NITI Aayog to study geo-relief enabled governance

DigiSmart India 2021 is being organised by Geospatial World, an advocacy think-tank.

Hyderabad: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has announced that it has partnered with a private firm for a study entitled ‘Geo-relief enabled governance to enhance evidence-based decision making’.

Addressing the inaugural ‘DigiSmart India 2021’ conference virtually, Kant asserted that the emphasis on making geospatial tools available and approachable for a wider audience will be the key to driving up the context.

Kant said, “To better understand the present status of GIS usage in the government context and to develop better geospatial strategies for nation making, NITI Aayog is partnering with Geospatial World to carry out this study.

“Through the study, we not only hope to examine how best we can improve with geospatial tools, but also develop deployment strategies to achieve identifying those. The future of the geospatial industry will be defined by the partnerships that are revived,” Kant said as he announced the study.

DigiSmart India 2021 is being organised here by Geospatial World, an advocacy think-tank instrumental in strengthening geospatial ecosystems at business, national, regional and global levels. The conference is the first big-ticket event post the announcement about six months ago of opening the space and mapping sector to private players.

Earlier, Kant had described geo-spatial tools as being “critical in not only supporting regular operations, but geospatial systems have a very key role to play in India’s economic growth too”, and reminded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasises the importance of special technologies as radical instruments of change.

Stating that the recent developments have made the geospatial space all the more exciting, he said, “It is truly a watershed moment when the government is taking several definitive steps through three critical policies that have a direct impact on geospatial eco-system, viz., the Geospatial Policy, the Remote Sensing Policy, and the Drone Rules.

“The Indian geospatial ecosystem not only solves problems, but also develops solutions which can cater to the wider global market. As per the projections of the Ministry of Science & Technology, there is an ambition that the sector can lunge forward in a big way and geospatial data worth Rs 1 lakh crore can be acquired in multiple ways.”

GIS tools and technologies have been around for a long time, but the recent innovations in AI, big data analytics and cloud-based dynamic architecture signify a whole new technological paradigm, he said, adding, “A strategic approach needs to be adopted by both the private and public sector to make the most of these innovations.”

The geospatial technology ecosystem is a complex entity of multiple interactive components, inclusive of geospatial data sourced from various technologies broadly segmented into four categories — Geographic Information System (GIS), earth observation (satellite, aerial, and street imagery), and scanning tools and technologies (LiDAR, RADAR and Ground Penetrating Radar).

The geospatial information collected from these sources are presented in many forms and mediums, including digital maps, satellite imagery, point clouds, and aerial imagery. The spatial data reinforces the importance of the ‘location’ reference frame, which facilitates societal, economic and environmental use across government systems and other national development initiatives.