Kalpana Chawla Chair on Geospatial Technology and our new OSGeo lab at PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh, India

It is my great pleasure to welcome PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh, India http://www.pec.ac.in/ as our new OSGeo lab. PEC University of Technology, formerly known as Punjab Engineering College, is an engineering institute located in the city of Chandigarh, India. Founded in 1921, it is one of the oldest educational institutes in India.I also really like the motto of PEC  (Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya) which in Sanskrit the meaning of which is “From darkness (of ignorance) lead us to Light (of Knowledge)”

Prof. Manoj Arora who is heading  as Director (Vice Chancellor), PEC University of Technology Chandigarh and Professor of Civil Engineering, IIT Roorkee (on lien)  where he is working as Professor in Remote Sensing in the department of Civil Engineering is the main force behind the establishment of OSGeo lab at PEC. He has also shared the good news that they now have partnered with Indian Railways to establish Kalpana Chawla Chair on Geospatial Technology at PEC.

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Kalpana Chawla [1] was an Indo-American astronaut and the first woman of Indian origin in space. She first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. In 2003, Chawla was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. She was a true global citizen working for the advancement of science for all, so it is fitting tribute that through PEC , one of our OSGeo labs will have chair in geospatial technologies established in her honour. I thank Dr Manoj Arora  and other colleagues who have worked hard to make this possible and Indian Railways for funding this chair.

Manoj has visited Nottingham University twice in recent time (though i couldnt meet him!) (June and Sept 2014 for a day each) as part of delegation from Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC)  http://crikc.puchd.ac.in     .  CRIKC is a cluster of 15 odd academic institutions and research institutions in Chandigarh with Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, as the Chairman. CRIKC has signed MoU with University of Nottingham to have academic collaboration in many different ways. I can see many research synergies in open geospatial esp. in Opencitysmart research that we will be able to able to explore in the future.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand
http://www.geoforall.org/

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalpana_Chawla

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