Mapping ISRO’s Projects to UN Sustainable Development Goals

For a background on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of space technology in their achievement, refer this article.

The Indian Space Program had always focused on missions that would directly impact the common man. Currently, ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organisation) Satellite Communication supports initiatives such as Tele‐education, Tele‐medicine, Village Resource Centre and Disaster Management
System Programmes. The Indian Remote Sensing information to the government for ensuring food
program security, provides key environment sustenance, natural resource management, disaster management among others. Additionally, it developed indigenous systems for ground based monitoring measurement of weather parameters, such as Automatic Weather Station, Agro Metrological (AGROMET), Flux Tower, Doppler Weather Rada, GPS Sonde and Boundary Layer LIDAR.

The following table maps the major national projects/initiatives of ISRO to UN SDGs.

UN SDG ISRO Programme Space Technology Used Benefits
#1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere Village Resource Centre (VRC) Satellite communication, imagery, positioning, meterological data 461 VRCs set up in 22 States/Union Territories and over 6500 programmes conducted addressing areas of Agriculture/horticulture development; Fisheries development; Live stock development; Water resources; Tele health care; Awareness programmes; Woman’s empowerment; Supplementary education; Computer literacy; Micro credit; Micro finance; Skill development / vocational training for livelihood support etc.
#2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture  

Agro Metrological (AGROMET)

 

ground based sensors with satellite meteorological data

 

Towers to measure soil temperature, soil moisture, soil heat and net radiation, wind speed, wind direction, pressure and humidity

Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) High resolution satellite imagery Ground reality is captured. Time stamping of Irrigation Infrastructure. Identification of critical gaps. Prioritisation of works. Compliance monitoring. Effective project implementation. Irrigation Potential Creation assessment
Coordinated programme on Horticulture Assessment & Management using geoinformatics (CHAMAN) medium resolution widefield multi-spectral and high resolution satellite imagery Horticultural policy decision on crop monitoring, domestic needs, pricing, processing, import/export, planning cold storage & agro-processing units. Planning for expansion and development. Support for crop insurance schemes. Crop intensification and diversification
#3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Tele-Medicine satellite communication, VSAT terminals  

Improved connectivity in remote and rural areas for healthcare services with access to Super-Specialist hospitals. Significant cost savings. Timely advice to save lives·Continuing Medical Education (CME) for Doctors, Medical Students and training to rural healthcare providers. Support to disaster relief

#4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all Tele-Education satellite communication, VSAT terminals Supplementing curriculum-based teaching. Effective teachers’ training. Access to quality resource persons and education. Taking education to every nook and corner of the country. About 15 million students get benefitted every year
#5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls Village Resource Centre (VRC) Satellite communication, imagery, positioning, meterological data 461 VRCs set up in 22 States/Union Territories and over 6500 programmes conducted addressing areas of Agriculture/horticulture development; Fisheries development; Live stock development; Water resources; Tele health care; Awareness programmes; Woman’s empowerment; Supplementary education; Computer literacy; Micro credit; Micro finance; Skill development / vocational training for livelihood support etc.
#6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all Integrated Watershed Management Project (IWMP High spatial and temporal resolution satellite imagery   Uniform evaluation of watershed development programme across the country using ortho-rectified highresolution satellite image database. Open source mapper tools for creation of future action plans using legacy/ multi-thematic layers. Prioritisation of target areas at national level and modeling of processes
Agro Metrological (AGROMET) ground based sensors with satellite meteorological data Towers to measure soil temperature, soil moisture, soil heat and net radiation, wind speed, wind direction, pressure and humidity
#7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all Smart Cities  high resolution and medium resolution multispectral satellite imagery  Existing Land use and infrastructure, Planning of City, Geospatial Governance for city good governance and civic services, Monitoring and enforcement, Real time city data analytics  
#8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all PFZ (Potential Fishing Zones) – Finding Fishes From Space coarse resolution multi-spectral satellite imagery, satellite positioning   

Direct benefit to society. Reduced search time, fuel cost and efforts. Increase in profi. Improved socio-economic status of fishermen community. 67% success rate in PFZ. Increase in Benefit-cost ratio (Non-PFZ to PFZ) – 1.27 to 2.12 for trawling & 1.3 to 2.14 for gillnetting 

#9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation  

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) and GAGAN (GPS Aided and GEO Augmented Navigation)

satellite communication, satellite positioning  Indigenous positioning service over the Indian Sub-continent 
 #10: Reduce inequality within and among countries GSAT-9 South Asia Satellite (Refer page 6) satellite communication   support communication, broadcasting and Internet services, disaster management, tele-medicine, tele-education, weather forecasting for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, The Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka 
 #11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable Space Based Information Support for Decentralized Planning High resolution multispectral satellite imagery Single Window interface for Decentralised Planning process at all three levels. Accessibility of portal to common citizen for effective participation in planning process. Accessibility of Climate data at Panchayat level. Automatic Report Generation covering various socio-economic, demographic, natural, climate and infrastructure information. Effective for decision making at Panchayat level under e-Governance 
Satcom based Disaster Management Support  satellite communication, VSAT terminals  Low-cost terminal to support search & rescue operations for fishermen; Providing meteorological sensor data collection for weather prediction; In-situ data collection and reporting for calibration and validation of sensors
Distress Alert & Early Warning satellite communication, VSAT terminals, satellite positioning  
Conservation of heritage sites high resolution satellite imagery Inventory of world heritage sites and nationally important monuments in the country and generation of Geo-spatial database using high resolution satellite data; Predictive Locational Modeling for siting prospective archaeological locations 
Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
high resolution and medium resolution multispectral satellite imagery  GIS Based Master Plan, Water Supply Systems, Sewerage, Septage, Storm Water Drainage, Urban Transport, Green Space and Parks, Reforms management & support, Capacity Building  
Smart Cities 
high resolution and medium resolution multispectral satellite imagery Existing Land use and infrastructure, Planning of City, Geospatial Governance for city good governance and civic services, Monitoring and enforcement, Real time city data analytics
#12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP)
High resolution satellite imagery Ground reality is captured. Time stamping of Irrigation Infrastructure. Identification of critical gaps. Prioritisation of works. Compliance monitoring. Effective project implementation. Irrigation Potential Creation assessment
#13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts Climate change Research In Terrestrial environment (PRACRITI) coarse and medium resolution multispectral satellite imagery Modeling Eco-hydrology of India and Impact of Climate Change; Alpine ecosystem dynamics and impact of climate change in Indian Himalaya; Bio-physical Characterization and Site Suitability Analysis for Indian Mangroves; Impact of Global Changes on Marine Ecosystems with special emphasis on Coral Reefs; Investigations of Indian monsoon teleconnection with the polar environment processes
Automatic Weather Station (AWS) satellite meteorological sensors to providing hourly information on critical weather parameters such as pressure, temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind and radiation from remote and inaccessible areas
Space Based Information Support for Decentralized Planning High resolution multispectral satellite imagery Single Window interface for Decentralised Planning process at all three levels. Accessibility of portal to common citizen for effective participation in planning process. Accessibility of Climate data at Panchayat level. Automatic Report Generation covering various socio-economic, demographic, natural, climate and infrastructure information. Effective for decision making at Panchayat level under e-Governance
#14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources PFZ (Potential Fishing Zones) – Finding Fishes From Space coarse resolution multi-spectral satellite imagery, satellite positioning   Direct benefit to society. Reduced search time, fuel cost and efforts. Increase in profi. Improved socio-economic status of fishermen community. 67% success rate in PFZ. Increase in Benefit-cost ratio (Non-PFZ to PFZ) – 1.27 to 2.12 for trawling & 1.3 to 2.14 for gillnetting
#15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss Integrated Watershed Management Project (IWMP High spatial and temporal resolution satellite imagery Uniform evaluation of watershed development programme across the country using ortho-rectified highresolution satellite image database. Open source mapper tools for creation of future action plans using legacy/ multi-thematic layers. Prioritisation of target areas at national level and modeling of processes
#16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies Space Based Information Support for Decentralized Planning High resolution multispectral satellite imagery Single Window interface for Decentralised Planning process at all three levels. Accessibility of portal to common citizen for effective participation in planning process. Accessibility of Climate data at Panchayat level. Automatic Report Generation covering various socio-economic, demographic, natural, climate and infrastructure information. Effective for decision making at Panchayat level under e-Governance
#17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development GSAT-9 South Asia Satellite (Refer page 6) satellite communication support communication, broadcasting and Internet services, disaster management, tele-medicine, tele-education, weather forecasting for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, The Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka

It is evident that ISRO’s national programmes are all designed to aid the government in achieving the development goals by 2030. However, the complete potential of ISRO’s technological prowess and dedication are yet to be unleashed. There is much that can be done in the design as well as implementation of these impressive national missions. My next articles will attempt a critical analysis on the ISRO approach to UN SDGs and suggest possible and feasible solutions suitable for the current Indian space scene.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply