Adopt GIS for planning, monitoring development: Knowledge panel

Commission suggests separate law to provide services to citizens

The Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC) on Wednesday recommended to the Karnataka government to adopt the Karnataka Geographic Information System (K-GIS) for spatial planning, area-based development assessment and goal-based performance monitoring.

In its final set of recommendations submitted to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, the commission, headed by former Isro Chairperson K Kasturirangan, stated that the K-GIS would be useful for scientific and rational developments in various sectors like agriculture, infrastructure, rural development, urban areas, health, education and industrial development.

The department of IT-BT, Science and Technology should implement the K-GIS in a mission mode so that the GIS data and applications are made available to all other government departments and citizens.

The government should enact a separate legislation for providing the K-GIS-based services to citizens, the commission stated.

Besides, the commission recommended amendment and overhaul of the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000, to enable separation of unitary and affiliation system, encourage research and innovations, removal of geographical restrictions, flexibility and freedom to students and representation for students in university and college affairs.

The commission said the government need to set up Karnataka student scholarship and loan authority to co-ordinate, disburse and manage scholarships and loans to students who pursue higher education in the State.

It also recommended establishment of an independent academy for all issues pertaining to teachers like recruitment, foundation/induction training, periodic capacity-building, assessment, professional development, ethics, accountability, research and database.

The commission also called for increasing public spending on drugs from seven per cent to 15 per cent of the government expenditure on health care. This would substantially increase the availability of free essential medicines and likely  avoid scarcity in public health facilities, the commission stated.

An urban primary health policy with a focus on multi-sectoral services through primary healthcare approach is needed to reach out to the urban poor and marginalised section.
An efficient and reliable medicine supply systems, reconfiguration of medicine procurement and supply chain system through a centralised procurement and decentralised distribution model were also recommended.

89 recommendations

Speaking after submitting the recommendations, Kasturirangan said the recommendations are aimed at making the State knowledge-vibrant. The commission has so far made 89 recommendations to the government.

Shettar said the State government would take measures  to implement all the recommendations.

So far, 12 recommendations have been implemented and others are in various stages of implementation, Shettar added.

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