Draft India Data Accessibility & Use Policy 2022


    In News

    • The government published a draft data policy for public consultation, which says all data collected, generated, and stored by every government ministry and department will be open and shareable barring certain exceptions.

    Features of the Draft

    • Indian Data Council (IDC) and India Data Office (IDO): It prescribes that a regulatory authority called the Indian Data Council (IDC) and an agency by the name India Data Office (IDO) will oversee framing metadata standards and enforcement, respectively.
      • While the IDC will comprise the IDO and data officers of five government departments, the IDO will be constituted by the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY) to streamline and consolidate data access and sharing public data repositories across the government and other stakeholders.
      • The IDC’s tasks will include defining frameworks for defining high-value datasets, finalizing data standards and metadata standards, and reviewing the implementation of the policy.
    • The nomination of departments and state governments in the IDC will be by rotation with tenure of two years for one department.
    • Each central ministry/department will adopt and publish its domain-specific metadata and data standards.
      • These standards would be compliant with the interoperability framework, policy on open standards, institutional mechanisms for formulation of domain-specific metadata and other relevant guidelines published on the e-gov standards portal.
    • Time frame: The draft policy also looks to provide for the time frame of the government holding datasets.


    • The core objective of this policy seems to be purely revenue generation.
    • It lacks clarity on a number of things such as how a high-value dataset will be defined.
    • Overlapping of areas: though a background document for the draft policy talks about the Personal Data Protection Bill and Non-Personal Data Protection Framework, the draft policy doesn’t clearly state how areas of it overlap, like how the consent and anonymisation of an individual’s data that resides with the government will be dealt with.
    • The government might be contemplating scrapping the data protection Bill itself in its current form, which, after the Joint Parliamentary Committee report, would have needed to include a non-personal data protection framework also.
    • The government’s efforts are towards monetisation, which itself follows from the NITI Aayog’s thinking that all non-personal data is a national resource.
      • This policy may also see a big push back from big tech firms as their business models are based on monetising this kind of large-scale data.

    Significance of the move

    • Stakeholders like start-ups, other enterprises, individuals and researchers will be able to access enriched data through data licensing, sharing, and valuation within the frameworks of data security and privacy.
    • A broad set of guidelines would be standardized and provided to help ministries and departments define their data retention policy.
    • Maximizing access to and use of quality public sector data
    • Improve policymaking, evaluation and monitoring
    • Enhancing the efficiency of service delivery
    • Facilitating the creation of public digital platforms
    • Protecting the privacy and security of all citizens
    • Streamlining inter-government data sharing
    • Promoting transparency, accountability and ownership in data sharing and release
    • Building digital and data capacity, knowledge and competency of government officials
    • Promoting data interoperability
    • Ensuring greater citizen awareness with open data
    • Enabling secure pathways
    • Increasing the availability of high-value datasets
    • Improving the overall compliance to data sharing policies and standards

    Source: BS