The hope of rain

For the India Meteorological Department (IMD), it has been an annual ritual for the past 20 years to issue its long-range monsoon forecast around this time of the year, though the credibility of these predictions has been on the wane. The projection that the rainfall during this year's monsoon season (June to September) will be equal to 99 per cent of the long-period average, should therefore be viewed with some caution, even if prima facie it is a good news for the country's farmers, economy and the hydrological balance.