To develop GIS as per needs of the stakeholders of local level planning, a district level Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS) Centre at Almora was setup in 2003 in the Department of Geography, Kumaun University SSJ Campus Almora under the financial and technical support of the NRDMS Division of Department of Science and Technology Government of India. Over the years, the Centre developed GIS infrastructure for different sectors as per needs of the stakeholders of local level planning and trained a number of scientists, government officials, line department officials and civil society organizations through its following research programmes funded by the NRDMS Division, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India :
1. Setting-up NRDMS Centre for Creation Digital Database for District Almora (2003-05).
2. Empowering Youth through Geo-Informtics for local Area Planning, for northern zone of India (2005-06).
3. Upgradation and applications of NRDMS/GIS technologies in District Almora, Uttarakhand (2006-08). and
4. Development of geo-hydrometeorological database for the stakeholders of local level planning (2006-08).
Based on the outputs of this Centre, the Department of Geography was recognized under the FIST Programme by the DST Government Of India and a well equipped GIS/RS laboratory under this (FIST) Programme was established in 2005. In 2008, to upgrade this district level NRDMS Centre, the DST, Government Of India awarded a research project to the Kumaun University (under the supervision of Prof.J.S.Rawat) for Setting-up Centre of Excellence for NRDMS in Uttarakhand. The Kumaun University with the approval from its Academic and Executive Councils, established this Centre in July 2008. The vision and objectives of the Centre are as follows:
To build professional education and applied research compatibility in Remote Sensing and GIS for various stakeholders, viz., academia, governance, industry and civil society with special reference to the Uttarakhand.
1.To conduct hi-tech education programme on M.Sc. Remote Sensing and GIS, PG Diploma programme, Professional Certificate Courses and Ph.D. Programmes on Remote Sensing and GIS.
2. Need based capacity building of various stakeholders in Geographic Information Science technologies; viz GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS and Computer Cartography.