Who’s Who

Founder Chairperson

Biswajit Roy Chowdhury

Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, faculty member in the Department of Geography of Vidyasagar College (affiliated to University of Calcutta), Kolkata and the founder Chairman of South Asian Institute for Advanced Research and Development (SAIARD), Radhanath Sikdar Institute of Geospatial Science and Technology (RSIGST) and Centre for River Affairs (CRA), has obtained his master’s degree in Geography from Calcutta University in the year 2008 with a specialization in urban and transport geography. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from UN Rescue Services, Nigeria. Along with teaching, he has engaged in several academic and administrative activities and acted as a Steering Committee member in G-20 India. He has significantly contributed in
the field of urban and river studies has been published several research
papers in different national and international journals and he wrote 11 books,
out of which 7 books were published by the School Education Dept., Govt. of
West Bengal. He was awarded the Junior Scientist of the Year 2017 Award
& Young Innovator Award 2018 and has obtained life memberships of some reputed organizations like INCA, ISCA, IIPA, IMS etc.  

Co-Founder & Research Director

Dr. Aparna Bera Roy Chowdhury

With a profound commitment to advancing geospatial science and technology, Dr. Chowdhury has significantly contributed to the fields of climate change research, urban systems analysis, and geospatial education. Her leadership at SAIARD and RSIGST reflects a strategic vision aimed at integrating geospatial technology into various sectors, including transportation, national security, and smart farming. Dr. Chowdhury’s work is particularly noted for its emphasis on societal impacts and climate mitigation solutions, showcasing her dedication to addressing critical global challenges through innovative research. Her work in creating a geospatial database for the Sundarban Delta region underscores her commitment to environmental conservation and resilience planning. Through her leadership and innovative research, Dr.Aparna Bera Roy Chowdhury continues to inspire and drive advancements in geospatial science, contributing to the sustainable development and resilience of South Asian regions.

Executive Director

Dr. Debiprosad Duari

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop

Senior Advisor

Dr. Parth Sarathi Roy

With over 40 years of work experience, Dr. Roy is passionate and dedicated stalwarts in the geospatial domain As a Director of Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), ISRO, Govt of India, he was involved in several projects and initiatives that aim to promote restoration, conservation, and management of natural resources in India and beyond. The development of the National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS), the Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL), and the National REDD+ Strategy for India, as well as the Global Forest Watch (GFW) platform etc. are some ground breaking examples of his work. During his tenure he also has been leading the South Asia Regional Initiative on Forest Landscape Restoration (SAFRI), which seeks to catalyze and scale up forest landscape restoration across eight countries in the region. As a pioneer in geospatial technology sector, he is passionate in generating and disseminating information on natural resources, land use, and climate change, and to support evidence-based decision making for sustainable development. 

Senior Advisor

Dr. Debarpriya Dutta

Dr. Debapriya Dutta is a renowned Indian scientist with a Ph.D. from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute. He has held various positions, including Scientist at the Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Senior Scientific Officer-I at the Natural Resources Data Management System Division, Counsellor at the Embassy of India, Director of the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research, Head and Adviser/Scientist in SEED, State Science and Technology Programme, and National Geospatial Programme, and Chancellor of Mall Reddy University. Dutta has also served as the Chairman of the Geospatial Information Standard Group of the Bureau of Indian Standards. He has also held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Geo-Information Management from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation and a Senior Professional Research Fellowship on Groundwater Governance from the International Water Management Institute. His research interests include the application of Geoinformatics for Natural Resources Management, watershed management technologies, geo-information management, rural development, and international S&T cooperation.

Senior Advisor

Dr. S.P. Aggarwal

Dr. Shiv Prasad Aggarwal, born on December 15, 1966, is the Director of the North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) since September 2021. He earned his B. Tech. from Allahabad University, and postgraduate and Ph.D. degrees from IARI, New Delhi, with post-doctoral research from ITC/IHE, The Netherlands. With extensive experience in Remote Sensing and GIS, he previously led the Water Resources Department at IIRS, ISRO, Dehradun. Dr. Aggarwal has made significant contributions to hydrological modeling, disaster management, and climate change impact assessment, and has played a key role in capacity building through the United Nations-affiliated CSSTEAP. He is the President of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) and has received numerous awards, including the National Geospatial Award for Excellence (2018) and the National Award for e-Governance (2022). He is a Fellow of several professional societies and has over 170 research publications.

Senior Advisor

Mr. Nirmalendu Kumar

Nirmalendu Kumar is Additional Surveyor General, Northern zone, Chandigarh, in Survey of India. My responsibility is now the overall management of all the departmental and non-departmental mapping and surveying operations, pertaining to the areas of Rajasthan, UP, Delhi, Uttrakhand, Panjab, Haryana, Himachal, JK and Ladakh. He is also pursuing his PhD from Civil Engineering department of IIT Delhi . He has completed his M Tech from J N T University, Hyderabad and Master degree in geo-information management from I T C, The Netherlands. He has also worked as a Director in National Spatial Data Infrastructure(NSDI) on deputation basis and has assisted CEO, NSDI, Dr R Siva Kumar and Shri P S Acharya, CEO NSDI and Head (TWF)/ Associate Head (NRDMS-NSDI)/ and Coordinator (MMGA) of DST in administrative and technical matters. Earlier he was in Delhi State Spatial Data Infrastructure (DSSDI) , 3 D GIS project of Delhi, since its inception and assisted the Project Director in its planning and execution. Basically, he is a core mapping and surveying professional and has over 30 years of experience in spatial technologies viz. GIS , photogrammetry, Remote sensing and GPS. He has experience in Systems Conceptualization and Design for Spatial Data Infrastructures, including standards development, network design, database design and schemas, applications development. He has published over 10 technical papers on GIS, geo-information management in various conferences/journals.

Senior Fellow

Dr. Arvind Varshney

Arvind Varshney is an accomplished urban researcher with over 25 years of experience in designing and analyzing the built environment and urban services. His work focuses on creating innovative, evidence-based strategies to combat climate change, promoting sustainable and resilient urban outcomes. Varshney advocates for monetizing research to ensure financial sustainability, allowing for unbiased findings that can be translated into practical solutions benefiting society. He has received numerous awards and grants, including the Best Research Paper award at the National Summit of Academia-Industry Interface for Smart Cities, and recognition from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). His diverse experience spans the private sector, government, and academia, enhancing his ability to effectively communicate and deliver to various stakeholders. Varshney’s roles have included leading complex problem-solving initiatives, developing innovative urban solutions, and holding teaching and research positions at the University of New South Wales.

Research Professor

Mr. Shahid Gulzar

Shahid Gulzar is a highly regarded Senior scientist cum Research Professor at RSIGST, known for his profound expertise in geospatial science. With dual master’s degrees in Geospatial Applications and Geography, along with certifications in Diploma in Computer Application and Geospatial Applications in Rural Development, Shahid has played a pivotal role in advancing the institute’s research initiatives and educational programs. His work at RSIGST is distinguished by a robust emphasis on the practical application of geospatial technologies to address real-world challenges. Shahid’s expertise spans various domains, including climate change monitoring, agriculture, and rural development. He is deeply involved in projects leveraging GIS and remote sensing technologies to tackle critical issues such as integrated rural energy planning and climate-resilient agriculture. Shahid serves as a Humanitarian Mapper and UN Mappers training Coordinator, reflecting his commitment to utilizing geospatial tools for humanitarian purposes. He is recognized for his dedication to integrating cutting-edge geospatial methods into academic curricula, equipping students with the skills necessary to confront contemporary challenges. His research contributions have significantly enhanced the scientific understanding of geospatial phenomena and provided practical solutions for sustainable development. Shahid has published several research papers in esteemed national and international journals, contributing to the fields of Climate Change, rural geoinformatics, and agriculture studies. Some of his recent publications include Geospatial Technology for Hydroponics Horticulture Based Roof Top Farming in Cities, Apple Yield Prediction Mapping Using Machine Learning Techniques, Spatio-temporal analysis of glacial lakes of Western Himalayas. In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities, Shahid actively participates in national and international geospatial conferences, fostering collaboration between academia, industry, and government bodies. His unwavering commitment to advancing geospatial science and technology continues to make a significant impact on the field, aligning with RSIGST’s mission to be a leader in geospatial education and research.

Research Professor

Ms. Moonmoon Sen

As a distinguished research professor at RSIGST, Moonmoon Sen has made significant contributions to the field of geospatial as well as emerging technologies. Her research interests encompass a wide range of areas, including environmental monitoring, urban planning, and disaster management. Through her work, she has been instrumental in advancing the understanding of how geospatial technologies can be applied to address complex environmental and societal challenges. Ms. Sen is highly regarded for her innovative approach to integrating geospatial technologies into interdisciplinary research. She has led several minor projects that focus on the use of satellite imagery and spatial data to monitor and mitigate the impacts of climate change, assess natural hazards, and improve urban infrastructure planning. In addition to her research activities, Ms. Sen is committed to education and mentorship. She plays a vital role in developing the curriculum at RSIGST, ensuring that
students are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills in geospatial
science. Her dedication to teaching and mentorship has inspired many students
to pursue careers in this dynamic field. Ms. Sen is also active in the geospatial community, regularly participating in conferences and workshops to share her research findings and collaborate with other experts. Her contributions to RSIGST and the broader geospatial science community highlight her commitment to advancing the field and addressing critical global issues
through innovative research and education.

Senior Advisor (Industry & Corporate Affairs)

Mr. Saurabh Rai

Saurabh Rai, CEO of Arahas Technologies, is a visionary leader with over two decades of experience in Digital Transformation, AI/ML, and GIS technology. He has collaborated with major companies like Apple, Google, Meta, and HERE, and has consulted for companies across 25 countries. Saurabh’s deep expertise in geospatial technology has earned him prestigious accolades, including the Edison Award, GE Award, and British Cartographic Award for India. At Tech Mahindra BPS, he played a crucial role in establishing advanced platforms such as ‘SeeR’ and ‘Yantr.AI’. He also founded Surpluss.in, India’s first B2B2C e-commerce portal, demonstrating his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mindset. His contributions to the field are further evidenced by his US Patent and numerous industry awards. Saurabh’s vision and leadership continue to drive Arahas Technologies forward, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realms of Digital Transformation, AI/ML, and GIS technology.