Space science in India has become more relevant now as it plays a vital role in the life of the common man in various ways, an example of which was early prediction of ‘Hudhud’ cyclone in Andhra Pradesh. Areas such as telemedicine, tele-education and mapping of natural resources were some of the other advantages of the space programme.
In order to keep a track of agricultural assets in the country through online recording and monitoring, the Centre has decided to geo-tag all such infrastructure in a phased manner.
The agriculture ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ISRO in this regard. The ISRO has assigned this task to the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad. The NRSC will geo-tag (add latitude, longitude and location-specific information to photo/video) all the assets, using its ‘Bhuvan’ platform in association with states and Union Territories (UTs). The ‘Bhuvan’ is the geo-platform of the country’s space agency ISRO.
Under the MoU, the NRSC will geo-tag all agriculture assets which are created under the ‘Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana’ (National Agriculture Development Plan) in different parts of the country. Such assets include seed processing units, seed farms, soil testing labs, bio-fertilizer production units, seed storage godowns, seed certification infrastructure, labs for production of bio control agents, state pesticide/residue testing labs, machinery to reduce post-harvest losses, poly houses\shade-nets and orchards among lakhs of such facilities across the country.
Besides monitoring of assets, the application of technology will also help in planning and execution of new agriculture infrastructure projects in a transparent manner. The NRSC is currently also geo-tagging the assets created under the MGNREGA in each gram panchayat. The move will not only check leakages but also help in effective mapping of terrain for future developmental works. Around 30 lakh assets are created annually across the country under the rural job scheme.