PRITHVI VIgyan (PRITHVI): India’s Pioneering Initiative in Earth System Sciences and Space Collaboration

PRITHvi VIgyan

The Union Cabinet recently granted approval for the ambitious “PRITHvi VIgyan (PRITHVI)” scheme, initiated by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in India. This comprehensive program, spanning from 2021 to 2026, aims to bolster Earth System Sciences and provide essential services for societal, environmental, and economic well-being.

Additionally, the Cabinet approved a collaboration agreement between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC) to jointly develop a small satellite.

Historical Cooperation Between India and Mauritius

The collaboration between India and Mauritius in the field of space research dates back to the 1980s when ISRO established a ground station in Mauritius. This station played a pivotal role in tracking and providing telemetry support for ISRO’s launch vehicles and satellite missions.

Understanding the “PRITHvi VIgyan (PRITHVI)” Scheme

The PRITHVI scheme comprises five sub-schemes, each targeting specific aspects of Earth System Sciences:

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

The overarching goal is to comprehensively address the five components of Earth System Sciences: atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere.

Objectives of the PRITHVI Scheme

  • Augmentation of long-term observations across various Earth System components to record vital signs and changes.
  • Development of modeling systems for predicting weather, ocean, and climate hazards, as well as understanding climate change science.
  • Exploration of polar and high seas regions for the discovery of new phenomena and resources.
  • Development of technology for sustainable harnessing of oceanic resources for societal applications.
  • Translation of insights from Earth systems science into services for societal, environmental, and economic benefit.

Benefits for India

The PRITHVI scheme offers numerous advantages for India, including:

  • Advanced Warning Services: The scheme provides advanced warning services for natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, heatwaves, and earthquakes. This facilitates prompt and effective disaster management.
  • Precise Weather Forecasts: PRITHVI ensures accurate weather forecasts for both land and oceans, enhancing safety and minimizing property damages during adverse weather conditions.
  • Exploration of Polar Regions: The initiative extends its reach to explore the three poles of the Earth – Arctic, Antarctic, and Himalayas. This exploration provides valuable insights and knowledge about these regions.
  • Technology Development: The scheme encourages the development of technology for exploration and sustainable harnessing of oceanic resources, aligning with modern advancements in Earth Science.

The approval of the “PRITHvi VIgyan (PRITHVI)” scheme and the collaboration between ISRO and MRIC mark significant milestones in India’s commitment to advancing Earth System Sciences and space research. This comprehensive initiative is poised to contribute significantly to understanding, predicting, and mitigating the impact of natural phenomena, ultimately benefiting the nation’s societal, environmental, and economic well-being.

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