Rock museum inaugurated on NGRI campus

Centre to set up 75 science museums

Union Minister of State for Science & Technology Jitender Singh inaugurated the first open rock museum displaying different types of rocks gathered from different states with ages ranging from 3.3 billion years to around 55 million years on the campus of the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) here on Thursday.

About 46 rocks of different sizes have been elegantly displayed in a garden with focus lights and descriptions giving the economic and scientific importance of some of them located as deep as 175 km from the surface of the earth. The rocks have been sourced from Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and others.

The Minister suggested that the unique rock museum should be promoted for students and enthusiasts. “It should be one of the important places to visit in this city of composite culture as these are the monuments of modern India,” he said.

Pointing out that the country is celebrating 75 years of independence and CSIR celebrating 80 years, so it is the right time for all integrate synergies to make the country self reliant in many sectors. About 75 science museums will be coming up in association with the Ministry of Culture, he said and mooted a special theme of NGRI’s 75 achievements in its 60-year history.

The institute’s future research efforts designed for ‘Deep-Earth’ and ‘Near Surface’ explorations are critical to understand the processes responsible for shaping the earth’s structure, dynamics and sustenance of life. The mapping of groundwater sources in arid regions will help in utilising the groundwater for drinking purposes.

Mr Singh also released the earthquake risk maps of Lucknow and Dehradun cities and handed them over to the respective states disaster management agencies. The maps were made by characterising the hazard and its uncertainty to serve as input for risk assessment and earthquake resistant design for buildings and infrastructure like bridges or dams.

The Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand agencies are to make use of them to revise land use maps with revised hazard components and revised building bylaws to outlaw unsafe and vulnerable typologies of houses in both the cities. NGRI director V.M. Tiwari said work on developing the early warning systems for the Himalayan region is underway and a 3-D aquifer map model of Jaisalmar was prepared recently. DG CSIR Shekhar Mande hailed the NGRI work over the years.

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