‘Addressing concerns over natural resources crucial’

Harnessing technology to solve people’s problems is a noble goal: Kiran Kumar

The former chairman of ISRO A.S. Kiran Kumar has said that even as advanced technologies are emerging, society has a crucial responsibility of addressing issues concerning availability of natural resources.

Delivering the 70th and 71st convocation address of Karnatak University, Dharwad, through a virtual platform on Friday, he said that harnessing the potential of technology to solve the problems of the common man through innovative strategies is a noble goal to strive for.

Elaborating on the Indian Space research programme, he said that advances in satellite remote sensing, global navigation satellite system, geographic information system have now made it easier to integrate ecological, environmental and other issues for developing predictive models and providing effective decision support systems.

“Earth observation from space, along with other applications, is a cost-effective method for effective monitoring of environment and management of land, ocean and freshwater resources and also, providing essential data to decision-makers. Once converted into practical information, these data can be used to formulate policy and implement programmes at national, regional and international levels,” he said.

As the pandemic continued to affect people across the globe, technological solutions are helping monitor and control the spread of the disease. And, these aides are in fact lessening the load on the healthcare system, he said.

Mr. Kiran Kumar said that virtual platforms using videoconferencing and digital monitoring are becoming extremely handy and safe.

“The use of mobile payment applications and social media to collect real-time data about the location of people are enabling tracking and movement of carriers. Machine learning models are developed using this information towards predicting the transmission pattern of the virus. Smart technologies, like the Internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence, are being widely adopted to track and check the disease spread, manage payments, optimise medical supply and enforce restrictive measures,” he said.

The ISRO scientist said that the role of big data analytics is becoming crucial in developing real-time forecast and in helping health care professionals with decision-making based on profound database.

He urged students to make use of the wonderful opportunities available and technologies for gaining knowledge and putting them into practice to resolve issues affecting society.

Higher Education Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan asked students to shun inferiority complexes and develop positive thoughts to climb up the social and professional ladder. “The NEP-2020 is being brought in to empower students in honing skills and making them globally competent. The knowledge earned should be utilised for nation-building work,” he said.

Vice-Chancellor of the university K.B. Gudasi spoke about the achievements of Karnatak University.

On the occasion, Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot virtually presented Karnatak University Diamond Jubilee Professor Award to Tejraj M. Amminbhavi who has guided 46 research students.

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