Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civils Daily Mains Question 14th April 2020

“GIS is not just essential but is now a necessity to empower citizens and bring an inclusive economic growth and prosperity to the people”. In this light discuss how Geospatial technology has been transforming e-governance in India.


The central government’s ‘New India’ vision is a movement to transform the nation by 2022. It is a novel initiative that envisions an India which is clean, healthy, secure, inclusive and robust.  The government has designed several plans like Digital India, Smart Cities and Skill Development to create a sustainable base for taking this development into the next decade.

Geospatial technology provides real-time data and an efficient processing system that facilitates effective, efficient and informed decision-making. Integration of geospatial technology in the ‘New India’ vision will enable the development of applications that have the potential to revolutionize workflows across industries

Geospatial Technology in e-governance:

E-Governance has emerged as one of the driving forces for the Government by enabling the administration to re-design and improve its existing processes, connect with citizens and facilitate interactions with and within the society. The combination of readily available Internet access and spatial information through GIS enables the government authorities to provide a new level of service to both businesses and the public

Geospatial technology has made its impact along the length and breadth of the Indian e-governance starting from rural development to smart cities. Agriculture, IMD, Town and Country Planning and many more have been GIS dependent for a very long time. Some of the projects are listed below.

Rural Development – MGNREGA

GIS can help MGNREGA workers to get information about availability of work in the near locations, work site location information, real time transparent attendance, and payment information. At the same time, it will benefit the citizens by enabling the geo portal for MGNREGA assets, which will enhance the concurrent social audit by citizens and facilitate feedback information on current status of work, quality validation, etc.

Indian Railways

The Railways has developed a web-based application, Land Management Module, and the pilot project in Delhi. The GIS mapping of all Railway land in Delhi will help the authorities in curbing the menace of encroachments. From Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of its vacant land to aerial survey of its railway station through drones, the Railways is adopting state-of-the-art technology for asset and project management.


The key objective of Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (R-APDRP) is to improve financial health of state electricity boards.


  • Formulation of GIS-based Master/Development Plans for 500 AMRUT Cities is one of the important reforms under AMRUT.
  • Most of all it is 100% centrally funded sub-scheme with budget outlay of Rs.515.00 crores.

The major objectives of the scheme are:

  • To develop common digital geo-referenced base maps and land use maps using Geographical Information System (GIS).
  • Master Plan Formulation for 500 cities AMRUT Cities.


  • Improve call routing and response time
  • Improve data quality (e.g. address validation)
  • Send emergency resources to the right location

Municipalities: Increase data sharing between neighboring municipalities and countries

Other applications include:

  • Management of Coastal Resources
  • Planning for Sustainable Regions and


  • Managing Agricultural Development
  • Understanding Population Demographics and Predictive Modeling
  • Tracking Disease Incidence and Prevalence
  • Mapping Sex Offender Registries and Crime Patterns
  • Mapping of Historical Sites
  • Locating Fueling Stations & Tracking Prices
  • 3-D Street and Building Modeling for
  • Emergency Response Planning and

Law Enforcement

  • Management of Public Utilities
  • Impact Analysis related to Weather, Flooding and Natural Disasters
  • Allocating Staff Resources
  • Detecting Food Stamp Fraud
  • Routing Field Inspectors
  • Training

The National Geospatial Policy 2016 was just in time to solve the pain points of implementing geospatial technology in governance. The policy addresses issues on Data sharing and accessibility, capacity building, legal aspects (copyrights and piracy), public-private partnership. As all the aspects of geospatial integration is defined, the path ahead for the geospatial industry is clear and focused.




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