Govt announces changes in mapping policy, enables freedom to map India

at 6:37 pm
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New Delhi (NVI): Centre today announced changes to the country’s mapping policy, specifically for Indian companies, to enable them to create substantial advances in mapping and ultimately empowering small businesses across infrastructure, urban transport and rural commerce.

The Ministry of Science & Technology today said, “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.”

They added, “Furthermore, our corporations and innovators are no longer subject to restrictions nor do they require prior approvals before they collect, generate, prepare, disseminate, store, publish, update digital Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India.”

Soon after the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to his official Twitter account and said, “Our government has taken a decision that will provide a huge impetus to Digital India. Liberalising policies governing the acquisition and production of geospatial data is a massive step in our vision for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”

PM Modi added that the reforms will unlock tremendous opportunities for India’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,” PM stated.

The regulations have been liberalized on geospatial data and maps to achieve a $5 trillion economy and the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India, the ministry said in a statement.

“The government realised that the existing regime imposed significant restrictions on the mapping industry, from creation to dissemination of maps, requiring Indian companies to seek licences and follow a cumbersome system of pre-approvals and permissions,” the statement added.

Compliance with these regulatory restrictions has subjected startups in India to red tape, hindering Indian innovation in map technologies for decades.

Individuals, companies, organizations, and government agencies shall be free to process the acquired geospatial data, build applications, and develop solutions in relation to such data and use such data products, applications, and solutions by way of selling, distributing, sharing, swapping, disseminating, publishing, deprecating and destructing, the guidelines state.

However, self-certification will be used to convey adherence to these guidelines.

With the next generation of mapping technology just about coming into its own around the world, this policy will enable Indian innovators to create substantial advances in mapping ultimately making lives easier and empowering small businesses.

The ministry also said that the government is looking forward to see India emerge as a mapping power.