National Meet on Promoting Space Technology based Tools and Applications in Governance and Development

Press Release From: Indian Space Research Organisation
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Prime Minister of India during his address at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR), Sriharikota on June 30, 2014, urged Department of Space to pro-actively engage with all stakeholders to maximise the use of space science in governance and development.

Subsequently, Cabinet Secretary has asked all Secretaries of all Central Ministries/Departments to assess the current utilisation of Space technology-based tools in their Ministry/ Department and explore new potential application areas. Further, in order to hold proactive interactions with the Central Ministries, 18 expert teams were constituted within ISRO. These teams conducted one-to-one interactions with the Ministries/ Departments and joint action plan on "Effective Use of Space Technology" was prepared with 60 Central Ministries/Departments. About 170 projects across various Ministries/Departments have emerged in the areas of Natural Resources Management, Energy & Infrastructure, Disaster & Early Warning, Communication & Navigation, e-Governance & Geo-spatial Governance, Societal Services, and Support to Flagship programmes.

One day National Meet was organised on September 07, 2015 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi to deliberate on the action plans of various Ministries/Departments. National Meet has received an overwhelming response with participation of more than 1200 delegates across 60 Central Ministries/Departments, 28 States and 5 Union Territories. Secretaries, Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries to Government of India, Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries of the States and senior functionaries of Central and State Governments, officials from Prime Minister Office & Cabinet Secretariat, young administrators (the fresh batch of 2013 IAS officers), experts from academia and institutions have actively participated in this Meet.

The National Meet was inaugurated by the Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog with MOS (PMO) and Cabinet Secretary as the guests of honour. The meet comprised of Nine theme sessions (Agriculture, Energy & Environment, Infrastructure Planning, Water Resources, Technology Diffusion, Developmental Planning, Communication & Navigation, Weather & Disaster Management and Health & Education) addressing different domains of national development. Secretaries of 58 Ministries/ Departments have presented the joint action plans to enhance functional effectiveness, facilitate planning and decision making. Chief Secretaries/ Principal Secretaries of 9 States have also made presentations on use of space technology in specific sectors followed by vibrant interactions during the open discussions. Besides, host of applications intended for the benefits of common man like Automated warnings at unmanned level crossings; Enabling Paperless tickets for Mumbai Suburban railway through Geo-fencing; Potential Fishing Pond Identification for tribal districts; Empowering Panchayats in planning the land & water resources, many of the space-based applications will provide valuable inputs to flagship programmes of the Government namely, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation; Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana; Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana; National Mission for Clean Ganga and Digital India.

A Special Session was conducted in the august presence of the Prime Minister, wherein the Prime Minister was given a series of presentations by Chairs of theme sessions on the salient outcomes of various theme sessions during the meet. Chairman, ISRO/ Secretary, DOS made a presentation on the "Strategies and Way Forward" in furthering the utilisation of space technology in various sectors of national development.

To meet the growing demands for data products and services, ISRO plans to focus on enhancing capability by building remote sensing satellites with India-centric observations and communication satellites with high throughput capability and also to enhance our capacity through productionisation and increased industrial participation. ISRO will also be focusing on providing assured services through data continuity, improved connectivity & location based services and enabling proactive user engagement through institutionalisation of space applications and capacity building. In nutshell, ISRO will be aligning itself with these Ministries/Departments to enhance functional effectiveness, facilitate planning and decision making to improve governance and development.

The Prime Minister addressed the gathering at the special session. In his remarks, the Prime Minister emphasised the need for new initiatives in all the areas of governance, using the space technology and applications. He recalled his visit to ISRO in June 2014, when he had urged ISRO to work on this, and expressed satisfaction that the number of Government departments using space technology had gone up substantially since the time of that visit.

The Prime Minister called upon all Ministries of the Union Government to identify at least one space application in their work within the calendar year 2015.

The Prime Minister recalled the eminent space scientist Vikram Sarabhai's words on the costs of India's space programme, who had said that no effort should be spared in the objective of fulfilling the needs of India's common man. The Prime Minister said he was happy to note the high degree of enthusiasm among government departments to use space technology in their respective areas of governance. He emphasised on the need to make use of all available resources and data to derive best results.

The Prime Minister gave a number of illustrations on possible applications of space technology for the benefit of the common man: location of fish catches for fishermen, irrigation infrastructure for Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, tracking of illegal mining etc.

The Prime Minister said technology is the most powerful medium that the Government has to utilise to ensure good governance, transparency and accountability. He emphasised that there should be no "space" between the common man and space technology.

The deliberations during the National Meet will lead to wider awareness on use of space technology & applications in governance & development, thrust areas for collaborative research, utilisation of space technology tools to enable functional effectiveness and enhancements required in Space and Ground Segment.

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