Experts and delegates from BIMSTEC nations are participating in the event hosted by India

India is hosting the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercise PANEX-21 for BIMSTEC countries starting from Monday.

The three-day event, being held in Pune, is witnessing participation from subject experts and delegates from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

This is the third such exercise in a series of exercises on HADR, the last being held in February 2020.

A tweet of the Indian Army on Monday said that the exercise of BIMSTEC nations aims at developing Joint Response Mechanisms in handling natural disasters in the backdrop of pandemics.

“#PANEX21, a multi-national Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Exercise of #BIMSTEC Nations commenced today with an aim to develop Joint Response Mechanisms in handling natural disasters in the backdrop of pandemics,” said the twitter post of Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of MoD (Army).

On the opening day of the exercise, Chief of Army Staff, General MM Naravane delivered the keynote address.

“General MM Naravane #COAS delivered a virtual keynote address on the opening day of Exercise #PANEX2021 & shared ideas & experience in the field of Disaster Relief and Pandemic Management,” said a separate ADGPI tweet.

Last week, a curtain raiser event for the multinational exercise PANEX-21 was held in New Delhi.

The curtain raiser event on December 7 was presided over by Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt in the presence of distinguished civilian and military guests. These included Secretary General BIMSTEC Tenzin Lekphell, Chief of Army Staff Gen Naravane and Chief of Defence Staff (late) Gen Bipin Rawat.

The exercise will witness conduct of a Seminar, Table Top Exercises and Multi Agency Exercise.

The culmination of the event will be with the capability demonstration by Indian Industries in association with FICCI to showcase their capabilities, innovations and range of products available to assist government agencies in planning, preparation and conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization established in 1997 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration.

Being a sector-driven grouping, there are presently seven sectors of cooperation viz. Trade Investment and Development, Environment and Climate Change, Security, Agriculture and Food Security, People-to-people contact, Science Technology and Innovation and Connectivity.

Disaster Management is a sub-sector under the Security sector of cooperation of the seven country bloc.

India is the lead country of the Security Sector.