In this article, we will discuss Geospatial Sector of India. So, let’s get started.
Geospatial Sector of India
- Geospatial technologies is a term used to describe the range of modern tools contributing to the geographic mapping and analysis of the Earth and human societies.
- The term ‘geospatial’ refers to a collection of technologies that help to collect, analyse, store, manage, distribute, integrate, and present geographic information.
- Broadly, it consists of the following technologies:
- Remote Sensing
- GIS (Geographic Information System)
- GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System)
- 3D modelling
- It enables better measurement, management, and maintenance of assets, monitoring of resources and even providing predictive and prescriptive analysis for forecasting and planned interventions.
Liberalisation of the Geospatial Sector
- The Ministry of Science and Technology, in February 2021, released new guidelines for the Geo-Spatial Sector in India, which deregulated the previous protocol and liberalised the sector to a more competitive field.
- The policy granted open access to the geospatial data and services, including maps, for all Indian entities, with the exception of sensitive defence or security-related data.
- Indian corporations and innovators are no longer subject to restrictions nor do they require prior approvals before generating or updating digital geospatial data and maps within the territory of India.
- There is also no requirement for security clearance, licence or any other restrictions.
- Significance of Revised Guidelines
- The declaration of the guidelines followed by the mention of geospatial in the Union Budget 2022-23 have created the necessary hype about the sector.
- The growth in the net-worth of the sector has been projected to be about ₹1 lakh-crore by the year 2029 with 13% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
- Consequently, the geospatial sector, which was considered taboo by investors, is seeing new interest.
- The liberalisation of the guidelines has brought in a response from the private industry which is no more apprehensive and conservative like it was in previous years.
- Underlying Challenges
- Among the most prominent hurdles is the absence of a sizable geospatial market in India.
- There is no demand for geospatial services and products on a scale linked to India’s potential and size.
- This lack of demand is mainly a consequence of the lack of awareness among potential users in government and private sectors.
- The other hurdle has been the lack of skilled manpower across the entire pyramid.
- The unavailability of foundation data, especially at high-resolution, is also a constraint.
- The lack of clarity on data sharing and collaboration prevents co-creation and asset maximisation.
- Additionally, there are still no ready-to-use solutions especially built to solve the problems of India.
- Though India has many who are trained in geospatial this is mostly either through a master’s level programme or on-job training.
- Unlike the West, India lacks a strata of core professionals who understand geospatial end-to-end.