Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 13: What can be done to improve India’s information infrastructure?

Information availability is a key component of decision-making in any institution – be they corporations or governments. The Indian government has hoarded information. This asymmetry loads the dice against citizens and their participation in the decision-making process.

The Right to Information Act passed in 2005 tries to prise out information from government. Is that the best way forward? Is there an alternative that is possible towards achieving greater transparency and better governance?

Contest Overview.

PS: This is the last of the Big Ideas questions. I will announce the 10 winners in the week of April 25 on the blog. Thanks to all for participating!

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

9 thoughts on “Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 13: What can be done to improve India’s information infrastructure?”

  1. This is one area where we can directly follow what obama has done in the US – look at all the intiatives – all the statistics, programme updates everything is available to the public. thats fantastic, and can easily be replicated in India.

    The only thing that will stop that from happening is vested interests of people in power. but somebody shd make this move and start releasing all this info to public.

    I also think there is a good opportunity for some lawyers to interpret this info and present this in a meaningful format to the public.

  2. We should make better use of mobile phones which fortunately have very good penetration including rural india. TV mobile and radio are pieces of the information puzzle solution for india

  3. Social awareness is the most important thing.Although Mobile phones, TV and Radio are there in each and every corner of India, People are not aware what are their rights.So, the governing bodies are ruling according to their wish. Proper advertisement is required.

  4. The Indian government is sitting on loads of silo’ed data. Make it open and available – at the very least to Indian startups. A thousand flowers will bloom.

    Look at what medianama is doing with opendata and they are just scratching the surface.

  5. All the government workings must be made open to the extent possible. Status of every work done or doing by the government must be made accessible from web. Using the e-governance, which is currently being set up throughout the country, with a little additional works, it is possible to open up the data to the public.

  6. I have an idea to improve india’s information infrastrucure. Workers must their job honestly and punctually.

  7. 1) Anything that Indian citizen can legally ask for , must be made available on internet without asking for it.

    2) Other than information which must be hidden for national security and other reasons, everything must be available to anybody in the world to see and this must happen the same day such information is finalized.

    3) All the information must be produced in the open standard formats. Open standard is must for all government information and we should not try to encourage some crappy proprietary document formats.

    4) It should be perfectly legal to download and host a mirror of such information provided its not altered.

    5) Major improvements in India’s internet infrastructures.

    6) RTI is stupid for dealing with this much amount of information. We need free information as we already have the right by constitution. But even after this act governments keeps complaining about total number of applications and processing times etc.
    We must just get rid of all of this process and just make it available.

    7) Sever punishment must be given to any government employee who tries to provide false information or who provides information even one day late. All big companies have been making information available on their website on the very day of major announcement, there is no reason government can not do it.

    8) Government must create better and very well organized websites to obtain such information and all interlinking of such information sources must be done to the extent possible. It must be very easy to find any information that one is looking for.

    9) Government should use new age social media channel to communicate such information like twitter/facebook/rss etc so that public is always aware of all the updates being done to the information.

    10) Government should try to use open source software for all its internal work and to produce such information. Also a national/state/regional level teams should be created to maintain/manage these information channels.

  8. The govt should have certain principles:
    1) medium neutral – This means it is not partial to roads / rails or hydro/nucleur. Go for a balanced plan which understands the advantage and limitations of all mediums.
    2) define goals
    3) transparency

    The recent 3G auction was fantastic purely because :

    1) the government did not get try to dictate every single detail, it set ground rules which are easy to understand and internationally accepted 2) the whole process was quite transparent (but could be better).

    We have a system which works maybe we should try it in other places.

    Why not auction road or sea port construction projects through the same auction system ?

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