The Ministry of Earth Science (MoES), Government of India addresses aspects relating to Earth System Science and provides weather, climate, ocean, coastal state, hydrological & seismological services. The services provided by MoES are essential for various agencies & state governments to save human lives & minimise damages due to natural disaster.
One major milestone achieved by MoES in 2020 was the release of Flash Flood Guidance Services (FFGS), which is the 1st of its kind for South Asian countries namely India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Some of its significant achievements
MoES has listed out its significant milestones accomplished in 2020 under 5 major schemes –
- ACROSS – Atmospheric and Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems and Services
- O-SMART – Ocean Services, Modelling Application, Resources and Technology
- PACER – Polar and Cryosphere Research
- SAGE – Seismology and Geoscience Research
Atmospheric and Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems and Services (ACROSS):
i.Launch of FFGS for South Asian Countries namely India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal & Srilanka by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to issue impact-based forecasting of floods.
ii.Steps taken to strengthen Meteorological Observational Network in India:
- Upgradation of the Meteorological Observatory of Leh into full-fledged Meteorological Centre.
- Installation of 17 high wind speed recorders at Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam, Chennai, Goa, Cuddalore, Bhubaneswar, Kakinada, Puri, Ongole, Digha, Kavali, Haldia, Pamban, Gopalpur, Kanyakumari, Veraval, and Bhuj.
- Establishment of 25 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for Earth & Atmospheric studies.
- Phase six of Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX) being conducted at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi from November 2020 to March 2021.
iii.Launch of “Mausam” mobile app to provide information on current weather with temperature, humidity, wind speed & direction of around 200 Indian cities.
iv.Publication of India’s first climate change report for the Indian region by MoES.
v.Establishing MMDRPS (Multi-mission Meteorological Data Receiving and Processing System) for INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR & INSAT-3DS satellites through an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Antrix Corporation, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
vi.A very high-resolution (400 m) operational air quality prediction system developed to predict extreme air pollution events in Delhi and issue timely warnings to take necessary steps.
vii.Accurate and timely prediction of the tropical cyclones Amphan, Nisarga and Nivar by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Ocean Services, Modelling Application, Resources and Technology (O-SMART):
i.Dispersing advisories of Potential Fishing Zone in smart-map & multilingual texts every day from January-November, 2020.
ii.Launching of Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVAS) for providing ocean state information to small fishing vessels.
iii.Achieved Certificate of Recognition for ‘Tsunami ready’ villages by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)-UNESCO to 2 villages in Odisha – Venkatraipur & Noliasahi. This is the 1st of its kind in the Indian Ocean Region.
iv.Launch of Digital Ocean, web-application project to manage ocean data.
Development of Integrated Flood Warning System for Mumbai (iFLOWS-Mumbai).
Polar and Cryosphere Research (PACER):
i.Completion of Scientific Projects & Logistics operations of the 39th Indian Antarctic Expedition.
ii.Conducted an expedition to Chandra Basin in Himalayas during September-October 2020 to activities like stake networking, snow pits measurements for snow and ice accumulation and ablation.
iii.Organized the 3rd meeting of the BRICS working group on Ocean and Polar Science on September 23, 2020.
Seismology and Geoscience Research (SAGE):
i.Location of 1, 527 earthquakes in and around India from January-November, 2020.
ii.The seismic microzonation work of 4 cities namely Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, & Mangalore initiated in 2018 are in advanced stage of completion.
iii.Participation in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)-378 expedition in the Southern Pacific Ocean to investigate the record of Cenozoic climate & oceanography.
iv.Establishment of Isotope Geochemistry Facility (IGF) at the National Centre for Earth System Science (NCESS), Kerala. It will help in understanding Precambrian Terranes’ deep-time evolution like the Southern Granulite Terrain in South India.
v.Integrated stress and fracture datasets to yield insights into reservoir triggered seismicity in Koyna intraplate seismic zone, Maharashtra under the scientific deep drilling project.
i.MoES engaged with National Centre for Applied Economic Research (NCAER), delhi to study economic benefits of Monsoon Mission (MM) & High-Performance Computing Facilities (HPC) to estimate income gain to Indian farmers.
ii.Launch of Knowledge Resources Centre Network (KRCNet) by MoES on July 27, 2020 to integrate all knowledge and intellectual resources of MoES on a single, dynamic, web portal. It is a one-of-its-kind Digital system launched under Digital India Initiative.
MoUs at International Levels:
MoES has also signed several MoUs at the International Level.
i.October 23, 2020, MoU with National Ocean Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States of America (USA) on Earth Sciences & observations.
ii.February 18, 2020, Signing of Letter of Intent with Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment & Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards ‘Integrated Ocean Management and Research Initiative’.
iii.November 23, 2020, Signing of MoU with the National Centre of Meteorology, Ministry of Presidential Affairs, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for scientific and Technical cooperation.
i.Its services include forecasts, warnings & detection for disasters like tropical cyclones, storm surge, floods, heatwaves, thunderstorm & lightning and earthquakes.
ii.It also conducts ocean survey and exploration for living & non-living resources and explores 3 poles – Arctic, Antarctic & Himalayas.
Recent Related News:
i.May 23, 2020, MeitY launched seven services of IMD on theUMANG App to further enhance the online delivery of Government services.
ii.On May 7, 2020, In the midst of COVID-19, the Regional Meteorological Centre of the IMD, included the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad, which are parts of PoK in its weather forecasting for the 1st time.
About Ministry of Earth Science:
Union Minister – Harsh Vardhan
Headquarters – New Delhi