Ramakanta Biswas

India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra has been elected the third vice president of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Mohapatra, who hails from Bhadrak in Odisha, garnered an impressive majority of 113 votes out of 148. His appointment is for the period from 2023-27. 

An eminent meteorologist and weather expert, Mohapatra's accurate prediction of cyclone phenomena has earned him the title of ‘Cyclone Man of India'. 

Soon after his election as the vice president of WMO, Mohapatra was flooded with congratulations from various quarters. 

"Congratulations India !!! Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra has won the election for the position of Third Vice President of WMO. A resounding victory. Received 113 votes (out of 148)," IMD tweeted. 

Minister of Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju also took to Twitter and wrote, "Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra's resounding triumph as the Third Vice President of WMO fills India with pride! Garnering an impressive majority of 113 votes, his exceptional leadership skills and innovative approach to meteorology have been recognized. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement, truly well-deserved!"

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also congratulated Mohapatra and wrote, “Congratulate Shri Mrutyunjay Mohapatra on being elected as the Vice-President of WMO! An expert widely known as the ‘cyclone man of India' for accurately predicting cyclone phenomena, may he shine in his new role and provide leadership in weather and climate-related services for the well-being of all nations.”

A Sneak Peek into the Journey of Mrutyunjay Mohapatra

Mohapatra was born on August 12, 1965 to Pravakar Mohapatra and Panchali Mohapatra in Rajagurupur in Bhadrak district of Odisha. 

After earning M. Sc. (Physics) and Ph.D (Physics) degrees, he started his career at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Chandipur, Odisha as a Junior Scientific Assistant in 1988.

He also worked as a lecturer in Physics at D. K. College, Jaleswar, Balasore for a brief period from 1990 to 1992. 

Mohapatra joined India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune in 1992 as Meteorologist Gr. II Trainee and became Director of Regional Meteorological Centre, IMD, Guwahati in 2004.

He took charge as the Director General of Meteorology, IMD, New Delhi in 2019.

In his illustrious career spanning over three decades, Mohapatra received many awards and recognitions including Bharat Gaurav Award-2019, Satyasai Samman-2019, Bhumiputra Samman 2020 and Vyasagourab Samman-2022.