Self Certification Portal to Fast-Track Geospatial Projects
June 07, 2022 (Tuesday), New Delhi: In what can be called a massive step toward liberalization of the Geospatial industry in India, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched the Self Certification Portal today for the Geospatial industry.
The Government of India, under the aegis of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been taking concrete steps to foster ease of doing business and entrepreneurship in the country, with a focus on data and technology-driven development. The release of new Geospatial Data Guidelines on February 15, 2021, by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) was part of this vision and introduced much-needed changes to liberalise the Geospatial industry.
One of the key developments brought in by the Guidelines was the replacement of multiple approvals, security clearances, licenses and other restricting sanctions for the collection, generation, preparation, dissemination, storage, publication, updating and/or digitization of Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India, with a Self-Certification Portal cutting down time spent on obtaining certifications from a few months or years to a few minutes.
The new Portal replaces multiple approvals, security clearances, licenses and other restricting sanctions for collecting, generating, preparing, storing, publishing, and/or digitizing Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India, in line with the new Geospatial Guidelines:
As per the guidelines, there shall be no requirement for prior approval, security clearance, license or any other restrictions on the collection, generation, preparation, dissemination, storage, publication, updating and/or digitization of Geospatial Data and Maps within the territory of India. 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, solutions, etc. by way of selling, distributing, sharing, swapping, disseminating, publishing, deprecating and destructing. Self-certification will be used to convey adherence to these guidelines.
Using the Portal will essentially cut down time spent on obtaining certifications & approvals from a few months or years to a few minutes for geospatial companies, researchers, academia, and innovators.
The transformative idea was realised by the Department of Science and Technology today with the launch of the Self-Certification portal in collaboration with the Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI) and in the presence of Secretary DST, Shri Srivari Chandrasekhar, Joint Secretary DST, Shri Sunil Kumar IFS, other dignitaries from DST and Survey of India (SoI), leaders from the Geospatial private sector, and representatives from AGI.
Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, commended DST and SoI’s delivery on the promise of liberalising the Indian Geospatial economy to international standards. He described the Self-Certification Portal as a much-needed relief from the lengthy process of acquiring project licenses and approvals, which could take up around a year’s time before actually starting work on the project, resulting in considerable loss of time, resources, and business and development opportunities. With the new Self-Certification Portal facilitating all entities engaged in Geospatial data-related activities to certify themselves easily within a few minutes only, there is now much more freedom and prospects for the industry.
Shri Srivari Chandrasekhar, Secretary, DST, appreciated the many sectors that liberalized Geospatial services can modernize, including agriculture, manufacturing, construction, utilities, disaster management, urban development and governance, and the role that the Self Certification Portal will play in fast-tracking such developments. Individual companies, organizations, and Government agencies are now free to process the acquired Geospatial data, build applications and develop solutions using such data and data products by selling, distributing, sharing, swapping, disseminating, and publishing without having to wait for months and years only for approval.
Pramod Kaushik, President, Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI) lauded the role of the Geospatial Guidelines and the launch of the Self-Certification Portal in facilitating time and cost savings for Geospatial service providers. A revolutionary step like this would have a direct impact on national development programmes and the social and economic value of various sectors. He advocated for more investments and efforts in data production, as well as maximising the country’s large technical resource base for greater value development.