New Delhi: With weather forecasts by its agencies reaching hardly 20-25 per cent of the population, the Ministry of Earth Sciences is planning to take to social media in a big way to cover a larger audience. The Ministry has asked institutes under its ambit to use social media like Twitter and Facebook to reach out to people. “After instructions from the Minister (for Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan) we have started using the social media more frequently.
Through a third party assessment, we have found that our forecasts reach only 20-25 per cent people and we are making efforts to improve on that front,” M Rajeevan, Secretary MoES said. Several institutes like Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services that issues tsunami alerts, the India Meteorological Department and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology under the MoES research on issues directly related to people. Putting their work on social media will also enable them to take their research to the masses. The Ministry also has agriculture services under which farmers can register their cell phone numbers on a portal and get weather and agriculture related SMSes.
However, only 10 per cent of farmers could be reached through this, Rajeevan said. “We have asked all state governments to take this forward and make it a massive movement. Maharashtra government has helped register over 60 lakh farmers,” he said. He said the Ministry has prepared a proposal under which there will be a brainstorming session with social scientists and social media experts. Last month, the IMD had started three twitter accounts to disseminate information on weather, air quality and earthquake. The @IMD-Weather twitter account has over 1500 followers and updates on weather conditions like heat waves in different regions of the country are issued at regular intervals every day. PTI
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