Research, Education, Training and Outreach
The primary mandate of the MoES is to provide the nation with the best possible services for weather, climate, ocean, coastal and natural hazards, sustainable harnessing of ocean resources, and exploration of the Polar regions. Therefore, it is essential to holistically address various aspects related to ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere, geosphere and biosphere processes and continuously upgrade knowledge through assimilation of new ideas and application of knowledge in the field of earth system sciences. This can be effectively done through nurturing Research and Development (R&D) in academic institutions and formulating mechanisms to translate the R&D into operational use. Moreover, the development of a skilled workforce and regular training in different fields of Earth sciences are also vital. In addition to the above, it is also necessary to bring awareness to the user communities and general public alike about various activities being carried out by MoES in various scientific aspects related to Earth system science. To cater to the above-cited activities, MoES implements REACHOUT, which is an umbrella scheme of the following six sub-schemes.
- Research and Development in Earth System Science (RDESS).
- Outreach and awareness.
- Knowledge Resources Center Network (KRCNet).
- BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate (BCWC).
- International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean).
- Program for development of skilled workforce in Earth system sciences (DESK).
Of the sub-schemes mentioned above, the first three sub-schemes are implemented by the MoES headquarters. The remaining three schemes namely BCWC, ITCOcean and DESK are implemented by MoES institutes namely National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). These sub-schemes aim to nurture research (including national and international collaboration); provide training on atmospheric science and oceanography to participants from India and neighbouring countries, and to generate awareness about various facets of Earth system science amongst students, academicians and the public.
- To support various R&D activities in the thrust areas of different components of Earth system sciences that are theme and need-based, and that would help in attaining the National goals set up for MoES.
- Develop useful collaborations with international organisations for mutual transfer of advanced knowledge in science and technology in Earth sciences and to provide services to developing countries.
- Create awareness amongst the public, students, academicians and user communities about the various fields of Earth system science as well as on the achievements and services rendered by MoES.
- Develop a skilled and trained workforce in Earth sciences with the support of academic institutions in the country and abroad.
1. Research and Development in Earth System Sciences (RDESS)
RDESS supports proposals from various universities, and academic and research organisations in different fields of Earth system science. The aim is to improve the understanding of the earth system (atmosphere, ocean, solid Earth, biosphere) that would aid in attaining the national goals set up by MoES. For this, multidisciplinary and multi-institutional projects are encouraged and formulated. These projects are need-based and time-bound. The projects are expected to have an impact on the overall deliverables of Earth system services (weather, climate and marine services) in the country. RDESS projects are supported under the following activities.
- Project Appraisal and Monitoring Committees (PAMCs) in atmospheric sciences, oceanography, seismology, geoscience, hydrology and cryosphere, and atmospheric chemistry.
- Earth Science and Technology Cell (ESTC) with identified themes at select universities and academic institutes of the country.
- Technical Research Board (TRB)-Earth Sciences.
- Development of potential drugs from the sea—Marine National Products Inspired Drug Leads (MNPIDL): erstwhile Drugs from Sea (DFS).
- Understand palaeoclimate, sea-level changes, CO2 sequestration, reactive Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon cycles, coral reefs, and ocean acidification concerning climate change.
- International collaborative projects.
- National Program on radar meteorology for supporting a training and research centre of excellence at an academic institution for interpretation and use of radar data. It will also help to develop data assimilation methods for improvement of weather predictions in mesoscale and to configure the high resolution and rapid update modelling for nowcasting.
2. Outreach and awareness programme
The primary objective of the outreach and awareness programme is to propagate earth science and enhance awareness about the Earth, atmosphere and ocean sciences. It looks forward to educating and informing, and to inculcate scientific temper among the public, students, academicians, and user communities. It also offers a common platform for scientists, engineers, social scientists, and user-communities to exchange information and knowledge through seminars, conferences, workshops, symposia, brainstorming sessions, meetings, field programmes, training activities and exhibitions. Significant activities under this programme are listed below.
- Support exhibitions and fairs (national and international).
- Support seminars, symposia, conferences, workshops, training, etc.
- Celebrate Earth Day and important international days and events every year.
- Generate public awareness of MoES activities through media, including print and audio-visual modes.
- Conduct Indian National Earth Science Olympiad (INESO) and International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO).
- Celebrate MoES foundation day.
3. Knowledge Resource Center Network (KRCNet)
KRCNet is a unique initiative of the MoES which aims to integrate all knowledge and intellectual resources of MoES and its institutes on a single, dynamic, web portal. Under the Digital India Initiative of the Government of India, the portal is a one-of-its-kind digital knowledge system to collect, collate, catalogue, store and retrieve the knowledge products and services emanating from MoES projects. It is one-point entry to the intellectual world of the MoES.
The KRCNet portal was launched by the Hon'ble Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan on the MoES foundation day on July 27, 2020. It seeks to establish a total quality management system for information and knowledge management in MoES. The libraries of the MoES institutes are being upgraded into digital Knowledge Resource Centers (KRCs) which will be connected by an international web framework. It is possibly the only ISO 9001:2015 certified digital knowledge resources portal in the government system. The KRCNet portal is accessible at https://krcnet.moes.gov.in/. It is hosted on the NIC (National Informatics Center) server and security audited by a CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) empanelled agency. The portal is bilingual (English and Hindi), user friendly, and enables submission of feedback and keyword-based search.
All knowledge and intellectual resources of KRCNet portal are available 24X7 from around the globe to the public and users from MoES and its institutes. The following features on the KRCNet portal are available to the public for ready reference.
The following features are exclusively available to the bonafide members of MoES and its institutes through the KRCNet portal.
- Publications: Latest publications from MoES and its institutes.
- Digital Repository: A list of recent additions to MoES-KRCNet repository.
- News and Events: Information of current and upcoming events of MoES and its institutes for wider public reach.
- Weather: User-specific updates on local weather sourced from India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- MoES in the News: A single window access to all links to the media presence (news) of MoES and its institutes.
- Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) Services/useful websites/websites on Earth system science: Links to important websites on data and services in Earth system science related to atmospheric and meteorology research, ocean science and technology, polar science, and geosciences, and to open data, tools and techniques, university rankings, and personal wellbeing.
- Websites of MoES institutes: Links to websites of MoES and its ten institutes spread across the country are available under a single tab.
- Images of important MoES events: Interesting visuals from MoES and its institutes.
- Social media handles of MoES: Links to social media handles of MoES on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are available on the portal for enhancing public outreach.
The following features are exclusively available to the bonafide members of MoES and its institutes through the KRCNet portal.
- Subscription to e-resources under DERCON (Digital Earth Sciences Consortium): To keep scientists of MoES institutes abreast with the latest developments in their respective research areas, MoES established the Digital Earth Sciences Consortium (DERCON) in 2010. As part of DERCON, subscription to a variety of costly journals reduces the expenditure incurred by individual MoES institutes on their procurement of resources. MoES members are able to access the resources round the clock from everywhere around the globe through their individual user IDs and password. The KRCNet team conducts routine training to enhance user awareness and experience and to collect feedback. The following resources were made available to MoES and its institutes under DERCON.
S No Name of the subscribed e-resource under DERCON Remarks, if any 1 Elsevier Science Direct: 129 full-text journals. SCOPUS: citation management and indexing database. 2 Nature Nature (since 1987), Nature Climate Change (since 2011). Nature Geoscience (since 2008).
Scientific American (since 2012) full-text journals.
3 J Gate Aggregation of metadata of subscribed and open access journals (~51,000 at the abstract level and ~25,000 at the full-text). 4 Clarivate Analytics Web of Science: Science citation indexing database (since 1982). 5 EZproxy Remote access and authentication tool.
- Knowledge Resource Center (Library) service: It is developed using KOHA, an international open-source software. Library of MoES has been upgraded and automated to a state-of-the-art KRC. The system enables MoES users to search titles, issue, return, place on hold, generate dues and fines, no objection certificate, accept purchase recommendations, etc. in an automated manner. Going forward, all libraries of MoES institutes will be upgraded to KRCs that can be linked and networked on the KRCNet portal.
- Repository services: It is developed using CRIS-D-space, which is open-source software. Data from MoES and its is maintained under 17 item types namely, books, book chapters, videography, awards, brochures poster, conference proceeding, file notes, monographs, news clipping, newsletter, parliament questions, photograph, project proposal, report, research article, supplementary information, and thesis.
- Indian National Database on Antarctic Science (INDAS): Indian National Antarctic program has been sending annual expeditions to Antarctica since 1982 to enable researchers to pursue cutting edge research in polar sciences. INDAS an elaborate database of information on projects and personnel of Indian Antarctic expeditions on the KRCNet portal is up-to-date and validated.
- Training and workshops to enhance user awareness, usage, and experience of the KRCNet portal.
4. BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate (BCWC)
BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, have emerged as an important regional group for technical and economic cooperation. These countries share similar weather conditions and challenges for rendering skilfull services to society. To consolidate scientific and technical resources, and to establish an institutional mechanism to boost regional cooperation, BCWC (BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate) was set up following a Memorandum of Association between MoES and BIMSTEC member countries. The association is for areas such as forecasts, early warning systems, capacity building and strengthening of observing systems in a more coordinated manner. BCWC is mandated to deliver products and services in applied scientific research in weather prediction and climate modelling.
BCWC activities include conducting training, workshops, capacity building, enhancing the observing system for BIMSTEC (for both process understanding and forecast skill improvement). These activities are essential to meet the regional leadership and cooperation role committed by the Government of India under BIMSTEC Cooperation. BCWC is established at the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF), Noida.
- Deliver products and services in applied scientific research in weather prediction and climate modelling in the BIMSTEC region.
- Build capacity in the field of weather and climate through training programs, workshop, conference, scientific personnel exchange in the BIMSTEC region through research fellowships for the scientists.
- Enhance observing systems for the BIMSTEC region.
5. International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean)
ITCOocean is an international training centre which was set-up in 2013 at the Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad under a Memorandum of Association between MoES and UNESCO. It aims to promote the development and optimization of scientific base, technology and information system for operational oceanography at national, regional and global scales. It supports capacity building in the field of operational oceanography for the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries and islands region, and Africa. The trained workforce through ITCOocean would help in translating the results and findings in ocean science to real-time use by the community, including fisherfolk, shipping industries, ports and harbours, oil and natural gas industries, disaster management agencies, etc., in an efficient manner. It will also contribute to forming valuable assets for induction in oceanography- and earth science- related institutions.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) supports INCOIS for capacity building activities in the field of operational oceanography through ITCOocean.
- Provide advanced training in operational oceanography to young Indian scientists and technical (S&T) persons and policymakers, including industries on payment basis; Indian Ocean Rim countries and other developing nations regularly on sponsorship, and to enable creating a large pool of young trained workforce with core skills in the sub-continent.
- Provide training on data generation from oceans using in situ and satellite platforms, the transmission of data to operational centre, data reception, data processing in real-time, and using data in models and generation of forecasts and dissemination to end-users with a high lead time.
- Provide shipboard experience and training in observational oceanography using state-of-the-art instrumentation from all available sources and interaction with the national and international pool of faculties to widen the S&T base.
- Promote global excellence in integrated multidisciplinary oceanography to improve understanding and management of natural resources.
- Support scientists towards preparedness for nowcasting and forecasting ocean behaviour, and to address the role of ocean science and technology in delivering information critical to safety, commerce and environmental protection.
- Prospective students of operational oceanography. Those from India, Indian Ocean Rim countries, Africa and developing nations would be given priority.
- Staff from maritime-related institutions, including fisheries.
- Policymakers who require familiarization with oceanographic data management.
- Staff from government departments involved in oceanographic services and others associated with maritime or environmental activities, including teaching.
- Institutions and persons involved in ocean state forecasts, hazard related warnings, environmental protection, NGOs, coastal planners, those engaged in disaster management activities and industries engaged in coastal and offshore developmental activities.
- Staff of operational oceanographic centres who need familiarization with operational oceanographic tools and products, and to enhance their qualification.
- Short-term courses: ITCOocean offers these certificate courses of duration up to three months. They are provided to professionals and policymakers who have chosen operational oceanography as their career. It would allow professionals to acquire essential training to conduct activities related to operational oceanography and to advance their knowledge in operative techniques and methods. The topics are chosen based on the requirements of trainees.
- Long-term courses: These are planned to be for up to two years spread over four semesters leading to a university Post Graduate Degree or Diploma.
6. Development of skilled manpower in Earth system sciences (DESK)
DESK was initiated in 2018 to create a large pool of trained and dedicated multidisciplinary earth system and climate research workforce in the country. The workforce would have in-depth and hands-on expertise on individual physical processes of land, ocean, atmosphere, biosphere and cryosphere, with a particular emphasis on climate modelling. DESK is aimed to be a centralized training facility which will pool resources, infrastructure and faculty, thereby reducing the cost than having separate training programs. It is coordinated by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.
- Implement the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) program of MoES and their ab initio training in DESK for two semesters as part of human resource development.
- Organize courses (short- and medium-term) on specific or targeted areas to develop a skilled workforce within and outside of MoES by conducting schools and workshops of 7 to 10 days duration.
- Strengthen research and education support for science of the climate and climate change and to establish linkages amongst education, research and operational organization in the country.