SOA inks MoU with IITM-Pune for enhancing lighting forecast in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University (SOA) here on Monday renewed an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) five years ago for joint collaboration in studying lightning and thunderstorm phenomena.

 As per the MoU, which will be in force for another five years from the date of its signing, IITM will help enhance lightning detection network in Odisha from the existing four locations to eight with a radius of 100 km.

The MoU was signed by IITM’s Director Dr. R. Krishnan and SOA’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Pradipta Kumar Nanda.

Lightning detection network under the project facilitated by SOA presently exist in Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Sambalpur and Rayagada. The new locations to be added to the list are Berhampur, Keonjhar, Balangir and Angul.

SOA and IITM, Pune, are already involved in various experiments to study the lightning and thunderstorm phenomena and various electrical parameters of the atmosphere with a good deal of success in prediction of thunderstorms and lightning in blocks across Odisha.

The agreement said SOA and IITM will explore the possibility of involving the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Bhubaneswar, for operationalisation of forecasting location and time of occurrence of thunderstorm and associated lightning in block and Grama Panchayat level as well as flash drought in western Odisha.

Efforts will also be made to include DAMINI network, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), state government systems and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) to disseminate and create awareness among the people to bring down lightning-related casualties.

Both SOA and IITM will jointly take extensive steps to enhance lightning and flash drought prediction in drought prone districts of western Odisha with emphasis on joint Research and Development efforts, joint guidance of research students and regular publication of scientific research papers.

SOA has already set up the Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC) and Centre for Climate Smart Agriculture (CCSA) to undertake research on climate and its impact on agriculture.

Dr. V. Gopalakrishnan, Senior Scientist, IITM, Prof. Santosh Kumar Rout, Dean, Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAS), SOA’s faculty of agricultural sciences, Prof. R.K. Panda, Director, Centre for Climate Smart Agriculture (CCSA), Prof. Bijay Kumar Sahoo, Advisor, IAS, Prof. Uma Charan Mohanty, Distinguished Professor, CCSA, Dr. Sarat Chandra Sahu, Director, CEC, Prof. Renu Sharma, Additional Dean, Student Affairs (ITER) and Mr. Pramod Kumar Panda, Chief Administrative Officer, SOA, were present during the signing of the MoU.