Global GIS community lauds Dr. K. Kasturirangan for ‘Making A Difference'

Dr K Kasturirangan, Member (Science), Planning Commission was honoured for “Making a Difference” by the global GIS community for his significant contribution in the field of Remote Sensing and GIS at the recently concluded 2009 ESRI International User Conference, held during July 13-17 at the San Diego Convention Center in California, USA.

Dr. K.Kasturirangan has far-reaching contributions to the global community of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS). Dr Kasturirangan has been the key person to have taken IRS images to the world and also in making the use of images in India to large applications on natural resources management, disaster management support and for national development. In his drive for the use of spatial technology, Dr Kasturirangan has championed the extensive usage of satellite imagery and GIS to bring great value and benefit to society and individuals. Dr Kasturirangan has spearheaded the National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) under which the largest GIS project of Natural Resources Information System (NRIS) has been organized in almost all states of the country. He was also the key visionary to conceptualise and steer the establishment of Indian’s National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). Apart from this, he is also credited for taking the use of IRS images and GIS for many other applications in crops/agriculture; Disaster Management; Bio-diversity characterization and Forests; Water Resources and ground water targeting; Wasteland Mapping and many others. For these achievements, Dr Kasturirangan received the “Making a Difference” award from Jack Dangermond, President, ESRI Inc., USA in front of more than 12,000 GIS delegates at the 2009 ESRI International User Conference.

Dr.Kasturirangan served for more than nine years as Secreatary, Department of Space and Chairman of Space Commission and is the key stalwart who has brought many successes for India’s Space Programme. During his tenure many IRS and GIS applications were crafted and the use of GIS technology grew manifold in the country. In 2003, Dr Kasturirangan was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, where he lent his expertise in many of the Consultative Committees like Energy, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Parliamentary Forum on Water. Recently in July, 2009 he was nominated as a Member (Science) of the national Planning Commission by the Prime Minister of India.

During his distinguished career Dr.Kasturirangan has been conferred with many national and international awards. His services to the nation were recognized with the conferring of the Padma Shri (1982), Padma Bhushan (1992) and the Padma Vibhushan (2000).

“Dr Kasturirangan’s pioneering work in deploying GIS technology in different spheres should add rigour to all areas of work of the Planning Commission” said Mr R S Pawar, Chairman of NIIT-GIS Limited (ESRI India).

“He makes an enormous difference because of the integration of remote sensing into GIS and also the tremendous focus he has created on applications. Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan is going to be a master of bringing geography to virtually everywhere in India and will be an example for all of us” Jack Dangermond, President, ESRI Inc., said in presenting the award.

In an interview to ESRI after the award ceremony, Dr Kasturirangan said that he accepted the “Making a Difference” award on behalf of the dedicated team at IRSO, various government and private sector agencies in India that are sharing a common GIS goal and the large number of GIS and remote sensing technology professionals throughout the world. “GIS is an important tool for bringing transparency and scientific method in governance and decision-making. GIS is all pervasive and touches almost all aspects of society – be it citizens, private enterprise or government. India has been a major leader in GIS and has played an important role in the international community in shaping Imaging and GIS thoughts and concepts. I am happy to be a part of this GIS community” Dr Kasturirangan said.

NIIT GIS Ltd. (ESRI India) joins the global community of GIS professionals and lauds the great contributions of Dr Kasturirangan and congratulates him for this distinctive award.

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