Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Years In the Making, India Delivers an Open Data Portal

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 18 2012

Screengrab of Data Portal India homepage

India has joined in on the open data movement with Data Portal India, an initiative to provide transparency across a diverse array of governmental agencies. The new site comes on the tails of the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy, which was announced by the nation’s Department of Science and Technology earlier this year, and the 2005 Right to Information Act, a transformative piece of legislation that made government records accessible to ordinary citizens.

Now the portal, which launched earlier this year in beta, aims to open up even greater access. Modeled in part on the Data.gov site launched in the first year of the Obama administration, Data Portal India was built using the Open Government Platform, a collaboratively developed project by groups in the U.S. and India. Data is available for use by developers in apps, and anybody can request a specific dataset via the site’s feedback module. Specific interest communities are in place on the site for developers, as well as for those concerned with energy, education, rural issues, health, and agriculture.

A relatively small number of datasets that are currently available cover economics, civics, and science and technology. There is a surprising abundance of oceanographic data but so far nothing on infant mortality rate, for instance. As the Open Government Partnership blog observed in August, culling data from across India could prove unwieldy, where terminologies and standards differ between various states and agencies. Indian Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal recently expressed his interest in building a Google-like platform for government services, consolidating independent departmental websites into a single web portal. In a generation, online data and services alike could be working in tandem to better life in India.

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality and Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

friday >

NYC Politicians and Advocacy Groups Say Airbnb Misrepresents Sharing Economy

A coalition of New York election officials and affordable housing groups have launched an advocacy effort targeting Airbnb called "Share Better" that includes an ad campaign, a web platform, and social media outreach. GO

First POST: Data Dumps

The Internet Slowdown's impact on the FCC; Uber drivers try to go on strike; four kinds of civic tech; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Positive Sums

How Teachout won some wealthy districts while Cuomo won some poor ones; DailyKos's explosive traffic growth; using Facebook for voter targeting; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Emergence

Evaluating the Teachout-Wu challenge; net neutrality defenders invoke an "internet slowdown"; NYC's first CTO; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

De Blasio Names Minerva Tantoco First New York City CTO

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Minerva Tantoco as first New York City CTO Tuesday night in an announcement that was greeted with applause and cheers at the September meeting of the New York Tech Meet-Up. In his remarks, De Blasio said her task would be to develop a coordinated strategy for technology and innovation as it affects the city as a whole and the role of technology in all aspects of civic life from the economy and schools to civic participation, leading to a "redemocratization of society." He called Tantoco the perfect fit for the position as a somebody who is "great with technology, has a lot of experience, abiltiy and energy and ability to create from scratch and is a true New Yorker." GO

First POST: Fusion Politics

The Teachout-Wu Cuomo-Hochul race as it comes to a close; more criticism for Reddit as it prepares a major new round of funding; First Lady Michelle Obama as an Upworthy curator; and much, much more. GO

More