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India on mission ‘climate change’

New Delhi, India: “Climate change is a priority research area for the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and India is on a mission mode to develop innovative solutions indigenously,” said Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. In this direction, the minister declared that MoES is setting up the National Monsoon Mission which aims to improve monsoon rainfall prediction. He was speaking at a ceremony organised to celebrate the foundation day of MOES here. 
State Minister for Science and Technology Ashwani Kumar urged scientists to dedicate themselves to the application of science and advance in building multi-warning systems for the country. He said MoES has sanctioned INR 5000 crore to infuse IMD with supercomputing capabilities for real time weather forecasting. 
Giving the foundation day lecture, Dr R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, discussed “Energy technologies, energy security and climate change”. He emphasised the significance of nuclear fuel for energy security and said closing the nuclear fuel cycle makes nuclear technology a sustainable energy source. He also enumerated the progress India is making in this direction. He discussed the National Action Plan on Climate Change and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, both of which aim towards the energy security of the country. It is important for a developing country like India to plan suitably and ensure energy and water security, Dr Chidambaram said and opined that this will ensure that the rest follows.  
Earlier, Dr Shailesh Nayak, Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences enumerated the activities of the ministry and highlighted its achievements. The ministry, in association with the Ministry of Agriculture, Indian Council for Agricultural Research and local agricultural universities, is providing agricultural advisories to 2.5 million farmers on their mobiles. This facility is benefiting the exchequer to the tune of INR 50,000 crore, Dr Nayak informed. The ministry is providing information to 90% of fishermen in the country on potential fishing zones and this system is adding INR 34,000 crore to the GDP. The ministry is also active in building human capacities and in this direction is establishing an advanced training school which will be commencing its first batch in August 2011. 
The occasion also witnessed the presentation of awards to distinguished scientists working in ocean and atmospheric sciences and technology. Dr BL Deekshitulu, former director NRSC was presented with the National Award in Ocean Science and Technology. The National Award for Atmosphere Science and Technology was conferred on Prof RN Keshava Murthy who served IMD and IITM. Young scientists and employees of MoES were also recognised for their meritorious work and sincerity. 
Source: Our Correspondent