of India, The National Survey and Mapping Organization of the country under the
Department of Science & Technology, is the OLDEST SCIENTIFIC DEPARTMENT OF THE
GOVT. OF INDIA. It was set up in 1767 and has evolved rich traditions over the
years. In its assigned role as the nation's Principal Mapping Agency, Survey of
India bears a special responsibility to ensure that the country's domain is
explored and mapped suitably, provide base maps for expeditious and integrated
development and ensure that all resources contribute with their full measure to
the progress, prosperity and security of our country now and for generations to
The history of the Survey of India dates back to the 18th Century.
Forerunners 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. It is a tribute to the foresight of such
Surveyors that at the time of independence the country inherited a survey
network built on scientific principles. The great Trigonometric series spanning
the country from North to South East to West are some of the best geodetic
control series available in the world. The scientific principles of surveying
have since been augmented by the latest technology to meet the multidisciplinary
requirement of data from planners and scientists.
Organized into only 5 Directorates in 1950, mainly to look after the mapping
needs of Defense Forces in North West and North East, the Department has now
grown into 22 Directorates spread in approx. all parts (states) of the country
to provide the basic map coverage required for the development of the country.
Its technology, latest in the world, has been oriented to meet the needs of
defense forces, planners and scientists in the field of geo-sciences, land and
resource management. Its expert advice is being utilized by various Ministries
and undertakings of Govt. of India in many sensitive areas including settlement
of International borders, State boundaries and in assisting planned development
of hitherto under developed areas.
Faced with the requirement of digital topographical data, the department has
created three Digital Centers during late eighties to generate Digital
Topographical Data Base for the entire country for use in various planning
processes and creation of geographic information system. Its specialized
Directorates such as Geodetic and Research Branch, and Indian Institute of
Surveying & Mapping (erstwhile Survey Training Institute) have been further
strengthened to meet the growing requirement of user community. The department
is also assisting in many scientific programs of the Nation related to the field
of geo-physics, remote sensing and digital data transfers.