The Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), unit of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space, Government of India is a premier education, training and research institute for capacity building in the field of Remote Sensing, Geo-information, positioning & navigation technology and its applications. Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), formerly known as Indian Photo-Interpretation Institute (IPI), was set up in 1966 under the aegis of the Survey of India to provide comprehensive training with hands on experience of the emerging technology. Institute was merged with National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) in July 1976, and in the year 1980, NRSA came under the umbrella of Department of Space (Government of India). Since September 1, 2008, IIRS as part of NRSC was inducted under the ISRO umbrella, and presently IIRS reorganized as a separate entity of ISRO with effect from April 30, 2011.
IIRS endeavor has been to train thematic experts from user community including academic institutions in RS & GIS technology / applications at Post Graduate level with the overall goal of 'technology transfer' and user awareness. The Institute has evolved many programs that are tuned to the different needs of various target groups.
IIRS conducts a variety of courses for the different categories of users including fresh postgraduate students viz., M. Tech., M.Sc., PG Diploma Courses, 2 months NNRMS sponsored courses for University Faculty, 2 weeks on demand Special Courses and 1 week duration Overview Course for Decision Makers.
IIRS has trained nearly 8000 alumni including 750 plus foreign trainees from 77 countries of Asia and Africa. The latter have taken benefit from ISRO SHARES Fellowship Program, ITEC/SCAAP Fellowship Scheme of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, and other Fellowship Schemes etc. In addition, IIRS houses state of the art infrastructure facilities for both RS and GIS. It has experienced and internationally known teaching faculty with specialization in RS, GIS & GPS Technology and its applications.
IIRS is the host institute as well as, headquarters for the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and Pacific (CSSTE-AP) region under United Nations. It is first of its kind established in the region and conducts regular postgraduate and short courses in Remote Sensing and GIS every year since 1996.
IIRS has been recognized by National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) to conduct specialized courses for the duration of 8 weeks every year for University faculty at Postgraduate level so that they are able to impart education on specific subjects on Remote Sensing and GIS in their area of specialization and/or start new programs like M.Tech / M.Sc / Postgraduate diploma with emphasis on RS & GIS application in their institutions. IIRS has trained nearly 800 University faculty spread all over India. Many universities have been benefited from the IIRS training programs and have started RS & GIS courses at postgraduate level with institutional support from IIRS.
IIRS for the first time launched Distance Learning Program i.e. EDUSAT based training program on Basics of RS, GIS and GPS and conducted six such programs (including one special course on Advances in Geoinformatics) from 2007 to 2011 for more sixty universities / institutions at postgraduate level spread across India, training more than 4000 students. University students attending their undergraduate/postgraduate programs in their own disciplines as part of acquiring the basic degree can also attend IIRS Outreach Certificate Program in parallel, broadening the scope in the new and challenging field of Geoinformatics.