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Noting the above needs, the Department of Science and Technology launched a multi-disciplinary programme Natural Resources Database Management System (NRDMS) for catalyzing the evolution of methodologies and techniques in formulation of area development strategies, through a conglomeration of academic and research institutions. The programme aims at developing and demonstrating the use of spatial decision support tools for integrated planning and management of resources at district and sub-district levels. Under the NRDMS, the thrust is on development, demonstration, application and dissemination of Geographic Information System (GIS) based technology for addressing the needs of integrated local area development planning. 

Ever since the launch of the programme in 1982, efforts are being made to develop, utilize and upgrade the methodology of computer based database creation on natural resources, demography, socio-economy and infrastructure sectors. Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) in water, energy, infrastructure & landuse are being developed. To gain insight into the data requirement and flow mechanisms and test the decision support modules at the district level, several district GIS centres have been setup with the approval of the respective state governments on fund sharing basis in 10 states of India. Several workshops and trainings have been conducted for the user department officials and other potential end user community from time to time with the objective of familiarizing them on the usefulness of databased approach. Research and development is being continued to upgrade the methodology and technology of data collection, analysis and information generation. Upgradation of GIS software, improved procedures in data collection and database development, sectoral SDSS development (water, landuse, energy & infrastructure), small watershed hydrology, groundwater assessment, Himalayan ecology, SAR interferometry and landslide studies were some of the research areas that were supported in the IX plan period.