why is satellite data in india not available under rti?

here is my question: should not the data that is captured by irs satellites(bar the ones that have security implications) be available to Indian citizens under the RTI? after all the missions have been funded by the state hence by the people.

currently this data is available at an exorbitant cost (Data Price). The interesting thing to note is that the satellite keeps acquiring data and stores them in the ground station. only when the data is necessary/ ordered by any partner, is it processed and distributed.

it would be logical to charge if:

  1. the sensor was making any path modifications
  2. or high pre-processing was done to the raw data (this would then justify only the processed data cost and not the raw data cost)
both is not true in most cases, what is interesting is that even the archived data is charged (only data older than 3 years is cheaper (50% off))


i looked around for other satellite data and found this  link 1 & link 2. both are live data feeds from the Landsat available for public use.  if the success of facebook / google maps has taught us anything then it is the power of crowd sourcing! giving data out in the public helps better insights rather that the standard organizational approach.
i raised this questions with my former professor mr srinivasa raju; he responded to this accusation by informing that the landsat data was priced till as recently as 2005 and only after the mission started failing did they release it for direct public use. accepted and corrected. he also further mentioned the Bhuvan initiative. there are shortcomings but the it is really brilliant.

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