Kapil Sibal, minister for communications and information technology, government of India launched the open government platform (OGPL), this Friday.
While launching the platform Sibal said, “Data belongs to all of us as data is derived from the planet. The planet is a community property and therefore the data that is generated should be shared.” Sibal added that the OGPL will lead to participative governance as the government will share more and more data.
The OGPL is a software platform, which will aim to provide enhanced public access to government data and documents, and spur citizen engagement. The OGPL combines and expands the best features of the India’s “India.gov.in” and the U.S. “Data.gov” sites.
The OGPL has been jointly developed by India and United States. This collaborative endeavour was started as part of a series of initiatives announced by Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh and US president Barack Obama in November 2010 in Delhi. The initiative on Indian side was led by Sam Pitroda, adviser to prime minister on public information infrastructure and innovations and on the US side by Aneesh Chopra, the then chief technology officer (CTO) to US president. Currently, the project is led by Steve VanRoekel, chief information officer and Chris Vein, deputy CTO with the US administration.
The purpose of the platform is to enhance access and use of government data to foster innovation; improve delivery of government services for interested countries and cities around the world; and promote government transparency, accountability, and public participation.
During the launch Pitroda, spoke about the need for democratizing information and improving governance by creating new tools and platforms such as the OGPL.
VanRoekel and Chris Vein, joining via video from the White House, shared how the teams from India’s National Informatics Center (NIC) and the U.S. General Services Administration have worked together using open source technologies and project management tools to develop this product.
The 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.
B. K. Gairola, director general of NIC spoke about the role of NIC as the technical partner on this project and highlighted the platform’s capabilities and gave an overview of its technical aspects.
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