New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday dedicated to the nation a new campus of the National Fire Service College (NFSC) and laid the foundation of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Academy in Nagpur.
The Minister also presented Fire Service Gallantry Medals and awards to meritorious NFSC students, and announced Subhash Chandra Bose Award in the field of disaster management.
Shah paid tributes to the martyred fire services officers and said the Narendra Modi government had focused on the capacity building in the fire services and disaster management, neglected for the past 70 years, by setting up dedicated institutions, like NFSC and NDRF Academy.
The Minister hoped that states would have better coordination with the Centre to fight fire disasters through the NFSC.
The government has allocated over Rs 200 crore for upgrade of the NFSC. Due to sustained efforts since 2016, the NDRF had emerged as the leading disaster management force across the globe and achieved all the benchmarks under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, he said.
"The nation came a long way in the last two decades in its response to disasters and improved capabilities in minimising human losses and damages," Shah said. To back it, he compared the 1999 Odisha super cyclone, which claimed over 10,000 lives, with the recent cyclone Fani that killed 64 people.
Shah said India had become the hub for training disaster management personnel in the SAARC region and hoped it would facilitate exchange of best practices and minimise the effects of disasters.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai talked about challenges faced by firemen in fire emergencies and how the NFSC would be an important building block in preparing able fire-fighters.
Also present on the occasion were Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and MSMEs, along with senior officers.