Transforming Lives with Science cover

Vol no. 16 Issue No. 97

Expert Panel

Prithvish Nag

Vice Chancellor, MG Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi

B Meenakumari

Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai

Ajit Tyagi

Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Former DG, IMD, New Delhi

B Sengupta

Former Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi

Rasik Ravindra

Former Director, NCAOR, Goa

Saraswati Raju

Professor, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Sachidanand Sinha

Professor, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Dripto Mukhopadhaya

Director, Economic Research, Nielsen, New Delhi

Inside this issue

Abating Disasters

India’s World Class Tsunami Warning Services

By: T Srinivas Kumar

India was a late starter in developing an early warning system for tsunamis. But ever since it became operational, the Indian Tsunami Warning System has developed into a world class platform to serve the entire Indian ocean region.

Seismological Research and Geosciences

By: Shailesh Nayak

India has made some major advances in seismological research in the past few decades. However, gaps continue to remain, and populations remain vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. Initiatives like microzonation, and scientific drilling may yet provide a solution to these problems.

Forecasting Tropical Cyclones

By: M Mohapatra

There has been a paradigm shift in cyclone warning services in India due to the modernisation programme and other initiatives taken by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Reaching out to Asia-Pacific and Africa

By: Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Earth Sciences, in collaboration with the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System, has been assisting several countries in the Asia-Pacific and Africa with early hazard warnings. This is helping in better understanding of atmospheric, geological, and oceanic phenomena.

In the Clouds

Aircraft Probing

By: C G Deshpande

The Ministry of Earth Sciences is in the process of acquiring aircraft for scientific research under the National Facility for Airborne Research (NFAR) programme. Aurangabad airport will be equipped with the repair and maintenance facilities for the aircraft and its scientific equipment.

Seeding Clouds to Spout Rain

By: Thara Prabhakaran

The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ ongoing Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) is proving to be a welcome method for mitigating extreme drought conditions. It will also pave the way for a new cloud seeding protocol that can be followed in keeping with Indian conditions in future.

High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratory

By: Staff Reporter

Observations made by the High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratory (HACPL) at Mahabaleshwar shall assist in the understanding of the southwest monsoon and its anomalies, and reduce risks to life and property from extreme weather events.

Monsoon Mission

By: Suryachandra A Rao

The National Monsoon Mission successfully achieved its projected objective of developing a dynamic framework for operational forecasts. It is currently working on developing an indigenous Indian model that can accurately predict monsoon variability in all its aspects.

Lives and Livelihoods

Desalination of Ocean Waters

By: Staff Reporter

Desalination of oceanic waters is an ideal solution for coastal communities such as in Lakshadweep, that are faced with a shortage of quality drinking water. When designs are simple and innovative, in keeping with local conditions, communities and local authorities can successfully maintain them on handover.

Developing Sea Farms

By: R. Kirubagaran

With maximum sustainable yield in capture fisheries achieved, technological innovations to increase yields seem imperative. In a recent breakthrough cages that can withstand turbulent seas have been developed and tested successfully by the NIOT.

Civil Aviation Safety & Met Services

By: Staff Reporter

Improved technology to assess and deliver meteorological data to pilots and crew at Indian airports has made take-off and landings of flights risk-free, particularly under conditions of low visibility.

Drishti for Fog Monitoring

By: Staff Reporter

Reduced winter visibility due to fog can be a major deterrent to transport operations. The indigenously developed Drishti-transmissometers installed at Indian airports have successfully managed to overcome this challenge.

Agro-Advisory Services and Food Security

By: Staff Reporter

The IMD’s agromet services for farmers are proving to be extremely useful to fight the threat of increasingly frequent climate uncertainties, and helping farmers hold out against extreme temperatures that can cause large-scale crop loss.

Air Quality and SAFAR-India

By: Staff Reporter

SAFAR is an indigenous technological initiative by the MoES for India’s urban centres that combines the best of weather and air pollution research to generate air quality forecast leading to preventive action for better health. In its five years of existence, SAFAR has notched up successes that have earned plaudits not only from large section of society but also from the World Meteorological Organisation.

Cryospheric Research: Polar Realms and Himalaya

By: Staff Reporter

Despite being a late starter, India has achieved a great deal within three decades of cryospheric research. Its stations in the Antarctic, Arctic and the Himalaya have undertaken significant research to unravel the linkages between polar ice sheets, climate change, Himalayan glacial mass and the Indian monsoon.

Earth Systems Models for Climate Projections

By: Staff Reporter

The Earth Systems Model and the CORDEX programme of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune are indigenous initiatives that has brought India closer to understanding the change in climate systems over South Asia.

Climate Services in India

By: Staff Reporter

India’s climate services are aimed at effectively conveying information to users in South Asia for informed decision-making to reduce risks from extreme events that are the norm in times of climate change.


Mission mode projects for oceans and coastal zones

By: Shailesh Nayak

Shailesh Nayak led from the front for a major part of the ten years that the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) completed on July 27, 2016. As secretary to the Government of India from 2008 to 2015, the distinguished scientist formulated innovative projects that made science part of a common man’s life. In his illustrious career he integrated new initiatives such as the monsoon mission, seismological and cryospheric research, to name a few. Talking with Sulagna Chattopadhyay, the gifted gentleman outlined his vision for the dazzling future of the MoES.

Monsoon prediction, a challenging research on variability

By: M N Rajeevan

Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, the secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is the dynamic new helmsman, confident of chartering new territory that will transform lives under the banner of science. With a background of pathbreaking research on monsoon variability and prediction, cloud-radiation interaction and climate variability and change, the secretary plans to forge ahead in climate research. In an affable conversation with Sulagna Chattopadhyay, the secretary outlines the trajectory in the last ten years and maps the future growth potential of the MoES.

Consolidating the components of earth science research

By: Padmashri P S Goel

Padmashri P S Goel was at the helm of affairs at the time the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) was constituted way back in 2006, and had initiated the integration process among MoES institutions. He continues to extend support to the Ministry, especially in the area of atmospheric and oceanic technology. On the eve of the ten years celebration of the MoES, the Editor in conversation with the highly decorated scientist, finds many new vistas of research opening up for the Ministry. At present Goel is the Honorary Distinguished Professor at ISRO, HQ and Dr Raja Ramanna Chair Professor at National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

In brief

Editor's Note

Science has never failed us. It does not seek onerous faith, instead it empowers with precision. From salty seas turning into clean water, to weather alerts and warnings, science can fit together life’s puzzles with élan. The common people however, are still bereft of a scientific temperament tha

Guest Editor's Note

The Earth System Science Organisation-Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has emerged, in the ten years of its existence, with a robust network, that continually  builds and operates a knowledge and technology enterprise for public safety and socio-economic benefit to the nation. The MoES was establi