ISRO launches customized training program for Bhutanese satellite data analysts

The training will benefit in areas of disaster management, resource mapping, and monitoring of various indices concerned with the country’s terrestrial environment

STAFF REPORTER | Thimphu

A customized training program on satellite data analysis for Bhutanese officials was inaugurated by the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Department of Space, Somnath.

The virtual inauguration was done in presence of the Ambassador of India Ruchira Kamboj, Scientific Secretary ISRO Shantanu Bhatawdekar, and Directors of ISRO Centres on 6 May. Officials from Bhutan and the Ministry of External Affairs, India were also present.

A press release from the Indian Embassy stated that the objective of the unique month-long training program is to augment in-house capacity within Bhutan to receive, process, and analyze remote sensing data received from the INS-2TD, the technology demonstrator satellite which was launched on 14 February this year.

The training program will also equip participants to process the data received from the India-Bhutan joint satellite which is slated for launch this year.

Further, the training will benefit in areas of disaster management, resource mapping, and monitoring of various indices concerned with the country’s terrestrial environment.

The earth observation applications will be particularly useful to the agriculture, forest, and water management sectors.

A total of 21 Bhutanese officials, researchers, and space scientists from across seven government departments in Bhutan such as Agriculture, Forests and Park Services, Disaster Management, Human Settlement, Geology and Mines, Information Technology and Telecom as well as the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology are participating in the training program.

The training will cover both theoretical and practical modules. The sessions will also be conducted physically in Ahmedabad where Bhutanese officials will be given hands-on experience in python based data processing and analysis.

Space Technology is a promising new frontier of India-Bhutan cooperation. In accordance with the vision of His Majesty the King and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the India-Bhutan partnership envisions expanding on new and emerging areas in space technology.

The press release further stated that the India-Bhutan joint satellite project is in accordance with the GoI’s Neighbourhood First policy under which high priority is accorded to its relations with Bhutan.