India among top nations in early warning system of natural calamities

KOLKATA, Nov 8: Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said India is now among the top bracket of nations in the early warning system of natural calamities like tsunami and cyclones.
Addressing the valedictory session of four-day India International Science Festival (IISF) here, the minister said the country occupies the number one spot in Tsunami warning.
“While we hold the number one spot in Tsunami warning, we are among the top countries in early warning system of cyclones which have been put in place in past five years,” Vardhan said.
The minister’s statement came when Cyclone ‘Bulbul’ has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and is likely to lash West Bengal on Sunday.
Early cyclone warning system has prevented casualties in five-six major cyclones, he said adding that the mechanism had helped the Odisha administration know about Cyclone Fani 14 days before it made the landfall.
“We were also applauded by the UN for the evacuation of people during Cyclone Fani” the minister said.
He said 40 million farmers get early warning SMS on their mobiles about weather changes.
He said India occupies the fifth rank in science publications in the world, third in Nanotechnology, and 11th in patents.
“But unless we make students aware of our scientific achievements, unless we tell them about the discoveries and projects of our leading research labs, how will their interest grow in science,” the minister asked.
India is the only country having undertaken research programme to predict earthquakes 7 km below the rocky ground surface in western parts of the country, he said.
Coming to the 5th IISF, Bardhan said it is aimed at carrying forward science movement in the country.
While representatives of six foreign nations attended the IISF, 706 districts of the country were represented by students or scientists, he said.
Vardhan said India has active science collaborations with 44 countries including the US, Israel, France and South Korea.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar unveiled the new map of India having union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh at the concluding function in the presence of the union minister. (PTI)