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Initiated in the year 1982, as a mission mode project, the Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS) strived to demonstrate the efficiency of computer based technologies for management of data on natural resources that is responsive to the needs of the modern management of data on natural resources that is responsive to the needs of the ,modern management practices for holistic planning at the district level.

When the country adopted 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments acts(1992), empowering the locally elected bodies of governance to participate in the process of drawing up the local area integrated development plans, the programme responded to strengthen this movement by initiating appropriate R & D activities in different academic and research institution of national repute, for development of data analyzing tools and methods for organizing a large matrix of sectoral data relating to natural resources, demography, socio-economy.

Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS) programme is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional R&D programme of the Department of Science and Technology, aimed at developing methodologies for building and promoting the use of spatial data management and analysis technologies in local area planning. In the context of NRDMS, any natural resource, which is important for local area development, is relevant for study. For developing necessary inputs for local planning strategies, NRDMS is supporting several academic and R & D Institutions with projects specially focusing towards the need of local level planning. Emphasis is being given on spatial data management and analysis technology for natural resources management to carry out R & D related to informatics especially the geo-informatics for finding solutions to local specific problems related to natural resources and provide necessary information to the planners to make objective decisions.

The current focus under NRDMS is on technological and institutional capacity building in a multi-level framework below the District level, so that people can plan their own development utilizing the local resources. In this respect NRDMS provides tools and techniques for assessing local level natural resources endowment, their utilization potential and generating alternative scenarios for development. NRDMS operates through District database centers as its hubs. Figure.1 gives the locations where NRDMS projects are in progress. 45 Pilot district centers are located in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Gujarat and North East Region. The goal is to develop a system of data sharing, data access and data use for solving locale -specific problems.

Through the programme, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India is aiming to provide scientific and technological inputs in the development planning process of the country from below ensuring ground reality that would improve the current situation of planning and ultimately the life of the people. 


Under NRDMS, thrust areas have been identified to promote research and development activities on different aspects of micro level planning. Academic institutions, research laboratories and voluntary scientific bodies are supported for undertaking area-specific case studies to develop and upgrade the practices and techniques of resource management and demonstrate their efficacy. Studies carried out over the past few years in different areas like land and water system analysis, watershed management, groundwater budgeting, energy planning, and landslides have contributed to the understanding of the complex task of drawing up sustainable development strategies for smaller area units.