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GIS Guru Dr Jack Dangermond and founder of USD 450 million ESRI Inc., addressed GIS users from across the country, at GIS users’ conference hosted by ESRI India, in New Delhi, recently. During his visit, the universally acclaimed Guru turned entrepreneur in geo-spatial industry, met with the Hon’ble President of India, captains of corporate India and heads of various government bodies. Speaking about the conference, Mr. Rajesh C. Mathur, President, ESRI India said, “GIS forms the core of many mission critical and strategic projects. Several success stories around use of geo spatial technology in India signify the key role that GIS can play in building a robust governance and business back bone.”

In his keynote address to over 300 GIS users, Dr. Dangermond, presented GIS technology directions and trends. Key speakers at the conference included, Mr. A. Ramanathan, VP (Projects) Reliance Infocomm Ltd., who presented the GIS tools and techniques that has been used for building spatial data; Mr. Pradeep Gupta, CMD, Cyber Media India Ltd. (DataQuest) presented facts and figures of Indian GIS Industry and the promise it holds for the future.

In a panel session on ‘Expanding GIS horizons in India’, several heads of key user organisations presented the work that the respective organisation is doing in GIS arena. The session which was chaired by Mr. A.K. Mukherjee, Ex- Inspector General of Forests, Govt. of India, had the following panelists –
Dr. Prithvish Nag, Surveyor General – Survey of India, Dehradun
Mr. A.R. Dasgupta, Dy. Director – Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad Dr. Vandana Sharma, Senior Technical Director National Informatics Centre (NIC), New Delhi Mr. M. K. Sharma, Director General of Forests -Ministry of Environment & Forest ( MoEF), New Delhi Dr. Dilip Biswas, Chairman – Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), New Delhi Dr. P.S. Roy, Dean – Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun Mr. Amitabha Pande , Joint Secretary – Dept. of Science and Technology ( DST), New Delhi

Senior technocrats, scientists and bureaucrats from various government bodies made significant announcements about the availability of spatial data and its linkage to various developmental programmes across the country. Amongst those who chaired the paper session included, Dr. R.K. Midha – TIFAC, New Delhi (on Natural Resources-Land), Prof. A. K. Gossain – IIT Delhi (on Natural Resources-Water), Mr. Mahesh Chandra, NIC, New Delhi (on GIS Utility) and Prof. I.V. Muralikrishna, JNTU, Hyderabad (on Infrastructure). Prof. V. S. Ramamurthy, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology inaugurated a poster session at the conference, wherein users presented maps, charts and panels.