Centre approves Rs 4,797 crore for PRITHVI initiative in earth sciences

The Union Cabinet approved an overarching initiative called ‘Prithvi Vigyan’ that aims to give the Ministry of Earth Sciences the flexibility to pursue research and use funds allocated to five different sub-schemes related to earth sciences over the next five years. This approval brings a total of Rs 4,797 crore at the disposal of the Ministry of Earth Sciences for implementation from 2021-2026.

Objectives of the Scheme

The ‘Prithvi Vigyan’ initiative will enable the development of integrated multi-disciplinary earth science research and innovative programs across different MoES institutes. It seeks to address the grand challenges of weather and climate, ocean, cryosphere, seismological science, and services. Additionally, the scheme will explore the living and non-living resources for their sustainable harnessing.

Sub-Schemes and Global Collaboration

The sub-schemes included in the overarching ‘Prithvi Vigyan’ are ‘Atmosphere and Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems and Services’, ‘Ocean Services, Modelling Application, Resources and Technology’, ‘Polar Science and Cryosphere Research’, ‘Seismology and Geosciences’, and ‘Research, Education, Training and Outreach’.

‘PRITHVI’ will also allow the Ministry to award research projects to overseas institutes, promoting global collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and resources in Earth Sciences.

Integrated Approach

Officials have highlighted that the ‘Prithvi Vigyan’ scheme is looking at earth system sciences as one unit, rather than separate verticals such as the atmosphere, cryosphere, and ocean science. This integrated approach facilitates cross-disciplinary projects and allows the combination of funds allocated for the separate verticals.

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Moreover, the scheme aims to ease the process of research, making it more efficient and effective.

Research and Development Efforts

The integrated research and development efforts under the ‘Prithvi Vigyan’ scheme will play a significant role in addressing key scientific challenges pertaining to the exploration of Earth’s systems. These efforts will include long-term observations of the atmosphere, ocean, geosphere, cryosphere, and solid earth to record vital signs of the Earth’s system and change.

Interdependence of Components

The PRITHVI scheme’s various components are interdependent and are carried out in an integrated manner through the combined efforts of institutes under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. The Ministry’s 10 research institutes will play a crucial role in the implementation of the scheme, including the India Meteorological Department, National Institute of Ocean Technology, and others.

Conclusion

The PRITHVI initiative marks a significant step towards the advancement and integration of multi-disciplinary research in Earth Sciences. The collaborative approach, global engagement, and focus on addressing the challenges of our planet’s systems demonstrate a forward-looking vision for scientific research and development in this crucial field.

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