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Open Data Week

  • 18 Jan 2022
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: Open Data and its advantages.

For Mains: Use of open data in urban planning.

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has announced the initiation of the Open Data Week to encourage the adoption of open data and promote innovation across India’s urban ecosystem.

  • It is being conducted during the third week of January, i.e., from 17th January 2022 to 21st January 2022.
  • The idea is to provide a platform that offers ample opportunities on how to continue creating and promoting the use of data that addresses complex urban issues, such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Points

  • About Open Data:
    • Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike. It can be understood under three broad categories:
      • Availability and Access: It is easily available at a minimal cost. It should also be available in a usable form.
      • Re-use and Redistribution: It is made available without any restriction on re-use and redistribution.
      • Universal Participation: Anyone and everyone can access and/or re-use it. There should be no discrimination against a person or group based on any criteria.
  • Advantages of Open Data in Urban Planning:
    • Transparency: Greater transparency and integrity of the public sector. It enhances the possibility to track public money flows and market insights.
    • Multi-dimensional Correlation: It illuminates the current and historical trends, which can be correlated with information on social, political, and environmental climates.
    • Action-Oriented Approach: It provides the ability to recognize, respond to, or even predict changes in real-time.
      • Estimates of the impact of different types of change through modeling and simulation, and the ability to test those predictions with a high accuracy depending on the amount of data available.
      • Increased productivity via the streamlining of processes and services, by allowing the easy identification of inefficient or ineffective practices.
    • Environmental Sustainability: Reduction of environmental impact by simplifying the identification of its sources, and by aiding in the compliance of existing projects, services and infrastructure with environmental regulations.
    • Tailored solutions: Allowing similar problems to be addressed across different legal frameworks and different demographics.
    • Democratization of Data: It will allow information to be accessible to the average end-user.
      • It describes a methodological framework of values and actions that benefit and minimize any harm to the public or the typical user.

Way Forward

  • Leveraging Contactless Infrastructure: The building blocks for a scalable model to harvest mass data of Indians rapidly expand their digital footprint—especially in the aftermath of Covid-19.
    • India can leverage the contactless behaviour that is already in place.
    • Aadhaar provided the idea of a unique identity to over 1 billion people in India.
    • Inter-operable payments mechanism, such as the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, to give a new definition to financial transactions.
  • Consent to Use Personal Data: There is a need for a legal architecture that provides data privacy protection and thereby propels governance towards data democracy.
    • In this context, the recommendations of Justice BN Srikrishna constituted for data privacy are hugely significant.
    • Such a law is very critical in defining the digital future of India, one in which the individual will be the centre.

Source: PIB

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