First Meeting of SRMC held on 28th May 2012(09:30 - 17:00 hours) at Aryabhatta Hall, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. The list of participants are :
Prof. B. N. Goswami, Mission Director welcomed all the members and Chairman, SRMC and briefed them about the ambit of the Monsoon Mission and how it evolved and what is expedted from the Mission. He explained the committee that the main objective of the monsoon mission is to improve the prediction skill of Indian Summer Monsoon rainfall in the operational dynamical modeling framework. He further mentioned that to promote this activity IITM has sent a call for research proposals last year. As a response, IITM received 19 research proposals. All the proposals were sent out for reviews by external experts and the reviewers’ comments are circulated to the members. He further added that while the reviewers’ comments will be given due weightage, relevance to mission objectives will be a major consideration in funding these proposals.
Chairman, SRMC welcomed all the members and briefed them the role of SRMC and terms of reference as follows:
To plan research programs of monsoon mission with focused deliverables
To monitor and advise on various scientific activities
To identify participating organizations/groups for specific research activities
To review and recommend project proposals submitted under the mission
Tasks assigned by the SSC from time to time
He further mentioned that, a science plan documentation defining the clear objectives and road map of the monsoon mission and current status of the monsoon prediction should be prepared for future reference. He further suggested that in order to have a context for reviewing of the research proposals, the research plan of each organization may also be presented in future meetings. The Chairman further requested for comments from other members on the monsoon mission.
After some initial discussions, the chairman has requested PIs to make brief presentations on their proposals. (Recommendations on these proposals and other proposals are listed in separate sheets).
Following Principal Investigators made presentations on their proposals.
Dr. G. Mrudula (NAL) made a presentation on "DEVELOPMENT OF STANDALONE VARSHA BOUNDARY LAYER MODULE AND INTEGRATION TO MONSOON MISSION"
Prof. S.S.V.S Ramakrishna (Andhra University) made a presentation on "THE ROLE OF DYNAMICS AND PHYSICS IN THE EVOLUTION AND VARIABILITY OF THE INDIAN SUMMER MONSOON"
Mr. G.Balamurugan made a presentation on "GEOMATIS BASED REAL-TIME METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATION NETWORKS-DEVELOPMENT POSSIBILITIES FOR HYDROMETROLOGICAL HAZARD EMERGENCY RESPONSE"
Dr. Thara Prabha (IITM) made a presentation on "A HIGH RESOLUTION CLOUD SIMULATION INITIATIVE FOR CLOUD MICROPHYSICAL PARAMETERIZATION DEVELOPMENT USING CAIPEEX OBSERVATIONS"
After the presentations of PIs, the committee resumed discussions and decided unanimously that the following points may be submitted to the Scientific Steering Committee for approval/consideration.
Prediction of High Impact Weather Events: Dr. Rathore, Chairman and Prof. Mohanty, requested that whether it is possible to include prediction of high impact weather events in the objectives of the Monsoon Mission. To this, Prof. Goswami and Dr. Rajeevan has expressed that this is not in the purview of Monsoon Mission objectives, as the primary objective of the Mission is to improve the prediction of large scale monsoon circulation and rainfall. Prof. Goswami pointed out that while this is an important problem, inclusion of this new objective is expected to dilute the Mission objectives. Therefore, in the interest of keeping the focus on the primary objective of Monsoon Mission, it is suggested that this objective may be taken up by MoES as a separate project, outside the Monsoon Mission.
Commercial Proposals: Prof. Bhat has recommended that to achieve monsoon mission objectives, it is imperative to use expertise from private partners particularly in the field of Information Technology. However, there are no clear set guidelines on how to approve the project proposals and award the work to private parties. The Committee recommended that an open tender may be floated for this purpose by clearly mentioning the technical work involved in the project. Since CDAC is an autonomous institute under DoT, we may consider the proposals submitted by CDAC without going for open tender (as it follows set guideline/principles set by Govt. of India). However, the scientific merit and proposed budget should be verified/scrutinized before awarding the work to CDAC.
Monitoring and Review Process: Committee recommended that SRMC should meet at least once in six months to review the progress made by the research projects and also each organization under MoES participating in the Monsoon Mission. Committee also recommended that once in two years a workshop/conference should be held to review the overall progress of the monsoon mission and to understand the new opportunities emerging in the field.
Guidelines for International Proposals: Committee strongly felt that there should be uniform guidelines for international proposals, and the committee recommends the following for the approval of SSC.
Overheads: More than 20% institutional overheads cannot be accepted. It is understood that the minimum acceptable overhead in USA is around 20%.
Post Docroral Fellowship: Maximum allowable fellowship is $75000/- per annum including all fringe benefits.
Doctoral Student Fellowship: Maximum allowable fellowship is $45000/- per annum including fringe benefits and tuition fee.
Part salary of PI and Co-PI: Up to one month salary for PI and Co-PI.
Proposals from NCEP/UK Met. Office or any related organizations: The Committee strongly felt that proposals from NCEP/UK Met office should not be funded since separate MoU is already signed by MoES. Similarly, any operational/research organization adopting the models from these centers for their country’s purpose should also be discouraged.
Recommendations of the committee on the proposals submitted by various organizations are attached and the same may be approved by SSC.
The meeting ended with thanks to the chair and next SRMC meeting will be held within three months time to review the new proposals.