Self-reliant India: map-making de-regulated by government
In an effort to move towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India self-reliant, the Centre on Monday de-regulated map-making and geospatial data generation, storage and distribution sector.
Under this plan, the Indian private sector will get a license to generate and publish maps that have geospatial features. This will help in space technology application by improving outcomes across sectors like farming, infrastructure, and disaster mapping. It must be noted that accurate maps and geospatial data are extremely important for national projects of infrastructure like river linkages.
A giant leap in the positive forward direction is required by leading and emerging Indian technologies like Smart Cities, Digital India, eCommerce, logistics, delivery, and urban transport. The mapping required by these techs must be of higher resolution, depth, and precision. When these innovative technologies are applied based on mapping and geospatial data, corporations, small enterprises, and farmers gain equally and tremendously in every economic sector – finance, agriculture, mining, and construction.
Earlier the regulations in place had strapped up and restricted mapping activities. This included creation of maps, their distribution, Indian companies were required to take a license, cumbersome path of permissions and pre-approvals. Trying to comply with these regulations, multiple Indian start-ups have been red-taped after facing hurdles, leading to setback in Indian map tech innovation for decades now.
This move will help India towards its vision of becoming self-reliant or “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and reaching the goal of a 5 trillion dollar industry. ‘For this to happen the regulations that apply to geospatial data and maps henceforth stand radically liberalized. 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, “Indian 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,” the geospatial data guidelines say.
It is estimated that by 2030, Indian Geospatial data sector will become one lakh crore industry.