New Delhi, July 14, 2020: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai presided over the inaugural session of the webinar “Thunderstorms and Lightning”, organised by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) in collaboration with India Meteorological Department here today. The one-day webinar focussed on enhancing human capacity in terms of better understanding about thunderstorms and lightning risks and effective collaborative actions, by implementing Prime Minister’s 10-point agenda and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, for reducing the risk and enhancing the resilience amongst the affected stakeholders.

The aim of the webinar was to sensitize the participants about Hazard Vulnerability Risk Capacity Assessment (HVRC), forecast, preparedness and mitigation of thunderstorms and lightning beside technical knowledge and available resources for timely response and recovery.

While addressing the webinar, Shri Nityanand Rai highlighted the major interventions carried out by the Government of India’s departments/agencies for reducing the adverse risks of thunderstorms and lightning on the communities. Highlighting the importance of disaster mitigation and reduction measures in the growth and development of the nation, he emphasised focusing on the collaborative short and long term mitigation and reduction measures to diminish the adverse impact of this natural disaster. The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs highlighted the continuous support, guidance and keen interest of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah on the subject of disaster risk reduction. Further, he exhorted implementing 10 Point Agenda given by the Prime Minister on Disaster Risk Reduction besides adopting research based disaster risk reduction strategies, participatory approach and proactive preventive and mitigative strategies.

Dr. Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Science provided insights on the interventions taken by his ministry for thunderstorms and lightning, including mobile app Damini, weather modelling, doppler weather radar and lightning detector system. Further, he emphasised to shift approach from forecast to nowcast and prepare appropriate strategies to disseminate the early warning of thunderstorms and lightning to the concerned stakeholders. Other dignitaries of the inaugural session of the webinar included Major General Manoj Kumar Bindal, Executive Director, NIDM and Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General, IMD. The session was followed by lectures from distinguished speakers namely, Dr. V. Thiruppugazh, Additional Secretary, NDMA; Prof. Surya Parkash, Head GMRD, NIDM and Dr. Soma Sen Roy, Scientist-F, IMD.