Examine how the use of data in governance can play a crucial role to transform it. Discuss the associated challenges and remedial measures.

The importance of using data in making governance better and more efficient has been highlighted by NITI Aayog.

Role of data in governance:

  • Increases efficiency of tasks, as there is a proper assessment of tasks and people involved.
  • Integrated data across branches can help in eliminating leakages and errors. It can further increase intelligence within the government. E.g: Combining financial, banks & land records to identify criminals.
  • Helps in the implementation of online governance. E.g: the use of direct benefit transfer led to eliminating leakages of billions.

Challenges:

  • No integration and sync between data mean that data is in silos and unusable.
  • The lack of privacy laws makes data vulnerable to misuse and commercialization of data like health records.
  • Internet crimes – Since India has 3rd largest internet crimes in the world, it remains vulnerable to data mining.

Way Forward:

  • NITI Aayog’s Data accessibility portal and data.gov.in must be used to streamline the data for possible integration.
  • Need to enact data privacy laws along the lines of the B.N. Srikrishna committee’s recommendations.

As said, “data is the new oil” so India must harness it to improve the quality of life of its citizens.

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