India, Nepal to measure Mt Everest afresh

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everestMount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, is to be measured afresh in a joint exercise by India and Nepal.

The exercise is being undertaken to address doubts expressed in some quarters to the effect that the mountain’s height may have been clipped after the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015. Currently, its height is pegged at 8,848 metres or 29,029 feet above sea level.

The partners in this project are India’s ministry of science and technology, the Survey of India (SOI) and the government of Nepal. It will use new measurement tools developed by SOI. “The exercise will be done with the help of the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Then a correction will be applied with the help of the newly created INDGEOID Version 1.0 model… which measures the height above mean sea level, so as to provide the accurate height of the mountain,” says SOI surveyor general Dr Swarna Subba Rao.

INDGEOID Version 1.0 is a new mathematical model which was launched by SOI on Monday. It measures the height of objects above mean sea level and is considered superior to the earlier methodology based on GPS satellites.

According to Rao, INDGEOID gives the exact height of an object as it corrects for errors that arise while using GPS. “The process has been started through diplomatic channels,” Rao said, without mentioning a time frame by when the exercise would be completed.

In 1856, nine years after it was first discovered, its height was confirmed and it was named Mount Everest—after George Everest, the former surveyor general.