Underscoring the country’s commitment to climate research and promoting international collaborations, Union Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju today paid a landmark visit to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. During his visit, the Minister familiarized himself with the state-of-the-art research projects being carried out at the autonomous institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Highlights of the visit include witnessing the workings of the Pratyush supercomputer, cloud stimulation experiments and studies on lightning phenomena. Fascinated by scientific progress, the minister expressed his admiration for India’s climate expertise, which has made the country a leading player in global climate and climate research.
A significant development during the visit was the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between IITM Pune and Tezpur University in Assam and ARIS in Nainital, Uttarakhand. The partnership aims to promote joint research efforts to address environmental challenges and develop effective solutions.
One MoU focuses on collaborative research on biosphere-atmosphere transfer of greenhouse gases and energy fluxes observed in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, while the other focuses on similar research at Devastal, near Nainital, Uttarakhand.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Rijiju highlighted India’s leadership in climate science and commitment to international protocols related to climate change. He expressed pride in the contribution of Indian scientists to the global climate research community. The Minister acknowledged the ever-changing climate patterns and emphasized the importance of continuous advancement of scientific capabilities to effectively adapt to these changes.
Also, the minister shared exciting news about the upcoming powerful supercomputer, which will significantly enhance India’s forecasting capabilities and research on various aspects of weather and climate. Hailing IITM Pune’s pioneering role in climate change research, the Union Earth Sciences Minister hailed the institute’s world-class facilities and stated that it would continue to be the backbone of India’s future efforts in the field.
During the visit, the minister also revealed India’s plans to implement 24-hour manning at its arctic station ‘Himadri’. While the station is currently manned by Indian scientists during the summer, discussions are underway to ensure year-round operation, indicating India’s growing interest and involvement in triosphere studies.
Also, Minister Rijiju acknowledged India’s strides in deep-sea exploration. Through the ongoing Deep Ocean Mission, the Ministry of Geosciences aims to study geology, seismology and other aspects of the ocean—an uncharted territory that holds immense potential for India’s blue economy and future economic growth.
The Minister concluded by discussing various projects initiated by the Ministry, including the development of a desalination plant for fresh water production at Kavarathi in Lakshadweep and a deep manned submarine being developed by NIOT Chennai. The Ministry, along with the Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), is also conducting awareness workshops on marine information and advisory services for the fishing community.
Dr. M. Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Pune IITM Director Dr. R. along with scientists and officials of IITM. Further demonstrating India’s commitment to promoting climate and climate research, the Earth Sciences Minister released the “Indradhanush Patrika” during the visit.
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