Distinguished Alumni Award-2014

Bio-data of Smt Geeta Varadan


Smt Geeta Varadan, born on September 30, 1951 is an accomplished technocrat with a distinguished career of more than 38 years in the application of space technology to meet the specific requirements of various users in communications and remote sensing.


She is a Graduate in Electronic and Communication Engineering from Osmania University with distinction and a Master of Engineering Degree in Controls and Computer Sciences from the School of Automation, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.  She has won a Gold Medal for having stood first among the Women candidates in Andhra Pradesh State in the Pre-University course.

Functional Positions

She started her career as an Engineer in Electronics and Radar Development Establishment in 1976 and joined the National Remote Sensing Agency, Department of Space in 1979.  She commendably held several key positions in ISRO/DOS such as Director, Advanced Data Processing Research Institute (ADRIN) since April 2008, and set a record of being the first woman in the history of ISRO to head a Centre; Programme Director, Special Projects (since May 2007), Project Director, Special Projects (July 2004); Deputy Director, Special Projects (April 1998); Associate Project Director (Planning & Co-ordination), KARP (August 1999 till January 2002); Contract Administrator, Project DIPAC (December 1993 till July 1997); Deputy Project Director, NRIS (System Implementation Project) since (May 1996 till 2003); Manager (Systems and Operations), Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (August 1987 till April 1998).

Awards and Honours

  • IETE – Smt. Triveni Devi Gupta Memorial Award for 2014. – First recipient of the Award since instituted
  • Recipient of  the “Millenium Plaque of Honour” from Hon’ble Prime Minister of India declared by  99th Indian Science Congress held in January 2012 at Bhubaneswar.
  • ISRO Performance Excellence Award2011.
  • Featured in DNA Newspaper as one of the Top 50 India’s Power Women on           March 08, 2011 having been selected by the appointed jury.
  • Bestowed with the “Women In Science” Award for 2010 by India Today
  • ISRO Merit Award – 2008 from the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh
  • ISRO Team Award in 2007 from the erstwhile President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
  • Astronautical Society of India “Best Woman Scientist’ award in 2006 from the then Minister of State, Shri Prithviraj Chavan being the first recipient of the Award since instituted. 

Membership in Professional Bodies

  • Fellow Member of IETE
  • Life Member of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing
  • Life Member of the Alumini Associate of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • Life Member of OU-ECE Alumini Association, Hyderabad.

Work Experience

She started her professional career with Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) in Bangalore in 1976.  After a brief stint of 3 years with DRDO, she joined the National Remote Sensing Agency, Department of Space in 1979.  At NRSA she was working in the area of Satellite Data Processing and Analysis and instrumental in setting up the Data Analysis Centre at Anna University, Chennai.

She then moved to Bangalore in 1985 to join the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to take up the task of establishing the Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (RRSSCs).  She was the Leader of a nine member delegation to France and as the leader of the team was responsible for setting-up and operationalisation of nine Remote Sensing Centres in the country.  She is also, responsible for setting-up of the Remote Sensing Centre at Mauritius.  During her tenure at the RRSSCs, she was instrumental for the development of various software packages viz. Drought Mission, Landuse Landcover Mapping, CAPE Mission, etc.  She was also responsible for the implementation of the Natural National Resources Information System (NRIS) data base for 30 districts spanning 17 States as Deputy Project Director.

As Programme Director (Special Projects), ISRO HQ, she is the single point interface at ISRO HQ responsible for implementation and operationalisation of all the projects for Special Users, which includes all projects in the area of Communications and Surveillance.  She has been instrumental in building awareness among the User community on the efficacy of space technology in security related areas which has facilitated in the establishment of ground stations, for reception, processing and analysis of data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellites for the users.  She is also member of several Inter-Departmental Expert Committees and Working Groups.

As a Director of ADRIN, since April 2008, she has set the record of being the first WOMEN in the history of ISRO to become a Director of an ISRO Centre.  She is leading a team of 170 professionals including around 100 Engineers and Scientists.  She has played an important role towards development of tools and techniques for quick turn around of data products using grid and high performance computing.  She has pioneered the development of a real time satellite data processing system using the state-of-art GP/GPU technology.  This is the first of its kind in the country and enables data readiness for analysis immediately after the satellite pass.  The data processing system developed at ADRIN has now been made operational at all the users locations to facilitate interoperability.  She has also been responsible for guiding a number of application projects and has now initiated activities in the area of Cyber Security and Cloud Computing.

Smt. Geeta Varadan has an excellent understanding of the strategic users requirements and established an excellent working relationship with the strategic users in providing space based solutions to meet the security needs of the country. She is the single interface for all the strategic users.

Papers Published

She has authored and co-authored more than 35 publications.


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