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Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches 'Nakshe Portal' for free download of Survey of India's maps
DNA, Apr 10, 2017
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, today launched the Nakshe Portal, a new web portal providing free download of Survey of India’s (SOI) topographic maps in pdf format for entire country on 1:50,000 scale to Indian citizens.

Topographic maps or Open Series Maps (OSM) containing natural and man-made geographical features including terrain or topography are prepared by the SoI and it is in conformity with the National Map Policy 2005.

These OSMs have been made available for free through Aadhaar-enabled user authentication process in line with the Digital India programme of the Govt. of India.

The Survey of India has completed 250 years of its service to the nation and is celebrating the achievement this year. As part of celebrations, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the National Conference on ‘Geo spatial Paradigm in India Users’ Perspective on Geospatial Policy Framework in India’ jointly organized by FICCI, Survey of India and Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. The day also coincided with the National Survey Day.

The Conference also witnessed Curtain Raiser of GeoPortal and GIS Web Services provision platform by Y. S. Chowdary, Minister of State for Ministry of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Govt. of India. The GeoPortal has been developed for dissemination of the National Topographic Database (NTDB) prepared as per the National Map Policy (NMP) 2005.

Dissemination of NTDB data in the form of web services is required by the users of topographic data across country and SOI Open Map Series (OSM on 1:50,000 Scale) data has been re-engineered to serve as the Web Map Services and Web Feature services as per the prevalent government policies.

In his Inaugural Address, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that as a part of its 250 years completion celebrations, Survey of India has proposed to re-measure the height of Mount Everest during the year 2017. India was the first country under Sir George Everest’s leadership as Surveyor General of India to have declared the height of Mount Everest and established it as the highest peak in the world in 1855.

After Gorkha Earthquake in 2015, to answer various doubts of scientific community, Survey of India proposed re-measuring the height of Mount Everest as an ‘Indo-Nepal Joint Scientific Exercise’ along with Survey Department of Nepal. Dr. Vardhan said that Aadhaar-enabled solar ATMs were being worked upon as the government was looking at making all products accessible to the citizens with complete transparency.

He added that SOI’s initiatives were widely unknown and as a people-centric government, the endeavor was to bring awareness about SOI’s work to enable people to avail its benefits.

On the development of the Geoid model, Y. S. Chowdary in his Keynote Address said that INDGEOID ver 1.0 for the country demonstrated the efforts being put in by the SoI in year 2017, while SoI is celebrating the completion of 250 years of Surveying and Mapping activities in the country.

Geoid model development is a major thrust area in the field of Geodesy in country as it has enormous potential to cut down the Engineering project survey costs and reduce the turn-around time drastically with reduction of Spirit levelling requirements in most of the engineering project surveys.

Chowdary also said that public and private sectors and academia needed to forge partnerships to achieve India’s vision of ranking amid the top five scientific powers of the world. Geospatial technologies will play a key role in the initiatives of the Government of India such as ‘Digital India’.

He added that SOI could facilitate in underlining the strategic vision and goal for policy framework. The government was also working towards eliminating obsolete Acts and was moving towards up-gradation of mindset, technology and vision.

Dr. Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India, Survey of India, Government of India in his Welcome Address,said that the SoI to its credit has the Great Trigonometrical Survey which aimed to measure the entire Indian subcontinent with scientific precision.

SoI had evolved over the years and keeping with the times was adapting varied scientific technologies and contributing towards the development of the nation.

Rajesh Mathur, Chairman, FICCI Committee on Geospatial Technologies, said that there was a need for an enabling policy framework for accessing geospatial data and information for feasible development and implementation of growth programmes in the country.

SoI was playing a leading role in making products available to varied stakeholders and was facilitating in adoption of geospatial technologies.

A presentation on Nakshe Portal was made by Bindu Manghat, Deputy Director, Survey of India, Govt. of India.
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