BVIEER’s Geospatial Workshop To Promote Sustainability In Schools

Ms Aiman, a representative from Green Valley Educational Institute, receiving her participation certificate at the event.

 The Government of India has decided to liberalize the Geospatial Data sector to empower all the stakeholders including the private enterprises, reads the official website of UNWGIC.

By Farooq Shah

SRINAGAR- A three-day workshop on “Sustainability in Schools—A geospatial Approach” organized jointly by the Pune-based Bharati Vidyapeeth deemed University, Institute of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER) and the State Leadership Academy (SLA) of J&K State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) concluded at the auditorium of the S.P Higher Secondary School Srinagar here today.

Engagement Global, a German non-profit limited organization that provides organizational support to BVIEER, is a part of the event.

The workshop is a precursor to the second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC), which will take place in Hyderabad on 10-14 October, 2022, under the theme “Towards Geo-enabling the Global Village,” according to the organizers.

BVIEER also acts as a nodal agency in capacity building for geospatial technologies for the Department of Science and Technology (DST), government of India.

Vice-principal BVIEER, Prof Shamita Kumar said although more than 190 countries participate in the UNWGIC, which is essentially a government initiative, the Indian government wishes to highlight projects carried out by youth, civic society, and academic institutions that are in line with the SDGs.

Director School Education Kashmir, Dr Tasaduk Hussain and vice-Principal BVIEER, Prof Prof Shamita Kumar posing for a photo.

According to Ms Samruddhi Patwardhan, Program Officer, BVIEER, “this is a first in India initiative where spatial technology, which was being used by scientists at ISRO and other government authorities for various research activities, would be made available to students across the country to map initiatives around their school premises and communalities.”

The Government of India has decided to liberalize the Geospatial Data sector to empower all the stakeholders including the private enterprises, reads the official website of UNWGIC.

“This has been done in order to make the sector open to all the stakeholders of the Indian Geospatial Eco-system towards making the geospatial data a key currency of the domestic economy.”

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Dr. Ata-ul-Munim Tak, Personnel Officer, Directorate of School Education (DSEK), asserted that “sustainability, sustainable development, and spatial planning were intrinsically linked”.

According to Dr. Tak, “Spatial Integration” refers to the integration of multiple planning-relevant entities such as land uses, planning institutions, and stakeholders. It “expresses the potential for and degree of contact within and between sectors and may show the readiness to cooperate.”

In addition to Ms. Patwardhan, the BVIEER delegates included Dr Aravinth R. and Dr. Madhurima Dey, who emphasized that J&K should take the initiative on the issue and set an example for the rest of the country.

“We travelled to Orissa for the same purpose prior to this event and pleaded with the stakeholders to take the initiative seriously,” Ms Patwardshan added. “Students with the active assistance of our mentors should be able to map their initiatives, such as herbal gardens, fossil sites, forest areas, et al, in addition to keeping an eye on environmental degradation by establishing a trackable area using various applications supported by Google Earth.”

Ms. Patwardhan informed that at least five schools from J&K would be chosen for the UNWGIC event in Hyderabad where students would have finished their projects on sustainability.

The projects, she said, would be reviewed by a panel of international selectors before being showcased at the event.

“As a lot of government financing goes into these programs, we anticipate that the stakeholders, including the SCERT, would take the effort seriously,” said Ms. Patwardhan. “We shall anticipate a recurring feedback on the matter from the SCERT.”

According to Dr. Fayaz Ahmad, SLA Nodal Officer for J&K, 17 models have already been finished, and work is currently being done on a further 23.

“We’ll make sure that J&K students show up in force for the UNWGIC event,” he stated. “A group of our mentors will evaluate the projects already under our consideration and fix any issues they find.”

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