Thursday, July 26, 2012

elebrating Earth Sciences Foundation Day

Taking into account India’s vast coastline of about 7500 km. length and the fact that approximately 37 % of India’s population live in the coastal areas, deriving benefits from the seas, the Department of Ocean Development was created as an independent scientific Department on July 27, 1981. The Department was notified as Ministry of Ocean Development (MoOD) in February 2006. Keeping in view the close interaction between Ocean, Atmosphere and Earth and the need to have an integrated scientific approach, Government of India approved formation of the Earth Commission and re-organization of the Ministry of Ocean Development as Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), which came into being on 12 July 2007 having the Department of Ocean Development, India Meteorological Department, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology & National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, under it. The Earth System Science Organization was set up in October 2007.

The Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) operates as an executive arm to implement policies and programmes of the Ministry. It deals with four branches of earth sciences, viz. Ocean Science & Technology, Atmospheric and Climate Science, Geoscience and Polar Science and Cryosphere. The ESSO has been addressing holistically various aspects relating to earth processes for understanding the variability of earth system and for improving forecast of the weather, climate and hazard.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences aims to create a framework for understanding the complex interaction among key elements of the Earth System, namely ocean atmosphere and solid earth by encompassing the existing national programmes in meteorology, climate, environment and seismology. The mandate of Ministry of Earth Sciences is to provide the nation with best possible services in forecasting the monsoons and other weather/climate parameters, ocean state, earthquakes, tsunamis and other phenomena related to earth systems through well integrated programmes and utilizing world class science and technology resources. In addition, the Ministry also works on science and technology for exploration and exploitation of ocean resources (living and non-living), and plays nodal role for Antarctic/Arctic and Southern Ocean Research. The Ministry plays key role in disaster warning from Tsunami, oil spills, cyclones and storm surges.

With the intention of creating awareness about this important sector and also to highlight activities of national importance being undertaken by the Ministry, a need was felt to celebrate the Foundation Day of this Ministry on 27 July every year. Accordingly, Ministry of Earth Sciences has been celebrating its Foundation Day since 2004.

The event which was started in 2004 to celebrate the Foundation Day of the then Department of Ocean Development has graduated into a day on which scientists from various disciplines are honoured for their excellence. Also on this occasion, one distinguished scientist each from Atmospheric Science and Ocean Science is honoured for his/her life time achievement with a citation and a cash prize of Rupees One Lakh each.

This year, the Earth Sciences Foundation Day is being celebrated tomorrow at a function in New Delhi. 

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