Union Minister for Earth Science, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan has urged scientists and researchers to strengthen fundamental science and move towards solution science. Dedicating to the nation, the High Performance Computer (HPC) System named ‘Mihir’ at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) at Noida, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that with this facility, India’s capacity in weather forecasting will improve. The minister said that the HPC facility will be India’s largest HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance and will propel India’s ranking from the 368th position to around the top 30 in the top 500 list of HPC facilities in the world.
He also pointed out that India will now also be ranked fourth, after Japan, the UK and USA for dedicated HPC resources for weather/climate community. Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed confidence that soon India will be able to match the capacities of these four nations. Stating that India’s scientific research capabilities can be compared to the best in the world, he pointed out that Government sponsored National Laboratories top the institutions contribute most in terms of number of research papers in the field of Earth Sciences.
Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that the ministry, in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is providing district-level agro meteorological advisories to farmers through 130 agromet field units. “Presently about 24 million farmers receive these advisories with information of weather forecasts on district level. These services will now be extended to block level (for about 6500 blocks) by establishing district centres (630 centres) with the help of ICAR KrishiVigyanKendras. It is planned to reach out to about 45 million farmers by July 2018,” he said.
In this regard, the minister also referred to the Union Cabinet’s approval to the National Monsoon Mission. Recounting some of the other achievements of Ministry of Earth Science, Dr. Harsh Vardhan referred to a INR 500 crore project in Koyna for putting in place an earthquake warning system.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, MoES, Dr M Rajeevan said that at present, forecasts are being made for the district level, but efforts are being made to take it down to the block level.
The new HPC facility is expected to improve the following services:
- Weather forecasts at block level over India which can predict extreme weather events
- High resolution seasonal/extended range forecasts of active/break spells of Monsoon
- Very high resolution coupled models for prediction of cyclones with more accuracy and lead time
- Ocean state forecasts including marine water quality forecasts at very high resolution
- Tsunami forecasts with greater lead time
- Air quality forecasts for various cities
- Climate projections at very high resolution
This new HPC facility will not only help in meeting the operational requirements of the MoES but also support the research and development activities in MoES and other academic institutions working on various problems related to Earth Science. The Ministry of Earth Science has developed several services for societal benefits catering to a variety of sectors of economy by building state-of-the-art systems for multi-hazard risk reduction from cyclones, floods/droughts, heat/cold waves, earthquakes and tsunamis. The Ministry has acquired the HPC facility of 6.8 Peta Flops (PF) and has been installed at two of its constituent units: 4.0 Peta Flops HPC facility at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and 2.8 Peta Flops facility at NCMRWF, Noida. The HPC facility ‘Pratyush’ at IITM was dedicated to the nation on January 8, 2018.