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Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 94

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Significant Issues In Indian Administration)

(Current Based) Question: What is data driven governance architecture ? Why it is now ripe time for government to create it. (30 Marks/400 Words)

Model Answer:

The application of data and their assimilation with solving social problems, enabling better governance and powering elected governments to serve their citizens better is ushering in a new revolution. When Artificial Intelligence is coupled with open data, a real paradigm shift begins.

The European Union with its General Data Protection Regulation has been a front-runner and other countries, including India, have also adopted a collaborative model to develop privacy laws, which includes deliberations with creators of data (the consumer) and users (corporates).

Open government data means publishing information collected by the government in its entirety, such as government budgets, spending records, health-care measures, climate records, and farming and agricultural produce statistics. If the advent of data-driven business models was a watershed moment, this is the real pot of gold.

Five-point framework

(1) The first step is to ensure completeness of data stacks opened for use either through machine-readable formats or direct APIs. Completeness would imply a data set. For example, soil data cards will have data on all relevant aspects as well as current emerging technologies such as Blockchain and the Internet of Things to provide the opportunity to automate data collection.

(2) Comprehensiveness of a data stack or various data sets is essential. For example, a comprehensive agri-data set would have digitised data sets on soil data, rainfall, crop production as well as market rates. Currently, data sets shared in India are somewhat disjointed and not comprehensive.

(3) Clustering of relevant data sets and APIs would be the next step. This would mean combining data sets which can lead to the creation of applications such as farm insurance from weather, soil and crop cycle/sale data. Therefore, technology developers have a road map of “innovations in focus” for national development.

(4) The fourth step is building anchor cases or use-cases to encourage data usage. A case in point is Aadhaar/identity data which has seen exponential growth (post identification in e-KYC). Taking the Aadhaar case further, its API has led to the development of market applications, an Aadhaar-enabled payment system, and direct benefit transfers among others which are clearly pushing the “financial inclusion” drive.

(5) The final step would be setting up a comprehensive governance framework which includes an open data council with cross-sector representation to monitor, regulate and build usage after proportionate oversight. (Total Words- 383)\

Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Coulmn: ‘Open Data, Open Government' by Rana Kapoor

(Linkages: Government and Data driven governance Architecture, Artificial Intelligence and Open Data, European Union and GDPR)

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