Smart Directions for Smarter India

Urban Transformation on a sustained basis is today inevitable and a worldwide phenomenon, with rural populations increasingly migrating to urban centres for better opportunities. In India, Governments have traditionally focused on rural development due to our agrarian and largely rural society at the time of Independence.

With this trend in urbanisation burgeoning lately, India too is reiterating this global phenomenon. The time is now opportune to take the logical next step to transform the country into an emerging global player. For this to happen it is incumbent on authorities to ensure that urban and rural infrastructure is developed, in tandem with each other, and is world class as well as sustainable.

With the rapid and relentless growth of urban sprawl, existing cities are becoming larger and larger, thereby also transforming the adjacent rural areas. This interdependency of urban and rural areas is certain to increase further in the coming years as citizens will demand better liveability conditions, economic prosperity as well as a healthy and pollution free environment as their basic right.

While rural areas will demand availability of city amenities, cities, in turn, will also demand sustainable, smart and green infrastructure, smart multi-modal transportation, hygiene facilities and less polluting environment, bringing parity between Urban India and leading cities across the globe.

At the same time, this aspiration, that India retains its innate rural character while accessing global practices and enjoying better quality, liveability, health and other amenities, is an inherent need while shaping up this emerging economy.

For realising this vision to link geographies, culture and vibrancy of India, technology is going to provide the single biggest conduit, enabling collaboration among various systems.

India is, today, at the cusp of several parallel and key initiatives on a nation-wide scale that seem to be operating in silos. Integration of these to form a canvas of a connected India is an imperative.

Geospatial technologies, in this new world, will play a key role as these serve to weave a common and unique thread, bringing this picture to reality by integrating ICT and Spatial technologies to provide a single window for delivering services to citizens, enterprises and government bodies and departments, as never before.

Continued on Page 2...
Continued from Page 1...
Initiatives being taken at both state level as well centre from Smart Cities, to Digital India, Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, National Highways Development Program, are all leading towards building a Connected and   Smart India.  We,  at  AGI,   believe

that the collaboration of stakeholders across domain, technologies and locations will be the key determinant to successfully build the Smart India of tomorrow.

However, for this to happen, there is a need to evolve a composite framework that is both federated in its structure,

allowing independence and autonomy for quick decision making, yet tightly integrated with each other, while designing at the outset itself.

AGI initiatives, therefore are being geared to travel in the same direction, bringing in synergy in our efforts to build a Smart India.

                    Editor Bharti Sinha
 Policy Advocacy
AP State GIS Policy
AGI recently provided inputs on the draft State GIS Policy of Andhra Pradesh State, at request of the Andhra Pradesh State Remote Sensing Application Centre (APSRSAC), the nodal agency for geospatial technologies.

AGI drew inputs from all its industry members for its recommendations to evolve a comprehensive State GIS Policy, which will serve as a foundation for developing the State GIS Framework of Andhra Pradesh.

AGI recommendations covered all aspects related to key areas such as:
  • Map Data Creation, Updation and Value addition
  • Satellite data usage and sharing
  • Aerial Photograph and Aerial Flying
  • Data Sharing among departments
  • IT, Web/internet, Access, Security, Interoperability, Standards and Legal, Licensing and Taxation
  • Use of Geospatial Technologies by Departments in AP State Government.

Digital India and National GIS
AGI partnered with Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) of Government of India, as a knowledge partner for Geo-enabling their Digital India Program. It provided technical support and active consulting to the Department for their National Workshop on Role of Space Technologies and GIS in Digital India Program, held in New Delhi on February 19th 2015.

AGI provided valuable inputs in the key discussion areas during the workshop. AGI was also part of focus groups created to deliberate these key areas. The five groups focused on the following areas:

  • Creation of the GIS platform including linkages with Core Governance Processes, decision support system, business analytics and Citizen Services
  • GIS data creators, aggregators, and users: Expectations, Concerns & Way Forward
  • Enabling Policies for National GIS
  • Data standards for capturing, storing, sharing and use of geospatial data
  • Capacity-building requirements for implementing Geo Spatial Governance.
Geospatial Industry Market Research Report
AGI engaged Feedback Business Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd. to conduct a first time ever Market Study for sizing the Geospatial Industry in India. The study encompassed all users, verticals and technologies, and was aimed at bringing out the market size - current as well as future market estimates, growth drivers, barriers & challenges in geospatial technology adoption in India.

The report addressed the current non-availability of authentic reliable information cutting across all the technologies and stages of the   geospatial workflow. The study was based on

exhaustive primary and secondary research, with detailed interviews of all contributors and stakeholders from across the country.

The key findings of the report are geared towards helping AGI member companies, representing the majority of geospatial industry in India, to build their strategies and align their offerings with current and emerging requirements of the Indian market.

IGF 2015
AGI participated in the India Geospatial Forum 2015 at Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad. The Governing Council of Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI) had a special meeting with Hon. Minister of Science & Technology, Government of India Mr. Y.S. Chaudhary at IGF on February 9th 2015 . Mr. Chaudhary applauded the efforts of the Indian Geospatial Industry in helping the government realize the benefits of this technology over the years.

He also pointed out that the time is opportune for Rural India to also join and reap the benefits of this technology. He acknowledged that Geospatial technology can play an
important role in several of the Government of India initiatives mentioning Geo-tagging of assets both in urban and rural areas, Swachch Bharat scheme for installation of Toilets, Digital India where National GIS is an important pillar under e-Kranti, among others.

He stressed the need for Geospatial technology to become an integral part of health delivery systems (primary, secondary and super specialty) and services. Right from geo-tagging of health centres to navigating citizens to reach the nearest hospitals and health centres in time, to preventive maintenance of disease outbreak, he believed Geospatial Technology applications to be integrated in all the aspects of better delivery of health services. At the same time these would also reduce the cost of delivery of high quality medical and health care.

He urged AGI to come up with the mechanism to support the Government in extending Geospatial technology usage to masses.

AGI members also attended a Round Table organised by Geospatial Media and Communications, with Hon'ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N Chandrababu Naidu at the Conference on February 10th 2015. In this meeting, the CM requested AGI to prepare a Geospatial Strategy for the State of Andhra Pradesh in conjunction with the top priorities of the State.

The conference also witnessed deliberations on the requisites for successful implementation of the technology that can unleash its revolutionary power. The exhibition provided the delegates the latest and cutting edge offerings in geospatial technology as well as key deliberations on its revolutionary power to transform systems.

AGI also attended South Asia Forum and NSDI which was co-hosted with IGF.

AGI was invited to participate in the workshop on "Best Practices and Citizen Centric Services," organised by Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development. The workshop was focused on discussing the Best Practices evolved while implementing NLRMP program so that these can be replicated in other states and provide momentum as well as direction to the programme in those

Advocacy Services 
AP State Geospatial Strategy
During a meeting of AGI Members at India Geospatial Forum 2015 in Hyderabad with Hon'ble CM of Andhra Pradesh Shri N Chandra Babu Naidu requested AGI to prepare a Geospatial Strategy for the State of Andhra Pradesh.

Taking forward this engagement, AGI prepared a comprehensive Approach Paper and provided a detailed Geospatial Strategy for the State. The Approach Paper laid down a conceptual framework for the Geo-enabled Andhra Pradesh in line with the top priorities of the State. It, further embedded Geospatial in the Core of the Enterprise Architecture that was prepared by the State IT Department. The Approach Paper also showcased several relevant national and international case studies of industry experience across the life cycle of the priority areas namely:
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Land and Water Resource Development
  • Governance
  • Empowering Businesses
  • Citizen Services
  • Safety and Security
states who are yet to embark on it. The workshop was addressed by the Hon'ble Minister of Rural Development Shri Birendar Chaudhary, who emphasized the critical role Geospatial Technologies play in successful implementation of NLRMP Program.

Several AGI Members participated in the event, allowing the Industry and the Users to interact.

The Approach Paper was formally handed over by Mr. Rajesh Mathur, President AGI and Ms. Bharti Sinha, Executive Director AGI to Shri J Satyanarayana, Advisor IT with Department of Information Technology, State of Andhra Pradesh, on 18th March 2015. Shri Satyanarayana applauded the efforts of AGI and adopted the framework suggested by AGI for implementation in the State.

AGI as a Knowledge Partner with Department of Land Resources for their Integrated Watershed Management Program, prepared an Approach Paper, a Ready Reckoner and a Poster for the Department and their State Level Nodal Agencies (SLNA) to successfully deploy Geospatial Technologies for watershed management.

Mr. Rajesh Mathur, President AGI, formally handed over the Approach Paper to the Ms. Vandana Jena, Secretary Land Resources who launched it along with the Ready Reckoner and the Poster on 17th April 2015. Additional Secretary Dr K P Krishnan, Joint Secretary Dr Sandeep Dave, Director Watershed Management Mr. Amit Kumar and Director, Neeranchal, Mr. P K Jha from the Department of Land Resources were present at the Launch.

From AGI, Ms. Bharti Sinha, Executive Director AGI, Dr. Yogita Shukla, Fellow AGI and AGI Members representing Hexagon, Trimble, SECON, IIC Technologies, ADCC Infocad, and Ridings Consultants were present at the occasion.
Smart Cities
AGI was invited by NASSCOM to collaborate with them for preparing the report on "Framework of ICT and Geospatial Technologies for 100 Smart Cities Mission." AGI Prepared a Concept Paper on "Geospatially enabled Urban-infrastructure and Governance Information System (UGIS)," for the same. The recommendations and the framework provided by AGI were incorporated in the NASSCOM Report. The AGI Concept Paper and the NASSCOM Report were formally launched at Smart Cities Expo 2015 Event at Pragati Maidan on 21st May 2015.
While the NASSCOM report provided the details of the overall ICT and Geospatial Technologies framework and architecture, AGI Concept Paper provided the details of Geospatial Framework and its applications across the various stages of Smart Cities Life Cycle.

The AGI Concept Paper also provided a comprehensive details of several applications of Geospatial Technologies for all the Four Pillars of Smart Cities along with Case Studies for each of the Pillars and at each of the life cycle stage.
AGI conducted its Annual General Body Meeting on 21st April 2015 in Mumbai. Mr. K. K. Singh, Honorary Chairman of AGI welcomed all the members to Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association. He expressed his happiness on attending the fifth Annual General Meeting of AGI.

He mentioned that AGI was now recognized as an industry body by Government of India and also represented the interests   of  the   Indian     Geospatial   Industry.   He   also
acknowledged that AGI's initiatives in last five years AGI were visible to both the Government Departments as well as in the Geospatial Industry.

Mr. Rajesh Mathur, President AGI presented the Yearly Progress Report of AGI for the fiscal year 2014-15 and the initiatives undertaken by AGI in the given financial year. The AGM also set the directions for AGI initiatives for FY 2015-16.


The E-Governance Working Committee of AGI has its focus on several initiatives of Government of India that focus on delivering Good and Smart Governance. The Committee is currently focusing on IWMP, Smart Cities and Role of Geospatial Technologies Solutions at Centre and States.

IWWP Approach Paper
Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP) is a Major Flagship Programme of Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. AGI E-Governance Committee actively collaborated with the Department for conceptualising Geospatially enabled Integrated Watershed Management Information System (IWMIS) and prepare an Approach Paper on the same.

The Approach Paper has been formally submitted to the Department along with a Ready Reckoner and Poster. The Approach Paper details both a short term and the long term implementation approach for realising the IWMIS at all the levels of Governance for Integrated Watershed Management in the country.
Task Force for Smart Cities
NASSCOM approached AGI to collaborate with them in creating an Integrated ICT and Geospatial Framework for 100 Smart Cities Mission in response to Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India's request for NASSCOM to prepare the ICT, GIS and Safe Cities Framework for Smart Cities.

AGI E-Governance Committee set up a Task Force for Smart Cities to prepare a Concept Paper on Geospatially enabled Urban-infrastructure and Governance Information System (UGIS) for 100 Smart Cities Mission. The Concept Paper was formally released with NASSCOM Report on 21st May 2015 at Pragati Maidan.

AP State Geospatial System
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Chandrababu Naidu, requested AGI to prepare a Geospatial strategy for building a State wide Enterprise Geospatial System for the State of Andhra Pradesh. The Geospatial Strategy prepared by AGI provided the framework and implementation approach for State wide implementation of the system.
DeitY Workshop on Role of GIS and Space Technologies in Digital India
IWMP Report Handover at Department of Land Resources
Launch of NASSCOM and AGI Reports on 100 Smart Cities Mission Project
India Geospatial Forum 2015
NLRMP Workshop