ISRO Missions and Discoveries

ISRO proposes Bharat Krishi Satellite Programme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Krishi Satellite Program

Mains level: Space applications for agriculture


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has proposed dedicated satellites for supporting the country’s agriculture sector.

Bharat Krishi Satellite Programme

  • Minimum of two satellites are stipulated to guarantee adequate coverage of the entire agricultural area of the country.
  • They will aid a gamut of farm-related activities related to crop forecasting, pesticide application, irrigation, soil data, and generation of critical data related to drought.
  • The satellites will be owned by the Department of Agriculture and not by ISRO. The ISRO will provide the technical support.
  • An ‘Earth Observation Council’ be created for addressing the current deficiencies in earth observation capabilities and data utilisation.
  • Such a council can tackle shortcomings in this area in a centralised manner.

Why need such program?

Current deficiencies include:

  1. Discontinuity in earth observation missions
  2. Low utilisation of available remote sensing data
  3. Technology gaps and
  4. Absence of a streamlined mechanism for data processing and dissemination as required by the industry

Applications of space for agriculture


Satellites in use

Satellite Type Satellite Objectives
Multispectral imaging satellite Resourcesat-2 & Resourcesat-2A Multispectral imaging for crop production forecast, land, water and natural resource inventory and management, and disaster management support
Cartography satellite Cartosat-1 High resolution cartographic mapping, digital elevation mapping – drainage and irrigation networks, topographic mapping and contouring
Radar imaging RISAT-1 All weather imaging capability targeted for kharif crop (June to November) during south-west and north-east monsoon seasons. Flood and natural disaster management
Meteorological forecasting Kalpana-1 Comprehensive weather status reporting and forecasting
Meteorological observation INSAT-3D & INSAT-3DR Improved meteorological observations including vertical – temperature and humidity–atmosphere weather forecasting and disaster warning


Issues in harmonizing space technology

  • India’s satellite data is sequestered within the government.
  • The private sector has limited access to it, even though it plays an increasing role in the country’s agriculture value chain.

Various govt programs

  • Following are some of the programs that are functioning in full spirit-
  • In 2017, these insular projects were integrated into a single entity, the National Programme on use of Space Technology for Agriculture (NPSTA).
NPSTA Constituent Programmes Goals of the constituent Programme
National Programme on use of Space Technology for Agriculture (NPSTA) Forecasting Agricultural output using Space, Agro-meteorology and Land-based observations (FASAL) Crop Forecasting
National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring Systems (NADAMS) Drought Assessment
Coordinated programme on Horticulture Assessment and Management using Geoinformatics (CHAMAN) Horticulture assessment and development
C(K)rop Insurance using Space technology and Geoinformatics (KISAN) now incorporated into Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna Crop Insurance


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