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Monday, May 16, 2016

ISRO comes to the aid of decentralised rural planning

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on a space-based information system for decentralised planning to help rural development, ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said here on Saturday.

Though there are scores of rural development programmes and welfare measures launched in the country, there is little planning at the local level owing to lack of information. The space-based information system will reach out to the villages to enable them to plan and improve their economy, he said at the graduation day of the Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering.

The system is expected to optimise the benefits of various welfare programmes to a maximum number of people in the areas of health, sanitation, infrastructure, etc. besides monitoring their benefits and impacts in the villages.

As another such initiative, it is also working with the Department of Posts to involve its postmen and women to inform citizens about the location and services available at post offices. Already 1.5 lakh post offices across the country have been geo-tagged.

In future, postal staff visiting neighbourhoods will also be equipped with space-based information in time to arm farmers about their land, cultivation and the crop they grow. The information will be shared with the Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre to estimate details of crops. At present, this is being done through stratified random sampling in 10,000 locations. By involving postal employees, the information would be available from a large number of locations, which help improve crop forecasting and related activities, he said.

The thrust of Mr. Kiran Kumar’s talk was on the innovation and indigenous solutions conceived by ISRO to address India-specific problems in a cost-effective manner. He highlighted how the country had recently created its own regional ‘GPS’ based on a seven-satellite navigation constellation. .

ISRO’s upcoming solar mission, Aditya, will provide scientists a 24x7 observation capability of the sun’s corona.
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