Taking cognizance of death of a student during mock drill in Tamil Nadu, the Himachal Pradesh government has issued directions for holding of mock drills in schools and colleges of the state.

And now onwards, the mock drills on disaster management would be held after permission and under the supervision of authorities of concerned districts.

In a notification, the Higher Education department directed all the college principals and Deputy Directors of Higher Education to consult district authorities before holding any mock drill on disaster management in their premises.

“Such mock in the future should only be held in the presence of concerned authorities of respective districts,” Diksha Malhotra, Joint Director of Higher Education told The Statesman. Further, no student should be forced or persuaded to participate in the mock drill against his/her will, she added.

The directions were issued after glaring laxities was found during mock drill which was conducted on 13 July at Kovai Kalaimgal College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore.

Officials said during investigations, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had found that the trainer G Arumugam had misled the college on holding of mock drill by impersonating himself as a trainer.

The accused had told the college authorities that NDMA was holding mock drills on disaster preparedness in colleges across the country and sought permission for the same after impersonating as NDMA trainer.

He had used the fake logo and letterhead to convince the authorities and even offered to conduct it free of cost.

However, later on, he had charged Rs 50 per student for granting certificate of participation which would help them in getting employment.

In the case, the college authorities had failed to check the facts with district administration and during which one girl was pushed from second floor of college building by the trainer as part of emergency response exercise.

The girl had suffered serious injuries in the accident and later succumbed to the injuries in the hospital.

The incident had led to NDMA authorities to issue directions to all states, clarifying that the Authority had not authorized anyone for holding mock drills, officials added.

Official said the school and college authorities will have to check with district administration and even inform the NDMA or state disaster management authorities before holding any such exercise in the premises.