The National Geospatial Policy, unveiled by the government asks ministries and departments, envisages to “increasingly engage” the private sector for creation and development of geospatial data required by them under the liberalised regime rather than use Survey of India as an intermediary.
The National Geospatial Policy, notified by the Department of Science and Technology on December 30, also spelt out 13 milestones for the country to achieve to have a thriving geospatial industry involving private enterprises, that include creating a high accuracy digital elevation model for the entire country by 2030 and digital twins of major cities and towns by 2035.
The policy was approved by the Union Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 16.
Geospatial technology has applications in almost every domain of the economy ranging from
agriculture to industries, development of urban or rural infrastructure, administration of land, economic activities of banking and finance, resources, mining, water, disaster management, social planning, delivery services, etc
The policy describes Digital Twin as a virtual replica of a physical asset, process or service that lies at the core of the new digital revolution.
National Digital Twin would be an ecosystem of smart, dynamic, connected Digital Twins, enabled by secure and interoperable data sharing, to facilitate better decision-making, the policy stated.
“It spells out the vision, goals for the geospatial sector and outlines the strategies for achieving them. It seeks to develop geospatial infrastructures, geospatial skill and knowledge, standards, geospatial businesses, promote innovation and strengthen the national and sub-national arrangements for generation and management of geospatial information,” the policy said.
India’s geospatial market, including domestic and exports, is estimated to be worth approximately Rs 27,650 crore in 2025, rising from Rs 22,940 crore in 2019, the Geospatial-Artha Report said. The sector is expected to grow to Rs 63,000 crore by 2030.
“The policy makes it clear that the private sector can be involved in data creation. Though the responsibility lies with the Survey of India,” Agendra Kumar, Managing Director Esri India Technologies Private Limited, told PTI.
He said the policy has covered all the points that were raised by the industry, many large user organizations and academia; it provides adequate focus on innovation, involvement of the private sector and presents a time-bound set of actions to achieve the vision.
The policy aims to create an enabling ecosystem, thereby providing a conducive environment to Indian Companies that will enable them to make India self-reliant in producing and using their own geospatial data /information as also compete with foreign companies in the global space, the notification said.
It states that the government shall constitute a new Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee (GDPDC) as the apex body for formulating and implementing appropriate guidelines, strategies and programmes for promotion of activities related to the geospatial sector.
The GDPDC would replace and subsume the functions and powers of National Spatial Data Committee (NSDC) and the Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee constituted in March last year.
The policy also stated that a Unified Geospatial Interface (UGI), an electronic data querying and processing service, will be operationalised for provision of consumer-oriented products, applications, services and solutions using the geospatial data and metadata contained in the National Geospatial Data Registry.
The UGI will include access to all open geospatial data directly or indirectly collected by the central and state-level partnering agencies on terms to be determined by the GDPDC, the policy stated.
The government will also look to improve availability and access of “better location data” for companies, including private organizations, by 2025.
The government will look to establish an Integrated Data and Information Framework, under which a Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure (GKI) will be developed by 2030.
By 2035, the policy sets the goals of usage of geospatial data include mapping of sub-surface infrastructure in major cities and towns across India, and development of high-resolution, accurate bathymetric geospatial data (resources and economy of inland waters, and sea surface topography of shallow and deep seas).
With inputs from PTI
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