U.S.-India Open Government Platform Launched

Mar 30, 2012
 
The United States and India launched the jointly developed Open Government Platform at a press event attended by senior officials from both countries today at the Press Bureau of India.  Described as a “portal for the people”, the Platform is an open-source product to promote government transparency and greater citizen engagement that has been developed as a result of the U.S.-India Open Government Dialogue announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010. 
 
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake announced the Platform and praised this significant U.S.-India collaboration.  National Informatics Centre Director General Dr. B. K. Gairola demonstrated the Platform’s capabilities and explained how it will benefit the world.  PM Advisor Pitroda, and U.S. Chief Information Officer Steve VanRoekel and Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Chris Vein shared how technical teams from the U.S. General Services Administration and India’s National Informatics Centre have worked together using open source platforms and project management tools to develop this product.  
 
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Peter Burleigh said that the Open Government Platform represents a new kind of diplomatic collaboration that benefits the global community.  Ambassador Burleigh noted that the Platform leverages the strengths of both countries and that the United States is pleased to work with India to facilitate open government in interested countries around the world.  He noted that the Platform’s open source architecture will provide an opportunity to software developers around the world to develop applications with new ways to view, compare, and use government data.  Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary Jawed Ashraf spoke about the benefits of this partnership for India, the United States, and countries around the world.
 
The Platform is more than just a software product—it also will include documentation to help governments create their own national data sharing policies, including internal approval systems.  Today marks the release of “limited” alpha code for the Open Government Platform—a request to the open source community to give feedback on the code already openly released and to help guide the development of the next software modules.  This functional version is ready for testing by both countries and developers, to be followed by full release of the software code, testing in third countries starting in early summer, and global availability of the Platform by late 2012.  India and the United States will announce other countries that will implement the Open Government Platform at the June 2012 U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in Washington. 
 
The Platform makes more government data, documents, tools, policies, and processes publicly available in user friendly formats to benefit citizens.  It combines and expands the best features of the U.S. “Data.gov” and India “India.gov.in” sites, and will be offered to other governments free of charge.