Member Secretary​

Dr. MukundRao

​​Dr. Mukund Kadursrinivas Rao

Rao ( has MSc Geology, MPhil in RS and GIS and PhD in RS and GIS. Dr Rao has ~38 years of unique government/industry/research experience in Earth Observation (EO), Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and space technology and applications. Presently, he leads the NIAS Centre for Spatial Analytics and Advanced GIS (C-SAG) and is also Adjunct Professor of National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

For 24 years, Dr Rao has served ISRO in shaping the Indian Remote Sensing and National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) programme and has led development of number of EO/GIS applications for national developmental sectors – Natural Resources Information System (NRIS), National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), National Urban Information System (NUIS) and National GIS. He has led defining national policies for EO and for National GIS. Later, for 6 years, Dr. Rao has led GIS industry to develop a variety of enterprise GIS solutions and image applications for projects in USA, Singapore, Middle-East, Japan and India. He was instrumental in the design and implementation of Delhi state SDI, India's NSDI metadata portal and many other unique applications. Dr Rao provided leadership to a global GIS technology in India and has worked for integration of GIS/GPS with satellite communications. For 4 years, Dr Rao has been into consulting for Indian government entities, Indian/international industry and academic organisations - Dr Rao consulted for Planning Commission and served as Member-Secretary of the National GIS core group and steered the definition of National GIS vision. Dr. Rao conceptualized and designed the Karnataka-GIS for Karnataka Jnana Aayoga and steered its design and implementation for Government of Karnataka. Dr Rao is closely associated with NIAS – where he is working on Space Policy studies; space technology assessment; in defining GIS Standards and pursuing "UAS technology and policy" evaluation studies.

In 2017, Dr Rao has taken up the mantle of Chief Executive of NIAS C-SAG and is instrumental of developing a plot-level Agri-GIS solution for Tata Trusts in Odisha. Dr. Rao was the founding and first President of the international GSDI during 2002-2004. He has been intensely active in international EO, GIS and Space fora - CEOS, IAF, IAA, ISPRS, GSDI, UN-COPUOS, UN-CSSTEAP, IISL and many others. Dr Rao has 240+ publications and is recognized for Excellence Award by the Union of Geospatial Information Technology (UGIT) in Kandy in 2018; as "GIS HERO" in ArcNews ( in Winter/2010 issue; GIS Professional of 2009 Award at the Map India, 2010 Conference; National Geospatial Award for Excellence in Spatial Technology of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) in 2009; Exemplary Service Medal from international Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) association in 2009 and Hari Om Ashram's Vikram Sarabhai Young Scientist Award in the area of "Systems Analysis and Management" in 2002. 

In August, 2014, Government of Karnataka nominated Dr Rao to serve as Member-Secretary of Karnataka Jnana Aayoga (KJA) and in past 5 years he has steered the activities of KJA - specifically led preparing and submitting important recommendations to Government of Karnataka on Karnataka-GIS, Education, Health, UAS technology and Applications, Machine Intelligence and Robotics, Cybersecurity, Water Management, Big Data and has coordinated many other key KJA actions.​

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