Workshop on Open Government Data & Civic Engagement

Session with Data Controllers
by D.P.Misra, New Delhi -

With the goal to discuss the important aspects of Open Government Data & Civic Engagement, National Informatics Centre (NIC) conducted a workshop on April 4, 2013 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Though primarily the workshop was targeted at Data Controllers nominated by various Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations for implementation of National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP), a public outreach session was also held.

The Data Controllers play key role in driving the Open Government initiative in their respective Ministry/Department/Organisation. As their active participation is crucial, the issues faced by them in publishing data on Data Portal India were briefly discussed during the workshop. 

In the inaugural address, Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, D/o Science and Technology enlightened the audience on the genesis of NDSAP and the benefits of Open Data. Shri Rajiv Gauba, Additional Secretary, DeitY and Dr. B.K. Gairola, Mission Director, e-Gov delivered the keynote addresses on the occasion.

To improve the quality and quantity of the datasets on Data Portal India, many suggestions, such as institution of Contributor Award for Ministries/Departments/Organisations and contests for Civic Engagement, etc were made in the workshop.

The panel discussion on NDSAP implementation was the key highlight of the workshop. Issues related to budget, resources, and the best ways to make data more meaningful were discussed by the distinguished panelists comprising of Dr. Pronab Sen, Chairman, National Statistical Commission; Shri J. Satyanarayana, Secretary (DeitY); Dr. Y. K. Sharma, Director General (NIC) and Dr. R Siva Kumar, CEO (NSDI).

An interactive session was also held with various stakeholders from the communities viz. entrepreneurs, journalists, academia, researchers, developers and students. They were urged to propose ideas on applications where Open Government Data could be used for wider societal good.