Reformed Guidelines Bring Indian Geospatial Economy at Par with Global Benchmarks

February 15, 2022 (Tuesday), New Delhi: The Government of India under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been vocal about facilitating ease of doing business and entrepreneurship to boost the economy, with special focus on data and technology-led development. On February 15, 2021, the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India launched new Guidelines for Geospatial Data in the same spirit, with a vision to modernize industries like agriculture, manufacturing, construction, utilities, disaster management, and governance, to name a few.

The Government has been keenly adopting Geospatial technologies like satellite imagery, remote sensing, drones and GIS across national mission-mode projects including AMRUT, Smart Cities Mission and SVAMITVA for several years. The Guidelines have ensured open and easy access to Geospatial information for maximum use and reuse of data. The reforms have brought much-needed transparency and efficiency to collaborations, innovations, and business models.

Marking the completion of one year of the launch of Geospatial Guidelines, the Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI) together with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) co-hosted an interactive session to reflect upon how the Guidelines have made a difference to the Geospatial industry and the users, whether the intended changes have indeed taken effect and what more can be expected from each stakeholder given the reformed outlook.

Hon’ble Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh was present on the occasion and called the Guidelines an attempt to bring the Indian Geospatial economy at par with global trends and benchmarks. He noted that the liberation of the Geospatial sector has become possible because of the revolutionary vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who believes in breaking the taboos of the past.

He also appreciated how the Guidelines have helped usher in a new era of Geospatial entrepreneurship, with the trinity of Geospatial, Drones, and Space economy for sustainable development. The focus is now on strengthening of the innovation ecosystem by supporting Indian startups so that we can use indigenous data to develop indigenous solutions for solving Indian challenges.

Secretary, DST, Dr. Sivari Chandrasekhar, noted the groundbreaking impact that the revolutionary Guidelines have had across various Ministries, in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision. The Guidelines have truly emerged as a guiding principle, creating opportunities for startups and giving unprecedented freedom to the industry.

Surveyor General of India (SGI) and Joint Secretary, DST, Shri Sunil Kumar, IFS, commemorated the innovative Guidelines and highlighted how DST and SoI have fast-tracked multiple developments in the past one year, including negative list finalization, self-certification dummy portal launch for feedback and working group on scaling of Geospatial projects in the country. While the Government is taking steps towards developing the social infrastructure for data creation, the industry has a much bigger role to play in terms of innovation, scaling and outcomes.

AGI President and Esri India Managing Director Agendra Kumar lauded the role of the Geospatial Guidelines in facilitating time and cost savings, greater economic and social value for multiple sectors and national programmes. He called for more investments and efforts for data creation and leveraging the vast technical resource base of the country for maximum value creation.