Srinagar: India has made a “giant leap” in the field of science and technology in the past seven years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday (September 5) after he inaugurated an X-band doppler weather radar here to provide improved forecasts.
He said the recent achievements by India’s space scientists were acknowledged by the world, which is also looking towards India after the prime minister announced in his Independence Day speech the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission to make the country a hub of production of green hydrogen.
“Different countries are looking towards India after it registered achievements in different fields, including space technology…. It was possible because Prime Minister Modi in the past seven years has given priority to the field of science and technology and accordingly enhanced budgetary allocations,” Singh told reporters after the event.
The state-of-the-art indigenous GPS based pilot-sonde helps to gather data in all weather conditions with minimum human intervention and has facilities of auto detection of balloon launch and balloon burst.
Singh said NASA has been obtaining the pictures taken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) through its Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions, while countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh are using India’s technology for weather forecasts.
“The images which have been procured by our Mangalyaan are obtained by NASA which is a premier institute of space in America. Our Chandrayaan detected water on the moon…What a remarkable journey it has been for us and what a leap forward because when we started our space journey, the countries like Soviet Union and USA were already preparing to land on the moon,” the Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences told the gathering.
The minister said India has started the space journey long back and “today we are getting inputs which are not even available with America.”
“The Hydrogen Mission was announced by the prime minister…And the world is looking to us to become a major green hydrogen hub,” he said, adding “If this giant leap has happened in the last seven or eight years, the credit most of all goes to the prime minister. India had the human resource, scientific and innovation capacity but the prioritisation at the level of policy planners was earlier missing.”
He said Modi not only made higher budgetary allocations to the science ministry and related departments but also showed keen personal interest and encouraged the scientists. He said the new weather technology would benefit the people of Jammu, including pilgrims, tourists, students and above all farmers who can plan their activities accordingly.
He said Jammu has become a hub of various institutions over the past few years and this would not only bring ease of living for the common man but ensure doubling of farmers’ income and create job opportunities for the youth.
“The central university has set up a space technology and research centre, we have IIIM which has brought a purple revolution in Bhaderwah where the farmers are earning several lakh rupees by lavender farming and a high altitude medicine institute is also coming up in Bhaderwah,” he said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the new radar would help in providing a nowcast (very short range forecast up to three hours) for all types of severe weather events affecting the region, especially thunderstorm, lightning, squall and heavy rain.
The system would also help in providing weather forecasts for different sectors, including tourism forecast for pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at Katra which has an average footfall of 8.5 million every year, the IMD said, adding it would also provide inputs to numerical weather prediction models for generating better weather forecasts.
“In conjunction with data from other sensors such as satellites and automated weather stations, better forecasts and warnings can be achieved leading to minimal loss of property and life, thus providing better services towards public safety and socio-economic benefits,” the IMD added.
(With agency inputs)