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Civil Defence

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Civil Defence

Civil Defence measures are designed to deal with immediate emergency conditions, protect the public and restore vital services and facilities that have been destroyed or damaged by disaster. Historically, The Civil Defence Policy of the Government of India, till the declaration of Emergency in 1962, was confined to making the States and Union Territories conscious of the need of civil protection measures and to ask them to keep ready civil protection paper plans for major cities and towns under the then Emergency Relief Organization (ERO) Scheme. The Chinese aggression in 1962 and the Indo- Pak conflict in 1965 led to a considerable re-thinking about the policy and scope of Civil Defence. The Civil Defence Act, 1968 (Act 27 of 1968) was passed by Parliament in May 1968. The Act extends to the whole of India and provides for among other things measures not amounting to actual combat, for affording protection to any person, property, place or thing in India or any part of the territory thereof against any hostile attack, whether from air, land, sea or other places, or for depriving any such attack of the whole or part of its effects, whether such measures are taken before, during, at or after the time of such attack. It also authorized the raising of Civil Defence Corps and for making Rules and Regulations for Civil Defence.

Act and Policy

The Civil Defence Act,1968, has been suitably amended by the Civil Defence (Amendment) Act, 2009 by Notification No. 3 of 2010, to include the disaster management as an additional role for the Civil Defence Corps, while retaining its primary role. The additional role in disaster management will be enacted by the Civil Defence Personnel before, during and after emergencies arising out of calamities/ disasters, whether natural or man-made. Although the Civil Defence Act, 1968 is applicable throughout the country, the Organisation is only raised in such areas and zones which are tactically and strategically considered vulnerable from enemy attack points of view. Civil Defence towns have been converted into districts and categorization of the districts in respect of State/ Union Territory is appended herewith 100 Multi Hazard Prone Districts Civil Defence activities are restricted to 259 categorized towns spread over 36 States/Union Territories.


The objectives of Civil Defence are to save the life, to minimize loss of property, to maintain continuity of production and to keep high up the morale of the people. During times of war and emergencies, the Civil Defence organization has the vital role of guarding the hinterland, supporting the Armed forces, mobilizing the citizens and helping civil administration.The concept of Civil Defence over the years has shifted from management of damage against conventional weapons to also include threat perceptions against Nuclear weapons, Biological & Chemical Warfare and natural and man-made disasters.

Source: Directorate of General Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India