The Big Picture – Geospatial Information Regulation Bill: How can Pakistan object?
The Ministry of Home Affairs on May 4, 2016 released a draft of “The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016.” The bill requires permission of the government authority for use of map of India. This has raised serious concerns not only in India but in Pakistan. The bill proposes to penalise those who violate the provisions of the bill with the sole objective of protecting national security, sovereignty, safety and integrity” The article deals with the issues associated with the bill and what is the way forward.
The bill seeks to take strict action against persons/Organisations that depict the political map of India incorrectly. However even though there is an executive order that prevents or warns people who depict the incorrect India map the Geo special information bill is nothing but the extended version of already existing executive order to consider things in a more serious way.
Secondly private corporations like Google are letting open the secret information like India’s defence instalment, army bases etc in open sources. This is only exposing the vulnerability of India to outside world. This is something that the bill seeks to address. It makes it clear that any person/organisation before publishing map or using for particular purpose require government authorization failing which will invite hefty fine and imprisonment.
Finally the bill seeks to legislate the long pending executive order which was followed more or less in a liberal way making it a rule of the land. Considering the fact that India needs to protect its sovereignty this step is just a message to those who try to mess with India. The bill also becomes important given the kind of terrorist activities that are happening in India using technology. Overall India needs to defend her position in a legitimate way so that her interests are intact and well protected.