Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

Karnataka approaches Supreme Court over NDRF Funds for Drought Management


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and its management

Mains level: NA

What is the news?

  • The Karnataka government has approached the Supreme Court against the Union government, seeking the release of drought relief funds from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
  • This disagreement marks the second major dispute after alleged ‘injustice’ in tax devolution and other allocations.

Extent of Drought and Water Scarcity in Karnataka

  • Rainfall Deficit: During the last monsoon season, Karnataka experienced significant rainfall deficits, exacerbating the drought situation and affecting agricultural productivity.
  • Drought conditions: Karnataka faces extensive drought conditions, with 223 out of 236 taluks (mandals) declared as drought-hit areas, resulting in substantial crop loss.
  • Compensation Sought: The state has sought substantial financial assistance from the Centre, amounting to Rs 18,171 crores, to address the damages caused by drought.

Karnataka’s Writ Petition to the Supreme Court


  • Legal Action: Karnataka’s petition under Article 32 of the Constitution seeks relief against the Union government’s alleged inaction in providing financial assistance for drought management.
  • Basis of Petition: The petition argues that the delay in releasing funds violates fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution, pertaining to equality before the law and protection of life and personal liberty.


What is National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF)?

  • The NDRF is a statutory body constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • It supplements State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) of a State, in case of a disaster of severe nature, provided adequate funds are not available in SDRF.
  • The July 2015 guidelines states that natural calamities of cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloud burst, pest attack and cold wave and frost will qualify for immediate relief assistance from NDRF.
  • NDRF is managed in the “Public Accounts” under “Reserve Funds not bearing interest”.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the accounts of NDRF.

Disaster Relief for Indian states

  • Under the 2005 Disaster Management Act, there is no definition of disasters.
  • It can include any event arising from natural or man-made causes that can severely disrupt life for people, going beyond their coping capacity.
  • The 15th Finance Commission introduced a new methodology for state-wise allocations, considering factors like past expenditure, risk exposure, hazard, and vulnerability.

Institutional Mechanism

  • States have the State Disaster Relief Funds (SDRF).
  • The Centre contributes 75% of the funds (and 90% for Himalayan and NE states) and states contribute the remainder.
  • The total amount is decided as part of the budgetary allocations and released periodically by the Centre.

In case a state needs the Centre’s assistance, it must follow a procedure:

  1. It should detail the extent of the damage in a memorandum and submit it
  2. If this is acknowledged by Centre, an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) conducts on-ground inspections to survey the damage
  3. A National Executive Team analyses the IMCT report
  4. Based on its recommendations, a High Level Committee shall approve the release of immediate relief from NDRF.

Additionally, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs oversees the utilisation of NDRF releases.



2014: Drought has been recognized as a disaster in view of its spatial expanse, temporal duration, slow onset and lasting effects on vulnerable sections. With a focus on the September 2010 guidelines from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), discuss the mechanisms for preparedness to deal with likely El Nino and La Nina fallouts in India.


Practice MCQ:

Consider the following statements about National Disaster response fund (NDRF):

  1. NDRF is a part of consolidated fund of India.
  2. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the accounts of NDRF.

Which among the above statements is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

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