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Gov 2.0: 10 Learnings for India – Part 2

September 15th, 2010 · 4 Comments

1.       India needs to embrace the open government and open data movement.

When President Obama took over in January 2009, he issued the Open Government and Open Data directive. The focus was on making government more transparent, accountable, collaborative and participative. One outcome is that government departments are making available their raw datasets on a common portal to be accessible by citizens and developers.  The result is the Data.gov portal.

What this does is to get more people involved in looking at the data and creating apps and websites that present the data in a more analysable format – rather than relying on government bureaucrats to determine what is important. Mashups across departments create for deeper insights into the workings of the government, leading to faster and smarter decisions.

What is really needed in India is to make all government data (except that which involves the privacy of an individual or national security) open and accessible to all.  This approach is the opposite of the thinking behind RTI (Right to Information). In India, the government jealously guards data and treats it as its private property. RTI is a lever to pry some of the data out of the hands of the government but the maintained assumption is that the data is unavailable to citizens in general.

Continued tomorrow.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Senith @ Finance tutor // Sep 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

    RTI is great. But the heart has to be open to sharing data. When the department does not want to share data, they find ways to make it difficult.

    Senith

  • 2 vishal // Sep 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Control of Information mean Concentration Of Power. In India it is unthinkable because every person in public/private work on this phenomenon. It will take some time or say bit challenging to think of anything changing soon.

  • 3 Purusottam Dutta // Sep 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Govt. of India should take some new steps to make it more collaborative,participative,accountable as US is doing . data.gov is excellent idea emerged from the US Govt.

  • 4 hemen parekh // Sep 25, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Rajesh

    Some 10 + years back, Dept. of Company Affairs had published a CD containing a lot of ( but, in many cases, incomplete / inaccurate ) information about 600,000 + Indian Companies registered with the Registrar of Companies.
    I had to remit Rs.500 thru a postal order and then wait for weeks to receive that CD.
    I dont think it ever got updated.
    I think, our exports would go up by several thousands of Crores every year if only anyone from across the world could easily access / download this information freely ( without paying / registering ) and instantly from a Govt website.

    with regards

    hemen parekh

    Jobs for All = Peace on Earth

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