The government has unveiled a new remote sensing data policy which allows all data of resolutions up to 1 meter to be distributed on a non-discriminatory basis and on “as requested basis”.
The Remote Sensing Data Policy 2011 (RSDP 2011) replaces a 2001 policy which allowed all data of resolutions up to 5.8 metres to be distributed on non-discriminatory and “as requested” basis.
The RSDP 2011, apart from opening up the remote sensing sector, will remove certain restrictions to facilitate more users to access high resolution data for developmental activities.
The RSDP however with a view to protect national security interests states that all data of better than 1 meter resolution shall be screened and cleared by the appropriate agency prior to distribution.
The policy adds that government users namely, ministries, departments, public sector, autonomous bodies, government research and development institutions, government educational, academic institutions, can obtain the data without any further clearance.
But private sector agencies which support developmental activities will need the recommendation at least by one government agency.
While for other private, foreign and other users, including web-based service providers they can obtain the data after further clearance from an inter-agency High Resolution Image Clearance Committee (HRC).
According to the RSDP 2011, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) will be vested with the authority to acquire and disseminate all satellite remote sensing data in India both from Indian and foreign satellites for development purposes.
Further, the government reserves the right to impose control over imaging tasks and distribution of data from Indian remote sensing satellite, when it was of the opinion that national security and/or international obligations and/ or foreign policies of the government so require.
The RSDP-2011 comes into effect immediately, and may be reviewed from time-to-time-by the government.