Srinagar: The Department of Geoinformatics University of Kashmir is hosting a 21-day Winter School aimed at enhancing the skills of diverse professionals in geospatial science and technology.
KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Nilofer Khan was the Chief Guest and Dr Debapriya Dutta, Advisor, National Geospatial Programme, Department of Science and Technology, was the Guest of Honour at the inaugural function held Thursday.
The inaugural session was also attended by Prof Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, VC, IUST and Coordinator of the Winter School, Prof Shamim A Shah, Dean, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU, Prof M. Farooq Mir, Head, Geoinformatics Department, faculty members from various departments and participants.
More than 20 delegates from various universities and institutions across the country are attending the Winter School, and a number of seminars by renowned experts on a range of topics relating to geospatial science and technology are scheduled for the Winter School. The programme also includes lectures, project work and hands-on learning to develop the participants’ GIS skills.
During the capacity building programme, specialists will present lectures on a variety of topics relating to the use of space and geospatial technologies for rural and urban development, resource planning, disaster management, public health, revenue records, and land and water resource management.
In her presidential address, Prof Nilofer Khan stated that geospatial technology has to be more widely used and made available to the general public rather than remaining the purview of scientists.
Timely availability of precise and trustworthy geospatial information is crucial for assuring the nation’s socio-economic progress, she said.
In his special address, Dr Dutta spoke about the purpose of the Winter School and delivered a talk about how the Geospatial technology is helpful in achieving Sustainable Development Goals in the country. He hoped that the University of Kashmir would continue to be at the forefront of fostering geospatial science and technology at the national level in light of the infrastructural development in the fields of GIS and remote sensing at the University.
In his address, Prof Romshoo said the goal of the winter school is to increase the participants’ technical aptitude so that they can effectively utilise geospatial science and technology for teaching, research, resource planning, utility services, urban and rural development, and policy making.
Geoinformatics is changing many aspects of our daily lives and it will have a greater positive impact on how government and public offices function in the country, he said.
Dean of the School, Prof Shamim A Shah, also talked about the importance of GIS education and said that it is being taught as a course in several other Departments of the School.
HoD Prof M Farooq Mir also provided an overview of the initiatives of the Department, which has established state-of-the-art labs and other scientific infrastructure being used to promote cutting-edge research in various application fields in the Himalaya.