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Harsh Vardhan takes charge as minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: June 4, 2019  | 15:43 IST

New Delhi, Jun 4 (PTI) Union Minister Harsh Vardhan took charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences on Tuesday for a second term. Vardhan also presided over a meeting that was attended by top officials of the two ministries. He also holds the charge of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This is Vardhan's second appointment to the Science and Technology and the Earth Sciences ministries -- he held the charge from November 2014 until the term of the government ended last month. He first took charge as the minister of Science and Technology at the Anusandhan Bhavan and later as the minister for Earth Sciences at the Prithvi Bhavan. "Last four-and-a-half years were an excellent experience as the minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. I got a lot of support from scientists and we did some excellent work. In the next five years, we have to increase the pace of our work," Vardhan told reporters after taking charge. Several important programmes planned by the Modi government in its first tenure are already in the implementation stage --- supercomputers, upgradation of infrastructure for weather and other earth sciences-related institutes, big data initiatives. The focus this time is expected to give these crucial projects a push. One of the officials who participated in the meeting said the minister was updated with all the on-going projects and the ones which need to be prioritised in the next one year. Another official said the focus was also on weather, in view of the on-going heatwave and the delay in arrival of monsoon. Later talking to reporters, Vardhan said monsoon is likely to be 96 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), which falls on the border line of normal and below normal category. He added that the heatwave will continue over north India for the next two-three days. PTI PR IJT

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