PANEX-21 inaugurated at Pune

Pune, 20 December 2021


PANEX-21, a multi-national – multi-agency exercise is being organised at Pune from 20-22 Dec 2021 with a focused aim to foster common and develop capabilities in Disaster Management aspects for the BIMSTEC nations. The exercise, is being attended by delegates and subject matter experts from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. They will brain storm various aspects related to conduct of effective humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations during a natural disaster in the background of a pandemic. 

The inaugural address was delivered by Lt Gen JS Nain, Army Commander, Southern Command at Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. In his inaugural address, the Army Commander drew attention of all participants towards the wide range of national disasters that frequently ravage the region and urged the participants to leverage all resources to assist each other during humanitarian crisis.  He exhorted the members to deliberate & brainstorm to arrive at a comprehensive Regional Response Mechanism against such contingencies.

Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in his Key Note address over video conference highlighted the importance of global and regional cooperation while tackling any pandemic like situation. He said that a well laid down procedure and coordination amongst BIMSTEC nations can be of huge assistance in saving human lives. He further emphasized that the exercise will focus on reviewing the process of notification, preparedness and response mechanism.

The structure of PANEX-21 as a multi agency exercise including representation of experts from the Armed Forces, National Disaster Relief Force and other stake holders, will be aimed at battling the challenges of disaster management in the backdrop of a pandemic.  Furthermore, the member states shall promote their best practices and also recommend the evolution of BIMSTEC joint response mechanism for Disaster Management.

The seminar today was organised in three plenary sessions.  Each session was moderated & addressed by renowned experts and domain specialists in the field of disaster relief and pandemic management. Subject matter experts like Dr Soumya Swaminathan Chief Scientist WHO, Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog amongst others attended the meet.  The first session was on discussing various medical aspects related to Pandemic Response including Concepts, Fundamentals & Lessons Learnt from COVID-19.  The second session discussed Response Mechanisms to a Natural Disaster in the backdrop of a Pandemic and the third session was based on Integrating Armed Forces in Trans-national response to Regional Disasters.

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PRO (Defence)-M.Iyengar/D.Rane


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