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India Meteorological Department (IMD) turns 135

India Meteorological Department (IMD) turned 135 Friday, but the weather office is battling to provide a better service with nearly 33 percent manpower shortage.

IMD Director General Ajit Tyagi said his department is facing a huge manpower shortage and this needs to be taken care of quickly.

“We are working with just two-thirds of our required manpower,” Tyagi said.

To counter the human resource shortage, IMD will soon offer scholarships to hundreds of science post-graduates to attract them towards meteorology.

“We are ready to give stipend for the entire last year of the M.Sc. students. The aim is to attract them to this branch of science,” Earth Sciences Minister Prithviraj Chavan said at the 135th foundation day of IMD here Friday.

“We will also send them for a year or two for foreign training and I am not bothered if some one stays back too. What we need is young talents for this branch of knowledge – meteorology, seismology etc,” he added.

“The government is ready to hire and fill up the huge vacancies but the problem is where to get the talent. Bright minds are going to IT, banking and financial services and here we have to develop a model to attract them towards us,” the minister said.

The department also inducted a High Power Computing System (HPCS) Friday that will will help the weather man make predictions about rain, fog, smog and cyclone situations at least seven days in advance.

“Currently, we are giving two days’ forecast and with this new high power device, we will be giving predictions for seven days in advance,” IMD director B.P. Yadav told IANS.

The day is being celebrated to commemorate H.F. Blanford taking over as Imperial Meteorological Reporter on Jan 15, 1875, at Kolkata, the headquarters of what was later renamed the India Meteorological Department. It later shifted from Kolkata to Shimla, then to Poona (now Pune) and finally to New Delhi.

The IMD is the principal government agency in all matters relating to meteorology, seismology and allied subjects. From a modest beginning in 1875, it has progressively expanded its infrastructure for meteorological observations, communications, forecasting and weather services, and has achieved a parallel scientific growth.

–Indo-Asian News Service

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