Delivering the inaugural speech at the 8th National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Mr Kapil Sibal, informed that the Government is in the process of formulating a legislation on sharing of geospatial data amongst different agencies – public and private. A bill in this regard, National Geospatial Data Regulatory Authority Bill, is to be introduced in the next session of Parliament and is likely to be cleared by the Cabinet by February 2009
Mr. Sibal said that “The new legislation seeks to create an independent regulatory authority which will determine and regulate the basis on which data should be used and shared seamlessly amongst the various departments of the government and other stakeholders’. He said, the government’s view was that data to be used for public good should made available free of cost. “People can then add value to it. This could be a source of profit for industry”.
Emphasising the critical role of geospatial technologies in a nation’s internal security, Mr Sibal took up the case of recent terror attacks in Mumbai and expressed that with the help of 3-D technology it would have been possible to know the exact location of each room in the ill-fated Taj and Trident hotels. Pointing to restrictions on conducting flights and delays in permissions granted, he admitted that bureaucratic hassles, most of the times, impede technological growth. “We should disabuse our minds and should be proactive rather than restrictive and reactive” he opined.