Government of India has been working extensively towards their National E Governance Plan [NeGP] – The vision of this program is to make all the government services accessible to common man in his area using Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) through the Common Service Centers (CSCs). The motto behind the NEGP is to offer efficient and transparent services to citizens at affordable costs. Our current Prime minister has been very proactive and ensured that all the government services are available easily to the citizens and one of the best way he is doing that is using Twitter. You pose a query on Twitter to any ministry and you will have a resolution in no time. [Read how Twitter has become the new Customer Care]
So let’s see first what is Open Data ? Open Data simply means any data that is accessible by all. So in terms of e-Governance, Open Data is providing access to data published by various ministries of the government. Moving on apart from the NEGP there is one initiative that many end users are not aware of, it’s of more use to IT professionals and Developers who are building apps that provide government info. This is called the Open Data Initiative and the same is accessible at the Open Government Data Platform at data.gov.in. The portal is intended to be used by Government of India Ministries to publish data sets, documents, services for public use. It intends to increase transparency in the functioning of Government and also open avenues for many more innovative uses of Government Data to give different perspective.
How will the Open Data Initiative impact us ?
- The various government ministries will publish their data on this portal which will be accessible by everyone, however it will be in a format which a programmer can easily understand.
- This will help them develop applications using the data provided by the government. Since this information is published by the government itself, you can be sure of the information.
- Using these apps you can view the historic data as well. So this data along with the current data will help you understand how a particular ministry is performing.
- For instance, you can visit the agricultural ministry’s website where it publishes the cost and amount of vegetables delivered to a particular subzi mandi and since this is on a daily basis, you can track the prices of a commodity in your area.
- Apart from the vegetable prices, you can come to know the pin-code of every village, town, city in India along with their phone numbers.
- As a part of this initiative the users will be aware of the latest Railway time table which is published by the Ministry of Railways frequently.
So you see, there are lot of benefits of this program as you know exactly what is going behind the scenes. There is a greater transparency in the services offered by the government. Plus the information that you receive is reliable and fresh since most of this data is available either on a monthly or daily basis. When citizens are getting smarter, the government too has to be smart and this is having a great impact on the progress of the nation !