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Geospatial policy in India: Recently, the government brought in a new policy regarding geospatial data and services related to such data, aiming to liberalise the access to such information among private players in India. However, to understand how this affects the private entities in India, Financial Express Online spoke to Geospatial and Engineering Solutions company RMSI’s Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Kapoor and 3D mapping company Genesys International’s CMD Sajid Malik.
Sajid Malik gave a little bit of background on the geospatial industry in India. “The geospatial market in India has grown exponentially. Seeping its roots in the public and private sector and other major sectors like agriculture, telecommunications, oil & gas, environmental management, forestry, public safety, infrastructure, and logistics, the significance is being realised which is leading it to a healthy path of growth. Additionally, it is used by varied government departments for geospatial technologies like GIS, Remote Sensing, LIDAR, GNSS, Surveying and Mapping, etc,” he said.
Rajiv Kapoor explained why there was a need to de-regularise the geospatial data policy in India. With this change, innovation would definitely spur, but apart from that, many avenues will also open for initiatives in development of the industries. “Globally, governments allow easy compilation guidelines and accessibility of geospatial data. However, in India, there are multiple barriers in terms of collecting, generating, sharing, and updating geospatial data for India’s territory,” he said.
Explaining how the new policy would benefit the private entities in India, he said, that several restrictions like getting licences or prior approvals have now been removed for the companies. He added that with this, there would be an increase in the development of made-in-India solutions, which would be backed by modern geospatial technologies.
His views were echoed by Malik, who said that the new guidelines were the need of the hour and the industry had been waiting for these changes for a long time. “The new policy has cleared the way for foreign companies to operate without any ambiguity while empowering Indian companies,” he shared.
How can geospatial data in itself help various sectors in India? Kapoor explained that high-resolution maps as well as spatial data are central for improvement of public sector services as well as introduction of smart cities and advanced transport systems. “Innovative solutions would be brought in various sectors and the vision for digital India would become more robust with the help of this policy. Many sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, e-commerce, insurance, minerals, healthcare, and mining will be positively impacted,” he said.
Malik said, “The list of industries where geospatial technology is required extends from ecology, tourism, marine sciences, healthcare, agriculture, forestry to defence, law enforcement, logistics and transportation.”
Malik also spoke about how the removal of red tape by this policy would help India compete in the global mapping system. “Before this, the regulatory delays impacted the digital economy and the Indian enterprises could not innovate and flourish at the speed their global counterparts could. This also means more involvement of the private sector in the geospatial domain, including start‐ups,” he said.