The picturesque Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir is making rapid strides in the adoption of geospatial technology. Bipul Pathak tells us more about initiatives in the state to promote the use of g-tech and how technology implementation can be a coherent rather than sporadic effort
Various states across the country are recognising the importance of geospatial technology in effective governance and are gearing up to promote g-governance. What are the initiatives by Jammu & Kashmir to promote the use of g-tech in the state?
The government of J&K has taken many initiatives to promote g-tech in the state. Health infrastructure in the state is being mapped using geospatial technology. Educational infrastructure is also in the process of being mapped for better future planning. Forest resources are being mapped for better management. Lakes and water bodies are being monitored using geospatial technology. The urban development department is also starting the use of geospatial technology for better management of the urban infrastructure.
In addition, the state spatial data infrastructure project is in advanced stages of completion. Also, the state is building capacities in some of the key departments for using g-tech in the state. The departments which have a lot of social infrastructure are adopting this technology in the first phase. Over time, other departments will also adopt these technologies.
It has been observed that though IT is being used in several e-governance applications, geospatial technology has not quite found the same footing. In your view, how can a seamless shift from e-gov to g-gov be achieved?
G-gov should go hand in hand with e-gov. Many areas of government require a leap towards g-gov directly without going through the process of e-gov. The areas where e-gov is already in place, g-gov applications need to be developed based on the needs. There is no issue of transition as in my opinion geospatial technology and e-governance are not mutually exclusive, rather they are inclusive.
Even though geospatial technology is found to be making its way into various aspects of governance, the implementation activities are rather sporadic. In your view, how can more coherence be achieved in such efforts?
The major constraint in the government is the capacity of the people in understanding geospatial technology in the realm of their departmental activities. The coherence can be achieved if a structured capacity building in the use of geospatial technology is carried out at the cutting edge level. As it is, resource constraints and human resource capacities are the major challenges in implementation of geospatial technology.
What is your vision vis-à-vis g-tech implementation in the state?
In J&K, the state spatial data infrastructure is coming up. This will give a boost to the departments in the usage of geospatial technology. The departments will require capacity building in their departments for adopting and using such technology. In the future, urban planning and management of urban infrastructure using geospatial technology will change the way development in the state happens.