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Ministry of Science & Technology

Survey of India Completes 250 years of Surveying and Mapping of The Country

Survey of India, the principal mapping agency of the country is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. It is the oldest scientific department in India and one of the oldest survey establishments in the world. Origin of the Survey of India is traced back to Year 1767, when Major James Rennell was appointed as the Surveyor General of Bengal.

Foundation for the scientific survey and mapping of the country was laid with ‘The Great Trignometric Survey (GTS)’ in 19th century, by noted surveyors Col. Lambton and Sir George Everest. These maps have played an invaluable role in the saga of India’s nation building and were pivotal in the foundation of almost all major developmental activities of the modern India.

Survey of India has played an indispensable pioneering role in understanding the country’s priorities in growth and Defense.

In order to mark this once-in-a-lifetime event, Survey of India is organizing year-long series of events to showcase the invaluable contributions made by great predecessors and to look forward to a new era of geospatial evolution which would facilitate India to achieve future economic milestones along with Sustainable Development Goals.

Further this would also offer an occasion to celebrate and recognize the larger value of great institutional history of Survey of India and demonstrate its capabilities, achievements and contributions in nation building. It would also be a very fitting gratitude to thousands and lakhs of Surveyors who have contributed against all odds with the determination and missionary zeal to map the country and provide topographical unity to India. This event also provides a good opportunity to showcase the historical value of Survey of India to common people and also demonstrate its immense potential in simplest form to stakeholder’s entities prevailing in public, private and civil society’s domain.

The historic journey of Survey of India dates back to eighteenth century. It is a story of great adventure and high devotion to the cause of exploration under extremely trying conditions, requiring not only a high order of professional competence but many of those qualities of the head and heart which enable successful completion of difficult task.

Fore-runners of army of the East India Company and Surveyors had an onerous task of exploring the unknown. Bit by bit the tapestry of Indian terrain was completed by the painstaking efforts of a distinguished line of Surveyors such as Mr. Lambton and Sir George Everest.

Looking back at the magnitude of the task accomplished, the courage and foresight of these pioneer Surveyors is admirable. It will be quite an ideal and appropriate platform for Survey of India to showcase its technical strength and achievements of the past 250 years, starting from Great Trigonometric Survey of 1802 to computation of height of Mount Everest in 1849 and many more.

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