Would the nic site turn out to be an open data source for information?
Eight years after the coming into force of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the government has decided to take a major initiative to enforce the section 4 of the Act. The national informatics centre (NIC) along with Nasscom organised a conference on 'Open data apps for innovation in governance' in Delhi to encourage the use of open government data. The union minister for information technology and communications, Mr Kapil Sibal launched the beta version of the website data.gov.in which shall be the repository for all government data. Currently, the website contains nearly 3,500 data amidst plans to increase the number to 10,000 by the end of the year 2013.
The broad body of data shall be named as Open Data. It is planned to suo-motu put all information in public domain and encourage the private professionals to develop applications (apps) around them for people to use this data in an efficient manner. The project has a potential to provide access to information online on a near-real-time basis.
Sibal stressed upon the importance of data for opinion building which ultimately leads to development of better policies for the people. He pointed that if the data on water and sanitation is integrated, the design sanitation systems can be accurately designed according to the condition of water of any area. He called for integrating spatial and non-spatial data. The advisor to the prime minister, Sam Pitroda, addressed the conference through video-conferencing. He called upon the youth to develop apps that work on the district or even the panchayat level rather than the national level. He said that the open data initiative would democratise access to information. IT secretary J Satyanarayana, apart from many other dignitaries from the government and private sector, participated in the event.
An app development competition is also planned with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh for the winner and fifty thousand for the runners up. The participants would be required to develop an app using the data present on data.gov.in in six weeks time.