India among top nations in early warning system of naturalcalamities: Harsh Vardhan

India among top nations in early warning system of naturalcalamities: Harsh Vardhan Kolkata, Nov 8 (PTI) Union Science and TechnologyMinister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said India is now among thetop bracket of nations in the early warning system of naturalcalamities like tsunami and cyclones.

Addressing the valedictory session of four-day IndiaInternational Science Festival (IISF) here, the minister saidthe country occupies the number one spot in Tsunami warning.

'While we hold the number one spot in Tsunami warning,we are among the top countries in early warning system ofcyclones which have been put in place in past five years,'Vardhan said.

The minister's statement came when Cyclone 'Bulbul'has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and islikely to lash West Bengal on Sunday.

Early cyclone warning system has prevented casualtiesin five-six major cyclones, he said adding that the mechanismhad helped the Odisha administration know about Cyclone Fani14 days before it made the landfall.

'We were also applauded by the UN for the evacuationof people during Cyclone Fani' the minister said.

He said 40 million farmers get early warning SMS ontheir mobiles about weather changes.

He said India occupies the fifth rank in sciencepublications in the world, third in Nanotechnology, and 11thin patents.

'But unless we make students aware of our scientificachievements, unless we tell them about the discoveries andprojects of our leading research labs, how will their interestgrow in science,' the minister asked.

India is the only country having undertaken researchprogramme to predict earthquakes 7 km below the rocky groundsurface in western parts of the country, he said.

Coming to the 5th IISF, Bardhan said it is aimed atcarrying forward science movement in the country.

While representatives of six foreign nations attendedthe IISF, 706 districts of the country were represented bystudents or scientists, he said.

Vardhan said India has active science collaborationswith 44 countries including the US, Israel, France and SouthKorea.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar unveiled the newmap of India having union territories of Jammu and Kashmir andLadakh at the concluding function in the presence of the unionminister. PTI SUSNN NN