Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has once again extended restrictions on outsiders visiting the premises, till October 31.
On two previous occasions, the administration had barred visitors owing to the coronavirus outbreak in March this year.
“Due to the current situation caused by Covid-19, it is hereby informed that the restriction period to visit the institute is now extended to October 31, 2020,” an order issued stated. “Visits will be arranged reviewing the situation thereafter.”
The institute houses two of the country’s key supercomputers – Aditya and Pratyush – which are operational towards providing weather forecasts and services. Their operations were briefly affected when two persons, including a visiting IT technician, had tested positive for coronavirus. However, following sanitisation and a day-long shutdown of the supercomputers, operations resumed. With the monsoon season currently underway, the working of these High Performance Computers is vital, especially for issuing extended range predictions.
Scientists in the institute give lectures to post-graduation students of Atmospheric Sciences at Savitribai Phule Pune University. The students also visit the institute for academic and research-related activities, all of which remain to be suspended.
Earlier, international conferences on Air Quality and Cloud Physics – which were to be hosted at the institute – were rescheduled due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
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