Punjab has become first state in the country by launching its state specific portal providing the citizen centric data services to various users during Punjab state meet on promoting space technology based tools applications in governance and development on 18 April, 2016 at Chandigarh.The state meet was organized by Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC) in collaboration with Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO)/Department of Space, Government of India. Dr Brijendra Pateriya, Director, PRSC, in his opening remarks said that space technology provides effective decision making tools for policy framework and day-to-day planning. Space technology and Geographic Information System (GIS) offer excellent movement to understand the matrix of natural, social, cultural variations and prepare a roadmap for future challenges.Speaking on the occasion Mr.Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Finance & Planning Minister, Punjab, said that there was need to institutionalize a mechanism for integrating space applications in governance and development. He also exhorted the Scientists and User Departments and States to develop applications in a manner that they benefit the poor and needy sections of society. India, having the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites, needs to utilize these much more efficiently for this technology in agriculture, rural & urban development planning.
In his Inaugural address, Mr. Suresh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary (Development) said that on space technology in agriculture, natural resource management and urban planning has been an emerging field. He said that this technology has enormous potential for governance and decision making processes. He also stressed to integrate ICT and space technology which may help government to frame robust policies to the citizens’ benefits.Jaspal Singh, Secretary Science, Technology and Environment and Expenditure chaired the technical session on Space & Geospatial Technology in Governance. He said that application of space technology is the key to any planning activities and management of resources. He suggested preparing the web applications of Punjab GIS, a project under which the data provided by many departments of Government of Punjab is being brought into GIS by PRSC and this data would be quite useful for planning purposes in the state.Dr. B.S. Gohil and Dr. P.G. Diwakar outstanding Scientists of the ISRO emphasized to utilize the space technology for development planning in the fields of agriculture, soil conservation, drainage and irrigation, health and education by various development departments. About ten learned scientists from different ISRO units (Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Dehradun and Mohali) presented their expertise and the views for way forward. The presentations by scientists of Punjab Remote Sensing Centre were interactive and well appreciated by all. Dr R K Setia coordinated the whole event very successfully.