Skymet Weather salutes the soul who made remarkable achievements in Indian meteorology. The man who took the stature of meteorology to new and unfathomable heights, Dev Raj Sikka, was undeniably the "Bhishma Pitamah of Indian Meteorology". With grave heart and utmost respect, Skymet Weather assiduously remembers the genius behind Indian Meteorology.
On the morning of Saturday, March 18, 2017, Dev Raj Sikka breathed his last in Patparganj, Delhi, following a fatal cardiac arrest. At the age of 85, Mr. Sikka had achieved immeasurable achievements in Indian Meteorology.
Known as 'Monsoon Man', Mr. Sikka was born on March 01, 1932 in Jhang Maghiana that is now in Punjab, Pakistan and later migrated to India after the partition. Pursuing his passion towards meteorology, Mr. Sikka did his Masters in Science in Physical Chemistry from Agra University and joined Indian Meteorological Department in 1954.
In 1964, he joined Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune and retired from the same as the director of the institute. During Mr. Sikka's association with the institute, he actively participated in research and development of Monsoon Dynamics, Tropical Meteorology, Prediction of Weather and Climatology, Atmospheric Chemistry and Air-Sea interaction. It speaks volumes about the dedication and brilliance of Mr. Sikka that a man with Master’s degree led an institute of such stature.
His contribution to the field of Indian Monsoon is beyond comparison as he had a pivotal role in various studies that included correlation between the Indian Monsoon and El-Nino, Walker Circulation, extreme weather events and Monsoon studies conducted over Indian Ocean.
Meteorologists across the nation have been using research papers prepared by him since the last six decades. There are more than 200 papers developed by him which has helped in shaping of the modern day Indian meteorology.
Post his retirement, Mr. Sikka continued working religiously towards the Indian meteorology and worked in close association with Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) as a Monsoon expert. He was also an active member of International Advisory Panel of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Dev Raj Sikka was the force behind the Monsoon Mission, an India-UK scientific collaboration that aimed at setting up the infrastructure and man-power to improve the prediction at all-time scales. This mission enabled the meteorologists to predict perfect seasonal and extended range prediction system. It also helped to predict better short and medium range prediction system.
Mr. Sikka was also the chairman of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) committee on Climate Change, and also the chairperson of the Research and Advisory Council of National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast.
On December 16, 2016 Mr. Sikka, received the prestigious award of ‘lifetime time achievement award’ from the Indian Meteorological Society. Mr. Sikka was also the recipient of Sir Gilbert Walker Gold Medal in 2010, an award to highlight the scientific contributions in the fields of Monsoon meteorology including long range-forecasting of Monsoon from Indian Meteorological.
Skymet Weather takes pride in association with Mr. Dev Raj Sikka and will always remember the great contribution done by him for the Indian meteorology.
Thank You Sikka Sahab!