Study of Aridlands has always fascinated me – Dr. Mahesh Gaur

Dr. Mahesh Gaur
Senior Scientist Geography (CAZRI)

Dr. Mahesh Gaur is senior scientist (Geography) in CAZRI. He is highly involved in research works. He is an expert of modern techniques like Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics. He has been working in number of national and international projects of remote sensing with various agencies like DOS, NRSC/ ISRO and SAC/ISRO. He taught geography in many colleges as a lecturer. He has a deep knowledge of geography, remote sensing, geoinformatics and known as Pioneer of Remote Sensing in Rajasthan. He is an author too and published number of books on his specific domain of geography. Currently he is involved in various important projects of CAZRI with his deep knowledge and modern technology tools.

Q1. Please tell us about your career journey?

At the insistence of my research guide, I started to work as a school teacher during my doctoral studies days. Once my Ph.D. was completed, I joined UNICEF project in Jaipur and later moved to IIM, Ahmedabad, and returned to Jodhpur to work as Research Officer in the IN-RIMT, Hyderabad that had opened their office in Jodhpur. Later I was selected as Lecturer – Geography by the RPSC and joined at Government College, Jaisalmer. Then I was transferred to Government Bangur PG College, Pali. Also worked at Government Colleges of Kherwara (Dungarpur) and, Sheoganj (Sirohi) for a brief period. In 2012, I was selected as Senior Scientist-Geography by the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board, New Delhi of Indian Council of Agricultural Research and joined at Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur and since then working here.

Q2. Earlier you were teaching at Government College (Department of Higher Education, Government of Rajasthan) and now working at Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur. What kind of differences do you find in terms of work culture?

As such, I see no difference in my way of working. But, yeah, there is a serious sense of responsibility in my present position. I am absolutely responsible for my every step and research work. Teaching is a noble profession and I enjoyed it very much due to my close association with the young generation of this dryland. I used to motivate and groom them. Many of my students have been successful in securing good positions in public services and are doing wonderful work in their respective chosen fields. I am happy that I was part of their journey.
Here, in CAZRI, we remain focussed to our research work so that we can provide better result to the farmers of the region. Our main aim is to benefit farmers so that their livelihood is improved so we are doing research to find solutions to various issues being faced by our farmers.
So the focus remains same though medium to attain those targets have slightly changed and it does not matter.

Q3. Why did you desire to change your profession from teaching to research?

I do not see it like a change. It is another medium to attain. Apart from teaching, I was also engaged in research activities in the college. Our Colleges have different mandate, i.e. they are meant for imparting education, not for research work. So the facilities were not there. I always had an inclination towards research work, so when I found an opportunity jumped on the bandwagon.

Q4. Tell something about remote sensing technique for out students?

I received training in Remote Sensing from the premier institute of India, i.e. Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun as part of my doctoral research work. After my Ph.D., I did not find suitable opportunities for some time where it can be applied. When, I joined IN-RIMT in Jodhpur, I got an opportunity to use remote sensing.
In layman’s language, it is an art and science to know a phenomena (or object whether living or non-living) without coming in physical contact. For example, acquiring information about a building or features of a person from distance – is remote sensing. Everybody acquires information through their eyes (sensor), processed and identified by the brain (processor).

Q5. What is the impact of new improved techniques on the functioning of CAZRI?

CAZRI is not only developing its own techniques and technology for adoption but is also transferring it to the farmers to improve their farm-related efficiency. Adoption of technology always facilitates and gives good results and CAZRI is behind to none in this field also. CAZRI is always receptive to new ideas and technology and at the front. Technology adoption is helping us in improving our work like ICAR has introduced ERP for all employees, HYPM for scientific cadre, etc. to move towards paperless system.

Q6. Tell something about successful projects and their achievements being completed by you?

After joining CAZRI, I have been associated with 10 research projects. Four as Principal Investigator and 6 as Co- PI, including one international project. These projects are funded by various agencies like Department of Science & Technology; National Remote Sensing Centre/ISRO; Space Application Centre/ ISRO, etc. As per the objectives of the projects, they have been completed/ running and results are conveyed to the respective agency. Our main focus of research is survey, mapping, monitoring and appraisal of natural resources.

Q7. Which subjects did you teach at the College level?

I have taught at graduate and post-graduate level. At graduate level, Physical Geography, Human Geography and Regional Geography. Also Cartography and Field Work. At PG level, I was teaching Remote Sensing & GIS.

Q8. What has been your most favoured subject?

I am a person from this Thar Desert so study of aridlands has always fascinated and attracted me. That is why I chose a very pertinent and perennial issue of region for my doctoral study. I am happy and fortunate that I am with CAZRI and it has same mandate which are close to my heart. Being a practitioner of geoinformatics has equipped me with another important tool to apply for its spatio-temporal study within a given time.

Q9. What is your opinion about the Educlasses.co.in Online platform?

We are living is a digital world and I understand that Educlasses.co.in Online platform is serving young generation very well by providing required information at one platform. They don’t have to run from one website to another in want of information. I would suggest to provide comprehensive coverage to the various issues and subjects. It would fulfil need of the students and those who are preparing for various competitive exams. Regular updation of provided information is also essentially required. You people are offering excellent service to the gen-next of this arid region and my best wishes to you and your team.