Following the announcement in recent budget session for setting up Aryabhatta Geo-Informatics and Space Application Centre (AGiSAC) in collaboration with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo Informatics (BISAG) Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh government and BISAG signed a MoU. It’ll help to use of geo spatial technologies for decision making and planning of developmental activities in the State. The MoU was signed today between Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Governments. Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat Ravi S. Saxena signed MoU on behalf of Gujarat Government and Sarojini Ganju Thakur, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Science and Technology on behalf of Himachal Pradesh Government in the presence of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. Senior officers of both the State Governments were also present on the occasion.

Chief Minister said that this MoU has opened a new vista of technical collaboration between Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. He said that the State would immensely benefit from technical expertise of BISAG, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat which specialises in providing space application and geo-informatics services and cover all major sectors of remote sensing applications in decentralised planning along with awareness, capacity building and dissemination of information through SATCOM Network.

Chief Minister said that BISAG, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of Gujarat would provide technical link to AGiSAC through State Council for Science, Technology and Environment on ‘no profit and no loss basis’ He appreciated the perseverance and efforts of Chief Secretary Rajwant Sadhu who gave the vision and strategic guidance in this regard. CM also added that this centre would also effectively cater to the State Centre for Climate Change in generating reliable scientific database in the vulnerable sectors like agriculture, horticulture, forests, snow and glaciers, water resources, hydropower, tourism etc. He congratulated Dr. T.P. Singh, Director, BISAG for this passion in spreading geo-informatics technology and efforts to replicate this technology in the State. He appreciated the efforts of the Department and State Council of Science, Technology and Environment and hoped that these organizations would provide yeoman’s services to State in the time to come for effective planning and decision making.

Ravi S. Saxena, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of Gujarat stated that BISAG would provide expertise in the area of viz conversion of satellite images into ortho images, imposition of data on satellite imageries and linkage of attribute data, connectivity with BISAG, system development software output, development of HIMSAT and other technical guidance and support in the field of geo-information and remote sensing application. He said that BISAG would also provide training and capacity building to the scientific and technical personnel of Himachal Pradesh. He said that the duration of MoU would be of three years unless extended by mutual consent. Rajwant Sandhu, Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal Pradesh congratulated and expressed her satisfaction on progress with respect to operationalising the Centre. She said that a dedicated building ‘Press Villa’ near US Club has been provided to the Department of Environment, Science and Technology and AGiSAC to expeditiously operationalise this Centre. She said that Revenue Department has taken digitization, scanning and geo-referencing work of Chamba and Sirmaur districts and the work for finalization of vendors for Mandi and Hamirpur districts is underway. She said that 26 user departments in Himachal Pradesh have been identified who would be using the geo-spatial data base which would also be an effective tool for monitoring and evaluation of government programmes. She said that 63 posts of different categories of professionals have been created for this purpose.