BANGALORE: With a budgetary allocation of Rs 100 crore for science and technology this year, touted as the highest for any state in the country, the state government is planning on big investments in the future.
Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of a programme on Thursday, Principal Secretary for IT, BT, Science and Technology and e-Governance M N Vidyashankar said, “With Rs 36 crore in the previous budget to Rs 100 crore this time, no other state has such an allocation in the country. We have two major projects lined up - Doppler Weather Radars (DWR) and an International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS).”
He said that the Department of IT would get eight DWRs installed in the state in a phased manner. “Its applications will be purely weather and humidity forecasting. Its applications will be communicated to all the user departments (agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and so on). The total cost for the DWRs is Rs 128 crore,” said Vidyashankar, adding that the radars would have forecasting accuracy that rivals European and North American mechanisms.
While the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is already using DWRs, this will be the first time the Department of IT is setting up the radars, with technical support from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
The radars will have a range of 100-400 kms, enough to cover the entire state.
“We have asked the Centre to pitch in 50 per cent of the total cost. Let us wait for a response,” he said.
Vidyashankar added the city would get a replica of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, in the form of an International Centre for Theoretical Sciences.
“Construction work has already begun at Hesarghatta, spread over 22 acres of land. It will be a replica of the TIFR,” he said.
He said that the ICTS will be headed by Prof Mustansir Barma, the Director of TIFR. Non-traditional and interdisciplinary areas such as biological physics, computational science, complex systems, fluids, the interface between cosmology, particle physics and string theory, emerging areas in mathematics and others will be emphasised, he explained.
Survey No 151 of Shivakote village, Hesarghatta Hobli, Bangalore North, was allotted to the Department of IT in 2008 on a long term lease basis for 30 years at Rs 100 per acre per annum.