30, 2020 the government has set up 11 different empowered groups under Disaster Management Act, 2005 to suggest measures to improve health, restore the economy, & ease the suffering of people after a 21-day lockdown which is imposed for the control of the COVID-19 outbreak.Key Points
i.Each group consists of about 6 members including a senior representative from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Cabinet Secretariat to ensure seamless coordination.
ii.The groups are empowered to formulate plans and take all necessary steps for their time-bound implementation & the initiative is viewed as a pro-government action to tackle many of the challenges erupted by COVID-19.
iii.The following are the 11 different empowered groups & their heads ( 9 are headed by Secretary level officers, 1 by NITI Aayog member, and 1 by NITI Aayog CEO)
- Group on Medical Emergency & Management Plan- NITI Aayog member Dr V Paul.
- Group on Availability of Hospitals, Disease Surveillance and Testing and Critical Care Training- Environment Secretary, C K Mishra.
- Group on ensuring the availability of essential medical equipment, production Procurement, Import & Distribution- Pharmaceuticals Secretary, P D Vaghela.
- Group on augmenting Human Resources and Capacity Building- Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Secretary, Arun Panda.
- Group on Facilitating Supply Chain & Logistics Management for availability of necessary items- Drinking Water Secretary, Parameswaran Iyer.
- Group on coordinating with the private sector- Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant.
- Group on Economic and Welfare measures- Economic Affairs Secretary, Atanu Chakraborty.
- Group on Information, Communication and Public Awareness- Information & Broadcasting Secretary, Ravi Mittal.
- Group on Technology and Data Management- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) Secretary, Ajay Sawhney.
- Group on Public Grievances- HRD Secretary, Amit Khare.
- Group on Strategic issues- Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla.
About Disaster Management Act, 2005:
It was established by Government of India on 23rd December, 2005 for efficient management of disasters and related or incidental matters which extends to the whole of India.National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was formally constituted on September 27, 2006 as per the act.