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Super computer ‘Bhaskara’ to improve country’s weather forecasting capabilities

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New Delhi: Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a ‘high performance’ computing facility named ‘Bhaskara’ on Tuesday. The super computer will help the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF) in conducting research and development related to prediction of weather.

Claiming that the supercomputer named ‘Bhaskara’ has placed India in the league of the US and European countries, Harsh Vardhan said: “Our facilities for predicting weather are world-class. But what we are adding today is a landmark achievement.”

“This is technologically superior to what China and the UK have and matches Europe and the US,” he added.

Housed in the NCMRWF in Sector 62, Noida, adjacent to Delhi, Bhaskara is part of the Earth System Science Organisation of the Ministry of Earth Sciences that will considerably enhance prediction capabilities like tropical cyclones, heavy rainfall, cloud burst events and monsoon, using very high resolution regional models.

“The reliability of weather forecasting is gradually improving now. In coming years it will improve further with development of new technologies and its effective use,” Harsh Vardhan said. (IANS)

 

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Took new measures against Delhi air pollution: Minister

Harsh Vardhan said that during the peak of Delhi's air pollution crisis after November 8 this year, the extra effluents from the Gulf and neighbouring states were the major cause.

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Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, Dec 28: Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said dust coming in from the Gulf and stubble burning were the major reasons behind an air pollution crisis here in November, adding that his Ministry took a slew of precautionary measures that have never been taken before.

The Environment Ministry was trying to initiate a movement of awareness against pollution, Harsh Vardhan told the Rajya Sabha amid disruptions by various members, including former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

During the discussion, members raised concerns about the deteriorating air quality of Delhi and asked the government to take effective steps to control the pollution.

The short-duration discussion titled “excessively high levels of air pollution in Delhi”, drew criticism from some members of the Upper House, who pointed out that the measures being flaunted by the Minister were very basic and general in nature.

“What we are doing today has never been done in the past… We are trying to initiate a movement against pollution, If they (other members) will not be receptive about it, who will?,” the Minister asked.

Jairam Ramesh was quick to point out that the Minister was wasting the House’s time by saying things like encouraging people to use public transport.

Harsh Vardhan said that during the peak of Delhi’s air pollution crisis after November 8 this year, the extra effluents from the Gulf and neighbouring states were the major cause.

Stubble burning is one of the main reason behind heavy pollution in the Delhi and NCR region. Wikimedia Commons
Stubble burning is one of the main reason behind heavy pollution in the Delhi and NCR region. Wikimedia Commons

Between November 7 and 16, the national capital and surrounding regions choked on “severe plus or emergency” level of air quality with environment bodies imposing emergency level restrictions on polluting activities like construction, industry and truck movement. The schools across National Capital Regions were also shut for the duration.

“During peak, dust storm from the Gulf contributed to 40 per cent of pollution, stubble burning in neighbouring states were responsible for 25 per cent pollution, while the local effluents had only 35 per cent contribution,” the minister said.

He also pointed out that the pollutant level this Diwali dropped as compared to last year.

“Our Ministry, two-three months prior to Diwali, initiated a movement for Harit or Green Diwali… I personally sent mail to over two lakh schools and institutions,” the Minister said. IANS

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