Dr. Shibendu Shankar Ray, an outstanding Indian Agricultural Physicist, was recently lost to COVID-19. IEEE GRSS Bangalore section has updated his most recent IEEE GRSS webinar to include his obituary.
Abstract: Agriculture is a major component of the Indian economy. With around 43 percent of the geographical area coverage, agriculture contributes 17 percent to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the country and employs more than half of the working population of the country. Improving food security and doubling farmers’ income are the major goals of the nation. Technology is a major enabler for achieving these goals. Guided by the vision of Vikram Sarabhai, India has a vibrant end-to-end earth observation program, aimed at national development. Starting from the first operational remote sensing (RS) satellite IRS 1A in March 1988, the country has launched many earth-observation (EO) satellites that have been used for various natural resources management applications, with major emphasis on agriculture and food security. Operational large agricultural applications include crop production forecasting, drought assessment, cropping system analysis, horticultural assessment and development, crop intensification, site suitability analysis, satellite agro-meteorology, precision farming, crop insurance, etc. The EO data is not only being used for national and regional level planning purposes, but also for field-level applications, touching the livelihood of farmers. This presentation will discuss these applications, along with the gap areas in earth observation and the way forward.