Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said India had emerged as a regional power and net security provider in the Indo-Pacific since its capacity to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to its citizens and partner countries had grown in recent years, PTI reported.
Speaking at an event on the sidelines of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise ‘Samanvay 2022’, Singh said India was cooperating with multiple partners to ensure economic growth and security in the region under SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
“We have strengthened multilateral partnerships through engagement via regional mechanisms. This has improved interoperability enabling faster response in crisis situations,” he said.
The ‘Samanvay 2022’ exercise is being conducted by the Indian Air Force at Agra Air Force Station from November 28-30.
Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other senior civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Singh said that Asia, particularly the Indo-Pacific region, was vulnerable to the impact of climate change. The Defence Minister said prediction of natural disasters need to be accompanied by dissemination of information to a larger population and shifting people to safer locations, which required an “empowered machinery”.
“As nations have different capacities, collaborative preparation to deal with disasters is required,” he further said while urging nations to come together in dealing with natural disasters by sharing resources, equipment and training.
Rajnath Singh also emphasised that harnessing diverse capabilities and using expertise and new technologies decrease the impact of natural disasters.
“India’s robust HADR mechanism which has effectively provided relief both in India and other nations and the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government has strengthened this structure,” he said.
“India’s approach after the formulation of the National Disaster Management Policy has shifted focus from a relief-centric approach to a ‘multi-pronged’ approach including prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, relief and rehabilitation,” the minister further said.
(With inputs from agencies)