Marathi Article about Cyclone Hudhud

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A Marathi article on Cyclone Hudhud was published in the Manthan supplement of the newspaper Lokmat on 19 October 2014. To read the article in pdf format click on the link below.

Ranjan Kelkar Manthan Article Cyclone

Remembering Dr O. N. Dhar


O N Dhar

Eminent hydrometeorologist, Dr Omkar Nath Dhar, passed away on 7 October 2014 at his residence in Pune. He was 91.

Born on 22 February 1923 in Srinagar, he had his early education there. He did his M. Sc. in Physics with specialization in Electronics from Lucknow University in 1944 and received his Ph. D. degree in hydrometeorology from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, in 1976.

Dr Dhar initially worked as a lecturer in Physics at DAV College, Jalhandar, in 1944-45. He joined the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in March 1945 at Pune and was later posted at the Radiosonde Laboratory at IMD, New Delhi.

In March 1947, Dr. Dhar was deputed to the Central Water Commission (CWC), New Delhi. While at the CWC, he was sent to Nevada University, USA, to work with Dr. J. E. Church on snow surveying in the Himalayas.

Between 1947 and 1958, Dr. Dhar led as many as 12 expeditions to inaccessible regions of the Himalayas from Tehri Garhwal to Sikkim. This was for the purpose of snow surveying and installation of hydrometeorological observatories under the Flood Control and Flood Forecasting Scheme of the Government of India.

In 1965, Dr. Dhar joined the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. The following year, he visited the US Weather Bureau under the UNDP Fellowship Program for training in hydrometeorology.

From 1982 to 1986, Dr. Dhar served as a Local Consultant to the World Bank at its Regional Office at New Delhi. In 1987, he worked as a member of the World Bank Review Team on Hydrometeorology and was also a member of the Dam Safety Panel for Karnataka State.

Although Dr. Dhar retired as Assistant Director, Climatology and Hydrometeorology Division, IITM, in 1983, he continued his scientific work there as an Honorary Emeritus Scientist almost to the end. During his long career he published as many as 300 scientific papers, of which 100 were written after his retirement.

In recognition of his pioneering contribution to the science and profession of meteorology, Dr Dhar was conferred with the Fellowship of the Indian Meteorological Society in 2001. In 2013, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute and Association of Hydrometeorologists of India.

(Based on inputs from Dr Sunil Peshin, IMD, New Delhi and Dr Gufran Beig, IITM, Pune.)

Monsoon Ranjan

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Monsoon Ranjan Cover

Prof R R Kelkar was interviewed by the Marathi newspaper, Lokmat, and the interview was published in its “Pratham Purushi” supplement on 4 October 2014. Click on the link below to read the PDF file.


Filmy Weather (29): “Monsoon” Review by Padmaja Ritu Luther

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monsoon poster  

I was extremely fortunate to be present at the premiere screening of the movie “Monsoon” at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2014. The movie depicts how the vast Indian sub-continent is so deeply dependent on the monsoons and rain, and how every aspect of life is affected by its arrival …. or non-arrival, whether in the cities or in the villages of India.

From the very onset of the monsoon clouds originating in the Arabian Sea and the start of the monsoons in Kerala, the director, Sturla Gunnarsson and his crew follow the journey of the monsoons from Kerala, to Maharashtra, Kolkata and other areas of India, including Cherrapunji, in the state of Meghalaya, the “wettest place on the earth”.

Along with the crew, the audience follows the lives of different families and personalities, whose existences are deeply affected by the arrival of the rains, as well as the drought areas which receive very little or no rain at all.

There is Akila and her family in Kerala, who wait eagerly for the rains to arrive, and eventually end up losing everything because of the floods. In sharp contrast, farmers in drought affected villages in Maharashtra state lose everything because of the lack of rain in their areas for several years. While the big cities of Mumbai welcome the onset of the monsoons, and Bollywood superstars sing and dance to a romantic rain-song, Sturla and his crew show vividly how animals in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam are affected by the rain and require protection against floods and poachers.

Interviews with meteorologists portray how the onset of the monsoons is predicted, and the importance of declaring their arrival at the right time. Timing is of the essence, failing which, the government fears a decline in the stock market, and public confidence and retail sales could be very adversely affected.

Shot in high resolution 4K, the photography in the movie is absolutely breath taking, ….every single detail is visible as though it were happening right in front of your eyes. The music is soulfully penetrating and resonating, almost haunting!

On a personal note, I felt so connected to so many of the scenes in the movie. Especially the scenes shot in Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar and Kolkata. On the other hand I did feel a few scenes could have had a bit less detail or could have not been included in the film.

Although the movie is 108 minutes in length, apparently more than 200 hours were filmed before being edited. I learned that CBC plans to air some of the edited hours of the movie later this fall, and I cannot wait to see what else Sturla and his crew had filmed along their journey to capture the Indian monsoon.

All in all, a must see film!
Thank you Sturla for MONSOON!

- Padmaja Ritu Luther, Toronto, Canada

Climate Change and the New Generation

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“Climate Change and the New Generation” – 13th V G Kulkarni Memorial Lecture
Speaker: Prof R R Kelkar
Venue: Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mankhurd, Mumbai
Date: 18 September 2014
Time: 4:30 pm

VGK Lecture Poster

Filmy Weather (28) “Monsoon”, A Love Letter to India

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Kelkar and Sturla at Alipore

Sturla Gunnarsson’s documentary “Monsoon” is about how the immense weather system affects India’s one billion residents. It is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, with screenings on 7 and 9 September 2014. The prolific Canadian filmmaker says that the film is his “love letter to India”.

Read more about the movie at http://www.bramptonguardian.com/whatson-story/4806469-sturla-gunnarsson-s-love-letter-to-india-/

Picture shows R R Kelkar and Sturla Gunnarsson sitting under the banyan tree at Alipore Observatory, Kolkata, during the film’s shooting on 6 July 2013.

Lecture by Prof R R Kelkar

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I will be delivering a lecture in Marathi on “Spirituality and Science” (Adhyatma ani Vidnyan) on Saturday 23 August 2014 at 5:30 pm at S. P. College, Pune.
It is a part of a lecture series organized by Sant Dnyandev Adhyasan, University of Pune, Shukla Yajurvediya Madhyandin Maharashtriya Brahman Madhyavarti Mandal, and other organizations.
Those interested are welcome.

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