recommendations of the Calendar Reforms Committee under the
chairmanship of the late Professor Meghnad Saha, a Nautical Almanac
Unit was established in IMD at Calcutta in 1955 to meet the national
needs for astronomical data for scientific and general purposes. It
was further augmented in 1979 and renamed as Positional Astronomy
Centre (PAC). It now functions at Calcutta under the direct control of
the Director General of Meteorology who is advised by a Standing
compiles and publishes the following important annual publications:
- Tables of
Sunrise & Sunset and Moonrise & Moonset.
Panchang in 14 languages viz.
English, Sanskrit, Urdu, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati,
Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu ).
Astronomical Ephemeris contains over 600 pages of astronomical data on
the position of Sun, Moon, Planets, and Bright Stars and a section on
the National Calendar of India (Saka Calendar) with the timings of
Tithis, Nakshatras etc. and the festival dates. The publication is now
in its 42nd year. Rashtriya Panchang is a popular publication brought
out with the aim of providing a standard unified calendar for the
whole country and promoting a scientific basis for Panchang
calculation. PAC brought out an English translation of Bhartiya
Jyotish Shastra in two parts from the original Marathi version by late
Shri S.B. Dixit, which is a pioneering work on the history of ancient
and medieval India astronomy.
meets the data requirements of a large number of users. Lunar data for
prediction of tides are computed for the Survey of India and data of
the Sun's daily path are useful to civil engineers, architects and
telecommunications engineers. PAC provides data for determining the
dates of festivals of all communities in India in advance for holiday
declaration by the Government, tourist promotion abroad and for use of
contributes to a great extent in popularising astronomy through its
monthly Star Chart and Astronomical Bulletins published in 40
newspaper editions throughout the country. It organises popular
lectures and night sky viewing for public through telescopes and by
publishes popular articles on different topics of astronomy in
newspapers and magazines.
Solar Eclipse Studies:
organises special expeditions and experiments for astronomical and
meteorological observations during Total Solar Eclipse events. It also
publishes advance information related to both solar and lunar
eclipses, including climatological data which are important for
eclipse viewing purposes.