IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


8th August, 2023 Geography

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The implementation of the Incident Response System (IRS) in India for effective disaster management.


  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) emphasizes the importance of the Incident Response System (IRS).
  • Lack of awareness and implementation challenges at grassroots level.

Impact of Record Monsoon Rains

  • Monsoon rains lead to loss of lives and extensive property damage.
  • Estimated economic losses ranging from ₹10,000 crore to ₹15,000 crore.
  • Recent floods in Northern India and Biparjoy cyclone in Gujarat highlight vulnerability to natural disasters.

Importance of Incident Response System (IRS)

  • IRS is an effective mechanism for coordinating disaster response.
  • Composite team with designated officers for various response requirements.
  • Training and preparation for disaster scenarios.

Challenges in IRS Implementation

  • Many states and Union Territories (UTs) have not yet notified the IRS at state/district level.
  • Lack of awareness about duties and responsibilities under IRS, especially at grassroots level.
  • Inadequate execution of coordinated responses during mock exercises.

Union Home Minister's Statement

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah's announcement of 16 states yet to implement IRS.
  • Introduction of schemes worth ₹8,000 crore for the disaster management sector.

Schemes to Enhance Disaster Management

  • ₹5,000 crore for expansion and modernization of fire services.
  • ₹2,500 crore for urban flooding risk reduction in seven major cities.
  • ₹825 crore National Landslide Risk Mitigation Project for landslide-prone areas.

About Incident Response System

  • The Incident Response System (IRS) serves as a versatile management tool, facilitating the coordination of disaster responses, be they natural or man-made.
  • This adaptable framework is tailored to the unique requirements of each specific incident.

Five Phases of the IRS

Preparation Phase:

  • Involves planning and training for potential incidents.
  • Establishes partnerships with relevant organizations involved in the response.
  • National IRS guidelines developed by NDMA, while SDMAs and DDMAs create their own customized plans.

Detection and Analysis Phase:

  • Identifies and analyzes the incident using various data sources such as eyewitness accounts, social media, and sensor data.
  • Procedures for detecting and analyzing incidents are outlined in IRS plans.
  • Responsible officers (ROs) trained to identify and analyze potential incidents.

Containment, Eradication, and Recovery Phase:

  • Focuses on containing the incident, eradicating threats, and initiating recovery efforts.
  • May involve evacuation, resource deployment, and infrastructure repair.
  • IRS plans encompass procedures for containment, eradication, and recovery, with ROs trained to implement them.

Post-Incident Activity Phase:

  • Involves learning from the incident to enhance future responses.
  • Conducts investigations, issues reports, and develops new training materials.
  • IRS plans include procedures for conducting post-incident activities, with trained ROs overseeing implementation.

Evaluation Phase:

  • Involves assessing IRS effectiveness and suggesting improvements.
  • Periodic evaluations conducted by NDMA, SDMAs, and DDMAs.

Implementing Entities

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA):

  • Develops IRS guidelines.
  • Coordinates responses to national-level disasters.

State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs):

  • Develop IRS plans for specific states.

District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs):

  • Develop IRS plans for particular districts.

Application of IRS

  • Used in responding to various disasters, including earthquakes, floods, cyclones, and terrorist attacks.
  • Acknowledged for saving lives and minimizing damages in such incidents.

Benefits of IRS in India

  • Provides a structured and synchronized approach to disaster response.
  • Reduces the impact of disasters on both lives and property.
  • Enhances communication and collaboration between diverse organizations.
  • Ensures efficient allocation of resources to the appropriate locations and times.
  • Facilitates learning from past incidents, leading to ongoing IRS improvement.


Q)  Discuss the benefits of the IRS in disaster management and its potential to enhance disaster resilience and response capabilities in the country. Provide examples of its application in real-life incidents and elaborate on the challenges and areas for improvement in the current IRS implementation. (250 words)