The central government is preparing to release a new data governance framework to pave the way for the exchange of massive amounts of data among government agencies, a strategy that would increase governance efficiency, openness and accountability.
The national data governance framework and policy, which is currently in draft form, will provide protocols and standards for how government agencies process, store, and distribute data within the larger government ecosystem.
According to reports, Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said: “As we are increasing the digitisation of government, we need to create a harmonised setup for the whole government for data management. This will allow government and government departments to better design and better target efficacy of public spending programmes, be it in infrastructure or in service delivery.”
Additionally, he said that there is a need for a unified approach to how laws are created and this framework lays out the architecture and institutionalises the data collecting, storage, access and anonymization procedures with respect to the information contained within the government ecosystem
However, before it is finalised, the policy will be shared for public comment.
According to the draft policy, its goals will be to raise citizen knowledge, involvement, and engagement with open data, boost the availability of national-level datasets, identify datasets suitable for sharing, as well as improve overall compliance with secure data sharing and privacy rules and standards.
It will also be the first step toward ushering in the digital government age, which will allow for better, more informed decision-making while adhering to the highest data protection standards and a commitment to data privacy principles.
Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) trustee Apar Gupta reportedly said: “It seems like a broader policy for data governance as has been outlined in sections 1 and 2 [of the new policy], but the sections forward are similar to the policy draft shared in February. But it is not clear how the two policies will interrelate.”
It is worth noting that the India Data Management Office (IDMO) would be in charge of drafting rules, standards, and recommendations for the National Data Governance Framework, which will be published on a regular basis, according to the policy.
It also added that in consultation with ministries, state governments, and industry, IDMO shall develop all data/datasets/metadata rules, standards, and guidelines. Additionally, the policy stated that IDMO will hold at least two semi-annual consultations and report carding sessions for this purpose, with state governments and industry represented.
However, Chandrasekhar said: “What you’re seeing today are the building blocks of the overall architecture for the next 10 years of India’s tech economy. The IDMO will be accountable to make sure that the standards of anonymisation are set and that they do not permit any de-anonymisation.”