Thursday, April 17, 2008

Geo-informatics Academy -- soon!

While the state government awaits the green signal from the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) for setting up an academy of geo-informatics near Gandhinagar, the construction work on a new six-storey building of the academy will start soon.

"A team of AICTE is expected to arrive here this week to review and assess the infrastructure being created for the proposed academy. The major part of the infrastructure relating to both the teaching faculty and administration is in place, and AICTE should have no difficulty in giving its approval," said a senior official in the State Science and Technology department that has funded the project.

The official told The Indian Express on Tuesday that over Rs 12 crore would be spent on a new building being set up in the premises of the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG) on the outskirts of the state capital.

"We have already started recruiting the faculty from different parts of the state. Eminent scientists from ISRO are also being inducted in the teaching faculty," he said.

Secretary (Science and Technology) Raj Kumar said a state-of-the-art building for the academy would be ready in 18-odd months. The academy will temporarily start functioning from the BISAG premises in July.

The government has already submitted the syllabi before the Gujarat University to which the academy will be affiliated. The academy will promote and carry out research, impart education and training to students and professionals in geo-informatics technology and applications. Diploma and degree courses, and also doctoral (Ph D) programmes in geo-informatics, sustainable development, environment, natural resources and coastal studies will be introduced.

"When the academy becomes fully operational, it will help generate human resources in geo-informatics applications, and also develop new low-cost technology in this area. It will also churn out faculty to be required for imparting education and training in geo-informatics in the future," said a senior BISAG official.

The BISAG has already set up a Centre for Geo-informatics Applications in its premises, where various activities relating to remote sensing and GIS (Geo-Informatics System) are being carried out. This Institute provides services in the field of satellite communication to promote and facilitate the use of broadcast and tele-conferencing networks for distant interactive training, education and extension.

"Remote sensing and GIS applications have provided impetus to planning and development activities at grassroots level as well as monitoring and management in various disciplines," said the official.

"In the water resources area, these applications help in characterisation and classification of watersheds, identify ground water prospects and recharge zoning and mapping of water bodies. Similarly in agriculture sector, it helps in crop acreage and production, crop condition assessment, and also in precision farming," added the official.

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