Dr Mukund Kadursrinivas Rao is an expert in space technology and applications – especially in Earth Observation (EO), Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and satellite communications. He has MSc Geology, MPhil in RS and GIS and PhD in RS and GIS. Dr Rao has ~35 years of unique government/industry/consulting experience in EO, GIS and space.
Dr Rao has served Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for 24 years and involved in shaping the Indian Remote Sensing programme – especially related to Earth Observation (EO) and GIS applications. He has provided leadership to various national EO/GIS programmes – village/district/state planning applications, urban planning and management applications, defining a unique Census of Natural Resources, establishing a nationwide-GIS in a Natural resources Repository and a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and many others. He has a key person that worked in defining national policies for EO and GIS. In more recent times, Dr Rao was the key person that defined and worked out the strategy and action plan for National GIS.
After 2005, Dr Rao has provided leadership to EO/GIS industry, as Chief Executive. He was instrumental in acquiring large GIS business in India and abroad through innovative solution projects – to develop Power-GIS applications, Municipal-GIS, OneMap of Singapore, enterprise GIS for Ras-Al Khaimah and Ajman Emirates in ME, Delhi state SDI, India’s GIS metadata portal and many others. He has led ESRI distribution activities in India and has also worked for design of unique applications that integrate GIS/GPS with satellite communications.
Dr Rao consults for Indian government entities and Indian/international industry in space technology and EO/GIS. He has helped design and in implementation of state-, nation-wide and many large EO/GIS projects in various countries and in states of India. He undertakes space technology and policy research studies at National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore and has several research reports on National GI Policy, Space Policy and National GIS Standards at NIAS.
Dr Rao has been nominated by Karnataka Government as the Member-Secretary of Karnataka Jnana Aayoga (KJA) – a “think-tank” like committee that works on knowledge interventions and innovations in Governance. He has personally steered several key recommendations for KJA – especially on Karnataka-GIS, Machine Intelligence and Robotics, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Karnataka State Education Policy and has coordinated several others.
Dr Rao was the founding and first President of the international Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association. He has been intensely active in international EO, GIS and Space fora – international Committee of EO Satellites; International Astronautical Federation; International Academy of Astronautics; United National; International institute of Space Law and many others. Dr Rao has been honored with many awards and has almost 240+ publications to his credit.
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