India to host second UNWGIC in 2022

  • The Department of Science and Technology organized UNWGIC curtain raiser event with promises to strengthen the emerging national geospatial ecosystem.
  • India is going to host the second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC) in October 2022, at Hyderabad, and the theme will be, “Towards Geo-enabling the Global Village.”
  • The curtain raiser event organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) was inaugurated by Prof.
  • Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, The government of India. In his inaugural speech he mentioned about the fact that recently the Government of India decided to liberalize the geospatial data sector to empower all stakeholders, including the private enterprises.
  • This has been done in order to open the sector to all stakeholders of the Indian geospatial ecosystem.
  • India’s mapping history of 254 years
  • Sharma said that the history of surveying and mapping and geospatial data has been very old in India. It goes back about 254 years at least, and there have been many huge achievements in mapping India even 200 years ago. Of course, the technology has changed now and “our expectations from digital data are vastly different from what they were 50 years ago. And so to liberalize and democratize our geospatial data and mapping policy has been a very great step in the right direction, in order to share some experiences with the global geospatial community and to learn from them to strengthen the emerging national geospatial ecosystem.”
  • He mentioned about the speech delivered by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, at the 75th Independence Day celebration, where the latter brought up geospatial policy and empowering rural India with ambitious program such as “Swamitva Yojana”. Swamitva yojana is a scheme, under which mapping is done with the help of drones, on individual holdings of farmers, people who are living in villages because they don’t often have a very good digital certificate of their holdings. Every village, every person there would have a certificate of their ownership together with the map uploaded digitally.
  • Evolution of geospatial technology in India
  • Sharma expressed his happiness that, “Geo-enabling the global village” has been chosen as the theme of the second UNWGIC for October 2022. The present day access to the information and communication technologies should now be scaled up to a new robust, accessible and useful geospatial information and communication technologies, he added.
  • He further added, “The philosophy at the heart of the core of the UN strategy for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is going to play a very important role. The global geospatial community should Geo-enable the global village with appropriate governance mechanisms, innovative tools and techniques, and collaborative partnerships among concerned stakeholders.”
  • He emphasized on the fact that, “All the stakeholders consuming the global physical resources need to adequately understand the availability, interrelation, and utilization of the physical resources, climate change and the occurrence of various disasters in order to make suitable and sustainable development strategies for increased resilience.
  • We need to have a common vision and work together with a focus on the realization of this vision and deliberations on its progress and achievements of geospatial enabling the global village for achieving during the second UNWGIC in the historic city of Hyderabad in October 2022.”


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