Dr. Harsh vardhan dedicates system of aerosol monitoring and research and user-friendly website of india meteorological department

Dr. Harsh vardhan dedicates system of aerosol monitoring and research and user-friendly website of india meteorological department 

Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan today inaugurated the new user-friendly website of IMD and dedicated to the nation the System of Aerosol Monitoring And Research (SAMAR) which is a network of 16 Aethalometers, 12 Sky radiometers and 12 Nephelometers to study black-carbon concentration, aerosol radiative properties, environmental visibility respectively & their climatological impacts. He was the Chief Guest on the 141st Foundation Day of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Dr. Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences presided over the function. 

IMD is celebrating the Foundation Day with a view to promote awareness about advancements made in the field of Weather Monitoring & Forecasting during 2015 and the new initiatives taken by the Department for accelerating its capabilities & services, with focus on further improving the accuracy of prediction of extreme weather events at city, block and district level.

Addressing the gathering Dr. Harsh Vardhan congratulated IMD officials for the timely dissemination of critical weather-related information to 1.15cr farmers through SMS, agri-portal and website in 2015 which has gone a long way in reducing the devastating impact of the erratic rainfall on the kharif crop. Dr. L.S. Rathore, DGM, IMD in his discourse, noted that 2015 was the warmest year in the last decade and IMD’s predictions on the below-average south-west monsoons helped the farmers adopt short term crops and reduce the negative outcomes. Speaking at the function Dr. Rajeevan pointed out that we need to adopt a dynamic prediction system to counter the adverse effects of global warming. He expressed that with such a step we would be able to make the agriculture sector immune to the vagarities of the monsoons which would certainly elevate the level of our economic growth profile.

Some other achievements of IMD during 2015 are given below:

Accurate prediction of South-West Monsoon 2015 rainfall (Actual: 86%, Forecast: 88% of Long Period Average) Accurate prediction of North-East Monsoon 2015 rainfall (Actual: 132%, Forecast: >111% of Long Period Average)

Accurate prediction of Extreme weather events like extremely heavy rains over Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu during southwest and northeast monsoon 2015, severe heat wave in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in May, 2015, Hail storm over northwest, central and adjoining north Peninsula India during March, 2015.

Significant improvement in short and medium range weather forecasts ( Probability of Detection & Critical Success Index improved by 37% and 46% and False Alarm rate & missing rate reduced by 77% and 36% respectively in 2013-2015 over 2002-2012 for southwest monsoon heavy rainfall warnings).

Accurate prediction of cyclones (forecast error reduced by 13,13,17 km for 1,2,3 days, respectively in 2015 over 2010-2014).

Provided City Weather forecast for 324 stations, tourism forecast for 106 stations and nowcast for 156 stations.

Increased forecasts and colour code warnings validity from 3 to 5 days over India and introduced sector wise 7-days special forecast & warnings for Western Himalayan Region for Indian Army. Provided Model based QPF for river basin for flood forecasting.

IMD has made rapid strides in modernizing its services by adopting DIGITAL INDIA initiative of the Prime Minister by using latest technology for information dissemination. IMD has upgraded its website to make it more user-friendly and we are now widely using GIS platform, mobile apps and SMS for dissemination of its alerts and advisories. SMS-based Cyclone alert/warning system, GIS-based soil moisture maps, dissemination of information about fog and earthquake through SMS are some of the initiatives taken. Under MAKE IN INDIA programme, Department has already deployed 20 DRISHTI Transmissometers at critical Airports and 222 DTH based Digital Cyclone Warning Dissemination Systems (CWDS). Automatic weather observing system jointly developed by National Aeronautical Laboratory and IMD is under validation.

Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Former Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences was felicitated on this occasion. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also gave away certificates of appreciations to the best employees and best officers of IMD who have made outstanding contribution during 2015. In Addition to this certificates of merit were given to the winners of Essay, Debate and Art competitions organized by IMD during the year. 

Dept of Biotech and BIRAC to Participate in the Bharat Innovation Fund Set up by IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE to Support Innovative Startups 
The Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), along with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), today announced its participation in the Bharat Innovation Fund. This fund, launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in September 2015 during the Startup Konnect event in California, will support innovation and innovative startups in areas of healthcare and life-sciences, sustainability, and digital technologies.

The DBT will engage with the Bharat Fund, as part of DBT’s efforts under the Startup India initiative, to help commercialize technologies from its labs and facilities, while also mentoring startups in the healthcare, agri-tech, and other biotech-related areas. The DBT will also invest Rs. 50 crore over the next 3 years to support startups through this Fund.

Secretary of the DBT, Dr K. Vijay Raghavan, said “Productive innovations from the department of biotechnology can make a huge impact in people’s lives, as has been seen in the advances of medicine in recent years. The DBT is committed to doing citizen-oriented research and to commercializing its research, especially through new startups that can identify market opportunities to serve the masses. We think the IIM A-CIIE’s initiative in setting up Bharat Innovation Fund will provide crucial support for innovative startups that can bring the benefits of innovation to the broader populations. We hope this partnership will lead to rapid commercialization of Indian science for Indian citizens, through Indian startups. These efforts will leverage the experience of BIRAC and will foster exciting innovations”

CEO of CIIE, Shri Kunal Upadhyay, noted that “CIIE’s experience since 2007 in nurturing Indian startups will be critical to the next phase of Indian entrepreneurship, when entrepreneurs identify needs of the both rural and urban Indian citizens, and provide products and services in critical sectors such as healthcare, sustainability, and digital services. The Bharat Innovation Fund will use important tools such as labs, mentorship, funding, and networking to support entrepreneurs who take on hard challenges of an ever-broadening Indian market.”

Vice-president at CIIE, Shri Mudit Narain, mentioned that “Innovation-led economic development in a modern knowledge economy requires equal and consistent support from the public and private sectors. This Fund is an effort by one of India’s leading academic institutes to bring together public and private resources, such as experts, finances and labs, to provide the fertile ground for innovation that will seed the Indian multinationals of the next few decades.

Since its launch in the Startup Konnect event, the Bharat Fund has received pledges from several government and corporate entities, such as the Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Tata Trusts, and others. It is expected to be operational later this year, and provide a range of support to Indian startups tackling real challenges.

About The Bharat Innovation Fund: The Bharat Fund is a public-private-academia partnership set up by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). The objective of the fund, inter-alia, is to support and provide funding (grants, seed capital, venture capital) and business support to innovation-driven start-ups that solve real problems faced by the masses of India through technology-enabled and rapidly scalable solutions and will focus on – healthcare and life-sciences (including biotech, medical devises), sustainability (energy, agriculture, environment, water), and digital technologies (especially in manufacturing, design).

The Bharat Fund shall be managed and coordinated by CIIE at the IIM, Ahmedabad.

About the Department of Biotechnology: Biotechnology is a frontline area of science with immense potential for the benefit of the human kind. The Department shall devote wholly to achieve excellence in the promotion of biotechnology in the country in the areas of research, infrastructure, generation of human resource, popularization of biotechnology, promotion of industries, creation of centers of excellence, implementation of biosafety guidelines for genetically modified organisms and recombinant DNA products and biotechnology based programs for societal benefits. It also supports BIRAC as independent not for profit company.

About CIIE: Set up under the aegis of IIM Ahmedabad, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into viable businesses. In partnership with our mentors, corporates, development agencies, IIMA community and investors, CIIE nurtures entrepreneurs by incubating, accelerating, mentoring and funding innovative start-ups. CIIE believes that entrepreneurship has an unmatched ability to bring about disruptive change in India and engages with ventures across technology and impact areas like energy, environment, agriculture, healthcare and affordable technology. 

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