The Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005, has become the governing law regarding public disclosure of governmental information and accessibility to public data. However, data-sharing policies in India are complex in nature, as various provisions under law define and determine the scope of data provided. In June 2010, the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, was assigned by the Cabinet the task of developing a comprehensive National Policy for Data Sharing and Accessibility (NDSAP). CPPR was awarded the responsibility of framing the policy with regard to the legal, operational and managerial framework. The Cabinet approved the Policy Report of CPPR. As a result www.data.gov.in, the major data sharing platform developed by the Government of India came into existence.

The initial task involved in identifying and compiling all relevant laws, and examining them in the changing scenario to identify it they are redundant, need to be amended, or are still relevant.

CPPR looked into three main domains: Institutional and managerial, legal, and operational.  Major tasks that shall cover the policy making include, legal openness, data openness, leaning of data, linking data, social utility, empowering non-technical users and re-users of data, required confidentiality, integrity, and availability controls.

Parameters for classification of data are being prescribed, as those that can be shared with anyone or a particular group, in tune with newly evolved laws. The classification of data based on features and not instances is because it brings transparency, objectiveness and predictability at the implementation stage. Another important factor being looked into is defining the ‘right to public information’, scope, and enforcement of the right. This is being done by various legal principles – from the right to privacy to national security and various governmental policies – are cross examined.

Also read Article on Data Sharing published in Down to Earth https://www.cppr.in/article/time-to-reveal/