Volume 3

Science, State and Meteorology in India

Biswanath Dash
Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Science, BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, Hyderabad

Published 2023-09-02


  • meteorology, Science and State, Cyclone Warning Service

How to Cite

Dash, B. (2023). Science, State and Meteorology in India. DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists and Society, 3, 1–20. Retrieved from https://dialogue.ias.ac.in/index.php/dialogue/article/view/41


Meteorology as a science developed from the middle of the nineteenth century in India in the government’s cradle. This, in turn, has shaped its evolution, making public service its key focus and receiving government patronage in return. Examining this relationship through the evolution of cyclone warning services of India Meteorological Department (IMD), this paper argues that historically such meteorological service has developed without adequate emphasis on theoretical advancement inhibiting the growth of the particular science. Meteorology’s entanglement with the state has resulted in its servicing of state’s institutions rather than the society at large and creating a bureaucratic environment with poor research tradition both during colonial and in the post-Independence period. This association has ensured that there is no scope for the public’s assessment of meteorological service even though it remains predominantly public-funded.


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