New Delhi. 07 November 2019. A four-day joint exercise on urban earthquake search and rescue of the member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, organised by NDRF, concluded today. All the member countries of SCO viz. China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in this exercise, Mongolia participated as an observer. In addition representatives from INSARAG, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and SDRF also participated in this simulation exercise. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs,  Nityanand Rai, was the chief guest at the concluding session.

During the exercise held from November 4-7, participants from SCO member countries shared preparations, coordination during disaster and internationally recognized procedures during joint search and rescue exercises in a large urban earthquake environment. In addition, best practices were also shared among the participants of the Member States to strengthen regional response system, mutual cooperation and coordination.

Addressing the participants at the valedictory function, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India, Nityanand Rai said that the Government is sensitive to disaster management and is active at all levels. He added that the subject of disaster management is close to the heart of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Prime Minister has continually emphasized on the importance of reducing and mitigating disaster risk not only at the national but also at the global level. Rai said that the ten points put forth by the Prime Minister on the subject of Disaster Management serve as guiding principles on the subject.

Appreciating the active participation of the participants of the member countries in the exercise, the Minister said that organizing such exercises will boost our process and standardization and strengthen the response efficiency. Concluding his remarks, Rai said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah raised several important points in his speech on the inaugural day, and expressed happiness that the exercise had been successful in addressing all the points mentioned by Shah.

Members, NDMA, Lieutenant General, NC Marwah, (Retired), PVSM, AVSM; Joint Secretary (Disaster Management), Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri Sanjeev Kumar Jindal and Director General, National Disaster Response Force Satyendra Pradhan  also addressed the participants. He appreciated the active participation of the rescue teams of all member states.

As part of the next phase of this exercise, a meeting of experts from the ministries responsible for the prevention and liquidation of the emergency is being organized, the next day i.e. the 10th meeting of the Heads of Disaster Prevention Departments of SCO member states on 08 November 2019 will also be organized in New Delhi.