Meghalaya CM Inaugurates GIS & UAV Centre

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma inaugurated a Geographic Information System (GIS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) centre at the state secretariat.

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

The GIS and UAV centre will help the state to use this technology to augment developmental planning across a range of sectors, the CM said after inaugurating the centre on Thursday.

He said several pilot projects have already been conducted in the state, demonstrating the wide range of capabilities this technology can bring. 

All externally aided projects such as World Bank funded and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported use GIS extensively in enabling holistic planning of project activities. 

"Drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have been used to map more than 150 landscapes at high resolution providing micro level data which is otherwise not possible with conventional satellite mapping. Recently, this application was used to accurately map disaster areas caused by heavy rains and flash floods in Garo hills and to document cultural landscapes of Living Root Bridges in the state's bid for UNESCO World Heritage Site," he said. 

UAVs were used to deliver medical aid to remote areas too and to disperse seeds over difficult terrain at a very cost-effective rate. 

The chief minister stated that these capabilities can also be applied to tackle a number of other issues such as traffic management, law and order, mapping of critical infrastructures, water bodies, forests, etc, adding that analytical ability of the technology will generate helpful insight for planning. 

Another area which this centre will fulfil is in building skilled human resources that are future ready. Currently, there is high demand for skilled GIS and UAV resources. 

This GIS and UAV centre has already begun an apprenticeship programme to train GIS personnel and UAV experts and pilots to make them job ready. 

The state is also in the process of setting up the two Remote Pilot Training Organization (RPTO) which will be the first in the state, to enable the training and certification of Drone pilot to obtain Drone Pilot license. 

"Given the demand, this will enable a number of local youth to be certified and generate employment in this field," a senior officer of the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority said.