The government on Monday announced liberalisation of policies governing the acquisition and production of geo-spatial data, a move that will help in boosting innovation in the sector and create a level playing field for public and private entities.
Under the new guidelines, the sector will be deregulated and aspects like approvals ave been done away with, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Ashutosh Sharma said.
For Indian entities, there will be complete deregulation with no prior approvals, security clearances, licenses, for acquisition and production of geospatial data and geospatial data services, including maps, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the liberalisation of policies governing the acquisition and production of geospatial data is a "massive step in government's vision for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat". The reform will benefit country's farmers, start-ups, private sector, public sector and research institutions to drive innovations and build scalable solutions, he said.
Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan in a press conference said the easing of norms will greatly help in several sectors that were suffering because of non-availability of maps.
He said earlier even the Survey of India, the agency entrusted with making maps, had to seek permission for mapping, thus delaying its work by at least 3-6 months.
In a series of tweets, Modi said, "Our government has taken a decision that will provide a huge impetus to Digital India. Liberalising policies governing the acquisition and production of geo-spatial data is a massive step in our vision for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat," he said.
The move will unlock tremendous opportunities for the country's start-ups, private sector, public sector and research institutions to drive innovations and build scalable solutions. This will also generate employment and accelerate economic growth, he stressed.
"India's farmers will also be benefited by leveraging the potential of geo-spatial and remote sensing data. Democratising data will enable the rise of new technologies and platforms that will drive efficiencies in agriculture and allied sectors.
"These reforms demonstrate our commitment to improving ease of doing business in India by deregulation," he said.v