India to de-regulate geospatial map-making

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Mumbai-Delhi: In a major move, India has decided to de-regulate geospatial map-making. This decision paves way for making geospatial data available for the public and private sectors.

“The Centre has taken a historic decision to completely deregulate geospatial Map-making and unshackle the Geospatial sector in India for the first time in over seven decades.” Dr Singh, Union Minister of State 9 (Independent Charge) said in a press briefing on Monday.

“Decision is an extension of a series of visionary reforms undertaken in the Space sector on PM Narendra Modi‘s intervention,” stated Dr Singh, who also is in-charge of Department of Space.

“At PM Modi’s behest, about four ago an extensive brainstorming was held at New Delhi. Space scientists and different ministries representatives and government departments to workout wherein Space technology could be applied to bring “ease of working” in different sectors,” informed Dr Singh.

This has allowed, Space technology’s extensive use in other sectors. “Today, Space technology is being used extensively in the construction of roads and buildings, smart cities, railway tracks, guarding railway crossings, tele-education, telemedicine, rural development, agriculture, etc,” added Dr Singh.

The Centre opened Space sector recently to the private sector. And today’s decision will unlock the geo-mapping and its use to private players.

The Union Cabinet last June had cleared entry of private sectors to participate in a range of Space activities, including planetary exploration. “Today’s decision will enable India’s geo-mapping potentials to be used for a higher goal of India emerging as a frontline nation in all sectors. And not confined to its geo-mapping capacities only for security purposes,” he said.

The deregulation of map-making is historic as geo-mapping. “In the sense, geo-mapping is now going to be recognised as a development instrument rather than a tool for securing the country,” commented Dr Singh. Further, the opening of Geospatial sector would play a stimulating role for the Space industry as it remains at the core of cutting edge technologies like 5G.

The private sector in India has welcomed the Centre’s decision to de-regulate geospatial map-making. “We welcome the path-breaking announcement and commencement of a new era in Indian geospatial data collection and publishing,” said Sajid Malik, CMD Genesys International – a sole Indian 3D mapping company.

“We foresee a positive impact on several industries and overall on the economy as well. And we believe the policy is balanced as it clears the way for foreign companies to operate without any ambiguity, while empowering Indian companies,” added Malik on the Indian government’s decision.

Last year, India and the US signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation (BECA). Under the pact, India gets access to advanced satellite imagery, topographical and aeronautical digital data in real-time from the US.

(Image – only for representational purpose)

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