The Digital University Kerala (DUK) and Esri India, world’s leading Geographic Information System (GIS) software and solutions provider, have entered into an agreement to set up Esri India Centre of Competence at the DUK campus to address the growing demand of trained manpower in the Geospatial sector in the country.
As per the memorandum of understanding (MoU), which was signed by Dr Saji Gopinath, Vice Chancellor, DUK, and Agendra Kumar, Managing Director, Esri India, in a virtual event held on Friday, the Centre of Competence will facilitate in enhanced research, innovation and solutions in the field of Geospatial technology, one of fastest growing sectors in the world.
Through this unique collaboration, the DUK and Esri India aim to integrate GIS into mainstream courses of DUK such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, Geospatial Analytics, Geo-informatics, Agri-informatics, and various Engineering disciplines.
The Centre of Competence will take initiatives to conduct regular capsule and skill development programs for students, research scholars and faculty, joint certification programs and webinars on relevant areas of Geospatial technologies. Association with Esri India will also open internship opportunities for eligible students of DUK.
Esri India will provide support in setting up a GIS infrastructure in DUK campus which includes GIS campus site licences, installation support for latest software upgrades, flexible deployment of software and online technical assistance.
“Demand for Geospatial solutions are increasing exponentially and there is an urgent need to develop a large number of quality professionals with state-of-the-art knowledge and industry practices to address this. By associating with Esri, DUK will be able to offer more programs that could effectively transform the students with various backgrounds such as Earth Science, Environmental Science, Life Sciences and Agriculture etc. to develop as high-quality geospatial professionals. The infrastructure that will be established under this collaboration will enable creation of technology solutions and development of programs in areas like Natural Resources Management, Agriculture, Disaster Management, Climate resilience, Urban Planning, etc,” said Dr. Saji Gopinath, VC, DUK.
Agendra Kumar, MD, Esri India, said, “We at Esri India, are extremely delighted to sign this MoU with Digital University of Kerala (DUK). With the growing importance of GIS in economic growth, there is a need for geospatial literacy amongst students of different streams. Esri India Center of Competence will provide this opportunity to students of DUK to acquire the most advanced GIS technology skills. GIS skills when clubbed with other new emerging technologies like AI/ML, Big Data, 3D, AR/VR, Reality Capture, Data Science, Cloud Computing, etc. can create a strong differentiation and increase employability. This initiative will empower the students to practice and apply spatial thinking while they pursue their learning and careers in respective streams.”
Dr. Elizabeth Sherly, Dean (Academic), Dr. Asharaf S, Dean (R&D), Dr. A.P. James, Associate Dean (Academic), Dr Joseph Suresh Paul, Dean (HRD), Dr. T. K. Manoj Kumar, Chair, School of Digital Sciences, Radhakrishnan T, Assistant Professor and Coordinator (Geospatial Analytics) and P Suresh Babu, Registrar, attended the MoU signing. From Esri India’s side, Vishal Anand, Senior Vice President, Dwaipayan Dighal, Industry Manager, Dinesh Rao, Regional Sales Manager, and Preety Malik, Senior Regional Sales Manager participated.