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Open Data for Karnataka - Pilot

Project number:3532
Opened by:admin
Opened on:Monday, 21 June 2010 - 12:55am
Last modified:Wednesday, 6 October 2010 - 9:30am
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Not the usual Praja type project, but here is a different and potentially high impact project we are putting up for your support.

Don't be mislead by the tidbits of data that you see on government web sites. Sarkaari departments and systems have far more data available inside them. A structured way of exposing this vast amount of data in simple raw form could do wonders and boost levels of transparency, awareness and participation.

Data is a funny thing, in the sense its utility is determined by applications that consume it. But only after lots of raw data is put in public domain, we will get to understand the opportunities for meaningful applications, analytics, research or fact based conclusions.

This project is a pilot, a proof of concept (POC) to show that it can be done. Once the POC is demonstrated by setting up a structure for exposing raw data from some government systems, initiators of this project plan to get sponsors and backers to expand the scope.

The project will involve a lot of information technology (IT) work, all of which can be done from the comforts of your homes, and on the computer. Simple way to describe split of work is like this

  1. On-ground interview and inventory of government systems will provide the "content".
  2. IT work (to design data structures, mechanism of aggregating and publishing data feeds) will provide the "pipe".

More details will follow. Look forward to some volunteers to join and support this ambitious, but very doable project.

Open Data Project - putting on hold


Give the current state of digitization, automation, and storage and access within most government departments, some of us have realized that this project requires far more bandwidth than we can afford at this point of time.

Open Data progress - met with dept. of Sericulture


So after 2 months of pause - we have been struggling to work meeting dates with some govt depts we have spoken with - we kicked this off with a meeting with Manivanan, who now heads dept of Sericulture.

A few suggestions on Opendata

Everything else

I had a few ideas and wanted to run it through you guys.

I think we should lay greater stress on partnerships. We will be able to make a greater impact and work on our strengths if we do that. When I say our strength what I essentially mean is our community and our analytical skills. While I realise what I am proposing is not really "OpenData" but it will be a very good start.

Some organisations I suggest we reach out to are -

1. Accountability Initiative - (check them out here:
I had reached out to the lady who runs it, Yamini Aiyer, for some other reasons. If you look at their home page they have a lot of mention of opendata. During our conversation she told me that they already have MIS data of 12 government ministries ( I dont ask the exact details) but they have not made them available yet. Maybe we can get our hands on that data and then start discussions on them and make that data available on our site.

Presentation describing Open Data pilot


Here is a presentation describing the Open Data pilot proposal. Credits to IDS, Shekhar, Rithesh and Sreeram. We have been speaking with a few government officials for their participation in the pilot and expect to 1-3 confirmations ASAP.

Personally, I find the proposal very exciting. There are parallels from UK/US to borrow from, but our government systems are not as digitized yet and not everyone is used to talking transparency using real data (citizens, media or governments), so the work involved should be unique and interesting.


silkboard's picture

Opendata = transparency = fear

Unfortunately, opendata as a term sounds too technical to excite most people on Praja. If we could see all active tenders, all bills issued, all payments made, all works completed, quality review of all works carried out at BBMP, how do you think would the city be? And what do you think will happen to corruption in public works?

opendata is a practical way to fight corruption inside government. You and me can't fight this monster ("n" calls it the elephant in the room) because its a big deal, you just don't know where to start, and if you pick specific projects, you may risk your life. Instead, if we just gang up and demand to see all operational data inside government systems (yeah - take out all addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers like personal data), we would be fighting against 1 or 2 big shots.

idontspam's picture

Open Data

Government should be in the business of providing raw data full stop. Visualizations are a narrative about the data, and citizens are less likely to trust narratives coming from governments.


idontspam's picture

Right To Public Information

Sandeep Parekh talks on RTPI

Naveen's picture

Is land data required to be 'Open' ?

There is no doubt digitization of land records is inevitable, atleast for more efficient land records management. What is questionable is that such data is being made & termed "open data".

Here is an excerpt from the second paper (Pg.7) :

A senior technical officer of the National Informatics Centre described that when the Andhra Pradesh State Legislature debated setting up a ‘Bhoomi’ type program for that state, they rejected the idea of any person with a survey number being provided a copy of the RTC.

They felt that if even in the Indian Railway’s computerization reservation system for train tickets, where names are withheld from being mentioned to avoid misuse, how is it that for such critical issues like land, these are openly provided without any checks in the system.

The AP legislature felt that doing so would result in corruption, criminalization, and the deprivation of the poor and marginalized groups by the rich and powerful. As detailed in our research of 8 taluks in Bangalore City’s periphery, such fears have come true.

idontspam's picture

 However, as this project is

 However, as this project is on for hold, no need to bother for time being.

I think its an important point to note. While digitization of data has to happen there has to be a question raised as to why somebody else need to know the extent of your land and its details. This is where the article without specifics of the type of misuse misleading. For all you know it may be a fit case for open data only if there was correct data in the first place.


Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Just a clarification

IDS, your comments are taken in good spirits anyway. But the post was neither for fear mongering nor a case presentation to oppose open data project. But rather it has to be taken as word of caution while going for open data project.

 .....bashing open data that too with an example of non-open data

This paper says in page 87, which is authored by Rajeev Chawla Secretary, e-Governance, Government of Karnataka as shown below, which made me to guess Bhoomi is an open-data project.


 "For a fee of Rs.15, a printed copy of the RTC can be obtained online in

5–30 minutes at computerised Bhoomi kiosks in 177 taluk offices. The land

records are in the public domain. Copies of RTC can be obtained for any

land parcel in the taluk by providing the name of the owner or the plot

(survey) number and any record can be viewed through a touch-screen at

a few kiosks."

Even this paper discusses in page #3, how Bhoomi data is being misused.

However, as this project is on for hold, no need to bother for time being.

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
silkboard's picture

Project scope - changing

I have been in touch with dept of sericulture, via Mr Manivannan. More I get in, more I understand how this project is unlikely to make serious progress without serious investment of time in understanding te levels of digitization present inside government departments today.

We should temporarily put this project on hold, and get deep into one department to understand how data can help them first. the project woudl be like consulting with the department on how to bettert use IT.

A detailed post is due from me, will write soon. Sorry for not updating the project for a while now.

idontspam's picture

Bad example

Stunned to note that how open data is used to exploit a section of people

Firstly, I am also stunned how an unsubstantiated blanket statement can be used for fear mongering. Can the author provide one example of a court case which can be verified and traced to the usage of digitized data. I can make a similar unsubstantiated statement that

It has been noticed in Bangalore that fearmongering is being used by people like the one who has quoted this link to terrorize people and keep them in poverty, hence exploiting the poor for their personal benefit of garnering funding from agencies.

You better be stunned by this as well.

Secondly, Digitization is not an excuse for letting loose land records and calling it open data. Today if you go to a sub registrars office are you legally allowed to get access to anybody's data? You can always get access by paying bribe. But if the same land records were protected by technology authentication and biometrics can this be possible?

So dont throw the baby out with the bath water. Lack of safegaurds is not an excuse for bashing open data that too with an example of non-open data

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Open data is exploited?

 I was following a fellow praja and  found this praja byte. Stunned to note that how open data is used to exploit a section of people. So just a word of caution while we support this type of project.

Thanks abidpqa for sharing the link.

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
idontspam's picture

seamless & walkways

 I can see 2 pedestrian passages from the IMTC going into SWR. One where the current subway exists and another new one south of it. Probably at different levels. WIthin SWR boundary its important for SWR to integrate them so there is a direct connection to the platforms. The seamlessness of the connection lies in the direct extension of the walkways into the platforms. We have to first understand these plans with KSRTC & then make representation to SWR. Beyond enabling these walkways with escalators, travelators & elevators you cant get anything more seamless. I am sure the walking distances across these walkways are way less than some of the airport concourses. Shuttles etc are not a sustainable answer. Anyway I think we are derailing this thread.

pathykv's picture


There is no integration between the Railway Station and the new facility except a mention of a pedestrian passage.

This is not enough. There should be seamless integration.


Transmogrifier's picture

Subashnagar IMTC

Could documents and plans from this be hosted as a part of the Opendata project (on or

Since plans like these tend to vanish (like early renditions of NM stations and PDFs of their routing) it wouldn't hurt for us to host these too.




silkboard's picture

Have registered new domains

If this does move well, I think we will need to set up a separate website for publishing data feeds, and directory of data feeds. Why not plan ahead I thought, and have registered "" and "" domains.

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