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Geospatial guidelines will help Indian mapping companies compete globally, govt says

In a parliamentary response, the government said that the recently notified Guidelines for acquiring and producing Geospatial Data and Geo-spatial Data services including Maps would help Indian mapping companies compete globally. “Government of India has liberalized regulations on Geo-spatial data and maps so as to facilitate availability of the data and the modern mapping technologies to Indian companies,” the company said. Under the guidelines, foreign companies are restricted from leveraging that same data if its precision is more than one metre.

“The Guidelines have been issued for liberalising the mapping industry and democratization of existing datasets for spurring domestic innovation and enabling Indian companies to compete in the global mapping ecosystem,” the government said in response to a query on whether India relied too much on foreign mapping technology.

The government was responding to a Lok Sabha query by BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje and Telugu Desam Party MP Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu.

Full question and answer

Will the Minister of SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:-

(a) whether the Government has liberalized regulations on geospatial data and maps to achieve a $5 trillion economy and the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, if so, the details and the impact thereof;

(b) the manner in which deregulating Geospatial data is going to benefit the country;

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(c) whether there will be an increase in public private partnerships with the opening of this sector with data collection companies and the Government working together on various sectoral projects, if so, the details thereof;

(d) the percentage growth likely to be observed in GDP due to the horizontal, wide-spread and all pervasive benefits of geospatial technologies in the near future;

(e) whether the “Guidelines for Acquiring and producing Geospatial Data and Geospatial Data services including Maps” have been notified and if so, the relevant law thereof along with the consequences of non-compliance with these guidelines; and

(f) whether it is a fact that India relies heavily on foreign resources for mapping technologies and services and if so, the reaction of the Government thereto?

ANSWER

MINISTER OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE; MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; AND MINISTER OF EARTH SCIENCES

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(DR. HARSH VARDHAN)

(a) Government of India has liberalized regulations on Geo-spatial data and maps so as to facilitate availability of the data and the modern mapping technologies to Indian companies, which is one of the crucial factors for achieving India’s policy aim of Atmanirbhar Bharat and the vision for a five trillion-dollar economy.

(b) The guidelines encourages all agencies dealing with production of Geo-spatial Data and information to collaborate in a mutually beneficial manner so as to work towards open-linked Geo-spatial Data to greatly enhance improved planning and management of the existing resources for the benefit of the specific needs of the country resulting in an increase in the private investments as well as creation of employment opportunities.

(c) As per the guidelines, Indian Entities, whether in Government or outside, will be free to acquire, collect, generate, prepare, disseminate, store, share, publish, distribute, update, digitize and/or create Geo-spatial Data, including Maps, of any spatial accuracy within the territory of India including underwater within its territorial waters by using any Geo-spatial Technology, subject to regulations on attributes in the negative lists. This is likely to foster closer working relation between public and private enterprises.

(d) It is aimed to have a great impact in the growth prospect of infrastructure and other allied sectors as location based information is an integral part of the modern digital ecosystem and is critical for unlocking economic, social and environmental opportunities for a sustainable growth and development of the country. The studies available elsewhere in the developed world have shown significant impact of use of Geo-spatial technologies in their GDP growth.

(e) The “Guidelines for acquiring and producing Geo-spatial Data and Geo-spatial Data Services including Maps” have been issued on 15th February, 2021 by the Department of Science & Technology; being the nodal Department as per the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. Any violation of these guidelines will be dealt with under the applicable laws.

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(f) The Guidelines have been issued for liberalising the mapping industry and democratization of existing datasets for spurring domestic innovation and enabling Indian companies to compete in the global mapping ecosystem by leveraging modern Geo-spatial technologies with the intent to enhance and improve planning and management of resources so as to serve the specific needs of the Indian population.

Also read: Government Restricts Foreign Mapping Services To One Metre Accuracy

Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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