The Cabinet has approved the Prithvi Vigyan Earth Sciences Scheme

  • The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister, has approved the “Prithvi Vigyan (Prithvi)” initiative, a major Ministry of Earth Sciences project.
  • The initiative, which has a budget of Rs 4,797 crore, is scheduled to run from 2021 to 2026.

Concerning the Prithvi Vigyan Scheme

Programme Consolidation: The Prithvi scheme brings together five existing sub-schemes: 

  • Atmosphere and Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems and Services (ACROSS), 
  • Ocean Services, Modelling Application, Resources and Technology (O-SMART), 
  • Polar Science and Cryosphere Research (PACER), 
  • Seismology and Geosciences (SAGE), and 
  • Research, Education, Training, and Outreach (REACHOUT).

The goal of this integration is to improve our understanding of Earth’s systems and to utilise scientific knowledge for societal, environmental, and economic benefits.

Goals and Focus Areas  

  • Comprehensive Observations: To watch the Earth System’s vital signs and changes, the plan emphasises long-term monitoring across the atmosphere, ocean, geosphere, cryosphere, and solid earth.
  • Predictive Model Development: It focuses on developing models for weather, ocean, and climate risks as well as advancing climate change knowledge.
  • Exploration Initiatives: Exploration of the Polar Regions and the high seas is a critical component aimed at discovering new phenomena and resources.
  • Technological Advancements: The project also emphasises the development of technology for the long-term utilisation of oceanic resources for societal purposes.

Role of the Ministry of Earth Sciences

  • Provision of Critical Services: The Ministry of Earth Sciences is responsible for providing critical services pertaining to weather, climate, ocean and coastal states, hydrology, seismology, and natural hazards.
  • Disaster Management Assistance: These services are critical for issuing predictions and alerts for natural catastrophes, assisting in disaster preparedness and risk mitigation.

Earth System Sciences Take a Holistic Approach

  • Earth System Sciences encompasses the study of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere, as well as their intricate interactions.
  • Integrated Research Efforts: The Prithvi project attempts to address these components thoroughly, improving understanding and providing India with trustworthy services.

Impact and Prospects for the Future

  • Taking on Major Challenges: The combined research and development efforts of the programme will address key difficulties in domains such as meteorology, climate, oceanography, cryospheric studies, and seismology.
  • Sustainably Using Resources: It investigates sustainable methods of utilising both living and nonliving resources, with the goal of promoting national development and environmental conservation.
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