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Geoint essential for success of NCW: GeoIntelligence Asia 2012

New Delhi, India: “Technology is changing the nature of wars,” said Shankar Agrawal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, adding, “Due to advancement in IT and migration towards C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications and Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) structures, future wars will be fought on digitised battle zones.” Agrawal was speaking at the inaugural of GeoIntelligence Asia 2012 in New Delhi today. He then explained the importance of geospatial intelligence (geoint) in laying the critical foundation of this warfare, especially in the context of India. Speaking about the challenges in the procurement process, he said, “The procurement time in armed forces is usually so long that by the time technology is acquired, it has already become obsolete. We are trying to set it right.”

Speaking about the importance of geoint in armed forces, Lt Gen Anil Chait, GOC-in-C, HQ Central Command, Indian Army, said that the lack of accurate intelligence can cost a soldier his life. He then talked about his experience as a soldier involved in counter-insurgency operations. “Lack of a mechanism to share data is a major problem among the agencies involved in such operations. If this problem is resolved, it can improve the capabilities of Forces involved in counter-insurgency operations effectively.” He then presented some examples where geoint played an effective role like Op. Gerinomo. Talking about the changed scenario of warfare, he said, “Now, the state is made to implode from within, which implies that there’s a threat to the life of a common man (civilians).  And when we talk about human security, there’s a requirement of geo-referenced data.” He also talked about how the geospatial technology requirements differ from country-to-country and stressed upon the need to develop customised solutions. Emphasising the need to build national geoint infrastructure, he described data ubiquity, predictive analysis and actionable intelligence, knowledge and wisdom and security as the pre-requisites for the same. He also talked about the administrative and technological challenges before the industry like the need to build common standards and lack of skilled manpower.

Delivering the inaugural address, Lt Gen K Surendra Nath, GOC-in-C, Army Training Command (ARTRAC), said, “Geospatial technology revolution will continue at a faster pace in future.” Geospatial lies at the core of all future wars. For a successful fusion of geotech, geospatial data need to be clubbed with other forms of intelligence.” He then talked about geotech prospects in the country. Stressing the need to build defence spatial data infrastructure, he said, “There is a need to achieve interoperability among the three Forces. We need to improve geospatial data and knowledge management capacity. Talking about the future of geotech, he said, “In the next 10 years, we are likely to witness a scenario where all smart phones will be embedded with 3D technology, ” adding, “There’s a need to develop smart use of technology in geospatial domain.”

Representing the industry was John Day, Director of Global Defence, Esri, USA, who spoke about how his company can aid in providing solutions to the Indian security agencies. He then explained in detail how ArcGIS enables efficient data management, analysis and planning, and provides mobile and situational awareness.

Earlier, welcoming the audience, Dr M P Narayanan, Chairman, Geospatial Media and Communications, spoke about the importance of geoint in defence and security. “Geospatial information is a critical foundation for many aspects of defence and homeland security, such as emergency preparedness, disaster response and recovery, border security operations, etc,” he said, adding, “It facilitates multi-source information sharing and integration across agencies and organisations by providing a common framework upon which other information is tied.”

Lt Gen AKS Chandele, Managing Editor – GeoIntelligence and Advisor-Conferences, spoke about the gradual power shift that’s taking place in the world today. “The balance of power is gradually shifting from west to east. China, Japan and India are emerging as the contenders for global power and military strength,” he said. Talking about how geospatial technology is playing a significant role in strengthening military capabilities of a nation, he said, “Network-centric warfare cannot be successful if geoint is not timely and precise.” He also talked about the challenges facing the geospatial industry, and emphasised the need for incorporating technology in modern warfare, “You can’t fight tomorrow’s war with yesterday’s tools.”

The theme for the two-day conference-cum-exhibition is “Building a credible geointelligence infrastructure for defence and internal security”. The sixth edition of Geointelligence Asia 2012 is being organised in collaboration with ISSA, SASE, DTRL, CAIR, DEAL (Knowledge partners) and CRPF and ITBPF (supporting organisation).

Source: Our Correspondent