Shimla, India: Two Indian states, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set up Aryabhatta Geo-Informatics and Space Application Centre (AGiSAC) in Himachal Pradesh. AGiSAC will be set up in collaboration with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo Informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar.
According to Ravi S. Saxena, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat, the duration of MOU will be three years unless extended by mutual consent. Ravi on behalf of Gujarat State Government and Sarojini Ganju Thakur, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Environment, Science and Technology, Himachal Pradesh signed MOU in the presence of Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.
Prof. Dhumal said that this MOU has opened a new vista of technical collaboration between Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The State will immensely gain benefits from technical expertise of BISAG which specialises in providing space application and geo-informatics services and covers all major sectors of remote sensing applications in decentralised planning along with awareness, capacity building and dissemination of information through SATCOM Network.
Prof. Dhumal added that BISAG would provide technical link to AGiSAC through State Council for Science, Technology and Environment on ‘no profit and no loss basis’. According to Prof. Dhumal, this centre will effectively cater to the State Centre for Climate Change in generating reliable scientific database in the vulnerable sectors like agriculture, horticulture, forests, snow and glaciers, water resources, hydropower, tourism, etc.
Ravi S. Saxena stated that BISAG would provide expertise in the area of viz conversion of satellite images into ortho images, imposition of data on satellite imageries and linkage of attribute data, connectivity with BISAG, system development software output, development of HIMSAT and other technical guidance and support in the field of geo-information and remote sensing application. He said that BISAG would also provide training and capacity building to the scientific and technical personnel of Himachal Pradesh.
Rajwant Sandhu, Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal Pradesh said that a dedicated building ‘Press Villa’ near US Club in the State has been provided to the Department of Environment, Science and Technology and AGiSAC. She said that 26 user departments in Himachal Pradesh have been identified who would be using the geo-spatial data base which would also be an effective tool for monitoring and evaluation of government programmes. She said that 63 posts of different categories of professionals have been created for this purpose.
Sarojini Ganju Thakur, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Science and Technology, Government of Himachal Pradesh apprised that key government departments have identified nodal officers and nodal teams to interact with AGiSAC and facilitate work in creating effective data base. She said that key departments are in the process of identification of planning and decision making applications of geo-spatial information and have started providing validated information (database) for GIS domain.