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Nagpur: Maharashtra government will provide assistance to the engineering students willing to pursue higher studies and do research in weather sciences abroad.

Colleges and universities should encourage students to take up higher studies and research in the field of earth science, atmospheric science and weather in the wake of global warming, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said today.

"The Government was ready to provide them all possible assistance in pursing these subjects in USA, UK or Germany," Chavan said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the first Doppler radar in Maharashtra and the third in the country, here. The first Doppler radar, which helps in forecasting weather, was also inaugurated by Chavan in Delhi sometime back in his capacity as Union Minister of State for Science & Technology.

There was a dearth of talent in the area of weather sciences, he said. Chavan said the Centre had drawn up an ambitious plan of setting up 55 Doppler radars across the country at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore.

Five more radars will come up in Maharashtra - at Mumbai, Solapur, Ratnagiri, Solapur and Aurangabad - shortly.

The first indigenous Doppler radar, provided by Government-run BHEL, will be installed at Colaba Meteorological Centre in Mumbai by next month, the Chief Minister said.

The radar made operational today has been provided by USA and assembled in China. It will have a forecasting radius of about 500km and help in minimising human and livestock losses from sudden heavy showers and hailstorm, Chavan said.

Information collected from it will be passed on to farmers through Internet and cellphones about 6-8 hours before the likely change in weather, he added.

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