The Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Monday launched the International Monsoons Project Office (IMPO) virtually. The office will be hosted at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, an institution under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, initially for five years.
Setting up the IMPO in India would mean expanding an integrated scientific approach to solve the seasonal variability of monsoons, enhancing the prediction skill of monsoons and cyclones, strengthening monsoon research for better support operations and services, thereby promoting knowledge sharing and capacity building in areas of monsoon research crucial for agriculture, water resources and disaster management, hydropower and climate-sensitive socio-economic sectors the ministry said in its statement.
It would encompass activities and connections related to international monsoon research that would be identified and fostered under the leadership of the World Climate Research Programme and the World Weather Research Programme. Both the World Climate Research Programme and World Weather Research Programme are international programmes coordinated by the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
Speaking at the event, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “the IMPO is a step towards making India a global hub for monsoon research and coordination in a seamless manner for addressing common and region-specific aspects of the monsoons around the world.” He emphasised that setting up the IMPO will give huge impetus to global monsoon research, yielding mutual benefits to both the international and Indian research fraternity.
As part of its core responsibilities, the IMPO would support activities of the Monsoons Panel, jointly established by the World Climate Research Programme’s CLIVAR (Climate and Ocean Variability, Predictability, and Change) and GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Exchanges) projects. It will also extend support to the World Weather Research Programme’s working group on tropical meteorology research.
The launch of IMPO is aligned with this year’s theme of the National Science Day, Integrated Approach in Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future. It also precedes the 7th WMO International Workshop on Monsoons, scheduled to be held during 23-26 March 2022. Being organised in India jointly by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, World Climate Research Programme, and World Weather Research Programme, the international workshop will be a forum for global researchers and stakeholders to discuss advances and issues, involving monsoons as key components of earth system science-related phenomena.