India has come a long way in weather forecasting and scientific research and is now in a position to issue early warnings to other countries also, Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology, Environment, Forest and Climate Changes and Earth Sciences, has said.

The Minister laid the foundation stone for construction of the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) and Training Facility for India Meteorological Department (IMD) and NCCR at Dolphin’s Nose, here, on Friday.

Referring to INCOIS (Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services), he said that the Hyderabad-based research institute was the first to predict the tsunami that hit Indonesia recently.

He said that India was No. 4 in the world after countries like the US and the UK in weather forecasting. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was ranked ninth in the world in a list of 1,200 such institutions.

Immense contribution

The scientific community made immense contribution in finding solutions to many of the problems in society through research but there is a vast scope for further research in various areas,

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the Lt. Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi had called him sometime ago and appreciated the Ministry of Earth Sciences for the improvement of beaches on the island by taking measures to prevent soil erosion.

The foundation stone for construction of a desalination plant was laid in Lakshadweep and six more such plants would also be set up. Once they were completed it would make available drinking water at an affordable rate.

He was optimistic that the building for the NCCR, for which he laid the foundation, would be completed in two years.

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