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Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy

  • 28 May 2022
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: Data Privacy, National Data Governance Framework Policy, Data Protection

For Mains: National Data Governance Framework Policy, Issues related to Data Privacy and Data protection, IPR issues

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) released a revised Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy.

What is the Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy?

  • Revised Draft: The new draft, ‘National Data Governance Framework Policy’, is a replacement of the now scrapped ‘India Data accessibility and Use policy’.
  • Objective: The objective of the policy is to modernise the government’s data collection, with an aim to improve governance and to enable an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data-led research and start up ecosystem in the country.
  • Provisions:
    • Indian Datasets programme: It calls for the creation of an India Datasets programme, which will consist of non-personal and anonymised datasets from Central government entities that have collected data from Indian citizens or those in India. Private companies will be “encouraged” to share such data.
      • The non-personal data housed within this programme would be accessible to start ups and Indian researchers.
      • Non-personal data is any set of data which does not contain personally identifiable information. This in essence means that no individual or living person can be identified by looking at such data.
      • The push to harness non-personal data was first proposed by a government committee headed by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, which was set up to unlock the economic value of such data and also address concerns arising out of it.
    • India Data Management Office (IDMO): The draft also calls for creation of an India Data Management Office (IDMO), which will be in charge of designing and managing the India Datasets platform.
      • The IDMO will prescribe rules and standards, including anonymization standards for all entities (government and private).
      • For purposes of safety and trust, any non-personal data sharing by any entity can be only via platforms designated and authorised by IDMO.
    • No Selling of Data: The most significant change in this new draft is the omission of the most contentious provision in the old draft — selling data collected at the Central level in the open market.
  • Application: Once finalized, the policy will be applicable to all Central government departments along with all non-personal datasets and related standards and rules governing its access by start-ups and researchers.
    • State governments will be “encouraged” to adopt the provisions of the policy.

What is the India Data Accessibility and Use Policy?

  • The old draft — ‘India Data Accessibility and Use Policy’ had proposed that data collected by the Centre that has “undergone value addition” can be sold in the open market for an “appropriate price”.
    • It faced widespread criticism with questions being raised about the government collecting data to monetise it in the absence of a data protection law in India.

What are the Challenges of the New Draft?

  • The composition of the IDMO and the process have not been made clear in the new draft policy.
  • Experts also said that private companies may not voluntarily share non-personal data.
    • There may be trade and intellectual property issues.

Source: IE

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