Dr Valli Manickam Chairperson, Environment Area, Administrative Staff College of India


Open government data initiatives - Opportunities and challenges
Scientific databases are rapidly becoming a crucial part of the infrastructure of the global science system. Digital form, of data is being extensively used in research endeavors beyond the original project for which they were gathered, in other research fields and in industry. Data is now being extensively used in the social sciences, as well as in policy and decision making. For example, data from public health organisations play a growing role in the advancement of life sciences. Similarly, geo-spatial data collected by many different government organisations are essential for environmental and other types of research. Government organisations are required to share data collected using public funds under the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy NDSAP-2012, to help realise the full potential of data, and build a comprehensive and coherent statistical picture of the economy, society and the environment. Data sharing allows maximum use of data for statistical purposes, thus enhancing the decision-making capability of governments and communities. It is an important ingredient for supporting evidence-based policy and decision-making. The usefulness of a particular dataset can only be determined based on documentation of quality and other dataset characteristics. Quality assurance and checks may come in several forms, including software tests, validation tests, tests for data anomalies or outliers, and output reproducibility. This paper attempts to showcase the open data policy initiatives by the Government of India, its applications in various sectors and the role of state governments in implementing / adopting the open government data policy. It further demonstrates the effective use of data by various communities like agriculture, health etc.