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Dr. Harsh Gupta

Former Director of the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) Hyderabad






Padmashri Dr. Harsh Gupta (born in 1942) served as the Director of the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) Hyderabad for nearly a decade from 1992. Under his stewardship, NGRI rose to be the top geosciences research institute in India. His visionary leadership led NGRI to use the pool of basic research capabilities to address the country’s needs in hydrocarbons, minerals, and groundwater resources, a crucial question for agriculture in India.

Positions held by Dr. Gupta:

Member of the National Disaster Management Authority of India (Status: Minister of State, Government of India, 2011-2014).

Secretary to Government of India, Department of Ocean Development (2001- 2005).

Director, N.G.R.I. (1992- 2001).

Advisor, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (1990- 1992).

Vice-Chancellor, Cochin University of Science and Technology (1987- 1990).

Director, Centre of Earth Science Studies, Trivandrum (1982- 1987) and Project Director, Kerala Mineral Development and Exploration Project (1982- 1987).

Adjunct Professor, the University of Texas at Dallas (1978- 2001).

Research Scientist, the University of Texas at Dallas (1972-1977).

Senior UNESCO Fellowship, International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (IISEE) Tokyo (1971-1972).

Scientist N.G.R.I. (1967-1971).

UNESCO Fellowship, IISEE, Tokyo (1966-1967).

Scientist NGRI (1964-1966).

Visiting Professor at a number of Universities and Institutes in Europe and the USA. Advisor/Consultant to UNESCO, Common Wealth Science Council, International Atomic Energy Authority, ICSU etc on several occasions.

Major Scientific Contributions:

Prof. Gupta’s work is globally recognized for

1) Providing the first evidence of the extremely thick crust (65~70 km) below Himalaya and Tibet Plateau region in 1967, later confirmed by seismic surveys in 1980.

2) Developing criteria to discriminate artificial water reservoir triggered earthquakes from normal earthquakes, which are globally applied and finding safe sites for the construction of reservoirs.

3) Making a medium-term forecast of an M~8 earthquake in the north-east India region in 1986 which came true on August 6, 1988.

4) Chairing the Steering Committee of the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program (G-SHAP) where some 500 scientists worked from 1992 to 1999 and produced the Global Seismic Hazard Map.

5) Pioneering the Gas Hydrate program and delimiting the zones for the stability of gas hydrates within the exclusive economic zone of India.

6) Taking up detailed studies of genesis of triggered earthquakes in the Koyna region and making successful short term earthquake forecasts.