PANEX-21 | 09 Dec 2021

Why in News

Recently, a Curtain Raiser Event for PANEX-21 for the member nations of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries was held recently.

  • The exercise is planned to be conducted later this year (2021).

Key Points

  • About:
    • It is a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief exercise.
    • It will be participated by subject matter experts and delegates from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
    • A Multi-Agency Exercise (MAE) comprising a static display showcasing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HDR) equipment employed by the Indian Armed Forces and various civil agencies will also take place.
  • Aim:
    • To foster joint planning and build regional cooperation for responding to natural disasters.
      • Natural disasters are sudden ecological disruptions or threats that exceed the adjustment capacity of the affected community and require external assistance.
      • Natural disasters can be broadly classified into categories including geophysical such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, hydrological such as floods, meteorological such as hurricanes; climatological such as heat and cold waves and droughts; and biological such as epidemics.
  • Importance of the Exercise:
    • Covid-19 pandemic along with other natural disasters have brought out new lessons which involve a change in drills and procedures for carrying out disaster mitigation and management of disaster.
      • The exercise is being conducted keeping in mind these changes and the challenges after the pandemic.


  • It is a regional organization which comprises seven countries.
  • Five of these seven countries- India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh- are from South Asia while the remaining two, Thailand and Myanmar, are from Southeast Asia.
  • The group remained dormant for many years till it was revived a few years ago as an alternative to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which despite having the potential, has not been able to move forward due to friction between India and Pakistan.
  • With a focus on intra-regional cooperation, the BIMSTEC has also formed a platform with the SAARC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries.
  • Secretariat: Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Source: PIB