Gurgaon, India: The inaugural session of the three-day India Geospatial Forum, being held at the Apparel House in Gurgaon during February 7-9, 2012, brought forth the significance of geospatial technology in shaping up the future of the nation. Sighting numerous examples of how the technology can be used in various fields to speed up the country’s growth, the speakers at the session set the tone for the rest of the day, which saw geospatial experts and users converge at the venue to learn about the latest happenings in the field of geospatial technology.
Addressing the gathering in his welcome address, Dr. M P Narayanan, Chairman, Geospatial Media & Communications said that although the country has witnessed a lot of development in the field of geospatial technologies during the recent past, there was still plenty of scope for development. “We have come a long way with regards to the application of geospatial technologies. But, we must acknowledge that we are presently just touching fringes of its enormous potential.”
Anil Kumar Sinha, Vice Chair, Bihar State Disaster Management Authority, Government of Bihar said that any major disaster that strikes a country lends a significant blow to the GDP and thus it affects the process of sustainable development. “The most important aspect is how can geospatial technology help mitigate the effect of disasters,” he said.
Alok Perthi, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Government of India gave a comprehensive overview of the mining sector in the country and explained how geospatial technology can be effectively used to evolve new ways of exploration and thus increase production. He said that although the country has increased its drilling capacity significantly over the past few years, it was not enough and there is need to use modern techniques to ensure mining in a sustainable manner. “Geospatial technology has a very important role to play in this area as it can be used to locate minerals below the surface of the earth.”
Citing the example of cities like Jharia in the Indian state of Jharkhand where uncontrolled mining has led to underground fires during the last few decades, he said that geospatial technology is a tool that can be used to identify the areas affected and thus help douse the fires.
Further, he said that when talking of mining and sustainable growth, the most important issue is that of reclaiming land that has been affected by mining. “One of the most significant areas where geospatial technology can be used is to monitor reclamation and to make sure that it is actually proceeding as per the plan.”
He concluded his presentation by saying that geospatial technology can play a major role in all the three aspects of the industry, which include exploration, mining and closure.
Subsequently, K K Singh, Chairman & Managing Director of Rolta India Ltd shared his experience of being associated with the technology for so long and how it had transformed into a technology that can shape the future of the country.
“Over the last decade, the application of geospatial technology has increased exponentially. It has become the fundamental tool for achieving sustainable growth and it is for this reason that every progressive nation has a forward looking GIS policy,” he said.
Sharing his experience of being associated with the technology since the past so many years, he said “In my personal association with this technology for the past 30 years, I feel very excited about the prospect and utility of geospatial industry in building India of the future. I would like to reiterate my belief that geospatial information will be the next frontier of information revolution in our country.”
Commending the government for implementing forward looking policies, he said, “It makes me feel good that in recent past, government policies and programmes have encouraged implementation of geospatial technology in various programmes, providing an opportunity for the industry to serve our nation.”
Talking of the rapid pace at which development is happening in the country, Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India said that the country’s rapid progress demanded robust information and decision support systems to aid the planning and implementation of various developmental programmes. “GIS will be the mainstay around which such information and decision support systems can be built,” he said.
He further informed that an expert group was formed to formulate a plan to have a national GIS. “We have submitted a detailed report on this and it is under the process of implementation” he said.
Besides, he also pointed out at the challenge of making all the data gathered by various agencies GIS ready and thus ensure its use in many more verticals.
Saumitra Chaudhuri, Member, Planning Commission, Government of India called for increased use of geospatial technology. “GIS can help us in achieving better and productive living for our people. There is a lot of opportunity to use these technologies in different fields and make sure that better results are achieved.”
He also explained how satellite imagery can become an effective tool for better land management and successful demarcation of boundaries.
The session concluded with a vote of thanks from Prashant Joshi, Director – Sales, Geospatial Media and Communications who thanked the esteemed gathering for enlightening the audience.
Source: Our Correspondent