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Achievements During The IX Plan (1997-2002) 

(1)District GIS Centres
Interface with the end users at the districts is maintained through the District NRDMS centres. These centres are the operational hubs of the Programme. Offer of technical support, maintenance and supply of geo-spatial information needed for district development planning, by the administration, is its main activity. In the IX plan period, 5 centres were established in the states of Sikkim, U.P and Haryana. Two centres were added to the existing 11 centres in Karnataka. The improvements in database design are being adopted in all the district centres as per the conceptual design and necessary documentation of the data are being consolidated in the form of data dictionaries.

(2) Low cost GIS Software 
Indigenously developed DOS-based GIS software – Geo-Referenced Area Management (GRAM) was upgraded to WINDOWS based GRAM++ with additional functions and capabilities to address the processing needs of local level planning. Core capabilities of the package have been enhanced to manage large GIS databases at districts. Add-ons like GRAMNET and GEO-SQL have been developed to facilitate resource network analysis and spatial querying respectively. A limited set of functions of GRAM++ have been developed with OCX controls to promote building up of applications around the package. A data conversion module has been developed for converting data from scanned images (raster) to vector format useful in creating GIS databases. GRAM++ Tutor and GIS tutor have been developed for self-training of end-users.

(3) Spatial Decision Support Systems 
GIS-based Decision Support Modules have been developed in the different sectors of rural development e.g. water conservation, landuse planning, energy budgeting, and facility location / allocation to help generate alternative scenarios for facilitating decision-making. While the decision support systems (DSS) for Water Conservation is capable of simulating hydrological processes operating at the level of micro-watersheds to predict surface run-off, silt and biomass yields, and crop production, that for Landuse Planning throws light on the consequences of productivity of an area arising out of possible changes in cropping pattern. The DSS for Energy Budgeting helps estimate the present and future demand / supply of energy of an area (e.g. a block or a district) in the household (cooking & non cooking), agriculture, and industry sectors to facilitate drawing up energy development strategies. The DSS for Facility Location / Allocation helps in optimally locating / allocating new facilities like fair price shops, schools, and health centres or reallocating the existing facilities amongst the demand nodes for better utilisation of available resources.

(4) Hydrology of Small Watersheds 
Realising the importance of the problem and gaps in understanding small watershed hydrology in Indian catchments due to paucity of data, the coordinated program on “Hydrology of small watershed” has been launched by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India Under the programme, data on hydro-meteorological and other related parameters are getting collected through extensive instrumentation from 5 paired micro watersheds (treated and untreated) from four agro-ecological regions of the country. The selected watersheds are- (a) Dudhi and Bewas in Tawa basin in Madhya Pradesh, (b) Jojri and Jhanwar in Loni basin of Rajasthan, (c) Chandrabanga Garh and Danda in Garhwal district of U.P, (d) Pyakkara in Palghat district of Kerala and Rampatna in Kolar district of Karnataka, and (e) two micro-watersheds in Loktak lake basin in Manipur. Region specific models have been finalized for development of GIS based DSS about watershed development interventions.

(5) Groundwater Studies 
Groundwater is the major resource for meeting the water demand of the community throughout the year. The spurt of industrial activities and intensive agricultural practices in last two decades have led to severe scarcity for clean and hazard-free water. Therefore, to focus our efforts on evolving a more "holistic groundwater management strategies for resource evaluation and sustainable use" a National Meet on S&T Inputs for Water Resources Management was organised by DST at IIT-Delhi between 8–10 April 1997. In October '99, a four days Brainstorming session on ground water modeling was organised at Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Jodhpur. Topics like - resource estimation, resource exploitation and its effect on the environment, groundwater pollution - quality assessment and its remedial measures, newer techniques in groundwater estimation, were discussed in the meet. In accordance with the recommendations, the division is supporting research projects on these themes.

In November 1999, a training workshop to select groups of research investigators on “Groundwater data needs and its organization using appropriate tools and technology” was organized under the supervision of a groundwater consultant from Atlanta, USA. Recently, in December 2000, a team of 3 scientists was deputed to University of Western Australia for a period of 8 weeks to undergo an advanced training on Visual Modflow, a groundwater-modeling tool.

(6) Landslide Studies 
Over the past several years, many areas in landslide prone terrain – mainly concentrated in the Lesser Himalayas – have been investigated for preparation of Landslide Hazard Zonation maps by Geological Survey of India. DST has funded most of the projects at academic institutions/ universities and research laboratories for carrying out landslide hazard zonation mapping in selected areas viz. parts of Chamoli District in Uttar Pradesh, Sukhidang area in Kumaon Himalayas, Lunglei District of Mizoram and parts of Western Ghats. DST’s Expert Committee undertook a review of these initiatives and called for a new emphasis on Quantitative Hazard Assessment and control of landslides. Further, it was felt that ongoing landslide hazard zonation studies lacked proper geotechnical engineering, rock mechanics and engineering geology inputs which are so vital for understanding of: mechanisms driving the ground movements, appropriate analysis of failed slopes and design of suitable control measures. Use of soil nailing techniques was demonstrated in the control of landslides in Rishikesh-Badrinath.

(7) Bio-Geo Database and Ecological Modelling for Himalaya 
Sustainable development plan for the bio-diversity rich, fragile eco-system through integrated resource databases at watershed level (micro scale), in three selected Altitudinal transects in Himalayan region – Himachal Pradesh, Kumaon and Garhwal are proposed to be undertaken.

(8) Training and user Interaction 
*
Two end-user training programmes on GRAM++ package conducted in April and May 1999.
*A 6 weeks training in digital cartography and GIS for spatial data management was organized at the Survey Training Institute, Hyderabad during November ’98 - January 99 for the NRDMS personnel from District Centres.
*A workshop for assessing the information need of district level decision-makers of Almora District, U.P. was organized in May, 2000. A preliminary assessment of the need was made. Efforts are on to establish a Resource Database Centre.
* A feedback cum training workshop was organized at IIT, Bombay on 7-8  September 2000 under the project “Development of Decision Support System for Energy Planning at district level-Phase II”. A demonstration of Energy tool was made to the participants followed by hands-on training.
* Two Sensitization Workshops for Eastern and Southern Regions were organized at  Calcutta and Trivandrum during 1999-2000. 
(9) SAR Interferometry 
The co-ordinated programme on SAR interferometry and its application in developmental planning is being promoted through the active participation of several academic institutions. As a first step, an Indian InSAR group was formed in 1999 with the objective of streamlining the research activities, dissemination of research opportunities, creation of processing facilities and manpower development in this emerging area. As a follow-up of this, 4 trainings in SAR interferometric processing and applications were organized, with the involvement of technical experts from abroad, at IIT- Bombay and nearly 60 Indian scientists were trained in all. Field experiments synchronous with the 11 days mission of SRTM between 11 – 22 February 2000 was supported for carrying out ground measurements in selected 11 sites spread over different physiographic units