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Draft geospatial policy to be in public domain for consultation within a month: Top official 

PSU Watch , Mar 6, 2021

Professor K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the government, said on Saturday that the new draft geospatial policy is in the making and will be available for public consultation within a month. He said that the new policy guidelines open up opportunities for the private sector 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 PSA, Professor Raghavan said that industry needs to develop domain understating in collaboration with academia to create path breaking value added products. He urged the industry to use all kinds of technological approaches to map areas that are of scientific, commercial and technological value leveraging the provisions under the new policy.

‘Data should be available without duplication to all govt agencies, private sector’

Addressing the roundtable, Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, 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.

Speaking on the perceived conflicts — government versus private, development versus security and domestic versus other country, 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 areas 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, 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.

‘Need to help, support to build start-up ecosystem in geospatial technology’

Dr Arabinda Mitra, Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, 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.