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Prof Milap Punia

Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences

Milap Punia is professor of geography at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences and concurrent faculty to Special Centre for the Disaster Research, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He is specialized in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS). He worked as scientist in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Division, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing-Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and adjunct faculty to Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (Affiliated to the UN), Dehradun, India. He was awarded C. V Raman fellowship to carry out post-doctoral research work on urban studies from School of Forestry and Environment Studies, Yale University, USA. His areas of research include urban studies, spatial data analysis for urban planning and regional development; sustainability studies, land use change, disaster management, spatial aspects of governance and to bridge research gap between social sciences and geospatial discipline. He had completed many international research projects, namely Subaltern Urbanization funded by ANR France, Remapping of Global South funded by DAAD, Ecosystem services and alleviation of poverty funded by ESRC, UK and in collaboration University of Sussex, UK; and national projects, namely Snow spectral properties and Regional Climate funded by DST, Spatial Governance of Decentralised Local Bodies funded by ICSSR. He had published two books: Marginalisation in Globalizing Delhi: Issues of Land, Livelihoods and Health and Development and Disaster Management: A study of the Northeastern States of India. He has more than 60 research papers in the reputed international and national journals. He held administrative positions of Chairman campus development committee and was recently Director Admissions, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and part of various academic bodies of University Grants Commission (UGC), Indian Council of Social Sciences Research (ICSSR) and Department of Science and Technology.

During the recent years, he has undertaken important research studies on inclusive agricultural growth, stagnation in crop productivity, agrarian change and farm sector distress, pre and post harvest losses, agricultural market reforms, impact evaluation of National Agriculture Development Programme, impact evaluation of Soil Micronutrients Programme, peri-urban agriculture and comparative advantage in export of agro-processed products.

Abstract of Speech

Remote sensing capabilities developed over period of time in terms of resolution (spatial, temporal & radiometric), information extraction, applications and into public policy integration. Spatial governance enabling citizens’ partnership, participation of society is the current academic trend that can facilitate development and human wellbeing. To achieve desired governance, integration of various technologies is taking place and there is ample opportunity to engage interdisciplinary approaches and scholars. This work would briefly focus on applications of remote sensing in social flagship schemes of Government of India which impacted the society on a large scale. Schemes are National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP), Pradhan MantriGraminSadakYojana (PMGSY), SwachhataAbhiyan (Sanitation programme), Smart Cities initiative and urban development, Pradhan MantriAwasYojana (PMAY) and others. There is huge opportunity to further engage society to adhere for global frameworks deadlines like SDG’s and Sendai goals for disaster risk reduction and community resilience.

Remote sensing coupled with strong theoretical and practical knowledge on ‘Spatial thinking’ have huge potential for regional development through evidence based quantitative data analysis and assessment.