The annual joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise (AJHE-23) 'Chakravat' started on Monday in Goa. The 2023 edition of the exercise is being hosted by the Indian Navy from 9 to 11 October.

The exercise has been conducted by Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force in rotation since 2016, 

The Ministry of Defence said that the AJHE-23, planned over three days includes a seminar, a Table-Top Exercise and a Multi-Agency Capability Demonstration. The exercise will witness participation from various national agencies namely, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), National Institute for Disaster Management (NIDM), Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, DRDO and from friendly foreign countries.

Ministry of Defence said that the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations form a key component in the Indian Navy's Benign Role, as climate change has significantly increased vulnerability of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to natural disasters.

The challenge posed by climate change is accentuated by the limited capacity of littoral IOR states to address this rapidly growing threat. Therefore, Indian Armed Forces have been frequently called upon to render assistance to our friends and partners in the Region, thereby, strengthening the need and our resolve to be the 'First Responder’ in the region. While the three Services continue to provide relief in the event of a calamity, a whole of government approach would further enhance our preparedness and response to such unfortunate events, the official added.

The Defence Ministry said that discussions on emergent topics namely, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Practical Solution, Disaster Response in IOR: A Collaborative Approach, and NGO Collaboration in Disaster Reduction and Response: An Integrated Approach will be undertaken by Subject Matter Experts during the seminar planned on 09 Oct 23.

An industrial display has been planned on 10 and 11 Oct 23 wherein various HADR equipment will be showcased by FICCI, Army, Navy, Air Force, ICG, NDRF, SDMA and NSRC. Additionally, a Multi-Agency Capability Demonstration will be conducted on Oct 11, which will showcase drills on rescue and relief to highlight the nuances and important lessons, they added.

The Ministry of Defence said that AJHE is an outcome of PM’s directive promulgated during Combined Commanders’ Conference-2015.

Since its first edition in 2015, the Annual Joint HADR Exercise, CHAKRAVAT, has transformed itself into a multi-agency endeavour involving participation of all three Services, Paramilitary Forces, as well as several disaster response organisations, NGOs, academic institutions and international organisations, official said.

The official said that the 2023 edition would further synergise efforts at the national level among all stakeholders, as well as witness participation from eight countries of the Indian Ocean Region.