Govt to soon come up with policy on geospatial data: DST secretary

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) The government will soon come up with a policy of geospatial data, including surveying and mapping, Science and Technology Secretary Ashutosh Sharma said on Friday, after sweeping changes in the country's mapping norms were announced earlier this week.

He said there could be other related guidelines, overlapping rules on mapping and surveying and if there are any conflicts, those should be ironed out 'once and for all'.

'This includes anything from how one acquires the geospatial data, who acquires it, its use and sharing. The policy will be on the whole system of geospatial data.

'A policy of geospatial data, survey and mapping is expected soon. A cabinet approval will make it more strong,' Sharma said.

Talking to PTI at the sidelines of a stakeholders' meet on the release of guidelines for acquiring and producing geospatial data and geospatial data services, including maps.

Earlier this week, the government announced liberalisation of the norms governing the acquisition and production of geospatial data, a move that will help boost innovation in the sector and create a level-playing field for public and private entities.

Speaking at the event, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan said the Department of Space (DoS) will provide all possible support towards the implementation of new guidelines governing the acquisition and production of geospatial data.

He said major inputs for geospatial activities come from remote-sensing data and location-based data.

'The DoS has drafted a new space-based remote sensing policy to encourage and enhance participation of all the stakeholders, particularly non-government private entities, which will enable the growth of geospatial activities manifold in the country,' he said.

The space-based remote sensing policy was placed in public domain for inviting comments and views.

The policy is 'open, liberal, forward-looking and more inclusive', which will certainly build a friendly ecosystem for developmental planning, Sivan stressed.

The comments received are being incorporated in the space-based remote sensing policy, he added.

'Definitely, the combination of the new remote sensing policy and the newly-declared geospatial guidelines will make the entire ecosystem very transparent. Both these policies will together build a new geospatial industry and ecosystem in the country, bringing in new opportunities for employment generation,' he said.

Under the space-based remote sensing policy, all space-based remote sensing data is made easily accessible. It encompasses all the activities of space-based remote sensing, including building satellites, establishing ground stations and telecommunication, data acquisition as well as satellite data dissemination, Sivan said.

The policy will allow handling of commercial activities related to the sale of Indian remote sensing data and services, he added. PTI PR RC