SHILLONG, APR 17: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday said technology has been a very important factor for Meghalaya.
“We have always welcomed Technology and I am sure with this program, the collaboration and the use of space technology in all aspects of governance will also gain momentum,” Sangma said while addressing at the G20 meeting held in Shillong.
He informed that Meghalaya has a number of bilateral programs that are underway where different collaborations and programs with different nations are taking place namely the Smart Village Movement where we are working with the University of Berkeley, California to bring in technology to ensure the basic social services are implemented at the grassroot level and this program has been going on few years.
“We believe Technology can bring a breakthrough in education, health services, social services at the grassroot. We are working with France on projects to help different women Self Help Groups where we are working with different fabrics, textiles and ensure the natural fibers in our State can be globally used and ensure the women-led SHGs get a better market to showcase their work,” he said.
“We are hopeful that in the coming years with collaborations and bilateral relationships with all our G20 nations we are able to improve those strides not just for the state of Meghalaya but we strongly feel that the North East has not been able to contribute as much to the overall economy of the country as it potentially can and I am sure with the leadership of PM with the right policies and attention through this platform, North East and its immense potential, the kind of contribution that we can make not only to the country but to the G20 and help us move in the right direction,” he added.
Sangma said that NESAC which is the Northeast Space Agency that is working here from Shillong in the last few years’ space technology has played a huge role when it comes to overall socio economic policy making, decision making and different implementation of programmes that have been done by the State of Meghalaya and other States of Northeast.
“Meghalaya receives (almost) in certain areas 12,000 mm of rain annually. The kind of water that comes in is a great thing but is also a destructive force and hence, space technology has helped us to identify the weather conditions, of course a lot of improvement is required in the aspect because it is not only about the information but what do we do with the information is what is important,” he said adding that “the information that we receive allows us to prepare ourselves in a better manner, create the right policies and effective steps to control the damages because of floods.”
He further added, “In issue of flood control we have seen that space technology has helped us immensely to work in a systematic and scientific manner. The study of damages caused, what immediate actions need to be taken are available because of space technology.”
The chief minister said the entire North East being a bio-sensitive and bio-diverse region, space technology helps identify the areas and forest cover that we have and the different impacts taking place because of climate change is helping address the concerns and giving us real-time information so that the right policies and decisions can be implemented whether its decreasing forest covers, catchment areas and how to preserve them and all aspects of biodiversity.
“Space technology is really helping us and I am certain that many areas of concern in connectivity, trade and commerce and I am sure that more such socio-economic policy making and decision making happen as we move forward. As a state of Meghalaya, we have always believed in technology and we try our best to ensure that we use every technology available to ensure we provide the best services to the people of the State,” he said.
Further, he informed that Meghalaya has been one of the few states using drone technology in a strong manner not just for capturing footage and data but for delivering medical supplies and important lifesaving products to inaccessible areas.
“We are also among the few states that have gone very aggressively to implement e-governance and recently we have received an award in WSIS competition held by the United Nations where the e-Proposals project of Meghalaya was awarded as one of the best in the world,” he said.