CoAST India | 26 May 2020

Why in News

Recently, India Observatory has come up with a Geographic Information System (GIS)-enabled dashboard called Collaboration/Covid Action Support Group (CoAST India) to monitor the movements of migrants.

Key Points

  • The CoAST India dashboard includes an India map, which reflects the movement of migrants in real time, often on foot, along with facilities and relief organisations on their routes.
  • It draws information from 55 organisations on the ground, mostly in villages.
  • The dashboard aims to make such data available to governments and small local civil society groups to be used for planning and providing assistance to migrants.
  • The dashboard has been made in collaboration with Foundation for Ecological Security (FES).
  • India Observatory was set up in December 2019, with FES. It focused on ecological issues about forests, water bodies, conservation, etc.
    • However, after Covid-19 broke out, it has decided to focus on the movements of people.
  • The National Disaster Management Authority has also developed ‘National Migrant Information System (NMIS)’ to maintain a central repository of migrant workers.

Geographic Information System

  • A GIS is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface.
  • By relating seemingly unrelated data, GIS can help individuals and organizations better understand spatial patterns and relationships.
  • GIS can use any information that includes location. The location can be expressed in many different ways, such as latitude and longitude, address, or ZIP code.
  • GIS can include data about people, such as population, income, or education level.
    • It can also include information about the sites of factories, farms, and schools, or storm drains, roads, and electric power lines etc.

India Observatory

  • It is India’s first socio, economic and ecological open-source integrated Geospatial data platform.
  • The observatory is designed to supplement local level decision making by village communities, Panchayats, NGOs and government officials.
  • It has the ‘India Data Platform’ at its core, which is built on open source and brings together data on over 1,600 parameters, ranging from village to national level in the form of maps, graphs, tables and infographics.
  • It is freely available for civil society organizations, students, government departments and citizens.

Foundation for Ecological Security

  • The Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) is a registered non-profit organisation based in Anand, Gujarat.
  • It works towards the ecological restoration and conservation of land and water resources in ecologically fragile, degraded and marginalised regions of the country.
  • It works with the concentrated and collective efforts of village communities.

Source: IE