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India to take collaborative route on National GIS project

New Delhi: The Indian government has decided to take a collaborative approach for its ambitious National GIS project. The Rs 3000-crore project, which envisages a national data repository, was handed over to the Department of Science and Technology (DST) last year. However, now it has been decided that the DST will implement the project in active collaboration with three other departments – the Department of Space, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and the Department of Electronics and Information and Technology (DEIT). Survey of India will be the nodal agency from DST, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) from Department of Space and NIC from DEIT.

DST secretary Dr T. Ramasami revealed that in addition, five other ministries – urban development, mines, panchayati raj, water resources and environment and forests – will also be active stakeholders and investors of the project.

Ramasami, who was speaking at a roundtable on National GIS organised by the Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI) here on Tuesday, said the department has also picked up six states – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and Orissa to be part of this project. “If we can’t link the states, we would have achieved nothing,” he said, adding these six states were picked up as part of the first phase since they have made considerable progress in terms of state SDIs or implementation of geospatial technology as part of their work cycle. In three years, all the states would be interlinked, he added. In addition, there will be various committees and sub-committees to collaborate and coordinate with the various departments and other ministries.

The secretary, who was confident of launching the NGIS Version 1.0 within 18 months of obtaining Cabinet approval to this mechanism, also called on whole-hearted private sector participation to make the NGIS project a success.

The roundtable was organised by the AGI to interact on the National GIS vision, expectations from the industry and how the private sector can be engaged in the prestigious project. The event was attended by Surveyor General Dr Subba Rao, NSDI CEO Dr Siva Kumar and a number of top industry executives among others.

Dr Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, MoES, who is widely considered to be the father of the National GIS project in India, in his closing remarks, called on the industry to look beyond data and focus on innovation instead.

Source: Our Correspondent