Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju is reportedly upset with the French IT company Atos. Reason is said to be delay in the delivery of two supercomputers by the French company to Indian weather forecasting institutes. According to a report in news agency PTI, the Earth Sciences Ministry had ordered two supercomputers worth $100 million from French firm Eviden, of the Atos Group, last year to enhance the computing capabilities of its institutions — the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).
“I am more upset because the target we set was December. The Union Cabinet had already approved purchasing the supercomputer. We have only four petaflop capacity. We want to install up to 18 petaflop capacity,” Rijiju told PTI in a video interview.
He said that the French company ran into some financial trouble and wanted the government to make payment to its subsidiary.
Minister says that the delay is causing him “worry”
Rijiju said that the delay has caused him lots of worry as the company has overshot the timeline. “But I think we will sort it out soon,” he said, adding that the government wanted to be “very correct in our position legally”.
“We are ready to release the money because we want the machine immediately. The only problem is the amount is not small. So if we pay now, if the company is bankrupt or something happens, who will bail out,” the minister said.
Rijiju further added that the government was taking some steps to speed up the delivery of the supercomputer but did not elaborate. “But I hope the French government will also intervene because we have a good understanding and a very good relationship with the French government.
“Since it is a high-cost equipment, we want to ensure that the transaction happens duly and properly,” he said.
“From outside, everything’s ready. It is only the problem with the main company. They want us to pay their subsidiary. We will pay only to a company whom we have entered an MoU with,” Rijiju said.
The supercomputing system, based on Eviden’s BullSequana XH2000, is said to have a combined power capacity of up to 21.3 petaflops.
Supercomputer at IITM
The supercomputer at the Pune-based IITM will provide 13 petaflops of computing power for atmosphere and climate research. As per the PTI report, it will integrate 3,000 CPU nodes using AMD EPYC 7643 processors and 26 GPU nodes through NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs. The system will benefit from the NVIDIA Quantum InfiniBand networking platform with In-Network Computing, 3PB all flash and 29PB disk-based DDN EXAScaler ES400NVX2 storage and Micron high-technology memory.
The existing computing facility at NCMRWF is 2.8 petaflops and at IITM is 4 petaflops, respectively.





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