Context: Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology, and Earth sciences spoke at an event to celebrate the Foundation Day of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

About MoES

  • The MoES was formed in 2006 by a merger of the India Meteorological Department, the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the Earth Risk Evaluation Centre and the Ministry of Ocean Development.
  • Functions:
    • The Ministry is mandated to provide the nation with the best possible services for weather, climate, ocean, coastal and natural hazards, for the Public Safety and socio-economic benefits. 
    • It also deals with exploration and sustainable harnessing of ocean resources (living and non-living), and plays a nodal role for Antarctic/Arctic/Himalayas and Southern Ocean research.
  • Significance: The Ministry of Earth Sciences is a unique organization in the world which looks holistically at all branches of Earth Science – Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Cryosphere and Lithosphere”.
    • India is the only country with a fully dedicated ministry solely addressing all the aspects of Earth Sciences. 
    • This helps in developing an integrated approach in planning and resolving major concerns in a holistic manner with least time delay. 

Various achievements of the Ministry 

  • India has one of the best Weather Services in the world for Disaster Management with accurate warnings on Tropical Cyclones, Heat Waves and Floods. 
  • The IMD provides tropical cyclones and storm surge advisories to 13 member countries under the ESCAP Panel.
    • The  WMO/ESCAP  Panel  on  Tropical Cyclones  (PTC)  is  an  inter-governmental  regional  body  jointly  established  by  World  Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for  Asia-Pacific  (UNESCAP)  in  1972  and  associated  with  the  Tropical Cyclone  Programme  of  WMO.
  • MOES has launched an experiment to understand and document merits and demerits of Artificial Rainmaking - Cloud Seeding -by conducting experiments with two aircrafts in two years. 
  • “On the Setting up of Atmospheric Research Testbeds, a unique facility in Tropics will be launched in 2021 with the first phase of instrumentation. This open field observatory is planned to be 50 km away from Bhopal and is proposed for a better understanding of the monsoon clouds and land surface processes. This centre will have state-of-the-art observational systems such as RADARS, WIND PROFILERS, UAVs etc. 
  • MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet) and mobile App "Mausam” for India Meteorological Department, have been launched. 
  • MoES has developed and commissioned an Integrated Flood Warning System for Mumbai (IFLOWS-Mumbai) to aid in the mitigation activities of the flood prone city of Mumbai.
  • Two new Doppler Weather Radars (DWR)s were commissioned at Sonmarg, J&K & Mukteshwar under the Integrated Himalayan Meteorology Programme (IHMP). 
  • MoES is installing six new water desalinations plants in Lakshadweep islands, each with a capacity to produce 1.5 lakh litres of water every day, with the help of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Lakshadweep administration. 
  • Coastal and Oceanic Research: A new Coastal Research Vessel “SAGAR ANVESHIKA” was commissioned in February 2020. This is by far one of the most remarkable developments in the history of India's coastal research with India's private sector partnering the Government and boosting the vision of 'Make in India'.

Upcoming projects

MoES has ambitious plans of 

(i) development of   a manned submersible to carry 3 scientists to a depth of 6000 metres in the ocean with suit of scientific sensors and tools , 

(ii) development of  an Integrated Mining System will be developed for mining Polymetallic Nodules from 6000 m depth, 

(iii) Increase the number of Doppler Weather Radars from the current number of 28 to about 50, 

(iv) Integrated meteorological services for the north-eastern region, 

(v) Augment the existing High Performance Computing System from 10 PFlops to about 40 PFLops and 

(vi) Improve  the horizontal resolution of the weather forecast model from existing 12 km to 5 km to help farmers in obtaining block level forecasts.”

Image Source: