9 December 2014, Hyderabad, India: Dr.Shailesh Nayak, Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India delivered the Vikram Sarabhai Lecture titled India’s global engagement in understanding earth’s systems during the ISPRS TC VIII Mid Term Symposium and the Annual ISPRS and ISG Conventions in Hyderabad. In his talk, Dr.Nayak emphasised the importance of understanding the dynamics of interactions between human systems with Earth systems in order to develop processes that are capable of adding value to human life. He had elucidated a number of programmes, where India is taking a lead role in supplying Remote Sensing data to international and national institutes/universities.
Over a period of time, India has contributed significantly to improve weather forecasts, cyclone prediction, farming related forecasts and many more with collaborations with international government and non-government agencies. These forecast data are available not only in the country, but to its neighbours and other countries as well.
He elaborated how India changed the perception about the Indian Ocean, which was previously considered to be a dead ocean (implying not contributing to global climate) into a dynamic and integrated part of global ecosystem using remote sensing technologies. The Fishery Zone programme that guides fishermen on where to fish, provides data to over 32 countries in the region and to India that contributes almost USD 7 million to its GDP. Dr.Nayak also spoke about the famous Indian Tsunami Warning System, developed by INCOIS that could transmit information about Tsunami within 5-6 minutes to all relevant agencies in 21 countries without any human intervention.
Dr.Nayak reiterated on the need to collaborate with all countries, not only the developed ones, to ensure that the science and knowledge generated is taken to larger society. He emphasised on developing a unified indexing system or standardisation in data generation, production and use. He concluded by saying that the most important contribution of Remote Sensing community is observation on how Earth has changed or is changing. In this process, it is time that we increasingly involve the social scientists so that we ensure the technology has a direct benign impact on the society.
Source: Our Correspondent