The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has shared a draft data policy for public consultation. The draft policy, titled India Data Accessibility and Use Policy, aims to ‘enhance the access, quality and use of data in line with the current and emerging technology needs of the decade’ and is up for public consultation and feedback by March 18.
MeitY said the draft India Data Accessibility and Usage Policy has been developed in consultation with various stakeholders including academia, industry and the government and includes provisions and plans to transform India into a $5 trillion digital economy.
What does the draft data policy want to achieve?
It aims at maximizing access and use of quality public sector data, increasing efficiency of service delivery, protecting data security and privacy of citizens, promoting transparency and accountability of data, promoting data interoperability and data sharing. To improve the overall compliance of policies.
What does the draft data policy say?
The draft data policy stipulates the setting up of the India Data Office or IDO which will streamline and consolidate data access and sharing of public data between the government and other stakeholders. Under the new policy, every ministry and every department will have a data management unit headed by a chief data officer who will report to the IDO for implementation of the policy.
The draft policy also provides for setting up of an India Data Council which will consist of India Data Officers and Chief Data Officers of the government and state governments. “This includes, but is not limited to, defining a framework for high-value datasets, finalizing data standards and metadata standards, and reviewing the implementation of the policy,” the draft policy said. Two years old This council will be responsible for finalizing data standards and metadata standards.
The draft policy aims to make all data of every ministry, government department and organization open by default by making all data open and shareable. It also makes provisions to restrict this data flow in special circumstances. The draft bill states that data flow will be restricted if it is classified under the negative list of datasets or if it is being restricted to be used under a ‘controlled environment’ by ‘trusted users’.
All government ministries and departments have been directed to create searchable data inventories with separate metadata and data dictionaries. All these inventories will be consolidated into a government-wide searchable database for government-to-government data sharing to reduce data duplication.
All government ministries and departments will adopt High Value Datasets (HVDs) for identification, publication and maintenance of their high value data sets. MeitY through IDO will advise Ministries and Departments to expedite HVD.
The draft policy states that all minimally processed datasets will be made freely available. “Only detailed data sets that may have a fair value of quality for value addition/transformation and monetization,” the draft policy said.
The draft policy also suggests a q pricing model for limited access to the dataset. “For restricted access data sharing, the pricing of datasets as decided by the owner government department or agency should be notified in a transparent manner,” the policy said.
In addition to the above details, the draft policy also talks about setting standards for metadata and ensuring anonymity of data to maintain data confidentiality. “Each central ministry and department shall adopt and publish its own domain-specific metadata and data standards. These standards should be in line with the Interoperability Framework, policy on open standards, institutional mechanism for creation of domain-specific metadata and data standards and other relevant guidelines published on the e-GovStandards portal,” states the draft policy.
The policy also emphasizes on maintaining a minimum amount of anonymity with the standards defined by MeitY and IDO.
Further, ministries and government ministries have been directed to define the time for which they maintain specific datasets. “A comprehensive set of guidelines will be standardized and provided to ministries and departments to help them define their data retention policy. These may be based on the DQGI framework notified by NITI Aayog.
There is also a provision for skill development of government officials in the draft policy.
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