The Government has announced liberalised guidelines for  geo-spatial data. Giving details of the liberalised guidelines at a media briefing in New Delhi today, the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan today said that by liberalizing the geo-spatial guidelines, the government has taken a historic decision that  will lead to a One Lakh Crore Rupees Geo-Spatial economy. Addressing a media briefing, he said it will enable science to become a public movement and also to deliver a New India to people of the country.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space; Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST and Sunil Kumar, Joint Secretary, DST, were also present on the occasion.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “ The next generation of technologies will use hyper-resolution maps.  Availability of comprehensive, highly accurate, granular and constantly updated representation of Geospatial Data will significantly benefit diverse sectors of the economy and will significantly boost innovation in the country and greatly enhance the preparedness of the country for emergency response  The availability of data and modern mapping technologies to Indian companies is also crucial for achieving the vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat and a five trillion-dollar economy”.

The Minister highlighted, “With the advent of publicly available geospatial services, a lot of Geospatial Data that used to be in restricted zone are freely and commonly available now and some of the policies/guidelines that used to regulate such information have been rendered obsolete and redundant”. “What is readily available globally does not need to be regulated.  For Indian entities, there would be complete deregulation with no prior approvals, security clearances, licenses, etc. for acquisition and production of geospatial data and geospatial data services including maps”, he declared.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan pointed out, “All geospatial data produced using public funds, except classified geospatial data collected by security/law enforcement agencies, will be made accessible for scientific, economic and developmental purposes to all Indian Entities and without any restrictions on their use.  Government agencies and others need to collaborate and work towards openlinked geospatial data”. “Stakeholders benefitted will include practically every segment of society, from industry to academia to government departments”, he emphasised. This is a transformative reform, the Minister added.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the Centre has taken a historic decision to completely deregulate Geospatial Map-making and unshackle the Geospatial sector in India for the first time. He said that the decision is an extension of a series of visionary reforms undertaken in the Space sector. He pointed out that today’s announcement heralds the unlocking of geo-mapping from restrictive use to wider use in the interest of nation building and creating an AtmaNirbhar Bharat.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, this is one more distinct example of removal of some of the colonial legacies that India was still grappling with and added that deregulation of Map-making is historic in the sense that Geo-Map is now going to be recognised as an instrument for development rather than only a tool for securing the country.

Dr. Jitendra Singh also invited lndian businesses to take lead and utilize the opportunities being thrown open for the making of Atmanirbhar Bharat. He said, the collaborative efforts from industry, academia and Government will make India a World leader in Geospatial knowledge. The Minister urged all sections to grab the opportunity and fulfil the aspirations of the nation to become a five trillion-dollar economy.

Secretary, DST ,Professor Ashutosh Sharma gave a presentation on the Geo Spatial guidelines. He said, the new guidelines will be “Stimulating and empowering INDIAN industry and Surveying Agencies without diluting security concerns. Atmanirbhar Bharat in Geospatial products and solutions, will be a one lakh crore business by 2030 plus economic impact through development”.

To realise India’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and the goal of a 5 trillion-dollar economy, the regulations that apply to geospatial data and maps henceforth stand radically liberalised. The Department of Science and Technology has announced sweeping changes to India’s mapping policy, specifically for Indian companies. What is readily available globally does not need to be restricted in India and therefore geospatial data that used to be restricted will now be freely available in India. Furthermore, our corporations and innovators are no longer subject to restrictions nor do they require prior approvals before they collect, generate, prepare, disseminate, store, publish, update digital Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India.

More information by Science Ministry –

Maps and accurate geospatial data are crucial for national infrastructure projects such as linkages of rivers, creation of industrial corridors and deploying smart power systems. Emerging vibrant technologies like Digital India, Smart Cities, eCommerce, autonomous drones, delivery, logistics and urban transport require a leap forward in mapping with greater depth, resolution and precision. In every economic endeavor, spanning agriculture, finance, construction, mining and local enterprise, India’s farmers, small businesses and corporations alike stand to gain tremendously from the application of innovative technologies based on modern geospatial data technologies and mapping services.

The Prime Minister observed however, that the existing regime imposed significant restrictions on the mapping industry – from creation to dissemination of maps, requiring Indian companies to seek licenses, follow a cumbersome system of pre-approvals and permissions. Compliance with these regulatory restrictions has subjected startups in India to unnecessary red tape, hindering Indian innovation in map technologies for decades.

To realise India’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and the goal of a 5 trillion-dollar economy, the regulations that apply to geospatial data and maps henceforth stand radically liberalised. The Department of Science and Technology is announcing sweeping changes to India’s mapping policy, specifically for Indian companies. What is readily available globally does not need to be restricted in India and therefore geospatial data that used to be restricted will now be freely available in India. Furthermore, our corporations and innovators are no longer subject to restrictions nor do they require prior approvals before they collect, generate, prepare, disseminate, store, publish, update digital Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India.

Our startups and mapping innovators will be trusted to self-certify, apply good judgment and be relied upon to demonstrate adherence to guidelines. In addition, measures to promote the development of Indian geospatial innovations that take advantage of the latest map-making technologies are proposed. With the next generation of mapping technology just about coming into its own around the world, this policy will enable Indian innovators to create substantial advances in mapping ultimately making our lives easier and empowering small businesses. We look forward to India emerging as a mapping power, creating next generation indigenous maps of India and taking these new technologies to the rest of the world.

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