Geological Survey of India

Formed in 1851 by the East India Company, the Geological Survey of India is a scientific organization in India.  It is organized by the Government of India under the Ministry of Mines and is one of the oldest of such organizations in the world. The GIS is also the second oldest survey in India, the first being the Survey of India founded in 1767, and its main function is to conduct studies of India and geological surveys. 

The Geological Survey of India is also the prime provider of basic earth science information to industry, the general public, and most importantly, the government; as well as the official participant in coal, power, steel, cement industries as well as international geoscientific forums. In the late 19th century, the GSI undertook several surveys which included:

  • The Great Trigonometrical Survey
  • The 1869 Kailash-Mansarovar expedition
  • 1871-1872 Shigache–Lhasa expedition
  • 1873-1874 Yarkand–Kashgar expedition, second expedition of this area by Sir Thomas Douglas Forsyth
  • 1878-1882 Darjeeling–Lhasa–Mongolia expedition

The native surveyors were referred to as pandits, some notable ones being Nain Singh Rawat and Krishna Singh Rawat who were cousins.

The Geological Survey of India made important contributions to Seismology in the 19th and 20th centuries by studying and detailing reports on numerous Indian earthquakes. Richard Dixon Oldham who worked at GSI was the first to correctly identify p- and s-waves, and hypothesize and calculate the diameter of the Earth’s core. On the 8th of April 2017, GSI began the pilot project of conducting their first-ever aerial survey of mineral stocks as a means of mapping the mineral stocks in an area up to a depth of twenty kilometers by using specially-equipped aircrafts.

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