New Delhi (ISJ): Union Cabinet decided to take over the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) at Thiruvananthapuram in southern Kerala. The decision follows a proposal by the cash-strapped Kerala State government to the federal Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The Centre conducts and promotes basic and applied advanced research in the frontier areas of earth sciences with emphasis on solid earth.
"The takeover is expected to significantly strengthen CESS's capability to undertake research in frontier areas of earth sciences, and provide a solid basis for future investment in its research programmes and infrastructure," said an official release announcing the Cabinet decision late on Thursday (Dec. 19). "The Centre will also carry out multidisciplinary research in frontier areas of solid science and provide services on a nationwide scale, help development of natural resources and management of natural hazards."
The proposal of Kerala state was examined by an Expert Committee with Dr. P.S. Goel, Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Physicist and former Minister amongst others.
CESS will focus on research in crustal evolution and geodynamics, sedimentology and depositional process, coastal dynamics and cloud microphysics. Currently MoES conduct R and D on the ocean and atmosphere components of the earth system and there is no institutional mechanism in its wings to pursue research with specific aspects of solid earth. The takeover complements the Ministry's plan to expand its research activities in the field of earth system science.
The Centre also offers consultancy and training services to provide knowledge-based support in decision making and in training public about application of earth sciences.
The total estimated budget requirements of CESS will be Rs. 128.67 crore for the remaining period of the 12th Five Year Plan. Research and Development activities of the Centre would benefit millions of people across the country by way of increased knowledge of earth processes, better predictive systems for natural hazards, development of natural resource management plans, increased access to thematic maps, etc. It will now cover the whole country, with particular focus on southern India.