National Disaster Response Force

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Context: The information about the National Disaster Response Force is important in the wake of various natural disasters occurring in India in the monsoon season. 

Concerned ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs


  • The NDRF is a specialized force formed to have a specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster under the Disaster Management Act of 2005.
  • It operates under the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).


  • The chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister.
  • The head of the NDRF is designated as a Director-General (DG). He/she is an IPS officer on deputation from any police organization.
  • The responsibility for disaster management in India's federal system is that of the State Government. The ‘nodal Ministry’ in the central government for the management of natural disasters is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • Composition: National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a force of 12 battalions, organized on para-military lines, and manned by persons on deputation from the para-military forces of India: three Border Security Force, three Central Reserve Police Force, two Central Industrial Security Force, two Indo-Tibetan Border Police and two Sashastra Seema Bal. The total strength of each battalion is approximately 1149. Each battalion is capable of providing 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads and medical/paramedics. 
  • NDRF has proved its efficacy with its commendable performance during various disasters including drowning cases, building collapses, landslides, devastating floods, and cyclones. NDRF has saved 1,33,192 human lives and retrieved 2760 dead bodies of disaster victims in 73 response operations in the country. 
  • NDRF in addition to being able to respond to natural disasters has four battalions capable of responding to radiological, nuclear, biological and chemical disasters.


  • The aim of the National Disaster Management Authority is to build a safer and disaster resilient India by developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster and technology-driven strategy for disaster management.
    This has to be achieved through a culture of prevention, mitigation, and preparedness to generate a prompt and efficient response at the time of disasters. This national vision inter alia aims at inculcating a culture of preparedness among all stakeholders.
  • NDRF has proved its importance in achieving this vision by highly skilled rescue and relief operations, regular and intensive training and re-training, familiarisation exercises within the area of responsibility of respective NDRF Bns, carrying out mock drills and joint exercises with the various stakeholders.

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