“PRITHvi VIgyan (PRITHVI)” of the Ministry of Earth Sciences is an overarching scheme approved for implementation during the period from 2021-26. Read here to learn more about the scheme.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is mandated to translate Science to Services for Society in providing services for weather, climate, ocean and coastal state, hydrology, seismology, and natural hazards; to explore and harness marine living and non-living resources in a sustainable manner for the country and to explore the three poles of the Earth (Arctic, Antarctic, and Himalayas).
These services include weather forecasts (both on land and in the Oceans) and warnings for various natural disasters like tropical cyclones, storm surges, floods, heat waves, thunderstorms, and lightning; alerts for Tsunamis and monitoring of earthquakes, etc.
The services provided by the Ministry are being effectively used by different agencies and state governments to save human lives and minimize damages to properties due to natural disasters.
PRITHvi VIgyan (PRITHVI) Scheme
The scheme encompasses five ongoing sub-schemes namely:
- Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)
- Ocean Services, Modelling Application, Resources and Technology (O-SMART)
- Polar Science and Cryosphere Research (PACER)
- Seismology and Geosciences (SAGE)
- Research, Education, Training, and Outreach (REACHOUT)
The major Objectives of the overarching Prithvi Scheme are:
- Augmentation and sustenance of long-term observations of the atmosphere, ocean, geosphere, cryosphere, and solid earth to record the vital signs of the Earth System and change.
- Development of modeling systems for understanding and predicting weather, ocean, and climate hazards and understanding the science of climate change.
- Exploration of polar and high seas regions of the Earth towards the discovery of new phenomena and resources.
- Development of technology for exploration and sustainable harnessing of oceanic resources for societal applications.
- Translation of knowledge and insights from Earth systems science into services for societal, environmental, and economic benefit.
ACROSS (Atmospheric, Climate Science and Services)
ACROSS is composed of the following sub-schemes:
- Monsoon Convection, Clouds, and Climate Change (MC4)
- High-Performance Computing System (HPCS)
- Monsoon Mission (MM-II)
- Atmospheric Observations Network
- Weather & Climate Services
- Upgradation of Forecast System
- Commissioning of Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radars (DWRs)
O-SMART (Ocean—Services, Modelling, Application, Resources and Technology)
Major components of the O-SMART scheme are:
- Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology—Marine Living Resources Programme
- National Centre for Coastal Research
- Ocean observation and network
- Ocean advisory and information services, computational infrastructure, and communication systems
- Ocean—modeling data assimilation and process-specific observations
- Ocean science and technology for islands
- Harnessing ocean energy for generating freshwater
- Manned and unmanned underwater vehicles
- Marine sensors, ocean electronics, and acoustics
- Operating and maintaining research vessels
- Seafront Research Facility
- Studies on Gas hydrates
- Polymetallic nodules
- Polymetallic Sulphides
- Geoscientific studies of exclusive economic zone
- Extension of the continental shelf
- Deep Ocean Mission (DOM)
PACER (Polar Science and Cryosphere Research)
The major objectives of the PACER scheme are enumerated below:
- To ensure the country’s strategic and scientific interests in the Polar Region and the surrounding oceans.
- To continue the long-term frontline scientific programmes in Antarctica, the Arctic, the Himalayas, and the Southern Ocean, which are pertinent to the national needs and have potential societal, strategic, and global relevance.
- Planning, coordination and implementation of the annual Indian Antarctic, Arctic, Himalayan, and Southern Ocean expeditions.
- Maintenance of Indian Research bases in Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Himalayas.
- Establishment of state-of-the-art polar research and logistic facilities in the country.
SAGE (Seismology and Geosciences)
SAGE includes the following six activities:
- Seismological monitoring and microzonation
- Geodynamics and surface processes
- Indian Ocean: Deep ocean observations and dynamics of lithospheric evolution (International Ocean Discovery Program-IODP and geoid low)
- Scientific deep drilling in the Koynaintraplate seismic zone
- Seismicity and earthquake precursors
- Setting up a facility for geochronology
REACHOUT (Research, Education, Training and Outreach)
REACHOUT 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).
Significance of PRITHVI
Earth System Sciences deal with all the five components of the earth system: atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere, and their complex interactions.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) holistically addresses all the aspects relating to the Earth System Science.
The overarching scheme of PRITHVI will holistically address all five components of the Earth system to improve the understating of the Earth System Sciences and to provide reliable services for the country.
- Various components of the PRITHVI scheme are interdependent and are carried out in an integrated manner through combined efforts of the concerned Institutes under MoES.
- The overarching scheme of Prithvi Vigyan will enable the development of integrated multi-disciplinary earth science research and innovative programs across different MoES institutes.
- These integrated R&D efforts will help in addressing the grand challenges of weather and climate, ocean, cryosphere, seismological science, and services and explore the living and non-living resources for their sustainable harnessing.
What is meant by ‘Science to Services for the Society’?
“Science to Services for the Society” encapsulates the concept of translating scientific knowledge, discoveries, and innovations into practical applications and services that directly benefit society. This process involves bridging the gap between scientific research and the everyday needs and challenges of the community.
Medical Advancements and Healthcare Services:
- Scientific breakthroughs in medicine and healthcare are translated into new diagnostic tools, treatments, and therapies that enhance patient care.
- Accessible and innovative healthcare services contribute to improved public health outcomes and better disease prevention and management.
Technological Innovations and Information Services:
- Technological advancements, such as developments in artificial intelligence, are applied to create services that impact various sectors, including finance, communication, transportation, and education.
- Services built on scientific research enable the effective collection, analysis, and dissemination of information, empowering decision-making at individual and organizational levels.
Environmental Research and Sustainable Services:
- Scientific studies on climate change inform the development of services focused on environmental conservation, sustainable practices, and the mitigation of climate-related risks.
- Research in clean energy translates into services that promote the use of renewable resources, contributing to sustainable and eco-friendly energy solutions.
Agricultural Research and Food Security:
- Scientific research in agriculture leads to the development of improved crop varieties, sustainable farming practices, and services that enhance food security.
- Knowledge transfer through agricultural extension services helps farmers adopt best practices and technologies for increased productivity.
Educational Research and Learning Services:
- Scientific studies in education inform the development of effective teaching methods, learning materials, and educational technologies.
- Services built on educational research aim to make quality education accessible to diverse populations, fostering knowledge dissemination and skill development.
Public Health and Disease Prevention:
- Scientific research on vaccines and immunization translates into public health services that prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
- Services promoting health awareness and education contribute to disease prevention and the well-being of communities.
Space Exploration and Communication Services:
- Scientific advancements in space exploration led to the development of satellite-based communication services, weather forecasting, and global positioning systems.
- Space-based technologies contribute to services that aid in disaster management, including early warning systems and post-disaster assessments.
Social Sciences and Policy Formulation:
- Research in social sciences informs evidence-based policymaking, leading to the development of services that address societal challenges, promote inclusivity, and ensure social justice.
- Services based on social science research focus on community development, poverty alleviation, and the enhancement of overall societal well-being.
Cybersecurity and Digital Services:
- Scientific research in cybersecurity translates into services that protect individuals and organizations from cyber threats, ensuring secure digital transactions and data privacy.
- Services promoting digital literacy and inclusion contribute to bridging the digital divide, and empowering communities to participate in the digital economy.
The journey from “Science to Services for the Society” underscores the importance of applying scientific knowledge to create tangible benefits for individuals and communities. This alignment between scientific advancements and societal needs fosters progress, innovation, and an improved quality of life for people around the world.
PRITHvi VIgyan (PRITHVI) Scheme will play an important role in boosting earth science research in India. The initiative promises to enhance India’s resilience in the face of climatic and environmental challenges.
By investing in research, education, and training, PRITHVI will nurture a skilled workforce of Earth system scientists for the future. This ensures the continuity of vital research and service delivery, safeguarding India’s preparedness for a changing planet.
-Article by Swathi Satish