Scientists aided by supercomputers are trying to unravel one of Mother Nature's biggest mysteries -- the vagaries of the summer monsoon rains that bring life, and sometimes death, to India every year.

In a first-of-its-kind project, Indian scientists aim to build computer models that would allow them to make a quantum leap in predicting the erratic movements of the monsoon. If successful, the impact would be life-changing in a country where 600 million people depend on farming for their livelihoods and where agriculture contributes 15 percent to the economy. The monsoon has been dubbed by some as India's "real finance minister".