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Union Cabinet approves Rs 4,797 crore for PRITHVI scheme

The five year long climate scheme will have five distinct objectives such as improving the understanding of atmosphere and ocean not only for better weather forecast but also to anticipate extreme weather events; exploration of three poles – Antarctica, Arctic and the Himalayas – besides seismology research.
Last Updated 05 January 2024, 11:43 IST

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Friday cleared a nearly Rs 5,000 crore climate-science package to install more sensors for collecting weather and ocean data as well as developing high quality computer simulation models for better weather prediction.

The five year long, Rs 4,797 crore programme will have five distinct objectives such as improving the understanding of atmosphere and ocean not only for better weather forecast but also to anticipate extreme weather events; exploration of three poles – Antarctica, Arctic and the Himalayas – besides seismology research.

Among other things, the new programme, named PRITHVI, would work on “development of modelling systems for understanding and predicting weather, ocean and climate hazards and understanding the science of climate change,” the Union government said in a statement.

The cabinet approval for the scheme – to be executed by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences – comes at a time when India experiences hundreds of deaths each year due to extreme weather events. According to an India Meteorological Department analysis, nearly 2300 people died in 2023 from such events.

A few months ago, the Centre for Science and Environment, a non-governmental organisation released its own extreme weather analysis claiming that India witnessed an extreme weather disaster almost every day of the first nine months of this year – from heat and cold waves, cyclones and lightning to heavy rain, floods and landslides.

“Between January 1 and September 30, such events hit the country with tenacious and frightening regularity and impact on 86% of the days,” CSE said.

Other components of the programme will be exploration of polar and high seas, coming up with technologies for exploration and sustainable harnessing of oceanic resources and translation of knowledge for societal, environmental and economic benefits.

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(Published 05 January 2024, 11:43 IST)

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