The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch a National Mission-‘Space-based Information Support for Decentralised Planning’.
The programme is being taken up at the instance of the Planning Commission. It will provide ICT enabled geo-spatial platform involving local bodies to carry out developmental activities under the Panchayat Raj in a decentralized, speedy and transparent manner.
This was indicated here on Thursday by ISRO Chairman Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, during a lecture on, "Space Technology Applications for Rural Development" at a meet organised by AGRASRI, a Tirupati-based professional organisation.
He said the Mission aims at harnessing space technology and the information system at the local bodies to create an information base and would also focus on capacity building at the panchayat level to use the space-based inputs. Dr. Nair was optimistic about the mission solving issues related to land use or reclamation of wastelands, agriculture, horticulture, infrastructure development, water harvesting etc specific to the local environment.
Dr. Nair listed out ISRO’s various society-centric initiatives and cited the example of ‘Village Resource Centres’ (VRC) implemented in collaboration with stakeholders at local levels to deliver the benefits of space and IT-enabled services directly to common man at his door-step in the local language in the form of advisories. 470 VRCs are operating spread over 22 States and UTs providing data which could be used to work out development plans at local level.
The ISRO Chairman paid rich tributes to Rajiv Gandhi for his great vision and said that the late PM introduced India to modern science and technology and gave immense boost to space programmes leading eventually to a situation where India has nine IRS satellites operating in orbit. It is one of the largest constellations of RS satellites in the world, he said and pointed out that as for Tele-education, more than 34,500 classrooms were in EDUSAT network including 3400 which had interactive terminals.
Dr. A. Eswara Reddy, former Speaker addressed gathering and later felicitated the ISRO chief with the Award. S. Ramachandra Reddy, former MP and President AGRASRI, AP presided.
Dr. Nair presented the Leadership Awards-2009 among others to Dr Jaya Arunachalam,, President, Working Women’s Forum, Neelima Khetan, Chief Executive, Seva Mandir, Udaipur, Rajasthan, M. Rama Goud Samala, MPP, K. Narayanan, President, Peralam Gram Panchayat, Kannur district, Kerala.