ICAR short course on Digital soil mapping through geostatistical approaches using QGIS and R is being organized at ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur for a period of 10 days from 24 June to 3 July. The training programme was inaugurated on 24 June at Shami Bhavan of CAZRI, Jodhpur with the presence of Dr. R.P. Dhir, Ex-Director, CAZRI as chief guest and Dr. A.K. Mishra, Director (I/C), CAZRI as the chairman of the function. Scientists/Researchers/Professors from ICAR Institutes and SAUs from different parts of the country representing National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) are participating in the training programme. During the inaugural function, Dr. A.K. Mishra presented his views on the training programme and stressed upon the relevance of digital soil maps in present era and its potential in natural resource management. Er. D. Mishra, Head (I/c) of Division of Agricultural Engineering for Arid Production Systems welcomed the participants. Dr. P. Santra, Sr. Scientist ICAR-CAZRI Jodhpur the course Director of the training programme briefed about the course contents covering the topics on basics of geostatictics, semivariogram fitting and kriging in R through ‘gstat’ package, introduction to open source GIS e.g. QGIS and presentation of case studies on digital soil maps. In his chief guest address, Dr. R.P. Dhir presented an overview on soil mapping programme in the country starting from survey based mapping using topo sheets, aerial photographs, remote sensing images to the present day use of hyperspectral signatures of soil. Considering the availability of huge amount of digital data with very fine spatial resolution in recent times, he noted the ample scope of digital soil mapping in near future, however, he simultaneously mentioned the importance on suitable validation of digital products through field survey and ground truths. The inaugural programme was coordinated by Dr. N. R. Panwar, the course co-Director of the training programme. At the end of the inaugural programme, Dr. Mahesh Kumar, the course co-Director presented the vote of thanks.
(Source: ICAR-CAZRI, Jodhpur)