Indian government is all set to launch its own public data portal next month.
This portal which has been modeled on Data.gov, a portal which offers public and government data to the outside world, aims to share non-sensitive data from various Indian ministries for general public use in scientific, economic and developmental programmes.
Major General (Dr) Siva Kumar, Natural Resources Data Management System head, said:
We plan to launch data.gov.in by next month. Once the National Data Sharing and Accesibility policy is approved by the cabinet, citizens will be able to see datasets from various ministries being put up.
Mr Kumar added that all the previous data that hasn’t been digitized yet, will show up as “existing inside departments” on this portal and citizens can go to respective departments to collect hard copies of it, whereas all the new data will be sorted into various categories such as negative lists, unsharable data, raw data, meta data, restricted, spatial and unique data and will be available as metadata links to portals of other ministries.
When launched, this portal is expected to offer information on project-related data studies, field observations, survey results and lab tests results. However, sensitive information such as archaeological, cultural and historical locations, strategic location co-ordinates and number of endangered species with their locations will be provided to certain agencies with passwords within three months of data collection.
As far as unsharable data is concerned, all information that doesn’t come under the horizon of Right to Information Act or pertains to national security, intelligence, military activities or high level political decision making, will remain a secret and not shared with general public.
Indian authorities hope that this step will help in eliminating multiple agencies collecting the same data, extensive usage of valuable public resource and facilitate better decisions in areas such as environment protection, development planning, asset management, national security and disaster management.