Cover story: Role of Gram Panchayat in Disaster Management

NIRDPR Observes Vigilance Awareness Week

Regional Online Workshop cum Training of Trainers (ToT) on Social Accountability Tools & Techniques

NIRDPR celebrates 152nd Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

RSETI Corner:
Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Visits ICICI RSETI, Jodhpur

Cover Story:

Role of Gram Panchayat in Disaster Management

Local Community in managing disasters:

India, due to its geo-climatic condition, is vulnerable to climate-related disasters like droughts, cyclones, flash floods, avalanches and landslides, etc., across different parts of the country. The country has a long coastline of 7,516 km touching nine States and two Union Territories. The Indian coast experiences floods, cyclones which cause massive loss to life and property every year. As the frequency of the occurrence of disasters is regular, India is one among the few nations across the world with a Disaster Management Act. The Act was enacted in the year 2005 to cope with natural and human-induced hazards.

The Disaster Management Act, 2005 (Central Act 53 of 2005) of India in its Section 2 (d) defines disaster as, “a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence affecting any area from natural and manmade causes, or by accident or negligence, which results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of property, or damage to, or degradation of environment and is of such a nature and magnitude as to be beyond the capacity of the community of the affected areas.”

The National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 (NPDM) lays utmost emphasis on community-based disaster preparedness. The policy recognises the role of the community-level institutions in the process of disaster preparedness and response. During, pre-impact phase, the role of these institutions is critical in early warning, hazard mapping, vulnerability assessment, alertness and evacuation process. On response matters, the involvement of local community is highly essential in the rescue, relief and response processes including animal care and relief camp management. In the reconstruction phase, the policy outlines the concept of construction of hazard-proof houses, roads, bridges, canals, water reservoirs and power transmission lines, etc., where planning and designing need to be done through a participatory process by involving the government, the affected community and Gram Panchayat. It also prioritises building the capacity of local people and institutions on community-based disaster management systems for their specific needs in view of the regional diversities and multi-hazard vulnerabilities. (National Policy on Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, 2009).

Role of Gram Panchayat in Disaster Management:

The Disaster Management Act, 2005 and National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 mandate every segment of governance including Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies to be included in planning and management of disasters at the local level. It also mandates strong association of the community-based institutions through awareness generation, capacity building and training. The 73rd constitutional amendment recognises Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) as ‘Institutions of Local Government.’ The PRIs are mandated to be run by local communities and their elected representatives and play a role in planning for the development of locality.

The Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM) by its very nature also demands a decentralised bottoms-up approach with the involvement of Gram Panchayats in rolling out local disaster management plans encompassing all levels of disaster management continuum. Gram Panchayats need to actively engage with ‘at-risk communities’ for identification, analysis, treatment, monitoring and evaluation of disaster risks in order to reduce their vulnerabilities and enhance their capacities. (National Disaster Management Guidelines on CBDM, NDMA, Govt. of India, 2014)

Few Case Studies on managing disasters by the Gram Panchayats:

The State of Kerala experienced a devastating flood in the year 2018. Aranmula Panchayat located in the Kozhanchery taluk of Pathanamthitta district was about to be submerged in the deluge. Aranmula town is famous for its spiritual and heritage tags. Though the impact of the floods was severe in the region, Aranmula could minimise the damage due to the timely intervention of the Panchayat. (Source: KSDMA, 2018)

On account of timely rescue and reconstruction activities led by the Gram Panchayat, normal life was restored in the locality. Now they are more determined to face any kind of eventuality. (We Shall Overcome, KILA, 2018)

Chandimal Gram Panchayat in Kuchinda block of Sambalpur district of Odisha is prone to flood from Bheden river. In order to prepare the community for dealing with the disaster, the block administration organised a series of training programmes in 2007 for the orientation of Village Disaster Management teams as well as PRI members, with the help of trainers from ROPE, a local NGO. Due to the initiatives of Gram Panchayat, a large number of volunteers including females participated in these programmes. Here, gender-mainstreaming in the Disaster management Plan was also emphasised. The Disaster Management Plan has now been integrated with Gram Panchayat Development Plan of the Panchayat. (Source: Study material of the training programme on ‘Role of technology in community level disaster mitigation’, November, 2019, LBSNAA)

Capacity of Gram Panchayats on Disaster Management and role of NIRDPR:

The Centre for Natural Resource Management, Climate Change and Disaster Management has prepared a training module on ‘Preparing Gram Panchayats on Effective Preparedness and Management of Natural Disasters’  to sensitise the elected representatives of three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions, officials of various sectoral departments working at field level for providing basic services to the community, Non-Government Organisations(NGOs), Community Based Organisations and Master Trainers on the involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions in effective planning and management of natural disasters. The training module can be used as a tool to train the Master Trainers on strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP). The master trainers will use the module to train all the related stakeholders on the role of Panchayati Raj Institutions in community-based disaster management. As part of the capacity building initiatives of NIRDPR, Hyderabad, the Institute organises training programmes, webinars and other programmes on the role of Gram Panchayats in Community Based Disaster Management. Shri G. V. V. Sharma, IAS, Member Board of Revenue, Government of Odisha during his inaugural address of the training on ‘Preparing Gram Panchayats for Effective Management of Natural Disasters,’ opined that since there has been a paradigm shift in the approaches to disaster management, Gram Panchayats need to play a key role in involving local community in disaster prevention and preparedness.

Shri G. Venugopala Sarma, IAS, Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Odisha delivering the keynote address during the e-training programme on Preparing Gram Panchayats for Effective Management of Natural Disasters

A national webinar was organised by the centre on ‘Rural Local Bodies in Managing Natural Disasters’ on 22nd October, 2021 as a part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ commemorating the 75th year of India’s Independence. Dr. P. Dhar Chakravarty, IAS (Retd), Former Secretary, NDMA, Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI delivered the address as Guest of Honour on ‘Rural Local Bodies in Managing Natural Disasters.’ The keynote address was be delivered by Dr. C. Jaya Kumar, Associate Professor, NIMHANS, Bangalore on ‘Psycho-social Care of Affected People during Disaster and Pandemic Situations.’

Dr. Subrat Kumar Mishra
Associate Professor, CNRM, CC & DM
NIRDPR, Hyderabad

NIRDPR Observes Vigilance Awareness Week

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR adminstering the integrity pledge to staff members during the Vigilance Awareness Week celebrations at the Institute
Smt. Jaya Krishna Allamsetty, Vigilance Manager, NIRDPR addressing the audience
The employees of NIRDPR taking the Integrity pledge

National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj observed the Vigilance Awareness Week from 26th October, 2021 to 1st November, 2021 under the theme ‘Independent India @75: Self Reliance with Integrity.’ In order to create awareness among the employees, the following programmes were organised.

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR administered the Integrity pledge to the employees of the Institute on 26th October, 2021 in front of Dr. BR Ambedkar Block.

An essay writing competition in English and Hindi on the topic ‘Independent India @75: Self Reliance with Integrity’ was conducted on 27th October, 2021. The best three essays in English and two in Hindi were awarded with prizes.

A talk by Shri N. Anjani Kumar, Chief Administrative and Accounts Officer/Chief Vigilance Officer, Atomic Minerals Division, Department of Atomic Energy, Hyderabad on ‘Preventive Vigilance’ was organised on 27th October, 2021 virtually. He said that areas prone to corruption are recruitment, contracts, procurement and discretionary powers. NIRDPR has initiated preventive measures to increase transparency, responsibility in the activities of the Institute.

A quiz was organised on 29th October, 2021 on General Knowledge and CCS(Conduct) Rules, 1964, NIRDPR Employees (Conduct) Rules, 1968, CCS(CCA) Rules 1965, CVC Act, 2003, Constitution of India, Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Places (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, GFR, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018 and RTI Act, 2005. A total of 30 participants in six groups have participated and three best performing groups were awarded prizes.

A workshop on ‘Sexual Harassment of women at work place’ was conducted today by guest speaker Smt. Girija, Project Manager, Sakhi. This was followed by a valedictory function chaired by Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR. He covered the measures taken and gave more emphasis on vigilance matters by streamlining the procedures in recruitment and awarding of contracts and decentralisation of delegation powers. Later, prizes were awarded to the winners of the competitions.

A workshop for Admin and Accounts staff was conducted on 30th October, 2021 at Vikas Auditorium on the following topics:

  1. GFR, Budget and Accounts Procedures- Shri Y. K. Srinadh, Finance Officer, NISER, Bhubaneshwar.
  2. CCS (Conduct) Rules and NIRD employees Conduct Rules, 1968- Shri V. Vijaya Rami Reddy, Chief Administrative Officer (Retd.), BARC, Vizag.
  3. Establishment matters with emphasis on Recruitment, MACP-Shri C. V. Sastry, Administrative Officer, AMDER, AAE, Hyderabad.
  4. Soft skills – Ms. Swarna Latha, ASCI
  5. GFR with reference to procurements – Shri Manoj Kumar, AR(E), NIRDPR

Regional Online Workshop cum Training of Trainers (ToT) on ‘Social Accountability Tools & Techniques’

A slide from the workshop

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad organised an online workshop cum ToT on ‘Social Accountability Tools and Techniques’ for faculty, scholars and students of Department of Economics, and Department of Public Administration of Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute, Chennai by Centre for Good Governance and Policy Analysis (CGG&PA), NIRDPR during 26th -29th October, 2021.

Good Governance is about the processes for making and implementing decisions. It is not about making ‘correct’ decisions, but about the best possible process for taking decisions. Good Governance is a combination of characteristics, namely accountability, transparency, following the rule of law, responsiveness, equitable& inclusive, effective, efficient and participatory. Social Accountability can be defined as an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, i.e., in which it is ordinary citizens and/or civil society organisations who participate directly or indirectly in exacting accountability (World Bank, 2004).  The aim of this civic engagement is to stimulate demand from citizens and thus put pressure on the state or private sector to meet their obligations to provide quality services. The supply side of this equation is about building state capability and responsiveness while implementing different stages of the public financial management cycle. Social Accountability Tools enable development practitioners with the knowledge to generate a demand to improve governance at the local, regional, and national levels. Social accountability tools are essential for learning, as many of the public policies are increasingly goal oriented, aiming for measureable results, goals and decision centric.

Centre for Good Governance and Policy Analysis (CGGPA) proposes to address the gap of knowledge and skill in social accountability tools with this certificate programme.

The Workshop cum ToT aims at addressing the following objectives.

  • To enlighten the participants on the concept of Governance and Good Governance
  • To identify Governance deficits and gaps in existing policies
  • To enable participants to learn about some of the important e-social accountability tool and techniques
  • To apply those tools for analysing existing flagship programmes of rural development.
  • To verify and establish the tools.
  • To make the participants equipped with knowledge and skills for social accountability tools for better service delivery

The training programmes focused to cover the following modules

  • Concept, Approaches and Elements of Good Governance
  • Concepts, Approaches, Rational and Tools of Social Accountability
  • Application of Social Accountability Tools Techniques – Right to Information Act (RTI)
  • Application of Social Accountability Tools Techniques – Social Audits
  • Application of Social Accountability Tools Techniques – Community Score Card (CSC)
  • Application of Social Accountability Tools Techniques – Budget Analysis, Fund utilization and Participatory budgeting
  • Application of Social Accountability Tools Techniques – Citizen Report card (CRC)
  • Supply side governance –FMA & SET approach

This programme was scheduled to cover different topics related to ‘Social Accountability Tools for Good Governance’ by different subject experts covering the Scope and need of  ToT Programme;  Need and significance of Good Governance, Significance of Good Governance, and elements of good governance; Social accountability tools – Budget Analysis; Fund Utilisation; Participatory budgeting; Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS);  Right to Information Act (RTI); Social Audits; Community Score Card- Describe the CSC tool & Six key steps:   Introduction to Citizen Report Card (CRC)  etc., for each topic quiz, MCQ tests and assignments were given and accordingly participants succeeded to attempt all.

A total of 73 participants comprising faculty, scholars and students of Department of Economics, and Department of Public Administration of Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute, Chennai, PRIs, NGOs, and CBOs members participated in the online ToT programme.  On the final day, participants presented the knowledge gained from the ToT and shared their future plan of action based on key learning from the ToT. Dr. K. Prabhakar, Assistant Professor, Centre for Good Governance & Policy Analysis (CGGPA) organised this two-week online ToT programme.

NIRDPR celebrates 152th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR addressing the audience

The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad celebrated the 152nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi ‘father of the nation,’ on the campus on 2nd October, 2021. Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Mahatma Gandhi block and offered floral tributes. Further, the employees and students offered floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. Shri G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, NIRDPR and Shri Shashi Bhushan, Director (Financial Management) & Financial Advisor and DDG (i/c), NIRDPR administered the Swacchata pledge, respectively, in English and Hindi.

Later, Dr. G. Narendra Kumar addressed the audience on the values of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India’s freedom struggle. He said that Gandhi is a world-renowned personality and has inspired many people across the globe. In the past 75 years, India has seen a humungous transformation and institutions like NIRDPR have taken the nation forward. He praised Gandhi for his entrepreneurial qualities in the freedom struggle. He also reminded the audience that Gandhi had advised everyone to stop buying British products and use charka and spin their own cloth, to boost the village economy; he moved India from economic slavery to economic independence. Dr. G. Narendra Kumar added that Gandhiji many a time told that India lives in its villages and foresaw the requirement of rural industrialisation. Later, the Director General offered floral tributes to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the Administration building. The event was attended by Shri Shashi Bhushan, FA and DDG (i/c), Dr. M. Srikanth, Registrar (i/c), NIRDPR, faculty heads, faculty, staff and students.   

RSETI Corner:

Hon’ble Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Visits ICICI RSETI, Jodhpur

Shri Giriraj Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Government of India visiting the ICICI RSETI, Jodhpur

Shri Giriraj Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj visited the ICICI RSETI, Jodhpur, India’s first IGBC rated Net Zero Energy Building, on 18th October, 2021. The RSETI team presented a brief introduction on undergoing projects and the progress of RSETI to the Minister. During the interaction, Shri Giriraj Singh focused on the post-training impact of training programmes being conducted under RSETI and gave inputs on the projects based on his experiences.

Shri Giriraj Singh suggested building a cadre of LSAs with the women from self-help groups and taking up the sandstone activity as a local-based enterprise in the district. Further, the Minister took a walk through the RSETI Green Building and interacted with the team about innovations such as Light Tube, Gravity Light and Gym Cycle. He also enquired about the hostel facilities, classrooms and labs. He spoke to the ongoing trainees of cell phone repair & service, photography and videography about their learning, ambitions and course module.

Shri Giriraj Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj at RSETI Bazar

Later, Shri Giriraj Singh participated in the lateral learning workshop of ‘Udhyamshree’ in which 30 successful alumni from different fields were present. There was half an hour one-on-one session between the Minister and alumni. Shri Giriraj Singh gave a patient hearing to their life transformation stories and congratulated them for their success. He asked them to keep up the same and make more growth in life. Appreciating the efforts of RSETI towards creating sustainable livelihood for the specially-abled beneficiaries, the Minister suggested them to go for skill upgradation and adopt the new technologies available in the various trades. Following the workshop, Shri Giriraj Singh visited the RSETI BAZAR and interacted with the SHG women, who were selling various products in the stalls.

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