New Delhi: The government on Sunday approved appointment of a scientist, an armyman and a UN expert on disaster reduction as members of the revamped NDMA, which had previously seen mostly politicians and retired bureaucrats with no background of disaster management holding office.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the names of Kamal Kishore, a disaster reduction expert at the United Nations Development Programme, Lt Gen N C Marwah (retired), and D N Sharma, Director of Health, Safety and Environment Group at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, official sources said.
A formal order regarding their appointment is expected shortly, the sources said.
The three were selected from a list of 82 names received after the Home Ministry for the first time invited applications from subject experts.
The government had recently scaled down the rank of NDMA members from Minister of State (MoS) to Secretary in the central government. The Prime Minister is the ex-officio chairperson of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
The last NDMA had a Vice-Chairman with the rank of Union Cabinet Minister and nine other members. This time, the government has decided to appoint only four members, besides a Vice-Chairman.
Kishore is the New York-based adviser on disaster reduction and recovery at the UNDP and has been handling crisis prevention.
Sharma has been associated with NDMA for several years, helping the body draft guidelines for safety in radiation- related areas.
Lt Gen Marwah was the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee prior to his retirement.
Union Minister of State Kiren Rijiju, who handles the disaster management desk in the Home Ministry, had recently said that the Prime Minister wanted NDMA to have professionals as its members and this central body should not been seen as a "parking lot" for retired politicians.
Last vice-chairman of NDMA was an active politician from undivided Andhra Pradesh while most of the members were either retired bureaucrats or police officers.
Last month, the government had made it clear that the practice of appointing politicians and retired bureaucrats with no background of disaster management will be discontinued and domain experts adept in handling man-made and natural crisis will be hired.
Inviting applications for appointment as members of the NDMA, the Home Ministry had said aspirants must have administrative, superintendence and management experience of disaster situation, mitigation efforts and similar knowledge.