After a recent controversy rolled on some social media platforms, a new law has been proposed by the Government of India i.e., depicting the wrong map of India could result in 7 years of imprisonment and up to Rs. 100 Crore of whooping fine.
Protests often happens due to the controversial region of Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, when some part of the region or the whole dragged out of India’s Map into Pakistan’s or China’s respectively. Recently, an image was uploaded on Twitter, and in that image Jammu & Kashmir was shown as the part of Pakistan, which led into an protest by the government.
The image or the Map of India was corrected afterwords. The Government of India, finally came out with a bill named as ‘The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016’, which makes it illegal to post or depict wrong India’s Map anywhere or in any form.
The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016
According to the Bill, “No person shall depict, disseminate, publish or distribute any wrong or false topographic information of India, including international boundaries through Internet platforms or online services or in any electronic or physical form.” This rule or law applies on people residing in India as well as outside India.
Once the bill will become an act, it will be mandatory for all to apply for a license first, before they can begin to display India’s Map or publish any Geospatial information. They further added on the same “the Licensee shall display the insignia of the clearance of the Security Vetting Authority on the security vetted Geospatial information by appropriate means such as water- marking or licence as relevant, while disseminating or distributing of such Geospatial information”.
Google (and companies with similar services) will also need to apply for a license to run their Google Maps, Google Earth in India. All their services, information, Maps etc., will have to go through the vetting process under the Security Vetting Authority (SVA), and SVA will be formed under the Union Home Ministry.
Coming to the penalties, that will be faced by the organization or by an individual is as, ‘Whoever acquires any geospatial information of India in contravention of the law shall be punished with a fine ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period up to seven years’ – official statement.
Government looks very aggressive this time, and especially after looking at the penalties that an individual or any organization may face in contravention of the law, it is clear that government of India won’t gonna let anyone walk away after depicting the wrong geospatial information of India.