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Glimpses of Conference on #OpenDataApps Challenge for Innovation in Governance

The Government of India, under the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP), is releasing a large number of government datasets from various departments to enhance delivery of government information, promote transparency, accountability and public participation in governance. The NDSAP envisage proactive dissemination of Government Datasets through the Alpha release of Data Portal India (http://data.gov.in).

To encourage the use of these Open Government Data, NIC in association with NASSCOM started an initiative to create awareness among various stakeholders such as in senior leaders & data controllers from various ministries & departments, Entrepreneurs & Innovators from start-up and developers community, IT Industry & Private Sector, Academia and Civil Society together to DISCOVER > PARTICIPATE > ENGAGE > INNOVATE and build an ecosystem around Open Government Data.

To boost innovation through Open Government Data and engage start-up & developer community to build an open data ecosystem, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in association with NASSCOM organized a conference on "#OpenDataApps for Innovation in Governance " at India Habitat Centre on August 8, 2013. Hon’ble Minister of Communications & Information Technology and Minister of Law & Justice inaugurated the conference.

The conference began with a welcome address by Ms. Rama Vedashree, Vice-President, NASSCOM. She emphasized to boost the Open Government Data Initiate of India. In this direction, she highlighted on the joint initiative of NIC and NASSCOM the #OpenDataApps Challenge.

Ms. Neeta Verma, DDG, NIC, gave an overview of Open Data Initiative of India. She talked about data-driven innovation for growth of the country. Talking about the 3500+ datasets contributed by 49 departments on Data Portal India, Ms. Verma highlighted the importance of engaging the stakeholders with Open Government Data. She stressed upon that Community Engagement will be one of the main focus for the Data Portal Team.

The conference proceeded with discussion on the Open Government Data and its potential impacts. Sh. A Mohan, Director General, NIC, gave insights into the power of Open Data and current scenario of datasets on Data Portal India. He said that in today’s internet era data is power of the society. He informed that 80 Data Controllers have been nominated by Ministries and Departments to spearhead the Open Government Data initiative in their respective departments.

Dr. B. K. Gairola, Mission Director (e-Governance), DeitY, in his address highlighted that this initiative has provided a platform for using/reusing high quality reliable data and in near future live data feeds will be made available on the portal. He also stressed upon the need of integrating various e-Governance initiatives.

Delivering his address, Sh. J. Satyanarayana , Secretary, DeitY, also highlighted how open data makes government more responsible and transparent. He said that Data Portal is multiplying the power of data and information by sharing and making it open to the citizens.

Dr. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to PM joined the Conference through the Video Conferencing facility of NIC. He addressed the gathering on the importance of Open Data and possible innovations around it for the benefit of citizens. He urged the developer community to make at least 100 applications around the available datasets. He said that this project is a great example of public-private partnership.

Union Minister of Communications & Information Technology and Minister of Law and Justice released the Alpha version of Data Portal and announced the #OpenDataApps Challenge. Sh. Sibal highlighted that Data is the foundation of policy making and in its absence appropriate decisions become difficult. He said focus should be on collating spatial data with non spatial data for planning activities. Applauding the #OpenDataApps Challenge, he expressed that the apps related to Agriculture sector i.e. Crop information, Market price information and Educational sector would be useful for the growth of India.

Sh. Abhishek Jee , Director (eGov), NASSCOM, thanked the guests for their esteemed presence & encouragement.

The conference proceeded with an overview of Open Data Platform  by Ms. Alka Mishra, Sr. Technical Director, NIC, highlighting the main features and functionalities of Alpha version of Data Portal. She demonstrated the citizen participation features which help in connecting them with the Government Ministries/Departments.

Further, Sh. D. P. Misra, Principal Systems Analyst, NIC, gave glimpses of the community engagement initiatives taken up so far such as 12th Plan Hackathon, In Pursuit of an ‘Idea’, etc. taken so far to strengthen the Open Government Data Initiative of India. He also gave an overview of the Community section of the portal, which is the knowledge-sharing platform for citizens.

Panel Discussion -1: Open Data in Agriculture

The panel discussion on “Open Data in Agriculture” was chaired by Dr. D. Rama Rao, National Director, National Agricultural Innovation Project, ICAR and co-chaired by Dr. Santanu Chaudhary, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The panelists in this panel were Mr. Vijaya Sardana, Head – Food Security & Agribusiness (Policies & Program), UPL GROUP, Ms. Rama Vedashree, Vice-President, NASSCOM, Mr. K. V. Narayanan, Vice President, TCS and the panel was moderated by Mr. Ravish Tiwari, Senior Editor, Indian Express.

Some of the app ideas generated during the discussion are given below:

  • Real time information on Crop, Soil, Fertilizer, Water, Seeds, Pesticides
  • Information of soil for water management
  • Information on best practices of crop production and irrigation combined with details of all Mandis
  • Location specific, up-to-date crop management information for personalized advisory services
  • Apps around Agro advisory

Panel Discussion - 2: Open Data in Water, Sanitation, Health & Hygiene

The panel discussion on “Open Data in Water, Sanitation, Health & Hygiene” was chaired by Dr. Rajendra Kumar, Joint Secretary (e-Gov), DeitY. The panelists in this panel were Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya, Corporate Director, HP India, Dr. Neena Pahuja, IT Strategy & Business Transformation Consultant, Dr. Pankaj Gupta, Partner, Taurus Glocal Consulting and the panel was moderated by Ms. Tina Edwin, Consulting Editor, India Today. Dr. Pankaj Gupta presented on Open Data for innovation in governance and Dr. Neena Pahuja presented on Open Data in Healthcare Applications and Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya presented on Open data for healthcare.

Some of the app ideas generated during the discussion are given below:

  • My Dermatologist: Mobile application that can picture the wound and suggest next level care
  • My Ophthalmologist: Mobile application that can view eye for basic defects and suggest next level care
  • My Health Assistant: Reminds me of my preventive tests schedule and medications
  • My Doctor-in a box: Helps in basic care at remote locations
  • Apps on information regarding Weather & sanitation together with local condition contributing to disease pattern
  • App regarding Clinical pattern analysis for early detection

Panel Discussion - 3: Innovation with Open Data

The panel discussion on “Innovation with Open Data” was chaired by Sh. Rajiv Gauba, Additional Secretary, DeitY and co-chaired by Ms. Neeta Verma, Dy. Director General, NIC. The panelists on this panel were Mr. Rajiv Mangla, Senior Director, Adobe Systems, Mr. Uttam Tripathi, Google and Mr. Vikas Aggarwal, Head – Industry Solutions, Microsoft and the panel was moderated by Sh. H. R. Venkatesh Rao, Sr. Anchor, CNN-IBN. The panel debated on possible innovations with open data, data monetization, economic model and commercial viability of applications and solution built over Open Government Data.

Some of the points of discussion are given below:

  • Data classification should be according to sensitivity.
  • Open Data movement should move up to District, municipality and village level.
  • Creation of Data Economy using open data.
  • Better cleaned and quality data is required for innovation.

During each of the panel discussions the students of Delhi University South campus and entrepreneurs presented their innovative Apps built on existing Open Government Data in Data Portal of India:

  • Mandi Price App by Edvin Vergese, Entrepreneur from Bengaluru
  • State of Sanitation by Nisha Thompson, Civil Society Member from Bangaluru
  • Krish (Kisaan Information System) by Aniket Maithani, DU Student
  • Piped Water Information System by Gaurav Kapoor, DU Student
  • Exim Guide by Divya Karwal, DU Student
  • Postal Service by Maneesha, DU Student
  • India at A Glance by Anshu Handa, DU Student

The Open Data Conference saw a media attendance of 25+ journalists present at the event. The media was a wide mix of mainlines, financials, electronics, trade and regional publications. Some of the tier-I publications that attended the event included The Economic Times, The Times of India, Mint, CNBC TV 18 and ET Now. Top messages:

  • NIC to host over 3,500 government datasets on a single portal from 49 government departments which everybody is free to access and use
  • Data bank to provide information regarding health, transport, sanitation & agriculture from beneficiaries across schemes
  • Portal to create a significant impact on enhancing the reach and accessibility of government services and information through innovative apps around Open Data
  • Next six months to see 10,000 data sets and developer community to make at least 100 applications in next month to use this data
  • Initiative to enhance delivery of government services, promote transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement in governance
  • Project to further help implementation of services at district and panchayat level
  • Programme to help in further enhancing awareness & encouraging use of open data in the country
  • NASSCOM encouraging entrepreneurs, start-ups, and people from civil society to create apps using this data
  • Need of the hour is to ignite the data-driven innovation in order to make Open Government Data initiative more relevant and useful for citizens.

Prior to this conference, NIC & NASSCOM organized four Open Data Meets with Start-ups, Developer Community and academia in Delhi NCR & Bengaluru during the Month of July to “educate the community on types of datasets published, its usability and accessibility”.

August 8, 2013 – Silver Oak Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
09:00 – 09:45 am Registration

09:45 - 10:50 am

Inaugural Session

  • Welcome Address by Ms. Rama Vedashree , Vice-President, NASSCOM
  • OGD India: At a Glance by Ms. Neeta Verma , DDG, NIC
  • OGD and its Potential Impact by Sh. A Mohan , DG, NIC
  • OGD & Industry by Sh. Som Mittal , President NASSCOM
  • Address by Dr. B. K. Gairola , Mission Director(e-Governance), DeitY
  • Address by Sh. J. Satyanarayana , Secretary, DeitY
  • Address by Sh. Sam Pitroda , Advisor to PM
  • Alpha release of “Data Portal India” and Announcement
    of “#OpenDataApps Challenge”
  • Inaugural Address by Sh. Kapil Sibal,
    Hon’ble Minister of Communications & Information Technology and Minister of Law & Justice
  • Vote of Thanks by Sh. Abhishek Jee , Director (eGov), NASSCOM

10:50 – 11:30 am

Tea Break

11:30 – 12:00 Noon

Open Data Platform Preview by

12:00 – 01:00 pm

Open Data in Agriculture

Chair
  • Dr. D. Rama Rao, National Director, NAIP

Co-Chair

Panelists

Moderator

01:00 – 02:00 pm

Lunch

02:00 – 03:00 pm

Open Data in Water, Sanitation, Health & Hygiene

Chair

Co-Chair

Panelists

Moderator

03:00 – 03:30 pm

Tea
Break

03:30 – 04:30 pm

Innovation with Open Data

Chair

Co-Chair

Panelist

  • Mr. Rajiv Mangla , Senior Director, Adobe Systems
  • Mr. Uttam Tripathi, Google
  • Vikas Aggarwal , Head – Industry Solutions, Microsoft
  • Demonstration of Community Developed Apps

Moderator

04:30 – 04: 50 pm

“#OpenDataApps Challenge” - Guidelines &
Timeliness by NASSCOM

04:50 – 05:00 pm

Valedictory Address by Sh. A.Mohan, Director
General, NIC

To reach the people of India, technology could play most important role viz. Proper Business Model, Data Analytics, Visualization, Voice
Recognition, Mobile Technology, Language Technology, Text to speech, Interface design, Web Technology. Some of the problem statements and
ideas emerged during the conference are given here as indicative ideas for the developers to develop Apps for the challenge. These can
be taken as a base or starting point but ideas need not be limited to as given below:

  • Application regarding Keeping track of livestock
  • Applications combining information of soil with water management
  • Apps regarding soil, water and weather
  • Apps on seasonal planning, crops best practices, irrigation best practices, integration of mandis, modeling and simulation
  • Apps on Bringing farmer centricity & service orientation through location specific, up-to-date crop management information: Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) - how many days, season specific,
    crop specific, location / zone specific Packages of Practice (POPs) - How many days, season specific, crop specific, location / zone
    specific providing personalized advisory services
  • Apps providing information on soil, crops, yield, weather etc. of a land/area, where you stand and use your GPS activated mobile
    device to know all these.
  • Real time Apps regarding Crop, Soil; Fertilizer, Water, Seeds, Pesticides information;
  • Apps around Agro advisory
  • Applications related to Pharmacy; Physician clinic; Clinical information; Health information
  • Health Related Applications could be on:
    • My Dermatologist: Mobile application that can picture the wound and suggest next level care
    • My Ophthalmologist: Mobile application that can view eye for basic defects and suggest next level care
    • My Health Assistant: Reminds me of my preventive tests schedule and medications
    • My Doctor-in a box: Helps in basic care at remote locations
  • Some Health Related problems potentially could generate ideas for some useful Apps::
    • Can technology help by providing information regarding availability of doctors for the end consumers?
    • Can technology help by providing information regarding Availability of blood/donors for the end consumers?
    • Can technology help by providing information regarding dosage of medication for the end consumers?
    • Can technology support a remote General Physician to connect to a Super Specialist?
  • Applications on information regarding Weather & sanitation together with local condition contributing to disease pattern
  • Applications on information regarding Age, Eating habits & disease pattern
  • Application regarding Clinical pattern analysis for early detection
  • Can gaps overcome using mobile based initiatives like Text SMS, Voice Calls and Call Centre / IVRS?
    • This can be achieved by providing farmer’s specific information, voice & Image based information Exchange, real
      time updated information, Personalized Advisory and complete & updated database - Farm & Farmers