A task group comprising officials, domain experts and academicians was formed to formalise a pilot project with government departments by June. This was to set the tone for larger implementation of data-driven governance and modernisation of the state administration.
After delays because of an apparent lack of coordination among the members and government officials, the task group is set to skip the step entirely and prepare a report presenting an overall roadmap.
Pulak Ghosh, co-chair of the big data task group, confirmed there will be no pilot project anymore. “For now, it is just going to be the overall roadmap. We will have our first draft ready by the end of September,” he said.
Mukund Rao, member-secretary, Karnataka Jnana Aayoga (KJA or the Karnataka Knowledge Commission), said the task group is still conducting discussions with government departments. “We thought that the pilot project can be completed in three-four months but because the task group members are from different states, getting them together, meeting with department officials… and because of the state election, this has taken time.”
The KJA monthly report for June and July does mention proposed pilot projects with government departments. The task group meeting on July 26, the report states, discussed the “draft of the tentative structure of the report, the workshop that the TG is contemplating, formulation of SGs (sub-groups) and proposed pilot projects.”
Before that, the first meeting of the task group along with the egovernance department and officials of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, scheduled for June 29, was postponed due to the “non-presence of co-chairs and some members.”
“Some departments like agriculture and health were identified (for the pilot),” said SV Ranganath, co-chair of the big data task group. “But coordinating with departments on whether data is available in the first place, and if not, does it lend itself to proxy data, those decisions are yet to be taken.”
“At the moment, this is very open. We are first trying to come up with a comprehensive document on how, where and why big data can be used for better governance and policy-making in Karnataka,” he said. “Some of the topics that we are considering are health, education, agriculture, water resources, urban planning, transport, AI, and use of block-chain in land records.”
KJA’s Rao said government officials are yet to be sensitised about how big data is beneficial and why it is necessary to analyse and make data publicly accessible. “This data should also be made available across departments. But officials, the ones who have to finally implement this, will have to be more proactive and warm up to the idea of big data.”