The birth of CSIR-NGRI seismological observatory dates back to the decade when the plate tectonics theory was being propounded during 1960s. The installation of the first seismograph at NGRI campus was the outcome of a suggestion by Prof. A.N.Tandon, Director General, India Meteorological Department (IMD) New Delhi to Dr. Hari Narain who joined the institute as Director in 1964. This was the time when United States Geological Survey (USGS) was spearheading a global program to establish a World Wide Standardised Seismic Stations Network (WWSSN). Five seismological observatories in India operating at Howrah, Shillong, Kodaikanal, Pune and Delhi became part of this program and started contributing data to the global network.
Dr. Hari Narain wrote to the USGS and offered to install a seismograph as a part of this global network. He was informed that they have already committed 4 observatories in India and declined the request. Dr. Narain decided to pursue the vision of his teacher and decided to establish a seismological observatory at NGRI with WWSSN specifications on his own efforts. To achieve the task, he brought Dr. Harsh Gupta a budding seismologist with IMD to NGRI. Dr. Harsh Gupta joined the institute on 21st November 1964 and in a short span of time finalised specifications of a WWSSN system. Console Unit of the WWSSN was successfully replaced by a crystal chronometer (TG120) with indigenously fabricated components and circuits.
All aspects of earthquakes such as archival, delivery of phase data to national and international agencies for fostering research environment with other agencies
Provide robust and quick information on local and regional earthquakes to Government Disaster Management agencies, print and electronic media
Promote installation and effective use of school based seismographs and earthquake data for education and scientific research. Outreach education to teachers, students at all levels. Design of educational material and its distribution to all sections of society
In response to moderate size earthquakes near cities quick installation of local network to record aftershocks and allay fears of the local people
The CSIR-NGRI seismological observatory contributions have been significant in understanding the intra plate earthquakes in the Indian peninsular shield. This observatory has played a crucial role in monitoring earthquake activity in the Eastern Dharwar Craton (EDC), the Godavari graben and southern west part of the Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP). As a result several new and major sources of seismically active regions have been identified and localized. They are: Ongole, Badhrachalam, Cuddapah basin, Kolar and Hyderabad region in EDC, Koyna, Broach and Killari in south western part of the Deccan Volcanic Province.