Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday mooted the idea of a separate Corporation to be set up with public sector (49 per cent) and private sector (51 per cent) partnership to manage and disseminate weather and climate data to user industries like civil aviation, power and tourism.
Addressing meteorologists at the 134th Foundation Day of IMD being celebrated for the first time to commemorate taking over of Mr HF Blanford as Imperial Meteorological Reporter on 15th January, 1875, he said ,weather is central to several departments like civil aviation, tourism, power, maritime.
A separate entity could be created within the IMD to analyse weather data and “sell to everybody who needs this information.”
He called upon IMD not be too possessive about data provided by the nature and work towards sharing data and making accurate ,seamless and digitized data easily accessible on a platform , so that the common man could draw maximum benefit from it.
Meteorological data must become central to the functioning of India as a nation, he added.
He said the government is infusing Rs.920 crore to modernize the IMD and “by 2014 it would be the most modern meteorological department in the world.”
However Sibal pointed that only modernization of infrastructure will not be sufficient, “we need to develop high quality human resource.”
Unversities,IITs and colleges must start high quality courses in meteorology, he said.
The workforce of IMD should be increased, he said.
If the department sent him a proposal for 500 additional posts, he would favourably consider it ,he pointed out.
Urging for a change in the systems, he said,“Our procurement procedures are full of suspicion and extremely slow. If we need something today and get it in five years , the technology and requirement have changed by that time.”
Director General IMD Ajit Tyagi said Indians had an understanding of the weather phenomena even in the ancient days and Upanishadic texts around 3000 B.C. write on he mechanism of weather, as also later texts like Brihastasamhita,Kautilya’s Arthjashastra and Kalidasa’s epic ‘Meghdoot’.
IMD envisages to have a dedicated meso-network to meet the requirements of Commonwealth Games 2010 and a dedicated weather channel for improving the public weather service.