Remote Sensing and GIS for rural development

By Prof. Pennan Chinnasamy   |   IIT Bombay
Learners enrolled: 399
India, being an agrarian nation, has a vast majority population living in rural areas. Development of rural areas is a difficult task due to the complex heterogeneity of the rural landscape and social economic and ecological conditions, and observation data is limited due to cost and logistical factors. Geospatial technologies including Remote Sensing and GIS (RS & GIS) have tremendous potential in the development of rural areas due to its ability in handling large amounts of data, conducting spatial analysis over large areas, and decision-making in a comprehensive and timely manner.

The course is aimed to create the required skill set for working professionals, students, and academicians for addressing the challenges in rural development using free open-source software (e.g. QGIS). The topics covers basic principles of RS & GIS and subsequently selected applications of geospatial technology in priority areas including; agriculture, water management, soil conservation, disaster management, and monitoring of rural development initiatives.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:Students in Civil Engineering, Rural Development, Earth Science, Geology and Rural development departments

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: All government agencies/departments related to rural development, water resources, agriculture, soil conservation and disaster management. CSR initiatives of PSUs and the private sector.
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 23 Jan 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST
Enrollment Ends : 30 Jan 2023
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
  • Earth Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction to rural development; concepts, issues, and linkages to water and food security
Week 2: Introduction to geospatial technology (RS&GIS) and its importance in rural development
Week 3: Introduction to open-source software for RS& GIS applications
Week 4: Introduction to GIS Part -I (Operations on vector data sets)
Week 5: Introduction to GIS Part -II (Operations on raster data sets)
Week 6: Digital remote sensing image processing Part -I (Georeferencing of map data, cartographic maps, shape file creation)
Week 7: Digital remote sensing image processing Part -II (Digital elevation model, land use land cover change analysis)
Week 8: RS & GIS for rural water resources management – (surface water management, groundwater management)
Week 9: RS & GIS for agriculture and soil management (farm linkages, irrigation, crop management, and mapping of storage infrastructure)
Week 10: RS & GIS application for rural healthcare, education, connectivity, and communication
Week 11: RS & GIS for impact assessment of government rural development schemes
Week 12: Applications and examples of RS & GIS for rural development: Selected case studies

Books and references

Field notes from instructor

Instructor bio

Prof. Pennan Chinnasamy

IIT Bombay
Pennan Chinnasamy obtained his Masters degree in Physics from Wesleyan University, Connecticut - US, followed by a doctoral degree, with focus on hydrology, from University of Missouri, US. After his Research fellow position with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), he joined the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) as a Researcher (Geohydrology and Remote Sensing), and was stationed in Nepal and Indian offices, where he focused on climate change impacts on under developed and developing nations. He then joined Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, as a Senior Researcher developing real time flood predicting models for Singapore. He is currently an Assistant Professor with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay - India, under the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA) department, where his work primarily focuses on natural resources assessment, monitoring and management in rural regions. He is the founding director of the Rural Data Research and Analysis (RuDRA) lab, which is the first Big data lab for rural regions, housed in an academic institution in India. He is also an associate faculty with the Interdisciplinary Climate Program and Policy Study Centre in IITB. Pennan is also a visiting professor with University of Oulu, Finland. Over the past decade, Pennan has experience working in NGOs, national and regional government agencies and academic institutions, focusing on sustainable surface and groundwater management plans, climate change impacts, large data analysis and hydrological simulation models. His work has been recognized in many internationally peer reviewed journals, policy briefs and government reports (e.g. EPA, NEA- Nepal, World Bank, Asian Development Bank) and are being used to formulate scientifically validated best management plans.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 29 April 2023  Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Bombay .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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