In the backdrop of the International decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), a National Centre for Disaster Management was established in 1995 in the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, the nodal ministry for disaster management in the country. The Centre was upgraded as the National Institute of Disaster management (NIDM) on 16th October 2003, following the transfer of the subject of disaster management to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Institute was inaugurated by Hon'ble Union Home Minister on 11th August, 2004.
The Institute has achieved the status of a statutory organisation under the National Disaster Management Act 2005. Section 42(8) of the Act has made the Institute responsible for 'planning and promoting training and research in the area of disaster management, documentation and development of national level information base relating to disaster management policies, prevention mechanisms and mitigation measures'.
Section 42(9) of the Act has assigned the following specific functions to the Institute:
- develop training modules, undertake research and documentation in disaster management and organise training programmes;
- formulate and implement a comprehensive human resource development plan covering all aspects of disaster management;
- provide assistance in national level policy formulation;
- provide required assistance to the training and research institutes for development of training and research programmes for stakeholders including Government functionaries and undertake training of faculty members of the State level training institutes;
- provide assistance to the State Governments and State training institutes in the formulation of State level policies, strategies, disaster management framework and any other assistance as may be required by the State Governments or State training institutes for capacity-building of stakeholders, Government including its functionaries, civil society members, corporate sector and people's elected representatives;
- develop educational materials for disaster management including academic and professional courses;
- promote awareness among stakeholders including college or school teachers and students, technical personnel and others associated with multi-hazard mitigation, preparedness and response measures;
- undertake, organise and facilitate study courses, conferences, lectures, seminars within and outside the country to promote the aforesaid objects;
- undertake and provide for publication of journals, research papers and books and establish and maintain libraries in furtherance of the aforesaid objects;
- do all such other lawful things as are conducive or incidental to the attainment of the above objects; and
- undertake any other function as may be assigned to it by the Central Government.