MoES Commissions High-Resolution Ensemble Prediction Systems for Probabilistic Weather Forecasts
- The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has commissioned two very high resolution (12 km grid scale) state-of-the-art global Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) for generating operational 10-days probabilistic forecasts of weather.
- The EPS involves the generation of multiple forecasts using slightly varying initial conditions.
- This became possible due to the consistent efforts made by the scientists at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Noida and India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- The EPS will enhance the weather information being provided by the current models by quantifying the uncertainties in the weather forecasts and generate probabilistic forecasts.
- The probabilistic forecasts of severe weather events at 12 km grid scale across India will greatly help the disaster management authorities and other users in making better emergency response decisions by explicitly accounting for the uncertainty in weather forecasts.
- The probabilistic forecasts will also be very useful for various sectors of the economy including agriculture, water resources, tourism and renewable energy.
- The quality of weather and climate services has improved significantly due to systematic efforts in augmenting atmospheric and ocean observing systems in the region, improving the high performance computational capability to 8.0 petaflops, implementing high-resolution global models and advanced data assimilation techniques for ingesting data from Indian and International satellites, conducting cutting-edge research and investing in human resources development.
- The successes in predicting the Tropical Cyclones Phailin/Hudhud, heavy rainfall events and heat waves are the best examples of the improvement in prediction capability during the recent years.
- MoES is committed to transforming India into a “Weather Ready” Nation.
Launch of Online Analytical Tool to monitor foreign contributions under FCRA
- Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched an Online Analytical Tool to facilitate closer monitoring of the flow and utilisation of foreign contributions received by various organisations registered or permitted under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
- It is a web-based tool which enables decision-makers in various Departments of Government to scrutinise source of foreign funds and their actual use in India. It gives them capacity to take data-driven and evidence-based decisions regarding the compliance of the provisions of the FCRA, 2010. It has analytical features to conduct big data mining and data exploration. Its dashboard will be integrated with the bank accounts of the FCRA-registered entities through the Public Financial Management System for updation of transactional data on a real-time basis.
- There are approx. 25,000 active organisations registered under The FCRA, 2010 and the Foreign Contributions worth Rs.18,065 crores were received by such organisations for various social, cultural, economic, educational and religious activities during financial year 2016-17.
- Each FCRA-NGO conducts multiple financial transactions in receiving and spending the foreign contribution. Therefore, there are hundreds of thousands of such transactions annually which can be monitored effectively through this tool. It will, therefore, help the stakeholders in Government to better regulate acceptance and utilisation of foreign contributions.
India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab in Chandigarh: Dedicated to women
- Hon’ble Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi laid foundation of Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory in the campus of Central Forensic Science Lab, Chandigarh today. This advanced Lab will contribute to address the gap in forensic DNA analysis of pending sexual assault cases in the country.
- The Minister mentioned that the current capacity of CFSL, Chandigarh is less than 160 cases per year and the Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory is estimated to increase the capacity to 2000 cases per year. The Minister further said that 5 more advanced forensic labs would come up in Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati, Pune and Bhopal in the next 3 months bringing the total minimum annual capacity of the labs to 50000 cases. The Labs in Chennai and Mumbai would be set up with WCD funds while remaining 3 labs would be set up with funds by Home Ministry.
- Special forensic kits for rape cases: Special forensic kits for rape would be distributed to all the police stations and hospitals by the month of July. These kits would contain a complete list of evidence/samples to be collected along with the equipment required to collect the evidence. The kits would be locked and sealed before being sent to forensic labs. The details of name of the person, date and time of sealing the kit would be recorded in the kit.
- In sexual assault cases, the ideal time frame to complete the examination and submission of report is 90 days. Furthermore, it is important that the biological crime exhibit is stored and preserved in scientific manner so as to make any examination/reporting meaningful.
- At present, there are 6 Central Forensic Science Labs (CFSLs) in Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Bhopal and one State Forensic Science Lab in each State/UT. These labs are responsible for conducting forensic analysis of all cases in the country including sexual assault, criminal paternity and homicide.
- In Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory, four units are to be established to address cases related to women:
- Sexual Assault and Homicide Unit
- Paternity Unit
- Human Identification Unit
- Mitochondrial Unit
- Apart from the Sexual Assault and Homicide Unit, the other three units are interlinked and will work to examine cases related to crime against women.
- Paternity Unit is essential to solve cases related to criminal paternity, gender selection & child swapping in hospitals.
- Human Identification Unit is important in cases of missing person or children. Mitochondrial Unit will conduct mitochondrial DNA analysis in cases where regular Nuclear DNA analysis is not possible such as in case of highly degraded samples.
- The Mitochondrial Unit can also be used to better explore family relationships.