Vardhan launches High Performance Computer for weather forecasting

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Noida: With an aim to improve India’s capacity in weather forecasting including Air quality forecasting at the block level, the High-Performance Computer (HPC) System named ‘Mihir’ (meaning ‘Sun’) was dedicated to the nation at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) here on Tuesday.

Urging scientists and researchers to strengthen fundamental science and move towards solution science, Union Minister for Earth Science, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, on the occasion, said that the HPC facility will be India’s largest HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance and will propel India’s ranking from the 368th position to around the top 30 in the Top 500 list of HPC facilities in the world.

The Minister also pointed out that India will now also be ranked 4th, after Japan, UK, and USA for dedicated HPC resources for weather/climate community.

Expressing confidence that soon India will be able to match the capacities of these four nations, Harsh Vardhan stated that the Ministry, in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is providing district-level agro-meteorological advisories to farmers through 130 agromet field units. “Presently about 24 million farmers receive these advisories with information of weather forecasts on the district level. These services will now be extended to block level (for about 6500 blocks) by establishing district centres (630 centres) with the help of ICAR Krishi Vigyan Kendras. It is planned to reach out to about 45 million farmers by July 2018.”

Stating that India’s scientific research capabilities can be compared to the best in the world, he pointed out that Government-sponsored National Laboratories top the institutions contribute most in terms of a number of research papers in the field of Earth Sciences.

In this regard, the Minister also referred to the Union Cabinet’s approval to the National Monsoon Mission.

Recounting some of the other achievements of Ministry of Earth Science, Harsh Vardhan referred to a Rs. 500 crore project in Koyna for putting in place an earthquake warning system.

This new HPC facility will not only help in meeting the operational requirements of the MoES but also support the research and development activities in MoES and other academic institutions working on various problems related to Earth Science.

The Ministry of Earth Science has developed several services for societal benefits catering to a variety of sectors of the economy by building state-of-the-art systems for multi-hazard risk reduction from cyclones, floods/droughts, heat/cold waves, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

According to ministry sources, the Ministry has acquired the HPC facility of 6.8 PetaFlops (PF) and has been installed at two of its constituent units: 4.0 PetaFlops HPC facility at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and 2.8 PetaFlops facility at NCMRWF, Noida.

The HPC facility ‘Pratyush’ at IITM was dedicated to the nation on 8 January.

Hindustan Samachar