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Liberalisation of geospatial policies offers golden opportunity to the private sector: Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, GoI

Mar 06, 2021

  • National Geospatial Data Policy Draft to soon be available for public review: Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST

NEW DELHI, 06 March 2021Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India today said that the new policy guidelines open up opportunities for the industry for getting into zones of deep technology. "It is an extraordinary situation where above certain level of granularity business is open to all in the world, and at a finer granularity it is open to Indian entities and start-ups," he said.

Addressing the Stakeholders Roundtable on 'Guidelines for Acquiring and Producing Geospatial Data and Geospatial Data Services including Maps' jointly organised by FICCI and Office of PSAProf Raghavan said that industry needs to develop domain understating in collaboration with academia to create path breaking value added products. 

He urged industry to use all kind of technological approaches to map areas that are of scientific, commercial and technological value leveraging the provisions under new policy.

Addressing the roundtable, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Govt of India said that liberalisation and democratisation are two aspects of the guidelines for acquiring and producing geospatial data and geospatial data services. "Data should be available without duplication to all govt agencies as well as the private sector," he said. 

Prof Sharma informed the stakeholders on the new draft geospatial policy and said that a solid policy is in the making and that it will be available for public consultation within a month. 

Speaking on the perceived conflicts viz., Govt vs private, development vs security and domestic vs other country, Prof Sharma said that the new policy guidelines is a step towards ensuring level playing field, overall national security while meeting developmental requirements and opportunities for both domestic and foreign entities to do meaningful business with confidence.

He encouraged the industry to work towards public-private partnership by leveraging the channels and schemes available. Some of the aeras to work include Deep Ocean Mission and National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems, he said. 

Dr Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt of India informed stakeholders about the space-based remote sensing policy that is now in the public domain and said that it will do wonders for the country. "New guidelines will encourage industry to invest in these areas and contribute to nation's development," he added. 

Dr Arabinda Mitra, Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, GoI emphasised on the role of the private sector in ensuring that the guidelines will be followed by a comprehensive geospatial policy for deriving economical social good for everyone. He invited FICCI to provide guidelines to harmonise policy framework with industry inputs.

Putting forward his suggestions for industry Dr Mitra said that the geospatial industry could try leveraging its extensive work experience in other countries in getting accesses to resources there and help them building and planning their policies with the information you create for them.

Dr Mitra further emphasised on India being a start-up nation. "There is a need to help and support to build the start-up ecosystem in the geospatial technology", he said.  He underlined the need of creating a Geospatial Data Stack to empower the country and advised FICCI to consider forming a geospatial programme through which industry could help Govt with enablement of line ministries and departments so that they could leverage the technology and provisions under new policy guidelines.

Mr Rakesh Verma, Chair- FICCI Committee on Geospatial Technologies said that geospatial information is widely acknowledged and accepted as a critical component for transformational citizen-centric initiatives, developmental projects, overall safety and security architecture and economic growth. He thanked the Government for the progressive guideline on the geospatial data.

The stakeholder roundtable was attended by leaders from the industry who shared their suggestions and recommendations on various aspects.