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The Natural Resources Census (NRC) project aims at generation of a set of thematic maps through systematic inventory & mapping using Resourcesat data and creation of GIS database of the same for the whole country. The project uses IRS images (55m, 23m & 5.8m) to prepare natural resources information layers viz., land use/land cover, soil, land degradation, wetlands, vegetation, snow & glaciers, geomorphology at 1:50,000 scale and land use/land cover at 1:250,000 scale, periodically for monitoring the natural resources.

Under NRC, rapid National level landuse/ landcover mapping on 1:250,000 scale using multi-temporal IRS AWiFS data using digital techniques has been completed successfully consequently for the fifth year (2008-2009) and accordingly the land use/land cover map of the country and interim report has been generated. The net sown area (NSA) during 2007-08 was found to be 139.72 mha comprising 43% of the total geographical area. The statistics are compared with 2006-07. It is found that NSA is marginally reduced from 140.24 Mha to 139.72 Mha. Land use/ land cover (LU/LC) mapping at 1:250,000 scale using IRS AWiFS data for the 5th cycle (2008-09) has been completed recently.

The 1st cycle of the nation-wide land use/ land cover mapping at 1:50,000 scale using IRS data has been completed for the country (except for Jammu & Kashmir). Spatial database organization and generation of seamless database for entire country is in progress. Land degradation mapping at national level on 1:50,000 scale using IRS data has been completed for 70% of the geographical area of the country.

Nationwide geomorphological and lineament mapping has been initiated on 1:50,000 scale using LISS-III data jointly with GSI. A genetic based classification system will be adopted with around 360 landforms units classified under 8 genetic classes. The project is planned to be executed in 3 year time frame.

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