The government of India today announced that it is setting free the process of map making and generation of geospatial data, which will give private companies the freedom to handle that information without prior approval or any restrictions. Till now, mapping data was only handled by the Central government's Survey of India, but with the changes announced by the Department of Science and Technology today, any Indian company can take part in the process and profit from it.
According to the announcement, the data that was readily available globally and hence, should not be restricted in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the development said that liberalising the acquisition and production of geospatial data is a massive step towards the country's vision for an "Aatmanirbhar Bharat." "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," PM Modi said in a tweet.
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
This change, according to reports, could potentially lead to private companies seeking map data to suit their specific purposes. The Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the move will help drive efficiencies in agriculture and emergency-response capabilities while also facilitating rise of new-age industries. While addressing media persons in the national capital, Dr Vardhan said that the increased participation of the private sector will augment the growth of new technologies, platforms, and applocation of geospatial data contributing to the country's progress.