22 GPS-enabled observatories made operational by GSI

KOLKATA, Mar 4, (PTI): Twenty-two GPS-enabled observatories across the country were made operational by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) on Monday to facilitate surveying related to geological and geophysical mapping.
The 22 GPS-enabled centres are in Kolkata, Jaipur, Pune, Dehradun, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Visakhapatnam, Agartala, Itanagar, Jammu, Shillong and Little Andaman, among others.
Thirteen more GPS-geodetic observatories, to be made operational by March 2020, would be in Aizawl, Uttarkashi, Coochbehar, North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Ranchi and Imphal, among others.
Geodetic pertains to geodesy, the science of measurement of the earth.
GSI Director General Dr Dinesh Gupta told a press meet here that the 22 GPS observatories would help geologists to delineate high seismic hazard zones, as well as to produce thematic maps with high positional accuracy.
He said while the 22 GPS-geodetic observatories were operational from Monday, the 169th foundation day of the GSI, another 13 observatories will be operational from March 2020.
The GPS infrastructure consists of highly sensitive receivers installed in a dense network, operating continuously and monitored centrally, he said.
“These stations (observatories) will help identify active seismic zones,” the top geologist explained.
Gupta said the GSI is carrying out specialized studies in the domain of natural hazards, such as earthquake, by monitoring the active faults and determining the high-strain zones in the earth’s surface by attaining millimeter-level accuracy in GPS.
To foster interest in geology among the young generation and guardians, the GSI has urged the union HRD ministry to introduce it as a separate subject in secondary and higher secondary curriculum, he said to a question.
“We will wish geology as a separate subject, and not part of geography, be introduced in the school syllabus of secondary/higher secondary boards/councils across India,” Gupta said.
He said to create interest among students of higher educational institutions about earth science, ‘Bhuvisamvad’, a unique platform under the union mines ministry, was recently launched, facilitating interaction of geoscientists from the GSI with students from different universities and colleges.
The GSI has also signed an MoU with IIT Hyderabad and IIT (ISM) Dhanbad for collaborative research and awarding PhD degrees.
To a question, Gupta said the GSI is setting up a warning system for landslides in sub-Himalayan West Bengal.
Another GSI official told reporters later, “While the process to install early warning system for landslides has already started by involving local communities and areas of that region (Darjeeling Hills), the entire setup from top to bottom will be ready by 2020.
“The GSI will then be able to issue forecasts about landslides, zeroing on a specific zone, on the lines of the IMD’s area-specific highly accurate weather updates,” the official added. (PTI)