Madhavan Nair to share the Indian Moon Mission experience with an exclusive group of International Scientists at ITC
Dr. Madhavan Nair, the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation and the Secretary of Space, Government of India to address scientists at the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), the Netherlands on 27 May 2009.
While addressing a group of selected world famous scientists, as part of the ITC lecture series, Mr. Nair will elucidated upon the ongoing space programme of India and its' keen interest in outer space explorations such as the most recent satellite launch to the Moon, The Chandrayaan 1 Mission.
This is the third high profile visit to ITC from Government of India, third only to none but the First Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru who visited ITC in 1957 and the former ISRO Chairman, Dr. Kasturirangan in 2001. Since then several dignitaries from India, including the Former Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Her Excellency Shyamala B. Cowsik, visited ITC and several Indian civil servants, scientists and students were educated at ITC. Dr. Nair's visit marks another mile stone in the longstanding relationship between the Indian and Dutch scientific communities. He is also the Secretary of the Department of Space, Government of India and is a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour.
ITC and India – News in Detail
ITC is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in capacity building and institutional development of professionals and academic organisations in geo-information science and earth observation across the world. The institution's research interests are directed at finding solutions for and strengthening civil society in addressing issues of local, national and global dimensions such as the multifunctional use of scarce resources, including space, the effects of climate change and environmental security.
ITC's contacts with India date back to the early 1950's when Professor Willem Schermerhorn, Prime Minister of the Netherlands and founder of ITC, visited the Survey of India and officers were sent to ITC for training. In 1957 the Prime Minister, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru visited ITC; he was so impressed that he wanted to have a similar institute set up in India.
During the United Nations (UN) Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE), held in Bangkok in 1964 discussions took place between the Indian and Netherlands delegates to draft an agreement for collaboration between the two governments. This agreement was signed by the end of 1964, heralding the start of the project for technical assistance to set up the Indian Photo-interpretation Institute (IPI) in Dehradun, with ITC as executive authority. It was one of the first large bilateral technical assistance projects undertaken between the Netherlands and a developing country. IPI was renamed as Indian Institute for Remote Sensing (IIRS) and is currently under ISRO. The co-operation between ITC and IIRS, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2006.
By virtue of this academic collaborations several Indian civil service officers, scientists and students have completed their postgraduate studies, PhD research and advanced training in geo-information science and earth observation mostly with scholarships provided by various organisations including the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC) and ITC Research Funds.
Currently, the United Nations University-ITC School for Disaster Geo-information Management (UNU-ITC DGIM) constituted at ITC, in collaboration with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) is conducting a research on landslides in the two main landslide prone regions of the country, namely the Himalayas and the Western Ghats. The UNU-ITC DGIM is annually conducting a "Training cum Field Workshop on Geo-information for Landslide Hazard and Risk Assessment" under the tripartite agreement on the "Use of New Earth Observation Techniques for Landslide Hazard and Risk Assessment" signed by the GSI Training Institute (GSITI), NRSC and ITC, since 2006.
The Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-information Management in collaboration with IIT Delhi and CEPT Ahmadabad is conducting research for creating better urban milieu in various Indian cities, with special focus on reducing carbon emissions by the increased use of cycles. In addition, ITC has several research, post graduate education and training scholarships available to Indian students. The Indian alumni network of ITC is over 200 members strong and spread across the country. The network organises annual get together of the alumni and offer support to prospective students who intent to undertake their research and studies at ITC. They are also active in internet friendship sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Orkut.
Dr. Nair's visit marks a major mile stone in this longstanding relationship of the Indo- Dutch scientific collaborations. With India emerging as a global player in satellite remote sensing and ITC being the pioneer and leader of capacity building in the technology and applications of satellite remote sensing data and geo-information science, this synergetic relationship will yield fruitful benefits for the humanity in general and for India and the Netherlands in particular.