Speech by Madhavan Nair Chairman, ISRO

Shri Ramesh Sojitra (Chairman/MD) Scanpoint, Shri Shridhara Murthy (MD Antrix), Shri Chirag Soni, A. R. Das Gupta (Director) Scanpoint and distinguished guests and friends. Good Afternoon to all of you, indeed I am really proud to be here with you this afternoon to participate in this function realizing perhaps the first indigenous software which integrates IP & GIS ability.

My congratulations to the teams who are involved in this the Space Application Centre ISRO & Antrix Corporation for really making this commendable task, in fact developing a software and bringing up to an operational stage is not an easy job it requires considerable amount of imagination, hard work and concentration before we can achieve such results especially in a niche area like this efforts put in by this team members are remarkable and perhaps this has formed a good indicator for future entrepreneur to embark on such vision.

Of course you know that Indian specialist are very much involved in the software development and servicing and they have become partners of many of the global team but wherever we asked, based on ideas which has been from somewhere outside or may be providing some partial extra modification and service into some of the developed software.

The capacity to develop indigenous software and provide service to our country is really the need of our especially considering the high cost of acquiring some of the software packages and also the maintenance cost involved in that such ventures done locally can lead to tremendous saving in terms of resources and also the timely avability of services and correction will help the users to perform better.

You all know ISRO has been concentrating on building spacecrafts for various applications and earth observations is one of the strong areas. In 1974 we have started with Aryabhatta launch we never thought earth observation and the resource survey from the satellites based system is going to become so popular and so useful. Today we have got the Resource SAT and Carto SAT series of Satellites perhaps the finest in the world providing multispectral and high-resolution images of the planet earth we have been using this data for various applications, right from ground monitoring, flood monitoring, then providing the services to Agriculture, Forestry, fisheries and so on.

Of course it has all been the efforts of ISRO centers, SAC, NRSC and then the state remote sensing agencies which we have sponsored and have been the main players, but as time has passed the demand for the data from satellites and its usage for day to day applications have multiplied manifold and there is a strong need for bringing the industries as major players in this field. The main limited factor is the trained man power and also infrastructure which is required for carrying out this task. In fact there was a time unless there is a high-end server with very sophisticated software packages which cost 10’s of lacks of Rs, one could not do any meaningful work in IP, then GIS is concerned again we were under the influence of many of the branded software packages they were not accessible at reasonable cost to the users.

From that view point what we have achieved today is very unique, not only knowledge and experience gained in IP & Data Interpretation, but also have this can be seamlessly integrated with GIS like Population, Census data, type of infrastructure and so on, all this could be integrated and run on a same platform and that too, understand perhaps it can run on high-end PC itself so small investment in a machine and perhaps relatively low-cost in terms of software, which could be practiced by users very well and which can adopt not only Indian satellite data, but also the data from various foreign satellites and aircrafts so that is a very unique achievement and perhaps it can revolutionize the application of the data from the space and GIS for national purpose.

There is a strong demand for such usage for urban planning, overall development and infrastructure development on one side. The disaster management whether it is a flood, cyclone, earthquake and more than that, of late, weather, climate also needs such services. Today, I am happy to say that Kalpana Satellite data coupled with automatic weather station, we are able to produce very précised data about the conditions of rainfall and drought like situations which exists in some of the states of the country to the decision makers. It all became possible because we have the resources in the sky and also we have capability to analyze this data and automate them so that at short notice we can process. So I am sure, with the introduction of this software package IGiS, perhaps the many users in the country are going to benefit and I am sure this will lead to further development in a much needed applications of high-end of technology. Mainly the computer image, IP and also the skills of human being are to be exploited for various national development purposes.

With this few words I would like to once again congratulate the entire teams for remarkable achievement and I hope you will be able to invest more and more into indigenous software development which will be affordable to our people.