Dr. P K Mishra

Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.

Dr Pramod Kumar Mishra, in a career spanning more than three decades, has left a marked influence on DRM in India: From policy making and legislation to institutionalizing capacity building; from implementation of wide spread social protection schemes to academic research; from conceptualizing dedicated response teams to leading massive reconstruction and recovery programmes, he has been instrumental in almost all the major national initiatives in the field of disaster risk reduction.

As 1972 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Services, he has served in various key positions in the Government of Gujarat and Government of India and is currently serving as the Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.

Since the early 1980’s, Dr Mishra has worked extensively on crop insurance as a mitigation measure to alleviate the suffering of poor farm families, who were worst affected by disasters due to recurring floods and drought. Based on this, in 1996, he wrote the book, ‘Agricultural Risk, Insurance and Income: A Study of the Impact and Design of India’s Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme’. His work also inspired the weather-based insurance schemes in non-governmental sector. Between 2007 and 2013, as Agriculture Secretary to the Government of India, he improved upon the existing crop insurance scheme, leading to an increase in coverage from less than one million farmers to 15 million farmers. In 2014, he chaired the National Committee to Review the Implementation of Crop Insurance Schemes in India. His lifetime work led to the comprehensive Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme 2015, which envisages coverage of 70 million farmers.

In the aftermath of the Gujarat Earthquake of 2001, he led one of the largest post-earthquake reconstruction and recovery programmes of the country. His book, ‘The Kutch Earthquake 2001: Recollections, Lessons and Insights’, presents a telling account of his experiences during this period.

He was instrumental in the training of first batch of Incident Commanders, thus, sowing the seeds for the creation of the much sought after, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a specialized and dedicated force of professional responders, which has since saved thousands of lives during disaster-like situation in India and the neighboring countries. He pioneered India’s first professional disaster management institutions, such as the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) and the Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM) that led to the creation of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and other State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs). As CEO of GSDMA, he shaped the ‘Comprehensive disaster risk management framework for Gujarat, 2003’, which inspired the ‘Disaster Management Act, 2005’ and the ‘National Policy on Disaster Management’ at the national level. It was under his aegis, India shifted from a relief centric approach to a more proactive approach in handling various disasters.

In 2011, Dr Mishra advised the Government of Bhutan in formulation of their disaster legislation. Between 2012 and 2014, he was a member of the International Advisory Group of the GFDRR and advised the World Bank in the formulation of the Disaster Recovery Framework. In 2013, he led the multi-country study on disaster legislation by UNDP and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He has been providing high level policy support to the Government of Nepal post the earthquake in 2015. He was actively involved in preparation of AMCDRR 2016, New Delhi, and chaired the session on “Risk Resilient Infrastructure for Sustainable Development”. He had highlighted the need for a coalition of disaster resilient infrastructure during his speech at the First International workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure in 2018 and has been providing extensive guidance in the organization of the Second International workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure this year.

With such an inspiring legacy and unwavering commitment towards improving Disaster Management in the country and supporting Disaster Risk Reduction programmes across the world, Dr Mishra continues to actively provide his mentorship to prominent national and international initiatives.