Geospatial is a growing sector with a huge skill demand-supply gap. The Ministry of Skill Development seeks to address this by setting up a special committee to look into certifications for surveyors and GIS professionals. “This will not only give us good, certified professionals but will also make the profession more alluring for the educated youth since they can aspire to be known as a semi-IT professional,” said Dr KP Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship while inviting the Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI) to be part of this committee.
Dr. Krishnan was speaking at the India Geospatial Leadership Summit held in Dehradun on Thursday 6th December 2018 under the aegis of Survey of India. With Association of Geospatial Industries, Geospatial Media and Communications and World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) as co-organizers, the summit was held to address the need for broader consultation between senior executives of primary stakeholders of geospatial technology including industry, end-user organizations, policymakers, academia and national data creation agencies.
Jack Dangermond, Esri Founder & President, set the tone of the summit in the very beginning as he said India has its unique set of challenges, as well as vision and geospatial, is integral to the New India vision. Dangermond was addressing the conference via video where he pointed out that how geospatial technology is shaping the developmental agenda of the nation.
Surveyor General of India, Lt. Gen. VSM Girish Kumar drew a direct correlation between adoption of Effective planning for integration of technology solutions is now critical while devising policy frameworks, intervention strategies, governing structures and implementation programs.
Rajan Aiyer, managing director of Trimble Indian and president AGI said that technology integration and adoption management are crucial to maintaining and enhancing socio-economic leadership of a country, which is equally important than the technology innovation capability of industry, innovators and research & development.
Speaking at the summit, top government officials and industry leaders underlined that Geospatial has emerged as an enabler of the entire digital space and an efficient national geospatial information infrastructure could serve as foundational knowledge platform and contribute significantly in this national momentum. They also accepted that there is a huge problem of data sharing in the government of India, each and every sector works in silos.
Geospatial technology and information has great potential to be a public commodity and enabler to the larger challenges facing global economic and social wellbeing. However, this requires the right policy framework, such as the promotion of other technologies, including telecommunication, broadband and the Internet, to unlock its true potential, said Sanjay Kumar, CEO, Geospatial Media and WGIC. Lt Gen VSM Kumar added that the multifaceted geospatial industry is changing and expanding dynamically, dramatically, aligning itself with the mainstream digital environment, and subsequently been posing a new set of requirements in terms of fundamental geospatial data infrastructure and policy frameworks.
Geospatial organizations in India be it public or private have to declare some amount of data as open data if the industry wants uptake of geospatial data and encourage its use further for developing citizen services said Dr. Vishnu Chandra, DDG and Group Head NIC. He further added that with new emerging technologies we can have National Geospatial Research and Capacity Building Grid; Policies need to change as per technologies. Technology is forcing us to collaborate and geospatial plays a crucial role.
Geospatial data and maps from various government departments do not match. Each and every department needs to focus on accuracy standards and availability was the concluding message from PK Parchure who is a member of the Central Ground Water Board.