Pioneering India’s digital frontier with geospatial technology

Addressing the National Conference on Geospatial Policy for National Development recently in Delhi, Union Minister of State for Science & Technology.

Shubhendu Parth
New Update
geospatial technology

Addressing the National Conference on Geospatial Policy for National Development recently in Delhi, Union Minister of State for Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh did not mince words when he said that the troika of space, drone, and geospatial policy will catapult India as a pre-eminent technological power. And, there is no denying the facts.


In recent years, India has strategically converged policies to harness the potential of these three technologies. This approach has unlocked new avenues for private participation in the space sector, liberalised guidelines for geospatial data, and reformed drone policies, marking significant milestones in India’s technological advancement.

Geospatial technology, in tandem with space and drone integration, illuminates India’s path towards achieving “broadband for all” and “Digital Bharat” aspirations. With remarkable progress in unlocking the space sector, liberalising geospatial data guidelines, and reforming drone policies, India is poised to emerge as a global technological powerhouse. The indispensability of geospatial technology in realising these dreams cannot be overstated.

The precision of geospatial technology in identifying underserved areas is unmatched. Leveraging satellite imagery, demographic data, and mobile network information, geospatial tools pinpoint regions with low Internet penetration, enabling targeted interventions and infrastructure development. Additionally, terrain analysis facilitates understanding the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of deploying broadband infrastructure, especially in challenging geographic areas.


In infrastructure planning and design, geospatial technology optimises network layouts and tower placements. Mapping efficient fibre optic routes and predicting coverage zones allocate resources judiciously, minimising redundancy and maximising reach. Real-time monitoring, facilitated by geospatial tools, ensures prompt detection of outages and facilitates swift repairs, enhancing service reliability.

The benefits of geospatial data extend beyond infrastructure optimisation, fostering transparency and accountability through publicly accessible dashboards showcasing broadband availability and penetration levels. Such transparency empowers stakeholders to make data-driven decisions, facilitating targeted interventions to bridge the digital divide effectively.

Examples abound, with initiatives like the BharatNet project leveraging geospatial mapping to extend fibre optic connectivity to unserved villages. Telecom operators increasingly rely on geospatial tools to enhance network planning and coverage prediction.


However, challenges persist, including the need for comprehensive and accessible geospatial data, particularly in rural areas. Skill development initiatives are imperative to equip stakeholders with the expertise to harness geospatial insights effectively. Moreover, ensuring the affordability and accessibility of geospatial technologies for smaller players in the communications sector is critical for widespread adoption.

Addressing these challenges is paramount to unleashing the full potential of geospatial technology in accelerating India’s broadband penetration journey. By doing so, India can bridge the digital divide, empower its citizens, and propel itself towards the forefront of the global digital landscape.

The convergence of space, drone, and geospatial policies not only signifies technological advancement but also heralds a future where every Indian has access to the transformative power of the Internet. As India marches towards becoming a USD 10 trillion economy, geospatial technology emerges as the cornerstone of its digital transformation, underpinning progress, inclusion, and prosperity for all.