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India to liberalise its regulations on geospatial data

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  • Categories
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    16th Feb, 2021


The Ministry of Science and Technology released new guidelines for the Geo-spatial sector in India, which deregulates existing protocol and liberalises the sector to a more competitive field.

What is geospatial data?

  • Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth.
  • Location of data:The location may be-
  • Static in the short-term, like the location of a road, an earthquake event, malnutrition among children.
  • Dynamic like a moving vehicle or pedestrian, the spread of an infectious disease.
  • Uses:
  • Planning for infrastructure, development, social development, natural calamities, agriculture, environment protection, power, water, transportation, communication, health (tracking of diseases, patients, hospitals,etc) relying heavily on this data.
  • Information of public interest such as roads, localities, rail lines, water bodies, and public amenities also depends on this data.
  • Examples of Application of Geo-spatial data
  • Various apps such as food delivery apps like Swiggy or Zomato, e-commerce like Amazon, or even weather apps.

Present policy on geospatial data

  • It was initially conceptualized as a matter solely concerned with security.
  • Currently, there are strict restrictions on the collection, storage, use, sale, dissemination of geo-spatial data, and mapping.
  • GIS mapping is also rudimentary.

What is in the new regulation policy?

  • The new guidelines will allow private companies to conduct surveying and mapping without prior government approvals and sharing the data for various everyday applications, from logistics and transport to road safety and e-commerce.
  • Under the new policy, geospatial data from government agencies such as the Survey of India and the Indian Space Research Organisation will also be made available to public and private companies.
  • Indian companies now can self-attest, conforming to government guidelines without actually having to be monitored by a government agency.