If reports are to be believed, then Government of India is jointly developing an Open Source Software Platform, to help citizen gain enhanced access to government data & documents. The project is named as Open Government Platform, jointly developed by US & India Governments.
There’s dearth of such major initiative in Indian context. Though in US, the government has put up something similar prior, there’re also widespread and noteworthy efforts by Time O’reilly, the founder of Oreilly Media, to bring Governments across the globe to match up the demands of World, post Internet era.
OGPL, the new initiative, is slated to enhance citizen engagement by providing single point contact access to government datasets, we shouldn’t confuse it with current provisions in RTI Act. In fact as stated, OGPL is
“Set to promote transparency and greater citizen engagement by making more government data, documents, tools and processes publicly available. OGPL will be available, as an open source platform. By making this available in useful machine-readable formats it allows developers, analysts, media & academia to develop new applications and insights that will help give citizens more information for better decisions.
In using an open source method of development, the OGPL community will provide future technology enhancements, open government solutions, and community-based technical support. OGPL has become an example of a new era of diplomatic collaborations that benefit the global community that promote government transparency, citizen-focused applications, and enrich humanity”
We accept the new notion of making available the new set of data for better decision making, it would take much more efforts to make use of such raw data to find workable methods to enhance the transparency. At present, despite availability of similar data via other routes, Government seems to be little more than dormant to take appropriate actions on their parts.
OGPL will provide the necessary platform for citizen by proactively seeking new ways to explore, analyse & make use of new Government datasets, the active participation of citizen is needed to make such initiatives successful. In fact, after going through the US Government efforts, few of the citizen submitted apps are noteworthy to explore. The efforts are laudable on part of Government, better wait & watch to kick start the momentum.
Let’s build better India!