India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) recently published a data policy draft for public consultation that makes government data available for all citizens.
The newly published draft ‘India Data Accessibility and Use Policy 2022’ mentions that except for a few exclusions, all data collected, generated, and retained by government ministries and departments will be accessible and shareable, and all government agencies must adhere to these new standards.
India Data Accessibility and Use Policy 2022 mentions, “This policy will be applicable to all data and information /created/generated/collected/archived by the Government of India directly or through authorized agencies by various ministries/departments/organizations/agencies and autonomous bodies.”
A new regulatory body named Indian Data Council and an agency, the Indian Data Office, will be formed to ensure that the new norms are being followed in the country. The Indian government mentioned that IDC would be made up of IDO and data officers from five different government ministries.
In contrast, IDO will be set up by MeitY to streamline and consolidate data access and sharing across the government and other stakeholders. With this new data policy, the government aims to drastically improve India’s ability to use public-sector data for large-scale social change.
Experts believe that it is crucial for the country to use gathered public data effectively and efficiently to make India a trillion-dollar economy in the coming years.
This new policy will considerably help startups and other organizations harness the power of quality data to bring innovations and provide better services through data licensing, sharing, and valuation within the frameworks of data security and privacy.
Additionally, the draft clearly states that government bodies must define the data retention period for transparency. “A broad set of guidelines would be standardized and provided to help ministries and departments define their data retention policy,” the draft mentioned.
However, the policy has also been subjected to criticism for multiple reasons, one of which is because of the monetization model. Salman Waris from TechLegis, said, “This policy may also see a big pushback from big tech firms as their business models are based on monetizing this kind of large-scale data.”