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Harsh Vardhan inaugurates NE’s first IIG in Shillong

SHILLONG: Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, on Monday inaugurated the first Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) of the North East christened as Shillong Geophysical Research Centre of the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) for detailed research on earthquakes in the region.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Vardhan said that with the setting up of the IIG, the changes in the electrical field and the variation in temperatures occurring at different times including modulation in very high or low frequency can be observed consistently for years and can be related to occurrence of earthquake with time.
Observing that the Northeast is vulnerable when it comes to occurrence of earthquakes, the Union Minister said that the centre will be of great help to the people of the region in terms of avoiding the damage caused by earthquakes.
“The research centre is not for prevention of earthquakes but for avoiding the damages caused by them,” he clarified.
Located at the Wilton Hall Estate, Upper Shillong, the Shillong Geophysical Research Centre which has been set up at an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore is the third such centre in the country.
The setting up of the Centre here assumes significance in view of the frequent tremors occurring in the region with the latest one being earlier this month when a 6.7 magnitude earthquake rocked Manipur and other parts of North East.
Referring to a common question on whether earthquakes can be predicted, he said, “With the type of research that they are going to do (in the centre), there will be a time in the foreseeable future when we should be able to predict an earthquake.”
Meanwhile, the Union Minister informed that the Centre is thoroughly committed to take science forward in a proactive and dynamic manner.
Meanwhile, Dr. D S Ramesh, Director of IIG said, “It is indeed a historic moment and we are proud to inaugurate our third regional centre.”
He informed that the Union Minister has sanctioned special grants worth Rs. 5 crore during this financial year towards the establishment of the regional centre.

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