Subhash Ashutosh

I am Subhash Ashutosh, an Indian national of 50 years age. I am a forester by profession. I was selected to Indian Forest Service (IFS) in 1986 after which I received training of two years on professional forestry at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun.

In the IFS, I have been allotted Assam - Meghalaya cadre; the two provinces in the northeastern region of the country. These provinces, which lie in the major forested region of the country, will remain the main work field in my career as forester. Falling in high rainfall zone, forests in theses provinces are mainly of sub tropical moist deciduous and evergreen type which are quite rich in bio-diversity. I had the opportunity of working as officer-in-charge for managing some of these forest areas in my service.

I have been a student of Physics prior to joining Indian Forest Service and obtained M Sc and M Tech degrees. I have an inclination towards the academics; particularly, applied research. I possess four Post Graduation degrees and PhD. My educational background and subsequently the forestry profession invoked my interest in Remote Sensing. I was interested in the field of remote sensing and GIS right from my training days in the Forest Academy, but I could manage my specialised training on the subject only during 1998-99 when I underwent PG Diploma course at the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun. After the training I joined Forest Survey of India (FSI), which is a national organisation devoted to forest resource assessment of the country and is a major institution for remote sensing and GIS applications in forestry.

Since 1999, I have served Forest Survey of India for eight years. In 2003, as required under the rules of the service, I had to repatriate to my cadre i.e. Meghalaya for 3 years. I re-joined FSI in Aug, 2006. At FSI, I was head of the Geomatics Unit of the organization viz National Forest Data Management Center. I was responsible for forest cover mapping and other projects of Remote Sensing and GIS applications in forestry. The nation-wide forest cover mapping is an important activity, which is done on the biennial basis. The other studies in which I have been associated include, assessment of damage due to forest fire, assessment of growing stock using stratification of forests with the help of RS and GIS, mapping and growing stock assessment of Trees Outside Forests (TOF), impact of mining activity on forest cover, assessment of carbon stock in India’s forests. I have been Principal Investigator of two important Projects viz (a) Mapping of Forest Types of India and (b) Mapping of Mangroves at the community level in seven States of the country. Mapping of Forest Types of India was the first effort of its kind at the national level to map 200 forest types of India on 1:50,000 scale according to Champion & Seth Classification. In this project, besides remote sensing data, layers like temperature, rainfall, altitude, aspect, soil and other collateral information are being analysed in GIS frame work. I joined Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy as Professor in the year 2010, where I am involved in teaching Geomatics applications in forestry and forest and carbon assessment to the officers of Indian Forest Service beside co-ordinating other courses.

In the last twelve years of my involvement in the remote sensing and GIS related studies I have learnt several software for digital image processing and GIS. I have mainly worked on ERDAS Imagine, ARC/INFO, ARC VIEW and ILWIS software.