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Supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the National Centre for Geodesy (NCG) had become operational at IIT Kanpur from 1st July 2019. The complete facilities and infrastructure of the center was inaugurated on 16th September 2021 during the 2nd PMMC (Project Monitoring and Management Committee) meeting. The center is now fully operational with the state-of-the-art equipment and resources with Prof. Onkar Dikshit, from the Department of Civil Engineering as its Coordinator and is supported by the vast experience of Maj. Gen.(Dr.) B. Nagarajan (Chairman, National Geodesy Programme) and the expertise of Prof. Balaji Devaraju.
The objective of NCG is to nucleate and strengthen education, capacity building, and R&D activities in the field of Geodesy, by conducting state-of-the-art research and development activities, organizing outreach activities, and by acting as the National Centre for extensive support to students and researchers working in the area of Geodesy through regular training programmes, fellowships, etc. With the mandate of producing well-trained human resources and providing state-of- the-art facilities, NCG is actively involved in organizing training and research activities in the field of Geodesy and has recently launched a new specialization course DIIT for working professionals.
The Centre’s research activities include geodetic techniques for polar motion studies and in the determination of earth rotation parameters, determination of precise gravity field using satellite gravity missions such as GRACE, GOCE, CHAMP, etc. It also extends training, laboratory and resource support for students and researchers from other universities and institutions, and also advises state/central government departments on various Geodesy related issues. NCG has initiated activities on geodetic infrastructure developments, research and development, short and long-term training programs, and establishment of Geodesy consortium.
As a step forward, NCG has now proposed setting up regional centers for Geodesy (RCG) at institutions working in the area of Geodesy and relevant disciplines. The primary objectives of the RCG will be to work in tandem with the NCG towards spreading education on the subject of Geodesy, capacity building, conducting state-of-the-art research and development activities. Various activities of the NCG and the proposal to set up various RCGs were discussed in the second PMMC meeting which was attended by PadmaShri Dr. V. P. Dimri, Former Director NGRI (Chairman), Dr. P.S. Acharya (Head NGP and NSDI, DST), Dr. D. Dutta and Dr A. K. Singh (senior officials from DST), Dr. V. K. Dadhwal (former Director Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology), Dr. P. K. Garg (IIT Roorkee), Dr. Dheeraj Kumar (IIT-ISM),and Dr. Rajiv Srivastava (Survey of India).
Prof. Onkar Dikshit expressed his sincere gratitude towards the generous support provided by the Department of Science and Technology and IIT Kanpur, which helped in setting up the infrastructure and facilities for the center.
Dr. P.S. Acharya emphasized that in addition to capacity building in the area, NCG activities should also take up various issues affecting common man and society such as climate studies.
Dr. D. Dutta suggested NCG should act as the nucleus for capacity building and R&D in Geodesy which will contribute to the key component of achieving precise positioning for miscellaneous societal applications and for achieving the target of 5 trillion-dollar economy as mentioned by the Prime Minister.
Maj. Gen. (Dr.) B Nagarajan expressed his gratitude towards the Department of Science and Technology and IIT Kanpur. He said that various students and researchers at the center have started their research work in the area of Geodesy, and the center is now focused towards coming up with productive research and development activities in Geodesy.
Dr. V. P. Dimri –NCG must ensure that there is regular sharing and archiving of the data from RCGs should be openly available to the users for various applications.
Dr. V. K. Dadhwal –An essential step would be developing a geodetic reference framework for India and involving other institutions and organizations in finalizing and sustaining the same.
Dr. P.K. Garg –He congratulated NCG for the excellent progress even during the hard times of Covid. He suggested supporting internship program for students in Geodesy research work.
Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur emphasized that Geodesy is an important upcoming emerging area and IIT Kanpur is happy to host the center and to become a national resource center for advancing state-of-the-art knowledge in this area.