New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) may acquire advanced supercomputers to carry out cutting-edge research in weather prediction modelling and the study of the earth's climate, minister of state for science and technology, Ashwani Kumar, said here Thursday.
'We have decided to increase the computing capacity of the supercomputer from 70 teraflops (70 trillion floating-point operations per second) to 300 teraflops. This will increase accuracy in predictions for storms, tsunami and climate research,' Kumar told reporters.
He, however, declined to clarify if a new supercomputer would be acquired or the capacity of the present one would be upgraded.
He also said it was still being discussed whether the supercomputer would be sourced abroad or developed within the country itself.
Kumar also said the IMD would reach out to 30 lakh farmers across the country by the end of 2011 for providing agricultural forecasts.
'As of now, we provide agromet services to 12 lakh farmers and our target for 2011 is 30 lakh farmers and about 5 crore in coming years,' he said.
Farmers Weather Bulletins are issued daily by the IMD's forecasting offices for broadcast in different regional languages through the All India Radio in its evening programmes.
IMD also provides weather updates to farmers on SMSes free of cost.