The preparation of national guidelines for various types of disasters, both natural and man-made
constitutes an important component of the mandate entrusted to the National Disaster Management Authority under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. In recent years, biological disasters including bio terrorism have assumed serious dimensions as they pose a greater threat to health, environment and national security. The risks and vulnerabilities of our food chain and agricultural sector to agroterrorism,
which involves the deliberate introduction of plant or animal pathogens with the intent of undermining
socio-economic stability, are increasingly being viewed as a potential economic threat. The spectre of
pandemics engulfing our subcontinent and beyond poses new challenges to the skills and capacities of the
government and society. Consequently, the formulation of the national guidelines on the entire gamut of
biological disasters has been one of our key thrust areas with a view to build our resilience to respond
effectively to such emerging threats.
The intent of these guidelines is to develop a holistic, coordinated, proactive and technology driven
strategy for management of biological disasters through a culture of prevention, mitigation and preparedness
to generate a prompt and effective response in the event of an emergency. The document contains
comprehensive guidelines for preparedness activities, biosafety and biosecurity measures, capacity
development, specialised health care and laboratory facilities, strengthening of the existing legislative/
regulatory framework, mental health support, response, rehabilitation and recovery, etc. It specifically
lays down the approach for implementation of the guidelines by the central ministries/departments, states,
districts and other stakeholders, in a time bound manner.