Disaster & Resilience
According to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), India’s unique geophysical and topographical structure makes it highly vulnerable to disasters. More than half our landmass is prone to earthquakes of moderate to very high intensity; around 5,700 km of the coastline is at risk from cyclones and tsunamis; over 12 per cent of land is prone to river erosion and floods, and 68 per cent of the cultivable area is vulnerable to droughts. In its National Disaster Management Plan 2019, India adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015- 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015-2030, and Paris Agreement on Climate Change (COP 21) to promote a holistic approach to designing disaster risk resilience (DRR) strategies and building community resilience. In the 2021 TechEmerge Resilience India Challenge, launched by the World Bank Group, in partnership with CES and NDMA, ten tech innovators and entrepreneurs were given access to a grant fund pool of US$1Million to pilot their solutions through disruptive technologies such as AI, IoT, drones, 3D printing, digital platforms, and more. With cloud credits and technical assistance from IBM, innovators like Seismic AI, Project Owl, Ideaforge, Pragathi Foundation, Build Change and more are now building resilience in India.
India is also among the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, having already experienced significant occurrences of climate change-related disasters. In preparing the first national study on the impacts of climate change, NITI Aayog, the government think-tank, estimated that 600 million people are at risk. The Government of India launched National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) on 30th June 2008, outlining eight national missions on climate change to make them more resilient to climatic disasters. The Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology was entrusted with coordinating two out of these eight national missions on climate change. These are National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC). Under this, various states undertook the projects to address the requirements in the agenda. In 2011-12, twelve projects were sanctioned. In 2012-13, the number of projects went up to 20, whereas in 2013-14, only six projects were sanctioned. This number was increased to 32 in 2018-19, and in 2019-20 totals of 13 projects were started. One of the innovations under this mission is Climate Solver, a WWF global initiative to strengthen the development and widespread use of innovative low carbon technologies. The platform interfaces low carbon technology innovators and industry associations, investors, government, incubation centres and the media. The platform promotes the use of innovative clean technologies and thereby contributes to reducing emissions and enhancing energy access. Apart from this, currently, there are about 448 similar (small scale) start-ups working in India under climate change initiatives. Moreover, under the Energizing India project, govt. Of India also creating 50 solar cities, which reduced greenhouse gas emission, will make our cities more livable.