The Science of Moving Heaven and Earth
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is already doing path-breaking work in several fields, be it weather and climate prediction, agro-meteorological services for the benefits of farmers, fishery catch pointers for fishermen, air quality monitoring in major cities, earthquake prediction, disaster prevention and management, and many other areas.
Our aim and vision at the Ministry is to further fine-tune and improve our advisories/predictions to provide lasting and long-term benefits to society and the economy. Of particular importance to us are the needs of the farming and fishing communities, as they function as the food basket of the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modiji has stated that he wants farm incomes to double by 2022 and we in the Ministry are straining every nerve to ensure that we contribute our utmost to the achievement of this objective. Ensuring stable and consistent crop output through well-designed advisories should help boost gross development product further and this will doubtless have several positive multiplier effects.Benefits to economy
Evidence of the widespread benefits to the economy as a result of the initiatives undertaken by the Ministry is provided by several independent research agencies. A study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) on the agro-meteorological services provided by MoES concluded that the annual economic benefit for farmers cultivating the four principal crops of wheat, rice, sugarcane and cotton was Rs. 42,000 crores. The study also revealed that fishermen in the country made an annual profit of Rs. 3,000 crores from information/advisories relating to zones having a good fish potential. Cumulative economic benefits exceeding Rs. 370,000 crores had accrued from the fishery/ocean forecasts.
Checking air pollution
Air pollution being a serious problem in major cities, the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) set up in the Ministry is being increasingly employed for real-time forecasts. This system, which presently covers New Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is planned to be extended to other major cities, so that adequate and timely steps can be taken to counter high pollution levels.
Accurate prediction of monsoon rainfall is very crucial as it impacts many sectors like agriculture, water resources, power generation and transport. Our endeavours at the ministry will always be directed to further fine-tune the generation of forecasts on all timescales, short range to seasonal. Climate services are also being spruced up as these impact sectors like agriculture, water resources, disaster management and health. Our focus at the ministry will always be directed at providing an impetus to economic activity across the country and to protect the life and property of the populace from the vagaries of climate and weather.
We hope our humble contribution will aid the effort of creating a 'New India' by 2022.