The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has said that he expects the Shillong Geophysical Research Centre (SGRC) to emerge as one of its kind in the world in unravelling the earthquake processes and generating a precursor model for earthquake predictions in the years to come.
The Minister assured that the government would extend full support to new initiatives of this kind that will make India a world leader in scientific research. He drew parallels to the support already extended by the government to many new initiatives within the ministry that have been yielding beneficial results to the society. Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that young researchers and students should aim big and work hard to achieve their goals.
Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) is a premier research organization under Department of Science and Technology and is involved in research on Geomagnetism and allied fields. Its Headquarters is located at New Panvel near Mumbai. It has two Regional Centres and twelve magnetic observatories located across the length and breadth of the country. IIG has taken a new initiative in establishing the Shillong Geophysical Research Centre (SGRC) as its third regional centre. The focus of research at this newly formed centre at Shillong would be on deciphering the pre- and co-seismic signatures in various atmospheric regions over the North-East using a variety of observational techniques aided by numerical modelling tools. The proposed multi-parametric study to be initiated at the Shillong regional centre, in an across the discipline manner, is a modest attempt towards identifying the anomalous seismic zones in North-East India to understand the generation mechanisms of great earthquakes in the region.
As is widely recognized, the north-eastern part of India is located at the centre of one of the most active earthquake prone regions of the country. The region is quite vulnerable as was evident during the recent Manipur earthquake of January 2016. Studies to be undertaken at SGRC will contribute to a better understanding of the earthquake sources and their generation mechanisms leading to an improved characterization of earthquake occurrence and hazards in the North-East and assessment of threats they pose to the local population. Any early warning signals emerging from the earthquake preparatory zones that can be detected in the observational tools to be deployed at SGRC will help in mitigating the effects posed by impending earthquakes in this region. The ultimate challenge is to develop an earthquake precursor model based on varied observations of the atmospheric and ionospheric response to earthquake occurrence in order to build an Integrated Earthquake Precursory Signal System (IEPSS). SGRC would strive to serve the needs of the NE region as a prominent seat of geophysical research and learning in the NE region.
The Member of Legislative Assembly of Mylliem Constituency, Mr. Ronnie V. Lyngdoh, Director, IIG, Prof. D.S. Ramesh, Chairman, RAC Prof. Abhijit Sen and Padmashree Dr. V.P. Dimri, speaking on the occasion highlighted the importance of SGRC in the context of geophysical research pursued on the North-East region by IIG and stressed the need to upgrade this facility to a state-of-the-art world class research centre. The Vice-Chancellor of NEHU, Prof. Sri Krishna Srivastava, emphasized the need for understanding the underlying processes. In this context, he recalled the discussions that took place during the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere-Magnetosphere (LAIM) workshop organized by IIG in the NEHU campus yesterday morning.
After formal inauguration of the Shillong Geophysical Research Centre, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inspected the research facility and ongoing scientific experiments. He also interacted with the staff and students of the Centre.
Dignitaries from various state and central government organizations including the GOC 101, Shillong and other Services personnel representatives from local community and other scientific organizations like IMD, NESAC, NIC and NEHU were among others who attended the inaugural function.