The Narendra Modi government today radically liberalized the rules governing obtaining geo-spatial data. This has enormous benefits for agriculture, mining, infrastructure development and many more sectors.
The reforms will unlock tremendous opportunities for our 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. #Freedom2MapIndia pic.twitter.com/OoN1rDTwoW
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 15, 2021
Liberalizing Mapping Sector
Maps and accurate geospatial data are crucial for national infrastructure projects such as linkages of rivers, creation of industrial corridors and deploying smart power systems. Accurate maps with high resolution are also required for usage in emerging technological fields like Digital India, Smart Cities, eCommerce, autonomous drones, delivery, logistics and urban transport.
As the Prime Minister has previously observed, existing regime imposed significant restrictions on the mapping industry – from creation to dissemination of maps, Indian companies were required to seek licenses, follow a cumbersome system of pre-approvals and permissions.
Compliance with these regulatory restrictions had subjected start-ups in India to unnecessary red tape, hindering Indian innovation in map technologies for decades, thus stymying the sector’s enormous potential.
To facilitate ease of doing business in mapping industry and facilitate a much-needed leap in mapping services, regulations applicable to geospatial data and maps have been radically liberalised with the Indian Companies at the heart of it. The motive is simple – “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 or prior approvals before they collect, generate, prepare, disseminate, store, publish and update Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India. This has enormous business, educational, research, infrastructural and agricultural benefits.
The government has announced the full liberalization of the cartography and geo-spatial mapping sector. For the first time since Rennel and the East India Company, this sector is open to private innovation. https://t.co/yfBVBwDt6v
— Sanjeev Sanyal (@sanjeevsanyal) February 15, 2021
Trust Indian Business, Trust Start-Ups
Last week in his address to the Lok Sabha, PM Modi advocated for faith in India’s population and batted strongly for giving youngsters an opportunity to become wealth creators. In line with that philosophy, Indian startups and mapping innovators will henceforth be trusted to self-certify, apply good judgement and trusted to adhere to the simplified guidelines.
In addition, development of Indian geospatial innovations that take advantage of the latest map-making technologies will also be promoted, enabling Indian innovators to create substantial advances in mapping ultimately. This will make lives easier and empower small businesses. It will also democratise data and enable farmers, MSMEs and researchers across the country to use this data to drive efficiency.
This reform is set to make India emerge as a mapping power, creating next generation indigenous maps of India, and taking these new technologies to the rest of the world, giving a much needed fillip to AatmaNirbhar Bharat and goal of $5 trillion economy.
Industry Welcomes the Announcement with Jubilation
This game changing reform has been welcomed by titans of digital sector like Nandan Nilekani and Sridhar Vembu. This reform was described as an enabler for Indian Startups to revolutionise mapping, create next generation hyper resolution unlocking billions of dollars and creating creating thousands of jobs.
The new Map policy is another strategic step in India’s journey of data empowerment ! https://t.co/9KywvVoJEh
— Nandan Nilekani (@NandanNilekani) February 15, 2021
— Sridhar Vembu (@svembu) February 15, 2021