Govt Unveils Online Info Platform for Public

Monday, April 02, 2012
New Delhi: The government on Friday showcased an online platform on which various departments will provide important information to public in a structured website format that will enhance transparency in governance.
"Data belongs to all of us. Sooner we realise as government... better it is for all of us because then government and citizen will collaborate with each other. This project tells us what data can be shared and can be put in public domain," Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said while launching the Open Government Platform (OGPL).
The project was conceived during the visit of US President Barack Obama to bring in transparency in governance. The data was jointly developed by US and India government officials along with support from industry.
Sibal said that to bring in transparency government departments should open their non-sensitive data for public.
"The data that is generated is community property and must be shared with them. You can use this data for social audit and also for commercial purposes. We have National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy 2012 in place and this platform is in line with it," Sibal said.
The Cabinet in February approved National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy 2012 which applies on all data and information created, generated, collected and achieved using public funds provided by Government of India. This could be done directly or through authorised agencies by various ministries or departments or any public body.
Director General of National Informatics Centre BK Gairola said that teams developing this online platform have used open source technology.
"This technology is such that any body can use without constraints of any kind. This is beta version of the OGPL and released to selected people for testing. Once testing is complete and necessary changes are made, we will use it for our projects and other governments as well," Gairola said.
Advisor to Prime Minister Sam Pitroda said that the platform will be used separately by each government and will have different website address.
"The benefit is that they will not have to invest separately for developing a portal for governance and they will be able to use the same platform. The domain name will be different for each government," Pitroda said.
Pitroda said that the data on the website will be populated by government department gradually and development of various services on it will take place in phased manner.
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