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Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates Shillong Geophysical Research Centre of the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism

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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

The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, recently inaugurated the Shillong Geophysical Research Centre (SGRC) under the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG). 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.

Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) is a premier research organisation under Department of Science and Technology and is involved in research on geomagnetism and allied fields. IIG has taken a new initiative in establishing the 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 is an attempt towards identifying the anomalous seismic zones in North-East India to understand the generation mechanisms of great earthquakes in the region.

Studies to be undertaken at SGRC will contribute to a better understanding of the earthquake sources and their generation mechanisms leading to an improved characterisation 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, Ronnie V. Lyngdoh, Director, IIG, Prof DS Ramesh, Chairman, RAC Prof. Abhijit Sen and Padmashree Dr VP 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, emphasised 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 organised by IIG in the NEHU campus.

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 organisations including the GOC 101, Shillong and other Services personnel representatives from local community and other scientific organisations like IMD, NESAC, NIC and NEHU were among others who attended the inaugural function.

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