Govt Of India, India
Amardeep Bhardwaj is an internationally respected scholar and is a defense expert from India with 35 years of professional experience. Currently, he is holding a senior position in the Government and his prime area of focus remains Disaster Management. His academic credentials include: Master of Science, Senior Level Diploma in Management, Master of Philosophy and a PhD/Doctorate in ‘Defense Studies’ for which his thesis was titled “Role of the Armed Forces in Disaster Management”. His book captioned “Optimizing and Synergizing Disaster Response of the World’s Militaries” is nearing finalization. He has participated in actual ‘Disaster Relief Operations’ during his service. He lectures extensively on the subject, globally. Presently, he is on the Board of Management of the ‘Centre for Strategic Studies and Simulation’ at the United Services Institution of India, India’s foremost think-tank. He is also a member of ‘All India Management Association’ and ‘The International Emergency Management Society’.
Statement of the Problem: Viewed from a global perspective, amongst all the agencies available to mankind to combat disasters, the military has repeatedly proved itself to be the most capable. However, a few probing questions reveal the true state of affairs: how optimally are the military forces trained, equipped, organized and mandated for DM? Within the ‘training’ domain itself, are adequate number of servicemen being trained, is their education & training institutionalized, is the requisite training infrastructure in place, have training requirements been scientifically deduced, is the curriculum purposeful, is formal certification being provided, are the training institutes accredited and finally, how effective has the training proved in actual disaster operations? Truthful answers to these questions reveal the extent of the problem.
Addressing the Problem: There is a dire need to graduate from a ‘nation-specific’ to a trans-national perspective, so as to develop a globalised approach to disaster response and relief. Moreover, the military needs to get far more specialized in training and equipping itself for such complex and delicate operations. The paper outlines a bouquet of options for each military to choose from so as to optimize itself for DM.
Recommendations and Conclusion: To bring about the desired transformation the paper identifies a number of different ‘Pathways’ or ‘Approaches’. It also suggests curricula for ‘higher’ levels of education and training of the military. Further, it discusses the ‘Training Vistas’ relevant to the military and makes a strong case for it to be trained in consonance with the tasks or duties assigned to it during DRR/HADR. It concludes by showcasing a number of innovative and ‘out of the box’ solutions to significantly upgrade the military’s efficiency in executing disaster relief operations.