"I am extremely happy to be here today. I have learnt that this organization carries out frontline research in atmospheric and space sciences. I am sure that this visit of mine and the interaction with you all will give me a better understanding of the research being conducted here and its outcome.
I am told that this laboratory was started nearly 25 years ago as a National MST Radar Facility with high-power MST radar to uncover mysteries of the middle atmosphere. I am extremely happy that this radar was recognized as the second powerful radar in the world and also the first of its kind in the equatorial Asian region. More so, it was built completely indigenously and credit goes to the scientists and engineers involved in realizing it.
I have also learnt that the original system has been upgraded with new technology providing new capabilities and improved sensitivity. I congratulate the NARL team for establishing this new system, which will certainly take us to newer heights.
I am glad that while undertaking cutting edge research in science and technology, this institute has been facilitating scientists from various universities and national laboratories to carry out their experiments. I am told that many young researchers from universities and other national laboratories have carried out their Ph. D. thesis work using the facilities here.
Today, I visited some of the major experimental facilities and got a fairly good idea about the ongoing work and the activities identified for the future. I have been apprised about the technological developments that have taken place and the knowledge we have gained in the broad domain of atmospheric and space sciences.
I have been informed about the wide spectrum of high power radar and lidar experiments, surface and balloon-based experiments being conducted here. I could also see the high-performance computation facility and also the Data Centre.
I am told that the high-performance computation facility is getting upgraded to enable scientists to perform high-resolution weather modeling and climate research.
I feel that the technologies which you have developed through years of research and developmental activities should be fully utilized for a bigger goal. I would suggest that the Indian industry should utilize this expertise and indigenously develop instruments at economical prices for our researchers in Universities, colleges, and laboratories. This will spur indigenous production and innovation.
Progress in Science and Technology can be hastened through collaborations and by learning from the experiences of other laboratories in the country as well as abroad. National and International collaborations are important for solving common problems faced by mankind.
I am glad to learn that NARL is collaborating with national and international laboratories.
I have also learnt that NARL has been providing very high-resolution wind information measured by the MST radar since its inception in 1993 for all rocket launches from Sriharikota and now you are providing weather forecast for planning the rocket launch.
As we all are aware, weather and climate are posing new challenges with each passing day. We are experiencing global warming and its effects in the form of extreme weather, cyclonic storms, intense thunderstorms, torrential rain, and droughts. Changing weather and climate patterns also affect our agriculture and economy.
Mankind is facing several challenges like the warming of the atmosphere, increase in high impact weather systems, water scarcity, drying up of rivers, growing pollution and survival threat to several animal and plant species due to climate change.
In view of the risks posed by warming earth, consequent extreme weather and drought cycles that could severely affect the lives of the people, plants and animals alike, it is highly imperative for scientists and researchers to address these issues so that we are better prepared to tackle any adverse situation.
I am told that there are two schools of thought as regards climate change-- one believes that the climate change is due to the increasing human activities, while the other group has a contrarian view and believes that the climate change is due to the changing energy input from the Sun alone.
I am told that that there is a broad international consensus that increase in frequency of high impact weather events like thunderstorms, cloud bursts and cyclones can be attributed to global warming and consequent climatic changes.
In order to better understand and forecast these events, Indian scientists need to work on state of the art observational instruments and techniques for generating high quality data on essential climate variables and climate models suitable for our tropical climate.
It is a matter of national importance that we guard against erroneous results generated by models and data from elsewhere. Therefore, I exhort scientists in India to institute methods and processes on generating long term climate quality data and numerical models for accurate assessment and prediction.
India has been an active member in the climate action plan right from the formation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change through to the latest Paris Accord. In order to make a meaningful contribution to the climate action plan, we need quality scientific data from all over the country and the globe.
The Indian subcontinent has distinct climatic zones and their interaction with global climate patterns needs to be studied on a priority basis for our long term well-being.
Dear sisters and brothers,
India has been a country where learning was given a central place in the society and knowledge has been handed down through the generations. In the present day world, capacity building and outreach are equally important. I am pleased that NARL has been producing the next generation of atmospheric scientists through its Ph.D. program and also training several students in science and engineering streams. I am sure that this capacity building initiative will produce more scientists who will work on path-breaking frontline research.
I have been always advocating the need to promote scientific temper from a young age and I must commend NARL in its endeavor to propagate scientific ideas to thousands of college and school students. I would like NARL to produce literature on atmospheric science and technology in a simplified manner for the benefit of school students.
After seeing the wonderful work being done by NARL here, I feel that similar atmospheric research facilities should be established in important climatic regions which have sparse or non-existent observations in the Indian sub-continent.
We seem to be lagging behind the advanced nations in economic indicators and research indicators. While both are improving with time, we need to make greater progress. I am sure that advancements in science and technology will spur economic growth, which in turn will lead to alleviation of poverty and other challenges faced by mankind. I call upon scientists to focus on addressing various challenges from climate change to poverty alleviation.
Finally, I congratulate ISRO and Department of Space for having established and nurtured such a world-class laboratory for experimental atmospheric science and numerical modeling. I see that it is a young laboratory filled with young and enthusiastic people. I wish you all a future filled with great scientific outcomes.