CAPACITY BUILDING FOR RS & GIS TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS: STUDENT REMOTE SENSING AND GEOSPATIAL PROGRAMME IN ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS
Keywords: Remote Sensing, GIS, Capacity Building, National GIS, Student Remote Sensing Programme
Abstract. Digital India program aims to transform India into a knowledge economy with Smart Cities / Smart Villages etc. It depends significantly on Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It requires enormous computing Infrastructure and RS-GIS trained professionals along with Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Satellite based Earth Observation (EO) data volumes are increasing at a rate of several Terabytes a Day in heterogeneous formats (different spatial and temporal resolutions in optical, thermal and microwave). The recent trends towards free and open access policy creates unprecedented opportunities for both industrial and academic research communities for Big Data applications.
During the last decade, Engineering Institutions across the nation have improved significantly in terms of high end computing, Wi-Fi campuses and qualified faculty to help students. Agricultural Universities/Colleges are also making extensive use of RS-GIS technology. Many research papers are also being published by students from Engineering / Agricultural Institutions in the domain of RS–GIS. Here lies the scope for enhanced collaboration between ISRO / Industry and Academia in the form of Student Remote Sensing and Geospatial programme (SRSGP) for scaling up operational services to sustain Digital India and boost the Geospatial Readiness Index of the nation. It will expand the hands-on experience of the student community and enrich their job-readiness in the industry and lead to development of trained RS-GIS professionals. It has the potential to make Digital India the global destination for RS-GIS applications similar to how Y-2K made India the global IT-destination.